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Archive for July, 2009

Doi Suthep Buddha (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Buddha Statue at Doi Suthep

Doi Suthep Budda

Doi Suthep Budda

Kasma says that there’s a Thai saying to the effect that anyone who goes to Chiang Mai and does not visit the temple Doi Suthep has not visited Chiang Mai. Situated on a hill, you must climb numerous steps to reach the temple grounds, though there’s a skytrain if you don’t want to walk up.

This is a Buddha statue found in the main temple area at Doi Suthep – you can see the tall Chedi (the Thai word for stupa) in the background to the left.

I enjoy going to temples and enjoy the numerous representations of the Buddha. Many of them give you a glimpse of the peacefulness allegedly available to one who understands the nature of reality.

See also: Buddhism, Thailand, Aachan Chah.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Bangkok’s Chinatown Market – Talat Kao

Michael Babcock, Saturday, July 4th, 2009

One of our favorite markets, one where Kasma takes her small-group trips is a market street in Bangkok’s Chinatown called Talat Kao (old market). It’s actually a little alley-way, barely more than two blocks long.

Roast Pig in Chinatown

Roast Pig in Chinatown

Kasma and I are market junkies. Although we enjoy visiting Asian markets in the U.S. (see Shopping at Asian Markets (for Thai Ingredients), nothing can beat the markets in Thailand. They are colorful, appetizing and the vendors are friendly. Although you can expect to find many of the same sorts of things for sale at any Thai market, each market does have its own character and certain markets are renowned for a specific item or specialty. 

Sea Cucumbers

Sea Cucumbers

(Click on an image to see a larger version.)

Be prepared to be jostled at this market. It’s a very narrow alley-way. At places there is barely room for two people to squeeze past one another, and that’s when there’s no one stopped to make a purchase. Add to this the occasional motor bike making deliveries and it can get very cramped, particularly on holidays.

Various Foods

Various Foods

The market is full of fresh seafood of all varieties, including fish, shrimp, prawns, and some things that you might not recognize, such as sea cucumbers. There’s also many vendors with dried foods such as red dates, dried persimmons, dried fish and dried fish stomach. Since it’s a Chinese market, you’ll find succulent roast duck and, on festive occasions, whole roast pigs being delivered.

Prepared Food

Prepared Food

Of course there is also prepared food. One of the great mysteries of Thailand is how, in the presence of so much food everywhere, most of the people remain so slender. There’s everything from the delectable kanom krok (grilled coconut-rice hotcakes) to curries and other Thai or Chinese dishes.

Hua Seng Hong Sign

Hua Seng Hong Sign

When we go to Chinatown to the market, we always time it so that we can have a meal, be it breakfast or lunch, at Hua Seng Hong restaurant at 371-373 Yaowarat Road. For lunch, we might get duck noodles (make sure you get the wheat noodles, ba mee in Thai) or the grilled duck, succulent and yummy. For breakfast, we often get the dim sum, tender bite-sized morsels that are very well-done. 

Dim Sum at Hua Seng

Dim Sum at Hua Seng

In the future, we’ll blog on other markets that we visit regularly. We’ve also posted a number of photographs of Thai markets.


Written by Michael Babcock, July 2009.

Making a Thai Snack (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Making a Thai Kanom

Making a Thai Snack

Making a Thai Snack

I’m always astounded at the variety of Thai kanom (snacks) that you come across in any Thai market. Sticky rice is best known served plain with mangos, as in Kasma’s recipe Coconut-Flavored Sticky Rice with Mangoes (Kao Nio-ow Mamuang) but there are numerous other sticky rice recipes, including this one: Steamed or Grilled Banana Leaf-Wrapped Sticky Rice Stuffed with Banana and Black Beans (Kao Dtom Pad).

Banana leaves are used in making many kanom. Typically the snack is wrapped in the banana leaf and often grilled or steamed. The banana leaf serves two purposes: it encloses the snack and it adds a bit of flavor, as well. Walking in markets you’ll see various mysterious banana leaf  packages – they are usually worth a taste: they’ll only set you back a very few baht. Be warned: some of them will be savory.

This picture was taken at one of Kasma’s weeklong intensive Thai cooking classes –  Weeklong Set C (day 5). She also teaches it in her  Evening Advanced Series Set D (class 3).


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.