Water vendors drown in Songkran profits

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Perhaps the happiest people in all of Pattaya during Songkran are the ones supplying the water.

The annual holiday again had water-truck operators’ cups running over, with some vendors selling out their 25,000-liter tankers six times a day.

Water broker Bunim Kallanee said he charges 100-600 baht, with some people hiring out the entire truck for 1,000-2,000 baht.

About 30 trucks wandered Pattaya’s soggy streets during the nine days of Songkran revelry, up from just 20 last year. But Bunim said the brokers have a mutual understanding and don’t poach each others’ customers.

Water broker Bunim Kallanee says demand for his water is way up during Songkran.Water broker Bunim Kallanee says demand for his water is way up during Songkran.

The water vendor also wasn’t shy in admitting he gouges customers this time of year, charging double the price seen during the rest of year. Some people, he said, balk at the higher prices and use whatever water they can find, but usually return when they realize how putrid the free sources are.

Of course, with millions of liters of water poured all over the street, Bunim might have a chance to jack up prices again once the drought hits.