Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Songkran in Bangkok... Or Lack Thereof.

For those of you who have been wondering about Songkran and all the political protesting that's been going on in Bangkok, here's an article I found today and thought it was interesting enough to share:

The streets of downtown Bangkok remained untypically dry on Monday, with few people venturing out to splash water on unwary passers-by, with all official Songkran festivities cancelled and the city under emergency law.

The traditional convoys of pickups and trucks laden with drums of water and people soaking each other and pedestrians were conspicuously absent from the city's roads.

Even the tourist centre of Khao San road, usually the scene of total water mayhem during the Thai New Year celebrations, was relatively quiet.

Visitors were wandering through the area in the morning with water guns and being splashed by people on the pavement, but only a shadow of the crowds of previous years.

The Songkran celebration there was put to an end at 2pm, when the chairman of vendors at Khao San road told visitors through loud speakers to return to their homes or hotels because of the political unrest on the streets.

The government had for weeks considered banning the sale of alcohol over the holiday period to combat the annual road toll, but alarmed revellers had not expected the city to be 'dry' in this fashion.

The Interior Ministry reported there were 1,605 traffic accidents throughout the
country in the first three of the ''seven most dangerous days'' of the Songkran

A total of 139 people had died on the roads and 1,718 were injured in the accidents.

The chief of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, Anucha Mokhaves, there were 675 road accidents on Sunday, with 44 deaths and 726 people injured.

The accidents were mostly caused by drink driving and speeding, he said.

Safety truly is of the Lord!

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