Update 2/3/17: Police and army continue raids in Pattaya crackdown

Police and the Royal Thai Army are continuing to undertake checks and precautionary visits on businesses in the Pattaya entertainment zone. Social media reports that businesses are operating relatively normally in Soi 6 and walking street however activities are restricted and there may be earlier closing times than usual being enforced. Short time rooms are out of order. Walking street venues continue to operate but you will need to provide your own sleeping arrangements.

As we reported earlier the police have not been interested in what happens behind closed doors therefore the safest option remains the privacy of your own hotel room. In a story reported in local media Pattaya One an Iranian national was allegedly robbed after refusing to pay for services.

Police are investigating however prevention is better than cure and in the case of any disputes over services it would generally be cheaper and less headache in the long run to just pay up. This is true of many problems in South East Asia generally, including if you are involved in an accident. The practice of paying cash compensation on the spot is common, however of course negotiating over the amount is expected. In Thailand it is common for the richer party, i.e. the car owner in a car vs motorcycle accident to pay even if they are not at fault. The usual warnings should be made that if you do not have insurance then you should not engage in an activity that could result in financial ruin, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t safely ride a scooter around Pattaya where speeds are generally low.

As we mentioned in our top tips article, the police restrictions have led to a bottoming out of the market. This can present opportunities for the astute buyer. It is recommended to have your own transport for yourself and your guest to your hotel such as a rented motorbike, or otherwise be prepared to pay for a motorbike taxi. The taxi might be the best idea if you intend to drink as it is common for the police to set up checkpoints targeting driving under the influence and helmet usage. Foreigners and Thais alike can be fined an amount from 10,000-20,000 baht or more with the threat of being thrown in jail.

It is generally advisable to pay up rather than endure a night in the monkey house and possible official consequences such as being barred from re-entering Thailand. An on the spot fine, paid without a receipt, will also mean no paper trail and thus no further official consequences.

The same policy should apply if one is caught in a compromised position during a police crackdown on bars or agogos. Generally the police don’t bother with customers however remember you are technically required to carry your passport with you so you can be validly fined if you don’t have it. You may also be targeted for a drug test. Both of these outcomes are highly unlikely as police know which industry is the goose that lays the golden egg in Pattaya. We have been in Pattaya for many years and these crackdowns happen sporadically but at least once or twice per year, it doesn’t meant that the sky is falling.

 

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