Street food at Krabi Night Market

Every Friday to Sunday, Krabi has a night market which is opened from 6pm till late.

Spot Aunty Polly already munching on toasted cashew nuts!
We know there’s no better way to experience a touch of local life than to join the locals for a walk-about in a weekend street market, so we signed up for a 3-hour night market tour.

Our tour starts with a 20-minute van ride from Ao Nang to Krabi where we are dropped off near a shopping centre, a few steps away from the street lined with stalls.  The van driver tells us that he will be back to collect us from the same spot in three hours.

Aunty choosing sticks of grilled seafood from a stall
Even before reaching the market, Aunty Polly can’t resist buying a pack of toasted cashew nuts from a nearby shop and opened it to munch as we walk along.  We follow the flow of people, mostly heading in a general direction and guess correctly that it is the way towards the night market!

The market looks very much like our pasar malam with sections for household items, knick-knacks and souvenirs as well as cooked food, fresh food and fruits. 

The strategy is to review the various kinds of food on sale before making our choices.  After passing the product stalls, we find the food stalls laid out further inside the market with sections for halal and non-halal food.

A range of freshly grilled plump pork sausages!
Looking at the interesting range of local food is making us hungry and the aroma from the grilled skewers of seafood and whole fish is simply mouth-watering and quite irresistible.  And it didn’t take long for us to start buying a few sticks of food to taste.

The crowd is quite overwhelming and as it is getting quite impossible to walk comfortably, we are glad to discover a centre court where tables and chairs are set up in front of a stage where a live show is going on.  Singers are taking turns to belt out Thai pop songs and dance artistes are performing to Thai techno music – played way too loudly!

Fresh mangoes go into the servings
of mango sticky rice dessert!
The tables look like they are all occupied but after a short search, we manage to secure a table to sit down for our meal.  Mal does not hesitate to hit the stalls to buy his favourite choices of grilled calamari and prawns, and whole fresh coconuts while I order freshly made, green papaya salad or Som Tam and that tempting grilled whole fish for mum and the aunts to enjoy.  

We are truly doing justice to all the food and that fish in particular.  Aunty Polly peels off the layer of scales to reveal fragrant flesh which is eaten with a spicy dip sauce.  When my aunts and mum are done with the fish, what is left is just a clean skeletal comb of its centre bone!

The announcement from the stage is getting a loud response from the audience and it is distracting us from focusing on our food.  From where we are sitting, we can see a topless man come onto the stage and the audience reacts with loud applause.  No, he’s not a stripper but a fire-eating artiste!

Colourful Nasi Kerabu type of mixed rice sets
Ornamental snacks?
Grilled calamari that will be served with a spicy dip sauce
Freshly grilled whole fish!
The fire-eating artiste performing his juggling feats with fire on the stage set up in front of the tables
The music volume increases as he performs each juggling feat with fire and in the finale, the lights on the stage are dimmed for better effect as he swallows torches of fire!  

Fooling around with our food!
It’s not just my imagination when I feel a burning sensation in my mouth too because I had chewed on bits of chillie padi, liberally tossed into the Thai papaya salad!  Whew!

One of the ladies who’s helping to clear the tables comes to our table again, this time with a hat to collect a donation for the fire-eating artiste.  As I drop some Bhat into the hat, I’m listening to the announcement again and this time, there is an attempt to speak in English.  And we hear that this fire-eater also conducts classes to those who are keen to learn the art of eating fire!

More people are buying food and searching for seats, so we finish our meal to vacate the table for them.  Feeling comfortably full, it’s good to take a walk out of the market to work off our meal of sumptuous Thai street food.  We take time to browse around the stalls and find our way back to the meeting point for the van to pick us.

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