Bangkok Flower Vendors Forced to Leave Busy Sidewalk Stalls

Pimuk Rakkanam
2017.08.15
Bangkok
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Customers walk past the new Yod Piman flower market on Chak Phet Road in Bangkok, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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Flower vendors thread garlands with jasmine and marigold blossoms, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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Customers select orchids at the market, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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Vendors wait at their stalls for customers, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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A monk selects flowers at a shop in the old market area, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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A lotus seller still maintains a smaller sidewalk spot at the old market area, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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A seller displays jasmine garlands on banana leaves, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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A man pulls a basket on the sidewalk of the old market main street after flower vendors moved away, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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Migrant laborers pack sets of betel nuts, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

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A vendor decorates a flower cone called “Baci,” which is for important ceremonies, Aug. 13, 2017. (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

When the Thai government reclaimed public sidewalks for pedestrians in Bangkok, about 500 outdoor flower stalls in the old Pak Khlong Talad market relocated to an indoor market last year, taking with them some of the neighborhood charm.

Vendors who moved to the new Yod Piman flower market complain business is not as good because fewer customers visit the location. It is far from the main road and not easily accessible.

“It is inside and fewer people would come in. If I could choose, I wouldn’t want to sell flowers right in this market,” vendor Tanida Tanchamlong told BenarNews.

“I sell less here, some months I can only make ends meet,” Kob, another flower vendor, said.

The old market called “Pak Khlong Talad,” which means the mouth of a canal in Thai, dates back several hundred years. It used to operate 24/7 on the sidewalks, and was busiest before dawn when vehicles arrived to deliver flowers from nearby provinces.

Some flower shops remain in the area and a few outdoor vendors operate despite the government’s efforts to clear the sidewalks.

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