Tuesday, 5 April 2011

April - Thailand News Splash, er, Flash.

Now that's what I call a Super Soaker!!!
Thanks to those who fell hook, line and sinker for my April Fools gag about snow in northern Thailand. (There will no naming and shaming, but you know who you are ...)

Summer of course is upon us now, with the mercury being tested in the upper limits. So time to find a nice hotel with a pool, or head to one of Thailand's many famous beaches for a cooling dip.

April is one of the biggest months in the Thai festival calendar. The highlight of course is the traditional Songkran Water Festival (a Thai word which translates as "Quick, splash the farang ... that's always funnier and worth more points!").

The main event is from 13-15th April, but in northern Thailand it seems to go on for about a week or so.

In Chiang Mai for instance, they don't stop until the entire 11th century moat is drained dry (or the Mekong whiskey runs dry, whichever comes first), jing jing.

Other things happening this month include the Chiang Mai Cricket Sixes, which has become the world's largest and funnest amateur cricket tournament, with dozens of teams from Australia (including the mighty Lik Lik Wombats), England, Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Middle East, etc, competing for ... actually, I'm not sure they know nor care what they win ... that's what happens when your event is sponsored by San Miguel.

Then April 25th is Anzac Day, which is celebrated mainly in Kanchanaburi province where the Allied PoWs built the Death Railway. To mark this occasion near the original Bridge on the River Kwai is really poignant. But if you head up to Hellfire Pass, 88km north of Kanchanaburi, the dawn service up there is one of the most emotional events you'll ever witness, especially as some of the last remaining Railway survivors make the trip especially. The flickering torches lit in the pass reveal exactly how this place got its name ... like the jaws of the earth opening up.

So check back here regularly for my take on all of these events, plus a lot more, in April.

Important bit to read: Get more regular as-they-happen updates on all things Thailand by following my Twitter site @worldsmith360 or my Facebook page Stu Lloyd/ Worldsmith360.

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