Thailand is a proverbial food mecca, especially Bangkok. I have spent a lot of time in this incredible country and one thing never fails…the people are always eating. The street stalls abound, the food is cheap and it is fresh. The Thai version of fast food is a little cart attached to a motorbike or pushed by hand where the proprietor spends countless hours day after day serving the same dish cooked right before your eyes. Tragically the western fast food chains (which I will not dignify by naming) have succeeded in bleeding their way to all corners of the earth and Thailand is no exception. What they have not been able to do in this wondrous country however, is to conquer and obliterate the culture of healthy and independently produced and affordable good eats that are the heartbeat of this poetic land.

My friend Hana came to visit us last summer and she is a foodie of gastronomic proportions, needless to say we went a a bit of a food bender…the pics can speak for themselves and looking at them brings me right back…I can even taste the fish sauce.

My favorite Som Tum (green papaya salad) lady, awaiting the crowds who arrive on the boats to our remote island, it's fresh, it's fast, it's spicy and it's only .75cents.

Shredded green papaya, carrot, tomato, Chinese long beans, garlic, chillies, lime juice, sugar and of course the piquant fish sauce that is the road map through Thai cuisine...all beaten to a vibrant and mouth-burning pulp in a mortar and pestle...oh yes and cannot forget the peanuts!

A typical fast food stall set up on the street cooked fresh every morning, you point and they plate it up for about $1.50

Mixed veggie curry over rice with a cured egg and a hearty side of fresh herbs and morning glory to chase it with. Notice the chili laced fish sauce lurking in the back round...a mandatory condiment to just about all Thai food.

Fresh grilled chicken served with a BIG smile.

Whole grilled prawns, a bag of 5 for $1.50 and you even get the heads.

Spicy pungent sauteed squid served at a make shift restaurant on the street...with a side of Thai whiskey and soda to wash it down.

Thai style...no trip here is complete without at least one tiny little Sang Som headache.

All enjoyed right smack on top of a Bangkok sewer drain.

Bangkok's Chatuchak weekend market is a foodie's wet dream. Quail or squid eggs fried in a cast iron skillet with shredded cabbage and chili sauce.

All you need is a skewer and a big mouth to enjoy these salty treats...OMG amazing!!! Oh and a good pair of shoes to walk to the next tasty morsel...

Little bundles of cut lime, toasted coconut, chili, dried shrimp, shallot, peanut, fresh ginger and some sweet n sticky ooey gooey spicy sauce all wrapped up in a hearty green leaf and of course put on a skewer...genius

Let's talk ultimate fried chicken, ubiquitous green papaya salad and sticky rice all on hand thrown earthenware dishes being cranked out by the ton at the market. For me no trip to this shopping extravaganza is complete without it.

Finishing up the first round of eating with ice cream of course.

Fresh coconut ice cream served in a coconut shell with it's meat, topped with sweet corn, adzuki beans, lychee gelee and...? I have no clue what the other toppings are and sometimes ignorance is bliss...

As I said....pure bliss....

Thailand is a home for me, deeply rooted in my love of the food among others things. The smiles, the artistry, the tropical beauty and the laid back lifestyle are infectious. The Thai’s pure and unapologetic love of food however is what I think strikes the biggest cord in me. I have so many wonderful and descriptive photos, so tough to decide which ones to share…there will be more posted along the way when I just cannot help myself.