Travel Diary: Journey through Bangkok, Thailand

Our taxi came to a halt behind a row of cars as the light turned red. A little girl, barely seven or eight, was standing next to the front door of the car in front of us, speaking to the driver. She was motioning with her hands, showing off something. I leaned over to the right and caught a glimpse of orange and yellow. They were flowers. She’s selling flowers in the middle of a main road. The intersecting traffic slows, and the drivers ready for the green. She turns, swinging a pole with garlands of flowers hanging from its ends, and quickly dashes to the road divider just as the vehicles begin to pick up their pace and get back in tempo. As we pass, I notice her head bent at a slightly downward angle, her shoulders slightly slumped, her feet grubby. I noticed that she had no shoes.

I remember the countless number of street-side stalls as being one of the most striking things about Bangkok. We would walk down pavements along shop fronts which felt more like narrow back alleys. The street-side stalls formed a blockade between us and the road, and would go on endlessly – light cotton apparel, thai boxer shorts, cheap plastic sunglasses stacked high, in between which were food stalls – letting in no air and no light. People walked past in a constant viscous stream, squeezing past each other to go in opposite directions, while groups of bored-looking Thai girls sat outside massage parlours, fanning themselves in the midday heat, calling out every once in a while to prospective customers an invite to come in.

Bangkok was everything I’d expected it to be. Crowded, lively, chaotic. In Platinum Mall, you would see that people from all around the world have come, dragging huge plastic trolley bags going from shop to shop to source for bargain apparel to sell at a profit. It was energetic yet exhausting to be part of, and we ended up finding solace at Starbucks.

Street side food stalls in Bangkok Roadside stalls in Bangkok Thailand

Food in Bangkok was cheap and readily available, although I did end up rushing to the toilet about 4 times a day (which, by the way, is not usual). Every once in a while, smells of food would be interrupted by the smell of sewage coming from the gutters and drains, and would inspire cringed noses and a quicker walk.

Corn based dessert at a street side stall in Bangkok Thailand

Whilst touristy, Jaktujak Weekend Market was a highlight of my trip. The sections selling apparel did not appeal to us but we did find much to our fancy at the other end of the market where they sold dried food items ranging from mango to ginger, and also aromatic oils of bergamot, rose, and lemongrass, packed into display-worthy bottles forged from glass. Leaving Jaktujak, cabs were lined up alongside the road near the exit, their drivers standing by the curb. A cabby approached us to ask where we were headed. Upon hearing Sukhumvit, he made a face, waved and said that it was “very very far” but would take us there for 600THB. I’d seen the map; it wasn’t that far at all. We walked farther from Jaktujak and got into a metered cab which ended at 150THB.

Sad to say, the cabs were a major reason for my schlocky impression of Bangkok. We once boarded a cab waved in by a Bo.lan staff from the road which claimed he was on “meter”. It was a sort of van that looked more like it belonged in a zoo; heavily dented, with masking tape around the handles and on the doors where parts were on the verge of falling off. We were even more appalled at the state of its interior – cans stuffed between the top of the seat and the ceiling to prevent it from collapsing, a stool supporting the seat where my mother sat, and a lot of rubbish everywhere else. We were laughing about how shocked the hotel staff would be at seeing this “sampan” (a Chinese flat-bottomed boat, but literally meaning “3 planks”) come into their lobby, when my dad noticed the meter was off. The driver then insisted we would pay 250THB, and when we refused, veered to the side of the road and forced us out- but not before he demanded 50THB from me.

