Couples married on the backs of elephants and exchanged bouquets of roses and money on Valentine’s Day in Pattaya.
Nine pairs of lovers became legal couples while riding elephants on Feb. 14 at Nong Nooch Tropical Garden. Sattahip District Chief Chatchai Sriphoon and park General Manager Pattanan Kantisukkapan did the formalities as the brides and grooms completed their marriage vows.
The wedding celebration also included more than 40 other couples who registered their marriages and enjoyed a ‘Khon’ mask parade at Nong Nooch’s Sky Garden.
Those not ready to exchange rings gave roses and cash to each other.
Tanwalai Paplapol, owner of the popular Pho Thong flower shop in Naklua, said this year saw a large number of bouquets of bank notes mixed in with roses. She reckoned that with high rose prices, people would rather give red bills than red roses that die within a few days.
Rose prices this year certainly were thorny, with a single Thailand-grown bud costing 100 baht. Imported roses cost even more.
Tanwalai said typical Valentine’s flower bouquets cost customers 500 baht, but the prices could grow to 6,000 baht when currency is mixed in.
Nonetheless, she said business was good, with customer buying out her 200,000 baht in stock of flowers, dolls and other gifts.