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Posts Tagged ‘nakhon si thammarat’

Wang Derm Restaurant (formerly Krua Nakhon)

Michael Babcock, Friday, June 1st, 2012

Krua Nakhon, a popular restaurant in Nakhon Si Thammarat recently metamorphosed into วังเดิม – Wang Derm Restaurant – at a new location. It still has the same signature dishes as before while offering an expanded menu. The food remains fresh, appetizing, absolutely delicious and highly recommended. Thankfully, most of the friendly staff are still there.

Restaurant Sign

Sign for Wang Derm Restaurant

Krua Nakhon was situated in the heart of town; Wang Derm (which could also be transliterated as Wang Deum or Wang Doem) is located next to the Provincial Court. As the sign (to the left) says, under the name, it serves อาหารไทย อาหารปักษ์ใฅ้ – Thai Food and Southern Food (ahaan Thai and ahaan pak tai).

(Click images to see larger version.)

Two of my favorite dishes from Krua Nakhon, the southern specialties of kanom jeen noodles and khao yam salad are still available in addition to a wider variety of other dishes.

Noodle Dish

Kanom Jeen Noodles

The photograph to the right shows Kanom Jeen Nam Ya – ขนมจีนน้ำยา – a popular southern Thai dish. Kasma translates it into English as “Southern-Style Rice Vermicelli Topped with Spicy Fish Nam Ya Curry Sauce.” Kanom jeen are a fermented rice noodle and are found all over Thailand; they are possibly the one noodle in Thailand that is not Chinese in origin. (They probably originated with the Mon ethnic group.) This particular dish is a southern variation. The nam ya curry sauce is made with flaked fish and is often very, very spicy. The only place I’ve ever come across this in the United states is at Kasma’s Advanced Set E cooking class.

Rice Salad

Rice Salad - ข้าวยำ

The left photograph shows “Southern Thai Rice Salad” – (ข้าวยำ) (Khao Yam) – a composed rice salad. The ingredients can vary depending on what is in season and what is fresh and available. To eat, you mix everything up together and enjoy. It is a particularly southern Thai dish, though there are apparently variations in Malaysia. Kasma also teaches this in her Advanced Set E cooking class as Southern-style Rice Salad.

Restaurant Counter

One of the friendly employees

Restaurant Interior

Inside Wang Derm

I recognize most of the staff from Krua Nakhon, including this smiling woman. Also brought over were the decorative antique coconut graters seen here in the background. The interior remains open and bright, although open on 2 sides rather than 3 as at Krua Nakhon.

Counter

Counter & menu

Menu

A second counter

Here are two of the counter areas where food is served.

Fish Dish

Fish dish

Bitter Melon with Egg

Bitter Melon with Egg

The food in the restaurant is all pre-cooked. You can either order from the menu (if you read Thai) or you can just go up to the counter where the food is displayed and point out what you’d like. The dish to the left is a fried fish topped with fish sauce, shallots, and chillies; you can eat virtually the entire fish except for the spine – most of the bones are fried up and edible. To the right is one of my personal favorites – Bitter Melon Stir-fried with Egg – มะระผัดไข่ (Mara Pad Kai). (Check out Kasma’s Recipe for Bitter Melon with Egg.)

Vegetable Platter

Vegetable platter

Fish Curry

Fish Curry

In southern Thailand, expect to get a plate of fresh vegetables, such as the one to the left, with your meal. In addition to the more usual long beans, cucumbers and Thai eggplants, you’ll often find various leaves: I believe the leaves to the left of the picture are cashew leaves. The dish to the right is Sour Curry – แกงส้ม (Kaeng Som). In other parts of the country, the southern version of Sour Curry is often called Yellow Curry – แกงเหลือง (Kaeng Leuang) – to distinguish it from the northern version of Sour Curry – they are quite different. There’s a good Bangkok Post Article: “Kaeng Som” A Thai Culinary Classic by Suthon Sukphisit.

Fried Fish

Crispy fried fish

Thai Dessert

Thai dessert

The dish on the left is a red-curry based crispy fried fish. To the right is one of the many desserts available at Wang Derm; this one is served in sweet coconut sauce. Be warned though, they do run out of the desserts so you might want to select one early on. The yellow bits on the dumpling in the center are fried mung beans.

Outside View

Wang Derm parking lot

Another Outside View

Another outside view

Here are two views from the outside of Wang Derm to help you find the restaurant. If you’re in Nakhon Si Thammarat, give it a try for breakfast or lunch for delicious, fresh southern-style Thai food.


You may enjoy my previous blog on Krua Nakhon Restaurant


Written by Michael Babcock, June 2012.

