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 that 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. 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.
#bangkok #streetfood is a feast to my eyes and my #foodie soul In the pic #1 #PadThai noodles #2 #friednoodles #3 #thai #iceTea #4 #cocunutwater Am simply #lovingIt ! . . #EatTravelLiveRepeat #foodgasm #foods #thaifoods #traveldiaries2016 #thaication #thailanddiaries2016 #wraveler #whyitravel #mytraveldiaries #addictedtotraveling
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.
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.