We woke up early today and headed to Victory Monument, one of the main transportation hubs in Thailand. The monument itself is an obelisk garnered by statues and surrounded by roads and rail lines that bustle with the morning commute and throughout the day. We joined the morning commute and were immediately immersed in the hustle and bustle of the city.
We came in search of street food and people watching and got our share of both. Bangkok is a city that breathes and victory monument exhales that breath in an almost overwhelmingly rich blend of city character. The savory sweet smells of street food mix with the carbon dioxide emanating from an endless stream of buses, cars, scooters and motorbikes creating an intoxicating, sometimes literally, amalgam of stimuli. While there is little wildlife here in downtown the life here is wild, diverse, and full of culture.
As we immersed ourselves in this attack on the senses, we sought out the renowned boat noodles of Vicotry Monument. Along the way we found sticky rice, grilled candied pork jerky, chicken skewers and pickled mango and chili sauce. Away from the square smells of barbeque lurked in the alley ways as street vendors prepared their days menu, a woman fried rice balls by the river perhaps to make naam, a sleepy buddhist temple gilded in gold loomed above us, juxtaposed by a high rise under construction. As we meandered through the back streets we came to our true destination by a river bridge, a boat noodle restaurant called Doy Kuay Teow Reua.
We sought out Victory Monument because the area is one of the best places to find a range of restaurants that serve this classic Thai dish. Named because they were once a dish exclusively served from river boats, Boat Noodles typically consist of an extremely flavorful broth paired with beef or pork and herbs and garnishes like Thai basil, pickled bean curd, scallions and bean sprouts. It was love at first bite, off the beaten path, by victory monument, a meal I won't soon forget.