Many expats and even Bangkok locals live and work in increasingly globalized environments. This has its advantages in terms of business uniformity but it can get harder to feel like one is living in a foreign country unless the maids or office cleaners are chatting or eating food.
Even then, they are more often wearing the corporate uniform of the outsourced office cleaning company, and the ‘same same but different’ expression takes on a deeper twist.
We always recommend saving a part of the Bangkok living week to visit local markets instead of just the supermarket, to give you a boost and remind you that you are living somewhere exotic.
This is the Grand Daddy of Bangkok wet markets situated on the Southern side of Rama IV road, close to the Queen Sirikit exhibition Centre. It’s so huge it’s an afternoon walking about if you feel like getting your tourist hat on. The market operates 24/7 though it gets quieter on a Thursday night or some crazy week day that makes no sense.
Lit up at night it’s a frenzy of deliveries and stalls being set up while others are being taken down as shifts change and priorities are re-juggled. The only thing Klong Toey market is a bit weak on are the Thai Sweets or Kanom, but all your vegetable, fish and livestock needs are here along with the most exotic roots, beans, reptiles and other extraordinary small animals for sale to be eaten.
Yes, it gets a little strange on the pavements at Klong Toey.
Pak Long Talad
This is the flower market in the Western part of the city close to Ratchadamnoen and the old city of Bangkok. Every single type of international and local flower is available here when in season with fresh cut flowers arriving straight from the airport to air conditioned rooms for upper scale restaurants and hotels.
The best time to visit is during the night as the scent of flowers and hustle of customers and sellers all comes together for a romantic concoction that in our opinion makes for a super date. Don’t just buy the flowers, take her to the market to choose which ones to mix and match.
All sorts of very cool people can be seen here in the early hours, after their restaurants businesses have closed and they’re unable to sleep immediately, so they come to the market to pick up flowers and avoid the super heavy traffic during the day. We hear the market will be closing soon so try to get down there before
Or Tor Kor
Close to Jatujak Weekend market, Or Tor Kor is like a high society Klong Toey. It’s a lot neater and the goods on display are among the finest in the land. You’ll see Bangkok’s most savvy and wealthy people here picking up items that aren’t possible in the finest supermarkets in the land. These include roasted pork glistening under the lights with sugar style pork crackling, or rare beans and root vegetables that are essential to Isarn food recipes.
It’s only over the road from the weekend market so you can combine the two but we say this is the place for foodie special market runs.