Hawaii is famous for many things, and one of those things is the traditional Lei, the traditional Hawaiian floral garland placed around the neck.
You’d think therefore that the Lei being a Hawaiian thing that Lei’s would be sustained by a ready supply of local flowers, but you’d be wrong.
Most Hawaiian Leis are made from imported flowers from Thailand, and presuming you haven’t been living in a cave, you know what’s going on there at the moment.
The flowers used for Lei’s are in short supply because of the shutdown of Bangkok’s international airport by anti-government protesters, according to reports. Lei shop owners say they are substituting other flowers when they can and not filling some orders.
The good news is that the shortage of Thai flowers isn’t affecting the price of Lei’s yet, but only due to a seasonal lull in tourist traffic. If the issues in Thailand continue, the cost of Lei’s may go through the roof in the new year, presuming Lei makes can find any.
Remember the next time you go to Hawaii: you may joke that most things you buy are Made in China, but apparently Hawaiian tradition is manufactured in Thailand.