No booze for Valentine’s Day in Pattaya


Valentine’s Day romantics will have to find another way to get their loved one into the right mood after Pattaya’s police chief said he will uphold the law banning alcohol sales on religious holidays.

The reason is that Feb. 14 is also Makha Bucha Day, an important Buddhist holiday in Thailand. Bars historically have been closed and booze banned. Cupid simply ran into bad luck this year.

Pattaya Police Station Superintendent Col. Suwan Cheaonawinthawat.Pattaya Police Station Superintendent Col. Suwan Cheaonawinthawat.

The Notification of the Office of the Prime Minister RE: Determination of Days of Prohibition of Alcoholic Beverage Sales (No. 2) B.E. 2552 (A.D. 2009), signed by then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, specifically prohibits the sale of alcohol on Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha Day, Asalaha Bucha Day and Buddhist Lent holidays.

Friday, Feb. 14, is not only Valentines Day, but also Makha Bucha Day, which means it is against the law for businessmen to distribute alcohol. This includes bars and restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores, and community retail stores. An amendment to the decree exempts hotels from the ban.

Those caught breaking the law can face up to six months in jail and fines up to 10,000 baht.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh said this year will be no different.