End of Songkran has Pattaya vendors singing low season blues

Friday, 02 May 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 18 By  Issaree Paipornrueang

With the last of the high-season tourists blowing out of Pattaya with the last drying powder of Songkran, the city is bracing for the quietest low season since the deadly Bangkok riots of 2011.

Jomtien and Dongtan beaches already were emptying out April 21. Even the return of older expats who fled the country during the Thai New Year couldn’t fill all the empty beach chairs.

Windsurfing vendor Uradee Tungkasamit said this post-Songkran season seems quieter than in recent memory.

Windsurfing vendor Uradee Tungkasamit said this post-Songkran season seems quieter than in recent memory.

“Maybe it’s because of the price of international plane tickets or because it is warmer this year upcountry. Or maybe Thailand is just too hot,” she said, noting all her business ends around noon.

Beach bench operator Sarawut Kamkhet said his low season began in March on Jomtien Beach.Beach bench operator Sarawut Kamkhet said his low season began in March on Jomtien Beach.

Beach chair vendor Sarawut Kamkhet said his low season began in March on Jomtien Beach.

“We all know Russia has been facing big problems and our country has had political unrest for a long time,” he said. “All the beach operators are stagnating. Songkran was unexpectedly slow. It should have been busy with the long holiday and school ending, but there were no customers. I’m very disappointed.”

Empty chairs signal a very slow season.Empty chairs signal a very slow season.

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