Koh Tao Songkran Celebrations in 2023
Thai New Year is one of the most prominent events on the Buddhist calendar, and celebrating Songkran on Koh Tao is the highlight of many people’s stay. Like a few other Buddhist holidays, Songkran was originally born as a water festival, designed to cleanse the body, spirit, and soul of transgressions from the previous year, and move into the new one refreshed and invigorated.
Check out our main Koh Tao Songkran webpage for more historical information about this spectacular Buddhist holiday and our best hints and tips for travelling on or around the Thai New Year. But for now, let’s move on to the info you really want… where to load up your super-soakers and join the island’s best wet and wild water fights and Songkran parties!
April 13th is the Date for Your Diaries
There’ll be Songkran parties across the island in the days leading up to and following the official New Year’s Day on April 13th. However, the 13th itself is the main attraction for day drinking and water fights (at some other locations in Thailand, Songkran celebrations last for up to a week!). This year, Songkran falls on a Thursday, which probably won’t mean that much to you because a) you’re on holiday, and b) days of the week don’t really mean that much on Koh Tao anyway! But, if you happen to be on a working trip, be sure to book April 13th off, and don’t even think about leaving your accommodation with your phone, laptop, or anything else you don’t want to get soaking wet!
Most of the Koh Tao Songkran action on April 13th happens on or around Sairee Beach. However, there are some less central hotspots too, plus some great alternative options for those looking for something a little bit different. Here’s everything you need to know
The Best Sairee Beach Songkran Parties
The best advice for celebrating Thai New Year on Koh Tao? Head to the beach and see what happens! It really is as simple as that, as wherever you go, you’ll be greeted by groups of fun-loving revellers armed with super soakers, water balloons, and booze! Almost every bar will have something going on, so you’re guaranteed a great time wherever you end up. However, there are a few particular hotspots that we recommend you try.
Victor’s Bar Pool Party
Located on north Sairee Beach and hosted by Roctopus Dive and Wind Beach Resort, Victor’s Bar hosts one of the biggest Koh Tao Songkran pool parties. Dropping into at least one pool party on Songkran is a must. After all, you’re going to be soaking wet anyway, so there’s no harm in jumping in fully clothed and ordering your next drinks from the swim-up bar! The bar at Victor’s usually opens around 9 or 10am on the 13th and remains busy until after sunset when party-goers tend to head off towards the later-night hotspots. But, the party will keep going until the demand for it stops!
Lotus Bar Songkran Party
You’ll find Lotus Bar just a short walk South of Victor’s on sairee Beach. A staple on the Koh Tao beach party scene for fire shows, buckets, and late-night merriment, it’s no surprise that the team at Lotus has their open mini festival planned for Songkran on the 13th. Drinks will be flowing, there will be a small food market, and the much anticipated ‘water war’ with DJs playing in the background. In the evening, the water festival gives way to fire as the infamous Lotus fire spinners take to the beach to put on a spectacular New Year’s show.
AC Pool Party
Another option for an epic pool party, AC is a hive of activity on Songkran. There’s one huge pool and a smaller jacuzzi pool offering plenty of space for groups of all sizes. Actually, we’re pretty sure the smaller pool might have been originally designed as a kiddies’ pool, but… all the regular rules go out of the window on Thai New Year! There’s usually DJs pumping music from mid-morning until the early hours, and there’s a large covered area in the restaurant with pool tables where you can take a break from the intensity of the sun (and the day in general!).
Fishbowl Beach Bar
Already a popular spot on the Koh Tao nightlife scene for drinking and dancing and one of the busiest bars on Sairee Beach, the Fishbowl crew ramp up their efforts even more on Songkran. The home of Bans Diving Resort, there’ll undoubtedly be a lot of action on the beach. A particularly popular Songkran pass-time is spraying the small speedboats loaded with divers as they head out and return from their half-day diving trips! There’s also a spacious indoor area with beer pong tables and plenty of restaurant seating for when you need to stop and refuel.
Maya Beach Bar
One of the island’s most popular beach bars for sunset, the atmosphere at Maya on Songkran is a bit different from the usual chilled-out, sundowner vibe! The party will start in the morning, carry on all day, and keep going until late. This year’s Songkran celebrations at Maya tie in with the bar’s 10-year anniversary, so it promises to be an extra special party, packed full of locals as well as tourists. There’s eight different DJs scheduled throughout the day, so the music won’t stop until the last partygoers drop!
Late-Night Koh Tao Songkran Parties
In addition to the regular tourist hotspots and Songkran beach parties, there will also be some stand-alone late-night events. At the time of publishing, we didn’t have full information on exactly which Songkran parties are scheduled for what nights. However, it’s with looking out for flyers and promos, and checking out the Facebook pages of the individual party companies and club venues to find out what’s scheduled during your stay:
- Secret Party
- Escobar Jungle Party
- Backyard Party
- Real Moon Party
- The Local
- Leo Evolution Bar and Nightclub
Alternative Koh Tao Songkran Events
Looking for fun stuff to do that isn’t so full-on? Koh Tao Songkran events aren’t always about getting totally loose – and there’s plenty of other social things to do during your stay over Thai New Year. Here’s a few of our top picks:
The Flying Trapeze Adventures Songkran Show
The team at Flying Trapeze Adventures offer silks, aerial, and trapeze lessons to tourists of all ages and abilities. However, a few times a year, they put on spectacular shows that are open to anyone to come along and watch. The Cirque Du Soleil of Koh Tao, if you will. Loved by locals and visitors alike, this is a Koh Tao Songkran event not to be missed! Discounted tickets are available pre-sale for 100THB, and on-the-door sales are 200THB.
Hydronauts BBQ Nights
Located on the beach in Chalok Bay, Hydronauts Diving Resort welcomes customers, locals, and outside guests to their regular BBQ nights every Tuesday and Friday. For just 150THB you can help yourself to a huge plate of delicious food, with plenty to suit meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. The bar serves all manner of beers, spirits, and cocktails, and the comfortable beanbags and beachside chairs and tables are a great spot to hang out, chat, meet new Songkran buddies, or relive the tales from your day of madness!
Koppee Pool Lounge Songkran Party
Also located in Chalok with an enviable location right in the middle of the beach, Koppee Cafe and pool lounge is offering a more laid-back Songkran experience on the 13th. It probably won’t be entirely tame, but definitely a more chilled version than the chaos on Sairee Beach! Open from 9am until 6pm, there will be a DJ playing, all-day drinks specials, brunch specials, and a beach market.
Arcadia Bar Games Nights and Pop-Up Tattoo
Arcadia Koh Tao is a fun spot on the Koh Tao nightlife scene and is particularly well suited to quieter nights or a warm-up party before you head to one of the island’s late-night events. Complete with large screens, a pool table, and an air-conditioned games room, it’s a hit with sports fans and fun lovers from around the world and a great place to meet people. Games nights happen on the regular, and sometimes they offer a pop-up tattoo shop too!
Got your Koh Tao Songkran schedule sorted? We hope so! Remember, it’s one of our busiest times on the island, so be sure to book all your travel and accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment! If you need any help planning your stay, please feel free to contact our helpful team, and we’ll do our best to assist you!
Happy Songkran, and see you on Koh Tao soon!