City of Bangkok to Ban Street Food Vendors from all Main Roads

It is said to affect all 50 districts in the city.

According to the Guardian, tourism comprises roughly 15 per cent of the economy, with food tours and culinary travel playing a significant role in the city's draw.

But he said the vendors will have to follow zoning and scheduling regulations imposed by BMA.

Many locals and tourists alike consider Bangkok's vibrant street food culture an indispensable asset ― the food is often far tastier and always cheaper than dishes served in restaurants.

Bangkok has won accolades for its tasty street food.

Spicy som tam salad, phad Thai, sweet soy milk and bean curd or grilled chicken satay - Bangkok's street food scene is internationally renowned. But the latest move has banned all the street food stalls from the main roads of Bangkok.

The Chief Adviser to Bangkok's Governor, Wanlop Suwandee, confirmed yesterday that Yaowarat and Khaosan Road were up next in the city's street food removal project. It's also reported that most street food stalls in the major area of Siam have already been cleared out and efforts are now being focused towards Chinatown's Yaowarat Road and tourist haunt, Khao San Road.

Sally Mairs, Thailand correspondent for news agency AFP, said Suwandee had told her that vendors would not be barred from these areas but "regulated" - for example, they would only be allowed to sell during certain hours of the day. Street vending must be completely banned on narrow sidewalks.

He said Thailand was a changing place. There are, however, a lot of pavements in the city that are spacious enough for both foot traffic and food stalls. Street food won't disappear - people will find creative ways around the new rules, as they always have done.

The announcement comes on the heels of CNN's awarding Bangkok the title of 'best street food in the world' for the second year running.

However, while the removal of street food vendors is sad for tourists who want to taste the curbside cuisine, it's tragic for the city's low-paid workers who depend on the THB30-60 meals to survive and have no idea how they will eat once the street food is gone.

Vanessa Coleman