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Patong splashing in Soi Bangla, fun for everyone

Patong Celebrates Songkran: Photo Special

Monday, April 13, 2009
Photo Album Above

PATONG likes to start its parties early and Songkran especially triggers revellers in the streets, squirting and dousing each other, long before other island destinations.

That's the way it was yesterday. If you were in Patong, chances are you were wet by 4pm or sunset at the very latest.

Few of the crowds thronging Soi Bangla yesterday seemed to be aware of the irony that the fighting in the streets mirrored some far more serious stuff in Bangkok.

There was simply no way anyone could walk from one end of Soi Bangla to the other yesterday afternoon without being drenched.

As ever, the play was good-natured, with size still being seen as a most important attribute when it came to water weapons.

Hulking Westerners blazed away at small bar girls who often sought revenge at awkward moments.

Around the corner in beach road, a parade and an official opening ceremony were held beside the beach.

At the other end of Soi Bangla, in Jungceylon shopping mall, one of the final events of Bike Week was coming to an end with the judging of the tattoo contest.

Wet or dry, the word on the street yesterday and on into the evening was ''Welcome.''

Today the rest of the island will follow pace-setting Patong, and Phuket will have the theme park it has always wanted, if only for a day.

Welcome to Waterworld.

Tourism at War: The Fight to Save an Industry
Latest In Thailand, tourism always becomes the first innocent victim of political unrest. One well known industry name tells Phuketwan about his own battle on the streets of Bangkok.
Tourism at War: The Fight to Save an Industry

Songkran Water Festival, April 12-13
Wet and even wilder than usual, with the special release of 209 turtles: that's the Songkran water festival on Phuket with events scheduled all over the island, especially at the beach resorts.
Songkran Water Festival, April 12-13


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