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Chiang Mai beer bars now closing at midnight

thai police van

The girly bars in Chiang Mai are now closing before midnight! The change has conspirator's and corruption callers in a fuss at the new closing time changes and the ones who will suffer are the many bar owners as they are now missing out on up to 45hours of lost trade per month at their busiest times too.

The change came about a few days before this years Loi Kratong festival. The changes were immediate and swift and as one bar owner who wants to remain anonymous put it "A death sentence to the girlie bar scene in Chiang Mai".

Meanwhile the rest of Chiang Mai's Thai bar scene still enjoys the 1 am closing times they have enjoyed for as long as I've lived here. What is the difference between the two and why are they making the girly beer bars in Chiang Mai close before midnight?

The beer bars in question are on the Chiang Mai nightlife map along the loh kroh road and Thai Boxing bar area marked with a red line.

I'm not sure if it's coincidence or not given the re-opening of Bubbles disco around the same time or not but if you really think about it, the only two places that bar girls go after they finish work would either be Spicy or Bubbles. Some might say that if you close the bars earlier these places will fill up earlier and since they don't close until 4am in the morning it works out good for the nightclub owners Spicy and Bubbles.

The real truth will probably never be public so what theories we do have will only ever be theories.

This is a good lesson for anyone who wants to do business in Thailand. The rules of the game can change instantly and suddenly without notice.

Chiang Mai has never been a mongers paradise or those seeking thrills at the beer bars for that your best off going to Pattaya or even Phuket. However if your seeking thrills at karaoke bars that's a different story. Chiang Mai has more karaoke bars per head of population than anywhere else in Thailand, in fact the whole concept of the Karaoke bar first emerged in Chiang Mai before it went elsewhere in Thailand. Chiang Mai has more working girls at Karaoke bars than they do the beer bars because Chiang Mai girls are too embarrassed to be seen at the beer bars and most of them prefer Asians and Thai people.

Some might say that Chiang Mai isn't the place to get working girls but it's not true, the beer bars in central Chiang Mai are just a small subsection of the whole sex industry in Chiang Mai.


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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

9 Responses to Chiang Mai beer bars now closing at midnight

  1. Anon November 23, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    I understand Spicy (and probably Bubbles) are owned by the Police – go figuer

  2. Chris November 24, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    Bubbles is owned by beer Chang and Spicy has a female owner (not police). The police are out everynight enforcing the new laws (whether they are laws at all). Making bar owners very nervous I would think.

    • ChiangMaiGuy November 24, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      maybe a female owner but Police really own it I am informed which is why there are so many Police around there – that’s what I heard anyway

  3. Banjo November 25, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Why not open a bit earlier?
    I’ve been to places where some bars open about 1pm and it works quite well.
    They get a steady trade from local expats whose wives won’t let them out at night…. 🙂

  4. ChiangMaiGuy November 26, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    i must say (and this may not be popular with tourists) but as someone who lives here I’m ok with bars closing 12 and clubs 3 or 4 – it sort of puts a limit on me 🙂

  5. Pooy December 12, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    Are anyone one going to the beer bars ? my husband and I are coming to Chaing Mai, we like to have a drink at the bars .. are they still open ? or have they all gone now as no money ?

    • Chris December 12, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      They are still open yes but are closing at midnight for all the farang style bars, the thai bars closing at 1am and the nightclubs still open till 4am except for spicy and zoe which close at 1am.

  6. Anton Glas May 10, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    Having lived here for many years I can tell you that in the not so distant past, Chiang Mai was a mongers paradise. We used to joke and say that no matter where you are in Chiang Mai, you’re never more than 200 metres from a brothel.

    The Spotlight Go Go bar was just one of many big beerbars in the area. In the vicinity of the railway station there were many daytime and nighttime brothels. Some of these were private houses converted to lady houses. Even just walking down a road a Farang would often be approached by taxi and tuk tuk drivers asking; do you want sexy lady? If yes, than the driver would take them to a private house where perhaps a young housewife was willing and waiting, mostly as a means of earning some extra income.

    There were many alternatives and choices to suit all tastes and pockets, and nothing compared to the expensive highly commercialised Chiang Mai mongering scene of today or what’s left of it.

    I believe that those who make the rules are trying to dismantle the whole Farang mongers scene altogether and the reasons are mostly political. Probably even the very few Loi Kroh Road bars are on borrowed time and I have my doubts that they will still be there in the next 5 years.

    • Chris May 10, 2012 at 5:16 am #

      I agree with your comments, the Loi Kroh scene is on borrowed time, most of the bars are illegal because they sit too close to the temple at some point they will have to leave once corruption gives way to the rule of law.

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