Taking a food tour through Bangkok

tot1 Who says you can’t teach a jaded expat new tricks? On my first food tour though Bangkok I learned that looking through the eyes of a tourist can be a good thing.

No matter what city, locals are always known for griping about the tourist attractions. It’s basically a right of passage. But on my latest adventure, a walking and eating tour through Bangkok from Taste of Thailand, I realized that pretending to be a newcomer once in awhile is pretty fun.

The “Village of Love” tour (THB 1,100) explores the sights, sounds and flavours of Bangkok’s historic Bang Rak neighbourhood. The area is a goldmine of little mom-and-pop shops and family establishments already going into their third and fourth generations. My favourite was a 50-year-old curry paste shop, where fresh spices are ground up every day at the crack of dawn and sold out by 11 a.m.

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What’s amazing about the tour is you get to try a bite of everything, from Thai fruits (some which I had never even tried before) to desserts. The Boonsap Thai Dessert shop is into its third generation of professional sweet-makers, and the sample platter for Taste of Thailand guests includes little mounds of mango sticky rice, black sticky rice and sweet custard.

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Every hole-in-the-wall shop and street vendor on the tour produces one dish or just a few dishes, catering to specific specialty. So not only were all my tastes for authentic Thai totally fulfilled, it was an opportunity for new discoveries — take for example, these “freaky cuts” at Bang Rak Market (the second oldest in Bangkok).

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I would recommend a food tour to anyone, foreigners new and old to Bangkok and even my Thai friends — it’s a fun little way to spend an afternoon, and you may just be surprised by what you learn.

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