Khao San spirits dampened

Khao San spirits dampened

Khao San Road is jam-packed with tourists and locals as Songkran festivities reach a peak. This year the celebration will be muted because of the drought. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Khao San Road is jam-packed with tourists and locals as Songkran festivities reach a peak. This year the celebration will be muted because of the drought. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Bangkok's Khao San Road, scene of some of the wildest Songkran festivities, will have its celebrations curtailed this year as the drought eats into water supplies around the country.

The wildly popular Songkran spot normally draws tens of thousands of water-throwing tourists and locals, but this year it faces one less day of celebration and restricted refilling outlets. It will also have decreased mains pressure.

Water authorities on Thursday said tap pressures will be reduced at all popular tourist spots for Songkran to conserve water supplies as the country's dams report critically low levels.

Piyabut Jiwaramonaikul, president of the Khao San Road business enterprise association, said there would be no water throwing on April 12, the first day of the festival. 

He said water splashing would only begin on April 13 for song nam phra, or the bathing ceremony for Buddha images. As well, many water distribution spots would not be available for Songkran revellers this year.

The organisers at other major Songkran venues are also adjusting activities because of the water shortage. Many are encouraging a return to the traditional way of celebrations which involves pouring a little water on the hands, making merit and paying respect to others. 

Supawadee Sitthikornpaiboon, chief of Bang Rak district office, which oversees Songkran activities on Silom Road, said there would be no water distribution areas during the festival this year.

The 80-metre "water tunnel" which revellers enjoyed last year would also not be provided, she said. 

Ms Supawadee said the district office would erect signs urging Thai and foreign revellers to celebrate Songkran by using less water.



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