Yaowarat Road to get fresh makeover
The renowned Yaowarat Road in Bangkok's Chinatown will get a new look early next year, deputy Bangkok governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul announced on Monday.
"After January, people will see a noticeable change along Yaowarat Road," Mr Sakoltee told food vendors and local officials who attended a meeting on the famed strip's planned revitalisation.
"The food carts will be more ordered, their appearance will be harmonised and the operations will be more environmentally friendly."
The meeting, held in Samphanthawong district, was intended to inform business operators and local residents of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's plan to give the tourist destination a makeover.
The BMA often clashed with vendors in their crackdown on unregulated street food carts, and in most cases the conflict resulted in closures and relocation of the vendors to BMA-approved locations.
However, the BMA has a a special policy for roads which are significant for tourism and/or form a part of the local communities' cultural identity, such as Khao San Road in Phra Nakhon district and Yaowarat Road in Samphanthawong district.
City Hall has revised a number of municipal codes to allow food vendors to continue trading on pavements along these two roads, on the condition that they comply with sanitary and environmental regulations.
For the Yaowarat Road revamp scheme, the BMA is working with the National Science and Technology Development Agency to develop a new innovation known as "Rak Lok" ("Save the Planet") food cart.
Specifically designed with hygiene in mind, the cart incorporates energy and water-saving technology and is equipped with air filters to reduce smoke, as well as grease traps to contain used oil.