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40,000 Pack into Bangkok’s Backpacker Hub for Epic Water Fight – But Will It Turn Deadly?

Songkran Festival Thrives with 40,000 Participants at Bangkok’s Backpacker Hub

The Songkran festival, celebrated in Bangkok’s popular Khao San Road, saw an estimated 40,000 Thai and foreign attendees engage in water fights on the first day. As the evening crowds grew, authorities closed off the street to additional visitors in order to manage congestion and ensure that celebrations remained safe.

Celebrating Songkran Post-COVID

Authorities anticipated the large turnout at Khao San as it marked the first Songkran festival since COVID-19 restrictions were eased. Local businesses predict that around 30,000 to 40,000 people, including both Thais and foreigners, will visit the area each day during the festivities.

Khao San Road spans just 400 meters in length, featuring a primary entry point and exit point, as well as several smaller alleyways branching off the main street. There have been heightened concerns around overcrowding at large public events following a tragic stampede in South Korea’s Itaewon district last year that resulted in 156 fatalities and 172 injured during a Halloween celebration.

Water Fight Fun and Celebration Safety Measures

To accommodate the ongoing water fights, Khao San Road has been closed to motor traffic from 12 pm to 8 pm through Saturday. Partygoers can still revel in the Songkran celebrations today and tomorrow.

Over 100 police officers and civil defense volunteers have been deployed to the venue this week to maintain security and public safety amid the bustling crowds. Seven screening checkpoints, three first aid stations, four ambulances, and three emergency exits have been established in the area.

Local Chana Songkhram police station officers will be on the lookout for weapons and illicit alcohol. High-pressure water guns, colored powder, and nudity have all been prohibited during this year’s Songkran festivities.

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