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I looked around at the kaleidoscope of electric and neon signs that were lighting the crowds in Bangkok’s longest street market. The pavements of China Town were filled with locals and tourists alike choosing where to have their evening meals from the myriad of restaurants and street vendors. Luckily for me I had Noom by my side who would be my guide for my time in Bangkok. He took me down a side street where we tried a stir-fry dish called Saki Yaki, which was as tasty as it was fun to say; and Kua Gai, which is chewy flat rice noodles with chicken. On a narrow slab of pavement we sat at a rickety old table and took our pick from a selection of demonically hot sauces. The sound of pans rattling on stoves, tuk-tuks zipping by and the murmur of various foreign voices all jumbled together in my ears as we tucked into our meal. Even though this was only the start of my trip, I felt completely immersed, and my appetite was whetted for my ten-day adventure around Thailand.

We ventured down another side street and sat at a table to order Bua Loy Nam Khing (ginger tea with black sesame balls). Noom promised me the hot spiced tea, with three dumpling-like balls filled with a sweet sesame paste, would help me cope with the night’s still sweltering heat, but I wasn’t convinced the hot sauces hadn’t already set me on a course of night sweats. After a few more dishes we finished the tour with a crispy pan-friend Roti with bananas and coconut.


The following day, Noom picked me up from my hotel and we drove out of the city to discover a couple of unique markets. On the way, we passed giant pools of seawater on either side of the road which I was told were used to harvest sea salt. I enjoyed the sight of the bright blue and sparsely clouded sky reflecting off the surface of the water as we made our way to the Maeklong Railway Market, an hour southwest of Bangkok.

We arrived at the food market, which sold exotic fruit and vegetables, fish and meat, all of which were laid out on tables on either side of the railway tracks. I noticed that the stalls came right up to the tracks, leaving just the narrow space between them for shoppers to walk along. Thankfully, a canopy of colourful awnings shaded the tracks from the sun, but when we had walked halfway through the market I could hear the distinctive sound of a train horn and, as if by magic, all the awnings were pulled back and the market traders scurried to pick up any products close to the tracks as a massive train slowly chugged towards us. Noom pulled me into the space between two stalls and we watched the train pass by. As soon as it had disappeared, everything was put back into place as if nothing of any significance had just happened. This all takes place several times a day.

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