April 13th was the start of the celebration of the Thai New Year.
Songkran is celebrated many ways throughout Thailand. According to WikiPedia, Southerners, which includes Phuket, have three Songkran rules: Work as little as possible and avoid spending money; not hurt other persons or animals: not tell lies. There is, of course, the fourth rule, get people wet!
The Songkran water festival in Phuket is a city-wide water fight for three days, although the observance lasts for a week or more.
These pictures are from Bangla Road in Patong, party central for the island and ground zero for the annual water fight. Bangla Road is pretty crazy on a regular day, but during Songkran, it erupts into a kind of good-natured urban combat that kinda of washes away the skeeviness, if only for a while.
No one (except elders and cops) is immune from attack and you will get wet. I taped a ziplock bag on my camera, so I was able to really enjoy the activities without worrying about it. My highlight of the day was, as I was parking my bike, I got soaked by this Thai girl. She and all of her friends were laughing at me. I have to admit, it was funny. I went off to shoot. Coming back, I had a bottle of water in my hand. Went up to the girl and said, “Excuse me, do you know what that is?” as I pointed behind her. She probably didn’t know what I said and it didn’t matter, because as she turned to look, I poured the bottle of water on her head. Her friends were cracking up. She was cracking up. I was cracking up. She gave me a hug.
All from pouring a bottle of water on top of a stranger’s head. Brilliant.