Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, was recently awarded the title of “Best City Street Food” by CNN for a second straight year and now its government has ironically banned those said street vendors. The controversial move was implemented to better the “order and hygiene” of the city according to city hall. The chief advisor to Bangkok’s governor, Wanlop Suwandee said, “officials are now working to get rid of stalls from all 50 districts of Bangkok. There will be no let up in this operation. Every street vendor will have to move out.”
For those who haven’t been to Thailand, it’s a tourist destination known for its cheap yet delicious culinary delights, most of which, if not all, are from humble street vendors. As Anthony Bourdain once learned on No Reservations, the best pad thai is found in the streets, not a fancy restaurant. An estimated 15% of Thailand’s economy is based off tourism where street food is the backbone and now in the interest of cleaning up the city it may go completely the wrong way.
While this affects locals and tourists both tremendously, only time will tell if the plan to bring “order and hygiene” to the streets will work. Let us know if you’ve ever been and your favorite street foods.