Thailand: Water Festival
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Lesson: Songkran Water Festival in Chiang Mai

Setting the scene:

      The family now travels to celebrate the Thai new year [between 13 and 15 April] in Chiang Mai. Hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world also visit the city. Songkran, the new year water festival, is fun-filled. Everyone throws water on each other. A tour guide named Bun waits to lead the family into the old city.

People in This Story:
  • Bun (tour guide); Dad; Mel; Mom; Wes
  • Brand Name or Company Name item is in green.
  • Slang terms are linked to the Slang Dictionary. Click on the term to view its meaning.
  • "Speed Talk" is in pink; meaning is in [brackets].


    Wes:       Our guide is here. Let's go.

    Bun:       Sawatdee bee mai (Thai for Happy New Year). Are you prepared to be wet? Thai people love this festival and will throw water on you.

    Mel:       Bring it on! We're ready and happy to get soaked.

    Dad:       That's right. We likewise want to help celebrate the new year.

    Mom:       Where is our vehicle? Do we ride in a taxi again?

    Wes:       We better not. I vote for a pickup.

    Bun:       That is your ride. It is my blue Toyota truck. I added a water barrel for you to use. Please get in and we can join the crowd.

    Dad:       Hmm. A 50-gallon barrel; it should be enough for us.

    Wes:       Maybe not, Dad. I plan on soaking plenty of people. We can always refill somewhere, right?

    [Bun drives along a road adjacent to the city moat and the family soaks people. They enjoy several days of fun. Later the next week, Bun takes them to visit the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon.]

    Mom:       It slipped my mind that we would visit this mountain. I especially am impressed with the beautiful flowers at the King's Chedi.

    Bun:       Thai people revere the King and Queen. His chedi [pavilion] on the highest point in Thailand symbolizes his important position.

    Dad:       Very impressive. Thank you for bringing us here.

    Wes:       Say, Dad. Are we going to see a few other sites in Chiang Mai before going back to Bangkok?

    Dad:       Yes. Bun will take us to another mountain there. Also, we'll see temples such as Wat Phra Sing and Chedi Luang.

    [Bun also drives the family to Doi Suthep, a mountain near Chiang Mai city. They observe Thai people at the mountain temple who offer merit.]

    Mel:       Wes, did you notice all the motorcyles on Tha Phae Road?

    Wes:       Natch. My eyes catch all the action that's worth noting.

    Mel:       Hah. You're full of it! Anyway, I enjoyed seeing Chiang Mai. Some of my favorite sites were the moat and Buddhist temples.

    Wes:       I'm glad we aren't flying back to Bangkok. I'd much rather ride the rails.

    Mel:       Same here. In fact, I see the railroad station over there.

    [The family travels to Laos and observes people catch a giant catfish from the Mekong River. They also visit Vientiane and nearby Buddha Park and other locations. Click here to see the following story: Giant Catfish.]

  • © Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst