GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

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#1 GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Gaybutton » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:10 pm

Thursday, April 12

I don't expect any water splashing to get started in Pattaya for the next few days, but if any of you have anything you can report, please post what you observe - no matter where you are in Thailand. People want to know what's happening in Bangkok as well as everywhere else in Thailand.

In Pattaya, the main water splashing "Big Day" is Thursday, April 19. At that end of the day it will all be over until next year.

Of course I will be reporting what I observe, but I don't know how often I'll be driving around town to make observations. I can drive around town looking for where water splashing is happening or I can spend my afternoons in the company of a willing young gent. Three guesses which I'm most likely to do . . .

Remember, once the splashing gets underway make sure to protect your valuables and perishables either by keeping them in waterproof plastic bags or not carrying them with you outdoors at all.

If you're among those who despise getting splashed, convenience stores and several department stores, along with street vendors, will soon be carrying inexpensive ponchos -if they're not carrying them already.
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Songkran starts with 2,700 charges of drunk driving

April 12, 2018

More than 3,000 motorists were found to be driving while drunk on the first of the so-called “seven dangerous days” of the Songkran holiday.

A junta spokeswoman said on Thursday that 156 vehicles were seized the day before and 2,716 motorcyclists and other drivers were charged with drunk driving. Deputy spokeswoman Col Sirichan Ngathong said stepped-up spot checks on roads had identified 3,339 cases of drunk driving. More than 1,860 of those cases involved motorcyclists, she said, and 105 motorcycles were seized and 356 driving licenses were confiscated.

Authorities arrested 1,457 motorcyclists who will be going to court, while the rest were fined. The remainder of the cases involved private cars and transport vehicles, with 41 vehicles seized and 82 driving licenses confiscated. A total of 1,259 motorists face charges in court and the rest were fined.

https://pattayaone.news/en/songkran-sta ... k-driving/

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#2 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:33 am

Friday, April 13

So far the reported body count from traffic accidents throughout Thailand is 39. Thousands of drunk driving arrests too.

So far Pattaya is quiet - no water splashing anywhere yet. Bangkok, however, is a different story. See the following articles:

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/securi ... d-at-silom

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30343086

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30343090

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... d/30343060

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... d/30343059

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#3 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:07 am

See the following for a list of available Songkran activities and restaurant specials in Pattaya:

http://newsletter.choicegroupasia.com/w ... Ct7633nRJA
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Also, not on the list, the Amber restaurant is offering a Sunday-only (April 15) chicken, beef, and pork combo, including dessert at 500 baht. The offer is a buy-one-get-one-free offer, meaning if two people go, it amounts to 250 baht each. Considering the quality of the food, that's an excellent bargain.

For a booking, call Peter at 082 459 5733 or book via Email at: peter@amberpattaya.com

If you don't have your own transportation, you'll need a taxi. Have the taxi driver call Peter and he can have a Thai staff member explain to the taxi driver how to get there. From the Boystown area, water splashing will be highly unlikely Sunday, so you're not going to get splashed if you're on a motorbike taxi.

From the Jomtien Complex area, it's hard to predict whether water splashing will be going on by Sunday, so you're sure to be safe from splashing if you go by car taxi.

Either way, get the taxi driver's telephone number so you can call him, or have the restaurant call him, when you're ready to go back. Taxis are sometimes difficult to find in the Amber restaurant area.
__________________________________________________

Ramayana Water Park: https://mailchi.mp/ed8464a05b87/happy-s ... cb6a34f42f

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#4 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:28 pm

Songkran is Baaaack!

By Warapun Jaikusol

April 13, 2018
_______________________________________________

Note: The photos in the article are from last year's Songkran. Water splashing has not yet begun in Pattaya
_______________________________________________

Beach Road will be closed April 19

Beach Road will be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 19 for the finale of Pattaya’s Songkran celebration.

Deputy Mayor Vichien Pongpanit said at an April 4 planning meeting that the epicenter for Pattaya’s annual “wan lai” water-throwing melee will become a walking street for the day, with tens of thousands of people expected to celebrate the Thai New Year along the shoreline.

Sidestreets leading to Beach Road will be open, but blocked at the seaside end. Second Road will be as normal, but likely gridlocked like nearly all of Pattaya’s streets that day.

Police and support volunteers will be stationed around the party zone to keep things from getting too rowdy and lend aid to those overcome with partying.

http://www.pattayamail.com/featured/son ... ack-207167
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The following article says the police are all over the place checking for drunk drivers, reckless drivers, etc. Similar articles are published for most heavy traffic holidays. Meanwhile lately, including today, I have yet to see any police at all.

I hope the police really are out there. If you happen to spot police checkpoints, whether in Pattaya or anywhere else, please tell us where they are.

_____________________________________

Police blanket Pattaya’s roads for Songkran

By Boonlua Chatree

April 13, 2018

Songkran is well underway in Thailand and Pattaya police are on the streets trying to keep people alive.

Traffic Division Chief Pol. Maj. Orut Sapanon said April 3 that more tourists are expected in Pattaya this year, as 2017’s Thai New Year was muted due to the royal mourning period. As such, traffic police have had to step up their game.

Daily checks of all buses, minivans and other public-transport vehicles began on April 1 with drivers being tested for alcohol or drug use.

Checkpoints also have been established throughout the area to check for drunk drivers, motorcyclists without helmets and drivers without licenses – all of which contribute to Thailand’s appalling highway fatality rate during every Songkran.

For the official April 13-15 holiday, all roads will be open with at least two police officers assigned to each major intersection.

On April 18, the “wan lai” water festival day for Naklua, police will be stationed around the Dolphin Roundabout to support residents and check on safety.

On Pattaya’s April 19 wan lai Beach Road, from the roundabout to Walking Street will be closed and vehicles will not be allowed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., subject to change.

Second Road will be open and all sidestreets will be accessible but blocked off at the Beach Road end. North Road will see its construction halted for wan lai.

Orut added that Sukhumvit Road, at the junctions of Pattaya’s main roads, also have police and volunteers stationed to support tourists and residents and the traffic.

All stations concerned will consist of medical support, volunteers and police at all times so that help can be provided instantly to those in need.

http://www.pattayamail.com/news/police- ... ran-207163

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#5 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Undaunted » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:37 pm

Traffic on Beach road at the time of this post was being diverted for what appears to be a Songkran parade.
If you want to avoid the water stay clear of areas frequented by young Arabs and all girlie bars....the water has begun!
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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#6 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:27 pm

I am already getting reports of serious traffic delays. This afternoon a Thai friend came to Pattaya from Bangkok in a van. He said on the expressway he was delayed by well over an hour due to very heavy traffic.

So, expect traffic delays this week. If you need to get to the airport, I suggest giving yourself plenty of extra time so you don't miss your flight. From Pattaya I would suggest giving yourself at least an extra three hours travel time to the airport. Better to have to wait in the airport rather than being stuck in traffic and having to worry about getting to the airport in time for your flight.
_____________________________________

4 million expected to travel within Thailand during Songkran Festival, police urge tourists to play safe

Nearly four million people are expected to travel within Thailand during the Songkran holiday between Friday (April 13) and Sunday, prompting authorities to step up measures for public safety.

Police promised to make this year’s Songkran Festival safer for all revellers by deploying more personnel.

Authorities and experts, however, said it was everyone’s responsibility to ensure safety, especially from crime and accidents during the busy travel period and at celebrations.

Tourist Police deputy commander Police Major General Surachet Hakpal said about three million domestic tourists and 930,000 tourists from abroad were expected to travel within the country during the three days of Songkran.

The number of travellers was a big increase over the previous years, he said.

In order to provide safety to all tourists visiting Thailand during Songkran, Maj Gen Surachet said 5,000 tourist police officers and volunteers would be deployed to assist tourists.

“Tourism is a major source of revenue for the country and the Songkran Festival is a peak period for tourism. People from around the world come to Thailand to travel and celebrate the festival, while many Thais also use the long weekends to travel within the country and return home as well,” he said.

“So, we have to take care all of the tourists and travellers and make sure that their journey will be pleasant.”

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports said that within the relatively short period from April 1 to 17 last year, Thailand welcomed more than 1.53 million international tourists, while 1.25 million Thais also travelled within the country during that period.

The seven-day period from April 11-17, 2017, generated up to 45.4 billion baht (S$1.9 billion) in revenue for the country.

However, Maj Gen Surachet said that the people could not rely solely on police officers to provide safety and they must take personal precautions to ensure they don’t land themselves in dangerous situations.

“I would like to caution all people not to enjoy Songkran by putting their safety at risk by getting too drunk or travelling to dangerous places alone. This kind of risky behaviour has already caused many people to become victims of crimes such as physical attacks or robbery,” he said.

Another threat to public safety has been the high number of road accidents. Along with the New Year celebrations, accidents during Songkran have led to a huge number of fatalities every year.

Last year’s statistics showed there were 3,690 road accidents during the seven monitoring days of Songkran, which killed 390 persons and injured 3,808 persons.

The director of the Academic Center for Road Safety, Mr Thanapong Jinvong, said that in order to avoid road accidents during this dangerous period, people who drive and travel by car should strictly comply with traffic rules by driving within speed limits.

They must not drink before driving and must make sure that they get enough rest before sitting behind the wheel to make sure that they do not fall asleep while driving.

He said ignoring these basic rules was the primary cause of road accidents.

More than 3,000 motorists were found to be driving while drunk on the first of the so-called “seven dangerous days” of the Songkran holiday.
The deputy spokesperson of the National Council for Peace and Order, Colonel Sirichan Ngathong, said on Thursday that 156 vehicles were seized on Wednesday and 2,716 motorcyclists and other drivers were charged with drunk driving.

Col Sirichan also said stepped up spot checks on roads had identified 3,339 cases of drunk driving.

More than 1,860 of those cases involved motorcyclists, she said, and 105 motorcycles were seized and 356 driving licences were confiscated.
Authorities arrested 1,457 motorcyclists who will be going to court, while the rest were fined.

The remainder of the cases involved private cars and transport vehicles, with 41 vehicles seized and 82 driving licences confiscated. A total of 1,259 motorists face charges in court and the rest were fined.

Mr Thanapong also advised other travellers who use public transportation to be wary of the safety standards of the vehicle they ride in.
Despite strict measures imposed on public transport carriers, there were still many illegal bus and van operators whose vehicles did not meet the proper safety standards, he said.

https://pattayaone.news/en/4-million-ex ... play-safe/

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#7 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:48 pm

Undaunted wrote:stay clear of areas frequented by young Arabs

Have they started already?

Last year they kept tossing water on people far into the night, when most water splashing, even from the girlie bars, stopped. That made it especially difficult to get to Sunee Plaza from the Third Road, Soi 18, Marina Inn side.

Songkran is supposed to be fun - for everybody - not just these Arabs. Their behavior ruins it for everybody crossing their path. If there is a regulation that specifies what time in the evening water splashing is supposed to stop, I'm not aware of it.

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#8 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:16 pm

As of 1:30pm, the body count is now up to 99.
_______________________________________

Songkran toll: 99 dead, 1,085 injured on roads

In the first two days of the Songkran travel week, 1,026 road accidents killed 99 people and injured 1,085, with about 1,500 motorbikes and cars impounded from drunk drivers.

Full story: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... d-on-roads

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#9 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby gerefan » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:01 am

They used to do this stupid accident statistic job in the UK until about the 1970s when they realised that, in fact, LESS people are killed on the roads during a holiday period.

It seems the Thais haven't caught on yet. Their annual death rate on their roads is 24,237, or 466 per week,or 66 per day. (Wikipedia)

So from the published figures (99 killed in the first 2 days) things are well below the average death rate which for 2 days would be 132.

This is not surprising. The roads are choc-a-block and no one can travel fast enough to kill themselves anyway.

(I do realize Thailand's road deaths are one of the world's worst)

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#10 Re: GB's Annual Songkran report - 2018

Postby Gaybutton » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:00 am

Saturday, April 14

This morning I received reports that water splashing is going on at both Soi Buakhao and the perimeter of Jomtien Complex. Neither surprises me. Those areas, along with Second Road near the Central Festival mall and Pattaya Beach Road, are usually where the splashing begins. The splashing will escalate throughout the week, with the main splashing on Thursday, April 19 - the "Big DAY."

For most of you currently in Pattaya, the Jomtien Complex area is where you're most likely to be vulnerable today. The Arabs around the Koenig Mansion Hotel entrance to Sunee Plaza are also likely to be actively splashing water. You'll probably be safe coming to and leaving from Sunee Plaza from other directions.

Just in case, you might want to check your local convenience stores if you want an inexpensive poncho.

Thailand has outlawed high power water guns and splashing people with ice water. Whether those are actually or effectively enforced remains to be seen.

I have not seen reports yet of today's body count or traffic problems. I think you can safely assume there will be traffic delays on the expressways and main roads, especially if an accident occurs. Again, if you need to go to the airport, give yourself plenty of extra time to get there.

At the time of this post it is 9:00am. I haven't been away from home yet to see for myself what's going on. Maybe later today I'll have something to add.

Meanwhile, those of you who can also report the goings on in Pattaya, as well as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and anywhere else in Thailand, please let us know.


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