Thai Boat Noodle Soup in Hat Yai

boat noodle soup

Boat noodle soup is known as guai dtiaw rua (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ) in Thailand. We happened to chance upon this popular stall during our last day in Hat Yai. This place seems to serve both pork and beef noodles according to the signboard but the cook told us it’s pork noodles.

boat noodle soup hatyai

Better still, the stall makes their own pork rinds! It’s hanging above the stall and these beautiful pork crackling is the product of the deep fried skin of the pork and is meant to be eaten with the noodles. They carry other brands on the table too but their own is the one with the red pig.

Just listen to the pork rind crackling in the boat noodle soup!

boat noodle soup thailand

The name boat noodle soup came from the early days when boats will pull up to the pier and tie off before serving soup to people who would come and eat at the banks. There are still markets like these in Hat Yai e.g. Hat Yai Floating Market but mostly boat noodle soup has become a land based operation.

boat noodle soup locals

You can choose from several kinds of noodles from rice vermicelli to kueh tiaw and we tried two different ones. The serving is really small – probably 2-3 heaped spoonfuls of noodles in total. However, it’s loaded with pieces of pork, meatballs, and pork liver as well as a smattering of vegetables.

thai boat noodle soup

There’s also a side of raw vegetables and bean sprouts as per Thai custom. I’m not sure if it’s THB 35 or THB 40 per bowl coz we didn’t ask but I know the pack of pork crackling is THB 15.

boat noodle soup pork rinds

You’re supposed to add the pork rind into the boat noodle soup before you eat it. The soup base is delicious – they actually put blood into the broth and season it with various herbs and it tastes fabulous. The soup base really has all the five tastes inside – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami! I was very impressed.

boat noodle soup pork crackling

This is indeed a good find as we saw that the patrons of the stall were almost all locals. They did not seem to charge us a “tourist price” either. The total came up to 110 baht for two bowls of boat noodle soup, a pack of pork rinds and drinks.

The best pork leg rice in Hat Yai

pork leg rice hat yai

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this place. My better half wanted to come here for lunch – she’s been here before and thought it was delicious. We had just arrived in Hat Yai and checked into the hotel before taking a short walk to this place.

khao kha moo hatyai

Braised pork leg with rice is called khao kha moo in Thai. Obviously, my Thai is limited so I don’t actually know the name of the stall but it’s located on Prachatipat Road. It’s very close to Lee Garden Plaza Hotel – turn left after you walk out and it’s two blocks down, at a very conspicuous corner lot that’s always *packed* with customers.

pig in bikini

There’s a really funny life sized cast of a pig dressed in a bikini sitting on her own chair beside the stall. You won’t miss it, it has a way of catching your eye. smirk The meat served here is braised pig’s trotters, one of the best parts of the pig! They only have one cut of meat but that’s a good thing coz they do it so well.

sugarcane juice

It was a hot day and we ordered a big bottle of nam oi (fresh sugarcane juice) to share. It comes in a recycled 640 ml beer bottle and costs 100 baht (RM 10). It’s worth it though, the chilled raw sugarcane juice here is undiluted and comes complete with sediments. I asked for ice cubes so it made it all the more refreshing (and it boosts energy from the sugar too).

thai condiments

You have the choice of a plate of pork leg rice with egg for 60 baht (about RM 6) or platters for two starting from 140 baht, excluding rice. There’s also the option of having the pig trotter meat on top of your rice or served separately – we went for the former.

It didn’t look like much when it came – there were a few slices of choice pork from the trotters, braised pig’s skin, egg, pickled vegetables on top of a plate of rice with the gravy poured over it. However, when I ate the first bite, I was instantly converted. It’s crazy good!

khao kha moo

The Thai style salted vegetables are slightly sweet (unlike our local salty pickled vegetable) and goes very well as an acidic component on the plate. The smattering of fresh coriander (whole stalks, not just the leaves) adds a great dimension of flavor and the star of the show, the braised pork leg is absolutely fabulous – fork tender, melt-in-your-mouth porcine goodness.

