Sunday Walking Street reopens

 | Mon 8 Jun 2020 13:35 ICT

Following great fanfare, the Sunday Walking Street reopened yesterday to muted crowds.

This iconic weekly walking street, which used to draw in crowds of around 30,000 each Sunday opened up following over two months of closure due to the pandemic.

Yesterday saw the street attract a fair number of locals and expats – perhaps, even tourists – with the ubiquitous screening and safety rituals in place. The skies were overcast with strong winds, which is what authorities attribute to the low turnout.

Unlike in the past when the street would be open until late into the night, due to curfew, all vendors and street-goers were asked to leave by 9pm.

“I have been selling here every Sunday for many years,” said Chatree Oonrungsap, 38, who sells hand-made silver jewellery. “It is all a bit slow today, when compared to the past, and it’s a bit depressing. It is obvious that people don’t have the spending power they used to have and there are virtually no tourists. I only sold one item today. But when compared to not being able to sell at all, this is a good first day.”

Pornthip Pisutsorn, 31, a souvenir vendor said that she feels good about coming back and was encouraged by the nice people who came out. She had already sold to four customers and she said that she is talking to everyone to see how best to adapt. She has already been advised by some people to sell cheaper costed items and she will plan for future sales accordingly. With more Thai customers than foreign, she will also take the different tastes and needs into consideration.

The general consensus on the street was the this may not be an impressive start, but it is a start to the restarting of the economy.