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Rules Regarding Bar Closing Times in Bangkok, Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today we are going to be discussing, as the title would suggest, issues involving bar closures in the Kingdom.

This is something that is something of a, I won't say there’s misnomers that surround this issue but basically as a practical matter there are multiple different ramifications associated with sort of the street level police enforcement involved with bar closing times and basically what I am saying is “Look, some precincts are really, really assiduous about checking up on if places are closed other precincts maybe a little bit lax,  it may depend on the time of day, maybe the time of day is the wrong word, but it may depend on the day of the week, it may depend on the time of the month, there are multiple different factors that can come into play with respect to bar closing times.” But I did want to cite some of the harder and faster rules with respect to this so that people sort of understand what the baseline is with respect to closing times etc. and then you know, as far as practical operation, people can deal with it from there. In a recent article it was in Khao Sod English, and the website is www.khaosodenglish.com; the title of the article is "Why Bangkok Fun is Ending at Midnight Again”.  This was published February 13th 2018. I am not going to go into the details of the article itself. I urge viewers to go to the website and check out this article. It is worth a read; it is actually rather interesting.  It does delve into sort of how the street-level enforcement of bar closing times can operate as a practical matter and I heard people to check that out. But there is an interesting quote down here from Police Lieutenant General, who is the Commander of the Metropolitan Police Bureau. Quoting directly it says, “Look up the laws" the Commander said Tuesday. "Venues with permits located in entertainment zones can open until 2 a.m., those with a permit outside of the entertainment zones can open until 1 a.m. and those without a permit can open until midnight". So there are specific purposes with respect to openings and closing times. There are laws on these matters and police do enforce them. Now enforcement from time to time can be far more stringent as compared to other times when it may be a little more lax. Again, day to day police can't be everywhere at once. That being said, the hard and fast rules are what I have just given there. For those who don't understand entertainment zones, there are so-called special entertainment zones which were established in Thailand, or in Bangkok I should say some years ago and those zones have specific rules with respect to opening and closing times of bars etc. and those zones tend to be, they target tourists and as a result they allow a little bit more latitude with respect to opening and closing times of drinking and eating establishments. There are other places that have permits which may not specifically be in the zone that are allowed to be open a little bit longer as noted in the quote and then finally there are places that don't have any permits but just simply have an alcohol license. For more information on alcohol licenses specifically I urge you to check out another video on this channel specifically on alcohol licenses in Thailand, but okay so a bar and grill just has an alcohol license but doesn't have any specialized permit with respect to opening hours, that type of establishment is probably going to be stuck with having to close down at midnight especially when the enforcement mechanism is being especially stringent. So those are the hard and fast rules. Again it is kind of one of those things you hear a million different answers about when you are on the street level if you will from patrons at different places that say "well this place never closes until whatever". It is going to vary depending on precincts, it is going to vary depending on the manpower and the priorities of given precincts so again it may be slightly different. It's a practical matter day to day in various places here in the city but those are the hard and fast rules with respect to closing times here in the Kingdom, or here in the City.