What? They can’t be serious!
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is making darn well sure that street food vendors will “disappear” from Bangkok before the year ends, a move that will impact all 50 districts in Thailand’s bustling capital.
In fact, the ban was initially slated to go into effect yesterday (17th April, Monday) in 3 popular residential and commercial districts – Thong Lor, Ekkamai, and Phra Khanong- but since street food vendors are typically not allowed to operate on Mondays, the ban will go into effect today (18th April, Tuesday).
This is, of course, coming as a shock to tourists who often flock the city for its delectable, mouth-watering array of street noms. Us, including 🙁 On top of that, the Thai city was just named the finest street food destination by CNN last month – a title that has been bestowed upon them for the 2nd year running.
To quote CNN, “It is impossible to avoid street food in Bangkok, where sidewalk vendors in different parts of the city operate on a fixed rotation. It said that some take care of the breakfast crowd with sweet soymilk and bean curd, others dish up fragrant rice and poached chicken for lunch. The late-night crowd offers everything from phad thai noodles to grilled satay.”
So, why the ban, you ask? For cleanliness, safety, and order, according to Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to Bangkok’s governor.
With the implementation, the BMA hopes to return the pavements to the pedestrians and clear out illegal vendors. “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, so there will be no let-up in this operation,” Wanlop said, adding that Chinatown and the popular backpacker district Khao San Road will be the government’s next targets.
Anyone else as bummed out as we are? Group hug!