At least for now, nighttime is no longer party time in Pattaya.
The imposition of a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew has shut down the city’s legendary nightlife, leaving the few tourists left in Pattaya with nothing to do after 10 p.m. and Thais who earn their income in the wee hours feeling the pinch.
“My shop used to be open until midnight or 1 a.m., but now I have to start clearing out around 9:30 p.m.,” said pork curry vendor Asawin Saesaew. “My profits have vanished. Customers need to return home and don’t party anymore.”
There is a military presence in Pattaya, although a small one, to ensure peace and order.
The curfew, imposed nationwide after the May 22 military coup, is being enforced with vigor in Pattaya, but with only a token military presence in Pattaya. Soldiers have been stationed at Pattaya City Hall, but patrols are comprised of Pattaya and Najomtien police station officers and police volunteers.
Officials have warned that those violating the curfew face up to two years in prison and a 40,000 baht fine.
“Because of the curfew, all my customers have disappeared since they have to go home,” said Kaewjai Nathong, 45. “It’s even difficult to purchase supplies since I usually go to market at 2 a.m. There is nothing that I can do because it is a public pronouncement, we have to bow and adhere to it, but I just hope that the situation will get better so people do not suffer.”