Bangkok prepares for Songkran with 1,600 safety officers

The Songkran festivities in Phra Nakhon district, Bangkok, are set to have more than 1,600 officials and volunteers on guard. This safety measure is particularly aimed at tourist hotspots like Khao San and Silom roads.

The Phra Nakhon District Director, Kosol Singhanat, anticipates a substantial influx of tourists in three key areas during the holiday, namely Khao San Road, Sanam Luang, and Phra Athit Road.

The Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 at Sanam Luang is one of the government-hosted events, while the Wisut Kasat’s Thephi Songkran beauty pageant will be taking place at Santi Chai Prakan Park on Phra Athit Road.

Singhanat confirmed that the district office will dispatch a minimum of 1,600 staff members and volunteers, encompassing firefighters and nurses, to monitor the primary Songkran venues.

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In light of the festivities starting on April 12, the office plans to set up CCTV cameras equipped with artificial intelligence and emergency booths along Khao San Road from April 11.

He further stated that although certain roads will be partially shut during the festival, the provision of shuttle buses and taxis will ensure uninterrupted movement.

On the other hand, the head of the Khao San Business Association, Sanga Ruangwattanakul, revealed that this year’s Songkran event will feature five floating Buddha statues, each carrying barrels of holy water from five renowned temples in the city.

Ruangwattanakul mentioned that Khao San Road will be vehicle-free from April 13–15, allowing revellers to enjoy the road until 9pm. After this, the road will be open for restaurants and other businesses to recommence their services.

Meanwhile, Bang Rak District Director Tharaporn Amnuaysan announced that Silom Road, from Sala Daeng to the Silom-Narathiwat intersection, will be closed from midday to midnight on April 13 and 14. This event, co-organised by local authorities and the Culture Ministry, is being planned for the road.

The government-organised event will begin on April 11 in Bangkok and other major cities such as Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Khon Kaen, according to Culture Minister Sermsak Pongpanich.

The ministry is also endorsing programmes at four World Heritage sites in the country: Sukhothai-Kamphaeng Petch Historical Parks, Ayutthaya Historical Park, Udon Thani’s Ban Chang Archaeological Site and Petchabun’s Si Thep Historical Park.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry forecasts that the extended Songkran holiday will generate the equivalent of US$1.6 billion in tourism-related revenue for the country, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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