Sunday is a great time to get out and about in the Khao Lak region and wander through the Build Market in Bang Niang. There might be other things to do in Khao Lak on a day where the Khao Lak temperature is lingering around 30C, but when you have to stock up on fruit and veggies, and you wish to partake in some Thai food delicacies, then the Build Market is the place to go. There are lots of spicy and not-so-spicy fried chicken (Thais love to fry their food!), hot-dogs and goulash provided by a Hungarian fellow, some strange looking exotic fruits, and even some sweeties including jam-packed donuts and Thai-style sweets. I tend to shy away from the exotic fruits and steer towards the more familiar Western fruits such as bananas, watermelons and apples. As a main meal, my favorite place to eat is “Lina’s Wrap n’ Roll” restaurant, now situated in the main corridor of the Market on the left-hand-side as you walk away from the street. I particularly like the yummy samosas, which will set you back a huge 50 baht ($1.50)! Five smallish samosas, accompanied by 2 different sauces, are served in a dish. Lina is a friendly Thai lady who speaks English well, and you can sit at one of the many tables that fill the area and meet up with friends.
It’s now Sunday afternoon, which will soon morph into the evening, and the Market is beginning to populate with local Thais, as well as Farangs (Westerners). All of a sudden, the sounds of raucous music confronts my ears. Where is it coming from? Could it be a teenager carrying around a boom-box? Maybe one of the stall-holders is wishing to draw people’s attention to his shop. Or perhaps a band is waiting around to perform on the stage, and is piping music through the Market’s loud speakers in order to announce themselves to a flagging audience. The music continues to lift in volume as I become aware of what’s causing the seeming commotion. A bunch of Thais, some dressed in red-and-black clothes and some in black-and-white clothes, are prancing and dancing around. Some are drumming away, others are playing brass musical instruments, while some are holding up placards. A man at the front of the charge is speaking into a microphone.
The incident turns out to be no more than a promotion by the Mazda car company. The placards refer to the event as a “Mazda Next Experience”. I am unaware of what Mazda means by a “Next Experience”, and am none the wiser trying to read what’s on the placards as they are written in Thai. As I try to maintain my steadiness while filming the people walking by, I am handed a leaflet. I continue to film as they maintain their journey through the rest of the Market. Later, there will be a few encores, but nobody seems to be bothered by it. For a Buddhist country presumably seeped in the joy of solitude and quietness, Thailand is a surprisingly noisy country!
The Khao Lak region has 3 main markets: the Bang Niang Market, which is located on the main road of Bang Niang just a few doors away from the 7/11 store; the Khuekkhak Market which is located opposite the Khao Lak bus station in Ban Thung Wa Nok; and the Build Market built in 2015, which is next to the Build Factory nightclub and opposite the big lake, the perimeter of which is used by people for exercising. The Build Market opens around 2pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and closes around 7pm.