The Vietnamese Sunday morning market is small, but a charming one with welcoming people and a couple of characters to make an impression. One of the best ways to discover local food is to search up the local markets. And with local food comes local ingredients and local culture. Most of us eat two to three times a day, if not more, so going local is a good way to get a better picture of the culture. But to get there you need to invest a bit of legwork.
The Vietnamese Sunday morning market is a small one, and I would say nice to visit if you’re in the area. You have vendors selling clothes etc, but what attracted me was to check out the food scene. It’s not a big markets so options are not plentiful.
My best advice is go for Som Sii who runs one of the corner stalls, furthest away from the church. She served a lovely portion of Kuay Jab Yuan, a vietnamese noodle dish with pork. Not the clear broth you normally get with noodles, but an almost milky like consistence. It’s a tasteful treat even without the use of condiments. But as always, the adding is your own business. Personally I added just a little chili (it’s a spicy version so be moderate), and a few drops of fish sauce and vinegar. I also had some rolls or bánh cuốn in vietnamese – thin rice dough filled with chicken and herbs that comes with a dipping sauce based on fish sauce with some sweet (honey) mixed in. The rice sheet in bánh cuốn is extremely thin and delicate. It is made by steaming a slightly fermented rice batter on a cloth that is stretched over a pot of boiling water. It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam.
When reading an older article from Suthon Sukphisit’s Cornucopia column, I was reminded of this Vietnamese market that takes place every Sunday morning, just a couple of minutes off Samsen road.
The market is rather small and in an area locally known as Baan Yuan (Vietnam Town). You find it directly behind the St Francis Xavier Church. Suthon states that the area has been a home for Vietnamese for more than 200 years.
Other than the Catholic church, today there’s little to indicate that the area is any different from any other riverside community in Bangkok. However a close look at the neighbourhood’s Sunday market reveals its Vietnamese origins. It’s a small market that appears to thrive on the after-service rush at about 10am or so.
If you’re in for Vietnamese Banh Mi, you have a very good option in Banh MiBo close to Phrom Phong BTS. Be aware that it’s situated in a different part of Bangkok.
Name: Sunday Vietnamese market
Address: Samsen road Soi 11-13. It is located directly behind the entrance to St Francis Xavier Church. It’s north of Sumen fort at Phra Arthit road, almost up to Ratchawithi road crossing Samsen road.
Open: Sunday 6am – 10am. Best time to get there is around 9am to 9.30am