If your current relationship with food involves planning, preparing and cooking meals, creating lunchboxes and forcing your child to eat then you need to experience the antithesis of the domestic lunchbox world - Bangkok street food!
Fresh, quick, healthy and delicious, Bangkok’s street food is renowned for being the best in the world and is truly the only way to eat when you’re in this incredible city.
Imagine you have a few days to spend in Bangkok - the beautiful exotic, humid, noisy and chaotic Thai capital. You’ve just stepped out of your hotel onto the narrow street into the humid air. In front of you taxi drivers lounge in groups, smoking and laughing, motorbikes noisily spew fumes as they stutter up the street, women in massage shopfronts paint each others nails while waiting for their next client and laundromats offer to wash and iron your clothes for a few dollars.
The weather is steamy, tropical and inviting and while your accommodation rate includes daily breakfast, you don’t want to sit in the air-conditioned indoors eating croissants, cereal and bain-marie eggs.
You want to taste Bangkok, eat like the locals, experience daily life in Thailand and suck every experience you can from this short visit.
So you bypass the hotel restaurant and exit onto the street. Bangkok street food it is.
Wherever there are people in Bangkok, there is street food. And since people are everywhere it stands to reason that so is the food. Vendors set up their small cooking stalls on the side of road, using as much of the footpath as they can, plastics chairs and tables under canopy shades, chopsticks, napkins and condiments at the ready. Chicken, noodles, rice, roasting baby pig, caramelised chestnuts, papaya salad, mango, durian, Chinese sweets, steamed fish - anything you want can be found on the street.
The street to the right of your hotel the street is lined with stalls. The smells of the street - the sewerage, the fumes - is too strong for you to stop by the first few stalls but as you make my way up the road the air clears and you spy a little lady cooking behind a large wok, shaking, twisting and swirling its colourful contents around the big heavy pan. The aroma of spices and chicken draws you in. She hands you some laminated pages of colourful photographs and you feel like you’re cheating by pointing to pictures- obviously a tool to help farangs like you select their dishes – and you choose your breakfast.
Sitting at the table and breathing in the hot air, the irony of feeling so relaxed and content sitting by the side of a busy road in the middle of a chaotic city is beautiful.
You feel at home and you realise you can still adapt, you’re not stuck to the life of mum, only mum. You can still walk outside the lines, suburbia hasn’t quite got you yet.
It’s 8am and the world is whizzing by. For once, you have nowhere to be and no one to look after but yourself. Within a few minutes your meal is served on a plastic blue plate. Chicken with basil, chilli and broccoli served on boiled rice and topped with a fried egg. For breakfast. It’s divine.
It’s the start of a new day and the re-awakening of the old you.