Boat Noodles (Kuay Tiau Rua) is one of the most popular things to try in Bangkok, recommended by both locals and tourists alike. Boat Noodles is called as such because was originally sold to passing customers on wooden boats that ply the canals in Bangkok. Each vendor would have their own recipe that distinguishes their noodles from the others – may it be a different type of noodle or broth. After looking at various sources online, we made a special trip to the Victory Monument where many Boat Noodles restaurants are located at. We thought this unique local favorite was worth a detour.
This is the Victory Monument, easily reachable via BTS or bus provided you know which to take. If you rely on the Victory Monument and map alone to look for the boat noodles, you are going to have a bad time. Even with the amount of directions available online, you will be lost.
Based on my own experience the easiest way is to look for the canal while walking on the pedestrian bridge. As long as you keep the Victory Monument on your left while walking on the bridge, you should be on the right path. And assuming you are indeed on the right path, the canal will be on your right. Forget about looking at maps, just follow this simple instruction of mine and you will be fine. Or better still, just ask a local who speaks English (if you are lucky enough to encounter one) to point you to the right way.
Obviously there will be more than one boat noodle restaurants (signage apart, differentiated by the colors of their shirts) along the canal but only one was open when we were there, so our decision was already made for us.
Many locals like to have their lunch here so it will be extremely packed during lunch hours. But we did not have to wait long for seats because the turnover rate is fast owing much to the speed of the food arriving at the tables.
Among the many places that we visited in Bangkok, Chatuchak (or Jatujak) Weekend Market is one of the few we truly enjoyed, so much that we would not hesitate to return again. It has thousands of stalls selling a wide range of products including cheap and delicious local foods. The atmosphere and setup are very similar to our pasar malam but it is a whole lot bigger, easily ten to twenty times the size of a typical pasar malam. But first, you should know that Chatuchak Weekend Market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays 9am to 6pm just like the name says. So plan your trip accordingly if you wish to include Chatuchak Weekend Market into your list of places to visit.
Not only the vendors are not pushy, you will also be pleased to know that the whole market is a smoking free area! If you have a nice budget for shopping I am pretty sure you will have a good time here. Why? Because even a non-shopper like me who did not allocate any money for the visit bought quite a number of items – mainly artifacts, handicrafts and of course, lots of food and drinks.
There are a few ways to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market and I think the easiest way is by the BTS Sky Train. From any BTS station, board the northern bound train and alight at Mo Chit station. Then, just follow the signs for the market. Look at the crowd and the number of vans ferrying locals and tourists outside the market, it should give you a good idea on how popular it is.
If you don’t feel like walking there are free shuttle tuk tuk services in the market. From what I see, not many people are taking it, most still prefer to walk.
There is also a Chatuchak Plaza within the market where small food courts and shops selling more expensive goods could be found. It is somewhat like a maze and feels stuffy inside due to the roofing (lack of ventilation) Because of that I would suggest going in there only after you are done touring the exterior market.
Judging by the number of people eating at T&K Seafood, it should be the most popular seafood restaurant in Chinatown (Yaowarat Road). Just do a Google search for seafood recommendation in Bangkok and you will find T&K Seafood being mentioned everywhere in forums, travel websites and blogs. But wait, does this also mean it is a tourist trap? I am no expert when it comes to Bangkok’s food but even if this is indeed a tourist trap by local residents, it is a trap somewhat worth falling for – especially if you came for their famous Grilled River Prawns.
From the various photos I saw online, I thought T&K is more of a roadside eatery. Little did I know they actually have an actual restaurant about four floors in height, air-conditioned too. Stepping into the restaurant reminded me of our trip to Hong Kong though – tight and winding staircase leading up to the higher floors. Which is why a pully system is used during peak hours, you simply don’t expect the staff to deliver your food by scaling the staircase – a misstep means spilled food.
Compared with the other seafood restaurants I have been to during my short stay in Bangkok, the menu at T&K seems pretty standard and have quite a number of similar dishes. But I think you will at least be pleased at the prices, which I think is quite affordable hence you could pretty much get anything you feel like having. If not because there were only the two of us, and we already had a meal just two hours before reaching here, we would have ordered many more dishes.
Grilled River Prawn is a must have here and you should not leave without trying them. The prawns are so fresh that the simplest cooking method is enough to bring out the best in them. A sourish chilli dip is given but I prefer to eat them just like they are to savour the sweetness of the firm flesh.
I think there will be a very slim chance of tourists eating at Rosdee because its distance from Bangkok city centre. But because the hotel we stayed at is located just a stone throw’s away from the restaurant, we decided to have a light brunch here after getting the locals’ recommendation.
Rosdee is a Thai-Chinese restaurant that specializes in braised goose, various roast meats and they also serve a wide range of typical Chinese and traditional Thai food. The menu is quite thick with over hundreds of dishes (English and Chinese translation provided) to choose from. The family-oriented restaurant’s service is friendly with a smile and the prices are affordable too – not street cheap but at least reasonable. From what we noticed, there weren’t many customers dining in like us since the majority of their sales are through take-away and deliveries.
I have eaten quite a lot of braised stuff but Rosdee’s braised goose is something new. Seems like it is not really braised – as in slowly cooked in sauce, more like roasted first then have the sauce added on top of it. Nevertheless it was quite delicious (served lukewarm, could be better if it was warmer) and the mustard greens help to add a appetizing flavor to it.