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Don’t Miss Naem Sour Sausage When Visiting Northern Thailand

Kasma Loha-unchit, Friday, March 1st, 2013

Naem (or nem), also known as jin som in the northern Thai dialect (jin = meat, som = sour) is a common way of preserving pork meat in several Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In Thailand, it is mainly done in the northern and northeastern parts of the country – the land-locked regions where a lot of pigs are raised and pork features prominently in the local cuisines.

Wrapped Naem

Naem wrapped in banana leaves

(Click images to see larger version.)

In the days before refrigeration, when a pig was slaughtered, there was usually too much meat to cook and eat up fresh in dishes like laab, soups, curries and stir-fries. The remaining meat would be chopped up and preserved with salt. Pork skin, also often too much to eat up by cooking fresh, was added to improve texture.

Now as then, cooked sticky rice or plain steamed rice is used to make the meat develop a sour flavor. Garlic and Thai chillies are added to further improve flavor. In the olden days, pork fat was in the mixture as well, but in more modern times, naem is made mostly of lean pork meat, which gives a better color to the soured meat.

Naem Maw 1

Naem maw (made in a large pot)

The sour flavor imparted to the meat from fermenting rice is distinctive and unique and is unlike the sour from citrus, vinegar, tamarind, or any other tart fruits. It is simply delicious and quite addicting for those of us who like foods with sour flavors.

Originally, the meat was cured by placing the mixture in a pot or a large bowl and covered to make it airtight, thus giving the name naem maw (maw = pot). Market vendors still sell naem in this form – that is, it’s sold bulk in a large bowl, the vendor cutting and scooping up the amount customers want and wrapping it in pieces of banana leaf, secured with a bamboo pick. In city markets nowadays, this form of naem is usually already pre-cut into uniform chunks and wrapped in plastic with a label slapped on.

Naem Maw 2

More naem maw

Naem Maw 3

Naem maw on top of naem taeng

Naem Taeng 2

Banana-leaf wrapped naem taeng

Later, naem began to be made in short, cylindrical bundles tightly wrapped in several layers of banana leaf and tied tightly with bamboo strings. Nowadays they are mostly made in long, sausage-like logs tightly wrapped and sealed in heavy-duty plastic wrap. Both these forms of naem are called naem taeng (taeng = cylinder). Naem is also tightly wrapped in small pyramidal shapes tied with bamboo strings. Often the leaf-wrapped packages are hung in a cool place (in the tropical room temperature) out of direct sun exposure and allowed to cure until the sour flavor develops. The banana leaf helps moderate the temperature of the meat so that the internal temperature does not get too warm. These days, these banana leaf-wrapped packages are often wrapped again in plastic wrap to keep the banana leaf from drying out.

Naem Taeng 1

Naem taeng (cylinder naem)

In modern times, plastic wrap has become prevalently used in wrapping naem, because it is easy to use and makes it possible for buyers to see the color of the meat. In the tropics where room temperature is fairly warm, it usually takes only 2 to 3 days for the sour flavor to develop, but in temperate climate kitchens such as in the Bay Area, it takes about a week. When juice or moistness can be seen through the plastic wrapping, the naem is usually ready. With the banana leaf-wrapped packages, buyers look for leaf wrappings that are not too freshly green, but not too dried out either.

2 Naem Taeng

Traditional & modern naem taeng

Naem Taeng Unwrapped

Naem Taeng Unwrapped

Grilled Naem Sausages

Grilled naem sausages

Sticky rice was originally used as the souring agent, but later the preference turned to regular cooked rice because it keeps the meat sour for longer after the sour flavor has developed and gives the meat a better pink color. Sticky rice, on the other hand, develops the sour flavor more quickly, but also loses the sour flavor faster, giving the meat a shorter window of opportunity for consumption at its optimal sourness.

Food Platter

Food platter, naem on the left

One reason why many northern Thais still prefer to have some of their naem wrapped in banana leaf is that it can be cooked by roasting in the ashes of their charcoal brazier, burning the outer layers of leaf to give the meat a smoky flavor. Often, naem is eaten raw and the small pyramidal leaf-wrapped packets are pretty and easy to serve individual people in a meal. Raw naem, appearing as those translucent, pinkish slices of meat, is a common part of the northern hors d’oeuvre platter, accompanying slices of spicy sai oa northern sausage, baloney-like moo yaw, crispy fried pork belly with skin (kaep moo), an assortment of steamed or boiled vegetables, and the favorite spicy green chilli dip called nam prik nuum.

