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Phuket bars, nightclubs plea for special Patong party zone

Phuket bars, nightclubs plea for special Patong party zone

PHUKET: A consortium of more than 20 owners of Patong bars, nightclubs and other entertainment businesses today (Feb 1) filed a petition for a special zone to be set up, allowing the venues to close later than the current legally mandated times.

By Suthicha Sirirat

Wednesday 1 February 2017, 08:11PM

The petition filed today followed a blitz on Patong bars and clubs on Monday night that forced tourist-popular bars and nightclubs on Bangla Rd to close at the mandated times of 1am for venues inside Patong’s “entertainment zone” and midnight for venues outside the zone.

The blitz was carried out in line with a direct order by Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan. (See story here.)

Phuket Vice Governor Teera Anantaseriwidhya received the petition on behalf of Governor Chockchai, and confirmed it would be forwarded to its intended recipient, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Among those present at Phuket Provincial Hall today were Patong Entertainment Business Association President Weerawit Krueasombut and Patong scion Preechawude “Prab” Keesin, head of the Pisona Group of companies.

Mr Weerawit pointed out that the current closing times were set up under the “Better Social Order” campaign under the Thaksin administration.

“This affects both entertainment venue operators and staff in Patong. In our letter, we request to extend the closing time for the entertainment venues in Patong from 1am to 4am,” he told The Phuket News.

“Most tourists are foreigners who usually come to the entertainment venues after midnight. Therefore they will only have one hour for their night out in an entertainment venue. This early closing time is costing us at least B100 million a year,” Mr Weerawit explained.

Mr Preechawude pointed out the lost income in taxed revenue that the government is missing out on, and highlighted that tourists just drink elsewhere in public places, causing a public nuisance, littering and jeopardising their own safety.


“Tourists go and drink on the beach after the entertainment venues are closed. This makes the beaches dirty and encourages crime, and the government has to pay more for people to clean the whole three-kilometre-length of the main part of the beach,” he said.

“We’re asking to close at 5am, and only for Bangla Rd and venues up to one kilometre from Bangla, as this is where most tourists are foreigners,” he added.

Mr Preechawude noted that the current closing times were easily avoided by paying bribes.

Although he said he had no solid evidence, Mr Preechawude added, “It’s no secret that some venue operators pay officials in order to be ignored and close later.”

V/Gov Teera thanked the operators for raising their concern, but still asked them to abide by the law.

“We will be the link between the venue operators and the Government of Thailand. We would like to ask for cooperation from the operators to explain to tourists so they understand the law, as Phuket is one of the most attractive tourism cities in the world,” he said.

“Phuket is a special area and has a different attractions than other areas. So we need to be careful with any changes. We (at the provincial level) cannot enforce different closing times until the central government has decided,” he added.

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Roger Scallywag | 04 February 2017 - 16:56:01

Good to see some real competition on Bangla Road with 49 baht beers. I doubt that the Patong price fixing committee/cartel will be pleased about this development though ....

Kurt | 04 February 2017 - 16:35:22

Did anyone ever see Phuket Fire brigade prevention officers during operation hours in places like Illuzion to check according fire prevention-safety rules/regulations?

Sue Yu2 | 04 February 2017 - 12:53:03

Prices on Bangla are high & suddenly 2 bars have 49b beers...what happens? These places are crammed full of people. Illuzion last night offered Chang @ 49b & there was a massive queue outside, BUT when it closed @ 1am they queued to GET OUT & down the steps. Hate to think what would happen if there was ever a fire in that place. 1am closing time's far too early for a so-called nigh...

patongbert | 03 February 2017 - 22:03:26

one very old guy , who already lives in Patong for more than 25 years, told me:
" every week there are coming many thousands of people to visit Phuket, and if there is only 1 person every hundret aircrafts, who has money enough and be stupid enough to invest it, them already fine."
I lived more than 10 year myselve in Patong, and I never ever heard about someone who made $$$ with a bar...

Gnasher | 02 February 2017 - 19:50:52

Anybody taking on a new lease on a Patong bar these days should have their head examined by a qualified medical specialist. Tons of empty bars shows how the market has changed.

Mike_nyc | 02 February 2017 - 17:53:48

Could be the effect of international military training on the islands of Thailand. It's in government's interests to attract foreign investors/benefactors. This may be the cause for Phuket police and army to tefuse bribes.

Grizzly Bear | 02 February 2017 - 16:51:48

The days of foreign bar owners/operators running bars in Patong are drawing to a close. You just have to look at how many empty bar units there is in Patong these days to see that it is not a viable business any more.  Just look at the number of empty bars under the Tiger Disco and look at how few customers there are in the bars that are still going. It\'s a race to the bottom ...

Kurt | 02 February 2017 - 13:51:16

As bars and clubs in Bangla area always close around 5 AM, how can mr Preechawude predict that tourist , with closing time bars at 01:00 AM, go to the beach and make the beaches dirty and encourage crime? ( put enough rubbish bins at the beach!)
And jeopardizing own safety?  Hahahaha, big joke.
Funny talks, just preaching for own pocket.

simon01 | 02 February 2017 - 13:45:37

This is not totally correct. They made the bars close at midnight and then closed the clubs like TaiPan at 1am. But the bars on bangla were being closed from midnight as they made their way along the street. Bars all over town ( including restaurants) are having to close at midnight. But as the Thai government is aiming to remove all tourism from phuket this is a good way to do it. Do nothing to s...

Kurt | 02 February 2017 - 13:36:55

@ Kevin gray: Don't worry, Thai officials just play the 'thai law closing time card' for one night only.
It is ment for the restaurant and bar owners to realize not to forget to pay the bribes to officials to allow them to be open till the last customer leaves instead of closing midnight or 01:00 AM. ( can be any time as 4am is not a official closing time).
I wonder how much a bottle...

Kevin gray | 02 February 2017 - 03:28:25

I travel to bangla road every year for the past 16 years and love it there 
I can't understand why the government would want to stop the Thai people making money....
This is the message to the government.....
Stop talking away from the Thai people who work very hard to welcome people from all over the world to entertain and experience the best party seen in the world...
Too take the clo...

Kurt | 01 February 2017 - 21:11:14

The influential people who run Patong ( that is not the Mayor) just want to get rid of paying bribes for having their business open till 5 AM, as they already do always.

Mr Preechawude stated clearly that official closing times are avoided by paying bribes to officials!
Any idea who demand these bribes?

Getting rid of the bribes for officials  means a tremendous increase in profits.  A drea...

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