Say Goodbye to Street Food in Bangkok as the City bans Street Vendors

Say Goodbye to Street Food in Bangkok as the City bans Street Vendors

In a shocking statement made my the Chief Advisor to Bangkok’s governor, the city is about to undergo a ‘cleanliness drive’ banning the street vendors. All types of street stalls selling food, clothes, counterfeit goods etc will be removed from the streets within an year. This drive is being done keeping in mind the ‘order and hygiene’ of the city. Well I am not surprised that the this decision has received flak from locals and expats alike as they feel thatΒ the authorities are robbing the city off its culture.

I just cannot imagine Bangkok without the street food. I never felt hungry in Bangkok because there are street food stalls in every corner of the city. It gave cheap food options to working Thais and budget travelers.Β You can easily get a grilled chicken for 10Baht or a bowl of chicken noodles for 30Baht. Now this drive is going to put street vendors out of business and the poor is really going to have a hard time finding cheap options for food.

The statement surely has sent many street vendors in a state of frenzy. The street stalls clogging the roads are going to be relocated away from the main roads. As per reports, the plan is to have a FoodCourt-like places for these stalls. Which means that the food options may not be cheap as before. And you can not see how the dishes are being cooked, which will take away the authenticity of the street food.

Bangkok was named as the world’s best street food destination by CNN for its exotic street cuisine. It draws in tourists in large numbers every year and contributes to the kingdom’s economy. I am not sure of how this drive is helping the city in anyway. If they are going to bring in Singapore-like restrictions here, then I am pretty sure Bangkok will lose its uniqueness and will join the growing horde of smart cities. The prices are going to soar and Bangkok will cease being a Backpackers hub.

The best #food that I ate in #Thailand was on the #StreetsofBangkok. Where was your BEST #streetfood experience?

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Even though no deadline has been given to the street vendors for relocation, but if this ‘cleanliness drive’ is implemented, Bangkok will stop being Bangkok. The stalls used to act as a social leveler in a city with a huge wealth gap. Now you will not find a business executive and a moto taxi driver sharing the same table for a quick meal. The streets will become boring and less colorful. Places like Khao San will lose its vibe.

Another surprising fact is this is happening in a city where sex tourism is booming which contributes to major global issues like human trafficking. And here we have the authorities trying to clean the city by banning the real charm – the harmless street stalls.

You should clean your city, you sure should but not by killing the culture and taking away jobs.

Latest Update : After the public outcry, the Tourism Minister of Thailand has stated that the street food will NOT be banned. But strict measures will be taken to maintain the hygiene near the stalls.

88 thoughts on “Say Goodbye to Street Food in Bangkok as the City bans Street Vendors

  1. When I saw that I was quite shocked, but I am not surprises the tourism minister had to do something about it and NOT ban it. It’s part of the culture and of the charm, banning it would remove a big chunk of its charm!

  2. It’s crazy, they want to take the little authenticity and uniqueness that Bangkok still have… I was disappointed by constantly being a victim of scams but I must admit I loved the street food there! Probably the best thing I’ve ever tasted! They are cutting the branch they’re sitting on.

  3. Whatt?
    The authorities think food vendors are harmful and not the human traffickers. Removing them is certainly stupid. I really thought of visiting and trying out the street food, but i guess it wont happen now πŸ™

    1. I have seen that they won’t be banned but some strict measures will be taken to maintain the hygiene of the place. Hoping that to be true.

  4. Reading the title itself made me like Why? Is this actually true? By this action, actually, Bangkok will no more be Bangkok. The city has its own pride and charm of street food and this is like cutting the hands of an artist. I really wish they concentrate on human trafficking rather than street food.

  5. It’s very disappointing that the government is turning into a nanny state over culture, particularly when it happens to be a draw card for tourism

  6. This is one of the saddest news in for traveles and foodies alike. Thailand is haven for street food and what they are doing is just sooo sad.

    1. They are planning to have specific areas for street food instead of spreading the stalls around. But if they organize things like that, then there are two problems – the particular area will be crowded like hell, second is that the food will not be cheaper anymore.

  7. I read about this the other day and this has really upset me despite the fact I never been to Bangkok and will never experience this now. πŸ™ Its there culture!

