Traditional new year celebrations in South-East Asia:
Songkran Water Festival, Thailand
Bun Pi Mai Lao, Laos
Chaul Chnam, Cambodia
When: April 13-15
What: Wherever you are, everyone will be getting involved in a massive water fight. Expect to be soaked by water guns, balloons, elephants – anything that holds water, really.
Where: Pretty much every town in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Vientiane and Luang Prabang are especially good.
Why: It’s a celebration of the traditional South-East Asian new year. Youngsters wash their hands to seek the blessing of their elders. They then splash water over everyone else, which is how the water fight gets going.
Do it because: You have no choice. Everyone will be doing it, so unless you stay locked in your room there is no escape.
How much: Free. Even the water is free.