For the second straight year, April 18 was desolate in Pattaya, a far cry from the rollicking wan lai water-splashing party that marked the end of nearly every other Songkran.
Thammarat Suthornpat, 42, a soya milk and ginger drinks seller, said he had been living in Naklua for almost 30 years and had seen mad wan lai days every year except in 2020. While he was hoping that this year the fun would return so he could sell his products like hot cakes as in the past, it was not to be. The government banned water-throwing and people were too scared of Covid-19 to try their luck.
Sakda Dapuang, 40, a motorcycle taxi driver, said another lost wan lai only exacerbated the gloom that has blanketed Pattaya for more than a year. Naklua Road used to be a water-war zone with motorbikes and trucks rolling up and down the street blasting pedestrians.
He said he’s not only sorry to have lost a traditionally fun day, but was mourning the loss of revenue he’d normally earn on the day.