When can you buy beer in Thailand? - Thailand's Alcohol Restrictions
While Thailand may have a very open and relaxed attitude towards drinking alcohol, many foreign tourists are surprised to learn that the country has strict restrictions on when alcohol can be sold and served. Alcohol is only legally able to be sold during certain hours of the day, and there are several days per year when the sale of alcohol is restricted entirely.
When can I buy beer during the day?
Alcohol sales in Thailand, whether at a bar or restaurant, supermarket, or minimart, are only permitted between 11:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to midnight.
Selling alcohol outside of these permitted times can land vendors in hot water. If you’re like me and would love to enjoy a cold beer after work around 16:00, you are out of luck! You’ll just have to wait an hour.
When are alcohol sales in Thailand restricted?
Alcohol cannot be sold at convenience stores, supermarkets, bars, or restaurants (i.e. anywhere) on certain days in the Thai calendar. Alcohol sales are banned completely on a number of religious and national holidays, and during national elections.
Alcohol sales are restricted on royal holidays in Thailand:
28 July - the birthday of HM King Rama X
12 August - the birthday of HM Queen Sirikit
13 October - the date of the passing of HM King Rama IX
5 December - the birthday of HM the late King Rama IX
Alcohol sales are restricted on Buddhist religious festival days in Thailand:
Makha Bucha Day (lunar; February or March)
Visakha Bucha Day (lunar; May or June)
Asahna Bucha Day (lunar; July or August)
Khao Phansa - the beginning of Buddhist Lent (lunar; July or August)
Awk Phansa - the last day of Buddhist Lent (lunar; October)
Alcohol sales are also restricted on:
The days leading up to national elections
Certain other national days at the government’s discretion
This information is always posted in advance, so just plan well, and make sure to keep a few cold beers in your fridge for these days!