Produce prices soar before Pattaya Vegetarian Festival

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Whether due to flooding or just price gouging by opportunistic merchants, those attending this year’s Pattaya Vegetarian Festival will be paying more for their vegetables.

Seksarn Saajeng, a green grocer at Sophon Market in South Pattaya said a number of vegetables are more expensive than last year, especially popular veggies that form the foundation of the Oct. 4-14  festival. Morning glory, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, Chinese kale and chili peppers have nearly doubled in price, hitting hard the Chinese-Thais who often give up meat for two weeks in October and will begin three days before the festival kicks off.

Expect to pay more for vegetables at least until the end of the Vegetarian Festival on Oct. 14.Expect to pay more for vegetables at least until the end of the Vegetarian Festival on Oct. 14.

Seksarn attributed the price hikes to the rain and flooding around the country, which has made it difficult to transport the vegetables.

He said regular customers had complained about the price increase, but nothing could be done about it. Cabbages, which normally cost 100 baht per kilogram are now 150-170 baht, Chinese kale normally 20-25 baht per kilogram were now 50-70 baht.

Merchants know vegetarians will still buy them during festival time, so don’t expect to see prices drop until after the 14th.