September 29, 2023

Video #26 | March 8, 2018

In this video I’m going to look at Bangkok closing time. While Bangkok might appear to be a 24-city, it kind of isn’t! Especially right now.

The video will be broken down into 4 sections:

– A background into Bangkok closing time.
– Fast forward to today.
– So what are 2004 regulations?
– Bangkok bars closing time – Last orders?

Click on the following link to check out more Bangkok Laws You Need To Know!.


Welcome to the twenty-forth video of Bangkok Unmasked! The YouTube channel that helps you get the most out of your visit to Bangkok city! If you’re new here, please consider subscribing! In this video I’m going to look at Bangkok closing time. While Bangkok might appear to be a 24-city, it kind of isn’t! Especially right now.

Let’s get started…

A background into Bangkok closing time

To start with, some background. When I first arrived in Bangkok mid-1999 I hit the bars and clubs pretty hard. In a good number of cases they closed when the last customer left to go back home. This was often daylight the next morning!

This nirvana for party-animals all began to change in 2001 when Interior Minister Purachai Piumsomboon began instigating a ‘new social order’. The [then] former policeman and devout Buddhist limited entertainment areas, and closed down night-spots that either stayed open past 2 AM, or admitted those younger than 20. My group of friends at the time referred to this period as ‘Purachai’s reign of terror’.

Fast forward to today

Bangkok is closing early! If you try to hit the bars and clubs past midnight, the odds are that you’ll be told they’re closed. [Or will close soon]. It seems unbelievable, but a midnight curfew is in place around Thonglor and Ekkamai. This means that some of Bangkok’s best clubs are sending dejected revelers from one locked door to the next.

According to Khaosod, an English language daily newspaper in Thailand, Col. Khajonphong Jitphakpoom of Thonglor police said the order came down from the police brass. He referred further inquiries to metro police chief Chanthep Sesavej. Khaosod further reported that Lt. Gen. Chanthep, commander of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, gave the same response officers did last year. He stated that police are just “following the law.” Apparently this is what he said; quote:

Look up the laws”…”Venues with permits located in entertainment zones can open until 2 AM. Those with a permit outside of the entertainment zones can open until 1 AM, and those without a permit can open until midnight.

The laws that Lt. Gen. Chanthep are referring to are a 2004 regulations requiring clubs and bars registered as restaurants to close by midnight.

So what are 2004 regulations?

Basically only “dancing places” that don’t sell alcohol are allowed open until 2 AM.

Registered entertainment venues that offer dance floors and alcohol, such as nightclubs, can remain open until 1 AM if situated in one of three areas zoned for entertainment. Those located in conditional use venues such as hotels must close by midnight.

One exception is for alcohol-licensed venues which provide other forms of entertainment, such as musical performances. They can also stay open until 1 AM.

So why don’t the innumerable clubs and bars in Sukhumvit get properly licensed? They can’t.

Since 2005, there are only three areas zoned for entertainment: the Patpong red-light district, a section of Ratchadaphisek Road well-known for it’s ‘entertainment complexes’ i.e. industrial scale brothels, and the clubs clustered along RCA.

Bangkok bars closing time – Last orders?

Normally the Bangkok police turn a blind eye to the open-secret that normal business hours can extend to 2 AM at the pubs, bars and nightclubs in Sukhumvit. Not to mention places such at T-Rex, Mixx or Cheers where the partying often goes on until dawn. For the moment this all seems to be over.

Bangkok Unmasked hopes that this crackdown is temporary. All the other ones regarding entertainment have been, as too many people make too much money to allow them to last. That said, Bangkok has a habit of surprising you. It does seem that the crackdown on Bangkok bars and nightclubs has intensified since the junta seized power in 2014. Ultimately we’ll see…

Anyway…That’s it for this video. I hope that helps answer all your questions about Bangkok closing time and Bangkok bars closing time. Expect a new video shortly. It should be posted in about a week, or so.

For all you techies out there, this video was shot on a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, and edited using HitFilm Express.

Finally, please don’t forget to subscribe to this channel through the button below! Also, if you have any comments on this VLOG post, please do write something in the comments section!

Thank you very much for watching. I’ll see you next week. Goodbye.


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