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  • Writer's pictureAllan Christian

Bangkok: A Foodie's Paradise

Thailand is a place of many different attractions for all kinds of tastes and preferences. Believe it or not, I’ve been there four times, and on my last trip, I returned to the country with one single goal: to eat yummy and unusual food!

 

Thai cuisine varies a lot, ranging from insects to street food skewers to gourmet dishes. After living in Australia for almost 10 years, I miss street food so much that I didn’t think twice before booking a trip to Bangkok for five days with the sole goal of eating street food!

 

Location, location, location!

I stayed in a hotel within walking distance from one of the main train stations in Bangkok and near a street market that was open all day so I could enjoy the nice and tasty food in the morning and afternoon. I arrived at the hotel early, at around 8:00 am, but my check-in was at 2:00 pm. So I just went for a walk through the street market and treated myself to excellent Thai milk tea (cha nom) and beef skewers. A cup of Thai milk tea can go for as cheap as AUD 3.00 to AUD 5.00, but don’t fool yourself: despite the super cheap price, it tastes better than any other milk tea I’ve tasted in Melbourne. The flavour of the milk tea in Thailand is just more ‘original’. It’s hard to describe the difference, so you must travel there and try it for yourself. I think I drank around 20 cups of milk tea during that trip. Yeah, I’m a milk tea lover!



But milk tea is not all I'm made of. As a Brazilian, I appreciate good coffee, and in Thailand, I was able to find coffee that was very similar in taste to the one in Brazil. The secret is how it is prepared. As you can see in the picture, it’s the old-school style, which, honestly, tastes the best. You place the ground coffee in a filter and pour boiling water into it. Then the coffee slowly drips through the filter into the cup. It takes a while; you need to be patient. But it’s totally worth it. Drinking coffee made that way took me down memory lane. 


Plastic bags? Yes, they put food directly in them.

One of the most curious things I’ve noticed in Thailand is that they put cooked food directly in plastic bags. When you order takeaway food, the seller very skilfully puts the food inside a plastic bag and ties it up really well. And that's for all types of food: rice, chicken, vegetables and even liquids. Yes, they put soup in plastic bags, as well as the sauces you put on the food. Now imagine you're coming home on a crowded train with soup in a plastic bag. You certainly need to be careful!



A more acquired taste?

Anyone who is into unusual food should go to any street market at night or to a floating market to eat fried insects. Far from a delicacy, the fried crickets, grasshoppers and worms will make you want to either eat more in delight or puke your guts out. Fortunately for me, my case was the former. Eat at your discretion, though.

It might not be for the weak of the

the stomach. In all honesty, crickets and grasshoppers somehow taste like chicken. How do you eat those, you ask? You choose which ones you want and the vendor puts them in little paper bags similar to the ones we eat popcorn from. So yes, you just walk around eating something that people may think is popcorn, but in fact, you’re munching on worms. I think it’s worth trying even if you have just one. After all, you're there to have new experiences.


Floating markets

By far the most fun eating experience I’ve had in Bangkok has been at a floating market. There are many famous floating markets, but the one I went to was the Damnoen Saduak floating market. An hour-long boat ride eating food and buying souvenirs - this had been on my bucket list for a very long time and I am glad I ticked it off. It’s a must-go if you’re planning a trip to Bangkok. You get on a boat and it stops wherever you want to buy food or souvenirs. And they sell everything there - not just fruit or snacks, but also proper meals like Pad Thai or Tom Yum, which are prepared on the spot, not re-heated. They carry little stoves on the boats and prepare the food right there in front of you.


The smiling elderly lady you see in the picture below has been working there for over 40 years and had many stories to tell during the boat ride. I was very glad to hear about her experience. My best buy at the floating market was various types of tea. Isn’t it the cutest way to pack tea?


 

Fried chicken that tastes like heaven!

If you’ve made it thus far, congratulations, because I saved the best for last. I introduce to you the fried chicken sold on the streets of Bangkok. They call it: Gai Tod (in Thai, ไก่ทอด). As I mentioned, my trip was fully dedicated to eating yummy food, and Gai Tod was the pivotal reason why I went through my savings again and bought a flight ticket to Bangkok.


The chicken is deep-fried in oil (and there’s a lot of it). I don’t know what they put in it but it tastes so incredibly good that no other fried chicken comes close! They sell chicken wings, chicken breasts and chicken drumsticks. I particularly prefer the drumsticks and it is absolutely the best food I have had in Bangkok. The price is unbelievable by Australian standards. You can buy one drumstick for 20 Thai Baht (roughly AUD 0.90). A super yummy chicken at an incredible price is the best of both worlds. I lost count of how many drumsticks I ate on this trip. Maybe around 40, or more! They sell it with sticky rice (and of course, in plastic bags).



If I had to choose just one dish for you to try in Bangkok, that dish would be Gai Tod. Believe me, it’s another level!

 

Budget and tourist traps

As in all touristy places, one should be wary of tourist traps in Bangkok. When going out for food, it’s better to go with a local person who knows about price ranges, so you're not fooled. I went to buy some food by myself one afternoon and paid 200 Thai Baht for a dish which, I later found out, cost 50 Baht at the most. So even though Bangkok is a place where you can have lots of fun and eat good authentic food for an excellent price, if you fall for tourist traps, you will end up spending much more than you would if you were accompanied by a local person.


Accommodation in Bangkok shouldn't cost much. The second time I went there, I spent 18 days in a four-star hotel and paid less than the cost of a 5-day stay in a similar hotel in Sydney. If you’re not willing to embark on the adventure of taking public transport, Grab (similar to Uber) is a good option since you pay for the ride using the app. You should still be careful about drivers asking you to pay for tolls even though they're usually already included in the ride price. If you want your experience to be “fully local”, I suggest you get a tuk-tuk to travel between places - it is the most affordable option for sure.


I hope you are now inspired to plan a trip to Bangkok. Not only will you see beautiful places but also eat very tasty food at great prices. Enjoy!



About the Author


Originally from Brazil, Allan moved to Australia in 2014 to study a Master's degree and continue his career as an English teacher. However, he started planning short getaways to Asia immediately. His dream of visiting many Asian countries was made easier by the proximity of Australia to Asia, so he's having the time of his life. He has already visited Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines. His plans for future trips include South Korea, Vietnam and, his most desired tourist destination, Japan. 

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9件のコメント


ゲスト
1月28日

It's a sheer privilege to catch glimpses across the globe 👍👍

いいね!

ゲスト
1月27日

As a Thai person, I must say that you describe the pictures in detail in the way of life of Thai people. 👍

いいね!

linhhayes
1月27日

Very nice post! When I saw the little avatar image shown on the link to the post, I was expecting to see the yummy coconut ice cream called as “ kem dừa” in my home country: Vietnam. Where is that yummy ice cream pic? 😀

いいね!
allanaguiar2010
1月27日
返信先

It's in the Damnoen Saduak floating market in the post. The name is ไอศครีม กะทิสด (Ice cream ka-it sod) which translates to something like "Fresh coconut milk ice cream". It was really yummy! :)

いいね!

ゲスト
1月26日

Cool information! Thanks

いいね!

ゲスト
1月26日

Sounds great but a hard pass for me when it comes to worms!😂

いいね!
Tupur Chakrabarty
Tupur Chakrabarty
1月26日
返信先

When deep-fried, they lose all their worminess! We haven't been to Thailand but did try fried buffalo worms and silkworms at the Disgusting Food Museum in Malmo - they tasted like rice puffs 😀

いいね!
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