Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Glory of Krabi Town's markets

To get to Koh Phangan for the full moon party, the Mo and I stayed overnight in Krabi Town to catch a flight the next day.  Although we stayed at the beach town of Ao Nang a couple years ago, we didn't get a chance to explore Krabi Town itself.  

We booked a two dorm beds at Pak-Up Hostel in town and each bed cost about $ 8.50 per person. The price included fast WIFI, towels and an AC room.  The hostel was highly rated and earned "Top 3 Hostel" in Asia award.

Pak-Up Hostel Lobby
I loved that they had spacious lockers under the bed that accommodated 2 suit cases each.  Usually, we have to cram all our valuables into a tiny locker and have our luggage taking up space in the actual dorm room.  We were set up in a room for 8 people and met 2 nice girls from Singapore.

Spacious underbed locker

River View from Pak-Up Hostel
Immaculate Bathrooms at Pak Up Hostel
Image via
For breakfast, we walked by a local Malaysian restaurant that offered homemade roti bread and curry. The restaurant was swarmed with locals enjoying the savory flaky goodness along with other traditional Malaysian food.  We had to give it a try!

Homemade Roti Bread
Great Malaysian Breakfast in Krabi

We ordered Thai iced coffee, Thai iced tea, (2) orders of Roti bread with curry dipping sauce and we each got an order of "Kao Bun" rice vermicelli noodles with curry.  I got chicken and the Mo got the beef version.  Our Bill Total
  • 2 Thai iced teas
  • 2 Thai iced coffees
  • 2 Roti with curry dipping
  • 1 Beef Kao Bun
  • 1 Chicken Kao Bun
Total: 200 THB ($ 6.00 USD) What a great deal!

Krabi Town is a bustling city with many markets and shops.  We were only in Krabi Town for less than 24 hours, yet we had the opportunity to visit 3 markets: The Night & Fruit Market, The Walker Street Market and the Morning Market.

Krabi Town Traffic Signal

The first market we visited was the Night and Fruit Market.  The walk was less than 10 minutes down the hill from our hostel.  The market opens at 4:00 PM and sells fresh fruit along with both local foods as well as some stands that caters towards tourists.  The popular food stands here are the "Cafeteria-Style" places with different curries, soups and stir-frys to choose from and grilled meats stations.

Growing up, the Mo ate lots of corn dogs, so he was fascinated that there was a Thai version being sold at the Night Market.  Each was 30 THB which is about 1 USD.  I tried this crepe like wrap filled with imitation seafood.  It was (3) pcs for 10 THB  (approximately 10 cents each USD)

Krabi Town's Walking Street market was my favorite market.  It is only opened on weekends from Friday through Sunday starting at 5 PM.  There are lots of vendors selling all sorts of things from purses, souvenirs, sandals, clothes, you name it, and it's available.

The streets are lined up with cartoon artists, painters and musicians hoping for small donations for their artwork.

There's also an entertainment stage with singers, break dancers, fire shows and the like.  The cutest one was the small children break dancing.

The food was the best that I've had in Thailand thus far.  Most importantly, everything was so cheap! I mean, the fraction of the prices we paid in Patong and Koh Phi Phi by a third, at least! There were so many mouth watering dishes to choose from, we didn't know how to decide.

Thai Salads "Yum Nuer" with fresh mint, onions and lemon grass
My mom and sister would love this place.  There were endless dessert stands for those with a sweet tooth.  There were hand shaved coconut ice cream, rice flour in coconut milk, jelly, Thai pastries and steamed rice cakes just to name a few.
Thai "Fondant-like" dessert made with Glutinous Rice flour
and filled with mung beans shaped into Thai fruit, vegetables and animals
(5 THB each)
My mom makes these Thai desserts with shaved coconut, they were 10 THB for a pack of 6 (33 cents)

There was traditional Malaysian Pad Thai that the Mo and I tried.  It was a bit on the greasy side but delicious.  I loved the generous egg that wrapped the rice noodles.

We're suckers for the savory meat skewers so we had to get a couple.  My favorite is the pork version that is sweet and has a little bit of fat on it.  The prices were only 10 THB compared to 50 THB which we paid in Patong Beach.

They even had sushi!

The fried chicken looked phenomenal but we figured we could get that at home.  Maybe we'll save that for a drunk night.

At one, one of our lazy "Go To" meals is fried frozen fish cakes with white rice.  I thought it was really cool to see the locals make the fish cakes from scratch.  This stand went an extra step and wrapped small quail eggs with the fish cake.  It was heavenly.

Fish Cake wrapped Quail Eggs 20 THB for (3 pcs) approximately 60 cents USD

Prawns (or shrimps) are popular and abundant in Thailand.  Actually, most of the US gets farm raised shrimp important from Thailand.  There were many ways the prawns were prepared, steamed, boiled, stir-fried, tempura coated deep fried.  I just happened to walk by the local vendor removing a fresh batch of tempura shrimp from the hot wok so I had to get it.  This one set us back almost 3 bucks.

Steamed Prawns and Tempura Battered Prawns (100 THB) about $3.00 USD
There was a neat beverage stand that reminded me of Hawaii.  It served cocktails in the stalks of bamboo. You had a choice of several sweet beverages.  They were more of a novelty item.

No Thai meal is complete without some sort of salad to help aid in the digestion process.  The popular choices are papaya, cucumber and Mango.  Since we vowed not to eat the same meal twice on our trip, we opted for the mango.  It's the best I've had in Thailand.  The mango salad was prepared by a Islam woman and it had dried fish, shrimp and lots of peanuts, just the way I like it!

Our feast for two was delicious and filling! Most importantly, our meal didn't break the banks.

Total Food Bill:

  • (2) Sticky Rice at 5 THB each
  • (2) Pork Skewers at 5 THB each
  • Fish Cake wrapped quail eggs at 20 THB
  • Mango salad at 30 THB
  • Malaysian Pad Thai at 50 THB
  • Shrimp Tempura at 100 THB
= 220 THB
 (estimated at $ 6.80 USD) 

The courtyard was filled with other diners enjoying company with their friends and delicious cheap food.

The next morning, we headed to the Morning Market.  The Morning market opens at 3 AM and ends at 10 AM.  We got there around 8:00 AM and the market was still full of locals eating breakfast from one of the local food stands or buying fresh meat and produce from the market side.  

Krabi Town Morning Market Motorcycle Parking
Krabi Town Morning Market Fresh fish and meat

And we're off to Krabi airport for our flight to Koh Samui via Bangkok Airways.  They have a nice, clean airport lounge with snacks, drinks and WIFI for its passengers.  For snacks, they had popcorn, muffins, egg cakes, Thai sweets, and pastries.

Typically we fly budget airlines but I'm glad we chose Bangkok for this trip.  Our wait seems less cumbersome with the accommodations, especially when our flight got delayed by an hour.

For entertainment, there's a cute blonde 5 year old German girl from Dubai singing "Let it Go" from frozen. It's so adorable!

Most importantly, I get to Blog!

Until next time!


Patong Street Food