With Bangkok-based police again enforcing national laws requiring entertainment venues to close at 2 a.m., Pattaya bar owners and Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome are again trying to get the city exempted.
At a Nov. 15 meeting with Pattaya’s police chief, Justice Ministry and Royal Thai Police officials, Itthiphol repeated his frequent point that Pattaya is a special administrative zone and a hub for the country’s tourism industry. Closing down the town for holiday-makers hurts the city’s reputation and the income of its business owners.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (left) and Pattaya Police Superintendant Nanthawut Suwanla-Ong (right) meet with bar owners about the possibility of extending closing hours within Pattaya.
The meeting came near the end of a week-long crackdown by Royal Thai Police officials from Bangkok that saw all of Walking Street closed up tight at 2 a.m. nightly, angering both tourists and business owners. Bandit Siritanyong, chairman of the Pattaya entertainment entrepreneurs association, said additional raids by Public Sector Anti-Corruption Department officers were causing even more problems.
The crackdown, which seems to come at the start of high season every year, again prompted business owners to ask that closing times be extended for Pattaya, a matter the mayor again pledged to take to the city council. However, now matter what the council decides, the final decision still rests in Bangkok.