An Epic Thai Feast at Bang Saen Beach in Chonburi

 
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Epic Feasting at Bang Saen Beach

You know it’s going to be an epic meal when your appetizer is a full plate of grilled chicken and sticky rice.

Bang Saen Beach, located just 1 – 1.5 hours away from central Bangkok, is one of the closest swimming beaches to the city.

But when I go to Bang Saen, I’m hardly there for the swimming.

Yes, the ocean breeze and the fresher air are wonderful, but I head straight to the hammock chairs set up under the shaded umbrellas, and reach for the menu.

There are hundred of Thai street food vendors all ready and willing to prepare whatever your heart desires.

And like normally in Thailand, it desired a feast!

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Juicy plate of Thai gai yang (grilled chicken ไก่ย่าง)

The gai yang (grilled chicken ไก่ย่าง) for appetizer was a perfect pile of turmeric marinated chicken, grilled to juicy perfection.

It was served with Thai chicken sweet and sour dipping sauce, which for the first time, I found completely unnecessary.

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Bang Saen beach

Unlike the quiet perfect meal I had a few months ago, since Bang Saen beach is so close to Bangkok, it’s not exactly a peaceful getaway.

Cars continually pull in and out, Pepsi trucks and ice delivery trucks make their rounds, vendors approach you selling all sorts of snacks, jestski’s roar in the background, and kids run around making noise.

But it’s a happy atmosphere!

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Kids playing at Bang Saen beach

I watched these guys fight as I waited for the food to arrive.

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Prawns

Those are my prawns being roasted.

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Squid waiting to be ordered

Along with prawns, I’m always happy to eat squid, especially when it’s grilled over charcoal.

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Pla Meuk Yang (grilled squid ปลาหมึกย่าง)

In Malaysia, ikan bakar (grilled fish) and squid is often first marinated in chili sambal sauce and then grilled, but in Thailand the squid is often roasted plain and served with an exciting sauce.

Both ways are excellent.

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Make sure you get a lot of sauce per bite!

The pile of tender, hardly chewy, pla meuk yang (grilled squid ปลาหมึกย่าง) was fantastic. The sauce bursted with garlicky chili packed goodness.

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Goong Pao (roasted whole shrimp กุ้งเผา)

The shrimp, after receiving a blackened char, were ushered to our table.

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Eat the head first!

Goong pao (roasted whole shrimp กุ้งเผา) in Thailand are actually 50% head and 50% body.

In many Thai locals’ opinions, the head meat and juices that flow from the skull, are the best part of a shrimp. I didn’t like it at first, but I’ll admit, it’s like rich creaminess and pretty good.

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Som Tam Boo Pla Ra (ส้มตำปูปลาร้า)

Freshly pounded som tam (green papaya salad ส้มตำ) is a requirement for any beachside feast in Thailand.

This version, known as som tam boo pla ra (ส้มตำปูปลาร้า), includes small crabs and fermented fish sauce. It’s an acquired taste, but it’s utterly fresh and delightful once you start enjoying it.

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Som Tam Khao Pot (ส้มตำข้าวโพด)

Som tam khao pot (ส้มตำข้าวโพด), or mixed corn salad is another delicious combination.

Sweet corn is sliced off the cob and dressed with lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar to create a tangy and sweet relish like Thai dish.

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Yam Pla Duk Foo (puffy catfsh salad ยำปลาดุกฟู)

Finally we topped off this epic Bang Saen beach feast with a towering plate of mixed yam pla duk foo (puffy catfsh salad ยำปลาดุกฟู). Thai yam pla duk foo is normally served as a big blob along with a side of green mango sauce.

On the beach, they mixed everything together from the start, so it all marinated together into a harmony of textures and flavors.

Successfully filled, we drove back to Bangkok.

Have you had any epic meals lately?

 

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Comments

  1. says

    That really is quite a feast Mark, I’m sometimes compelled to visit the beach, usually Jomtien but occasionally further afield. Every time, without fail it turns in to a feast, I sometimes mistakenly think we are visiting the beach so the kids can play, quite sure I’m wrong. But hey that’s the Thai way right, any excuse to eat.

  2. says

    Goong Pao – gorgeous photo. Why is it that I read this site when I’m eating? Always makes my meal pale in comparison. Guess I need to step up my culinary skills :-/ *laugh*

  3. says

    Yes, I’ve just found my first two Thai restaurants in Riyadh which is epic for here. They have and probably will continue to made me happy. The cooks are off the boat from Thailand but the food still can’t compare to what can be seen in your posts, straight from the source. Looking at these photos makes me want to get on a plane bound for SE Asia.

  4. says

    Bang Saen is a nice place to go to get some fresh Thai seafood to be enjoyed underneath the umbrellas whilst watching the kids get thrown off the banana boat ride. It is also very convenient to Bangkok and makes a great day trip.

    The photos make the food look so appetizing I almost wish I were there now.

    I have also seen that the head of the prawn is the most delicious part, but so far I haven’t been brave enough to try that part and leave it to others to consume. Maybe one day I will jump in and see what it is like.

    • says

      Hey Stephen, haha, yes there’s always the sound of screaming kids riding around on the banan boat in the background. You should try the shrimp head, it’s really tasty!

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