Archive of ‘Thailand’ category

Ko Samui snacks and food.

Ko Samui is the southernmost island that we visited in Thailand (and most expensive), being so close to Malaysia the food was either Thai or Indian.

Spicy lemon Thai soup.

 

Indian cornmeal and vegetable patties with basil dip, chutney and turmeric sauce.

 

Spiced chicken skins. Think pork rinds but chicken.

 

The best spring rolls in the world. They were huge, the size of a TV remote. Inside had glass noodles, sprouts, carrots and chicken. Did you know that a REAL spring rolls use slowly boiled (in incredible broth), tender pieces of chicken, not dry rubbery chicken breast?

 

Bangkok Boutique Airlines food. Fresh fruit, Tuna pastry, carrot coconut muffin, yogurt with kiwi goo, tangerine juice and water.

Ko Pha Ngan eats.

Juicy BBQ chiken.

 

Spicy dragon bean salad with tomatoes, peanuts, sugar, fish sauce, chilies and lime. Everything is prepared in a huge mortar and pestle.

 

Asian country = cool Asian snacks.

 

Croissant with honey? It’s wasn’t that bad actually.

Trying to keep up with my food diary.

Bangkok. Morning glory greens in a spicy mushroom broth.

 

Bangkok in a Japanese fast food place. Duck soup and squid Udon.

 

Ko Tao. Crispy basil pork. The most surprising thing was that the meat was heavily flavored with Worcestershire sauce.

 

Tom Yum soup.

 

Ko Tao. Pancake with cinnamon and fluorescent yellow “butter”.

 

 

Notice the bowl of “butter” in the background, it looks like mango ice cream.

 

 

Koh Pha Ngan eats.

Not for 1 million dollars could I tell you what this is. Gluttonous steamed wrapper filled with peanuts, pork? Both sweet and savory spices drowned in coconut milk. Anyways, it was amazing.

 

 

Grilled squid.

 

Sticky rice with coconut. Perfect mix, not too sweet, not too “ricy”. First time eating edamame since we left Canada, what a treat!

 

Token rainbow coloured Asian goo candy.

 

 

Every trip has a “cry moment”, a moment when sights, smells, tastes and conversations become so overwhelming that your brain doesn’t know how to react so it simply shuts down and you are left with only tears in your eyes. Do not shy away from this state, believe me it is a good thing. 2011, Venice Italy, Carla and I sitting on plastic chairs in a random square in the heart of the maze that Venice is, talking about love and relationships; fresh buffalo mozzarella with house-made pesto. The consistency of a perfectly cooked poached egg, taste of the freshest cream (straight off the buffalo), this cheese sent me off the deep end. Same trip, different country, Carla and I sit close together on a park bench in the Luxemburg gardens holding hands while we dig into salted caramel macaroons, Carla starts to weep. 2012, Trieste Italy, after a long day of strolling the streets and taking pictures Matt and I tucked into a simple margarita pizza with mushrooms and then proceeded to order a SECOND pizza, deep fried calzone with cream. I remember the waiter being so taken aback when we ordered 1 pizza to be split by 2 people, as if this was a dreadful sin to order so little. After one bit Matt exclaimed “I’ve never had pizza until today“, 3 seconds later the plate was empty and our second pizza was warming in the oven, when in Italy always listen to your waiter, they know best.

So far the show stopper in Thailand has got to be Massaman curry. Ranked number one in an article titled World’s 50 most delicious foods from CNNGo in 2011, Massaman curry is sweet, sour, creamy, fragrant and slightly spiced, just perfect.

Koh Pha Ngan food market.

Today we rented a fun bright pink scooter (for about $5) and went off on a frightening adventure. Koh Pha Ngan is a mountainous island with dreadful roads, some inclining to a shocking 35 degrees! Thankfully Matt has many years experience driving scooters and motorcycles plus he has driven around this island several times about 6 years ago. I sat behind my man and held on for dear life, only peeking from time to time to catch a few breathtaking views.

Here’s a little outdoor food bazaar, sadly most things were closing down when we arrived.

 

 

 

 

 

Mind-blowingly spicy yellow curry with pork and crunchy bits I believe were a type of mushroom.

 

Stewed chicken curry, it tasted like something my mom would make, very yummy.

 

Deep fried chicken on a stick with chili sauce. I also had a delicious mango, lime and raspberry shake.

Too many socks, backpacking vs. campervaning.

By now it is clear to all that Matt and I enjoy traveling. We prefer to do it as much and as often as possible. Over the last 2 years we’ve spent more than 12 months living out of our campervan exploring Europe, we’ve also enjoyed several camping trips around lesser known parts of Bulgaria and finally, we are currently enjoying a 6 week trek around Southeast Asia. Our thirst for adventure in unquenchable.

 

A few days ago while we waited for our bus in Bangkok to take us to the southern islands of Thailand we met a friendly Canadian from Calgary who also had a passion for travel. As we told him about our year long trip around Europe he pointed out how different it must be now traveling out of a backpack.

Neither Matt nor I prefer a style of traveling over the other, they are just too different but I thought it would be interesting to make a list of pros and cons.

 

Campervaning:

 

Pros:

  • You get to see places and things most tourists will never see. I have a list of a hundred little villages and towns no one has ever heard yet are just as beautiful if not prettier than the tourist destinations.
  • You have your house with you, it’s impossible to get homesick.
  • You can cook like a local as you have your kitchen with you.
  • No waiting around wasting time. You don’t have to arrange your days around bus and train schedules, if you want to pack up and go you can.
  • You can stay neat and orderly, shirts are hung on real hangers and your pants are folded neatly in a cupboard.
  • A tiny bit of room for storage. Our camper has a “trunk” where we store tools, camping equipment, and a badminton set. Our roof top bin holds folding chairs, a table and a mini BBQ.
  • If you are in the mood to party, pull over and start dancing and drinking, no need to drink and drive, your bed is only 2 feet away.
  • Never knowing where we’d end up next.
  • You always have a washroom and a shower available.

