In an extremely well thought-out and calculated move, Bangkok’s local governing body, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), has decided to ban all street food stalls in the city.
In the name of safety and hygiene, street food vendors will be expected to clear out from roads and pavements by the end of the year.
Bangkok’s street food stalls are also known as the sole reason why Bangkok is currently the world’s most visited city, and (obviously) the city with the best street food according to CNN’s annual ranking.
I guess, when compared to decades of culture, tourism and excellent cuisine, it is more important to “return the pavements to pedestrians”.
Who cares about the delicious fried chicken, sweet pork kebabs or spicy noodles? Certainly not the droves of locals and culinary enthusiasts, or those people commonly known as “tourists”.
This also seems to contradict the 2015 marketing campaign by the Tourism Authority of Thailand called “Pray for Anna”, which sings praises of Thailand’s famous street food. Those legendary Thai ads are about street food, and now Thailand is removing street food from all 50 districts in Bangkok.
This inexplicable move has further implications too. For years, street food vendors have been the place to get affordable and cheap meals for working Thais, as well as serving as an avenue for work. Should the ban be successfully and completely implemented, these people would be displaced.
The economic impact for this decision seems to be quite far-reaching and damaging.
When diners at a street food stall were interviewed, a woman, who was eating catfish and rice, declined to comment. She was working for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
I’ll let that sink in.
As of now, many streets have already been cleared out, as deadlines were shifted earlier to 16 April, after the traditional New Year holiday. This does not bode well at all. Although, certain vendors will be allowed to stay, depending on where they were hawking their wares, such as vendors renting space in front of existing shophouses.
Push-cart vendors who could move around would be allowed to stay as well, but those larger, semi-permanent stalls with seating would have to go.
It is rather painful to know that many people would not have the opportunity to experience the full extent of Bangkok’s vibrant street food culture.
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Featured Image: chiamhuiy.com
This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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