Bird, artist & t-shirt vendor | Bangkok, Thailand | Feb. 2, 2010
Bird is a painter and designs t-shirts to sell on Khao San Road.
About Khao San Road
Khao San Road in Bangkok has been the hub for shoestring independent travelers or backpackers since the early 1980s. It has a plethora of travel services, accommodations, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and vendors all catered to this travel demographic.
LPT: Are you from Bangkok, Bird?
Bird: No, from southern Thailand but I live in Bangkok.
LPT: How long have you been living here?
Bird: More than 10 years.
LPT: What do you think about tourism on Khao San Road?
Bird: It’s changed now, you know. It’s not just young people who come here now. It’s different than before and different kind of people. Some good, some bad.
Yeah, I mean, tourism is good for business here. For sure, I work here and that means I need tourists to come here.
LPT: What are some not so good effects of tourism on Khao San Road?
Bird: Sometimes it’s too much. People come from many places and they’re sometimes very different and sometimes they do things that are not good for here.
LPT: Like what?
Bird: Like sometimes, they don’t really know what Thai people are thinking. I mean it’s the same everywhere but here it’s sometimes dangerous for them.
LPT: Can you give me an example?
Bird: For example, there are many tourists here, many Thais and many other workers who are from other countries here too. And sometimes they just don’t understand English.
LPT: The tourists?
Bird: It’s just poor communication. Sometimes they really don’t understand what someone means, and fights break out. Something like when they get drunk very easily and they just don’t understand each other, something like that.
LPT: What do local people who live around Khao San Road think about tourism in the area?
Bird: The people living here are renting. The owners just rent it out for businesses. The rent is very expensive here so they just rent it out and just live somewhere else, somewhere outside of here. Or maybe they just sell it, earn a lot of money and go somewhere far from here.
LPT: So most people who do business on Khao San Road aren’t from here the area?
Bird: Right now, I can say there are no local people who live here.