 

Cons:

  • Everything you own is contained within a tin can thin walled vehicle. You always worry if the car is parked in a safe area, braking into a van is rather easy to do.
  • The cost of fuel
  • Parking and driving an oversized vehicle. Some ancient cities have tiny narrow roads, steep inclines are scary especially if you need to brake rapidly. Low hanging trees, electrical wires and driving under small bridges or tunnels can also be of concern.
  • Managing electricity, water and waste is a lot more complicated that you think. The first month with the camper we consumed water and electricity so rapidly that we needed a campsite every 2-3 days, by the end of our trip we could free camp for a month without any problems. Click here for more.
  • Showering. Our camper has a nice hot shower but it takes up a lot of water. Modern truck stops often offer showers for only a few dollars.
  • Never knowing where we’d end up next.

 

Backpacking:

  • Meeting new people (an often likeminded people). As soon as you strap on a large bag to your back fellow backpackers will find you and strike up fascinating conversations.
  • Interesting accommodations (with lovely hot showers). Sometimes you can luck out and get ultra-luxurious room at an affordable price.
  • Matt and I can experience everything together, sometimes I felt that Matt was missing out because he always had the responsibility of driving.

Cons:

  • Everything you own is in a thin fabric bag. Pickpockets target backpackers as they know that they will surely find something worth stealing.
  • Waiting for buses, planes and trains, so much time is wasted this way yet you can’t do anything about it.
  • Booking hotels, haggling for deals, not knowing where you will sleep next.
  • Food is more expensive when you have someone else make it for you.
  • Not being able to perform my #1 hobby, cooking.

 

So far our backpacking trip has gone smoothly with the exception of us catching colds. Our packs are comfortable and weigh 6 kilograms each and our day bag (we only have 1) an additional 4 kilograms. The only thing that I’ve packed which now seems superfluous are 5 pairs of socks, Matt brought gloves (?).

 

 

Deep fried chicken feet with a sweet chili sauce, toe nails still attached it’s all yours, Matt.

 

Fish ball soup with clear broth and fried tofu.

 

Nepalese Momo dumplings with chicken.

 

Chicken doner meat…a lot more curried than we get in Sunny Beach.

 

Deep fried chicken with sesame coating. The best!

 

 

A sauce to remember: fish sauce, vinegar, hot Thai chilies and garlic…maybe some sugar.

 

One of the best things we ate so far, thick gluttonous fried noodles with oyster mushrooms, greens, baby corn and mushroom gravy.

 

Broccoli and shrimp stir fry.

Last day on Koh Tao.

We finally felt human enough to leave our hotel and spend our last day in Koh Tao outside enjoying the sun. Matt rented a little blue scooter and we drove around the tiny island at least 5 times, resulting in 2 beautiful red sunburns (even though I lathered us both twice in sun protection goo). This morning we jumped on a slow boat to Koh Pha Ngan and rented a lovely room in an old Japanese looking building with a lovely pool close to the beach for 2 nights. Pictures to come.

 

 

 

Birds!

This is our new friend David Bird holding Party Bird on our 10 hour bus ride to the islands.DSC05324

 

Matt’s new friend Mr. Blackbird, he loves chirping on our balcony. DSC05368

Party bird relaxing in Ko Tao.DSC05383

These silly birds remind me of my cats.DSC05370

Under the weather in paradise Koh Tao.

The 5 am bus from Sunny Beach last Sunday lasted 7 hours.

Monday, 6 hour flight to Qatar with a lovely 8 hour layover.

Tuesday, 6 more hours to Bangkok then stayed up late walking around.
Wednesday, silly us, spend all day relaxing by walking 8 km eating and taking pictures.

Thursday, more Red Bulls and an unforgettable visit to the flower market at 3 am. We didn’t go to bed until 7 am.

Friday, waiting around for night to fall then jumped on a 10 hour bus ride south. Waited 3 hours then caught a 2 hour boat to the island of Koh Tao. It took another 2 hours before our room was ready then…slept, finally got to sleep!

Matt was feeling under the weather when he woke up on Sunday morning, cold weather, hot weather, ridiculous amount of air conditioning and lack of sleep haven’t improved his situation one bit. Poor guy has on and off fever, headaches, the chills, runny nose, puffy eyes, coughing and a sore throat.

I just woke up with a throat infection myself.

Lovely. 

On a lighter note, our bowels are holding up remarkably well considering all the spicy and questionable food we’ve consumed.

Check out the view from our flat, it’s paradise. Couldn’t ask for a nicer place to recover.

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Bangkok street food

More quail eggs.DSC04887

Braised beef soup.DSC04952

 

Pork bits soup with fish balls in a spicy broth.

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Coagulated pigs blood. It has the texture of medium tofu and tastes like nothing.DSC04972

 

Breaded chicken thigh with sweet chili garlic sauce and chicken broth. Very good, the chicken coating has sesame seeds in it.DSC05120

 

Thai food in Bangkok.

I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO ROTATE THESE STUPID IMAGES!!!!!!!! I can fix them when I come home.

Chicken filled spring rolls.DSC04890

 

The winner, grilled enoki mushrooms wrapped in bacon with a green salsa.DSC04906

 

Cured vinegar pork tube with an extremely spicy lemon grass and snail salad. Not the best meal.DSC04947

 

Braised beef soup with a surprisingly sweet soy sauce broth. I’ve had it 3 times already.DSC04951

 

“Pad Thai”, more like noodle thingy with peanuts.

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Quail eggs with Szechuan pepper and misted with sweet vinegar sauce. DSC04886