One of my favorite things about traveling is the food. From the German schnitzel to Jamaican goat curry I have to try it all! What makes it even cooler is that my husband is an adventurous foodie too — seriously, this guy will nom away on a fish’s head!
One our favorite past-times is exploring beyond the touristy districts and eating where the locals eat. Literally, we are down to try anything, our eating motto is ‘Try it once, try it twice, and buy a beer!’ So, when we slow-traveled through Bangkok for my 29th birthday, I was on the hunt for delicious Thai street food beyond the infamous Khao San road. Luckily I found it with TakeMeTour.
TakeMeTour is a Thai-based startup, made by locals with an emphasis on providing specially crafted day trips for the wanderlusting traveler. Our local experts were Gift and in-house photographer John; I don’t know if it’s just the Thai-lifestyle, but the instant vibe was so carefree and chill, that I felt super comfortable with our youthful guides, as we took the underground subway towards the MRT Thailand Cultural Centre.
Gift took us to explore Ta Lad Rod Fai (which literally means Train Markets). Ta Lad Rod Fai is well-known with locals, less for tourist, and sometimes you spot the occasional expat. It’s common for people to visit Train Markets during the weekends, but our particular Ta Lad Rod Fai is known for its weekly bustle.
Ta Lad Rod Fai was buzzing with people that Wednesday night as they dashed between the four zones of street food, apparel, food trucks, and bars. Ducking under the low-hanging tarps, while narrowly avoiding the drizzling rain, my head spun as we saw all of the local food choices, from salted fish to enormous prawns, Gift took us from one stall to the next.
The first food stall, had a similar South Korean favorite ‘chicken on a stick’ so of course the hubby and I had to try and compare.
This wasn’t your regular chicken breast, nope we were nibbling on chicken gizzards and hearts. Also, instead of the dripping glaze we were accustomed too, our chicken was lightly coated. Wait, can we go back to hearts and gizzards?!
Next, we quenched our thirst with chilled Chrysanthemum tea which was perfect for the humidity and dare I say refreshing after the chicken hearts? As we ventured further into the street food zone, it was definitely close-quarters. However, I appreciated the up-close and personal aspect of the stalls, as the vendors sharply called out for us to join them.
As we continued exploring Ta Lad Rod Fai, every 5 minutes we would utter “What’s that?” or “How much?” and our local experts would patiently translate and ask the street vendors what they were serving and more often than not, bargain to get us a good deal. Talk about making our experience hassle free, I mean who wouldn’t want to get the best bang for your baht?!
Close to ending our lap through the first zone, something caught my eye.
Roasted Grasshoppers and Milk Worms!!
Next, Gift took us around the other zones where I had to be dragged away from the cheap (possibly expired) makeup dupes & Thai beauty brands (I seriously want the Sivanna blusher!) We eventually wandered into the noisy but empty bar district, this long row made me wish I was 7 years younger, because this is the bar crawl that dreams are made of! But, if you’re not keen on crawling, there’s a big restaurant towards the end of the zone, with palm trees, open seating, and a live band.
As we completed the maze, we finally sat down to share a Thai local favorite, of egg noodles.
Shockingly this was the smallest size they had! Key ingredients: grilled pork, shumai (pork dumplings), egg noodles, and a small crab stuffed with ground pork. My favorite part of the meal were the wontons crinkled on top and the sweet glazed sauce which combatted the spicy factor, while my husband enjoyed the overall spiciness and shumai.
To end our tour, we topped off our meal with Gift’s favorite, grilled cheese on ciabatta bread. We parked ourselves on the stools and dug into the melted goodness of cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan.
What a perfect way to end the tour!
TakeMeTour, made our first food tour so special, that we will definitely book again. Our local expert was friendly and knowledgeable having lived in Thailand most of her life, there wasn’t a language barrier as both guides speak English, and they just made it super fun and hassle free! I was also super appreciative that John was able to capture such amazing footage on my camera, having him there definitely allowed me to live more in the moment. I loved being able to experience the lively Ta Lad Rod Fai and exploring the Bangkok street food scene!
FTC: We were hosted by TakeMeTour to participate in this tour in exchange for writing a post about my experience, however, all nom-licious thoughts are all my own. Gift’s Night out with a Local Tour costs only $18 (640 THB) per person!