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News Forum - Bangkok’s New Chinatown comes back to life as Chinese tourists flock back


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Bangkok‘s New Chinatown is once again buzzing with life as Chinese tourists flock back to the bustling neighborhood after a two-year lull due to the pandemic. Stretching from Huai Khwang intersection to Pracha Uthit Road, New Chinatown (not to be confused with the original Chinatown in Yaowarat area) is a hub of activity with eateries, …

The story Bangkok’s New Chinatown comes back to life as Chinese tourists flock back as seen on Thaiger News.

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"The most sought-after products among Chinese tourists include dried fruit, milk tablets, herbal liniments, honey, and rubber pillows".

Yes, some real high spenders there. Yet again, it would be interesting to know the NETT value of these infestations of Chinese tourists.

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I don’t understand why Chinese Tourists visit China Town. It’s like the British when they go to Spain and stop in Benidorm. I don’t understand that either. 

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7 hours ago, Soidog said:

I don’t understand why Chinese Tourists visit China Town. It’s like the British when they go to Spain and stop in Benidorm. I don’t understand that either. 

I think mostly because from this area these tourists can get, or at least they believe they can get what they cannot get from China (my country).

1. The food safety is extremely dubious in China. Fruits are heavily poisened by pesticides and there used to be astonishing scandals about the milk industry in China. Big brands like Sanlu (三鹿) added toxic chemical to milk just for the sake of getting a more favorable texture. Water and some other chemicals are added to honey to get a better taste and reduce the cost. And although not about food, toxic chemicals were found in locally made rubber pillows and is said to cause cancer. Alarming news like these often circulated headlines in China about ten years ago, arousing great concern on food safety and also the health hazards of other daily necessities made domestically. Now as the Xi Jinping Regime has significantly tightened its control on media, such news disappeared from media in China, but many Chinese know that the food safety in China has not improved and that's why they want to buy some "safe products" outside China. Dried fruit, honey, milk tablets and rubber pillows in Thailand are safer (or at least they appear to be), cheap and easy to bring home. That's why these products in Thailand are popular among Chinese shoppers. The vendors in the  "New China town" understand this well and they stock up all these things together in their stores and the Chinese shoppers can buy the products very conveniently from them, much more convenient than from outside the area.

2. As the CCP imposes an increasingly stringent control on the society and the digital totalitarianism becomes mercilessly pervasive in China, the country is becoming more and more like a prison. The conditions have become extremely unfavorable for the criminals, the ones who works in "grey area" or enjoy activities in the "grey area" and the ones who embrace freedom. So these people want to get out of China either for a while or for good, just like escaping from prison.

20 years ago bike theft was rampant in China, but now nearly disappeared, because security cameras are everywhere, face-recognition is so advanced in China and everything is registered real-name. If you steal a bike, it is very possible that 1 hour later you are caught by the police. No exaggeration. Especially when the police want KPI. Try scamming people on phone or on wechat? Think again. The big brother is watching every word you send on wechat and AI recognizing every syllable you said on wechat or on phone. So if you make a scamming call and you are not caught by police, it just meant that they are too lazy to catch you (their priority is to catch and punish dissidents), not because they cannot. That's why many Chinese scammers and  other criminals moved to Southeast Asia, where they are easy to get visa or entry permission and the governments do not have such strong control on people.

