Bring the heat
19.06.2013 - 04.07.2013
View Map of our Journey on SMWiley's travel map.
They say pound for pound Thai people eat more chili peppers than any other nation in the world. I remember when I was here 3 years ago I ate a pepper whole. It took about 20 seconds before my whole face was covered in sweat and steam was nearly coming out of my ears! My body wasn't right for days. I will never make that mistake again.
There is no shortage of food in Thailand. You can choose to eat off the street, search the markets, or dine in an inexpensive restaurant. Green curry and red curry are easily the most popular curries, utilizing chili peppers, garlic, lemon grass, and coconut milk, among other essential herbs and spices, depending upon the region or brand. Chefs may also have their own particular variations. Green curry is made with fresh, young green chilis, and is significantly hotter than other curries. Red curry is made with bigger red chilis, which are not as hot as their green counterpart, but still packing significant heat. Green curry tends to lean toward a sweeter flavor, while red explores the savory side. My favorite dishes are the curries served with steamed rice or sticky rice. Penang curry is a mildly hot and sweet red sauce and one of my favorites. You can take it with chicken, beef or pork. Another one of my favorites is massaman curry. A coconut based curry with big chunks of potato, onion, and roasted peanuts.
It is very common in many of the town's to have morning and night markets to buy and sell fresh foods, spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables. We went to a morning market in Krabi Town and saw first hand how restaurant owners purchased their chickens and pork products for the day. Many of them would be back the next morning to repeat the process. This was very cool to see and experience, we left that morning with some delicious dragon fruit. Night markets sell much of the same but many of the foods are prepared to eat right there. We've tried pork belly and chicken satay on a stick, both were delightful. Fried rice and curries are common in the markets. I tried to buy 4 individual rambutan fruits from a sweet lady with a huge smile. She didn't understand what I was asking for and I ended up getting 40 baht worth(a little over $1). That was just over a kilo of Rambutan that Megan and I had to haul around for the next week.
Fresh fish is hauled in daily from the sea and nearby rivers. Restaurants will display the fresh catch in a bay of ice. You can choose the fish you want and they will cook it for you right there. It was nice to see what fish they were catching so I could ask the locals what they were. This is how I found out what a few of the species I caught were.