Naem Ready To Eat

Naem, ready to eat

Raw naem is frequently made into hot-and-sour yum salads with shallots, pickled garlic, Thai chillies, aromatic herbs and fried nuts, but if you are squeamish about eating raw, cured meat, cook the naem by roasting in banana leaves or by lightly steaming or baking before slicing to make the salad. But if you wish to enjoy the delicate texture of raw meat like Southeast Asians do in a safe manner, you may wish to freeze the sausage for about two weeks to kill off any parasites before consuming.

Naem With Garlic

Sliced Naem with Pickled Garlic and Chillies

Naem Fried Rice

Naem Fried Rice

Other common ways naem is eaten in northern Thailand are: stir-fried with pickled garlic/leeks and chillies; scrambled with eggs and onions; incorporated into fried rice; deep-fried by itself in slices or round balls and eaten with fried peanuts, diced ginger and chillies; added to curries, spicy soups or stir-fries with mucilaginous vegetables like pak bpang (zan choi in Chinese or the “slippery vegetable”) or okra to reduce the mucilaginous property; sliced and tossed with crisp-fried rice, slivered cooked pork skin, fried dried Thai chillies, slivered ginger, fried peanuts and other ingredients to make a crisped rice and sour sausage salad – a delicious street and market food that has now become popular in many restaurants that serve regional cuisines in Bangkok and other major cities throughout the country.

Some More Thai Dishes with Naem Sour Sausage

Fried Naem Maw

Fried Naem Maw

Crispy Fried Naem

Crispy Fried Naem Sour Sausage Balls

The picture to the above left shows naem maw cut into cubes, dipped in egg and deep-fried (naem tawd) at Kaeng Ron Ban Suan in Chiang Mai. On the right is deep-fried, crispy naem sour sausage balls in a crispy taro basket in a Chiang Mai restaurant.

Soup With Naem

Soup with naem

Stir-fried Naem

Naem Stir-fried with Egg and Spinach

To the above left is a soup made with the flowers of pak bpang (zan choi in Chinese) and naem to reduce the mucilaginous property of the vegetable at Come Dara restaurant in Chiang Mai. To the right is naem stir-fried with egg and spinach at Keuy Chiang Mai restaurant.

Naem Salad

Crispy Rice and Naem Sour Sausage Salad

Naem Salad 2

Crispy Rice and Naem Sour Sausage Salad

To the above left is Crispy Rice and Naem Sour Sausage Salad (Naem Kluk Kao Tawd) at Ton Kreuang in Bangkok. To the right is Crispy Rice and Naem Sour Sausage Salad (Yum Naem Kao Tawd) at the Isan restaurant of Vientiane Kitchen in Bangkok.

Naem Slideshow From Kasma’s Classes

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.

Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

Rolling Naem
Prepped Naem
Assembling Naem Salad
Naem Salad 3
Fried Naem
Stir-fried Naem
Stir-fried Naem 2

Rolling the naem sausages into a tight cylinder in Kasma's class

The soured naem sausages sliced and ready for cooking in a weeklong intensive class

Assembling the Crispy Rice and Naem Sour Sausage Salad in a weeklong intensive class

Crispy Rice and Sour Sausage Salad made by students in Kasma's Advanced B weeklong intensive class

Fried Naem Slices on Crispy Taro Baskets, in Kasma's Advanced D weeklong intensive class - students made the naem and fermented it for 5 days

Naem Sour Sausage (made by students) Stir-fried with Pickled Leeks and Thai Chillies in Kasma's Advanced D weeklong intensive

Naem Sour Sausage (made by students) Stir-fried with Bitter Melon, Eggs and Thai Chillies in Kasma's Advanced D weeklong intensive

Rolling Naem thumbnail
Prepped Naem thumbnail
Assembling Naem Salad thumbnail
Naem Salad 3 thumbnail
Fried Naem thumbnail
Stir-fried Naem thumbnail
Stir-fried Naem 2 thumbnail

Written by Kasma Loha-unchit, March 2013

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Michael Babcock, Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Damnoen Saduak (ดำเนินสะดวก) Floating Market, is one of the most popular tourist destinations for both Thais and non-Thais. Located in Ratchaburi about 109 kilometers south of Bangkok (approximately 2 hours drive) it is well worth a visit. In Thai, this type of market is called a ตลาดน้ำ (Talaat Nahm), which literally means “water market.”

