Taste of Thailand Festival
2421 Old Vineland Rd. Kissimmee, Kissimmee, FL, USA
Taste of Thailand Festival Kissimmee Reviews
Thai Food Festival in Florida, USA Oct 14, 2015
It is without a doubt that Thai food is extremely popular around the world. In all my travels, I have always come across Thai restaurants in different countries and cities whether in Europe or Asia and even in Latin American countries. Here in the United States, even in relatively small towns you can find a restaurant selling Thai food.
There is a big Thai temple in Kissimmee, Florida a small city about half an hour's drive from Orlando. I have been living in Orlando for almost four years but didn't know about this temple until a year ago when I heard about the Thai Food Festival which is held there annually. So in October 2014 I went there with my friend Peter who is a lover of Asian cuisine, particularly Thai cuisine, and last Sunday I went to the temple again to participate in the "Taste of Thailand 2015 Festival." I wasn't disappointed.
This time I went alone as Peter had a previous engagement. I wanted to make sure I didn't get there late as I did last year. Well, I wasn't late at all as I arrived at the temple grounds before 11 am. However, I saw hundreds of cars already parked on all sides of the temple and I had a hard time finding parking space.
At the entrance, I paid the $12 admission fee which includes the all you can eat food items from the various stalls spread all over the compound. I was happy to note that cost of the admission was the same as last year. There was a total of 24 stalls offering all kinds of goodies, and just about every one of them had long lines. So before taking my place in one of the lines I took the opportunity to go around and take some photos.
There was a decorated arch and a stage for different performers (all Thai) to entertain the people with traditional and modern Thai songs and cultural dances. At the arch I noticed a lady dressed in the traditional Thai costume. She asked me to take a picture of her and her friend. Assuming her to be Thai, I spoke to her in the Thai language. To my surprise, she answered in English saying she was Vietnamese. So I suppose it must be true that to Westerners all Asians look the same, because even to me she really looked like a Thai person!
Now, I haven't spoken Thai for sometime, but I found myself being comfortable with using the language after going in and out of the food stalls and asking for the food in their language. For those of you who want to learn how to speak Thai, I can tell you that it's not an easy language to learn. I spent a total of 12 years living/working in Thailand, and it took me about 6 years to be able to speak and understand the language reasonably well. And, that's just the speaking part; I still don't know how to read and write it!
Back to the food; I think I tried the food from at least six different stalls. They give you the food in small paper plates, perhaps the reason was they wanted you to try their delicacies from as many different stalls as possible, or until you are stuffed!
There must have been close to a couple of thousand people at this event, about half of them Caucasians and the other half Asians. All the announcements through a public address system were both in Thai and English.
As mentioned earlier, this is a yearly event usually held around the first or second week of October. Needless to say, I'll make it a point to be there again next October, and hope the $12 entrance fee will still be the same!
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