I have read with interest the letter, addressed to the Mayor of Pattaya, published in your issue of 12 January, on the above subject. After eight years of living in Pattaya I have seen it all before, including such letters of adverse comment, and although I have sympathy for ‘Annoyed Aussi’, I think he may not be aware of all the facts.
The election of 6th of January was a ‘General Election’ - that is it was nation-wide and held to elect a totally new government to run the Kingdom as well as we all hope, for the next four years. On previous such occasions I have always been in Pattaya, but I think I am correct in suggesting that the restriction, when it is a nation-wide election, is also nation-wide. Thus it is not the privilege of the mayor, or any of his staff at city hall, to allow bars to open during the prescribed period.
Other than in bars well out of public view - that is to say, those deep within the wall of the principal hotel, it would be quite impossible to be selective as to who could, or could not, enter, and even to try to do so would lead to a good deal of ill-feeling among the local population. It must be admitted, too, that sadly, the behavior of some tourists, after a good night around the bars, is not always quite of the best, election night or not!
Knowing what lay ahead I had well stocked up my apartment to ensure a pleasant, if quiet night, and with my evening meal, taken at a restaurant where I am well enough known, I had to partake of a glass of orange juice - no great indignity, I felt - and enjoyed my evening at home. ‘Annoyed Aussi’ may not know that the restriction, whatever is intended, does not seem to apply to, at least, the smaller shops and supermarkets, almost all of whom will supply customers with their reasonable needs; one known to me used, not long ago, carefully to remove their shop price labels from bottles, as they bore the shop name, but they do not now do this - are things getting freer?
It may have been on the night of the local election when the present mayor was re-elected under a new system, that I entered a bar where certain sporting activities take place nightly; I found ‘business as usual’ but only soft drinks served... ‘Nevermind’ I thought, and settled to my orange juice; soon after 10 p.m. one of my Thai friends said to me “It’s alright now, John you can order beer now”. Amazed, I enquired why, now but not earlier, and received in good but economical Thai-English the reply “Police go home” - which I suppose at that hour, they did. And after the election on 6th January, I was served beer, both with my meal, and also at bars in town, most of which were open and serving normally.
Cool it a bit ‘Annoyed Aussi’ and get to know the system a little more before laying down the law where you have not see it at work before. Pattaya is better than you think!
John D. Blyth
I have noted with interest the comments about drinking restrictions on voting days in Pattaya. I find this type of law very difficult to justify in any country and its not because it would stop me drinking in a bar. It would be easy to anticipate the restriction and top the mini bar up for the time in question. I believe that draconian laws are always wrong and the best society is one with the least legislation. Its much more sensible to pursue criminals with the limited resources available to law enforcement agencies.
This law treats Thai people like naughty children and is patronising and offensive as well as counter productive. Any person worthy of a vote would not get drunk and waste it. Even if some do, it is not worth putting laws like this on any statute book. It reduces the credibility of the law and its enforcement. For the most part its Thai people and businesses that suffer.
There is enough crime for the authorities to deal with without making questionable legislation. My wife is Thai and if she wants a drink on the way to the polling station she should have one.
Corruption and poverty are the biggest problems I have had experience of in Thailand, not drunken voters.
Peter A, UK
To the veggie guy:
Wake up and smell the rose’s pal. Stop complaining and start looking around. You sound like a little old lady.
Try 3 Rd. and So. Pattaya Rd. It’s called ‘The 5 Star Veggie Restaurant’. You’ll love it. Try the duck noodle soup with brown rice or Khao Pad American. You won’t believe you’re eating soy products.
Their other location is in the ‘duck square plaza’. Not only will you love the food, it’s very inexpensive and all of the dishes are tasty. Both locations have air conditioning and with all this you should stop complaining or you can take a trip to Russia for some of their cold soup.
Good luck Charlie brown,
Mr. Mayor help;
Today I have a headache and my wife as well, not to mention other farangs and Thais that have to work today (Jan 17) or attend school. So glad you asked why. Well from 10pm to 8am today a live band was performing on the garden in front of Duck Square on Pattaya Tai and the crushing noise mixed in with often open bars, karaoke and other music came through to our house fairly clean, vibrating the bed over the sound of the air con. Clearly a selfish act on the part of the owners who are struggling to keep tenants they have. This show and others in the past seem not to be positive public relations.
Employers of the adults and teachers of the students should be aware of why production was down and why students fell asleep on their desks.
Thai people generally don’t complain for fear of reprisal so this is also on their behalf. I would guess that an area 3/4 of kilometer was affected at least.
You might ask do I know for sure? The answer is yes, as I personally drove over to Duck Square to confirm with my own eyes. Was alcohol being sold? I don’t know. Did a policeman drive by after 2am or before? Probably not. Would he have done or said something to the people responsible? Probably not. Can we expect more of this type of nonsense in residential areas? Yes, as the city is out of control and respect for others is ancient history.
Thank you for asking Mr. Mayor what can be done. I would like to offer a few suggestions.
Since zoning and noise regulations you say will take 3 to 10 years to enact I would think your office with consent of the assembly has the powers to enact regulations that affect health, safety and public welfare. Clearly the businesses are only interested in profit and the police are unable to uphold existing laws. I would suggest drafting a strong formal petition to the office in Chonburi demanding they cease issuing any permits for disco’s, karaoke, and beer bars until further notice.
Under the emergency powers you could enact rules for noise and order police to patrol the city to ensure compliance, along with the legal closing time.
Using the police and police volunteers visit every bar beer, disco, karaoke and any place that sells alcohol between Pattaya Nua Road and Thepprasit and Beach Road to Sukhumvit. The purpose being is to get a copy of the current license (which the police or city should have anyway). Should no license of current vintage be on the premises or none exists it should be closed immediately as in the past. Those not open should be noted in the yellow book for a follow up visit. This should eliminate 30 to 35% of the city’s problems. Of course tea money would not be demanded.
I, like many other Farangs and Thai, do not like the current direction Pattaya is heading and am very concerned for a healthy future.
Thank you for listening,
David B Richardson
Copyright 2001 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.