GB's Annual Songkran Report

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15906
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 665 times

GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:28 am

Friday, April 12

Beginning today, April 12, it's time for Songkran to begin. In Pattaya I expect very little to be going on, if anything at all. However, don't be surprised if the Arabs around Sunee Plaza get started splashing people. Also, those of you headed to and from the beach, watch out for the bars on Thappraya, outside of Jomtien Complex. There also may be some drunken, heavily tattooed farang splashing people on Second Road near Central festival and around some of the Beach Road bars. Usually, that's how it begins.

In Pattaya things will escalate daily until the 'big day', the main water splashing day, Friday, April 19. In the city of Chonburi, it will be Thursday, April 18. In Sattahip it will be Saturday, April 20.

I'll report what I see going on in Pattaya wherever I happen to be. I would greatly appreciate it if everyone who has not yet left for their escape trip report to us too. Most of this week I will be on "The Dark Side," so it is unlikely I will be around the main Pattaya splashing areas very often.

Also, those of you in Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand, please keep us informed.

Dodger
Posts: 1065
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 253 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Dodger » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:52 am

I'm up in Buriram right now, and like most of Isaan, the celebrations typically run from April 13-15.

If anyone plans on driving up to Isaan you will want to avoid Hwy 3240 which has major construction going on. The bottlenecks on 3240 added an hour to my trip and it was dangerous driving. I recommend finding an alternate Hwy which will link you to AH-19 (Hwy 331). Having said that, I would never recommend driving to or from Isaan between April 12-22.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15906
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 665 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:24 pm

Dodger wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:52 am
If anyone plans on driving up to Isaan
I think it's best to stay off the roads completely unless absolutely necessary. Today is the first "dangerous day" and already there has been nearly 500 accidents and 46 road deaths - and that was reported before noon.

Those of you planning to travel and/or get to the airports better give yourself plenty of extra time trying to get there - a few hours at least.

Those in Pattaya who, like me, stay in Pattaya during Songkran - I don't think you need me to tell you that as the week progresses, so will huge amounts of traffic. It ought to be ok for another 3 days or so, but after that I, for one, will do any out-and-abouting either very early in the morning or very late at night. I suggest doing the same unless you enjoy getting stuck in heavy traffic.

Once the splashing really gets underway, don't forget to protect your valuables, mobile phones, passports, or whatever else can be water damaged.
___________________________________________

46 Road Deaths on Songkran’s 1st ‘Dangerous Day’

By Jintamas Saksornchai, Staff Reporter

April 12, 2019

BANGKOK — Nearly 500 road accidents killed 46 people on the first day of the season known as the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran.

The disaster department today said drunk driving was the No.1 cause of the accidents Thursday throughout the country, followed by speeding. Nearly 80 percent of the accidents, which injured 482 people, involved motorcycles.

Officials said more than 163,000 people were arrested and charged with violations of traffic law yesterday.

The seven-day period of the long traditional holiday infamous for high road carnage began Thursday and will last through Wednesday.

In 2018, the number of people killed in road accidents during the annual seven-day span was 418, slightly lower than the decade-high death toll of 442 in 2016.

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crim ... erous-day/
________________________________________________

Thousands clear city as 7 Dangerous Days begin

By The Nation

April 12, 2019

Airports, roads, and border checkpoints were clogged yesterday as hundreds of thousands of people began leaving Bangkok for Songkran holidays, thinking in vain that they would be avoiding heavy traffic.

Don Mueang Airport was more crowded and queues of people waiting to check-in were longer than usual.

“We estimate that the number of passengers will rise by 18 per cent during the Songkran holidays from April 11 to 17,” Don Mueang Airport director Sirote Duangratana said yesterday. “The airport will be handling 830 flights per day during this period.”

Traffic leading to and from the airport was heavy, so officials kept announcing that passengers should check their luggage and jump out of their vehicle immediately.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport, despite being bigger than Don Mueang, was similarly jam-packed.

As for roads, Nakhon Ratchasima – a gateway to the Northeast – suffered severe traffic congestion since yesterday morning.

Tailback on the outbound lanes of Mitrapab Road between Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong and Sikhiu districts stretched over 39 kilometres, so police had to turn one inbound lane into a special outbound one in order to improve traffic flow.

