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Crowds of Thais travel to Pattaya’s Koh Larn before new school semester

Tara Abhasakun

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Thai tourists to Koh Larn, photo by The Pattaya News.

Officials on Koh Larn, an island off Pattaya, suspect that large crowds of Thais have recently swarmed there to get a bit of R & R before the new school semester begins. Thai schools are set to open on May 17. The Pattaya News reported yesterday that even though it was a week day, large groups of mostly Thai tourists came to board a ferry to the island.

Many officers were at the Bali Hai Pier to make sure the jittery tourists followed Covid-19 regulations including hand washing, social distancing, and temperature checks. The officers suspected that people wanted to spend time relaxing with their families before the upcoming daily grind of school begins.

Koh Larn reopened to visitors in September 2021 after being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The island had gone into lockdown in January 2021, and about 100 tourists vacationing there were sent back to mainland Pattaya. Under the lockdown measures, boat services between the island and the mainland were suspended, with the exception of boats making essential deliveries like food and drinking water.

Residents were not allowed to leave the island unless the trip was urgent. Those travelling to and from the island had to get permission from the pier’s Covid-19 centre.

In pre-Covid days, the island got so many tourists that it sometimes overwhelmed facilities there. In 2018, Koh Larn had 1,567 hotel rooms and attracted an average of 10,000 visitors a day, with that number more than doubling in high season and on holidays.

Visitors to Koh Larn’s beaches that year were 40% Chinese, 30% Russian, and 20% Thai.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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    A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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