It’s been a sad day for the Thai people. Following the announcement of the death of King Bhumibol Thursday evening, Thais are mourning the tragic loss of their much revered monarch. Having reigned for 70 years, for most Thai people King Bhumibol is the only monarch they can remember in their lives and his death marks the end of an era.
Shortly after the televised announcement of the beloved monarch’s death at 7 p.m. an official one-year mourning period was announced by prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. While the general public has been urged to decide on an appropriate duration of mourning, Prayuth also ordered all sectors of society to “refrain from holding entertainment activities for one month.”
But what does this mean in practice, and how will this entertainment ban affect tourism in Thailand, nightlife and the entertainment industry?
To come straight to the point: The situation isn’t really as bad as it may appear on the face of it and there is no reason to cancel your vacation. In Pattaya, most bars are open as usual, just with toned down activities, no loud music or parties.
Here are all the details you should know. (This post has been frequently updated since it was first published.)
The Thai government lottery is the only kind of “gambling” legally allowed in Thailand and taken very seriously by the Thai people.
Lottery tickets are pre-printed in Thailand so you don’t really get to pick your own numbers as in lottery systems in the West. Instead, you select your preferred six-digit “lucky number” from an assortment at a sales booth or a hawker’s tray of pre-printed tickets (see image above). They’re sold by legions of street vendors nationwide in the days before the next draw.
The official ticket price is 80 Baht but agents usually sell them at around 100 Baht.
The winning numbers (and there are dozens) are drawn live on national television twice a month, usually on the 1st and on the 16th. Only when a national holiday falls on these dates the lottery draw is carried out a day later.
For the wannabe-Baht-millionaires among our readers who are as passionate about the Thai lottery as the Thais themselves, here are the latest Thai lottery results and all lucky numbers. Feel free to bookmark this page to make sure you never miss the latest draw!
The important Buddhist holy day of Wan Ork Pansaa this year falls on Sunday, October 16.
Wan Ork Pansaa, also known as the end of Buddhist Lent, is a national holiday, and many businesses will be closed for one day.
As mandatory on the four most important Buddha days, alcohol sales will be banned nationwide and most bars and entertainment venues closed around Pattaya. As it appears, the booze ban applies from midnight to midnight.
Wan Ork Pansaa marks the end of this year’s Buddhist Lent and and the monks’ annual “rains retreat”, during which they are restricted to their temples for a period of three lunar months. The important Buddhist holiday also marks the “official” end of the rainy season, and devout Buddhists will turn out in the thousands at local temples to make merit (tham bun) and take part in religious ceremonies.
As on the three other main Buddha holidays (and stipulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act of 2008), alcohol sales are prohibited by law and most bars in Pattaya will be closed for the day (that is from midnight to midnight).
While hotels are exempted from the ban, restaurants, department stores and supermarkets (including 7-Eleven convenience stores) will not be allowed to sell alcohol either.
Anyone violating the law can be fined up to 10,000 Baht and/or receive a prison sentence of up to six months. Bar owners also face the risk of having their venues shut down temporarily if they should be found to ignore the order.