To really celebrate the Thai festival of Songkran, the place to be is usually Bangkok but we’ve compiled a list that’ll put Khao San Road to shame.
Here’s how you can save money on a flight out to Thailand and still enjoy Songkran:
Water good deal
Pick up the biggest water-gun in your possession and get ready to soak your mates till they’re dripping wet. Café Isan is set to mark the Thai New Year by hosting A waterfight and free buffet of Thai and fiery Isan classics on Saturday (13th April). Making its début on the cafe’s regular menu is the Songkran burger – a chunky chicken patty with a tangy papaya, carrot, onion and mango salad. Whether you’re eating or soaking, it’s sure to get messy.
Free buffet. Cafe Isan, Waterfront, Cluster M, JLT. Free buffet 2pm-5pm, Saturday (13th April). 058 287 3181. No pre-booking.
Mango and get Thai
Start this weekend with some truly Thai cuisine at the newly-opened Mango Tree Thai Bistro. Celebrate Songkran with some luscious shrimp pad Thai noodles with yellow tofu soaked in tamarind sauce, or the people’s choice of crab meat fried rice and more. On Friday, a DJ and mixed drinks inspired by Thailand will transport you to the ever-lively streets of Bangkok.
Friday-Monday (12th-15th April). Noon-11pm. Food priced AED 39 upwards. Mango Tree Thai Bistro, Hilton Dubai The Walk, Dubai Marina. 04 374 755.
This huge buffet of freshly prepared Thai food would refuel the whole of the famously sprawling Chatuchak Weekend Market. Priced at AED 199 for the basic meal with soft drinks, you’ll love the classic Thai starters, mains and desserts, with live cooking stations preparing curries, noodles and more
Monday (15th April). 6.30pm-11pm. AED 199 with unlimited soft beverages, AED 299 with three hours of selected house beverages. 10 and under are AED 69. Toshi Pan Asian Restaurant, Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights. 04 423 4170.
Pai to see this
By the lapping canals of Madinat Jumeirah, Pai Thai offers a serene take on the Thai water festival. Starting Wednesday (10th April), the romantic dining venue is offering 10 days of Songkran experience. The journey starts with a scenic abra trip through Madinat Jumeirah, leading to a set menu of Thai classics accompanied by a traditional dancer, Wanthakan.
Pai Thai, Madinat Jumeirah. Wednesday-Saturday (10th-20th). Sunday-Thursday, 6pm-11.15pm. Friday-Saturday, 6.30pm-11.15pm. AED 295 per person for food (minimum two diners). 800 66 6353.
Celebrate Thai New Year by cooking a traditional meal in the shadow of the world’s largest building. This year, Thiptara at the Palace Downtown has appointed award-winning chef Nguyen Thani to assist you in preparation of a traditional Thai-style lunch You can then enjoy your hard work al fresco style, right in front of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain.
9th-30th April. Class begins at 3pm. AED 450 per person with house beverages. Advance booking is required. Thiptara at Palace Downtown, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard. 04 888 3444.