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Your survival guide for Songkran Festival in Thailand

When you hear the words, "water balloon fight!" echoed across the neighbourhood, what is your first instinct? Duck and run for ammunition, right? Otherwise, you're going to find yourself caught in a crossfire of colourful balloons and powerful streams of super soakers.

Now that this image is your head, and you are visualising the biggest water war you've ever been in, go ahead and amplify it a hundred times. This is what Thailand's Songkran Festival is like.

What is Songkran Festival, you ask? Good question. Read up on this unique Thai celebration, and check out some tips on how to survive it.

Songkran Festival

Songkran is a national holiday in Thailand that celebrates the Thai New Year which marks the end of the hottest month, and the driest season. At one point in time, Buddhists would take this time to ring in the new year by washing their Buddha statues and icons. Today, this tradition has blown up into a giant, national water fight. Battles are waged across the country, and all the banks and public buildings are closed. You'll witness people of all ages roaming the streets with everything from water guns to buckets ready to soak unsuspecting visitors.

Believe this - no one will take mercy on you just because you are an unknowing tourist. Therefore, it's time to learn how you and your family can best be prepared for what might be one of the most epic water battles you'll ever take part in. Here are five top tips on how to survive.

1. Don't wear anything water sensitive

Our first tip is relatively self-explanatory. This city isn't just going to get wet, it's also going to get pretty muddy. And don't forget, it's still going to be fairly hot. This means you'll want to skip waterproof jackets that might get rather stuffy and embrace the inevitable. Wear light clothing that you won't mind getting a little roughed up. Close-toe shoes are highly recommended in case you need to duck and dodge, you don't want to slip!

2. Leave valuables at home

Songkran is no event for designer goods or jewellery. Leave those expensive sunglasses, bracelets, rings, shoes or whatever else back at home. The last thing you want to do is ruin your favourite accessories.

3. Water proof the rest

Okay, now that your clothes are prepared for a soaking, you need to prepare the valuables that can't sit at home. Wallets and phones need to be properly encased so they aren't sent to a watery grave. You can either use resalable plastic bags, or even purchase waterproofed plastic pouches and casings.

4. Prepare yourself for war

Don't be an innocent bystander, get in on the fun yourself! Come prepared with super soakers, water balloon shells (deflated balloons) and buckets for when you're ready to make a big splash. To note, locals don't like it when opponents have high pressured super soakers, so play fair! You'll find there's really no better way to engage with the locals than in an epic water fight.

5. Just have fun

Keep in mind that one of the worst things you could do is get upset about someone throwing water on you. This is the point of the whole holiday, so if you don't want to get wet, perhaps another time of year is best for you. And, hiding from locals will only make your family a bigger target. You've been warned!

This is truly one of the more unique holidays you and your family could go on, so book your getaway today.