BANGKOK, 28 April 2017: Thai government agencies are easing the fears of food vendors in Bangkok and tourists, saying street food will remain on the attractions menu in the capital city, but it must undergo a revamp.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman, Bussadee Santipitak, said the planned street food facelift aims to improve public health safety for consumers in line with international standards and to reorganise the busiest districts of the capital to ease traffic.
In the first stage, vendors will undergo training offered by the government, which will educate them on hygiene requirements.
The scheme has been submitted to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration before being tabled at a future cabinet meeting.
Most rural towns in Thailand have dedicated areas or streets where vendors can sell food. They often create walking streets at the weekends or evenings. Authorities identify an area of the downtown area near a river or park as permanent street food zones.
Bangkok officials say street food vendors are blocking walkways and to improve public health they should be in areas that have access to clean running water to wash dishes.
Garbage collection is also a challenge in tourist districts. Roads and pavements need to be hosed down and the stench from leftover food and wastewater is often unbearable for commuters who walk to their offices in popular tourist districts.
Already entire sections of the tourist district along Sukhumvit Road has been cleared of vendors although they are allowed to sell street-food in the lanes connecting the main road.