beyond pad thai

the street food in thailand is epic, and though i didn’t find any fried seahorses on sticks (don’t pay attention to that part - i either read about this or saw it on a travel show about asia once years ago and have been talking about it ever since) the wide range of options of different meats, marinades, and spices was impressive. most travel guides warn against partaking in the meat in thailand, as it’s not considered the safest thing to consume.  i, however, chose to ignore that warning, and ate as much of the unfamiliar/on a stick/not labeled with english/strange colored food i could get my hands on. besides, knowing i would feel this way i was armed and ready with the equivalent of prescription pepto (thanks, dr. butts! yep, that’s my doctor’s name).

the street vendors a-callin my name

street meat

while it’s not that surprising that the street food was vastly different from the what i’ve had before, the strange food theme seemed to extend itself to convenience stores and even name brand snacks.  when searching for chips for the beach, the only flavor i recognized was lay’s original potato trips (though i didn’t try them, so there’s nothing to say that “original” in thailand doesn’t mean something different from the “original” we’re all familiar with).  the rest of the chips had a full range of flavors more likely to be found on a japanese restaurant menu rather than a shelf at 7-11 – tuna, sweet basil, pork chop, salmon skin, prawn, and the ever popular seaweed flavor.

once you pop you can't stop? still?

not good. not good AT ALL.

the thought of fish flavored potato chips was slightly off-putting, so i decided instead to try a more “americanized” flavor – bbq hot dogs. at first i wasn’t very impressed as the initial taste was pretty much on par with regular bbq chips.  after i shrugged off the disappointment and ate a couple more chips, however, the hot dog flavor really kicked in.  it was weird tasting a hot dog with a crunch, but I finished the bag. hey, i was hungry!

there were of course other snacks i tried and enjoyed, which probably isn’t hard to imagine given my track record on this blog with strange foods. another 7-11 staple i became addicted to were wasabi peanuts.  i’m not sure whether it was the actual snack, the little cartoon asian mad scientist on the packet, or a combination of the two, but i was hooked. who am i kidding, i AM hooked.  i even brought some back with me to nz, and hopefully no one I know here is reading this so i don’t feel compelled to share my little treat. kidding. kind of. we also found a little bakery on koh phi phi that had the BEST bread ever and i fell into a little bit of a holiday romance with coconut rolls (basically a cinnamon bun with coconut instead of cinnamon – yum!). pretty much anything with coconut is good in my book though.

bun with green "thai custard" filling.

coconut. meringue. pie. so. good.

and of course, when we were acting like normal humans and eating at restaurants (which was rare), i had some of the best curries and the best pad thai i’ve ever had.  no matter what i ordered, everything was delicious and best of all we had the option to make things “thai spicy” which i did every time. i won’t act like i’m some kind of food snob now who can’t possibly order “westernized” thai food (i ate instant ramen for lunch yesterday, so…), but it will be hard to forget the food i ate there the next time i am at a thai restaurant.

massaman curry with chicken at papaya on koh phi phi

alien breakfast. why can't i accurately type alien sound effects here?

i wish i could tell you what this was that i ate. there were eggs involved and some rice. that's all i know.

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