Extra-long weekend in Thailand: SIX day holiday, alcohol ban, immigration offices closed – here’s what you need to know

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Thailand is set to enjoy an extra-long SIX day weekend this weekend, which will also see immigration offices closed and a two day ban on the sale of alcohol.

The holiday begins on July 28 through August 2 inclusive.

On Tuesday (July 25) the Cabinet announced that it had suddenly resolved to make July 31 a public holiday.

The extended holiday begins on July 28, a date that marks the birthday anniversary of His Majesty the King.

The festive period then culminates with Asahna Bucha, a celebrated Buddhist holiday on August 1, followed by the Buddhist Lent Day on August 2.

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In a unique move, the Monday in-between, initially set as a workday, has been converted into an official holiday.

It means that people in Thailand can enjoy a six day long weekend.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek announced the resolution, which was made by the caretaker Cabinet of outgoing Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha. The motivation behind the decision, she said, is to stimulate domestic travel and encourage increased spending during this period.

However, this festive period won’t be without its restrictions.

On the Buddhist holidays of August 1 and August 2, the sale of alcohol will be prohibited, following the country’s customs for such religious observances.

The ban, commonplace during significant Buddhist events, is intended to encourage a respectful and mindful atmosphere.

On August 1 and August 2, the sale of alcohol will be prohibited at all venues, including restaurants, bars, pubs, hotels, convenience stores and supermarkets. The only exception being duty free stores at airports.

The penalty for breaching the alcohol sales ban is a fine or up to 10,000 baht or up to 6 months in jail or both, in accordance with Section 39 of the Alcohol Control Act.

The holidays will also see government offices, including Immigration, Department of Land Transport and district or municipal offices closed.

In addition, in the middle of next month, on August 12 and August 14, Immigration offices will also be closed for holidays.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Immigration office in Hua Hin. File Photo

Visitors and residents are advised to plan ahead and take care of any necessary immigration paperwork beforehand to avoid inconvenience.

Most bank branches will be closed too, however some branches located inside shopping malls may be open.

This news is sure to be met with a mixed response from the populace; while the long weekend promises the allure of extended rest and travel, the alcohol ban and closure of immigration offices may prove inconvenient for some.

Nonetheless, it’s a unique opportunity for people in Thailand to celebrate their traditions, travel and spend their hard earned.

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