Gambling and prostitution are typically considered by many Chinese to be in "grey area". They have always been illegal in China but they used to be rampant in China before Xi's reign. Xi gradually cracked down gambling and prostitution during his dictatorship. Now trying to buy sex is difficult and risky in China.  Many brothels in China used to take the appearance of "massage parlours" and "barbers" and operate openly. Now no longer. Street hookers used to be everywhere. Now CCTVs are everywhere. Street hookers get caught instantly. If you try to contact a prostitute online, you can only use Wechat because other messaging tools are blocked, and I don't have to explain the risk there. If you are an expatriate in China, getting caught buying sex may only cost you some fine, but if you are unlucky to be a Chinese citizen and you get caught buying sex in China, you will get a negative remark on your "personal profile" (yes that Soviet thing still exists in China), and you and your children will no longer be able to work for the government or public sector (mind you that this sector is much bigger in China then in the west) and will not be able to do many jobs. That's why the Chinese people who like to gamble go to Cambodia, Burma or Laos, where either gambling is legal or there is no actual enforcement of law even if it is illegal. And those who love to buy sex, as you expected, go to the paradise of sex trade near China-- and Thailand is definitely among them. Of course not only the Chinese gamblers and sex buyers come to Southeast Asia, some service providers and organizors in gambling and sex trade in China also take advantage of the corruption of the SE Asian governments and come to this area illegally, providing service to the Chinese clients, some of them even forming mafia with the other criminals. Now have you ever think of why Huai Khwang? Why does Huai Khwang, instead of other areas in Bangkok become the "New Chinatown"?  Before the Chinese criminals and tourists came in large number, this area was already the home to the infamous "Nataree" and other bubble bath establishment which the Chinese call "泰国浴" (Thai bath) and which attracts them the most. Make sense?

Apart from that, as I said for people who love freedom, the condition in China after 2016/2017 was really not acceptable and many people just want to have a getaway from that suffocating environment, even briefly. This might sound strange to you but it is really hard to explain in detail if you do not live in China in recent years. When a “brief getaway” becomes a major reason for you to travel to Thailand, experiencing the local attractions and interact with the local culture becomes less important. They are just more comfortable staying in an environment where people speak Chinese and they can eat Chinese food but is generally more free, at least for a part of their trip, and the "New Chinatown" is a perfect place for that.

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5 hours ago, Jeremy said:

I think mostly because from this area these tourists can get, or at least they believe they can get what they cannot get from China (my country).

1. The food safety is extremely dubious in China. Fruits are heavily poisened by pesticides and there used to be astonishing scandals about the milk industry in China. Big brands like Sanlu (三鹿) added toxic chemical to milk just for the sake of getting a more favorable texture. Water and some other chemicals are added to honey to get a better taste and reduce the cost. And although not about food, toxic chemicals were found in locally made rubber pillows and is said to cause cancer. Alarming news like these often circulated headlines in China about ten years ago, arousing great concern on food safety and also the health hazards of other daily necessities made domestically. Now as the Xi Jinping Regime has significantly tightened its control on media, such news disappeared from media in China, but many Chinese know that the food safety in China has not improved and that's why they want to buy some "safe products" outside China. Dried fruit, honey, milk tablets and rubber pillows in Thailand are safer (or at least they appear to be), cheap and easy to bring home. That's why these products in Thailand are popular among Chinese shoppers. The vendors in the  "New China town" understand this well and they stock up all these things together in their stores and the Chinese shoppers can buy the products very conveniently from them, much more convenient than from outside the area.

2. As the CCP imposes an increasingly stringent control on the society and the digital totalitarianism becomes mercilessly pervasive in China, the country is becoming more and more like a prison. The conditions have become extremely unfavorable for the criminals, the ones who works in "grey area" or enjoy activities in the "grey area" and the ones who embrace freedom. So these people want to get out of China either for a while or for good, just like escaping from prison.

20 years ago bike theft was rampant in China, but now nearly disappeared, because security cameras are everywhere, face-recognition is so advanced in China and everything is registered real-name. If you steal a bike, it is very possible that 1 hour later you are caught by the police. No exaggeration. Especially when the police want KPI. Try scamming people on phone or on wechat? Think again. The big brother is watching every word you send on wechat and AI recognizing every syllable you said on wechat or on phone. So if you make a scamming call and you are not caught by police, it just meant that they are too lazy to catch you (their priority is to catch and punish dissidents), not because they cannot. That's why many Chinese scammers and  other criminals moved to Southeast Asia, where they are easy to get visa or entry permission and the governments do not have such strong control on people.

