Flag of Thailand

Thailand forum

Searching for thai food - in thai

  • jokhm

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd February, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Hey All

    I'm about to arrive in thailand, after several hundred days away, and this time, despite it being the 10th time I'm traveling there, I'd like to get my street food done correctly. Can anyone discuss this a bit further, with some thai names (with pronunciation) for these snacks and general foods that I should be expecting to see and look for?
    I'll mostly in Bangkok, and then further south near koh lanta for much of my two week stay. I'm really hoping that this time I can take proper advantage and not mindlessly wander through the great snacks uninformed. I've done that countless times, and loved it, but always felt like I've missed so much. Also a few random thai connections with travel buddies at previous trips took the time to show me some of the best food I've ever eaten in my life, but somewhere, somehow, I left with only the knowledge that I had eaten fantastically well, and not with the details of exactly what I ate, and how/where to find it in the future.

    Hope this post makes sense to some. I know that if someone asked me the same thing for my area, I'd likely turn them to a few major specialties, and my routine favorite places to find them. In this case the language is also an issue!

    Thanks!

    J

    #1 Posted: 2/2/2009 - 01:52

  • Advertisement

  • Lother

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Location Earth
    Posts: 214
    Total reviews: 31

    Hi,

    You might find this interesting:
    http://nachang.com/travelmenu/
    A lot of great dishes covered there, and the menu can come in handy.

    #2 Posted: 2/2/2009 - 04:25

  • Jon_Mak_Mak

    Click here to learn more about Jon_Mak_Mak
    Joined Travelfish
    21st February, 2007
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 464
    Total reviews: 5

    Jesus Lother!

    That link is spot on mate. Just downloaded that menu for a read later. it look sr really good.

    This is a strange (but good) question and I will name some of my favorite dishes and snacks tomorrow coz im going offline now.

    But deff check out that link Lother posted.

    Thanks,
    Ant.

    #3 Posted: 2/2/2009 - 04:39

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    A few things to try if you havent already

    - larb moo which is spicy minced pork
    - pad see ew which is a like a flat noodle
    - thai sausages which are chewy and tasty
    - curried frog, forget the thai name but you could google it

    Ask the hotel for a restaurant that has Issan food.

    #4 Posted: 2/2/2009 - 06:57

  • swag

    Click here to learn more about swag
    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2007
    Location Australia
    Posts: 329
    Total reviews: 6

    Lother thanks for that link, I will be back in Thailand for a month end of this week.I have always been a bit of a point and see type of eater and this little tevelling menu will be perfect for the places I like to eat at.Thanks again
    swag

    #5 Posted: 2/2/2009 - 07:18

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    The only danger here is none of us know what you really like. For example, I can't stand three out of the four things that travelrock enjoys and strongly dislike Issan food in general. My list would be very different. But here's the thing, what I like and what travelrock like don't matter, it's what you like that counts. And unfortunately it's hard to steer you on that one given the info available.

    #6 Posted: 29/11/2013 - 03:58

  • amnicoll

    Joined Travelfish
    10th January, 2005
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 234
    Total reviews: 6

    Lother

    Your link does not work for me which is a shame

    #7 Posted: 29/11/2013 - 05:21

  • foxiebex

    Joined Travelfish
    10th July, 2013
    Posts: 7

    Hi,
    It seems this thread was started a long time ago and the link is now broken. Does anybody know of anything similar from?
    Thanks

    #8 Posted: 29/11/2013 - 07:18

  • goonistik

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2010
    Location Philippines
    Posts: 537
    Places visited:
    At least 9

    Foxiebex,

    Try archive.org here

    https://web.archive.org/web/20090319004344/http://nachang.com/travelmenu

    I was able to d/l the menu.

    #9 Posted: 29/11/2013 - 08:18

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    Great - now when I don't need this anymore, someone comes up with a really useful menu!

    It does tend to go down that rat hole of "street food is wonderful" - a fantasy I'll never get (and yes I at street food today - it was convenient and I was hungary). And it had a strong vegetarian slant to it (maybe I'm out of touch, I don't know any vegetarians). But it was still an excellent primer.

    #10 Posted: 30/11/2013 - 04:46

  • Advertisement

  • foxiebex

    Joined Travelfish
    10th July, 2013
    Posts: 7

    Thanks goonistik, that's brilliant. I can't wait for the food in Thailand and I reckon this will help a great deal :)

    #11 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 07:21

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Street food isn't meant to be wonderful. It's quick and easy.

    #12 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 07:34

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Street food is wonderful. Cheap, tasty, fresh and local.

    There are exceptions to this obviously but common sense will generally guide you to the good spots (i.e. those crowded with locals).

