Buses, tuk-tuks, motorbikes and songthaews were only a few of the ways we have been getting around Thailand since we left our host family in Kranuan. And we’ve been on the move. We started big with an overnight bus headed north to Chiang Mai, delightfully surprised when the bus attendant handed us water, blankets and a wafer cookie. I have now become slightly more skilled at sleeping sitting up, so was able to doze for most of the ride. Peter had no problem sleeping.
We were excited to get back to Chiang Mai for two reasons:
1. Our friends Katie and Scott were traveling there for their delayed honeymoon.
2. This region of Thailand is know for its unique culinary dish Khao Soi. My favorite item on the Thai-food menu.
Khao Soi is absolutely the perfect combination of some of my most favorite things. Its starchy component is thick, curly egg noodles (my favorite kind of noodle) swimming in coconut curry broth (sometimes quite spicy, sometimes milder). Some kind of meat will usually come with (chicken is my favorite) and then it’s topped with the same egg noodles in a crispy, deep-fried form. Usually it is garnished with fresh cilantro, and presented with a side of picked mustard greens, shallots and lime to throw on as you like. It’s just so wonderfully sour, spicy, rich, crispy and noodle-y all at the same time! We sought it out at least once every day while staying in northern Thailand where it is their specialty.
We rented a motorbike and before meeting up with Katie and Scott one afternoon, we drove all around the city on until we found our favorite Khao Soi spot. There, it came with a leg of chicken, so tender it was falling off the bone. We took Scott and Katie to the Rooftop Bar where we tried the vegetarian version, complete with tofu chunks. This one had the spiciest broth! After a swim in the pool at Scott and Katie’s hotel and helping them negotiate a songthaew ride, we had more Khao Soi for lunch. Disappointingly, no garnish on the side, but still delicious. Then with full stomachs, we walked all around the city, through golden sparkly temples, past the crumbling wall of the old city and around food vendors selling out of stands and carts. It was great to hang out with friends from Minnesota while wandering and eating our way around Thailand.
Then it was goodbye to Scott and Katie and on the road again. We hopped another bus headed farther north to Chiang Rai where of course we found a good spot to eat Khao Soi. This bus ride was easy compared to the night ride, especially since we ate a pre-voyage lunch of that most wonderful noodle dish at the bus terminal. So yeah, this leg of Thailand has been filled with riding on buses and eating delicious food. The song I’ve chosen I only just heard recently while I happened to be riding along in a car. It seemed to synch with the motion of the vehicle curving along as the scenery changed from fields to food stalls (could they be noodle shops?) And now I’ll think of it when I eat Khao Soi too.