Koh Samui Thailand Public Holidays 2011
Unlike most Western countries, the majority of Thai people don't have either weekends off, or regularly set annual holidays (with the exceptions of Government employees, banks and some of the bigger business). But, on the other side of the coin, they do have a great many religious and public holidays. These are mostly a single day but the bigger occasions are often two consecutive days.
It's always worth knowing these holidays in advance as there is a possibility that your travel plans might be affected - not so much with flights but particularly on the roads, trains and ferries. And if a two-day holiday falls in the middle of the week, then a great many people will take an extra day or two off as well, causing half of Thailand to be on the move at the same time!
The Thai Lunar Calendar is used to determine when these holidays occur, and this also means that many holiday dates don't fall on the same date each year. (The festival of Loy Krathong, for example, although not a public holiday, falls on the full moon of the twelfth month, which is usually during the first few days on November.)
On a tourist destination like Koh Samui, it's quite possible that you may not even realise that there is a public holiday. Restaurants and resorts are affected very little, although on some occasions it is not permitted for 'beer bars' or go-go bars to sell alcohol. However on the more festive occasions such as the birthdays of the King or Queen or the New Year (!) you'll notice evidence of this all around you.
Many holidays are tied to the moon being full, leading to a complicated year-planner with most of the regular holidays occurring on different dates from the previous year. And, as well as trying to avoid the holiday travel frenzy, it might be to your advantage to actually plan to be here for the occasion. Festivals such as Loy Krathong or the Chinese and Thai New Years are quite a spectacle and well worth experiencing!
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