Published on : Thursday, April 20, 2017
Bangkok’s street food culture will endure a concentrated effort on vendors, Thailand’s tourism chief vowed today. He assured travellers that a city renowned for its frenzied charm was not being remodeled into a Singapore-lite. The City Hall stunned Thais and tourists alike this week with plans to block the capital’s popular food stalls from all main roads to reclaim pavements for the public.
However, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) pushed back against fears that Bangkok was being gentrified in the image of Singapore. To quote the governor Uthasak Supasorn, “We will keep our uniqueness. We won’t change our Yaowarat (Chinatown) into Orchard (road). (The plan) is not to totally take away street food from Bangkok streets, but there are some reasons and some places that will be reorganised.”
Nearly two-thirds of Bangkok’s 30,000 street vendors have already been removed or relocated from pavements to make space for pedestrians.
Vendors will be allowed to set up their stalls in smaller streets and hawkers will be reorganized. Tourism is a major of strength of Thailand’s economy and has boomed despite a decade of political unrest and bad press over its dangerous roads and lax safety regulations.