It’s always been somewhat obscure at what time bars and clubs had to close in Pattaya. Thai law is quite open to interpretation, so while the official closing time nationwide is sometime between midnight and 1 a.m. the closing time in Pattaya has always been understood to be sometime around 2 a.m.
Having said that, every couple of years, usually with a new police chief in town, bars around Pattaya would see a crackdown on closing hours, forcing them to temporarily switch off the lights and music at 1 a.m.
Walking Street, a designated entertainment zone, has always been an official exception to the flexible rules, with the closing time in Pattaya’s most infamous red-light district being 3 a.m. for a couple of years now. But even so, many bars and clubs there would still remain open an hour or two longer, and some would even bash on until sunrise and beyond.
In brief, closing hours in Pattaya would usually depend not just on the location of a bar but on how strictly (or laxly) the vague rules were interpreted and enforced.
A meeting between the police top brass and bar owners and managers at the Alcazar theatre last Thursday has now somewhat clarified Pattaya’s opening hours issue.
To cut a long story short, Pattaya has two different “entertainment zones”, Walking Street (Zone 1) and the rest of the Pattaya city area (Zone 2). That’s it.
According to the “new rules,” the official closing time on Walking Street (Zone 1) has been extended for an hour and is now 4 a.m. while all other bars and clubs around Pattaya (Zone 2) must officially close at 2 a.m.
The Pattaya police chief has also warned bar owners and managers that the new closing hours would be strictly enforced, with venues not adhering to the new rules facing prosecution, fines and a five-year shutdown.