Phantip Food Market, located in the town of Thong Sala, is Koh Phangan’s largest food market and in recent years it has become one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions. With the exception of Koh Phangan’s famous parties, the busiest place to go to Koh Phangan in the evening time is Phantip Food Market.
About Phantip Food Market
Phantip Food Market is often described as a ‘night market’, which is only partly true as some of the stalls open from around midday. The market is, however, generally in full swing from about 17:00 onward and many places stay open until 22:00 and sometimes later depending on how busy it is.
The major appeal of the market is the wide variety of (mostly) value for money food, and the availability of places to sit and drink alcohol as well as eat. Phantip Food Market is market of two parts: outdoor stalls and indoor establishments in buildings surrounding the outside area. The cheaper food, for the larger part Thai food, is found at the outdoor stalls. The food outlets located indoors tend to be more expensive which makes sense because the rents which need to be paid for a space in a building are higher than those for a patch of ground outside.
Outdoor Food Stalls
The food stalls located outside in the market are split roughly 50/50 between places selling classic Thai market food and places selling items aimed specifically towards the tourist market. Some local Thai people eat at this market but the predominant customer base of Phantip Food Market is foreign tourists and this is reflected in the character of the market, the prices and what is sold there. Phantip Food Market is not an authentic cultural experience in the same way as visiting one of the large markets on the Thai mainland, but nonetheless it does offer the best opportunity on Koh Phangan to eat authentic Thai street food at near to authentic Thai prices.
Visitors to Phantip Food Market can choose to eat pizza, sandwiches, sushi and a wide variety of other non-native dishes but we recommend trying more authentic Thai dishes; you can eat sushi and pizza anyway in the world, but there are very few places where you can get authentic Thai street food eat so take advantage of that on your visit. Amongst our favourite Thai food options at Phantip Food Market are:
- The Thai desert stall which sells a wide variety of traditional Thai sweets (‘khanom wan’ in Thai). Deserts costs from 5 to 20 THB a portion.
- The several curry and rice stalls. These stalls sell pre-cooked Southern and Central Thai style curries and stir fry dishes with rice. 2 curries and rice costs around 60 THB. The yellow curries and fiery ‘moo kling’ are traditional Southern dishes which are difficult to find outside of the Southern Region in Thailand.
- Fried chicken and sticky rice stalls. This cheap staple is Thailand’s version of KFC with a distinctive flavoured coating. Chicken pieces cost 20 to 40 THB each and a pack of sticky rice costs 10 THB.
Indoor Food Vendors
These are two main buildings around the outdoor market. The main building has two levels. The downstairs level has a large seating area and a constantly changing range of food outlets selling a wide variety of food types including pizza, sushi, Thai food, Greek and Vegan. Dishes purchased at these food stalls cost from 50 to 200 THB per dish, with the foreign dishes costing the most. Upstairs is a large bar with a limited food service. Anyone can go to sit upstairs to eat what the food they purchased in the market even if they don’t purchase a drink, which many people do as the drinks are very cheap.
To the side of the outdoor market is a smaller building with seating and food outlets on the ground floor. The stand out restaurant here is an Indian restaurant, of which there are relatively few on Koh Phangan. The range of dishes is very small and all pre-cooked. They sell Indian curries at around 200 THB a portion and some Indian snacks like samosa at around 40 to 50 THB a piece. Not cheap but about the same price or cheaper than Indian food is sold elsewhere on Koh Phangan.
Location of Phantip Food Market
- Phantip Food Market is in Thong Sala on the South West Coast of Koh Phangan.