We will be in Thailand for 3 weeks, visiting Bangkok and Chiang Mai. We'd like to visit a local market, to see the color, smell the spices, food, enjoy the local fare.
What market would you recommend for us to see for authenticity (not interested in purchasing pirated video, T shirts from China nor electronic ... )
In Chang Mai the Walolot or Warorot however it's spelled. Three or four floors, you'll be sure to smell the "spices" also great food to go. Dominates the surrounding blocks with traffic coming and going through narrow lanes. Best market I've yet to see in SEAsia.
Agree with somsai - other good markets in Bangkok include:
Thewet market: smallish but very accessible, a lot of fish and fresh veges. Easy walking distance from Khao San Road
Khlong Toei: One of the biggest wet markets in Bkk. Huge meat section (the live chook bit is not for the squemish) tremendous amount of seafood and then everything from corn to canned tomatoes. It's a cab ride or also accessible via the subway.
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,800
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Madmac Siam Paragon is what I'm familiar with in Bangkok and I don't think that's what they're after.
Embarrased to say I've never been to a big local market in Bangkok. I've put Aw Taw Kaw, Klong Toei, and Thewet in my to do list for next time.
somsai, think Or Tor Kor (Aw Taw Kaw) is what you will like:
& also Nang Loeng market:
(has a relatively famous duck with 'palo' egg kuaytiaw stall; hopefully the red/yellow shirts don't act up in the area again...)
for those interested in flowers (& making of phuang malai garlands), Pak Khlong market late at night:
about Khlong Toey market...don't wish to alarm, but just FYI disputes there have turned ugly before - 2 grenade incidents late last year & fatal shooting earlier this year, things got a bit confrontational over plans to redevelop the place. targets are market security guards & vendors, but perhaps those interested in visiting should ask around & find out more on current situation, just in case things flare up again.
"Embarrased to say I've never been to a big local market in Bangkok. I've put Aw Taw Kaw, Klong Toei, and Thewet in my to do list for next time."
Personally I don't think you're missing anything. They tend to stink, get pretty damn hot (you know Bangkok - concrete jungle which retains heat)... you can get some good deals if you're willing to haggle a lot. I recently bought five shirts that I really did like in Klong Toey for 80 baht a whack - and they are pretty nice. I find those markets OK for practical reasons, but I would never go to one just to "experience it". The experience is wrestling with crowds, being hot and putting up with odors that would make a billy goat puke. Siam Paragon is much nicer.