Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dinner in Bang Pu on the Gulf of Thailand

Running through Bangkok is the Chao Phraya River. It meanders south and eventually empties out into the Gulf of Thailand. Apparently this is the nearest that we are to the sea, ocean, whatever...as I found out on Tuesday.

After I arrived home early from a teaching workshop (skipped out on the last speaker who was just trying to sell textbooks) we jumped into P'Jack's truck with Pond, Nurse, Pae and her dad. It was mentioned that we were going to eat Seafood. I assumed that we were going to the place that we go with P'Jack on the other side of Pae's university, a good 20 minute walk or a couple bucks by taxi. But six people, might as well take P'Jack's truck...um...there went out U-turn...but we didn't turn...okay, perhaps a different seafood restaurant...

45 minutes and a mega sore right butt cheek later we passed "The Ancient City" and a "Crocodile Farm"...I'd seen these advertised online, in tourist brochures and most notably on America's Next Top Model, but never been. They are in the province Samut Prakan. We kept driving and eventually could go no farther south as the road ended at a long pier, which we drove to the end of and parked. There is a restaurant there called Salasukta which was highly recommended by P'Jack. The food, which consisted of fish soup, fried fish, broiled squid, shrimp patties, curried crab, steamed clams, and crab fried rice, was enjoyed by all and followed by shrimp crackers with chili dip and ice cream cones!Other than the food, the cool thing about this pier is that there are thousands of gulls flying around or sitting in the water waiting for food. People buy little 10 baht packets of pellet food and either toss it in the air to get the birds all stirred up or hold it out in their hands and the gulls will actually hover and try to eat it from your hand.As we drove through the groups of people feeding birds, and presumably restaurant patrons, the truck filled with oohs and aahs in Thai...I made out a few phrases such as "poop on P'Jack's truck" and "Poop on your blouse" but the one that made me hope that the restaurant was indoors was "fever bird" which translates to "Bird Flu"...NICE! Dig In! Before we ate, we walked to the middle of the pier and took some low light pictures of us and the birds. I didn't want to buy a packet of food, but the birds seemed to flock around those who were feeding them. I saw a pile of white rice on the ground and started picking it up by the handful and chucking it skyward to entice the gulls. Luckily they flew around us as we shot some pictures, and even more fortunate were we that the the birds didn't poop on us! I did get a couple slimy grains of rice in my hair, but that was easily brushed off in the restroom ten minutes later when I noticed.

Usually when we go eat fish, I'll get some grilled chicken for my self as I'm not big on fish...This day, I stayed away from the feathered food and happily chowed on the scaled variety.Dinner was great, company was great. We're gonna have to head down there again someday, I'd like to go see the Erawan Elephant Museum and the Ancient City. Our pictures came out pretty dark as the sun had set as we drove down the pier to park. It was a pretty awesome sunset by the way, like a giant grapefruit in the sky! I live here but I still feel like a tourist sometimes!
Here's a Google Maps satellite photo of the pier. The square thingy at the end is the restaurant.

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