Taking a food tour through Bangkok
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.
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.
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).
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.