04.05.2015 - 04.05.2015 34 °C
Travelling has always been closely linked to food because when you landed your footprints in that particular country, you would always get to experience the food which are unique and distinctive to it. Amazing and Unseen Thailand are the 2 words which fit into this land of wonders of South East Asia in the Indochina region so well that one will never be left out in getting the tastes of the rich culture, history, food, nature as well as the warmness of Thai people. Land of Smiles may no longer be accurate to describe Thailand but the colourful travel experience due to the diverse tourism wonders will always be there for every traveller to keep tight and close to the heart, mind and soul. Forgive the Thais if they cannot show any longer the friendliness and the warmth that travellers were used to in the past as I had mentioned before that the incredible increase of the tourism growth in Thailand has taken its toll on those in the hospitality, F & B and tourism sector as a result of huge tourists from certain countries flocking Thailand. Over the years, Chinese from China has seen tremendous surge in arrival to Thailand and in tandem with such tourists arrival growth has also resulted in increasing problems to the Thai people and the government. I just hope that Thai authorities would be able to cope with the issues coming from the Chinese tourists and not let these be a chain of other problems that may affect the others who enjoy their holiday in Thailand. I am not against Chinese tourists but it seemed to me from my observations that Chinese has now possibly overtaken any other tourists from any particular countries. The "farangs" (white foreigners) who used to dominate the scenes in Thailand can be said to have been shadowed by the Chinese tourists. It is now no longer the case. I do not know whether this was true but just my observations after years of travel in Thailand. There was nothing really bad with such trends happening but just my little thoughts of how things had changed over the couple of years. What caused the Chinese to have sudden change in their travel appetite, that was to choose Thailand as their major travel destinations and how different Thailand is as compared to Cambodia, Laos, Mynmar, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei to the Chinese? These ASEAN countries has all that Thailand has to offer but yet Thailand became the winner over the others. So, probably its back to what I have said above that the very steep, rich and wonderful travel experience have brought the Chinese to Thailand today. Perhaps?
I would like to share the great food experience in Bangkok during the recent travel though this has been written by some over the last 2 or 3 years but nevertheless, this food adventure is so gravely special and never seen anywhere else (though its been franchised now) that it is worth the story to tell over and over again no matter who it was. Thailand is not only known for great travel places and deep culture history but Thai food itself were also very diverse and different from its neighbours within the ASEAN region that one will never want to have a missed if they ever travel to Thailand. Pad Thai (stir fry noodle with prawn and egg), gaeng keaw wan (the green curries), kanom jeen (rice noodle top with varieties of curries), khao pad (thai fried rice), gai yang khao neaw (roast chicken with sticky rice), larb moo (spicy minced pork with mints), pla phao (grilled fish street food style), pad see ew (stir fry noodle with vegetable and pork), khao kluk kapi (shrimp paste fried rice with variety of side dishes), khao man gai (Thai style chicken rice similar with Hainanese chicken rice) and many other interesting and mouth watering choices. But what I am sharing here is very different from those mentioned just now because you get to have it for only 12 bath a bowl and you can order as many bowls that you could to satisfy your hunger or as many as your stomach could fill them in. It is the BOAT NOODLE or KUAY TEOW RUEA in Thai. This Thai dish its not a new food in Thailand but has been existed for many years but only caught the attention of foreigners or travellers to Thailand in recent years. It has even now found its followers outside of Thailand with the franchise business being made available in neighbouring countries within the ASEAN region. As the name says it, boat noodle dish is a form of noodle variety that come with several choices of noodle types which include glass noodle, rice noodle, egg noodle and large flat rice noodle. What made this boat noodle tasty is the specially boiled broth which were added with pig blood and mix to the noodles when served. It also comes with pork balls, pork meat and bits of water spinach served on a small ceramic bowls. The noodle would end up in the mouth with just one serving but of course there were the other side toppings ie the pork balls and pork meat and the water spinach and not forgetting the special gravy that can be very addictive due to its rich flavour. Apart from the noodles, you can also find other side dishes which you could order from the menu including kanom tuay (Thai coconut milk pudding), luk chin moo (pork balls), deep fried pig skin and deep fried crispy wonton skin. The most well known boat noodle shops were located within the vicinity of Victory Monument in Bangkok which can be conveniently accessible through the BTS (Bangkok MRT). There are 2 boat noodle shops dominated the scenes which are the Sod Yod Kuay Teow Ruea (The Best Boat Noodle) of which the staffs donned the t-shirt in orange colour while another being the Phra Nakhon Kuay Teow Ruea (Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle) with staffs donned t-shirt in purple colour. The 1st boat noodle adventure, I checked into The Best Boat Noodle shop which was quite an old shop with dining tables available outside without air-condition on the side of the riverbanks while another section inside with air-condition. Staffs can be seen busy preparing the boat noodles and the owner could also be heard screaming to his staffs to speed up their serving whenever he sees tables were not served yet after some time. Best Boat Noodle offers free 1 bottle of EST (Thai version of cola drink) for 20 bowls of boat noodles ordered and finished eaten. Not a difficult tasks if you have heavy appetite and hungry but not exactly for those with small appetite. Though each bowl with very small portion, the side toppings which include the pork balls and pork meat as well as the broth and the bits of water spinach may well be able to fill up one's stomach pretty quickly. For 20 bowls, it costs only 240 bath and you also get 1 free bottle of EST. Not only that, you also get to taste a very good meal which satisfy the tummy just nice for a meal of lunch or dinner. Quite well worth the money spent. As for me, I did not managed to finished 20 bowls of noodles, so there was no free EST but did finished up the food adventure at Best Boat Noodle with a bottle of EST though on my own pocket. Overall, Best Boat Noddle did offer some very tasty and delicious boat noodle I would say. Over at the Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle shop, it has 2 air-conditioned sections with one of it facing the main road while the other on the inner side which was along the river banks. Both The Best Boat Noodle and Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle were situated side by side and the one thing that differentiates the 2 shops was the colour of t-shirts worn by their staffs, one in orange while the other in purple. At Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle, I try out its other side dishes other than its wide choices of noodle types of boat noddles which include the coconut milk pudding, pork balls, deep fried crispy wonton skin and deep fried pig skin. It was yet another satisfying boat noodle adventure and very well worth the money spent and the trip to Victory Monument for this boat noodle tasting was fruitful and never disappointing. Though Victory Monument is not the only place that has boat noodle shops, Best Boat Noodle and Phra Nakhon Noodle did in fact provide a very amazing and great boat noodle experience for one who is looking for something that is flavourful and distinctive in Thai food.
AT VICTORY MONUMENT BANGKOK
The Best Boat Noodle at Victory Monument, Bangkok
The staff of Best Boat Noodle busy preparing the boat noodles dish
The diners at 2 sections of Best Boat Noodle
The canals between Best Boat Noodle and Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle @ Victory Monument, Bangkok
Deep fried pig skin @ Best Boat Noodle
Boat noodles at Best Boat Noodle served in multiple bowls
Variety of noodle types offered for boat noodles dish @ Best Boat Noodle
Bowls being stacked up after a great boat noodle meal at Best Boat Noodle
The Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle @ Victory Monument Bangkok
Staff of Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle preparing boat noodle dish
The coconut milk pudding at Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle
Deep fried wonton skin and pig skin @ Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle
VARIETY OF NOODLE TYPES OF THE BOAT NOODLE AT PHRA NAKHON BOAT NOODLE
The pork balls at Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle
After a satisfying boat noodle meal at Phra Nakhon Boat Noodle.