If you ask me what was the most memorable thing we did in Pattaya, that has to be our visit to Lan Pho Naklua Fish Market. It is basically a fresh market located north of central Pattaya where you can find all sorts of seafood and other fresh produce at local prices.
But of course, I wouldn’t recommend you to visit a fresh market if it is not special right? Well, the fun lies in picking out the seafood from the stalls and bring it to cook at the restaurants outside the market. If you are looking for an interesting activity to start off the day and have a scrumptious meal, I would recommend this.
You can definitely reach the market on foot from the city central, but I think that’s reserved for those who have plenty of time to kill. It would be a lot easier to get here using the baht bus. The ride will probably take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on traffic and the best part is the trip costs only 10 baht.
To know which stop to get off, just turn on Google Maps on your smartphone and set your destination to Lan Pho Market. Keep an eye on the tracker and push the buzzer to alight when you are near. That’s what we did when getting around Pattaya in the baht bus.
Basically, Lan Pho market is made up of three sections: wet market, dry market and the row of stalls that will cook your seafood. There are also a number of street food cart vendors that sell mostly grilled seafood and other staples such as pork satay and drinks.
There’s also a designated area where you can enjoy your seafood. If you fancy having a seafood picnic, mats can be rented for 20 baht. As for us, we just sat on the plastic chairs.
After you have picked a stall to cook your seafood, they will hand you an ordering chit with a number written on it. Be careful not to lose this or you will have problem redeeming your cooked seafood later.
There’s nothing fancy about the way they prepare the seafood, it’s the usual steam, boil or grill with minimal seasoning. Some stalls do offer a couple of more interesting options like cheese baked, but naturally those will cost more. We only got charged 70 baht cooking fee for 3 types of seafood, that’s not bad at all.
When your food is ready, they will call out your number and hand you your meal packed in styrofoam boxes.
Here’s our brunch that day: grilled fresh water prawns, cockles, scallops and baby squids bought from a cart nearby. Total damage: 450 baht. We also bought two packets of chili sauce, one red one green from a random stall as dip. They can be found easily in the market and you can even sample them before buying. But generally, the green version is a lot spicier.
The river prawns we bought were still alive before going on the grill, so they were as fresh as they can get.
The same went for the scallops. You can tell by the look of them they are cooked just right – tender and succulent.
The cockles were a bit muddy but the flesh inside was nice and juicy.
The baby squids tasted unexpectedly good so I would recommend trying them also. For 50 baht, they also come with a small pack of dried squids that adds a rich and briny flavor.
It’s pretty much an open secret that Lan Pho market offers some of the freshet seafood in Pattaya at affordable prices. If you want to enjoy a scrumptious seafood meal without breaking the bank, this is the place to be. For other photos of the market, view the gallery below.