Mekong river or Khong river is one of my must visit places whenever I go home. Remembering how I used to sleep in the small cottage by Mekong River on my dad’s hunting trips or wondering on the dusty rustic street of Laos for some quick bites, I have always been so proud to brag about my amazing time at the Mekong.
Mekong River is one of the world largest rivers. Starting from Tibetan Plateau, the river runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Mekong passes several provinces in Thailand. The nearest place to my hometown is Nong Khai province, where Mekong also plays the significant role as Thai-Laos border.
There are superstition believes about the serpent- like creatures in the river among Laotian and Thai that contribute to the arts and architectural designs in the region. It is quite a fascinating story. I asked my family to do a scoop about traditions, cultures and believes along Mekong River which we will share with you later.
The funny thing is when Yaseen saw the Mekong Serpent statues for the first time, he thought they were chickens. Oh boy!
The food in Northeast Thailand is very much influenced by Laos cuisine. Sticky rice or glutinous rice is preferred than jasmine rice. Spicy chutney or sauce made with stinky preserved fish accompanied your every meal. The flavours and textures are rustic and robust.
Simple method of cooking like boiling, grilling, and mixing are the traditional ways of cooking, cooking with oil is the recent addition influence by central Thailand and Chinese cuisine. The dishes served here are always so freshly spring out of soil and very healthy.
Stew with seasonal vegetables or meat (as in Eggplant and Mushroom Stew) is the common everyday dishes.
We had lunch at Thasadej Indochina Market at the floating restaurant by the Mekong. The river blanketed the spaces with the chilled air so we could sit on the giant raft in hot sun. The mild wind carried the cooling fresh odour of the Mekong water occasionally to our face.
Sticky rice and fresh vegetable brought down to the table right away. It is the tradition of the local eating custom to serve warm sticky rice and fresh greens to accompany their simple dishes.
Rice noodle, spicy fish chutney, dips and other local assortment flooded the table without asking for them. They are filled with generosity and warmness.
Grilled fish that said to be caught in that morning at the river were prepared the same way as we did in our rustic grilled fish post. It was fresh and light but very juicy.
We wouldn’t miss steamed jumbo river prawns with rich adipose roe. It was incredibly fresh and delicious.
Spicy seafood salad and raw papaya salad spices up our table even more. The pungent smell of preserved fish in papaya salad hit our noses as the dishes arrived. Though the sea is nowhere close to this area, our seafood salad was so fresh and vibrant.
Tom Yum was not so local, but we couldn’t resist the aromatic smell shone from the kitchen. It was hot, spicy and flavourful.
Simple, fresh and local dishes are always the best choice to try. In the middle of hot summer, a light and rustic cuisine is the most appropriate arrangement.
Eating by the Mekong was not only satisfy your overindulge appetite, it coddled your soul watching the beautiful scenes along the river.
A glimpse of Laotian lives remotely displayed at the other side made us want to look get there. Mr. Farmers promised to take us to Laung Prabang and Vieng Chan in Laos and maybe a night hunting trip along Mekong next year.
We watched many rafts casually cruising along the murky river with foods and drinks on board for the satiate passengers. It looked so indulged and pampered.
We could catch the far sight of Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge which was founded by Australian Government and opened since 1994. It was an effortful and beautiful project that brought about the strong relationship between Thailand and Laos and benefited to the local economy.
Lunch by Mekong was even cozy up with our whole family and friends. We talked and teased each others with love and joy. We spent a great moment carelessly noticed how time passed by. Mekong always amazed me, it astound the first time visitors like my husband and son. It such a full-of-life river we couldn’t wait to get back to.
Stay tune for our next chapter in Thadadej where we had gone wild shopping at the Indochina Market.
Have a beautiful day,