The aroma of spicy foods and aromatic herbs, the bustling markets, and the sight of majestic temples – all of these make Thailand a fascinating place to visit. However, we can't overlook the role that alcoholic beverages play in the country's culture and economy. Thailand is renowned for its cold beer, exotic cocktails, and local whisky. To avoid running into legal trouble, perhaps during a romantic toast with one of the finest escorts in Bangkok, here's what you need to know about alcohol sales in Thailand.
Legal drinking age in Thailand
Let's start with a fundamental rule: the legal drinking age in Thailand is 20 years. It's a law that must be respected, and minors caught breaking it face penalties. So, if you're under 20, be aware that you'll have to wait to savor a cold beer or a fruity cocktail. Establishments serving alcohol or stores selling alcoholic beverages are authorized to request identification if they suspect the customer hasn't reached the legal drinking age.
Where can you purchase alcohol in Thailand? Well, you have several options. There are specialty liquor stores, supermarkets, the ubiquitous 7/11s, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. But keep in mind that the rules can vary from one province to another. So, before you go looking for your favorite drink, do a little research to find out if there are specific rules in the area where you are.
Alcohol sales hours and days in Thailand
If you're thinking about buying alcohol in Thailand, you should also be aware of the sales hours. Typically, in supermarkets, you can shop between 11 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon and then between 5 in the afternoon and midnight. This means that after midnight, you can still purchase alcohol, but only in restaurants, clubs, night venues, and other establishments that have closing times that extend beyond midnight. However, alcohol sales in Thailand are completely banned on some days of the year. These days are religious holidays and election days.
At the end of each calendar year, a list of holidays is published, and some observances have variable dates based on lunar phases. As a result, you can know in advance the days on which the sale of alcohol will be completely prohibited. Here is the list of the five main religious holidays during which the sale is prohibited:
- Between February and March, the full moon day of the third lunar month is Makha Bucha Day.
- In May or June, the full moon of the sixth lunar month is Visakha Bucha Day.
- Between July and early August, the full moon of the eighth lunar month is celebrated as Asahna Bucha Day.
- Khao Phansa is Buddhist Lent Day, an observance that marks the beginning of a three-lunar-month period during which Buddhist monks should stay in their temples and not travel. This falls on the day following Asahna Bucha Day, resulting in a two-day consecutive ban on alcohol sales.
- In October, the end of this fasting period, Maha Pavarana Day, falls on the 15th day of the waxing moon of the eleventh lunar month.
Prohibited alcoholic beverages
Illegally distilling alcoholic beverages is a crime punishable by Thai law. There may also be restrictions on certain types of alcoholic beverages that can be applied locally in some areas or provinces of the country. For example, in some areas, the sale of homemade rice wine, which, upon closer inspection, resembles very little of traditional wine, is prohibited. Furthermore, in certain locations, the sale of high-proof alcohol may be banned. So, if you have a favorite drink, make sure to know the local rules before seeking it.
Driving and alcohol in Thailand
Now, let's focus on a very important matter: driving in Thailand. This is a serious topic. Thailand has strict laws against drunk driving. Blood alcohol limits are extremely low, so the golden rule is not to drink and then get behind the wheel. Penalties for anyone caught driving under the influence of alcohol can be severe. You can end up with hefty fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. So, when you drink, make sure not to drive a car or ride a scooter.
Labeling and regulations
Labeling of alcoholic beverages is also regulated in Thailand. Bottles must display specific information such as alcohol content, the name of the producer, and other details required by the law. So, when you purchase a bottle, be sure to take a look at the label to get all the necessary information.
Overall, the rules on alcohol sales in Thailand are designed to ensure the safety of citizens and visitors while preserving the country's culture and traditions. So, enjoy your favorite drinks responsibly and respect local laws for a pleasant experience in this captivating country. And, of course, let's raise a toast to Thailand and its wonderful women who know how to make things enjoyable. Don't hesitate to contact us!