A common flavor in Thai food is tom yum, a combination of hot and sour flavors. I ate pizza, drank cocktails, and ordered soups and salads with this flavor profile. Tom yum is made from fresh ingredients including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal (similar to ginger), lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers. I think the flavor is especially tasty because the herbs are so fresh.
I have slowed down my blogging pace. Nonetheless here are food photos from my last few weeks in Thailand.
I stayed one night in Sam Chuk en route to Paul and Bob’s home. For dinner after I arrived in Sam Chuk I ate oranges, onigiri from the 7-11 convenience store, and a red bean sticky bun. My hotel faced the main road into town providing good people watching.
Sam Chuk town is known for its 100-year-old market with stalls made from wood. I visited the market for breakfast the following morning and tasted grilled corn balls and sausage with noodles inside.
Outside the market I found a business selling grilled banana. This street food is a favorite of mine! I sat on a park bench in the sun to enjoy breakfast.
Paul and Bob are healthy eaters and skilled chefs. For my first night at their home, Bob prepared a black rice bowl with vegetables. It was satisfying and tasty to enjoy a home-cooked meal.
Paul introduced me to this new fruit called a chompoo. The word sounds like “shampoo,” the product used for hair washing. The chompoo fruit is also called a rose apple. The texture was watery like a watermelon and the flavor was similar to an apple.
I joined Paul for a morning of teaching at one of his schools. As we departed, a woman working in the school’s kitchen gifted us soup for lunch. Carrying our soup, we biked to the pool for a picnic lunch.
Paul and Bob know all the best coffee shops in their community. Bob arrives at school before the day starts to greet the students and complete morning chores. Once the class day begins, Bob has one hour of prep time. During his free period we drank iced coffees at the school’s canteen. Paul joined us because he did not teach class on this Friday.
Along with Bob (and Kru Boat and Paul who are not pictured) we traveled off campus for lunch. We were short on time so Boat pre-ordered our meals and the food was ready when we arrived.
For one of our evening meals at Paul and Bob’s we shared beers and a cheese plate. I felt at home! On the right is a sweet treat, a category of food called khanom in Thai. This khanom is a sticky sweet rice wrapped in banana leaves that a neighbor dropped off as a gift.
Saturday morning we started the day with coffee at Mana, a coffee shop in another community. From the coffee shop we biked to the pool and treated ourselves to ice cream after the swim. For lunch we ate peanut butter sandwiches and oranges.
At the local wat snacks and small souvenirs were for sale during the community event. Paul and I purchased a bag of beans for snacking and to sample this new food. The colorful pod has many white shells. Inside the white shell is a black bean. The food was crunchy and fairly flavorless.
Kru Boat and Khun Yahyah celebrated their wedding with a feast. Each table ate family style and the traditional Thai dishes that were served included soup, salad, seafood, chicken, rice and even more foods. In Thailand, a clean plate indicates you want more food so it was important to leave some food in each dish.
Paul prepared delicious french toast Sunday morning before I left. We ate in their living room while we had a Skype phone call with Brian and Bill in Minneapolis.
Brittany and Parker arrived late at night Sunday evening so I drank a large, highly sugared coffee earlier in the day to stay awake. After sleeping for a few hours, we started our morning with a breakfast of toast and yogurt on the hostel rooftop.
A Thai iced tea, spring rolls, and tom yum salad. Traditional tom yum salad has green papaya and other vegetables with a dressing made from fish sauce, lime and chili peppers.
Before boarding our night train we picked up take-out from the well known pad thai restaurant, Thip Samai. For unknown reasons, Brittany and Parker were gifted ready made pork and rice meals when they arrived at the train station.
Our first breakfast in Chang Mai was an extravagant, relaxed affair at a fancy hotel. The food was delicious and we had a view of the Ping River which flows through the city.
Street food eats in Chang Mai included spring rolls and fried banana. Spring rolls are cut into pieces using large scissors. Then, they are served with small sticks for poking and eating the food. Another street food I tried was a savory item made from rice flour, milk, and green onions and fried in a special circular pan.
A Thai salsa with vegetables, chicken and cashews, and soup.
We sampled locally made wines at a market. Wines were produced from a variety of fruit including blueberries, raspberries, and cherries. The bright colors of the drinks were fun to see.
On our plane ride from Chang Mai to Krabi we splurged and bought meals. We ordered biryani, pork and rice, and shrimp pad-thai. We felt fancy eating meals on the flight.
We ate a breakfast of familiar food in Krabi Town before departing for Railei beach.
Meals with a sea view.
Betel is a leaf grown on a vine and easily available throughout the country. The leaves are most often used as a wrapper for tobacco products. This dish was a betel leaf topped with toasted coconut, toasted peanuts, lime, chili and a small piece of onion. The pizza had a great tom yum sauce.
Beach food at its finest: fruit smoothies and chicken wraps.
Fried spring rolls, chicken satay and pad thai. We found one food stall where the owner was extra friendly so we returned to his business for many of our meals.
At the Railei Beach Club we enjoyed the nightly cocktail hour. On our last night the bar tender Toto treated us to shots and drinks on the house.
We ate our last meal together on Koh Phi Phi. We ordered pizza, soup, and vegetables with rice.