Entertainment Activities to Go Back to Normal November 14 (Updated)

in-remembrance-of-his-majesty-king-bhumibol-adulyadej

It’s been a sad day for the Thai people. Following the announcement of the death of King Bhumibol Thursday evening, Thais are mourning the tragic loss of their much revered monarch. Having reigned for 70 years, for most Thai people King Bhumibol is the only monarch they can remember in their lives and his death marks the end of an era.
Shortly after the televised announcement of the beloved monarch’s death at 7 p.m. an official one-year mourning period was announced by prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. While the general public has been urged to decide on an appropriate duration of mourning, Prayuth also ordered all sectors of society to “refrain from holding entertainment activities for one month.”
But what does this mean in practice, and how will this entertainment ban affect tourism in Thailand, nightlife and the entertainment industry?

To come straight to the point: There is no reason whatsoever to cancel or postpone your vacation. In Pattaya, most bars are open as usual, just with toned down activities, no loud music or parties.
In addition, the military government confirmed on November 1 that the month-long ban on entertainment activities would come to an end on November 14 as scheduled and would not get extended.
So while the impact on Pattaya’s entertainment industry has been minimal anyway and more or less limited to a ban on loud music and parties in open-air bars, things should go fully back to normal from mid-November. Festivals, concerts, and other forms of public entertainment may also resume November 14.
Here are all the details you should know. (This post has been frequently updated since it was first published, the last time on November 16.)

TV, Entertainment Events, Festivals, Attractions

In the first place, it seems, the order will only affect radio programs and television channels that were replaced with black and white palace broadcasts late Thursday night.
All TV networks – including international satellite channels like the BBC, CNN etc. – were ordered to replace their regular programs like soap operas and comedies with a “prepared rolling state media program”.
While the TV entertainment ban was initially meant to stay in place for 30 days, the junta later agreed to return broadcasting authority to the stations at midnight on Friday. There have however been limitations on what can be shown, with no entertainment programs like soap operas, comedies or concerts allowed.
From November 14, television channels will be allowed to fully resume their normal programs.

Likewise, most entertainment events, such as concerts, festivals, live music etc., have been cancelled nationwide for the next 30 days. For example, there will be no Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan this month and a number of concerts including by international artists have been canceled.
Even the Thai football season – with three remaining match weeks to be played – was cut short after the passing of the king and the league leaders crowned champions.
As for Thailand’s World Cup qualifier against Australia in Bangkok on November 15, fans were initially asked to tone down their dresses and wear black, white or grey. Chanting and “joyful activities” were equally banned.
After the government confirmed, however, that entertainment activities could return to normal after the end of the immediate 30-day mourning period a day earlier, fans will now be allowed to cheer their team as usual.

While tourist attractions around Pattaya, including the Alcazar and Tiffany’s ladyboy shows, remain open and operate as usual, the Loy Krathong festival on November 14 will be limited to its traditional aspects like floating baskets made of banana leaves and candle lightning.
As it appears, the Pattaya International Fireworks Festival in late November and the lavish new year celebrations at the Bali Hai Pier at the end of the year have also been canceled or will at least be toned down. (Thai tourism authorities actually confirmed mid-November that Christmas and New Year celebrations nationwide would “go ahead as scheduled,” but organizers may have make “adjustments”.)
On the positive side, there will be free entry (for foreign visitors too!) to historical sites and museums throughout Thailand until the end of January 2017.

walking-street-23-october-2016
Walking Street on the night of October 23, 2016.

Are Bars Open in Pattaya? YES !!!

As for the local entertainment industry, most bars and nighttclubs around Pattaya were ordered by authorities to close on the night of the king’s passing – a step many bar owners would have probably taken by choice.
An alcohol ban was however not in place and no official closing order was issued to local bar owners. The decision whether or not to close for a couple of days was with individual owners.
In fact, many bars were open again the following night; others likely decided to wait until the Buddhist holiday on Sunday (alcohol ban) was over before they opened again for business.

