Street mar­kets a must-see

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Travel - By JU­LIAN WRIGHT

THERE is a wealth of de­li­cious his­tory at the 100-plus year old Nang Lo­eng mar­kets, and Yai Hong could prob­a­bly tell you about most of it.

One of the old­est mar­kets in Bangkok, the Nang Lo­eng has the dis­tinc­tion of many stall­hold­ers liv­ing on the premises, some with their wares on their doorstep and a de­cay­ing wooden struc­ture cin­ema which closed in the 1990s.

Whether you are af­ter fresh fruit, iced cof­fee with a carry bag or hand­made snacks pre­pared right in front of you, this mar­ket is sure to sat­isfy your pal­ette and thirst for a his­tory les­son.

Yai (Grandma) Hong (88) has been work­ing at the mar­kets since World War II, tak­ing on stall­holder du­ties in her teenage years. Her sweet dessert cre­ations are fourth gen­er­a­tion recipes, shared only by her aunty and two sis­ters.

Yai Hong’s bowed physique is the re­sult of a long, hard work­ing life hunched over and seems to scream for re­tire­ment, but her pas­sion for her cook­ing, pleas­ant in­ter­ac­tions with cus­tomers and warm smile says she is not go­ing any­where just yet.

“I don’t have any prob­lems with my health but I have prob­lems with my back; it is dif­fi­cult for me but I am still strong,” she said.

She still makes the desserts her­self, get­ting up at 7am and fin­ish­ing about 5pm each day. She usu­ally has help from her nephew, but the day she spoke with Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group she was do­ing it alone.

Once Yai Hong even­tu­ally gives up her stall, her recipes may no longer be shared as widely.

“No­body in my fam­ily wants to do this af­ter me,” she said.

“My nephew is a doc­tor so he does not have time to do this.”

For the more ad­ven­tur­ous foodie, the Bangkok night street mar­kets are the place to try. Make your way through the food carts for del­i­ca­cies that you would never find in Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing fried worms, crick­ets and scor­pi­ons on of­fer from ven­dors.

The au­thor was a guest of Air Asia.

Join us next week as we travel to Nusa Lem­bon­gan in Bali and learn about the thrilling water sports on of­fer on the is­land.

Yai Hong at the Nang Lo­eng mar­kets.

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