Happy Belly, Happy Mind
Remember how I came to Thailand for the scuba diving? Well, I have to admit that wasn’t the only reason. Asian, in general, is my favorite kind of food. I love the fresh veggies, the sticky rice, the hot chilies, and the sweet and creamy desserts. I love fish of every flavor (so long as it’s sustainably caught) and could eat coconut curry until it killed me. So yeah… maybe I came to Thailand for the food too.
Since the moment I entered Thailand I have been experimenting with new foods and pushing my spice tolerance to new limits. From curry buffets that sit on street corners to ripe fruit of all shapes and sizes, Thailand is the land of never-ending taste-testing. I’ve had dragon fruit and mangosteens, longons and brinjal, steamed buns and fish balls, pickled mango and coconut cakes, noodle soups and spicy curries, and of course pad thai, pad thai, and more pad thai.
After a month of solid over eating, I’ve concluded that my favorite Thai dishes are mango sticky rice, spicy papaya salad, and watermelon shakes (however, I wouldn’t complain about eating steamed buns everyday either).
Thank Buddha that the Thai food markets sprawl for miles, otherwise I would have never gotten any exercise. At least I was forced to earn my food by walking the length of Sairee Beach or the entire city of Bangkok. In Koh Tao, the restaurants were lined up as far as you could see. In Bangkok, the line of street vendors stretches forever and the fish market leads to the fruit market which turns into pastry market becoming the flower market, then Little India extends all the way into Chinatown. Suddenly, I’ve eaten my way to the other side of town!
Lucky for me there’s no shortage of tuk-tuks either, so after a great meal (when the walking is not as easy) I can be whizzed away to one of Buddha’s Temples for some peaceful digestion.
I’ve already mentioned how much I love the temples in Bangkok, but today Jeremy and I visited two that I have never seen before: Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Wat Saket (The Golden Mount). Both were stunningly beautiful and I continue to be amazed by how much solace one can find within this crazy city.
So far in my travels, I have found no better place to eat than Thailand. However, I am not surprised. This is the land of the smiling, big-bellied Buddha, after all.
In the spirit of the Happy Buddha, I wish you joy, prosperity, happiness and good eating wherever you may be.
Thank you, Thailand (or should I say, khopkhunka) you’ve been great. Now on to CAMBODIA!