    #13 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 08:19

  • jbrinkey

    Joined Travelfish
    7th October, 2013
    Location Netherlands
    Posts: 15
    Places visited:
    At least 15

    Lots of useful information on this website: http://migrationology.com/bangkok-thailand-travel-guide/

    Cheers

    #14 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 08:35

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Not always fresh. Some of it has been sitting there for hours in the sun.

    #15 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 08:48

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    "Street food is wonderful. Cheap, tasty, fresh and local."

    I beg to differ. I've eaten a lot of street food, since I live here and the night market is a stones throw from my house. Some of it is pretty good, some mediocre, some sucks. Sometimes it's fresh, sometimes it's not. China, what do you think the entrepreneur selling street food does with the items he doesn't sell - throw them away? Nope. Next day... and often it isn't refrigerated. And "local" is not a synonym for good.

    "There are exceptions to this obviously but common sense will generally guide you to the good spots (i.e. those crowded with locals)."

    There is a problem with this rationale. "Locals" don't always share the same tastes in food as we do. So often "locals" will think something is excellent and we will think it's awful. Now I have a buddy here who's a human garbage can. He thinks anything biological is delicious. So street food is perfect for him because it's cheap. But for those of us who are not of the human garbage can pursuasion, street food just isn't all that. Fine dining it ain't.

    It reminds me of the dufus who wrote on Seat 61 that travelling by bus and train in SEA "will be as much part of your travel experience as the destination cities and sights. "

    He leaves out the fact that it will be the bad part of the experience.

    Eating street food is fine if you are on a tight budget and want to eat something decent that's cheap. But if you have the money, then a nice restaraunt is by far the way to go. Ask my wife (who is Thai) or any of the Thais I know if you don't believe me.

    The menu explanations and translations here was good though. Copy that puppy and it will help you order something you can actually eat.

    #16 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 09:47

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    I travelled through the region for 3 months on an average-flashpacker budget level, hence I wasn't constrained by money, and I found street food to be universally good and enjoyable. Didn't get sick once and found all the local delicacies delicious. Just my experience but certainly one I would stand over. And it's not a case of me trying to be hip by saying I enjoyed it, I genuinely thought it was great tasting food.

    From what I saw in the places I went, there wouldn't be a whole lot of leftovers as they cook to order so that whenever I asked for something they had to cook it from scratch rather than pick it up from a shelf etc and hand it to me.

    Also an enjoyable experience and a great leveller as you would have business men eating side by side with backpackers and peasants.

    #17 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 10:30

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    "I travelled through the region for 3 months on an average-flashpacker budget level, hence I wasn't constrained by money, and I found street food to be universally good and enjoyable."

    I don't find any food segment on planet earth universally good and enjoyable. You must be of the human garbage can pursuasion. Even my favorite, Somalia food, has things I don't like.

    "Didn't get sick once and found all the local delicacies delicious."

    You were lucky you didn't get sick. There are no health inspectors and some of these guys are producing that food in pretty questionable environments and serving it on plates that were washed in cold water often without detergent. Perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Even the "locals" get the runs from the street food here with some degree of freqeuncy.

    "From what I saw in the places I went, there wouldn't be a whole lot of leftovers as they cook to order so that whenever I asked for something they had to cook it from scratch rather than pick it up from a shelf etc and hand it to me."

    They are cooking from scratch. But the ingredients may or may not be fresh. Whatever is left in terms of ingredients at the end of the night is used the next day. And some of these guys don't always shop every day. Usually it's OK, but certainly not always. You leave meat out for 24 hours and you are at risk.

    "Also an enjoyable experience and a great leveller as you would have business men eating side by side with backpackers and peasants."

    "Levelling" isn't relevent to me and if I want company when I dine - well hell, you can find that anywhere out here. People want to talk to you. They want to socialize. That parts easy. I don't need to eat street food to do that. I can do that just as easily in a restaraunt. I've met lots of people in restaraunts here (including the great Aed Carabao who invited me to his table and we proceeded to drink too much).

    I have nothing against street food - I just don't idolize it as something special. It's not. It's just cheap eats. If it were special, then my wife and our friends would eat it all of the time, and they don't. It's like our fast food. It's cheap and convenient, but the "locals" aren't enthralled with it.

    #18 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 11:06

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Street food is fun and cheap. It's not meant to be a fine dining experience. As for food poisoning certain food groups are more prone than others to such things such as seafood and you can get sick from eating in a restaurant that doesn't keep the produce cool enough. You see seafood sitting out on ice in front of a lot of restaurants and some of it sits there too long and gets put out day after day. The worst food poisioning I got was from an expensive seafood restaurant. Had the runs for days.

    #19 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 19:21

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    Leonard I agree that Seafood is a higher risk category. I don't like seafood, so for me that's not an issue. I don't eat fish at all.

