Bangkok Banned Street Food and People Are Outraged

The Thai city well-known for its diverse array of street food vendors will banish them to clean up the streets

From egg noodles to curry, Thai street food is ingrained in everyday culture.

Street carts and food trucks may be universal cultural phenomena, but few places in the world are as synonymous with street food as Bangkok. However, the Thai capital has just outlawed street food vendors and stalls as part of a “clean-up effort” meant to target air pollutants, as well as sanitation and food safety concerns.

Many vendors have insisted that because of sky-high rents, they would never be able to sell the same fare (often for the low price of $1 or less per plate of food) indoors. City officials also cited a need to reduce pedestrian traffic and decrease black market activity like prostitution.

“There will be no let-up in this operation. Every street vendor will have to move out,” the chief advisor to Bangkok’s governor said in a press statement. The BMA [Bangkok Metropolitan Administration] is now working to get rid of the street vendors from all 50 districts of Bangkok and return the pavements to the pedestrians. ... No exceptions.”


The newly announced measure has caused outrage all over the world: