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We love eating from street food vendors in Bangkok, especially around Chinatown where there is an abundance of them. However we always find that because of the language barrier I tend to stick to the more ‘safer’ busy areas, never wandering off the beaten track. When we learnt that Secret Food Tours had launched a brand new food and walking tour showing you the ‘real Bangkok’ we couldn’t resist signing up.
The tour allows you to sample a variety of street food around the backstreets and alleyways in Hua Lamphong is a great way to spend a day in Bangkok. Many of the businesses are passed from generation to generation and have been operating there for more than 60 years.
We met our guide Alex outside the MRT Station at 10.30am for the start of our morning culinary experience. The tour is fairly new having only been operating for a few weeks so there are just 3 people joining. This was a nice group size – giving the tour a bit more of a personal experience. Alex is friendly and speaks excellent english, so the tour is off to a good start.
Table of Contents
Secret food tour in Bangkok Stop 1
Our first stop is a local market stall run by a cheery elderly Thai lady. Alex orders us a large traditional Thai iced coffee to take away which is a perfect ‘pick me up’ to start the day.
We then continue to walk for a few more minutes bringing us to our next stop – a small outdoor food vendor that has a seating area with plastic tables and chairs. We settle down and Alex brings us over a plate of silky roasted pork and duck with rice each. This is a popular dish in Thailand and was not surprisingly very delicious! The meat was tender and juicy, and the sauce drizzled over the dish was so flavoursome.
Stop number 3 was another street food stall to sample some Khao Niaow Moo Ping (grilled BBQ pork on a stick) and traditional sticky rice (served in a plastic pouch). This is one of Bangkok’s well known fast street food items and is usually eaten any time of day.
We stopped at a fruit stall for a quick refreshment break. We try a really sweet and juicy pineapple on a stick!
We continued to walk and pass through the grounds of the beautiful Wat Tri Mit Temple, which is one of many beautiful temples in Bangkok. It houses the world’s largest massive gold seated Buddha, which measures nearly five metres in height and weighs around five and a half tonnes. We only had time to stop and take photos but it was good to know where the temple was incase we wanted to return.
Alex then takes us to a restaurant where we find the air conditioning a much welcome relief from the heat. We were presented with a few wonderful dishes to try – Papaya salad, a Thai pasta dish, Thai crackers with a chilli dip and an ice cold local beer (Chang) to wash it down.
The Papaya Salad (Thai name – Som Tam) is a classic Thai dish and can be purchased from street food vendors and found in many restaurants across the city. It is a raw salad made of a mix of shredded unripe papaya, tomatoes, yardlong beans, peanuts, chilli, dried mini shrimp and a sugar, lime and fish sauce dressing. It is zingy, sweet, salty and very spicy! In fact is was so incredibly spicy that we had to use the Chang beer to cool our mouths!
We had never heard of Thai pasta before so we were quite excited to try this. It is a simple dish made from spaghetti mixed with fragrant Thai basil leaves, crispy bacon, chilli and garlic. It was very spicy but also very delicious. We would love to eat this again so if anyone knows the Thai name of this dish please let us know in the comments box below as we forgot to note it down – bad bloggers!
We continued walking and passed through some very photogenic side streets. Alex told us some of them are used as filming locations for movies such as James Bond – cool!
Our final stop of the food tour is a modern dessert cafe selling locally made Thai ice cream. We tried a Thai tea flavour which was made using sweetened condensed milk and was absolutely delicious. We wanted to try so many more of the flavours in the shop but were so full from all the food we consumed in the last 3 hours! We will have to return another day!
We had a great time on this tour and loved discovering some brand new Thai dishes and walking off the beaten track. It was a nicely paced afternoon and the amount of food was just right. Alex is an informative and great guide, and is clearly passionate about food! A food tour is a must do as part of your Bangkok itinerary!
You can book this tour directly online with Secret Food Tours (Prices are $39USD for an adult).
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 GRABKTRAVELS 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.
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Disclosure: This tour was complimentary but as always, opinions are all our own.
Other Bangkok blog posts
- A Thai cookery class ‘with a twist’ in Bangkok’s flower market
- Exploring Bangkok at night by Tuk Tuk
- A luxurious stay at the Avani Riverside hotel in Bangkok
- Bangkok on a Budget – Backpacking in Thailand