24-hour bar opening idea resurfaces at latest entertainment committee meeting

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The committee drafting new regulations for Pattaya’s entertainment industry again discussed allowing bars to operate around the clock, but the idea remains far from becoming a reality.

At the second meeting of the year for the “Pattaya Model Project,” city Permanent Secretary Suthorn Ratanawaraha proposed creating three color-coded zones to regulate closing times. Establishments operating in the yellow Zone A would close at 2 a.m. Those in orange Zone B at 4 a.m. and those in the red Zone C could stay open 24 hours.

Several members of the panel, which include provincial, national, police and community leaders, questioned the idea, saying Pattaya continues to grow so quickly, such zones quickly might become outdated. Others opposed it completely, arguing Pattaya already has too many bars too close to schools and temples.

City officials and police discuss how to handle Pattaya’s entertainment zones. City officials and police discuss how to handle Pattaya’s entertainment zones.

Pattaya City Council Chairman Tavich Chaiswangwong said he supports making the entire city an official “red-zone” district, with all bars given equal opportunity to operate around the clock.

He argued the city has been growing out of control for two decades and sees nothing changing. With so many bars already ignoring closing times, he reasoned, the city might as well make it official.