I told my dear that I wasn’t very hungry then but I polished off my plate faster than she did! Even the humble braised egg adds a lot to the dish. The khao kha moo here is delicious and everything on the plate belongs there, including the Thai style chilli sauce. I like how they’re generous with the gravy too.

pork leg rice stall

I could eat here everyday and not get sick but since we’re on holiday, I had to limit myself to just that once so we could eat other things. The bill came up to THB 222 for two. I’m thinking fondly of this pig trotter rice now, I would certainly go back again next time we’re in Hat Yai! :)

Rai Leh Rendezvous

railey

How do I even begin to describe this epic adventure?

railey longboat

We just checked into our hotel in Ao Nang and decided to head down to Railey East at about 7 pm since I read that there’s algae there which glows brilliant blue in the night. The bioluminescence is supposed to surround your body in “a million tiny blue lights” so we headed down despite the longboat telling us that we HAD to get back at 8 pm coz that’s when the last boat departs.

railey travel

I reckon we could just pay any longboat operators hanging around to get us back at 12 am. We were going to Wing It ™ in the true spirit of ADVENTURE! =D

The trip to get into the longboat sounded the death toll for my Blackberry. To reach the longboats, you have to wade through waist high water and I wanted to Twitpic everything since I didn’t pay RM 38 for BIS international roaming for nothing. Unfortunately, everything got wet, including my friend’s bag and my Blackberry.

railey beach

That’s okay we’re still going to enjoy the glowing algae! By the time we got there it was nearly dark and we were starving so we ordered food at the incredibly over-commercialized island. There are bars right on the beach and food stalls which were predominantly dominated by Caucasians.

railey food

We jumped into the water after that and went for a swim towards the elusive bioluminecent algae.

It was nowhere to be found.

I don’t know if it’s coz of the rain (we were thoroughly soaked) or the rocky seas but the algae just wasn’t there.

We finally gave up trying and decided to create our own creature instead – The Beast With Two Backs ™.

beast with two backs

Trying to do that while in that weather is nigh impossible. The waves kept pushing us inland, the rocks lying under the beach kept cutting us, and I lost my fucking underwear.

* Watching this video is discouraged – you can’t see jackshit from the darkness

We finally gave up and just went back to the beach. No longboats in sight.

We walked to Railey East. Nope, no longboats either. We walked back to Railey West and a kind dude manning a tattoo place with dreadlocks said we could try taking the employee only longboat back – it departs at 10:30 pm.

railey smoke

* The soaked cigarette is still smokable, just a bit…watered down smirk

However, there was no guarantee that we can actually get on the boat and it doesn’t stop in Ao Nang so we’ll have to take ANOTHER taxi from there.

We walked back to Railey East to play Spot The Longboat Operator ™. I reckon the game would have been fun if we were not thoroughly drenched, with no cell phones (my friend left hers at our hotel in Ao Nang and my BB died a watery death).

rock

* The rock that thwarted our intimacy

I think we must have walked back and forth from Rai Leh East beach and Rai Leh West beach at least 7 times in vain before the same dread locked guy told us that it’ll probably would be easier just to stay here.

diamond cove resort

There are several problems though:

  • I don’t have a cell phone (my BB died in the rain and waist deep water while getting on the longboat)
  • We were both drenched with no towels and no change of clothes
  • I lost my fucking underwear to the tides of Rai Leh
  • My digicam (which is thankfully waterproof) is running very low on battery since it hasn’t been charged since I got here
  • We have to go to Phi Phi Islands the next day
  • I left my medication in Ao Nang FML max

Finally, we were so exhausted, wet and bearing cuts from our attempts to recreate the cocktail Sex On The Beach (or Sex In The Sea rather) that we just decided to stay on Railey. There’s a hotel called Diamond Cave Resort which goes from 2000-3000 baht (RM 200-300) per night but since is low season we managed to get a rate of 500 baht (RM 50) – a tip from the dread locked dude again.

railey strip

Thankfully we had a bottle of vodka with us or else I’ll have withdrawal symptoms from the lack of GABA agonists (clue to what meds I’m taking LEGITIMATELY) – no need for a degree in particle physics for that.

We were a bit concerned about missing the boat to Phi Phi Islands the next day but we woke up super early.

I had wrung my clothes and left them to dry at the balcony but it still wasn’t dry.

It was an adventure indeed – one we dub the Rai Leh Rendezvous.

railey hotel

One thing about hotels in Krabi though – they’re very big on animals as towels. smirk

Greetings from Aonang!

elephants

Sawadeekap! I’m in Ao Nang right now, came here straight from Krabi.

hotel pool

This is our hotel room.

broken elephant

My friend killed the elephant. :(

chillin

Just chillin’ yo.

…with Cheers Beer! You remember the hilarious TVC?

Yes, not a lot of words, but according to my math that’s 3,000 words. Geddit? Pictures says a thousand words? ;)

I’m on vacation. w00t!

Posted: 4:23 pm Thailand (Krabi) time

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