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Chiang Mai bans alcohol, smoking in Songkran celebration areas

PHOTO: Flickr/Alpha

Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking will be banned in Chiang Mai’s designated water splashing areas during the Songkran holiday. We’d guess you can put cannabis smoking on the list as well although it wasn’t specified in the directive.

This year’s Songkran festival will run for 13 days, from April 4 – 16, since the holiday was designated a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage item.

Officials have confirmed the rules will apply to several public places across the city. The ban will cover the sale and consumption of alcohol, cigarette smoking and vaping at all government and state enterprise offices, schools, temples, and anywhere under government or state enterprise supervision.

The ban will also be in force in public parks and roads near the city moat, including Rat Chiang Saen, Manee Nopparat, Bunrueang Rit, Chang Lor, Arak, Chaiyapoom, Kotchasarn, Sri Poom and Mun Mueang Road.

Provincial governor Nirat Phongsitthithawon says the booze and smoking ban will be in force from April 1 – 21. Nirat also chairs a city committee on the control of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

In addition, drinking alcohol in vehicles, on footpaths, on roadsides, and inside shopping centres will be prohibited. There will be an exemption for venues with special permits, where alcohol can be sold between the hours of 11am and 2pm and again from 5pm to midnight.

Officials have stated that the rules will be strictly enforced, in order to keep water-splashing venues alcohol and smoke-free during the festivities.

While Thailand’s official Songkran holiday runs from April 13 – 17, this year Thailand will stage a “World Songkran Festival” in many parts of the country, which will run from April 1 – 21. It’s hoped the extended festivities will provide a boost to both domestic and international tourism.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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