I read on http://thailawforum.com/tourst-guide-laws-Thailand.html:

The sale of alcohol in Thailand is banned between 2pm and 5pm and again between midnight and 11am seven days a week.

Why does Thailand ban the sale of alcohol between 2 and 5 p.m.?

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I have crossposted the question at:

  • 8
    How is this Politics? SE.Travel? SE.Law? At a guess, keep drinking out of work hours - in the evening and during lunchtime. Mar 28, 2020 at 6:16
  • 3
    @DenisdeBernardy why banning 2 to 5 pm whereas in most countries I believe this isn't the peak hours of drinking Mar 28, 2020 at 6:27
  • 3
    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica yes, that's why I don't think this is to prevent drinking during lunch because most lunch occur between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mar 28, 2020 at 6:27
  • 13
    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica I would assume that the sign is complying with a law which was written by politicians for political purposes. How is this not politics?
    – corsiKa
    Mar 28, 2020 at 20:56
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    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Yes, by that definition, discussing the reasons why a given law are passed are good on this site. That's a huge part of politics is what are the driving forces behind the passage of laws.
    – corsiKa
    Mar 28, 2020 at 21:58

2 Answers 2


From a brief google search, it seems that alcohol is banned from 2-5 in an effort to prevent school children from buying liquor. I assume this is a question of supervision, where children are let out of school around 2, but parents are still working until 5, but I can't be certain since I don't live in Thailand.

Interestingly, Thailand also bans alcohol consumption for two days at election time, an interesting take on electoral politics...

The sources I saw also suggested that the laws mostly affect chains and large stores; small "mom and pop" markets will often sell alcohol off-hours to familiar customers. I assume (again) that the government doesn't worry much about this because mom and pop stores are unlikely to sell liquor to their neighbor's children.

  • 5
    Thanks, interesting I guess they don't really trust their ban on selling alcohol to minors then. Mar 28, 2020 at 6:30

To prevent all-day drinking.

Similar laws existed in other countries, in particular the UK. They were introduced in 1914 as part of the war effort. Afternoon sales were banned from 3pm to 6:30. They were repealed in 1988 in the UK, but many pubs continue to close in the afternoon (for commercial reasons).

The Thai legal system is influenced by the British. The Thai civil code shows various similarities to the common law in Burma and India.

The purpose of these restrictions is simple: reducing harm from alcohol abuse.

(It is beyond the scope of this answer as to whether this restriction is effective or nor not.)

  • 1
    Thanks, my main surprise comes from the ban from 2 PM to 5 PM. Most countries where I saw alcohol sale restrictions ban the sale from sometime in the evening to sometime in the morning, but never during early afternoon. E.g. in Scotland, alcohol can be bought only between 10am and 10pm. So I thought Thailand had some special reasons to target the 2-5PM range. Mar 28, 2020 at 8:47
  • 4
    I've edited. In the UK 3pm was last orders in the afternoon. It was so people wouldn't drink all day.
    – James K
    Mar 28, 2020 at 19:34
  • In the UK, the argument was successfully made that afternoon closing of pubs and bars actually increased public disorder offences related to alcohol. To some, the 5 minute bell ended up becoming a signal to smash down as much alcohol as possible before the tap was turned-off, with a very predicable outcome. Steady drinking throughout the day (without this time constraint) was considered to be the better option in the long-run.
    – spender
    Mar 30, 2020 at 14:07

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