Chinese New Year started with a quick meal at Royal Garden Plaza, where ten contestants raced to see who could eat 10 Chinese steamed buns the fastest.
Theerawat Wongworathat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and City Councilman Rattanachai Sutidechanai joined executives from the mall and its Ripley’s Believe It or Not! attraction for the Feb. 1 event.
Somporn Naksuetrong (left), manager of Ripley’s Pattaya, presents the winning plaque to Akharin Jatuporn.
Mall officials noted that the steamed buns, called “salapao” in Thai and “siopao” in Chinese, are traditionally part of the offerings given to gods on Chinese New Year.
Before the munching began, however, the “108 Eng Kor” fighting dance was performed, mimicking the ancient warrior dance of Liangsan Mountain. There was also a lion parade, and traditional Chinese music from Huang Wui-jue of Chesuan Music Institute in Cherngtu in China.
Then it was time for the contest, which offered a total 50,000 baht in prizes.
Akharin Jatuporn, 24, easily devoured the competition, eating his 10 buns in 1 minute, 41 seconds. Phayap Pansaengthong finished a minute and a second later, while Narongsak Timsungnern finished third at 2 minutes and 54 seconds.
The top three took home cash prizes of 10,000, 5,000 and 3,000 baht respectively.