The Thursday Market on Koh Lanta is a Must Visit!
There is a fresh food (wet) market on Koh Lanta every day, but the Thursday Market is my favourite. This is because it takes place 3 minutes to get there from my house. The market is basically the same each day, but in a different location. This way everyone on the island has easy access to a fresh market for their shopping.
This is crazy, but on Koh Lanta sometimes the calendar gets away from us, and the market location helps us know what day it is. So when the market is up the street from my home, I know it’s Thursday. When I head to Saladan, the small town at the north end of Koh Lanta, and I pass by a market I know that it’s Monday. Yes, life is pretty laid back on Koh Lanta, and we do have fun with the many habits and quirks on the island.
‘Same same’ (with a silent ‘but different’) is not always what we expect!
The market is the same no matter where it is located. All the Koh Lanta market’s generally have the same stalls, the same people and the same stuff for sale. Some market days have more stalls and some have less, but basically it’s the same. The famous Thai phrase ‘same same’ exactly applies to the markets. The markets are all basically the same, but in a different location each day. This should tell you that ‘same same’ doesn’t stress the sameness, it focuses on what is different. If someone tells you that something is same same, you better find out what the different is. We also have a lot of fun with this expression, and we use it for everything. You and I are same same. Sure we are both people and probably foreigners, but that’s it! You may not be my age, my gender, nor look anything like me. Nevertheless, we are same same. Another example is going somewhere. When you book travel within Thailand, make sure that you decide the best route and mode. Going by bus or by plane, may be same same, as they are both modes of travel, but that’s it! Traveling to Bangkok on a one hour flight is really not same same as an overnight bus ride. Being careful when you hear this expression is a warning I can’t stress enough to travellers.
What I buy
I buy enough veggies and fruits at the Thursday Market to last me until Monday, as I also go to the Monday Market. I buy of the same stall, and almost buy the same items at both markets. Sometimes I’ll buy some fresh shrimp from the seafood/fish stalls but only if they are on ice and I’m at the market early. I never buy chicken or any other meat as these are open air markets with no refrigeration. At first I hesitated buying shrimp but if I’m there when it opens, which is around 11 am, and the shrimp are on ice that hasn’t melted I know the shrimp are super fresh as they were mostly likely caught in the early hours of the day. So far I haven’t been sick from any food I’ve eaten that comes from the market, knock on wood.
My favourite veggie stall
My favourite veggie stall has anything I want and more, lots more. Instead of naming all the veggies, check out this short video of my favourite veggie stall. And just so you all know, I did not get any of the last item I show in the video. But I have seen people buy these to add a bit of ‘crunch’ to any dish!
You can find all kinds of fruit at the market
There are a ton of fruit stalls at the Thursday Market and it is all considerably cheaper than what it costs in Canada. But this is not surprising as it is all grown in southeast Asia. Some stalls specialise in one or two types of fruit, and other stalls sell it all. Check out this short video of a stall that sells lots of different types of fruit, including oranges, starfruit, mangoes, tamarind, bananas and more.
Spices at the Market
You can get all kinds of spices, including chilli and all the wonderful Thai Curry Paste flavours. But a word of caution! We may think we know what hot is, and even feel we can eat super hot wings back home, but that is nothing. Thai hot mean a handful of chilli got into the dish. Oh ya, a handful which is 20+ chilli peppers. This level of hot is common with the people from the ESAN region, which is in the north-east of Thailand near the border with Laos.
Healthy eating is easy on Koh Lanta
Part of the charm of living on Koh Lanta, a remote island in southern Thailand, is the ease of having a healthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to food. I can easily stock my kitchen full of fresh fruits and veggies from the many wet markets. There is abundant seafood and freshly made Thai curry paste and always lots of stalls selling Thai sweets. And the bonus is that this market is only about 300 meters from my front gate. How good is that!
On the physical side of a healthy lifestyle, I can do any exercise of my choosing right from my front gate, whether it be running, biking, hiking, or even walking. And the Andaman Sea is a mere 300 steps from my back gate (with the market about same distance from my front gate). I am minutes from going for a swim, having a snorkel, playing beach volleyball or throwing around a frisky. I can even head out for a few hours of walking the beaches along the western shoreline of Koh Lanta.
Yes, the Thursday Market is all part of my healthy lifestyle, and a must visit on Koh Lanta.
It’s all good!