Pattaya Bars and Nightclubs Reopen, But Few Customers Return

A bar on Pattaya Soi 6 on July 1, 2020.
A bar on Pattaya Soi 6 on July 1, 2020.

PATTAYA — Nightlife establishments in the resort town of Pattaya were back in business on Wednesday night for the first time in more than three months, though operators said there was little change.

Beginning Wednesday, all bars and nightclubs may open until midnight, but they must practice social distancing measures within the venue. While business operators welcomed the lift of closing orders they had been yearning for, a bar owner in Pattaya said she only had three customers on the first night of reopening.

“Only three customers came to my bar last night. I could only make less than 500 baht,” Saifon Kayanyeam, the owner of a bar on Pattaya Soi 6, said. “I will keep the bar open for 15 days to see whether the situation is getting better. If not, I have to close it since the cost is mounting.”

A survey by a Khaosod reporter found that only 15 percent of all bars in Pattaya returned to business last night. Let alone on Pattaya’s famed Walking Street, only 13 ‘beer bars’ were opened, barely any customers. Nightclubs remained closed.

For Chaiyot Thammasunthorn, who owns a nightclub on the Walking Street, he decided to keep his establishment closed until the pandemic is fully over.

“Nightlife operators in the city have decided not to open their businesses because there’s not enough purchasing power,” Chaiyot said. “On top of that, there’s virus control measures imposed by the government, so we will wait until the situation becomes better domestically and internationally.”

Pattaya's Walking Street on July 1, 2020.
Pattaya’s Walking Street on July 1, 2020.