Thailand’s Songkran Festival is World’s Largest Water Fight

Backyard Travel, the online boutique tour operator specializing in insider tours throughout Asia, today announced 3 immersive new tours that introduce travelers to how Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar celebrate the Asian New Year with Buddhist ceremonies and nationwide water fights.

Occurring in mid-April, Cambodia’s New Year celebrations are lively in Siem Reap, where travelers can observe local games, dances, and Buddhist traditions of merit-making on the magnificent grounds of Angkor Wat. Meanwhile, Laos’ “Pi Mai Water Festival” in Luang Prabang and Myanmar’s “Thingyan Water Festival” in Yangon vie for the title of “world’s biggest water fight.” Asia’s most well known water festival occurs in Thailand during Songkran. International tourists flock to this event, but Backyard Travel’s tours focus on lesser-known festivals in neighboring countries for a more nuanced, insider experience.

While Buddhist New Year is a time of revelry, it is also a deeply spiritual holiday. Travelers on these tours will gain insight into Asia’s biggest cultural event, getting a unique chance to celebrate with locals, receive blessings, and participate in Buddhist rituals to make merit for the coming year.

These 3 new tours, “Blessings from Angkor: Celebrate the Khmer Buddhist New Year,” “Water Fights and Merit-Making: Myanmar’s Thingyan Water Festival,” and “Eat, Drink, and Make ‘Merit’: Luang Prabang’s Pi Mai Water Festival,” also present fun, interactive, and educational experiences for families, incorporating city walking tours and mini-trips into the surrounding countryside, such as a half-day Mekong River cruise (Luang Prabang) and a beach holiday in the Bay of Bengal (Myanmar).

“The New Year is the biggest holiday of the year for many Asian countries, and the purification ritual of pouring or throwing water on one another is an integral part of the celebrations,” says General Manager of Backyard Travel Maeve Nolan. “Over the years, the ritual has evolved into lively, citywide water fights that are fun for the whole family, and the locals love it when tourists join in!”

For more information on these 3 Buddhist New Year tours visit backyardtravel.com