Heading to Thailand this spring?

It's a great time to visit as Thai's prepare to celebrate their New Year – Songkran. It's an official public holiday, one of many at this time of year. Here are a few tips.

Heading to Thailand this spring?

It’s a great time to visit as Thai’s prepare to celebrate their New Year – Songkran. It’s an official public holiday, one of many at this time of year. Here are a few tips.

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Monday, April 8, is the Substitution Holiday for Chakri Day which is normally celebrated on April 6.

The Thai New Year (Songkran) holiday will see the country basically close down for a 5-day period. It starts on Friday, April 12, right through until Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

So next week, theoretically, there are just 3 working days: Tuesday, April 9 to Thursday, April 11.

Hotels, restaurants, and public transport operate as normal, and with the mass exodus from the capital as the local population return to their homes, Bangkok jams just simply evaporate. Although there is plenty of water being splashed around, there is a reason for that – it’s hot! Very HOT. Drinking plenty of fluids is the order of the day.

A polite warning: mobiles, iPhones, iPads, wallets, and cameras – with Songkran being the time when water gets thrown non-stop for 5 days, keep them out of sight of the marauding water throwers… a sealable plastic bag for each item is a GOOD idea if you have to carry them around or even better – leave them in your hotel room.

Banks are closed, but ATMs are not, and for larger purchases, most places take credit cards.

Yet more holidays come in…

Wednesday, May 1, is National Labor Day.

Monday, May 6, is the substitution holiday for Coronation Day (which normally falls on May 5).

Friday, May 24, is Visakha Bucha Day.

Enjoy Thailand. Sawadee Pee Mai. (Happy New Year!)