Travel has a number of downsides, including TSA, airline employees, the potential for lost baggage, and spending 12 hours on a plane with someone who has reclined their seat all the way back while the person behind you practices their karate moves (or at least that’s what it feels like).
Luckily the upside cancel that all out, and for me at least the biggest upside is the food! So often I find that the food we get in the US differs greatly from its parent food, and not always for the better. Thai food is a definite exception.
The best Thai food i found during my two weeks bouncing around was absolutely the food I purchased from the myriad of street vendors that can be found all over the city. Now, in full disclosure, these vendors include the kind that sell you lovely cold beer (and buckets of cocktails).
The vendors sell everything from sweet corn, roasted simply over a coal fire and served piping hot on a stick, to Nutella crepes served hot off the grill (again served with little sticks to eat them with), to various kinds of meat on a stick (the Thais really do love their sticks for some reason), to my personal favorite, Pad Thai, made on the street in a hot wok, and eaten quickly (this time with forks) while standing wherever you can find a spot (personally I recommend sitting on the steps of the police station).
The Pad Thai vendors are rather amazing, armed only with their cart outfitted with a gas wok and the traditional ingredients, including multiple kinds of noodles, your choice of protein (shrimp, or chicken) and the sauces, bean sprouts, peanuts, and limes to create the sour and spicy dish that makes Pad Thai so delicious. Upon walking up to the cart the vendor begins with some oil and an egg in their huge wok. From there they toss in your protein, or not if you prefer the vegetarian option, your noodles, the sauces, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Traditional Pad Thai sauce is comprised of tamarind paste, fish sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and pepper. The better the vendor the more of those ingredients were kept separate and added to the mix as it cooked, while vendors on the cheaper side tended to have one sauce mix that was added. For between $1.50 and $2.50 you get a meal, a show, and one of the best experiences I found in Bangkok!