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Sluggish business in Bangkok’s “New Chinatown”

Written by World Events

Dubbed the “New Chinatown” of Bangkok, Pracharat Bamphen Road, dotted with Chinese hot pot restaurants and shops, is seeing sluggish trade and the closure of several mala or shabu restaurants.

Thai PBS reporters recently visited this strip and learned that several Chinese restaurants folded because of the fierce competition, while the number of Chinese tourists has declined since the COVID pandemic. There numbers have slightly increased, but remain small compared to the pre-COVID years.

The economic slowdown in China, which has resulted in fewer arrivals, and crackdowns by the Thai authorities on several of these restaurants which were not properly registered, contributed to the closure of the restaurants.

Thirapong Naewdee, a “Win” motorcyclist, told Thai PBS that he feels the atmosphere on Pracharat Bamphen Road is lacklustre this year, but Chinese tourists continue to visit the area and eat at the Chinese restaurants.

The Huai Khwang district chief officer, Paitoon Ngammuk, said that the number of Chinese entrepreneurs applying for licences to open businesses, including restaurants, spas, department and convenience stores, in joint ventures with their Thai partners or nominees, has increased to 80 this year, from about 60 last year.

He disclosed that the district collected about 530 million baht in taxes last year and is expected to collect about 680 million this year. He claimed that two business establishments, linked to “grey businesses”, including one entertainment venue, were closed down last year.

 

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