Cheap Appetite in Thailand Part 2—Pae Krung Kao Ayutthaya Floating Restaurant.

By Tana Kosiyabong

Pae Krung Kao Green Curry Fish balls stuffed with salted eggs

After a few days in Bangkok, I decided to take a trip to Ayutthaya, an ancient capital of Thailand. Located just an hour north of Bangkok, the old city is perfect for a day trip. Ayutthaya Kingdom (sometimes spelled Ayuddhaya) existed from 1351 to 1767. According to Wikipedia, the city was once comparable to Paris in both size and wealth. Sadly, the once glorious kingdom was reduced into ruins and debris by the Burmese invasion in the last year of its existence.

Although a day trip wasn’t enough to explore this ancient civilization, it was all I could spare. Fortunately, my brother, Atch, lent me a car and a chauffeur, Sommai, so I could have a hassle-free trip.

Due to my jet-lagged, Sommai and I headed off to Ayutthaya at almost 11 am, quite late for a day trip. Around lunch time, we reached the outskirt of Ayutthaya. So I asked Sommai to find a place to eat first. “Somewhere next to the river,” I added. After a bit of drive around, we found a restaurant called “Pae Krung Kao Floating Restaurant.”

“This is perfect,” I told Sommai (in Thai, of course) as we walked down to the river bank, then jump onto one of the floating pallets. The view of the Pasak river was mesmerizing. A few Thai style houses were built along the both sides of the river. Apart from the motor boats and a few hi-rise buildings sticking out like sore thumbs, this place was still pretty much frozen in time.

Pasak river view at Pae Krung Kao Floating Restaurant

After perusing the menu, we decided to order Pla Nam Ngen Pad Cha (Stir-fried fish with Thai spices–$4), Yum Woon Sen (Thai Spicy Cellophane Noodle Salad–$2.67) and Gang Kheow Wan Loog Chint Pra Grai Khai Khem (Fish Ball Stuffed with Salted egg in Green Curry–$2.67) and two plates of steamed rice ($0.66)

Pae Krung Kao's Pad Cha fish

Not too long after, Pla Nam Ngen Pad Cha was served. “Pad Cha” is a spicy Thai stir-fried dish normally cooked with fish or shellfish. Pla Nam Ngen is a local freshwater fish found in the nearby river. They were deep-fried until crispy, then stir-fry with krachai (a kind of Thai herbs), fresh peppercorn, Thai basil and chili peppers to mask the fishy smell. The dish was tasty and spicy as it should be. However, the abundant bones in the fish made it a bit difficult to eat.

Pae Krung Kao Thai Spicy Cellophane Noodle salad

Yum Woon Sen is one of my favorite Thai dishes. The cellophane noodles were tossed in with the Thai salad dressing (Lime juice, fish sauce, Thai chili peppers, and sugar), Chinese celery, red shallots, shrimp and ground pork. Pae Krung Kao’s Yum Woon Sen was a bit too sweet for my taste. If this dish were a Harry Potter book, the lime flavor would be Harry Potter himself. The heat from chili peppers would be Lord Voldermort. The saltiness from the fish sauce were either Ron or Hermione. And the sweetness would perhaps play the role of Professor Sprout or Madame Pomfrey. Although the sweet flavor is essential, it shouldn’t be the main focus.

Pae Krung Kao's Green Curry Fish Balls Stuffed with Salted Eggs

Gang Kheow Wan Loog Chint Pra Grai Khai Khem was the last dish to arrived. The fish balls were meticulously stuffed with salted egg yolks. The saltiness of the egg complements the curry flavor really well. However, the green curry was also a tad too sweet for my liking. Perhaps Ayutthayian love their dishes sweeter than where I came from.

As we were about to leave, an old grandma on a row boat waived and greeted us with a big grin. No wonder why Thailand is also known as “the land of smiles.”

For more photos of my Ayutthaya trip and culinary adventure, click here.

