Samui Wining & Dining
Walk the Walk

Fisherman's Village transforms into Walking Street on Friday , a grat night market for all the family.

 

12-13The air of celebration, the food, the drinks, the music. The wonderful smells of sizzling barbecues and roti (or pancake) carts. Every Friday from 5:00 pm, the whole of Fisherman’s Village is closed off to cars and comes alive with market stalls, pop-up restaurants and the flocks of people there to enjoy them

    Fisherman’s Village is the Bohemian street that runs parallel to Bophut Beach, known for its low-key bars and relaxed restaurants – a far cry from the more hectic bar and nightclub scene of Chaweng. Roti carts can be found dotted up and down the street every day of the week, rustling up banana, chocolate, Nutella and lemon flavoured pancakes. But on Fridays the whole strip is lined on both sides with not only these, but all manner of stalls selling food, drink, clothes, and much, much more.

      Thailand is quite famous for night markets – Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya all have them – and not only are they great fun, but they’re also a wonderful way to experience the local culture in an interactive way. Each market has a slightly different feel to it – Bangkok’s is much busier than Samui’s, and Pattaya’s is essentially just a big street party. Here on Samui it’s very much a family affair.

      You can pick up some great local crafts – things like hand-carved soaps and decorations made from coconuts and shells. There are also clothes, which you can get for a great price, as well as sarongs and flip-flops. Now and again you’ll find an antique store, and there’s usually a number of shops selling phone cases and other little gadgets. It’s a good place to pick up some bits and bobs you won’t necessarily see in Chaweng’s markets.

       To keep hydrated while you wander the streets there are multiple places selling cocktails and other libations, and the bartenders are more than willing to entertain you while you wait for your drink to be prepared. With music blaring he’ll toss and twirl the alcohol bottles and limes, adding a bit of this and a bit of that until your drink is complete. There’s a list of about five or six cocktails to choose from, all made fresh to order. And they’re cheap too.

       It’s also a great place to try some of the local cuisine that you don’t often find in the restaurants – such as fried insects – but also things that you do – like pad Thai and fried rice. Most people eat when they come to Walking Street as there’s so much on offer, from chicken satays and spring rolls, to more unique food items like the afore-mentioned fried insects. All the food you’ll find is authentic, cooked by locals and fresh. And as you’ve got to eat standing up, there are foods of all shapes and sizes served on skewers to make them easy to munch on.

      You’ll find a lot of Thai desserts too. Some you’ll have tried before and others you won’t have. Mango with sticky rice is a common one, and one that’s enjoyed by local Thais and foreigners alike. The sweet mango compliments the soft sticky rice and then a drizzling of coconut cream finishes off the dish nicely. It’s cheap and great for sharing.

      Near the entrance of Walking Street (the southern end where the car park is) you’ll find a band playing. There’s a mojito stall there too, so both locals and tourists come with groups of friends to drink, chat and enjoy the music. But what they’re listening to isn’t the pumping House music that dominates Chaweng, here the bands serenade the crowd with a mix of classic Western songs, as well as original numbers that the band members have composed themselves. It’s not uncommon to find the spectators singing along to some well-known favourites, which further enhances the atmosphere.

      Some of the island’s best resort bands also come down on a Friday to play in a casual environment. It’s also an avenue for up-and-coming local bands to be heard and get their name out there. There’s a really special vibe at Walking Street in Fisherman’s Village, a mix of locals and tourists all enjoying the atmosphere equally – a real community feeling. For a holidaymaker on Samui it’s a great way to get an insight into what the resident islanders really do on the weekend to enjoy themselves.

 


 

Christina Wylie


 


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