Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Adrian Liaw on the clean up of the Bangkok street food scene

Adrian Liaw on the clean up of the Bangkok street food scene

In fact the food stalls haven't been completely removed from the pavements. Vendors, it said, would be barred entirely from the streets by the end of the year. Obviously, most street food vendors are not registered businesses and pay no taxes, although they likely pay some sort of rent to informal neighborhood organizations.

"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.

Officials say almost two-thirds of the city's 30,000 street vendors of all kinds have already been removed or relocated for clogging the pavements, leaving little space for pedestrians and aggravating traffic.

A Bangkok-based street food blogger, Chawadee Nualkhair feels that the ban would make Bangkok "less charming".

Spicy som tam salad, phad Thai, sweet soy milk and bean curd or grilled chicken satay - Bangkok's street food scene is internationally renowned. Reminded that CNN has singled out Bangkok as the world's top city for street food for two consecutive years, Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to the city's governor, said he appreciated the plaudits, but cleanliness and safety were the BMA's top priorities. These streets also have plenty of people selling other products, such as clothes and souvenirs.

The Nation newspaper reports that authorities have already begun clearing certain regions of Bangkok but that their focus now will be on the major tourist attractions of Chinatown (known locally as "Yaowarat") and Khao San Road. Street vending must be completely banned on narrow sidewalks.

"These measures are aimed at promoting the value of Thai food and souvenirs", the spokesperson said, according to Bangkok Post.

The city, which was named 2016's number one tourist destination, is famous for its streets stuffed with food carts. People from every aspect of society, from high-flying business people to street cleaners, can be found in the capital enjoying dinner with friends and often befriending the strangers around them.

The news - which has upset both locals who depend on the low-cost meals and tourists who enjoy adventurous eating - comes just after Bangkok was awarded the title of city with the best street food in the world by CNN.

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