Day trip food adventure in Nakhon Pathom

Roam & explore street food like khao moo daeng or hoi thawt, for desert watch the ice cream show & take a walk at Sanam Chandra Palace.

The many vendors of street food in Nakon Pathom and behind the famous ancient pagoda looms.

Click button to listen to Nakon Pathom Food Adventure download 

TRAVEL

Neglected neighbour: Nakhon Pathom

2 May 2013
Peerawat Jariyasombat

Hoi Thawt street food being cooked at a food bazaar.

So close to Bangkok that it is usually overlooked by day-trippers, Nakhon Pathom has a laid-back atmosphere and good food at reasonable prices.

You can drive there in less than an hour and it takes a bit longer by bus or train. A visit to Phra Pathom Chedi, the country's oldest pagoda or a culinary adventure are two of the popular things to do here. Roam around town a bit and you'll soon discover that it's packed with streetside stalls, restaurants and food bazaars.

This small province was once the kingdom's biggest producer of pork, sending 1.2 million pigs to the slaughterhouse every year. Motorists used to say  that there was no need for a road map, because as soon as you were near Nakhon Pathom you could smell it.

... Pork is still a local specialty and native cooks have a reputation for a dish called khao moo daeng. Thin slices of pork are first steeped in a spicy marinade which includes garlic, black pepper and coriander root; this gives the pork its characteristic deep-red hue. Left to marinate overnight, the meat is barbecued over a charcoal brazier and then served on a bed of steamed rice moistened with a rich gravy based on the flavoursome marinade....You can get some khao moo daeng for only 25 baht...

Mu Daeng street food, one from several restaurants in Nakon Pathom.

...One of the best places of all, from a purely foodie perspective, is the grounds of the temple which houses Phra Pathom Chedi.

Around 5pm every day, hundreds of merchants turn up here and start unloading their vehicles, setting giant woks down on bottled-gas rings to cook up a storm and turn this dusty open space into a bustling food bazaar.

One of the bestsellers here is hoi thawt. Fresh mussels are removed from their shells, tossed in an egg-and-flour batter and then shallow-fried with lots of beansprouts. The end result, which resembles an omelette, is cut into chunks and served with a sweetish chilli sauce and a few fresh guai chai (baby leeks)...

Another outstanding dish well worth trying is bua loy Taechew, a refreshingly chilled, Chinese-style dessert containing various kinds of dried fruit and nuts. The topping typically consists of Job's tears (an Asian grain that resembles pearl barley), sun-dried longans, coconut jellies, slices of water chestnut and preserved jujubes; this mixture is sweetened with a syrup made from longan juice and poured onto a bed of crushed ice.

Children gather around the stalls which sell ice cream ... Ask any vendor about ''the show'' and he will quickly toss a scoop of your chosen flavour of ice cream high into the air and catch it in a little bowl, handing you your order within less than a minute.

Some of the diners were enjoying their food so much that they didn't so much as glance in the direction of the nearby Phra Pathom Chedi, but it's pretty hard to miss, being the tallest such structure in Thailand...

...before heading back to Bangkok, you really ought to take a stroll, in the cool of the late afternoon through the lush gardens and lawns of Sanam Chandra Palace. There are five main buildings plus a shrine to Ganesh, the Hindu deity. The largest building, a castle-like structure, is a mixture of French and English styles. The project was commissioned by King Rama VI (who reigned 1910-25). Construction began in 1907 and was finished by 1911. After Rama VI's death, the palace was neglected for decades and fell into disrepair. The buildings were recently restored to their original splendour...

...it is a common sight, especially at dusk and shortly after dawn, to see locals taking leisurely walks through this oasis of tranquillity, with the towering Phra Pathom Chedi acting as an impressive backdrop. [To read the whole story and see more photos and captions see here]

(Source: Bangkok Post, TRAVEL, Neglected neighbour: Nakhon Pathom, 2 May 2013, Peerawat Jariyasombat, link

 
Food Lover's Vocabulary

day trip - traveling some place for one (and going home at end of day)
day-trippers - people who take a trip and travel for one day only (no overnight stay at hotel)

Phra Pathom Chedi - the big pagoda at Nakon Pathom (See Wikipedia)
pagoda -
a tall pointed Buddhist religious structure with sacred relics of the Buddha usually put inside เจดีย์,  สถูป, พระเจดีย์

culinary - about or connected with food and cooking เกี่ยวกับการทำอาหาร
adventure - an unusual, exciting and possibly dangerous activity such as a journey or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity การผจญภัย
culinary adventure - having a fun time going somewhere to explore the food and find delicious food

You can drive there in less than an hour and it takes a bit longer by bus or train. A visit to Phra Pathom Chedi, the country's oldest pagoda or a culinary adventure are two of the popular things to do here.