Bars are however still required to tone down their activities, with no types of parties, no loud or live music or any form of obscenity being tolerated during the 30-day mourning period. “Quiet” music is acceptable, though, and can indeed be heard again in many open bars now.
Outside dedicated entertainment zones, it appears that bars also have to close at 1 a.m. for the time being. The early curfew is however not strictly enforced and most beer bars are open longer.
So while parties and loud music blaring from the speakers are still a no-no in open bars, you can still have a beer and have fun with the girls as you usually would in Pattaya. In general, you should only expect the atmosphere to be more subdued than usual. There is however NO reason to cancel your trip to Pattaya.
From November 14 – when the 30-day entertainment ban officially comes to an end -, things should go fully back to normal again, i.e. including wild parties and ear-piercing music (if that’s what you’re into.)

What About Walking Street, GoGo Bars & Clubs?

Following a couple of days of confusion – many clubs on Walking Street were already open again Friday night; others were still closed -, the Interior Ministry issued an official statement on Sunday, October 16, saying

entertainment businesses such as bars and nightclubs can operate normally so long as they are behind closed doors.

In other words, clubs and GoGo bars were officially allowed to open again, however without fancy lights and explicit advertising on the street. Venues with open glass fronts were also asked to cover them.
But as you can see from the picture above – taken on the night of October 23 and nine days after this post was first published -, most of the neon signs on Walking Street are on again by now and the place is as crowded as usual. While there’s still no loud music and dancing in the open outside bars, GoGo bars and clubs are operating as usual on the inside.
As it seems, the official closing time in “designated entertainment zones” such as Walking Street has also been brought forward to 2 a.m. for the time being. As far as we know, however, clubs like Insomnia and Marine are still open until 4 a.m. and the party is in full swing as usual.
In addition, the military government has now confirmed that the ban on entertainment activities would ultimately expire after 30 days. So while the impact on Walking Street and the nightlife industry there has been minimal, things should go fully back to normal from November 14.
Again, there is NO reason whatsoever to cancel your holiday in Pattaya.

We’ll keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available. If you’re in Pattaya at the moment your feedback would obviously be much appreciated too. Simply leave a comment in the comments section below and help people better understand the situation on the ground. In the meanwhile, we’d like to ask you to respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people at this time of national mourning.

74 Responses to Entertainment Activities to Go Back to Normal November 14 (Updated)

    • This is obviously very unpredictable at the moment but I would say that in a couple of weeks, things will have gone pretty much back to normal. Most bar here in Pattaya are open anyway since Friday but without music. There will also be no parties or live music entertainment for the immediate mourning period of 30 days. But hey, you can still sit there, have a drink, play pool and have fun with the girls 🙂 I’m not sure about entertainment zones like Walking Street, GoGo bars and clubs (which obviously involve “explicit entertainment”) but I would rather expect just a 7-day closure period, not a full month.

  1. Hi,

    Some Agogo & night club were already opened last night. They just make no entertainment outside (light, music…). But inside some agogo on walking street was normal and upstair insomnia night club was normal, except that they closed at 3am.
    Some bar & agogo were still closed, but i guess it won’t last…

    have fun !

    • Thanks for the update! That’s good to hear. What would make a terrible situation only worse for the Thai people was if tourists cancelled their holidays en masse. I’ve already changed the title of this post as it seems the situation has somewhat relaxed already.

  2. Hi guys… many thanks for the news. Please keep us updated, as I guess many people like me are trying to understand what’s going on for the upcoming holidays!

    • Sunday is a Buddhist holiday anyway, alcohol sales prohibited and bars required to close. I guess many bars just decided to have a day or two off to mourn the death of their king or found it silly to re-open for just a day or two when Sunday they would have to close again anyway. My bet is from Monday things will be back to normal more or less, just without parties, loud music etc. After the immediate 30-day morning period is over by mid-November there should be no impact whatsoever on the entertainment industry anymore. No reason to cancel your holidays! These are obviously hard times for the Thai people and they rely on tourism more than ever.