In Nakhon Ratchasima’s Muang district, traffic between Pak Thong Chai intersection and an elevated bridge was more than 10 kilometres long.

Northbound traffic, meanwhile, began building up on Highway 32 (Asian Highway) in Chai Nat province. Though there was not a traffic gridlock yesterday, roads are expected to be congested this afternoon, local highway officials said.

Since most Thai businesses close during the long Songkran holidays, thousands of migrant workers rush back home as the festival is also celebrated in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

Due to this, the border checkpoint in Tak’s Mae Sot district, which sits on the border with Myanmar, was swarming yesterday. People, most of them workers who travelled from Bangkok and other provinces, stood patiently in a queue longer than 300 metres to undergo immigration procedure.

While Songkran is usually associated with fun, it has always had a dark side – with millions travelling, road accidents and deaths are high during his period.

Hence the authorities have launched campaigns, reminding people to be extra careful on roads.

This year, the Seven Dangerous Days associated with Songkran began yesterday and will end on April 17. (Note from GB -In Pattaya it doesn't end until April 20, after the "Big Day." Even then, watch out - an awful lot of people who came to Pattaya for Songkran will be trying to leave.)

A Dutch tourist was among the fatalities recorded on the first day of the dangerous week, with police saying the accident took place at an intersection in Kanchanaburi’s Tha Muang district at 3am.

Police said the tourist’s car hit the rear of a trailer truck that was about to clear the intersection. He died at the scene.

Story and photos: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30367571

Dodger
Posts: 1065
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 253 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Dodger » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:54 pm

Looking at the numbers posted above the Songkran casualty rate will be similar to the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam and that's scary.

If there were 500 accidents on the first day of Songkran and 46 people were killed and 482 injured - then in the next 6 deadly days we could expect to see 3,500 accidents with 322 being killed and 3,374 injured.

Reportedly 34% of these day one accidents were caused by drunk drivers. According to the law that was recently passed drunk drivers will be charged with "murder" if they caused a death resulting in a lot of people facing life in prison.

.



.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15906
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 665 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:54 pm

I received a report that some water splashing, but only very little, indeed was going on today.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15906
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 665 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:10 pm


User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15906
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 665 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Gaybutton » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:34 am

Saturday, April 13

Today is the official beginning of Songkran. At the time of this post it is 8:30am in Thailand, so I have not been out. I doubt anything would be going on yet, and probably not very much today in Pattaya at all.

Most of the activity so far seems to be on the roads - traffic accidents, drunk drivers, and huge traffic jams.

Please post on this topic with anything you observe and where you observed it.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Silom Road to ban traffic on holiday

April 13, 2019

Silom Road will be closed to traffic to make way for Songkran celebrations from noon Saturday, according to Bangkok traffic police.

Pol Maj Decha Promsopha, traffic inspector at Thung Mahamek police station, on Friday said all vehicles will be prohibited on Silom Road from the Sala Daeng intersection to the Nararom intersection, between noon and midnight from Saturday until Monday in order to allow revellers to celebrate the Songkran Festival.

Side roads such as Soi Convent, Soi Pipat and Soi Patpong on Silom Road will also be closed during that period.

"People who want to celebrate Songkran on Silom Road should travel by skytrain, exiting at Sala Daeng station or by MRT subway at Silom station. Motorists who need to cross the river to Thonburi, they can use Sathon Road instead of Silom Road," Pol Maj Decha said.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) also recently announced that this year it won't host any entertainment shows and events on Khao San and Silom roads, the two most popular spots to celebrate the Songkran festival in Bangkok.

The BMA's decision not to hold any events on the two roads is because of the preparations for His Majesty the King's coronation from May 4-6, which is only one month away.

Silapasuai Rawisaengsun, a BMA city clerk, said the two roads will still be open to Songkran revellers. The BMA has also prohibited the use of high-pressure water guns, powder and the consumption of alcohol on the two roads.

City Hall will also host a festival under a Thai traditional theme in Lumpini Park from Saturday until Monday.

The sacred Phra Buddha Sihing Buddha statue will be brought from the Phutthaisawan Throne Hall and moved around the city for the public to pay their respects during the Songkran period.

