The Thais will tell you that the annual Songkran festival (April 8 to 16) is all about thanksgiving and family reunions and so it is. But the best part of it is the license to douse passersby with water. This practice is apparently a rite of purification, but given that temperatures in Bangkok at this time of year can easily reach 35°C, it's also a brilliantly timed excuse to cool off. If you happen to be in the Thai[an error occurred while processing this directive] capital or indeed in any one of dozens of towns and cities across the kingdom don't think that your status as a visitor allows you to observe politely from the sidelines.
Everyone, local or tourist, is fair game for a drenching. This may take the form of a genteel sprinkle, or a merciless soaking via bucket, water pistol, hose or even elephant. So don't go venturing onto the streets in your finest Prada, and find a watertight case for that digicam. For more information, visit tourismthailand.org