Wat That Noi in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Michael Babcock, Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Wat That Noi (วัดธาตุน้อย) is a temple found in the south of Thailand in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. It was the residence of Portan Klai (1876-1970), said to be one of the most famous guru monks of his generation. The temple includes a wax-reproduction of him as well as his mortal remains. (See Portan Klai (1876-1970) of Wat That Noi was one of the most famous guru monks in Nakhon Si Thammarat (NST) one generation ago. (See Wayne’s Dhamma Blog.)

Reclining Buddha

Recining Buddha at Wat That Noi

The most famous temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat is, of course, Wat Mahatat, found in the town itself. Kasma and I visited Wat That Noi on a recent visit and it is worth a stop. It is found to the west of the town of Nakhon Si Thammarat on Highway 4015. Here’s a map of its location and more photos. One of its more prominent features is the large reclining Buddha shown to the left.

(Click image to see larger version.)

At Thai temples I love to wander around and look at the details, from the nagas on the staircases to the bas-relief of the walls. I’m including a slide show of some of the interesting features I found at this slightly off-the-beaten-track temple.


Wat That Noi Slideshow

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.
Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

wat-that-noi-04
Reclining Buddha
wat-that-noi-02
wat-that-noi-03
wat-that-noi-10
wat-that-noi-11
wat-that-noi-12
wat-that-noi-05
wat-that-noi-06
wat-that-noi-07
wat-that-noi-08
wat-that-noi-13
wat-that-noi-14
wat-that-noi-09

Nagas (dragons) on a staircase at Wat That Noi

Reclining Buddha at Wat That Noi in Nakhon Si Thammart Province

Detail of the reclining Buddha

Another view of the reclining Buddha

Wax reproduction of Portan Klai, a famous abbot

Buddha statue at Wat That Noi

Buddha head on statue at Wat That Noi

Another dragon at Wat That Noi

Buddha bas-relief

Another bas-relief at Wat That Noi

Elephant, detail of bas-relief

Concrete decoration on wall

Bas-relief sculpture at Wat That Noii

Monk drying clothes at Wat That Noi

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Reclining Buddha thumbnail
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Written by Michael Babcock, May 2012

Nakhon Si Thammarat “Dim Sum”

Michael Babcock, Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Dim Sum, in Thailand? On a recent trip to Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south of Thailand, we found a restaurant that serves delicious dim sum (though by a different name — see below). Like many southern Thai cities, Nakhon si Thammarat has a large Chinese (Chinese-Thai, more accurately) population. Dim Sum is widely available in another southern city, Trang. This was the first time we’ve found it in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Dim Sum Dish

One of the ‘dim sum’

The name of the restaurant is ตังเกี๋ย เเต่่เตี้ยม – Tang Gia Taa Tiam. The last two words, เเต่่เตี้ยม – Taa Tiam (phonetically, it is closer to Dtaa Dtiam) – are what the Hokien Chinese call these types of little dishes, rather than dim sum. The Hokien Chinese are from southern China; in Thai they are called Fujian. I will continue to use “dim sum” since that is what most westerners will relate to.

(Click images to see larger version.)

Thai Dim Sum Restaurant

Here's the restaurant

Restaurant Sign

Look for this sign

Menu

Menu, with Pictures

It was our Thai driver, Sun, who told us about the restaurant. He is from Nakhon Si Thammarat and hears about new things. My Thai is not good enough to tell you exactly where the restaurant is. I do know that it’s in a newer district of town called Meuang Tawngmeuang meaning city and tawng meaning gold. I’ve included on our website proper a pdf file with the address in Thai – it opens in a new window and you can right click to download for printing. I’ve also got a jpeg file that includes the restaurant sign and name, also suitable for printing.

The menu is pretty extensive here: there are nearly 100 items. They are particularly known for their pork soup, so we recommend you definitely try that one. Otherwise, just look at the pictures, see what looks good and give it a try.

I’ve included a slide show of most of the items we’ve eaten there over our visits.


Taa Tiam (Dim Sum) Slideshow

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.
Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

nst-dim-sum-09
nst-dim-sum-10
nst-dim-sum-11
nst-dim-sum-12
nst-dim-sum-13
nst-dim-sum-14
Dim Sum Dish
nst-dim-sum-17
nst-dim-sum-18
nst-dim-sum-19
nst-dim-sum-20
nst-dim-sum-21
nst-dim-sum-22
nst-dim-sum-23

The aftermath of a great meal!

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Inside the Restaurant

You can eat inside . . .

Outside the Restaurant

. . . or outside.


