Part 2 of our 2015 Songkran coverage takes you to the charming beach town of Baeng San
Welcome back to our 2015 Songkran iTravel Exclusive! We were just celebrating Thai New Year in Nakhin So Thammarat in Thailand’s south, now we’ve worked our way back to central Thailand we’re here for Part 2 in Baeng San. This beach town is just a couple hours outside of Bangkok, and it’s not really known by foreign tourists – and they celebrate Songkran on the beach in a very special way.
Baeng San is known for celebrating the Wan Lai Festival. The Buddhist tradition calls for making merit by washing the Buddha, lighting incense and giving food to monks. The monks lead the crowd in prayer. It’s a stark contrast from how the young people celebrate Songkran here bringing in the Thai New Year with crazy, messy water fights.
The sand pagoda competition is a famous tradition in Baeng San. It takes place only for the Wan Lai Festival, and the sculptures are built one day and taken down the next. There are around 80 different sculptures this year, ranging from grandiose to totally silly. They are judged by a committee for prizes with the highest being 70,000 Baht in cash. It’s a difficult job to decide the winners of the five different categories, based on more than 20 criteria. Making sand sculptures has a long history here in Baeng San.
That’s been our Songkran 2015 iTravel Exclusive, thank you so much for joining us here in Baeng San and Nakhon Si Thammarat. If you’re looking to see more from our trips as well as other iTravel Exclusive tips, there’s plenty more on our website. Now it’s time for me to get into the water battle! See you soon.
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That’s all for this edition of iTravel Exclusives. If you have any Songkran stories to share please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.