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Krabi markets and street food

The best curry pastes can be found in Ao Nang market
Stock up on fresh Thai curry pastes to take home
There are three main types of market in Krabi: what we call the “local” markets, which deal mainly in fresh produce – meat, fish, vegetables and fruit – as well as street food snacks, dry goods and household items; the “night” markets which are primarily street food stalls; and the “walking street” markets which have a bit of everything, plus clothing, jewellery and other souvenirs. These will sometimes also feature performances from street artists, bands and dance groups.

Local markets are held in different villages every day, usually from early afternoon to early evening. Typically people will come here to do a quick shop for dinner. These will be closest places to visit from the beach areas – try the markets in Ao Nang (Mon, Tue, Fri), Ao Nam Mao (Wed) or Klong Haeng (Thu, Sat) villages – the Klong Haeng Saturday market is probably the best of these. There is also a huge early morning indoor market for fresh produce held daily in Krabi Town, which is mainly a wholesale place.

Selling curries at the night market in Krabi Town
Curries galore at the Soi 10 night market in Krabi Town
There are two daily night markets in Krabi Town. The first (and best) is opposite City Hotel on Soi 10 Maharat Road, with excellent street food stalls serving everything from pad thai to catfish curry, chicken on rice, steamed shellfish plus salads, soups and sweets.

The second is more like an open air food court. The series of small restaurants with plastic tables and chairs can be found on Khong Kha Road, next to the old Chao Fah pier. Between them, they serve a huge variety of dishes. Here is where you will find office workers and families eating out.

Are you getting sick of pad thai? There are tons of other options – all are cheap so don’t be afraid to experiment. Some great street food dishes to try in Krabi:
1. Hot & spicy fishcakes drizzled in chilli jam
2. Green mango salad
3. Yellow chicken biryani (khao mok gai)
4. Fresh spring rolls
5. Charcoal-grilled squid skewers
6. Cold noodle salad with fish curry dressing (khanom jin)
7. Roti pancakes
8. Black grass jelly or shaved ice desserts
9. Coconut puddings
10. Mango and sticky rice

Finally – and probably of most interest to tourists – are the “walking street” markets. These are weekly events, held by closing certain roads to traffic and setting up stalls for pedestrians (hence the name). If you are visiting Krabi at the weekend, you should consider the Krabi Town walking street , or Thanon Khon Dern (ถนนคนเดิน in Thai ), an absolute must-see on your itinerary. Held from 6 – 9.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings behind Vogue Department Store, this place offers a fascinating insight into local culture; a fantastic way to sample local food; and is also a veritable treasure trove for enthusiastic shoppers.

There is a lovely atmosphere and prices are very low. As well as shopping for handicrafts, jewellery and clothes and eating a huge variety of street food, you can often catch a show of traditional Thai music or dancing performed by school children, or be entertained by buskers and street artists. Fancy getting your caricature done? An 80 Baht, 5 minute sketch will make a great souvenir of your trip.

Many hotels are now offering an excursion to the “walking street” market in town as part of an evening “city tour”, which costs around 350 Baht per person; you can book your visit in advance below, or you could simply take the local bus (hourly) and visit independently – the bus stops right outside the market.

For those who are not in Krabi at the weekend, try the smaller scale “walking street” held on a Wednesday afternoon in Klong Haeng village. There are similar things on sale, though there will not be any performances here.

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Want to add a market trip to your itinerary? The available tours are listed below; click on the links to see full itinerary and make an instant booking.

Last updated: October 24, 2016