Tasty Thailand

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No Alcohol for Sale, Bars Closed Today for Bangkok Governor Election

Former Bangkok Governor, MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, not expected to win in today's election.
Former Bangkok Governor, MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, not expected to win in today’s election.


Just in case you haven’t remembered, you can’t buy alcohol in Bangkok today. Bars aren’t allowed to sell it, neither are 7-11s, supermarkets and convenience stores. Why? It’s yet another election — this time the election for the new Bangkok governor (mayor) and, like always on any election day in Thailand, the sale of alcohol is banned.

As bizarre as this sounds to anyone from a developed country, the Thai government believes it necessary. For some odd reason, they think Thais drink too much on election day and don’t want them voting while drunk. That means buying alcohol on Bangkok governor election day is banned as well. Yes, I know….odd.

But, if you do want to buy alcohol on Bangkok governor election day, no worries. You’ll find most private establishments still sell it — that means places like hotels and apartment building shops, and even smaller stores hidden away from the prying eyes of the police. After all, this is Thailand, which usually means if there’s a law in place there are plenty of ways around it.

My apartment building manager, for instance, not only expects to sell more alcohol today from the small shop in the lobby of the building, she’s even stocked up double the amount of beer and wine coolers to make sure she can. If the three people buying beer when I was just down there at 1pm is anything to go by, she’s probably right. Honestly, more power to her!

Meanwhile, this article should help if you’re confused about when you can and can’t buy alcohol in Thailand.