THIS IS US RIGHT NOW
Scratch that. This was us a week ago.
Time flies! But I can’t even begin to cover everything I want to say about Thailand. It’s just too big. There is too much to say! We are jumping from one part of the country to another and everywhere we go the food just keeps getting better.
So, I guess we will start at the beginning. (It’s a very good place to start.)
In Koh Phangan the food was like this:
How did we get here? Quick tip #1:
Find out the off-season of a place, check if the weather is okay regardless of what the internet says, and then go there.
While this island is known in particular for full moon parties and other lame crap, we went because it’s the off season and we had the beach to ourselves.
You should try it! Because, it could very easily look like this:
Added bonus, this is what I look like while I wait for food:
Granted, this only works when you are traveling willy nilly. The secret is to check Instragram. I know, I know, but lemme explain.
While Instagram is not usually known for it’s level of visual ‘authenticity’– I look past the staging tricks to find pics that are location tagged to wherever we are intending to go next. By scrolling through random peeps pics I can better discern the local weather and even find out about cool stuff to do in the area. Because while Google might say thunderstorms and clouds, @cutiepie727 shows me a pic of her awkwardly balanced on a wooden swing on a beach with perfectly blue skies behind her and calm seas abound.
Quick Tip #2:
Never eat at restaurants on the beach UNLESS that’s where the locals eat.
If you find yourself on well-touristed islands or strips of beach abroad, seek out whichever place(s) is situated in town and eat there. In most cases, the prices will be drastically cheaper and the food remarkably better. The places on the beach often cater to tourists and the obstacle they have is to dumb their food down so that your kid or whatever can’t complain. If they serve Pad Thai, Pizza, and Hamburgers – WALK AWAY. This is not where you are going to try ‘the good stuff’. The stuff that Udi and I live for while traveling. The thing is, if you try to seek out the places where local people actually eat, you will walk away happy & full, having spent a fraction of the cost. In our case, the local spot we found was a mom and pop shop serving up fresh, spicy, vibrant food every day to our delight.
Each dish we tried (we ate there 5 times, I think) uniquely exemplifies the beginning of why I love this food. It’s like a wake up call to ones senses. All the chili, palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, mixed with fatty pork pieces or perfectly stir fried veggies, punches you in the mouth like a Sol Lewitt painting to eyes. It wakes you up, it fills your senses to the brim. It’s bright, tangy and makes your mouth hang open in awe (or from extreme spice, but whatever, you get the point).
These Synesthesia-like experiences are the reason to travel at all. To let the the incredible qualities of a place wash over you mind, body and soul. If possible to let your senses go, or rather to be so in-tune with them that each gecko starts to sound different at night, to feel that it’s going to rain from changes in the air pressure. Or, and this is most pertanent in our case, to stick your head out the window of the bus when entering a new town to sniff out your next meal.
Chiang Mai and Northern Thai Food, and some stuff we saw.