Note: : If you wish, please skip directly to the slideshow of Damnoen Saduak at the bottom of the page.

Fried Banana Boats - 3

Fried Banana Boats

Kasma used to take her off-the-beaten-track” tours to this popular destination. In the past, particularly in Bangkok (once called “The Venice of the East”), floating markets were more common than markets on land; this is a chance to see floating markets and imagine how it must have been.

(Click images to see larger version.)

In order to get the best experience, Kasma leaves Bangkok quite early in the morning so that the group can arrive by 7:00 a.m. At that time, there are few tourists and are still many vendors in their boats on the klong (canal). It’s a chance to see the market before it’s overrun by tourists. Kasma rents boats paddled by a single person and, after grazing through the market and purchasing a few kanom (snacks) to tide the group over until breakfast, she takes the group through some of the auxiliary canals near the market. Later on the canals will be packed and there will be motor boats to disturb the peaceful silence.

View from Bridge

View from Bridge

One thing you can not avoid on the boat rides is slowing down near the stalls on the side selling clothes and souvenirs. Be warned: the prices at the market are usually higher than elsewhere, sometimes two to three times (or more): if you see something you like: bargain!!

After a stop to see palm sugar being made (if the group is lucky: they’re not always working when we are there), the boats return to the main market area where the tour members sit and eat delicious “Boat Noodles” (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ – Kway Teow Reua) – see our blog Boat Noodles at Damnoen Saduak Market. Afterwards, we walk the market area by the piers, grazing and shopping for fruit, and climb the stairs to a bridge overlooking the main canal, a good vantage point for photographs.

We also make a stop at a stand on the way out of the market to buy ขนมครก (Kanom Krok) -Grilled Coconut-Rice Hot Cakes. Sometimes they make them using black sticky rice flour so we can purchase them in two colors.

It’s a fun excursion. Well worth the visit, particularly if you can get there early.

How to Get There

By Car: From Bangkok. Take Highway No. 4 (Phetchakasem Rd.) and turn left at Km. 80. You’ll travel about 25 kms more along the Bangpae-Damnoen Saduak Rd. You can also get there by joining a tour or by bus from the Southern Bus Terminal on Borommarat Chachonnani Road starting at 6 a.m.

Damnoen Saduak Slideshow

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.

Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

Market Sign
Side Canal
Canal Scene
Thai Snack
Buddha Statue
Noodle Vendor
Lime Vendor
Food Vendor
Banana Vendor
Fruit Vendor
Fried Banana Boats
Fried Banana Boats - 2
Cutting Bananas
Frying Bananas
Wok Close-up
Fried Banana Boats - 3
Selling Bananas
Nursery Boat
Mango Boat
Boat Noodle Sign
Making Noodles
Boat Noodles
Making Snacks
Kanom Krok
View from Bridge

One of the signs for Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, from the canal

Heading out on a side-canal early in the morning just after sunrise

One of the less-traveled side canals

Another canal scene at Damnoen Saduak

This vendor is selling Thai-Style Coconut Macaroon Cakes - ขนมบ้าบิ่น (Kanom Ba Bin)

Thai-Style Smoked Coconut Macaroon Cakes - ขนมบ้าบิ่น (Kanom Ba Bin)

This monk is using a boat on his morning alms round

Transporting a Buddha statue - you never know what you'll see

This vendor is assembling "Boat Noodles" - ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ (Kway Teow Reua)

Vendor selling limes

A food vendor at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Grilled banana vendor; everything cooked on the boat

Fruit vendor on the water

Two boats dedicated to frying bananas - กล้วยทอด (Kluey Tawd)

Close up of the two boats selling fried bananas

Cutting the bananas to fry

Close-up of the frying bananas in a big wok

The frying bananas, close-up

Frying bananas (right) and displaying them (left)

Woman selling Fried Bananas - กล้วยทอด (Kluey Tawd)

A nursery on a boat, featuring young coconut trees

Boat selling Sticky Rice and Mango - ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง (Kao Niao Mamuang)

