The issue is apparently way more complicated than at first glance.

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Bangkok Says It’s Not Actually Banning Street Food

A mistranslation caused an outpouring of outrage against the Thai government but officials tell the real story
The issue is apparently way more complicated than at first glance.

Shutterstock

The issue is apparently way more complicated than at first glance.

Last week, The Daily Meal and nearly every major food publication sounded the alarm that Bangkok was banning street food. Now the government is stepping in to calm everyone down. Allegedly, a mistranslation between Bangkok's governor, Wanlop Suwandee, and a reporter at the English-language daily The Nation caused the newspaper to publish a story on Bangkok’s street food ban. What he meant was that vendors would be banned on walking paths and other “occupied public spaces.”

“The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is not banning street food in Khao San and Yaowarat roads, it's the opposite,” Suwandee told CNN. “It is supporting street food by implementing hygienic measures and organizing traffic around the areas.”

This means that the government will be cracking down on hygiene standards and clearing vital pedestrian walkways (like busy sidewalks). However, current street food vendors at popular destinations Yaowarat and Khao San Road will not be affected.

But the specifics of the measure still remain murky, especially to the vendors themselves:

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“Nothing is ever quite what it seems in Thai politics,” Gary Leff, a travel writer and founder of InsideFlyer.com told Quartz. “There wasn’t ever a clear shared understanding of what the ban would mean, and it wouldn’t have meant an end to all street food. … We’ll have to watch what actually happens, not statements about what will happen.”