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Friday, 01 January 2016

The Street Food of Khao San Road, Bangkok - Page 2

Written by Dylan Benoit
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We track down our hotel, drop the bags off and head back to the street. Rather unassuming during the day, Khao San Road looks like any other entertainment district with bars and restaurants on both sides of the street, speckled with tailors hawking custom made suits, stalls selling pirated DVDs and knock off head phones. The odd mobile kart meanders the one kilometer strip selling fresh pineapple juice and lychees to hung over tourists in need of some serious vitamin intake. But come sunset, the road begins to transform, morphing into a circus of acts and characters that get more interesting and weird as the night progresses. The tables and chairs from bars spill out onto the street, the music gets louder and the lights get lower. The guys hawking suits and headphone pack up shop and are replaced by young men soliciting ping pong show and colorful balloons filled with laughing gas, and the little karts with fresh fruit become mobile buffets of various insects and arachnids, including crickets, grasshoppers and scorpions on sale for your dining or entertainment pleasure.


We posted up at a table on the street and watched the show, recapping our trip and discussing the places we went, the people we met, as well as the epic (and not so epic) meals we had along the way. Lucas ordered a Tower of Chang beer, the equivalent of two pitchers in a tall cylinder with an ice core and we try to absorb our surroundings as the night goes on. 


Every three minutes someone comes buy trying to sell bracelets, magic tricks, or just to beg for coins. A large lady arrives at our table with a tray full of deep fried scorpions on sticks, like some kind of twisted popsicle, exclaiming she has the cheapest prices in town at only $2.50 a piece. We politely decline but a traveler at the table next to us agrees to buy one for his friend and we all watch with a mixture of surprise and disgust and he crunches down on the scorpion’s poisonous tail. He gags and spits but his friends aren’t letting him get off that easily, they taunt him to finish the scorpion and like a champion he does, cheering and jeering ensue and another Tower is ordered as a makeshift trophy. We join their table and relish in travel stories for what seems like hours. 


The next day was going to be our last day before returning to Hong Kong and our bus was picking us up at 8 am to go to the airport. Lucas and I checked the time, it was getting late and we have to pack, so we excuse ourselves from the table and head back to the hotel. En route we pass our friend slinging Pad Thai and he waves to us from across the street 


“You hungry?” Lucas asks me


“Not at all” I said, “but this may be out last chance”


We walk over and are greeted with a massive, toothless smile


“Two shrimp and egg” says Lucas


“and an order of spring rolls!” I add because, well… why not?



©Dylan Benoit


(Page 2 of 2)
Last modified on Friday, 01 January 2016

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