Phuket Market: A Delicious Experience at Talad Kaset

By Mark Wiens 31 Comments
Phuket market
Delicious food at Talad Kaset (ตลาดเกษตร ภูเก็ต) – Phuket morning market

There’s one thing I never get tired of doing in Thailand:

Visiting markets.

And along with beautiful beaches, one of the things I love doing most when I’m in Phuket is going to the local fresh wet market.

Talad Kaset (ตลาดเกษตร ภูเก็ต), located in Phuket Town, is a huge fresh wet market, packed with ingredients of all kinds, pre-made foods, and restaurant stalls, that’s always packed with action in the mornings.

If you love markets and want to experience a side of local Phuket culture, don’t miss visiting Kaset Market in Phuket Town.

In this post you’ll find photos of the delicious food I ate one morning when I went to Phuket’s marvelous Kaset morning market (ตลาดเกษตร).

Kaset morning market (ตลาดเกษตร)
Kaset morning market (ตลาดเกษตร)

On the streets surrounding the market there are many vendors mostly selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

You’ll find the fruits of the season in abundance, plus a variety of popular southern Thai ingredients like chilies, fresh turmeric, melinjo leaves (one of my favorite vegetables to eat in southern Thailand, known in Thai as pak liang ผักเหลียง), all sorts of herbs, and strands of beautiful stink beans on display.

melinjo leaves
Melinjo known in Thai as pak liang (ผักเหลียง)

If you go to Kaset Market (ตลาดเกษตร), it’s a good idea to arrive about 7 am or around that time. Phuket Town is cool, nice and quiet, and it’s the perfect time to start your day of exploration.

About 6 or 7 am is when the market is at its busiest, and when you’ll find the best selection of produce, meat, and prepared food available as well.

things to do in Phuket
All the vegetables you need for southern Thai cooking

Since living in Thailand, I have been to many markets throughout the country.

But the reason I still love going to local fresh markets anywhere in Thailand is because you will always find different local ingredients and snacks available.

Phuket morning market
Fresh vegetables at the Phuket morning market

In Thailand even if you go to a small village or town like Chumpuang, a market is the reflection of what will be on your table.

Bambara groundnuts
Boiled bambara groundnuts (ถั่วหรั่ง)

Bambara groundnut (ถั่วหรั่ง)

Right at the entrance of the Phuket morning market, my wife and I came across a lady selling a number of different boiled snacks like sweet potatoes, and something I don’t think I had ever seen before in my life.

After I asked her what they were, she said they were called tua farang (ถั่วฝรั่ง), which would literally translate to foreign nuts or beans.

I didn’t know this at the time of eating them (so in the video I had no clue what they were), but after getting back to the hotel and doing some research about the nuts, I discovered they are actually normally just called tua rang(ถั่วหรั่ง) in Thai.

In English they are called bambara groundnuts, most likely originally from West Africa.

Price – 20 THB ($0.62)

bambara groundnuts
Like a cross between peanuts and beans

They looked almost like garbanzo beans from the outside shell, but inside they looked like peanuts, just a bit bigger.

But unlike peanuts, they were for the most part just single peas per pod, some with two, but not with 3 – 4 like peanuts can be.

You have to first take off the shell, which easily cracked open, then take out and eat the bean inside.

To me they tasted very similar to a peanut, but with a little more of a mushy texture, kind of like a bean – it was like a cross between a peanut and a pinto bean.

If you love boiled peanuts, you’re going to love bambara groundnuts.

Blue swimmer crabs
Blue swimmer crabs ready to be cooked

Seafood

As you would expect, Phuket being an island, seafood is a major part of the morning market.

While it’s not the biggest seafood market or trade on the island by any means, there’s always a good selection of seafood you can browse through.

From blue swimmer crabs to king mackerel and horseshoe crabs, you’ll see a selection of the previous night’s catch.

Thai fried fish
Fresh fried fish

There’s also a selection of pre-cooked seafood, like fried fish, and a variety of curries you can try as well.

After devouring some bambara groundnuts, we continued on exploring this awesome Phuket market, and ventured inside the main area of the market.

Inside the market were plenty of delicious Phuket style breakfast options – both sit down street food market stalls, and takeaway stalls.

On the outer edge of the inner section of the market were about a dozen or more stalls that had all sorts of southern Thai and even local Phuket desserts and snacks, all wrapped and ready to go.