Cabbing in Bangkok Thailand

Nightmare cab in Bangkok Thailand

I didn’t know much about the Somboon Seafood scam until I got back to Singapore after experiencing it first hand. We’d tried to get to the restaurant several times, and every cabby we’d encountered said there was no Somboon Seafood, only some variation pronounced Som-boon-dee. We eventually got into a cab whose driver said he knew where it was, only to inform us halfway that “Somboon Seafood doesn’t open on Sundays. I take you to Somboondee. When my friends say they want Somboon, I bring them to Somboondee because Somboondee is better! I know the boss – he will give you 10% discount because you’re my friend.” The liar took us down some quiet gravel road where a wire light was poorly bent an attached to a flimsy fence to form “somboondee” in a wiggly writing. He lowered the side window and hollered to the owner, who’d been sitting at a table smoking and didn’t look at all like he’d been expecting guests, and straight away we knew something was amiss. The “restaurant” was practically empty except for a poor family of four seated in the dark, all of whom promptly looked up, surprised, stared at us miserably and totally halted their meal. The seafood selection was miserable, the prices steep, and the whole place was barely even lit. It was eerie, and we promptly said we’d had too similar a meal the previous night and started to walk briskly back out to the main road. The cabby had parked by the side, and upon seeing us, ran up to us to ask why we were leaving. As we walked, the discount steadily increased from 10% to 15% to 20%. We kept walking.

Mango Sticky Rice at Siam Paragon Bangkok Thailand

Unfortunately, Bangkok just wasn’t my kind of city and left much to be desired, but it still could be yours, just as I’ve had friends who’ve gone back twice or thrice. While there was beauty in some of it, such as their piousness and cuisine, and of course, it is an inexpensive holiday destination, I especially wished the cabbies were more friendly and honest (to me, they’re sometimes tour guides who can teach you about the city, and are often the first locals you encounter extensively upon setting foot in a country; the ones in London were fantastic) – that would’ve helped preserve the impression that I’d gone to Bangkok with but sadly departed without, and that is “the land of a thousand smiles”.

Religion in Bangkok Thailand

White Flower Factory, Bangkok, Thailand


Category: Desserts – Thai-inspired

This was another accidental discovery on our last day in Bangkok and I don’t know why, but it seems like things just always seem to come when you’re not looking for them – just like how you never seem to be able to find blue shoes when you want blue shoes – wouldn’t you agree? I really liked this place for it’s cosy and chic vibe, but above all, it was the spin that they did on otherwise ordinary desserts which made them all the more special.

Siam Square One (Opposite Siam Paragon), 4th Floor

Siam Square One opened in mid December 2014 and is just situated right across from Siam Paragon. Both malls are connected by a link bridge which cuts through the Siam metro station, so going from one to the next is a natural progression. It is a pretty oddly designed mall with long slopes and an scattering of staircases and escalators. White Flower Factory was located on the fourth floor with its glass windows supported within vertical black frames, beyond which cakes lay in a tantalising display and a crowd had gathered.

Damage: $$

This is definitely a more upmarket cafe, with prices almost comparable to the upper-mid-tier cafes in Singapore. I noticed that it really depended upon what you ordered, considering that some items such as the milkshakes were reasonably priced at 95THB (~$4) whereas other items, such as the cakes, were pricier (~$6-7).

To go: Yes, especially for the desserts with a thai twist

It was a great place to hang out and have a tea or a coffee as well as some cake, and that’s what we did. Desserts are slightly on the pricier side given the modest servings, but where else can you get a Thai Tea Mille Crepe cake?? I noticed that many of the other customers (locals) were having their meals there, and since the place was almost packed full, I gather the food must be pretty good as well. Also, the wait staff were helpful and attentive even during the busy lunch hour.


Our last day in Bangkok was a Monday. Between checking-out at 11am and our flight at 6.30pm in the evening, we had time to kill. We’d spent the previous day at Platinum mall and every other mall next to that, but they weren’t quite our cup of tea, so we decided to check out Siam Paragon since most other places (ex. shopping) are closed on Mondays. We alighted from the cab and dragged our luggage up the overhead, and decided to take a short detour into Siam Square One simply because it was on the same side of the road. The fourth floor was filled with a tonne of restaurants and cafes, many offering very good value-for-money set meals and dishes. While passing one of the floors, I also spotted Somboon Seafood (but I’ll save that nightmare story about the whole Somboon saga for another time).

Then, as we came round a corner, I first saw the modern sans-serif “White Flower Factory” lettering in white on a black square sign against one of the tall windows of the cafe some distance away. As we got closer, I noticed the warm cosy lighting and the tall shelf housing what seemed like over a dozen cakes (!). And then I noticed the crowd – the cafe was packed and there were even people standing next to the door. That sealed the deal for me, and I had to go in. I hurried the last few steps and soon, we were seated.

