Thailand’s Songkran Water Festival Revives Traditional Celebrations and Attracts Chinese Tourists
After several years of dry celebrations, Thailand’s Songkran festival has made a full comeback with traditional activities, including the popular water fights enjoyed by tourists worldwide. From Thursday to Saturday (April 13-15), locals and visitors flooded the streets with water guns and buckets, soaking everyone in their path.
The famous shopping district of Siam Square in Bangkok was packed with people on the first day of Songkran, including many Chinese tourists. The festive atmosphere had visitors immersing themselves in the celebration by chasing and frolicking around in the crowds.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), there has been a significant increase in Chinese tourists, with 269,745 visitors in March alone, representing a 70% increase from February, and over 8,000 daily arrivals in the first four days of April.
Tourists enjoyed the festival’s water fights as a way to cool down from the scorching Thai summer heat. Silom Road, near Siam Square, was reportedly packed with people, and the cheers and screams could be heard from hundreds of meters away.
The growing demand from the Chinese market has led the TAT to revamp its target for Chinese tourist arrivals from 5 million to 9 million for this year. As part of the Songkran festival, the authority arranged a special caravan tour for Chinese tourists. 1,200 Chinese tourists drove 400 caravans from the north into Thailand to participate in the festival celebrations, according to TAT Deputy Governor Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya.