I dont normally go on food tours because they are overpriced and usually take you to crummy places, but since I was only going to be in Bangkok for a short time i thought i would try my luck. After some googling, i stumbled onto some recommendations for a tour group called “Bangkok Food Tours.” http://www.bangkokfoodtours.com/
Specifically I went for the Chinatown “Yaowarat” street food tour. Reason being is that I wanted to dive straight into some street food highlights, and i thought this might be the easiest way to accomplish that in a short period of time. For 1,350 THB, a tour guide promises to take you to seven locations to taste some of the best Thai style chinese street food to offer in Chinatown over a 3 hour period. So this was my experience
We arranged to meet at 6PM at Hua Lamphong MRT station. To get here, we had to change at Asok BTS to get onto the MRT line from Phloen Chit. Heres a photo of a dog with three legs trying to cross the road -_-
After everyone arrived, we were given a complementary phone bag to carry our valuables in, given that it was Songkran and there was a good chance we might be sprayed with water. We started the walk to Yaorwarat by walking past some temples. The tour guide gave us a bit of an explanation for the significance of the temples, though to be honest i was just waiting to get some food. The temple stuff was unnecessary, but a nice addition nonetheless.
Bangkok Food Tours Stop 1 – Canton House
First stop, Canton house. This restaurant specialises in dim sum dishes (think Hong Kong) but with a bit of a Thai spin to it. We got to have three dumplings each, one was a siw mai with a pandan infused wonton wrapper, and the other was a pandan noodle with prawn mince.
Though it was very nice, it felt odd that on a street food tour we were sitting in a proper restaurant. Didn’t feel like street food really, more high end yum cha.
Bangkok Food Tours Stop 2 – Herbal soup/tea place?
Sorry I don’t have a name for this. It was listed as a mystery / surprise place on the pamphlet. This place is a tea house where we got to try two types of tea, one sweet chrysanthemum tea, and one really bitter medicinal tea. The medicinal tasting one is the kind you would find across Asia, where they boil different types of herbs, bark, dried stuff into a black tea.
Again, not street food, but i couldn’t help but enjoy seeing the anglo Americans and Australians struggle to finish the black tea. Benefit of an Asian upbringing.
Bangkok Food Tours Stop 3 – Thai Fishball Noodle Restaurant
For our third pitstop, we again went into a restaurant. At first I thought it would be a street food vendor because the guy was cooking it outside, but we were taken inside to actually eat the food. It kind of kills the experience a little bit when you are eating inside instead of on the side of the roads.
The noodle soup was kinda odd because they throw in alot of sweet chilli sauce into the broth which overpowers it. The noodles are the flat type, with a mix of different types of fish balls. The posters on the wall say that the owners believe they make the best fish balls in Thailand. Big call 🙂
Bangkok Food Tours Stop 4 – L&R Seafood
This was the highlight of the night, even though it was in a restaurant. This place seemed legit, with only local thai people eating here it seemed. We shared plates of BBQ prawns, a calamari curry dish, tom yum goong hotpot with seafood, and some steamed scallops. Incredibly tasty.
Bangkok Food Tours Stop 5 – Kuay Jab Nay Lek
Finally, a street food vendor. We all got to have a bowl of Kuay Jab, which is a peppery soup with crispy pork bits (pork belly, offal, stomach, etc.). Its incredibly peppery. For the Singaporeans, think Ba Ku Teh but even spicier than that. Really nice dish, though we had to eat it standing up in an incredibly crowded market, so it was kinda difficult to enjoy. Though kudos for including this incredibly popular street food vendor for us to try.
Bangkok Food Tours Stop 6 – Mango Sticky Rice
My favourite thing to eat in Thailand, and now also in Singapore are Thai mangoes. They are really sweet and taste much better than your kensington/r2d2 varieties. Coupled with coconut milk, crispy bits, and sticky rice, you can’t go wrong. We had this from a street food vendor place, and it was so good that i picked one up on the go. Though it was a little expensive, it was well worth it (400 THB).
Bangkok Food Tours Stop 7 – Glutinous Sticky Rice Ball Soup
To end the trip, we had a soup dish consisting of glutinous sticky rice balls filled with black sesame paste, in a ginger broth. It was a nice way to end the tour with a bit of dessert.
So overall it was a decent tour. I would’ve rather we eat at say, 10 street food vendors rather than a mix of restaurant and street food. I think the cost of them taking us to the restaurants could easily cover atleast a few more street vendors instead. The food itself was a bit hit and miss and i think for most people you can probably go to Yaowarat yourself and find better / cheaper options in the same amount of time.
Discover why Bangkok is often dubbed a food capital of the world. Eat your way through Bangkok’s most savory neighborhoods as our knowledgeable culinary guides unveil true stories behind local eateries and their famous recipes.