(CTN News) – The Songkran Festival, often known as the Thai New Year, began yesterday after being postponed for three years because of the Covid-19 outbreak. People from all around the world, as well as the locals, flocked to famous splashing places all over the country.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) estimates that the total economic impact of the event, from both domestic and international visitors, might reach 18.53 billion baht over three days. The Kasikorn Research Center predicts that spending by Thai visitors could reach 23 billion baht.
Songkran Celebrations Take Place Across Popular Tourist Destinations in Thailand
Despite the searing heat and pollution, visitors to Chiang Mai, a favorite location for Songkran celebrations, packed important landmarks like Khu Muang and Tha Phae Gate. A traditional Songkran parade kicked off the celebrations in this northern region at around 2 in the afternoon.
Early this week, about a thousand Chinese visitors descended upon Chiang Mai, and the festivities promptly began. They drove across Myanmar and into Thailand via Chiang Rai, Loei, Nong Khai, and Nan.
During the Songkran festival, the TAT office in Chiang Mai anticipates at least 120,000 additional visitors, who will spend over 1.1 billion baht.
About 50,000 people visited Bangkok’s closed-to-traffic Songkran celebration spot on Khaosan Road. President of the Khaosan Road Businesses Association, Sanga Ruengwattanakul, said that hundreds of municipal officials and police officers were deployed to safeguard the area’s safety.
The party site has strict rules against revealing attire, powdering, high-pressure water cannons, firearms, and alcohol. Water fights were allowed on the crowded Silom Road, which was not an official Songkran celebration zone but attracted Thais and tourists alike.
On Phuket, the party kicked off Wednesday night in the Patong neighborhood of the Kathu district, on Soi Bang La. Western visitors were the most numerous, and they were seen having a good time spraying each other with water pistols.
Phuket’s main ports, Ratsada and Ao Chalong, were packed with Thai and international visitors yesterday morning. Thiwat Sidokbuap, Phuket’s deputy mayor, said most visitors used the island’s speedboat service between Phuket and Krabi’s Phi Phi Island.
Hat Yai and Betong Districts Attract Tourists from Malaysia and Singapore
Similar crowds were waiting at 5 a.m. at two Surat Thani ports for ferries to the popular islands of Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan in the province’s south.
Hotels and resorts on the three main islands see occupancy rates of around 80% during the Songkran weekend, and all flights and trains between Bangkok and Surat Thani are completely booked during this time.
Wichawut Jinto, governor of Surat Thani province, estimates that the festival will bring in more than 1.2 billion baht in tourism revenue for the region.
Day and night, people on Rat Uthit and Sai Sanehanuson roads in the Hat Yai neighborhood of Songkhla, a major commercial center in the region’s lower half, celebrated Songkran. Tourists from neighboring countries like Malaysia and Singapore shopped at many of the city’s establishments.
Finally, visitors from Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore congregated around the Betong border district of Yala’s landmark clock tower to participate in water fights and other traditional Songkran activities.