This fall, I was vaguely planning a trip back to Thailand. I was there several years ago, part of a cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong, spending two days in Bangkok and a day on Koh Samui. That introduction was enough to tell me I wanted to go back. And then Covid happened and all these plans went on the back burner.
A has never been to Thailand, so a date night was in order. Thai food, which has come very much into the American mainstream, was a joy to cook, and our activities were fun as well. I hope this inspires you!
To read all of our travel themed date nights, click here.
Thai-Themed Date Night
Eat: Tom Kha Gai, Pad Thai, and Mango Sticky Rice
Tom Kha Gai is my favorite Thai soup from a culture known for soups. Flavored with coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and chiles (red jalapeño in my case), it hits on all the taste buds. I added chicken, red bell pepper, green onion, and cilantro, as well as mushrooms, to make it a bit heartier. Pro tip: when sick with a head cold, make the Tom Kha Gai broth. Salty, spicy, acidic, it will heal you quickly.
Tom Kha Gai
Pad Thai is basically the national dish of Thailand. Rice noodles are cooked with egg and bean sprouts in a sauce of peanut, soy, and fish sauce. Delicious!!! Some people use tamarind paste. I used brown sugar and peanut butter instead.
A made coconut milk sticky rice and added finely diced mango, rather than purée it through. I liked it better this way. It’s shockingly easy to make, as really was everything in this meal, not overly sweet, and pleasant to eat on a warm day.
Mango Sticky Rice
Learn: The History of Thailand
The dinner documentary was a five minute animated history of Thailand. It focused more on pre-modern era, and actually inspired me to learn more about the current political situation. Hint: it’s not good right now.
Visit: A Contiki Tour
Contiki, one of the premier tour providers for mostly young folks, has a few immersive videos of some of the highlights of their Thailand tour: a cooking class, a tour of Bangkok, and a waterfall in northern Thailand. Obviously they’re trying to sell you on a tour, but the videos are nice in and of themselves.
Bangkok on the Contiki tour
Experience: Thai Ladyboy Show
Forgetting for a moment my very mixed feelings at the term, Thailand is known for ladyboy shows, cabarets featuring transsexual women. Part of me is horrified at the concept. Another part is glad the country is at least open enough with transgendered people that it can celebrate them in this way. From a tourist standpoint, it’s something many partake in. This particular video is highlights from several shows.
I’m not sure how I feel about it, but the ladyboy show is iconic.
Watch: Anthony Bourdain
He is the best, and with our HBO Max account we can access every episode of Parts Unknown. He visits northern Thailand in this episode, and talks about how he came to fall in love with Asia – and Southeast Asia in particular. Don’t watch hungry.
He is amazing and I miss him dearly.
Thailand is a pretty amazing place, and this date night only made me want to return that much more. I hope it inspires you to plan your own Thai date night!
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