I recently spent a couple days in the town of Chanthaburi. Discovering a new place is always fun, but sometimes it's better to have a guide, and on this trip I was fortunate to be accompanied by a well-connected half-Chanthaburian food freak.
Rice noodles, the main ingredient in phat thai (shown above) are associated with Chanthaburi, and we stopped by a factory where they still make the noodles the old school way, by drying them in the sun on bamboo racks:
Rice noodles are also used in kuaytiao muu liang, another dish associated with Chanthaburi:
We at at a place outside of town called Phrya Trang (address below). The broth gets its dark colour from a combination of local herbs, and its slightly sweet taste from the addition of pineapple. I'd say it was somewhat similar to kuaytiao ruea, but not quite as intense.
Root herbs are actually a very important part of the local cuisine in Chanthaburi, and a walk through any of the city's markets will reveal several kinds of plants generally not used elsewhere in Thailand, such as krawaan:
and young krachaay:
Being close to the sea, seafood is also a big deal, and the markets are stocked with heaps of fish, shrimp and squid, and even odder things, such as horseshoe crabs:
The ones above have already been grilled, and you only eat the eggs (often made into yam, Thai-style salad); there is no meat.
If you're at Chanthaburi's main market in the morning and find yourself in need of a snack, you can do like the locals and stop by this tiny stall selling paa thong ko, deep-fried bits of dough:
The stall is very popular, as the line of impatient motorcyclists suggests. Unlike elsewhere, in Chanthaburi paa thong ko are served with a thin, sweet/sour sauce, somewhat similar to that sometimes served with deep-fried chicken elsewhere in Thailand.
Muu Liang Phraya Trang
60/1 Moo 12 Tambon Tha Chang
039 339 761