Celebrate with Traditional Songkran Dishes in Phuket
For Thais, Songkran is about sharing a meal or two with family. This year, explore the traditional Songkran dishes of Phuket on your family vacation.
The world’s media have helped publicize Songkran and turn it from a traditional Buddhist New Year’s celebration into the world’s biggest water fight. Many visitors visit Thailand in April specifically to experience Songkran. But whether you’re visiting Phuket specifically to take part in the water fights or are just on the island for the tropical beauty, beaches, and sunshine, you should make plans to sample some of the delicious traditional Songkran dishes of Phuket.
The waters surrounding the island feature a vast bounty of fresh seafood. Fresh shrimp, crab, squid, mussels, oysters, and succulent fried, baked, or steamed fish is always on the menu at any of the thousands of restaurants on the island.
Celebrating Songkran on a family vacation is the perfect opportunity to sample some of this seafood prepared “Thai-style.” You’ll fall in love with Thai seafood cooking, and you’ll be in one of the best places to get acquainted with it.
But a dish of crab-fried rice or a spicy red curry with the large prawns Phuket is famous for are not the only traditional Songkran food in Phuket. Songkran is in the month of April, and April is in the middle of the hot, dry months of summer in Thailand. This means you’ll find ripe, sweet mangoes wherever you go on the island. One of the favorite traditional Songkran dishes, not only in Phuket, but all of Thailand, is simply referred to as mangoes and sticky rice.
This deceptively simple and utterly delicious dessert is one that visitors to Thailand remember fondly for years after trying it. The ingredients are basic. The dish consists of just mangoes, sticky rice, coconut cream or sweetened evaporated milk, and crunchy fried salty mung beans as a topping. It’s the perfect dish to end a traditional Songkran family dinner in Phuket.
Celebrating Songkran Traditionally
The new tradition of taking to the streets of Thailand armed with a full “super-soaker” has only been around for about 25 years or so, or since super-soakers were invented. Before the media publicized the current traditions of Songkran, Songkran was a gentle holiday where the family was the focus, specifically the older, revered family members. The water fights evolved from a tradition of pouring water over the hands of the older family members in a symbolic gesture of respect.
The weather is always hot during the days of Songkran, so it’s easy to see why a tradition of respect could evolve into a much different means of keeping family members and friends cool.
This year marks the first year that Songkran festivities will be allowed to resume after the Covid pandemic, so plenty of people will be looking forward to taking part in the water fights. This means you should take some precautions, especially if you’re visiting with young children who want to experience Songkran. Buy a waterproof bag to keep all your phones and valuables in, and buy swim goggles for everyone in the family to guard against any water-related eye injuries or infections.
Keep an eye on young children and steer them away from the more exuberant and rowdy crowds of people celebrating. Try to only go out in the morning or late afternoon when the sun isn’t so hot, and sunburn is easier to avoid.
Spend Songkran at Blue Tree
A great idea for a family Songkran celebration is to spend a day during the holiday period at Blue Tree Phuket. Blue Tree is a huge entertainment hub with exciting water features, sports, games, shopping, and, most importantly, at the end of your day, a lot of great restaurants to choose from to enjoy a family Songkran dinner like the Tree House Restaurant. Our restaurant overlooking the lagoon is offering a traditional Khan Toke set menu during Songkran. The menu features dishes from the four regions of Thailand that are perfect for sharing.
Spending Songkran at Blue Tree is a different type of celebration that still combines family, water, and delicious food. It’s a fun, colorful environment that may be more suitable for young children. You’ll find everything you need to enjoy a day of Songkran activities, including a wealth of great restaurants. You’ll discover that “Thai-style” is not the only way to enjoy the seafood of Phuket. Discover crab ravioli or seared sesame crusted tuna at Made in Italy or succulent prawns Spanish-style in Gambas Al Pil Pil at the Sunset View Tapas Bar at Blue Tree.
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