It doesn’t matter if you’re coming to Thailand for a few days or a few years, there are a few things you might not be aware of and need to know about alcohol in the country.
Because no, you can’t buy alcohol anywhere anytime in Thailand. And it’s a shame if you ask us.
But yes, you can find almost everything here, even though some brands can be really expensive.
So today, let’s talk about everything you need to know about alcohol in Thailand.
Alcohol Sales Times in Thailand
In Thailand, nobody can explain a weird law that could be pretty surprising to many foreigners.
Alcohol buying time in Thailand is ONLY certain times every day.
The alcohol selling times if 11 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to midnight.
This includes local shops, supermarkets, and 7-11 alcohol hours in Thailand are the same,
I repeat you can only buy alcohol in shops between :
- 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to midnight
Don’t ask us why.
It’s an old law from the Thai government.
It’s illegal for all shops to sell alcohol in the afternoons.
And nobody knows why. The only thing for sure is the shop owners are strict about the rules.
So stock up when you can, and remember to keep some alcohol at home somewhere in case you want a drink during these dry hours.
But curiously enough, this law only applies to local stores.
You can still buy drinks in bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues at any time during the day, as long as you drink there.
No take-away allowed.
The only exception would be some clubs and bars.
In some late-night clubs and bars, you can take your bottle home with you if you haven’t finished it.
For example, you can order a bottle in a club at 1.30 am and take it home with you when the club closes at 2 am.
That’s an expensive option, but the only one you have is if you want to keep the party going on at home and you don’t have any booze at home to drink.
Where Can you Buy Alcohol in Thailand?
In Bangkok and Thailand, you can buy alcohol pretty much anywhere.
The retail locations include local convenience stores like 7/Eleven and Family marts, supermarkets (Big C, Tesco, Makro…), liquor shops, etc.
As long as you try to buy when it’s allowed, coming across beers or bottles to buy isn’t too hard.
Even for international brands.
You can find pretty much any premium brands in Thailand, including rare wines and Champagnes.
And for those we found Villa Market and Tops to have really good prices.
Buy Bottles at the Duty-Free on the Way In
When you come to Thailand, buy alcohol at the duty-free shops of the international airport terminals on your way in!
Alcoholic beverages are heavily taxed in Thailand.
So unless you can survive on Thai beers and alcohol during all your stay, take time to go shopping in the transit airport and buy a bottle at the duty-free.
And ask your friend to do the same.
You’re allowed to bring up to 1 liter per person (but you can try to bring more, they usually don’t check).
The price difference can be quite significant.
And if you’re coming to party in Thailand with a few friends, with 1 liter of spirits each, what you bought at the duty-free shop might last you for an entire trip.
- If you love Champagne, purchase a bottle or two at the duty-free on your way in. Fine wine and Champagne are ridiculously expensive here.
Alcohol Delivery in Thailand
Unfortunately, since December 7, 2020, online alcohol sales and alcohol delivery are now banned in Thailand.
- The laws are the same for foreigners and Thai people, if you forget to buy, don’t expect any help from the pretty girl you met outside 7/11.
- The rules only apply to the sale of alcohol. The law does not control alcohol consumption. So if buy in advance or have a stockpile at home, you’re allowed to drink around the clock, including religious holidays.
Can you Buy Alcohol in Thailand today?
In short, here’s what you need to remember about alcohol and alcohol sales in Thailand :
- You can only buy alcohol between 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to midnight.
- You need to be 20 years old to buy. They normally won’t ask you for ID, unless you and you’re friends are high school students.
- Sales of alcohol are banned on religious holidays, from midnight to midnight (24 hours!). This includes not only the shops but also the bars where it’s illegal to serve alcohol.
- Alcohol eCommerce sales and delivery is now BANNED in Thailand.
- Alcoholic beverages are heavily taxed in Thailand. So buy as much as you can from the duty-free at the international airport.
There you go.
Time to go grab a cold one now.
What time can I buy alcohol in Thailand?
You can buy alcohol in Thailand from 11 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to midnight. (Except on Buddhist holidays – check the office calendar.)
Why don’t they sell alcohol between 2 and 5 pm in Thailand?
Because it’s the law, nobody knows where this law comes from, but you can’t buy alcohol in shops from midnight to 11 am and from 2 pm to 5 pm.
Why Alcohol is Banned in Thailand today?
Probably because it’s a Buddhist holiday, alcohol is permanently banned in Thailand during those days. Check the list of public holidays, and they usually tell you when there’s a ban.
How much alcohol can I bring to Thailand?
You can only bring 1 liter of alcohol into Thailand. But you can always put a bottle of 1 liter in your check-in baggage and buy more at the duty-free.