    And yes, there are no assurances with restaraunts, though the nicer the place, I would argue the lower the risk in general. If they are keeping a clean environment for the customers then logic tells us that there's a better chance of hygenic practices in the kitchen. No guarantees though.

    As for street food - "fun"?? Not for me, but hey, if it works for others, so be it.

    #20 Posted: 2/12/2013 - 22:20

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Statistically speaking, street food is not a higher risk category for bacteria / contamination etc compared to conventional restaurants.

    My experience (although limited of course) would back this up entirely.

    #21 Posted: 3/12/2013 - 05:21

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    Well, I'm a stats guy, so if you have stats to support that assertion, I'd believe you. But it is counter-intuitive. My wife would certainly not agree.

    Be that as it may, it's still not special. It's not as if the best food in Thailand is acquired on the street. That's insane.

    #22 Posted: 3/12/2013 - 08:17

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Depends what you consider best. Fresh fruit can be the best on a hot day.

    Have you ever been to Don Wai market in Nakhon Pathom?

    The food is pretty awesome there. It's part market and part sit down restaurant situation. Best food market I've been to. Fruit shakes best and freshest I've had and way too much food to choose from.

    I'd go every week if I lived near there.

    #23 Posted: 3/12/2013 - 08:56

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Found some article on the Net which claimed that but I'm sure you could find another article arguing the opposite if you looked hard enough.

    Compared to Europe or South America, I didn't find Asia a "restauranty" type of place. All my best memories of eating are on a street or, if in a restaurant, then a very very basic one akin to eating on the street.

    #24 Posted: 3/12/2013 - 09:21

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Bangkok has some excellent restaurants. Plenty of crappy ones too.

    I find it amusing that MM lives in Issan nowhere but hates Issan food.

    #25 Posted: 3/12/2013 - 09:30

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    I suppose it is. If I was going to emigrate or retire somewhere I think one of my first considerations would be what is the local food like.

    #26 Posted: 3/12/2013 - 09:46

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    "Have you ever been to Don Wai market in Nakhon Pathom?"

    It's a small world. I have been. If you like their fruit drinks, you should check out my wife's. She makes awesome fresh fruit drinks.

    "Compared to Europe or South America, I didn't find Asia a "restauranty" type of place. All my best memories of eating are on a street or, if in a restaurant, then a very very basic one akin to eating on the street."

    Perhaps because you don't live here. Or perhaps because the volume of street food here is so prolific it appears exotic. We've got plenty of good restraunts though. And service here at the good places is WAY better than anything in Europe. WAY.

    "I find it amusing that MM lives in Issan nowhere but hates Issan food."

    Got to take the good with the bad. Fortunately for me, there's lots of Thai food here. If there wasn't, I'd be doomed. Just last Sunday my wife, daughter and two friends were on the road. I was starving and wanted to stop and eat. We were in Kut Chum, outside Yaso, and it was tough finding a place that didn't only serve Gutiow. We stopped at a restaraunt, and wouldn't you know it, the only thing they had was Issan food. My wife turned to me and said "let's go. Nothing here you can eat."

    "I suppose it is. If I was going to emigrate or retire somewhere I think one of my first considerations would be what is the local food like."

    If food were a dominant priority in my life, you'd be right. But it's not. I like good eating, but I like a good climate, I like my in-laws, I like the cost of living... all of that factored in higher than the food. If food were the deciding factor, I'd have stayed in the States. We have excellent food. we've stolen everyones and then some.

    #27 Posted: 3/12/2013 - 10:10

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    You want me to check out your wife? That's ok.

    #28 Posted: 4/12/2013 - 10:03

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    Her drinks Leonard - work with me here.

    Although there was a point in out relationship you could have had her too! But now we're good.

    #29 Posted: 4/12/2013 - 10:13

  • neosho

    Joined Travelfish
    13th August, 2008
    Posts: 386

    Her drinks Leonard - work with me here LOL
    Living in a small village like I do can actually make some of the street vendors appear quite hygenic. Meat is sold out of the back of a pickup that comes through everyday. No hot water washing MM. Dirt floor kitchens. Sharing glasses. Everyone dipping into the same soup bowl, sauce, meat plate, etc. So far I haven't had any ill effects from it. I do and have eaten from the street vendors and only had one problem from some of those meatballs on a stick. I figure that's a pretty good average. Probably about the same as in the states.
    MM, I have a friend in the city that eats everything too. He can really make me cringe sometimes.

    #30 Posted: 6/12/2013 - 00:45

  • ongjoel

    Joined Travelfish
    6th December, 2013
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 16
    Places visited:
    At least 9

    Should not miss them:
    Yum yum

    Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
    Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
    Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)

    #31 Posted: 7/12/2013 - 04:34

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    "Living in a small village like I do can actually make some of the street vendors appear quite hygenic. Meat is sold out of the back of a pickup that comes through everyday. No hot water washing MM. Dirt floor kitchens. Sharing glasses."

