The Phuket Night Market.

While retrospectively, I found Phuket was largely disappointing in terms of cultural offerings and beaches (Yes! Sadly, the beaches were terribly dirty) we decided to explore  the main attractions it had to offer, and one such attraction was their Night Market.

A bustling hive of activity with vendors catching your eye and calling out for you to peruse their offerings. A sizzling symphony of snacks, stir fried noodles, salads and curries… I didnt really know where to go first…. and then I saw a lady selling Mango and Sticky Rice which solved my conundrum almost instantly. She had two flavours of rice- plain and Pandan- and some rather large looking mangoes. (Keep your minds out of the gutter… you naughty readers, you!)

Mango and Sticky Rice... with an added surprise.

Mango and Sticky Rice… with an added surprise [read to the end, where said surprise is revealed.


I bought two portions, one with plain and one with pandan rice. She topped the rice with roasted, salted lentils(a bizarre, yet satisfyingly crunchy addition!) and put them in a bag, with a smile 🙂 I was happy to leave there and then, but we walked around the rest of the market to gain the full experience…

There was wine…

Locally made wine... a rather interesting name..

Locally made wine… a rather interesting name..

Free performances by local thespians- no wait that is a lady wearing a full face of make-up and frying up some chicken…

Fully made up and making food.

Fully made up and making food.

Desserts made from duck egg yolks (Egg yolk fudge balls cooked in syrup a.k.a.Thong Yod) which I otherwise would have sampled, unfortunately I was beaten to it, by flies…

Hygiene is a bit of an issue...  perhaps a rose-tinted caption would be 'Symbiosis'

Hygiene is a bit of an issue… perhaps a rose-tinted caption would be ‘Symbiosis’

And some creepy crawlies that encountered some folks  that took the phrase “you could cook that”  a little too seriously…

Other no longer crawling sundries of the Night Market... The closest I got to these was with my 58mm lens.

Other no longer crawling sundries of the Night Market… The closest I got to these was with my 58mm lens.

Oh and there were mini pineapples… I had to buy them. They looked so fresh and were carved in front of me…

These miniature pineapples were spiral carved in under 5 minutes... knife skills to give any professionally trained chef a run for their money.

These miniature pineapples were spiral carved in under 5 minutes… knife skills to give any professionally trained chef a run for their money.

So with sticky rice and fresh pineapples in tow, we headed out of the market and wanted to hail a taxi. 500 baht (1o pounds!In Thailand?!) for a 15 minute journey down the road back to our hotel…tourists in Phuket are a honeypot for the bees that are the enterprising street side public transport providers, otherwise known as TAXI DRIVERS!!

Left with no choice, we took the ridiculously priced taxi back to our hotel and proceeded to unwind and feast on our sticky rice and pineapples. I was really looking forward to eating, so I washed my hands and motioned for us to proceed unpacking our purchases…

We put the pineapples in the fridge and were taking the final items out of the polythene bag… As my sister lifted out the package of sticky rice I LET OUT THE LARGEST SCREAM OF MY LIFE!! Dilly the Dinosaur would have been proud.

!! SURPRISE !!

Inside the neatly packed sticky rice and mangoes was a frenetically frolicking GECKO!!!!!

Within a split second of my 150 mile-per-hour scream, the package of rice and mangoes was on the floor and like elephants who spotted a mouse, we were on the bed … and I was still screaming…

We threw out the sticky rice and the pineapples (can’t risk poisoning) and I summed up my experience of the night market as more of a frustrating exercise of the eyes. I really wanted that sticky rice… but alas… the market was kind to its flying and reptilian inhabitants before its customers.

So here are the ratings:

Taste: n/a (How about terrifying??)
Hygiene: 0/5
Learning about the night market’s ecosystems, ENTERPRISE, and food chains: 5/5

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