Wood and Wife - Street Food
The wonders of street vendors.
Street food is like a lottery, you rarely win but you have to keep trying.
There are hundreds of street food vendors in Chiang Mai, good, bad, average or, if you are lucky, excellent. In this case luck was on my side.
As you turn on your left past Thep Panya Hospital towards Mae Jo University coming off the superhighway, keep driving until you hit the first 7/11 shop on your side of the road. In the day time this area is empty but in the evening it’s heaving. All the activities start at about 4.30pm and do not end until 11-12 at night depending on the vendor. We prefer to come and eat after most of the rush hour crowd dispersed which is about 8.30pm. Park near 7/11 and walk a little bit further along the road. I want you to find this stand.
Wood and his wife are young and energetic couple, and they cook some really delicious meals – fantastic tom yam, to which I treat myself occasionally, really good pad ka pao (minced pork/chicken with basil leaves, which you can order with an additional egg on top), pak boon moo kop (spicy crispy pork with morning glory), extremely spicy seafood and glass noodles salad (eat at your own peril!) or a few other dishes the ingredients of which I can mix and match. Hey, if the mood strikes, you can even order a bag of spicy heavenly cooked morning glory. The prices are 25-30 baht per meal, with the seafood dishes slightly higher in price – 35 baht, and you have to see Wood cooking(!), this guy is fast as lightning – me and my husband have the idea of putting his cooking video named “The fastest chef?”On YouTube and see how many hits we will receive.
There is also a menu in Thai if you can read it or just point at one of the pictures with your finger and hope for the best. Wood and his wife are there every day except Saturday.
Pad Ka Pao with egg
Their food stand somehow attracted two other really good vendors. One of them is Njok with her lovely Chinese buns and dim sums, and don’t forget a constant smile on her face. (Dim sums also come with crispy salad leaves and plenty of soya sauce – yummy) The price is standard 5 baht for a Chinese bun, or 20 baht for 8 dim sums. Njok is there every day except Wednesday.
Another is an excellent som tum stand, where the famous salad can be made traditionally with or without the crab.
There is no rushing here especially if you come to eat quite late. You sit and chat, enjoying you free cold water or you can buy anything else to drink from 7/11 right next to the vendors. You might even have a dessert (there are 2 roti vendors here as well) or a delicious fruit shake (you have to walk back just past 7/11 for a fruit shake – but believe me it’s worth it!)
Yes, life is wonderful, the weather is blissfully cool in the evenings, and food is not only heavenly but incredibly cheap. What else do you want?