Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chinatown

After my sample lesson this morning, we didn't have any plans for the rest of the day, so we headed to Chinatown for some food.
Chinatown in Bangkok is intense.  Huge, crowded with people and packed with stores selling everything imaginable.  The vendors are arranged by what they are selling, so one narrow alley will have 50 stalls selling wholesale shoes, the next will have all electronics, and another will have stall after stall filled to the top with bolts of every texture and color of fabric imaginable.  
My favorite section is clearly the one with all the food!  

This man was hacking away at giant fish with an ancient cleaver:
This stand was making fried pastries with meat and cabbage inside: 
The filling was wrapped up in two circles of dough which were pinched together, then fried
The end result was like a savory doughnut filled with vegetables.  Super greasy, but it was pretty good!

There were tons of stacks of Chinese longevity buns, which are shaped and colored to resemble peaches - the fruit associated with longevity.  These are common for celebrating birthdays of the elderly.
There are cats and dogs all over the city, and even though I'm not a cat person, these cats were  too cute not to take a picture of:


We got our lunch from this cart, which makes duck noodle soup.  You can tell the carts that make this by the cooked whole duck hanging in the glass case.

Some vegetables and noodles are put in a little basket then submerged in a big pot of boiling broth.  After about a minute, they are poured into a bowl with a few ladles of broth.  This is topped with some duck meat, and possibly a cube of liver. 
This big bowl of soup is 40 baht...or about $1.15
Continuing with the trend of all things being put in plastic bags: I got an iced coffee today, and the lady put a straw in the cup, then put the cup in a plastic bag.
Also, later, I bought some watermelon, which was put into a little cellophane sack. Then that was put into a slightly bigger plastic bag with handles. I just don't understand the plastic bag thing, but I am going to be more aggressive about taking what I buy without the bag, because I already feel horrible about my plastic consumption.

5 comments:

Cathy said...

The plastic bag thing is kind of odd. Wouldn't you think you can just hold the cup by itself? Hmm...

Lunar New Year is gonna be a blast there!

That Girl said...

I would be feeling badly about the plastic consumption too! Especially since we've all been working on reducing the use of plastic bags in the supermarket.

And I would bet the Chinatown there would be fantastic, given the history.

Gabe's Girl said...

This is a great "foodomentary". I really like how you share the culture with us! Happy adventures!

bensbaby116 said...

Yeah, I could understand putting the food in a plastic bag as opposed to on a plate or something if you're just going to be walking around and eating... but if the drink was already in a cup, why did the cup ALSO have to go into a plastic bag. Interesting.

You are going to have such a great time reading through your blog and re-living everything when your journey is over. Great job keeping up with the posts!

Joelen said...

Plastic bags are pretty common in SE Asia - and you get used to it. :) Gawd, I really really miss life back in the Philippines more and more I read your posts! :)