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Wat Thai Songkran Festival

Terrie H. Apr 10, 2012 06:26 AM

Wanted to give a heads up that the festival is this Sunday, April 15th at their temple on Layhill Rd. in Silver Spring. It is an amazing food event with other cultural activities. Tent after tent of Thai street foods are set up and cranking out delicious and inexpensive food by 11 a.m. when it opens. Get there early because parking is an issue. Truly worth the trip!

  1. woodleyparkhound Apr 10, 2012 06:34 AM

    If it is like other years, they also run a free shuttle from Glenmont Metro to the festival. If I weren't going out of town this weekend, I'd be there. HIGHLY recommended for fans of real, honest-to-God Thai food.

    1. c
      comestibles Apr 10, 2012 07:59 AM

      Actually, the food and ceremonies start at 9 am. The parking lots around the temple are full by 8:30a.

      6 Replies
      1. re: comestibles
        Terrie H. Apr 10, 2012 09:22 AM

        Thanks for clarifying. The only info I could find online said 11.

        1. re: Terrie H.
          Dennis S Apr 10, 2012 10:05 AM

          Yes, they say around 10 or 11 but it's always already packed by then. If this year is like those in the past, then if you want a keffir lime tree, they sell out by about 10:30.

          1. re: Dennis S
            Terrie H. Apr 10, 2012 10:54 AM

            I haven't been able to go for several years, so I'm guessing that things have expanded exponentially since this is an outstanding event. I think I might try the shuttle from the metro WPH suggested.

            1. re: Terrie H.
              MoCoMe Apr 10, 2012 11:59 AM

              Could someone post a gps ready address?

              1. re: MoCoMe
                Terrie H. Apr 10, 2012 12:08 PM

                13440 Layhill Rd., Silver Spring, MD, 20906

                Do go, MoCo -- you will love it!

                1. re: Terrie H.
                  MoCoMe Apr 10, 2012 01:17 PM

                  I'm going to try! I have plans in Vienna, va that I have to reschedule first.
                  Thx for the address!

      2. s
        Steve Apr 10, 2012 04:43 PM

        The crowds get unbelievably thick some years, like you are not in control of your own movements. Avoid the middle of the day.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve
          Dennis S Apr 11, 2012 02:58 AM

          Yes - and when the crowds are at their height (around lunch time in my experience), you'll be surprised how strong some of the older (and smaller) Asian women can be! My wife was pushed out of the way more than once the time she went.

        2. b
          bmorecupcake Apr 13, 2012 12:12 PM

          I just wanted to point out for festival first timers that many (maybe most) of the food stands are not top quality. I was initially turned off my first visit expecting the phenomenal street food experience I had imagined watching Thai street food vendors on television programs. But like anywhere, if you are willing to hover and investigate, there is some excellent food to be found. Some vendors from last year will be gone, replaced by others, so it's always a bitter and sweet adventure.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bmorecupcake
            woodleyparkhound Apr 13, 2012 12:42 PM

            Look for the vendors with the longest lines and get in them!

            1. re: woodleyparkhound
              dinwiddie Apr 13, 2012 01:32 PM

              Actually due to the fact that there is amazing Thai food available in MoCo year round, I tend to avoid this festival, and I live nearby. However, every year the crowds and traffic get progressively worse. It is a fun festival, but I quit going years ago. Now I go get Thai food in Wheaton instead.

              1. re: dinwiddie
                bmorecupcake Apr 14, 2012 07:45 AM

                If you are big on mango sticky rice, the mango sticky rice lady at the Thai festival has no equal anywhere else in the area. She'll have the longest line of any stand so it's easy to know who she is. So far her stand is the only place I've had good black mango sticky rice.

                Sometimes "bad" vendors will randomly get long lines throughout the day and there's always a few decent new vendors with no lines because people are not familiar with them, so the longest lines rule isn't a hard and fast rule, in my opinion. But not a bad place to start I guess.

                We go super early (7AM), walk around, talk to everyone, and always learn something new. By the time the stands open around 9, we have a solid plan of attack. Later, it's nearly impossible to get any sort of personal interaction with the large crowds.

          2. r
            rmk23 Apr 13, 2012 03:20 PM

            Do they have any vegetarian food? Or is fish sauce in most dishes? A co-worker went last year and raved about the festival.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rmk23
              comestibles Apr 13, 2012 03:59 PM

              Yes, they have things that vegetarians can eat. Mango w/sticky rice; taro, plantain and other vegetable fritters; some kind of steamed rice cakes - come to mind.

            2. Terrie H. Apr 13, 2012 04:21 PM

              I haven't been able to go for a few years and it sounds like it has become huge. I have to admit that the one thing that is my siren song was a man who made little sort of "blini" in dimpled pans that had bits of ham, scallion and a touch of coconut milk. Truly the best breakfast food I've ever had. Get them if you go.

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