Winging It: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Dig out your super soaker if you're heading to Thailand for the Songkran Water Festival.
Dig out your super soaker if you're heading to Thailand for the Songkran Water Festival, to ring in the Thai new year. The water festival takes place all over the country, but the most famous celebrations take place in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Tha Pae Gate is the epicentre of the action, with revellers using the city's moat to fill their buckets for a massive water fight. Though if you want, er, real guns, then the Chiang Mai Shooting Club is also a tourist favourite…
Overlooking the Ping river, the Sala Lanna hotel is one of Chiang Mai's top boutique choices. There are two riverside restaurants, but it's the rooftop bar that really gets going after dark. It's on Chiang Mai's party strip too, meaning you're only stumbling distance away from some good, clean (literally) apres-soak fun.
There's so much more to Thai food than just green curry, and you can't visit Chiang Mai without ordering a bowl of its signature noodle soup, khao soi, with chopped pork and tomatoes. Khao Soi Samer Jai (391 Charoenraj Road, Tambon Fahham) is one of the most famous khao soi joints in Chiang Mai and makes for a good mid-water fight lunch, while the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre serves up traditional Khantoke dinners. That's a tray of small dishes, which sounds scarily like a school dinner.