Giant river prawns with spicy nam jim dipping sauce in Soi Texas, Chinatown Bangkok

When it comes to dining, Bangkok is a minefield of choice. Not in a bad way, more in a too-many-choices-too-little-time way.
After photographing a seafood market one afternoon, all we knew was that we had a hankering for local river prawns. It took about three seconds for Phitak Srisawat, Assistant Chef Concierge at Bangkok’s luxurious Four Seasons Hotel to point us in the right direction… ‘Go to China in Bangkok,’ he smiled, “Take a tuk tuk to Chinatown’s Seafood Street.’

Yaowarat Road is Chinatown’s main drag but we were headed to Soi Texas (Texas Street), a narrow lane lined with scores of makeshift pavement seafood cafes where happy diners perch on little plastic stools at utilitarian stainless steel tables. There’s no decoration or pretence here, it’s all business: people are here to eat and eat well. All manner of sea creatures sizzle away on open air grills, woks hiss and clang, cold beer flows and would-be diners gawk and point from taxis, bikes and tuk tuks as they squeeze past in search of their dinner.

One of our brilliant street cooks in Chinatown

Yaowarat Road is Chinatown’s main drag in Bangkok.

After several plates of giant river prawns with spicy nam jim dipping sauce, a plate of chili fried morning glory (water spinach) and icy Heinekens we stroll around the adjoining streets for desert.  Buttery egg tarts and Chinese sweets are devoured within minutes.  Food stalls are everywhere – fruit and fresh juice, dumplings steaming, shiny roast ducks and succulent pork flanked with mouth-watering crackling hanging in restaurant windows, nuts roasting. Don’t miss this!

A plate of chilli fried morning glory (water spinach).

BBQ giant river prawns

Street food being cooked in Bangkok

Smiling street food bosses in Chinatown Bangkok

In the back of a tuk tuk is always fun

[tabs style=”default” title=”Travel Facts”] [tab title=”GETTING THERE”]We love to take a tuk tuk through Bangkok traffic – it’s where life happens and the best and most unexpected photo opportunities present themselves. To avoid the traffic, take to the river on the Chao Phraya River Express ferry and alight at Ratchawong Pier. Take a short walk from Ratchawong Road to Sampeng Lane and Chinatown’s main strip – Yaowarat Road. You’ll see the neon ‘Texas’ signs on Soi Texas.

[/tab] [tab title=”WHERE TO STAY”]Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
155 Rajadamri Road
10330 Bangkok
Tel. +66 2 126-8866

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Words by Jane Hodges

Photography by Maree Azzopardi © 2013

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