Khao Shan Road, Bangkok
Saongkran Festival can be witnessed at its best at Khaosan Road, startong from 12th April till 15th but can cuase great damage to your eyes so Be careful and wear Googles or Sun Glasses while out there having fun and stay safe.
Report Published on 4th April 2009- Bangkok Post
Revellers run the risk of serious eye damage, including blindness, from the majority of high-pressure toy water guns sold during the Songkran festival, according to a Royal College of Paediatricians survey.
Most water pistols could damage eyes if fired at close range. Young children are most vulnerable to injury and blindness, said paediatrician and head of Mahidol University's Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Centre, Adisak Phalitphonkarnpim.
Bangkok hospitals have reported several cases of blindness resulting from people being shot in the eyes with powerful water guns, he said.
The college's research found that 14 out of the 17 water guns tested could tear an aluminium foil sheet when fired at a distance of 50cm.
Eight out of 14 could tear the foil from 100cm. Around one in eight could pierce the aluminium sheet from as far away as 150cm.
Aluminium foil, similar to human eyes, can resist pressure equivalent to a 30-gramme object falling from a height of 50cm.
The study was based on Australian toy water gun safety standards.
Dr. Adisak said the study showed legally sold water guns were potentially more harmful than banned squirters made from PVC pipe.
The report will be submitted on Tuesday to the Thai Industrial Standard Institute panel overseeing the safety standards of toys, to review its ban on PVC-pipe water guns.
The ban was first imposed in 2003, following complaints about the potential dangers they posed when fired directly at people and moving motorcycles.
Many traders said that the ban hurt their sales.
While walking along Khao San road you may see a couple of guys (I think they work in tandem) who purport to be fortune tellers/psychics. They'll be wearing headdresses/turbans, and may introduce themselves as swamis or yogis. AVOID THESE MEN! They'll separate you from the crowds and try to intimidate you into giving them money.
I was approached by one of these "yogis", and although I have no belief in psychic phenomenon, really, I thought it might be good for a lark. BOY was I wrong. The first warning bell went off when he started to lead me away from the busy road--and when I balked, he encouraged me by saying we were going to a quiet restaurant. This wasn't true, as we sat on the uncomforable steps outside of the restaurant.
Then he did a VERY weak slight-of-hand "psychic" trick that I saw through pretty easily. He also kept trying to make me promise to give him rather large amounts of money--wanting to walk me to an ATM!!! Needless to say, I told him, as quickly and semi-politely as I could, that I wasn't fooled and had no intention of giving him cash. Then I scampered back to the relative safety of Khao San.
While I feel rather dumb for getting myself into this situation, for just a goofy little adventure, I was glad that I got away from him before he tried to get any of my money. And while there was no physical threat, it was sort of frightening to be pulled away from the crowds. Just avoid these guys altogether.
There is a souvenir shop near The NaNa and Kodak Shop (oppsoite Classic Inn). My friends and I asked for the price of a small statue (smaller than a thumb), the shop assitant said 250B; due to the unacceptable price, we politely refused the offer and walked away. Suddenly, we are blocked by 4 guys in front of the shop . One of them pulled my arm and said your friend must buy the statue because he had asked the price . We told him that the price is over our budget and we leave the shop immediately, the guy chased out from the shop yelled "FXXX you, I kill you". Fortunenally, a police passed by and the guy ran away. The local people told us that we should leave immediately because the shop is owned by ganster.
For your information, one of my friend stayed at Khao Shan Road last month also faced similar inccident, they tried their very 'best' to forced you to buy their thing. So, please be aware.
This would not be a complete page if I did not mention something about the crime and safety issues of Bangkok. Even I felt at times that the local people were yelling at me, and things seemed weird. But, over time, I learned that, for the most part, this is just the way the street hawkers and tour people talk. Its kind of like Greeks and Italians arm / hand movements; its just the way they talk. I can completely see how someone might interpret this incorrectly. I did at the beginning, and I have as thick a skin about that stuff as anyone. So, basically, don't think that they are about to attack you when the yell at you. They are just trying to get you to understand them.
Also, the Khao San Rd area at night attracts all of the low-level scum of the city, so just be aware of your surroundings and don't walk down dark alleys alone, etc. Just be smart!