Being unimaginative, I started my mom’s Thai adventure just as my friend started ours, at Or Tor Kor Market. This well-known market, near Chatuchak Park is known to have the best selections of produce, seafood and meat. It has a diversity of food stalls and is very clean with huge ceilings (and slightly higher prices).
We beelined for their food stalls and quickly had three pad thais ordered (Foodies, don’t die), which arrived wrapped in a thin egg omelet. We explained the different spices on the table to change the flavor: sugar, dried chili, vinegar and a pickled chili, and encouraging her to experiment.
With her first few bites she was exclaiming that it was the best pad thai she’d ever had. While I was not as excited as James and her, I bought some chicken satay with peanut sauce for her to try too. We chatted over our large Thai teas and took to wandering through market.
There is a wonderful variety of food made-to-order and pre-made food. You can get a good sampling of all Thailand has to offer with their various soups, noodles and grilled meats. We stuck to the food made-to-order for while their pre-made food is delicious, I was worried those dishes might require a bit more stomach fortitude than someone fresh to the country might have.
We weaved through the stalls checking out the new fruits (to her), vegetables, and various meats. Large prawns were laid out on top of ice in low trays, next to crabs and fish of various sizes. To the left was the butcher with his various cuts of pork (not on ice). James was disappointed there were no pig faces to show her.
The market allowed a little window into the incredible Thai markets. I’d debated taking my mom to my Huai Khwang market, which is a thing of my nightmares with the low lighting, too narrow aisle and the dark, wet and slippery tiles but decided against it. Or Tor Kor is the opposite in just about every way and a pleasure to walk through. The floors are still a bit wet in the seafood/meat section but the white tiles are cleaned and don’t fill me with the same dread.
With the trip through the meat section complete, we circled back and took to purchasing some fruits, settling on mangosteen and rose apples. The vendors allowed her to sample some of the fruits but when one dropped on the floor and she joked ‘5 second rule’, even the vendors joined in with my ‘Noooo!’. The market is clean, but let’s not go crazy.
Just outside of the market is a store for the King’s Royal Project, selling organic vegetables and various wares. We took a spin through there and purchased what appeared to be blackberries, but without the annoyance of 90 gazillion little seeds. Feta cheese may also have been purchased, seasoned with basil and oil. She had leftover crackers from her plane trip after all.
With a last purchase of solar-dried bananas, covered in chocolate, we were once again back in the heat of the day for more adventures.
Visitor tips –
- When eating at the food stalls –
- you will typically order then they will find you with the prepared food, you pay when the food is delivered.
- a ‘runner’ may come over and ask your drink order, if you don’t already have one.
- Most fruit is sold by the kilo but you can request half the amount by requesting that Baht amount.
- Stop in the King’s Project for organic vegetables and interesting wares.
Visiting Or Tor Kor:
- Easiest: MRT to Kamphaeng Phet Exit 3, exit is in front of the market entrance.
- The exit says ‘Marketing Organization for Farmers’.
- Less direct: BTS to Chatuchak, take a taxi to Or Tor Kor or wander across Chatuchak Park, asking many strangers if you are headed in the right direction (our method).
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