As we approach the anniversary of the death of King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, speculation is mounting that alcohol-free days and/or a national holiday will be annouced by the Thai government, in memory of the late King. October 13, the date of the King’s death, is likely to be declared a National Holiday across the country. This will have the same effect on nightlife as other Thai national holidays, that is, some bars will close, and others will operate on a limited basis. Further rumours are that later in the month of October, alcohol-free ‘dry’ days will be declared where the sale of alcoholic drinks will be prohibited. This would be expected to have a similar effect on bars, for example, no music and no sexy outfits. The rumours are that there may be up to a week or 7 days on different dates where this will be applied.
As visitors to Thailand know, time of sale restrictions already apply in major chains such as 7-11 and Central department stores, that prevent alcohol being sold after midnight and certain times during the day. These are generally not applied uniformly in Pattaya, as this is considered an entertainment precinct. Also as enforcement can be lax, mom and pop stores generally sell at any time, although it can be a pain to find one of these stores as they are generally located further away from the main tourist areas in more residential parts of town. The best bet is to plan ahead and have a stockpile of alcohol to last in advance of the restrictions coming into affect. You may also want to plan ahead to have a LT lady lined up.
We will keep you informed about further developments. It should be noted that even when the King passed away, bars were still open although of course with a somewhat muted atmosphere. It is unlikely that the impact of the anniversary will be anywhere near as great as last year.