Living in Bangkok is great but sometimes you just need to escape and enjoy the simple things in life which is exactly what I did earlier this month. Along with the fantastic Anna from http://www.bangkokgirlblog.com; Amy of http://www.toothbrushtravels.com/tbrushtravels and her boyfriend S we made the visit north to Nonthonburi to enjoy an afternoon of biking around the beautiful island of Koh Kret.
Our guide for the day was fellow tweep Gordon who has lived in Nonthonburi for the past 4 years and is quite the local expert so we were excited as to what the day had in store.
I met up with Anna at Saphan Taksin so we could enjoy a curry puff breakfast before catching the local boat which takes you all the way from pier 1 to pier 30 (Nonthonburi) for just 14 THB. The curry puff seller was great – I love how she was actually making the fresh curry puffs right there on the side of the street! For 20 THB you can choose 3 curry puffs. I opted for one vegetable, one mushroom and one with the traditional potato curry filling along with a fresh Orange juice (15 THB) from a neighbouring stall. The vegetable curry puff was interesting as I had been expecting a vegetable curry inside although it was actually more of a spring roll style filling instead although my favourite of the 3 was definitely the mushroom version as it had a real umami hit.
Not long into our riverboat journey we came into one of the piers pretty hard and soon after we noticed that the engine appeared to have stopped working. After the initial concern that the boat was sinking (luckily it wasn’t) we were very impressed with how quickly the patrol boats noticed and sent one of the river transporters over to tow us back to shore where we disembarked and waited for a replacement boat. Initial excitement over we eventually made it to Nonthnburi without further incident and hopped in the back of a songthaew to take us to Pak Khret where we stopped so we could have a quick lunch before leaving for Koh Khret itself.
Gordon took us to a great “Guai Dtiaw Rua” or “Boat Noodle” stall where for 40 THB we demolished not one but two bowls each (they were small servings and most people seemed to be doing the same) Boat noodles I am told, take their name from the fact that they were initially sold by people on the klongs or in floating markets and are notable for the fact that they are made with cinnamon and anise which gives them a warm, comforting flavour.
Their “secret” ingredient so to speak is blood, which adds depth to the soup and is what makes them so rich and minerally. Unlike dishes such as laksa, the blood is actually incorporated into the cooking process as opposed to simply being served spooned on top which means it is not quite as full on and the spices mask the more challenging aspects of it. I loved the little crunchy bits of pork skin sprinkled on the top as well, so many different flavours and textures in one small bowl – it’s a really great dish!
Noodles finished, we hopped into the ferry and made the short ride across to Koh Khret.