Thailand elections sees all nightlife shut down for 24 hours in alcohol ban

Tens of thousands of tourists had their holiday plans scuppered tonight after Thailand's nightlife spots were closed for the country's general elections.

Bangkok's famous gogo bars and nightclubs are normally bustling with sex workers entertaining tourists from around the world on a Saturday evening. While the well-known Khao San Road has backpackers drinking until the early hours of the morning.

But the country votes for the first time in almost a decade on March 24 and the military rulers banned all sales of booze in the run-up to the controversial ballot.

Strip clubs in the Soi Cowboy strip were deserted while bars in the neighbouring Patpong district did not open for the evening. In the Soi 4 'Nana' area, some bars stayed open with signs outside warning tourists that alcohol had been banned for the night.

Police patrolled the streets making sure that no holidaymakers were drinking and that supermarkets had stopped selling alcohol until the elections conclude tomorrow evening at 6pm.

The elections - widely regarded by critics as being rigged by the military - are the first time the country has went to the polls in since the army seized power in 2011 instilling General Prayut Chan-o-cha as leader.