Bangkok, April 18: Bangkok was voted the world's best destination for street food. After the month of this declaration, the Thai capital's administration has announced that every street vendor will have to move out for the safety and cleanliness of Thailand.It is said that no visit to Thailand is complete without eating at street stalls. Papaya salads, braised duck, steaming noodles and grilled whole fish are among exciting and bewildering choices. But the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said that vendors would be banned from the city's streets by the end of the year.
Wanlop Suwandee, chief advisor to Bangkok's governor said that the street vendors have seized the pavement space for too long and they 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. Now every street vendor will have to move out.
The crackdown was announced a month after CNN named Bangkok the finest street food destination in the world, for the second year running. Wanlop said “I was grateful for CNN's praise but insisted the priority for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, which controls 50 districts, is safety and cleanliness”. The ban had spread the stress and anger amongst the vendors who work for late at night at tens of thousands of food stalls on pavements and narrow streets across the city.
The wealthy middle class and poor sit elbow-to-elbow eating with well-worn chopsticks and bent spoons paying the equivalent of just a few dollars. In the Khao San Road tourist precinct alone there are 200 street stalls for decades popular with tourists. Authorities have also imposed bans on the street begging although as soon as they are rounded up beggars return.