Bangkok, Celebrated as the Home of the Worlds Best Street Food, Tragically, to Ban All Vendors by Years End.

Thailand’s capital plans to get rid of all stalls by the end of the year.

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  Apr 19, 2017   admin

In what can only be described as a terribly tragic move, Bangkok, home of the worlds most famous street food has announced a plan to ban all food stalls by the end of the year (2017).

In what some say is an effort to emulate the sterilised sheen of Singapore, city authorities have announced that vendors will no longer be allowed to cook up their wares for “order and hygiene reasons”.

“The BMA is now working to get rid of the street vendors from all 50 districts of Bangkok and return the pavements to the pedestrians,” Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to Bangkok’s governor, told The Nation newspaper yesterday.“The street vendors have seized the pavement space for too long and we already provide them with space to sell food and other products legally in the market.”

The news has been met with shock from many who love the city.

Food_Stalls_Bangkok_%288271000690%29.jpg“If you want to clean out all the vendors it’s like you are cleaning out our culture itself,” said Chiwan Suwannapak, who works for a Bangkok tour agency. 

Aside from the estimated 20,000 plus food vendors will be impacted by the decision, many locals also express grave concerns for local businesses. “There are more than 200 street food vendors in Khao San Road and they are the uniqueness of our district that attracts many tourists from around the world,” Piyabutr said 

One of Bangkok’s most famous tourist streets – the Khaosan road – has traditionally teemed with food stalls and, along with the streams of tourists and backpackers, helped give the area a chaotic, and unique appeal.

“If they go against the vendors, that will that affect business and it will affect the charm of Khaosan,” said Sanga Ruangwattanaku, the president of a business association on Khaosan Road – a buzzing backpacker hotspot in Bangkok’s old town.

Nonetheless, "cleanliness issues", control and security concerns are the ruling military junta's priority and so "all street food must go, no exceptions" says Wanlop Suwandee. The vendors have not been offered alternatives and the hundreds of thousands of poor who make the city run – from cleaners to taxi drivers – will now no longer be able to afford to eat in downtown Bangkok.

If this decision moves forward, as it appears to be, the world will lose a wonderful landmark of food culture. The loss to Bangkok and its citizens, which has become the world’s most visited city precisely because of its street food, is difficult to even imagine.