  8. I haven’t been to Bangkok yet, but it was on the list for this year. I hope I get there before the street food is gone. It was one of the many things I was looking forward to in the city. What a sad decision by politicians.

  9. That’s so disappointing. I’ve heard so many good things about the street food culture there. I wish I’d had a chance to experience it myself.

  10. We are yet to visit this backpackers paradise and experience its gastronomic culture. And we were like we wouldn’t get a chance anymore. Happy to know that instead of removing the stalls they would now plan to work on hygiene which is main issue.

  11. I heard about this!! It’s insane, it’s like the street food capitol city of the world – and it worries me about what will happen to the vendors who’s livelihoods were their stands. I agree, I think if you’re going to start cleaning up the city, perhaps start with more prominent and harmful issues!! Not one which actually attracts the rest of the world to travel to you.

  12. I was shocked to hear about this! It would have been such a shame to get rid of one of the things that characterises the experience of the city. Thank goodness the Tourism Minister of Thailand decided not to ban them!

  13. It will never be the same again but there is still hope. Street vendors are going to be relocated. They will continue cooking delicious foods and sell them. However, I think not all street vendors are willing to adjust. The location might be far away from their home. The biggest downfall is for the consumers. The foods will be a bit costly and the location will not be very convenient for everyone.

  14. That’s sad because the street vendors are great! I love visiting there and I could easily eat three dishes of chicken rice after shopping all day in the city, I am going to miss that! πŸ™ @ knycx.journeying

  15. So fantastic that they went back on the decision! Thai food and street vendors are such a major part of the culture and overall travel experience in Thailand – glad that’s staying!

  16. Hey Gokul, first of all thanks for sharing one of my pictures.Bangkok was my first trip overseas, and being a foodie, it was a mecca for me as I got to try a lot of stuff at street rates.
    My first reaction when I read about the ban was, that lets take a trip again to go on a hogging spree.But now that the decision has been reversed, the street food is what adds on the the culture of the city and the vendors shall try to maintain proper hygiene by not littering around.

  17. Looked into this as I was in Bangkok two weeks ago. Just wanted to say that this is not actually happening. They are simply banning it on main streets, but it will be just as available on all the side streets. Thank ze lord!! πŸ™‚

    1. That is great to get the info from someone in Ground Zero. I was there a month back and saw no such new over there. This actually broke out 3 days back. I hope it gets back to normal.

  18. Ah…Glad that the authorities finally understood the damage the move could have caused to tourism and the livelihood of the vendors alike.Still, encroachment should be curbed, isn’t it?

  19. I can’t believe it, I’m so glad they changed their minds in the end! We loved the street food whilst we were there and had some of the best food we have ever tasted and it was definitely one of our favourite things about Bangkok! Like you said it was so affordable as well and perfect for people on a budget like us!

  20. I was really shocked when I saw this, its the very essence of Bangkok! Pleased theyve had a change of heart

  21. Street food is one of the biggest highlights for tourists. The quality, variety and costs all play important role. Now that the ban is lifted ,hopefully it will stay that way.

  22. I have lived in Bangkok for 10 years and even though they say they are going to ban street vendors, they never will. They’ll forget the rule or it will be too difficult to enforce, I guarantee there will always be street vendors in Bangkok. Just before Songkran they banned people standing in the back of pick-up trucks and this rule hasn’t been enforced either.

  23. The street food is the main reason I want to visit Bangkok! All these dishes look amazing! I wonder what strict measures will be taken moving forward.

  24. I feel there is a thin line between development and taking away the culture of the place. They can do the same thing while retaining the shops which are so quintessential of Bangkok!

  25. I agree with your statement. Bangkok will never be Bangkok without its vibrant street food and market. I don’t see anything wrong about it. It doesn’t show unpleasant to see. This is what makes Bangkok, Bangkok. I love it that way it is. Most of the food are clean and the government should just be stricter when it comes to hygiene but not totally removing it on the street.

  26. It sounds really shockingly sad. I love to try street food in different countries. Thai food is so delicious. I cross fingers for them changing their minds.

  27. Everyone can understand the need to want to keep the street clean and all but banning the street vendors is harming its own people and the tourism that so many enjoy

  28. The street food of Bangkok has always been a star attraction of the place. Can understand the situation, but a complete ban is extreme. What the authorities need to do is regulate and ensure compliance with health and safety standards.

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