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Two Street Vendors in Bangkok [Informal City Dialogues]

The story of Niyom and Ae, two street vendors in Bangkok. Of all the iconic images that define Bangkok in the world's eyes -- its serene temples, its swarms of motorcycles, its monumental malls -- perhaps none are as conspicuous as its thousands of street vendors. Hawking everything from chicken and rice to bootleg DVDs to knockoff designer underwear, they line the city's sidewalks, providing both inexpensive goods and informal employment. Their growing numbers have made them controversial, as leaders and citizens alike debate how much public space to allow them, and how to reconcile their presence with the need for pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. But like everything in this city of 12 million, the street-hawking economy is transforming as a new class of vendors brings an unfamiliar set of skills and ambitions to the scene.



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