11 July 2024

Tourists, mostly Chinese, and locals have been flocking to Bangkok’s Chinatown yesterday and today to celebrate Chinese New Year while, in Phuket, tourists on the resort island have pushed hotel occupancy to 81%.

Lertchai Wangtrakuldee, director of the Phuket branch office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said that Chinese arrivals to Phuket have soared to between 4,000 and 5,000 a day, highest number of arrivals of any single nationality.

He said that, during the 9-day Chinese New Year’s celebrations, tourism-related revenue for Phuket will reach an expected 6.8 billion baht.

On February 9th, which was Chinese New Year’s Day, the number of Thai and foreign tourists visiting Phuket was estimated at about 70,000.

Some Chinese tourists said that this is the first time they have visited Thailand during Chinese New Year, adding that they had a chance to visit Mangkon Temple in Chinatown, to pay respects to the deities there, and to sample street food in the area.

They said that their favourite dishes are tom yum pla and phad phak bung (fried morning glory), but mango and sticky rice ranked top of the Thai deserts.