Thailand is well-known for its diverse cuisine and great flavors. One does not have to have been to Thailand to know this or to experience the greatness of the cuisine. Enjoying the food was certainly one of the things I planned to do in my short visit to Thailand a few weeks ago. With guidance from a local we found two neat spots in Bangkok where we greatly enjoyed the food as well as just going to places where the locals also dined.
Tuk tuk fun
Of course, getting there is half the fun so we took our first tuk tuk that night. It was a crammed space (there were three of us). Since the driver wove in and out of traffic (fairly safely), the time to get to places was not as much as if we had taken a cab. A tuk tuk is definitely the way to go unless a little exhaust from cars around you bother you (in which case, you need a car so you can close the windows…).
Phenomenal seafood in Chinatown
The menu was quite extensive, the food was served quickly AND it was superb. That and a big bottle of beer (or two) (or three) and we were in business.
Getting pad Thai’d !
Our second stop that first night was a place known for its pad Thai – Thipsamai on Maha Chai Rd.. Basically, one moves in line past the cooking station set out on the sidewalk itself until one gets to the front of the line when a table opens up. Until 7PM, the only tables available are inside (a small space) and in front of the restaurant on the sidewalk. We got there right before 7PM and the line was long! I figured we’d be there forever. All of a sudden, the line sorts of clears and we are being walked to a table! Basically, at 7PM they can set out tables in front of neighboring storefronts, greatly expanding seating capacity.
It is fascinating to watch the guys cook the pad Thai right there. They are masters! (Check out the video to see them in motion.)
What to Know
- Street food is said to be very safe in Bangkok. We did not hold back and we were OK. Not promising you will have the same outcome but I felt comfortable.
- Chinatown is worth exploring and sitting down somewhere. But there are likely many places in town to explore. We barely scratched the surface as our stay was too short.
- Tuk tuks are a cheap and probably faster way to move around town. As long as you are OK with some exhaust around you (it wasn’t horrible but it may make a difference). I found the tuk tuk more fun than a regular taxi (though taxis with A/C are not a bad thing!).
- Thai food goes very well with a nice cold beer!