Bangkok, Thailand




If you want to eat like the locals or on a budget, then head to the Wang Lang Market near Wang Lang Pier. The main roads and their side streets are filled with unnamed restaurants and simple push carts selling varieties of Thai dishes for less than 50 baht. It is also known as one of the best places in Bangkok to get food from Southern Thailand. The story goes that Southern Thais settled in the area as trains arriving from the south arrived at the nearby Thonburi Train Station.

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Another destination in Thonburi is the Bang Ramat area with plenty of cheap eateries. They offer traditional Thai cuisine as well as Thai and Western-style desserts and refreshments. Most delicacies on sale won't cost you more than 25 baht. The area is very convenient if you're waiting at Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal. The Taling Chan Floating Market is situated on the Thonburi banks of the Chao Phraya River. Besides agriculture produce, many vendors sell freshly prepared foods including noodle and rice dishes, fried tofu, dumplings, barbequed chicken, seafood and varieties of Thai snacks.

Taling Chan Floating Market by Paolobon140

The Central Plaza Pinklao shopping centre is a good alternative if you're looking for inexpensive food under air-conditioned comfort. There are several mid-ranged  chains here serving Thai, Japanese and Western menus including Yayoi, Sizzlers, KFC, Coffee World, Cafe de Bliss, Gateaux House and Karasho. If you're elsewhere in Thonburi, there are plenty of hawker stalls all over the district and there is always a 7-Eleven convenience store nearby.

A sampling of recommended restaurants in the Thonburi district include:

Ruam Tai & Dao Tai
375/4 Phran Nok Rd (Wang Lang Pier, walk along Phran Nok Road, cross Arun Amarin Road, then walk until the intersection with Soi Watthana). Opens: daily from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
This is a typical street restaurant that is good for trying some Southern Thai cooking. You might want to consider trying the "gaeng som", a sour and thick vegetable soup. Diagonally across Ruam Tai is Dao Tai, another Southern Thai restaurant. Both of these restaurants only have Thai signs and menus, so you might want to use a phrasebook.

Supatra River House
266 Soi Wat Rakhang (Wang Lang Pier). Opens: daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
This luxury restaurant is in the traditional Thai residence of Khunying Supatra Singholaga, a successful businesswoman who started the express boat service in Bangkok. There is a small museum dedicated to her art collection inside the building. On the menu are Thai and seafood dishes and you may want to try the fried river prawns with tamarind sauce. The restaurant has a great view of the Chao Phraya River, especially at night when the Grand Palace is beautifully lit. Thai dance shows are on Saturday nights starting at 8:30 p.m.

Yok Yor Marina and Restaurant
885 Somdet Chao Phraya Soi 17 (across the river from Marine Department pier). Opens: daily from 11:00 a.m. to midnight.
You can sit at the open-air terrace along the Chao Phraya River or inside with air-conditioning and live music. On the menu is seafood including oysters, fish and shellfish. Most of the dinners are local Thais but more and more foreigners are beginning to know this place.

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1F, Wang Lang Rd (inside the Wang Lang Pier building). Opens: daily from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
This restaurant is highly recommended for its inexpensive menus and great views over the Chao Phraya River. At night, you can see the well-lit Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Kalayanamit. This is a self-service restaurant, meaning you must walk to the counter and order what you want. This is fairly straightforward as the menu is in English. Recommended are the fried rice dishes and fried minced shrimp cakes.

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