Just a heads up: The important Buddhist and public holiday of Visakha Bucha this year falls on Friday, May 20. Being a national as well as one of the four most important religious holidays in the Thai calendar, Visakha Bucha doesn’t just result in government offices, immigration, banks etc. closed for a full day – alcohol sales will also be banned nationwide.
As on the three other main Buddhist holidays, alcohol sales are strictly illegal and most bars in Pattaya will be closed from midnight to midnight. While hotel bars are exempted from the ban, restaurants, department stores and supermarkets (including 7-Eleven and Family Mart stores) will not be allowed to sell alcohol either. Anyone acting against the law can be fined up to 10,000 Baht and/or receive a jail sentence of up to six months.
Bars around Pattaya received the following official warning notice by police on Thursday, basically urging them to abide by the law or face the music:
As usual, you may need a bit of luck to find a quiet dimly-lit bar that defies the booze ban to a certain extent and sells you a beer or other alcoholic beverage in an alibi coffee mug. If you don’t feel like taking a chance but wish to rest assured you can maintain your usual level of intoxication you’re advised to stock up on booze and have a private piss-up in your room or join fellow sinners on the beach.