I've been on the road quite a bit lately, the reason for not having posted in while. However I've recently become the owner of an intimidatingly black MacBook, so you can expect some mobile blogging in the near future.
My first trip took me once again visit Ayuthaya. I'm always happy to go there for fresh air and the chance to explore, but the excellent Thai food has also become a good enough excuse in its own right. I've already mentioned it here and here, so by now you know that if you visit Ayuthaya, you must eat at Baan Wacharachai. This time I wanted to try something different, and asked the locals about the best place to eat kuaytiaw ruea, 'boat noodles', a dish associated with the city. I was enthusiastically pointed in the direction of an open-air restaurant across from the ruins of Wat Ratburana called Lung Lek ('Uncle Lek'):
Lung Lek's noodles here must be among the most intense bowls I've ever consumed. There were the usual condiments on the table (fish sauce, dried chilies, sugar), but none was necessary--the noodles were already thoroughly spicy, sour and sweet. The beef variety (pictured above) contained a few slices of very tender stewed beef along with lots of unidentifiable bits, and the pork combined par-boiled pork and meatballs. Both contained a handful of par-boiled phak boong (sometimes known as 'morning glory', a green aquatic veggie), crispy rinds and a dose of blood. After a bowl of each (they're small and cost 15 baht) I cycled just up Thanon Chee Kun to Paa Lek ('Aunt Lek'), another recommended noodle joint. Paa Lek's noodles (pictured at the top of the post) were slightly more attractive, and judging by the crowd (and the wait) more popular, but I felt they lacked the intensity of the previous shop's. Sweet was the leading flavour here, and I'm not a big fan of bean sprouts.
I've previously mentioned roti sai mai, candy floss wrapped up in thin pancakes. On this trip I had my sights set on another Ayuthaya sweet fav, khanom babin:
Tiny pancakes of sticky rice flour and coconut meat. When done right they're just a tiny bit crispy on the outside, and soft and sticky on the inside. And they're usually not too sweet either (a rare trait among Thai sweets). Khanom babin can be found in abundance at the market located directly behind Wat Phramongkhon Bophit.