Thai Coconuts – What More Could You Want?

Abstract: There are so many uses for coconuts. Building on some interesting basics about coconuts, this article touches on many delicious uses of coconuts in Thai food, as well as some cultural context. Some key health benefits as well as many non-food uses are also outlined.

Coconuts are the seeds that grow coconut trees. Given time, a coconut will sprout and take root. The juice and flesh of the coconut provide water and fertilizer to grow the young new tree. Coconut trees are grown throughout Thailand on raised beds with irrigation canals on each side. In some places, trained monkeys even harvest the coconuts. Coconuts provide juice to drink, flesh for eating or for making coconut milk, and play a role in many non-food items as well.

Coconut trees are treated as propitious in Thailand. They are often included in gardens along with other trees that include the word “ma” – for example, ma muang (mango), ma la gor (papaya) and ma prao (coconut) – to bring good luck and basic prosperity. Oil from coconuts is produced by first drying the flesh for several weeks and then pressing it. Sugar is made from sap of the seed pods of the coconut. Sap is boiled and set, and a light brown sugar (palm sugar) results.

Fresh coconut milk is widespread in Thailand. Thais often buy it freshly pressed (the first pressing yields creamy coconut milk, the second is more like water with nutrients). Coconuts are sometimes roasted which concentrates the sugar to make the flavor sweeter. Coconut milk is used in some Thai soups and curry dishes (such as green curry, massaman and panaeng curry) and can be a key ingredient in harmonizing a tasty flavor and consistency.

Coconut milk is used to make the sauce poured on mango with sticky rice. It is also used with black sticky rice desserts. In Thailand, one also often finds for dessert what appears like a buffet choice: many containers gathered together of freshly prepared fruits as well as items like lotus seeds or corn. The customer selects from some of the containers and these are put together over crushed ice and a fairly sweet liquid containing coconut milk. Speaking of desserts, another favorite is coconut ice cream – contrasted with making it from dairy products, a delicious version can also be found which is made from coconut milk and cream. It is slightly icy and some versions include small pieces of sweet coconut meat. Some Thai restaurants in the US have this. And of course on cooking, second best to fresh coconut milk is canned coconut milk.

In Thailand, one can also buy young coconut from stands on the street where the vendor will chop open the coconut for you and you can enjoy the fresh coconut and juice. There are a variety of other tasty snacks and appetizers as well. There are many examples of Thai food with coconut, which combine potential health benefits with enjoyable snacks and dishes. Coconut contains substances such as lauric acid known for benefits such as anti-microbial effects. Two other positives are that coconut oil does not contain trans fatty acids, and most of its saturated fat consists of medium-chain fatty acids rather than long-chain, which means it gets digested and used more easily and is less likely to be stored long-term as fat.

Interestingly, the fat and oil of coconuts contain many beneficial aspects. In addition to antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal functions associated with lauric acid, natural coconut fat helps normalize body lipids, protects against liver damage, and perhaps most importantly, improves the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response. Good saturated fats also contain micronutrients and vitamins that are vital to metabolism. Coconut milk helps balance cholesterol and metabolism, and provides valuable fatty acids. The positive aspects of coconut and palm oil generally are likely part of the reason Thais have such a low rate of heart disease.

There are non-food uses from the coconut tree as well. Dried shells are used in making kitchen utensils such as spoons, as well as other household items such as lamps. Some musical instruments are also made with the shells. The fibrous outer layer of the coconut is also used for fuel as well as roofs. It is also a component for cosmetics and soaps.

Thai medicine also makes use of the coconut (tree, leaf, shell, juice). To conclude, suffice it to say there are a rich variety of food and non-food uses for coconuts!

Top 10 Thai Food by Foreigners

Get To Know Thai Food

When you think of Thai food, you would think of the ‘Hot and Spicy’ taste and probably believe that all Thai food are very hot and spicy. That is a misunderstanding. And you may also think that we eat everything by chopsticks. That is also not true.

More than 50% of Thai food are not hot and spicy at all. And chopsticks will be use when we eat noodle only. We are not Chinese or Japanese who like to eat almost everything by chopsticks.

