After two years of having their Songkran fun snuffed out, young Thais, joined by growing numbers of foreign tourists, are ignoring bans on water splashing, taking to the streets of Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai for some water=gun fun.
The public has had enough with the overly cautious uncles spewing flimsy, at best, claims that engaging in water fights, outside, in wide-open spaces will lead to mass coronavirus cases. And even if someone manages to catch Covid-19, it most likely will be a mild or asymptomatic case.
Police, on orders from the ex-generals in the central government who couldn’t run a bath, let alone a pandemic, have tried to spoil the fun, tipping over water tanks or tuning off pipes, but, as the masses that assembled on Khao San Road in Bangkok showed Wednesday night, people will denied Songkran no longer.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration technically banned widespread water splashing for the third straight year and Phra Nakhon District officers told every Khao San Road business not to allow tourists to splash water and to remove all ice buckets, threatening 100,000-baht fines.
The Songkran revelers didn’t care. By nightfall, young Thais and tourists stripped off their masks and filled up their guns without interference. Phra Nakhon retreated by simply telling businesses to close by midnight and for everyone to go home.
Party-pooper police in Phuket ordered all businesses, including pubs and bars, on Bangla Road in Phuket hammered businesses to prohibit water and powder and even tipped water tanks they found. Their efforts lasted only until the sun set.
In Chiang Mai, Muang District police turned off a water main that locals and tourists had commandeered near the Tha Pae Gate. Officers had the Provincial Waterworks Authority turn off the spigot and told the maskless revelers to leave. Some simply ignored the cops and carried on.