Thursday, 11 April 2013

Chiang Maaaai! Pre Song Kran water-wars!

I arrived at Yellow House Guest House, after the bus-ride from hell, checked into a dorm room, which was basically a mattress on the floor but for 100 baht a night (£2) during Thai New Year, I wasn't complaining! Met my room mate, a girl from China, and then freshened up and headed round to see Nalinrat, the local lady I'd met when we were here in January, who owned a tour shop round the corner. They had already started celebrating Song Kran 2 days early (the official festival wasn't until 13th-15th April), so I got myself a super soaker 5000 (a massive water gun) and bucket from the lady next door to Nalinrat, and got myself a prime spot on the street for soaking people!

Nalinrat had massive buckets of water, and we were joined by the tuktuk driver I'd met in January who took me to the Tiger Kingdom, his son, Nalinrat's son and her Australian boyfriend, plus a few other locals and the daughter of the lady next door. As it wasn't official Song Kran we couldn't soak the locals unless they asked us to, as they were still working etc, but the tourists were prime targets and fair game so we got them good! Nalinrat cooked me lunch bless her, she's always cooking and such a good cook, she gave me some vodka and whiskey, cranked up the tunes and we partied and soaked, and I booked my 3 days with the Elephants, which I'd be doing after Song Kran.

Then later in the afternoon we were joined by some Americans and we decided to all kit up and go on a rampage around town, squirting and chucking buckets of water on any tourists we passed, and any who passed us on their bikes or tuk tuks. We then ventured over to Phae Gate (the old city gates) where there were massive stages set up for 'soak stations' during the festival, and met another group of tourists (there were eventually about 25 of us plus some locals) and set ourselves up along the moat, squirting and soaking anyone who passed us on the street, or on the road, and getting soaked ourselves. Eventually it turned into a full-on water-war and instead of all being on one team, we all just soaked each other too. We ended up re-filling our guns and buckets with moat water, which was disgusting but worth the dirt to soak people! We spent the rest of the afternoon here, it was amazing fun - and it wasn't even Song Kran yet! Then I headed back to Nalinrat's at around 6pm to say goodnight and to chuck a few more buckets on people, then headed back to the hostel to shower and get dry.

I'd left my phone at the hostel and so didn't get James's messages until the evening, doh, but he was headed to Rooftop bar to meet a friends girlfriend for some drinks. So I grabbed some food at my regular local restaurant I'd found last time we were here, at the market behind the hostel - Fried fish yellow curry - yum! Then headed out to meet them. Managed to avoid getting soaked by the few people still out water-fighting, and stayed for a few drinks with James and Marianne. Marianne left early and then me and James decided to venture to the Song Kran night market by Phae Gate, and watch some local performances on a stage erected at the end of the road - it was local girls singing, dancing etc - quite good actually. Then we both headed home to our hostels, I went for an oil massage at 11pm at my regular place up the road from my hostel and then passed out on my mattress!

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