If Costco is the embodiment of American excess, Bangkok’s Or Tor Kor market is the Thai version—except the items for sale are fresh, unprocessed meats, seafood, and produce, not 5-gallon tubs of Miracle Whip. Everything here is the biggest, best version of itself. The shrimp are glistening and lobster-sized, the limes are the size of pomegranates, and the pomegranates are the size of cantaloupes. There’s a first-rate food court too, and you can be pretty confident the ingredients are fresh.
Across the street from Or Tor Kor is the Chatuchak weekend market which, you may gather, operates only on the weekends. Chatuchak is like the Brooklyn Flea on bath salts; there are 8000 vendors crammed into an extended labyrinth covering 27 acres. There are stalls that sell only towels, stalls that sell only knock-off Calvins, and stalls that sell only pants that will let everyone in your environmental studies class know that you spent winter break in Thailand.
We came away with coconut ice cream on a hot dog bun, postcards, garlic bread, a paisley t-shirt, a popsicle, and a wearable souvenir for our two-year-old nephew so that all of his friends in his gymnastics class know his aunts wintered in Thailand. Regrettably, we did not buy the coordinating vintage Adidas shorts-jumpsuits, but trust that WE WANTED TO.