After an afternoon hiking in the jungle and swimming in waterfalls, we drove back into town in search of something tasty to eat. It may sound dubious to most, but street food is always our first choice. Especially in Thailand where they do street food so well.
We stopped at a big outdoor market along Bang Niang Road, the main street that ran through town. My heart (and stomach) leapt at the sight of row after row of stalls. Surely we would find something amazing to eat!
However, when we arrived, the market was absolutely dead.
Bang Niang Outdoor Market
We walked around the ghost town of a market, stomachs growling, looking for a place to eat. A few stalls featured “tourist menus”. The type of place that will sell anything from Chinese food (because sadly, many people do not know the difference between Thai and Chinese food…), hamburgers, pasta, and for the truly adventurous, some Pad Thai. On some level, we expected this, given we were in a tourist town. But the other part of us was confused as the night markets in Phuket had been filled with vendors hawking such vibrant Thai dishes.
Maybe we were there at the wrong time or even wrong day. Maybe nights and weekends were different.
We saw more vendors selling elephant print pants and beer logo t-shirts than food, but we weren’t in the mood to shop for souvenirs. With the sun beaming overhead and our hunger beginning to make us grouchy, we decided to cut our losses and eat at one of the tourist Thai restaurants across the street from the market.
Khao Lak Fruit Stand
It seemed as if every restaurant along Bang Niang Road had a similar menu and similar (inflated) tourist prices. We narrowed down our choices to two seafood-centric restaurants located right next to each other and opted for the one that didn’t have a table full of smoking Euros dining outside. Seriously though, what is with Europeans smoking everywhere we go? And always like right next to us.
Anyway, I digress. We chose a restaurant whose name I totally forget, ordered a bunch of dishes, and gobbled them down as quickly as they came out.
Afterward, we walked across the street to a small, but overflowing, fruit stand, and practically cleaned the fruit vendor out. I mean, how can anyone resist fresh tropical fruit? We certainly couldn’t. We tried samples of everything and bought so much fruit, the fruit lady gave us a bunch of bananas for free.
Tropical storms & Tropical Fruit
As luck would have it, we returned to our bungalows just in time to miss the afternoon storm.
We took shelter on our small porch and watched the rain come down in sheets. The palm trees heavy with coconuts whooshed melodically in the wind. I dumped out the content of our bags, spread out our loot as if it were Halloween candy, and got right down to eating my tropical treats.
When it rains, eat fruit!
this is only a small portion of our fruit haul
If I had to choose, I would probably say that mangosteen is my favorite tropical fruit, although fresh longans and sweet dragon fruit aren’t far behind. One fruit we had both never tried before was snake fruit. We bought a small bunch of the prickly red fruit and were instantly addicted to the tangy sweet and sour pulp.
Our small fruit stand discovery more than made up for our disappointing market experience. We pretty much ate all our fruit in one sitting and had to make a conscious effort to save some for snacking on the next day.
But then, we weren’t too worried. If we ran low on our fruit supply, we could simply drive the five minutes into town and stop by our fruit friend’s stand and buy another couple of bags of tropical fruit.
Just the thought of it made me happy.