Sights, Sounds, Smells, & Tastes at Lamai's Sunday Night Market
Koh Samui, Thailand
December 31, 2017
The little busy beach town of Lamai is full of smiles, a wide range of cuisine, tourists, locals, shops, and street doggos. On Sunday nights, the Sunday Night Street Market is a hotspot for both tourists and locals of every age. At the night market you can find artisan crafts, homemade goods, friendly people, music, and fresh foods. It is quite a taste of what Lamai has to offer in a concentrated area. It is a perfect night for the interested shopper, the curious or daring food-y, artists, and patron of the arts.
At the start of the market, it is quiet with a slight ocean breeze that carries the scent of burning incense through the air. Families and vendors are setting up just before the sun sets. The sound of birds, metal clanking, paper and plastic rustling can be heard. The market's walk ways are formed as the space between the little stands on either side. Everywhere you walk, there are street vendors. Some of the stands have clothing, jewelry, soap and beauty products, toys, accessories, and Thailand memorabilia. Stands are beautifully organized, goods are stacked, and they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. There is quite a lot to look at every step and turn, as the imagery is loud and stimulating. Bright and vibrant colors from the products can be seen throughout the entire market, and pattern made by layers and repetition of goods is commonly seen. Products are lit by naked bulbs that hang over the stands, acting as a spotlight to catch the buyer's eye.
As shoppers continue deeper into the street market - and the sun goes down beyond the horizon - one can start to hear more voices, the sounds of shifting and walking, and live music playing at the intersection of the two streets. Here, it is more loud and busy, there are typically more people, and the food vendor carts begin. One can tell by the overpowering smells of grilled spiced meats and seafood floating with the breeze. The food offered in this area ranges from Italian to American to traditional Thai food and dessert. The sound of sizzling food on grills and in pans, chatting voices in all different languages, and laughter can be heard.
While I was sitting down to eat a waffle from a street vendor, a local family around the corner were sitting down to feast. One of the men waved a friend and me over, then approached us, inviting us to join them for dinner. This was such a kind gesture and I was surprised at how warm and inviting they were to people (us) they do not know.
Lamai's Sunday Night Market was a very enjoyable and memorable experience. There was so much of the culture alive and present at the market. Locals and tourists both roamed the streets, interacting and sharing smiles. I still think about the smells, foods, drinks, and goods - even back in the USA. Oh, how I wish that I had a night market similar to the one found on the little beach town of Lamai in Koh Samui, Thailand.