If you’re in Thailand, especially in the month of September, you will see advertisements for Chinese moon cakes all over the place. You may wonder what makes them so special, especially for the price. During this time, the Chinese Zhongqiu festival is taking place; also known as the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and the Wan Phra Jan festival in Thai. Taking place on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese Lunar calendar, the festival marks the end of the harvest period.
Celebrated in all parts of the world where Chinese culture and tradition is present, Thailand is no exception. During this time, you can head to Chinatown in Bangkok or Chiang Mai to witness prayer offerings, dragon dancing and colorful lanterns hung throughout.
During this celebration, you will find all sorts of Chinese moon cakes, often set within intricately designed packages. Traditionally, they are filled with sweet bean, taro, lotus seed, nuts and fruit paste. However, in Thailand, you’ll find durian and salted egg yolk moon cakes all over, even at 7-11. If you head to more upscale bakeries, you may be able to source the more exotic flavors such as, seaweed and ham.
A Respectable Gift
If you have Thai friends, a girlfriend or family members, consider purchasing a box of moon cakes in an assortment of flavors to give as a gift. Although it may seem strange, a present like this is regarded as something highly respectable and appreciated.
What You Can Expect to Pay
In the west, you can pay up to $20 per moon cake; to me this is insane. Fortunately in Thailand, the prices of one of these sweet treats will cost between $1-5 per piece depending on where you get them and what’s inside.
Where You Can Purchase a Chinese Moon Cake
In Thailand, you can actually find them all year round at most super markets like Big C, Macro, Tesco Lotus and 7-11. However, during the festival you’ll no doubt find more authentic ones at some exclusive outlets. If you’re in Bangkok and want to try some incredible Chinese moon cakes available only at this time of the year, I suggest going to Chinatown for in expensive authentic tasting sweets. If you don’t mind a bit of luxury, take a trip to The Peninsula or Hilton Hotels for some very delicious moon cakes. Is it worth the price you’ll pay? That depends on your particular taste.
If you’re in Phuket, Thailand get a tuk-tuk to take you to Old Town. Here you’ll find all the traditional flavors, as well as, cultural presentations. If you’re in Pattaya, you’ll find them at local bakeries and the Centara Grand Beach Resort.
Chiang Mai is one of the best places to taste a Chinese moon cake and is most likely due to the cultural Chinese influence throughout many centuries. The place to go will be the Pung Tao Gong Chinese Ancestral Temple which is right next to Warorot market. You’ll get the opportunity to snack on all flavors while capturing some beautiful images.
Enjoy searching for the best moon cake, don’t forget to share where you found that special one!
Speak Your Mind!
Have you tried a Chinese moon cake? If so, which flavors did you like and which ones will you leave for someone else to enjoy?