CHIIIIIIPS!

Chips are my go to travel snack. I love trying the different flavors wherever we go. Here are some of the interesting munchies from our trip around Southeast Asia.

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Basically cheddar bugles, but not as good.

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Sean’s favorite chips of the trip – Crab Claws.

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These were super spicy in the BEST way.

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Little chicken drumsticks. Didn’t taste like chicken though.

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Pringles makes Corn Chips and they are on another level!

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Nothing to rave about…but they would probably be good with dip.

My favorite chips were in Cambodia but I devoured them so quickly and didn’t get a chance to snap a picture (fat girl problems). I wish I knew what they were called!!!

Myanmar also had amazing homemade chips that were sold on the side of the road. They made the 5-10 hour bus trips bearable. I still dream about them sometimes…

My new love

Move over ramen, pho, broccoli cheese! There’s a new soup in town and it has quickly become my new everythang – khao soi.

This heavenly entrée consists of deep-fried crispy egg noodles atop a bowl of boiled egg noodles in a curry-like sauce with coconut milk and meat (chicken, pork, beef, or seafood). It is served with a side of pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime, and ground chillies fried in oil.

It was our second day in Chiang Mai. The night before was spent researching Northern Thai dishes and go to eateries in the city. Khao Soi Khun Yai was at the top of a few lists for their khao soi soup. We took to the streets in search of this highly recommended establishment. It took a little while to find since this luncheonette was located in an alley between two wats and looked more like a garbage collection stand with tables and chairs than a place where one would find a life altering bowl of deliciousness.

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Khao Soi Khun Yai – currently ranked #1

Since this meal, I have eaten khao soi almost every single day. I have yet to find a bowl that compares to the one I demolished at Khao Soi Khun Yai but they have all still hit the spot. I intend on eating as many bowls as I can while I am here.

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Khao Soi from street cart at Chiang Mai Gate night market (chicken) #2

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Khao Soi Phorjai in Chiang Rai (chicken) #3

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Khao Soi from Night Bazaar food court (chicken and vegetable) #4

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Khao Soi from restaurant by the Chiang Rai bus stop (chicken) #5

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Khao Soi Islam (seafood) #6

Sean and I are planning to take a cooking class (or two) while we are in Chiang Mai. Soon I will learn how to make khao soi so I can cook it ALL THE TIME when we get back to the states.

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khao soi FOREVER ❤

 

Chinatown Letdown

Hot, crowded, smelly (good and bad),  and stressful – a few words to describe Chinatown in Bangkok. We really wanted to love it but ended up a bit disappointed.

Maybe it is because we went in the middle of the afternoon when the sun was blazing down fiercer than usual. Sweat dripped down our backs (and cracks) as we maneuvered through the cramped, narrow alleyways, dodging motorbikes and men with dollies full of produce.

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It was here that we tried our first satay – the tasting experience that ruined the day. What we first assumed to be chicken, remains unknown, but what Sean now refers to as dog shit on a stick. My stick of [meat?] was tough and chewy. I took two bites before I had to toss it. Sean’s was even worse. After one bite, he immediately snatched the coke bottle from my hands and downed the few sips that were left. His face turned ghostly with disgust and rage. Whatever he had consumed put him in a bad mood for the next hour or so.

Needing a break from the crowds and a familiar taste in our mouths, we popped into Starbucks and refreshed our pallets. There we did some research on must-try eateries in Chinatown and decided on some crab noodle soup from Odean.

The soup was tasty but not worth the 300Baht per bowl. Definitely not worthy of all the praised it had received online, especially when compared to other soups we’ve had for a fraction of the price. The shrimp wontons were crispy and gratifying.

The highlight of the day turned out to be our discovery of Uber in Bangkok. It is about the same price as taking a metered taxi but you can get an estimate before your trip. Tuk tuks are rip off and only worth taking for a short trip at night when they have their lights flashing and music blasting.

Getting our footing

Our first full day was spent figuring out how to navigate through the city and visiting our first temple, Wat Pho – the oldest and largest wat in Bangkok.
We started with a less than mediocre breakfast at the hotel restaurant. For 200 Baht a meal, Sean ordered the standard eggs, sausage, toast, and hash browns while I opted for the American club sandwich.
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American Breakfast at our hotel in Bangkok

 Needless to say, we won’t be going back the rest of our time here.
After breakfast we walked to the BTS station and took the SkyTrain to Saphan Taksin for 25 Baht per person. From there, we hopped on the tourist boat (40 Baht per person) up the river to Tha Tien. There is also an express boat that can be taken for less than half the price (14 Baht per person) but we figured we would go the touristy route for our first trip.
We made it to the temple by noon and explored for a couple of hours. Admission was 100 Baht per person and included a small bottle of cold water. There were a considerable amount of people but the temple complex was big enough that we could to get away from the crowd from time to time.

Pictures around the temple grounds.

The most hectic area was, by far, was the temple with the Reclining Buddha. Upon entering any of the temple rooms you must take off your shoes and make sure that your shoulders and knees are covered.
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Reclining Buddha

 The temple was beautiful and did not disappoint.
We then decided to explore more of the city by foot. Attempting to make our way to Wat Saket, we got lost and ended up roaming the streets, heading in almost every direction with no clue of where we were. It took about 2 hours of walking and a stop in a coffee shop before we gave up and hailed a Tuk Tuk to the MBK shopping center.
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Our first tuk tuk ride in Thailand

MBK is more like a flea market than a mall, with tons of vendors filling 8 floors with everything from jewelry, shoes, sunglasses, clothes, and more. We haven’t had a chance to compare the prices to other markets but it seemed pretty reasonable for what you could buy.
We weren’t too impressed with the shopping center until we got to Food Island, a food court on the 6th floor consisting of a multitude of amazing looking and smelling delights. For 80 Baht we devoured a delicious bowl of beef noodle soup. Easily the best thing we’ve eaten since leaving the states.
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MBK Food Island

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MBK Beef Noodle Soup

With happy bellies, we jumped on the SkyTrain to Sala Daeng to hit up the Patpong night market – a small alley with street vendors and night clubs. There you can buy knockoff Berkinstalks, Nikes, watches, sunglasses, and more. Or, if you are feeling extra adventurous, you can head into one of the clubs for a “ping pong show”. I won’t go into detail but I know that it involves female genitalia and ping pong balls. We had heard stories of these shows and were a little too frightened and not drunk enough to check one out.
We capped the night off with much needed Thai foot massages (250 Baht for 1 hour and well worth it). Feeling both refreshed and completely exhausted, we walked back to our hotel and crashed for the night. Learning a new city can take some time but I think our first day was a success.