London Thai Festival

Strange how one minute, I’m in the process of writing several blog entries at a time and the next, I have no idea where my time or concentration went. Anyway time to catch up.

On Sunday, 24th of July, it was that time of year again when ‘the Thai Restaurant Association and its sponsors presented London’s annual festival of Thai food and culture’. This takes place in London’s Battersea Park, for one day only every year, in which ‘over 40 stalls serve hot food, Thai drinks, souvenirs, crafts and fresh fruit and vegetables. Entertainment is provided by Thai musicians, dancers, martial artists and performers. Everything combines to bring you all the sights, sounds and flavors of Thailand’s distinctive culture.’

I was looking forward to this event since getting the flyer from the Songkran festivities, and also, because I had gone to it twice before. The first time was a few years ago which I vaguely remember. But last year, it was definitely nice because the weather was perfect for the occasion. However, I didn’t arrive with my family, instead my mother’s friend and her family took me along. I felt a little out of place without my family at such occasions.

This year, the weather proved to be the opposite of last year’s, pouring with rain instead of beaming with sunshine. I’d arrived with my parents this time and there certainly was security at the entrance. They would charge £2 entry fee per person. One guy checked my bag and said I was not allowed to take drinks inside (which peeved me) because this did not happen last year. Everything had to be bought and quite expensive at that, if considering the price in terms of Baht.

But this didn’t stop anyone from buying and enjoying the food. There were still many people who were watching the Thai classical dance performance under a small stand, listening in huddles under umbrellas to the loud music and admiring other aspects of Thai culture on display.

7 responses to “London Thai Festival

  1. Jen,

    Aside from the rain, that looks pretty much what ‘the bite’ looked like this year. Usually, here in Seattle, our weather is just like London’s; so we were lucky not to be rained on too! 🙂

  2. Hi Jen,

    The Thai government must have a program ongoing to promote Thalialnd around the world as I read recently in a Toronto paper about an even there.

    The event received newspaper coverage because Ms. Universe (who is Canadian, a fact the Europeans on this site get a bit touchy about, 😉 ) was banned from participating in the event because it took place in front of City Hall. It dated back to some sort of arcane law about not being able to hold beauty pageants in the town square.

    Anyway the Thai festival went on but without Ms. Universe’s guest appearance and the whole thing was a major embarassment for the mayor of Toronto who phoned the Ms. Universe people to apologise only to hear: We’re not sweating it too much, we have a busy calendar you know!

  3. Knew some friends who went to this – said it was very enjoyable too. Looking forward to the next thai festival event in surrey.

  4. Thailand is probably indeed promoting around the world. Yes, we had a thai consumer exhibition here in Bangalore late last month. I got the dates wrong and reached a day late, to an abandoned stadium… and came back home to log back into thailandlife.com…

  5. See, that shows the strength of the Brits, braving the weather for a festival. If that was LA, you’ll have an empty lot if it rains. Heh.

    And yes, EJ, we stole all of you guys’ rains this year. 😉

    Here in LA around Songkran time we have a Thai festival down in Thai Town. And as you’ve seen last month, there’s a big Thailand Exhibition here as well. I haven’t been to those in years. First because I ran out of farang friends to take on excursion, now I’m just too lazy to drive up. Hehe.

  6. @ EJ: It’s lucky Seattle had good weather for the occasion. We had good weather the previous weekend, shame it rained this time.

    @ BKK: Hey, I read about Ms. Universe/Canada and how Toronto wouldn’t allow her to open the Thai festival there in her winning dress. Shame that it had to happen. Why did Ms. Universe not come anyway btu dressed normally?

    @ jdv: Yeah I read about the Surrey festival at the end of August. I haven’t been to that so I don’t know if it’s bigger or better. It is held from 27-29th whereas the London one is only a day.

    @ trangam: Aw, missed the exhibition? LOL, hopefully you won’t miss it next time (^.^)

    @ oakmonster: The Brits are presumably used to wet weather, whereas LA is more likely to have sunshine right? I wanna go to Thai Town someday too (^_^)

  7. Hey Oakmonster,

    I went to Thai Town when I was in LA about 3 years ago. You are so lucky to have a place like that! We don’t have that in Seattle. I was driving down the road there in Thai Town and I almost felt like I was actually in Thailand. Can’t wait to go back.