Or Tor Kor Market
Address: 139/4 1, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
*We took the BTS1 train to Saphan Khwai and walked about 10 minutes to the market
Ever since I was a kid, my parents would always take us to a local market wherever we traveled. I can still remember some of the smells (not always pleasant!) and sights of fresh markets in places like Pagan, Yogyakarta, Bali… Some markets can seem a bit touristy, but you will always see a mix of locals and tourists. When I get annoyed at tourists taking photos and in my way at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, I remind myself that I most likely annoy locals trying to shop at these markets I visit!
Or Tor Kor is a surprisingly clean market. Even cleaner than wet markets in Singapore. It wasn’t as big as I imagined, and not that crowded either (perhaps because it was a Tuesday morning and most people go on the weekends. Didn’t see any other tourists!). It’s a great place to grab some breakfast or lunch, browse, and pick up some souvenirs.
Even though I had crab and wanton noodles for lunch the day before, I couldn’t help but have some for breakfast (also wanted to compare!). These were much cheaper than the noodles I had at Odean, and not as good, but still a very satisfying breakfast for 70 baht (US$2). I was tempted by other stalls that were selling dishes like prawns with glass noodles, crispy pork, curries etc, but I’m a sucker for noodles…
For dessert, I got some red ruby with colored vermicelli, coconut, coconut milk and crushed ice. Red ruby is basically bit of water chestnuts covered in colored (usually red, hence the name) tapioca. So you have a chewy exterior followed by a crunchy inside. In Japanese we would describe the texture as “shaki shaki” but there is no translation into English!
After breakfast we looked around and picked up some souvenirs. The small packets of chili flakes were great since they are light and compact, and so were the dried mangoes (tastes really good too, especially the type without sugar).
There were several mango stalls, and I wasn’t going to leave Thailand without eating mango with sticky rice so I ordered a plate. The mango was unusually warm but super ripe and incredibly sweet. I like a tiny bit of acidity in my mango when I eat it with sticky rice but I loved it anyway. I decided to smuggle back some mangoes for my mum and the lady at the stall helped me choose ones that would be just ripe enough to eat in three days. Stupidly I chose perfectly ripe ones to bring home but she asked me when I would eat them and she kindly shook her head and pointed to the green ones. My boyfriend pressed a mango gently and she scolded him for doing that since they bruise easily.
There were so many things I wanted to eat and buy at the market but I was too full and it wasn’t like we were going to be able to cook a meal somewhere with all the incredible ingredients.
The seafood looked amazing and if I ever have the chance I would love to do my grocery shopping at Or Tor Kor and cook.