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To try an abundance of local foods in one place, visit a Thai night market, called talad torung. Talad is market in Thai, while torung means heading toward dawn. The night markets can be found in every town. These open-air markets are open daily, starting from late afternoon around 4-5 p.m. till approximately 11 p.m. or midnight, depending on the town size and how popular it is among tourists.

The night market is usually located in the center of town, such as round a clock tower, at a major intersection, along the main street, by a river or close to the bus station.

The foods are usually freshly prepared. Most vendors provide tables and chairs next to their food carts. The vendors occupy the same spots every day.

Night markets are popular in Thailand.

Food Choices

Thai night markets offer all sorts of food, both full meals and snacks, desserts and drinks. The choices range from different kinds of noodles, made-to-order food, rice soup, north-eastern dishes, grilled food and fruits. Here are various foods that usually can be found at night markets.

Main Dishes

Two Thai ladies prepare phad Thai at a night market.

Stir-fried rice noodles phad Thai

Noodles with pork gu-tiaw moo, noodles with chicken gu-tiaw gai, noodles with beef gu-tiaw neua, noodles with meatballs gu-tiaw lookchin and noodles with seafood gu-tiaw talay

Fresh round rice noodles with spicy sauce khanom jin

The fresh round rice noodles with spicy sauces are extremely popular among Thais.

Rice soup khao tom or steamed rice with made-to-order food

Meats on display over ice at the night market in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand.

Rice with chicken topping kao man gai

Rice with various choices displayed in trays or pots

North eastern food such as papaya salad somtum and grilled pork moo yang

A Thai vendor at a night market grilling pork for north-eastern dishes.

Different kinds of spicy salads, like seafood, glass noodle or instant noodle salad


Snacks are plentiful at night markets. Here are the most common ones:

Grilled pickled pork sausage naem yang

The night markets in Thailand offer a wide variety of foods.

Sticky rice with barbecued pork khao niew moo ping

Grilled pork marinated in coconut milk mixture moo satay

In Thailand, grilled pork on a skewer is served with peanut sauce.

Grilled and deep-fried foods such as squid and chicken

Barbecued meatballs with spicy sauce lookchin ping and fried meatballs with spicy sauce lookchin tod


A fruit shake vendor at a Thai night market.

Fruit shakes

Carbonated drinks with ice

Fresh hot soy drink nam tao-hu and hot ginger drink with soft tofu tao huay

In Thailand, hot soy drink is sold with condiments.

Thai coffee, tea and chocolate (all served hot or with ice)

Vegetarian Snacks

Steamed or boiled corn, potatoes and peanuts

Deep fried potato balls khai nok krata

Deep fried tofu (as long as you can accept that the frying pan may have been used to cook meat)

Steamed or fried round dumplings filled with Chinese chive gu chai

Steamed dumplings filled with ground peanut, salted turnip and red onion khao kriab pak mo. Please note, there is another variation of this snack with chopped pork in the filling.

An old vendor wrapping dumplings at a night market in Thailand.



Warm bread with coconut egg custard kanompang sangkaya

Thai desserts with ice and desserts cooked in coconut milk (such as bananas, potatoes and taros

Rows of Thai desserts in plastics bags at a night market.

Potato, taro, bread fruit, pumpkin and banana cooked in syrup

Other Foods

Local specialties

Whole or cut fruits

Ready-to-eat cut fruits at a night market in Thailand.

Goods Sold At Night Markets

At sizeable night markets you can also find cds, dvds, magazines, clothes, accessories, ladies shoes and gift items. In tourist places you may see street performers and even beggars.

Night markets are popular hangouts for Thais. Many go there to eat with family and friends, while some get take away food.

Eating at a night market is like going to an outdoor food court, that offers reasonably priced food. For foreign visitors, it's a great place to experience authentic Thai food and observe the locals.

Since a lot of Thais are addicted to soap operas, many vendors bring their tvs.

The photos are from the night market in the town of Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Suggested Reading:   Thai Noodles   Thai Sticky Rice

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