Bangkok pubs and clubs to open longer

16 Apr 2013

Bangkok’s police force says it is in the process of preparing a proposal to extend the permitted opening hours of the city’s pubs and clubs. Adul Narongsak, the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s deputy commander, said that the proposal to extend licensing hours until 04:00 would be submitted to the Interior Ministry.

The major-general said the two-hours extra drinking time would be necessary when Thailand joined the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. He added that more international tourists would visit and it made sense to offer them longer to enjoy the hedonistic delights of the Thai capital.

The submission has garnered a mixed bag of responses among bar-owners with some saying they welcomed the idea. Most of these proprietors say the longer they stay open the more money they stand to make.

A few of the bar-owners told reporters that few patrons stayed longer than 02:00 and they would not bother opening later even if the proposal was endorsed. Others say the extra income from the later hours will be wiped out by having to pay staff overtime.     

When city entertainment hubs such as Patpong, Nana and Soi Cowboy shut up shop at 02:00 people wishing to carry on drinking have a limited choice at present. Some bars stay open later but face possible police raids.

There are also makeshift bars on Sukhumvit Road which are set up at night and remain open until either the last drinker leaves or dawn comes. The 1Stop Bangkok nightlife guide provides details about the different zones for an evening out in the city.      

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