Bangkok’s Chinatown at heart of heritage battle in The Nikkei Asian Review


Activists take on government over plans to transform culturally-rich area.

My latest on the continued cultural impoverishment of Bangkok with Laure Siegel in The Nikkei Asian Review this week.

BANGKOK — It is Friday night and Soi Nana is ablaze with lights. Most of the shop houses that line this 400-meter-long road in Bangkok’s Chinatown have thrown their doors open. A photo exhibition about migrant workers is opening at Cho Why, a cultural center in a beautifully restored corner house. Further down the road, Victor Hierro and Sudaporn Sae-ia are serving cocktails at El Chiriguito, a popular Spanish tapas bar. “I badly wanted to live in Chinatown,” says Barcelona-born Hierro. “One day, a friend showed me all the empty houses on this street. The rent was cheap. The house we chose had not been inhabited for 20 years. Most Thai people don’t want to move into these houses because they are old and full of ghosts.”…

Read the full story here.

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