The Ploenchit Fair
is now 53 years old, having begun in 1957.
It has become a rather important event in the English speaking community and is essentially a good time for a good cause.
It is sponsored by the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) and co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bangkok South, and raises large sums of money for more than 40 Thai charities. As of the year 2008, over 45,000,000 baht had been raised and distributed through the Ploenchit Fair.
In recent years the Fair has been held at Shrewsbury International School on the south bank of the Chao Phrao River, a location providing ample space for exhibits and parking.
Thereabouts of 20,000 to 25,000 paying customers have been attending these recent fairs.
An admission charge of 100 baht has been charged. Of course, some exhibitions or booths in the Fair have additional charges.
The Fair has been held in late November, and has opened up around 10:00AM and rapped up around 8:00 PM…or possibly latter.
The last fair was said to have had over 150 stalls and to have closely resembled a traditional British fair.
There were several rides, including a Ferris wheel, a bouncy castle and a giant wave slide; and many activities and games, such as go karting, bungy jumping, a climbing wall, miniature golf, and a football shoot.
There was also a lot of entertainment including pipers, choirs, belly dancers, yoga performers, a magic show, clowns, blues, rock and soul music… and a visit by Santa Claus.
And of course, there was the famous raffle, which features more than 80 prizes, including trips to London.
More than 50,000 tickets were printed for the most recent event and winners were announced in the Bangkok Post.
There were also about 50 stalls selling both used and news goods, and handicrafts.
A strong point of the Fair has been its food, which tilts toward the traditional English, with fish and chips and traditional pies.
Of course, there was also lots of Thai food and pizza, burgers, hot dogs , fried chicken…and Indian food too!! Those desiring to partake of alcoholic refreshment could drink more than their share of wine and beer.
Of course, the guests had to pay for all they ate and drank.
It was not included in the price of admission.
Perhaps the best part of the fair – at least for many adults – is the book sale. Many, many used books are collected for the Fair. The books are sold at quite reasonable prices.
Lost of happy shoppers walk away with arms full of cheap books which they probably could not find anywhere else in Thailand,…or maybe anywhere else in Southeast Asia.
The Ploenchit Fair is definitely worth a visit and the small price of admission.