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Khon Kaen

Eat and meet

Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen lives and breathes food, so eating is unsurprisingly easy. There are several low-key Thai restaurants along the streets, but the real star is the street food.

Where in Bangkok you might expect to find chicken or pork skewers barbecuing at the side of the road, in Khon Kaen squid is the order of the day, still for an unbeatable ten baht.

During the day, also look out for the curry shop, signposted only in Thai script, on the corner of Klangmuang and Ruen Rom roads. Point and choose from a selection of dishes on the counter — a fiery curry and rice will set you back 30B. Outside seating on the street makes for a nice spot to people watch.

The help-yourself food court at the Fairy Plaza shopping centre, further along Klangmuang Road, also has a decent selection of curries and other dishes.

Just a street down from the fresh market's main stretch, dusk sees the arrival of the city's hugely popular night market on Ruen Rom Road. Take your pick, there is everything from seafood platters and huge bowls of noodles to an abundance of unbeatably inexpensive and freshly prepared sushi.

Don't leave Khon Kaen without making a stop for pork satay at a little stall towards the Klangmuang Road end of the night market — Thai families turn up by the dozen to grab take-away orders of twenty, forty, even eighty skewers, but you can enjoy the same thing with the atmosphere of the street.

The stall just next door serves up top-notch fruit shakes made fresh to order — a watermelon and dragon fruit combo is the perfect match for all that satay.

This city does a roaring trade in coffee, too — you can’t walk far without running into a Thai-style iced coffee stall, its addictive signature drink loaded up with freshly brewed espresso and lashings of condensed milk, the perfect antidote to the midday heat.

There are a few speciality coffee shops along the length of Klangmuang Road, too — from the Doctor Coffee hut, to the Volk Coffee stand that trades from a converted VW camper van, right through to Mud, a stylish, ethically-minded coffee shop further along Klangmuang, serving a largely organic range of coffees, teas, sandwiches and salads, along with free wi-fi.

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