The pub-converted eateries in Soi Bua Khao are coming back to life, now that alcohol is allowed again, in the past two days more people have come to this Soi to enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
The transition has actually been going on for years, but the eight-month closure of Walking Street is slowly making it clear that Soi Buakhao is becoming the new hub of Pattaya’s nightlife.
Admittedly, today’s nightlife is a stunted shadow of its former self, bars masquerading as restaurants and serving alcohol in coffee cups. Now that Chonburi has allowed the sale of liquor in restaurants, the vendors in Tree Town market who have been serving illegally for months no longer have to cover it up.
As evidenced by the many beer bars and even go-go bars in Bangkok opening as “restaurants” and serving alcohol, the regulations have become a farce. Increasingly, only the biggest nightclubs and naughty bars are being punished by the nationwide closing order.
The rest are using loopholes, legal and otherwise, to get around the ban.
Damrongkiat Pinitkarn, secretary of the Pattaya Entertainment & Tourism Association, said the time is long gone for everything to just open up. The nightlife has been closed for eight months and has brought the lives of millions of entrepreneurs and entertainment workers to the abyss.
If the regulations in the books aren’t enforced uniformly or at all, it’s time to ditch the pretence.
Once they do, and the chrome pole “palaces” in Walking Street reopen, Soi Buakhao’s reign as the entertainment precincts of Pattian nightlife will be put to the test.
Catch up on more stories here
Follow us on Facebook here