How to Eat Your Way in the Village of Love: A Taste of Thailand

Bangkok is a captivating city with world class street food, bustling markets and restaurants. If you want to taste it all and immerse yourself in a local neighborhood, there is no better place than Bang Rak.

Bang Rak, is one of Bangkok’s districts known by locals for having some of the best food in a small area. Coincidently, Bang Rak is also known as the Village of Love, a popular area for local  Thai’s to get married. Besides, the Village of Love also represents Muslim, Buddhist and Christian communities living in harmony for over 150 years.

When we learned that Taste of Thailand offers a Bangkok food tour in the Village of Love, we were hooked! The opportunity to get an immersive cultural tour through food was a perfect match.

So, put on your walking shoes and join us on a Taste of Thailand Bangkok food tour. 

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Starting The Bangkok Food Tour With Street Eats in the Village of Love

Our journey on this Bangkok food tour started by taking the BTS to get to the meeting point outside the Saphan Taksin BTS station. Riding the BTS or Bangkok Skytrain is a nice and convenient way to go around the city like a local.

A little before 10am we met with Noom, our guide for the day, who handed us out our food tour map. We had been pre-warned to arrive hungry and once we looked at the 12 stops on the map, we were glad we did!

Taste of Thailand Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestHand out from Taste of Thailand to guide us from our Bangkok food tour

Pork On A Stick With Sticky Rice

Wherever there is people, there is food. This cannot be more true for Bangkok. As soon as we exited the BTS station, we started our Bangkok food tour with our first food stop.

From a food cart near the train station, we tasted a typical Thai breakfast eaten on the go: pork on a stick with sticky rice. The pork was grilled on short skewers. The taste was a bit sweet and the pork a little fatty. The sticky rice was wrapped in plastic and eaten like a cereal bar.

Pork Stick Food cart Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestTypical street food cart with pork on a stick grilling in Bang Rak

Authentic Food Quest: Taste the best of Bangkok with a local guide, in one of the most unique neighborhoods in Thailand’s capital. Dive deeper into the local Thai food culture when you book a Bang Rak Bangkok food tour.

Thai Iced Tea

After a bite of Thai breakfast, it was time to cool us off with a typical Thai drink. We stopped at a famous Tea & Coffee truck that serves Thai iced tea.

Thai iced tea is made with condensed milk and natural orange coloring. Surprisingly, it is mixed and served by pouring the tea from high above the head back and forth. Thai iced tea tasted definitely on the sweet side though not overly sweet. It is a nice smooth drink to keep you cool in Bangkok heat.

Pouring Thai ice tea Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestIced tea high pour: the higher the pour, the smoother the tea!

Exploring The Base of Thai Cuisine

This immersive journey through Bang Rak, took us past Baan Oou Mosque, the first Mosque to register in Bangkok. We made our way to a nondescript, but well-known curry paste shop. Hand made every morning, the Thai pastes of different colors sell out to local vendors and restaurants by noon every day.

These pastes form the base of many Thai curries and dishes. Pungent, spicy, salty and briny we were impressed at the diversity of the pastes that form the delicious Thai foods we have come to enjoy.

Curry Paste Bangkok food tour Authentic Food Quest It takes ½ a day to make these traditional homemade Thai curry pastes

Thai Ingredients at Bang Rak Wet Market

One of the things we enjoyed on the Bangkok food tour, was the introduction to the unique flavors of Thailand. On the way to Bang Rak Wet market, we made a detour and stopped at a fish cake vendor. The idea here was to not only taste her reputable fish cakes but also to dip them in one of the sauces made with the paste we had just seen previously.  

We tried fish cakes made from fresh king mackerel that were simply outstanding. Lightly fried with a touch with spice, we could have eaten a lot had we not planned for 12 food stops.

Bang Rak Wet Market is Bangkok’s second oldest wet market. Small and dense, this market is packed with the usual suspects – fresh fish, meats, produce and meats, etc.

