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Patong crackdown leaves Phuket entertainment hub deserted

Patong crackdown leaves Phuket entertainment hub deserted

PHUKET: More than 600 bars and entertainment venues in Phuket’s party central Patong closed at 1am this morning (Feb 2) following strict orders issued by the Phuket Governor on Monday leaving the entire party destination deserted.

By Chutharat Plerin

Thursday 2 February 2017, 04:16PM

The crackdown left the party zone deserted. Photo: Chutharat Plerin

The crackdown left the party zone deserted. Photo: Chutharat Plerin

Scores of police and other Phuket law-enforcement officers targeted bars and other nightlife venues on Bangla Rd on Monday night (Jan 30), ordering the venue operators to follow the law and close on time.

The sortie of officers massed at the traditional police assembly point in front of the police box at the beach end of Bangla Rd at 11pm on Monday, when they were briefed on their objectives as paid out by a direct order from Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan. (See story here.)

Reporters from The Phuket News’ Thai language sister newspaper Khao Phuket went to the famed party zone at closing time this morning to speak with both venue operators and tourists to seek their opinion on the crackdown.

Mr Corrado Parise, an Italian owner of the Illuzion nightclub said that tourists were confused by the crackdown and didn’t understand why entertainment venues have to close at 1am.

“I understand that it is a law, but I want them to be reasonable. Most tourists usually come to the area’s entertainment venues after midnight.

“If we close at 1am, they will only have one hour for their night out. Some of them saved their money for a whole year to come here on holiday, if they find it like this I am not sure they will come back again,” Mr Corrado said.

Some Patong flower vendors also offered their opinion. “We usually sell out all flowers as tourists buy flowers for their lovers or new friends.

“However, for the past three nights we did not sell out because the entertainment venues closed early and tourists went back to their accommodation,” one vendor said.

“We hoped that we would have sold out like before. This is our main income, our children are still in school and if we don’t earn enough money, how can we get the money for our children,” she added.

Lisa, a Canadian tourist also said she didn’t understand what was happening.

“I visited the area three years ago and that time we really enjoyed ourselves. We were still walking around the streets at 3am.

“I love Thailand, especially the entertainment venues on Bangla Rd, and I came back here again expecting to enjoy my experience like I did before, but they closed early and I didn’t enjoy it,” she said.

An unnamed bar worker said that all entertainment venue staff wait all year for high season. “We don’t earn much salary, we earn more from tips we get from customers. We want officials to sympathise with us,” she said.

Meanwhile, entertainment venue operators gathered at the Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Feb 1) to file a petition for a special zone to be set up, allowing the venues to close later than the current legally mandated times until 6 am.

Phuket Vice Governor Teera Anantaseriwidhya received the petition on behalf of Gov Chockchai and confirmed it would be forwarded to its intended recipient, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.
V/Gov Teera thanked the operators for raising their concern, but still asked them to abide by the law. (See story here.)

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TarquiniusRex | 06 February 2017 - 04:34:47

Do they not have a welfare state in Thailand? Can the flower vendors not claim child support allowances or something similar for their children?

patongbert | 03 February 2017 - 21:44:19

1600 Euro for entertainment
700 Euro for flights
400 Euro for rooms + car ...
200 for other things spend in Thailand.

total 2900 Euro in 2 weeks
Many people in Germany still working for 10-12 Euro per h.
with monthly 168 h this makes 1850 per month ( less taxes and social insurance ) net income  aprox  1.100 Euro if single.
From this you have to pai room rental, electric, food and ...

eric dekegel | 03 February 2017 - 18:54:16

quality tourists = chinese toutists, some hotels don't want them anymore, thats a joke if this is the andaman pearl
Its time to have electons in this country

Kurt | 03 February 2017 - 14:34:53

Questions still are:
---Why, out of the blue, this law enforcement entertainment crackdown? 
---How long is this Patong law enforcement crack down going to last?
--- And why only in Patong? Why not at Patak Road, Chalong?

Kurt | 03 February 2017 - 14:18:42

@ patongbert.  60,000 thb, divided by 13 days: = 4615 thb per day person. Divided by 38 = 120 Euro per day!
They didn't 'save a whole year' for that.
Just spent a month salary + their yearly vacation allowance. ( 13th month), enough to cover also flights + accommodation.
No savings needed for just a 13 days Patong holiday.

Kurt | 03 February 2017 - 11:32:36

11 and 13 February are Buddha Days. Is there a alcohol ban, are the bars closed?

Fritz Pinguin | 03 February 2017 - 11:03:09

Flower sellers caring for their children? Why do you just see the parents sitting on motorbikes while their children (age 4-5 years up) are sent off to restaurants to sell flowers? The children are making money for their lazy parents, that the way it goes.

patongbert | 03 February 2017 - 02:33:43

It's not only the bar nightlife and entertainment business which will dry out and die.
It's a long tail behind !The staff which not has work any more, guesthouses and restaurants which not have customers, laundries ..... And every service business, which will have to close, if this party tourist not come anymore.
And yes, I not believe, I know that many people save a whole year for to ...

Lon | 03 February 2017 - 02:00:27

Great newsletter!!

eric dekegel | 02 February 2017 - 20:52:18

Are the governors and Prajuth proud of this action????Of course
Its less dangerous then chase a criminal or a drugs dealer who is killing children and others.Yesterday the overcharging from the Phuket police, there nobody moves,visit to Kata, today to other beaches what is it nice to be a governor/vice governor/police men and even prime minister to do this type of action. We need urgently electio...

bustermanidogs | 02 February 2017 - 19:44:51

@discover thainess.  If these venues were to stay closed at 1am then a lot of staff would be out of jobs, less tourists coming to patong due to lack of nightlife, more and more businesses closing down due to not being able to afford the rent, staff, tea money etc. Then, because of many people who now have no income, a rise in crime as a means to just survive, which in turn means even less tourism....

Gnasher | 02 February 2017 - 19:37:03

It\'s no secret that the General ruling in Bangkok would like to see the back of the Phuket naughty nightlife scene and turn Phuket into the Pearl of the Andaman attracting \'quality\' tourists ....

Totally agree with the comments below from Kurt and Discover Thainess

malczx7r | 02 February 2017 - 18:56:00

I think you are both right, Kurt, the guy's comment that he doesn't understand why he has to close at the time set by the law! Duh!! hahah  Of course he doesn't understand because normally, no-one ever enforces any laws! oh how the police must be shocked having to do their job!

Oh it would be great if Phuket tourism crashed, then all the greedy Taxi and Tuk Tuks would be out of work...

Foot | 02 February 2017 - 18:49:22

I agree with Discover Thainess' observation "...Seems like the current authorities are keen in killing the tourist goose and its golden egg, from Patong bars to bringing your own chair to the beach, it's all being stopped..."

For whatever reason, Phuket is gradually reducing the size of the tourism industry.  The ripple affect will hit all workers and construction projects.


Kurt | 02 February 2017 - 17:55:21

This time I support a few people who usually just mention here, "The law is the Law".
Why does it need a 'direct strict order' of the Governor to
maintain normal thai laws?
Why are normally the RTP not enforce the thai laws at Bangla area?
Well, simply, it are the bribes, kick backs, tea money, and whatever you like to call the officials corruption.

It is a crack down on s...

Discover Thainess | 02 February 2017 - 17:25:36

Seems like the current authorities are keen in killing the tourist goose and its golden egg, from patong bars to bringing your own chair to the beach, it's all being stopped

Personally I think it's great, when tourists stop coming all the "questionable" business practices will die out and taxis and tuktuks will stop blocking any available parking: no customers and they will ha...


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