The only thing better than Thai food is the punny restaurant names that come with them. Besides the classic ‘Thairific’ and ‘Thai the Knot’, there are endless eateries that are bound to catch your eye.
Chiang Mai: My first experience of home-made iced coffee was in Chum Coffee.
Whilst waiting for my bus to Bangkok, I stumbled across this small coffee house. With out a tourist in sight, it seemed that only the locals drank here so I was excited for some fresh, local ingredients. Not having long until my bus ride, I ordered my coffee takeaway. Instead of a generic styrofoam cup that you would typically receive in the West, my coffee was served in a plastic bag the size of my head with plenty of ice and a straw sticking out!
After hearing that this drink was made from freshly ground, local coffee beans (and because I downed the first one in seconds!) I ordered another. This particular bag accompanied me on an 8 hour bus ride. Put to good use, I had a caffeine hit all the way from the North of Thailand down to the capital, Bangkok.
Bangkok: Home of the dreaded Durian fruit.
The smell of this fruit is so strong that hotels have banned having it on their premises. Amongst the numerous street stalls, cafes and restaurants that line the busy streets of Bangkok, I noticed a stench that was unlike anything I’ve ever smelt before! Being the typical tourist, I had to try it. I also, naively, assumed that it would taste better than it smelt. Boy, was I wrong. Besides experiencing the fruit version of vomit, I was glad I ticked durian off the bucket list (even if I killed off some taste buds in the process).
Chiang Rai: Its doubtful that you’ll get a straight answer if you ask a Chiang Rai local how they like their eggs in the morning.
One day whilst visiting the local hot springs, I noticed that all of the locals were passing small, discreet parcels back and forth. Confused, and a bit cautious in case I just walked in on your casual village drug deal(!) I tried my best at the Thai language and asked the locals what they all seemed to be passing around. An old man looked at me with a wry smile and lead me over to a thin, straw basket, as if to do a sneaky deal. He opened his hand out in front of me to reveal his stash; quail eggs!
He explained that the locals put these eggs in a straw basket that is attached to a string and would hard boil them in the thermal springs. Here I was thinking they were cooking something else in broad day light! So I took note from the locals and headed to the markets in search of some good quality stuff (ergh.. eggs that is).