|Thai food is fast
gaining a reputation as one of the world's most delicious and creative cuisine's. The
variety of dishes, from quick lunchtime noodles to spicy salads, soups and curries, plus
the ingredients - coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger, make a make it a "must
try." Surprisingly it isn't always spicy! There are dishes which are bland, and
dishes which are Chinese influenced and considerably toned down.
Thai food varies from region
to region, depending on the local ingredients. The South is famous for it's fiery curries
and fish dishes. Surrounded by the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, there is no
shortage of tropical fish, prawns, lobster and crabs. Curried, steamed, boiled, barbecued
or fried, with different sauces and dips. So while you're in Phi Phi, try to sample as
much as possible.
Some loca.l dishes
worth sampling On Phi Phi island, you can sample local southern Thai food (often very
spicy) as well as food from other parts of Thailand or Chinese noodles. If you're eating
on your own or can't manage a full Thai meal with soup, dips, rice and main dish (served
all at once) try some noodles like (Pad See yoo) or Khaow Pat (fried rice) These are
quick, non spicy and you can add your own condiments according to taste. Below are a few
suggestions to give you some food for thought...
Try Khanom Cheen, a
popular Chinese breakfast of white rice noodles covered with a spicy fish curry and served
with plate of fresh vegetables and herbs.
Hmm! steamed mussels fresh from the ocean with basil, garlic and chilli.
Som Tam (Papaya salad) Affectionately known as " Papaya Pok Pok" this spicy
salad originally from the northeast, is now a national favourite. Made from sliced green
papaya, peanuts, dried shrimp, and raw vegetables, it's usually eaten as with sticky rice
and fresh grilled chicken. Very tasty but spicy, so ask the cook to make it "my
pet" (not spicy) if you don't want it too hot!
Khao Mok Gai
rice served with chicken) A Muslim speciality consisting of roast chicken on a bed of
saffron rice, mixed with ginger and lightly fried garlic. Not spicy, but accompanied by an
optional sweet sweet hot sauce.
Stir fry noodles
with either shrimp, chicken or tofu and vegetable in season and topped with roasted
peanuts. Accompanied by condiments such as sour pickle, chilli, sugar and limes. A great
Fish-Anytime. Always fresh. Try fish in 3 tastes, barbecued fish with dips, grilled fish,
or fish with garlic and ginger.
Tom Yam Gung
internationally famous shrimp soup......Good at any time. There are many varieties of the
Tom Yam including an excellent vegetarian version.
Geng Som - A southern Thai speciality - curry soup with an unusual sour taste and Geng
Keowan - a green curry which always tastes good.
Thais don't eat with
chopsticks, except for certain dishes, usually of Chinese origin. They eat with a spoon
and fork, especially useful for rice!
The phrase "my pet" means not spicy. A very useful phrase when you are ordering
Thais are very good
at adapting other dishes from different countries, and with the increase in tourism
there's a better knowledge of European food and cooking methods. In the upmarket hotel
restaurants you are not likely to be disappointed in your choice. Don't however, expect
great European food at the local restaurant down the road or on the beach. The taste will
definitely be different from what you're used to, apart from basics like European and
What to Drink?
Beer - goes well
with Thai food. Local beers include Beer Chang and Singha - both have claimed heavy
hangovers on past visitors. International and the occasional American beer is also
available. Wine is relatively expensive. Good wines are can be found in the hotels.
Tap water is NOT safe for drinking. Drink only bottled water or from a flask supplied by
the hotel. Water provided in restaurants is safe for drinking,
Ice - Ice cubes in drinks are generally safe, especially in the large international
hotels. However avoid all shaved or crushed ice, particularly from roadside fruit vendors.
finish a meal with fruit and save the sweeter Thai desserts for snacking between meals.
