For some time I have wanted to visit Thailand, and finally in the winter I realized my dream! If you have ever been to Bangkok, you must be impressed by the dazzling spectacular Grand Palace, gleaming golden temples, and some of the world’s most sumptuous malls. However, staying in a rather big international city like Bangkok for too long inevitably drains your energy. After five days battling against the crowd in the main Bangkok tourist attractions, my Thai friend kindly suggested: “Why not call a day off and go to the beach?”
The next day we drove for two hours to the beach town ‘Bang Saen’. It is a town that is famous throughout Thailand. It is the closest pleasant beach getaway spot from Bangkok as well as any provinces north of Chonburi. More importantly, it’s much closer, cheaper and less hassle-free than Hua Hin’s beaches or Pattaya’s beaches.
The beach was divided into a few beachfront “locks,” a collection of tables and reclining beach chairs served by open air kitchens. As I was not a keen swimmer, unlike my friend who just jumped into the sea and rolled on the beach playing with children, I started studying the menu, which listed the freshest and most seasonal local seafood. There were a variety of seafood served in family style with reasonably low price around 150 Baht (3 pounds), and some more than 300 Baht seafood specialties such as whole fresh fishes cooked in coconut and lemon soup. We ordered a whole sea bass, a plate of tiger shrimps, green papaya squid salad, and crab legs. Thai cuisine is usually featured by the complex interplay of aromatic components, herbs and spices. Yet Thai people also know how to respect the original taste of food; beach seafood was lightly prepared and cooked. Steaming and boiling were the most common ways of cooking in the open beach kitchens. The freshness of seafood came with a tender texture and a kind of subtle natural sweet. The simplistic methods used to prepare the food did not prevent it from being a luxurious feast.
If you are not satisfied yet, do feel free to visit the food stands at the Walk Street. There is even more cooked local seafood that has already been packed for visitors to take away, as well as homemade coconut ice-cream, which might be a good choice for dessert. Beach, sunshine, fresh seafood with low enough price: Bang Saen is absolutely a great option for those who want to escape from the city center and to seek some Thai culinary experience.