Fresh fish does not smell. Fresh fish and giant prawns shimmer on the cracked ice and look at you with glistening, clear eyes. Bamboo trays with silver fishes are laid out ready for the steamer.
Dried fish and smoked fish are fanned out in beautiful platters.
The fish lady shows off a bag full of huge fish eggs – one wonders at the size of the fish it came from. Such eggs are sold at a premium, 1,000 baht ($30) for 100g. Beside the dried chillis, garlic and curry pastes, a surprising dish of water beetles (Mang Da ) are on display. They look like overgrown cockroaches but we are assured that they are not. Rather, they are cooked in curries and prized for their aroma.
What does smell is dried squid. Dried squid drape their long tentacles off the table and mounds of brilliant minature dried shrimp (kung-haeng) stand ready for phat-thai noodles.