When in Thailand, eat like a Thai

It is always a mystery as to why there are so many people who insist on eating food they are used to enjoying at home when traveling to another country.

This behaviour must be rather prevalent among tourists, so much so that at most touristy spots, there are more Western restaurants than there are local Thai restaurants and stalls.

Khao Lak is more of the same, a small resort town, approximately 100 km north of Phuket.

While Khao Lak is relatively small and there are cabs available pretty much everywhere, the best mode of transportation is a scooter.

You probably don’t even need a license to rent one, but do make sure you know what you’re doing. If you value your life, ask for helmets. These are provided without extra charge.

Som Tam by the roadside.

If you love sour and spicy stuff, Som Tam is a must-try. Made of unripe papaya or green mango, bean sprouts, peanuts, chilli, dried shrimps and more, it sure does have a kick.

However, be prepared to pay more for this simple dish if the stall is parked right outside hot tourist spots.

Breakfast was this rice/noodles with an extremely spicy broth. 

If you decide to forgo a hotel breakfast, why not try something a Thai would typically have for their first meal like rice or noodles with a selection of dishes with a broth.

This particular dish was tasty, and really, really spicy. You will be grateful for the fresh cucumber and variety of vegetables on the table to help cool things down.

Noodles and soup with a choice of beef, chicken or pork.

A road side stall right on the main street of Khao Lak sold some “snacks” that turned out to be really delicious.

Here you get to choose any combination of three ingredients – pork, chicken, and beef.

This was very much like Vietnamese pho, and had the same basil and bean sprouts on the side too, but as with anything Thai, the flavours were stronger.

The Pad Thai with prawns and squid as well as fried oysters was bought from a little restaurant a couple of kilometres away from Khao Lak.

The Pad Thai was rather average, and the fried oysters… well, after experiencing Penang’s version, this was a complete disappointment.

While your stomach will probably take some time to recover from the chilli overload, the various Thai food you try will be worth the “pain”.

This article first appeared in kyspeaks.com