Amongst the fresh vegetables, we were fascinated by the number of egg plant varieties. We saw eggplants we had never seen before. Some, as small as peas, while others to medium golf ball sized. It seemed like every time we asked Noom, what something was, the response was “a type of eggplant.” Equally fascinating was seeing raw lemongrass and taking in it’s unique scents.

Eggplants Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestUnusual varieties of eggplants
Bang Rak Market Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestChecking out the lemongrass

A Taste of Thai Sweets and Fruits

As we walked out of the market, we continued our Bangkok food tour at Boonsap a bakery famous for its traditional desserts. We sampled a plate of five of their desserts including the signature sticky rice with custard. These tasty desserts were not very sweet, much to our surprise, and they hit the spot!

Thai Desserts Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestYummy Thai desserts with (clockwise) shrimp-red sticky rice, sticky rice with custard, banana cake, egg yolk, and banana fritter

After walking down Charoen Krung Road, we stopped at a local fruit vendor to taste some of their products.

We tasted fresh tamarind fruit, which is sweet and tart and surprisingly pasty in texture. Mangosteen, one of our favorite fruits that we like for its refreshing taste and unusual  shape and color. And finally, longan fruit which is another amazing fruit from the region, which tastes similar to lychee.

Fruit Vendor Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestA street fruit vendor on our Bangkok food tour
Mangosteen Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestMangosteen: one of our favorite fruits in Thailand

The Chinese Stop on the Bangkok Food Tour with Taste of Thailand

In the multi-cultural Village of Love, we made a stop at one of the first Chinese grocers in the area. Wa Tow Chinese Grocer has herbs and medicinal drinks, which claim to cure a variety of things from weight loss, to detox, lack of energy and even a broken heart!

Intrigued by the idea of weight-loss, we eagerly tried the popular Chinese bitter drink. The taste was so revolting and yes, bitter, it’s hard to imagine anyone suffering through this drink for the purported benefits.

Bitter Chinese Herbal Drink Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestExtremely bitter tasting Chinese herbal drink

In addition to the herbs, the store also sells Chinese ingredients including sauces and soy sauces. We even spotted Chinese vodka, spirits and local Chinese beers. A great stop to explore local Chinese wonders and their influence on Thai culture.

Entrance ChineseStore Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestStreet side entrance of Wa Tow Chinese Grocer

Roasted Duck at Prachak Petyang

This was one of our favorite stops on the tour. We went to Prachak Petyang, a family owned shop with a reputation for their duck.

Office workers on their lunch break filled the lower part of the restaurant. As we made our way upstairs , we couldn’t help but notice that every single table had the same dish on it – the roasted duck.

The duck is stuffed with lemongrass and served with homemade egg noodles.

Rosemary eating Egg Noodle Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestFreshly made egg noodles

The roasted duck delivered on all fronts. The skin was tasty and crispy and the lemon grass flavors deliciously seeped through the tender duck breast.

Opened since 1909, you can taste and appreciate how this 5th generation family owned restaurant stays in business.

Roasted Duck Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestRoasted duck with egg noodles

Exploring Northern Thailand Isaan Cuisine in the heart of Bangkok

One of the best things about taking a food tour is explore the history and culture through tastes and flavors. On this Bangkok food tour with the Taste of Thailand, we literally “walked” our way to the northeastern part of Thailand to discover the food from the region, called Isaan food.

Isaan food is known to be spicy and with heavy influence from Laos. At the Jungle Food Two Sisters Shop restaurant in the Bang Rak area, we sampled two popular and iconic dishes. Som Tam or green papaya salad and lemongrass salad. The salads were served with the ever essential sticky or glutinous rice.

Papaya Salad Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestTasty papaya salad

We loved the combination of flavors of the lemongrass salad. This one is definitely a highlight on our Bangkok food tour.