Phuket market
One of the many snack and desserts stalls at the market

You’ll find dishes like khao kluk kapi (ข้าวคลุกกะปิ), shrimp paste fried rice with toppings, and khao yam (ข้าวยำ), southern Thai rice salad with herbs, one of my favorite things to eat in the morning in Thailand.

I’m not a huge sweets fan, mostly because I prefer to fill up, or save more room, for salty dishes, but my wife loves Thai sweets, and so I usually have an opportunity to taste them without eating the full sweet myself.

ข้าวเหนียวขนุน
Khao neow na kanun (ข้าวเหนียวขนุน) – sticky rice with jackfruit

Khao neow na kanun (ข้าวเหนียวขนุน)

One of the desserts that’s not too common to find in other parts of Thailand, but was available at the Phuket market was khao neow na kanun (ข้าวเหนียวขนุน), sticky rice with jackfruit.

In other parts of Thailand sitcky rice with mango and sticky rice with durian are common, but not jackfruit.

So we decided to try a portion, which came wrapped in a banana leaf.

The purple sticky rice was cooked with buttery coconut cream, giving it a nice richness, that was just slightly sweetened and slightly salty. The jackfruit on top tasted like honey mixed with bananas.

Since it wasn’t too sweet, I though the khao neow na kanun (ข้าวเหนียวขนุน) at the Phuket market was very good.

Keep an eye out for it when you go.

Price – 15 THB ($0.46)

Khao tom mad ข้าวต้มมัด
Khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด) – sticky rice steamed in a banana leaf

Khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด)

Another popular sweet in southern Thailand and something you’ll find widely available at markets in Phuket is khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด).

A ripe slice of banana and a handful of black beans are sprinkled with sticky rice and coconut milk, then wrapped into a banana leaf packet, and steamed.

When the sticky rice steams within the banana leaf, it begins to almost turn creamy and custardy, surrounding the banana.

What I also love about khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด) is that it mostly relies on the natural sweetness of the ripe banana and the coconut milk, and there’s usually little to no sugar added.

This khao tom mad (ข้าวต้มมัด) from a stall at the market was also very good.

Price – 5 THB ($0.15)

Thai roti
I could smell it… roti!

Still wandering around, I was trying hard to contemplate what should be our next course of action: if we should stop for a bowl of rice congee, eat a full rice and curry meal, or have Phuket style dim sum?

But then I smelled it:

Roti!

There was quite a crowd around the small stall located on the edge of the market, most people were just getting breakfast for takeaway – both sweet and salty styles of roti were available.

Kaset Market
Roti mataba food stall at Phuket Market

There were still a couple seats left, so Ying and I squeezed onto some stools, and used an ice chest topped with newspaper for our table.

The atmosphere could not have been better.

The stall was run by a couple of friendly ladies, who I’m guessing were all sisters, and I could tell just from looking at the way they were cooking the roti’s, that they were masters.

Thai roti
I starred with roti kai kub kaeng neua (โรตีไข่ กับ แกงเนื้อ)

Roti kai kub kaeng neua (โรตีไข่ กับ แกงเนื้อ)

The first thing we ordered was roti kai kub kaeng neua (โรตีไข่ กับ แกงเนื้อ), a roti filled with an egg, and served with beef curry on the side.

The roti was nice and thin, filled with a beat-up raw egg, wrapped into a square shape, then fried in mostly oil and probably a bit of margarine.

Similar to a Malaysian roti canai, it was served with a bowl of curry sauce on the side.

Price – 40 THB ($1.23)

Markets in Phuket
Perfectly thin layered dough with egg in the middle

This was almost the perfect Thai roti for me, the dough was nice and thin, filled with egg, and fried so it was crunchy on the outside edges.

Thai breakfast
The curry sauce is what made it so good

Along with the roti, to make the roti kai kub kaeng neua (โรตีไข่ กับ แกงเนื้อ) complete, a spectacular curry dipping sauce came with it.

The curry was creamy and rich, flavored with a perfect amount of curry powder.

โรตีมะตะบะ
Roti mataba (โรตีมะตะบะ)

Roti mataba (โรตีมะตะบะ)

One of my favorite versions of roti throughout Southeast Asia is roti mataba (also called murtabak in the Middle East and in other part of SE Asia).

It’s very commonly available at Thai Muslim restaurants throughout Thailand, and always something I enjoy eating.

