Thingyan, Water Festival
Thingyan is the celebration of water and is similar to Thailand’s Songkran festival, Dawei City in Southern Myanmar hosts one of Myanmar’s most vibrant celebrations of the traditional water festival. Visitors come from all over Myanmar and Thailand to celebrate the festival in Dawei and to visit the 9 famous Pagoda of the Dawei region. While Thingyan is celebrated nationwide Dawei is known for having the most vibrant and fun loving festival in all of Myanmar.
Dawei which is normally a quiet seaside town famous for its pristine beaches such as Nabule and Tayzit comes alive for a celebratory week of song, traditional Myanmar dance and water fights in order to see in the traditional Myanmar New Year by signifying the coming to an end of the dry season. Busloads of visitors from Hpa-an and Mawlamyine make the pilgrimage to Dawei, while others fly from Yangon and Nay Pyi Daw. In the past two years since the opening of the Phu Nam Ron Border Crossing large numbers of Thai’s have also started to join the festival.
Across Myanmar Thingyan is observed over 4-5 days, but in Dawei it is an entire week long event.
The first two days are traditionally the children waterfight, then the last five are joined in by everyone. Most commonly the morning will be spent at a beach side or making offerings at local pagoda (there are 9 famous pagoda in the Dawei District), the afternoon is a city wide waterfight in the downtown followed my traditional dance displays in the evening.
With stages alight with live bands and Myanmar traditional dance continuing well into the evening all around the downtown area Dawei provides entertainment all day long.
Water Fetching Dance
The most spectacular of all the dances preformed can be seen early morning on the beach. The traditional water fetching dance where dancers preform while balancing multiple water jars on their heads, visible on the beachfront during special celebrations in Dawei, Myeik and Kawthaung. The dance is designed to display the dancers pose and strength. Stronger and more experianced dancers can have up to 4 or 5 water jars balanced as they do their routine.
When is Thingyan ?
Based off the Luna calendar, Thingyan usually falls in late April. This year it will be on 17th of April, however in true Dawei style festivities will commence the week leading up to the 17th.
How do I get to Dawei?
Flights are available from Yangon, minibus’s and vans run from Kanchanaburi in Thailand, Busses run from Yangon and Myeik. Ferries run from Myeik and Ranong in Thailand. For timetables and exact directions please visit our transport page.
Is it hard to find accommodation in Dawei over the Thingyan weekend?
Accommodation in Dawei over Thingyan often is at capacity, it is advisable to book in advance. To contact accommodation providers please see our Hotels in Dawei page
Is road transportation effected during Thingyan?
Road transportation in Southern Myanmar is usually slower during the due to high volumes of traffic, we advise arriving early and staying a couple of nights at the surrounding beaches.
What else can be seen in Dawei? ทวาย
Dawei is a beautiful green city shaded by coconut trees and home to the most delightful locals.
- Maungmagan Beach
- Paya Gyi artworks
- Nabule and Teyzit Beaches
- Aunt Suit Sui’s traditional curry
- Beach side fish markets
- River trips