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Bangkok street food still sizzles despite closure threats. Our top picks.
Ask any Singaporean why they’re heading to Bangkok and food is almost certainly at or near the top of the list – and there’s plenty of reasons why.
Rumours of the demise of Bangkok’s street food have been greatly exaggerated.
In April 2017 the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration was reported to be aiming to clear away Bangkok’s much-loved street food vendors by the end of the year, in the interests of cleanliness and safety.
For many (older) Singaporeans, that possibly had a familiar ring to it, but more than a year after the announcement, one wonders what the fuss was about.
That’s not to say some favourites have not been moved on, but there remains virtually zero chance of going hungry on Bangkok’s streets.
Chinatown is the not-to-be-missed street food destination. Find your way to Yaowarat Road after dark and you’re in foodie heaven – along with about a million other diners. It’s crowded, noisy, hot, and the place to be. There are so many stalls you could return day after day and not eat the same thing twice. If the plastic stools and discomfort are too much, there are actual restaurants (complete with bathroom facilities) from which to choose.
Chef cooking Pad Thai in a pan at street chinatown or Yaowarat Road in Bangkok
Khao San Road may be better known as a cheap destination for backpackers, but the area is crowded with street food vendors too – backpackers on a budget still have to eat! Check out Soi Rambuttri around the corner too.
Silom, particularly around Sala Daeng BTS, is another hub where plenty of foot traffic attracts plenty of vendors. Soi Convent is particularly good if you want some street food before or after visiting one of the fancier bars around. Plenty of other side sois in this area attract vendors too.
Sukhimvit is a moving feast. Yes, some of the more popular places (Soi 38, in particular) have been cleared out to some degree, but generally where there are people, there are going to be food vendors – again, the best bets are along the side-sois.
In the daytime check the skyline for cranes – the vendors tend to appear where there are construction workers. The food will be cheap and authentic, but you may have to point at something to order.
Meanwhile, don’t leave it too long before heading off to big city in the land of smiles. You never know just how long Bangkok’s street food vendors will be allowed to remain open. Our advice? Savour the joys of Bangkok whilst you can.
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