Guide to restrictions on alcohol sales times in Thailand
“Go” With Beer!
Most tourists coming to Thailand want to let their hair down a little and enjoy a few tasty beers or other alcoholic beverages – and we fully salute you for this, especially after a cool Bangkok bike tour! However, you must be aware that in Thailand there are some strict rules regulating the times that convenience stores and other large shops can sell alcohol. This can ruin a good night out so it’s good to know the times – and workarounds!
The overall rule is that alcoholic beverages can only be sold during the hours of 11:00 – 14:00 & 17:00 – 00:00 (midnight) every day at stores and supermarkets. These times were introduced by the Prime Minister’s Office in 2015 and apply countrywide. There used to be an allowance for wholesale purchases of 10 litres or more but this has been abolished now.
Alcohol can be sold other times at international airport terminals and entertainment venues that have been legally registered. These are supposed to have strict rules that govern the sales, but it seems pretty liberal and you’ll be able to drink in most restaurants or bars at any time of the day, no problem with the exception of Buddhist holidays
For the more thrifty drinkers that prefer to buy a few cans from the local convenience store you’ll meet more resistance. The chaps in the larger chains – think 7-11, Tesco, Family Mart – are less likely to sell you a drink outside of the strict hours. You can sometimes sway them with a smile and a wink, but in general you’ll leave empty handed.
But fear not! Where there’s a will there’s a way, and if you head down into one of the small alleys you’ll no doubt find a small mom and pop store that will happily sell you a drink any time of the day – as long as they’re open! There is actually an awesome example of one such store very close to the Go Bangkok Tours HQ, and if you’re interested just ask one of our helpful staff for directions!
Go Bangkok Tours recommend that you use this advice to drink responsibly. Go forth and enjoy your travels around Thailand, especially if you are exploring by bicycle!