Limited access to Khao San Road due to overcrowding

Picture courtesy of Stay in Thailand.

Police temporarily blocked access to the renowned backpacker haven of Khao San Road last night, as the Songkran event attracted an overwhelming number of participants. Police are urging new visitors to await the departure of those already at the venue before entering the 400-metre-long road in Phra Nakhon district. Songkran festivities kicked off yesterday and are expected to continue well into the weekend.

The authorities requested that those waiting nearby allow approximately 15 minutes for the crowd to disperse before attempting entry to Khao San Road. Access was closed again at 8.50pm, with officials suggesting newcomers visit Ratchadamnoen Avenue for safety reasons, reported Bangkok Post.

Deputy national police chief Pol. Gen. Torsak Sukwimol emphasised the importance of strictly imposing regulations for public safety. He said…

“Strict enforcement of regulations is not for police but for the public. Sometimes accidents could cause harm to the general public.”

Measures to prevent overcrowding have been implemented based on previous Thai New Year celebrations in the area. Emergency exits have also been prepared for Khao San Road in case of unforeseen incidents. Pol. Gen. Torsak added that official Songkran festivities on Khao San Road were scheduled to conclude at 10pm each night but visitors may linger afterward.

Khao San Business Association announced on Wednesday that the Bangkok backpacker haven will be closed for business between noon and 8pm every day so revellers can enjoy the Songkran celebrations. Businesses, bars and restaurants will reopen as usual straight after the 8pm cut off.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand reckons that both Thai and foreign tourists will contribute up to 18.53 billion baht during the three-day Songkran Festival on Khao San Road. Meanwhile, the Kasikorn Research Centre estimates that Thai tourists alone could spend as much as 23 billion baht.

Khao San Road isn’t the only place celebrating the Thai New Year. One of Bangkok’s biggest Songkran Festival celebrations is being held in front of the BMA City Hall near the Giant Swing and Phadung Krung Kasem Canal.

For anyone who is in Thailand for the Songkran Festival, the 198 events can be checked via the NICEMap:

Bangkok NewsSongkran NewsThailand News

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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.