Thai businessmen seek opportunities in Chinese night market |
Home   >   Media Center   >   FDI News

Thai businessmen seek opportunities in Chinese night market

Xinhua Updated: 2023-07-11

HAIKOU -- As night falls, the Baishamen cultural and creative bazaar in Haikou, the capital of South China's island province of Hainan, bursts into bustle, and the special greetings from the Thai food stalls bring tourists a Thai ambiance.

The bazaar, covering about 60,000 square meters, opened about one month ago with more than 600 stalls selling snacks and cultural handicrafts. Among those 300 snack stalls, more than 160 are run by Thai people.

As a new hot destination in Haikou, it has attracted many citizens and tourists. It has received about 800,000 tourists within 20 days since its opening.

At a Pad Thai stall, Arintharat Teppawan, the owner, was busy greeting customers. Arintharat runs four food stalls in the market, including Pad Thai, Tom Yam Kung, and Thai roast pork.

"There are many kinds of Thai food in this market," he said, adding that, on average, the daily sales were about 1,000 yuan (about $138 ) to 2,000 yuan for each stall.

Arintharat runs a skincare clinic in Thailand, and he has also been importing products from China since 18 years ago. About three months ago, Arintharat heard Hainan would set up an international market for tourists from China and abroad. "I am very interested, and I told my friends in Thailand," he said.

"I know about the Chinese market, and it is a massive market. So if I have an opportunity to do business in Hainan, in this market, then I have to open stalls here," he said, adding that he did not have any idea about Hainan before, but he had been to many cities in China, including Guangzhou, Xiamen, Shanghai, and Beijing. "I think Hainan is the same and is a big market."

"I heard that Hainan is a destination for tourists from China and other countries. The first day I came here, I thought it was the same as Bangkok in Thailand," he said. "I think it's the right choice!"

"I hope this market will be famous in China and the world. And many tourists come to China and the market," he said.

Apinya Chattiwaporn, 27, owns a Thai tea stall that sells different kinds of Thai tea.

"I came here to have new experiences and find a new opportunity," said Apinya, who had a bakery business in Thailand. "I think it's a big market with nice views and nice people, and the weather is good."

Kitisak Osathanunkul, the organizer of Thai businesses in the bazaar, runs his food stalls and assists other Thai vendors, from navigating paperwork to securing visas and finding suitable accommodations.

In his eyes, starting a business at the night market in Hainan is a new opportunity to enter the Chinese market.

He was invited to look around the market and explore its potential. It didn't take long for him to realize the untapped opportunities awaiting him and his Thai compatriots.

Despite the seasonal fluctuations in tourism in Hainan, Kitisak remains optimistic and eagerly awaits the peak season when tourists flock to the night market.

Meanwhile, he was looking forward to more possibilities in the Chinese market. "I think I can expand our business after we settle the food stalls here. I can try to find something like Thai massages or Thai restaurants. It could be an opportunity for us later on, " he said.

"The Thai food here is authentic, and the vendors speak Thai, which gives me an illusion of being in Thailand," said Zheng Sisi, a tourist from Southern China's Guangdong province.

"Such a night market with international elements has enriched our experience, and it's fun to stroll around," she said.