Tourism

Thai military to tackle Bangkok’s nightlife

Daisy Doctor

The Thai government has recently been clamping down on pollution and “sex tourism” in a bid to shake its travel reputation.

The latest news following a slew of new laws and regulations is that the country’s military will begin crunching down on Bangkok’s nightlife.

The move will see many popular bars and clubs in the nation’s capital close early or indefinitely.

According to The Independent UK, bar owners have said military officials have begun “barging” into their establishments and demanding to see liquor licenses.

Sadly, some of these bars and clubs have never had, nor needed, a license.

The news comes ahead of the country election slated for February of next year, and the campaign may be a last-minute attempt to clean-up Thailand’s reputation.

The frustrating reality of Thailand’s continual efforts to tidy its reputation though is that it is, in fact, tourists who are so often to blame for the negative aspects such as “sex tourism”, overtourism, and environmental damage.

According to Thai law, all bars and clubs are meant to close at 2am, though many stay open all night.

Sam Wong, who owns a bar in Bangkok, said the stricter crackdown on nightlife has seemingly come out of nowhere.

“It is the first time in 40 years something like this has happened.”

DJ Anders Svensson echoes this, stating the military-led campaign may stifle the bubbly nightlife.

“Bangkok has become a much less spontaneous city and in many ways a more boring city than it was five years ago,” he said.

Meanwhile, deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said the military is simply enacting and forcing businesses to comply with laws which have existed for almost two decades.

Just last week, news surfaced that Thailand would be taking a firmer stance on littering throughout its famous beaches.

The measures will see a ban on fishing, fish feeding, anchoring on reefs, construction and walking on seabeds on many of its popular islands.

In particular, tourism hotspots Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngan, the home of the famous Full Moon Party, will each be impacted by the laws.

DEPARTMENT OF MARINE AND COASTAL RESOURCES DIRECTOR JATUPORN BURUTPHAT SAID: “THE AMOUNT OF GARBAGE AND WASTEWATER ON THESE ISLANDS IS SO BIG THAT IT WILL BECOME UNBEARABLE IN THE NEAR FUTURE, AND WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE.”

Burutphat added that tourists who break these laws will be fined 100,000 baht  ($A4154) and could face jail time.

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