Why Bangkok’s famous underground nightlife is fading away
BANGKOK is well-known for a bustling nightlife that lasts until the wee hours of the morning, but the Thai military is attempting to drastically change that reputation.
A report said the junta government is intensifying its crackdown which forces many bars and clubs to close early and indefinitely.
The Washington Post quoted bar owners as saying military officials are raiding their premises and demanding to see licenses they have been operating without or didn’t even know existed.
Recently, tourists and expatriates in the coastal city of Pattaya were incredulous when authorities raided bars demanding to see licenses of those with dartboards.
In 2017, one of Bangkok’s most popular underground music venues, Dark Bar, was forcibly closed after the government imposed a midnight curfew. Another bar called Swing was also closed down following drug raids.
Sam Wong, the owner of Wong’s Place, said the military had ordered his rustic drinking den to close at 2 a.m.
“It is the first time in 40 years something like this has happened,” said bar owner Sam Wong, referring to the closing time and to a recent raid by army officers to check whether he has a license to play music.
Wong said he had good ties with the police which allowed his establishment to operate after hours with some leeway but the military would not budge.
For Anders Svensson, a DJ who runs an electronic music events company called 52Hz Bangkok, the military’s clampdown would dampen the city’s underground music scene.
“Bangkok has become a much less spontaneous city, and in many ways a more boring city than it was five years ago,” he said.
The military says it is forcing businesses to follow the new laws to hold Thailand’s youth to higher moral standards.
Deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said young Thais, staying out late, had provoked the new measures.
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Source: Travels travelwireasia.com