Have you stepped outside lately? The temperature has increased from oppressive to scorching in a matter of days. But the heat’s not getting us down. Quite the contrary, it means summer is just around the corner. With time off work, perfect pool weather and empty Bangkok streets, it’s tempting to be lazy and stick around town. But if you’re feeling adventurous and want to experience Songkran in a whole new way, we have an idea.
Songkran is one of the best times of year to travel to Myanmar. That’s because Thingyan, or Burmese New Year, takes place on Apr. 13–16 which is when the weather gets so hot it feels like the leaves will melt right off the trees. It’s the biggest festival in the entire country and people from every town, village and region will be celebrating. (Sound familiar?) Like Songkran, the celebration revolves around pouring water and of course laughter and smiles wherever you are.
Thingyan is celebrated throughout the country, even rivalling the intense revelry of Thailand’s Songkran, so be prepared. Wherever you go be sure to your waterproof camera with you. Actually, waterproofing every single one of your gadgets as you enter the celebratory wet zones is probably a good idea.
During Thingyan in Myanmar you will find bamboo stages, called Mandats, set up on almost every street corner, complete with DJs spinning local pop songs and international hits to boost the energy up.
Locals and tourists alike are equipped with colorful water guns, big hoses and buckets of water to splash everybody within reach. The splashing symbolizes washing away of sins and bad spirits and starting the new year fresh, clean and with positive energy.
If you’re still not sure where to experience Thingyan, try Kandawgyi Pet in Yangon. Here you’re guaranteed to experience this crazy festival to the fullest. The epicenter of splash–mania has many stages filling the area with music, roads full of smiling people and tons of food stands. It’s a fun festival atmosphere and an experience you’ll never forget.
Once you’ve splashed everyone to your hearts content, sample some surprisingly delicious local street food. During Thingyan there will be even more local Burmese delicacies for sale around the streets of Yangon. Try the Burmese version of pancakes, mont linmayar a creamy snack made of rice, or a bite of mont lone ye baw, a glutinous rice dumpling stuffed with palm sugar. With your tummy filled, your clothes drenched (don’t worry ‘cuz in this heat they dry fast!) and your water gun unloaded of ammo, you’re good to go!
Don’t end your Thingyan trip to Myanmar without visiting the country’s beautiful pagodas. After all, you want to start the New Year with good, positive energy, right? This time of year, the iconic Shwedagon is packed with people praying and wishing for good fortune in the upcoming year. It’s a perfect way to end your in days in Yangon. Don’t get too comfortable being dry though, the next day is another chance to get soaked with water and immerse yourselves in the happy vibes of the festival. And besides the Shwedagon, there are many others pagodas worth a visit, like Mutao Pagoda, Botataung Pagoda, and Shwezigon Pagoda, for starters.
So fill up your tanks and water guns, get out there, get wet and have some fun! With Flymya.com discovering the Thingyan festival and exploring the unique and beautiful culture of Myanmar has never been easier. Flymya is Myanmar’s number one trusted travel portal where you can easily book domestic flights, tour packages, and even car rental. All you’ll need is your waterproof gear, and you’re all set for an experience of a lifetime!