PATTAYA, Thailand – The vibrant Rattanakorn Market in Pattaya came alive on February 8 as the Thai-Chinese community commemorated their annual day of honouring ancestors. Amidst the bustling atmosphere and congested lanes, the market witnessed a surge in activity, drawing in crowds eager to procure traditional offerings for the solemn occasion.
Exploring the market’s dynamic scenes, we found vendors showcasing an array of traditional delicacies, including pork, chicken, pastries, cakes, and fruits, tailored to the preferences of Thai-Chinese customers. The fervent preparations were evident as community members diligently selected items essential for their ancestral rituals.
Sirintra Udomsap, a vendor at the market, offered insights into the meticulous preparations, disclosing that stalls were set up as early as 2 a.m. with some opening doors at midnight to accommodate early shoppers. Despite the festive ambiance, prices this year remained relatively stable compared to previous years, with only premium offerings like cherry duck, cherry chicken, and large pig heads commanding higher prices owing to their quality and appeal.
In the fruit section, customers were greeted with a diverse selection, ranging from regular Thai oranges to premium varieties like tangerine oranges and imported fruits, each priced according to its quality and rarity. While minor increases were observed in the prices of fruits such as apples, dragon fruit, and grapes, the overall pricing strategy aimed to cater to varying budget preferences.
Essential items such as traditional Chinese pastries and cakes maintained their affordability at 150 baht per kilogram, reflecting vendors’ strategic efforts to ensure accessibility for customers purchasing offerings from multiple sources. Despite slight price hikes across certain categories, the overall consensus indicated that the increases were within acceptable limits compared to the previous year.
Rattana Thammalert, a customer navigating through the bustling market, expressed her perspective on the pricing dynamics, acknowledging the minor increases but emphasizing the importance of quality offerings for the annual ritual. She noted an improved economic situation at home, enabling her to afford higher-quality items and contributing to her overall satisfaction with the market offerings.