The most authentic fresh food market in Bangkok

Khlong Toei Market

If you are a fresh food and fruit enthusiast, Khlong Toei Market is the place for you to visit.

It is located near the ex-pat enclave of Thanon Sukhumvit, which is extremely popular. Tourists dub it a "Must-visit" place for those who wish to experience the fresh fruits of Bangkok, Thailand.

Khlong Toei means "Pandan Leaf Canal." Pandan is a fragrant leaf primarily used to enhance flavor in Thai sweets. It is also used as an air freshener even though the fact canal smells slightly weird often.

CNN listed Khlong Toei Market in January 2010, one of the most authentic markets in Bangkok. Also, when drunk to avoid the canal altogether as they commute will make you feel highly nauseating.

You can find cheap raw meat, produce, seafood, and some other sundry like clothing and kitchenware in the Khlong Toei Market.


Klong Toei Market


Amid the metropolitan city of Bangkok with towering buildings, this tiny village is a walk away from Rama IV Road. If you get dizzy from the concrete jungle, this place offers a laid-back vibe.

Butchers make this place extremely raw with organs and blood out on display. But if you stroll away from meat, the colorful and delicious fruits are a pleasant sight. If you tell the guide about your preference, they will directly take you to what you are looking for.

The alleys are bustling with chaos and stalls, with vendors screaming and bargaining. Amid all the chaos, the motorcyclist tries to make their way past.

Despite the disarray and noise, photographers love this street, and it is one of the most photographed bazaars of Bangkok. It is an equally raw and honest life of locals who live below the line of poverty.

The street is bustling, and they go about their daily business without any regard for tourists. Hence it's best to be on your toes and watch out for fast-moving vendors and transporters.

If the meat hasn't made you squeamish, there are many street food and fresh food to sample.


Street food at Khlong Toei Market


Since all restaurants pick the meat from these markets, the stalls are oozing with pig feet, intestines, offal, and other bits and pieces of animals.

It is a very busy market and mostly cleaned at night so that the stench can get overwhelming for you in the daytime. You will see various birds clacking away in the cages, some becoming prime pieces of meat for buyers.

You can buy anything you like, get it custom cut for your dinner plans. Don't be alarmed if you find rats, frogs, and cow placentas in the market because that is a norm here.

No Thai market is complete without various insects buzzing away merrily in jars, unaware of the fate. For non veg snacks, Thai markets are famous for often occurrence of vendors with puny bags of tamarind, guavas, and rose apples to snack as you stroll.

The seafood section is an amazing experience if you can stand the strong stench. Prawns in skewers ready for the quick grill, splashing of water to keep fish fresh and some sea animals alive and swimming in tanks for customers.

Curry pastes, pickles, pungent shrimp pastes, and the ubiquitous fermented fish sauce are packed in jars for a quick pick. You will love the look of flowers amid all the rawness and stench.


Seafood at Khlong Toei Market


Things to remember About Khlong Toei Market

  • The market is a sudden detour from the city life to the rawness of life. It is near the enclave of Sukhumvit, giving sudden changes of events.
  • It's an open market, so don't expect it to be pleasant. It will be hot and humid, adding more because of the crowd.
  • Don't wear your nice shoes, also don't wear flip-flops. Vendors are splashing water over the product; hence streets are dirty and slippery.
  • It's a 24-hour market, but the prime hours are between 6 am and 2 am to get the best products and views.
  • Photographers are loved and welcomed.

Khlong Toei Market is brazenly raw and eye-opening. You will experience the reality of below-the poverty line citizens of Thailand.

It is advisable to visit the market with a person who knows the market or a tour guide.