Connect with us


Tourists give a thumbs-down to the ‘new’ Khao San Road




PHOTO: The Nation

“You are destroying the life and soul of the city – and we are not coming back!”

Take that BMA! as tourists give a big thumbs down and slap in the face to authorities who have tried to sanitise the trashy tourist magnet. For decades Khao San Road has been a mecca for back-packers and tourists looking for a bargain along the sidewalk street markets.

The MBA (Bangkok Metropolitan Authority), with the Deputy Governor leading the charge, has spent the last month trying to dismantle one of Bangkok’s unique and busiest attractions.

Thai Rath headed to the ‘new’ Khao San to investigate the vibe after authorities have made their ham-fisted attempt to shift out the traders and stalls from the sidewalks.

Despite opposition and refusals of vendors to move, the area is already a shadow of its former self and tourists arriving are convinced they have come to the wrong place saying it is so quiet and lacking in ‘soul’. In the past, on any night of the year – actually almost any time of the day – Khao San road has been a bustling, rambling mix of cheap, pirated knock-offs, trashy souvenirs, a place to buy bogus IDs and consume cheap alcohol. As you walked along the street you’d walk from one lot of doof-doof into another equally noisy part of the street. And the tourists LOVED it!

Thai Rath is reporting that traders in regular shops, tuk-tuk drivers and motorcycle taxi ranks in the area are speaking with one voice saying that the tourists have virtually all gone.

One comment from a motorcycle taxi guy said it all:

“No one believes it is Khao San anymore. They arrive then stand about looking confused. They ask “Have we come to the right place? They look left and they look right. I have pointed to the street sign to show them that despite their confusion they are indeed in the right place”.

Traders spoke of a once busy and eclectic road and a thriving trade being obliterated in the name of progress and order.

Khao San road, like many other issues in Thailand’s bourgeoning tourist industry, is a heady mix of greed, history, what-tourists-want and the ‘law’. Khao San Road’s sidewalk markets, whilst technically against the law, just grew and grew as the fame of the street grew, along with the tourist arrivals.

When tourists descend onto Khao San Road they want what they read on the can… a chaotic mix of food, music, tourists from around the world, booze (and probably a few other coloured pills).

Thai Rath claims that the government’s efforts to change Bangkok into a place of order may be its death knell in the eyes of tourists wanting to see something they cannot experience in other cities around the world.

There is a current stand-off (read ‘cooling down period’) of seven days when traders are allowed to set up one stall each on the sidewalks in the area from 6pm to midnight. But it is not known that this will be extended in a Thai compromise or whether the authorities will stick to their guns come next week and clear everyone out for good.

Tourists give a thumbs-down to the 'new' Khao San Road | News by Thaiger


SOURCES: Thai Rath, Manager Online


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Thailand's largest online portal for news and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Nightlife businesses petition government to reopen, sell alcohol

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Koh Larn 70% vaccinated as Pattaya eyes reopening

Economy9 hours ago

BMA extends permits for street vendors to 2 years for stability

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Phuket10 hours ago

Expats in Phuket without a work permit can register for a Covid-19 vaccine

Environment10 hours ago

Tar balls wash ashore on several Phuket beaches

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Private vaccines, PM promises to re-open Thailand, Phuket Sandbox | June 17

Thailand11 hours ago

2 dead following truck crash

Thailand11 hours ago

Outbreaks at factories rise, operators ordered to file Covid risk assessment

Thailand11 hours ago

Prayut going to Phuket, see if it’s Sandbox ready

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Chulabhorn Royal Academy details Sinopharm vaccine insurance

Thailand12 hours ago

Thai-English auto-translate down on Facebook due to “technical issues”

Best of13 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Phuket

Crime13 hours ago

Famous/infamous murder suspect out on bail wins lottery

Thailand13 hours ago

Police arrest 2 men for allegedly trying to extort 2 million baht from a man

Phuket13 hours ago

Electricty outages in Phuket today

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8