    Now Neosho, I'm not disrespecting you, I respect and you all, but insinuating that hygiene is not related to illness is, well, frankly stupid.

    Ongjoel
    I don't like any of those.

    OK, my don't miss list:

    Gai Pad Prieu Wan (sweet and sour chicken)
    Gai Pad Met Mamuang (Sweet and sour chicken with cashew nuts)
    Pag grapow Moo Kai dow (minced pork with a fried egg on top).

    #32 Posted: 8/12/2013 - 03:44

  • neosho

    Joined Travelfish
    13th August, 2008
    Posts: 386

    Sorry , I didn't mean to insinuate that. Just was stating a few facts about my experience here.

    #33 Posted: 8/12/2013 - 20:00

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    Fair enough.

    #34 Posted: 8/12/2013 - 21:37

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "but insinuating that hygiene is not related to illness is, well, frankly stupid."

    Not entirely. Exposure to certain bacterias builds up the immune system so the locals can handle it a lot more than tourists can. That's why so many tourists to India get sick.

    The main thing with foods that are prone to bacteria is that they are cooked properly and not old in the first place. A bit of crap may pose a problem with uncooked food but cooking it will kill most if not all of the nasties.

    I've never had a problem with street food.

    #35 Posted: 9/12/2013 - 06:51

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    Cooking is half the problem (assuming the food is cooked - obviously not all street food is, like fruit), but the cutlery and plates are often not really clean. They've been given the once over. I don't think street food is horrible in this regard, but certainly I consider it higher risk than a quality restaraunt with established infrastructure.

    #36 Posted: 9/12/2013 - 09:22

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    I think that's a bit of a stupid comment. Street food, like restaurants, have good establishments and bad ones. I don't "stret food" can be lumped together in one category because obviously some vendors do things better than others, just like with restaurants.

    People's experiences on here would also back up the claim that street food appears quite safe if approached in the right way.

    #37 Posted: 9/12/2013 - 09:25

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    China
    By definition, street food is being prepared in a more austere environment where ingredients are less protected from environmental contamination, as are cutlery and plates. Furthrmore, the infrastucture for cleaning same is also more limited.

    As I said before, my wife and her friends maintain that street food is more suspect than restaraunt food. My wife seldom eats it because she doesn't trust it that much. I agree with her position on this for a couple of reasons:

    1. The best tasting food to be found where I live is definitely not street food. DePorcina probably has the best tasting Thai food in town (although it's hygiene side is just passable). Napop is probably the best for overall dining in terms of Thai food. Good Mook Cafe is easily the cleanest I've seen and has the best overall food (they do fusion) but are also pricey. There is a stall next to the Picking Cowboy that has a very good chicken noodle soup which I get in bags and eat at home on occassion. But in terms of taste restaraunt food here is a leg up on the top end.

    2. From a hygiene standpoint I'm not freaky about it, but I harbor no romantic illusions about it either. For reasons I cited above, I consider it to be a step down on that point.

    As I said in the beginning, it's just cheap eats. It's not special. It's not fine dining. It's nothing great or wonderful. Actually, although options are narrower, street food in Germany tastes better than street food here. Tourists consider it more exotic of course. But that doesn't translate to tastes better.

    #38 Posted: 9/12/2013 - 11:46

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Your wife is just one person. I know heaps of Thais who like street food.

    It doesn't normally come on plates. It's usually put into new plastic bags with new forks if you want one.

    I've eaten street food maybe 80 times and never been sick.

    #39 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 08:59

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    It certainly seemed to be the place where all the locals congregated, like a social gathering as well as a place to eat.

    I don't necessarily agree that just because it is outdoors and without the space or "infrastructure" of a kitchen that it has to be dirtier. I've seen plenty of filthy kitchens in my time and at least you can see upfront what is going on at a street food stall and make an informed choice as to its adequateness. The same can't always be said of a kitchen.

    I don't know where romantic illusions come into it - it's a nice cheap place to try a few snacks - nothing more, nothing less.

    #40 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 10:41

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    "Your wife is just one person. I know heaps of Thais who like street food."

    I did say "...and her friends". I don't know any Thais who would prefer to eat street food over a decent restaraunt. Not one.

    "It doesn't normally come on plates. It's usually put into new plastic bags with new forks if you want one."

    Depends on what you ordered and where you ordered it. But if it's a place where you are going to sit and eat (which for transients like tourists is kind of the norm) then they are likely to pick a place where that's an option. I too almost always get takeway, but that's cause I have plates and so forth at home.

