Pattaya Beach was packed as Thais and expats thronged to the city for the annual fireworks spectacular.
Social distancing went up in smoke for the Pattaya Fireworks Festival, with people pressing shoulder to shoulder along the shoreline despite repeated claims by organizers that this year’s pyrotechnics show would be conducted under “new normal” guidelines. Mask use was prevalent, however, but nowhere near universal.
It’s estimated the festival attracted about 100,000 domestic tourists to the city, with people watching from the beach, hotel sky bars and rooftops.
Chonburi Deputy Gov. Wiwat Mahapolsirikul opened the festival Nov. 27 with Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome following with comments of his own.
Traffic throughout Pattaya was nightmarish, exacerbated by city officials’ decisions to close roads. Long lines stretched outside designated parking areas with shuttles to take viewers to the beach from far-out carparks at shopping malls.
Unlike past years, this year’s show featured only Thai exhibitors, as foreign companies were locked out by border controls. As such, the light show and music tilted very Thai this year, catered to a crowd that had relatively few foreign faces.