Trang, Thailand

Parkia speciosa (petai), English: bitter bean, twisted cluster bean, or stink bean, is a plant of the genus Parkia in the family Fabaceae. It bears long, flat edible beans with bright green seeds the size and shape of plump almonds which have a rather peculiar smell, similar to, but stronger than that of the shiitake mushroom, characterised by some as being similar to natural gas.

In Malaysia, petai also commonly served with sambal, or mixed with dried shrimp, chili peppers, red onions, belacan (prawn paste), soy sauce and prawn.

In Thailand it is called sato (Thai: สะตอ), as mu phat sato, stink bean with stir fried pork.

 

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Thailand

Parkia speciosa: Twisted

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Toul Tompong, Phnom Penh

Coffee with condensed milk to start the morning.

More Liquid in the form of weak tea- always on the table- to the right.

The big glass on the left is full of hot water, so that you know the chopsticks and spoons are clean…

Cambodia

Liquid

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Khun Khmer Boxing, Bayon TV, Stung Meangchay, Phnom Penh

 

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Cambodia

Victory was always unlikely…

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Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand

Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand

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Thailand

Barracks

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Koh Dach, Cambodia

Koh Dach, Cambodia

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Cambodia

Prolific

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Tondo, Manila, the Philippines

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Philippines

Manila Merry

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Thonburi, Thailand

Wongwian yai,Thonburi, Thailand

Over the Chao Phraya river from central Bangkok is Wongwian yai.

It was the first place I stayed in Southeast Asia. It had no tourists then and no tourist sites. It felt authentic this busy place with rubber and foam traders sending out product on the back of old Vespas. Lots of Chinese-Thai and old men on bicycles.

It has a busy wet market and fruit and vegetable stalls run along one of the main roads. Terrific street food- grilled ‘crying tiger’ (beef) and cold beer on the roadside is a favorite, and teak houses.

The skytrain reaches there now and so the tourists have arrived, the teak houses almost gone, but the Thai never compromise on food.

I like to return and stay at the same hotel. It’s well past it’s best, but the spirit house you can see in this photo is still there after at least twenty years. It’s reassuring and you can pretend the nondescript apartment blocks that dominate now don’t exist.

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Thailand

Spirit Channels

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