neglected - when a person or place or thing gets little care and attention (deserves more care and attention, does not get enough)
neighbour -
a person who lives nearby where you live
Neglected neighbour: Nakhon Pathom

overlook - forget about something
a town usually overlooked by day-trippers

laid-back - relaxed, easy-going, not serious สบายๆ, รู้สึกสบายผ่อนคลาย
atmosphere - the mood or feeling that exists in a place บรรยากาศ
laid-back atmosphere

reasonable  - moderate, not too high or too low, at the right level or amount พอสมควร, เหมาะสม, ไม่เกินไป,
reasonable prices

So close to Bangkok that it is usually overlooked by day-trippers, Nakhon Pathom has a laid-back atmosphere and good food at reasonable prices.

roam - walk around a place (without going anywhere, without a goal)
roam around town

stalls - large tables or small shops with an open front from which goods are sold in a public place แผงขายของ
streetside stalls

packed
- crowded; full of people or things แน่น
packed with streetside stalls

bazaar -
a big market selling many different kinds of things
food bazaars


Roam around town a bit and you'll soon discover that it's packed with streetside stalls, restaurants and food bazaars.

producer - ผู้ผลิต
the kingdom's biggest producer of pork

slaughterhouse - a factory for killing animals (cows, chicken, pigs) to turn them into food sold at markets and stores (See Wikipedia)
1.2 million pigs sent to the slaughterhouse every year

This small province was once the kingdom's biggest producer of pork, sending 1.2 million pigs to the slaughterhouse every year. 

native - someone who was born in a particular place ชาวพื้นเมือง
reputation - the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is ชื่อเสียง ความนับหน้าถือตา

... Pork is still a local specialty and native cooks have a reputation for a dish called khao moo daeng.

marinate (verb) - หมัก, หมักในน้ำซอส,  จุ่มในน้ำซอส
marinade (noun)

pork are first steeped in a spicy marinade
a spicy marinade which includes garlic, black pepper and coriander root

hue - a colour or the brightness or darkness of a colour สี, ความมืดหรือความสว่างของสี
red hue
deep-red hue

Thin slices of pork are first steeped in a spicy marinade which includes garlic, black pepper and coriander root; this gives the pork its characteristic   deep-red hue.

charcoal - a black substance made from burnt wood ถ่าน
brazier - a little open stove that you put charcoal in and barbecue and grill food on top of เตาถ่าน, เตาอั้งโล่
charcoal brazier

the meat is barbecued over a charcoal brazier

a bed of - something under something, that provides support for it
served on a bed of steamed rice

steamed rice moistened with a rich gravy based on the flavoursome marinade

Left to marinate overnight, the meat is barbecued over a charcoal brazier and then served on a bed of steamed rice moistened with a rich gravy based on the flavoursome marinade....

purely - only อย่างเดียว
foodie - a person whose hobby is food
perspective - a way of thinking things (influenced by experience and beliefs) ทัศนคติ
from a purely foodie perspective

grounds - the area surrounding a building บริเวณ,เขต,สถานที่
grounds of a temple

...One of the best places of all, from a purely foodie perspective, is the grounds of the temple which houses Phra Pathom Chedi

vehicles - machines with an engine used to carry people or goods from place to place ยานพาหนะ

merchants -
people who sell things as a business  พ่อค้า,  ผู้จำหน่าย, คนขาย, คนขายของ
turn up -
appear at a place, come to and be at a place
hundreds of merchants turn up

vehicles - cars, trucks, buses, .... etc
unload vehicles - take things out of your car

woks - a  large iron pan for cooking
bottled-gas rings -
the little thing you put on top of a LPG bottle to make it into a stove you can cook food on
cook up a storm - do a lot of cooking, intense cooking activity

setting giant woks down on bottled-gas rings to cook up a storm

bazaar - a place with many shops, where many different kinds of things are sold, a market  
food bazaar

bustling - lots of people doing things at a place, lots of activity, crowded, noisy ซึ่งมีผู้คนคับคั่งและมีเสียงเซ็งแซ่, วุ่นวาย, จอแจ
a bustling food bazaar

Around 5pm every day, hundreds of merchants turn up here and start unloading their vehicles, setting giant woks down on bottled-gas rings to cook up a storm and turn this dusty open space into a bustling food bazaar.

batter - a mixture of flour, water and eggs used in cooking to make breads, cakes and other things ส่วนผสมที่ทำจากแป้ง นมและไข่
egg-and-flour batter

toss - to move or throw something around quickly when cooking (example: toss a salad to mix in the salad dressing)
tossed in an egg-and-flour batter

shallow - not deep ตื้นที่ตื้นเขิน
shallow-fried with lots of beansprouts

One of the bestsellers here is hoi thawt. Fresh mussels are removed from their shells, tossed in an egg-and-flour batter and then shallow-fried with lots of beansprouts. The end result, which resembles an omelette, is cut into chunks and served with a sweetish chilli sauce and a few fresh guai chai (baby leeks)...