    "I've eaten street food maybe 80 times and never been sick."

    I've certainly eaten it more than 80 times, been sick a few times from street food and once from a restaraunt as well. Nothing overly horrible except once.

    "It certainly seemed to be the place where all the locals congregated, like a social gathering as well as a place to eat."

    As I said before, lots of people eat there for the reason that lots of people eat at McDonalds back home: Cheap and convenient.

    "I don't necessarily agree that just because it is outdoors and without the space or "infrastructure" of a kitchen that it has to be dirtier."

    It doesn't have to be - but the probabilities increase.

    "...it's a nice cheap place to try a few snacks - nothing more, nothing less."

    Exactly what I said.

    #41 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 11:59

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "I've seen plenty of filthy kitchens in my time and at least you can see upfront what is going on at a street food stall and make an informed choice as to its adequateness."

    Loads of restaurants are dirty and they can hide it behind closed doors. You are much more likely to get a bad dose of food poisoning from a seafood restaurant than eating north eastern style sausages on the street.

    A dodgy prawn will make you far sicker than a sausage but MM doesn't eat many types of food so has no idea.

    #42 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 18:55

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "lots of people eat there for the reason that lots of people eat at McDonalds back home: Cheap and convenient."

    No they go because it's fun and you get a range of food in good markets. Maccas is simple and boring. It's really only the chips and sugar rush that gets people in.

    It's mostly kids hanging out in maccas or families taking their kids. You don't get many adults making maccas a hangout.

    Unless a restaurant has a large menu and not many do you can't get the same variety as a good food market.

    Bangkok has some big restaurants with such menus but most are small places with limited choices. You can walk out the front and get more choices.

    #43 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 19:07

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "I've certainly eaten it more than 80 times,"

    So you eat food you don't like so you have something to whinge about? Strange. If I didn't like it I wouldn't eat it at all.

    #44 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 19:14

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "I don't know any Thais who would prefer to eat street food over a decent restaraunt. Not one."

    It depends on the situation. Lots of Thais eat street food every week. But if you want a big family get together then of course a restaurant is better. Street food has limited seating arrangements so it's not suitable for more than 2 or 3 people and many stalls have no seats at all and sitting on a bench with kii nok on it isn't so appealing.

    Thais love going to food markets but they do it in 2s and 3s not packs of 10 unless it's a really big food market with lots of seating.

    I think your perception of the whole food scene MM is way off target. But you don't eat many types of food so you don't really know what goes on.

    #45 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 19:20

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    "So you eat food you don't like so you have something to whinge about? Strange. If I didn't like it I wouldn't eat it at all."

    Leonard - read carefully again. I didn't say I "didn't like it". I said it doesn't compare favorably with quality restaraunt food and it's not my preference, but like everyone else I eat it because it's cheap and convenient. I just take objection to the idea that it's "wonderful" or somehow special.

    "I think your perception of the whole food scene MM is way off target. But you don't eat many types of food so you don't really know what goes on."

    We'll just agree to disagree. Again, I don't think that - given options with cost not being a factor - the average Thai would say "let's go eat at the night market" instead of "let's go to MK".

    #46 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 21:37

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Cost isnt a big issue for middle class thais. Good food market areas attract plenty of them. The street food around mbk and victory attracts more of them than the restaurants.

    Not many restaurants have good variety and i c that as the main factor here. Plenty of cheap restaurants that r quiet and thais will spend 120 baht on a coffee!

    #47 Posted: 10/12/2013 - 21:43

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    Leonard
    You can rationalize away, but the fact is I don't think anyone - or very few - given the option between a decent sit down restaraunt and eating something on the street would pick option B. Money and convenience are definitely the drivers, not some other quality.

    #48 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 02:25

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Then why r millions eating street food then?

    They have the choice.

    Your logic doesnt stack up.

    I can afford to eat 50 dollar steaks but im happy to eat bugs, frogs and sausages from the street.

    #49 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 03:20

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    I dont know a single Thai that doesnt like street food and markets.

    #50 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 03:22

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Thailand has heaps of restaurants with 30 to 50 baht dishes yet thais are still eating street food so it isnt a cost issue here. Its what they want to eat sometimes.

    Thais love pork and sticky rice and u dont need a restaurant for that. There is also plenty of nice sweets in some areas.

    #51 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 03:27

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    Dancing prawns another thai fav u can get from some markets

    Papaya salad

    5 star chickens

    Chicken liver

    Issan sausages

    Duck sometimes

    Nothern sausages

    Chicken kebabs

    Those mini coconut pancakes

    Jelly deserts

    Fruit shakes

    Oreo coffee

    Thai tea

    Bugs and frogs

    Bbq bananas

    Salted whole fish

    Simple food is often the best and there is plenty of options

    #52 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 03:46

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    "Then why r millions eating street food then?

