Thailand Video News | New Eco-tourist, astro-tourist, and digital nomad visas coming soon, Millions celebrate Songkran across the land of smiles

In this video, Alex and Jay delve into the news stories across Thailand. Thailand’s vibrant Songkran Festival sees millions join nationwide water fights while the nation introduces new visa categories for eco-tourists and digital nomads. Yet, amidst the celebrations, a daring gold necklace heist shocks Samut Prakan Mall, and a violent brawl disrupts a traditional procession in Chiang Mai, incurring hefty fines. Post-Songkran traffic surges toward Bangkok, prompting authorities to add lanes, but Phuket’s safety campaign achieves zero road fatalities, highlighting Thailand’s dedication to visitor safety.

Thailand Celebrates Extended Songkran Festival with Millions Joining in Nationwide Water Fights

Thailand is currently celebrating its extended Songkran festival, a nationwide event that marks the traditional Thai New Year with massive public water fights. This year, the festivities started a day earlier and are set to last up to three weeks, coinciding with a long public holiday and in response to Songkran’s recent UNESCO designation as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Millions of local and international visitors are participating, significantly boosting the Thai economy and the tourism sector, which is a major employer in the country. The festival not only showcases Thailand’s soft power but also reflects its cultural significance, despite concerns about extending the celebration period potentially diluting its cultural value.


Thailand Introduces New Visa Categories for Eco-Tourists, Astro-Tourists, and Digital Nomads in 2024

Thailand is set to launch innovative visa categories in 2024 aimed at eco-tourists, astro-tourists, and digital nomads, enhancing its appeal as a diverse travel destination. The new eco-tourism visas are designed to support conservation efforts and promote sustainable travel practices, ideal for visitors interested in green initiatives and national parks. The astro-tourism visas cater to stargazers and space enthusiasts, capitalising on Thailand’s clear skies in areas like Doi Inthanon and Koh Tao. Additionally, the introduction of digital nomad visas acknowledges the growing trend of remote working, providing a legal framework for digital nomads to live and work in Thailand. These new visa categories reflect Thailand’s adaptive approach to tourism, aiming to attract a broader spectrum of international visitors while promoting cultural exchange and environmental responsibility.


Daring Gold Necklace Heist at Samut Prakan Mall Stuns Police and Staff

A brazen robbery unfolded at the Aurora gold shop in a Samut Prakan mall yesterday, where a thief snatched a gold necklace worth 210,000 baht. The incident occurred at 7pm on the mall’s second floor, as the suspect, described as a tall man with dark, reddish skin wearing a floral shirt and white shorts, pretended to shop before quickly grabbing the necklace and fleeing. The police, shocked by the sudden theft, have cordoned off the area and are combing through surveillance footage to trace the thief’s escape route and identify him. The stolen necklace weighs 5 baht and is valued at approximately US$5,700.


Violent Brawl Disrupts Traditional Procession in Chiang Mai, Incurs Hefty Fines

A traditional procession in Chom Thong, Chiang Mai, was marred by violence yesterday as a brawl broke out among participants, potentially attracting fines up to 75,000 baht. The incident occurred during a parade involving 19 groups carrying sacred Bo tree supports to Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong. The clash reportedly began over a misstep during a dance, leading to chaos that briefly halted the procession. Prior to the event, organisers had warned against violence and required musical bands to install CCTV, emphasising peace and setting a high penalty for disturbances. Despite the altercation, the procession resumed with no injuries, maintaining the celebration’s festive spirit.


Post-Songkran Traffic Surge Hits Roads Leading to Bangkok, Authorities Respond with Additional Lanes

As the Songkran festival concluded, a significant traffic surge occurred on roads into Bangkok, prompting the opening of additional lanes to alleviate congestion. Notably, heavy traffic was reported on Mittraphap Road, particularly near Khao Khlang Dong in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Authorities implemented special traffic measures along this route to facilitate smoother travel into Saraburi and ultimately Bangkok. Extra lanes were opened between Muak Lek and Kaeng Khoi Districts, ensuring a steady flow of vehicles. Despite these efforts, the density of traffic required opening up to eight lanes inbound toward Bangkok by evening, with potential extensions depending on vehicle volumes. Motorists were advised to consider alternate routes to bypass congested areas.


Phuket’s Songkran Safety Campaign Achieves Zero Road Fatalities Most of the way Through Event

Phuket’s ongoing “Seven Days” safety campaign, initiated to coincide with the Songkran 2024 festival, has successfully maintained zero road fatalities four days into the initiative. Despite 39 accidents recorded so far, resulting in the same number of hospitalizations, no lives have been lost. The campaign, which began on April 11 and will run until April 17, contrasts sharply with last year’s figures where five deaths and 51 injuries were reported. The accidents predominantly involved local residents and foreigners, with the highest number of incidents occurring in Kathu District. This positive trend reflects a significant improvement in road safety measures on the island, providing a safer environment for both residents and visitors during the high-spirited Songkran festival.

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