Or Tor Kor market | Bangkok’s best market that you haven’t heard of!

I’m standing in the middle of foodie paradise. Massaman curry to my left, durian to my right and Thailand’s finest produce and cuisine laid out in front of me. No, I’m not at the Wang Lang Market or at Chatuchak. I’m at Or Tor Kor market. A market that just misses the Top 10 on every guide I’ve read before hitting the streets of Bangkok. And I honestly don’t know why…

Or Kor Tor Market. Spices.

We had the foresight to book a Bangkok food tour, soon after touching down in the city. Little did we know that we’d explore a market we hadn’t heard of. And try the best cuisine, as decreed by the former King of Thailand himself.

Read next: The ultimate guide on what to do in Bangkok.

Food Tour Guide

Enter our trusty food tour guide for the afternoon, Priya. We met her at the Kampaeng Phet MRT station, fully expecting to walk over to the nearby Chatuchak Weekend Market. Instead, she steered us towards another building and started giving us the history of the place.

James, Lee and Priyaporn at food stall.

Essentially Or Tor Kor market was set up by the former King himself, as a way to support farmers from the highlands of Thailand in promoting their produce. The caveat? They needed to present the finest that they had, and they also had to transform it into ready-to-eat cuisine, to be tucked into in the market’s central food court.

Recommended: Here is a full country guide and 3 week Thailand itinerary.

A gentle entry to markets

The result is perfect for the first-time foreigner who hasn’t really gotten the hang of street food. And, like us, is not to keen to tuck into anything questionable. No traveller’s bug found here; the place is squeaky clean and a safe way to ease into local fare before heading to the backstreets of Bangkok, or even attempting a local cooking class.

The main attraction for tourists is the central food court, where you’ll be delighted by the food available. For the adventurous palate, there is Thai curry in every colour and flavour: green, red, yellow; really whatever your heart desires. We snacked on traditional papaya salad (you can ask for it mild if needed) peppered with roasted peanuts, an incredible Pad Thai (the best we’ve ever had, truly) and beef noodles in a warming broth, punctuated by pork rinds.

Next up was the fruit section, where yellow mangoes almost burst out of their perfectly-ripe skin and prickly rambutans jostle for space with dragonfruit and papayas. Our favourite? Mangosteens. We’d tried them in Sri Lanka but found the Thai versions even sweeter and these lychee-like fruits were so delicious we just HAD to buy a bag to take back to the hotel with us for a midnight feast. Of course the king of all the Thai fruits, the durian, is readily available here, albeit it at a price. As usual, we gave that one a miss…!

Or Kor Tor Market. Durian.

Our tour was rounded off by a few palate-cleanser desserts. Namely mango sticky rice and a refreshing coconut ice-cream. There are also other delicacies available like coconut pancakes and palm sugar treats, but the mango sticky rice was for sure the winner on the day.

If you’re in the market for cooking ingredients, they also offer heaps of these: dried chillies, shrimp paste, dried fruit, spices and a dizzying array of rice types.

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Best Tip

One last tip: Or Tor Kor market, like most of Bangkok, can get very hot and sweaty, particularly in the food court. There are two glassed-in stores that you can spot, both of which sport cute little coffee nooks (try the Thailand Arabica blend or even a honey lemon soda), but – more importantly – pump the air-conditioning all day!

Want to try it yourself? We highly suggest booking a tour with Get Your Guide.

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