Lemond Grass Salad Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestBeautiful and delicious lemon grass salad

Last stop on our Bangkok food tour: Than Ying Royal Cuisine

The tour started with street food and ended at an upscale sit-down restaurant, fit for royalty.

Than Ying restaurant serves genuine royal Thai cuisine. The restaurant was started by the sister of the former Queen Rambhai Barni, when she was the head chef of the Palace kitchen.  The tradition of serving royal Thai cuisine continues under her son’s management.

As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by the front staff, who led us to our elegantly dressed table, with white table linens and napkins. Playing in the background, was relaxing French music.

With all the eating we had done previously, the Taste of Thailand had wisely ordered just two dishes to finish off the tour. Thai Green Curry (Gang Kiew Hwaan Gai) served with rice and a delightfully refreshing coconut ice cream dessert.

Rosemary could get not enough of the Thai Green Curry. The eggplants soaked in green curry and perfectly paired with the chicken, was outstanding. The fragrant and aromatic flavors of the sweet basil was the perfect accompaniment to the rice.

Green Curry Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestRosemary’s favorite green curry dish

Even though I am not a huge ice cream fan, the coconut ice cream dessert made me a convert. Light and not sugary, this was the best way to end a fantastic Bangkok food tour with Taste of Thailand.

Coconut Ice Cream Bangkok food tour Authentic Food QuestRefreshingly light coconut ice cream
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In Summary

Walking through the Village of Love in search of the best local food was delightful.

The Bangkok food tour provided an authentic experience to places we wouldn’t have discovered by ourselves. At each stop, we got to eat like a local. It was like stepping for a day into the life of a Thai living in Bang Rak.

The best part was that our guide Noom shared stories insights into the local Thai culture along our journey. He was attentive and answered any questions we had, not only about Thai food but Southeast Asia food in general. Taste of Thailand tours are conducted in small groups and on that day we happen to be the only ones on our tour. A nice and unique privilege!

Although they were many stops, we got to enjoy each of them and we didn’t feel too overwhelmed with the food.

This Bangkok food tour reminded us that food is a great way to connect people and break down barriers. And we are tempted to believe that food is one of the reasons that the Village of Love is what it is today: diverse communities living peacefully together.

 

Additional information

Location: Bangkok Food Tour in Bang Rak

Duration: Approximately 4 hours. The morning tour starts at  9:30 am

Cost: 1$45.04 USD per person)

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Pinterest How to eat your way in the Village of Love Bangkok Food Tour Taste of Thailand

Special thanks to Taste of Thailand for having us on this tour. All views and opinions expressed are our own. Full bellies and happy taste buds too.

46 comments

  1. Hi,
    We spent a few weeks in Thailand a few years ago and not a bad meal – not one! For me, curry is a staple for my other half meat, meat, and more meat. He discovered a love of Thai Chilli ribs, discovered in an “Irish” bar of all places. For me, it was not as much discovery as it was freshness. And, when foods fresh you can taste each spice within. Nikki

    Reply
    • Could not agree with you more, Nikki, the food and freshness makes all the difference. Wow, that’s interesting your other half discovered Thai chili ribs at an Irish pub…lol. We love Thai food as well. Incredible flavors and tastes:) Did you have a favorite Thai dish?

      Reply
  2. The roast duck with the egg noodles and the lemongrass salad look incredible! I’ve always loved lemongrass.

    I think the hardest part of street food vendors is knowing which ones are okay. Westerners can experience getting sick even when things are relatively clean just because we don’t have a tolerance built up to that kind of thing.

    Reply
    • You are right the roast duck with egg noodles was divine. Duck cooked with lemongrass does give it a delightful flavor..which of course comes out front and center in the lemongrass salad 🙂 As far as street vendors go, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure safety. Eating where there are many locals eating and choosing “hot” and “cooked” items does help. As westerners, we’ve actually not gotten sick from eating on the street. It’s more about being safe rather that what the western stomach can tolerate or not. Thanks Jennnifer for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. Culinary experiences are among my favorites when traveling, so it was a pleasure to read this article. I will go in South East Asia for two months, not in Thailand, but looking at your pictures has made me want to plan a future trip to there, as well.

