Thai Street Food, what is the future?
It seems that among many issues the government and military are addressing right now, an active target appears to be the traditional Thai street food vendors that we have all been accustomed to for years gone by. I think that there are many aspects of visiting Thailand that people take home with them following their visit. Of course there are the mandatory islands, temples and nightlife that all have to have a mention on return and are discussed with fondness and gratification. However, another well practiced activity here in Thailand is the temptation to try out the Thai street food.
There is so much diversity available on the streets around Thailand and depending on where you are will depend on what is on offer. In Pattaya you will often find vendors selling fried insects, traditional noodle dishes and many other tempting culinary delights aimed strongly at the visiting tourists. If you head into the busy streets of Bangkok you will find dishes more suitable to the busy executive who needs to eat fast. Meatballs, fish soup, tasty rice dishes are always within easy reach. Heading further up north you will find Isaarn dishes such as Khao Kookabi (rice and meat with papaya), sticky rice with chicken as well as bplaa (fish dishes). The point being, wherever you are in Thailand you are always close by to either a collection of worn out plastic chairs and makeshift table tables for you to sit down and dine, or hand carts, tirelessly being pushed around the streets.
Now, it seems that this traditional aspect of Thailand may well become a thing of the past as the authorities act quickly demanding Thai street food vendors cease to operate and instead, seek more stable ways to make a living, which in many cases is far easier said than done! Attention has been caused for the street vendors, due to streets blocked with tables and chairs, litter and infestation of rats, as well as putrid smells from decaying rubbish. Yes of course there are some areas where particular attention needs to be directed, but a “blanket sweep” of the country surely will have a negative affect rather than a positive one?
Alas Thailand is undergoing huge changes right now, many of which are supported by both locals and visitors. There is however, some unnecessary changes that seem to be the focus point of the governing bodies. Thai street food is traditional, it is a way of life for many and a memorable experience for thousands of visitors. Travelling back home to talk about the day you visited a busy city, stood on the corner of a Soi and enjoyed wonderful food on your journey will soon, possibly be a thing of the past. not to mention the fact that the demand for fast food by the masses is increasing more and more. Let’s be honest, experience the culture of eating street food or sit in an air-conditioned fast food outlet, personally I know which one I prefer!