Governor Chockchai confirmed that the official request for nightlife venues along Bangla Rd to stay open until 4 am was received by Ministry of Interior last week.
“The next area I would like to request for the Ministry of Interior to allow 4am closing is the entertainment zone on Taina Rd in Karon,” he said.
Of note, Taina Rd and Bangla Rd are the only recognised entertainment zones on the island. Nightlife venues in all other areas of the island, including Rawai, Kamala, Cherng Talay and Phuket Town, even if issued an entertainment license, are supposed to – by law – close at midnight.
“I think the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mrs Kobkarn (Wattanavrangkul), will support this appeal for Phuket. Both entertainment areas are tourism nightlife attractions,” Gov Chockchai added.
A public hearing to gauge public support for extending the closing times on Taina Rd is expected to be held soon, Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Thawornwat Khongkaew told The Phuket News.
“Gov Chockchai has repeatedly asked the Muang District Chief to hold a public hearing about this,” he said.
“The main reason is for tourists only. There are tourism entertainment areas other than Bangla Rd,” he added.
Regarding the request for Bangla Rd venues to stay open until 4am, Palad Thawornawt explained, “The next step is for Ministry of Interior officials to present this to their legal experts for consideration.”
The official request for to allow entertainment venues on along Bangla Rd only to stay open – and sell alcohol – until 4am was dispatched to Bangkok last Wednesday (Feb 15). (See story here.)
The move follows a crackdown earlier this month that saw scores of revellers in Phuket’s party town kicked out onto the tourist-flooded streets one night (see story here), and then bars and nightclubs deserted the next (see story here).
The raids enforced the current law that bars must close at midnight and nightclubs must close at 1am. These closing times are for venues inside Patong’s “entertainment zone”, which comprises Bangla Rd and extends 50 metres on either side thereof – venues elsewhere, depending on their entertainment license, are supposed to close earlier.
To this, Gov Chockchai last Thursday admitted he knew the problem had been a long time coming.
See also: Phuket Opinion: The Bangla ballet (click here)
To vote in the online poll by The Phuket News asking, “Should Patong night venues stay open later?” click here.