Naka Market Phuket
The Naka Market in Phuket-Town
The Naka Market (Week-End Market) is very well known in Phuket-Town and has become over the years a must-see place. It is very popular with the locals, but also with the increasing number of tourists.
If I tell you that it is on Wirat Hong Yok Road... it won't tell you much, that's for sure... but if I situate you in relation to the Central Festival, this market is located from the new underpass at 1 kilometre on the left towards the south, Chalong/Rawai... At the first traffic lights, just turn left, you are now in Wirat Hong Yok Road... where you just have to walk a few meters: the crowd will quickly make you understand that you have arrived. You can't miss it (see the map at the end of this article).
If you take a taxi (or simply ask locals for directions), it's better to use the real name of the market: Naka Market or even better with locals: "Talaat Naka" (Talaat in Thai meaning "market"... (I put two "A" in the word because the second "A" has to be lengthened, otherwise people don't understand. The name Weekend Market, which must date from about twenty years ago, comes I think from foreigners living in Phuket... but once again, with locals you will have few chances to be understood...
This market is about 170 meters long (about 12.000m²) and composed of about 20 alleys, with about 3.000 places, that's how important this place is, a real surprising maze, enough to get lost in.
As its name indicates: Week-End Market, this one only takes place on Saturday and Sunday between 4pm and 11pm. It is divided into two parts: a clothing section and all sorts of objects: this section is the largest in terms of surface area and number of shops.
The other part is mainly dedicated to food and is really impressive because of the atmosphere and the diversity of people: tourists from all over the world and locals are one! The biggest crowd is around 6-8pm, and it's like an anthill!
If you like crowds, you will be served.
In the first part (clothing), you can find almost everything: t-shirts, jeans, shoes, costume jewellery, glasses, watches, men's and women's clothing, various gadgets, toys, trinkets, animals...
In the second part, an impressive display of local "food", spicy or not, fish, pork, vegetables, fruits, sweet local pastries, insects... and finally, a good number of small improvised restaurants in the middle of the stalls where it is easy to take a seat to eat very... local, on a simple table and a plastic stool. You are looking for local, authentic food.... here you have it!
The market opens every Saturday and Sunday from 4pm and stays open until around 11pm, but it's between 6pm and 8pm, in the restaurant section, that you'll get the most people. People come to have dinner for nothing... and always in a good mood.
Yes, we can say that this place has become one of the must-see places in Phuket town... and very important detail: it really starts to live again after this Covid crisis... which is very good for the shopkeepers.
Welcomme to Naka Market
The entrance and a large part of the hall were completely redone just before the Covid period and even during...
The Food Area...
My favorite fruits... not expensive at all in July (100 baht for 3kg) against 250 baht at the moment!
I will wait for next July
Want to eat bugs ?
In Thailand, it is well known, we eat fried or even raw insects: grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, ladybirds, woodworms, bamboo worms, giant water bugs, scorpions, ants' eggs the list is impressive...
In Thailand, more than two hundred species of insects are reviving the taste buds of many Thais' palates as well as tourists who venture into this exotic country.
Previously, insects were only consumed in northern and northeastern Thailand as a food supplement for their high nutritional content. But in recent years, it is for their taste that they have become very popular in Bangkok and elsewhere, where they have been introduced by migrant families from rural areas.
Prepared for grilling, the insects have a crisp, smoky and spicy texture and go very well with pickles or a few peppers.
Most insects are high in protein and low in fat (with the exception of plump silk larvae which are filled with a gelatinous mass) which makes them ideal for special diets such as the Dukan diet.
"The larvae sold here are collected in the north and it is the same larvae that are used for silk production," says one saleswoman, adding that some species come from Cambodia.
A Western bar in the middle of the shops
La partie Textiles, objets divers
This picture gives you an idea of the alleys and the people going from shop to shop...
But for the rest of this visit, I will rather propose you some close-ups of the objects which will give you a much more precise idea of the kind of objects you can find here... a bit like the previous pictures of the food part... to see up close is better...
A rock concert on site
Usually I would pass by this place and stay there for a few minutes and then continue my walk.
This time I took the time to listen to them for an hour, to enjoy them. I sat down quietly, ordered a beer and then another one.
The girl and her friends really surprised me. She has a strong, powerful voice, and she sings just... it's incredible. I've often seen this kind of mini-concert outdoors or in bars in the evening, with adult musicians with long experience... but I can say that this kid is more than up to it and in my opinion, she has a great future ahead of her.
At the break, after an hour of uninterrupted singing, I went to see her to congratulate her without forgetting the Tip Box... I asked her how old she was: 12...
You will have understood, I fell in love with these kids and especially with the girl with her surprising voice!