    They have the choice.

    Your logic doesnt stack up.

    I can afford to eat 50 dollar steaks but im happy to eat bugs, frogs and sausages from the street."

    Of course it stacks up. You're not paying attention, which is why you aren't following the logic. A restaraunt with cheap food is roughly the equivelent of street food. Tonight I have a nice meal in a nice restaraunt with background music, great food... my daughter and I enjoyed it and it cost 307 baht. If I have asked her (and she's defacto Thai) if she wanted to go to the night market instead she have asked me if I was drunk asking a stupid question like that.

    Ask my sister in law if she'd rather eat steeet food or go to MK.

    And my neighbor, Pi Oy, if she would rather eat at NaBop or hit the cart on the corner by Tops.

    I promise you in every case that the high end wins out every time.

    Money is the differential here.

    Walk the dog my man. This is the same as in the States or ANYWHERE else in the world. Ask someone do they want a nice restaraunt with ambience and good service or grab some fast food and if money doesn't matter, it will be the high end every time. Thais are some sort of weird people who don't appreciate nice things. The idea is absurd.

    Do a lot of people eat street food? Yep. Why? Because it's cheap.

    #53 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 09:56

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    And again I remind you, my point is street food isn't "wonderful". Which was my main point.

    I don't have an aversion to it, I just don't have a fascination with it.

    #54 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 10:17

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "promise you in every case that the high end wins out every time."

    Talking crap again. I know 50 Thais who all like street food and markets and you come back at me with a few LOL

    You're out of touch with reality out there in the sticks.

    #55 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 17:26

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "my point is street food isn't "wonderful"."

    Most restaurant food isn't wonderful either. Many restaurants in Thailand are bland and boring.

    Whether Thais choose markets or restaurants depends on what they want to eat.

    You live in a small town. It's Nakhon nowhere.

    In Bangkok there's street food and markets galore. These markets do very well week after week and if you think it's all poor people buying it you are deluded. A lot of it isn't that cheap.

    #56 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 17:33

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    You think MK food is high end? LOL That stuff is average at best. It's franchise and oh so boring. I'd rather go to KFC!

    #57 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 17:38

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    According to the MK website there's 362 branches in Thailand. KFC has over 500 branches.

    So Thais would rather eat fried chicken ROFLMAO

    #58 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 19:26

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    "Talking crap again. I know 50 Thais who all like street food and markets and you come back at me with a few LOL

    You're out of touch with reality out there in the sticks."

    Leonard, I like you, but sometimes you're an idiot. Because you disagree with someone doesn't mean they are talking "crap".

    Again, street food is about cost for Thais. Nothing else. Just about anything you can order on the street you can find in a restaraunt. A few exceptions, but basically because street vendors have lower overhead their costs are lower. Now, if someone serves something otherwise not readily available, then they might have a niche market which the monopolize and hence people go there because of that facor. But in terms of food quality, street food isn't somehow unique. It's not magic food. The only one talking crap here is you.

    "You think MK food is high end?"

    It has air conditioning - but no, I don't think it's high end. Of course numbers don't define quality do they. But MK is very popular (not with me mind you).

    Again, street food isn't special - get it through your head. And it isn't "wonderful". It isn't a preferred option in the sense that Thais would rather eat on the street as oppossed to eating some place comfortable.

    #59 Posted: 11/12/2013 - 23:47

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    You r talking crap bigtime. Many Thais love foods like papaya salad, dancing prawns, sausages, bbq pork etc.

    Dont need a restaurant for many things they like.

    You r extremely ignorant if u think thais r only eating street food due to cost.

    I know a thai who earns 270,000 baht a month.

    He eats street food.

    Your theory is bs.

    Many people in the world eat what they want.

    If Thais r so worried about money how come they waste it on junk?

    Thais have no problem spending money on food and drinks. They arent big savers.

    #60 Posted: 12/12/2013 - 05:06

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    China called it wonderful not me - get it thru your head.

    #61 Posted: 12/12/2013 - 05:08

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2395
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    When I invite my Thai friends out for dinner, they've never once said "let's hit the food cart out front". Instead, we wind up going to someplace nice, which I suspect is more a function of economics and the phu yai pays aspect ofThai culture than anything else. Funny, that. I don't recall seeing too many BMWs crowded around street food carts either. Personally, I love street food. It's a highlight of any overseas trip or even a visit to a big US city. But that's just me.

    The real shame is that in this thread and several recent others, people who disagree with MADMAC tend to resort to personal attacks against him. In my many years on TF, I don't recall him doing that - not once - even when he's seriously disagreed with folks, including me. I can't understand why people try to make it personal. It is easy to disagree with someone and still go have a beer with them. It isn't like we are talking about nuclear non-proliferation treaty terms here...

