There was plenty of food and activities for people to enjoy, including music, on the first day of 'Returning happiness to Thais' at Sanam Luang, organised by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday.
There was a large amount and great variety of Thai food seen along all walking paths around Sanam Luang. Some was being sold and some was being given away for free.
There were food shops from provinces in all regions – roast chicken and somtam from Nakhon Nayok, khao soi from Lampang, roti saimai from Ayutthaya and khao gang from Rayong. This is a great opportunity for Thai food lovers to try all at once.
Food aside, government ministries have their own tents to promote their work to the public. This is a chance for each department and the different ministries to present their work and give out work-related information that the public should know.
This event attracted not only many Thais but foreign tourists also turned up in large numbers, partly because it is located alongside Bangkok’s most popular tourist site – the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew – and is close to many landmark buildings and temples.
"We heard about this event last night when we were walking around to take photos of the Grand Palace," Laura Willquet, a French tourist with a camera, said. "We saw the poster about this event, so today we decided to come see it."
Asked about the food, she added: "There is plenty of food here and we love it, especially roti saimaii."
Many foreign tourists didn’t plan to come or know about the event but just stopped to eat, buy some souvenirs and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
"We didn’t know about this event until just now!" said Sam Scott, an English tourist with a group of friends. "We were planning to visit the Grand Palace then Wat Po and Wat Traimit. The food is great here and we bought some Thai clothes and there are a lot of things to see here. The officials are quite friendly and helpful."