Chang Moi area of the city is an old neighbourhood long known for its bustling trade (notably, basket weaving) and generations-old families who have lived there for decades. Locals tend to be families, with multiple generations living together in close proximity.
Post-pandemic, however, has seen Chang Moi transform into a busy night destination for many of Chiang Mai’s youths – great for the hundreds of young people who have gone without socialisation for so many years, awful for the residents who have to get some sleep in preparation for school or work the next day.
In June, a group of residents lodged a formal complaint to the Damrongtham Centre, asking them to look into the “untenable situation which involves the peace for many elderly who are in palliative care at home and young children who need to wake up to go to school,” according to the complaint.
A local representative told CityNews, “We understand that bars and pubs are legitimate businesses and they need to be able to operate as people depend on their businesses, but the problem is that we need to be able to live in our own community too. Many of the seven bars cited as disrupters are rooftop bars, they say they are a restaurant, not a bar, but they have live music and DJs and parties until midnight, when they are supposed to close.” The resident then explained that many bars then allow their patrons to stay on inside, which is not a problem, until they start leaving between 3am-5am in the morning, vomiting, urinating, fighting and talking very loudly. Police have been asked to step in, but there needs to be a long term solution.
“I am not against bars at all,” said the representative of the community group. “I think that they should not be allowed to disrupt residential areas and I think that is fair enough. Chang Moi is such a historical community of the city it would be tragic to destroy it like this. One solution offered by the bars is to get traffic police to come to control all the door slamming, horns honking, people shouting and blow their whistles at the kids, but we don’t want to be hearing those noises all night either.”
A representative of the bars told CityNews that he understands the problem and is doing everything to ensure they close at midnight and that there is no disruption, but the problem, he said is that once people leave his bar, they stand and gather and make noise by the road and he is not sure what he can do about it.”
“Just open a bar zone somewhere and let them go there all together!” Added the resident.