Apr. 11 - Thailand's annual Songkran water festival kicks off in the ancient city of Ayutthaya two days early. Locals, tourists and elephants joined in the wet festivities. The Songkran water festival, which officially starts on Friday, takes place at the end of the dry season -- the hottest time of the year when temperatures can soar to over 40 degrees Celsius and a cool soaking is often welcome relief. Many countries have advised their citizens to exercise a high degree of caution if visiting Thailand over the Songkran holiday weekend because of threats of terrorist attacks. Thai police have said they will deploy extra manpower in Bangkok for the Thai New Year celebrations to prevent a repeat of the serial blasts of Dec. 31 that killed three people.