Here's where we purchase our delicious "Boat Noodles" - ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ (Kway Teow Reua)

"Boat Noodles" being assembled at our favorite place

Our favorite "Boat Noodles" - ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ (Kway Teow Reua)

This vendor, on the land, is making Grilled Coconut-Rice Hot Cakes - ขนมครก (Kanom Krok)

Close-up of Grilled Coconut-Rice Hot Cakes - ขนมครก (Kanom Krok)

Here's the view from a bridge overlooking the market

Market Sign thumbnail
Canal thumbnail
Side Canal thumbnail
Canal Scene thumbnail
Vendor thumbnail
Thai Snack thumbnail
Monk thumbnail
Buddha Statue thumbnail
Noodle Vendor thumbnail
Lime Vendor thumbnail
Food Vendor thumbnail
Banana Vendor thumbnail
Fruit Vendor thumbnail
Fried Banana Boats thumbnail
Fried Banana Boats - 2 thumbnail
Cutting Bananas thumbnail
Frying Bananas thumbnail
Wok Close-up thumbnail
Fried Banana Boats - 3 thumbnail
Selling Bananas thumbnail
damnoen-saduak-20 thumbnail
Mango Boat thumbnail
Boat Noodle Sign thumbnail
Making Noodles thumbnail
Boat Noodles thumbnail
Making Snacks thumbnail
Kanom Krok thumbnail
View from Bridge thumbnail

Written by Michael Babcock, January 2013.

Mae Hong Son Breakfast

Michael Babcock, Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Whenever we’re in Mae Hong Son we head to a small shop by the morning market for our breakfast. Found on the small by-street leading into the market, it’s run by a friendly Vietnamese family and has several excellent choices to start out the day. As another plus, they make fresh-brewed coffee that is very good.

Kasma with Owner

Kasma and the restaurant Owner

The Mae Hong Son morning market, Thetsaban Market, is lively, colorful and fun. Several online sites say it is found on Sihanatbamrung road near Wat Hua Wiang; When I look at the map of Mae Hong Son it appears to me to be right off Nivet Pisan Rd. This restaurant is on one of the little alleys leading into the market, off Nivat Pisan Road (also transliterated as Nivespisan), as far as I can tell. There’s a Krung Thai bank on the left as you look from the street to the market entry with an archway over the alley: check out the pictures at the bottom of the page.

I’m going to include pictures of our favorite breakfast foods here and show the exterior and interior of the restaurant at the bottom of the page.

(Click images to see larger version.)

Vietnamese Eggs

Eggs, Vietnamese Style - Kai Gata - ไข่กะทะ

Close-up of Dish

Vietnamese Eggs (Kai Gata - ไข่กะทะ)

I call these Vietnamese Eggs, or Eggs, Vietnamese Style, because I’ve only had them in Vietnamese-run restaurants in Thailand, in Mae Hong Son and also in the Northeast. In Thai they are called Kai Gata – ไข่กะทะ. As you see in the photos, it consists of two fried eggs topped with sweet (the red) sausage, Vietnamese sausage, ground pork and green onions. It’s served with a bun with more sweet sausage. It’s a good, meaty breakfast.

Noodle Dish

Noodle Dish - Kway Chap (or Kway Jap)

Rice Porridge

Rice Porridge - Johk

Kway Chap (or Kway Jap) – ก๋วยจั๊บ – is a type of noodle – a flat noodle that curls up so that it looks like tubes when served. At this shop it is usually served with pork innards; this is a bowl that Kasma ordered without the innards, though it does have pork blood. The innards are quite delicious and super healthy. The rice porridge (congee, or johk – โจ๊ก) can also be ordered with the innards.

Pad See Ew

Stir-fried Noodles - Pad See Ew - ผัดซีอิ้ว

Fresh Brewed Coffee

Fresh Brewed Coffee

The Stir-fried Noodles, or Pad See Ew – ผัดซีอิ้ว – are made with wide, fresh rice noodles. You can get them with pork or chicken. They make a very good fresh-brewed coffee here. The picture shows Kafee Sohd Rawn – กาเเฟสดร้อน – literally, “hot, fresh, coffee.” You can also get Kafee Sohd Yen – กาเเฟสดเย็น – yen meaning cold. Each cup is brewed to order. It is served “Thai style,” meaning it comes with a glass of tea as a chaser for the rich, dark coffee.