I can’t even remember what was in this one, but I think I ordered the beef version.

Price – 40 THB ($1.23)

Thai street food
One of the best roti mataba (โรตีมะตะบะ) I’ve had in Thailand in a long time

This was one of the best roti mataba (โรตีมะตะบะ) I’ve had in Thailand.

The same thin roti dough was filled with a mixture of beaten egg, onions, minced beef, and a spice seasoning mixture of curry powder and maybe some extra cumin.

It was folded up into a square and fried on the griddle until it turned golden crispy all around.

Roti mataba
Pickles always served with mataba

One of the unique parts of roti mataba (โรตีมะตะบะ) in Thailand, is that they are typically served with a side of pickled cucumbers.

The pickles here were nice and fresh, crisp cucumbers, with a few shallots and diced Thai bird’s eye chilies mixed in. It was mostly sour, with a hint of sweetness.

Some of the salty crispy roti, chased by a bite of the pickles was delicious.

Thai curry
Roti mataba with curry sauce

The curry, although served to go with the egg roti, also went incredibly well with the roti mataba (โรตีมะตะบะ), elevating the flavor to even higher levels of marvelous.

Although the curry was supposed to be beef, I caught a piece of chicken in mine, not that I’m complaining.

After enjoying some of the tastiest roti’s I’ve had in Thailand, and chitchatting with some friendly people, Ying and I continued to walk around and explore the market.

Phuket Town food
Awesome roti in Phuket

Along with all the wonderful fresh ingredients available, and the delicious food to choose from for breakfast, another thing I really loved about this morning Phuket market is that most of the vendors were extremely friendly, as were the fellow shoppers and eaters.

Talad Kaset Market
Meat section of Talad Kaset

Even though Kaset Market (ตลาดเกษตร) is located right in Phuket Town, it seems that not too many tourists wake up to explore.

Kaset Market (ตลาดเกษตร)
Kaset Market (ตลาดเกษตร) in Phuket Town

For a better glimpse into the life of this market, press play to watch the video below:

(If you can’t see the video, watch it here)

Conclusion

Phuket Town is a fantastic place to spend some time when you’re in Phuket. One of my favorite things to do in the town is to eat at at the local morning market.

There are a number of local fresh wet markets in Phuket Town, but Talad Kaset Market (ตลาดเกษตร ภูเก็ต) is one of the best for its pleasant mixture of fresh ingredients and prepared food and snacks.

When you visit Kaset Market (ตลาดเกษตร) you’ll not only have a chance to see all the vegetables, herbs, and spices used in southern Thai cooking, but you’ll also be able to eat local Phuket desserts and snacks, roti, curry, dim sum, and many other delicious foods.

Talad Kaset (ตลาดเกษตร ภูเก็ต) – Phuket Town

Address: Thanon Ong Sim Phai, Mueang Phuket, Phuket, Thailand
Open hours: 2 am – 10 pm daily (the best hours to go are in the morning from about 6 am – 8 am, and come hungry)

Note: The market is mostly a morning market, but it’s also open as a night market where a number of street food stalls set-up and serve cooked food. But in my opinion, the morning market is much better.

ที่อยู่ ถนน อ๋องซิมผ่าย อำเภอเมือง จังหวัดภูเก็ต
เปิด 2.00 – 10.00 น.

How to get there: If you’re staying in Phuket Town*, somewhere around Old Town, it’s just a 5 – 10 minute walk to get to Kaset Market. It’s located right behind the Robinson Department Store in between Thavonwongwong Alley and Thanon Ong Sim Phai. Here’s my Phuket map.

31 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Anne Kim

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    My husband and I had the good fortune to visit this market while we were in Phuket last week (late November). It was one of the highlights of our trip! The roti stall was excellent and left me dreaming of (and looking for) that hot tea everywhere else we went after (what is it called? Would love to learn more about it). We also tried the dim sum, which was a great local experience, but not the best we’ve ever had. We had so much fun exploring the rest of the market — without a single foreigner/tourist around, other than us. It was especially interesting to see the bustling market come to a complete silent standstill when the national anthem played promptly at 8 am! I highly recommend forcing yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn to get to this market — it really isn’t that far from the center of Phuket Town, and it was so worth it. Thank you for the recommendation.

