Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond

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Will cleaning up Thailand’s most famous party street improve it, or kill its soul? – in The Daily Telegraph

Leonardo Di Caprio has been here. As have countless young backpackers from the West. Over the past forty years, Khao San Road, once a quiet residential street on the fringes of Bangkok’s historic centre, has morphed into the world’s best-known backpacker hub.

Loud, inexpensive, garish and in your face, the 400 meter long strip has been a party destination and traveler transit point like no other in Southeast Asia with more than a million annual visitors slumming it, often in a culturally insensitive manner and on a tight budget, through its guest houses, cheap eateries and roadside bars.

Now it seems, the days and nights of laid back, devil may care tropical revelry may be coming to an end….

My latest in The Daily Telegraph looks at government plans to regulate and reorder one of the world’s most anarchic and free-wheeling business strips.

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