Koh Samui Markets
At Koh Samui Markets discover how the locals shop and eat. There is a market somewhere in Samui every day and every evening. Early morning cooks from the restaurants and cafes buy their provisions for the day from the local markets. At dusk, you battle to find a parking spot with rows of scooters cramming the entrances to the markets. Locals stop to buy the family meals at the fresh markets every day. Locals buy ingredients to cook at home or ready-prepared from one of the vendors. Thai people buy fresh food daily from the markets.
Visiting Koh Samui markets for the first time is not a quick event. Pondering and pausing at each stand trying to familiarise yourself with completely unknown products. Exotic fruits unusual shaped vegetables and other fresh produce. The markets are a feast for the eyes. Fire performers, jugglers and musicians entertain the shoppers in the markets.
Fruits & Vegetables
Koh Samui Markets sell vivid purple aubergines and red fuzzy rambutans. Dragon fruit that resembles a dragon’s scaled skin Rows of green and yellow hanging bananas above the stalls the fruit and vegetable isle is visually a treat. Everyday fruits such as apples oranges and pineapple are in abundance but it is the exotic fruit that is tempting to try. Most vendors will offer a sample taste to get you interested. The low prices it’s worth buying a small selection to enjoy later when you need a little refreshment. Durian a local delicacy throughout Asia is a foul smelling fruit. The smell is so odd it is banned in hotels and on aeroplanes. Either love or hate it but try it once. Coconuts are in abundance at the markets.
Most Western cooks only know the regular varieties of lettuce, cabbage or spinach. Koh Samui Markets have an endless selection of greens with unusual names and shapes. Westerners have no idea what they are called or how to prepare them. Chef’s in private villas on the island are happy to help you buy produce and prepare an authentic Thai meal. Thai cooking classes are available on the island.
Meat & Fish
Meat stalls at Koh Samui Markets are not as appealing as the fruits and vegetables. Whole pig heads and chickens feet on display. Chickens hanging with their heads still attached. Ask the vendor to cut the head and feet off they will oblige. Stalls sell ribs marinated in barbeque sauces and chicken kebabs on sticks are freshly cooked whilst you wait. Popular choices included whole rotisserie chicken. Crumbed deep-fried chicken and sticky rice. Curries, stews and noodle soups are delicious.
Fresh fish is in abundance at Koh Samui Markets. Samui is an island of fishermen their fresh catches sold at the markets daily. Bang Rak market sells seafood directly from the fishing boats moored outside. As fresh as you can get. Bophut market has prawns, crabs, squid and whole fish. The smells can be overpowering. Hua Thanon south of Lamai is home to the local Muslim community fishing village another good place to buy fresh fish. Nathon’s seafront road there are many stalls selling
The sights and smells at the meat and seafood stalls at Koh Samui Markets take some getting used to. The smells and sights can be off-putting to the westerner palettes. Koh Samui markets can have an unpleasant strong odour from the fermented and dried seafood products. No market in Koh Samui is complete without the many varieties of food and insects available on a stick ready to eat. Fresh fruit shakes are delicious and cheap.
Clothes Crafts & Electrical Goods
Stall after stall sells everything you can imagine. There are numerous name brands at a fraction of the price you would pay at home. Tee shirts shorts and sunglasses are in abundance and again are not the genuine article. DVDs and CDs are copies and do not always work. Electrical items are cheap but caution is required when purchasing not all items will work when you return home. Ask the vendor to show you the item works if that is not possible take a photo of the stall and return. In general, they are happy to oblige.
Keen photographers can practice their skills enjoying the many sights at the markets. The colourful fruit stands and weird and wonderful seafood with action shots of people coming and going something will catch your lens. To fully appreciate a local fresh market listen to the sounds of customers and vendors. Smell the unfamiliar aromas but most of all taste the samples offered.