Thailand to enjoy elongated holiday weekend in honour of King Bhumibol
Tomorrow marks the start of a long three-day weekend in Thailand. Monday is a national holiday and was the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The auspicious date on Thailand’s annual calendar is also Father's Day.
Although Thailand is currently in a period of mourning for the revered king, local news reports say that roads and public transport are expected to be busy from this evening. People living in Bangkok and the central provinces usually use the opportunity presented by a long weekend to visit beach towns such as Ranong, Pattaya, Cha Am and Hua Hin.
Thailand celebrates a number of national holidays during the month of December. The 10th is Constitution Day. In 2016 this day is next Saturday and so the following Monday, the 12th December, will be a national holiday. Thailand is a Buddhist country and does not really celebrate Christmas apart from in locations which are popular with foreign tourists.
New Year’s Eve is also on a Saturday this year and the public holiday is being shifted to the 2nd January. Most Thais tack on a couple of days to this holiday so that they can travel farther afield to the likes of Chiang Mai and Loei.
All public transport options are busier during December and the first week of January. To avoid having to wait around for seat or sleeping berth availability, 12GO ASIA recommends pre-booking air, bus and flight tickets.
Architects and academics have united in a bid to persuade Thailand’s railway operator to save the nation’s heritage stations from the wrecking ball. King Mongkut Institute of Technology’s Parinya Chukaew and leading architect Pongkwan Lassus say the country’s elderly rail stations have high cultural value.
The Meteorological Department of Thailand yesterday issued an adverse weather warning for the upper regions of the nation. A bulletin released by the department noted that extremely high temperatures from Bangkok upwards were the precursors for rain, hail and wind storms.
Thailand’s aviation authorities have warned that an increase in the number of flight arrivals for the Songkran Festival may cause delays at airports. Aeronautical Radio of Thailand says 10 per cent more flights are expected over the peak Songkran period between 11 and 17 April.