Spicy som tam salad, phad Thai, sweet soy milk and bean curd or grilled chicken satay – Bangkok’s street food scene is internationally renowned. But, according to TIME, that will be a thing of the past by the end of the year.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), has announced that the city’s street food vendors will be banned from selling on the streets in all districts.
“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, said. “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.”
This comes barely a month after CNN voted Bangkok the best street food scene in the world for a second time. While apparently grateful for the recognition, Wanlop said cleanliness and safety was the BMA’s priority. (We’re not so sure about safety – surely more businesses on the streets means more surveillance and hence more security?)
Yaowarat and Khao San Road – famous tourist areas that house hundreds of vendors – will be the next target of the purge, which began at Siam Square, Pratunam Market and Phra Phuttayotfa Bridge.