Street food sellers takeover Thai red light district Soi Cowboy

Street food sellers have moved into a Thai red light district that has been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The seedy nightlife strip of neon-lit gogo bars was once bustling with hundreds of thousands of tourists a day in Bangkok, Thailand.

Ministers closed nightlife venues shortly after the pandemic erupted in March 2020 and they have struggled to regain momentum – with a third wave of cases keeping them closed since April this year.

Without the throngs of tourists splashing their cash on strippers and beer, Thailand’s famous street food sellers have moved into the avenue to sell their wares.

Footage shows the vendors with their portable trolleys selling grilled chicken, noodles and fried vegetables.

Ministers hope to fully re-open the country to vaccinated travellers without quarantine in the coming months but economists have warned that it could still be another five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels. 

Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen. 

Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.