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Aw Taw Kaw (Or Tor Kor) Market in Bangkok

Michael Babcock, September 13th, 2009

For many years, one of our favorite markets in Bangkok has been the Or Or Tor Kor (pronounced “Aw Taw Kaw”) market that is out by Chatuchak market (the weekend market, sometimes called “J.J. Market”). If it were translatable to English, it would be the “ATK Market” because aw, taw & kaw are Thai alphabet letters. It’s usually transliterated from Thai to English as Talaat Or Tor Kor; an alternate transliteration is Dtalaat Aw Taw Kaw.

Front Aisle at Aw Taw Kaw

Front Aisle at Aw Taw Kaw

(Note: you may want to read our article A Note on Thai Spelling & Pronunciation. In many instances, such as this one, the official Thai transliteration – Or Tor Kor – will lead to wrong pronunciation by westerners. Although Aw Taw Kaw is more phonetically correct, you’ll probably have more luck finding information on it using the official spelling of Or Tor Kor. I’m using both interchangeably in this blog.)

(Click on an image to see a larger version.)

You can get there via the MRT subway – get off at the Kamphaengpetch Road station. If you’re going by cab, make sure they take you to the correct Aw Taw Kaw – there’s also one out on Sukhumvit Soi 105 (Soi La Salle) that we’ve heard is not as interesting.

Prepared food at Or Tor Kor

Prepared food at Or Tor Kor

As Thai markets go, it’s a little more upscale. By American standards, it’s still a great bargain compared to what we have here in the states. It’s actually housed indoors, under a large roof (with open walls) and is very clean and somewhat orderly. I say somewhat orderly, because it’s a very popular market with Thais and it can get very crowded, particularly on weekends. Kasma says that it’s a place that many Thai movie stars like to shop and that you can sometimes see them going through, fashionably-dressed with their entourages.

Fruit vendor at Aw Taw Kaw

Fruit vendor at Aw Taw Kaw

What do I like about Or Tor Kor? Perhaps it’s just that every stall seems to have their wares displayed immaculately and in mouth-watering fashion. We always start by walking down the first aisle at the front of the market and it’s a challenge not to buy something at most of the stalls: there are luscious grilled prawns, roasted pork with dipping sauce, shrimp cakes, sticky rice treats in banana leaves, tropical fruit of all varieties, grilled sausage, and on and on. There are stalls with pot after pot of prepared food, some familiar, some not and nearly all appetizing.

Sausage at Or Tor Kor

Sausage at Or Tor Kor

Although Kasma and I go every year, I don’t take nearly as many pictures as I would like. Why? Because after about 5 minutes, we’ve bought so many items that I’ve got so much to carry that I can’t get to my camera easily. This is a dilemma not easily solved because I find that when we buy something from a vendor, it’s more of an even exchange; and they are generally happier to have their picture taken if you’ve made a purchase, as well. As with the other markets we visit, Kasma often brings pictures that we’ve taken the previous visit to give to the vendors: their astonishment that someone would do this and their happiness to receive the pictures is ample reward for our efforts.

Crabs at Aw Taw Kaw

Crabs at Aw Taw Kaw

One excellent reason to visit Or Tor Kor is to try the Durian. Or Tor Kor vendors tend to get top-of-the-line fruit of all varieties and durians are no different. I’ve already posted a couple Wednesday Photos about durian at Or Tor Kor that will guide you in your tasting. See

Food area at back of Aw Taw Kaw

Food area at back of Aw Taw Kaw

In addition to the mouth-watering prepared food that makes grazing down the aisles so irresistible, Or Tor Kor also offers basic ingredients of all kinds from vegetables and herbs to fresh, fresh seafood of all kinds, meats, any sauce you might need to cook a Thai meal, mounds of fresh curry pastes and (in the very back), rice of all varieties. The fruit can be fairly pricey; but if you are wanting to get a fruit out-of-season, it’s either pay a bit more or don’t get to taste it. Everything is top of the line.

Where we get Basil Duck

Where we get Basil Duck

We always plan our visit to include lunch time. There’s a section in the back with many stands that cook food to order (assuming you aren’t too stuffed from all the good things you’ve grazed on). We’ve already written about the stand that sells delicious pad Thai and mussel omelets (Pad Thai at Aw Taw Kaw Market). My other favorite dish is called (in Thai) Pad Gkaprao Bped – Basil Duck; it’s your basic stir-fried with basil recipe, such as Kasma’s Spicy Basil Chicken (Gkai Pad Gkaprao), made with roast duck and served (of course) over rice. I’ve included a picture of the stall that sells this so you can give it a try.

For drinks, look for one of the stalls that have the plastic bottles filled with many colorful-liquids; particularly good is the slightly yellow passion fruit juice, but the fresh-squeezed orange juice and the young coconut are really good as well.

Look for these colored bottles for good things to drink

Good things to drink

Next time you’re in Bangkok plan a visit to Aw Taw Kaw. It’s well worth the visit. As you wander the aisles you may wish you had your own kitchen, the fresh ingredients look so good, but all the prepared food will compensate you many-fold.


For more pictures of Or Tor Kor (and other markets), check out our markets pictures. There’s another good blog entry at She Simmers – Or Tor Kor Market. You can also see Austin Bush’s photographs on his blog. There’s also some photos on this Travellerspoint blog.

Grilled chicken at Aw Taw Kaw

Grilled chicken at Aw Taw Kaw


Written by Michael Babcock, September 2009.

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8 Responses to “Aw Taw Kaw (Or Tor Kor) Market in Bangkok”

  1. […] notice raw pla som being sold in some of the larger gourmet fresh markets in or near Bangkok, like Aw Taw Kaw (Or Tor Kor) and Don Wai, either already packaged in plastic bags or sold bulk in big piles. The pla som made by […]

  2. […] The photo to the right shows a rice stall at Or Tor Kor (pronounced Aw Taw Kaw) market in Bangkok carrying five different kinds of white and whole-grain jasmine rices – the four sacks in front, with the leftmost bag being new-crop jasmine rice from Chiang Rai, and the leftmost bag on the top row, which is new-crop jasmine rice from Yasothon. Signs for the three whole-grain jasmine rices in the front row identify the varieties and describe what they are good for (i.e., the sack with the red sign is new-crop pink whole-grain jasmine rice that can treat numbness and is a tonic for the bones). (See our blog on Aw Taw Kaw (Or Tor Kor) Market in Bangkok.) […]

  3. […] snacks don’t last – the sticky rice treats in jack fruit pictured here appeared one year at Aw Taw Kaw Market in Bangkok but the next year they were not there. Too bad, they were […]

  4. Michelle@TastyThailand says:

    I go to Aw Taw Kaw almost every weekend (my rabbits love the veggies there – don’t ask, I have hi-so rabbits :) It’s very expensive compared to other markets, but the quality is so wonderful it’s well worth the treble price.

    Nice blog, btw.

  5. […] since done a whole blog post on Aw Taw Kaw Market. Austin Bush has some photographs of Aw Taw Kaw Market that are worth a […]

  6. […] Aw Taw Kaw Market in Bangkok; and […]

  7. […] we’ve blogged a couple times about one of our favorite markets in Thailand (Aw Taw Kaw Market in Bangkok and Pad Thai at Aw Taw Kaw Market), blogged about the Bangkok Chinatown Market as well as given […]

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