Bangkok's Famous Street Food Stalls To Be Banned From Main City Roads
Bangkok. A place packed with friendly locals, wonderful culture, and great street food.
Despite the hustle and bustle of the busy city, Bangkok is still one of the most popular destinations in the world.
One of the main attractions that keep people coming is the thriving street food scene. Bangkok has indeed established its status as a foodie destination over the last few decades. It has even earned the top spot on CNN's list of best places for street food for two consecutive years.
Locals and foreigners sharing the same table while enjoying pad thai or sizzling hot tom yum goong by the pavement of a street is a common sight here.
However, things are about to change as the Thai government has initiated a crackdown on its roadside stalls
In a shocking turn of events, Bangkok’s local governing body, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), has apparently banned street food stalls.
"All types of stalls including clothes, counterfeit goods and food stalls will be banned from main city roads," chief advisor to Bangkok's governor, Wanlop Suwandee, told AFP.
"They will not be allowed for order and hygiene reasons," he added.
The move is certainly a controversial one as this could be a definitive end to their unique street food culture, where about 20,000 street vendors are operating in Bangkok alone.
It is said that the local government is intensifying their efforts to clear all street food stalls from Bangkok's roads by the end of the year.
In fact, efforts to clean up the streets have been going on for some time now
A report by BBC in August 2016 revealed that the BMA had evicted nearly 15,000 vendors from 39 public areas citywide within a year.
The world had also bid goodbye to the renowned Soi Sukhumvit 38 food market last year, when it was destroyed to make way for a new luxury condominium.
It had operated for nearly 40 years and was one of the classic places in the city for authentic Thai food.
The Nation reported that the local government has successfully cleared the pavements of food vendors in areas such as Siam Square, Pratunam, and the flea market under Phra Phuttayotfa Bridge, and it is planning to do the same at Yaowarat (Chinatown) and Khao San Road.
Following international scrutiny on the issue, Bangkok's authorities have responded to the public outcry on the clean-up
Suwandee had reportedly told AFP's Sally Mairs, that the government is not barring vendors from operating but they are imposing stricter "regulations".
Meanwhile, Thailand's Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has denied reports that street food is being banned in the capital city.
She stressed that the drastic measures that are being implemented are "for the sustainability of this significant feature of tourist attraction".
"In short, street food vendors would not be banned as circulated among some medias. On the contrary, they would be supported and facilitated adhering to the features of tourist attractions as well as universal hygienic standards," she said in a post on Facebook.
Do you think street food might be a thing of the past in Bangkok? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.