    Reply
    • Where in Southeast Asia will you be traveling to? We are currently on our Southeast Asia tour and have visited a few more countries than we have had a chance to write about. Feel free to reach out with any questions. You will absolutely love the food in Southeast Asia!!

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  4. Ahhh, food and travel, my favorite combination, I could easily join a fabulous tour like this…
    I’ll be travelling to Thailand this summer, so I’m already looking forward to all Thai food and reading this is making my mouth water in advance, especially the roasted duck with egg noodles looks delicious ! Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  5. The pouring tea from very high up seems to be a thing, we saw it also in Morocco! I’d really like to do this tour next time we’re in Bangkok. Great post and loving your blog 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Sarah. That means alot. So glad you are enjoying our blog and the discoveries of the local and authentic specialties. Thai tea is quite delicious. Be sure to eat your way through the Village of Love on your next trip to Bangkok.

      Reply
  6. What fun you must have had! All the mangosteens and tamarinds look magnificent, and I would have had a hard time not trying to fill my bag with curry pastes! This is on my list for when I go to Thailand. 🙂

    Reply
  7. What an incredible way to get a taste for the area. The tour sounds fantastic and by the looks of it really offers a wide range of flavours for all taste buds. Trying local foods and visiting markets is one of my favourite things about visiting a new city. It certainly sounds like this tour ticks all the boxes.

    Reply
  8. I was in Thailand over Christmas. The food is one of the best things about it in my opinion. A food tour sounds like a great way to try things you otherwise wouldn’t.

    Reply
    • That’s wonderful that you were in Thailand for the holiday’s. Did you have fun? You are so right, the food is the best. Did you have a favorite dish or dessert? So glad you had a great time. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  9. What a great tour! Noom really did a great job taking you to such a variety of food places. What was you absolute highlight of the day? The desserts looked pretty amazing, and I would love to taste the curries and lemongrass salad.

    Reply
    • Wow, that’s a tough question…’what was the highlight of the day?’. The whole experience was exceptional. The food was the absolute highlight, though learning about the dishes and local context was invaluable for keeping things in perspective. Overall, it was well put together and Noom was a great guide!! Do check out the Taste of Thailand if your travels take you to Bangkok soon. Appreciate your comments, Ali.

      Reply
  10. I would love to do this food tour! This would be a perfect opportunity for me to break away from my go-to Pad Thai (I love Pad Thai!) and try something different. The price point is very reasonable too considering the length of the tour and the amount of food you try. I imagine you’re not left hungry at the conclusion of the tour.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience, this will be a MUST DO the next time I’m in Bangkok

    Reply
    • Thanks Heather for your feedback. A tour with The Taste of Thailand will absolutely broaden your food options and you will discover other equally delicious options. Let us know if you have any questions as you prepare for your next trip to Bangkok. Thanks so much!

      Reply
  11. I’ve just ordered Lebanese food and now I’m wishing I’d gone for Thai! Nothing can compare to the food you get in the streets in Thailand though. Mouth is watering now haha.

    Reply
  12. Ahhh… Thai Food! I seriously can’t get enough. Makes me want to immediately book a ticket back to Thailand! The Taste of Thailand food tour looks like it provided you with a thorough overview of delicious foods found around the country! I need some of that Thai Green Curry NOW!!

    Reply
  13. This is such a memorable adventure. I have never tasted Thai food, but think I would like it. I love coconut ice cream. It is a simple hint of sweet.

    Reply
    • If you’ve never had Thai food, you are missing out. Go to a Thai restaurant near you and get a sample of the dishes. You will love it 🙂 Yes, the coconut ice cream was fresh and with no added sugar. A real delight.

      Reply

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