Meanwhile, Raja Ferry Port, a ferry operator in Surat Thani, said the number of visitors to Koh Samui during the Songkran festival is expected to be over 12,000 a day, or a 50% increase on the usual number of tourists.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... on-holiday
________________________________________________________

First of Songkran’s ‘Seven Dangerous Days’ sees 46 killed

By Khanittha Theppajorn

April 13, 2019

Drunk driving, speeding behind most of the 468 crashes nationwide, says minister

Thursday – the first of the “Seven Dangerous Days” of Songkran 2019 – saw 46 people killed and 482 injured in 468 road accidents, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told reporters at the Road Safety Centre in Bangkok on Friday.

Of the 20 accidents nationwide, Nakhon Ratchasima recorded the most crashes and the highest number of injuries at 23, while Udon Thani had the most fatalities at four. Arkhom said most accidents involved drunk driving (34.6 per cent) and speeding (26.9 per cent) and warned that drunk drivers involved in fatal crash would certainly be jailed.

He said 667,000 people left Bangkok on Thursday alone – the largest single-day exodus for Songkran on record.

The minister added that the Songkran safety campaign aimed to make drivers observe speed limits, keep their headlights on and wear seatbelts or helmets if on a motorcycle. Arkhom noted that all public-transport vehicles have GPS, so they can be monitored for speeding. Also, each vehicle’s condition is inspected and drivers routinely checked for sobriety.

Police and officials have set up 2,036 road checkpoints across the country during the Songkran period, and 709,464 vehicles had been stopped with 163,584 motorists facing legal action for traffic rule violations as of press time.

Of the offenders, 45,230 were on motorbikes without helmets, while 41,485 drove without a licence.

Courts of justice spokesman Suriyan Hongwilai said a total of 1,609 cases involving traffic violations were sent to lower courts on Thursday, and they have ruled on 1,609 or 73.8 per cent of the cases.

Most of the cases involved drunk driving (1,106), followed by driving under the influence of drugs (314). Other charges include driving without licences. Of the 1,704 defendants prosecuted in court, 1,661 were Thai nationals and 43 foreigners, the Courts of Justice spokesman.

Train-van collision

Meanwhile, six people including a 14-year-old boy were killed and four injured in Lop Buri early on Friday when a train slammed into a van carrying 14 holidaymakers from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani.

The 2.45am crash took place in Pattana Nikhom district at a railway crossing on Highway 3017, barely 3 kilometres from Kaeng Sua Ten Train Station.

Pol Colonel Krit Saengpol said the van was speeding across the railway cross, when it was hit by the Nong Khai-Bangkok train and flung against a concrete barrier, instantly killing two male passengers aged 28 and 60, and two women aged 18 and 28.

The 14-year-old and a 41-year old man succumbed to their injuries later in hospital. The driver and four other passenger sustained minor injuries. Police will question the driver later.

According to JS100 traffic radio, the van had been driven round the barrier arm as the train was approaching. A bridge is being built over the track at the crossing and it was dark at the time.

Krit said the force of the impact threw the van off the crossing and into a concrete barrier on the roadside.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30367626

User avatar
Trongpai
Posts: 1217
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:21 am
Location: Bangkok, Ram Intra
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 207 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Trongpai » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:51 am

People who want to celebrate Songkran on Silom Road should travel by skytrain, exiting at Sala Daeng station or by MRT subway at Silom station.
I anyone is nuts enough to go, yes you can get there via BTS/MRT, but in the past security has prohibited wet and/or powered people from getting on the trains. The subway has been more restrictive than the Sky Train. Sky Train stations and Sky Walks remain a mess of powder residue foot prints for weeks after. I wonder if anyone has ever added up the clean up costs and add that to shutting down the county for a week?

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15906
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 665 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Gaybutton » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:04 pm

Trongpai wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:51 am
I wonder if anyone has ever added up the clean up costs
They actually clean it up?

The car washes probably make more money during the 3 or 4 days after Songkran is over than the total they make during the rest of the year. So do the laundries.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15906
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 665 times

Re: GB's Annual Songkran Report

Post by Gaybutton » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:10 pm

I'm getting reports of sporadic water splashing going on in Pattaya, but I didn't get any specifics. I haven't seen any water splashing yet on "The Dark Side."

Traffic is starting to be a problem as well. Once again, give yourself plenty of extra time if you're traveling just about anywhere in Thailand. Watch out for drunk drivers. Already so many accidents and deaths. Don't become one of them.

Post Reply