BANGKOK — In the aftermath of HM King’s death Thursday, tourist hub Khaosan Road has become a much more subdued version of itself.
Some restaurants will be open for business, while others have decided to temporarily shut down to observe a period of mourning. Police on Thursday night approached entertainment venues and restaurants to ask for their cooperation in turning off music on the street known for being loud.
“Khaosan has been as quiet as a graveyard,” said Kanchorn Ruchiwatthakorn, 42. “While there were some people still around yesterday, it’s been super quiet today.”
However the owner of the popular food cart Jojo Pad Thai said it’s happened before and been even quieter on previous occasions, such as the 2013-2014 and 2010 protests. Despite this, Kanchorn predicted his regulars, especially the Korean tourists, would continue to visit.
Bars that have to shut down temporarily though will likely have to send home their promotional beer babes.
“Yesterday I saw a bunch of them show up to work and then immediately go home,” Kanchorn said.
Samart Sateansut, staff manager at The Hub Khaosan pub, said that the most striking difference for him was the silence. The pub will continue to operate, he said, but without music and will close at midnight instead of the usual 2am.
Khaosan tourists seemed to be aware of the HM the King’s death, too. Valerie Jones, 35, an American visiting Thailand for the first time said that she and her friends were aware that the King had passed. However, their vacation would continue as planned, she said.
Photos and additional reporting by Kaewta Ketbungkan