In order to return back to Thailand, we decided to go through Battambang. For being the 2nd largest city in Cambodia, we found Battambang to be quite chill and less touristy. We checked ourselves into a guesthouse near the center market. With the market’s convenient location to us, I could not help myself from making daily visits for mangosteens and longans (like a lychee).
We rented a tuk-tuk for the day and explored the city. There was not a whole lot to see other than more temples. It was still nice to see the landscape, pass by the local school children, and talk to locals when we had the chance.
There were a few good eats in the city. Our favorites were Fresh Eats Cafe and H & H Khmer Delight Restaurant.
Fresh Eats Cafe trains homeless children on how to run a cafe business. The service was fine and the food was exceptional. With free wifi and the cafe’s business model, we didn’t mind paying a little more. Our favorite dish was the couscous with meatballs.
The sweet potato soup at H & H Khmer Delight Restaurant was worth a double visit.
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When we asked the chef of our favorite breakfast place, The Flow, for some places off the beaten path, he suggested two things in Bangkok:
I. Go on the other side of the Luk Laung Canal.
As we crossed the canal, we instantly felt we had passed some boundary that tourists did not enter. As we looked around, there was no more 7 Elevens and we seemed to be the only tourists. Food vendors were now selling more exotic items and prices were a little lower. Nearby was a market tucked in an alley along the water. The variety of strong smells, water buckets of snakes and frogs confirmed the authenticity of this local market.
II. Cross the Phra Pinklao Bridge and go the the Thai BBQ.
As we were half way on the bridge, the Thai BBQ restaurant became apparent. There were hundreds of tables filled with people, sounds of live local pop music, and a bright neon sign. It was an all you can eat bbq. We were directed to the buffet table where we were supposed to get a plate and choose among a huge variety of uninviting raw meats. There were no labels in english so we had no idea what we were grabbing. After our plates were full of food, we went to our table. In the middle was a round hot pot + skillet. In the center was where we would grill out meats and around that was water where we would boil our vegetables and noodles.
After the meats were cooked, I could make out what it was. It was chicken! The noodles were delicious and had a crepe after taste. It was a great experience and as we looked around, we saw mostly locals with their families and teenagers with their friends enjoying a satisfying meal. Including a beverage, the total came to 125 bahts ($4) per person.
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