Our first day in Bangkok is a day full of color, as we visited some of the most important and most beautiful cultural treasures of Thailand in Bangkok Old Town. Our second day is just as colorful. This time, we toured the most popular markets of Bangkok. It’s a fun-filled day, with lots to see, lots to shop, and lots to eat.
Maeklong Railway Market
We headed early for Maeklong Railway Market, a famous seafood and produce market outside Downtown Bangkok. It’s also known as “talad rom hub,” meaning “umbrella pulldown market”—an apt name considering that it stands on the tracks of the Maeklong Railway. Whenever a train is about to pass, the stall keepers fold their umbrellas and awnings and shift their goods to clear the tracks. We got there just in time to see the 9 AM train pass. It was awesome.
Another awesome thing about Maeklong Railway Market is the street food. We pretty much ate our way through the market, treating ourselves to amazing eats like hoy tod or fried mussels, gluay kag or fried bananas, and kanom nam dok mai. Kanom nam dok mai is a childhood favorite of mine—it’s a Thai sweet that smells of flowers. Growing up in Bangkok, I just had to have it every time I went to the market. It’s a sweet that’s just comforting to eat.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Our next stop is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, one of the most famous markets of Bangkok and considered to be the most famous floating market in the world. It’s only a half-hour drive from Maeklong Railway Market. I’ve been here before, but it’s the first time I did my visit tourist-style: on a boat and stopping where we want to stop along the canal.
There’s so much to see and taste and buy here, from fresh produce, to street food, to souvenirs. The desserts are some of my absolute favorites. We had Thai crispy sweet taco, which is meringue in a crispy half-shell wrapper. We also had coconut ice cream with a variety of toppings, definitely one of the best we’ve ever eaten. And then, there’s kanom krok, which is a coconut cake cooked in what looks like a pancake pan and generously topped with coconut sauce.
Or Tor Kor Market
Of all the markets of Bangkok, Or Tor Kor Market is one of my favorites. In fact, it’s one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. I make it a point to visit whenever I’m in Thailand because they sell the best of everything there—the best vegetables, the best fruits, the best seafood, and the best somtam.
This second day in Bangkok marks one full year since we shot our Season 1 episode on Or Tor Kor. It’s a dream come true for me to return to this place with my Soul Foodies. We walked around and stopped by my favorite somtam lady, my favorite mango sticky rice lady, and my favorite lady who sells durian and other fruits. I’m touched and happy that these ladies remembered me even though it’s been a year since my last visit. They treated me like a relative they haven’t seen in a while.
JJ (Chatuchak) Market
Our last stop for the day is none other than JJ Market. Also known as Chatuchak Market, it’s another one of my favorite places in the world. I just have to shop there whenever I’m in Thailand, and I shop there at least twice during my visit.
I took my Soul Foodies to the artists’ section so they can meet some of the up-and-coming Thai artists who have set up shop there. Many of these artists have a day job and can’t pursue art full time as yet. So, supporting these artists by buying their work makes my soul feel fed. I got some new artwork that you’ll probably see later on.
That’s how our tour of the popular markets of Bangkok went. You can watch the episode here: http://bit.ly/NFSSeason2Ep22