Stagnant trade and closed doors shake Bangkok’s New Chinatown

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Dubbed the “New Chinatown of Bangkok,” Pracharat Bamphen Road, once teeming with Chinese hot pot restaurants and bustling shops, is now shrouded in a veil of uncertainty.

Several Chinese eateries have succumbed to the fierce battleground of competition, exacerbated by a decline in Chinese tourist footfall since the Covid-19 pandemic. While there’s been a slight uptick in numbers, it’s a far cry from the bustling crowds of pre-pandemic years.

The economic slowdown in China has dealt a further blow, resulting in fewer arrivals, compounded by Thai authorities cracking down on unregistered businesses.

Thirapong Naewdee, a local motorcyclist, laments the lacklustre atmosphere pervading Pracharat Bamphen Road this year, despite sporadic visits from Chinese tourists, reported Thai PBS World.

According to Huai Khwang District Chief Officer Paitoon Ngammuk, there’s a silver lining amidst the gloom. The number of Chinese entrepreneurs seeking licences to establish businesses in joint ventures with Thai partners has surged. Yet, with the closure of grey businesses last year, including an entertainment venue, the district’s landscape is in flux.

In related news, recent developments in Huai Khwang district have seen a wave of closures across restaurant businesses including hotpot and shabu eateries. According to the Huai Khwang District Office, scrutiny has led to the discovery that many Chinese restaurants were operating without the necessary permits.

The district office mandated that all eateries obtain proper licensing but this proved challenging for some. Compliance required meeting various conditions, such as installing grease traps and emergency fire exits.

In other news, a young Chinese woman who rose to social media fame with her tale of rural hardship, amassing over 3.86 million followers, has been revealed to be part of a deceptive grey business that profited over 50 million baht.

Suspicions arose as discrepancies in her life story led to an investigation exposing a lucrative grey business that exploited sympathy for profit.

Bangkok NewsEconomy NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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