Wichai Praisa-ngob, the Governor of Phuket, said that there were some complaints about nightclubs in Patong still staying open past the official closing times with loud noises or music, which affects people residing nearby. Therefore, he assigned related officers to investigate the cases. The nightclubs which stay open too late would be warned by the officers; if there are further complaints, the nightclub operators would be prosecuted.
“There are laws on noise but they cannot be enforced, because most operators know the law but try to avoid it. Sometimes, when police check, usually only two or so are found. The rest will not be found, because officers checking will inform the other bars before; then the staff will leave”, Wichai said.
Wichai mentioned: “Tourist behavior in Patong area is different from other areas. They are mostly foreigners, not Thais, and are likely to start going out quite late at about 11pm or midnight. That makes their time to go around and the operation time for businesses relatively short. After nightclubs close, some foreigners buy beer or alcohol and drink on the beach. This behavior was risky since there were not enough police to patrol all areas on the beach and crime might happen there at anytime. While some entertainment places close half their shop door to demonstrate that it is closed but they also allow visitors to sit next to it. The problem is the thinking by private operators.”
He continued: “Tourist areas should be divided into zones, with clearly defined rules, especially for closing and opening. A tourist attraction may be closed later than general entertainment in the area. Thai people want to have more time, because when foreigners come on holiday to rest they want to spend; we should get it right now because it is either illegal or find a way to avoid trouble. If there are clear rules, that will make visitors not need to buy a drink outside or sit at the beach drinking. Are unauthorized people also able to collect taxes for the government?? The problem is to reduce various crimes”, Wichai concluded.