How to Navigate a Thai Fruit Cart and Ying Chaloen Market (Day 4)

By Mark Wiens 11 Comments
Ying Charoen Market (ยิ่งเจริญ), Bangkok, Thailand
Ying Charoen Market (ยิ่งเจริญ)

Ying Charoen Market (ยิ่งเจริญ)

Day 4, our first stop on the agenda was Ying Charoen Market (ยิ่งเจริญ), a famous market in the Saphan Mai (สะพานใหม่) area of Bangkok.

It was my first time to visit the market, which sort of reminded me of Or Tor Kor market (video) due to its wide and clean aisles.

Ying Charoen Market (ยิ่งเจริญ)
Beautiful fruit stall at Ying Charoen Market (ยิ่งเจริญ)

We shot a couple of stock shot scenes just walking through the aisles of the market, and then I did an introduction to the beauty and wonderful selection of Thai fruit, all while poking my head into a beautiful fruit stall at the market.

There were a couple awesome fruit stalls at the market, stacked with a serious bounty of marvelous Thai fruits.

Garlic
I love garlic

I’ve always been a lover of fruit, especially when it’s fresh from the farm, and I’ve always thought Thailand (and all of southeast Asia) are blessed by fruit, so it’s never hard for me to express how delicious fruit is.

Thai food tv show
Thai fruit cart vendor (รถเข็นผลไม้)

Fruit cart vendor (รถเข็นผลไม้)

The next scene was hanging out with a fruit cart vendor (รถเข็นผลไม้), called a rot ken polamai.

I walked up to him, ordered a selection of different fruits, and then sampled them all first, and then proceeded to dip them into his variety of condiments, known as prik gleua (พริกเกลือ) – which is salt and chili.

He had five different fruit dips, which are actually more like dry rub seasonings than actual dips. Mamuang nam pla wan (video) is an actual dip, but these are dry and not pasty.

prik gleua (พริกเกลือ)
Prik gleua (พริกเกลือ) – Chili salt dips for fruit

One was a mixture of salt with regular chilies, then salt with roasted crushed chilies, then two others were mixed with sugar, and finally one with Chinese salted plum and sugar.

My favorite of all the fruit seasoning has always been just salt with roasted chili flakes in it – I don’t always like anything extra on my fruit, but it does occasionally taste pretty good on especially sour and crisp fruit.

Thai fruit
Hanging out, eating fruit

To order fruit at a Thai fruit cart vendor (รถเข็นผลไม้), all you have to do is point to the different fruits you want, the vendor will bag them up, and then you can just choose whichever variety of seasoning dips you’d like.

After hanging out at the market, and eating quite my fill of fruit for the day (I basically ate a fruit buffet during the filming of the scene), we moved on.

Taking a tuk tuk in Thailand
Tuk tuk ride

Tuk tuk ride

The van took our crew to central Bangkok, right in the heart of the city, to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.

We didn’t do any filming in the temples, but the director, wanted to get some footage riding around in a tuk tuk, doing guess what?… eating – that’s something I can do!

Playing in puddles
A little guy having fun in the rain puddles

I rolled around in a tuk yuk for about 30 minutes or so, munching on fruit and other snacks, while getting all the clips we needed.

Why do Thais love salads so much?

Final scene for the day, was an ending short speech where I talked about the variety of different Thai salads, and explained why salads are so popular in Thai cuisine, and why I like Thai salads so much.

The reason: Many salads are a wonderful balance or harmony of tastes, including spicy, sweet, sour, and salty. They also often make use of vegetables, which are fresh and healthy, and prepared raw (or lightly cooked), without the use of oil. Overall, many Thais love salads because of their exciting and fresh flavors.

Wat Arun
Wat Arun on a rainy late afternoon

We walked around Tha Tien pier for a few minutes, took the boat across the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun, drank a coconut juice for refreshment, and then headed back to the van.

That was the end of Day 4. It was a shorter day, than the other days.

Note: If you’re new to this series, I’ll be traveling around Thailand filming a Thai food tv documentary for the next 2 months. I’ll be posting frequent updates about the things we do and eat right here. Stay tuned.

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  • Anwesha

    7 years ago

    I would love to visit Thailand someday soon. The market stalls look so vibrant in your photographs Mark.
    In Kolkata, the guava vendors also put a dry rub of salt with red chilli flakes if you ask them to 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Anwesha, I hope you can visit Thailand in the future. Thank you for sharing they do a similar chili salt in Kolkata as well, sounds great.

  • Clay

    7 years ago

    Super hungry now! Great post and pictures.

  • Kitti

    7 years ago

    For me, I prefer to buy fruits from fruit stall than a cart vendor.

    I must say I really love guavas I bought at fruit stall on soi Rangnam. (The one in front of the first 7-11 in Soi Rangnam) I also like to buy grill chicken stick and grill chicken liver nearby there though they are not open very often.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Kitti, walking around when I need to eat some fruit, the carts are very convenient, but if I buy fruit to take home, I like to go to a fruit stall too. Thanks for the tips about the grilled chicken there.

  • Lindsay

    7 years ago

    As a health freak vegetarian who spends a lot of time in Thailand, it is very handy that the have such a wide variety of salads! I tried a new one the other night, spicy mushroom salad, as recommended in your vegetarian guidebook.

    I have heard rumors about different and nasty preservatives being sprayed on cut up fruit, like at the fruit cart you visited. Can you shed a little light on that?

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Lindsay, thank you for reading this post. As for preservatives sprayed on fruit, I’m not really sure. But some do soak their fruit in a saccharin solution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccharin), but I think most of them don’t use it anymore. For fruit carts, on a usual basis I tend to stick with sourer fruits like mangoes and guavas, that aren’t expected to be sweet (so therefore they aren’t sweetened). Will let you know if I figure out anything else about preservatives.

      • Lindsay

        7 years ago

        Thanks Mark! There are lots of rumors floating around about chemicalized Thai fruits – injected watermelons, dipped mangoes, cut fruit sprayed with preservatives. Would be good to know the truth 🙂

  • Andrea Anastasiou

    7 years ago

    Salt with roasted crushed chillies?! I’m sold!