How to Pass Time in Trang: Eating

At the end of our island hopping in Trang, we had one day (and night) to explore a bit of Trang City. I don’t know if this is my next favorite city in Thailand, but maybe it could be. As tourism expands in the Krabi area (which I love) and Chiang Mai (which I also love) is sometimes looking like a foreign city with a high number of Thai residents, we found Trang to be a bit different.

The food was outstanding; the markets offered a pretty comprehensive variety of Thai regional fare including a lot of southern specialties I might not find very easily up north or even in Bangkok. The buildings were a bit nostalgic, reminiscent of Charoen Krung Road (literally New Road, though Bangkok’s oldest) area in the capital. As Peung noted, “This is what Bangkok used to look like when I was a kid.” There are some billboards touting the coming malls, future development and such, but for the most part all the little non-franchise shops are where you buy your things. No taxis, just tuk-tuks which are for the most part easy to negotiate with. (Good luck with that in Bangkok!)

Pla tod kamin - fried fish with cumin, another special southern Thai dish

The Trang night market starts around 5 pm and gets hopping with Thais picking up their meals on their way home from work. I was surprised by the variety and there wasn’t a lot of overlapping in dishes. There are also a number of clothing vendors and others at either end of the street, but otherwise it’s two rows (or three) of food carts all the way down.

My favorite Thai market fun: the soda rocket! Syrup water and ice, add bubbles with your favorite jet or rocket.

The only downside of this Trang food market is that there really isn’t a place to sit down and eat. Tables are limited to one or two tiny collections. Most of this food is heading to someone’s dinner table or can be eaten while standing there looking like a tourist. I’m OK with that, but it would be great to gather everything, cover a table with a dozen Thai dishes, and just let yourself go.

Peung showing off the Thai talent for eating ALL of the fish.

Starting a bit later and only on Saturday is the night market by the train station. While I’d say the variety it not near as much as the normal evening market, it does offer some areas to sit and is supplemented by restaurants and shops on either side of the long street of food carts.

See more photos from the market below. And stay tuned for a great place for Trang coffee as well as the best dim sum in Trang! (Subscribe to this blog and don’t miss a thing!)

Grilled sticky rice with taro or banana inside
Sweet potatoes soaked in syrup. The bees like this stuff too.
Grilled horseshoe crabs. Haven't tried it, but it seems like a lot of shell/work with little reward. Kinda like crawfish that way.
Mee kati - a type of noodle with coconut milk
Hoi lai tod pad prik pao - stir fried clams with chili paste
Some crazy-good fried chicken in a giant fry vat.
Similar to a coconut in concept but not in flavor
Kai nok krata tod - fried quail eggs
Laab moo, a favorite of mine - spicy ground pork salad with lime. So despite the abundance of Muslims in Southern Thailand, there is still a lot of pork. In fact, Trang, to my eye anyway, seems quite a pleasant mix of Thai, Chinese, and Muslim influences.
It may be the south, but this cart sells Northern and Isaan food in Trang.
Spicy seafood salad - watch your tongue!
The Muslim burger guy. They don't eat pork, while many Buddhist-leaning Thai don't eat beef, so a burger is less common at a market. To satisfy Thai preferences, he splits that already thin burger and folds it open so it is very well done. Lots of sauces go on the burger as well. This is at the train station market in Trang.
Hoi chak teen - steamed or boiled mollusks / gastropods with a spicy seafood sauce
Dessert time: woon kati, the Thai version of Jell-o, a coconut based jelly in rainbow form.
Fried potato chips, or rather a potato chip, singular. One potato cut into an accordion and deep-fried on a stick and sprinkled with the flavored salt of your choice. Tom yum? Yeah, they got that.
Roasted duck. Think about how much you pay for duck in a Western restaurant. Here it is cheap street food.
Witches, ogres, and trolls will enjoy the market too. Frankly I didn't think this child looked very fresh and had been lying in the sun all day. Hold on, why is the cook not even wearing a hair net! Ew. 😉
Boiled banana with tons of syrup - kluay kai chu'um. You put a salty coconut sauce on top. My mother-in-law's favorite.

Read more posts about travels in Trang (especially the islands) and check back in for Thai coffee and dim sum in Trang…

Kevin Revolinski

Author, travel writer/photographer, world traveler. Writes about travel, hiking, camping, paddling, and craft beer.

6 thoughts on “How to Pass Time in Trang: Eating

  • Pingback: Thai Food: Dim Sum in Trang Town

  • I really enjoyed your article and the photos of Thai food. I love to eat and taste different food from all over the world. This year I’m planning to visit Thailand and definitely will be eating the food you recommended in your article. Nice, yummy! I’m getting hungry now :). Keep me posted!

  • Do you find Thai food oily and easy to put on weight? It seems like the food in Asia is always deeply fried but locals look always slim. Weird.

    • I do put on weight there! I end up eating a lot of fried foods and a lot of pork. And I do NOT eat large portions either. But all the Thais around me eat like crazy and can’t believe I am done as they keep piling on more food. I don’t understand how it all works. 😉

  • Hi Kevin
    Thanks for all your great info, I especially love this page about Trang and the food markets! So fantastic! I cant wait to get there in September. I am a bit anxious about heading off to the islands and leaving all the good food behind!
    Any tips for accom on Ko Lanta with good food, or at least close by?

    Many thanks 🙂

  • Pingback: Traditional Thai Coffee, er, Kopi in Trang

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