Condiment Set

Condiment set

Tangerine Juice

Tangerine Juice

Of course, you can add and balance flavors, as at any noodle shop in Thailand. To the left is the collection of condiments on the table. (See Michael’s blog on Thai Condiment Sets.) Also available, and shown to the right, is fresh-squeezed “Orange Juice” – nam som – น้ำส้ม. I put it in quotes because their orange is really more like a tangerine. Whatever you call it, this drink is very, very good: it is pure, unadulterated, unsweetened fruit juice. Very tasty and delicious.

Breakfast Shop

Front of restaurant

Restaurant Cart

Front of restaurant

This is our breakfast restaurant to the left. It’s right next to a store selling books and newspapers on its left; the store on the right is selling clothing. Look for the cart in the right-hand picture; the cart has a picture in the center of coffee with pictures of the the specialties of the restaurant in the 4 corners (click to see a larger image).

Street View

View towards the street


Inside looking out

The leftmost picture shows the view looking from just past the restaurant (which is towards the left, look for the stand) toward the street. You can see the archway in the middle of the picture. The right hand picture shows the view from the back of the restaurant looking toward front alley. It’s a very typical Thai store-front restaurant.

Menu 1

Menu with specialties

Menu 2

Another menu

These are the menus found on the wall of the restaurant. The blue menu (to the left) has the specialties: from the top down they are Vietnamese Eggs (kai gata), toast (kanom bang), Pork Blood (leuak moo), kway chap noodles, rice porridge (johk), fresh-brewed coffee, Nescafe and Ovaltine. The red menu, except for the bottom two items, are either fried rice dishes or dishes served over rice. We’ve never ordered rice dishes here. I always have a hard time choosing: everything is done very well, indeed.

Written by Michael Babcock, 2012

Boat Noodles at Damnoen Saduak Market

Michael Babcock, Thursday, March 1st, 2012

One of my favorite stops when we visit Thailand is Damnoen Saduak Floating market in Ratchaburi province. Although it is also one of the most heavily touristed places I visit, the color and interest is always there.

Boat Noodle Vendor

Boat noodle vendor

When Kasma and I visit, we make a point to get there around 6:45 a.m., long before the tourist buses and hoards of tourists descend. At that time the market is relatively quiet and you can have a leisurely, uncrowded ride around the klong (canals) on a boat being powered by a person with a paddle. Later on the motor boats will disturb the water as they race by and the silence. We always get there early by leaving Bangkok early (around 5:00 a.m.). The market is located 104 kilometers south-west of Bangkok, in-between Nakhon Pathom and Samut Songkhram.

It gives you an idea of what Thailand must have been like in the old days, before roads when much of the commerce took place on the canals.

Boat Noodle Sign

Look for this sign

One of the fun sights of the market is the boats laden with produce or the restaurant boats, complete with propane burners on which hot food is prepared.

Like all Thai markets, indeed, like nearly anywhere in Thailand, there is an abundance of food, both as ingredients and prepared food. Our preferred breakfast here is always boat noodles from the vendor at the far end of the old section of the market – look for the sign to the right.

Boat noodles are a name for a type of noodle in Thailand. Sometimes you’ll pass a restaurant in the street with a boat out front to advertise boat noodles. They tend to have a rich broth and are usually made with pork or beef. The boat noodles from our favorite stand are made with pork, rich and flavorful.

Boat Noodles

Pork Boat Noodles

These boat noodles are very good; the broth rich and flavorful and a little bit spicy from the get-go. Of course, there’s always the condiment set to let you adjust the flavors to your liking. (See Michael’s blog on Thai Condiment Sets.)

You can either purchase the noodles while riding by on a boat or from land. We usually purchase them after our boat ride and sit on the steps, slurping and enjoying the delicious meal.

On a recent trip, the vendor had, unfortunately, taken the day off. We found a reasonably good vendor a little further down. So if you’re unlucky enough to show up on a day off (it only happened once in 26 years for Kasma), try one of the other vendors for a more than adequate substitute.

Damnoen Saduak Boat Noodles Slideshow

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.

Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

Boat Noodle Sign
Boat Noodle Stall
Boat Noodle Vendor
Assembling the Noodles
Making boat noodles
Finishing off the noodles
Boat Noodles
Condiment Set
Noodles, ready to eat
Another Assembler
Enjoying noodles

Here's the sign for our favorite boat noodle vendor at Damneon Saduak Floating Market

Here's the view from the mainland for delicious boat noodles

Our favorite boat noodle vendor at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Our favorite vendor assembles a bowl of boat noodles

Another shot of our favorite vendor

His daughter (I'm pretty sure) finishes the assembly.

These are how the boat noodles are served. They'll need to be mixed first.

Use this condiment set to adjust the flavors of the noodles.

These noodles are seasoned, mixed and ready to eat!

Sometimes the main vendor is gone and his daughter takes over. The noodles are just as good!

Here's one of Kasma's groups enjoying the noodles on the nearby steps.

Boat Noodle Sign thumbnail
Boat Noodle Stall thumbnail
Boat Noodle Vendor thumbnail
Assembling the Noodles thumbnail
Making boat noodles thumbnail
Finishing off the noodles thumbnail
Boat Noodles thumbnail
Condiment Set thumbnail
Noodles, ready to eat thumbnail
Another Assembler thumbnail
Enjoying noodles thumbnail

This stall was previously the subject of a Wednesday Photo – Boat Noodles.

Written by Michael Babcock, March 2012

Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipal Market

Michael Babcock, Monday, May 23rd, 2011

We always enjoy visiting the Southern Thailand city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and, when we visit, we always visit the Municipal Market, the talaat sod (fresh market) – Thetsaban Fresh Market. It’s a morning market and we make a point of getting there early for a bit of breakfast before we browse the market.

Nakhon Si Thammarat Market Sign

Nakhon Si Thammarat Market Sign

(Note: scroll down for a beautiful slide show of images from the market.)

This market has been in this location at least since 1992, when we began coming to Nakhon Si Thammarat. In December of last year (2010), right around the time of the King’s Birthday, the market completed a renovation and re-opened in this location after being relocated for 8 months. In addition to getting spruced up, the market became appreciably larger. Like many Thai markets, it’s an enclosed market with built-in stands for the vendors. It’s now probably as large or larger than the morning market in Krabi. (See our blog Krabi Morning Market.)

Vegetable Aisle

Vegetable aisle

This market is primarily a morning market and to see everything, you’ll want to get there early: certainly by 8:00 a.m. in the morning, and earlier if you can. It’s different from a separate Sunday market. This is definitely a local market. You won’t see a lot of fahrang (the Thai word for Caucasian) here, especially inside the market where most of the wares are targeted for cooks.

Nakhon Si Thammarat has one very long street running from east to west – Ratchadamnoen Road. The municipal market is found on Thanon Pak Nakhon (I’ve also seen it spelled as “Pagnagon Road” – thanon means road) – which intersects Ratchadamnoen Road – leading away from the Train Station. If you have turned off the main road the market is on your left, about a half block past the Nakhon Garden Inn.

Thai Snacks

Thai snacks

Once you enter the market, it’s organized by section. On the side closest to Thanon Pak Nakhan there are sweet snacks (khanom wan) and flowers. Other aisles (or parts of aisles) feature fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, prepared pastes, and so on.

The vendors here are very friendly and mostly enjoy having their pictures taken. It’s always more fun to walk through a market when you’re greeted by lots of smiles.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow. You can also click on any picture individually and either scroll through the images using “Next” and “Prev” or start the slideshow at any image. Captions accompany the images. Clicking on a slide will also take you to the next image.

Nahkon Si Thammarat Municipal Market – Slide Show

Nakhon Si Thammarat Market Sign
Outside Nakhon Si Thammarat Market
Prepared Food Aisle
Flower Aisle
Some Flowers
Snack Vendor
Thai Snacks
Fruit Vendor
Noodle Vendor
Curry Paste Vendor
Curry Paste Close-up
Shrimp Paste Vendor
Shrimp Paste Vendor
Vegetable Aisle
Vegetable Vendor
Another Vegetable Vendor
Winged Beans
Pork Vendor
Pork Vendor 2
Pork Innards
Pig Head
Pork Belly
Duck & Chicken Vendors
Another Market Aisle
Thai Children
Seafood Vendors
Motorcycle Delivery
Fish Vendor
Fresh Snapper
Fish Vendor 2

Sign for the Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipal Market, seen from Pak Nakhon Road

Approaching the market from Ratchadamnoen Road, it’s on the left.

