Street Market Eats in Bangkok

July 25, 2011

Ben and I have seen little of Bangkok, yet we absolutely love the city. That doesn’t make sense, let me explain…

We love the bustling pace yet laid-back nature, the heat and humidity, the smells, the noises, we love it all. Yet we’ve seen very little of the actual tourist places in Bangkok. Every time we visit, we prefer to spend as little time there as necessary, rather dash straight to the bus station and begin the 7 hour journey to Baan Dada. Generally, an overnight stay is mandatory, and so we head out for some Street Eats and maybe do a little MBK shopping – hello $20 shoes.

One day I’m sure we’ll schedule ourselves to arrive in Bangkok with enough time to visit the Temples, Museums and such, yet we’re quite happy doing our thing – wandering around the streets, soaking up the everyday sights, sounds and smells, and simply being buzzed that we’re in Thailand, about to see the kids again. I must say, on our first visit to Bangkok in 2009, Ben surprised me with a day at the Thai Blue Elephant Cooking School, for my birthday. It was fantastic, the best overseas cooking school experience I’ve had to date.

Our favourite night market is Sukhumvit Soi 38. It’s not flashy and it’s pretty small, but every night at around 8pm it comes alive with aromas that make you want to park yourself on a plastic stool and never leave. Here is a snapshot of our latest visit in February this year.

Eagerly awaiting a dish we had been reminiscing for 15 months…

Pork Satay Skewers, with the best satay sauce ever. It’s deliciously spicy, with some enthusiastic peanut chunks, and also fairly thin – hence why I spilt it all down my white top…this is not uncommon practice for me.

After our mandatory satay stop, we headed to another personally well loved street restaurant on the opposite side of the market.

Here we ordered Tom Yum Goong, Pad Krapow Moo and Pad Thai. Unfortunately the latter two were a bit lack luster, certainly compared to our beloved Kanchanaburi and Sangkhlaburi version. Yet the soup was lovely – look at that chilli and those little bobbing mushrooms!

Lemongrass Lemonade for refreshment…it tasted a little too fresh, if you know what I mean. Which I don’t exactly….it was just a bit ‘off’ for me.

What was next?…Oh yes, dessert, from another fabulous, very popular street stall selling none other than Mango Sticky Rice. All I have to say is, “mmmmmHmmmmm“.

It was as delightful as it looks – sticky, sweet, luscious heaven, with slabs of the plumpest, most dreamy mango I’ve ever eaten.

*sigh*, I miss Thailand.

Soi 38 is a great place to get a Thai street food fix, especially for satay, soup and sweets. You’ll see locals picking up bags of food on their motorbikes, before scooting home for dinner with family – usually with a baby haphazardly strapped on. Tourists are certainly becoming aware of this little market, but it’s not overrun, which I like.

The street food is one of my favourite things about Bangkok, and Thailand in general. Honest and self-assured, exciting yet comforting – it’s a wondrous thing, one that you must be sure to experience at least once in your lifetime.

Heidi xo

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  • Michelle Chin July 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

    The mango sticky ricce looks really nice! I'm yet to travel to bangkok. sigh.

  • Ashley July 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Aaah, there's nothing, absolutely nothing like having Pad Thai in Thailand. I'm going to Bangkok for a weekend in Singapore, will definetly get my fix!

    THe mango rice looks SOOO good as well! 🙂 Yum yum!

  • Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi July 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I know exactly what you mean – I love Thailand! Would love to go back this year, but don't know whether my budget will stretch *sigh*. I miss my som tam!

  • Blithely Unaware July 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. There is nothing better than Asian markets. The best thing about the market in my dad's town is there are ZERO tourists, zero, nada, zip. hhaahahaa it's WAY too far away from the city (5 – 6 hours in a private car) for tourists to bother coming out.

  • Hannah July 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I miss everywhere. I'm in a very discontented stuck-in-Canberra-everything-is-grey mood at the moment. Thank you for the brust of brightness and travel-happiness, my dear friends 🙂

  • Vee - A Melbourne Munchkin. July 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I was tricked into eating fried crickets in Bangkok! Other than that, it was a thoroughly delicious experience 😉

  • Lisa July 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Nom, nom, nom. My mouth is watering at the sight of that. Gosh it makes me want to get to Thailand!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    *sigh* Heidi this post really made me miss Thailand too! 🙂

  • The InTolerant Chef July 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I can hardly wait, but we may have to postpone our trip AGAIN!! So pleases keep these posts coming so I can enjoy yours for now instead 🙂

  • Heidi July 26, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Michelle – you'll love it when you do!

    Ashley – oooh fantastic, have fun!!

    Keely – me too! Can never find a good one here 🙁

    Blithely Unaware – omg sounds perfect!! Where the kids are in rural Thailand it's like that. Amazing.

    Hannah – awe, you're welcome, lovely! Hope your day today was brighter!

    Vee – haha, actually I would have loved to try them!!

    Lisa – thanks 🙂

    Lorraine – me too hehe!

    InTolerant Chef – oh dear, hopefully for not too long! Glad to be of service though 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • msihua July 26, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    That is just amazing! I love street food and solely believe that to enjoy a culture in a country, one has to succumb to it's street food (if there are any)!

  • Indie.Tea July 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I think I could take a trip to Thailand just for the food (but I want to see some of those temples and shop for silks and statues). And the street food and night markets – what delicious fun.

  • chutneyandspice July 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I've never heard of lemon grass lemonade before, I'd love to give that a try.

  • Heidi July 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    msihua – I agree!!

    Indie.Tea – oh yes, delicious fun indeed! There is so much to do/see/eat in Thailand!

    chutneyandspice – it's interesting, that's for sure!

    Heidi xo

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) July 30, 2011 at 1:33 am

    I always love your travel posts. They make me feel as if I was there myself a little. 🙂

  • Michael July 31, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for this post!! I am going to track down these dishes tonight!

  • _Bettina August 1, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Heidi, I totally agree with that. I've been in Thailand for the last month and I love the street food here. My best Pad Thai ever. I love your posts, especially about Melbourne food stuff, makes me miss it a bit more. Hi from Bangkok 🙂