Back to Thailand
After our 2 (and a bit) month tour of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, we headed back to Thailand with plans to explore the capital Bangkok (again because we love it), head South to our ‘Paradise Island’ Koh Bulone and then (for the very first time) go North to Chiang Mai.
Last time we were in Bangkok at the beginning of our Vegan Food Quest to find eat and write about the best vegan food in the world, the ‘Shutdown Bangkok’ demonstrations were in full swing so travelling around to visit all the restaurants we wanted to was a little bit difficult.
Not this time though; this time we were back and armed with a list of places we thought we might find awesome vegan food.
We discovered our now favourite vegan food court in Thailand, ‘Ban Suan Pai’, competing with our favourite food court in Melaka for the top spot in South East Asia, this place is absolutely brilliant.
We only got to visit twice but got extra to takeaway on both visits!
We found a lovely little vegan restaurant called ‘May Veggie Home’ with pretty table cloths, good food and even vegan ice cream!
And we had one of the most amazing meals of all time at Bo.lan, indulging in fine dining Thai food like we’ve never seen it (or tasted it before). Seriously, seriously good food.
Our beautiful ‘Petit Fours’ at the wonderful Bo.lan
You probably all realise by now that food (and sunshine) has a powerful effect on us and as each day of clear blue skies, blazing sun and awesome vegan food ticked by, we began to wonder if we should move to Bangkok?
A quick look at property prices, our daily expenditure on fancy foods and transport soon put that day dream to rest and before we knew it we were boarding a sleeper train and heading south to Hat Yai.
Here we go again…
The sleeper train journey played out how most of these overnight journeys we’ve taken do: Paul (on the comfy, dark and warm bottom bunk) slept like a baby, Caryl (on the narrow, illuminated and freezing top bunk) laid awake for hours listening to the random snoring man noises and wishing we had flown. At least the toilets were bearable though and their contents didn’t flow through the cabin…we’re pretty used to these overnight train journeys by now and even wrote a separate post all about them, if you’re interested in our pain you can read about it here.
A short stop in Hat Yai to buy mini bus tickets, speed boat tickets, food from our favourite vegan restaurant in Hat Yai and to be re-united with our intrepid adventuring friends Jean and Mike and we were en route to our little slice of paradise in Koh Bulone Leh.
Ah beautiful, peaceful, blissful Bulone, how we missed you.
Due to a busy schedule we only had 6 days here and it turns out that 6 days in paradise is too short; there just isn’t enough time to fit in days of lazing in a hammock, strolling along the beach, catching up with friends and soaking up the perfect peace this little island has to offer.
Busy day at the beach on Koh Bulone
This is our little slice of paradise
We ate as much tofu and vegetable green curry as we could on account of Parn, the young chef at Pansand, having an amazing ability to make one of the best (if not THE best) vegan green curry in the whole of Thailand.
We also did our best to eat as many pickled chillies as was humanely possible on account of these being just a little bit addictive…
Parn makes an amazing tofu green curry
Whilst we were on Bulone we celebrated 1 year of travel; we got up early and enjoyed this awesome sunrise to mark the occasion.
1 year on the road, time flies when you’re having fun!
Before we knew it, we were back on the boat and heading back to Hat Yai, the biggest town in the South of Thailand
A lot of people don’t really spend time in Hat Yai; guidebooks still recommend that people leave straight away and most people just use it as a transit point to Malaysia or to catch a train or plan to elsewhere in Thailand, this is a strange concept to us though because it’s actually not a bad place at all, in fact we actually quite like it.
It has a strange charm, some colourfully painted old Chinese style buildings and most importantly to us, great opportunities to eat really good vegan Thai food (the way to our hearts is definitely through our stomachs!).
From vegan coconut sorbet in the pretty ‘B’s Sweet’ cafe to ‘Gui Chai’ dumplings on the street, not to mention our favourite Buddhist Thai restaurant serving up heaps of curries, stir fires and the best mock meat satay we’ve found (it’s all in the satay sauce)… we always seem to find something to keep us happy.
Amazing vegan sorbet from ‘B’s Sweet’ in Hat Yai
‘Gui Chai’ being prepared on the street
These ‘Gui Chai’ were particularly good…
A plate of vegan yumminess in Hat Yai for less than £1
We spent 1 night in Hat Yai, revisited all our favourite food hants and then boarded our plane to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city, for our first ever visit to Northern Thailand.