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Weekend Trip to Samui after the Floods

Weekend Trip to Samui after the Floods

Last week, Samui and much of Southern Thailand faced some devastating floods due to the northeast monsoon. On Samui they had continuous rain for nearly a week which made it difficult for the water to drain away. Some people say it was the worst floods they’ve had in 30 years. Once the floods had finally gone down, I flew to Samui to give morale support to the local people. This should have been their high season. I spoke to some tourists who come here in January every year and they said that it has never rained so much before. The worst seems over but some isolated thunderstorms have been forecasted for the next three days. This time they are more prepared with water pumps on standby. Hopefully this time it won’t be continuous rain and not so widespread. The following photos were tweeted live during my two-day visit to the island.

Thailand Travel Writer Richard Barrow

Thailand Travel Writer Richard Barrow

I have been exploring Thailand for over twenty years now. At first I was just doing it for pleasure, but in 1997 I became one of Thailand’s first travel bloggers. It is now a fulltime job for me. The following is a list to my recent trips and also blogs and social media accounts.

  1. RichardBarrow.com – news & events of interest to expats and repeat tourists
  2. ThaiTravelBlogs.com – news & events for tourists
  3. ThaiFestivalBlogs.com – all the latest big events & festivals
  4. MyThailandPhotos.com – explore Thailand 10 photos at a time
  5. ThailandFromAbove.com – my drone photos from around Thailand
  6. ThaiPhotoBlogs.com
  7. BangkokScams.com
  8. ThaiBuddhist.com
  9. ThaiPrisonLife.com
  10. Bangkok4Free.com
  11. Bangkok-Daytrips.com
  12. MyThaiPhotos.com
  13. 2PriceThailand.com

MORE on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK

Links to my Overnight and Day Trip Posts:

2016:

2015:

2014:

2013:

@RichardBarrow

Air Show at Don Mueang Airport on 14 January 2017

Air Show at Don Mueang Airport on 14 January 2017

The annual air show on Children’s Day will be taking place this year on Saturday 14th January. The venue is Don Mueang airport in Bangkok. I don’t have too many details yet, but usually you can park at the airport and then take a free shuttle bus to the runway. Entry is free. I will update with more details here as and when I receive it. In the meantime, this is the schedule for the show:

08.15-09.05 F 16, AU-23 (Peacemaker), Gripen
10.00-10.20 L 39
11.20-13.30 PC 9, CT 4, AU-23 (Peacemaker), Gripen, F 5
14.30-14.50 UH-1H (Huey)

Vans the most dangerous public passenger vehicles in Thailand in 2016

Vans the most dangerous public passenger vehicles in Thailand in 2016

If you have ever taken a passenger van in Thailand, then it probably comes as no surprise that they have been declared the most dangerous form of public transportation during 2016. Speaking from my own experience, the drivers are often maniacs. They drive too fast, tailgate and overtake on blind bends and on the brow of hills. They always seem to be in a rush. In addition, many of the vans are overcrowded which means that even if the seatbelts are working, there isn’t enough for everyone. The recent crash in Chonburi has highlighted the dangers yet again. I am not sure if anything will be done, but there is talk that they will phase out passenger vans in favour of buses for any long distance journeys.

Here is the Top 3 of the most dangerous forms of public transport for January to November 2016:

  1. Passenger vans: 103 dead and 1,102 injured in 215
  2. Tour buses: 56 dead and 1,252 injured in 141 accidents
  3. Taxis: 7 dead and 84 injured in 77 accidents

The infographic above shows the number of accidents and fatalities for passenger vans over the last six years:

2011: 62 deaths and 136 injuries in 42 accidents
2012: 50 deaths and 300 injuries in 50 accidents
2013: 35 deaths and 218 injuries in 55 accidents
2014: 36 deaths and 231 injuries in 133 accidents
2015: 104 deaths and 847 injuries in 98 injuries
2016: 103 deaths and 1,102 injuries in 215 accidents

Source: ThaiPBS

Full Road Accident Statistics for New Year 2016-2017 in Thailand

Full Road Accident Statistics for New Year 2016-2017 in Thailand

It is now that time of year when the Thai government publicize the daily accident reports from around Thailand. This year, the “Seven Dangerous Days of the New Year” is from 29th December 2016 to 4th January 2017. During the new year holiday last year, 380 people were killed in road accidents. The three year average is 52 deaths and 474 injuries every day during the new year holiday. The leading causes of accidents every year is drunk driving and speeding. Most accidents involve motorcycles. It is difficult to get statistics for the whole year, but I am told that this year so far (up to 29th December), there have been 9,517 deaths in Thailand due to road accidents. This month alone there were 749 deaths. These stats only include deaths at scene, so the numbers are surely higher.

>> Please bookmark this page as it will be updated daily with the full statistics <<

7 Dangerous Days on Thailand’s Roads 2016-2017: xxx deaths (380 last year)
Day 1:
 42 deaths (39 last year)
Day 2:
71 deaths (65 last year)
Day 3:
86 deaths (74 last year) * 1 died from accident day before
Day 4: 
81 deaths (75 last year)
Day 5:
 87 deaths (39 last year) * 12 died from accidents on earlier days
Day 6:
59 deaths (48 last year) * 7 died from accidents on earlier days
Day 7:
52 deaths (40 last year) * 15 died from accidents on earlier days

* Please note, all deaths are recorded regardless of whether it happened at the scene of the accident or not. If someone died a few days later in hospital, they are added to the tally, as long as it is within the so-called “7 dangerous days”.

