Recently, I made the journey to meet many of the farmers we have been buying goldfish from in Thailand for the past several years. It was a wonderful experience meeting them and visiting their farms. In the past, I have had family members pick the goldfish for me as we purchased in large quantities. For this trip, I wanted to hand pick all the fish coming to our USA shop.
In early March, I spent just over a week in Thailand visiting close to a dozen farms and picking the best specimens to bring back to the US. I also visited the famous JJ Market Fish Market. We will be releasing the fish from my recent picking trip next Friday, 4/5/19.
Here are some pictures and videos from my trip.
Here is me picking some amazing double chinned Lionchu at a Thai farm specializing in Lionchu. I bought several boxes in a few sizes. I was really impressed with the intensity of the colors from this farm. The body and head shape was extremely nice as well.
Picking Thai Buffalo Head Ranchu juveniles. These guys are just starting to develop their trademark buffalo cheek looks. Take a look at the body on these. Great back shape, tail tuck and overall body conformation. I've not seen too many of these in the USA up to this point. The farmers were telling me these are adapted from the Japanese Top View Ranchu. You can see many similarities in the bodies and shape of them.
The highlight of my trip was visiting this farm in Thailand. They produce some of the best Orandas in world. These TOP grade Thai Orandas have near perfect body conformation and would be potential show winners in any goldfish show. Huge powerful tails with folds as is common with Orchid Tail types however the farm branded them as Peacock Tail. The body on these guys are super impressive. When I saw them swimming in the pond, I was already impressed but when the pulled them up and put them in the tanks, I was blown away! While these guys are not cheap, I do believe you are getting what you pay for here.
This farm had some beautiful orandas to pick from. I was able to take my time and pick only the fish I wanted here. Hidden in a back pond in deep green water, was this pair of super RARE beautiful Telescope Eye Thai Orandas. The farmer didn't really want to let these go, but we were able to convince him! He had some others that he was willing to let sell but these 2 he really wanted to keep. The good news is, we were able to buy them and the farmer was happy with the compensation! Good day for all!!!!
Another farm specializing in Thai Oranda. I bought a good amount of goldfish from this farm and even picked up a few special orders. Check out the amazing PANDA Oranda. This one was a large size and had kept its colors beautifully. I also picked up a batch of Thai Ranchus. I had visited other farms and purchased Lionchu and Buffalos but these are traditional Thai Ranchus. I thought they were beautiful and had big chubby cheeks.
This was the biggest Oranda I saw in Thailand. They said it was a 1.5 year old Thai Oranda that had blown up to about 12-13”. It was incredible.
This Ranchu was about 9”. Not for sale but just an incredible fish.
Here's 1 days work on my farmers tan after getting roasted in the sun. 90+, full sun, bent over a pond with the sun reflecting off the water.
I spent the majority of my time in the rural farm area of Thailand. On the last day I spent some time in Bangkok relaxing and eating! Here are some general touristy pictures.
Chatuchak Market in Bangkok aka JJ Market Weekend Market
This is basically the largest swap meet you will ever visit. You WILL get lost in all the stalls they have. Its endless. There are a million better travel writers out there that can tell you all about it. The only thing I will elaborate on is they have a rather large fish market off the the side. Its a little hard to find as its not really attached to the main market but more in the parking lot of a shopping mall that is adjacent to the market.
To get to the market, I took the public transit “To Mo Chit.”
There are numerous goldfish stalls and always plenty of goldfish to look at. I got some pictures of the better stalls. While there was significant volume of goldfish, I wasn't that impressed with the overall quality of the fish at the market. I think the fish we have at King Koi Goldfish is far superior to what they were selling. Might be a little bias!
Proof I was here
They had a large assortment of tropical stalls. The dinosaur in this tank was well over 6ft.
Whats a trip to an Asian fish market market without the fish in bags pictures!
My first night we went to an all you can eat seafood buffet. You would catch your own live shrimp in these tanks, dunk them in ice water to knock them out then grill them at your own table. A little brutal for me, but the rest of my party didn't hesitate to “go fishing.” The best part...all you can eat seafood was bout $10 USD.
In Thailand there are 7-11s everywhere. Its similar to Taiwan so that wasn't that big of a surprise for me. Quick breakfast we grabbed on the way to the farms. Thai Cheese Hotdog and Thai Lays chips. I really liked this flavor. I tried a bunch of flavors and some...I wouldn't buy again, but these were the business.
We met with some family and they insisted we eat at this restaurant. They told me it was one of the best and most famous restaurants in all of Thailand. I thought the food was excellent but my favorite part was they had several servers assigned to our table. Basically every time I took a sip of my drink one of them refilled it...then when I ate some rice, another guy was spooning more onto my plate. Talk about service! Needless to say, I ate and drank more than I should have!