Did you know? Bangkok just banned street food

Authorities in Thailand are hoping to bring order to the street food scene in Bangkok, with their sights set on banning the stalls that clutter the city.

Bangkok's Chinatown (a.k.a. Yaowarat) and Khao San Road, which have always been favourite food destinations for locals and tourists alike, are among the next areas to be cleared. Many of them were food sellers.

Both tourists and locals stand to lose if the city's food stalls are shuttered.

In the capital, which is internationally recognised for its street food, famous locations such as Chinatown/Yaowarat and Khao San Road would be cleared of vendors in a bid to beautify Bangkok.

Tourism, which makes up an estimated 15 per cent of the economy, is buoyed by hundreds of street food tours through the subtropical city.

Wattanavrangkul gave a list of measures which are now under consideration, including the strict observance of hygiene standards by vendors, food stalls which are uniform and have a "local identity", mandatory training programs for all personnel dealing with street food, a mandatory test which vendors must pass, and special attention paid to dish cleaning and waste management. "I am anxious about the footpath vendors - if they don't have a place to sell, how will they make money?" she said.

"The street vendors have seized the pavement space for too long and we already provide them with space to sell food and other products legally in the market", said Suwandee. Many, along with stalls selling clothes and other items, have simply relocated a few metres, to space rented in front of shophouses, which is technically not public space, even if it's part of a public walkway.

"These measures are aimed at promoting the value of Thai food and souvenirs", the spokesperson said, according to Bangkok Post.

Despite this seeming like a massive own goal on behalf of the city, Thailand's junta has, since seizing power in 2014, increased its efforts to "clean up" and "return happiness" to the country, adding a number of regulations to the likes of late night drinking, nightclubs and, now, delicious street food. Ironically, CNN recently crowned the Thai capital for having the best street food on the planet for the second year running.

Vanessa Coleman