We are planning a 10-day trip to Thailand in September and will be staying a few days in Bangkok before travelling to Chiang Mai and Samui.
I will arrive in Chiang Mai on Monday so will miss the Sunday Market. Would it be worth cutting a day in Bangkok to visit the Sunday market? Sally
Markets are an integral part of Thai life and you can find them anywhere. The Sunday market in Chiang Mai is quite atmospheric for many reasons, not least due to its location in the heart of the old city near the moat and several temples. It's very pleasant to stroll along the street and browse through local souvenirs, food, sweet and snack stalls. But it's a stretch to say that the market is a must for anyone going to Chiang Mai, especially in terms of products. The much bigger Chatuchak Market in Bangkok has more variety. And if you want to enjoy a market atmosphere is Chiang Mai, you can still go to Chang Klan road's Anusarn market, which is open seven days a week. It's off the main road and makes for a pleasant stroll. Alternatively, you can visit Warorot market or Kad Laung, where you will enjoy the chaotic ambience of a market with fruits, flowers, local specialities and much more. If you happen to be in Chiang Mai on a Sunday, the Sunday Market is definitely a good place to hang out. But I don't think it's worth changing your flight for.
My girlfriend and I will be travelling to Bangkok for the first time in August, and are very interested in finding some night markets where we can sample a variety of street food. We will be staying in Sukhumvit near the Nana Skytrain. Can you recommend a place that's open in the early evening/ Bill
Bangkok is heaven for street food. If you are sure of your strong stomach, it’s worth exploring the city to enjoy areal variety of Thai food on the street. You may enjoy phad thai, hoi tod (Fried mussels), papaya salad, soya pork with rice, egg noodle, and fish soup, plus several a la carte dishes without spending a fortune.
Street dinner usually gets into full swing around 6pm. For the Sukhumvit area, take the Skytrain to Thong Lor station and head into Sukhumvit 38. Food vendors set up their stalls from the entrance to around 100 metres down the road. It's little more expensive than general street food but very popular with office people, both Thai and foreigners, who enjoy a plate of chicken rice or a bowl of noodles before heading home.
Another place to explore is around Victory Monument. It's accessible by Skytrain (Victory Monument station). From the early evening onwards, there are many food stalls open around Soi Rangnam, serving everything from guay jub (roll flour noodle pork soup) to jim jum (Isaan hot pot) with very spicy dip.
China Town, both on Yaowarat and Charoen Krung roads, is also great for street food. Here you can find many seafood stalls offering a variety of noodle soups, fish maw soup and Chinese snacks.
Another good place for street dinner is the Sao Ching Cha area on Dinsor Road (near the Giant Swing and Bangkok City Hall). This is not on the Skytrain route, so you need to get there by taxi. It could be combined with a trip to the Grand Palace and nearby temples, ending the day with dinner here. Bon appétit!