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Bangkok has the world's best street food — but authorities want it gone


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Bangkok has the world's best street food — but authorities want it gone

By South-East Asia correspondent Liam Cochrane

 

8407638-3x2-700x467.jpg

PHOTO: Traditional street-food vendors, including Bangurn Meebuaheng's family, will be affected by the evictions. (ABC News: Liam Cochrane)

 

Thailand's military government is evicting thousands of much-loved street-food vendors from their usual spots in a bid to clear walkways and bring order to the capital.

 

The move has been criticised for depriving people of affordable meals and pushing Bangkok towards a more sterile future.

 

"The street food of Bangkok is the blood of Bangkok … this is the charm, it is the fame, it is the identity of Bangkok," said Korakot Punlopruksa, a food writer and travel show host.

 

"I think it's a little bit short-sighted for the Bangkok authority to do this to all the life in Bangkok."

 

Full story: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-15/bangkok-street-food-vendors-forced-to-move-by-thai-government/8407610

 

ABC News: 2017-04-16

 

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Dont you just love trying to walk along the footpath trying to avoid huge vats of boiling oil, hot barbecues pouring out smoke, the choking fumes of fried chilli, plastic seats and people waiting and taking up all the path so you have to push past or walk in the road. So much Bangkok charm !!!!  Bo!!ocks !

 

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There should be a system where they will reduce the number of vendors, and the vendors who will be axed are the ones who ever poisoned a customer - this way we will prioritize quality over quantity. Almost impossible to enforce but there should be a similar system in place.

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12 minutes ago, jaiyen said:

Dont you just love trying to walk along the footpath trying to avoid huge vats of boiling oil, hot barbecues pouring out smoke, the choking fumes of fried chilli, plastic seats and people waiting and taking up all the path so you have to push past or walk in the road. So much Bangkok charm !!!!  Bo!!ocks !

 

 

All very good points which are magnified when trying to navigate the footpaths with a small child... 

 

The quality and price of street food is 'one of' the huge draws for tourists in Thailand, street food is a part of life for the millions of Thai's who live here. Unfortunately the issues that come with the street food are 3rd World... 

 

Perhaps have little 'food centers'... i.e. area's every few Soi's where there is an 'open block' reserved for 'street vendors'... if the government could control the rents of these places to keep costs down... 

 

... its all pie in the sky.... nothing will change though, as that would take effort and enforcement. 

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Singapore sets the precedent. Don't 'chuck out the baby with the bathwater', put it in a good bath instead.  I love street food throughout Asia, but I like to enjoy in a clean, safe and pleasant environment. Not sat on the sidewalk, amongst noise and pollution.  And I also like a safe sidewalk to get around on.

 

Singapore's 'food courts' are the perfect solution. I know some people don't go for that country's somewhat sterile character, but, for me it's got what Asia needs. Asian character without the messy bits.

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Surely there can be compromise, ie, on wide pavements, let them use their stalls on one side as long as there is room for pedestrians to walk both ways at the same time and not have to step on the roads.

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Bangkok is one of the WORST laid out cities in the world.  Singapore has hawker centers which provide inexpensive food.  Hong Kong and Taipei have night markets.  Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing handles this well too.  The Bangkok government needs to come up the a solution as other cities have and not just forbid it.  

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They are not removing the street vendors to open the sidewalks, that is only the pretext. By removing the street vendors they hope the formal restaurants will get more clients which in turn will lead to more tax revenue. As long as there is not enough formal employment in the country they are however fighting a losing battle. When they clamp down on one area the vendors just move to another and over time tourist will move into these areas as they want the street food. As others have said the Singapore street food courts is the best solution, but that takes planning and effort, not something this government have shown much of.

Edited by SOUTHERNSTAR
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The so called " authorities " lost the plot when it comes to what makes

Thailand attractive and interesting to the average traveler, they think that

clean and orderly is good, n some places, yes, not in a country like Thailand

that attracts tens of millions of tourists every year just because it's got a charm

and a mystic no other country has, kill that, and you kill the goose that lays

the golden eggs....

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1 hour ago, Moonlover said:

Singapore sets the precedent. Don't 'chuck out the baby with the bathwater', put it in a good bath instead.  I love street food throughout Asia, but I like to enjoy in a clean, safe and pleasant environment. Not sat on the sidewalk, amongst noise and pollution.  And I also like a safe sidewalk to get around on.

 

Singapore's 'food courts' are the perfect solution. I know some people don't go for that country's somewhat sterile character, but, for me it's got what Asia needs. Asian character without the messy bits.

I agree. There's even a guy in a food court with a Michelin star. Not that Thai food could ever get one with out a serious rethink like Nahm in London- Run by an Aussie. Though I think he lost his star recently.

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1 hour ago, jaiyen said:

Dont you just love trying to walk along the footpath trying to avoid huge vats of boiling oil, hot barbecues pouring out smoke, the choking fumes of fried chilli, plastic seats and people waiting and taking up all the path so you have to push past or walk in the road. So much Bangkok charm !!!!  Bo!!ocks !

 

I do actually. They are part of the urban landscape of the city. Part of why BKK is so unique.

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57 minutes ago, ezzra said:

 

The so called " authorities " lost the plot when it comes to what makes

Thailand attractive and interesting to the average traveler, they think that

clean and orderly is good, n some places, yes, not in a country like Thailand

that attracts tens of millions of tourists every year just because it's got a charm

and a mystic no other country has, kill that, and you kill the goose that lays

the golden eggs....

Agreed.  Look what they did to Siam Square.   Awful.  Tantamount  to urban vandalism. 

