Connect with us


Thailand’s Songkran headache – Bangkok entertainment venues closed days before holiday

Tim Newton



In the day’s before Thailand’s biggest annual party begins there’s been fresh clusters breaking out in Bangkok and Chon Buri’s nightlife.

Already the BMA has closed nightlife venues in three popular districts “as a precautionary measure” for at least two weeks, as of last night. Officials will meet today to mull a blanket closing time for entertainment venues and restaurants across Bangkok as well as alcohol restrictions… not the sort of start the hospitality industry was hoping for with Songkran kicking off this weekend.

The Thai government had already taken the ‘song’ out of Songkran with a ban on water splashing, concerts and group gatherings, including foam parties. The inference is officials want a return to a more traditional Songkran, visits to temples and gentle pouring of water over elderly relatives and Buddha images. They certainly wanted to avoid group gatherings and super-spreader events.

The Thaiger’s full coverage of Thailand’s Covid-19 response HERE.

After last year’s cancellation of Songkran, the ban on Songkran parties certainly ‘poured cold water’ on the plans of millions of Thais celebrating their new year festivities. These new bans on entertainment venues in popular city party haunts is just another blow.

And whilst there have been new infections reported in Chon Buri, it hasn’t yet affected Pattaya and its entertainment cash-cow. But it may just be a matter of time before officials just put a blanket ban on Thailand’s nightlife until they get the latest outbreak under control.

Songkran means ‘travel’ as workers will flee the city for ‘up country’ homes to spend the extended Songkran holiday with family. The headache for officials is that the clusters in Bangkok and inner-city suburbs could easily spread into other provinces. Cancelling much of the Songkran ‘splashing’ won’t stop Thais from travelling home during the period – airlines are already heavily booked.

Yesterday, Dr Yong, the chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, warned about a third or even fourth wave of Covid that may emerge as a result of the government policy to encourage people to enjoy themselves and spend more during the upcoming Songkran festival.

“Be prepared to see the daily infection rates jump from tens to hundreds per day after the Songkran festival.”

The past week Thai media has been full of all the hoopla and announcements of the 3-part re-opening plans for the country, inviting tourists from around the world to flock back to Thailand. Now officials will be forced to keep a brave public face and continue with their re-opening schedule whilst facing a rise in cases from Bangkok’s entertainment zones and a potential ‘Songkran spread’.

Today the CCSA reported 250 new Covid infections, 245 of them locally transmitted and 5 imported. Thailand has reported a total of 29,321since January 2020, 95 deaths and 27,840 recoveries.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Instead of going out in the open, I don’t open, like the daisy game, Why they don’t think about a project like: well, vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists are welcome with tests done at departure and arrival without quarantine and in case of infection, we offer free hospital medical assistance !!! Obviously everyone will have to wear a mask and keep a safe distance !!!

  2. Avatar

    Anthony Gallagher

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    Yes the Thai Gov need to get a move on with the vaccine not just waiting for things to happen, its not going away and will be with us for years !!

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Much as I understand about opening up Thailand for tourism and tourist places,shouldn’t ALL Thais be vaccinated too? Soon, I might be able to visit Phuket or Pattaya but not say Udon Thani/Khon Kaen because they are not “tourist” destinations. A bit silly.

  4. Avatar

    David Mann

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    Steve, they don’t want you to visit Udon or Khon Kaen. They have only ever wanted you to come to Thailand on holiday for 2 to 4 weeks. Spend as much money as you possibly can. Get on a plane and go home and repeat in 6 or 12 months time. If you move off the tourist route you may end up staying and that’s the very last thing the Thais want you to do.

  5. Avatar


    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    David, congratulation THE BEST COMMENT!!! Really!!!

  6. Avatar


    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Well to be fair Steve, you can already visit Udon Thani and Khon Kaen. You just have to do so after quarantining in an ASQ hotel for one week. That is if you are already vaccinated. The upcoming Phuket plan is basically the same thing, only are you trading being locked in a hotel room for being banned from leaving the island. Well at least for that one week time frame.

  7. Avatar

    James R

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 1:48 am


    You mean like every other country in the world re the 2 to 4 weeks holiday?

    The UK gets 40 million tourists arriving and departing each year, do you really think we want them all to say on?

    That is roughly the same number of tourists as Thailand, if they all stay where are you going to put them? I doubt if many want to go to Issan though.

    Restaurants, the owners want customers to come in, eat pay and then leave so they can make money, I doubt if they then want them to move in with them.

    I am continually amazed at the bizarre comments some people make.

  8. Avatar

    david jones

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 3:53 am

    the thai population is about 75million or so , i can understand that it is difficult for them to get hold of vaccines and knowing about thailand nothing is free so how are they going to vaccinate the population and open up for tourists ? i wish them well but i cant see many going to go through all the red tape to go on holiday . if you have family and property that would be different

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World27 mins ago

Thai woman tricked into human trafficking in Dubai brought home safely

Phuket1 hour ago

Alleged cable thief busted in Phuket, accomplice possibly still at large

Thailand1 hour ago

Thaiger Bites | Your Feedback and Comments! | Ep. 23

Sponsored2 mins ago

HOMA is now offering fully-serviced, affordable lifestyle apartments in Phuket Town.

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Guides2 hours ago

Bangkok’s best fresh markets to visit

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 11,252 new cases; provincial totals

World2 hours ago

Tesla stock dive costs Elon Musk $7 billion, World’s Richest Man title

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Kanchanaburi2 hours ago

Kanchanaburi temple that served as a rehab closes amidst shocking abuse allegations

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Post-Covid condition MIS-C afflicted 30 to 40 children, 1 death

Thailand3 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | New disease control law, Thai border patrol tightens security | September 22 |

Thailand4 hours ago

Manhunt underway for foreigner who allegedly prepared bread using his feet

Phuket4 hours ago

Burmese man arrested for rape and assault of Thai woman

Guides4 hours ago

Bangkok’s best weekend picnic spots

Guides4 hours ago

The 8 most beautiful natural sights to see in Krabi

Guides5 hours ago

The complete guide for the most unique experiences in Phuket

Thailand5 hours ago

Army provides food for the Rawai Sea gypsy community

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11