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

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

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 The Thaiger

‘Boring!”

SOURCES: Thai Rath, Manager Online

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Bangkok

Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12

The Thaiger

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Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12 | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: AFP

His Majesty the King has ordered the Royal Barge Procession to be postponed to December 12, originally scheduled for October 24, as recommended by the organising committee chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngarm told Parliament yesterday about the official postponement.

After ten rehearsals and one dress rehearsal, he said the organising committee agreed that, if the procession were to proceed on October 24, the water conditions in the Chao Phraya River, currents and weather conditions would not be optimal. The committee then reported its concerns to HM the King, who subsequently agreed that the event be postponed until December 12, the beginning of the winter in Bangkok and the most settled weather of the year, according to Thai PBS World.

The committee will meet again on October 21 and a formal announcement will be made about the new schedule, said Wissanu, adding that December would be perfect timing for the event as there will be little chance of rain.

The Royal Barge Procession is the official finale of the King’s Coronation ceremony held in May this year. Their Majesties the King and Queen will ride on one of the 52 barges in the procession.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Here’s an example of what it will look like…

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Bangkok

BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok

May Taylor

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BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Tourist police in Bangkok have arrested a thief accused of pick-pocketing tourists on the city’s BTS Skytrain, along with an Indonesian couple charged with credit card fraud and card skimming.

Kasem Masan Jantaro, a 44 year old food vendor in the Huay Kwang market, says he started pick-pocketing when business became too slow for him to adequately support his family. The Skytrain security team alerted the police after several reports of tourists being pick-pocketed on the trains. Victims described the thief as middle-aged, with pale skin.

Kasem was arrested while trying to flee the scene at the Asok BTS station on Wednesday and was found to have 4,600 baht in cash and four stolen credit cards in his possession. Thai Residents reports that Kasem was previously prosecuted for drugs offences in 2015 and for robbery in 2016.

In a separate arrest, Bangkok police detained 32 year old Alexander Eddilias and 33 year old Estie Rusdiana, an Indonesian couple charged with being in possession of fake credit cards, stolen credit cards, and skimming devices used to steal credit card information.

The arrest comes after several banks notified police of transactions made using fake cards and the couple were tracked to a room in the Pratunam area of Bangkok. Officers also seized a computer, a skimming device, twenty two fake credit cards, two stolen credit cards, and twenty four credit card receipts.

The suspects say they bought the information on the Dark Web. The information was then recorded in the magnetic strip of the fake cards, which were used to make purchases worth approximately 2 million baht.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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