Monday, December 5, 2016


Trat is the capital of the same-named province, and at least nominally the location of the ferry and airport . . . although both are about 45 minutes outside of town. To get to Mairood Resort, we have to fly from Bangkok to Trat and then drive (although we could also just hire a car to drive us from Bangkok and spend approximately the same money and time). So we drove through Trat last year on our way to/from Mairood, which means we only glancingly saw it -- and we would've had the same experience this year, but this year we had one night in Trat. Boy, are we glad.

Trat was much better than we dreamed! It was a lovely little town, very accessible, and with a great market. We stayed at a perfectly fine little place near the market (although it had no tea kettle, a first in SEAsia, and the attached "coffee shop" was usually unmanned, even in the morning when one would really like a cup of coffee please, in a place that doesn't seem to have other places where a girl can get up a cup of coffee).

We took a songthaew -- a kind of shared truck tuk-tuk that holds 6-8 people, open-sided -- from the ferry to our hotel, and after hot showers that were necessary from being splashed incessantly on the chilly, wild speedboat ride from Koh Mak, we headed out for some lunch. There was a "seafood noodle" place a block or so away, so that's where we went:

the kitchen area

the interior

see the large menu on the wall? know what it says? neither did we!

The woman who took our order simplified the menu for us: "I have seafood soup
and pork soup." We ordered the seafood soup, and it sure enough was full of seafood.
And check out the table cloth -- it was all Disney.

the soup, which was good, and the restaurant exterior, which was so charming
After lunch we walked around for a while, walked through the day and night market areas to get a feel for them, and we probably took a little nap until it was time to head out for dinner. We had decided ahead of time that we wanted to eat at the night market, since we really enjoy that, and since it's kind of crushed with people and stalls, we also decided that I'd find us a table, and Marc would make the rounds and bring us food. That's the greatest thing: I'm happy to wait and watch people, as long as I feel safe (which I did), and I get the happy anticipation and curiosity about what Marc will bring, and he gets the chance to wander and look at options and circle back and take his time without worrying about me. We both win!

the scene -- well, one very tiny corner of it (the least-populated corner, actually, which is where I was sitting).

I just love seeing him out doing his thing -- this is one of his happy places,
roaming around a market in SEAsia.

Five summer rolls for $0.57. Even though I held a tiny bit of worry about eating the lettuce (we were fine!), they
were so so delicious. We also got fried chicken over rice, and some very spicy skewers of pork, two kinds, and
some grilled, dried fish that I wasn't too fond of. Still, it was all freshly made, and so so cheap and good.
the night market -- well, rather my tiny corner of it

They excel at frying chicken, leaving us scratching our heads over the presence of a KFC. 

Marc found these donuts, shaped like a bear claw but really just super yummy fried dough with a nice coating
of a sugar glaze -- so good I didn't think to take a picture until I'd eaten more than half of this one.

So we decided to buy more donuts, but they weren't nearly as good
as that other one. And the chocolate glazed donut was awful
compared to the one we got at the night market on Gili T, off Bali
a few years ago. That remains my Platonic Ideal of
night market chocolate donut. :)
We had the next morning to poke around Trat before a taxi picked us up at 11:30 for our flight to Bangkok-->Taipei, so we returned to the market for some breakfast and a bit of shopping. I love this part:

Marc buying a couple of curry pastes and doing his best through the language divide.
This is one of my favorite things to watch.

Picking through the various options, so focused and intent.

I always love seeing him walk toward me after he buys something -- he's always so excited.

I wasn't feeling all that well -- the weather was very low, and leaning on my sinuses,
so I sat on a curb while he searched for our breakfast. Mysteriously, there were no donut
options! So he brought us bags of fresh pineapple and watermelon, which he
successfully got the seller to slice for us. The pineapple came with a little bag of
a sugar/salt/chili mixture to sprinkle on the pineapple, which I liked.

This was my view -- I finally realized that it was Saturday, so maybe the market was extra busy because
of idea. But it was nice watching everyone come and go, while Marc did his thing.

The older kids were pulling this little girl through the market in this blue tub, and
they were all having a blast. 
We really enjoyed Trat, a lot! I found it very accessible, and Marc really loved the markets, and the neighborhoods, and we might easily have missed it. Not sure we'll ever go there on purpose, again, but if we find ourselves in that part of Thailand, who knows. It was a really charming place, easy to see how people live and work there.

The rest of our travel day was long, and we didn't get to our hotel in Taipei until right around midnight, but that's a story for the next post.

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