  • Arpan Mehta

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark. My wife and I are considering holiday’ing in Thailand next September. Our girl will be 1.5 years old by then, so we are ideally looking for a super relaxed resort – but in an area with amazing food! Would you recommend Phuket in terms of food? Or are there other areas youd recommend? Love your blogs by the way, your youtube videos make my commute into work something to look forward to! Cheers, Arpan

  • Mika

    3 years ago

    I just visited Talad Kaset Market, very nice and very local market! I found the roti stall, roti matapa was best I have ever had, delicious, fresh and spicy! I can recommend this place for every foodie!

  • Nicole

    4 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    My boyfriend and I have always been inspired to travel for food. We love your video posts and we are planning a two week vacation to Bangkok in the very near future. What is the best way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket? We’d like to spend a few days in Phuket to explore the beautiful beaches and try some local, seafood cuisine.

  • Zeeshan omar

    5 years ago

    Hey mark …
    I am a regular visitor to thailnd bangkok
    …….i would like to meet u……so can u just inbox me ur phone number……..and i would also like to request u ..to go for some halal food videos….please its a request

  • Leslie

    5 years ago

    Hi! My family and I are planning a visit to Phuket in May and we’ve been going through your posts and drooling at all the delicious food. I didn’t know that Talad Kaset would be open so early in the morning. Everywhere I’ve looked, people only talked about it as a night market. Good to know that we can visit there in the morning as well!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hi Leslie, thank you very much. I think in the morning it remains much more local, and a huge market with fresh ingredients and things to eat, whereas in my experience at night it’s just a few stalls. Hope you have a great time in Phuket!

  • Lili

    5 years ago

    Love your works???????? I will be going to Phuket for a short holiday, and local markets are always a must go for me

  • Sharon Wolstenholme

    6 years ago

    Have you ever been Phuket Fantasea? It located at Kamala beach. This beach is peaceful and awesome. Don’t miss Phuket Fantasea show when you were there. This show was beautiful! It’s definitely a must see when you’re in Phuket. The show was colourful, energetic, with beautiful costumes, lighting and breath-taking special effects. An hour and a half went by in a flash. We had our seats in the gold area. The whole Phuket FantaSea excursion was really lovely and well organized.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Sharon, no I haven’t been there. Thanks for the suggestion, maybe next time I’m in Phuket I’ll try to check it out.

  • [email protected]

    6 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the great info. We’ve got a few days planned in Phuket for early July and we will be staying around Phuket town. It’s now great to know that we’ll not go hungry while we’re there! I’m a big fan of Roti’s but have been let down so many times that I’ve stopped eating them.

    However, your pic of the roti with the red curry sauce has restored my faith in rotis and I can’t wait to try one in July! 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Carlo, good to hear from you, glad you’ll be spending some days in Phuket soon. I know what you mean about rotis… but I really loved this place!

  • Luke Mitchell

    6 years ago

    “The same thin roti dough was filled with a mixture of beaten egg, onions, minced beef, and a spice seasoning mixture of curry powder and maybe some extra cumin.”

    I have been wanting to go to Phuket for about 8 years now after someone showed me what appeared to be a floating island, and water so clear you could see all the way to the bottom. Now that I’ve had 8 years worth of research also behind me, and your ever tasty blog to follow to give even more direction for foods to enjoy, I’m prepared and have tickets in hand for the family to finally go!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hi Luke, great to hear from you, so glad that you’re interested in going to Phuket. Hope you can visit soon and that you can try that stuffed mataba roti at the market!

  • [email protected] The British Berliner

    6 years ago

    I love this post. Everything looks divine! We went to Thailand last summer and had a wonderful time at the local markets in Bangkok & Chiang Mai. I’ve never been to Phuket but it sure looks great. Nice one!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hi Victoria, great to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Thailand and especially the markets!

  • Nee

    6 years ago

    And I thought there’s no more other Thai food to explore, but this post surprised me.

  • Bryan Tran

    6 years ago

    Nice photos all around. Keep up the good work!

  • Frank

    6 years ago

    Even in Phuket there is amazing Thai markets …. I’ll drop by Talad Kaset next time I head to Southern Thailand!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Thanks Frank, yes amazing markets for sure all over Thailand!

  • Dusty

    6 years ago

    I have always been a huge fan of Roti and also enjoy your videos and the work that you and Ying do for the viewers.

  • Josias Lopes

    6 years ago

    That Khao neow na kanun looks divine…