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I make it a routine of mine nowadays to always book a food and walking tour in every new city that I visit. Being the foodie I am, sampling new dishes and street food is something that really excites me! I thoroughly researched several food tours and companies in Bangkok, and came across the Bangrak Food Tasting and Culture Walking Tour with Bangkok Food Tours – which is one of the top things to do in Bangkok.
The tour takes you to many ‘Mom and Pop’ style small restaurants that have been operated for generations in a district called Bangrak – which is an area I sort of know (the location being a very close proximity to where some of my Thai relatives live). I was very keen to explore Bangrak even further, and sample delights from many local places that I would normally walk past without even glancing at.
Bangrak translates to ‘village of love’, and is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods (and home to the very first road in Bangkok!).
The tour started at 9.30am at Saphan Taksin station – which is pretty easy to reach from most hotels in the city as it is reachable on the BTS Skytrain, and also has a river ferry terminal. There were six others joining myself on this particular tour – Scottish, German and Italian! Everyone was extremely friendly and chatty which made the experience much more pleasurable, especially when you turn up to a group tour as a solo traveller.
Nutt was the name of our tour guide, and is sweet, friendly and spoke excellent English. She also boasted that she loved to eat – that’s my kind of girl!
Bangrak Stop 1
Our first stop on our food tour was a restaurant that is Thai with a ‘Chinese influence’. We sampled some delicious roasted duck and rice (Khaow Na Ped), which is a very popular dish in Thailand. It is also one of my favourite asian foods and this particular version did not disappoint – I polished the food off very quickly as the meat was so soft and beautiful.
We also sampled some amazing spicy crispy pork with holy basil leaves – it was so delicious that I could have eaten the whole plate to myself (but sadly you have to share haha!).
Whilst we were eating, Nutt explained a lot about Thai culture – for example why Thai people eat a lot of street food (the reason being many apartments ban the use of ovens or gas hobs).
After we finished eating we continued onwards with our Bangrak tour, stopping occasionally to learn a bit more about the area and to look at places of interest. We walked a bit off the main road and down some small alleys to visit a temple (Wat Suan Phlu), a Catholic church and some old heritage buildings.
Bangrak Stop 2
We quickly popped into a small dessert shop on the main road to admire the interesting looking dishes and to pick up something to eat later on the tour. We purchased some of Thailand’s famous mango and sticky rice and another intriguing sounding dish – sweet potato sticky rice with mango AND dried shrimp. (yep – I’m not kidding!).
Bangrak Stop 3
Our next food stop is a Thai-Muslim restaurant, where we all sat together at a large table and sampled some incredibly thick and rich curry laksa soup – served with rice vermicelli, a boiled egg and crispy onions. The flavour was just heavenly and as I adore curried noodles, these disappeared in my mouth quite quickly. We also were given a samosa each to eat but I skipped this as I am not a big fan of the dish and I wanted to save belly room for more nicer food later.
Bangrak Stop 4
We then hopped on a very short ferry crossing boat across the river Chao Phraya to briefly visit the district of Thonburi.
We walked a minute or so down a small alley to a Thai Issan restaurant to sample some north eastern cuisine. This was the part of the tour I was most excited about as I love food from this region because it is spicy! I wasn’t disappointed – we were served some very tasty dishes – a zingy papaya salad (Som Tum), Thai spicy pork salad (Mou Nam Tok), fried lemongrass chicken with crispy catfish and some sticky rice. Every dish was perfection and I still crave that spicy pork salad…
To cool out mouths down we were then served dessert that we purchased earlier. The mango and sticky rice is a delicious classic and will never let you down. The one that took me by surprise was the sweet potato sticky rice with mango and dried shrimp – it actually tasted ok! Well it wasn’t amazing, but I was able to finish the small pot of it without wincing and was so glad for the opportunity to try it!
Bangrak Stop 5
By now it was lunchtime and it was starting to get busy in town. Nutt just about managed to fit all of us into this small lunch joint to sample their spicy-sour soup noodles with fish balls (Guay Tiew Tom Yum). The dish was hit and miss with the group, I personally found the taste a little bit too sour to my liking, but loved eating the green noodles that were used in the dish. I’m also generally not a fish ball fan but I gave them another chance and to be honest they were actually not bad!
I really enjoying the experience of sitting in this proper locals eatery and soaking up the frantic and noisy atmosphere and watching the owners working tirelessly to deliver multiple bowls of noodles to a large amount of hungry customers sat inside and outside of the restaurant.
Bangrak Stop 6
Our final stop of the food tour was a more mainstream and modern restaurant with some very enjoyable air conditioning. We were served a small bowl of chicken green curry with crispy roti on the side (Kang Kiew Waan Kai Lotee Krob). The curry was spicy, creamy and flavoursome, and the roti was deep fried to perfection! Sadly I felt so full from the rest of the tour that I only ate half of it which is a shame as it was a great dish!
To end the tour and before we said our goodbyes, we sampled the restaurant’s signature coconut ice-cream to cool our mouths down after the heat from the green curry. Coconut ice cream is such a great flavour and I would totally recommend trying the version they sell at Asiatique Night Market!
I thoroughly enjoyed my morning food walk with Bangkok Food Tours and thought the quality of the food, the pace of the tour, the dining companions and the guide all made it well worth my time and money. The range of different dishes/types of eateries were excellent and it was great that we were supporting small businesses. I would recommend this experience to any first time visitors to Bangkok for an eat-like-a-local experience, especially if you are not familiar with many Thai dishes as this is a great introductory.
I would recommend booking this food tour at the start of your trip, so that if you enjoy any of the dishes served, you can order them again before you leave Bangkok/Thailand. At the start of the tour Nutt gives you a map of where the restaurants are located so you can easily find them again. I’m personally keen on heading back to the North Eastern Thai restaurant to eat more of that dreamy spicy pork!
You can book this tour directly online on Bangkok Food Tour’s website. The price is 1,250 THB for Adults and 950 THB for children.
Download the Grab app
Grab taxis are widely used by both tourists and locals, and the fares are really cheap! Download the Grab app here and use the code GRABCKTRAVELS to earn a free ride when you sign up.
Sim cards and pocket WIFI
Having data on your phone whilst travelling is almost essential these days – from planning your route around the city, booking a Grab taxi or for staying connected with friends and family back home. SIM cards are pretty cheap in Thailand with generous data allowances and are available to purchase from both of Bangkok’s airports, malls and 7-Elevens (bring your passport along for identification purposes).
You can also prepay online and collect a SIM from Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Muang Airport or Siam Centre. Just remember to make sure your phone is not locked to your local network provider before purchasing one.
Alternatively if you do not want to change your sim card then renting a pocket WIFI device with unlimited high speed internet access might be for you. We’ve used them multiple times and love that we can both connect our devices to it. Pre-order one online with Klook for collection when you arrive at either Suvarnabhumi or Don Muang Airport.
Other Bangkok blog posts
- A Thai cookery class ‘with a twist’ in Bangkok’s flower market
- Bangkok on a Budget – Backpacking in Thailand
- 12 things to do in Bangkok at night – travel guide
- Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market guide
- A guide to Chatuchak Weekend Market
- Exploring Bangkok at night by Tuk Tuk
- A luxurious stay at the Avani Riverside hotel in Bangkok
Disclosure: This tour was complimentary but as always, opinions are all my own.
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