#4 – Travel journal: Thailand’s Songkran festival

April 14, 2019

Songkran is in full swing in the city and you can feel the relaxing atmosphere from the reduced congestion of those who’ve left the city for the holidays. Places that seem to be bustling are the malls, markets, and temples, where everywhere else seems sparse, which is unusual for a highly populated city.

I visited a temple today in hope of receiving some blessings and to gain some luck for my journey ahead. While I was there, I’ve learned that there are different Buddha’s for each day of the week and you pray to the one based on the day of the week you were born. In my case I was born on a Sunday, so I pray to the Sunday Buddha. There are also designated colours for each day of the week and Sunday is designated a red day. You wear that colour for luck.

For some reason it was captivating to watch people light up incense with yellow candles placed in front of them and pray while holding a flower. I’ve never seen that before. Maybe it’s interesting to me because I’m still riding a high of being in a foreign country.

There’s a place by Ekkamai station which I first had mistaken as a temple but later found out it is where funerals are held and bodies are cremated. This place had converted a large parking lot into a festival where all kinds of Thai foods are sold and different types of carnival game booths are setup.

In the middle of the area was a large space where you can indulge yourself in Thai style BBQ called Moo Krata “Pork Pan”.

Sliced meat (most often pork) is grilled on the dome in the centre while the vegetables and other ingredients, such as fish balls, cook in the soup (also called Thai suki).

The hot pot sits on a pail of burning charcoal which grills or boils the food. The best foods for this cooking method are pork, chicken, mutton, lamb, seafood, vegetables, and mushrooms. The local traditional Thai moo krata is usually served with nam chim suki, a popular dipping sauce. It is well known for using chili sauce as the main ingredient. Some restaurants serve nam chim seafood to accompany seafood.

When cooking moo krata, a chunk of fat is commonly grilled at the apex of the pan so its grease prevents food from sticking.

Now when I say there are all sorts of foods sold here, I really mean it. Some I wouldn’t even dare try.

After spending most of the evening experiencing what a Thai Songkran festival is like, I wanted to escape the heat (yes, it’s still hot out even at night) and tuck into some dessert in an air-conditioned place. So I decided to indulge in a dessert shop nearby.

Have you ever tried a Thai mango?

It’s one of the sweetest and most satisfying thing you’ll ever have. You’ll need to try.

The taste is different from a Mexican mango, which is normally a larger and redder mango. Thai mangos are small, yellow, soft, and gives out a nice aroma through it’s skin.

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