Bangkok’s Klong Ong Ang Canal neglected despite tourism appeal

Photo via Twitter/ @chadchart_team

The controversy around the neglected state of the Klong Ong Ang Canal area, once touted as a tourist hotspot by the previous government, has prompted officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to come forward in defence. Images revealing the dilapidated condition of the area, including parked vehicles on a freshly paved footpath, abandoned artistic graffiti installations, and homeless individuals sleeping, have been shared widely online, sparking criticism of the BMA’s management.

The BMA’s spokesperson, Aekvarunyoo Amrapala, attempted to explain the situation yesterday, March 10. According to him, the footpath strewn with parked vehicles is still under reconstruction by the Public Works Department of the BMA and has yet to be handed over to the BMA’s control. Bangkok Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon echoed these comments via a Facebook post on Saturday, stating that the BMA is awaiting the contractor’s completion.

In response to the issue of unauthorised parking in the area, Aekvarunyoo informed that the municipal police have publicised a prohibition on parking and that the contractor will explore ways to prevent parking on the pathway.

Addressing the issue of homeless people captured in the images, Aekvarunyoo stated that individuals found sleeping, consuming alcohol, or fishing in the area will be cautioned. These activities, he stressed, mar the appeal of the tourist destination in Thailand and pose safety concerns for residents.

In a bid to revive tourism in the area, Aekvarunyoo added that the BMA plans to host outdoor events during the upcoming Songkran festival next month, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, once a vibrant tourist hotspot in Bangkok’s Chinatown, Klong Ong Ang faced neglect despite its recognition with the 2020 Asian Townscape Award. Despite its past glory, pollution and homelessness marred its once bustling walkways. Despite accolades, lack of engagement and maintenance hindered its potential revival as a lively public space.

Bangkok NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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