Songkran in Mukdahan – Day three

Our third day in Mukdahan was the first day of the Songkran festival, so time to start playing with water. But before doing that, we went to have a look at the Mekong river and Savannakhet on the other side of the river. We went for lunch time to a small restaurant that is facing the Lao city.

And not far from the restaurant, the abandoned barges that were used for a very long time to ferry the people from Thailand to Laos, across the Mekong river. Up to the time the second Friendship bridge was open. Not too sure what the company operating them is doing now. You see the bridge on the left side of the barge, a few hundred meters away.

And what makes the Princess of Mukdahan pretty sad is not really the bridge but the many dams built upstream, in Laos and China. Soon there will not be enough water in the Mekong river in Thailand, most of the year, for any cruise ship.

And now back to the matter at hand, Songkran. First you need to find the right place, where there is not too much traffic, so that you do not risk your life being on the side of road, but enough traffic so that you can actually throw water on somebody. Traffic should be motorbikes preferably, what fun is it to throw water on people “hiding” in their cars? So we chose this road. Little traffic.

And the right kind of traffic 😀

The Isaan tractor

And the Isaan samlo taxi

Not too sure about what this one was selling,

But no harm trying

Next step, you need to assemble your team. Throwing water at people, alone, is no fun. The team work makes it fun.

And do not forget the logistics. Throwing water at people requires water readily available, so make sure somebody is there to always keep a bucket full of water.

If all is in place, all you have to do is throw water at anything moving past you. And have fun. But the timing is extremely important, do not throw the water to early or too late.

Too early

Not much water reached the target

But well, we’re still learning, only 2 Songkran under our belt. We’ll do better next year. We unfortunately missed the one of last year, so the training has been lacking. Bangkok was a bit wild during Songkran, and just after, in 2010, water guns were replaced by real guns. So we stayed home. These people did not know it yet.

All the photos have been taken with a Canon 7D and the Canon lens 24-105mm (except the one above taken with a 450D). I can’t really comment about the fact that the combination of the 7D and the 24-105mm is waterproof since I kept a safe distance from them.

And I want to show you my first Songkran, my dad did not have a Canon 7D yet but a Canon 450D, not waterproof at all, but he anyway took a few photos of us in Chiang Mai, the city where Songkran is celebrated for at least one week. I had a water gun there, my first water gun.

And I used very efficiently, made me love Songkran right from the start

And here is the one who gave me the idea that, maybe, a bucket is more efficient than a water gun

Right, Chiang Mai is much wilder than Mukdahan during Songkran

Well, you’ll notice that this last picture was taken behind the windows of the car. And the windows were closed. Songkran, water, flour… and photographic equipment do not really go together, except for the Canon 7D, the 5D and the 1D, according to Canon. Can I borrow your camera to try? 😀