Michelle’s Brilliant Guide to SE Asia

Michelle handed this to me two days before my trip—as if she hadn’t helped me out enough. Since it’s too good to keep to myself, please enjoy. I tried to edit as little as possible so that her guide would maintain its authenticity and sweetness, so my apologies, to you, if this just looks like a long list of weird words. Whateva.

Some foods you should definitely try….

Som tum – papaya salad, one of my favorite dishes (its a spicy one)
Sticky rice – good with papaya salad, mango, or on its own
Tom yam koon – shrimp, sour and spicy soup
Tom Ka Kai – similar to the above but with coconut milk and chicken
Masaman curry – my favorite curry

Amazing, Michelle. I will carry this with me always.

Green curry – I don’t care for this, but you should try it
Fried rice with a fried egg on top – you will be treated like a local if u order this
Noodle soup – perfect when you are taking overnight buses
Pad see -u – delicious noodle dish
Pad thai
Pad pak boong – stir fried morning glory (so delicious)
Banana roti – its an Indian dish, but its sold at stands all over khao san rd, so delicious
Fresh fruit – you can get an entire pineapple cut and delicious for undera dollar, also get the mango

Fruit shakes there are soooo good – I love the banana shakes

Spring rolls

Meat on a stick – i didn’t partake in this, but many did
In Chiang Mai – eat Kao soi (delicacy of Chiang Mai)
There is some good street food on Rambuitri, behind Khao San (I wouldn’t suggest eating street food on Khoa San, unless you are drunk and hungry (WHICH I WILL OF COURSE NOT BE, MOM); it’s just not as good as other places)
Cambodia – Fish amok
BBQ (some guys I was with said it was delicious, lots of different kinds of meat)

My favorite restaurant is May-Kadee’s. Its off of Khao San Rd. Its a veggie place, but delicious. (There is one in Chian Mai, also.)

Some of my favorite night spots:

Make sure you start ur night with a bucket of sangsom (its a Thai rum/whiskey); I enjoy it with sprite, some ppl drink it with red bull and coke. (Have it on the sidewalk, while watching people pass u by.)

Brick Bar – really great live music (thai ska, it is always packed with young thai ppl)
The Shamrock – good live cover band
Rooftop bar
There is another place that is on the rooftop – you will probably get flyers for it, it has a hookah set-up, live music, and a DJ; there is a cover, but it’s worth it (its just off of khao san rd)
Lava- dance club

These are all around Khao San: If you want to go to clubs, check out RCA, it is a strip of huge night clubs, House of Blues is pretty cool. Another club is Santika, not in RCA, but downtown. Also, a fun bar is Cheap Charlies, its off of Sukhumvhit. Don’t go to Patpong or Silom (areas in Bangkok), unless u want to see naked girls and pingpong shows.)


The Royal Palace
Take a boat ride on the river
Chattachuck Market (JJ Market) – only open on the weekends
Lumphini Park – u can watch ppl do aerobics (hilarious)
Random neighborhoods (I can send u in the direction of my old hood; there isn’t even a guesthouse, so its very authentic…)
Get a Thai Massage

Chiang Mai

The reggae bars are so much fun; live reggae music everywhere. North Gate Jazz Club – if u like jazz, its a mix of locals and expats jamming together. Rooftop bar- another one.
Chiang Mai Saloon – nothing special; I just loved the ppl that worked there, they were so friendly and took me out to a club afterwards.
Bubbles – cheezey dance club
Spicy- after hours club, kind of seedy, but a place to see and experience


Wat Doi Sutep
Sunday market is the best one – it has the most authentic stuff
The Night Bizarre
My suggestion is to just walk around. There are so many temples at every street corner, its a small enough city to just walk around, and if u do get lost, just hop on a tuk-tuk to go home.
Get another massage (they are so cheap and amazing)

My thoughts on begging/pl selling stuff

I don’t really believe in supporting beggars – it doesn’t help the problem at all, and encourages ppl to continue that way (this is especially true in Cambodia). You will see a lot of beggars (ppl missing limbs, or with some other terrible diseases are different for me). I’ve seen locals give them money, so I sometimes do the same.

If a kid asks for money for food, offer to buy them a meal instead. You choose the place, otherwise they will take u somewhere and rip u off (this is a common scam). If a kid is that hungry, they will eat whatever u give them.

I tend to buy stuff from ppl selling little knick-knacks. I’m a sucker for that. You will be harassed by people at Siem Reap and Bangkok. Just be firm, but smile also. I usually set aside some money each day or week to buy little gifts. The kids with the flowers always got me, they also had personality too.


Dont be afraid to bargain. Just about every time u buy something, you are being overpriced by 3 times. Unless it is already written (even then u can probably bargain). Always smile when doing so nad laugh with them. They appreciate the gesture. Also, try walking away, they usually run after u and sell at a lower price.

That is what I have for now…


One Response to “Michelle’s Brilliant Guide to SE Asia”

  1. Rae Says:

    Winnie, kudos to this Michelle friend of yours! She sounds like a thai genius! Hope you get to experience all the incred things she suggested! Sounds ammmaazzzinnggg…..

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