TF Archives

Thailand's Nightlife Nightmare- Midnight Curfew (Briefly) Postponed

Author: Jonty Skrufff (
Saturday, January 17, 2004
Thai authorities announced this week that they'll be delaying introducing laws forcing all nightspots to close at midnight, while they look at ways to exempt the country's restaurants.

"The dusk-to-midnight operating time restriction may be barking up the wrong tree. It will affect restaurants featuring music," Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra explained, during a Cabinet meeting aired on Thai TV.

"I would like to see a more thought-out idea, not a blanket proposal." (The Nation)

The proposed midnight curfew is the brainchild of Deputy PM Purachai Piemsombun, who conceived last year's anti-drug 'New Social Order Policy', which saw police raiding nightclubs throughout Thailand, frequently urine testing revellers seized straight off the dance floor.

"Drug users (as well as dealers) are also being targeted, including foreigners who indulge during their stay in Thailand," a report in Scotland On Sunday warned last February.

"Raids on nightclubs and bars appear to be on the increase, and foreigners are often forced to undergo urine tests for banned substances."

The new Cinderella-style curfew laws will be finalised on March 1st and local electro-disco band Futon told Skrufff they expect the debate to revolve around whether the cut-off point is midnight, 1am or 2am.

"The early closures will also be imposed on health and recreational venues such as saunas and spas, game-machine parlours, snooker halls, karaoke bars and even Internet cafes," Futon's Bee told Skrufff.

"Though we're still not sure if staying up late & reading a book will become an offence."

(Bangkok's Futon newly revamped site- includes tracks from their new album Nevermind The Botox plus their excellent electrodiskopunk version of the Stooges's classic I Wanna' Be Your Dog)