48 Hours in Chanthaburi

Little-visited Chanthaburi, located about 250km east of Bangkok, is yet another seriously underrated Thai food destination. The province is seemingly blessed with just about everything that's great about Thai cuisine: amazing fruit (some of Thailand's most sought-after durian are grown here), fresh seafood (particularly crabs) and rice (much of which is made into sen jan, the province's famous rice noodles). I was particularly interested in the local dishes that take advantage of Chanthaburi's abundant fresh herbs - pepper, cardamom and roots such as lesser ginger and galangal. These ingredients are mashed into coarse pastes that provide the local-style phat phet (spicy stir-fried dishes often employing game; pictured below) with a truly unique spicy/warm/camphor/fragrant punch. In addition to food, Chanthaburi has an interesting old-school riverside area and a bi-weekly gem market, for which the town is also famous. This wasn't my first trip to Chan; I was last there almost exactly four years ago. For pics from my most recent trip, push play below. Click the button in the corner for full-screen mode and captions.