As I write this I’m sitting in sunny beautiful Phuket with a cold diet coke next to me under a huge beach umbrella overlooking crystal blue waters. I’ll be honest I’ve been twice to Thailand and the initial enthusiasm is somewhat lacking. Its an 18 hour flight with a stopover of at least two hours and the first day is always spent glaring at my boyfriend because I’m so sleep deprived. Fun fact of the day: Germans love Thailand. Particularly the Khao Lak region in Phuket which is why every sign here is in German (and French to a lesser extent).
Khao Lak is fairly small, plenty of day trips to do though. However we are mostly interested in the food. We both also love food markets. Khao Lak has the famous Bang Niang Night market every Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday. Its a showcase of Thai street food. If you’re not allergic to shellfish like I am you’ll be spoilt for choice. I would definitely recommend the ‘big potato’ which is basically spiral potato chips on a stick deep fried with paprika sprinkled on top and if you’re not vegetarian, go for the chicken fritters.
If you’re feeling adventurous there are stands that even sell deep fried silk worms, frogs, grasshoppers and the likes. My boyfriend wanted to try one of them but then backed out because he didn’t think he could handle eating an entire bowl.
Dessert wise there’s so much choice. You have bakeries, cakes are typically priced at 10 Baht and upwards, there’s of course the famous Thai pancakes (soaked in butter but so worth it, go for the banana and nutella combo), Thai ice cream which is basically a theatrical show by itself and tons of fresh fruit everywhere. Other than that at the entrance there’s plenty of traditional thai pastries being sold (coconut jelly is my favourite) and a little further in you’ll find mini coconut pancakes sprinkled with sugar.
I was a rather disappointed with the Mojito stand though. Although it was just 60 Baht for a drink, there was not a hint of alcohol so I basically just bought iced tea with mint. Best avoid that. Instead pick the fresh Coconut for 40 Baht or a coke can for 20 Baht from the plethora of temporary bars that have been set up.
If you have access to a kitchen while you’re in Khao Lak, Bang Niang also sells plenty of fresh food – veggies and meat included. There’s also a curry and spice shop. Although you’re better off buying the latter at any small supermarket.
The Bang Niang market runs from 12pm – 10pm on the dates mentioned above. Its a nice change from the usual restaurants you visit and has more of a Spanish tapas feel to it as you buy different sorts of dishes and sit down on one of the many tables littered around to eat.
-By Rittika Goswami