Yesterday, I republished someone’s post on Facebook, who was complaining that the city (Hua Hin) was shutting down a small section of road to hold another street fair. To be fair, Soi 76 is the site of a lot of street fairs, and it is a key section of roadway connecting the railway station to other parts of town. But no reason to go all Scroog on the locals for trying to have some fun, and drum up business for residents.
Personally, I love street fairs, although they can get a little of the same old, same old after awhile. But this one was a bit different. There was the usual assortment of food stalls, some that I haven’t seen before, the emphasis of this fair was on Thai-made products – handicrafts and packaged foods.
One Tambon One Product (OTOP) is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program supporting the locally made and marketed products of each Thai tambon (subdistrict). The OTOP program encourages village communities to improve the local products’ quality and marketing, selecting one superior product from each tambon to receive formal branding as its “starred OTOP product”. It provides both a local and national stage to promote these products. OTOP products include a large array of local products, including traditional handicrafts, cotton and silk garments, pottery, fashion accessories, household items and food.
My mission was to take a few photos and to find some dinner, hopefully something I haven’t tried before. There was a large crowd, with a surprisingly high number of farang (expats) present. The area these fairs are held in is a small, mostly concrete park. Plenty of room for vendors and customer seating. There was even live music on stage.
Some of the handcrafts were quite good. One man had a long table of “Lucky stone trees” that he had created – pottery with metal/glass trees and your choice of stone hanging as fruit, all in a glass case. I don’t know what you do with something like that, aside from just showcasing it, but they were beautiful.
Another man had a stall selling nothing but knives and other cutting tools. One stall was selling brightly covered floor mats that would make a good gift to a Thai the next time I need one. (Of course, I will never find this vendor again.)
My pictures out of the way, I settled down for some chicken-noodle soup, with some noodles I had never tried. Tasty but disappointing. The noodles were not fully cooked and the meat had too much fat.
I then headed for a stall selling cut up pork ribs, which looked really good on the table. I messed up in ordering, however, and ended up with two double portions instead of two singles, and paid the price, literally. Looks like I will be eating pork rib pieces for a couple of days.
Personally, I hope they keep using Soi 76 for fairs, as it is an easy walk for me. Moving somewhere else in the city likely would mean my not even knowing about them.