Although it is more than a 100 years old, it does not look it, thanks to a recent makeover which saw the installation of stainless steel tables and chairs in the main eating hall. The cooked food stalls surround this hall while the fresh meat and vegetable stalls fan out from the centre of the market. The market is large covering the entire area of three 'trangs' or back lanes that run off from the main street.
While the centre part of the market looks new, thankfully the Rama V period buildings and wooden family houses that surround the market still retain their old-world charm.
We arrived close to lunch time and the place was already teeming with workers from the surrounding government offices. In fact, several ministers and politicians are known to have their own personal favourites at the market.
You can easily tell whether a stall is good by its crowd. Judging from the huge number of people gathering around Ratana's cooked food stall, we are convinced of its popularity and quality.
|Ratana - Thai-style steamed fish mousse|
|Ratana - steamed fish with ginger and scallions|
At one end of the market stands a decrepit looking 2-storey wooden building. Today, it is used as a warehouse but in its heydays, it was a popular Thai cinema. It opened in 1918 showing silent movie to hordes of people who would pay a fee and then entered the movie hall and selected their own seats on wooden benches. Sala Chaloem Thani had been in service to the people of Rattanakosin for 75 years before it finally closed down in 1993. It now waits to be revived to its old glory.
|Sala Chaloem Thani|
At the other end of the market is the most celebrated of all of Nang Loeng's food stalls - Sorroongroj, famous for its stewed duck. More in my next posting.