THE THAI government will extend the operating hours of night entertainment in Thailand. This policy covers four provinces including Bangkok.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced that nightlife venues’ opening hours would be extended to boost tourism. This policy trial will be implemented in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Phuket. Officially implemented on December 15, 2023, ahead of the holidays and peak tourist season.

This operational hour’s policy is only temporary, the government is still discussing how long this trial will be carried out. Meanwhile, evaluation will be carried out after the trial period.

This evaluation is to see whether the extension of opening hours will be formally implemented. Or should there be zones in place for safety purposes. For example, Silom and Thonglor bars can be open until 1am, while other areas are open until midnight.

Business actors welcome the trial plan to increase the operating hours of night entertainment venues. Including those who do not come from the four provinces taking part in this trial.

Meanwhile Tourism Board Councilor Trat Samphan Chanderm also offered his support, saying that expanding the law to other provinces, including areas with high tourism value such as Koh Chang, would increase tourism revenues.

However, this policy certainly surprised many people, considering how strict alcohol laws are in Thailand. This is because it will bring other problems into the spotlight. Such as unclear zoning and many business places still have difficulty allowing underage visitors to enter their premises.

Before Thailand, several cities in Asia that were popular tourist destinations were famous for their nightlife, including Seoul and Singapore. There clubs and bars stay open late into the night, many even into the morning. By trialling the addition of operating hours for nightlife venues, it is hoped that it will attract more tourists and place Bangkok among these cities. [sources/photo special]