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Phuket “Local Food Fair’ ends tonight



PHUKET TOWN: Tonight is the last night of the ‘Local Food Fair’ at Saphan Hin, a family-friendly event which has been getting rave reviews by attendees.

Organized by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO), the festival has over 100 booths and an overwhelming variety of low-priced specialty dishes to choose from.

Each night has featured a wide range of staged entertainment, ranging from classical Thai dancing to bawdy cabaret by trans-gender performers.

Last night thousands of people enjoyed performances by arts students at Rajabhat Phuket University, the Superdance performers of Tessaban Samkong School, and the Miss Andaman beauty contest.

Winning the pageant was Miss Piraiphan Kreutpraphan of Phang Nga.

Among those on stage to present her with the winning tiara and bouquet was Sriyada Shinawatra, a well-known local politician and wife of Saravuth Shinawatra, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawtra’s cousin.

The first to third runners up were Miss Thanaporn Songkleh (Phattalung), Nanthamon Khongla-or (Nakhon Sri Thammarat) and Sukanda Sriboon (Phuket).

All are students at Rajabhat Phuket University.

Of the many exhibits on display, the ones attracting the most attention were those put on by students of Phuket Vocational College at Saphan Hin, which had displays of exquisite fruit carvings and attractive students dressed in tradition Sino-Thai baba dresses.

The real stars of the exhibit were two male students covered from head to toe in black greasepaint and dressed in traditional tin-mining gear. The two human statues sat motionless for hours on end as people stared at them in amazement.

A big hit with the very young kids was the enormous cooking pot used on the first night to make the world’s largest-ever batch of kaeng phoong pla, a spicy southern-style soup made from fish maw.

At one point more that 20 children were bouncing up and down inside the enormous vessel, located on main stage.

Although PPAO President Paiboon Upatising holds the Phuket concession to sell Singha beer on the island, no beer or other beverages were on sale as the PPAO designated the fair an alcohol-free event. There were no restrictions on guests bringing in their own supplies, however, and the two mom-and-pop stores located nearby were having a banner day keeping imbibers supplied.

Despite the very high quality of the food and entertainment, there were very few foreign tourists of expat residents on hand last night to enjoy all the fun.

Now in its second year, the Local Food Festival has been a huge hit with Phuket Town residents and is well worth the trip into town for people from all over the island.

— Stephen Michael Fein


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