Cakes at White Flower Factory Siam Square One Bangkok Thailand

Looking at the menu, I really had to refrain from getting trigger happy. They had everything from the traditional stuff like affogato and milkshakes and vanilla, caramel and hazelnut lattes, to the more exciting stuff – which were really the cakes. Staring at the display of cakes, I really wanted to try Everything, but we eventually settled on two which were the Thai Tea Crepe Cake and the Coconut Cake.

Thai Tea Crepe cake and Coconut Cake White Flower Factory Bangkok Thailand

Okay, let’s just take a moment to relish those cakes with our eyes. How great do those look? I’m a huge fan of well-executed mille crepe cake so when this reached the table, I had to concentrate on remaining calm and keeping still. When the waitress said to pour the cup of creamy Thai Tea sauce over the cake before eating, man, I quickly started snapping pictures so I could get down to the actual eating, pronto.

Both cakes were delicious. The sauce on the Thai Tea Crepe Cake was like a happy pill, although I must admit the texture of the mille crepe cake wasn’t nearly as good as Lady M’s. The flavours of the milky thai tea were unmistakable though, and that was lovely. The Coconut Cake was really good – the sponge layers were extremely lightweight, and they were generous with the coconut cream which had bits of fresh coconut flesh in it. Those, together with their house blend tea and some latte – Divine.

Zabrina Alexis Chew at White Flower Factory Cafe Bangkok

De Zaab, Bangkok, Thailand


Category: Thai, Northeastern – Casual Dining

On the morning of our last day in Bangkok, we decided to explore the UP Rama 3 mall (ดิอัพ พระราม 3) which newly opened, just down the street from where we were staying at the Chatrium Residence Sathorn. The mall was barely a month old, and we’d gone down to scout it out for a place to have breakfast. Unexpectedly, one of our most value-for-money and best meals happened there at a new restaurant, which we hadn’t even heard of, called De Zaab on the first floor.

The Up Rama 3, Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Road, Yannawa, Bangkok

Chong Non Si ช่องนนทรี The Up Rama 3 ถนนนราธิวาสราชนครินทร์ ยานนาวา กรุงเทพฯ

The UP mall is located at the corner of a major street intersection. If I had to draw parallels, it would be a version of Singapore’s Chijmes, with its elements of old world european architecture. It’s pretty small but has several food establishments including Singapore’s very own Boon Tong Kee chicken rice restaurant alongside a significant number of medium to high-end Japanese Restaurants; from Japanese barbecue to handmade sushi and sashimi from fish flown in from Japan in an omakase format.

Damage: $

De Zaab offered the most incredible value ever. At lunchtime, they had set meals which were between 160 – 190THB ($6-$8) which were fixed pairings of dishes from their regular menu. We’d thought that perhaps the portions would be smaller but alas, the portions were comparable to everywhere else, and my-, the dishes were all good!

To go: Definitely, if you’re in the vicinity

Leaving the restaurant, we were actually concerned about the restaurant’s viability, with prices almost comparable to the street-side stalls (except this was a proper restaurant). I do note that this may be out of the way for those staying farther up north in Bangkok. However, if you find yourself somewhere near to or in Sathorn, they’re definitely worth your while.


At 10.30am on a Monday morning, the UP Mall was still relatively quiet apart from the soft pipe-in Japanese music which reminded me of the Shiroi Koibito Park in Hokkaido. The signs of the mall’s recentness were fully apparent – the walls and floors were spotless, and some units were still in the midst of having their fixtures put up whilst one or two others were pending tenancy.

Since it was our last day in Bangkok, we thought it made perfect sense to indulge in Thai food, and so when we passed by De Zaab on the first floor and saw the tantalising pictures, we went straight in.

Pad Thai and Thai mango Salad Bangkok ThailandAll I can say is damn – we made a hella good choice. We ordered a set of Thai papaya salad and a seafood Pad Thai (rice noodles stir fried with eggs, firm tofu, a touch of sugar and spice and with peanut bits). When served, we were gawking at the heap that was the papaya salad. The papaya strands were a good rawness, thickness and had lots of crunch. Every stand of the Pad Thai was well glazed with the tamarind and fish sauce, with a good amount of prawns to boot. Personally, I prefer how they do it in Singapore, which is to stir fry the beansprouts in with the noodles, whereas here, the beansprouts were served raw on the side.

