The seafood market of Ang Sila in Chonburi
There is always a fascination when paying a visit to the seafood markets in Thailand. One can get fairly unusual arrays of life seafood or condiments which are not often found in large upmarket supermarkets or hyper stores.
A fresh market is also an inspiration for culinary enthusiasts who are seeking that unique ultra-fresh produce for the dining table. The Ang Sila fresh seafood market is a hotpot of smells, trade, textures and variety. Located just a mere hour and a half from Bangkok, you can get absolute fresh lively catch-of-the-day seafood for your cooking pot or pick what you like and head out to the nearest restaurant along the sides of the market and have them cook it up for you! Nothing comes fresher than that in any restaurant.
While some visitors may think “What is so fascinating about a wet market?”, the Ang Sila fresh seafood market is not just another wet market. It is an adventure tour of life by the sea in Chonburi.
The location beside the sea with a frontage of oyster and clam beds along the shores, a view of idyllic islands in the tropical breeze and rows of seafood from fish to crustaceans all laid out for your picking with the call of the vendors to attract your attention, is both fascinating and exciting.
Best times for a visit is when the boats unload their morning catch of live prawns, crabs, all manner of shellfish along with trays of squids, dried salted fish and other produce is enlightening and gives you an insight to the diet and abundance of fresh seafood in this amazing country. The market starts as early as 4.00am daily until late afternoon but fresh picks are always early. Visitors to Pattaya or Bangkok who rent service apartments in Pattaya or homestays in Pattaya may be tempted to purchase fresh seafood to try or have their hosts cook it up for them. Alternatively, pick a few varieties and have the restaurant to cook it for you for a small fee.
Fresh live crabs are a must try. There are three varieties sold at the market. The green mud crabs which have a very hard shell, blue swimmer crabs and a local variety of stone crabs often found in the reefs. These crabs are either freshly boiled, teamed or cooked with herbs and spices. Either way you will savor the fresh and firm meat of these delectable crustaceans and even a kilo will not be enough.
Other live seafood most popular are the sea king prawns, fresh water prawns and variety of mussels, clams and oysters. Prawns are best served grilled over hot coals and accompanied by a piquant seafood chili sauce or deep fried with garlic and salt to compliment the flavor or served in a fresh young papaya salad. Clams and mussels are served in the famous Tom Yum broth or fried with herbs and chilies.
The Thai oysters are large in size and come shucked or in a shell and eaten with lime, fried garlic, tom yum paste and herbs or made into egg pancakes.
You can also find horseshoe crabs and baby octopus, squids and cuttlefish. The horseshoe crab is savored for its eggs and normally grilled then the eggs removed and made into an herb salad and served in the shell. These are all typical Thai seafood cuisine and often found only at coastal restaurants and markets. Foreigners who have lived awhile in Thailand in these coastal resort towns can often be found browsing these markets as well as the culinary chefs from big restaurants and hotels who are normally the first customers of the day and get the best picks.
Such unusual tours can be found in the Hidden Trails Thailand agenda as part of a Thailand discovery adventure. This is a great way to discover the province of Chonburi which is near the resort town of Pattaya and Ang Sila is also famous for their stone and ceramic artworks which are located near the market. The best experience is not just the market visit but the opportunity to enjoy the freshest seafood available from the boats to your plate while enjoying the tropical ambiance in one of the many seafood restaurants with your pick of the day.