Phuket prisoner craft fair begins Friday

30 May 2011

The annual Southern Thai Prison Products Fair begins on Friday at Phuket’s Saphan Hin Park. This year’s event will be the eighth and allows visitors to purchase an eclectic selection of products made by inmates at the 25 prisons dotted around the far southern regions of the country.  

The fair will continue through to Sunday 12 June and features creations made out of natural products such as bamboo, wicker and hardwood. Items range in size from tiny ornamental trinkets through to dining table sets, with prices set between 20 and 100,000 Baht.

The funds raised by product sales are divided equally among prisoners and local prison authorities. The prisoners’ shares can be offset against items for personal use on the inside or saved for the day they are released.

Phuket prison boss Rapin Nichanon said he was looking forward to the public’s reaction to some of the creative items. As well as prison product sales, the event also features stalls offering a wide selection of Thai snacks, delicacies and beverages, entertainment and children’s activities and rides.   

People who have attended previous events say that it is a great occasion with good entertainment and the chance of picking up a real bargain. One Phuket native said that while some of the furniture items might seem old-fashioned they were sturdy and well-crafted.

Another resident stated that the final day on 12 June was a good time to come as anything not sold would be offered at bargain prices to ensure it did not go back to a jail and contribute to overcrowding.

Tags: Phuket craft fair

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