Legal entertainment zones in Pattaya will get to pioneer 4 AM bar closings after it is implemented on December 15th by the Thai government, revealed Pattaya Mayor Poramase Ngampiches.
Mr. Poramase announced on Saturday, November 4th, that entertainment venues within the currently designated legal nightlife zones in Pattaya will be able to test the extended operating hours for nightlife until 4 AM immediately after it becomes official. However, those outside the zones must await decisions made in future meetings involving all relevant agencies, he added.
Chonburi, the home of Pattaya, is one of the four provinces, including Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok, that get to pioneer the extended closing time for nighttime businesses, as announced by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin last week.
Currently, the legal zones in Pattaya cover the east side of Third Road, Walking Street, and LK Metro area. However, many entertainment venues have sprung up in Jomtien, Naklua, and the so-called “dark side” as well, despite technically being illegal due to outdated zoning restrictions over 20-years-old.
This has spurred proactive efforts from business operators and officials to expand these zoning boundaries. Pattaya City Council member Damrongkiat Pinitkan last year proposed a revision during a council meeting, highlighting the outdated nature of the current zones, which were established two decades ago and no longer align with the city’s evolving landscape.
In response, Mayor Poramase had directed relevant parties to formally petition the Ministry of Interior, while acknowledging the sensitivity of the issue.
For now, those outside the entertainment zones will continue to have to close at the currently legal time, which is from midnight to 2 AM depending on area.
The Pattaya News notes that an interesting wrench was thrown into these plans when Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said over the weekend that although entertainment venues would be allowed to close later, they would not be allowed to sell alcohol later. Whether this is enforced or if business owners will force a change by complaining to the government is yet to be seen.