Street stalls on Bangkok’s famous Khaosan Road will be allowed to operate from 4 pm till midnight only, according to the city’s deputy governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul after a meeting on the issue Friday.
Daytime Ban Not Welcomed By Vendors, Tourists
The backpackers’ mecca known around the world, Khaosan Road attracts the younger set of tourists and locals as well with stalls selling all manner of things, budget guesthouses, restaurants, bars and discos.
But since 1 August, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has enforced a rarely used act that forbids daytime street vending. It’s a plan that is not popular with vendors and the tourists and locals who visit Khaosan Road, who say the area could become deserted if daytime stalls aren’t allowed to return.
Vendors say mid afternoon to early evening is the peak selling period for vendors and stall owners, whereas after 8 pm people usually come to eat, drink and dance rather than shop.
“We are trying to find a middle ground for everyone,” Sakoltee was quoted by local media. “The street vendors can’t have everything. They can’t expect to use public footpaths all day long.” He said that vendors would be allowed a space of 1.5 square metres each, all stalls needed to be of the same size and only one stall per vendor would be permitted, so that everybody had an equal share of the footpath.
Sakoltee added that every vendor has to register with the Commerce Ministry.
Yada Pornoetrumpa, president of the Khaosan Road Street Vendors Association, said “the officials don’t understand the situation in Khaosan. Many vendors do their trade during the day. They should consider those making a living during the day time too.”
Sakoltee said the BMA would draft a regulation allowing Khaosan vendors to trade from 4 pm till midnight, and the regulation would include nearby streets in the Banglamphu area such as Rambutri, Chakrabongse, Krai Sri, Sip Sam Hang and Tani.
Phra Nakhon district will also collect opinions from street vendors and building owners over the next 10 days.