Phuket Flower Fair
Today is the last day of the Phuket Flower Fair which has been running since 24th July at Sapan Hin, a recreational area in the south of Phuket Town. There have been many events there recently such as the Halal Festival and the OTOP Fair. It's a popular place for locals to go running or for a picnic by the sea. The area has recently been tarted up to make some nice paths, lots of new trees planted, a raised walkway through the mangroves etc..
The Flower Fair includes many stalls selling orchids and other flowers, trees, garden ornaments and of course some local food stalls. This kind of local event is always interesting to me, great for people watching, great for getting a bit of local culture. A flower fair is a world away from the tourist beaches of Phuket! I did drive down to Sapan Hin after work on Sunday 26th July, but being that this was the opening weekend of the fair, and Sunday afternoons are the busiest time for people to visit Sapan Hin anyway, I found the place packed, nowhere to park the car and in any case it was getting a bit late for photos, so I went back again on Wednesday afternoon when it was less busy, although even on Wednesday it seemed like half of Phuket town were out buying flowers!
I am an orchid lover. My wife too. We have a fair selection in our garden. Orchids are amazing plants. The variety of colours and shapes is beyond belief. And at a flower fair, you can still find orchids that make your jaw drop, just when you think you've seen them all.
Some of the orchids had been entered into competitions - the one above had a 1st prize rosette beneath it, reminding me of the old flower show my grandfather used to organise back home when I was a kid. Prize winners were always very proud to have beaten all the local competition and very proud of their winning entries.
Some more orchids...
Even if you are not bovvered by flowers normally, you have to admit that orchids are bling, orchids are well cool, orchids are the kings of flowers.
Everyone was enjoying a sunny evening walking around the fair, I think many people were just out for a walk, but there was certainly plenty of business being done. I read that the fair was likely to generate 50 million Baht in income. If you are driving around Phuket, you'll find garden shops everywhere. I pass about half a dozen between home and work. Gardens are big business here! The report in a local news site noted that the fair this year is much bigger than last year, with 70 flower stalls compared to just 20 in 2008. Economic downturn? Not for orchid sellers!
There are many small local events in Phuket, and it can be hard to find out when they are on, I miss some myself sometimes. The small events are not well advertised, though sometimes mentioned in local websites. Otherwise, I keep my eyes open for roadside signs. Next week there is something happening near my house called "Kathu Street Culture". Not sure exactly what it means, but it's on from 5th - 7th August. Or you can just lie on the beach and enjoy the beautiful summer weather we're having in Phuket at the moment.
One last orchid. This was also a 1st prize winner.