The famous or infamous depending on who you ask Khao San Road is set to re-open soon for business with the intention of drawing in the Thai and ex-pat communities once again according to the Bangkok’s Deputy Governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul. Once a mecca for international tourism as a stop along the way for backpackers seeking a rite-of-passage through their trip in Southeast Asia. Now, it appears that change is around the corner.
For many years, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many unsuccessful attempts to curb the ramshackle nature of mixed tourist magnets which are filled with debauched dens and scammers, along with seedy bars and unlicensed vendors. However, post-COVID-19 has seen the diminishing and closing of these shops and stores, which now has allowed the Ministry of Bangkok’s Metropolitan Authority to gentrify the surrounded area. This was only made possible due to the 90% of the revenue that was lost after the closing of borders with many of the vendors and businesses losing their main line of customers.
With the closing of many businesses people have had to adapt and according to Sakoltee the Deputy Governor, it is time that there was a shift in focus of demographics towards the existing market of Thai people and the ex-pat community as a whole since the borders of the country are very much closed.
In light fo this development there are plans to reopen the street itself at the end of October with additional vendors to enter in hopes of filling the void while monthly events will be held to encourage visitors and boost the influx of traffic into the area itself. The area surrounding Khao San street will be also be cleaned up especially Chong Nonsi Khlong and plans for the conversion of the waterway into a tourist attraction as well. For now, there is a two-stage plan with cleaning up of the area and maintenance. Eventually, the BMA hopes to create footpaths along the canal which will be sponsored and supported by donations from the local businesses surrounding the area, it is estimated that the completion of this project shall conclude on April 2021.
Source : The Tiger.com