  3. I’m coming to Pattaya on Monday ie 16 October. Will business on Walking Street go on as usual? There wont be any parties whatsoever? Also, what about the girls?

    • Hai i have to plan visit pattaya this month 29th can u inform the situation. if there no enjoyment i want change my travel date

      • No need to postpone your holidays. According to latest information, bars can open as usual. There will just be no loud music and parties. As for Walking Street, clubs and GoGo bars, it also appears they can operate as usual – just behind closed doors. While some places may still be closed I guess the situation will gradually relax over the next week.

    • I would think Walking Street will not have the loud music with all the girls on the outside of gogo bar pulling people in. Even inside the gogo bars will not likely to have loud music but perhaps with some girls staying inside waiting for customers. Other open bar will likely like the old time with girls sitting around talking to customer but without the music. I am sure the street girls will still be around everywhere. Anyway, who knows, but I think my guess wouldn’t be far off.

  4. Hi,
    I’m planning to visit Pattaya on 23rd. Will the situation be same until that? What about ‘Honey One’ place?

  5. Hi i understand its a hard time for Thais but im due to come over for the first time on 4th November. How do you think things will be? I go Bangkok for 2 nights first thrn pattaya on the 6th November. Thanks

    • I guess the situation will gradually relax over the next couple of weeks. Bars may open as usual anyway, just without loud music and parties. According to what I’ve just read, clubs and GoGos on Walking Street can also operate normally, however behind closed doors.

  6. We are coming on 28th of October. We heard that entertainment would be closed for a period of 30 days. I mean if this true then we have to cancel our plan. Any suggestions ? Any update ?

    • No need to cancel your holidays. Bars open as usual, just without loud music and parties. Even GoGo bars and clubs can operate as usual it seems, however behind closed doors. Massage parlours etc. are open anyway, same as all tourist attractions.

  7. Gang wars in Pattaya? That’s nonsense. Pattaya is safer than most American and European cities unless you really look for trouble. Where do people get such misinformation?

  8. Hi

    I booked by tickets to visit Pattaya from 19th till 23rd Oct. I read your post from the 14th of October about a tone-down version of all the entertainment establishments and the official end of the Buddhist lent period on the 16th.

    How is the situation there now please, specifically with the entertainment industry as a whole.

    • Bars are open as usual, just without loud music and parties. Clubs and GoGo bars can also open as long as the action takes place “behind closed doors”. I guess there will be much less neon lights and promotional staff outside the clubs on Walking Street until the end of the immediate 30-day mourning period. Inside, they can however open as usual.

  9. Are the Agogo Neon Lights lighted up along walking street. I understand it is loud music cannot be played outside of the agogos but what about inside the agogos, anyone been there yesterday to keep us abreast of the situation?

    • From what I understand, the current closing hour in designated entertainment zones such as Walking Street is 2 a.m., elsewhere 1 a.m. Then again, I wouldn’t be too sure that they strictly enforce this early closing time. I’m currently in Laos myself and won’t be back in Pattaya before the end of the week, so maybe someone else here has more accurate information on what time clubs are currently closing?

  10. There is a lot of Misinformation, In one newspaper it advised Tourist NOT
    to wear bright coloured Clothes, but wear Black or White to show respect.
    Most of my Holiday clothes are Bright and Multi-coloured, True or False ?

    • They said the black and white dress code does not apply to foreigners/tourists. Not even all Thai people are actually wearing black. Just make you DO wear something and don’t sit in a restaurant without a shirt like many Russians. I don’t think the Thais are expecting anything more from tourists.

        • Let me add that I’ve traveled through Bangkok twice this week and almost everyone there, I mean like at least 95% of the people, are wearing black and/or white. In Pattaya, the dress code situation appears to be much more relaxed than in Bangkok.

