Peak summer is here, guys: blazing heat, ice-cold food cravings, ducking and weaving to escape buckets of wet fragrant chalk, cringing at remixes of early 00’s one-hit-wonders blaring from boombox trucks, and an imminent and excessive soaking.
How about skipping the crazy Songkran crowds and instead celebrate Thai New Year with amazing food, culture, fashion, entertainment, tradition, and…did we mention food already?
This Songkran, stay dry, cool, and well fed in the heart of Siam at Siam Paragon. Here’s how to enjoy the holiday until your stomach is satisfied and your waterproof shorts are stretched to the max.
1. Dine on the summer gem of Thai cuisine, khao chae, in acclaimed restaurants.
There’s a remedy for everything: a motorcy taxi for a traffic jam, aloe vera for a Koh Phi Phi sunburn, goggles for Songkran-proofing, and traditional khao chae to combat the intense April heat.
This dish of rice soaked in cold water used to be eaten only in the palace, but it’s now yours to indulge in at Siam Paragon’s signature venues Nara Thai Cuisine (G Floor), Bombyx by Jim Thompson, the makers of high-quality Thai silk (M Floor), The Mandarin Oriental Shop (G Floor), and Khao Dessert Cafe (G Floor).
Take a bite of the cool jasmine-infused rice, followed by a spoonful of a side dish like seasoned fish or pickled radish. Resist the urge to put the side dish into the bowl of rice or risk turning elegant khao chae into a late-night khao tom.
Serious Songkraners are advised to make reservations ahead of the khao chae pursuit, as this dish is highly sought-after and usually limited.
2. Get back to what Songkran really means — making merit.
Thankfully, this may be the closest you come to getting wet in Siam Paragon during Songkran. Siam Paragon has prepared Buddha statues and images for you to pour water on to receive blessings. Be gentle now, don’t splash!
If you’re a Songkran veteran you know the drill, but if not, listen up.
The steps are pretty simple: pick up a small silver bucket and scoop water with a few jasmine petals, then delicately pour it on Buddha’s torso and lap. Don’t forget to make a few positive wishes for the health and happiness of your loved ones. It’s the New Year after all, and a time for new beginnings.
If you’re clueless about where this ritual takes place, look for a sign that reads ‘Siam Paragon Wonderful Songkran 2019’. Simple, isn’t it?
3. When vacation mode activates, the best thing to do is eat — a whole lot more!
Eating is virtually inevitable this Songkran at Siam Paragon. From authentic khao chae to summer-exclusive specials, we can forgive ourselves for a bit of overindulgence, can’t we?
So what does Bangkok’s shopping mainstay have to offer this Songkran? Hmm…let’s see — how about diced sweet mango on buttermilk pancakes with a swirl of coconut whipped cream at Clinton St. Baking Company (G Floor).
PAUL (your go-to French gourmet) is serving a menu different from its signature pastries and boulangerie variations — pan-fried barramundi fish with fresh mango salsa on perfumed rice (1 Floor).
And here’s the durian triple threat for the win — durian sticky rice pudding, durian sticky rice pudding served with durian ice-cream, and durian lava dumpling with coconut milk and fresh durian at Nara Thai Cuisine (G Floor).
What screams Bangkok summer more than the combo of ripe yellow mango and durian?
4. Sport your best floral look for Songkran’s sake.
It doesn’t take a Thai culture guru to realize that the nation is celebrating Thai New Year with all the vibrant colors, wild prints, and vivid clothing on display. So bust out your loudest, brightest floral shirts during Songkran to eat or shop at Siam Paragon. Caution: wearing monotone black and white or earth tones might get a ‘WHAT?!’ reaction, so why not join in the fun?
5. Go underwater (literally) to Sea Life’s new zone during Songkran.
To stick to the theme of water (but not getting wet), a visit to Sea Life should be on your Songkran to-do list. That’s because this holiday is probably the best time to visit the mesmerizing fish and other marine critters. Why? Well, less people means better angles to spot your favorite underwater species plus plenty of space to enjoy Sea Life’s new Penguin Ice Playground Challenge — a new interactive zone modeled after the south pole where penguins roam on the ice surface. (This might be the closest you get to being cold during Songkran!)
This Songkran, come stretch your legs and expand your dining experiences at Siam Paragon from April 12-16, 2019. We promise that you’ll be a lot less wet and a lot more relaxed here than out in the Songkran warzone of Silom or RCA. (FYI, there’s none of that in Khao San Road this year in case you missed the news.)
And for any travelers and tourists who feel like taking shelter from those intense Songkran splashes, make your visit worthwhile and grab delightful privileges in Siam Paragon with ‘OneSiam Summeristic Nature Beyond Promotion’. It’s all easily accessible by BTS or car if you want to take advantage of the wide-open traffic (just hit the car wash after the holidays).