If you have been to Thailand, you may have a question that why the taste and the texture of Thai food in Thailand are different from Thai food you have eaten in Thai restaurants in your country. One reason I would say is that maybe some ingredients are not available in your country so they need to skip some of them or use something else as a substitute. Another reason is that maybe the owner of that Thai restaurant and their chef or cook are not Thai. It would sound a bit arrogant to say that only Thais know the best how to cook Thai food with authentic Thai taste. But it is very true, isn’t it ? So do other countries food, no one could cook Swiss food better than Swiss people and no one could cook Italian food better than Italien people. Because we grew up with our food, we know what the right taste of each dish should be and what ingredients should or should not be used in that or those dishes. Each Thai dish has their own character.

As a Thai, I am so proud of Thai food that it is now well-known by people around the world as well as Italian, French, Chinese and Japanese food. We are now in Top 5 most popular cuisines of the world.

Thai food is world renowned for being very healthy for its use of many fresh vegetable and herbs. The popularity of Thai food is due to its wonderful medley of different tastes : sweet, sour, salty, hot, spicy, creamy, bitter and mind. The variety of different flavours, textures and colors, and the way that the food is presented make Thai food very exciting and appealing.

In Thailand the main evening meal generally consists of several small dishes with different tastes and textures that are served at the same time and shared by everyone at the table. Each person has a plate of steamed rice to eat with the shared food. Thais do not put everything on their plates at once because we do not want to mix the different tastes of the meal. We like to appreciate all the different tastes and textures separately.

Thais like to eat with a spoon and fork. Knives are not used at the table due to everything are already cut into a bite size. Chopsticks are only used to eat noodles.

Food for breakfast and lunch are not much different from food for dinner but they are easier to cook and need not much time to prepare such as rice soup, rice noodles, stir-fried rice, etc. Noodle is a good option for our lunch due to there are many noodle shops on almost every single road.

There are also many light dishes that Thais like to eat between main meals, for example : satay, spring rolls, papaya spicy salad, deep-fried or grilled meat balls, minced pork sausage with glass noodle, etc.

Thai desserts are well known for being beautiful and delicious. Coconut milk, rice flour, palm sugar and eggs are the main ingredients for almost all Thai desserts. Shallots, ginger, sticky rice, peanuts and pumpkin are sometimes also used in some Thai desserts. Banana leaves are often used for wrapping food in many styles. We have plenty of desserts, both hot and cold, with many different textures and colors.

Vegetable and fruit carving is a fine art that you will find at many Thai restaurants. The decorative carving helps to make Thai dishes much more interesting and amazing.

The popularity of Thai food and the many Thai restaurants that have sprung up all over the world have led to an increased availability of Thai ingredients in supermarkets everywhere. Let’s visit an Asian grocery in your town and see what Thai dish you would like to cook at home today.

 

The Office of the National Culture Commission announced the top ten Thai dishes best liked by foreigners. In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs, the Office had conducted a survey of Thai restaurants all over the world to find out ten favourite Thai dishes of foreigners. In the survey 1,000 Thai restaurant around the world were asked to fill in a questionnaire. However, only 500 restaurants which have Thai chefs and offer the authentic Thai food were qualified for being taken into consideration.

The results were the top ten Thai dishes which are listed below in order of their percentages of popularity:

1. Spicy Soup with Prawn and Lemon Grass [tom yum koong]

2. Green Curry with Chicken [kang kaew wan kai]

3. Stir-Fried Rice Noodle with Shrimp  [pad thai koong]

4. Fried Meat with basil leaves [pad ka-prao]

5. Red Curry with Roasted Duck [kang phed ped yang]

6. Coconut Milk Soup with Chicken [tom kha kai]

7. Thai Grilled Beef Salad [yum neur yang]

8. Pork or Chicken Satay [moo or kai satay]

9. Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts [kai pad med ma-manug]

10. Panaeng Curry [kang panaeng]

 

 

Money-Saving Tips When Staying At An Island Resort

Nothing can be more perfect than living a beach lifestyle in an island paradise. You get to enjoy the warm sun, cool and refreshing natural breeze, and take a dip at the beautiful, invigorating beach any time you want to. And aside from just one beach or more, a paradise also offers a lot of other natural, stunning sceneries and attractions that are worth seeing and visiting.