  11. Is anyone there on walking street on 19 or 20 of October??? What time are they closing bars? What time does insomnia or marine disco close??? Pls let ur fellow pattaya walking street know. Thx.

    • Not 100% sure about the closing time. From what I understand, Walking Street must close at 2 a.m. at the moment but my guess would be that the situation will soon relax. Anyway, all places are open, even though not all the neon lights are on.

  12. Hi,

    I am going out to Pattaya with a friend who will be seeing it for the first time. From what I am hearing, no loud music, no one outside the clubs, closing early, etc, it concerns me that my buddy won’t really see Party Town Pattaya. We were going to Bangkok after which I heard is mostly closed down.

    We won’t be arriving until Nov 1st. Anyone out there getting the impression that things will loosen a bit? I understand the grief of the Thai people right now, and totally support, but I am considering trying to change the trip to 2017 to show my buddy Thailand at is best.

    Thoughts?

    • No reason to postpone your visit I would say. The parties on Walking Street take place behind closed doors anyway, so it shouldn’t really matter whether the neon lights are on or not. I guess the situation will relax anyway within the next couple of weeks. Many outside bars have also started playing music again, although not as loud as usually.

  13. I’m due to go on the 30th November, I do hope things go back to as you were before this time, as a first timer going I am or was at least looking forward to those big neon lights everywhere and loud music hitting you from every angle, from what I’ve seen it looks amazing, but without them even though bars may still be open behind closed doors, it just wouldn’t have that same feel.keep us informed on the situation because I’m seriously considering cancelling the whole thing at this moment.

    • The situation has started to improve already and after the immediate 30-day mourning period is over (which is when you will arrive in Pattaya) the situation should be back to normal again. I don’t think there’s a reason to cancel your vacation.

  14. Hi , I will be in pattaya on Nov 10 to the 13th, how would the situation be around that time, would the disco and night club and walking street be back to normal.

    awaiting an response.

    • Discos and clubs on Walking Street are open as usual again now. They just don’t have all the outside neon lights on and close somewhat earlier. The party atmosphere inside is still the same. By the time you arrive in Pattaya, I guess the situation will have further improved.

    • Even i’ve planned for a short trip from 10th – 13th Nov… but i’ve checked with my friend who work there, it seems like now it’s been relaxed a bit. Let me check with him after a week to get a clear picture.

    • Hi Natalie, No worries, i’ve checked with my pal, Party is ON in Pattaya. The major event which is cancelled is fool moon party which use to happen in “Koh Phangan” And also the fool moon madness party which suppose to happen on 12th nov has been postponed to dec 17th. But we’ve managed to book the morning trip with admirallica… Have fun guys….

    • Hasn’t been officially confirmed yet but should be around mid-November. At least the situation for the bar/nightlife industry should be back to normal by then. Bigger events and festivals may remain cancelled or subdued for a longer period.

  15. Hi
    I will go to pattaya on 27 Oct to 04 Nov
    What do u think about situetion of gogo bars,night clubs,discos,alcaza show,boody massage and the girls stand on walking street?
    Do u think that i can enjoy my holiday like past?
    Thanks for your answear

    • Body massage parlours, Alcazar show, freelancers etc. all operating as usual. Bars open but without loud music. Discos, GoGo bars and clubs also open as usual inside, just without neon light advertising etc. on the street.

  16. I will be there in Pattaya for a week starting from Oct 3oth which was planned long back. Can I still find many freelancer girls at pattaya beach and outside major hotels in this mourning period? Please reply.

