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Empty nightclubs, closed restaurants, shuttered hotels, bars boarded up, massage parlours moribund

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 May 2020

Tourist areas of Bangkok are empty, popular tourist islands like Koh Chang remain closed.

There are less than 60 deaths in total with an exceptionally low level of infections by international standards. PIcture of a deserted Bangkok by Book Nattachat

For the past two years Thailand has welcomed around 1.5 million Russian tourists and there were hopes this year would see a growth especially from Siberia, including specifically Novosibirsk and Irkutsk. 

Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg were also targeted for a rise in tourism by the Thais.

‘It hasn’t happened and it won’t come anytime soon,’ said Tanya, a tour guide from Siberia with a major company who has seen out the lockdown in Thailand. 

She is lucky. The country has enjoyed one of the most effective anti-coronavirus regimes in the world with a curfew and alcohol ban.

There are less than 60 deaths in total with an exceptionally low level of infections by international standards.

‘It feels safe here,’ she said. ‘People are wearing masks and obey the restrictions. But it is strange, the lack of tourists in a country which is so geared up for visitors coming.

‘People are feeling the pain. I think it is a long time before any tourists can be welcomed back.’

Hardly any hotels are open in Bangkok. 

Empty nightclubs, closed restaurants, shuttered hotels, bars boarded up, massage parlours moribund


Empty nightclubs, closed restaurants, shuttered hotels, bars boarded up, massage parlours moribund

Tourist areas of Bangkok are empty, popular tourist islands like Koh Chang remain closed.Pictures from Bangkok by Iain Shekleton and Sylvia Dechamps


One Holiday Inn that has not shut during the pandemic is like a ghostly shell.

Walking Street in Pattaya, a favourite of Russian tourists, is eerily empty, the usually pulsating nightclubs and throbbing bars all closed. 

‘It won’t come back any time soon,’ said Tanya, sadly. 

She had planned to get a repatriation flight back to Russia but may now stay. 

‘I can’t work but I can survive here,’ she said. 'When I see the new back home about infections, I feel safer here.’

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