Start Living Your Best Life..In Thailand!

Jason Gonsalves Nov 2, 2019

If you’re the type of person that’s into elementary things like, oh, I don’t know, EXPERIENCING THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE, then you must, I repeat you MUST, take a 14hr flight to Taipei, then get a 1 hour connecting flight to Bangkok, and finally one more 1 hour connecting flight to Chiang Mai Thailand this April.   

Here me out… 

With all of the available in-flight entertainment nowadays it’s not that bad, and what I’m about to share with you is well worth the travel time.

A lot of people travel to Thailand at various times of the year, and Thailand is full of rotating festivals year-round.  Thai people love to celebrate sh*t, and I love that about them.  Most people have heard of the Full Moon Parties that happen monthly, but bar none the most fun you will ever have in your life is their New Year celebration called Songkran, which is actually a 3-day water-fight in the streets.  Songkran is celebrated throughout Thailand but Chiang Mai’s is the biggest and best.  The locals look forward to it so much that some even start the evening prior to the official start day.   

What it is 

If you step outside during Songkran, expect to be completely drenched in water within 5min of being on a main street in New City Chiang Mai (the city-centre is marked by a massive fortress wall and moat, in which the outer wall is “New City” and within the walls is “Old City”).  You DO NOT have a choice in the matter.  Everyone plays.  From the youngest child who can barely walk spraying you with a plastic water gun on the sidewalk, to the oldest great grandmother pouring a bucket of ice-water down the back of your shirt as you reload your own weapon at one of the many fill-stations.  Tourists and locals frolic in the streets spraying each other down while exclaiming “Happy New Year!”  It is the most beautiful scene of humanity that you will experience.  There are giant barrels of water along the streets, many in bars who ask that you purchase a beverage in order to refill your water-gun. 

Wait, you’re telling me I have to drink beer to play this game?   Don’t threaten me with a good time.   

As you walk along the streets spraying one another there are pickup trucks with 8 locals in the back, dashing buckets of freezing cold water on you in Southeast LA drive-by style.  You actually welcome the cold water over the regular temp water because in mid-April, when they celebrate Songkran, it’s approximately 40 degrees Celsius.   

Why it is 

It is how the Thai people cool down during some of the hottest days of the year.  Gotta love their spirit.  Rather than sit and whine about how hot it is, they start a water-fight festival.  It is also their New Year so the water is meant to be a ritual cleansing of sorts, washing away the previous year’s negatives, and starting anew.   

Who can you trust? 

Trust no one.  Even street-food vendors will give you a little spray as you approach their booth.   

War story 

One local totally psyched me out.  In a barrage of shooting, I wiped my eyes and turned to my left to see a pickup truck with 6 locals in the cargo bed spraying out of both sides of the truck.  One guy was pointing a large pistol in my direction and his eyes were locked on mine.  I was fresh out of ammo but pointed my weapon at him anyway.  With a scowl on his face he squeezed the trigger.  Bubbles floated up in the air in front of him.  We both burst out laughing.  It is one of my fondest memories of the trip.   

Thailand is full of wonderful cities and islands but by far my favourite place was Chiang Mai.  There was a perfect balance of party and spirituality, and of course experiencing Songkran for 3 out of my 7 days there was a treat.  But even on a regular day, there is an energy in that city that I’ve only found a piece of one place else.  I’ll save that story for next time.

Anything this incredible must be earned, so binge movies/sleep on the flight there (I personally recommend Eva Air), and go have yourself the time of your life because you deserve it.

I’ll leave you with a video of what Songkran looks like.

Safe Travels,



Jason Gonsalves

Jason Gonsalves is a blogger and podcast personality at

Related stories