I have a lot to say about my two week vacation in Thailand. I just haven’t yet found all the right words. So instead, for now, I’m just going to share with you all the Thai food I ate. Because, really, food was one of the things I was most excited about when going back to Thailand. As someone who orders Thai food on a regular basis at home the idea that I could eat Thai food for every meal, every day, for two weeks straight, and not go broke or be judged, had me salivating.
There was still so much I didn’t eat that I wanted to, especially when I had only one night at the market at Chiang Mai gate. Seriously, I walked around for a good twenty minutes debating before sitting down for a bowl of noodles and wontons and barbecue pork. And then, maybe, I bought a bag of pork larb that I ate, blissfully, with my fingers, while walking home, until both my hands and my mouth were burning too much to handle any more.
But I did make a good dent in my cravings…
I ate plenty of Pad Thai, a thick Massaman Curry, a spicy Green Papaya Salad, a sweet mango sticky rice (that, admittedly, gave me food poisoning), stir fried meats and seafood and vegetables, 7-Eleven Ham and Cheese Toasties (which are quintessential Thai food, I swear), pad see ew, fried morning glory, Chicken Cashewnut, Khao soi (my favorite Northern Thai dish), potstickers, pork rice, spring rolls, giant whole fish on the beach, and plenty of Thai iced coffees and Singha beers…
Two weeks of Thai food: what I ate on vacation in Thailand:
Massaman Curry, a thick curry made with coconut milk and cashews. The spicy broth is perfectly matched with a sweet strawberry shake.
Green Papaya Salad – Som Tam. I made this myself in the hostel. It’s fun to make it on your own, if only because even if you order it mild on the street it will still burn your face off.
Pork ramen from a restaurant in MBK Center. Not Thai. But the thick broth was sweet and savory and the pork so tender I never wanted the bowl to end.
Chicken satay and spring rolls from a blogger meetup at River Vibe Restaurant & Bar.
I was so looking forward to eating all the mango sticky in Thailand. And then I got sick after the first one and never want to touch it again…
Sometimes the best meals are simple stir fries. Like this shrimp and vegetables over rice.
There was a cart just outside my hostel where you could get Thai iced tea, a thick-rust-red-colored tea sweetened with lots of sugar and condensed milk.
Singha: my Thai beer of choice.
Halfway through a craft beer tour of Bangkok, I was famished. So when we arrived at CRAFT, I ran to the food truck on premise and inhaled one of the best burgers in the world.
7-Eleven Ham and Cheese Toasties are a staple to any backpacker in Thailand’s diet. With 7-Elevens on every corner, they make the perfect midnight snack.
Thai Iced Coffee, served with condensed milk, makes me HAPPY.
“Would you judge me if I ordered two meals?” I asked my friends as we sat down at lunch. And then I ordered both pork pad see ew and fried morning glory. With a limited time, sometimes you have to double up.
Katsu from Saboten at Siam Paragon. When faced with the option of having one meat or all the meats, I go for all the meats. Two kinds of pork, shrimp, and a croquette. Plus rice, cabbage, miso soup, and pickles…and ice cream…
Pad Pak Boong Fai Daeng. Fried Morning Glory . Oh how I miss thee. Fried morning glory is just one of those dishes you can’t get in the US. The crisp greens in a spicy chili and garlic sauce is both healthy and satisfying and so tasty.
“Can I have…all of it?” I asked the guy serving sushi at the TBEX conference buffet. He obliged.
On day two of TBEX I still got all the sushi. Plus duck curry. Plus fish curry. Plus pork noodle soup. Plus chocolate mousse…
A swan-shaped pastry as a snack at TBEX. People kept asking me what it was filled with and I’d tell them chicken. (It was cream.)
Khao soi – the northern Thai dish of noodles in a spicy curry soup – is one of my favorite dishes in the world. The first thing I did when I landed in Chiang Mai was visit an old haunt, a little street side restaurant with a cart of hanging chickens that sells the specialty. Unlike the versions I get in the US, they serve it here with a tender chicken leg. Not boneless and skinless.
Pot stickers from a stall at Chiang Mai’s Walking Street Sunday Market.
Mushroom omelet from a stall at Chiang Mai’s Walking Street Sunday Market.
Pork rice from a stall at Chiang Mai’s Walking Street Sunday Market.
I had Khao Soi for lunch two days in a row while I was in Chiang Mai. I should have stayed and eaten it every day.
Soup with noodles, wontons, and BBQ Pork from the Chiang Mai Gate market.
Spring rolls, crispy, greasy, spring rolls, make the best snack.
Pad Thai with Prawn – because you absolutely can not visit Thailand without getting at least one Pad Thai.
More massaman curry. Because you can never have enough massaman curry.
A giant whole fish – this one cooked with pepper and garlic – is a must have dinner if you’re on the beach.
Calamari, while not technically Thai food, is a good snack to tide you over on a rainy day at the beach.
What I ate in Thailand – Bangkok, Koh Samui, and Chiang Mai.
Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.
EmmaNovember 7, 2015at1:19 am
Thai food speaks volumes about Thailand I think. For weeks after I returned home from Southeast Asia every Thai takeaway took me right back to chowing down pad thai on uneven plastic tables in Bangkok street markets.
Val BromannJanuary 5, 2016at1:21 pm
Same! Thai food was always my favorite cuisine and it was so fun in Thailand to branch out from the standards I had gotten at home. Getting Thai at home always brings me back.
LeoDecember 27, 2017at4:41 pm
We went to Thailand and Chiang Mai back in 2016. Just like you, we loved how good value the food is. We can just eat out every day, having good food without going broke. This got us thinking how convenient it is, no more need for grocery shopping, cooking, washing the dishes and cleaning up. This takes a big chunk of our time, and so we are looking for a way to move to Chiang Mai in the next few years to live that easier life.