    Regards.

    #62 Posted: 12/12/2013 - 15:58

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 726
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    we wind up going to someplace nice, which I suspect is more a function of economics and the phu yai pays aspect of Thai culture than anything else

    that's my experience with wealthy Thai-Chinese relatives & their friends too. plus they need a place that can seat a group of 5-10 or more.

    don't recall seeing too many BMWs crowded around street food carts either


    cos those wealthy Thai-Chinese relatives & their business friends would rather send their maid, security guard, 'office boy' or 'factory girl' out to buy street food back for them & their kids :) my hi-so aunties don't want to walk + let their make-up melt in the heat & humidity, but they still crave for various dishes & khanom from their favourite street food & market stalls. some will pay one of the local motorbike taxi guys to run this errand for them & deliver the food to their maid/security guard at their bungalow/condominium gate, who will then bring it to them to enjoy in aircon comfort without having to get their hair messy or shoes dirty :P

    Whether Thais choose markets or restaurants depends on what they want to eat.

    which can be linked to the cost too. depending on income level, for some families, MK or KFC is reserved for special occasions like birthdays. for some rural families KFC is for when the whole family makes a special trip to the city for a festival.

    btw, many Singaporeans & Malaysians love the street food in Thailand.

    #63 Posted: 12/12/2013 - 18:48

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Exacto - get a grip you drama king / queen.

    MADMAC talks an insane amount of rubbish. Nobody got personal, just friendly banter. As I'm sure even he would agree.

    #64 Posted: 12/12/2013 - 21:20

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2395
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    guilty conscience, china?

    good point wanderingcat about sending the dek to get street food.

    #65 Posted: 12/12/2013 - 22:41

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    Leonard - Cost and I should have mentioned convenience. Street food is, by its very nature, convenient.

    "Dont need a restaurant for many things they like."

    People don't need restaraunts ever. Anywhere. In any culture.

    "papaya salad, dancing prawns, sausages, bbq pork etc."

    I don't know anywhere in Mukdahan where I can get dancing prawns. I've heard of them, but never seen them. Not saying they aren't here, but I don't know where you could get them. But all the rest you listed here, is served at DePorcina which is a restaraunt. It's also a busy restaraunt because the food has a reputation for being very good. My daughter and I eat there at least once a week.

    "Many people in the world eat what they want."

    What they want has nothing to do with the location in which it's being served.

    EXACTO
    Some people have difficulty in engaging in non-emotional, intellectual discourse. Leonard is one of those people. I have an uncle just like him. But he's a good guy, so I let it slide. After an Army career and prior attendance at a military college (where we were treated like dogs our first year) I developed a very thick hide. I know who and what I am, and so name calling on the internet doesn't have an effect with me.

    China
    "MADMAC talks an insane amount of rubbish."

    Funny I thought the same about you.

    "Nobody got personal, just friendly banter. As I'm sure even he would agree."

    snipped by Somtam2000

    #66 Posted: 12/12/2013 - 23:02

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 771

    I don't get it. Madmac has made some perfectly logical points here.

    Streetfood is not the best (food) that Thailand has to offer. It's popular with the crowds just as burger and hotdog carts are in the west. Ask any of their customers and they will say they love it. Easy, quick and cheap. They just can't afford to spend double/triple the amount on a nice lunch every day. No shame in that, very few of us can.

    Rich guy might even grab a burger from his favorite stand. But where does he do his business deals to impress people and where does he take his wife/girlfriend for a romantic dinner? Thais are no different.

    If you want something more special you will have to go to a restaurant. Plain and simple. And if there wasn't any interest from the Thais then all those restaurants would be out of business, isn't it? They certainly don't rely on the foreigners.

    #67 Posted: 12/12/2013 - 23:18

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7050
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Just deleted last post by chinarocks.

    Keep it civil people.

    Thanks

    #68 Posted: 13/12/2013 - 05:01

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    That's your call and I respect what you do.

    But I don't see you deleting the posts that are insulting towards me.

    #69 Posted: 13/12/2013 - 05:05

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7050
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    I'm on my phone at the moment and it is too tedious to edit @MadMac's comment on the phone - I'll do it later tonight.

    #70 Posted: 13/12/2013 - 06:39

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2395
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    i think street food is popular for a bunch of reason. first is the novelty and fun, particularly when travelling. second is convenience, since you can get your food in just a few minutes rather than the longer wait at sit-down restaurants. it is also more convenient if you are eating by yourself or getting something to take home. finally is cost. it's just cheaper, although usually not as good or high quality, as sit-down places.

    setting up a cart and trying to make a go of it seems to be a bigger part of thai culture and the economy than anywhere else i've been. cheers.

