Staying Safe During Songkran, Thailand's Famous Water Festival

Every year, people from all over the world come to Thailand and celebrate the much anticipated Thai New Year, Songkran, by splashing, spraying, and sprinkling water on each other. Fun-loving tourists, expats, and Thais alike participate in this boisterous festivity. If you plan to join in on the fun, here are several tips for staying safe during Songkran and what to do in case you need to see a doctor.

Celebration safety

Cups and small buckets were originally used to deliver sprinklings and mini douses of water onto those who were celebrating the holiday. Nowadays, this festival has evolved to include hoses and squirt guns, too. Often people start celebrating early in the day and continue until sunset, so it’s common that people are wearing wet clothes and in the sun for long periods of time.

Follow these tips to stay safe and maximize your fun:

  • Wear sunglasses to prevent your eyes from sun damage or from rogue water sprays
  • Wear clothing that will protect you from the sun or apply sunscreen regularly to prevent sunburn
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration

Limit the amount of time you are exposed to water and bring a change of dry clothes to prevent hypothermia

Travel safety

Celebrating crowd members aren’t the only ones getting doused by water out in public. Travelers, along with their luggage, often unexpectedly get wet during Songkran. If you are traveling in Thailand during this festival, wrap your bags entirely with plastic wrap or request a taxi service with closable doors and windows to take you to your final destination. Riding in open-air transportation, such as three-wheeled taxis and some buses, will make you and your luggage an easy target.

Drivers and passengers of cars, trucks, and motorcycles are also often subjected to roadside sprays. A surprise splash of water to the face, windshield, or side of a vehicle is shocking and may cause a driver to unexpectedly veer around and off the road and cause an accident.

When driving, exercise extra precaution by reducing speeds and limiting your time on the road during the Songkran holiday period. Motorcyclists should be especially careful and should always wear a helmet and protective body gear in case of an accident.

Lastly, take additional safety measures while driving because the pavement can become very slippery. When the water combines with the silt and dust that have been collecting on the road surface during Thailand’s dry season, the pavement becomes unusually slick.

Not feeling so great?

After the big celebration, it’s not unusual that some people fall ill or get hurt. Common problems include tummy troubles, earaches, eye infections, and colds. Others may have bumps, bruises, or scrapes from minor accidents.

While some of these cases are mild and can be fixed with some home remedies or over-the-counter medication, others can be more serious.

If you need doctor’s assistance or simply don’t know of a clinic to go to for help, doctors at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok can help you. Our doctors are prepared to take care of both local and international patients on a moment’s notice and have specialists on hand that can treat everything from a broken wrist, to stomach viruses, to severe sunburn.

New patients can register at the Sky Lobby on the 10th Floor of Bumrungrad International (BI) Clinic Building. Contact our center at +66 (0) 2667 2070 or +66 (0) 2667 2652-3 or email us at

Bumrungrad is here to help but wishes everyone a fun and safe Songkran.

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Posted by Bumrungrad International

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