Thailand is famous for its food. It is one of their best exports. You can now find Thai food in almost every country. It is popular with people who haven’t even visited Thailand yet. And when they do come to Thailand, one of the first things they will most likely want to do is try some of the authentic Thai food. Ask anyone who has ever been to Thailand what their highlight was, they will most likely include Thai Food in their top five. It is certainly one of things that I like most about Thailand.
Thai food is every. Almost every street corner has a collection of food stalls. Many shop houses also sell food on the ground floor. However, for the newcomer, ordering genuine Thai street food may be a bit daunting. Just take a look at the menus on the wall of this food shop. Everything is in Thai. You will also find that many of the food vendors don’t speak much English. Of course, you could just try and point to what you want, but quite often, all that is on show are the ingredients.
This is where the people at the newly formed Bangkok Food Tours come to your rescue. They have tailored made walking tours of Bangkok where they give you an easy introduction to Thai street food. At the moment, they have put together two different tours: “Historic Bang Rak Food Tasting & Culture Tour” and “Chinatown Foodie Walk & Culture Tour”. I joined the Bang Rak tour the other day and had a really great time. It was a new area for me and I will certainly be going back on my own to explore some more.
For this tour, we met our guide, Jan, at the exit for BTS Saphan Taksin. She gave us a fact sheet with information on the five places that we would be sampling food as well as a map of the local area. Handy if you want to come back by yourself to try the food again or something else on the menu. On the fact sheet there were also some useful phrases to help you when meeting food vendors. In the picture above, you can see some of the food that we tried. Each time we were only given a small portion so we never filled up at one place.
During the food tour we stopped at five different places to sample the food. There was enough of a gap between food shops to give us time to digest the food. The walking tour took 3 hours in total and the route was about 1.9 kilometres long. There was about 350-400 meters between each stop. The tour started along Charoen Krung Road and at one point we crossed the Chao Phra River briefly to eat papaya salad on the other side. We also walked up Silom Road into Bangkok’s business district.
One of the things that I liked about this walking tour was that it was more than just Thai food. We also had an opportunity to learn about the culture and history of the area. For example, Jan told us that Charoen Krung Road was the first road in Bangkok. She showed us some old pictures so that we could see what it used to be like. She did the same when we reached Assumption Church. Another stroke of genius was the use of personal ear pieces for each person on the tour. This allowed us to hear our guide even if we lagged behind a bit to take pictures.
If you want an easy introduction to Thai street food then I would highly recommend that you join one of the Bangkok Food Tours. You will not only be introduced to some great dishes, eight in total, you will also learn how to order the food for yourself. The knowledgeable tour guide will help answer any of your questions about how to eat Thai food. Visit their web site at Bangkok Food Tours for more information and to book a tour. If you are still not sure about joining the tour, then check out some of the reviews over at Trip Advisor. I think all of them agree that it was very worthwhile.