Bam Bams, Ko Tao

What we say: 3.5 stars

Bam Bams in Ko Tao is one of those rickety looking, plastic chair, roadside Thai restaurants with garish wipe-clean table covers. While that description probably does little to entice you in, those who have travelled through Thailand will know that these can often the best places to eat, especially when you’re on a tight budget.

Look, trust us.

The menu is predominantly Thai, with a few Western dishes thrown in. The menu is thorough and you could lose half an hour just reading it. Anything you choose however should be tasty; portions are large and prices small. Expect to pay 50 to 100 baht for a good feed.

Massaman *with* rice.

This is a great spot for those on a budget and unsurprisingly is popular with those watching their pennies while taking extended diving courses. If you are really watching your coins, or you’re simply a light eater, then ask for your food “on rice” as opposed to “with rice”. This will mean a slightly smaller portion but also a smaller bill.

As with most Thai restaurants in this region you’ll find “no name” on the menu, which is similar to a dumpling — but not really a dumpling — and comprised of vegetables and whatever else you choose. Try to order them as a starter, but bear in mind you are still likely to be served them half-way through your main course.

Check out the tablecloth.

Your food order will be taken quickly and come out in a random order (see above). Service is prompt but don’t wait for everyone’s food to arrive before you start eating, or else your food may very well go cold. And once you’ve eaten, this probably isn’t the sort of place you’ll want to linger.

They have a water dispenser here too and while I’m not sure whether it’s there to limit waste or just to give diners free water easily, it sure is better for the environment than plastic bottles. Large, tankard-style glasses are on a tray next to the dispenser, so go and refill as many times as you like; the water is chilled and safe to drink. A small fridge keeps beer and soft drinks chilled, and they have a great shake menu too.

It really is called “no name”.

Bam Bams is located in Mae Haad on the road that runs up the hill starting close to the Songserm Pier and joining the main road. It’s open from early morning and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner until after dark; they’ll close when there’s no one eating.

About the author
Ayesha ditched her power suit in favour of a wetsuit and ventured to Ko Tao to indulge in her passion for scuba diving. Apart from writing for she manages the Master Divers Blog and whenever possible is underwater with her camera shooting fish!
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