The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.


Seven deadly Songkran days

Songkran 2016

Seven deadly Songkran days

Seven deadly Songkran days

 Seven deadly Songkran days photo blog focuses on two things, first the tragic loss of life and the thousands of people who are seriously injured. Sadly Thailand has the 2nd worst road toll in the world after war torn Libya, mainly due to poor driving skills and alcohol fueled accidents. Songkran however is the black spot of this terrible statistic.  My sadness and sympathy does not lie with the several hundred who lose their life, they are gone and know nothing any more, my sympathy is for the parents who have lost children and the thousands of Thai people seriously injured during these Seven deadly Songkran days.

Secondly, lots of photos showing the joy and happiness thousands of people get from this famous celebration.

I would like to give credit to the Bangkok Post for borrowing many of their photos for this blog, many thanks to this great newspaper.

The first four days

Seven deadly Songkran days


The fourth day of the Songkran festival’s “seven dangerous days’’ saw 259 people lose their lives in road accidents across the country, up almost 36% from 2015.

Most accidents involved motorcycles, with 78.8%, followed by pick-up trucks, 10.8%. (BKK Post)

The madness that is Songkran

Seven deadly Songkran days

 The Songkran celebration has many symbolic traditions. The mornings begin with merit-making, visiting local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks. On this specific occasion, pouring water on Buddha statues is considered an iconic ritual for this holiday. It represents purification and the washing away one’s sins and bad luck. Originally water was splashed gently on friends family & neighbours, today it has evolved into an all out water fight which certainly does not reassemble the original tradition.

Lets focus on happiness

Seven deadly Songkran days


The tragedy & sadness of the road carnage needs to be balanced by the joy and happiness most people in Thailand, consequently here is the sort of thing that makes me happy this time of the year. 🙂

A beautiful lady in traditional dress.

Seven deadly Songkran days


This is one of my favourite Songkran images, not sure who to credit.

Traditional Songkran

Seven deadly Songkran days

Gently pouring water on Buddha statues is considered to be an iconic ritual for this holiday. It represents purification and the washing away one’s sins and bad luck.

The other side of the coin

Seven deadly Songkran days


The two photos above demonstrate the both ends of the spectrum.

Have you ever seen a happier child?

Seven deadly Songkran days


Riding on his father’s shoulders he is having the time of his life.

More happy faces

Seven deadly Songkran days

Thanks once again to the Bangkok Post for another great photo.

Gunfight at the Bangkok Corral

Seven deadly Songkran days


Thousands of tourists flock to Thailand to participate in the greatest water fight in the world. Pamplona in Spain has the running of the bulls, Thailand has the running of the water cannons. 🙂

What did I do?

Seven deadly Songkran days

This guy seems to be denying any wrongdoing, could it be because he is not wearing a helmet? No, they rarely enforce that in Thailand, unless of course they see a Farang without one. 🙂

Here is one of my favourite Bangkok hotels in Sukhumvit Soi 11, use this link for a great rate.

Fabulous foam at Centraworld

Seven deadly Songkran days

A sea of white foam and everybody is having fun.

The very best of Songkran

Seven deadly Songkran days

I intended to focus on the danger on the roads during Songkran however images like the one above totally distract me.

Total determination

Seven deadly Songkran days

Concentrating totally on eliminating the enemy. 🙂 (Photo Bkk Post)

Beach Road Pattaya April 19.

Long range weapon

Seven deadly Songkran days

Many of these water cannons have a very long range.

Fifth day the terrible toll continues.

Seven deadly Songkran days


The number of people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol over the past seven is 81,541, including 50,271 motorcycle drivers and 31,270 drivers of cars and public vehicles.

How sweet she is.

Songkran Madness Thailand


After any bad news like the shocking road toll we need some good news, and here she is. 🙂

My name is Rambo

Seven deadly Songkran days

I have a licence to spill.

Songkran is “so in your face”

Seven deadly Songkran days

There is absolutely no escape from this “in your face” experience. 🙂

Day six and the news is still bad

Seven deadly Songkran days


The first six days of the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran saw 397 people lose their lives in road crashes across Thailand, a 29.74% jump from last year, with drink-driving remaining the major cause. (BKK Post)

Songkran madness in 2nd road Pattaya

What could possibly go wrong?

Seven deadly Songkran days

You are on a bike, you get hit by a stream of water, what could possibly go wrong?

The battle rages

Seven deadly Songkran days

I feel overall we have to properly balance the whole situation, fun versus death & suffering, in my book fun loses. I’m not advocating doing away with Songkran, however somehow the authorities have to do more to stop the road carnage.

Seven deadly Songkran days

Seven deadly Songkran days


Drink-driving remained the biggest single cause of road crashes, blamed for 34.09%, followed by speeding at 32.93%. Most crashes involved motorcycles (80.67%), followed by pick-up trucks (8.85%). (From Bangkok Post.)

Compare the last six years.

Seven deadly Songkran days


Four out of every five accidents involved motorcycles. So far a total of 442 people have been killed. It should also be noted that statistics taken inside Thailand only includes victims who died at the scene. Can you imagine how much worse the statistics would be if they also included people who died within 30 days?

80 lives lost every day

This link may answer some of the questions.

Thanks for visiting my Seven deadly Songkran days photo blog.

A-One hotel on Beach Road

Seven deadly Songkran days

For a great room rate at the A-One hotel opposite the beach just book through THIS LINK.

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Holiday Inn


Fabulous views, excellent restaurants & a very good room rate if you book through THIS LINK.

The building in the middle is the Holiday Inn, on the left is the Amari Hotel which is another very good five star hotel. Use THIS LINK to book for a very good room rate.

Sabai Wing North Pattaya


The best Pattaya budget hotel, 3 pools & opposite Central Marina shopping mall. For a great room rate just book through THIS LINK.

Sutus Court is a great budget hotel right i the heart of one of Pattaya’s main bar areas, just use THIS LINK for a terrific room rate. 420/100 Moo 9 Soi Buakhao.

Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

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 That’s all folks

1g Duck


Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets. I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington. Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for "long term relationships" so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand. What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :) I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit. Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. ???? Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia. Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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