Khao Lak. A large town approximately 1.5 hours drive north of Phuket on the mainland and west coast of Thailand on the Andaman Sea. Sadly, this was the region that suffered the most during the tsunami in 2004, with approximately 4800 deaths. For visitors now, it is hard to visualise how it was then, as the beaches & the vegetation have returned, and in the main the villages have been rebuilt. Some resorts are being built again but most of bungalows that dotted the coastline back in 2004 have not returned, the locals still terrified of what might happen again. Differentiating Khao Lak from other tourist destinations is the lack of high rise with local laws allowing buildings to be no taller than the highest palm tree. Resorts in the area tend to be more upmarket, and the JW Marriott Resort & Spa is a good example of the type of resort nestled in beside beautiful beaches.
Life goes on in the village of Khao Lak with the largest market being Bangniang and although its not a true Farmers Market as I know, it does have a section where the locals shop for Vegetables, Fruit, Seafood and staples. This includes fried insects, crickets, and other beetles.
Local favourites include Mangosteen, Thai Mango, and local spices. Some of the fieriest Chilli I have ever tried, and probably never will again.
There are all the touristy Knick knacks , t shirts etc, and there are a lot of food stalls selling wonderful Thai dishes and drinks. The other difference here was that they dont hassle you to buy, and they are beautiful people so be respectful of these people, most of who lost family members or close friends back in 2004.
The markets appear to be open every day, with crowds building up round 6 pm.