If you missed out on the Songkran water fights over the last few days or want a second round then head to Bangsaen in Chonburi for their Songkran Festival on the beach. As well as the water fights, there are free concerts and fun & games on the beach. There is also a Sand Pagoda building competition.
The Wan Lai Bangsaen Festival is taking place this week, 16th-17th April 2012. This is the annual water flowing festival that takes place a few days after Songkran. People in this area of Chonburi Province are descendants of the Mon and they celebrate Songkran later than the rest of the country. The highlight for the Bangsaen festival is the sand pagodas that are built on the beach on the first day of the festival. It is traditional in temples all around the country to make merit by building sand pagodas. In Bangsaen the local people build both gigantic and beautiful sand pagodas.
On Monday and Tuesday, Beach Road will be one long traffic jam of pick-up trucks with large barrels of water on the back. Thousands of people will be having fun splashing water at each other. Unlike in the city, here it doesn’t really matter if you get covered in white powder. All you have to do is jump in the sea to wash off. Along the beachfront there will also be free concerts.
There will also be some traditional games played by the local people which include saba and relay races. One of the most fun competitions to watch is “sea boxing”. Two competitors face each other astride a pole. The winner of each round is the one who manges to stay on the pole. It is not easy to box and keep your balance on the pole. If you slip off you fall into the water.
Bangsaen is only an hour or so away from Bangkok and is the capitals nearest beach. This is a great place to come and relax and eat in the shade on deckchairs.