I Traded My Traditional Thanksgiving for a Thailand Fantasy - Holiday Travel

I Traded My Traditional Thanksgiving for a Thailand Fantasy - Holiday Travel
From The Kitchn - November 9, 2017

What's better than a table groaning under turkey and all the fixings, a swarm of family members, and leaving the dishes for later while you hit the early Black Friday sales? For me, it turns out, it's a day in steamy, delicious cacophony on the other side of the globe.

How I Ended Up Trading Turkey for Tuk Tuks

In 2008, my husband and I started a tradition of traveling to points further and further from home over Thanksgiving. It made sense for us at the time: Making the most of limited vacation time at our previous jobs by tacking it onto a holiday; skipping out on squabbles with siblings; and not having to explain yet again that as vegetarians, No, we did not eat turkey. Frankly, we just did not enjoy the holiday drama and epic consumption, so we made our escape.

We started close to home, in snowy fairytale Quebec City. Instead of turkey and dressing it was a candlelit dinner of risotto with Taleggio cheese. Next up was Prague, with takeout pizza and real Czech beer at the bar with fellow Thanksgiving-skippers in our hostel.

Then in 2010a decade into our travel mania in which we'd made the rounds from London to Paris to St. Petersburg to Istanbul to Moroccowe needed something farther away, something even more unlike our daily life.

We decided on Bangkok, mostly because I found its actual, official full name to be irresistible: The City of Angels, The Great City, The Residence of the Emerald Buddha, The Impregnable City (of Ayutthaya) of God Indra, The Grand Capital of the World Endowed with Nine Precious Gems, The Happy City, Abounding in an Enormous Royal Palace That Resembles the Heavenly Abode Where Reigns the Reincarnated God, A City Given by Indra and Built by Vishnukarn.

Yes, it's a place that requires 30+ hours crammed into economy class, turns your circadian rhythms inside out, and is, by many accounts, filthy, loud, overcrowded, and blazing hot. But I will counter you a hair-raising spin in the back of a tuk tuk careening through the maddest traffic you have ever seen; a bargain basement-priced massage; or the glory of just one golden temple.

If you have inhaled the smell of steaming rice, simmering galangal, freshly chopped chilies and herbs, traffic fumes, and the heaving sea of humanity, eaten one perfect pocket-change meal from a street vendor, or tasted the creamy goodness of an ice-cold coffee swirled with "sweet milk," you probably understand.

5 Thai Treats That Will Make You Forget About Turkey

1. Mango Sticky Rice

2. Thai Iced Coffee

3. All the Street Food

4. Hotel Breakfast Fruit

5. Coconut Juice


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