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What has survived Thailand’s brutal crackdown on Bangkok’s iconic street food places


Bangkok’s world-famous road meals scene has been gutted over the previous 18 months because the Thai Authorities has sought to scrub up the sidewalks of the Thai capital’s downtown space.

The town’s spectacular road meals scene is a serious drawcard for vacationers however they’re now out of luck on Bangkok’s lengthy, most important thoroughfare, Sukhumvit Highway, alongside which lots of the metropolis’s largest motels are based mostly.

The crackdown has seen tons of of licensed meals distributors throughout town evicted from their prime streetside spots into new, out-of-the-way places designated by the federal government.

One of many nice charms of town for locals, vacationers and Bangkok ex-pats like myself has lengthy been the best way you may depart your private home or lodge and instantly discover an array of wonderful road meals being offered for as little as $1 per dish.

You pull up a plastic chair at a rickety desk and eat fundamental however scrumptious Thai meals like papaya salad, pad Thai noodles and tom yum soup.

Many individuals love the truth that Bangkok is uncooked and weird, however the Thai Authorities appears intent on making an attempt to form town right into a extra polished and predictable metropolis within the mould of Singapore.

The road meals crackdown has acquired a combined response from Thai individuals and a fairly overwhelming thumbs-down from vacationers and ex-pats.

Amongst Bangkok locals there’s a fashionable perception that road meals distributors have been clogging up the streets in an already-busy metropolis, and likewise creating overwhelming mess and smells in these public areas.

Alternatively there are a lot of extra Thai individuals who see road meals as a proud component of their tradition, and as an essential technique of supplying low cost and accessible meals to metropolis staff.

Bangkok’s famend road meals can also be an plain component of its extraordinary recognition as a vacationer vacation spot. It has ranked among the many high three most visited cities on this planet for the previous three years in a row, and gorging on road meals is arguably Bangkok’s single-most well-known vacationer exercise.

There stay a number of unbelievable road meals places in central Bangkok — you simply must know the place to search out them. These are among the gems which have managed to outlive the cull.


Regardless of having lived in Bangkok on-and-off for the previous six years I wasn’t even conscious of this meals heaven till lately.

That’s as a result of it’s hidden simply off the busy Charoen Krung Highway in Bangrak in what was initially a parking lot, near the Shangrila Resort.

There are greater than 20 road meals distributors wedged into this open air area promoting virtually any kind of meals you possibly can think about.

What makes this spot distinctive is that there’s not simply an limitless array of Thai meals but in addition stalls promoting Japanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Cantonese and even Western meals. I’d additionally suggest getting a recent fruit smoothie from the seller close to the doorway.


This one actually is a hidden jewel, not less than from the angle of vacationers, as a result of the seller who offered me a mouth-watering beef Thai inexperienced curry mentioned they very not often see Westerners inside this vigorous market.

Tucked away in a historic neighbourhood, not too removed from Bangkok’s touristy Outdated City space, Nang Leong market is an genuine Thai meals bazaar.

It’s notably good for conventional Thai snacks like fried bananas, fried Taro chips and Thong Yip egg yolk dessert. There are additionally loads of heartier Thai choices like fried pork sausage, stir-fried chilli catfish, pink pork with egg noodles, and roasted duck with rice.

That is additionally an enthralling space to discover on foot due to its timeworn structure and nice people-watching alternatives.


Simply 10 minutes’ stroll from the vacationer favorite, Patpong Evening Market, Silom Soi 20 is a superb choice whether or not for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

My favorite Thai dishes served right here embody the creamy noodle soup dish Khao Soi, fried kale with crispy pork, darkish noodle soup Kuay Jab and, for dessert, mango with sticky rice.

As this road is adjoining to Sri Mariamman, the largest Hindu temple in Bangkok, there may be additionally some wonderful Indian meals together with hen biryani.

This can be a busy vacationer space so many of the distributors have English menus, which may be very helpful because the checklist of dishes on supply is big.


Often known as Chinatown, this bustling neighbourhood for many years has been one of many premier road meals locations in Thailand. Its most important thoroughfare, Yaowarat Highway, has plenty of road meals always of the day nevertheless it actually thrives as soon as the solar disappears behind its timeworn buildings.

Most of the distributors right here concentrate on one explicit dish which they’ve honed over years and even many years.

I’ve my favorite distributors for dishes like Hainanese hen rice, Kway Teow fried noodles and stewed pork leg with rice.

As a result of that is the guts of Bangkok’s huge Chinese language neighborhood, Yaowarat can also be the place to go for uncommon Chinese language treats like hen’s nest and shark fin soup.

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