Despite all the controversy--at least in the foreign community--about the early closing times for nightlife spots, this tact has been tried before. In the past it was usually associated with regimes attempting to enforce social order during times of turmoil.
On January 31, 1972, the Thanom junta ordered all nightspots, restaurants
(even in hotels), bowling alleys, and food shops to close at midnight.
The serving of liquor was also banned between 2pm and 5pm. This
afternoon prohibition as been revived at the present time.
In 1976 a curfew was imposed from 12:00am to 4:30am. This was in
the wake of the right-wing storming of Thammasat and at the height
of the Communist insurgency. Bars and nightspots had to close at
11:30pm. This move was said to be generally welcomed by people who
were able to sleep soundly and not be disturbed by noise from nightspots.
Nighttime crime was also common and the curfew was an attempt to
address this. A Nation article at the time described Patpong-area
business as upset and described the chaos as the bars closed at
11:30pm and everyone rushed home to beat the curfew
Earlier: From the Thai-language press: Red
light areas in Bangkok in olden days
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