Lovers paint Pattaya red on Valentine’s Day

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Weddings, dance moves and elephants highlighted a day of romance as the Pattaya area celebrated Valentine’s Day.

Despite being a Western import, Feb. 14 is always a big day in Pattaya and the city prepped for it early, turning Sukhumvit Road into a Valentine’s card, setting up a photo booth on Pattaya Beach for couples to take romantic snapshots, and placing decorative hearts and flowers around the city. Department stores and bars also got into the spirit, preparing promotions and decorations.

Yet despite the hype, Pattaya vendors said Cupid was less conspicuous than normal this year, with more tourists hanging out on the beach rather than buying roses.

Flower vendors at South Pattaya’s Chaimongkol Market speculated their slower sales were due to a sluggish economy. But it also could have been the fact that roses they said they normally sold at 8-15 baht each were being hawked for 15-30 baht apiece.

Flower vendors at South Pattaya’s Chaimongkol Market speculated their slower sales were due to a sluggish economy.Flower vendors at South Pattaya’s Chaimongkol Market speculated their slower sales were due to a sluggish economy.

Vendor Nattawan Jankong said more teenagers than tourists were buying her locally grown roses this year.

The market may have been slow, but the beach was busy, with chair and umbrella vendors reporting big crowds of foreigners. The big crowds also were on the streets, with terrible traffic reported throughout the city.

Wedding bells

Road congestion didn’t stop 144 couples from making their way to the Banglamung District Office, which opened on a Saturday to take marriage registrations.

After living together for 3 years, this couple decided Valentine’s Day would be a good time to register their marriage at the Banglamung District Office.After living together for 3 years, this couple decided Valentine’s Day would be a good time to register their marriage at the Banglamung District Office.

Registrar Amporn Deebua said some of those who got their licenses are newlyweds while others have lived together for many years and even had children together. There were some foreign couples as well.

Banglamung District Chief Chakorn Kanjawattana appeared at Central Festival Pattaya Beach on Valentine’s Day where mall General Manager Theeraporn Jitnawa brought nine lovebirds looking to get marriages registered.

One of the 9 couples who registered their marriage at Central Festival Pattaya Beach.One of the 9 couples who registered their marriage at Central Festival Pattaya Beach.

At Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, 79 couples rode their way into matrimony on the back of elephants.

Chonburi Sheriff Parinya Pothisat and park Managing Director Kampol Tansajja officiated at the “lucky” 9:09 a.m. ceremony. Couples sat atop the giant beasts surrounded by 20 heart-shaped floral decorations.

Afterward, the newlyweds were invited to visit the park, watch shows and enjoy dinner at the Nong Nooch restaurant.

At Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, 79 couples rode their way into matrimony on the back of elephants.At Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, 79 couples rode their way into matrimony on the back of elephants.

Dance moves

Not everyone was tying the knot on Valentine’s Day. At the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, 10 couples began an attempt to break the world record for the world’s longest dance marathon.

Couples salsa the night away at the Red & White Valentines Party hosted by Holiday Inn’s Havana Bar.Couples salsa the night away at the Red & White Valentines Party hosted by Holiday Inn’s Havana Bar.

Nine of the 10 couples who began at 6 a.m. Feb. 13 were still standing when the record was set at 35 hours and one second. They split a 300,000 baht prize purse and participated in a lucky draw for two diamond rings, hotel vouchers, restaurant vouchers and more.

The rules allowed three different dance steps – the cha-cha, rumba and waltz. Participants had to dance together continuously without changing partners and dancing correctly to the beat with their feet active at all times. Five-minute breaks were provided for participants every hour for “personal business” and changes of music were announced before the song ended.

Nine of the 10 couples who took part in the Ripley’s dance marathon were still standing when the record was set at 35 hours and one second.Nine of the 10 couples who took part in the Ripley’s dance marathon were still standing when the record was set at 35 hours and one second.

Non Vittayanuch and Chanasuk Aruyadej won two diamond rings from the World Gems Collection Co. and they said that it was exciting to be part of the marathon. They both said it was a challenge to dance for more than 35 hours, but love, compatibility and teamwork was the key to success. They also said that they would love to participate in similar, if not the same, activity in the future.

Not everyone was so active on Valentine’s Day, with many choosing to watch shows, rather than be the show.

Mimosa Pattaya celebrated the holiday with its 2nd Anniversary show, the “Different Bodies, Same Heart”. And the Hilton Pattaya provided three places for couples to dine with a romantic sea view. The Differ Pub on Feb. 13 invited couples to a concert by Boy Peacemaker.

Couples at the Royal Cliff celebrated Valentine’s Day with “A Royal Valentine” dinner set in a dreamlike setting filled with sweet-scented roses, whimsical ice carvings and the captivating serenades of Royal Cliff’s live band playing in the background.Couples at the Royal Cliff celebrated Valentine’s Day with “A Royal Valentine” dinner set in a dreamlike setting filled with sweet-scented roses, whimsical ice carvings and the captivating serenades of Royal Cliff’s live band playing in the background.

The Royal Cliff celebrated Valentine’s Day with a romantic night by the pool at their Royal Wing Suites & Spa. Finally, over 40 couples celebrate a Red & White Valentines Party at Holiday Inn’s Havana Bar, hosted by DJ Henry Knowles.

For many people, Valentine’s Day in Pattaya means a relaxing day at the beach.For many people, Valentine’s Day in Pattaya means a relaxing day at the beach.