Written by Michael Babcock, March 2012

Wat Mahatat in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Michael Babcock, Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Thailand is predominantly a Buddhist country and throughout the country there are numerous temples – wat, in Thai. One of my favorite temples is Wat Mahatat in Nakhon Si Thammarat. This temple is considered one of the three most important temples in the south of Thailand, the others being in Chaiya and Yala. A morning visit here is part the itinerary for Kasma’s Kasma’s trips to southern Thailand.

View of Temple

View of chedi

Its full name is Wat Phra Mahatat Woramahawihaan, sometimes abbreviated to Wat Phra Boromathat. It is found a couple kilometers from the town center on Thanon Ratchadamnoen, the long street that runs the length of the town, and is easily reached by songthaew.

This is the biggest temple in the south of Thailand. The most recognizable feature is the nearly 80 meter high chedi (stupa), which is crowned by a spire made of solid gold and weighing several hundred kilograms. The main chedi is surrounded numerous smaller black and white chedis. To the right of the chedi there’s an entrance to a sanctuary. In the middle is a stairway leading up to a platform about half-way up the chedi; this stairway is open only some of the time. The stairway is flanked by demons, apparently guarding the way. At either end of the room there are walls with interesting bas-relief on the walls.

Buddha Statues

Buddha Statues

Off to the left as you head towards the central sanctuary is a wihaan or Buddha image sanctuary. In the shape of a square, it has Buddha images on the outside around the square; there’s also an inner walkway with more Buddha images.

After you’ve visited the temple, be sure to go to the market area at the far end of the temple – they have some interesting southern crafts and snacks.

Rather than spend more time on description, I’ve put together a slide show to show some of the beautiful images found here. Photographs were taken by both myself and Kasma.


Nakhon Si Thammarat – Wat Mahatat Slide Show

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.
Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

You must have Javascript enabled to see the images.

View of Temple 1
View of the Temple 2
Entrance to Chedi
Sign Towards Wihaan
Thai Monks
Buddha Statue in Niche
Temple Roof
Temple Roof
Temple Guardian 2
Temple Guardian 1
Temple Bas-relief
Temple Detail
Buddha in Niche
Close-up of Buddha Statue
Temple Bells
Walkway with Buddha Statues
More Walkway
Inner Walkway
Temple Gong
Buddha Statue 1
Buddha Head
Temple Feature
Earth Mother Goddess
Temple Painting
Buddha Head 2
Buddha Head 2 Earlier
Buddha Image
Buddha Close-up
Buddha Close-up 2
Little Demon
Buddha from the Back
Elephant
Another Buddha
Buddha Statues

Here's a view of the chedi, which is above the main sanctuary
and several other buildings housing Buddha images

The chedi is in the right-hand corner in this view from the parking lot

The door at the end is the entrance to the chedi

Before reaching the entrance to the chedi at the end, turn
at the blue sign to enter the wihaan of Buddha statues

In 2007 we came across these novice monks leaving the area by the chedi

There are numerous interesting details in the
buildings around the entrance to the chedi

Don't forget to look up at the details around the roofs of the buildings

A view of one of the temple roofs, with its golden nagas

This demon guards the staircase leading up to the chedi

This demon and dragon guard the other side of the staircase

In the sala leading up to the chedi there are two
walls with golden bas-relief (to the right, here)

Here's a detail of the bas-relief

This is the Buddha statue at the end of one side with the bas-relief

Here's a close-up of the same statue

When the staircase is open you can go to a walkway around
the chedi, about halfway up - these bells are taken from there

This is the outer walkway in the wihaan off the entrance to
the chedi - it is lined with Buddha statues

Here's another view of the outer walkway, which has a mysterious, quiet feel to it

There's also an inner walkway, also lined with Buddha statues

At one end of this walkway is this huge gong - if you rub the
center in just the right way it makes a deep, resonant sound

One of the Buddha statues on the outer walkway

Cose-up of another Buddha statue in the outer walkway

This pillar is found at one of the corners of the outer walkway -
it shows the Buddha at the time of his enlightenment

Close-up of the statue of the Earth Mother Goddess, witnessing
the Buddha's enlightenment, from the previous image

Paintings such is this one adorn some pillars in the outer walkway

Close-up of one of the Buddha statues - painted gold and black

Here's the same statue in 2004 - before it was painted (see previous slide) -
like everything else, the Buddha statues are in a constant state of change

Here's one of the Buddha statues found on the inner
walkway, where they often are standing in a red alcove

