King Bhumibol Adulyadej's died Thursday, which has left Thailand in a deep state of grief for the man who has sat on the throne for more than 70 years. The government has declared a year-long period of mourning, called for people to avoid "joyful events" for the next 30 days, and announced a ban on the public consumption of alcohol for an indefinite period of time.
While locals mourn the loss of their fallen sovereign, tourists with plans to drink buckets of SangSom rum and Thai Red Bull at Thailand's notorious full-moon party are mourning the loss of their booze-fueled vacations. Some retailers have already roped off alcohol aisles and halted booze sales.
— Richard Barrow (@RichardBarrow) October 14, 2016
The government has set up a telephone hotline to help people cope with grief, civil servants have been ordered to wear black for the next year, and websites have gone black and white. The Thai government has officially cancelled the full-moon party and asked visitors to the country to act respectfully. Tourists from Australia, America, and the rest of the world are—not shockingly—losing their damn minds.
So the King of Thailand died and so now the country is 'in mourning' and the full moon party is cancelled. Gutteddddddd ??? — Jess Walsh (@jessalicewalsh) October 13, 2016
The King of Thailand died and there are rumors of banning alcohol for the year of mourning I am about 30 seconds away from a panic attack — Danny (@G0d_Dan_it) October 13, 2016
Booze isn't the only thing currently taking a timeout in the Thailand. Bars aren't playing music, clubs aren't allowing dancing, and even laughter in public spaces is being frowned upon, leaving visitors in a difficult balancing act between wanting to respect local culture and wanting to make proper use of their vacation time.
Recent terrorist attacks and concern about Thailand's military government have already left potential travelers wary of visiting. The ban on "celebrating" is only expected to last one month, but that could have financial consequences for a country whose stuttering economy relies on the tourism industry for 10 percent of its GDP.
So they've banned alcohol in Thailand for a month… vietnam it is then. — Jamie (@jamiemckechn_ie) October 14, 2016
Here's to hoping all those frowns get turned upside down in the Land of Smiles.