Days and times when alcohol cannot be sold in Thailand

February 22, 2016


Alcohol licensing hours in Thailand can be confusing for some tourists. Actually, to be honest, it is confusing to me at times. The hours that you can and cannot buy alcohol at your local convenience store or supermarket just don’t make sense. In Thailand, you can only buy or be served alcohol between the hours of 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – midnight. Of course, this being Thailand, your local mom and pop store will probably sell you beer outside of these hours. Though they might refuse if they don’t recognize you. After all, you could be working undercover for the police. The fine for selling alcohol outside of these hours is up to 4,000 Baht and/or up to two years in prison.

In addition to these licensing hours, there are also 24 hour bans on the sale of alcohol on religious holidays such as Wan Makha Bucha, Wan Wisakha Bucha, Wan Asakha Bucha and Wan Khao Phansa. The fine for selling on these days is up to 10,000 Baht and/or up to six months in prison. But, like I said, alcohol is still being sold. Just this morning, I was buying some eggs at my local mom and pop store when a Tuk Tuk driver pulled up. He was served a shot of alcohol in a small brown bottle. On closer inspection, I could see it was one of those energy drink bottles. So, the next time your driver drinks some Krating Daeng or M-150 to keep himself awake, be aware, it might actually be a shot of whiskey he is drinking.

What do you think about the licensing hours in Thailand? Do you think they are effective? If not, what should they do to solve the alcohol problem in Thailand?

5 Responses to Days and times when alcohol cannot be sold in Thailand

  1. Jan Rönneke
    February 22, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    It´s really stupid. Anyone who want to buy alcohol can find a dealer in the small shops. It is only annoying when you go to the mall four a clock and they tell you, you can´t buy. Only if i buy large quantities. Why they have these rules i don´t understand. They open 10 and then you can buy if you are an alcoholic, but not after 11. The most important thing is that they check age.

  2. Pattaya Rag
    February 22, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    A small hotel/restaurant, (a boarding house in UK I guess), was raided in Pattaya last week for serving residents after 2.00am. The bar was shut down and the owner threatened with a 5 year closing order if the offense was repeated.

    As the owner later explained it is a busy time for the bar with residents trying to impress their overnight ‘guests’ with shooters and the like before retiring to their rooms. He said the lost income would hurt but not as much as closing for 5 years.

    As the owner also explained it’s like there are new regulations introduced every week making it ever more difficult to provide a service and make money. Maybe that’s the cunning plan.

  3. February 22, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    The penalty for this should be severe, if they are on a motorized bike, car, it is confiscated forever. And if no motorized vehicle,then the one at home, or the one next door, it goes, and is never returned. This may change behavior and perhaps be some sort of new ‘Thainess’.

    • j evans
      August 12, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      What a happy man j hart

  4. Alan
    February 26, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I think most farangs would consider these laws and the advertising restrictions stupid as they are so easily flouted, and by the way you can no longer get around it by buying more than 10 litres. I am not sure what problem they are trying to solve, the local guy is going to have a stock of lau kow and and his local store is not going to care. People going out at night is a different problem, they are entitled to have fun but not kill people on the road so stricter enforcement of drink driving laws for EVERYONE is what is needed. Where there is a problem is under age drinking and in my opinion the laws or their enforcement should be tougher for people selling it to minors or purchasing it on their behalf. Any Brits will remember licencing hours which the government eventually gave up on and I see in a recent report that there was no increase in alcohol consumption as a direct result of the change.

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