To have the best vacation on an island though, consider staying at a resort. They offer great services, amenities, and they allow you easy access to the beautiful beach or seaside – areas that you will always want to visit or spend time in while you’re on the island.

Staying at a resort, and an island vacation, as a whole, can cost you a fortune though. These expenses can even go higher when you have your holiday in an exotic, foreign island.

But if you can’t ignore the call of a beach paradise and want to have a much-needed vacation here, below are some money-saving tips you can follow when staying at a resort for your island getaway:

Take advantage of current accommodation promos or specials offered by resorts.

Although you want to save money on your accommodation, booking a room at a resort that offers the cheapest rates is not the best decision to make. You may end up regretting choosing this resort because the facilities and rooms are poorly maintained and dirty. You can still stay at a nice resort without spending a ton of cash by looking for one that offers some special promos, deals on rooms, or packages. By following this tip, you can have a more relaxing and enjoyable vacation and at the same time, still save some money.

Set a budget for your trip.

Although a vacation is the ideal time to spend a lot of your hard-earned cash, without a budget, you might just end up blowing a lot of your money on unnecessary thing such as shopping for souvenirs, daily trip to the spa, etc. Before going on your holiday, set a budget that you will work with daily while you’re on vacation and make sure you stick to it.

Be flexible with your meals.

The restaurants and cafes at the resort are there to make dining more convenient and comfortable for you. However, the meals, snacks, and beverages here tend to be more expensive compared to the dining and drinking establishments found in other areas of the islands. Consider eating or having your coffee or drinks at restaurants and other establishments outside the resort. Don’t count out buying your own bread, cold cuts, cereals, milk, snack bars, fruits, and other food and beverages from a local grocery that you can eat and drink when you’re hungry or thirsty to save money as well.

Thai Street Food

One of the joys of Thailand is all the wonderful food sold by street vendors. A top 10 list of dishes that are even better to buy from street vendors than from restaurants is offered. There is a great variety of food, it is easy to find, and many vendors ensure the food is clean and of high quality at a low price.

Thailand is well-known as “the land of smiles.” Thais are friendly and well-known as “food lovers.” Many say “Thais love to eat. Thais eat several meals per day.” In response to these comments, I have to say, yes, Thais love to eat but we eat 3 meals per day just like the rest of the world. The difference is that Thais love to snack. Our snacks range from fresh fruits to deep-fried food. In Thailand, it is so easy to find food. Street vendors are everywhere. If there are people, there are food. One of the greatest joys of living or traveling in Thailand is the abundance and variety of food.Street vendors, street food, roadside stands, food stands, food stalls or whatever you would like to call it, simply involves something mobile that allows an owner (or a cook in most cases) to push them around, from home and back. Many people may think that street food is not clean, but in fact with many vendors it is clean. And many of the owners are unpretentious. The owners push a cart from home to their selling location and then back home and clean the cart every night. Street food offers an incredibly cheap price and some offer incredibly good taste. Sometimes it is even better than a famous restaurant.Some street vendors offer such good food that you will have to wait for a table along the street. Particularly in these cases, street food is not only for poor or middle class people – you will often find a businessman or wealthy people ordering the street food. Do not expect a menu from a street vendor because there are not any. Most street vendors only offer one dish, just their specialty. Street food offers a wide variety of choices – curry, fried rice, noodle dishes, stir-fried, salad, fresh fruits, desserts, etc. Basically you name it. You might be able to even find grilled lobsters in China town at a reasonable price. Of course, I cannot forget to mention all the bizzare food like deep-fried frogs, deep-fried birds, deep-fried grasshoppers, etc.The following are the top 10 street food dishes that I think are better than what restaurants have to offer. In other words, you should buy the following food from a street vendor rather than from a restaurant.

