Laem Din Market, Koh Samui, Thailand
According to http://www.chaweng.com/chaweng.html:
Location : at the entrance of Soi Reggae, Near Petch Bucha Thai Boxing Stadium
Open Daily : 05:00am – 11:00pm
As with most great finds when you’re travelling, I found this place by utter and complete accident. And thank goodness I did. I was sprawled across the hotel bed with a giant map I’d picked up from God-only-knows-where during the day, looking for something to do the following day. The map was mostly in Thai, with a few little pictures to guide me. I saw a little picture that looked like fruit, and deducted that may be a market of some type. I told my husband we were going to a market the next morning. “Are you sure that’s what it is?” Nope, does it matter? Nope!
So, the next morning we got up, grabbed a bag of diced pineapple and a mango shake for the walk, and set off to find this market, maybe. Once we got off the main “street” where all the hotels were, we realised there wasn’t another tourist to be seen. We figured at that point that it didn’t matter if we found the market or not anymore, we’d be bound to find some great stuff! We did, and that’ll need it’s own story and post, but eventually, we did find a market. Whether this is the one that was on the map or not, I couldn’t tell you, but I can tell you that we were two of the only four tourists at the market, and the experience was unreal!!!
Everything was fresh, cheap, and mostly unidentifiable for us. Makeshift tables to display wares were fashioned out of plastic crates and newspapers. Makeshift restaurants were set up in corners of stalls. People were yelling to each other, laughing, playing show and tell. I suddenly had an overwhelming desire to be staying at a villa with a kitchen so I could have an excuse to buy a stack of stuff to cook up! This, to me, is why I travel. I’m not there for the 5 star resorts or the fancy, air conditioned shopping plazas. I want, I need to be thrown head first into the reality of the place I’m visiting. I want to get a taste of it, literally and figuratively. I want to smell the seafood and hear the yelling in native tongues and see vegetables that I don’t recognise! I was stoked to have been able to work out eventually which market this actually was, because I have every intention of visiting it again on my next trip!
Does anyone else have any recommendations for random markets not overpopulated by tourists that they’ve found on their travels?? Would LOVE to hear about more!!!