Clubs and bars open till 4am? Proposal must be studied, PM says

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha superimposed over a photo of Soi Cowboy, a Bangkok red-light district popular with foreigners. Original images: Prayut Chan-o-cha / Facebook, Paul Sullivan / Flickr
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha superimposed over a photo of Soi Cowboy, a Bangkok red-light district popular with foreigners. Original images: Prayut Chan-o-cha / Facebook, Paul Sullivan / Flickr

A proposal to extend closing time from midnight to 4am in some areas must be studied before it can go any further, the prime minister said today.

Word that the tourism ministry had proposed pushing hours back to early morning to generate revenue created a buzz today, but Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha quickly put the brakes on things.

Prayuth said the idea needs to be examined and relevant agencies such as the police or Interior Ministry consulted. He said he was concerned about the safety and well-being of party-goers.

Tourist Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan said the idea was to stimulate the sputtering economy. He believes at least 25% more could be earned by keeping clubs and bars open another four more hours. Pipat’s proposal would it would only apply in certain zoned areas. Patpong, RCA and a portion of Ratchada are the only three parts of Bangkok officially zoned as nightlife districts. He also mentioned Patong Beach on Phuket and Ao Nang in Krabi.

Pipat said he had not discussed the proposal directly with the prime minister. 

Closing times were moved up to the current midnight and 1am, depending on the type of establishment, during the administration of Thaksin Shinawatra to please social conservatives in his governing coalition.

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