Chiang Mai locals don’t like late night drinkers


A resident shows video of pub-goers gathering on Chang Moi Road in Chiang Mai late at night. (Screenshot)

Residents of Chang Moi Road in Chiang Mai are angry at local nightclubs that operate until the wee hours of the morning and the lack of action by the police despite repeated complaints.

Locals submitted a video of people gathering outside a late night entertainment venue on Saturday. The street is home to seven such venues, which attract younger patrons as they stay open until 3 or 4 a.m. – beyond the legal closing time of 2 a.m.

The plaintiffs claim that these venues operate as restaurants during the early hours and turn into pubs in the late evening, selling alcoholic drinks and playing loud music. Some have even converted their rooftops to accommodate DJ sets and live bands.

Even after the venue is closed, residents say patrons typically hang around, engage in loud conversations and cause disturbances.

Residents filed a formal complaint earlier. They said the area was a commercial area connected to the city’s old moat, which local authorities are preparing to nominate as a World Heritage Site. According to the city’s original plans, entertainment venues should not be allowed on the road.

At a forum hosted by the center on Wednesday, police told residents they would impose stricter controls and loud revelers would be dealt with. However, reports from Saturday morning said unrest was still taking place.

A resident said peace was not restored until two nights after the forum. Police were only seen checking the scene around 11pm on Friday before continuing to remain open until Saturday morning.

The complaints come at a time when the Ministry of Tourism and Sport has a proposal to allow nightclubs in certain tourist areas to stay open until 4am.

Proponents of the idea say businesses have suffered more than most during the pandemic as they remained closed for almost two years.

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