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Regional Produce - Thai Life Archives

Road-trip Regional Produce: Bananas


I'm heading up to Bangkok, and it's a long drive. Lucky for me, the regions make a big thing out of their local produce. I've covered OTOP before, and the regional farmers stalls along the road are very much the same theme. So I can stop and shop as I go, to break the monotony of a 10 hour drive.

Whatever the farmers grow, or the region is famous for, the stalls along the road carry it and every variant of it!

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Road-trip Regional Produce: Coconuts


Along the highway north to Bangkok, all the regions feature stalls, selling whatever regional produce is famous for that area. You'll often see long strips of stalls, all selling the same type of farm, produce, whether it be bananas, guava, pineapples or as in this case, coconuts.

Since it's a long drive, I've stopping at each and exploring these stalls, to look for gifts and taste the local goods on offer.

The coconuts for this area are available as fresh young coconut, toasted coconut, and the one I'm buying which is coconut jelly, made with agar-agar to set the coconut water mixed with the shredded coconut flesh to make a double coconutty treat!

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Road-trip Regional Produce: Pineapples


The road south has regional produce stalls along its full length, and each area has a group of stalls, all selling the same type of produce from the same areas.

This area is big on pineapple, with fresh pineapples for sale, together with dried pineapple, candied pineapples, pineapple cookies and crackers, lots and lots of pineapple themed goods. I can't eat these, I'm allergic to pineapple. I can only examine and buy them as gifts for others. They looks so nice, but not for me.

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Road-trip Regional Produce: Sala


Sala is a fibrous fruit with an interesting complex taste. Part sweet, part bitter, part smooth flesh, when it's good and ripe, I equate it to a sherry trifle, for the mixture of the bitter/sweet and creamy smoothness.

It's April, I'm heading north to Bangkok and stopping off at the produce stands along the road to experience local farmers produce. Sala can be found at stalls all around the map location below, be sure to stop off and buy some.

They had other things too, pickled stink beans, the large green bean used in stir-frys in the south. They pickle them to eat as a snack with beer, I bought a bottle of these to try for myself.

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Road-trip Regional Produce: Salted Duck Eggs


A road trip is nothing without regional produce, and with farmer stalls set up along the road, as you drive to Bangkok from the south, you can stop and buy/try each regions speciality.

This region is famous for salted duck eggs. The duck eggs have a bigger yolk than hens eggs, and are ideal for salting. This regions eggs are less salty than I make them, and they don't keep as long, so be sure to use them up within the sell by date.

I hard boiled the eggs shortly after buying them, and kept them ready in the fridge to be made into yum-eggs for rice porridge and as a side dish. Like that they'll last a month or two without problem.

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Road-trip Regional Produce: Cookies


As I drive north, I'm taking time to experience all the regions have to offer, and it's getting late. I'm still hours away from Bangkok, the light is fading and need to fill up with petrol. I've stopped at this PT station many times before, but never turned around to see it has a huge regional shop!


Candies and biscuits, every conceivable variation of cookies and snacks, are here! I'm heading up to Udonthani for the Songkran festival and I decide to shop here for gifts for everyone. Cookie crazy time ensures! I got carried away I think, I'm not sure how I'll carry them all on the plane.

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Road-trip Regional Produce: Steamed Buns


North of Chumpon, about half way between Phuket and Bangkok, is a very large service station which is a stopping off point for the buses as they make their way north.

Around this area, the famous regional produce is Se-La-Pow, the steamed bun filled with salted eggs, pork, red seasoned pork, beans and even sweet custards. There's lots of varieties of steamed bun, so you won't be spoilt for choice.

They're very cheap (mine were 7 baht a bun) and because of the high sales volume, very fresh. Steamed buns are perfect for road-trip food, they are ready to eat, and not messy, so they don't mess up your car.

On a trip from Phuket to Bangkok, Chumpon as about half way, which is the perfect snack time too. There's several of the larger service stations at Chumpon, the long distances coaches stop at these, to provide the free included meal.

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Regional Produce: Sausages


They're famous for their sausages in Muang Phon, fermented, pork, beef, all kinds available along the road around the town of Phon. Since I'm heading through Isaan, and passing through Phon, naturally it means I will buy some.

These sausages are preserved and being out in the sun doesn't matter, don't worry that they're not refrigerated, that's OK.


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VT Restaurant in Udonthani


I've been to VT Restaurant in Phuket, its a small but excellent Vietnamese restaurant in Phuket town. But I've been told about a VT Restaurant in Udonthani and wanted to go see it.

VT started doing takeaway Nam Nueng packs in central Udonthani. It's a dish of lettuce, basil, and green leaves, pork meat skewers, spicey peanut sauce, and rice paper that you form into a wrap and eat. They did it fresh, clean, large and cheap, and that was a big winner. Their restaurant was always busy with long queues.

So then they built this, a mall sized 'VT Community' restaurant to the south of the city. It's big, much bigger than the photo shows, it extends a long way into a sort of factory building behind.


180 million baht was spent on this site, and it seems to be paying off. They'd only partially opened, and already lots of people were visiting.

I wanted to go see, and bought 3 packs of nam-nueng, Vietnamese pork wrapped in banana leaves, buns fill with meat and some other stuff, for 1200 baht. The whole family got several meals out of that, each pack was amazing good value.


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