The Krabi Morning Market

If you visit the sizable beach area known as Krabi in southern Thailand, you might want to venture off the beaten path and visit the Maharaj Market in Krabi Town.

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Also known as the Morning Market, this large, warehouse-like space offers a wide range of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, flowers, dry goods, and even clothing. Prescott and I went there with a Thai guide yesterday, and we were thrilled with the experience. We started out in the extensive veggie aisles, where we found classic Thai ingredients like tiny eggplants, both purple …

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… and white …

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… galangal (chopped up and put in water so it won’t turn brown) …

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… tamarind …

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… and turmeric:

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Having a guide along meant that I could finally start to identify some of the less familiar items on sale, like banana tree stalks …

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… young pepper …

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… and this yam …

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… but some items — like the brown things (maybe nuts, maybe beans) on the left below — resisted the art of translation:

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And sometimes I just forgot to ask what things were, like these hard green orbs:

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But it didn’t matter that we didn’t know everything — this is all just a wonderful feast for the eyes.

As with everywhere else in Southeast Asia, Thailand is joining the world of quick home food delivery service — which means that fewer people are interested in taking the time to cook. So a number of stalls offer pre-chopped veggies for curries and soups to make the cooking process faster. You can even buy pre-bundled lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal for tom yum soup:

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We walked very quickly by the dried fish section, which stinks to high heaven:

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In the dry goods section, you can buy everything from peanuts to little dried snack fish to these crunchy nibbles (which look sweet, but are not):

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We were fascinated by the bowls and bowls of fresh chili and curry pastes …

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… and I was very tempted to try to find a way to take some home.

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One of the most interesting sections of the market was the area of stalls where they take coconuts …

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… and run them through a machine that turns the meat into coconut milk and coconut cream (with buckets of dried coconut remaining at the end).

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Since this is a beach town, the seafood aisles are long and lively. We spent a while looking at the various piles of shellfish …

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… and admiring the glistening beads of seaweed:

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There are aisles of cooked food at this market, too, both snacks that you can take home (these are little bundles of glutinous rice goodness)…

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… and items that you can sit down and eat right on site.

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We had most of the platter above — which included fried dough and delicious packets of soft coconut on top of rectangles of sweet sticky rice — along with what felt like the world’s largest bag of Thai milk tea.

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I was surprised to find that they still do a good bit of the cooking over charcoal (for which, I fear, they may still be destroying the mangrove swamps):

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Our final stops were the flower section …fullsizeoutput_57cf

… where almost all of the flowers are prepared for offerings at Buddhist temples …

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… and the fruit section:

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The fruit aisles had plenty of citrus …

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… but they were mostly brimming over with pineapple, which is grown all over southern Thailand.

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There were even baskets of pineapple right out on the sidewalk:

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But our favorite part of the fruit stalls was this little boy, looking like he was trying to choose his favorite watermelon:

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This is a great market, and we’d highly recommend it as a morning excursion to anyone traveling to Krabi!

One response to “The Krabi Morning Market

  1. Pingback: Ten Things to See in Krabi | Traveler Tina·

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