Some tours you love so much you can do them over and over, and that’s certainly the case with the Bangkok food tour. Street food in Asia can be a bit risky, as it’s not always prepared hygienically. As a tourist it can be tough to separate the places that are actually safe to eat at, vs the places that could give you days worth of quality time in the bathroom.
That’s where food tours come in, they pick out the best street vendors and help you find them, order, tell you about the food etc.
This is actually my 3rd time on the food tour, but the places they go vary so your not eating at exactly the same places. Besides the food is excellent, so it’s really not an issue visiting some of the same places again.
The first stop was for Chinese duck, Thai food is influenced by many different ethnic groups, including Chinese and Indian. The tour guide even claimed Pad Thai had Chinese origins.
The duck was of very good quality, and was fairly similar to what you can find at Chinese markets back home.
After the duck, we took a walk around the neighbourhood and visited a Thai temple. New monks were graduating today, so they had a celebration going on. We were offered some free fish bladder soup, and satay.
I was brave enough to try a bit of the soup, and it actually tasted fine. It didn’t have a strong flavour to it, and could be compared to a fairly basic fish stock.
Next up, they were cooking satay over a wood fire. The heat source was hottest at one side, and got cooler as you went down the grill. They simply kept moving the skewers down the grill and they slowly got cooked. The satay was excellent, and was served with a peanut sauce.
Next up, we headed to a Muslim restaurant. We had a type of chicken bread, on the outside was a crispy bread – almost like flake pastry and it was filled with chicken and vegetables. It was a bit bland compared to most Thai food, but still good.
Next up, was my favourite place on the tour. We had to cross the river on a ferry to get there, but it was well worth it.
We didn’t actually eat the fish on the stick, instead first we had a spicy Thai papaya salad with fried catfish on top.
The salad provided the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and salty flavours. The crispiness of the cat fish went well with the salad.
All in all, we had the catfish salad, fried chicken with fried lemongrass and a pork salad. The one thing you realize visiting any country, is the food is incredibly diverse and only a very small part of it makes it’s way to restaurants outside the country. I’ve never seen fried cat fish prepared like this anywhere outside of Thailand.
Next up, we went to a Thai bakery and had a Thai iced tea and some Thai pastries.
The green colour might be a bit off putting, but it’s just a Thai herb that gives it that colour. It was served warm, and had a typical custard inside.
The last stop was a Thai green curry, and a fried roti from Kalpapruek, a chain of restaurants in Bangkok.
The green curry had excellent flavour, it was hotter than you would typically find in most places in North America – but it wasn’t out of this world hot. According to our guide they just have one large pot of curry, so they don’t make a less spicy version for foreigners. If that’s the case, than I can easily handle Thai spicy food I suppose. The curry was served with a fried roti bread, which was crispy and great for dipping in the curry.
After all that eating, it was time to head out for some actual sight seeing. First it was off n a river boat to Wat Pho, an attraction I’ve missed on other visits to Bangkok. The main feature of this temple is a giant reclining Budha statue.
Some temples can honestly be kind of boring, but Thai temples have excellent architecture and the fine detail put into the art work on the walls make them truly impressive.
My last stop was the Thai national museum which had some fascinating artefacts an gave a basic overview of Thai history. Like most ancient societies, they had ruling kings who tended to get into wars with neighbouring kings – in this case the Burmese.
Given the temperature was 38C with high humidity, it was time to grab some dinner and head for the airport hotel since I had an early flight to New Delhi the next day. I was pretty impressed with the green curry at Kalpapruek, so I visited another location of the restaurant for dinner. This time I tried a red curry, and the best part is they also served a crispy cat fish salad similar to the street food place earlier.