There are street foods in most Asian countries you travel to but for Thai people it is engrained in their culture. Local Thais love their street food and I can understand why. Absolutely great tasting food for as little as 10 baht? Affordable and delectable. Just for your reference, 40 baht is approximately equivalent to 1 US dollar.
It made me want to eat everything in sight. I almost did. The only thing that stopped me was my stomach hurting from being filled with too much food! I ate to the point where I wanted to burst. Was hard to hold back. Chiang Mai has opened my eyes to Thailand in a way I have never seen on previous trips. It is literally street food heaven here where all local dishes can be found made in carts, trucks, stalls, street corner – no frills. Spending 10 days in Chiang Mai has taught me that there is a method to the madness of selecting the “right” place to buy from.
There were days during my trip that I would just eat street food all day. I would amble around the streets looking at every vendor trying to pick my next dish. It makes eating so much more fun and exciting when you don’t even know what to expect for your next dish. I think it is the anticipation that I love. What amazes me about Thai food is that their flavors are so bold and raw. You can literally taste every ingredient that is put into the dish.
The great thing is that all the portions are small enough that you can prepare your stomach for what is to come. You just need to gauge yourself and select a variety that is diverse enough in quantity so as not to over indulge. That is the trick to eating street food. You want to try as many different things as possible but balance it or else you can suffer for days!
I even pushed myself to eat foods I would normally stay away from. Such as spicy – I cannot do spicy well. Also another thing I normally don’t order is pig’s blood even though it is a favorite amongst most Asian cuisines including Chinese. I did order one dish that had pig’s blood just to be adventurous, as you can see from the picture above. The flavors of the sauce and other ingredients were so strong I really barely tasted the pig’s blood at all. What a relief!
These fried quail eggs were definitely a favorite all over Chiang Mai. I not only saw them on most streets around the city center but even at Doi Suthep Temple whilst trudging up the 306 steps to the top!
If you wander around long enough you can also find those street vendors who make their own speciality that no one else will make. Some of them are recipes that have been passed down through previous generations! Street food for some are a family business. Amazing right?
The Sunday street market is THE place for eating and shopping. It is a must for anyone visiting Chiang Mai. If you have a Sunday there, please do me a favor and go!!! I was like a kid in Disneyland here. The bonus? You can eat as much as you want without breaking the bank.
If you really like your spices there are stalls that even sell ready made chili for you to cook with or just spread on top of your food. The locals love spreading paprika and chili on food. Again, not for me. Unfortunately as hard as I have tried time and time again I just cannot get my body used to spicy food.
See the frenzy of everyone rushing to buy food? In writing this blog I realized how many photos I have of street food. Just looking at them all made my stomach growl. Wishing I could be back in Chiang Mai munching on all the scrumptious dishes again. Just be warned. I will probably have a few more blogs to come focusing on street food!