If you’ve always wanted to try some of the great street food Bangkok has to offer but have been too afraid to ask, or even venture in to some of the local restaurants, then the Bangkok Food Tour is a great initiation. Taking you on a walking tour of the Bang Rak area near Sapphan Taksin BTS, you will discover plenty of great restaurants, stalls and really get a feel of the area and its food history – all accompanied by a friendly English-speaking guide who is willing to answer any questions and who will add a personal twist to the tour. The tours run every morning for three hours and during the cool season (November to February) an afternoon tour sets out at 14:00.
Interested in this tour? Book it here.
We meet at 09:45 at Sapphan Taksin BTS. Our guide is very friendly, giving us earpieces so we can hear her; a little secret agent but very handy when you are wandering around the busy streets, or start walking in the opposite direction. The first stop is Charoen Wieng Pochana, a small Thai-Chinese restaurant around five minutes’ walk from the river. This restaurants has been open for over 50 years, and the owner, who is in his eighties is still going strong, sitting at the table just next to us, rolling pastry to make dumplings. The tour starts early so the first dish is a simple but delicious portion of rice and duck. Although the meat was nice, it was far more interesting to taste the duck’s feet, wrapped in intestines, chewy, full of flavour and once sliced looks nothing like feet at all.
After scraping our plates clean we continue along the bustling road running parallel to the river. This is really when having a guide comes in handy, pointing out the kerbside treats and buying bags of unusual fruits and sweets for us to try. Our next stop is a small bright-turquoise Muslim Restaurant where we try egg with curry lava sauce and the guide’s personal favourite: chicken with basil. The simplicity of the egg really balances out the fiery sauce, and although we are not even halfway through our tour it’s time for a couple of portions of dessert, fresh juicy long kong and brightly-coloured sticky Thai style sweets. We take a detour to a small hidden temple on our way to the river, where we take the four-baht ferry, just five minutes to the other side of the Chao Phraya River.
We walk along a small alleyway to an attractive wooden Thai restaurant. Here you try a spicy secret dish that they prepare in front of you – Thais would normally add up to five chillies but the two in this Thai speciality left our tongues tingling. The surprise dish is served with crispy catfish, which resembles a beehive at first glance but turns out to be flakes of fish fried in oil and spices. The flavours were subtle; it was the crunchiness that made me go back for thirds. Another short boat trip and we are back in the heart of Bangkok’s old town, trying some unusual sweets from PanLee Bakery. This includes Thailand’s famous tea, which is sweet, very milky and bright orange.
Although you may start to feel full at this point, there is still one stop to go, into Silom and a beautiful Thai-style restaurant. We sit in the garden to sample the green curry, served not with rice, but with fried roti, the grease cutting through the spiciness of the sauce and then a palate cleanser of coconut sorbet, with fresh slices frozen in. I feel comfortably full on my short walk back to the BTS in the midday sunshine. This introduction into Thai Food coupled with an exploration of Bangkok’s old European neighbourhood is satisfying and educational, and a great way to spend a morning.
- BTS: Sapphan Taksin
- Tel: Contact Bangkok Food Tour Directly at +66 (0)891263657
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