  17. Hi
    Please answear me bout this:
    I heared many girls back to thair houses for one month,it means that in clubs and discos and bars of walking street you cant find many girls
    Is it true?
    Please answear me,thanks

    • Definitely not true. Some girls who work in bars that were closed for a couple of days immediately after the king’s passing may have gone home for a weekend to join in the national mourning with their families. But with all bars open and operating as usual again, even these few girls should be back in Pattaya now. Don’t worry, the ladies of Pattaya are waiting for you 😉

  18. Once agin I would like to thank you for all the replies you are leaving on this website. That is a great help for all of us pussy mongers.
    Guys… all the girls will be more horny than usual. Just no more dragging you inside the go go bars as it normally happened, but maybe that’s even better. So let’s go and have some fun.

    • Hi, I’ve been back in Pattaya since Friday and updated the post a number of times where necessary. I haven’t been to Walking Street yet myself (don’t actually like the place much anymore) but friends told me clubs there are open and in full swing until 4 a.m. As for “normal” bars, they’re all open again and many have started playing “quiet” music again. The current 1 a.m. closing time for venues outside “designated zones” doesn’t seem to be strictly enforced either, at least not in the bars that I’ve visited. Unless you really need noisy parties it’s pretty much back to usual again.

  19. we are planing pattaya 21st november.that time all entertainments are open with loud music,openclubs,neon lights as useally

  20. Thanks so much for bringing us all up to date, regarding the “entertainment situation” in Pattaya. It’s extremely helpful and has convinced me to not postpone, my upcoming trip.

    I’ll be in Pattaya, November 2nd. I will provide an update of my take on the “entertainment situation”, after a few days there.

    • Looking forward to your update & hope you will enjoy your trip! Glad I could save Thailand from losing a visitor 😉

  21. Hi just need a quick update about the nightlife,in pattaya travelling out on the 6th November for two weeks will it be pretty much business as normal by then?As its a very sad time for the people of Thailand..

      • Thankyou for your reply was just worrying a little bit,yes there are lots of very sexy females to meet there but with little or no music does make a difference,to the ambience of the bars etc.It has just upped my enthusiasm again, knowing that things are getting back to normal roll on two weeks to sample the delights once again…

  22. After reading all these post, I am pretty much convinced that my vacation to Pattaya starting from 11th November 2016 will be as per the plan. Thanks Mr. Moderator for your updates!

  23. Hi what’s the weather situation like out there, is the flooding around Pattaya? I’m checking in to nova platuim on the 3rd November what’s that area like?

    • Parts of Pattaya are flooded only immediately after heavy rainfall, it’s usually okay after an hour or two in the worse affected areas. We obviously all hope that the rainy season will soon be over (as it should be on paper anyway). Not sure about the area around the Nova Platinum but I wouldn’t worry much about flooding.

  24. Hi, I am since 5 days in Patong phuket. Bangla is same as before in terms of music, neon lights and people trying to get you in to their clubs. Disco’s and clubs close however around 2-2:30. Still some places to find though where you can have a late drink, not the clubs though. In terms of girls, a bit dissapointing, only the less pretty ones and usually “older” ones (35+) are to be found in discos. Usually with too much experience and therefore trying to scam for extra money and poor service. Maybe many girls only plan to travel here later as it is more expensive for them than Pattaya.
    How are the girls in Pattaya? Also girls in their early 20s as betore?

    • There are also many older “girls” in Pattaya now (so it’s not quite what it used to be either), however also still enough cuties in their Twenties. I haven’t been to Phuket for ages so can’t really compare the “supply situation”, but you might want to give Pattaya a try?

      • Thanks for your reply, booked a flight yesterday and arriving there this Saturday. As long as there are girls in their twenties readily available it should be all good..

  25. Also the prices here have gone up again.. In clubs you pay easily 220-250 THB for a beer now, some clubs have it cheaper, 200 THB (which is still a bit more than 5 euro). Following the logic, less people so you try to charge more to keep the same profit..

    • Prices on Walking Street have also skyrocketed in recent years. As an expat, I must admit, I hardly go there anymore these days. Become too much of an overpriced tourist attraction for my taste. Elsewhere around Pattaya is considerably cheaper though.

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