Cool spots for Songkran
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Cool spots for Songkran

A roundup of festivities you can expect in Bangkok malls


This year's Songkran festival is special since it is the first after the holiday was formally recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage event by Unesco four months ago. In Bangkok alone, grand celebrations and activities are awaiting revellers at shopping malls, temples and tourist attractions. Here are some recommended venues to take part in water splashing to promote the nation's soft power.

'Thaiconic Songkran Celebration'. (Photos courtesy of Iconsiam)


Iconsiam is blending traditional Thai recreational activities with contemporary cultural entertainment during "Thaiconic Songkran Celebration", which is running until April 21.

The event promises to deliver the most memorable Songkran experience along the Chao Phraya River to visitors, with the seven-day "Songkran Mahothorn Devi Parade" as a highlight.

After the grand opening two days ago, it continues with a daily parade of the Nang Songkran goddess represented by five popular celebrities -- Becky Rebecca on Friday, Bella Ranee on Saturday, Minnie Nicha on Sunday, Mai Davika on April 15 and Diana Flipo on April 16, starting at 5pm.

This is a good chance to bathe the replica of Buddha Sihing on loan from Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan in Chiang Mai, at the Exit Gate 1, Iconluxe zone.

Then, it's time to have fun with water splashing at the River Park which has become a landmark, daily from 11am to 10pm until April 16. There, you can also enjoy games and activities presented by TikTok Shop.

There will also be mini concerts by famous artists including Proxie (Friday), 4Eve (Saturday), Atlas (Sunday), Bus (April 15) and LYKN (April 16), all starting at 7pm, as well as cultural performances.

All visitors are encouraged to wear floral shirts. They can also purchase a floral shirt designed by artist Ek Thongprasert who took an inspiration from the exquisite floral patterns that grace the pagodas and the ordination hall of Wat Pho.

At Sooksiam, meanwhile, visitors are invited to pour water onto five Buddha images for blessings. Cultural performances from the four regions are presented while leading restaurants are serving an array of street food. Also, you shop for local products from communities across the four regions.


'Thai Rhythm Songkran Festival'. (Photo: CentralWorld)


Promising to bring the world's best music and water fight entertainment to the heart of the city, CentralWorld is holding "Thai Rhythm Songkran Festival" at Square A, B and C on Saturday and Sunday, starting from 10am.

Everyone is invited to witness a grand carnival featuring Miss Universe 2023 Sheynnis Palacios as Nang Songkran goddess from the National Stadium to CentralWorld on Saturday, starting at 1pm. Then, they can enjoy traditional Thai activities such as Dunk Tank Girls game and Cha Cha Cha Ramwong dance.

Highlights include a free music festival featuring a collaboration of modern and folk artists who will take turns to perform from 2pm to 9pm on both days.

The line-up includes 4Eve, Milli, Joeyboy, EYRA Ft. TK x Arty Milk, DJ Nguhow, Apaporn x Yingyong, DJ Leo, Kratae-Kratai-Krit from R Siam, Mor Lam Idol, Thaidernlen, The FongFod Variety, Noey, Jam and Piglet, Beer (The Voice), Teacher Stamp and Supanaree Story.

'Thai Rhythm Songkran Festival'. (Photos courtesy of CentralWorld)

The event is part of "CentralWorld Songkran Fest 2024" which invites visitors to bathe sacred Buddha images from each region of Thailand and pay respect to Buddha relics from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, China and Thailand, at the Central Court, 1st floor, until April 16.

They are also encouraged to dress in Thai costumes and indulge with delicious Thai cuisine and many other dishes while enjoying a variety of cultural performances praised by Unesco.

The programme includes Joe Louis Thai puppet show, Thai boxing, Khon Yok Rob, a human puppet show, and a Thai puppet show featuring an episode of Hanuman Kidnaps Mahothon Devi, daily at noon, 3pm, 4pm and 6pm from Friday to Sunday.

From Saturday until April 15 from 11am, the Ministry of Culture will present many cultural shows including Lao Khamhom dance, a wooden short-stick fighting, khon masked dance, pong lang dance, manora dance and Thai boxing dance.

Also, prepare to say goodbye to the Songkran holiday while enjoying music by popular artists during a three-day water fight concert, "FWD Music Live Fest Vol.3" scheduled for April 19 to 21 from 2pm, in front of CentralWorld. There is no entry fee but places are limited to 800 visitors per day. Registrations can be made at the door from 1pm.


'Lobster Wonderland'. (Photo courtesy of Siam Paragon)

Siam Paragon

Siam Paragon is celebrating Songkran with pop art, music and activities during "Siam Paragon Ultrasonic Water Festival 2024", until April 16.

The Parc Paragon has been transformed into a "Lobster Wonderland" featuring an exclusive colossal art installation by world-renowned pop artist Philip Colbert, often referred to as the "Godson of Andy Warhol".

He has specially crafted a new version of his iconic lobster, inspired by the lively atmosphere of Songkran. His extraordinary pop art pieces are also displayed at The Jewel zone. Available for purchase are cool merchandise he has created, including T-shirts, short-sleeved shirts, stylish elephant-patterned pants and drinking glasses.

