Aroi Mak Mak

No trip to Thailand is complete without trying some of the traditional dishes. Thai cooking mixes locally grown produce with the cuisine of nearby countries like Laos and Vietnam. From coconut flavored curries, to spicy rice dishes, every bit is “Aroi Mak Mak” which mean DELICIOUS!

Rice is important in most Asian cuisine. A Thai person will eat almost 250 lbs. of rice each year! So, it’s a good thing I REALLY like rice.

Because I like to eat, some of my favorite places to visit when travelling are markets. Sometimes you can find strange flavors of foods and drinks on supermarket shelves. For example, I’ve even seen blueberry potato chips! I prefer the fresh markets because they are a great place to smell and taste local foods.

Most fresh markets are divided into two sections: dry and wet. The dry section is where vendors sell fruits, vegetables, and spices. At Khlong Toei market in Bangkok, I was surrounded by some very unfamiliar fruits like deep purple mangosteens and prickly durians. For a few baht I bought several types of fruit to try.

The wet market is the complete opposite. This part of the market is for fresh fish, butcher shops, and other ‘smelly’ things. Here, I was face-to-face with bins full of scorpions and silkworms waiting to be fried up for lunch. Gross? Well, more than half of the world’s population eats insects. In Thailand, deep-fried water bugs are a special treat.

Thailand’s floating markets are popular with tourists. Here, vendors sell goods and produce from long narrow boats called klong boats.

Floating markets were important to the Thai people before trains or trucks were built. Most trade was done by water. Ships would arrive in ports, full of spices and foods from far away, while farmers would bring their fresh crops to the port to export. Since the freshest foods could be found in ports by the water, floating markets quickly sprung up to sell these delicious items.