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Patong shuts at 2am as Phuket police halt after-hours nightlife

Phuket Crackdown: Police Shut Patong at 2am

Monday, December 14, 2009
A RAID by Phuket police caught Patong bars and nightclubs by surprise at 2am on Sunday as officers enforced the compulsory closure of all premises.

High-season visitors to Phuket wondered what was happening as police began warning proprietors of businesses all along Soi Bangla from 1am that the closing time would be strictly enforced.

Many bars and nightclubs have been staying open until 4am or even 6am, the chief of Kathu Police Station, Colonel Grissak Songmoonnark, told his officers.

Phuket's rival regional holiday destinations do not have such strict closure laws as those in Thailand, and the law tends to be ignored in Pattaya and Phi Phi.

The crackdown comes with Phuket's annual Patong Carnival due to begin on December 15 and run for a week.

''We are simply following the law,'' Colonel Grissak said. ''Anyone who disagrees should discuss the matter with Cabinet in Bangkok.''

Tourists looking for nightlife seldom turn out in Patong until 10pm or later. Many of the bars and nightclubs, forced to cope with high rents and intense competition for customers who have less to spend, only have a short time window in which to make an income.

Staying open beyond 2am is, some owners say, the only way to continue operating in today's tough times.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Is there any comment on if this is temporary or ongoing (or ongoing until $$) ??

I can't help wondering if the timing of Khun Anchalee's visit to agree the 10bn baht budget this weekend had anything to do with it ??

Posted by LivinLOS on December 14, 2009 12:59

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The clubs in Rawai are still open until 6 am ?? strange way of going on .

Posted by peter j notley on December 14, 2009 15:40

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I applaud he enforcement of the law. if people are unhappy with the law, change it. There is no need to have the bars open beyond 2am. People can just drink earlier if they are that addicted to booze and hookers. The fact is, that last call is 2am, people will still be drinking at 2:30am as staff is closing up. If the only attraction of Patong is a cheap filthy bar that stays open till 3 or 4 am, what does it say about the place? I hope the next move is to crackdown on the minors working in some of these bars.

Editor: Minors working in bars? Please tell us more.

Posted by frustrated pathologist on December 15, 2009 10:27

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wh'os the guy....frustrated pathologist..if you don't like the bars and drinking ohh and the hookers, as you put it, don't go to bangla rd... and if you say you don't... how do you know the bars are cheap and filthy... my bar was expensive and clean... IN BANGLA ROAD....

Posted by Anonymous on December 15, 2009 11:57

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@frustrated pathologist, the actual law is 12pm closure everywhere except designated nightlife zones which are 1am. So the 2am closure is as arbitrary as a 4am closure.

Still happy to have them 'enforce the law' ?? Told to its lights out and time to stop having fun (or earning money) at 12pm ??

Posted by LivinLOS on December 15, 2009 12:24

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Personally I feel its ridiculous to have to wait until around 11pm to go out for the night as 'nocturnal activities' don't get going until then. I know freelancers that don't even bother going out til 1:30 am. Pattaya and Bangkok don't seem to have an isssue with this, why should Phuket be different.

Nobody is trying to rain on anybody's parade- it's simple- go out earlier! Not sure where you're from LivinLOS- what are the licensing laws in your country? Why can't you start your fun earlier?

Posted by Mister Ree on December 18, 2009 17:28

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Pity that more scams are coming to light.
I took overseas guests to Muay Thai Fighting at the new Bangla Boxing Stadium on the 25th December 09. The posters all advertised the fighters, alas, only one guy, Dave on the poster, was seen in the bouts. The rest of the billing was all junior locals, nothing of the promised fights on the poster.

I listened to many foreigners complain about the excessively high prices and false advertising. Phuket is becoming a big lie and full of false promises in the eyes of tourists.

Posted by Graham on December 27, 2009 11:14

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The 2am closing time has been ongoing for as long as I have been coming here (24years). Sometimes its applied across the island and sometimes its only enforced in certain districts. Perhaps the bars should be able to stay open after 2am only if they turn their music off!

Discos and Nightclubs could stay open longer only if they are inside an enclosed building.

And to "Frustrated Pathologist".... you should know that 24years ago the only attraction in Patong WAS the Bangla bars and the girls. Single men were the majority, there weren't any farang girls around. Its this nightlife that has made Patong what it is today. I still come here for that very reason.

I would never consider living in Patong, but I'm happy to come here 3 times every year for 2-3 weeks each time and enjoy the nightlife. If you took away the bars and the girls, Patong would wither away.

Posted by Antz Pantz on December 27, 2009 20:22


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