Food in Thailand
noodle soups, rice porridge, seafood, fruits and much more
Noodle soup is one of the most common and cheapest food in Thailand and you can get all over Asia and especially south, east and south east Asia. I have to admit I have not been everywhere, Korea, Philippines and Japan are not yet on my list.
For food in Thailand, noodle soup is also on the staple. At almost every street corner you find a noodle soup stall. These stalls can be permanent, but many are temporary. Some are good, some are not, some offer basic noodle soup with instant noodles, other have a good variety with fresh noodles and good meat and vegetables. But even a good tom yam can be found on street corners!
I have been on and off to Thailand for the last 15 years or so. It's a great country, there's lots to see, it's cheap and I find in general the people very nice. The food in Thailand is one of the main reasons to come back over and over again.
In Bangkok I have used one specific guesthouse for most of my visits. The guesthouse is located in a side street near the National Library, about 20 minutes walk from the famous (or should I say infamous?) Khao San Road area where most of the tourist hang out.
The street has a few guesthouses but it's remarkable "local". There's a market nearby and you see once in a while foreigners eating there too.
The Taewez is already a several years old and seems to be one of the more favorites of the guesthouses in the street though it's slightly more expensive but the staff is nice, the rooms clean and quiet and the service always good.
Some people prefer to eat in the guesthouse. The food is a bit westernized but good. I usually eat somewhere else. For breakfast at the market where two ladies offer an excellent rice porridge.
Actually, one of the ladies parents was running the stall for many years. Every time I was in Bangkok I had my breakfast rice porridge there because it was so great. The old couple died in 2005 after a 2 month sickbed of cancer. But the ladies, fortunately do an equal great job and thus whenever I am in Bangkok, I still have my breakfast there.
Sea food in Chinatown Bangkok
In the evening a pickup truck ride in and parks at the street corner. A small guy gets out and sets up some tables and chairs. The 7 Eleven shop apparently doesn't have problems with people sitting at the shop window. The man sets everything ready, and starts selling noodle soup. Everything is in the pick up: water, meat, vegetables, ice and coke, drinking water.
The man starts with boiling the water for the soup. As I said, it's a small guy, I guess he's somewhere in his early 40's, grey hair and a few teeth standing horizontal in his mouth. It seems he's always smiling. He doesn't speak much English but what the heck! Why would he speak much English!
All he need to know is noodle soup and 40 bath! He also knows some short phrases as: please sit down and thank you. And as a good Thai, always with a big smile. (To be honest, you can get cheaper noodle soup but with less ingredients, 40B is a fair price)
His noodle soup became over the years, like the rice porridge, a standard meal. I don't have it every night but sometimes late in the evening, around 12 or so, I feel the need to eat a little. He's always there, and his noodles are always great! The question of course is why are his noodles so good?
The man doesn't do much special with his noodles. He boils them short, put some vegetables in, then cuts some meat, always pork and he has some meat in noodles prepared (the Chinese call that Baotse or Jaotse). There are chopsticks, some chilies and vinegar. The man starts usually around sunset and works until he has either no more customers or is out of stocks.
This little guy works hard, he runs a good business. Next to him a lady does the same but it's the guy who gets most of the customers, mostly Thais. He stands besides his pickup truck, does his work on his own and, since he is quite small, has many times to stand on his tiptoes to reach the different tools and ingredients.
The man is so much part of the street scene that he is immediately missed when he takes a day off which happens on National Holidays. His presence, and thus his noodle soup are to me as important as the rice porridge.
But, the Thai cuisine is as extensive as it's people. The Thais are very creative with food.
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