The Seafood Tom Yum Soup had so much depth of flavour as well – it was light but punchy on the spicy and sour, with just the right tone of sweetness – and was loaded with plenty of ingredients including fresh prawns, squid and a whole party of vegetables.

Seafood Tom yum Soup Bangkok Thailand

De Zaab Signature Stir fried Noodles Bangkok Thailand

Truth be told, I have no idea what the dish above (and also the featured image) is called, but I’d refer to it as one of the restaurant’s signature dishes because it was featured on the wall, and also had half a page of the menu dedicated entirely to it. It wasn’t part of a set, but either way, if you show them this picture, I’m sure their friendly staff will be able to figure it out – just look at the amount of ingredients in this thing – fresh and succulent prawns, fishcake slices, and a generous helping of vegetables on top of the fragrant and fluffy vermicelli. Such a delight.

Yaowarat Road (ถนนเยาวราช), Bangkok, Thailand


Category: Thai (Chinese) – Street Food

Yaowarat Road in Bangkok, Thailand, is practically synonymous with “Chinatown”. At night, the streets are flooded with taxis ferrying tourists who flock there for dinner, supper, or to soak in the hustling atmosphere side-by-side with the locals. Vendors park their carts in front of the shops and begin business, practically forming a street-side barricade that effectively encroaches into the road, with more than 10 stalls every 20m or so.

Sam Pheng Lane ซอยสำเพ็ง, Bangkok, Thailand

The taxis inch along bumper-to-bumper. Bright lights, lots of signs. Noise. Vehicles all lined along the curb. People weaving randomly through the traffic, queuing, eating – here, there, everywhere. You’ve reached Yaowarat, alright.

Damage: $

Food here is inexpensive – as it should be, given that almost all the time your food will be prepared out of small push-carts, shelter-like things or even a wok precariously balanced on top of a gas cylinder, and you’ll be sitting on a stool that’s been planted on the road. Half the time you’ll be thinking and raving about how inexpensive the dish you were just served is, and the other half you’ll spend wondering if you’re going to get a stomach ache afterwards. Nonetheless, Yaowarat seemed, on the whole, to be noticeably cleaner than some other food streets in Bangkok.

To go: When looking for food in Bangkok at night

With probably over a thousand stalls operating along the streets at night, there is an abundance of food, although it once again (as with many other places in Bangkok) becomes very challenging to differentiate the talented hawkers. It is lively, chaotic – typical Bangkok style. It’s probably a good one-stop-shop at night, with the other food street option being Sukhumvit Soi 38.

This review contains a few sub-reviews on different stalls which we patronised. 


The cab hadn’t moved in 4 minutes. I’d pre-loaded my GPS with the wifi at the hotel (as we’d all learnt to do when travelling on exchange with no data plan), and I could see that the start of my planned food trail was barely 25m away. We thanked him, paid the fare, alighted and had to scoot out of the way of a hasty tuk-tuk,  before blending into the constant stream of people going up and down the street.

Nai Mong Hoy Tod (นายหมงหอยทอด) was our first stop. Acclaimed for their oyster omelettes (or “Orh luak” as they’re known in Singapore), it is a small shophouse just of Charoen Krung Road, 25m down Phlap Phla Chai Street, on your right. Rather than bother with the complex street names, you can search for the shop’s name on google maps and you’ll find that it’s so well-known that it’s already marked out with a star.

Nai Mong Hoy Tod Oyster Omelette Yaowarat Bangkok Thailand

Nai Mong Hoy Tod Orh Luak Oyster Omelette Bangkok

This was delish – topped with a generous serving of plump good-sized oysters, it was such great value at around $4. I can’t think of a better value oyster omelette anywhere else. Orh Luak tends to come with starch mixed in, which tends to be clumpy if not done correctly, but this one was excellent – the starch was tasty (it was actually, for the first time ever, tasty!). Well incorporated into the omelette, it provided a smooth springy texture which interlaced with the crisp of the omelette. Unlike when poorly fried to a dry crisp, the egg flavour was still apparent in the fluffy omelette and oysters were fresh. We ordered a plate of clams cooked in a spicy sauce from the shophouse to its right as well, and that was also great value and very tasty – so you could consider doing that if you’re paying Nai Mong a visit.

