BANGKOK — It was a Songkran, without Songkran.
Travelers spent the Songkran weekend from Friday through Monday either enjoying the relatively traffic-free (but rainy) Bangkok roads, or if they were outside of the capital, visiting tourist attractions and temples without the usual sight of foreign visitors.
One of the most popular attractions was Bang Saen Beach in Chonburi. The beach was packed all weekend with both Thais and expats picnicking on the sand and swimming in the sea. Tourist police were deployed to urge people to wear masks and to direct traffic.
“A lot of people come to in Bang Saen Beach since they can swim here. Plus, it’s not raining so a lot of people are flocking here,” Lt. Kittikorn Junpleng, the tourist police officer in charge of the beach, said.
The holiday also turned into a flight for their lives for a group of 15 travelers in Songkhla on Sunday, when their picnic was interrupted by a firefight between security officers and local separatists. Officials say 2 militants were killed.
Water-splashing events are cancelled this year to avoid coronavirus infection. The holidays were postponed from April when the pandemic threat was at its highest in the Kingdom.
Wat Huai Sok holds a rainmaking ceremony where people poured bags of water onto monks’ hands on Sept. 6, 2020, in the drought-stricken Uthai Thani province.
Signs of life return to Pattaya’s Walking Street on Sep. 6, 2020.
Visitors wander in the ruins of Khmer-inspired Phanom Wan temple in Korat on Sep. 7, 2020.
Tourists pose for photos at a paddy field on the slope of a mountain in Chiang Mai province on Sep. 5, 2020.
A policeman eats a durian at a fruit market held on Sep. 6, 2020, to celebrate the Songkran festival on Koh Samui.
Worshipers line up to splash water at images of famous monks and Buddha on Sept. 6, 2020, at Wat Phiphat Mongkhon in Sukhothai.
A few travelers are seen on a beach in Krabi province on Sep. 4, 2020.
A boy looks at pottery squirrels in Dan Gwian subdistrict, Nakhon Ratchasima on Sept. 7, 2020. The subdistrict is known for its pottery products.
Tourists venture on Sep. 5, 2020, inside Luang cave in Chiang Rai province, the site of a daring rescue of 13 young footballers and their coach in 2018.
Volunteers and a naval officer hands out free face masks at sanitizer gel at a checkpoint in Sattahip, Chonburi on Sept. 4, 2020.