A special Songkran awaits
These locations are welcoming back the fun for Buddhist New Year
The Songkran celebration is very special this year. It's the first time in four years we can enjoy the fun the festival has to offer.
Once again, Bangkok remains a popular destination for Songkran revellers from around the world as they can find any kind of activity at many different locations. Here are some of the venues to make the summer holidays memorable.
Water fun at Iconsiam's River Park. (Photos courtesy of Iconsiam)
Iconsiam invites visitors from across the globe to partake in the Songkran holidays and immerse themselves in enchanting Thai culture during "The Iconic Songkran Festival 2023", which is running at the River Park daily from 10am to 10pm, until April 17.
Held under the theme "Blooming" to represent happiness, fresh starts and reunions and signify the ability to live together again, the festival showcases the glory of Thainess to the world with the Miss Songkran Parade and a variety of cultural performances and entertaining activities.
At 5pm on Thursday, witness Amanda Obdam, Miss Universe Thailand 2020, in the role of Miss Songkran dressed in a Sukhothai-era royal costume resembling that of an ancient empress. It has been intricately designed by Surat Jongda and adorned with exquisite gold jewellery and accessories.
The River Park is also open for everyone to have fun with the water-splashing along the Chao Phraya River under the safety protocols every day starting at 11am. Recycled water tanks and containers made from leftover coffee grounds are provided. The atmosphere will be enhanced with the decorations of colourful flowers.
There is also a mini-concert by renowned artists starting at 7pm. The line-up includes Three Man Down on Thursday, select musicians from the Pleng Ek TV programme on Friday, Tilly Birds on Saturday, Ryan-Sun-Form on Sunday, and Atlas on April 17.
This is also an opportunity to pay homage and pour scented water over a pollen Buddha image on loan from Wat Sraphatnuek in Ubon Ratchathani, which is enshrined at Rassada Hall for this occasion. It is a replica of one of the five Buddha images crafted from flower pollen during the reign of King Rama V.
At Sooksiam, meanwhile, visitors have until April 20 to delve into the captivating Thai way of life and immerse themselves in the local community's traditions while preserving the cultural heritage of the four regions.
They are invited to bathe the revered Pha Phuttha Sihing Buddha statue, witness the art of muay Thai boxing and cultural performances, relish delicious dishes from the community shops, and partake in workshops that aim to promote the Thai cultural identity.
However, Sooksiam will remain open till midnight exclusively from Thursday to Saturday, allowing all fun-loving visitors to look for yummy food to fill their stomachs before calling it a day.
Visit iconsiam.com or call 1338.
Superfluid water music and art festival. (Photo courtesy of CentralWorld)
Hailed as the best Songkran landmark of Thailand, CentralWorld will dedicate its Square A, B and C in the front for the "Superfluid" water music and art festival, which will bring more than 100 K-pop and T-pop artists to perform for three days, starting Friday to Sunday.
Ready to beat the heat amid streams of water daily from noon onwards will be globally renowned DJs who will get everyone to dance to great music and amazing digital art entertainment. They include Aris and Gail Warner Friday, Joy Lila and Pu on Saturday, and Riviere and Taidy on Sunday.
Then, enjoy a new wave of pop rendered by popular T-pop and K-pop artists from 4pm to 8pm. The line-up includes 4Mix, 8Turn, Actiontha, Alala, Ally, Bamm, Berry Berry, BXD, DVI, Hatobito, HYBS, Jaylerr, Kin, Laz1, Matcha, Mxfruit, Perses, Pretzelle, Proxie, Ramasuon X Newblood, The7, Thi-O & Tutor, Tigger, Trinity, Tytan and Whawha.
Inside the shopping mall, however, a Buddhametta statue on loan from Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya of India, as well as Buddha images for each birthday are enshrined at the Beacon zone, 1st floor, for Songkran revellers to sprinkle water on for blessing, until April 17.
They are also invited to the "Songkran Phra Nakhon" market which presents over 100 delightful dishes in a setting of contemporary Thai décor, at the Eden zone, also on 1st floor, until April 18. Highlighted dishes are mango and sticky rice, khao chae, fresh coconut ice cream, khao lam and khanom babin.
Admission to Square C zone where the artists will perform on stage is 600 baht (free admission for Square A and B zones) and can be purchased from thaiticketmajor.com.
4Eve. (Photo: Siam Paragon)
Siam Paragon invites everyone to celebrate the Thai New Year in a colourful and playful fashion without getting soaked at three venues until Sunday.
Both local and international visitors are invited to join the bathing of ancient Buddha images, held in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and National Museum Bangkok, at the Fashion Gallery, 1st floor. There are also a variety of cultural performances from four regions of Thailand.
Then, get playful at the "Siam Paragon Summer Ultrasonic: Feel The Waves And Beats" held in collaboration with Paramount Consumer Products, at the Parc Paragon, M floor.
Brought to ramp up the summer fun are Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, the globally-adored yellow sea sponge from the animated series of the same name, and his pink starfish buddy Patrick Star.
Presented under the "Colourful Day Playful Night" concept, the event features art installations depicting the underwater city of Bikini Bottom where visitors can enjoy a pineapple-shaped house, colourful jellyfish and a thrilling 7m high slide. At night, the installations are illuminated with lights, making this undersea world a memorable visit.
SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star. (Photo: Siam Paragon)
In the evening, however, music lovers can enjoy the summer vibe with an entertaining concert, starting at 5.30pm.
Set to fill the hearts of their fans with joy and cheer with their singing on Thursday will be Nadol "Bonz" Lamprasert, Korean boy group 8TURN and Tanont "Nont" Chumroen.
Jeff Satur, a remarkable vocal talent, will gift the crowd with a stunning musical performance on Friday, while acclaimed rapper UrboyTJ will elevate the temperature and energise the atmosphere with his rap rhythms on Saturday.
On the last day on Sunday, 4Eve, a popular Thai girl group, will bring a flourish to the chic summer, infusing the Parc Paragon with the captivating energy and charm of the seven members.
Visit facebook.com/siamparagonshopping or call 02-610-8000.
Buddha image bathing at Central Embassy. (Photo courtesy of Central Embassy)
Central Embassy presents Thainess from the flourishing periods during "A Sense Of Thai 2023: The Golden Kingdom", which invites everyone to celebrate the Thai New Year in a more traditional, cultural and also delectable fashion, until April 17.
Thainess inspired by the four golden eras of Thai culture -- Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Thon Buri and Rattanakosin -- is presented through various showcases and activities, running mainly on the ground floor.
Witness "The Replica Pillars", which features the art of split corners from architectural wisdom of the Sukhothai period and "The Great Pagoda" where a replica of Phra Buddhamongkol Chinnasri statue from Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan is enshrined.
Enjoy traditional Thai dance and music which is staged at "The Siam Stage", a compact recreational area also designed with the technique of split corners.
"The Golden Link" is presented in the passage that connects Central Embassy with Central Chidlom on the 2nd floor. It is adorned with flashy colours and intricate patterns as normally seen on the backdrop of a likay show. This kind of folk theatre was popular during the Ayutthaya period.
Hailed as "The Finest Showcase" of the event is The Golden Land, Vichit Siam, Samsamai, performed by the Kidbuoksip troupe daily at noon until Sunday.
Another highlight is "The Journey To Anodard Exhibition by Teerapon Sisung", which displays a stunning collection of copper weaving artworks featuring Thai mythical creatures -- Kinnara and Kinnari.
The story of the Thon Buri period which was abundant with agriculture and trading is portrayed through a floating market at Eathai zone. Titled "A Thai New Year Floating Food Festival", it is serving a selection of 200 renowned dishes of all four regions including khao chae by 60 leading restaurants, until April 23.
Then, step into the Rattanakosin era by bathing Phra Buddhamongkol Chinnasri statue for good fortune, learning the traditional custom of constructing a sand pagoda at "The Sandy Oasis" and joining a potpourri-making workshop, free of charge.
Visit centralembassy.com or call 02-119-7777 ext 2001.
Entertainment at Asiatique The Riverfront. (Photo courtesy of Thai Beverage)
11 waterfront attractions on the Chao Phraya River
Held for the 8th year to promote sustainable tourism and uplift traditional heritage to world cultural heritage, the "Water Festival 2023: Delightful Songkran" is packed with activities which will take place at 11 waterfront venues located along the curve of Chao Phraya River, daily from 9am to 5pm, from Thursday to Sunday.
They include Wat Phra Chetuphon, Wat Arun, Wat Rakhang, Wat Kalayanamitra, Wat Prayurawongsawas, Maharaj Pier, Yodpiman River Walk, Asiatique The Riverfront, Lhong 1919, Sook Siam@Iconsiam and Guan Yu Shrine in Klong San area.
Besides the Chao Phraya River procession of Buddha images from the five temples which will take place on Thursday at 2pm, visitors will enjoy a holy water "tunnel", Buddha bathing ritual, a community market and cultural performances on each temple ground.
Also, they are invited to pay homage to Chinese god and goddess at Guan Yu Shrine and Lhong 1919 before heading for more entertaining activities at the other four famous pier sites such as a temple fair, a food fair, a flower market, a chill-out market, and music performances.
Free shuttle boats will be available at each of the 11 piers from 8.30am to 5pm on all four days.
The water park at Megabangna. (Photo courtesy of Megabangna)
Megabangna invites family members of all ages to spend quality time together during "Mega Songkran", which kicks off on Thursday and runs until Sunday.
The festival has four major zones. The "Songkran Water Park" zone will bring a giant slide and three large pools filled with fun rides for children. Mega Smile Kids members can make a reservation for the water park in advance.
The "Songkran Family Club" zone features a special lecture by a medical specialist daily at 1pm, a free health clinic by doctors from Thainakarin Hospital, long drum dance and basic ballroom dance lessons, and a ballroom dance show daily at 5pm.
This zone will also host a mini concert in the evening. Phum Kaewfahcharoen, runner-up of The Golden Song TV programme, will perform on Thursday and Friday at 7pm; and Suntharaporn Band will take to the stage on Saturday at 6pm and Sunday at 7pm. Additionally, the young duo, Boom Saharat and Phum Phongrachata from The Star Idol will give a special show on Saturday at 7pm.
At "Songkran Landmark", visitors can immerse themselves in several cultural activities including sprinkling water onto Buddha images. This zone is decorated in a Thai style with bright summer colours.
The "Megabangna Maha Songkran" zone is reserved for foodies looking for sumptuous dishes in an old-market atmosphere. This is an opportunity to indulge in a variety of food and desserts at more than 80 booths.