Phuket becomes waterworld
As well as the usual water battles, Patong Municipality and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) jointly host Songkran on the Beach 2012, with parades and shows happening at Loma Public Park and Jungceylon Shopping Mall all day long on Thursday and Friday (April 12-13).
The three day festival begins on Friday.
Religious ceremonies take place at temples in Phuket Town, including the water blessing of Buddha statues, with monks leading chants at the Buddha Mongkol Nimit Temple on Dibuk Rd.
Bangornrat Shinaprayoon, director of the Phuket Office of the TAT, said entertaining activities are planned on Soi Rommanee and Thalang Rd including parades, an “ice street” and food stalls.
From Wednesday to Friday (April 11-13), Sarasin Bridge is the focus of joint celebrations for residents of both Phuket and Phang Nga provinces, including boat-racing and other sports and games.
“The bomb blasts in Haad Yai, Songkla and Yala provinces last month may reduce the number of tourist groups coming, especially Malaysians,” Ms Bangornrat said. “But I believe that the news will not affect other tourist groups in Phuket because we are far from Haad Yai.”
During Songkran, hotels are expecting an occupancy rate of some 70 per cent, with B500 million in tourism revenue expected to be earned during the festival in Phuket, she said.
“While the main tourists at this time are mostly Asians, including Thais, Koreans and Chinese, there may be more Australians and Europeans visiting over their Easter holidays,” Ms Bangornrat said.