With the easing of domestic travel restrictions in Thailand, popular beach and country resorts are experiencing a sudden boom in business after the lockdown lasting several months.
Hotels welcome this surge in visitors after the lockdown - but they’re not alone. So-called Pool Villas are also seeing a huge increase in bookings, especially at weekends.
Often advertised as ‘party houses’ or ‘homestays’, these villas have grown massively in number in recent years thanks to online booking forums like Airbnb and Facebook. Their owners see them as a good return on investment.
Not everybody is happy with the situation, however. Permanent residents and home owners in resorts with a large number of Pool Villas are now facing weekends of almost continuous noise as this new wave of visitors makes up for lost time due to Covid-19 stay-at-home rules with their blaring music and partying.
“Sometimes it’s unbearable – the loud music, shouting and screaming can go on for hours,” said the owner of a house in Pattaya.”We don’t mind people having a good time, of course. But they don’t respect their neighbors’ privacy or wellbeing with their behavior. We live here permanently – they just come for a couple of days and then move back.”
Another home owner counted 18 people checking into one modest-size three-bedroom villa. “How can so many sleep there,” she wondered.
The same lady raised the issue of hygiene. “When these villas are vacated, are they properly cleaned and checked? This is important. While everybody else is being told to observe social distancing, that’s clearly not being observed when so many are packed into one small house.
“This wouldn’t happen in hotels. They stick to the rules.”
Some villa owners instruct their part-time tenants to turn off their music speakers by 10pm, but this doesn’t apply to them singing – “which can go until dawn,” added the lady.
One road in Pattaya has a row of six adjoining Pool Villas, all usually rented out at weekends. “There are literally dozens of people making lots of noise for two days non-stop and parking their cars and minivans everywhere. It’s unbearable,” noted a disgruntled local resident.