One of the many things that I recommend doing in Asia at least once is have a meal at a floating restaurant. It’s a novelty way to dine with a cool breeze and a backdrop of stunning scenery – as far as experiences go, it definitely beats a typical lunch on dry land.
On this occasion I went to a floating restaurant in Thailand’s Ratchaburi province, which is an hour or so away from Bangkok. My Thai friends had ushered me into a taxi and taken me there as a surprise right before I was due to fly back to the UK. I wish I could share the exact location of this particular floating restaurant but in all honesty, in the mist of all the excitement, I forgot to jot down its address. However rest assured that there are no shortage of floating restaurants in Thailand so finding one shouldn’t be hard.
The novelty of floating restaurants attracts a lot of tourists and so some of them can be overpriced and geared towards a western palette. However this one certainly wasn’t a tourist trap considering all the menus were in Thai and the diners appeared to be locals; in fact I even spotted a monk having his lunch.
We ordered up a vibrant Thai feast including some of the county’s signature dishes such as green curry and chicken with cashew nuts. I never once got bored of eating Thai food during the 3 months that I was out there for and it’s definitely become one of my favourite cuisines since. Good Thai food has such a complex array of flavours; including hot, sweet, salty and sour and encompasses so many different dishes. What’s more is that if you know the right places to go, even those on a tight budget can eat like a king in Thailand. The sure fire way to tell if a place serves authentic Thai food without tourist pricing is to simply go where the locals go.
During our meal a vendor on a wooden boat came to greet us with her offerings. We picked up some sweet sun dried tomatoes and pomelo segments with chilly salt. During my stay in Thailand, having fresh fruit such as pomelo, pineapple and melon with chilly salt sprinkled on top became a bit of an addiction – it’s really delicious! There are vendors selling this flavour-sensation-combination everywhere for a just couple of baht. I can’t urge you enough to give it a try.
Floating restaurants are commonly found all across Asia. They are a great way to experience something new over lunch.