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April 12th 2009
Published: April 12th 2009
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The Khao San RiverThe Khao San RiverThe Khao San River

Start of Songkran
The start of Songkran in Bangkok Saturday 11th April 2009

Some people armed themselves with huge water pistols this morning, ready to soak unsuspecting victims in the Khao San Road. It is the start of the Songkran weekend, Thailand’s New Year. The water pistol terrorists needn’t have bothered! By lunchtime Khao San Road had become Khao San River, flooded by torrential rain after a dramatic thunderstorm, unusual for this early in the year. We got drenched and had to paddle through some pretty filthy water, adorned by floating dead cockroaches. Nice!

Yesterday, we were shopping in the fabulously elegant Paragon Centre near Siam Square, escaping the hot sunshine in the perfectly-controlled air conditioning. Siam Square, despite the fact that today’s prices seem to match the euro, even in the bargain MBK centre, is still a great place to wear the legs out on a shopping trip! Today has been such a contrast, with the stormy weather. It actually got chilly at one point, as the wind lashed the street stalls, overturned sunshades and scattered debris along the lanes. To cross some of the small side lanes (sois) it was necessary to wade up to the knees in water. This
Than non Sam sen soi hokThan non Sam sen soi hokThan non Sam sen soi hok

OUr soi after the deluge!
all seemed quite appropriate for the Water Festival, although we would have preferred being sprayed with clean tap water, rather than flood water! When we eventually got back to our soi we found that it too was under water and we had to wade into the reception lobby. All part of the experience! Thai people have such a great sense of humour that the whole thing (the cockroach invasion and the paddling about) brought about shrieks of laughter up and down the street. Now, still smiling, an army of ladies with brooms are attacking the flood water in every street, sending it down the drains to flow to the klongs. Songkran has well and truly begun!

There has been a lot of political unrest here over recent days. Today, an Asian summit was disrupted by anti-government demonstrators. Apart from seeing many people sporting red anti-government tee-shirts, it hasn’t affected us. The storm and subsequent flooding caused far more disruption to the traffic! Anyway, it is Songkran so we need to go to buy a big water pistol!

Sunday 12th April 2009


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Bangkok eleganceBangkok elegance
Bangkok elegance

A different face of this diverse city (this water is meant to be here)!

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