A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.



Breakfast in Burma

Posted date:  November 4, 2008
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 Serving up mohinga, Thachilek, Shan State, Myanmar

While in Mae Sai I decided to sneak over the border for breakfast in Burma. Specifically, I was looking forward to eating a bowl of mohinga, the thick fish broth and rice noodle dish that’s often considered the unofficial national dish of that country. After a morning of wandering, I eventually found my mohinga, but not before running into several other interesting things.

My search began in the town’s hectic morning market:

Morning market, Thachilek, Shan State, Myanmar

I love fresh markets in Burma because they typically take place directly on the streets. The market just across the border in Mae Sai was in a dark, smelly building; better for protection from the rain, but far less photogenic and user friendly. Here virtually everything was stacked in neat piles on banana leaves out in the open.

After some wandering, I eventually found my mohinga, prepared at the stall shown at the top of this post. Although it may not look that attractive, it was good:

A bowl of mohinga, Thachilek, Shan State, Myanmar

as it always is; Mohinga, like a hamburger (in my opinion, at least), is almost always good–never amazing and rarely bad.

It was getting later at this point, perfect time for a visit to another Burmese food fave of mine: a teashop. My first stop was at a Muslim teashop where I downed a glass of chai and two delicious slices of semolina cake:

Semolina cakes and sweet tea, tea shop, Thachilek, Shan State, Myanmar

My next tea stop was the popular, slightly more cosmopolitan Valentine:

Valentine tea shop, Thachilek, Shan State, Myanmar

where I had two more glasses and some greasy samosas:

Samosas and sweet tea at Valentine tea shop, Thachilek, Shan State, Myanmar

Samosas, on the other hand, can often be pretty bad.

At this point I was feeling no little pride in the fact that I had successfully ordered the mohinga and all my teas in Burmese (essentially reaching the extent of my Burmese language skills). I was also reminded of the way the Burmese call the wait staff in restaurants: by making an annoying kissing sound.

On my way back to Thailand I came across yet another group of monks:

Monks doing the morning alms walk, Thachilek, Shan State, Myanmar

proving that, issues of food aside, things are pretty much the same on either side of the border.


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