Virtual meanderings

Evening entertainment for Thai people.

I really wonder how often visitors to Thailand ask themselves how Thai people entertain themselves and where Thai people go for an evening out.

Lest we forget, is it only natural that they need a way to socialize and entertain themselves – or you thought they are only around to serve you or take your money? Because it is what some people believe, judging by their behavior. Restaurants and fast food chains such as McDonalds tend to cater to foreigners (as well as the globalized urban middle and uper-middle class). After all, the Thai tourist industry was built around catering for foreigners since its very conception. In case you do not know how tourism started in the Land of the Free – it was when American soldiers came to Thailand (a US ally) to relieve themselves from the Vietnam bombing raids and to screw the local women. Forgive me if I am being blunt, but this is how things are (the Buddhist deities have been busy at work ever since delivering justice to everyone involved). What has followed since is largely the logical evolution of the originating act.

So, where do the “common people go”?

McSpicy McDonalds

McDonalds - this is not where 'common' Thai people go

    I was able to find the answer out largely by chance. So, in case you began wondering about it, here is the answer – Thai “just for locals” all-you-can-eat buffet for B120 (that is, $4).

Chiang Mai All You Can Eat Buffet Thai Style

Chiang Mai All You Can Eat Buffet Thai Style

I was able to visit such a buffet – not once, but twice. In Chiang Mai it was the hostel manager who took us there. A dozen of us –  hostel guests – got on the back of a truck and off we went – this is why you see so many foreigners on the photo above.

Later in Bangkok I was taken to another such place by Kara, Isaac and his fiancée – who’d lived in the town for a long time and knew the area. Visiting foreigners are unlikely to end up at such open buffets, because those are usually located deep into the neighborhoods, away from the tourist crowds. For only $4 you can get truly the biggest variety and the freshest food in Thailand. Guaranteed.

As can be seen on the photo, the buffet area is an open space of tables that could fit hundreds of people. A metal roof offers some protection from the elements – in case it rains.

    Here is how the system works – you take a couple of emtpy plates from the clean plates area and go for the long lines of containers and pans loaded with rice, sea fruits, meat, salads, fruit, whatever. There are literally over a hundred containers filled with just about anything Thai cusine could offer.

All You Can Eat Buffet - a fraction of the offerings

All You Can Eat Buffet - a fraction of the offerings

   You fill whatever is up to your liking (unfortunately, if you are not familiar with Thai cusine, 90% of what you see you have no idea how it tastes).

Hello, Sir. What is this souce?

Hello, Sir. What the hell is he putting on the plate?!

   When you filled it all up, you go back to your table.  A waiter pops up and sets a hot pot in front of you – and you are ready to start mixing and cooking as you please.

The hot pot

The hot pot

    Everything – the vegetables, the meat, the fish is fresh and raw. This is why you need the hot pot in the first place. Trying such a buffet on your own is a great adventure – after all, if  you do not like what you choose first, you can always try someting different – a hundred containers to try is no joke. But it is best if you arrived at such a place by someone more experienced to guide your clumsy efforts.
I was told that such places were hugely popular gathering spots, and it was very easy to find one – if you knew about their existence. While the food is “all-you-can-eat”, drinks are, of course, charged separately.

Beer and veggies, mmmm!

Beer and strange sea-food and veggies, mmmm!

   There are more extras too: non-stop loud, very loud, very very loud live Thai pop music and smiling and talking Thai people everywhere around you. Hardly anyone speaks any English. Which, I guess, only makes the evening at such a place all the more interesting. Enjoy!

    It was one of my most enjoyable experiences in Thailand.


One response to “Evening entertainment for Thai people.

  1. Pingback: Siem Reap (Random) Fragments « mastercopycat

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