By visiting Bangkok's Chinatown at dusk you'll experience a unique facet of Bangkok's melting pot. Running along Yaowarat Road from Odeon Circle, the huge unmistakable and striking ceremonial Chinese gate marks the entrance. Dispersing off the main roads is a series of smaller roads, narrow alleys and backstreets. Each of these offer great insight into how the Chinese community have preserved their cultural traditions, celebrations and identities for over two centuries. The area was once renowned for being home to a dense warren of opium dens, gambling joints, brothels and pawnshops. Today it is the great food, fabric and gold that lures people to this area.
Tonight you will taste at least 7 different local dishes, varied from different street food vendors. Samples of the street food dishes could be but are not limited to the below:
Starter (at least 3)
-Satay - meat that is threaded on a bamboo stick, grilled over an open flame and served with peanut sauce and an ajad of cucumber, shallots and chillies in sugar syrup.
-Krapo Pla - fish maw in a thick brown soup.
-Sala Pow - steamed bread-like buns with delicious meat or vegetable stuffed centers.
-Kuay Tiew Lhod - broth with rolled up rice noodle sheets, sliced meats and special soy sauce.
Main (at least 2) along with soda pops and/or local beer (limited to 2 small bottles/cans per person)
-Thai-style sukiyaki - wok-fried glass noodles, egg and meats or seafood with a chili sauce liberally laced with pickled garlic.
-Pad Thai - rice noodle stir-fried with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice or tamarind pulp, ground peanuts, egg, bean sprouts, Chinese chives and combined with meats or seafood and tofu.
-Bamee Moo Daeng/Ped Yang - Egg noodles served dry or with broth with slices of red pork/or roasted duck.
-Khao Mun Gai (Hainanese-style chicken rice) - steamed or boiled chicken thigh or breast meat plopped atop a mound of rice greased with chicken fat.
-Pad Krapao - rice topped with minced pork/chicken/beef stir-fried with chilies and holy basil.
-Khao Ka Moo - rice served with sliced pig's trotters which has been simmered in soy sauce and five spice powder.
-"Isan holy trinity" of Gai Yang (grilled chicken), Khao Niew (sticky rice) and Som Tum (grated papaya salad).
Dessert (at least 2)
-Kanom-Pang Sankaya - steamed bread with coconut custard dipping sauce.
-Khao Niew Mamuang/Durian - mango/durian with coco-nutty sticky rice (depends on season)
-Bua Loy Nam Khing - glutinous rice dough balls filled with sesame paste in hot ginger juice.
-Chao Kuay - gelatinous chunks of a black herbal tea served in small bowls filled with sugar syrup.
Continue to Pak Klong Talad Market that is best visited at night when it has fresh deliveries of flowers, fruit, vegetables and spices. From 20:00 onwards the area emerges as a kaleidoscope of bright, blooming color as vendors and consumers take to the floor to trade in Jasmine, lotus and roses - amongst other things.
Before returning to your hotel, we drive through Rattanakosin, the original area of Bangkok when it was first established as the capital over 200 years ago. En route you can see many magnificent temples and architectural buildings, including Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Temple and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Sanam Luang, Democracy Monument and Wat Saket (golden Mount).