Shopping at a Vegetable Van in Bangkok, Thailand
Buying vegetables in Bangkok, Thailand is not only easy it’s cheap. Particularly if you buy from one of the vegetable trucks that tour many neighborhoods of the city. The picture above is of the vegetable truck that comes down my soi five times a week — Saturday thru Wednesday — and it’s where I buy 90 percent of the vegetables I need for myself and my two rabbits.
Prices at Vegetable Trucks
Prices at many vegetable trucks in Bangkok are far cheaper than supermarkets and only a few baht more than if you shop at a local fresh market (the truck owner has to pay for the petrol and salaries for whoever operates the truck, of course).
The vegetable truck in Bangkok I buy from sells me two huge bags of produce — kale, cilantro, Chinese celery, lettuce, green beans, holy basil, Thai basil, peas, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, morning glory, tomatoes and onions etc — for around 120 baht ($4). That’s enough vegetables for both me and the rabbits for three days and, let me tell you, it’s a lot of stuff as it weighs several kilos.
How to Shop at a Vegetable Truck in Bangkok
If you want to shop at any of the vegetable trucks touring Bangkok’s streets, just find out from Thais who live in the neighborhood if there is one and which days it usually stops by and where. (If you’re in an apartment building, the staff will know all this). Then, when you hear the music (they usually play music as they’re coming or announce their ‘pak‘ (vegetables) over a loudspeaker, run outside and shop.
To shop, just pick out the vegetables you want from the piles on the truck, or pull off the plastic bags of veggies that are hanging on the side, and hand them to the seller. They will weigh them and tell you what the cost will be.
While all vegetable sellers differ in the prices they charge, I can guarantee you they will still be very cheap and will sell far fresher vegetables than your local Bangkok supermarket as these are all picked up at the closest fresh market early in the morning. That usually means they were still growing yesterday.
The vegetable van on my soi is run by a husband and wife who have had the same run for years. They now are so used to seeing me several times a week and know what I buy that she often has my produce already waiting for me when I get there.
Makes it convenient, her prices are dirt cheap and she and her husband are lovely.
By the way, if you’re vegetarian or vegan so eat a lot of vegetables, don’t forget to check out my article about the ease of buying vegetarian and vegan food in Bangkok.