Bangkok is home to some of the best street food in the world: food carts and stalls can be found all over the city. Finding the very best cuisine in this culinary maze can be tricky - a 3-hour walking tour is the only way to test out local dishes most effectively. We’ll meet with a local chef or food expert in the area considered the birthplace of street food in Thailand: Chinatown (or ‘Yaowarat’ by the locals). Here we will begin with a discussion of the importance of street food in Thai culture and the Chinese influence in 18th century Chinatown. When the Grand Palace was constructed in that late 1700s, Chinese migrants were resettled from the bank of the Chao Praya River and Yaowarat was born. The neighbourhood remains an authentic piece of history and a lively place to explore with a small group (maximum of six people). A Chinese market nearby known as ‘Talat Mai’ is the perfect place to introduce (and smell) an array of Chinese-Thai ingredients. Although it translates as ‘New Market’, this covered market is nearly 200 years old. In the packed streets and dark alleyways we will find dried goods from the more usual teas and spices to exotic products such as fish heads and ginseng roots. The hustle and bustle of the market filled with shoppers opens up an all-encompassing sensory experience unlike nowhere else in the Thai capital. We’ll leave this particular market behind and make our way to the main Yaowarat (Chinatown) area. We may quickly pop into Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, a nearby temple to see if they are offering any particular religious or culinary festivals that at the particular time. Now only a short distance to the heart of Bangkok street food, Chinatown, we’ll realise there is more to Chinese food than shark fin soup and birds nest soup. As we taste our way through the market, we will make a number of stops at local stalls and vendors, according to the interest of the group. We may stop at a stall dedicated to selling piping hot noodles as we discuss the different styles of noodles used in Thai cooking whilst grabbing a seat a plastic table. Diving off to the side streets (sois) we can find some seafood specialities such as steamed seabass with fresh chillies. We’ll sample some perfectly grilled squid, which, when paired with a special (and spicy) Thai chilli dip offers a delectable awakening of the taste buds. A famous old theatre on Yaowarat road is renowned for its kwuay jab (noodles in peppery soup with pork balls) which offers an interesting taste for the curious palate. For the sweet toothed amongst us Yaowarat has a host of dessert treats, ranging from bright pink pomegranate juice, tamarind ice-cream or green mango with sugar and chillies. The most daring might even wish to try durian fruit, a Thai staple which is renowned for dividing opinion. Soaking in the atmosphere of the bustling area goes without saying: we’ll hear shouts from local vendors to passers-by; we’ll feel the heat of nearby flames as chefs whip up stir-fried morning glory; we’ll watch customers slurping up anything and everything. Next, we’ll jump on the subway, hop in a tuk tuk or stroll down to another nearby market. If we’ve still got room in our stomachs, we might pop to Banglamphu market to try some more classic Thai-style Isaan food such as tod mun pla (Thai fishcakes), khanom khai (egg cakes). An alternative destination is Khlong Toei wet market for a true immersion into an authentic, local, off-the-beaten-track Thai market. There won’t be many tourists here as we muck in with the locals to see fresh produce being sold and khanom khrok (coconut griddle cakes) being consumed. If our bellies are full, we might head to Pak Klong Talad, a celebrated flower market, home to piles of brightly colored chrysanthemums and orchids. Here we can strike up conversation with a local vendor who will show us how to fold a lotus flower or thread a flower garland, as seen in many of the capitals temples. As we eat our way through the depths of some of these Thai markets, we'll expand our own appreciation of the wide array of tastes so prevalent in Thai cooking. We'll come away from the walk not only welcoming the range of markets we have seen but also having gained a deeper understanding of the exciting variety of food and drink on offer in Bangkok.
Bangkok is chief port capital of Thailand and one of the most important cities in Southeast Asia. It is the epitome of the country's kaleidoscopic blend of old and new. It is an expression of Thai respect for tradition coupled with their vibrant involvement with modern progress. Rama I built the walled Grand Palace, which contains Temple of the Emerald Buddha. During the 19th century, Bangkok was known as the Venice of the East because of its many canals, which served as streets and commercial thoroughfares. Houses perched along the banks of the remaining canals are still common sight. Some of Bangkok?s most distinctive features are the approximately 400 Buddhist temples, known as wats. Bangkok is Thailand's economic center. Other sights to see include Temples, monuments, museums, Vimarnmekh Mansion, and Jim Thompson?s House.
|Wednesday, Nov 01, 2017||Monday, Dec 31, 2018||$ 55|
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