Prepared food is found on the outermost aisle of the market.

Just inside the door, the flower & snack Aisle

Some of the beautiful flowers for sale.

A snack vendor, also found on the aisle closest to the street.

Some traditional Thai kanom (snacks).

Fruit vendor with a combination tropical fruit plus (imported, usually from Washington state, U.S.A.) apples.

At one end of the market there are a number of vendors selling kanom jeen - fermented rice noodles.

One of the highlights of the market for me are all the vendors selling pre-made chilli and curry pastes.

Here's a close-up of some delicious looking curry paste.

There's also many vendors selling luscious mounds of kapi - shrimp paste.

Another view of this vendor, who sells curry pastes, chilli pastes and kapi (shrimp paste)

Here's a view of the vegetable aisles.

Almost a one-stop vegetable vendor.

This vendor has several kinds of eggplants, winged beans (in the middle), cucumbers and more.

Here's some very fresh and young galanga (kah) with bright orange turmeric in the back.

These winged beans (tua poo, in Thai) are a bit more frilly than I've seen before.

This woman is a pork vendor - meat vendors tend to specialize in one kind of meat (pork, beef, chicken, duck)

Here's another view of our pork vendor: not quite the way pork is sold in the United States!

Every part of the pig is sold: here we see small and large intestines.

Did I mention that they sell every part of the pig?

Traditionally, the Thai people are not afraid of a little fat, such as we see in this delicious-looking pork belly.

These two Muslim women are selling ducks and chickens. In Thailand it's quite common to see them with both feet and head still attached.

You get quite used to walking through the aisles at the market.

We usually come across some cute Thai children on our market walks. Hard to resist.

These three seafood vendors were quite keen to have their pictures taken.

Need a large amount of an item delivered in the market? Use a motorcycle!

This fish vendor is scaling, cleaning and fileting a large fish.

Very fresh seafood of all kinds, such as the crab, are found here.

So many varieties of fresh fish, such as these snappers. Whole fish are preferred.

This man was very proud of the large fish he had for sale.

Nakhon Si Thammarat Market Sign thumbnail
Outside Nakhon Si Thammarat Market thumbnail
Prepared Food Aisle thumbnail
Flower Aisle thumbnail
Some Flowers thumbnail
Snack Vendor thumbnail
Thai Snacks thumbnail
Fruit Vendor thumbnail
Noodle Vendor thumbnail
Curry Paste Vendor thumbnail
Curry Paste Close-up thumbnail
Shrimp Paste Vendor thumbnail
Shrimp Paste Vendor thumbnail
Vegetable Aisle thumbnail
Vegetable Vendor thumbnail
Another Vegetable Vendor thumbnail
Galanga thumbnail
Winged Beans thumbnail
Pork Vendor thumbnail
Pork Vendor 2 thumbnail
Pork Innards thumbnail
Pig Head thumbnail
Pork Belly thumbnail
Duck & Chicken Vendors thumbnail
Another Market Aisle thumbnail
Thai Children thumbnail
Seafood Vendors thumbnail
Motorcycle Delivery thumbnail
Fish Vendor thumbnail
Crabs thumbnail
Fresh Snapper thumbnail
Fish Vendor 2 thumbnail

Written by Michael Babcock, May 2011

Thong Lo Street Vendor (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Seafood Vendor on Sukhumvit Road

Fish Vendor

Fish vendor, Thong Lo

Kasma used to have her tour groups stay at a hotel right at the intersection of Sukhumvit Road and Sukhumvit Soi 55, popularly called Thong Lo (but pronounced “Tawng Law”) so we’ve had many opportunities over the year to enjoy the lively street scene.

Heading towards the higher soi numbers on the odd soi side right past Sukhumvit there’s always vendors right on the street in the morning, selling everything from aprons to delicious Kanom Krok (Grilled Coconut-Rice Hot Cakes) – see Siripon, Maker of Kanom Krok.

I recently began scanning some of my old black and white negatives onto the computer and came across this seafood vendor. Most probably taken in 1994, on one of my very first trips to Thailand, seeing her smile, even after all this years, brings a responding smile to my face.

As of 2020, there are still some street vendors but many, many less than when this was written in 2010.

The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.