This honestly took me a while! Just realised a couple of days ago that Photoshop way faster at adding watermarks compared to online photo editing site that make my browser lag every single time.
Ok, so back to day 3 in Bangkok.
Day 3 was one of favourite days in Bangkok because seriously, I ate a lot. A lot a lot. We were at Yaowarat, also known as Chinatown. If you need directions to get there, I will include them towards the end of this post!
We arrived at Chinatown via the Chao Phraya River Express boat service. There are quite a number of things that you can take a look at along the Chao Phraya River, such as Wat Pho, which I went last year. So this year, we skipped straight right to the food.
If you don’t already know, Bangkok is really an awesome place to get street food. Good food and cheap food makes me a really happy tourist :).
Street food vendors and snacks close to the pier area.
I would say that you will have to walk a good amount before you reach the deeper parts of Chinatown where most shops and food vendors are found.
Best advice here would be to grab a map and try to navigate yourself towards the market areas. The path that we took: walk straight after you have arrived at the pier and continue for another 5 minutes or so (depending on your pace). You know you are at the right place when you see densely packed streets with stalls on both ends of the road.
So when you are at the right place, you will see streets looking like this:
Chinatown is actually a very large area, I would say. So take your time to slowly explore the region, shop and eat. Don’t forget to take a look the street vendors/booths (on the roads) and the shops that are located in the buildings on both sides of the road. If you have been to Hong Kong, the concept of Chinatown should be pretty similar to that of 花园街/女人街.
Ok, so here comes the tricky part. We devoted the whole day to shop at Chinatown. But actually ended our tour earlier than expected even though we have covered most areas there. We have heard recommendations of this famous Thai Curry stall in Yaowarat and have seriously no idea to get there. I promise you the hunt is sure tough.
Advice: Get a map, both the big kind that have at airports and the smaller zoomed in ones (on Google Maps). Zoom all the way down till you can see marking of distinct landmarks in the area and print them out. Trust me, its totally useful in navigating yourself around.
The curry rice needless to say was very affordable. You can actually see the pricing in the picture just right below (provided you can read the Thai words there).
Curry was neither too thick nor watery and incredibly fragrant from the coconut milk used as well as the herbs used. Curry heaven~
They have pork, chicken and beef curry there. So be sure to ask them which is which before you order! And leave ASAP once you are done with your meal or you will invite curious looks from the other people eating there. Haha.
That was about 5PM in the evening so we still had some time left before our dinner place was open. Random pictures along the way…
So it was close to 7PM when the dinner place was completely set up. The street is not occupied in the morning and vendors only come in to set up their stalls at about 6PM to prepare for the dinner crowd. If you are early, you might catch a glimpse of how these stalls are set up from scratch: lights, stove, gas cylinders, tables, chairs, fresh vegetables, seafood, utenstils blah blah blah.
Because these are street food vendors, I need to warn you that the place is definitely not as hygienic as we like (or at least me). But oh well, once in a while, it doesn’t bother me that much. Please do expect cockroaches paying you a visit under the tables since the place isn’t that clean. I hope you don’t scream like I did 😉
That aside, the food I ate here was definitely the best of the day.
Tom Yum Soup with prawns: THE BESTTTTTTTTT. The soup was cooked with really fresh prawns, cooked the right amount of time so the prawns are juicy and sweet. The soup was not too hot (at least for me), and the perfect combination of the tom yum soup base with the prawn broth created a deliciously sweet tom yum soup. The kind of fresh sweetness you get from cooking seafood broth with fresh seafood~ Mmm~
Fried fish with garlic sauce: There wasn’t really much sauce actually. But the fish was so huge it gave us a shock. We ordered the smallest size available since there were only 4 of us there and there was no way we could finish the large ones there. If this is the small sized fish, I wonder how big the bigger ones are… The fish was deep fried in a huge wok of oil (see below) so the skin was super crispy. I always thought deep frying the fish might dry up the water content in the meat. But I was wrong. While retaining the inner moisture and texture of the fish meat, the skin was golden brown crispy. You will be surprised.
Stir Fried vegetables with deep fried pork belly: The only non-seafood dish we ordered and it was still good. Pork belly was awesome crispy and the vegetables were cooked just right.
Stir fried black pepper squid: No pictures for this one because I took a blurry picture, so I decided not to upload it here. Again, the squid was really fresh. The distinct fresh sweetness of the squid and chewy texture really puts the other stir fried squids I have eaten to shame… Black pepper sauce was not overpowering so overall, this dish was great!
We spent 870THB for all these dishes, rice and a couple of drinks! Definitely worth the eat, in my opinion, since I doubt there is anywhere you can find such a fresh and delicious seafood spread anywhere. (Sidenote: Dinner meals for the family cost about this much in Singapore, if we are dining out at one one of the coffee shops eating Tze-char. No seafood though. 😦 )
In case you need the addresses of the food stalls:
Thai Curry Rice:
Khao Gaeng Jake Puey ข้าวแกงเจ๊กปุ้ย (เจ้เฉี๋ย)
Location: At the corner of Charoen Krung and Mangkon
Opening hours: 4-9PM everyday except Mondays. Best to go early in case they sell out!
ซอยมังกร ถนนเจริญกรุง แขวงสัมพันธวงศ์ เขตสัมพันธวงศ์
เปิด อังคาร – อาทิตย์ เวลา 16.00 – 21.00 น.
ข้าวราดแกงกะหรี่หมู + ซี่โครงหมูอบ + กุนเชียง 60 บาท
ข้าวราดไข่พะโล้ + ผัดปู + ซี่โครงหมูอบ 60 บาท
Seafood dinner place:
Fikeaw Yaowarat Restaurant
Chakkrawat, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
Take the BTS to Saphan Thaksin Station. Alight and look for the exit that leads to the Chao Phraya River Express Pier. There is a sheltered walkway that leads to the pier. Purchase a ticket before boarding the boat! If you are intending to only go to Chinatown, I would suggest a one-way ticket (buy another one when you are coming back to Saphan Thaksin from Chinatown later on). If you are intending to explore the Chao Phraya River, then consider getting the Unlimited Day Pass instead. It might save you a good amount of transportation costs.