Seafood was up next, and for that, we headed back out to the main street. There are two very popular seafood stalls at the intersection of Yaowarat Road and Thanon Phadung Dao Street. The queue was so long at T&K Seafood restaurant that we settled, without much hesitation, at my originally-planned stop of Lek & Rut Seafood (featured picture) which was right opposite to that. Contrary to what some reviews say, the staff were not friendly – they were impatient when taking orders and would just holler an unhelpful response whilst looking everywhere else when customers tried to get clarification on the dishes. Their menu was a plastic folder of white A4 paper printed with pictures and some words, sometimes indistinct. I noticed the only exception to this was a caucasian family with two kids, who the waitress immediately offered Strawberry Collon snacks to and spent time recommending dishes as well as joking with the kids, and a group of young and boisterous caucasian men whom she (surprise surprise) greeted with a broad smile and open arms.

The seafood was inexpensive, surely, and of a decent value, but be prepared for a massive squeeze and terrible service. I particularly liked the prawns cooked in a chilli egg sauce, which I happily licked up with my spoon.

Chilli Egg sauce prawns Lek & Rut Yaowarat Bangkok Thailand

After walking along the street, I spotted a street-side stall operated by two teenage girls who looked like students helping to run a family business on the weekend. They were both dressed in tshirts and shorts, hair neatly tied up in ponytails, cheerfully chatting with each other and meticulously arranging the boxes of Mango Sticky Rice. The cart was neat and clean – boxes of sticky rice stacked on one side and boxes of sliced mangos stacked on the other, with a woven rattan tray of the mango fruit to the right.

I am a huge fan of mango sticky rice and theirs looked good so we got a box to try for 120THB (~$5), and sat at the blue tables just behind the stall. The rice was delicious – just the right amount of stickiness and chewiness, and drizzling the coconut milk over top was divine; a thick creamy coating of just the right sweetness. The uncooked grains sprinkled over the top weren’t as good though, and were not crispy but instead a little tough to bite through, but nonetheless could be ignored. With a generous serving of sweet mango at its side, we later concluded on hindsight after trying the same dish at several other places that this was one of the best mango sticky rice we had in Bangkok.

Mango Sticky Rice Yaowarat Chinatown Bangkok Thailand

Bo.lan Essentially Thai ร้านโบ.ลาน อาหารไทย, Bangkok, Thailand


Category: Thai – Fine dining

2 of Asia’s top 50 restaurants are located in Bangkok city itself, and since I was headed that way earlier this month, I decided I had to dine at at least one of them. While I couldn’t get down to Nahm, I did manage to get lunch at Bo.lan – No. 28 on San Pellegrino’s list for 2015. Helmed by a couple (Duangporn Songvisava and Dylan Jones), this restaurant came by recommendation of a chef friend’s chef friend (did you catch that?), and is known for serving up refined and authentic thai cuisine.

24 Sukhumvit 53 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Bo.lan Bangkok Thailand

Bo.lan recently just moved to their new premises a few blocks down from where they were. They’re now at house #24 on the right hand side, barely 150m in from the main road, along Sukhumvit soi 53. On the route the cab driver took us, the Sukhumvit district seemed to be sort of a grid, with the soi branching off to the left and right, the numbers increasing. It’s a long way in and we got stuck in crawling one-lane traffic through what looked like a low-rise residential area. We’d left earlier to cater for the chaotic Bangkok traffic but were still late by half an hour, so you might want to factor in a longer commute.

Damage: $$$

Food in Bangkok is so affordable, especially with street-side hawkers setting up tents whichever way you look, that even the fine dining experience is reasonably priced compared to other cities around the world. At lunch time, Bo.lan (as well as Nahm) has set menus, which are great for people like us who don’t have a lot of stomach capacity but would like to taste everything. The Prix Fixe menus were 980++THB which works out to about $50+ each, and for each course you can pick between two options.