Gambling and prostitution are typically considered by many Chinese to be in "grey area". They have always been illegal in China but they used to be rampant in China before Xi's reign. Xi gradually cracked down gambling and prostitution during his dictatorship. Now trying to buy sex is difficult and risky in China.  Many brothels in China used to take the appearance of "massage parlours" and "barbers" and operate openly. Now no longer. Street hookers used to be everywhere. Now CCTVs are everywhere. Street hookers get caught instantly. If you try to contact a prostitute online, you can only use Wechat because other messaging tools are blocked, and I don't have to explain the risk there. If you are an expatriate in China, getting caught buying sex may only cost you some fine, but if you are unlucky to be a Chinese citizen and you get caught buying sex in China, you will get a negative remark on your "personal profile" (yes that Soviet thing still exists in China), and you and your children will no longer be able to work for the government or public sector (mind you that this sector is much bigger in China then in the west) and will not be able to do many jobs. That's why the Chinese people who like to gamble go to Cambodia, Burma or Laos, where either gambling is legal or there is no actual enforcement of law even if it is illegal. And those who love to buy sex, as you expected, go to the paradise of sex trade near China-- and Thailand is definitely among them. Of course not only the Chinese gamblers and sex buyers come to Southeast Asia, some service providers and organizors in gambling and sex trade in China also take advantage of the corruption of the SE Asian governments and come to this area illegally, providing service to the Chinese clients, some of them even forming mafia with the other criminals. Now have you ever think of why Huai Khwang? Why does Huai Khwang, instead of other areas in Bangkok become the "New Chinatown"?  Before the Chinese criminals and tourists came in large number, this area was already the home to the infamous "Nataree" and other bubble bath establishment which the Chinese call "泰国浴" (Thai bath) and which attracts them the most. Make sense?

Apart from that, as I said for people who love freedom, the condition in China after 2016/2017 was really not acceptable and many people just want to have a getaway from that suffocating environment, even briefly. This might sound strange to you but it is really hard to explain in detail if you do not live in China in recent years. When a “brief getaway” becomes a major reason for you to travel to Thailand, experiencing the local attractions and interact with the local culture becomes less important. They are just more comfortable staying in an environment where people speak Chinese and they can eat Chinese food but is generally more free, at least for a part of their trip, and the "New Chinatown" is a perfect place for that.

Wow. Thank you for that long post. Can you send that to @Poolie  hopefully he’s over his Covid by now? 

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1 hour ago, Soidog said:

Wow. Thank you for that long post. Can you send that to @Poolie  hopefully he’s over his Covid by now? 

Well I don't know him well and I do not know the motive of sending this post to him. But feel free to share it with anyone if you like.

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3 minutes ago, Jeremy said:

Well I don't know him well and I do not know the motive of sending this post to him. But feel free to share it with anyone if you like.

Sorry, you are new to this forum. If he recovers from Covid you will get to know and love @Poolie. Then my post will make sense. 

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9 hours ago, Jeremy said:

I think mostly because from this area these tourists can get, or at least they believe they can get what they cannot get from China (my country).

1. The food safety is extremely dubious in China. Fruits are heavily poisened by pesticides and there used to be astonishing scandals about the milk industry in China. Big brands like Sanlu (三鹿) added toxic chemical to milk just for the sake of getting a more favorable texture. Water and some other chemicals are added to honey to get a better taste and reduce the cost. And although not about food, toxic chemicals were found in locally made rubber pillows and is said to cause cancer. Alarming news like these often circulated headlines in China about ten years ago, arousing great concern on food safety and also the health hazards of other daily necessities made domestically. Now as the Xi Jinping Regime has significantly tightened its control on media, such news disappeared from media in China, but many Chinese know that the food safety in China has not improved and that's why they want to buy some "safe products" outside China. Dried fruit, honey, milk tablets and rubber pillows in Thailand are safer (or at least they appear to be), cheap and easy to bring home. That's why these products in Thailand are popular among Chinese shoppers. The vendors in the  "New China town" understand this well and they stock up all these things together in their stores and the Chinese shoppers can buy the products very conveniently from them, much more convenient than from outside the area.

