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Khaosan Road Sets Full Reopening With New Limits on Street Vendors

Fake licenses out, OTOP kitsch in when 2 shifts of 240 hawkers return next month

Khaosan Road Bangkok Thailand
Say goodbye to the old Khaosan Road. (Photo by Ragnar Vorel on Unsplash)

Say goodbye to the fake driver’s licenses and pirated DVDs. When street vendors come back to Khaosan Road next month, they won’t be there.

At least that’s the plan laid out Tuesday by city hall, which said the iconic Bangkok backpacker and nightlife district will welcome back up to 480 street vendors in September to complete its reopening.

While bars and restaurants on Khao San have been open since July, the 48-million-baht renovated, sanitized and family-friendly Khaosan was still missing some of its traditional charm, that being street stalls.

During Bangkok’s lockdown Bangkok made good use of the downtime, repaving and leveling the road, rebuilding its drainage system, adding trees and traffic barriers, adding emergency-vehicle parking and, basically, giving the rundown quarter a fresh new look. Traditionalists have moaned the government also stripped Khaosan of its soul.

Now, street vendors will be only allowed to sell in one of two seven-hour shifts between 9 a.m. and midnight, and will be restricted to a 400-meter-strip on each side of the road that is 16 meters wide. Each shift will have a maximum 240 sellers.

Each stall will be capped at 1.5 meters wide and two meters long.

City hall said most stalls will sell locally made products, souvenirs, food and drinks. Sales of pirated and counterfeit goods would remain prohibited, but, now, district regulatory officers actually enforce the laws – for a while at least.