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Thailand’s Songkran Holiday Exodus Begins as Hundreds of Thousands Return to Home Provinces

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BANGKOK – The mass exodus of Thais who head to provinces to reunite with their families begins as the countdown has started to the nation’s Songkran Festival or traditional Thai New Year.

The Airports Department is expecting more than 400,000 passengers to travel through 25 Thai airports during the Songkran holidays this year.

The agency’s director-general, Ampawan Wannako, on Tuesday said this year’s passenger number projection for the holidays was 404,773 for the period from April 11 to 17, or 57,224 passengers per day.

The Highways Department will close danger-prone sections on a main highway to the North to promote road safety while people are flocking to northern trains for their Songkran holiday.

The Highways Department’s branch in Chai Nat province stated that on April 11-17 four U-turns on Highway 32, also known as Asian Highway, would be closed and motorists would have to do U-turns under bridges instead for safety.

The U-turns to be temporarily closed are at Wat Samor, Wat Maprang, Kaew Sawang rice mill and Bang Ta Lai U-turns.

Huge crowds of Cambodian workers queued up at the Ban Khlong Luek border checkpoint in Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo province to cross the border to Poipet city of Cambodia.

Regarding train services, all seats on express trains, air-conditioned trains and sleeper trains were fully reserved in Phichit province during the Songkran festival. There are about 10 trains of these categories operating daily. More tickets are still available but buyers will have to stand on the trains.

Three morning trains from Den Chai to Sila At and from Phitsanulok to Bangkok were packed.

Meanwhile, the Digital Startup Institute recommended people use the “Police i lert u” software application to report clues for crime cases and criminal incidents to police during the Songkran festival. The application also provides users with live chat services with police.

Source: TNA