2. As the CCP imposes an increasingly stringent control on the society and the digital totalitarianism becomes mercilessly pervasive in China, the country is becoming more and more like a prison. The conditions have become extremely unfavorable for the criminals, the ones who works in "grey area" or enjoy activities in the "grey area" and the ones who embrace freedom. So these people want to get out of China either for a while or for good, just like escaping from prison.

20 years ago bike theft was rampant in China, but now nearly disappeared, because security cameras are everywhere, face-recognition is so advanced in China and everything is registered real-name. If you steal a bike, it is very possible that 1 hour later you are caught by the police. No exaggeration. Especially when the police want KPI. Try scamming people on phone or on wechat? Think again. The big brother is watching every word you send on wechat and AI recognizing every syllable you said on wechat or on phone. So if you make a scamming call and you are not caught by police, it just meant that they are too lazy to catch you (their priority is to catch and punish dissidents), not because they cannot. That's why many Chinese scammers and  other criminals moved to Southeast Asia, where they are easy to get visa or entry permission and the governments do not have such strong control on people.

Gambling and prostitution are typically considered by many Chinese to be in "grey area". They have always been illegal in China but they used to be rampant in China before Xi's reign. Xi gradually cracked down gambling and prostitution during his dictatorship. Now trying to buy sex is difficult and risky in China.  Many brothels in China used to take the appearance of "massage parlours" and "barbers" and operate openly. Now no longer. Street hookers used to be everywhere. Now CCTVs are everywhere. Street hookers get caught instantly. If you try to contact a prostitute online, you can only use Wechat because other messaging tools are blocked, and I don't have to explain the risk there. If you are an expatriate in China, getting caught buying sex may only cost you some fine, but if you are unlucky to be a Chinese citizen and you get caught buying sex in China, you will get a negative remark on your "personal profile" (yes that Soviet thing still exists in China), and you and your children will no longer be able to work for the government or public sector (mind you that this sector is much bigger in China then in the west) and will not be able to do many jobs. That's why the Chinese people who like to gamble go to Cambodia, Burma or Laos, where either gambling is legal or there is no actual enforcement of law even if it is illegal. And those who love to buy sex, as you expected, go to the paradise of sex trade near China-- and Thailand is definitely among them. Of course not only the Chinese gamblers and sex buyers come to Southeast Asia, some service providers and organizors in gambling and sex trade in China also take advantage of the corruption of the SE Asian governments and come to this area illegally, providing service to the Chinese clients, some of them even forming mafia with the other criminals. Now have you ever think of why Huai Khwang? Why does Huai Khwang, instead of other areas in Bangkok become the "New Chinatown"?  Before the Chinese criminals and tourists came in large number, this area was already the home to the infamous "Nataree" and other bubble bath establishment which the Chinese call "泰国浴" (Thai bath) and which attracts them the most. Make sense?

Apart from that, as I said for people who love freedom, the condition in China after 2016/2017 was really not acceptable and many people just want to have a getaway from that suffocating environment, even briefly. This might sound strange to you but it is really hard to explain in detail if you do not live in China in recent years. When a “brief getaway” becomes a major reason for you to travel to Thailand, experiencing the local attractions and interact with the local culture becomes less important. They are just more comfortable staying in an environment where people speak Chinese and they can eat Chinese food but is generally more free, at least for a part of their trip, and the "New Chinatown" is a perfect place for that.

You mean that China is not the enlightened utopian paradise that certain other forum members portray it as? 

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Poolie hasnt got Covid. A brief experience lasting three days, involving some nose blowing some time ago.  I've been watching and getting great amusement from the 'comfort zone' offered by others. Enjoy yourselves. I've never had food poisoning, apart from in S Korea several years ago,  used to partake in a weekly poker school in a public bar, but regrettably I've never sought the company or services of Chinese prostitutes. It doesn't feel like a prison to me, but then again, I've never been in one, so how to compare?

Hope everyone has a remarkable day.

Please note: This post is not intended to abuse/offend anyone, anywhere at any time.

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