Pattaya City Officials are declaring war on street carts in areas where they are restricted. Street carts, which technically are against the law as they are not licensed and do not pass health inspections, have always been a part of Thai culture and Thai street food is beloved by both locals and tourists from around the world. Officials recognize how important street cart food is to the tourist industry and to the local populace but also, despite continual warnings, cannot permit them in areas where they obstruct traffic or cause problems.
For the past several days teams of police have been up and down Soi 6, Soi 7 and Soi 8 ticketing and confiscating food carts. Police vehicles have been parked at the end of the streets to catch street carts before they attempt to come down the street. The vendors have been continually warned this would happen and that they need to stay at the designated areas, such as the Soi Buakhao Market or Soi 15 on Walking Street. However, they did not listen and continued to block emergency routes and obstruct traffic on major streets. Additionally, legal restaurants and 7-11 have expressed concern on the illegal carts affecting their business. (Similar to the concerns hotels have on illegal guest houses)
City officials say the pressure will continue as part of the solution to improve traffic and road conditions. Meanwhile, clever Thai men on motorbikes have been seen offering a delivery service to hungry girls working on Soi 6, 7 and 8 for a small fee and going and picking up delicious Thai street food from the designated areas.