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Songkran Day in Bangkok, 2001

With some useful tips for Photographers

Blessing Motorbike taxi

Shoot, shoot and laugh!

Songkran is the new year day by Thai calendar. (13th April every year).
I think the Laos and Burma has same tradition.
Its the hottest time in the region thus you don't need to worry to catch cold.

Most exciting tradition is throwing water to other people blessing health.  Its really exhilarating experience if you join.
None complains about wet clothes, and everyone enjoys the feast with water.

People bring out big jars of water on the street and throw it (with water gun or bowl).
If you have pickup truck, its mobile!
All through the Songkran holiday whole kingdom join into this exciting tradition.
As a dedicated photographer (?) I decided to take some pictures of this feast.

The problem is I have to take the risk wetting my precious photographic equipment.
Normally people don't throw if you hold camera.  But you cannot be immune from stray water any time.

For instance, people doesn't throw water to the goods in shop.
So you can be protected with this kind of hostage (?).

If you like to take a picture in Songkran day, here are some tip from my experience.

Stay in one place, not chasing the subject.
Then people around you will recognize that you are a photographer.
Thus you will be 'relatively safe'.
If you move around, you will become a fresh target all the time.

Do not cover your camera.
If you cover it waterproof, you are inviting the water.
(Something like shower cap, works but you will never open it to take picture, for sure)
Try at your own risk...

You better accept a full bowl of water, top of your head through your toe, so that your clothes got wet enough.  
Dry and clean t-shirts will be irresistible target.

The last but not the least, pray before you go out.

Here are the pictures I took as this.
My camera got a one very strong shot but I rubbed water off just in time....

See you in Thailand, next Songkran....


17 April 2001



In the cross fire

It doesn't hurt anyway...

An army is waiting...

Happy victims

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