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2011.03.29

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Teri Y.

Do those deep fried tiny fish taste anything like anchovies? Or even smelt?

The kao soi Tai Lua also looks every bit comforting. Is it something like kuey teow soup?

Robyn

No, they're not as fishy (I mean "fishy" in a good way, I love both anchovies and smelt). Definately more a mild white meat sort of fish. And not as plump -- as you can see from the photo not much meat on those (crispy) bones. Yummy though!
Actually the kao soi Tai Lua was a sort of not-quite-as-robust (in terms of porky/tomato-y ragu topping) version of the kao soi lao we ate in northern Laos -- see this post:

http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2010/04/beyond-fer.html

Thanks for reading!

Rune

We bicycled through Chiang Khong in our family tour through northern Thailand in 2006, and remember it as a very pleasant town. Remember a laid back afternoon drinking beer and looking over the river after a tough ride from Chiang Saen. Wished I had this information about the good food back then......

homestay in goa

Amazing pics, David. The pics of the food made my mouth water.

Kevin Mah

Ah I've had the opportunity to eat the little crispy fishes around here during dim sum time their great like a true fish and chips? :P

Never eaten meat and tomato thai sauce looks good though not to mention the atmosphere of the place though I guess their were mosquitos?

The Quest For Zest

Your stories are simply incredible. I take it this region is pretty safe to travel in these days? We would love to get truly authentic food like this.

Katy

Huay Xai sounded Chinese - any historical background of the name? Hui City?
Is that noodles hanging from the ceiling of the two ladies preparing the food?? That's handy! Presumably they fresh made their noodles?
There is something about cherry tomato and Yunnan – something about Kunming the climate ideal for the fruit and there was on shelf in Taipei, this awarding winning Yunnan preserved cherry tomato that become a popular snack for their local. It sort of caught my eyes, because we don’t eat China’s preserved fruits, we have our own and much nicer ones too. But this is different I guess.
Dave does great photos anyway, but I haven’t had trouble taking my eyes off a plate until this sticky rice sweet. It just looked so comforting, perhaps it reminded me of my childhood when nothing much else was available and mochi or sticky rice zhong zi topped with sugar, peanut powder or sesame meant happy memory. Interesting banana stuffed – quite filling though, isn’t it?

Robyn

Katy, I dare say you can see a Chinese connection/origin in just about anything. ;-) Seriously, I don't know the town's history but it's very small and my understanding is that it was little more than a dot on the map before the tourist boats started heading down river. That's not noodles, it's the "tail" of a paper lantern. And yes, the sticky rice sweet was wonderful. Sometimes these can be too hard and gummy IMO but this one was just perfect. They use a type of banana that turns pink when it's cooked and tastes almost exactly like strawberry. And cherry tomatoes are big in N Thailand too. And they preserve them.
QforZ -- absolutely safe. There's really nowhere in N Thailand I wouldn't travel right now. The east near Lao is especially spectacular (Nan province) and undertouristed.
Kevin, strangely mosquitoes were fairly few, though it may have been bec we were there during the dry season. More with the rains, I suspect.
Rune - lucky you! I'd love to have a bike up in N Thailand. So many good biking roads and on many roads, not much traffic.

Austin

Perhaps the phat chaa place was Nang Nuan? Was it at the south end of town near a temple (Wat Hat Khrai)?

There's also a stall called Sabai Dee in the centre of town (next door to Baan-Fai Guesthouse) that does pretty good northern food.

Robyn

My bad, didn't note the name, but could definately be Nang Nuan. One block in from river (overlooking the informal "port"), middle of the block. Not too helpful but it's a small town.
Will check out Sabai Dee if we make it back, thanks for that.

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