Bangkok, the outdoor dining capital of Asia.
“Hello this is Ar again from Follow Me Bangkok Bicycle Tours. Today we have Matthew behind the video camera so hopefully the video quality will be much better, Ha Ha Ha I really hope so. We thought it would be interesting for you to learn something about the life’s of Bangkok street food vendors so when we met Khun Samran we asked her a few questions.”
Khun Samran told us that she moved to Bangkok around 16 years ago after losing her 25 acres of farmland that was flooded after the construction of a hydroelectric dam, we are not sure if she was compensated for this loss but we assume that she wasn’t, maybe she was just renting the land.
Chaiyaphum is the hometown of Khun Samran, this is one of the northeastern provinces of Thailand, and as we have mentioned before millions of people have migrated from the northeastern rural areas to Bangkok in search of work and a better standard of living. These rural migrants now account for a staggering of a quarter of the capital’s current population.
The majority of people in the Chaiyaphum province are ethnically Lao and their first language is the Isan language, a dialect that is closely related to the Lao language. Family gatherings are an important part of the Isan culture and as always in Thailand, food is one of the main focuses of these gatherings.
Isan cuisine is very distinct and is very famous for being spicy and well seasoned with abundant fresh herbs. Throughout Thailand, and the rest of the world, Isan food is extremely popular; did you know that Thai green papaya salad, called ‘Som Tam’, originates from Isan and is one of the most sought after Thai dishes?
Khun Samran’s sister appears to have played a big role in helping her to set up her Northeast style kitchen. Running your own business requires hard work and dedication but even we were surprised to learn that Khun Samran’s working day actually starts at midnight! After shopping at her local market she has to prepare and cook the various dishes, with the help of her husband, so that everything is ready at 5:00am for the first customers.
It is truly amazing that she can still keep a smile late into the afternoon. That’s dedication, and the reality is, as many Bangkok locals have told us, the simple fact that they can earn enough money to support themselves and their family then they are happy and have achieved their goal.
Tip: Monday is the street cleaning day in Bangkok so the majority of street vendors will take the day off.
There are literally thousands of street food vendors on almost every street in Bangkok, if you want to meet some of these amazing home bred chefs and taste their fantastic street food then why not join us on a Bangkok bike tour. Click here for more details.
If you have a favourite Thai street food dish, or would like an insight into any other Bangkok street life, we would love to hear from you with a comment below.