Weds 13th April

The taxi was booked for midday to take us to the airport. We had our flight booked but had no hotel booked as yet. We thought we would be able to book one when we got there but the receptionist reminded us that it was Songkran and therefore would be very busy. Oh dear! Well we would have to see. I told Tim of the crazy custom the Thais have of celebrating their New Year, by soaking anything that moves. It's a fool that doesn't heed his own advice so I must be the biggest fool of all. I had experienced the "water-chuckers" last year and had sworn never to do so again. So here I was just a year later ready to be soaked again. Apparently each area celebrates Songkran for different lengths of time. Here on Phuket it is just 13th to 15th whereas in Pattaya (our next destination) it is 13th to 19th which is just plain greedy.

We got to the airport and was immediately greeted by a tourist rep (for want of a better description) who showed us where to go to check in and if we wanted a hotel to come back to her which we duly did. She then showed us to a desk where they managed to book us into a hotel so we were all set.
We arrived at the airport and was met by the hotel car and taken to Patong Beach. On the journey we could see isolated incidents of "water-chuckers" but as we got near to the town we hit loads of traffic. Apparently anyone who has a pickup truck fills the back with kids and barrels of water. They then cruise up and down the beach road in Patong throwing water at anything that moves. What seems big business this year and "pipe" water pistols which seem to hold loads of water and fire great distances. The car we were travelling in got soaked a few times but we were safe, at least for the present. The hotel was on the front and had survived the tsunami although we passed a few places that hadn't! It is a lovely hotel and the rooms are spacious.
We unpacked and then went down to the hotel bar by the road. We watched in amusement as people got soaked and soaked again. A couple of times we got caught in the cross fire but we didn't get too wet and it helped to cool us down. The sun was setting by now and the revellers were getting fewer but there were still a few diehards at it. We ate in the hotel restaurant then decided to get showered and changed ready for our first night in Patong.
We set off down the road and noticed there were still people intent on wetting others and unfortunately we took a bit of a drenching. Although the sun had set it was still a hot night so we sat at a bar drinking beer while we dried off. We seemed to walk for ages trying to find a busy bar but it was very quiet. Whether this was because of Songkran or because of the tsunami I am not sure. Will have to see tomorrow. Anyway we managed a few beers and only a couple of squirts and called it a day. In one band there was a live band on on they sang a version of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall but for the chorus were singing "Hey, Jackson, leave those kids alone" which tickled me somewhat.