Close-up of a Buddha in the inner walkway

Here's the same statue 4 years earlier - before restoration

Close-up (of a demon) shows some of the detail on the inner walkway alcoves

An outer walkway Buddha photographed from the inner walkway

The inner walkway has several of these elephants - the entire inner wall
has been wrapped by orange fabric, the same color worn by the monks

An outer walkway Buddha in a very different style

One last image showing several of the Buddha statues

View of Temple 1 thumbnail
View of Temple 2 thumbnail
Entrance to Chedi thumbnail
Sign Towards Wihaan thumbnail
Thai Monks thumbnail
Buddha Statue in Niche thumbnail
Temple Roof thumbnail
Temple Roof thumbnail
Temple Guardian 2 thumbnail
Temple Guardian 1 thumbnail
Temple Bas-relief thumbnail
Temple Detail thumbnail
Buddha in Niche thumbnail
Close-up of Buddha Statue thumbnail
Temple Bells thumbnail
Walkway with Buddha Statues thumbnail
More Walkway thumbnail
Inner Walkway thumbnail
Temple Gong thumbnail
Buddha Statue 1 thumbnail
Buddha Head thumbnail
Temple Feature thumbnail
Earth Mother Goddess thumbnail
Temple Painting thumbnail
Buddha Head 2 thumbnail
Buddha Head 2 Earlier thumbnail
Buddha Image thumbnail
Buddha Close-up thumbnail
Buddha Close-up 2 thumbnail
Little Demon thumbnail
Buddha from the Back thumbnail
Elephant thumbnail
Another Buddha thumbnail
Buddha Statues thumbnail

Wednesday Photos of Wat Mahatat

Previous Blogs on Nakhon Si Thammarat

  • Krua Nakhon Restaurant
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipal Market
  • Written by Michael Babcock, July 2011

    Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipal Market

    Michael Babcock, Monday, May 23rd, 2011

    We always enjoy visiting the Southern Thailand city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and, when we visit, we always visit the Municipal Market, the talaat sod (fresh market). It’s a morning market and we make a point of getting there early for a bit of breakfast before we browse the market.

    Nakhon Si Thammarat Market Sign

    Nakhon Si Thammarat Market Sign

    (Note: scroll down for a beautiful slide show of images from the market.)

    This market has been in this location at least since 1992, when we began coming to Nakhon Si Thammarat. In December of last year (2010), right around the time of the King’s Birthday, the market completed a renovation and re-opened in this location after being relocated for 8 months. In addition to getting spruced up, the market became appreciably larger. Like many Thai markets, it’s an enclosed market with built-in stands for the vendors. It’s now probably as large or larger than the morning market in Krabi. (See our blog Krabi Morning Market.)

    Vegetable Aisle

    Vegetable aisle

    This market is primarily a morning market and to see everything, you’ll want to get there early: certainly by 8:00 a.m. in the morning, and earlier if you can. It’s different from a separate Sunday market, which we’ll feature in a future blog. This is definitely a local market. You won’t see a lot of fahrang (the Thai word for Caucasian) here, especially inside the market where most of the wares are targeted for cooks.

    Nakhon Si Thammarat has one very long street running from east to west – Ratchadamnoen Road. The municipal market is found on Thanon Pak Nakhon (I’ve also seen it spelled as “Pagnagon Road” – thanon means road) – which intersects Ratchadamnoen Road – leading away from the Train Station. If you have turned off the main road the market is on your left, about a half block past the Nakhon Garden Inn.

    Thai Snacks

    Thai snacks

    Unlike the market at Krabi, all of the sit-down stalls with hot food are on the outside of the market and it does not have as many eating stands as at Krabi.

    Once you enter the market, it’s organized by section. On the side closest to Thanon Pak Nakhan there are sweet snacks (khanom wan) and flowers. Other aisles (or parts of aisles) feature fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, prepared pastes, and so on.

    The vendors here are very friendly and mostly enjoy having their pictures taken. It’s always more fun to walk through a market when you’re greeted by lots of smiles.


    I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow. You can also click on any picture individually and either scroll through the images using “Next” and “Prev” or start the slideshow at any image. Captions accompany the images. Clicking on a slide will also take you to the next image.


