Check out our list of alternative events in Bangkok – all of which tap into Thailand’s traditional New Year celebrations in a different way.

We’re approaching that time of year again when it becomes almost impossible to leave your house in Bangkok without getting soaked. Thailand’s most celebrated extravaganza, the 3 day water festival of Songkran celebrating Traditional Thai New Year takes place this year from the 13th – 15th of April, drawing in huge crowds of locals and tourists alike. Whilst Songkran is renowned around the world for its vibrant colours, jovial spirit, and, of course, its massive water fights, it is also a time of communal celebration and a chance for young people to show respect to elders and reunite with their family members. Most, if not all, of the Songkran activities will involve water, as the Thai people believe that water is spiritually purifying, and has the power to both cleanse and then bless you with good fortune and happiness for the year ahead.

Events during the festival include water throwing, the ritual bathing of Buddha images, processions and performances. You’ll find streets filled with wild scenes of exuberance and crowds of people drenched head-to-toe dancing, drinking and revelling to their heart’s’ content, and there’s also a vibrant set of satellite events taking place this year that put a different spin on festivities. From embracing the traditional around town to joining in with the city’s famous water fights or visiting various music festivals going on, we break down our top five places worth checking out this year.

Specialist beer bar CRAFT is proving that it is possible to stay dry and have fun during the famously wet festival. For those who aren’t too keen on getting soaked from head to toe, this place is a great alternative. Craft is celebrating their 4th Annual Songkran Festival with over 40 beers on tap and a wide selection of food from burgers to nachos. Be sure to bring along your four legged friends and kids to enjoy a fun day filled with summer tunes from DJ MAXX.

Date: 13th – 15th April
Location: 16 Soi Sukhumvit 23, Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110
Ticket: Free

Lumpini Park
For a more traditional way to spend your Songkran holiday, head over to Lumpini Park and experience how the locals live out their sacred Songkran traditions. Hosted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the festival will showcase the Thai way of life and traditional New Year festivities.

Date: 12th – 15th April
Location: 139/4 Thanon Witthayu, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330
Price: Free

S2O Music Festival
Forget the indoor clubs and instead head outside and enjoy the biggest Songkran-themed, outdoor music festival. The water party festival is back after last year’s great success, bringing EDM beats and, of course, more water fights. This year’s festival features 15 international DJ such as DJ Snake, Henri Per, Mashd N Kutcher just to name a few. Be sure to get your tickets in advance!

Date: 13th – 15th April
Location: Live Park, Rama 9 Road, Bang Kapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310
Price: From 2000 THB to 6800 THB

For locals, this is arguably the most popular Songkran water fight spot as the entire length of Silom road turns into an all-day water fight zone for the duration of the festival. This is the place to be if you are looking for a taste of the modern celebration of Songkran. Expect loud music, a heady mix of crowds, and wild celebrations.

Date: 13th – 15th April
Location: Si Lom, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500
Price: Free

Songkran SO Pool Party: Country of God and the Lost Empire
Splash into the Thai New Year with some cocktails and Live DJ music at one of the most-well known Songkran pool parties in the city. Expect eight hours of music, drinks and endless fun at and around the hotel’s infinity-edge pool with overlooks the lush Lumpini Park. Some of the DJs playing include Chazin, KNJB and Jerome G.

Date: 14th April (1PM – 9PM)
Location: The Water Club, 10th floor, SO Sofitel Bangkok
Tickets: From 650 THB to 850 THB (excluding VIP packages)