Above: Holiday festivities at Central World Plaza
Crush - December 31, 2010
Crowds in Thailand have a tightness that is unusual to foreigners used to more personal space. In normal circumstances, even as crowds become tighter and tighter, Thais move along patiently.
In recent years there have been several public events, such as the Songkran celebrations in April and, in particular, the New Year's Eve celebrations at Rajaprasong, that have grown enormously. Unfortunately, police crowd control is still rudimentary and largely confined to confining people into move along pen-like alleyways rather than facilitating movement and flow.
As crowd numbers grow, the risk of stampedes and crushes is growing at public holiday events. Visitors should avoid such areas and realize present crowd control measures consist of corralling people into lengthy one-way avenues without easy exits.