Phuket Sunday Market Walking Street starts at end of September

Posted on September 2, 2013

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Taking its lead from the awesome Chiang Mai Sunday Market Walking Street, the Phuket Old Town Community (POTC) plans to roll out the first Phuket Sunday Market Walking Street along Thalang Road and Soi Romanee on September 29.

One of the members of the POTC, and Thalang shop owner Somyos Pathan, told The Phuket News that the community had been trying to launch the Phuket Sunday Market Walking Street project for over six months, and was happy that it had finally got the support from the government that it so desperately needed.

“The government has awarded us B400,000 for the year to help market and organise it. This is to pay for the decorations and organise activities.”

The theme of the event is the curiously-named ‘Let’s Phuketian be Phuketian’.

Mr Somyos, himself of mixed Pakistan-Thai heritage, explains further, “Thalang Road is home to many kinds of shops, people and types of food. The market will show the different and unique make up of Phuket. Thalang Road has store owners from a wide variety of races and religions, including India, Pakistan and China, Buddhism and Muslim.”

Visitors will be able to learn more about the respective nationalities from the residents themselves as they will all be encouraged to wear their traditional dress, perform traditional dance and even perhaps a little music.

Former English teacher, and member of the POTC, Wanna Boonlom says that although the Walking Street will be a ‘lot of fun’, it will also be much more important than just ‘sanuck’.

“We would like to promote and preserve the architecture, the buildings and also keep the culture and way of life of the people alive.”

The Phuket Sunday Market Walking Street will be separated into four different zones – split into food, souvenir, handcrafts and ‘show’ sections – that span Thalang Road, all the way to Soi Romanee and will be open from 4pm – 10pm.

Food – both contemporary and traditional – will play a huge part in the festival and delicacies including curry shrimp sandwiches, among others, will be available.

Owing to the eco-friendly slant of the event, the food itself is, however, unlikely to be served in the commonly-used styrofoam containers.

Styrofoam is banned during the event, as is smoking and the selling of pirated goods.

It will certainly be a market with a difference on the island. In fact, despite it perhaps becoming known as it in the future, the event will not be named as the Phuket Sunday Market Walking Street and instead will be marketed as Lard Yai.

Mrs Wanna explains, “Thalang Road used to be known as ‘Lard Yai’ (which is Chinese for Big Market Street) back when it was the centre of trade.”

The reason for calling it Lard Yai becomes clear when one considers that such a Walking Street may one day lead to the area and even Phuket Town reclaiming some of the prosperity, acclaim and wealth it once had.

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Posted in: Phuket