Bangkok’s bustling nightlife scene has grown tremendously in the last few years, with night owls spoiled for choice by a number of entertaining afterhour venues. But you will now find it a bit of challenge to find these underground gems, due to an old law now being reinforced by the authorities.
According to a report by local Thai publication, Khao Sod, most clubs and bars within the Khaosan Road and Thonglor area have been given orders to end their operations by midnight. The situation is obviously disappointing to many but according to the authorities, isn't based on new regulation.
The local police have defended their actions stating that these closing times were legislated more than a decade ago, in 2004. Col. Khajonphong Jitphakpoom of Thonglor police said, “Go back and look at the law,” when asked about the regulation.
One of the most devastating outcomes from this is the decision to close one of Bangkok’s favourite afterhour joints, Dark Bar, with owner Nod Nuanwan Tatong announcing last month that the closure would be permanent. Dark Bar has served locals as one of the most forward thinking underground institutions in Bangkok. Music aside, one of its main appeals is its extended opening times and afterhour vibe.
But despite the negative financial implications for the venue, Dark Bar has recently received tremendous pressure from the authorities to shut its doors at midnight - and now the true impact of this is clear.
Many in the local electronic music community have voiced their displeasure and frustration towards this decision. Although Nod has no immediate plans of reopening another outlet, there are plans for collaborative events in the future.
Dark Bar will be throwing a series of farewell parties on May 31st (featuring Sunju Hargun), June 2nd and The Last Hurrah slated on June 3rd. You can read the rest of the news regarding the reinstated ruling on Bangkok nightclubs here.