  • Som Tum – Spicy shredded green papaya salad with peanuts and tomatoes
  • Larb – Spicy minced meat with chopped shallots, onions, chilies and coriander
  • Khao Mun Gai – Steamed chicken with rice cooked in chicken stock and garlic
  • Jok – Rice porridge with ground pork, fresh ginger and green onion (some may add egg)
  • Lad Nah – Stir-fried thin or wide rice noodles with light gravy bean sauce and Chinese kale
  • Hoi Tod – Fried oysters in batter with egg on a bed of beansprouts
  • Pad Thai – Stir-fried medium rice noodles with egg, dried shrimp and fried bean curd sprinkled with peanuts (served with beansprouts)
  • Satay – Slivers of chicken or pork grilled on a stick, served with sauce and cucumber
  • Khao Moo Daeng – Chinese-style red pork with rice, boiled eggs and cucumber
  • Khao Tom – Rice soup with a selection of meat and vegetable side dishes

There is so much more street food than I can list here. The above 10 dishes are those I particularly think are better to buy from a street vendor. One of the greatest joys of living in Thailand is the opportunity to try out food from different places at a reasonable price. I grew up in Bangkok and I have to say that Bangkok has bad traffic. I mean very bad traffic. You can literally sit in a car or a bus for hours and hours. Even though people in Bangkok live with bad traffic, most people will travel a long way through heavy traffic just to eat street food. I have to say I was among them.Another type of food vendors that I want to mention are not on land, but instead on canals (called Klong in Thailand). Along Klongs, you may find sellers paddling their boats selling fresh fruit and vegetables, noodle dishes, curries, etc. just like street vendors. The quality can be just as good as the street vendors.Street food can be as good as restaurant food. It is fresh, cheap and good. Part of the fun of living in Thailand is the chance to find street food that is even better than food in restaurants. Some street food may not be as clean, but in many cases, vendors do a good job of making sure the food is clean. There is certainly food for working class people, and food can be found in a wide variety of locations. Next time when you smell some mouth-watering food, stop by and give it a chance. You will not only experience good food, but friendly people as well.

How and what do Thais eat?

Thai cuisine’s inviting array of meals, desserts, drinks and snacks combine with an enjoyment of eating as socializing. Thinking about Thai ways of eating together helps fill in a reflection on Thai food.
The majority of Thais do not use many of the formal eating manners of Westerners; Thais have their own set of manners based largely on practices of communal eating. Thais put a lot of emphasis on eating as a social activity. For Thais, eating should be a simple pleasure and does not involve complex rituals of etiquette. Today, a fork and spoon are widely used, and the general practice is to use the fork to push food onto the spoon. The spoon is generally held in the right hand and serves as the only utensil from which to take bites. Eating straight from the fork is considered crude. The use of the fork and spoon is attributed to King Rama V in the latter part of the 19th century. He found no use for knives since Thai food is already chopped up. Chopsticks are sometimes used, particularly for eating some noodle dishes influened by the Chinese. While a fork and spoon are commonly used, for some parts of Thailand, such as in the east or north east, eating by hand is still common. There is also an exception for sticky rice as most Thais would eat sticky rice with their hands.When dining out, senior women in a group usually order for all (although others do the ordering sometimes). All dishes can be shared, over several courses. Steamed rice is a mainstay of communal meals and is always served first for each individual. Then, only in small amounts (1-2 tablespoons), food is dished up and put on top of the rice. Thais do not like to pile different food on top of their rice because the tastes might get mixed together. Thais generally eat dishes one at a time and then come back to eat the next dish. Piling up food or overloading your plate with food is considered rude and uncouth as there is no hurry and more food can be ordered as needed.Thais love to eat, six to seven times per day is not very uncommon. Thais also love to dine out in a group of friends and family. Eating alone is not very common. There are restaurants and food stands (food vendors) almost everywhere in Thailand. Thais’ generally don’t think in terms of dieting. Most Thais eat often but small amounts each time. Thais eat breakfast, lunch and dinner; however, many Thai people snack a lot, almost any time of the day or night. Snacks can include a wide range of choices, such as a bowl of noodle soup, fruits, fried food or desserts.Thai food is famous for its spicy quality, but there are many mild or non-spicy dishes. Rice is a staple food. Typical breakfast dishes for Thais are:

  • Jok: ground rice soup with minced pork and ginger, with green onions sprinkled on top, and egg can be added;
  • Khao Tom: rice soup with a selection of meat and vegetable side dishes;
  • Kao Loa Lead Moo: soup which consists of various pig organs such as kidney, liver, heart and stomach as well as ground pork and prepared blood;
  • Khao Man Kai: rice cooked in chicken broth with slices of boiled chicken on top.

