From today until Tuesday, Xintiandi will have its own version of a Thai floating market. As a prelude to the opening of the Thailand Pavilion at the Expo in less than a month, the Pavilion organizers and the Consulate General of Thailand have organized the event for visitors to “feel the authentic Thai culture.”
But after watching them set up for days, the result was a tad disappointing. The market, located around Taiping Lake, bears little resemblance to the famous Bangkok Floating Market – if you’re looking for merchants paddling around in boats, don’t hold your breath. The closest thing to it is the handful of small boats tied up around the lake, perhaps for decorative purposes.
What you will find, however, are numerous stalls and booths selling everything from Thai souvenirs and trinkets, food, flowers, massages and vacation packages. You might even find Tai, the mascot of the Thai Pavilion, jumping out to surprise you. Every so often a variety of live performances take place on a stage in the center of the market. So if you’re in the area for lunch or dinner, it might be worth taking a detour to check out the market, if only to check out what Thailand has in store for the Expo.
On the last day of the market, April 13, visitors will also be able to participate in a splashy Songkran Festival, Thailand’s traditional New Year celebration, renowned for the throwing of water. Here’s hoping the weather cooperates.