outstanding - clearly very much better than what is usual ยอดเยี่ยม, ดีเด่น
an outstanding dish

refresh (verb)
refreshing (adjective)
refreshingly (adverb) - pleasantly different and interesting

chilled - made to be cold; kept cold (lower temperature to make cold, but not to the point of freezing)
a refreshingly chilled dessert

topping -
a food that you put on top of another food (example: a chocolate topping in ice cream)
typically - usually; normally อย่างเป็นแบบฉบับ
The topping typically consists of ...

grain - a crop like rice or wheat; the seed from cereal crops such as rice, wheat, or corn เมล็ดพืช
an Asian grain that resembles pearl barley)

preserved - kept something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from decaying or being damaged or destroyed ซึ่งปกป้องไว้   kept in good condition, not damaged or destroyed คงอยู่, สงวนไว้
preserved fruit
preserved jujubes

longan - a fruit, see photo above right (See Wikipedia)
longan juice
sun-dried longans

crushed - broken into little pieces
crushed ice - ice broken into little pieces

syrup - a sweet thick liquid น้ำเชื่อม,  น้ำหวาน
a syrup made from longan juice poured onto a bed of crushed ice

Another outstanding dish well worth trying is bua loy Taechew, a refreshingly chilled, Chinese-style dessert containing various kinds of dried fruit and nuts. The topping typically consists of Job's tears (an Asian grain that resembles pearl barley), sun-dried longans, coconut jellies, slices of water chestnut and preserved jujubes; this mixture is sweetened with a syrup made from longan juice and poured onto a bed of crushed ice

scoop - an amount of something taken up in a shovel, ladle or scooper (example: one scoop of dirt in the shovel) ทัพพี, กระบวย, ช้อนตวง
a scoop of ice cream

flavour
a flavour of ice cream

toss - to throw something carelessly
toss a scoop of ice cream into the air

vendor - seller of goods พ่อค้า, แม่ค้าพ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย

Children gather around stalls which sell ice cream ... Ask either vendor about ''the show'' and he will quickly toss a scoop of your chosen flavour high into the air and catch it in a little bowl, handing you your order within less than a minute.

pretty hard to miss - it is difficult to not see it; meaning: it is easy to see it

Some of the diners were enjoying their food so much that they didn't so much as glance in the direction of the nearby Phra Pathom Chedi, but it's pretty hard to miss, being the tallest such structure in Thailand...

heading back to - returning to, going back to
heading back to Bangkok

stroll - walk in a slow relaxed manner, especially for pleasure เดินเล่น
take a stroll - walk in a place slowly for fun 

cool - not hot, not too cold, just right เย็น
take a stroll, in the cool of the late afternoon

lush - green and healthy (of plants) เขียวชอุ่ม
lawn -  green grass, to play sports on or for decoration or to eat on, etc สนามหญ้า
the lush gardens and lawns of Sanam Chandra Palace.

...before heading back to Bangkok, you really ought to take a stroll, in the cool of the late afternoon through the lush gardens and lawns of Sanam Chandra Palace.

shrine - a special place in which you remember and praise someone who has died, especially someone famous; a place for worship which is holy because of a connection with a holy person or object หลุมศพ หรือ สถานที่บูชา
a shrine to Ganesh

commission - make arrangements for and pay for something to made or built
commissioned by King Rama VI

deity - a god or goddess
Hindu deity

There are five main buildings plus a shrine to Ganesh, the Hindu deity. The largest building, a castle-like structure, is a mixture of French and English styles. The project was commissioned by King Rama VI (who reigned 1910-25).

neglected - not given enough care and attention
decades - periods of ten years เป็นสิบๆปี
Construction began in 1907 and finished in 1911. After Rama VI's death, the palace was neglected for decades and fell into disrepair. The buildings were recently restored to their original splendour...

common - seen or happening often
a common sight - something that people see often

dusk - when the sun goes down at the end of the day and it becomes dark; the time before night when it is not yet dark เวลาเย็นก่อนค่ำ
dawn - when the sun comes up at the beginning of the day and it becomes light

leisurely - in a relaxed and casual way; not serious
leisurely walks

locals - people who live in a nearby area ชาวบ้าน
locals taking leisurely walks

oasis - a place where there is water in the middle of a desert (meaning: a nice place in the middle of a bad place) บริเวณอุดมสมบูรณ์ในทะเลทราย
tranquility -
peace and calmness ความสงบ
oasis of tranquillity

towering - very high or tall สูงลิ่ว, สูงตระหง่าน, สูงเสียดเมฆ
the towering Phra Pathom Chedi

impressive - something that people admire  and look up to (because it is very large, lifelike, colourful, beautiful, skillful etc)  ประทับใจ ซึ่งน่าประทับใจ
backdrop - everything that you can see behind the main thing that you are looking at ฉากหลัง ภาพเบื้องหลัง
an impressive backdrop

...it is a common sight, especially at dusk and shortly after dawn, to see locals taking leisurely walks through this oasis of tranquillity, with the towering Phra Pathom Chedi acting as an impressive backdrop.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer