Oct 07 2012
Set in a leafy locale out in Thonburi‘s western reaches, Khlong Lat Mayom boasts a colourful atmosphere and some outstanding food in a market that’s popular among locals but little known to tourists.
Like the markets at Bang Nam Phueng and Bang Khla, just to name a couple, Khlong Lat Mayom sprang up only in the last 10 years as a venue for showcasing locally produced products while bringing some extra cash flow into the area. Unlike the markets of Amphawa and Damnoen Saduak, Khlong Lat Mayom is set along a decidedly quiet and narrow canal, so don’t expect photo-ops of a boat vendor traffic jam.
Yet Khlong Lat Mayom ironically has a more authentic feel than the floating tourist trap of Damnoen Saduak, and a handful of vendors do prepare food like hoy tort (fried oysters with egg) on small boats that float in the narrow canal beside the market. Still, most of the vendors and several eating areas are on land.
The market spans a tightly packed but fairly large area with narrow footpaths winding past vendors sheltered by individual thatched roof huts. Although most of the prepared food is found near the canal in the main section, a quieter stretch of walkways meander into a shady orchard where locally grown produce and one-of-a-kind handicrafts are sold. There’s even an “art zone” tucked into one corner; it looks to be set up mainly for kids, but don’t let that stop you from grabbing a paint brush.
Khlong Lat Mayom may not have canal boat traffic jams and dozens of tourists snapping photos, but it isn’t lacking in food. It’s difficult to resist the smoky scents of the many types of grilled seafood offered in the market, including salted river fish, jumbo shrimp, crab, mussels and many other types of shellfish.
Finger foods and sweets also abound. After a 30 baht plate of kwit-tieau Yuan (Vietnamese-style wide noodles with pork), we sampled colourful luk chup, coconut and banana sticky rice khao niew bing and some other type of coconut flavoured rice flour sweet, washed down with an icy sugar cane juice served in a hollow piece of bamboo.
After having your fill of the fabulous local food, hop in a boat for a cruise around the canals. A small flat-bottom boat can take you around the immediate area for 10 baht, or 50 baht gets you a solid 90 minute longtail boat ride that explores the rural western reaches of Bangkok province. All of the boats depart from the narrow canal near the main section of the market, shoving off as soon as they’re full.
Khlong Lat Mayom is open from 09:00 to around 16:00 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only, and it gets packed around noon. It’s located off Kanchanaphisek Road (see map) and can be reached by a local bus (#146) and then a songthaew ride if you speak a little Thai. The easier bet is to take a taxi from Wongwian Yai BTS station, which will run somewhere around 120 baht one-way. You could negotiate for the taxi to stick around and return you to the sky train, but it’s probably not necessary as we noticed quite a few taxis readily available in the parking lot. The market can also be visited as part of a full-day Thonburi canal tour.
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