29th December 2016 to 4th January 2017:
478 dead (380 last year)
4,128 injured (3,505 last year)
3,919 accidents (3,379 last year)

Thursday 29th December 2016: On the first day, 42 people were killed and 565 injured in 524 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (29.77%) and speeding (29.77%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (83.09%). The most dangerous province for accidents was Chiang Mai. Province with the highest number of deaths was Pathum Thani (4 deaths).

Friday 30th December 2016:  On the second day, 71 people were killed and 734 injured in 680 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (33.8%) and speeding (32.50%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (81.66%) and pick-up trucks (7.74%). The most dangerous provinces for accidents were Udon Thani, followed by Chiang Mai & Buriram. Provinces with the highest number of deaths were Udon Thani (7 deaths), followed by Ayutthaya (5 deaths) and Roi Et (5 deaths).

Saturday 31st December 2016: On the third day, 86 people were killed and 800 injured in 757 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (43.86%) and speeding (33.29%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (80.84%). The most dangerous province for accidents was Chiang Mai (33 accidents). Provinces with the highest number of deaths were Udon Thani and Surat Thani (5 deaths each).

Sunday 1st January 2017: On the fourth day, 81 people were killed and 778 injured in 751 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (48.87%) and speeding (29.29%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (82.94%) and pick-up trucks (8.59%). The most dangerous provinces for accidents were Chiang Rai (33 accidents) & Suphanburi (27 accidents). Provinces with the highest number of deaths were Sakon Nakhon (7 deaths) followed by Kalasin and Nakhon Pathom (6 deaths each).

Monday 2nd January 2017: On the fifth day, 87 people were killed and 465 injured in 445 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were drunk driving (37.53%) and speeding (33.03%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (84.06%). The most dangerous province for accidents was Udon Thani (25 accidents). Province with the highest number of deaths was Chonburi (25 deaths).

Tuesday 3rd January 2017: On the sixth day, 59 people were killed and 419 injured in 422 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were speeding (27.73%) and drunk driving (26.30%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (79.17%). The most dangerous province for accidents was Nakhon Ratchasima (20 accidents). Province with the highest number of deaths was Chachoengsao (6 deaths).

Wednesday 4th January 2017: On the seventh day, 52 people were killed and 367 injured in 340 road accidents. Causes of most accidents were speeding (33.53%) and drunk driving (21.76%). Most accidents involved motorcycles (80.23%). The most dangerous province for accidents was Suphanburi (13 accidents). Province with the highest number of deaths was Roi Et (5 deaths).

New Year Statistics for Past Years:

New Year 2010: 347 deaths, 3,827 injuries and 3,534 accidents
New Year 2011: 358 deaths, 3,750 injuries and 3,497 accidents
New Year 2012: 336 deaths, 3,375 injuries and 3,093 accidents
New Year 2013: 367 deaths, 3,329 injuries and 3,176 accidents
New Year 2014: 341 deaths, 3,117 injuries and 2,997 accidents
New Year 2015: 380 deaths, 3,505 injuries and 3,379 accidents

It should be noted that these statistics are not 100% accurate as some accidents do go unreported. However, in these days of social media reporting, which includes local media, it is more difficult to hide any reports of deaths. There was once a case a few years back when local media in Phuket disputed the numbers. They had reported the death of a migrant worker but it wasn’t reported in official statistics. Hopefully this year will be more accurate.

1.38 Million cars left Bangkok at the start of the new year holiday

1.38 Million cars left Bangkok at the start of the new year holiday

The best time of year to drive around Bangkok is during any long weekends. The longer the better like what we are having at the moment. According to the statistics that were released today, a total of 1,381,470 cars left Bangkok on the main highways during the last three days. This explains why Bangkok’s road are so quiet this weekend.

Most cars left Bangkok on the Outer Ring Road (40.77%), followed by Motorway (33.65%) and Burapha Withi Expressway (25.58%). Interestingly, the latter highway, which goes towards Chonburi and Pattaya, actually saw a drop of 14.12% in cars compared to a normal day.

Outbound Traffic between 29th-31st December 2016
Cars: 1,381,470 (460,490 per day compared to 392,295 on an average day) +17.38%
Trucks: 66,274 (22,091 per day compared to 43,914 on an average day) -49.69%

Motorway Highway 7
Cars: 456,555 (152,185 per day compared to 128,672 on an average day) +18.27%
Trucks:  (10,189 per day compared to 18,348 on an average day) -44.47%

Motorway Highway 9
Cars: 566,964 (188,988 per day compared to 124,688 on an average day) +51.57%
Trucks:  (7,755 per day compared to 18,910 on an average day) -58.99%

Burapha Withi Expressway
Cars: 357,951 (119,317 per day compared to 138,935 on an average day) -14.12%
Trucks:  (4,147 per day compared to 6,656 on an average day) -37.70%

Electric Trains in Bangkok Free over the New Year

Electric Trains in Bangkok Free over the New Year


If you are planning on celebrating the New Year in Bangkok, then there is some good news. The BTS Skytrain, the MRT Subway and the Airport Rail Link are all extending their operating hours until 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. In addition, all three services will be FREE from mid-day on Saturday to mid-day on Sunday. What a great New Year’s present. 

Day 4 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

Day 4 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

These are the photos that I tweeted live on the fourth and last day of my trip to Northeastern Thailand. I was visiting Yasothon for their annual Christmas Star Parade. Click here for Day 1Day 2, and Day 3. Also visit Thailand Photo Map for GPS coordinates of all the places that I visited. The last day was mainly traveling back home. But we did visit the national museum in Ubon and had lunch at a popular Vietnamese restaurant. The following photos were tweeted live on Twitter.