Thailand has markets and walking streets galore, but a market that acts as a time machine is something special. The Saturday market in Pranburi offers a fun trip to the past and a full satisfied tummy to boot. Around five in the afternoon, stalls and tables start to appear, set up in front of beautifully aged wooden houses where time seem to have stood still. Thai sweets made with recipes handed down through generations offers a taste of olden day Thailand. Coffee brewed in the traditional way using a cloth filter bag is great cold with condensed milk and sugar. You can also have it black but however way, it is nice and strong.
There are not only stalls but also shops within the wooden houses, mostly vintage shop with such interesting antiques that the owner seem to also find it difficult to part with his goods. We found shops which enjoyed showcasing their antiques more than actually selling them. The coffee shops look like small museums, old film posters line the walls and you can enjoy your coffee listening to music playing on the gramophone. Typewriters, black and white televisions, dial telephones and leather suitcases, everything beautifully kept and lovingly portrayed.
This being a real local market, the streets were filled with loads of fun set ups to take photos. From old rickshaws to old doors to a marquee made with all sorts of bits and pieces, smile and have your souvenir shot.
At the end of one of the streets we found a ‘bar’ which was a home that opens up his garden for thirsty visitors. In the wild garden surrounding his home, you can choose either water of beer whilst his wife has a small stall out front selling fried tofu. The owner had created a few seating spots amongst huge trees and flowers. You can even sit out on the front porch of his beautiful wooden home.
Strolling along, we found out what the white benches we earlier saw were for. For 5 baht, you can choose a song and have a go at karaoke. When we were walking past, a lady somewhere in her sixties was giving it her all.
Make sure to leave plenty of room for the food market with all the Thai favorites and more. BBQ is popular here as well as spicy salads. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the coconut sweets. Take your pick and find a picnic table to have a great and cheap dinner. On a small stage in the middle of the market, a band plays the Thai hits of the moment.
By the end of the evening we realized what it was that made this such a great market and that was the people that clearly enjoyed being there. It was more about having fun and sharing what they love than really making money. It was extra special as to that there were only locals around and it seemed as if they have let us in on their little secret. With a full tummy and a big smile, we stepped back into 2014 as we left the Pranburi Saturday market.