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Businesses in The Khao San Road Quieter Than Ever

Bangkok, Thu Oct 20 2016
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In Golf Bar which is the kind of venue in the Khao San road that sells alcohol by the bucket, the booze is ready to be served but no music can be played at the moment - certainly not at the volumes it usually is anyway. Staff there said they have had fewer customers than ever before. The venue was pretty much deserted on Wednesday evening, with only one table seated with foreign customers drinking inside. Outside, a dozen staff members plaintively waved menus in search of customers. “We’ve been operating in the red every day lately,” manager Boonpatcharee Sangthongweerakul said. She said tourists were understanding of the unprecedented situation. “Some farang (foreign) tourist asked me why we don’t turn on the music,” said Boonpatcharee, who is the bar owner’s daughter-in-law. “I explained to him that our King passed away. He immediately said sorry and then went on his way.”

This story is common in the touristy areas at the moment and as the end of the year approaches and with the Thailand tourist high season about to begin, many business owners and operators are naturally concerned as they begin to feel the affects of the Thai government’s recent directives in relation to the mourning period in Thailand following the recent passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. According to Sa-nga of the business association if Halloween, Loy Krathong and New Year’s Eve which are usually very busy party nights for business owners are to be cancelled then losses of up to 50 million baht per event could be incurred by the lack of customers as foreigners change their travel plans for the coming months and festive season following the extensive news and social media coverage of the unprecedented situation in Thailand.

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