    #71 Posted: 13/12/2013 - 07:04

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6275
    Total reviews: 10

    OK, the dickhead part was a joke. I think China got that - at least I hope so.

    BTW the reason people find it hard to have disagreements and keep it civil, particularly on the internet, follows like this:

    1. They have a point of view which they have established in their own minds is correct.

    2. If their point of view is correct, the other must be incorrect.

    3. For the other person to maintain a point of view that is incorrect (in spite of "facts" presented, supporting my point of view) means that they are either ignorant, obtuse or deceitful - thus more or less warranting the verbal abuse directed at them.

    You see this often in politics, where the stakes are higher and peoples investment in their position is more thus more emotional. The American political debate often ends up in a name calling shouting match. Which is most unfortunate since no one is listening when it reaches that pitch.

    #72 Posted: 13/12/2013 - 07:26

  • karibou

    Joined Travelfish
    14th February, 2013
    Posts: 61

    Back to the original question, here's a great resource on Thai food, street or otherwise: http://www.eatingthaifood.com/

    #73 Posted: 13/12/2013 - 10:16

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    " 1.They have a point of view which they have established in their own minds is correct.

    2. If their point of view is correct, the other must be incorrect.

    3. For the other person to maintain a point of view that is incorrect (in spite of "facts" presented, supporting my point of view) means that they are either ignorant, obtuse or deceitful - thus more or less warranting the verbal abuse directed at them."

    ^ LOL those points apply very much to you and point 3 contradicts point 2

    #74 Posted: 14/12/2013 - 17:34

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "If you want something more special you will have to go to a restaurant. Plain and simple."

    Well yes but few restaurants serve up something special.


    "And if there wasn't any interest from the Thais then all those restaurants would be out of business, isn't it? They certainly don't rely on the foreigners."

    A lot of restaurants do go out of business. If there wasn't any interest from Thais how come street and markets are so common?

    How come food markets attract large numbers?

    Don Wai markets is totally packed on weekends. Thousands of people go. It's no cheaper than the average Thai restaurant.

    The weekly markets in Krabi and Trang attract large numbers. How come?

    Food is food and people eat what they want to eat.

    Some people just don't get that fact.

    You can go to a food market and try 5 or 6 different things. You can't do in restaurants unless you have a group of people to eat it all, because serve sizes are larger and most restaurants don't have much variety.

    Your comment about burgers and hotdogs is pretty funny. Good food markets have 50 different things to choose from not 2.

    #75 Posted: 14/12/2013 - 17:36

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "Tonight I have a nice meal in a nice restaraunt with background music, great food... my daughter and I enjoyed it and it cost 307 baht."

    That's really really nice nice. I've been to nice nice restaurants too. I've also been to nice nice food markets.

    The food world isn't black and white and different things can be enjoyed but you have a rather narrow mind when it comes to food.

    #76 Posted: 14/12/2013 - 17:39

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "cos those wealthy Thai-Chinese relatives & their business friends would rather send their maid, security guard, 'office boy' or 'factory girl' out to buy street food back for them & their kids smile.gif my hi-so aunties don't want to walk + let their make-up melt in the heat & humidity, but they still crave for various dishes & khanom from their favourite street food & market stalls. some will pay one of the local motorbike taxi guys to run this errand for them & deliver the food to their maid/security guard at their bungalow/condominium gate, who will then bring it to them to enjoy in aircon comfort without having to get their hair messy or shoes dirty tongue.gif"

    True. A lot of rich Thais have bodyguards. The one I know employs 2.

    Thais crave certain dishes and some of them are avail in markets.

    #77 Posted: 14/12/2013 - 17:51

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
Thai food - what's great, what sucks? ... By MADMAC on 19 Jun 2009 67 10619 6 Jul 2010
Pizza, baked on a pickup truck! Thai-Street food become international! ... By okibkk on 13 Apr 2012 1 1240 13 Apr 2012
was asked to pay fees at malaysian-thai border crossing (sadao) by thai immigration? ... By thebigjebowski on 29 Oct 2012 4 1764 4 Nov 2012
Experience Unique Thai style guesthouse at Siri Baan Thai ... By some1_not2 on 26 Mar 2008 1 3398 26 Mar 2008
Learning Thai with Virtual Thai Keyboard Online ... By Nopadol on 16 May 2012 1 1825 11 Jul 2012
Sala Thai- the best Thai restaurant in Da Nang ... By SalaThai on 1 Jul 2013 0 1162 1 Jul 2013
Thai to Cambodia and Back to Thai all in 1 week ... By Anandshivan on 6 May 2011 1 1977 6 May 2011
Turning a Thai tourist visa into a Thai work visa? ... By gannongm on 27 Mar 2013 2 1070 29 Mar 2013