I love breakfast in southern Thailand. Unlike breakfast in the west (or even elsewhere in Thailand), which is typically as bland as possible, southern Thais fancy a bit of flavour in the morning. Khao yam, the rice ‘salad’ illustrated above, isn’t exactly spicy, but the abundance of thinly-sliced fresh herbs certainly stands in contrast to a bowl of oatmeal or rice porridge. This dish was heavy on the galangal and mackerel, and served slightly warm, was a wonderful breakfast, particularly when coupled with a glass of sweet Muslim-style tea:
On Ko Yao Noi many choose to begin the day with khao mok kai, chicken biryani:
Fragrant with turmeric and other dried spices, it’s a dish usually regarded as lunch elsewhere in Thailand.
Another popular breakfast is khanom jeen nam yaa pak tai, fresh rice noodles ladled with an equal parts creamy and spicy curry dressing:
You can cut the heat with some of the unusual toppings, which here ranged from slices of watermelon to pickled jackfruit, as well as some interesting local herbs.
And if you find this all a bit too much for breakfast, you can always go for the huge array of sweet-ish snacks on offer at just about any southern-style coffee shop: