Thai New Year splashes in with water fights, raves
Water-spraying elephants, raves and boisterous, street-blocking water fights - Thailand's Buddhist new year arrived with a splash.
A once calm festival now celebrated with a more raucous edge.
Paying respects to elders and sprinkling water over figures of Buddha at local temples are some of the traditions of the three-day new year celebration - known as Songkran, but the holiday also has a rowdier side involving alcohol-fuelled revelry among its youth.
Colours all around
Thais and foreigners sporting floral shirts arm themselves with colourful water pistols and protective goggles, engaging in water fights that bring entire streets to a standstill.
Authorities had issued warnings beforehand on modesty, saying that nudity and provocative clothing will be prohibited.
There are no such restrictions however on summary drenchings.
Fun & frolic night
As the sun sets, tens of thousands of ravers from across Asia are expected to dance into night under massive water cannons and spectacular pyrotechnics, as Bangkok's S2O Songkran festival gets underway.
Some of the world's best known and paid DJs, including Tiesto, Steve Aoki and UK veteran Fatboy Slim are performing across the three-day dance music event - Asia's largest.
Neighbours also follow the suit
Neighbouring Laos and Myanmar celebrate the same festival with young and old throwing buckets of water over each other as music thuds from loudspeakers.
Best time to visit Thailand
Songkran is also the most perilous time to travel in Thailand, and the week beginning from April 11 is dubbed "seven dangerous days" as millions of Thais make the journey back to their hometowns by bus, vans or motorbikes.