When you hear the words ‘flea market,’ you probably think about secondhand clothes or inexpensive goods. But some flea markets have so much more to offer…like food.
Every Thursday morning, white tents are set up in the main assembly area of Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok, Thailand. The Prasarnmit flea market is a favorite amongst students, professors, locals, and tourists alike. The ecstatic atmosphere is almost palpable when the clock strikes twelve and students from the university pour out for their lunch break. Veteran shoppers know to hit the market before ten: when all the goods are still stocked, the crowds are still small, and the sun is not yet blazing.
Last Thursday, I went to the Prasarnmit flea market with my friend Kat. The flea market is made up of three different sections. The first section is a stretch of shops selling household goods such as rugs, dishes, and plants. The second consists of clothing and jewelry shops. The third consists of food vendors who sell everything from curries to desserts.
Thai food is known for its numerous curries. This food stand sells all kinds of Thai curry: green curry with pork and eggplant, yellow curry with chicken and bamboo shoots, and red curry with beef. (Yum.)
For the sweet tooth shoppers, the Prasarnmit flea market is dessert paradise. My favorites include mango sticky rice and Palmyra muffins. Palmyra (taan) is a type of palm tree fruit. The outside looks similar to a coconut, while the inside resembles a pumpkin. The juice is very sweet and it is often used for drinks or dessert.
That day, I went home with two handfuls of clothes and delicious food. You should check out your local flea markets because they will always offer something that will surprise you. So get out there and start exploring!
Julie Sophonpanich is a senior at Brown University, where she majors in History of Art and Architecture. She spends most of her free time exploring new places to eat and watching cooking shows.