    Nahkon Si Thammarat Municipal Market – Slide Show

    Nakhon Si Thammarat Market Sign
    Outside Nakhon Si Thammarat Market
    Prepared Food Aisle
    Flower Aisle
    Some Flowers
    Snack Vendor
    Thai Snacks
    Fruit Vendor
    Noodle Vendor
    Curry Paste Vendor
    Curry Paste Close-up
    Shrimp Paste Vendor
    Shrimp Paste Vendor
    Vegetable Aisle
    Vegetable Vendor
    Another Vegetable Vendor
    Galanga
    Winged Beans
    Pork Vendor
    Pork Vendor 2
    Pork Innards
    Pig Head
    Pork Belly
    Duck & Chicken Vendors
    Another Market Aisle
    Thai Children
    Seafood Vendors
    Motorcycle Delivery
    Fish Vendor
    Crabs
    Fresh Snapper
    Fish Vendor 2

    Sign for the Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipal Market, seen from Pak Nakhon Road

    Approaching the market from Ratchadamnoen Road, it’s on the left.

    Prepared food is found on the outermost aisle of the market.

    Just inside the door, the flower & snack Aisle

    Some of the beautiful flowers for sale.

    A snack vendor, also found on the aisle closest to the street.

    Some traditional Thai kanom (snacks).

    Fruit vendor with a combination tropical fruit plus (imported, usually from Washington state, U.S.A.) apples.

    At one end of the market there are a number of vendors selling kanom jeen - fermented rice noodles.

    One of the highlights of the market for me are all the vendors selling pre-made chilli and curry pastes.

    Here's a close-up of some delicious looking curry paste.

    There's also many vendors selling luscious mounds of kapi - shrimp paste.

    Another view of this vendor, who sells curry pastes, chilli pastes and kapi (shrimp paste)

    Here's a view of the vegetable aisles.

    Almost a one-stop vegetable vendor.

    This vendor has several kinds of eggplants, winged beans (in the middle), cucumbers and more.

    Here's some very fresh and young galanga (kah) with bright orange turmeric in the back.

    These winged beans (tua poo, in Thai) are a bit more frilly than I've seen before.

    This woman is a pork vendor - meat vendors tend to specialize in one kind of meat (pork, beef, chicken, duck)

    Here's another view of our pork vendor: not quite the way pork is sold in the United States!

    Every part of the pig is sold: here we see small and large intestines.

    Did I mention that they sell every part of the pig?

    Traditionally, the Thai people are not afraid of a little fat, such as we see in this delicious-looking pork belly.

    These two Muslim women are selling ducks and chickens. In Thailand it's quite common to see them with both feet and head still attached.

    You get quite used to walking through the aisles at the market.

    We usually come across some cute Thai children on our market walks. Hard to resist.

    These three seafood vendors were quite keen to have their pictures taken.

    Need a large amount of an item delivered in the market? Use a motorcycle!

    This fish vendor is scaling, cleaning and fileting a large fish.

    Very fresh seafood of all kinds, such as the crab, are found here.

    So many varieties of fresh fish, such as these snappers. Whole fish are preferred.

    This man was very proud of the large fish he had for sale.

    Nakhon Si Thammarat Market Sign thumbnail
    Outside Nakhon Si Thammarat Market thumbnail
    Prepared Food Aisle thumbnail
    Flower Aisle thumbnail
    Some Flowers thumbnail
    Snack Vendor thumbnail
    Thai Snacks thumbnail
    Fruit Vendor thumbnail
    Noodle Vendor thumbnail
    Curry Paste Vendor thumbnail
    Curry Paste Close-up thumbnail
    Shrimp Paste Vendor thumbnail
    Shrimp Paste Vendor thumbnail
    Vegetable Aisle thumbnail
    Vegetable Vendor thumbnail
    Another Vegetable Vendor thumbnail
    Galanga thumbnail
    Winged Beans thumbnail
    Pork Vendor thumbnail
    Pork Vendor 2 thumbnail
    Pork Innards thumbnail
    Pig Head thumbnail
    Pork Belly thumbnail
    Duck & Chicken Vendors thumbnail
    Another Market Aisle thumbnail
    Thai Children thumbnail
    Seafood Vendors thumbnail
    Motorcycle Delivery thumbnail
    Fish Vendor thumbnail
    Crabs thumbnail
    Fresh Snapper thumbnail
    Fish Vendor 2 thumbnail

    Written by Michael Babcock, May 2011

    Nakhon Si Thammarat Temple (Wednesday Photo)

    Michael Babcock, Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

    Wat Mahatat

    Temple Grounds

    Wat Mahatat Temple grounds

    Here’s a picture of the main chedi (stupa) at Wat Mahatat in Nakhon si Thamarrat, in the South of Thailand. It’s one of my favorite temples in Thailand. As you head toward the chedi, to the left is an entrance to a building with a large number of Buddha statues around a courtyard – well worth a look.

    Here are two pictures of Buddha statues found at this temple:


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


    Note: This will be our last Wednesday Photo post for awhile. We may start them up again sometime in the spring.