To go: Sure, but just keep in mind that the menu was about equal parts hit and miss

I love Thai food but I find that after a certain point, it’s really hard to differentiate oneself as truly phenomenal, especially if sticking true with an “authentic” approach. There’s bad Thai food, to average, to good – In general, Thai dishes already encompass so many complex flavours that the “very good”s for me span an entire spectrum from casual eateries to high-end restaurants, but of course, you could disagree. Overall, Bo.lan was a pleasant dining experience, but food-wise, it was a consensus that only a few stand-out dishes saved the day. I don’t know why there are so many rave reviews out there, but I figured the only possible reason would be that they are (much) better at dinner.


We disembarked the red taxi on the opposite side of the street. Immediately, I spotted a black sign with white letters spelling “Bo.lan Essentially Thai” against the side of a white house, to the left and just above the brown brick walls which lined the driveway leading to the restaurant. At first sight, Bo.lan immediately enrolled itself into the category of rustic decor, with lots of traditional and old-school elements – charming, really, yet understated and quietly intentional. The inside of the restaurant was more modern, albeit a little dark, with dark wood fixtures and black tables.

Bo.lan Bangkok Thailand

Fine dining at Bo.lan Asia's Top 50 Restaurants Bangkok Thailand

Amuse Bouche Bo.lan Bangkok Asia's Top 50

The amuse bouche was Amazing. If there was one thing that I would say Bo.lan did exceptionally well at, that would be the salads. The amuse bouche was a mixture of local leaves with shallots and chilli, but it was the dressing that hit the high notes – refreshing, intense, tangy, and yet savoury, it was an explosion of flavours in the mouth, singing in harmony. I dare say one of the best salads I’ve ever tried in my life, and I made sure to have the leaves pick up every drop of dressing on the plate.

I had the Salad grilled Ranong squid with lotus shoots and it was just as phenomenal. The dressing tasted the same, but I received it without complaint. The squid was tasty and grilled to a juicy and tender perfection. I had a taste of the Salad of grilled Spanish Mackerel with local rosella which was tossed with crunchy fish bits, and that was lovely too.

Prix Fixe lunch at Bo.lan Bangkok ThailandChicken Soup Bo.Lan Bangkok Thailand

Collectively, we had a mixture of mains which I shall address course by course. We had both the Coconut cream based soup with local chicken, banana blossom and vietnamese mint (above, centre) and the Clear soup of free range chicken and pickled mustard greenI have to be honest – both soups were pretty poor. The coconut cream based soup was surprisingly not creamy. Instead, it was thin and very flat. The only flavour it had was a scarce hint of coconut juice, and it did not complement the chicken (or vice versa) in any way. The clear soup was passable, but the chicken was similarly tough and tasteless. We wondered if perhaps the chicken was just used to flavour the soup, but in a restaurant such as this, we expected that anything served to us would be intended as part of the dish. I really would encourage Bo.lan to reinvent its soup options because these really pulled the grade downwards.

Stir fried prawns with paddy oat leaves at Bo.Lan Bangkok Thailand Asia's top 50

Asia's top 50 restaurants Bo.lan Bangkok ThailandFor the stir-fry option, mom and I went with Stir-fried prawns with paddy oat leaves while my dad opted for the Tumeric fried market fish of the day. The prawns were okay but forgettable, and so I don’t have much to say about them. The fried fish was beautifully presented, but was surprisingly limp when pricked with the fork and lacked the crispiness which we were expecting. The flavour was assisted by the lime but nothing noteworthy, and in fact, could be easily trumped by the Thai restaurants in Singapore.

We all opted for the same curry – Red curry with chicken & winter melon (featured picture) because the curry with pork neck sounded risky. This was a stronger candidate of the meal – the curry was a good thick consistency, very tasty and creamy, with the notes of the traditional herbs breaking through. I happily dished out the curry on the brown rice (which was fluffy and delicious by the way), and had it to help strengthen everything other dish possible. The finale was a Lemongrass ice jelly which was light, refreshing, and packed with strong aromatic lemongrass flavour, helping to end the meal on a stronger note.

