Thai food stalls set Chinese night bazaar ablaze with flavours

Photo by NNT.

The enchanting Baishamen cultural and creative bazaar in Haikou, the bustling capital of China‘s southern island province of Hainan, comes alive as dusk descends. The unique flavours of Thai cuisine draw inquisitive visitors like moths to a flame.

This sprawling bazaar, spanning 60,000 square metres, opened around just a month ago. Today, it boasts over 600 stalls showcasing an array of delectable snacks and cultural handicrafts, with an impressive lineup of 160 Thai-operated snack stalls stealing the limelight, NNT reported.

As the sun sets on this new gem in Haikou’s crown, the bazaar pulsates with life, attracting both locals and tourists. Within a mere 20 days of its grand opening, it has already welcomed a staggering 800,000 tourists—a testament to its instant popularity and irresistible charm.

At the heart of this Thai culinary invasion stands Kitisak Osathanunkul, the organiser behind the Thai businesses in the bazaar. Not only does he oversee his food stalls, but he also selflessly assists fellow Thai vendors, guiding them through paperwork, securing visas, and ensuring they find suitable accommodations.

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For Kitisak, the night market in Hainan represents an untapped opportunity—a gateway to enter the vast Chinese market.

When Kitisak was first invited to explore the market’s potential, his eyes widened with wonder. It didn’t take long for him to grasp the immense possibilities that lay before him and his compatriots from Thailand. Undeterred by the seasonal ebbs and flows of tourism in Hainan, Kitisak remains steadfast in his optimism, eagerly awaiting the peak season when tourists flock to the night market in droves.

Thai cuisine has made its mark the world over.

Last year, a famous northern Thai dish has been declared the world’s best soup by the foodie platform The dish, called Khao Soi, includes red curry soup and meat, usually chicken, and egg noodles. It is then topped with crunchy noodles, fresh lime, pickled cabbage, shallots, and chilis.

In April this year, the Thai dish Tom Kha Gai, or coconut chicken soup with galangal, ranked in ninth place on the same list.

World News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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