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There goes the neighbourhood!
First they clear out the street vendors on Soi 11 Sukhumvit & then all along Sukhumvit, then they close out the minivan depot at Victory Monument.
What their doing is removing the character & uniqueness of what used to be a great tourist destination. Their ruining the flavor of BKK in my opinion.
Its a pain in the a$$ getting to/from Mor Chit bus depot coming from the south.
What was the problem with the vendors along Sukhumvit Soi 5 to 20? That was the best part of the night activities!
Their screwing this place up rather than fixing it up!
Focus on the traffic congestion, waste disposal, proper toilets with TP/hand-soap, utilities like the tons of overhanging cables, even out the sidewalks, stop riding/parking bikes on the sidewalks, proper street lighting. The list goes on!
Leave the vendors alone! I like my street food & vendor browsing for deals!
A--h---s!


Sent from my iPhone using Thaivisa Connect

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3 hours ago, rooster59 said:

"I think it's a little bit short-sighted for the Bangkok authority to do this to all the life in Bangkok."

Short sightedness has been here ever since the military took over. Korakot Punlopruksa even though your a food writer and travel host you do not seem to get around much. 

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2 minutes ago, TumblinDice said:

There goes the neighbourhood!
First they clear out the street vendors on Soi 11 Sukhumvit & then all along Sukhumvit, then they close out the minivan depot at Victory Monument.
What their doing is removing the character & uniqueness of what used to be a great tourist destination. Their ruining the flavor of BKK in my opinion.
Its a pain in the a$$ getting to/from Mor Chit bus depot coming from the south.
What was the problem with the vendors along Sukhumvit Soi 5 to 20? That was the best part of the night activities!
Their screwing this place up rather than fixing it up!
Focus on the traffic congestion, waste disposal, proper toilets with TP/hand-soap, utilities like the tons of overhanging cables, even out the sidewalks, stop riding/parking bikes on the sidewalks, proper street lighting. The list goes on!
Leave the vendors alone! I like my street food & vendor browsing for deals!
A--h---s!


Sent from my iPhone using Thaivisa Connect

Your dealing with a mindset that thinks with military precision not common sense and for the greater good. We are in a pickle at present and the ruling people are trying to reinvent the pickle. 

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It would be great if stalls could be relocated somewhere where they didn't force pedestrians onto the roads. It would be good if sidewalks were more free of rubbish and rats and pots of boiling oil. For all those who bleat "Don't destroy the charm of Bangkok, that's why tourists come here" just have a think about trying to get around the city if you have ANY mobility issues at all or want to take chikdren out in a pushchair.   Sitting in a quieter and cleaner, and yes perhaps more hygenic area to eat from foodcarts cannot be all bad.  

 

And I suspect the move to rid the streets of the carts is less to do with the convenience of pedestrians and a lot more to do with controlling payments from stall holders to the 'pavement owners'.....

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I don't understand Why people got to whinge all the time,The Government let them get away with  the stalls on the footpaths,same as 3,4,5 people on motorbikes and people in the cargo area of utes , Now it's about time to clean up the place and to clamp down on the offenders,They all know that it is illegal,But thai people have been doing things illegal since the year Dot.  They now think Whatever they are doing is legal. Time to catch up with the rest of the world where the Laws are enforced.

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Such a shame that street food stalls have to go , that is the Charm of Bangkok and a whole lot of People  will miss the Cheap food let alone the Stall holders that rely on that as an Income to support their Families . We all know it is Illegal , but what isn't .

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I don't understand Why people got to whinge all the time,The Government let them get away with  the stalls on the footpaths,same as 3,4,5 people on motorbikes and people in the cargo area of utes , Now it's about time to clean up the place and to clamp down on the offenders,They all know that it is illegal,But thai people have been doing things illegal since the year Dot.  They now think Whatever they are doing is legal. Time to catch up with the rest of the world where the Laws are enforced.


Tell that to the UN (especially Russia)!


Sent from my iPhone using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app
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4 hours ago, jaiyen said:

Dont you just love trying to walk along the footpath trying to avoid huge vats of boiling oil, hot barbecues pouring out smoke, the choking fumes of fried chilli, plastic seats and people waiting and taking up all the path so you have to push past or walk in the road. So much Bangkok charm !!!!  Bo!!ocks !

 

Yes I do actually.

Begone to Singapore where you will be more than welcome.

Oh and by the way, your foul language does not help your message one bit but probably says an awful lot about you.

PS your 'nom de plume' is a joke --- right?

Edited by Patanawet
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5 hours ago, jaiyen said:

Dont you just love trying to walk along the footpath trying to avoid huge vats of boiling oil, hot barbecues pouring out smoke, the choking fumes of fried chilli, plastic seats and people waiting and taking up all the path so you have to push past or walk in the road. So much Bangkok charm !!!!  Bo!!ocks !

 

Yeah I do, it is what makes Bangkok, Bangkok

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In the words of a sappy Billy Joel love song...

 

Don't go changing, to try and please me

You never let me down before

Don't imagine you're too familiar

And I don't see you anymore

I would not leave you in times of trouble

We never could have come this far

I took the good times, I'll take the bad times

I'll take you just the way you are

(Certain amendments do apply of course).

IMG_0054.JPG.c2ae763387ec948cbc02715563286af2.JPG

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

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4 hours ago, kkerry said:

Singapore have moved on from food stalls cluttering up the sidewalks. User friendly and probably more hygienic as well.

 

SG.JPG

Telok Ayer LPS.JPG

Oh wow. What memories! The top one I don't recognize, but surely the bottom one is the famous Telok Ayer. This was a fish market down by Collyer Quay when I lived in Singapore. All that beautiful iron work was made in Scotland.

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