Street vendors busy during New Year holiday

Friday, 10 January 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 2 By  Surasak Huasoon

The influx of tourists for the New Year’s celebration makes for exciting time, both for visitors and street vendors.

Sarayuth Sreetha, 27, said he normally goes home to Khon Kaen for the holidays. But the traffic is always so horrible, the Sahapat Group employee said, that this year he decided to take a vacation in Pattaya.

Sarayuth said it took only a half-hour from his work at the Sahapat Group Industrial Park in Sriracha, to his hotel in Pattaya and he can enjoy the beach, fresh seafood and good times instead of sitting in traffic.

Thai tourists enjoy family time on the beach in Jomtien.Thai tourists enjoy family time on the beach in Jomtien.

There were certainly many places to buy food and other items. The New Year’s festival based at Bali Hai Pier featured more than 300 booths.

Pattrakorn Thongpuu, 29, was selling women’s jeans at one of them. He said he has a shop on Soi Nernplabwan, but comes down to the beach for the street fairs. He wouldn’t say how much he made, but acknowledged it was “very good.”

Surapong Lertkhumthumsuk, 40, was so busy he sometimes couldn’t even fill all the orders for his barbecue meat. Most his customers are Thai, he said, and the smart ones order in advance. Those waiting in line sometimes just gave up because Surapong couldn’t cook fast enough.

Our foreign guests were also enjoying their holiday here. Australian Mark Shearwood, 47 said, “I visit Thailand frequently in the winter seasons and I’m loving it here, especially in Pattaya. Although many residents in the area say that this year is cooler than ever for them, it’s a lot warmer than Australia. I enjoy the company of the local Thai people here too as they are very friendly and helpful. We might have some problems communicating from time to time but I seem to get along just fine. The fares are cheap for getting around. The special thing about Thailand is the food here, very delicious, less fattening and really cheap. We have the same sort of food back in the Australia but it doesn’t taste the same there to me. It’s worth coming overseas to relax here and I would definitely come here again next year.”

American Sarah Thompson, agreed, “I stay here for 3 months every two years and I have made myself comfortable here. I have purchased a condo here so I would call this a holiday home. I like Pattaya as it is a place where you can find possibly anything you need. Modern shopping malls, western restaurants, cheap dentists and it’s easy to get around. I love the beach … I could stay on the beach with a book and the sea breeze all day. They are many downsides to this area as well, the bars at night would be nice for youngsters but not people my age. The place has been too popular and is not as clean as it was a few years ago but it is still worth a visit. I’m sure people will enjoy the food and entertainment venues as much as elderly people are enjoying a quiet time at the beach.”

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