Connect with us


Grumbling Patong closes earlier



Grumbling Patong closes earlier | Thaiger

PATONG: More than 200 entertainment places in Patong are closing earlier, in the wake of a new order from the Interior Ministry.

The order means that many venues that previously could stay open until 2 am now have to close at 1 am, and in some cases, midnight, although the closing time on New Year’s Eve will, as before, be 6 am on January 1.

Businesses in the “entertainment zone” – which includes Soi Bangla, Thaweewong Rd, Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd and Sainamyen School intersection – are, in general, allowed to stay open longer than businesses outside it. However, most of the entertainment places in Patong lie within this zone.

The order came into effect last Friday, but the President of Patong Entertainment Association, Sompetch Moosopon, told the Gazette that most bar owners reluctantly fell into line with it from Tuesday.

K. Sompetch complained that even the previous closing time of 2 am had been too early for most people, as many tourists only began their nights out at midnight or 1 am. The association was appealing to the Interior Ministry to reconsider the order before the start of the tourism high season.

He said, “Most of the problems the government is trying to solve through this closing time policy – involving youths, drugs, lewd shows or the mafia – do not exist in Patong. The police officers look after this area well already.”

Leading businessman Chairat Sukbal, who owns the Safari Pub, told the Gazette that 99% of his customers were not Thai teenagers, but tourists, and they were struggling to come to terms with the new policy. It could also discourage investment in Patong, he said.

“Having to close at 2 am was bad enough. Now our businesses are going to be even worse off.

“We have 24 hours in a day, but if we get revenue for only an hour or two a day, who will come to invest in this area?

“Patong is where the money comes in. How can people earn a living if the closing times are 1 am and midnight? I stand firm against this. This will not support tourism but will make tourists leave.”

The streets may be quieter once the bars had closed, K. Chairat said, but after closing hours he had seen tourists walking along the beach or sitting on the pavement, because there was nowhere for them to go, and nothing for them to do.

He continued, “I guarantee that this will not only affect the bar owners but all businesses here including hotels, restaurants, tuk tuk drivers and even merchants in Phuket City.“

Wisut Romin, Deputy Secretary of the Phuket Provincial Administration Office (PPAO) said people would get used to the new opening hours. If Phuket sought to be exempt from such laws because of tourism, he added, other tourist destinations such as Samui and Chiang Mai would plead for exemption too.

The new closing times are as follows. More information on how venues are categorized may be found here.

– Opening and closing time for venues in category 3 (1), “dancing places”, such as discotheques and ram wong: in the entertainment zone, 9 pm to 2 am; outside the entertainment zone, 9 pm to midnight.

– Venues in 3 (3) (massage parlours): in the entertainment zone, from noon to midnight; outside the entertainment zone, from 6 pm to midnight.

– Venues in class 3 (4), (“entertainment venues”), places selling food (maybe) and alcohol and offering some form of entertainment, whether that be a show performed for customers, or allowing customers to sing or dance: in the entertainment zone, 6 pm to 1 am, outside the zone, 6 pm to midnight.

– Venues in category 3 (5), restaurants that provide entertainment and close after midnight (primarily upmarket venues with cultural shows) can open between 6 pm and 1 am.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Weather6 mins ago

Tropical storm ‘Mulan’ pours down on north and northeast Thailand

Patong1 hour ago

Fire breaks out at Patong bar

Politics3 hours ago

Exiled Sri Lanka President warned to stay in his hotel in Bangkok

Sponsored2 days ago

BKFC THAILAND 3: Moment of truth set for September 3

World3 hours ago

UPDATE: Salman Rushdie on ventilator, details on stabber emerge

Thailand4 hours ago

Campaign to get international training for Thai teen declared record sprinter

Crime4 hours ago

Royal birthdays bring over 100,000 royal prison pardons

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Video4 hours ago

The Voice Behind the World’s Top Brands ft. Krit Tone Sukawat | Thaiger Podcast Ep.2

Press Room6 hours ago

Thailand as your next destination for Motorcycle Adventure post-COVID

Crime6 hours ago

Singaporean and Thai swindler couple arrested in Malaysia

Crime16 hours ago

Author Salman Rushdie stabbed at New York lecture

Transport21 hours ago

Daily trains begin between Malaysian border and Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Virologist predicts most of Thailand will have had Covid by 2023

Transport23 hours ago

Bangkok gets 20 new electric buses next week

Crime23 hours ago

Armed robber escapes with gold worth 800,000 baht in Thailand

This is Thailand1 day ago

Similarity of Mothers Around the World | Thai Mother’s Day 2022

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11