BANGKOK, April 24 (Reuters) - Thailand will be the latest
country to have a Michelin Guide, its state tourism agency said
on Monday, taking its place on the culinary world map just days
after authorities announced they would shut down Bangkok's
vibrant street food scene.
The dining publication was introduced by the French Michelin
tyre company in 1900 to encourage people to take road trips. Its
star system began in the 1920s.
The guide to hotels and restaurants, which will be released
in Thai and English, will be the company's sixth in Asia. It has
guides for China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The news comes days after authorities in Bangkok said they
would banish some of its world-famous street food vendors as
part of a clean-up drive by the military government, outraging
foodies and threatening the livelihoods of the city's road-side
The guide could end up featuring some of Bangkok's street
food. In 2016, Singapore made history when two modest food
stalls – one serving chicken rice and the other pork noodles –
were among dining venues featured in the Singapore guide.
"Bangkok is one of the world's culinary capitals," Lionel
Dantiacq, president and managing director of Michelin East-Asia
Oceania at Michelin, said in a statement.
As well as its famous street food, the Thai capital is home
to a burgeoning fine dining scene, attracting an increasing
number of world-class chefs.
"The guide will also inspire local restaurants to improve
their quality and raise the bar in terms of gastronomic
excellence," said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism
Authority of Thailand.
This year Gaggan, an innovative Indian restaurant in
Bangkok, nabbed the top spot for the third year running at the
Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards sponsored by S. Pellegrino and
(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Robert Birsel)