Lunch usually includes quick dishes like noodle soups, fried noodles, rice dishes and curries. Dinner is generally served communally in a series of large plates or bowls. There is always steamed rice and 4-5 side dishes, and at least one soup. The 4-5 side dishes consist of a wide variety of food, at least one vegetable dish, one seafood dish, one meat dish, and one spicy dish. Examples of dinner dishes are: curry dishes, dry curry dishes such as Phanaeng, steamed crab (Pu Neung), deep fried fish (Pla Thod), roasted sliced squid (Pla Meuk Yang), fried rice (Khao Pad), Tom Yum soups, etc. After the meal, Thais like desserts. There are so many kinds of dessert in Thailand. Depending on the type of dessert and preference of the eater, sometimes the dishes are shared. The famous desserts are Mangoes with Sticky Rice (Khao Niaw Ma Muang), Bananas in Coconut Milk (Kluay Buat Chi), and combinations of fruit with ground up ice (Nam Kang Sai).Almost every street corner has a selection of food vendors selling a wide variety of snacks, from fried insects (such as grasshoppers) to Spring rolls. Examples of snacks are: Coconut pudding (Khanom Krok), Sticky rice in banana leaves (Khao Tom Mud), Spring rolls (Po Pia Tod), Charcoal-roasted eggs (Kai Ping), Steamed tapioca with minced pork filling (Sa Koo Sai Moo), Fried fish balls (Luk Chin Tod), Fried fish cakes (Tod Mun) and Charcoal-grilled chicken (Kai Yang). As for drinks, there are many kinds, such as fresh juice, tea, Thai iced tea, soda, water and beer. Fresh juice can be pineapple, coconut, cantalope, mango, and orange.The many enticing combinations of foods, as well as the cultural styles of eating, help enhance life and represent many opportunities for creativity and enjoyment.

Famous Thai beaches and why one should visit them

Thailand is a country which is internationally famous for its beautiful beaches. Thousands of tourist’s flock every year to the Thai beaches to party enjoy the sun and basically have a good time. Here is a list of popular Thai beaches and what each beach is famous for:

 

Koh Phangan- Beach bar

The Flip Flop Pharmacy on this beach is one of the most popular beach bars. The bar brings out the hidden beauty of the island and has a relaxing vibe; the bar holds a number of full moon parties which is mainly why so many tourists visit the destination. With a drinks menu to rival most bars, the Flip Flop Pharmacy offers mellow music, comfortable pillows, low tables with everything lit by lanterns under the stars. One can spend the perfect evening relaxing under the stars sipping a cool beverage.

Koh Tao – the Beautiful beach

Koh Tao is a picture perfect beach where one needs to arrive either early in the morning or just at sunset to get the perfect picture. Nangyuan beach near Koh Tao connects the three small islands by a sliver of sand bar and linked back clear water which is only thigh deep. The beach is beautiful and allows you perfect access to the three islands.

 

Similan Island – Ideal snorkeling destination

If you are one who loves to explore the underwater marine life, then you should grab your snorkeling mask and immediately head to the Similan Islands. There is a national park located west of Khao Lak on the islands which offers some of the best diving sites in the world which cannot be missed out on. There are also several shoals of colourfully bright coral reef you can swim to as well as soft beaches which are perfect for a picnic with your friends.

 

Phuket – the Rooftop bar views

When planning your Phuket package, one must visit Baba Nest which offers an incredible experience if being suspended over Phuket’s Cape Panwa Peninsul. The rooftop bar of Baba Poolclub at Sri Panwa guarantees you a view that will take your breath away of the Andaman Sea. After swimming in the infinity pool, you can relax enjoying the view on the sunken seats provided.

 

Koh Samui and Phuket – Wild beach clubs

Though many like opting for a relaxing evening sampling delicious Thai dishes, there are several tourists who prefer a more luxurious touch to their evenings. When planning your Phuket package you should seriously consider how you wish to spend your evenings. On Koh Samui’s Nikki beach one can get the opportunity to eat sushi, champagne along with music from international DJs while on Phuket’s Catch beach club on Surin beach is known to throw rave parties all night.

