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Bangkok to ban its iconic food stands


Bangkok, one of whose greatest claims to fame is its streets full of exciting food, is moving to give it all up in the name of cleanliness.

City officials have announced that for “order and hygiene reasons” vendors will no longer be allowed to cook outdoors. Authorities have already spent months trying to force all the vendors into designated areas, but have now decided to ban them altogether.

While the outdoor eateries are world-famous as a place for cheap and authentic food, and to mingle with Thais, a spokesperson for the Governor sees it differently: the  government "is now working to get rid of the street vendors...and return the pavements to the pedestrians...The street vendors have seized the pavement space for too long and we already provide them with space to sell food and other products legally in the market.”

Photo: Ian Gratton / Wikimedia

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A friend of mine always went to the same street vendor on his return to Bangkok and bought the green papaya salad and chicken satay.  And he always got a case of traveler's diarrhea, but it was worth it to him (would not have been to me).  But he drew the line at the fried crickets, which he warned me were rich in pesticides.  

I'm sure he will miss his annual bout with the consequences of the street food he loves so much.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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