CNI News

1 April 2023

Although Yangonites usually celebrate Thingyan festivals by travelling round the city in open light trucks to be doused with water, the car rental market has been sluggish for this year's Thingyan festival, according to car charter services.

Although it is only two weeks away from the festival, only a few people have popped up to hire light trucks to celebrate the festival around the city and it is not beneficial for rental services as fees are very low, U Anyar Thar, who has been operating charter truck services, told the CNI.

He said, "Almost no one has hired our trucks to celebrate the festival round the city but we had talked to customers who asked us just to drive round pavilions in the People's Square from 9 am to 5 pm. We don't need to go to other places. However, the rental fees they gave to us were too low to be profitable for us. So, we did not accept their offers. I have only one customer who will go round the city to be doused with water."

Plans are underway to organize two walking water festival events and build pavilions in 45 townships in Yangon Region, according to the organizing committee for celebrating the Thingyan festival in Yangon Region.

A music and dance show during Thingyan.

However, it was reported that there is only one pavilion under construction in front of the city hall and no one has built pavilions in other places.

Only a few people have hired cars to celebrate the Thingyan festival this year and most people are chartering cars to visit beaches and other regions, Ko Bilar, the owner of a car rental service, told the CNI.
He said, "Almost no one has planned to celebrate the Thingyan festival. Some car rental services refused to provide services as rental fees they gave were too low. Some services have decided not to run their operations during the festival. However, people are chartering cars to go to other farther destinations like Chaungtha beach.

During Thingyan festivals before the outbreak of COVID-19, car rental fees were as high as MMK 200,000 per day but rental fees this year will be higher due to rising fuel prices.

Before the pandemic, cars to celebrate the festivals in the city were booked about one month in advance but no one has popped up to do so, a car rental service owner told the CNI.

People celebrate the Thingyan festival.

He said, "In the past, cars for celebrating the festival had to be booked one month ahead because it was difficult for customers to hire cars when the festival was only 15 or 20 days away. It was fortunate for customers to get a car on the eve of the festival. Sometimes, we had to drive them to Ngwesaung before the festival. This year, we have received customers who will go to Chaungtha and Ngwesaung. However, we haven't received customers for all our cars."

During the pre-pandemic festivals, there were pavilions along Inya Lake and Pyay Road, Waizayantar Road and Maha Bandoola Road and Merchant Road downtown and there were crowds of people participating.

During the pandemic, Thingyan festivals were not celebrated to prevent gathering large numbers of people and the festivals were not celebrated on a grand scale due to the political climate.