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Mass exodus out of capital to celebrate Songkran beginsMass exodus out of capital to celebrate Songkran beginsMass exodus out of capital to celebrate Songkran beginsMass exodus out of capital to celebrate Songkran begins
As foreign tourists keep flying into Thailand to join local people celebrating the Thai New Year at various famous tourist destinations, people living in Bangkok also begin leaving the capital both on land and in the air to celebrate Songkran at their home provinces.
All bus terminals whether they be Morchit 2 northern bus terminal and the southern bus terminal, Bangkok’s Hua Lampong railway station, as well as Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports were reported to be crowded with passengers.
Transport Company has increased buses to cope with the mass exodus saying it will be able to transport over 100,000 passengers a day.
By noon today, the Morchit 2 northern bus terminal was packed with passengers waiting to board buses homes.
Meanwhile scrupulous motorcycle taxis also took advantage of the traffic jams to overcharge passengers to the bus terminal to catch their buses or not to miss their buses.
A normal ride from the old Morchit 1 to the Morchit 2 is 50 baht. But today passengers complained they were charged between 200-300 baht.
Many passengers agreed to pay for the charge as they didn’t want to miss their buses while some also had no other choice as no other vehicle can avoid traffic jams to the bus terminal better than motorcycles.
They urged Bang Sue station police to monitor and punish these opportunists drastically as most people travelling on bus are mostly low-income earners or factory workers.
It was expected to be even packed this evening after office hours when factory workers coming to join.
Bangkok’s two airports were also seen to be congested with inbound and outbound passenger traffic.
A large number of Thais chose this year’s long Songkran holidays to travel abroad.
Airports of Thailand expects 80,000 passengers a day during Songkran festival or 970,000 passengers from 6,700 flights or 615 flights daily during the period at Don Mueang airport, an increase of 47.16% if compared with flights last Songkran festival.
Airport officials advise passengers to arrive at the airports three hours before departure to avoid traffic jams during the festival as hundreds of thousands are to leave the capital tonight and traffic snarls are expected on roads on the two airports.
Meanwhile major highways to the North, Northeast and South from Bangkok were congested and traffic jams of several kilometres were reported on various locations.
The Eastern and the Western ring roads reported heavy traffic jams now at various tollgates.
On the Friendship Highway, traffic snarling was reported at steep hill ascents near Muaek Lek of Sraburi and near Lamtakong dam although highway police have arranged reversible lanes for outbound traffic.
Asian highway to the North was also seen increasing traffic by noon today and highway police advise motorists to check traffic condition before starting the drive.
Highway police commander Pol Maj Gen Somchai Kaosamran expected heaviest traffic late this evening on Friendship highway and April 11.
He advised two shortcut and detour routes to the Northeast by taking the Lopburi-Chaiyaphum-Khon Kaen, and Nakhon Ratchasima-Buriram-Maha Sarakham to avoid traffic jams.
Police have also set up several service points to give advice and allow motorists to relax if they feel tired or sleepy.