TheLoneRider
a nomad in search of...
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016

Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wet and Wild
Thailand celebrates its New Year with the Songkran Festival. It was an opportune time for me to arrive in Chiang Mai where Songkran water fights take on hyperbolic proportions! I didn't even know about it until I arrived. It's 3 days of getting wet...actually, 4 days because the trigger-happy folks start a day before - seriously! You can't leave you hotel without getting wet. People prepare themselves for the event by getting those blow-your-doors-off bazooka water guns. You simply cannot leave home without a water gun! Don't be surprised to be poured on ice-cold water first thing in the morning. Everything is done in fun with happy faces!

Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai
Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai

Ending Thoughts
After 4 days, it was trigger-fatigue for me. But it was wickedly fun while it lasted. Songkran is a bucket list entry! If you plan on visiting Thailand during Songkran Festival, make it to Chiang Mai. The Wild Wild West comes alive in Chiang Mai during Songkran!

--- TheLoneRider

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Chiang Mai, Thailand

important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big room, high ceiling, salt-water pool
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - upscale container-themed, garden setting, most expensive coffee maker in Chiang Mai

birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

Thai massage in Chiang Mai SPA / MASSAGE
Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

cafes in Chiang Mai BICYCLE RENTAL
Chiang Mai bicycle rental Top Thailand Adventure Tour - bicycle rental

USEFUL INFORMATION

Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
  • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
  • get a cab outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
  • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
  • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
How to Get around Chiang Mai
  • red taxi (shared) - B50 standard fare
  • tuk-tuk
  • bicycle - B50 daily rental
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Pub - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session
  2. Road House - in front of Porn Ping Hotel
  3. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar
Chiang Mai Cost Index
  • B60 Chiang beer
  • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
  • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
  • B50 noodle soup with meat
  • B50 coffee
  • B40 pad thai
  • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
  • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
  • B100-150 dorm bed/night
  • B250 fan room/night
  • B30 internet cafe/hour
  • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
  • B130-150 Movies weekdays
  • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
  • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
  • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
  • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
  • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

  • Transportation
  • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
  • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
  • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
  • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
  • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
  • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

  • Tours
  • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
  • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
  • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
How to Get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Chiangmai Blogs by TheLoneRider
  1. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  2. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  3. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  4. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  5. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  6. Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai July 31, 2018
  7. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  8. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  9. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  10. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  11. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  12. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai April 9-10, 2016
General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!

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