 

Be it a holiday travelling the length of Thailand or a simple Phuket package, the country has a lot to offer in terms of interesting beach experiences. So when you decide to visit Thailand, make sure you research the different types of beaches and what they are famous for to ensure that they get the beach experience of their choice.

Bangkok nightlife areas you cannot miss out on

Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis which is also the capital of Thailand and an iconic tourist destination. From its beautiful beaches and ornate shrines to the vibrant nightlife, Bangkok has something to offer for every type of traveler. Known primarily for its exciting nightlife, here are the nightlife areas you need to add to your Bangkok package:

Sukhumvit

Located to Siam, Sukhumvit is one of the most prominent nightlife areas in Bangkok. It is a popular area where most tourists go to party. Some of the hotspots in this area one can visit are: Nana, Asoke, Phrom Phang and Thong Lor. There are a number of international restaurants one can eat at in Nana. There are also several go go bars which are an iconic Bangkok attraction which many tourists wish to visit. Most of these areas offer some of the best wine and cocktails bars and you can almost always spot a famous Thai star. If you can afford the expensive prices a trip to Sukhumvit is definitely worth adding to your Bangkok package.

Khaosan

Khaosan is the perfect destination for youngster and backpackers who wish to get a taste of the famous Bangkok nightlife. Many a time the party is simply on the street with tourists drinking beer and dancing. There are however many bars and clubs which offer an affordable glimpse into the famous nightlife allowing tourists and travelers with lower budgets to enjoy themselves. There is no specific time one needs to visit the area to party. It is believed that the party rages on 365 days a year.

RCA

RCA stands for Royal City Avenue and is one of the largest nightlife areas in Bangkok. It is a place where locals and tourists can visit and enjoy a couple of drinks. The three most popular bars in the area are Route 66, Slim and Flix. Though the Thai are allowed to enter clubs for free the tourists are required to provide a cover charge. Another thing that a tourist needs to be aware of when visiting any bar or club in RCA, is that they have a strict dress code which must be followed.

Bangkok’s clubs and bars are an attraction one must not miss out one. When you plan to visit the city, it is crucial to add visits to the local clubs and bars in itinerary of your Bangkok packages. They play a crucial role in the culture of Bangkok and must not be missed out on.

 

 

 

Dating the Sin City of Asia

About Bangkok

Known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep in Thai, Bangkok is the capital city and also the most populous city of Thailand. The city is highly popular for its upscale street life, cultural landmarks, as well as the infamous notorious red-light districts. Bangkok is amongst the world’s top tourist destinations. It has been named the most visited city by various travel magazines and was named “World’s Best City” for four consecutive years by Travel + Leisure magazine. Bangkok has well established itself as an international hub for transport and health care and also has emerged as a regional center for the arts, fashion and entertainment.

Tourist Attractions

The opulent capital city of Bangkok offers so many sightseeing and touring opportunities that you will never lack for choices. The sacred and religious can savor some calm and harmony with Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit), The Golden Mount (Wat Saket), Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple), Wat Suthat, Erawan Shrine (Thao Mahaprom Shrine) and Wat Ratchanatdaram Woravihara (Loha Prasat).

The nature romantics can delight themselves with numerous scenic spots such as Chao Phraya River, Lumpini Park, King Rama IX Park, Klongs, Chatuchak Park, Benjakitti Park, Benjasiri Park, Koh Kred, Khlong Saen Saep and Sanam Luang.

For the shopaholics, Rajawongse Clothier, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Siam Paragon, Central World Plaza, Terminal 21 and Train night market are the ideal destinations.

Some of the other prominent points of interests includes BTS Skytrain, The Grand Palace, Jim Thompson House, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Snake Farm (Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute), Safari World, Asiatique The Riverfront and State Tower.

For the gourmets, Le Normandie Restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Maidreamin, Smokin Pug American BBQ, Rock Restaurant and Bar, J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain and JP French Restaurant are the perfect spots to cherish some delicious meals. While the best nightclubs and bars in the city includes Check Inn 99, Moon Bar Bangkok, Sky Bar Bangkok, The Bamboo Bar, Red Sky Bar and CE LA VI.

Best Time to Visit

The best period to relish Bangkok is late October through March, when the heat and humidity are at their lowest. For people looking for Cheap Flights Fares to Bangkok should prefer the off season period.