At the Fashion Hall, 1st floor, visitors are invited to pay homage to ancient Buddha statues from the National Museum. There are demonstrations on traditional Thai herbal remedies and crafts such as herbal steaming, aromatic water, flower garlands, powder puff making, and traditional talcum application. Participants will receive holy water from nine temples (limited quantities).

At the Fashion Gallery, witness the "OPPO Amazing Thailand Portrait Gallery" exhibition that reflects the beauty of Songkran tradition. There's also a performance of contemporary molam music by leading ensembles who blend traditional Thai musical instruments with international rhythms, at SCBX Next Stage, daily at 6pm.

The bands include The Hymmapan Electron, Paradise Bangkok, Rattanakosin Breakin Crew and Asian Sonic Force.

Scheduled for each evening is a concert extravaganza starting at 6pm. The line-up includes Full House, SweezDream and Christina Aguilera on Friday; Chuang Asia, Have a Nice Day and Klear on Saturday; Proud, LYKN, Pond Narawit, Archen Aydin and Geminine-Fourth on Sunday; Dept, Fellow Fellow and Cocktail on April 15; and Empress, Atlas and PiXXiE on April 16.

The festival is the only chance for TikTokers to win exclusive prizes from TikTok and special souvenirs from Siam Paragon. They are required to create a Songkran-themed video showing them in traditional Thai attire posting at the landmarks -- "Lobster Wonderland" or "CreatorHousebyTikTok" on the 4th floor. The videos should have hashtags -- #Songkran2567 #Creatorhousebytiktok #SiamParagon.

Visit or call 02-610-8000.

'Thailand Songkran Festival: Em Summer Splash'. (Photo courtesy of Emsphere)


Emsphere invites everyone to join the water fight in the heart of Sukhumvit during "Thailand Songkran Festival: Em Summer Splash" which is running until April 16.

The highlight is a 50m-long colourful water tunnel in front of the shopping mall where the water fight will be accompanied by a fantastic light and sound show by top DJs including Norbert, Rabbitdisco, Natsha, Tom and Realplayett, starting at 4pm.

There will also be the biggest Songkran Festival party in Asia for the gay community, "Shagayla World of Fantasy Songkran 2024", at UOB Live Hall, 6th floor, from Friday to April 15, starting at 7pm.

The event features four party themes -- "Anime Planet", "Ever After", "House Of Dragon" and "Medieval Gods". Also, enjoy a hot pool party under the theme "Mega Tropicana" at Tribe Sky Beach Club, 5th floor, on Saturday starting at noon.

Running at Quartier Avenue of EmQuartier, meanwhile, is the "Summer Fun Fest" which presents fashion items, cool drinks, music and DIY workshops such as kite painting and face painting.

Also indulge in special meals prepared by more than 60 restaurants at Emsphere, EmQuartier and Emporium.


'Mega Songkran'. (Photo courtesy of Megabangna)


Megabangna boasts an eclectic mix of fun activities for everyone in the family to enjoy during "Mega Songkran" from Saturday until April 16.

Delve into the heart of Thai culture by pouring water onto three Buddha statues known as Triphakivari in a pavilion at the main entrance. They include Luang Pho Sothon from Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan in Chachoengsao, Luang Pho Wat Rai Khing from Wat Mongkol Chindaram in Nakhon Pathom, and Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem, or Wat Phet Samut Worawihan, in Samut Songkhram.

A range of traditional Thai workshops will be arranged at the FoodWalk Plaza, where visitors are also invited to hit the dance floor for swing and ballroom dancing, daily starting at 6pm.

As a highlight, the gigantic water park in Mega Plaza is open to children aged five to 14 (or those with a height not exceeding 130cm) to enjoy water slides and expansive pool attractions, daily from 10am to 7.30pm. There is no admission fee but places are limited to 100 children per session of 45 minutes. Prior registrations should be made via Line: @megabangnaofficial.

Currently running in the Banking zone is "Megabangna Maha Songkran" market which brings a full spectrum of Thai cuisine, from savoury delights to sweet treats, offered by more than 80 renowned eateries.


'Bangkok Water Festival 2024'. (Photo courtesy of ThaiBev)

11 waterfront attractions on the Chao Phraya River

Held for the 9th year to promote Thai culture and heritage by ThaiBev, the "Bangkok Water Festival 2024" is packed with activities which will take place at 11 waterfront venues located along the curve of Chao Phraya River, daily from 8am to 5pm, starting on Saturday to April 15.

They include Wat Phra Chetu- phon, Wat Arun, Wat Rakhang, Wat Kalayanamitra, Wat Prayu- rawongsawas, Maharaj Pier, Yodpiman River Walk, Asiatique The Riverfront, Sook Siam@Iconsiam, Guan Yu Shrine in Klong San and the newest attraction this year -- Klong Ong Ang in Samphanthawong.

There will be the Chao Phraya River procession of Buddha images from the five temples on Saturday at noon and visitors will enjoy a holy water "tunnel", Buddha bathing ritual, a community market and cultural performances on each temple ground.

More entertaining activities will be arranged at the other six famous pier sites such as a temple fair, a food fair, a chill-out market and cultural performances.

Free shuttle boats will be available at each of the 11 piers from 9am to 6pm on all three days.


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