Thousands of tourists and locals flooded the street around Silom to celebrate the tradition of throwing water at each others to celebrate the Thai new year.

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The Bangkok governor has cancelled all Songkran activities hosted by city hall after the government declared a state of emergency yesterday.

ML Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the emergency decree would disrupt activities and spoil the atmosphere of the water festival, so he decided to scrap the ceremonies.

City hall had scheduled a range of activities across the city from April 11 to 15 to celebrate the festival.

Songkran celebrations at Khao San road – one of the most popular activities hosted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration – were also cancelled as the political turmoil worsened.

But many tourists shrugged off the state of emergency declaration and embraced the water-splashing activities with gusto.

Dozens of revellers flocked to have their picture taken in front of a tank positioned at Khao San road after the emergency decree was declared.

Restaurant and tourism operators in the Khao San area said crowds were down 30% on last year’s festival.

Thanathorn Madeesuthikul, a restaurant owner, blamed the shrinking tourist numbers and his falling revenue on the political turmoil. He urged the government to “quickly end the red shirt rally”.

Tour agency manager Sirisak Surarattanawattana said 80% of Taiwanese tourists had cancelled their bookings since Saturday, when the red shirt protesters stormed the Asean summit venue in Pattaya.

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