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Splashing Songkran

4 Days / 3 Nights (12 – 15 April 2021)

Overview

Join the locals and celebrate Thailand’s most vibrant festival. Ring in the Buddhist New Year in Chiang Mai, partaking in spiritual ceremonies at pagodas and throwing water at a lively street party. From dawn to dusk, the Songkran festival is the best place to experience the deep-rooted traditions of the Thai people. 

Trip Highlights

Splashing Songkran

Join deeply spiritual rituals

Offer alms to monks and pour water over Thai elders, earning merit and receiving forgiveness to start the new year.

Celebrate with the locals

Grab a water gun and join in a massive street-party, throwing water and dancing alongside Chiang Mai residents.

Cook and dine with a Thai family

Venture to the countryside and spend a morning at a family’s home, sharing stories and preparing a traditional meal together. 

Itinerary

1

(12 Apr): Arrival - Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Airport – Chiang Mai Hotel (12 km): 16 min

Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, guests will be greeted by an Exo Travel guide and transferred to their hotel.

Overnight in Chiang Mai.  

2

(13 Apr): Chiang Mai

Guests will be picked up from their hotel at 0600 by a local songteaw truck, and taken to the foot of Doi Suthep mountain in time to buy offerings and join the locals during the daily alms-giving ceremony.

(Note: Takeaway breakfast box from the hotel.) This is a serene Buddhist procession in which dozens of monks walk barefoot through the street collecting food and everyday items from locals. Continue up the mountain to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and climb the 309 steps of the Golden Naga staircase to reach its golden pagodas.

Next, guests will be taken to experience the Songkran cultural activities at Wat Phra Singh, just like the Thai people do. Here, guests can give themselves a blessing by pouring scented water over images of Buddha. They will also carry sand to the temple’s monastery to build sand chedis. Lunch is then served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, guests get back on the local truck, this time armed with water guns, to spend the rest of the day taking part in the festive party of throwing and shooting water. 

In the evening, guests are free to explore the night-time Songkran activities around Tapae Road, where most of the fun happens.

Overnight in Chiang Mai.

Note: Songkran is a wet event which can ruin electronic equipment like cell phones and cameras. Guests should bring a waterproof bag to protect their belongings. Also, guests should be careful of their wallets and purses while playing Songkran. It is possible to buy water guns and plastic covers for phones and cameras on the streets.

3

(14 Apr): Chiang Mai

After breakfast at the hotel, guests will be able to experience the real Thai Songkran culture with a local family.

Join Mr. Prapat’s family in his car and drive 20 minutes to Hang Dong. Spend the day with the family in true Thai style, slipping into a pair of local ‘fisherman’s pants’ and discovering the architecture of a traditional Thai house and rice barn. The family will also demonstrate their basket weaving skills, a tradition that has existed in Thailand for centuries. Stroll around the small, family orchid and select fresh ingredients for the day’s cooking extravaganza. Guests will learn to cook traditional home cooked recipes with authentic Northern Thai flavors that are different from those offered in commercial cooking classes. Best of all, guests will have the opportunity to get to know a real Thai family and be their house guest for the day. Guests can enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch, which they will help prepare with the family.

In the afternoon, join a must-do Songkran activity, “Rod Nam Dam Hua” - a water-pouring ceremony to ask forgiveness and blessings from respected elders. This activity is considered to be one of the most beautiful Thai traditions. During the festival, people will reunite with their family to perform this ceremony with their parents and grandparents. Water is poured reverently on the hands of elders, senior relatives or respected persons, whilst the pourer asks for their forgiveness and apologizes for anything they may have done wrong in the past year.

After a full day, guests are free to explore Chiang Mai at their leisure.

Overnight in Chiang Mai. 

4

(15 Apr): Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Hotel – Chiang Mai Airport (12 km): 16 min

Have breakfast at the hotel and enjoy a free morning at leisure. This is officially the last day of Songkran in the old town of Chiang Mai, but the festivities will continue.

In the evening (after 1800), guests will be transferred to Chiang Mai Airport for their onward flight.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in half-twin/double room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles and a local truck “songtaew”
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements applied)
  • All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary
  • Water gun during Songkran water fight
  • Drinking water and cold towel during the tour
  • Tips for driver and hotel porters
  • Late check-out or day use on Day 4

Our services do not include:

  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately)
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Camera/video entrance fees
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips, etc.)
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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