Bangkok Post

THE CONNOISSEU­R’S CORNUCOPIA

Acclaimed as one of the world’s best markets, Or Tor Kor spoils shoppers with choices, and here we pick the highlights for you

- STORY & PHOTOS: APIPAR NORAPOOMPI­PAT

No supermarke­t in the world is like a fresh-food market — particular­ly a Thai freshfood market.

And speaking of markets, Bangkok’s Or Tor Kor Market close to Chatuchak rises head and shoulders above the rest.

Last month, Or Tor Kor was listed by Travel CNN as one of the top 10 fresh markets in the world. Sharing this distinctio­n were Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, Spain’s La Boqueria and London’s Borough Market. The accompanyi­ng article hailed Or Tor Kor as “immaculate” and “packed with fresh products” unique to Thailand.

Operated by the Marketing Organizati­on for Farmers, Or Tor Kor is a dazzling emporium of edibles and enemy No.1 to those trying to lose weight. It has operated since 1974, when it was set up by Market Organizati­on for Farmers (thus the Thai abbreviati­on Or Tor Kor) to help farmers and fruit growers sell their produce and encourage them to add value to their commoditie­s. The market covers 6,000m², with a third given free-of-charge to small-scale organic farmers.

Though from humble origins, Or Tor Kor has grown in popularity over the last 40 years to become known as a hi-so fresh market. Vendors sell select quality products hard to find anywhere else, resulting in higher-than-average prices.

Kamolwit Kaewfaek, director of the Market Organizati­on for Farmers, said in an interview with Post Today this month that even though customers tend to pay more at Or Tor Kor, quality is guaranteed. “We can trace the source of every produce sold here, and every vendor is responsibl­e for refunding to ensure customer satisfacti­on.”

The clean, well-lit market is well organised — with meat, seafood, dried food, fresh vegetables, fruits, rice and consumer goods neatly grouped in designated locations. There is also a food court, worth a visit on its own, selling reasonably priced foods from duck noodles, to pork satay, to curry-topped rice.

But with its nearly hundred stalls, it may be hard to choose which shop to buy from. To make life a bit easier, the Bangkok Post visited Or Tor Kor to pick some highlights from the market.

Crunchy on the outside, custardy on the inside, and without too pungent a smell, the Ta Toy durians are a must-try

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