Thailand’s Risky Market

Our first stop in Thailand was Bangkok. A maniacal city filled with buildings, protesters and funny smells.

But the most noticeable thing is the food. Food is EVERYWHERE. Streets and sidewalks are filled with vendors and gangs of scooter riding hungry people.  All of them buying, eating, selling or transporting food.

One of our first visits in Thailand was to the Risky Market in Bangkok, aptly named for the fact that a train runs straight through the market several times a day.  The vendors set up shop right on the rail lines and when those rails start vibrating they all grab their tables and pull them out of the way.

Thailand’s not what you’d call real strict when it comes to safety and codes and such.

Oddly enough, the train running through the market with vendors throwing whole plucked ducks up into the air isn’t the most noticeable thing about the market.  It’s how beautifully it’s all packaged and presented.

Raw fish, meat and poultry hanging in all its naked glory, flies roaming in and out.  One of our tour guides said Thai people have iron stomaches.  It’s no wonder.  They’ve been in bacterial training since birth.

Risky Marketh

Risky Marketg

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Risky Markete

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Drinks get served in bags with a straw, as you can see in the second to last picture. That one there is a cold tea. I got a hot tea that was called “Red Tea” that tasted spicy almost like a Chia tea. It had nothing added to it other than sweetened condensed milk and regular milk. It was delicious enough to make me consider skipping one of my 300 daily coffees in favour of it.

Speaking of 300 coffees, did you know that public restrooms in Thailand don’t have toilet paper? You have to bring your own. Which none of us knew.

No toilet paper, many teas, several coffees and bacteria floating around like dust in a shaft of light. Risky market indeed.



  1. The first time I read the second paragraph, I read it as “gangs of scooters riding hungry people.” A hilarious image, but not entirely accurate, I realize. Even without the scooters, it looks like risky market was an amazing experience.

  2. Terrie says:

    Great memories, thanks. We did six weeks a few years ago in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was amazing. We did go to the market, its a site to see. Just so you know, I ate crickets, silk worms and tarantulas along with all kinds of street food, in some local houses and many extremely dodgy looking “restaurants” – never got the least bit sick. But everyone knows you don’t eat dairy in SEAsia……
    (though to be fair we did eat yogurt in Chaing Mai at the ‘Chaing Mai Kung Fu Self Defense Health Center’ but it was made there not prepackaged.)
    Lots of pics and stuff on my website if you want to relive some of your trip through someone elses photos.

  3. Grammy says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for bringing this “home” to us, Karen. I love our local Farmer’s Market that sets up every Saturday morning in the parking lot of a dying mall, but this one with a train running right through the middle of it is way ahead of ours. We don’t have fish for sale, but the occasional chicken is available. The artful displays of all the food in the Thailand Risky Market are so appealing, no wonder the tourists are tempted.

  4. Bob says:

    Not all bathrooms are without toilet paper. Jaktujak market has so many tourists they usually have toilet paper in the public bathrooms (which have their own ready supply of bacteria, so use at your own risk). What got me was that even in some of the nicer hotels they don’t have regular hot water. They have a RV-style shower that you have to turn on 20 minutes before you start using it!

  5. Natalie says:

    I don’t know if mangosteens are native to Thailand but that’s where I first tried them . . . so good! (And now my mouth is watering.)

  6. toekneetoni says:

    great pics. Welcome back! Glad you got to have a totally different experience. :)

  7. Cred says:

    Nope, not Japan either. Some places do but it can still be dodgy. Just like many Asia countries, many places don’t have western toilets. Maybe if your guide had toilet paper he’d have let you try street food;)

    This market is crazy but the food looks amazing. We had drinks in a bag on a tour in Costa Rica. Our Spanish was pretty lousy and when I ordered “dos coca” and they handed me a bag of coke with a straw in it, I wondered what the hell I had actually said. We laughed our ass off as we tried to balance our little bag of liquid (that looked suspiciously like those old platex nurser liners) on our knee on the ride back to our hotel.

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