Bangkok 2013

Mangosteens at Or Tor Kor market I’m always excited to get back to Bangkok. On my first visit 7 years ago I described the city as an incredible combination of heaven and hell and it has only become more so. I started out my sixth visit, flying in from Hong Kong with my friend Jennifer. We had booked a three-bedroom condo for 5 days, and my friend Tim joined us late that night after we arrived.

On the bus to the market

Baby Mangoes at Or Tor Kor market

Fresh tamarind at Or Tor Kor

Thai sweets at Or Tor Kor

Jen’s favorite thing is visiting markets (and taking the bus to them), so first thing the next morning we were off to Or Tor Kor, the city’s best food market.  We stocked up on fruit and then braved the Chatuchak weekend market, less crowded on a Saturday.  We stopped for a refreshing coconut ice from a street vendor in the market after a bout of power shopping.

Coconut ice stand at Chatuchak

Coconut ice with corn kernels

Lunch one day was at one of old Bangkok’s classic shop house restaurants, Chote Chitre, was as good as we remembered from previous visits.  The tom yum soup is done in a special version here and is enriched with coconut milk and strips of young coconut along with the standard seasonings.

Chote Chitre shop house restaurant

Green eggplant salad Chote Chitre

Shrimp chu-chee curry at Chote Chitre

Tum yum gung at Chote Chitre

The following Monday we had a fine lunch at David Thompson’s nahm restaurant in the Metropolitan Hotel.  The blazing hot curry of fish innards we enjoyed last year wasn’t being offered so we had a very aromatic duck curry along with some other exquisite dishes.  Dessert was tiny crisp “tacos” made from rice flour batter holding some sweet egg threads, coconut cream, and raisins, an old street-food specialty in an elegant setting.

Lunch at nahm, fried soft shell crab salad

Lunch at nahm, red curry of duck

Lunch at nahm, shrimp with chickem, eggs, and pickled garlic

Lunch at nahm, khanom beuang

The next day Tim and I were off to 10 days at the beach – no fancy meals, and no photographs, but just a lot of lazy days enjoying the breeze off the gulf.

Tomorrow I’m in Istanbul and I hope to post some from there…