The National Committee for Alcohol Consumption Control meeting has shot down the proposed total ban on alcohol sales throughout the Songkran holidays, Deputy Public Health Minister Manit Nopamornbodi has said.
Only the Public Health and Justice Ministries voted for the ban while the remaining 11 votes from related agencies opposed it, even if implemented on only April 13, for fear of hurting tourism, Manit said.
The meeting agreed instead on other regulations to be issued by the PM's Office, such as prohibiting people from drinking at certain places - including in the back of pickup trucks- to be in effect before Songkran, he added.
Alcohol checkpoints - more than last year's 8,000 - stationed by local health volunteers, would be set up at villages nationwide. Manit would meet with Public Health Service Support Department chiefs on Thursday to plan the checkpoints.
After a recent tip off Police officers from the ‘Children and Women Protection Unit' descended on the Nong Fluke Karaoke Bar in Naklua.
The Police officers raided the Karaoke Bar at 4.20am and discovered young ladies from 16-25 offering instant whirlwind romances to a number of older male clients.
All the girls and male clients were asked to supply a urine sample to check for drugs, eight females and three males proved positive and were taken to the police station for further investigation.
Mrs. Chumnan Klintong was also taken to the police station as it is believed she is the owner and manager of the premises and further charges may be brought against her, including operating a business without a license and selling alcohol after
drinking hours. The Police will make further investigations.
Rocket A-GoGo upstairs on Soi Diamond seems to have taken a change of direction. The previous manager Kuhn Artit has moved on to Gamebird 2 on Soi 15. The bar has now become a bells and whistles show targeting Asians and East European
The welcome staff signs for cheap drinks have vanished so presumably the drinks prices have inflated somewhat.
The news seems to be a reprise of what happened at Highway Star in the Pier Complex. Didn't turn out very well there, as the bar soon closed.
A new hostess bar opened on 25th March 2009. It is called Stork Club and is located where Freeway was on the Pattaya side of the hill
It is from the people that brought you the popular Kinnaree Palace on the Jomtien side of Pratamnak Hill.
It seems that the mode of operation is for the girls to work afternoons at Kinnaree and then to move across to Stork Club for the evening. Operations may be eventually rationalised into Stork Club as Kinnaree is said to be up for sale.
Silver Star 3 is a gogo on Walking Street near Beach Road.
The bar has now extended with a new section of the bar at the front nearest Walking Street. Several table dancing stages have been added.
Perhaps a little bit early to judge, but it seemed a very lonely entertainment area. There were dancers for each table but there were no spare girls available for chatting with customers. As other customers are continually passing through to the
main area of the bar it felt a little bit like sitting in a lonely corridor and missing out on more interesting entertainment inside.
Certainly not worth the expensive 95 Baht for a draft beer. But no doubt things will change, they'll have to.
Given the proven statistics of holiday traffic-accident deaths, three comments on the proposed Songkran "booze ban" come immediately to mind.
Why apply the ban to tourists or non-Thais of any kind? We are not tallied in the Songkran death toll. Surely, if we can be identified to be over-charged at many venues, we can be identified to buy alcohol.
Why apply the ban to the Bangkok area at all? As I recall the statistics, Bangkok (particularly on a per capita basis) is not a major contributor to holiday death toll. Exempting Bangkok, would eliminate most of the Thai versus tourists issues.
The moralists-in-charge go to great lengths to define "entertainment areas". Why not exempt these from the ban? Whether they are in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya or on an island somewhere, they too surely contribute negligible numbers to the
I have an even better idea. Penalize those who offend most. Look at the statistics for the past 3-5 years. Then ban all alcohol sales in those provinces that are in the top 5 for the per capita death rate. Let those who
offend most, suffer most. Blanket bans generally hurt the innocent more than penalize the offenders. Those most likely to offend are also most likely to skirt or simply ignore the ban.
Just after midnight on Wednesday police raided the premises of the Hell Club, located in Soi LK Metro in south Pattaya, where they arrested 13 Thai ladies and the owner of the establishment.