Major Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport (IATA: BKK) is the twentieth busiest airport in the world, sixth busiest airport in Asia, and the busiest in the country. You can Book cheap flights to Bangkok by surfing the various online portals.

Mouth-Watering Thai Desserts – The Flour

There are many kinds of delicious Thai desserts, and the desserts use many kinds of flour. This article is gives examples of these desserts and recommends ways to use flour for each kind of dessert to arrive at the best texture and taste.
A friend of mine told me that my article, ” Mouth-Watering Thai Desserts” on August 9th, 2008, does not have information on flour used in Thai desserts. My friend was right – I mentioned flour in one of the seven main ingredients but I did not write anything about flour. Thus, continuing from the previous article on “Mouth-Watering Thai Desserts” this article will focus on flour used in Thai desserts. Taken together, these two articles give a fuller picture of Thai desserts.The following are the common flours used in Thai desserts: sticky rice flour, rice flour, cassave starch, corn starch, wheat flour, arrowroot starch and mung bean flour.
Sticky Rice Flour (แป้งข้าวเหนียว – paeng khao niaw)
Sticky rice flour is also referred to as “sweet rice powder” or “glutinous rice flour.” It is made from short-grain sticky rice that becomes moist, firm and sticky when cooked. This is due to its proportionally higher number of waxy starch molecules. With its chewy texture, sticky rice flour is a favorite base for buns and pastries. Sticky rice flour is often combined with plain rice flour to create a variety of Thai desserts.In Thailand there are 2 types of sticky rice flour: wet and dry. Wet sticky rice flour is finely milled with water, whereas dry sticky rice flour is finely milled without water. When buying sticky rice flour, choose products that have a white color and no smell or moisture.Example desserts using sticky rice flour are Paeng Jee (grilled coconut cakes), Bua Loy Benjarong (taro, pumpkin, and mung dal bean balls in coconut milk) and Khanom Thua Paep (mung bean stuffing coated with shredded coconut meat).
Rice Flour (แป้งข้าวจ้าว – paeng khao jao)
Rice flour is used to thicken various dishes and is also an important ingredient in various Thai desserts. Rice flour is a good substitute for wheat flour, in that the latter causes digestive system irritation in those who are gluten intolerant. However, rice flour should not be used or substituted in some desserts like cakes. This is because rice flour is not finely milled like cake flour, and would not yield the same quality of desserts. In Thailand, there are 3 types of rice flour:

  • rice flour made from rice older than a year – good for absorbing water,
  • rice flour made from new rice – does not absorb water as well because of its moisture, and
  • rice flour made from new rice without water – excellent at absorbing water.

Beyond the type of flour, there are many grades for each type. To buy rice flour, choose products with a white color and absence of an old smell. If you plan to make a dessert using rice flour, find flour that was finely milled so your dessert will have a smooth texture.Example desserts using rice flour are Khanom Chan (nine-layered dessert) and Khanom Thuay (coconut cakes).

