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Bangkok to Remove All Sidewalk Vendors by End of Year

While Saigon debates the future of street vendors in the city, officials in nearby Thailand are working to remove all vendors from Bangkok's pavements by the end of the year. 

The Nation reports that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) aims to clear the Thai capital of street vendors and return the city's pavements to pedestrians, in addition to improving cleanliness and order.

The metropolis is renowned for its vibrant, diverse street food scene. In fact, just last week CNN named Bangkok the world's best street food city for the second year in a row. The news source wrote that "it's impossible to avoid street food in Bangkok, where sidewalk vendors in different parts of the city operate on a fixed rotation."

However, that is all set to change. Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to the governor of Bangkok, told The Nation that Yaowarat Road, the center of the city's Chinatown; and Khao San Road, the backpacker district, will be targeted next.

"The BMA is now working to get rid of the street vendors from all 50 districts of Bangkok and return the pavements to the pedestrians," he told the newspaper.

Suwandee added, "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, so there will be no let-up in this operation. Every street vendor will have to move out." 

Meanwhile Piyabutr Jiuramonaikul, president of the Khao San Business Council, shared with the paper that he was not aware of the BMA's plan to clear the road. 

"There are more than 200 street food vendors in Khao San Road and they are the uniqueness of our district that attracts many tourists from around the world," he said.

The plan hasn't won over local residents, either. One local, Romdheera Phruetchon, told the news source that "the BMA should set up a zone for the street vendors, so they can keep their jobs and preserve the charm of Bangkok's street food."

She went on: "The people can benefit from selling goods, while the tourists can enjoy the unique street food of our city."

[Photo via Mashable]

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