By Christy Morgan
After spending time on the beautiful island of Ko Phangan I headed to Bangkok to visit friends and spend the last 2 weeks of my time in Asia in the big city. I was a little leery of doing this I’ll admit, because when I visited in 2010 & 2011 Bangkok didn’t leave a great impression on me. At that time there were riots, political unrest, crime, and the streets were dirty and smelly. You couldn’t walk five feet without being harassed on the street. Horror stories were found everywhere online by travelers and backpackers alike.
This time when I arrived at the Bangkok airport no one harassed me and no taxi driver tried to rip me off. There wasn’t a huge crowd of men standing right outside the exit yelling “taxi, taxi, miss where you want to go, need a taxi”. I simply walked up to a machine, printed out a ticket that corresponded to a parking spot where my taxi driver waited for me. He helped me with my bag, and away we went, with the meter on, and the air con blasting. It was a breeze.
I got in very late, so the next morning I hit the streets to do some exploring. Do not go to Bangkok in April/May unless you love heat and humidity. It was already 90 degrees at 8am. Being from Texas I should be used to this kind of weather, but it’s not ideal for walking around a big city.
But this post is about what I love about Bangkok so let’s move on to the fun stuff!
No travel article would be complete without talking about the amazing vegan food found in the bustling city of Bangkok. This being my third trip there I focused on food more than doing the sites, visiting temples, and other touristy things. Thailand is of course known for it’s delicious food, but the vegan options have especially exploded over the last few years. I was staying with a dear friend and cooking most of my meals at home, but there was no way I could come to Thailand and not try the vegan options. I stayed in the Sukhumvit area of town and visited that general area when trying new restaurants. I didn’t visit any of my old favorites from previous trips like May Kaidee and Khun Churn.
The place I visited most was Veganerie Concept. The first time there I had the chicken and waffles. This did not disappoint. Not only is the food heavenly the space is gorgeously designed, hip, modern, with vegan signs and motivating words all over the walls. The staff is super friendly too.
You will drool looking over the desserts, drinks, and shakes menu at Veganerie. It’s a bit on the expensive side but it’s worth every penny. I highly recommend the strawberry cheesecake shake and the brownie ice cream sundae seen above!
Bangkok is known for it’s malls upon malls. I’ve never seen so many malls in my life. And every mall has a huge food court with cheap food stalls. In most malls you will have at least one “jay” stall that has vegan and vegetarian Thai food. This is hands down the best deal in town. Rice with 2 or 3 entrees will be only 30-50 baht or $1-2 USD. There’s always a row of different items to choose from and you can add a spring roll like I did above. The way to order at these food courts is to get a card from the main register and hand it to the stall when ordering your food.
Another hit was May Veggie Home. I wish I would have eaten here more because their menu is HUGE. This is a vegan restaurant with some creative dishes across all Asian cultures. We started with Thai iced tea using coconut milk instead of condensed milk. Then we had the bacon wrapped mushrooms (I wasn’t a fan of personally), the tea leaf salad (shown above, which was amazingly flavorful), and some other special appetizer that I can’t remember. My friend Brighde got a big steamy bowl of Khao Soi (which made me jealous because it was soooo good) and I had some veggie stir-fry thing. I can’t remember if we got dessert but they do have vegan ice cream that you must try!
I visited a new kid on the block for a vegan Meetup and had the most delicious vegan pancakes. Broccoli Revolution is beautifully designed having two floors with enough seating to take your computer and work for a couple of hours. We had a group of about 12 for our meetup. Later that week I went to another Meetup at Veganerie that Brighde hosted to discuss different ways to use activism for the local Thai people. It was a blast getting to meet local vegans and brainstorm with them. I’m so proud of my friend Brighde who created vegan brochures in Thai to put around town.
Most the time in Bangkok I made my own meals like the beautiful taco salad shown above. Produce is fairly cheap and many stores have every sort of product you would find back home. So if you are missing your favorite snack food, chocolate, cereal, vegan cheese, whatever, I bet you can find it at one of the fancier grocery stores. For a price!
Bangkok is a vegan foodie heaven. It’s loud and crazy, but the food is enough of a reason to stop in for a few days.