While the traditional Thai new year festivities have come to an end in most parts of the kingdom, Pattaya is only now gearing up for the big Songkran finale taking place along Pattaya Beach Road and its side-streets on Sunday, April 19, Pattaya city’s designated “wan lai” or main Songkran day.
While Beach Road will be closed for traffic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. as usual and several checkpoints will be set up around Pattaya to prevent drunk driving, especially on Soi Buakao and Sukhumvit Road, the Pattaya Mail reports that “nearly 700 police, city officials, military and volunteers” will patrol the area around Pattaya Beach Road to “crack down” not only only the use of high-powered plastic pipes to shoot water, but also to ensure that the water-splashing mayhem adheres strictly to “Thai cultural tradition”.
Khaosod English quotes police in Pattaya as saying on Wednesday they would
not tolerate uses of plastic pipes as waterguns this year, as the pipes, known among Thais as PVC, may cause harm to other individuals (…) tourists who carry PVCs will be asked to exchange them with harmless plastic bowls issued by the police.
the ruling military junta of Thailand has also instructed Thai people to celebrate Songkran in “traditional” and appropriate ways. Prohibited actions include dressing in skimpy dresses, consuming alcohol at festival sites, and applying wet powder paste on strangers’ faces.
In line with the junta’s order, the consumption and sales of alcoholic beverages will therefore, at least on paper, be prohibited along the public festival site on Pattaya Beach Road. The Pattaya Mail adds that
city officials told revelers to dress appropriately and not provocatively. The military is also frowning on “indecent gestures” including “dancing that considered inappropriate to Thai culture.”
As usual, you may expect the guidelines laid out by authorities to be largely ignored by revelers as well as the police.