Thailand’s famous Khaosan Road is like a graveyard as it is struggling despite return of tourists. The McDonald’s clown mascot stares blankly at the empty road outside the restaurant. Its wide red grin and big lifeless eyes were visible through the glass window.
The 400m stretch is well-trodden by visitors from around the world, once drawn to its active nightlife, cheap street food, shops and hotels.
It used to be known as a street that never sleeps. But today, Khaosan Road feels deserted.
“It’s like a graveyard,” said food vendor Supaporn Promto. Her northeastern Thai food stall at the top of the street is completely empty. Its prime location becomes irrelevant when there are hardly any visitors to the area.
“It used to be so lively with tourists. At night, people almost had to jostle when they walked,” she added. “It’s totally different now.”
On Khaosan Road, a local man is getting his dreadlocks at a small pop-up shop on the pavement. Once in a while, some foreign tourists would appear and stroll past the empty McDonald’s.
If anyone looks through the dusty window, they will see the smiling mascot and its beautiful ‘wai’ - a traditional hand gesture Thais use in greeting, which has not welcomed any customers for perhaps far too long.
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