Saturday, 4 October 2014

Wat Ket Karam, Tanita Tea House and Thai Duck Noodles

After getting lost whilst rumbling through the streets of Chiang Mai in a songthaew, we finally got to the destination that was recommended in the guide book, which was a street just outside of the main city centre. The taxi dropped us off in front of a Thai temple called Wat Ket Karam. We took a quick look inside the compounds and which gave us the opportunity to admire Thai architecture. It was a really beautiful building!
There's a sign saying 'Women are not allowed', I wonder why??

Just outside the temple, there was a small open store selling what seemed to be local Thai food. We went over to observe. I'm pretty sure it was a family business, it was quite popular with a steady flow of local customers coming by to purchase their food. What they made was a glutinous dumpling like snack that had ground peanuts inside. It's also later topped off with some coconut milk, fried shallots and served with green chilli, and then wrapped in lettuce. The shopkeeper and the cooks, didn't understand us at all and vice versa. We tried to buy some, but seeing as one portion is quite small, there was a slight commotion over how many we wanted to buy. The locals bought around four bags containing four Styrofoam containers the food, so I'm guessing it was sold by bags.

The dumplings ( I wish I knew the name of it!), were chewy in texture, with a great flavour combination of rice, peanuts, coconut and fried shallots. It was really interesting to see other Thai street food that is not so mainstream, like sticky rice with mangoes. The little shop is all open, and the women were steaming the dumplings outside, I think the store was also their home. Just typing all of these descriptions make me crave them!

Further down the street, we stopped by a tea and coffee house called Tanita House. Tanita House is also a family owned furniture shop and they have little villas that tourists come to stay. We went to the little coffee house and ordered some drinks. I noticed that majority of cafes in Chiang Mai, take a little while to prepare drinks, so if you're in a cafe and you're impatiently waiting for your tea or coffee, prepare yourself to wait a little longer. While my sister ordered the iced coffee, the rest of us decided to have Thai iced tea.

The drinks were served in these beautiful silver engraved bowls, on a wooden tray with a purple orchid and a smaller silver bowl with iced water. It really was so pretty and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, albeit not particularly practically as the table was quite small. I have to say Thai tea is one of my favourite drinks of all time. It's served with a lot of crushed ice and foamed milk on top. I mentioned in my other post, I think, that Thai tea is very similar to the Malaysian drink Teh Tarik, however Thai tea is more red and orange coloured, with foamed milk. It's also slightly sugary sweeter than the Teh Tarik which is usually sweetened with condensed milk. Thai iced coffee was also great! Ah I miss Thailand so much! I really want to go back there!

After walking around some more, we decided to have lunch. Whilst walking around and trying to get back to the main street, we asked a local hairdresser where we should go eat. He recommend this duck noodle restaurant a few minutes away. They had English menus, which we were glad about, but there were pictures to guide you too. It was pretty simple, you order at the counter, take a seat and take your own separate plates of bean sprouts and lettuce to put in the noodles later. The lettuce and bean sprouts were self serve and unlimited, so that was great! I ordered the simple duck noodle soup.