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People Celebrate for Upcoming Songkran Festival in Thailand
   2016-04-12 13:00:44    Xinhua      Web Editor: Li Shaotong

A man sprays water on an elephant with a toy gun during the celebration of the upcoming Songkran festival in Ayutthaya province, Thailand, April 11, 2016. Songkran, also known as the water festival, is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year's day which will start on April 13. [Photo: Xinhua]       

An estimated 500,000 world visitors are joining the water splashing Songkran festival, beginning on Wednesday, at varied tourist spots throughout Thailand, Thai tourist official said.

According to Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand(TAT), some 500,000 visitors from China, Europe, Southeast Asia and elsewhere around the globe are coming to join the nationwide, annual festival which lasts for five days. The foreigners would mingle with Thais at selected venues to splash water onto each other under the scorching sun.

About 433 million U.S. dollars are expected to be spent in Thailand during the Songkran festival, and some 234 million dollars of the total are from the pockets of the foreign visitors, the TAT governor said.

The estimated number of foreign revelers during the current festival is 26 percent up over last year and their combined expenditure represents a 34 percent increase from last year, he said.

The foreign visitors are expected to stay an average of three days for the fun-filled festival.

Favorite Songkran venues include Khaosarn Road and Silom Road in the heart of the Thai capital, and Phuket, Koh Samui and Krabi in southern Thailand and Chiang Mai in the northern region.

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