Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bang Niang Market

The main outdoor market in the Khao Lak is Bang Niang Market. It is not only a good place to get a snack and pick up useful items, but also a fun place to visit and experience Thai culture. I recommend going to Bang Niang Market at least once during your holiday in Khao Lak. The market is open every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 2pm to 6pm. You should time your visit to fit in with a meal time: either a late lunch or an early dinner. Not only will you have an interesting culinary experience, you will also get one of the cheapest meals of your holiday. There are three main sections to Bang Niang Market.

1) Fruit and vegetables, and other food

There are long rows of stalls selling all manner of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the food items you will recognize, others you won’t. Naturally, many of the fruit and vegetables are seasonal. The meat and fresh fish sections are similar all year round. Fruit to look out for include mangosteen, guava, banana, mango, dragon fruit, watermelon and rose apple. The latter is in the guava family – it is red and shaped like an elongated apple. It has a bitter sweet taste. There is the usual selection of vegetables you find in Thailand including a few you see less often such as asparagus and bitter cucumber. There are also a couple of stalls selling fresh herbs and spices in pots. These are excellent to take home as souvenirs and also for your own kitchen if you plan to try Thai cooking at home. The fish section includes mussels, squid, fish eggs, crabs and a variety of both sea and freshwater fish. For the brave self-caterer there are such delicacies as pig intestines, quail eggs and Thai sausages that contain rice and again pig intestines. If any of these products intrigue you then you can normally try a mouthful for free. The food section of the market also offers many of the meats cooked and ready for consumption.

2) Cooked Food

There are plenty of food stalls in the market. They are cooking all the time so you can always find something freshly cooked. Here is where it is fun to be adventurous. Remember that food that looks recognizable might not taste the same as back home. Dishes to look out for include sausage balls – a traditional delicacy from the north, chicken feet and pig brains. The fried prawns and mussels are delicious. For those with a sweet tooth, the pancakes are recommended. I often buy a bag of adzuki beans cooked in coconut cream.

3) Clothes, shoes, souvenirs and other items

There is a mixture of cheap clothes and shoes aimed more at the Thai market as well as some traditional material shawls, counterpanes, bags etc. for people looking for a souvenir of Thailand. You can also find sunglasses, belts, silk and printed T-shirts.


If the heat of the day gets too much for you there is a pub at the end of the market (Chay Bar) with shade where you can get a cold beer, coke or shake. You might even catch some live music. Sitting in the pub is a great way to pass an hour or so people watching.

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