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Apr 10, 2012 06:26 AM

Wat Thai Songkran Festival

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!

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  1. 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. 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

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

        1. re: Terrie H.

          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

            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.

              Could someone post a gps ready address?

              1. re: MoCoMe

                13440 Layhill Rd., Silver Spring, MD, 20906

                Do go, MoCo -- you will love it!

                1. re: Terrie H.

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

      2. 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

          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. 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

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

            1. re: woodleyparkhound

              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

                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. 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

              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.