Festival, Food, Phuket — 16 October 2015 1 h 00 min

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

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Phuket Vegetarian Festival

In the days leading up to the Vegetarian Festival, the street-sides are slowly being transformed into vegan hawker stalls.

Along the highways in the vacant parking lots, in empty fields and popular markets, kitchens are being constructed.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

You will know you are near a temple in Phuket by the number of red and yellow Jay/เจ flags you see,

the roads leading to temples are packed full of street-side vendors and the adjacent lots turned into virtual vegan smorgasbords.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Due to the Chinese origins of the festival, and large Chinese diaspora in Thailand,

there is a distinctive Chinese flavor to a lot of the food. Dishes are often Thai, Chinese (mostly Hokkien) or a fusion of the two.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Ranong Road in Phuket Town is probably the largest example of this transformation, the blocks leading to the Jui Tui Shrine are temporarily lined

with a variety of food stalls. These stalls typically have a specialty, and while a lot of vendors offer just one dish at their stand,

some offer a selection of dishes and delectable treats. Nearly all the food photos in this post take place at Ranong Road in Phuket Town.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

One must, however, be careful and pay attention to the signage at each vendor. While most are vegan,

there is the occasional vegetarian stall that might use condensed milk or other lacto-vegetarian ingredients.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

These stands, in our experience, didn’t display the Jay/เจ flags and were usually easy to spot because of the condensed milk cans on display.

To be careful, be diligent and if ever in doubt, simply ask the vendor if their food is Jay and they will let you know.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

It never hurts to ask and in most cases the vendors are eager, and often quite proud, to explain how their products don’t contain any animal products.

Since a lot of the food is prepared in large batches, some of the dishes might be spicier

than you are accustomed to since they haven’t been toned-down for Westerners…and I love that!

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

The Vegetarian Festival is a religious celebration that represents spiritual cleaning and is celebrated throughout Thailand

with the largest celebration taking place in Phuket. The festival begins on a new moon in the 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

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