The Songkran Festival - The Bitch Locked Me Out
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 31 of 121 › view all entries
Weâ€™d made pretty decent time of it and arrived at 7am. I and Lori had pre-booked a room at the Green Tulip Hotel and so were the first to be dropped off. There wasnâ€™t any of this 12pm onwards for check-in and they kindly showed us to our room straight away without any upfront payments so we could sleep a little bit first. So kind after those two days travelling.
Natty had bought a lot of water guns and I bought the biggest one she had! That beast looked like it should have the ability to kill a baby elephant, but when loaded, it gave more of a constant spray rather than a full on jet wash. Ah well, I was equipped and ready to get wet.
Another TBer â€“ Mark had joined us at this point and so we all met up for the water fight. Chiang Mai is certainly the place to be for this festival!!! The whole city joins in and you cannot get down any road without getting a good drenching! Itâ€™s so much fun. Everyone from grandparents to very young children are considered armed and dangerous. Itâ€™s a dog-eat-dog style fight with every man for himself! Alliances inevitably form though, so we had an unwritten pact between our group, though exceptions were made from time to time.
The streets are lined with bins of water and most people have zero issue in sharing (I say most, meaning the bar owners do not liking sharing unless you buys drinks from their place. This tended to be the foreign investors who I guess have little interest in the relevance of the festival). The kids are the most fun. They seem to be in their absolute element and not only love to dish out a good soaking, but love to take one too! I battled with so many as they made me laugh the most.
Natty had bought some powder as well and that gets wiped onto the face for luck whilst wishing a happy new year. Itâ€™s such a calm and lovely festival. My face, shoulders and neck were getting kissed at random with well wishes (I liked that part), but the next moment Iâ€™d be getting a drive by soaking with ice water from a tuk tuk!
The politics of it all make it a safer bet
to stay static and go for passers by.
After a full day of fighting, we went separate ways, but agreed to meet back up for some dinner. With the fighting at a stand-off for the day, we found a restaurant and all sat together. Natty ordered for the table and so much shared food arrived. I even tried frog (tasted like chicken, a bit like everything new on the palet!). Well fed, we all parted for the evening. Lori went to have a look at the market, some went back to their respective hotel, whilst myself, Jay, Colin and Ivan went to have a few drinks and play some pool. Colin was the most popular and seemed to spend a fair bit of time playing pool against a tall lady with an adamâ€™s apple....
After a while, enough was enough. I was shattered and wanted to go to bed. This was not to happen anytime soon! As I approached the hotel (actually as I walked past it for the second time), I noticed that all the lights were out! So sure there wasnâ€™t a curfew, I went to the gate at the side â€“ locked! Oh no, what do I do now?? I havenâ€™t got my phone with me either Arrggghhhh! Making the drunken decision to walk around and climb over the fence into the unknown behind the hotel, I found myself amongst a shed load of thorns and I was simply grateful it wasnâ€™t marsh land. Tiptoeing along, as if not to upset any snakes; poisonous frogs; or tigers, I slowly made my way to the hotel. Few, grateful to still be alive, but losing blood rapidly from the knees downward, I lunged at the wall and pulled myself up. Ok great, Iâ€™m out of the jungle, but now I have to avoid the spikes set up to deter burgulars! With a steep drop on either side, I was glad I hadnâ€™t drunk more, and slowly crept along until I reached the balcony. I wept a little at this point, before shoutign into the open window to a shell-shocked Lori. Luckily, waking her this time wasnâ€™t even close to being as difficult as it was in Munich! She opened the balcony door for me and I was safe at last and enjoyed a far more comfortable nights sleep than I had been expecting a mere thirty minutes before.