Pae Krung Kao Pla Nam Ngen Pad Cha ©©© 1/2
Pae Krung Kao Yum Woon Sen ©©© 1/2
Pae Krung Kao Gang Kheow Wan Loog Chint Pra Grai Khai Khem ©©© 1/2

Remaining Budget: $290.14

Budget Spent: -$10 ($4+$2.67+$2.67+$0.66)

Budget Available: $280.14

Pae Krung Kao is located at K. 4 Moo 2, U-Thong Road, Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand. (ข. 4หมู่ 2 ถนน อู่ทอง อำเภอพระนครศรีอยุธยา จังหวัดอยุธยา (T) 035.241.555

©2010 Tana Kosiyabong and™. All rights reserved.

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20 thoughts on “Cheap Appetite in Thailand Part 2—Pae Krung Kao Ayutthaya Floating Restaurant.

  1. Everything looks great. I want to travel to Thailand one of these days. My brother and his wife went there for their honeymoon. Love your comparison of the food and Harry Potter. 🙂

    1. Divana, you should go there when you can. Thailand is a great country. And it’s still pretty inexpensive to visit. I haven’t read too many English books. But Harry Potter is one of my favorites. 🙂

  2. It’s been far too long since I’ve stopped by to say “hey”. How long are you/were you in Thailand? Your pictures are gorgeous and make me feel like I was sitting right next to you. Too bad I couldn’t take a bite!
    Glad that all the dishes you posted were seafood… I started vegetarianism and seeing delicious meat posts makes me sad! 😦

    1. Hey TR, Good to see you here again:) I’m back from Thailand. But I still have some stories to tell. The food was definitely yummy. I didn’t realize that I order all the fish dishes until you brought it up. I’ll try to give it a good mix of meat and veggies for you and my other readers:) Thanks for visiting:)

  3. Oh my goodness! As always, your photos/descriptions of the food makes me want to jump through the screen and eat the food right off your webpage! I can hardly believe how delicious it all looks AND Thai food is my most favorite cuisine! Sadly, I have not been to Thailand yet, but have every determination to do so soon! How was it having a driver???? I’m not sure I’ll have that kind of hook-up in Thailand when I go, but no doubt, my trip will still be incredible! thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Hey Patty, Thai food is my favorite cuisine too! hehe. I’m pretty bias since I grew up with eating them. I hope you’ll have a chance to visit Thailand soon. Having a driver there is awesome. I can visit the temples and other attractions at my own pace without waiting for other people. Thanks my brother for that. You can perhaps hire a local taxi cab for a day if you want it should be affordable. But make sure you ask for the price and bargain it down first:)

  4. Tana, you made everything sounds so terrific! Yes, Thailand is a wonderful place to travel indeed. I ashamed to tell you that I haven’t been there before, even I stay so near! hehe… Bangkok is my dream place to visit! Did you get to eat all those delicious Thai desserts while you were there?

    1. That’s ok Kristy. I’ve never been to Malaysia either. So we’re even:) I had some of the Thai desserts, but I like the main course more. hehe. It was a good trip overall. Thanks for visiting:)

  5. If only such quality Thai food and prices are available in Vancouver but alas no. I am still searching for that authentic pad thai that can take my taste buds back to the food court Maboonkrong (sp?) in BKK. Another dish I would give an arm and leg to eat again is Khao Mun Gai Tod, OMG that dish was TO DIE FOR. Thank you for your pics, they make me salivate and for a brief moment took me back to my travels to Thailand.

    1. Imkoonta, I’m still finding the best padthai in town myself. Not easy to find yet. I’ll let you know as soon as I found one. Khao mun Gai Tod is even harder to find here. But Once in a while Thai Basil will do Khao Mun Gai Special. But the dish is made of steam chicken instead of deep fried. And I’ll write about the Hainanese Chicken rice next week. Stay Tune:)

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