Wheat Flour (แป้งสาลี – paeng sa lee)
Wheat flour is a fine white powder that has high gluten content. There are different types of wheat flour depending on the types/characteristics of wheat used and the milling process. The common wheat flours are bread flour, all purpose flour and cake flour. These 3 types of wheat flour are different in the percentage of protein contained in the flour. Bread flour has the highest percentage of protein, 12%-13%, followed by all purpose flour at 9%-10% and cake four at 6%-9%.Protein content is an important key for a buyer to know because it yields different result in cooking. High protein content means more water will be absorbed and there will be a longer mixing time to achieve optimum consistency. Thus the desserts/snacks that are chewy or sticky usually use the high protein content wheat flour.
Mung Bean Flour (แป้งถั่วเขียว – paeng tao khiaw)
Mung bean flour is made from mung beans. It is a gluten-free flour. Some brands offer a very fine texture of flour. If the flour is not finely ground, one must grind it before use to prevent lumps. Mung bean flour comes in a variety of colors depending on how much it has been precessed. When cooking mung bean flour (with water on a stove), it turns transparent. One of the most well-known uses for mung bean flour is in so-called glass/clear noodles, very fine noodles made with a highly refined form of mung bean flour. When raw, these noodles are almost transparent, and they turn completely transparent when cooked. Khanom Salim is a Thai dessert that requires mung bean flour and cannot be substituted. Khanom Salim is sweet mung bean threads in syrup with coconut milk on top. It is served cold with ice. The mung bean thread is colored with natural colors like Flower of Chitoria Tematea Linn (Dok Un Chun) yielding a blue or lac (krang) yielding a red.
Cassave Starch (แป้งมัน – paeng mun)
Cassave starch is often called tapioca starch (แป้งสาคู – paeng sa koo). It is a refined white flour which is made from cassava root. Cassave starch is very finely textured, and is a common substitute for arrowroot starch and cornstarch. Cassave starch is gluten-free and easy to digest. It is often added to gluten-free baking as a thickener. It is broadly used as a thickener for sauces, soups and desserts in Thailand. In desserts, cassave starch is almost always used in blends with other types of flour so that desserts are more soft and sticky than when using only one type of flour.
Corn Starch (แป้งข้าวโพด – paeng khao pod)
Corn starch is made from corn kernels and is finely textured. Corn starch is best dissolved in cold water. When cooking corn starch (with water on a stove), corn starch tends to form lumps. Thus, it is important to stir frequently on low heat. It is used as a thickener and used in blends with other types of flour like rice flour.
Arrowroot Starch (แป้งท้าวยายม่อม – paeng thao yay mom)
Arrowroot Starch is made from the root of the marantha arundinacea. In Thailand, arrowroot starch consists of tiny white balls that must be ground before using. However, in some brands, arrowroot starch is a fine powder just like cassave starch. Arrowroot starch is a gluten-free flour that has no identifying taste or scent. It is used as a clear thickener with any mixture or in blends with other types of flour. Its thickening power is about twice that of cassave starch. Arrowroot starch is used in many Thai desserts.Thais love desserts and they have been a part of our lives for a long time. Thai desserts cannot be perfected without attentive use of flour. For some desserts, some types of flour can be substituted for each other, but in other cases substitution is not advisable. Each type of flour has its own characteristics, which in some cases preclude substitution, depending on how they interact with the rest of the dessert. When making delicious authentic Thai desserts, it is more important to closely follow the recipe than it is for non-dessert kinds of dishes. Enjoy the many wonderful tastes and textures of Thai desserts!

Phuket attractions you must visit n your next trip

The island of Phuket over the years has attracted tourist from all across the world. The island is known for its beaches and exciting culture which guarantees a memorable holiday experience. We list some of the many interesting attractions you must add to your Phuket package:

Phang Nga Bay

The distinctive picture of this bay is the limestone karst formations that jut out vertically from the water. You can spend a leisurely day cruising through the bay. It also gives you the opportunity to land on a quiet beach to spend some time enjoying the sunlight and the emerald waters. When boating through this bay, you get the opportunity to explore the islands of James Bond and Koh Panyee.

Old Phuket town

The old Phuket town is believed to have a unique personality of its own. There are a number of shriens and Buddhist and Chinese temples and a number of quaint cafes where you can snack at. The old town was built on the riches of the tin boom of the last century. There are also a number of old printing shops along with a number of private and public museums dotting the town. The best time to explore the town is early in the morning so you beat the heat.

Big Buddha

This statue is visible from almost anywhere in south Phuket the Bi Buddha is one of the most important and revered statues. The site is not only impressive but offers almost a perfect 360 degree view of the island. There is also a smaller statue closer by golden in colour which is actually made of brass. This impressive structure is a must visit and should be added to your Phuket package.

Simon Cabaret Show

This is the biggest transvestite cabaret show which can be found locally. The show features a variety of classical dances and songs and draws thousands of tourists every year. The extravagant and dramatic costumes and make up will take you across a number of lands from Egypt to China and then back to Thailand. It is some of the most flamboyant performances you will every experience and should not miss a spot on your Phuket package.

Thai Boxing

Muay Thai is another exciting spectacle which showcases tradition and courtesy along with the dangerous sport. There are a number of matches which occur in stadiums as well as on Patong beach. This sport is extremely popular in Thailand should certainly be on your Phuket package itinerary.