Khao San Road vendors petition the BMA to postpone renovation

Street vendors in Bangkok’s chaotic ‘backpacker central’, Khao San Road, are lobbying the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority’s (BMA) plans to give the popular tourist street a makeover and clear stalls that have clogged up the sidewalks for decades.

Read the earlier Thaiger story HERE.

A formal letter has been submitted to Bangkok’s governor Aswin Kwanmuang. Vendors have been resisting attempts by the BMA to ‘clean up’ and rejig the popular tourist zone for the past two years.

The BMA have planned a 49 million baht remodelling of Khao San road during a five month period starting in October, much of Bangkok’s busiest times for tourists heading to the popular ‘walking street’ and markets. But the BMA insists it has surveyed opinions from the street’s vendors during the drawing up of the plans.

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“Khao San Road in Bangkok is arguably the chaotic, budget-travel hub for Asia, if not the world. The infamous backpacker slum grew from nothing, peaked, and is only slightly tamer now days after much government effort.” – trip

Part of the rejig is the BMA want to restrict vendors to 4pm – midnight only. But 240 of the road’s vendors say they want to start selling at 9am each day whilst the negotiations continue. They pointed out that fellow vendors in neighbouring Tani Road, Ram Buttri Road and Sip Sam Hang Road are still able to sell from 9am.

Amongst vendor’s other complaints, they say the new areas set aside for street vendors offers no shade forcing vendors to erect awnings and shade that will take up even more space and encroach onto the road. The vendor group is calling on the BMA to postpone the renovation plans and consider starting them in May next year to avoid disruption during the high season of street trading.

The next meeting with he BMA and electricity authorities will be on September 3.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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