The market reopened on Sunday (July 5), with Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew as the guest of honour at the reopening ceremony.
The Lard Yai Walking Street market was just one of the major mass-gathering events across the island that were cancelled or postponed in March to help stave off the spread of the COVID-19. Also announced as cancelled at the time were the official Songkran Thai New Year festivities in Patong, along with the annual Phuket Bike Week event.
The reopening on Sunday saw all visitors and vendors abiding by the ‘new normal’ health regulations.
All people entering the market must register their attendance at the market, either through the Thai Chana online platform or by filling out a registration attendance form. All visitors and vendors must also wear a face mask, and keep at least one metre distance from each other. They must also have their temperatures checked and alcohol gel is provided for visitors to cleanse their hands before being allowed into the market area.
Mayor Somjai pointed out that the market has been held every Sunday since its launch on Sept 2, 2013
“The Phuket Old Town shopping area covers approximately 210 rai in the heart of the old town area, including Thalang Rd, Soi Rommani, Yaowarat Rd, Krabi Rd, Dibuk Rd, Phang Nga Rd, Rassada Rd and a part of Thepkrasattri Rd and Phuket Rd.” she said.
“The area was declared a Fine Arts Environmental Conservation Area in 1992,” she added.
Phuket Walking Street Market was created to highlight the continuous development and conservation of ways of life, traditions, and valuable architecture in the area, and has now become a major attraction for tourists and local residents alike, Mayor Somjai explained.
“Making Phuket’s Old Town area known to both Thai and foreign tourists stimulates the economy and income distribution. It helps to build tourism,” she said.
Mayor Somjai called for people to join the market, “to create a community economy together.”