The overwhelming call from the public to allow nightlife late trading 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.
However, just two days later, more than 20 Patong nightlife venue operators filed a petition addressed to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to extend the closing times for bars and clubs in Patong (see story here), and Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan made that request official with the support from the Phuket Provincial Office (see story here).
Gov Chockchai confirmed last week that he has also asked for permission to allow 4am closing on Taina Rd in Karon, home to the only other official “entertainment zone” on the island. (See story here.)
To all this The Phuket News asked readers, “Should Patong night venues stay open later?”
A solid 25% of respondents voted “Yes – but only in the entertainment zone” – but a further 51% voted “Yes – and entertainment zones should be set up in other popular tourist areas”.
Only 18% of respondents voted “No – the current closing times are good enough”, while just 6% voted “Don’t care – the closing times for bars and nightclubs do not affect my activities/holiday in Patong”.
Of note, of those who took part in the poll 41% of respondents identified themselves as “Foreign visitors to Phuket”, while 36% identified themselves as “Local expatriate residents”.
Only 23% of respondents identified themselves as Thai nationals.
For the full poll results, click here.