Brad loves markets, and as a result, we have been to many. We headed out to Chatuchak Market, perhaps the most ambitious of all, on my first weekend in Thailand. (This would be Brad’s third visit to Chatuchak – and we would visit once again within the month!) We have been to Pak Klong Talat, the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok, and to the Klong Toey fresh market. And last night, we headed to the night market at On Nut. You were supposed to be able to see the market from the train platform. We could not, and it was then that Brad decided to Google Map the market. “Permanently Closed”! Like I said, the man loves markets.
I, too, love the markets. I love the colors and the energy. I love how you share the space with the vendors, their carts and trucks, always on your guard not to get in the way of their destination and purpose, lest you be run over. My apologies, but I’m going to inundate you with photos once again.
Chatuchak Market – where you can find anything and everything
Pak Klong Talat Flower Market
Klong Toey Fresh Market
Thursday Market on Soi 23
Today I ventured on my own. Up to this point I’d only meandered in our neighborhood, exploring only as far as Villa Market and the Asok BTS station. But today I ventured. Okay, I had a map, but the important thing is I felt adventurous.
My destination was the Thursday Market on Soi 23 at Srinakharinwirot University. As I walked to the market, my first thought was, “It smells like Bangkok!” as incense wafted from the numerous spas and massage parlors I passed. Once I reached the university, I simply followed the stream of people, arms loaded with their treasures.
The first thing you come upon are stalls and stalls of clothes – dresses, “Bike for Dad” t-shirts, (a cycling event to mark HM the King’s 85th birthday), several stalls of bras and shapewear, bags, scarves, umbrellas, and winter jackets. (What’s up with that? Who could possibly need a winter jacket here?) Deeper in the maze is a children’s paradise – cars, trucks, yellow ducks, puzzles.
On the outer rim were the food stalls. Lots of fried deliciousness, fresh papaya, sushi, popcorn, mango and sticky rice, and foods I’m still discovering. You could eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.
And finally the fruit and vegetable stall. There was only one, and it was mobbed. I patiently waited to the side but soon realized it was going to be a long wait, so I pushed my way in. My mission: bok choy. “Is this bok choy?” “No, no. China. China cabbage.” Yep, that’ll do.
I left with my treasures – the bok choy, summer rolls for lunch, miang kham for an appetizer, and mango and sticky rice for dessert. (Cautionary tale: The first time I ate miang kham I had no idea what I was doing. I generously spread the palm syrup on the betel leaf, dumped on a scoopful of everything, including the chilies, and popped it in my mouth. I literally couldn’t speak for the next five minutes.)
I think this may be my new Thursday morning routine.