Food Journey to the Gulf of Thailand

My first morning in Thailand, how blissful it was to wake up to this symphony of the birds songs and the monks chanting in a temple across the canal.

For breakfast, Choke’s uncle (uncle Nid) went to the market at the crack of dawn and got us these freshly made goodies.

They are: Pa tong go – Thai style Chinese donuts 油条

And Ka nom krok – Coconut rice pancakes filled with scallions

We also tried a type of Western style cakes from Nont Bakery in Bangkok

The cakes were soft, airy and not too sweet. Just how we Asians like them 🙂

After breakfast, Choke’s sister Oui joined us, we packed our things and started our drive down to Prachuap Khiri Khan by the Gulf of Thailand.

Phuang Malai is a Thai floral garland that symbolizes luck and respect. This one hanging on the rearview window of our van is made of fresh aromatic jasmine and marigold flowers.

While on the road, first thing I noticed were the ubiquitous food stalls. Depending on the specialty of the region, they could be anything from tropical fruits to fish sauce chicken.

This is a FOOD country no doubt! I love it!

Our first non-food stop was the Phra Ram Royal Palace in the Phetchaburi Province.

Meet our lovely guide Hongbao, Choke’s mom’s dog, named after the red pockets handed out during Chinese New Year 🙂

Also known as the Ban Puen Palace – after the village it is located in – The palace was commissioned in 1910 by King Rama V, who is known for modernizing Thailand. It was designed by German architect Karl Dohring, who lived most of his life in Siam (now Thailand). The two-story building is in Jungendstil – German Art Nouveau – style, with a central courtyard that used to house the first badmington court in Thailand. King Rama V, however, did not live see the palace’s completion, The construction completed six years later under the reign of King Rama VI, who gave the palace its current day name. The palace is now a museum, operated by the Royal Thai Army. (Free Admission; Shoes off; Photography is not allowed inside)

Phetchaburi province is famous for its Khanom – sweet snacks. Naturally we made a point to stop by the roadside stands and picked up some.

Here we got Khanom Mo Kaeng – a baked egg custard in tin foil, with mung beans and coconuts and sometimes flavoured with lotus seeds, durian or taro.

Several Portuguese influenced desserts – with its signature ingredient egg yolk – introduced to Thailand by Maria Guyomar de Pinha, a cook in the Aytutthaya court, of Japanese, Portuguese and Bengil descent.

Thong Yot – golden egg yolk drops – orignated in Aveiro, Portugal.

Foi Thong – golden strands, known as Fios de ovos in Portugual.

Various sweets made of pineapples

Dried bael (in Orange red) and Thong Ek (in the foreground) – wheat flour dumplings with egg yolk

The word Thong in Thai means gold. Foi Thong, Thong Ek and Thong Yot, with their significance of wealth and prosperity are among the nine auspicious Thai desserts served in traditional ceremonies.

Plenty of palm sugars – solids for cooking and syrups for sweetening drinks.

As well as other Thai food staples such as dried seafood shrimps, fish, squids.

We then stopped by a hole-in the wall place ข้าวแช่แม่ลาภ เพชรบุรี (Khao Chae Mae Lap Prechaburi) for a specialty of the region: Khao Chae

Rice soaked in chilled jasmine-scented water acoompanied by dried fish, shredded Chinese radish and balls of shrimp paste.

Originally a Mon dish, Khao Chae was introduced to Thailand during the reign of King Rama II as a royal cuisine. It is generally consumed in the summer, as a way to cool you down on a hot day. We were lucky to try it in January.

After dessert, it’s just about the time for lunch 🙂 So my friend found this popular seafood restaurant ร้านอาหารพวงเพชร (Puang Phet Retaurant)

where we ordered Squid on a skewer with spicy sauce, Squid stir-fry with scallions, fried Seabass curry without coconut milk, Chinese style Tofu & Seafood hotpot (to be consumed with brown vinegar) and their signature hot and spicy catfish

The last of which we had to cancel because we were so full before it got to us.

I was impressed with the server at this bustling restaurant, who promptly came with a cart lined with a bucket of ice cubes and glass bottled water, quickly dunked the ice cubes into the glass, topped it with water and passed to each one of us before moving on to the next table. Super efficient and professional.

I also like that they listed the recommended dishes ranked by chef McDang – supposedly “one of Thailand’s most recognized and learned food authorities”. Although I had no idea what they say up there . Time to learn Thai alphabet perhaps??

After lunch, I took a quick nap in the car while our driver delivered us to our resort at Prachuap Khiri Khan.

We were greeted with Bael fruit drink upon arrival and a plate of fruits and granolas delivered to our room.

I went for a walk

And visited a beautiful temple by the beach

before sunset

For dinner, we had fried Pork with black pepper, spicy Chakram salad, deep fried Banana Blossoms and Prawns and dessert consists of various sweets we bought today and fresh longans

With a toast of Aperol Spritz we celebrated our friendship (the old & the new) and the moment of joy and content this country had brought us.

Coming up next: Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand

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18 thoughts on “Food Journey to the Gulf of Thailand

  1. What an adventurous beginning to your time in Thailand! Certainly is a foodie country, no doubt– everything looks so fresh, flavorful, and delicious! Plus, Hongbao, the dog, is so cute~ can’t wait for more on your Thailand series!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a fan of Thai food, but most of what’s pictured here I doubt we’d see in the local Thai restaurants. We used to enjoy getting together with a Thai couple for homed cooked dinners, sometimes Thai style, sometimes American. Too bad they moved away…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was eye-opening for me to experience the real Thai food. Luckly you had opportunity to taste home cooked Thai dinners. Too bad they moved away, but maybe you can get the recipe and cook yourself 🙂 Ingredients are available in the USA.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The foods you describe sound wonderful, and not too “exotic” for my tastes. The coconut rice pancakes with scallions are particularly tempting. I love the design of the Royal Palace. Has the look of a giant American barn, but so much more elegant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Khanom Khrok is delicious. Here’s a little history from Wiki:
      Khanom khrok was well-known since Ayutthaya period. And at that time was the beginning of a heating mantle–a hot indented frying pan. First, the dough made by rice immersed in water and mill with thin coconut milk, cooked rice, and shredded coconut that put a little salt then top with undiluted coconut milk. But for the Royal Thai version, they adapt the top of Khanom Khrok to become more diverse. Such as corn top, scallion top, and shrimp top.
      I love the ones with sweet corns as well. Very delicate. I wish I could make it here.

      Like

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