posted Mar 13, 2017, 9:22 PM by Shayne L. van Vlerken
updated Mar 13, 2017, 9:22 PM
Markets come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing that’s certain is you’ll always find a bargain
By Kelly Harvey
centuries markets have been the centre point of Thai communities.
Bringing people together to trade and buy fresh produce, because every
Thai knows the markets are where you’ll find the best prices.
markets are not exclusively for Thais. This month we visited some of
Bangkok’s biggest and most popular fresh markets to see what bargains we
had been missing out on and find out exactly how much we could save on
our monthly shopping bill.
Klong Toei Market
you’ve ever eaten street food in Bangkok (and who hasn’t), then you’ve
certainly eaten food made with ingredients from this market. Klong Toei
Market is Bangkok’s largest fresh market and is undoubtedly one of the
cheapest. Majority of Bangkok’s food vendors make their way to Klong
Toei in the early hours of the morning to buy their stock straight off
the delivery truck. Meat, poultry, seafood, fruit, vegetables, fresh
herbs, selected dried spices, oils, rice cookers, cutlery, and clay pots
– almost anything you can think of can be found at Klong Toei Market.
market itself is located on the corner of the Rama III and Rama IV
intersection. Hidden behind a line of tuk tuks and trucks, the market
goes unnoticed by those who don’t know it’s there.
arrival, you’re greeted by the welcoming smell of Roti Sai Mai and
sugary sweets. To the side of them: rows upon rows of green vegetables
under the shade of a tin-roofed metal structure. As you progress down
the aisles you soon reach a kaleidoscope of colours made entirely of
fruit. Guavas the size of your head, watermelons too big to carry, and
mangoes so yellow they look fake. And the prices? Unbelievable.
Strawberries for 25 baht per kilo, kale at 30 baht per kilo, dragon
fruit for 50 baht per kilo, rose apples for 35 baht per kilo, and much,
As you progress further into the market and leave the
cool shade of the metal structure you’re soon hit by a wave of heat, and
with it the smell of raw meat and seafood. Klong Toei Market is
definitely not for the faint-hearted, but there’s no reason to turn
around and run as all the meat is kept out of the sun and the seafood is
constantly packed with ice.
Different cuts of chicken range
from 25-70 baht per kilo or whole chickens start at 80 baht, pork ribs
120 baht per kilo, beef 230 baht per kilo, a whole fish for 40 baht or
three for 100 baht, and different varieties of prawns ranging from
160-360 baht per kilo. Not forgetting the herbs, 5 baht for one bunch or
three for 10 baht. It’s no wonder locals walk around proudly carrying
their bags of produce they got for 100 baht.
The market is
busy throughout the day but quietens down in the evenings. Motorcycles,
shoppers, cart vendors, and attendants carrying giant baskets of produce
weave through the maze of stalls like worker ants. Best to go in the
mornings before 12 pm to grab produce fresh off the trucks and beat the
Bangkok crowds. But be wary – fishy ice water covers the floor and often
splashes on your feet, so be sure to wear closed shoes.
How to get there:
Queen Sirikit MRT station exit 1 or Klong Toei MRT station exit 1 – the
market is a short walk away from either of these stations
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
| || |
Or Tor Kor Market
2012 CNN Go ranked Or Tor Kor Market as one of the world’s best fresh
markets – and it’s no surprise why. Compared to other fresh markets in
Bangkok, Or Tor Kor is the Rolls Royce of markets.
Known as a
high-end market, Or Tor Kor is held in a brightly lit open warehouse
next to Chatachuk Weekend Market. Benches, market maps, and direction
signs are situated throughout the market while high ceilings, pristine
white tiles, and mounted fans keep the market cool and breezy, making
for a highly enjoyable shopping experience.
parallel are lined with perfectly ripe organic fruits and vegetables;
fresh meat, seafood, and poultry; kitchenware and utensils; and a wide
range of traditional Thai treats. Fruit displays are plentiful and
stacked carefully as vendors take pride in their produce. Gold
jewellery, fine clothes, and intricately woven baskets can also be found
at Or Tor Kor Market.
with high-end produce comes high-end prices. Or Tor Kor is definitely
not as cheap as your average fresh market, but it is still affordable.
Different varieties of fish range from 350-700 baht, strawberries at 80
baht per kilo, rose apples 150 baht per kilo, and grapes 250 baht
food court offers a range of dishes from the four regions of Thailand
and white tables erected away from the heat of the vendors’ cooking
station. Large fans also provide a cool breeze making a comfortable
environment in which customers can enjoy their treats.
How to get there: Kamphaeng Phet MRT station exit 3
Opening hours: Open daily from 6 am – 6 pm
Huai Kwang Market
Kwang Market may not be as extensive as Klong Toei or as luxurious as
Or Tor Kor, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character. Huai
Kwang Market does not have a traditional structure encompassing it;
instead, the market forms a 100-metre permanent fixture along the
pavement and takes up the front of gold shops and other mom-and-pop
Upon arrival you’ll immediately notice the seafood.
Known for its seafood, the entrance of the market is lined with trays of
fresh fish, squid, crustaceans, and shellfish – expect some fishy icy
water to cover the pavement. Prices are similar to Klong Toei Market
with two large fish going for only 70 baht and mussels for 60 baht per
kilo. As you walk around the corner you’ll soon find meat, vegetables,
herbs, oils, fresh coconut shavings, and much more on offer.
How to get there: Huai Kwang MRT station exit 3, the market is a short walk away
Opening hours: Open 24 hours but picks up after 4 pm
| || |
Suan Phlu Market
Phlu is one of the oldest communities in Bangkok making Suan Phlu
Market one of the oldest too. Hidden inside a warehouse on Suan Phlu
Road, this humble market operates incognito to those who cannot read
Thai – with only a small signpost written in Thai above the two roadside
entrances giving away its location.
The market is small in size
and takes up approximately 50 x 50 metres. The produce on offer is,
however, more than sufficient for anyone looking to grab groceries for a
quick dinner. Meat, poultry, seafood, fruit, vegetables, Thai herbs and
spices, oils, eggs, rice, and noodles are all on offer. Prices are
slightly higher than that of Klong Toei Market but are still extremely
With the high number of expats living in Suan Phlu
and its proximity to several condominiums, there’s no reason for expats
to spend their hard earned salaries at overpriced supermarkets.
How to get there: Lumpini MRT station exit 2, then a short taxi ride to Suan Phlu Soi 8
Opening hours: 6 am – 8 pm