Many tropical fruits are grown on Phuket. pineapple, rambutan, a cute, small red oval
fruit with hair, bananas, papaya and many tropical fruits. Papaya is also eaten green, and
a major ingredient in Som Tam (papaya salad). Durian is perhaps the king of tropical
fruits, but many find the smell offensive. Guava, similar to an apple, and green mango are
eaten dipped into a sugar, salt, chilli mix. Mango the national fruit, is delicious, but
generally only available between January to June. One last note, eating fruit also helps
take out the fire of some of the more spicy dishes of Thai food!
Normally very sweet,
Thai desserts form a balance at the end of a meal. Ingredients like coconut, and
vegetables, such as beans, or pumpkin are used inventively in the Asian way, accompanied
by shaved ice, sweetened coconut milk and palm syrup.
food and nightlife
Lets face it, Thai
food is simply wonderful! The taste, the texture, aromas and colour. It can be spicy,
sweet, sour, salty, or more often, a combination of all of those. If you prefer
International food, there are lots of restaurants in Phi Phi serving Scandinavian,
Italian, and European food, in some idyllic settings....
Imagine eating out
under the stars, with the moon on the water, the cool sand beneath your feet, and a cool
breeze blowing........ Many of Phi Phi's excellent restaurants are located directly on the
beach. Dress is informal unless you are dining in some of the hotel restaurants..
Local Thai restaurants are great value, with food at incredible prices, but choosing can
be difficult. Some have menus in English, others don't. If you're not the adventurous type
when it comes to food, nearly all accommodation complexes have their own restaurants which
cater to both Thai and western tastes.
Street vendors sell everything from pancakes to fried bananas. Check cleanliness and
simply buy fried food cooked on the spot. If you want to know more about what to eat...
A very useful phrase... If you don't like spicy food, you can say "Mai Pet"
(which means "not spicy") If you don't use this phrase, you may be served local
Thai style, which in southern Thailand, means very hot!!!
Remember Thai food is eaten with a spoon and fork.
There are too many
to list! Good reports from:
Palm Beach Travel Lodge - Probably has the best wine cellar on Phi Phi island.
Jungle Bar - Cabana Hotel. Relaxed.
PP Princess- Nice informal atmosphere.
Phi Phi Banyan Restaurant - Extensive seafood menu.
Le Grand Blue-
Stylish, interesting menu and comprehensive wine selection.
Fatties - Fun place with good European food..
HC Andersons - Scandinavian favourite. Steakhouse run by Matts from Denmark,
serving a tremendous selection of international favorites such as Sirloin steak, Greek
kebabs, Mexican nachos and it's famous Scandinavian Meat Balls
Amicos - Italian food on the beach.
Le Patisserie - Belgian bakery.
Ja Soh's, in
Tonsai - local curries for breakfast! Also serves traditional Thai desserts.
Captain Pongs. Close to the jetty. Fried noodles (pat-see-yoo) and fried rice
Thai Bird Seafood Simple and inexpensive.
Noi's Curry house (next to the Phi Phi Hotel) serves up local spicy curries daily.
Night life on Phi
Phi is surprisingly good for a small island. As well as good restaurants there are a
number of bars offering reggae, jazz and blues, or catch some action with Thai boxing! Or,
if you simply want to chill, Satellite TV or videos can often be found at your hotel or
local restaurant. Below are a few selections..
The Reggae bar complex has 5 bars, pool tables and is good for dancing late into the
night. For alternative entertainment, you can see Thai Boxing three nights a week with
professional boxers coming down from Bangkok to fight. On Friday night the purse is real
and so is the fight. They get some big national names in the high season. Fight night is
big and so are the crowds.
TinTin's Bar and
Club - Good music and dance scene. Very popular.
Jungle Bar - Live Jazz and Blues from 10pm in high season.
Lazy Bar - Cushions and traditional back rests - excellent after a hard day on the
Charlies Bar - Popular meeting place on the beach especially at -sunset and early
Carlitos Bar - Popular with Scandinavians.
Apache - On the beach. Loud and very local
The Beach Club - offers non-alcoholic drinks on the beach -OK for kids.
JJ Vegetarian Cafe - more mellow - coffee, jazz & blues.