The government has directed all street food vendors to halt sales on a popular section of Upper Sukhumvit.
By April 17, stalls in Ekkamai, Thong Lor and Phra Khanong will be forced to shut down, despite the fact that Bangkok was recently named, for the second year in the row, the city for the greatest street food in the world by CNN.
One vendor in Thong Lor told BK Magazine that a City Hall police officer handed him an announcement advising him about the forced closure and made him pose for a photo with the paper.
The order, which apparently comes straight from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), will affect Soi Thong Lor, Soi Ekkamai, and Soi Pridi Banomyong (aka Sukhumvit Soi 71, the main street in Phra Khanong).
It’s a sad situation for everyone, but especially for the vendors themselves, who are being pushed out all over the city by the BMA and may not find new places to set up shop where they can make a living. It’s also difficult for the construction workers and others on low salaries working in the area who will have very limited choices for where to eat if the food stalls must close.
A meeting was held between vendors and officials recently but they could not reach any compromises and, as it stands now, vendors will not be allowed at any time of day on any sidewalks on those streets. The BMA claims the ruling is because pedestrians have complained about the congested sidewalks. Those that are not technically on a sidewalk may be allowed to remain.
So, with no street food vendors in those neighborhoods, you may be able to walk more freely but there will be far fewer tasty places to go.