Bangkok manhole covers to form ‘tourism map’ of Chinatown
Bangkok plans to turn manhole covers into a “cultural map” that tells tourists about interesting historical landmarks and activities in city neighbourhoods.
The project will launch in Chinatown — covering Yaowarat, Charoen Krung and Sampeng.
Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt on Friday met with representatives of Silpakorn University and the Office of Thailand Science Research and Innovation.
They discussed how to use art and technology to promote the cultural value of Bangkok’s Chinatown, an area popular with tourists.
Manhole covers there will be adorned with graphic arts that reflect the unique characteristics of Bangkok’s Chinatown, such as the Odeon Circle, Chinese patterns or script, Chinese opera masks and lanterns.
The manhole covers will be printed with a QR code that can be scanned for further information in Thai, English and Chinese about what is featured on the cover.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and researchers from the two institutions will survey local residents for their opinions on what should feature on the manhole covers for the neighbourhood, said deputy Bangkok governor Sanon Wangsrangboon.
The project would aid preservation efforts in the capital’s historical quarters, he added.
Governor Chadchart said the goal was also to give tourists more insight into the history of the places they visited. He said the QR code interactive technology would make visits more interesting and convenient for tourists.
Chadchart added that small museums should be set up in Bangkok neighbourhoods to help tourists learn more about their history and culture.