ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Tea Leaves

Bangkok's streets expose Southeast Asia's new divides

Throughout the region, the pandemic is causing suicides, widening inequality and growing unrest

People line up for free food at a slum area following the COVID-19 outbreak, in Bangkok in April 2020.   © Reuters

The young woman stared blankly into the middle distance. At 6:30 a.m. there was no particular reason to be sitting on the steps of a shuttered shop house along Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road, her arms draped over a few belongings in shopping bags, except that she was homeless.

Unlike the beggars I usually see in dirt-streaked rags by the side of one of Bangkok's busiest streets, this woman looked as if she had only recently lost her home. There was a flash of shock and trauma, instead of despair, in her eyes.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more