Food is a religion in Bangkok
Bangkok is one of those cities that you will find crowded even in the wee hours of the morning. Step out at 12 am, and chances are you may get stuck in a traffic jam, and the streets will be spilling with people. And even more likely is the fact that they’re lining up for some grub at the hundreds of street stalls dishing out excellent Thai fare. These street ‘restaurants’ have some haphazardly set out tables on the pavement, and while your chair maybe a little wobbly, you can be sure you will feast on some of the best food ever. Don’t be surprised if you find nattily dressed businessmen or corporate executives perched on tiny stools outside a stall wolfing down some egg noodles with curry sauce. The Thai food culture is such that good food doesn’t know any boundaries.
So where can you go for some delicious street food?
Usually, the markets in any city are home to some of the best food stalls. This vibrant city is no different, and its markets top any traveler’s list of ‘places to visit in Bangkok’. Head to the quaint China Town market on Sampeng Lane for stalls selling barbequed fish wrapped in banana leaf or ‘mamueng nampla wan’, a salad of Thai olives, and unripe mangoes with chillies and dried prawns. Of course, the regular favorites such as juicy grilled squids, or the ‘eat-anytime-of-the-day’ pad-thai noodles with eggs, fish sauce and other goodies, are available abundantly at many of these stalls. One of the must-try items is the oyster omelet, especially if you happen to go to Nai Mong Hoy Tod on Phlapplaachai Road.
Yaowarat Road in Chinatown is home to Guaythiew Lod, where the stuffed flat noodles is to die for. This delicacy, as the name suggests is stuffed to the hilt with pork, shitake mushrooms, and squid. Add to this a topping of scallion, deep-fried garlic and bean sprouts, and you’ve got yourself a sumptuous treat.
The colorful textile market Pahurat has some hidden treasures as well. If you chance upon a stall selling the most delightful ‘som tam’, a spicy green papaya salad, you can be sure you will be going back there quite often!
The nightlife in Bangkok is as colorful as the food itself. The Suan Lim night bazaar, apart from its garish stalls selling jewelry and other knick-knacks has some nice food stalls where you can feast on drunken noodles or tom yum soup.
You can’t head back home without sampling some Thai dessert, right? Your stop can be Nam Kaeng Sai Khun Muk for a heady mix of fragrances and lip-smacking desserts. Treat yourself to jellies and fruit in coconut milk or lumyal juice.
Street Food… should I be worried about my tummy?
The Thais are extremely careful about hygiene, and this is reflected at the street food stalls. Do a quick check – if there are a lot of people standing near the stall, food is moving quickly, and chances of rotten stuff being dished out, are almost nil. So the next time you’re in Bangkok, give the street food a go, you won’t regret it!
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