Zabrina Alexis C at Bo.lan Bangkok Thailand

Jatujak (Chatuchak) Weekend Market, Bangkok, Thailand (Gallery)

Jatujak Weekend Market is one of the world’s largest weekend markets, with 27 sections and more than 15,000 stalls. You can find anything and everything from household items, to fragrances, jewellery, food, clothes, and handicrafts (the one shown below is AMAZING). This was my first visit to Jatujak, and honestly, I found it to be overcrowded and touristy. Many shops sell similar things, so it’s challenging to discern between them and even if you wanted to go back, you might just get lost in the maze of shops! Nonetheless, it remains a must-see when in Bangkok, so here’s a little taste (:

Coconut Ice-cream at Jaktujak Chatuchak weekend market

Zabrina Alexis C at Chatuchak Bangkok Thailand

Red Ruby desserts at Chatuchak weekend marketFood at Jaktujak Bangkok Thailand

Jaktujak weekend market handicrafts

Or Tor Kor Market, Bangkok, Thailand (Gallery)

Or Tor Kor Market is known for being one of the best markets in the world selling the region’s freshest ingredients. I was there, took some photos, and so here’s a quick peek around the market (:


Or Tor Kor Market, Bangkok, Thailand


Category: Thai

I put the Or Tor Kor Market on the itinerary because we’d planned for Jaktujak and I’d read that this market was one of the top 4 fresh food markets in the world known for selling some of the freshest fruits and vegetables from the country. Although we couldn’t take these perishables back with us, we still wanted to take a look, and so we went early at 8.30am on a Saturday morning.

Kamphaengphet Road, just opposite the Jaktujak Weekend Market

It was no trouble at all finding this market. All the taxi drivers know where it is, and if they don’t, you can just tell them it’s the market next to Jaktujak. If they still don’t, I suggest you get out of that cab and flag another one, because that fella is just trying to scam you (I’ve had one too many experiences with many of these dishonest cab drivers). If you’re coming from Jaktujak itself, just head to the metro station and walk through the underpass, past the metro, and once you’re out the other side, you’ll be standing right at the doorstep of Or Tor Kor.

Damage: $

Can I give half a dollar sign?? The food here was so incredibly affordable – a plate of noodles and the coconuts were only about $2+ each. If only the coconuts in Singapore were just as inexpensive and tasty – I’d have them every single day!

Or Tor Kor Market Bangkok

To go: Definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re also going to Jaktujak

With really inexpensive and good food, it’s a good place to go if you don’t want to have a meal at Jaktujak which is incredibly crowded (and where prices are higher too). Hardly any tourists come here, so it’s quite an authentic experience. There are many stalls selling meat and vegetable dishes, but we didn’t try those. Instead, you can head to the back of the market, towards the right, and you’ll find a section full of hawker fare and tables at which you can enjoy your meal.


Or Tor Kor Market Bangkok

Arranged in a grid-like fashion, this marketplace sells all sorts of things – from cooked food for takeaway, to vegetables, to fruits (giant durians and cherries imported from Japan included). If you head to the right side of the market and walk to the back, you’ll find a collection of hawker stalls. We ordered from middle stall below, on the rightmost row of the market. We ordered a dry kuay thiew (feature picture) with beef slices first, and it was really delicious and so affordable that we ended up ordering a second dish of Kale stir-fried with crispy pork.

Or Tor Kor Market

Kale with crispy porkThe Kuay thiew was moist with a good amount (but not overwhelming) of sauce, and a very generous serving of tender sliced beef and stir-fried vegetables. The bits of crispy shallots sprinkled over the top were great. The Kale was cooked perfectly – tender but still keeping a good crunch, and did I mention, very tasty? The crispy pork bits were a let down, however, because they weren’t crispy at all, and were slightly tough perhaps because they were in pretty sizeable chunks. The pork serving, like the beef, was still very generous.

Opposite the stall was another stall styled in a push-cart, serving up a hot and soupy Duck Kuay Thiew. The bee hoon (a type of thin noodle) was soft, and the beansprouts were left quite raw to provide a contrasting crunch. On top of that, thin duck slices were laid – tender, and nicely braised in what I think is a soy-sauce base. The soup was light but extremely tasty. A simple dish but delicious, and a total bargain at just over $2.