This Restaurant Uses Stuffed Pandas to Accompany Diners During Social Distancing
Maison Saigon Restaurant in Bangkok uses stuffed pandas to keep diners at a distance
16 May 2020

Maison Saigon Restaurant in Bangkok uses stuffed pandas to keep diners at a distance, accompanying the diners so that they don't feel lonely. This idea is the brainchild of Natthwut Rodchanapanthkul, the owner of this restaurant that serves Vietnamese cuisine.

The stuffed panda at Maison Saigon Restaurant / Reuters
The stuffed panda at Maison Saigon Restaurant / Reuters

One of the diners, Sawit Chaiphuek, said he is happy to have a "dining buddy" for the first time in months. This panda doll makes him feel less lonely when he eats alone. Another visitor, Siriporn Assavakarint, said that the presence of a stuffed panda made visitors immediately know where to sit. Previously, some visitors didn’t know that they should not sit too close together.

Earlier this month, the Thai government began easing some of the restrictions. Restaurants are allowed to reopen but with strict rules to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The social restrictions imposed by the Thai government are starting to show progress with the number of new cases dropping to almost zero and no new casualties.