Following complaints from local residents, the city of Bangkok has given venues on Khao San Road 15 days to reduce noise levels or face legal action. The order comes after a meeting on Wednesday with 30 members of the Khao San Road Business Operators Association and representatives from nearby communities, as well as senior police officers and representatives from other agencies, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration issued the order.
Suksan Kittisupakorn, deputy city clerk, said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration had received complaints from residents living in communities near Khao San Road that loud music and shows in the popular backpacker hangout were becoming a source of irritation.
According to Mr Suksan, the meeting unanimously resolved that operators of food and beverage establishments must control the volume of loud music or performances within 15 days.
The following rules were established for Khao San Road:
- Music venues and live musical performances should be in closed buildings with sound and vibration-proof walls.
- During business hours, the average noise level in establishments must not exceed 90 decibels.
- Maximum noise levels must not exceed 110 decibels at any time, and noise levels that reach communities must not exceed 10 decibels.
- During business hours, the volume of concerts or recorded music must be reduced from time to time to give staff and patrons a break from being exposed to loud noise.
- Loudspeakers are not permitted to be installed in front of commercial establishments to prevent noise from disturbing residents, so that visitors can stay informed about noise levels.
- Sound meters must be installed and the results displayed on screen displays.
According to Mr Suksan, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will take severe legal action against establishments that fail to correct sound levels within 15 days.
During the meeting, officials reported that six commercial establishments had staged concerts with dangerously high volume levels. Last October, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration received four complaints about loud noise, five in November, four in December, and two in January.
Meanwhile, Immigration officers raided Myanmar vendors’ kebab and Roti shops on Khao San Road as part of a crackdown on foreigners working in jobs reserved for Thai citizens.
Undercover Immigration police officers assigned to check the popular tourist area on Tuesday found many Myanmar nationals selling food adjacent to Khao San Road. The vendors noticed the officers and fled before the cops arrived.
Officers eventually apprehended seven men and four women, ages 19 to 46, who were running Roti and Kebab shops.
The 11 vendors could not show their passports or work permits. They admitted to illegally entering Thailand via land crossings from Myanmar.
They earned between 1,000 and 1,500 baht per day. However, unlike other Thai food vendors in the area, they did not pay rent, according to Immigration Police
The vendors were charged with failing to enter the kingdom through immigration checkpoints and working without a valid work permit.
The raid was ordered by national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, who directed the Immigration Bureau to arrest foreigners who violate the law during their stay, such as working without a permit or failing to pay taxes.