Cops only ones smiling as Pattaya heeds Songkran splash ban

Though no water fights were allowed, tourists still filled the streets of Pattaya. Hundreds of tourists went strolling through Walking Street which was partly lit up for the Songkran holidays.

Police are the only ones smiling that a nationwide ban on splashing water during Songkran is working in Pattaya.

On April 13, the streets of the city famous globally for hosting Thailand’s biggest and longest Songkran water fights were quiet and dry. While young Thais and tourists in Bangkok Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Phuket ignored police and engaged in traditional water fights, timid Pattaya locals didn’t test the police.

Instead of splashing water, those visiting the city splashed cash in bars and restaurants or lounged on the beach, just the way the government intended it.

The bums on Pattaya’s barstools were dry this year, and there were fewer of them.

Tourists crowd the Pattaya beach all throughout the day and into the night where they set up picnic tables or just sprawled out on straw mats.

Workers in beer bars along Pattaya Beach, which prior to the coronavirus pandemic, were ground zero for all-day water splashing during Songkran, were busy, but not full April 13 with drinkers, but not splashers.

With the water-play ban, there are fewer people than 2019 visiting her Soi 9 bar, bar staffer Aoh Payao said, but it was better than previous weeks.

Expats appreciate the dry weather, Aoh said, but the bar would have been busier had water wars not been outlawed.

Beach Road looked like the good ole days as thousands of cars got jammed on Beach Road.

Bars along Beach Road were busier than usual, though not as many tourists were in town as there were in previous years.