A street food named desire
Whether you’re a tourist or traveller, shopper or browser, Asian markets are invariably a treat for the senses.
On Koh Samui there are a number of night markets including Chaweng, Fisherman’s Village Bophut and Lamai.
At Chaweng, nestled behind the modern and quite ghastly Central Festival (if you want Westfield shopping why come to Ko Samui?) is a lovely little night market. Food stalls stand cheek by jowl with clothing in this little maze of stalls. Half way through, meat on a stick devoured we stumbled accross The Samui Gourmet burger stand. Hand made fresh organic beef patties, crisp lettuce and tomato, secret sauce and a lightly toasted brioche bun made this a quite lovely burger. And yes I know we’re in Asia and the food here is also delicious, but every now and then only a burger hits the spot. We later found out this was their first night of business and they’ve certainly started well. There is another night market on the main road from Lamai to Bophut as it passes Chaweng but we have not yet had the pleasure of this one.
At every market we’ve been to, there has been an array of identical goods and a selection of unique ones. Haggling seems a part of life which induces me to…Eek Grr Argh… How I hate haggling, I’m totally useless at it so I now try to start with a price I’d be happy to pay in mind and if it’s more than they want or if they won’t go to that price so be it, it was not meant to be. I say try because usually I say what I want to pay they then go up from that and I cave and pay whatever they want, doh! I’ve read you should decide what you want to pay, halve that, halve it again and start there.
At the Fisherman’s Village market we found wonderful art by Worm and Vida Vinci www.vidavincisamui.com we bought two framed prints (one of which is above) and Ma an original, (Ma being here is awesome on many levels including enabling us to buy things and send them home with her, although I have a vague memory of saying I was never buying anything again…). Moving swiftly on…I found reasonably priced flippers, which we had been searching everywhere for, cannot wait to snorkel now (Next week we have a VIP trip to Ang Thong Marine Park am SUPER EXCITED) and a lovely long grey and brown feather print dress that is the same as a short one I have and love, and am wearing right now. Ma bought the obligatory elephant key rings as take home gifts and jade pendants for me and JHubz. The food was also noteworthy, marinated ribs sold by weight and so good we’ll be going back for more, coconut ice cream topped with all manner of mystery goodies and beer! Last time we were here we bought a cocktail at one of the many street cocktail bars, within ten minutes we were both feeling poisoned. It’s sadly a common occurrence for alcohol to be either watered down or replaced in its entirety with methanol/ethanol. There have been tourist deaths attributed to this. Luckily we were sharing one and stopped drinking as soon as we felt funny and threw the rest away. We now only drink beer unless in a really really really reputable looking place.
Lamai’s Sunday night market used to be one of the smaller ones but not so much anymore. Laid out on a cross it has one street of food and the other of goods. It was a bit disappointing to find no fried bug stalls, which had been at all the markets last year and no stalls selling the beautiful Thai fabric we bought for everyone as sarongs. Most of the stalls held the same dresses, Tshirts and carved soaps found everywhere. The food however, even with the missing bugs, was great. You can stroll along browsing on noodles, grilled octopus tentacles, fried chicken, battered prawns and an array of other yummy things, it really is foodie heaven. I also found an absolutely stunning dress in a little boutique Soul Samui, on the side of the market, yes fine I have a problem and all my stuff is never going to fit back into my bag when we leave here ahahahahaha eeeeekkk!
Tomorrow we are doing a Thai cooking class at The Meridien next door, I will let you know how it goes Xx