For some reason the name ‘wet market’ conjured up grim thoughts of raw meat. It must have been the connotation to mafia movies ‘wet work’ providing this uneasy expectation.
It was only when doing a bit of pre-visit research I discovered it is actually named for the huge volume of water used to wash down every day.
However; my expectations were not far off. There was a lot of raw meat. A lot.
Hanging on hooks, piled on chopping boards, heaped in bins, bagged, and stacked, ready for the eager crowd of cooks and kitchen-hands to haggle over price and quality.
This is not a market for the squeamish. Live chickens in cages, wearily observe their plucked relatives while they wait their turn. Bare chested, tattooed men slice chunks of flesh and fat from unidentifiable carcasses. Water pools on the ground in every hollow to beckon slippery fish who leap from their impending doom to have one final attempt at freedom in the shallow puddles.
The vibrant, fresh fruit and vegetables provide colours and shapes to rest your senses… a blessed relief from the sensorial onslaught taking place in your nose.
…and as with all exciting facades there is an equally entertaining backstage; the theatre of Klong Toey hosts a vibrant community of merchants, operating like a family, sleeping smiling and slaughtering; all in a days work.
Of all of the themes I have worked on this one really does deserve a few more than just 7 shots. The selection below wont win any prizes for quality captures, but they continue the story in a worthy way and I’m happy to include them from the cutting room floor…