Police were apparently alerted to the premises after allegedly finding information on the internet whereby the Hell Club offered potential patrons sexual services of a high standard and catering to all kinds of tastes.
Inside the club they uncovered a veritable Aladdin's cave of plastic sex toys, sexual enhancement pills, a variety of gels and enough condoms to prevent a rubber factory from ever going broke.
Back at the police station the 13 ladies were tested for drug use and two were found to have recently ingested methamphetamines and charged with class 1 drug offences. Police have sent their video and still camera footage of the raid and the
impounded goodies to the Banglamung licensing authority for their comments, and will also be checking the license of the establishment.
Perhaps a few clues in the reasons for the police hyper activity in a report from similar in Phuket:
Each night in Patong, three testing teams, including police and public health officials, conduct the surprise raids from 9 pm to 11 pm.
The initiative follows a policy directive issued by Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban to crack down on drug abuse.
The raids are scheduled to continue over a 90-day period that began March 6.
The visiting police were actually the drug enforcement division doing the checking.
They examined the dildos, and the health care records of the girls. All the girls had to go down to the police station for drugs testing. They were released on payment of a 200 Baht fine apart from 2 who tested positive for drugs,
Legs Club on Soi Pattayaland 2 has been reduced down to half size. A wall has been constructed such that Legs Club is now a narrow single unit bar with a side stage.
It is now similar in layout to the unsuccessful Popcorn just down the soi. There is stool seating facing the stage abd a little comfortable seating at the front and back of the bar that does not offer a particularly good view of the stage.
For the moment most other things in the bar are the same as before with about 10 dancers of which 2 or 3 are very attractive. They now just dance for 3 songs which is good.
I hope the bar can maintain momentum. It is notoriously hard to make a small gogo work. It is difficult to maintain a good balance between girls and customers.
A joint team of Banglamung Administration and Pattaya police conducted a raid of Mixx Pub, Pattaya on 16 March, 2009, arresting nearly 50 revellers who for taking illicit drugs. They also checked that the opening and closing times were being
adhered to, in accordance with the government regulations.
At 3.30 am, on 16 March, a total of over 30 officials, conducted a drugs' search of the Mixx Pub, at Bali Hai Beach.
Mixx Pub contains 3 different zones with dancers and drinkers. The venue was crowded with over 500 people inside, both locals and tourists. The police asked all those present to co-operate by showing their ID cards and lining up in rows to have
their urine checked to see if they had been taking drugs. 46 people, in all, tested positive for illicit drug use. The police apprehended them and took them to the police station; however, no other illegal items were found in the pub.
In addition, Winai Gertpolmak, the manger, was also taken to the police station for further investigation.
42 people arrested following raid on Insomnia Club on Walking Street.
Insomnia Club located on Walking Street is a popular late night venue but in the early hours of Saturday Morning they received some unwelcomed visitors, namely a team of Police Officers from Chonburi Provincial Police led by Police Colonel
Tirapong, the Deputy Commander of Chonburi Provincial Police.
The raid took place at 5.30am and there were approximately 500 patrons inside at the time. The farangs were ejected and the rest were checked for the presence of narcotics in their systems via urine checks and 40 patrons, 34 women and 6 men
failed the test and were subsequently arrested and charged with consuming class 1 drugs.
Two men accused of supplying class 1 drugs were also arrested at the scene. The manager of the venue was also arrested and a report will now be sent to the Banglamung District Licensing Officer who must also consider the fact that the club was
open well after its permitted time.
Citing a lack of facilities in Phuket, the government has chosen Pattaya as the venue for two meetings for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders and their dialogue partners next month, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs
Thailand earlier said that it had planned to host the Asean+3 and Asean+6 in Phuket, but Mr Kasit said the dates for the meeting, April 10-12, coincided with the annual Songkran water festival and hotels were filled with holidaymakers.
After twice surveying Phuket and visiting Pattaya once, the Foreign Ministry planning team concluded that the eastern seaboard resort was a better place in terms of hotel room availability and meeting venues.
The Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall, part of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, was chosen as the venue for both Asean+3 (China, South Korea and Japan) and Asean+6 (China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and India), he said.
The Public Health Ministry has issued two options for alcohol consumption during the Songkran Festival from April 12 to 14.
Deputy public health minister Manit Nopamornbodi said the ministerial executives had come up with two ideas:
ban all sale of alcohol during the entire period
ban sale at stores but allow restaurants, pubs and hotels with an Excise Department permit to serve booze from 6pm to midnight.
The ministry will soon submit a report to the National Committee for Alcohol Consumption Control Policy for a final say, he added.
Disease Control Department chief Somchai Chakrabhand said the ministry came up with these options after listening to all sides, including anti-alcohol groups, academics, manufacturers and business operators. The idea was to control the impact of
drinking rather than prohibit it altogether, he said, though allowing booze to be sold at convenience stores or supermarkets will only encourage drunk driving, he added.
Tiger A-GoGo is located upstairs on Soi Diamond with stairs up from Walking Street.
Tiger A-GoGo has now been extended so that the open space between the bar and the stairs has been incorporated into the bar. It somehow makes for neater and more enticing entrance.
No doubt it will have to change soon but the extended operation is a disaster.
About half a dozen new table dancing positions have been created in the new front section of the bar. The bar seemed to have just added these new positions into the dance rotation such that the girls now have to dance 8 songs. Way too long for
the girl, and way too long for any customer waiting for their return.
In fact 13 girls were dancing out of the 19 names on the white board. Too much dancing and not enough taking care of the customers.
If you do try the bar it is best to sit in the back section. The girls start their long stint in the front section and tend to congregate there just when they are about to start on their dance marathon. Better to watch from the back section to
catch them as they are finishing their dancing.
Taboo: X Zone 2 is located in the Covent Garden Complex on Soi 16 just off Walking Street
The bar layout is pretty much the same as used by the previous occupants Taboo. A large centre stage with a couple of small dance stages closer to the seating.
There a couple of new additions in a Jacuzzi and a swimming tank. Both unused during my visit.
The bar had a perfectly good line up of girls for the opening night, perhaps easier than some start ups because the owners are already operating upstairs and can demonstrate having a few customers.
There were probably a dozen girls organised into two alternating teams. The girls were mostly bikini clad but a couple took off their tops suggesting that bikini is the girls preference rather than bar policy.
The seating has comfortable sofas around the outside of the bar and a few stools stage side. I'm not sure the sofas will prove very efficient though, as they are arranged into bays with 4 seats very close together. I guess that a single customer
will end up occupying all 4, as a 2nd customer would definitely be invading personal space.
The music is a downer for an oldie like me as it was too loud to allow easy conversation. This hasn't stopped the likes of Casnovy from being popular though.
However the noise also caused a problem for service as the girl inevitably misheard my order. Knowing the usual Pattaya bar reticence for incorrect orders to be righted, unless at the expense of the customer or the service girl, I was a bit on
edge. However the problem was happily resolved without hassle.
There was no draft beer available and bottled beer was 120 Baht. I always feel this is way too expensive unless one is assured of more personal entertainment than shuffling gogo dancers. But an old friend I knew from another bar jumped on my lap,
so all was well and I enjoyed a few drinks before feeling the need to escape the noise.
Pinky Girl A-GoGo on Walking Street is now shut. The entire building including neighbouring shops has now been gutted.
The bar targeted mostly Asian tourists with its bells and whistles shows.
On the other hand X-Zone 2 is set to open in the old Taboo tonight (5th March). There will be all new girls, and a swimming show. The new bar is located in the Covent Garden Complex on Soi 16 just off Walking Street.
So still 79 bars with girls dancing in bikinis or less.
The Chief of Pattaya's Tourist Police Division organized a an operation on Walking Street in the early hours of Wednesday Morning.
Officers and volunteers were targeting flower sellers, photographers, transsexuals and anyone else acting in a suspicious manner including street vendors offering pictures with exotic animals.
62 people including some children and 4 exotic animals were rounded up. The arrestees were taken to Pattaya Police Station for further processing and it is expected that the Tourist Police will continue the operation over the coming weeks.