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… so it will have been 3 years since I last played the water game in the sizzling heat out on Hua Hin streets to celebrate Songkran – Thailand’s new year … Days prior to April 13, everyone, young and old, local and foreigner, will equip themselves with the best game tools, ready to join in the water battle … From a giant water tank, nicely plugged in the back of a pick-up truck, completed by tens of long cylinders to small hand-held plastic water guns to simply anything that contains water, the game tools can easily be found in the cover markets, supermarkets, toy stores, and even in your own house.

Also, on days like these, lots of people will escape from their routine city life to enjoy the new year in the small peaceful town of Hua Hin. There will be no empty room/house in VIP Condominium, Chukamol, and Hin Nam Sai Suay. The swimming pools will be the most crowded places throughout the day, as water is always readily available for kids to load their water weapons anytime … And if my habit is to go swimming every afternoon, I can forget about that during Songkran as there will hardly be enough room for swimming …

Now when Thai people drive their pick-up trucks around town to splash water onto anybody on the streets, the Viet kids of Webster would walk around Chukamol houses and trick their friends into getting soaked. And when all’s wet, it’s time to hit the pool and the next fun game is to get the naughtiest guy thrown into the water … And if they don’t get the luxury of running up and down the large garden area of Chukamol, they will modify their water battle game to fit in the condo rooms of VIP and Hin Nam. Spacious double-rooms in VIP are normally the best choice, except that the glass sliding doors that open to the wide balconies are the biggest trap. I still remember how Đại, overexcited in the middle of a game with Tip and Jason, didn’t notice he was heading straight into a glass door, hit himself and the glass so hard that the next minute everyone else realized the thick glass was broken and Đại was wet with blood. Đại is a nice friend from Đà Nẵng, and though he’s our age, he would always call himself “anh” when talking to us. One Mid Autumn night, I forgot my key in the room and asked him to please climb from his balcony into my room and unlock the door for me. Our rooms were on the 6th floor, and this was what he said before he climbed “Nếu anh có té gãy chân gãy tay ngồi xe lăn suốt đời, em phải cưới anh làm chồng về chăm sóc cho anh suốt đời đó nghe” Luckily, he didn’t fall. In fact, none of Webster students who had to climb from balcony to balcony never failed to make it.

During Songkran, Hua Hin streets become most crowded … And of course, the most interesting place to be is the day market before sunset, and the night market from 5pm onwards …. Both markets are my favorite places at any time of the year. The day market is always filled with a wide variety of tropical fruits, and if the grapefruit isn’t that tasty, the old seller will give this dear customer a new one for free. I especially like the day market as it’s the only place where I can find that kind of local sweets with a sticky layer covering a ball of ground green bean and black pepper. The night market with nearly a hundred stalls is the best place to see different types of local cuisines in the making, and of course, try them out afterwards. Tom Yum Kung, Pad Thai, Hoi Thod, Xom Tam, Roti, mango with sticky rice, and the colorful pick-and-mix sweets-in-a-bowl, just to name a few. And if we want to escape the heat and spoil ourselves with a more modernized choice of food, Pizza Company, S&P, Swensen, Burger King and a number of decent seafood restaurants are just around the corner.

Hua Hin is probably the safest place in Thailand, as it is where the Thai King chooses to spend most of his time. They say the police is allowed to shoot anyone suspicious … and they really mean anyone …

(to be continued …. )



  1. Thanks for reminding the holiday time. I am just wondering when SongKran holiday is after April is in the air. Need to send some e-cards to Thai friends.^_^ And, Happy SongKran Holiday for you, although you are not a Thai.

  2. Đọc cái nì thiệt là nhớ Thailand. cám ơn bạn T đã gợi lại cảm xúc lâu năm nì. Thiệt là nhớ quá…………….

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