Monday, August 17, 2009

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Thailand

In tonight’s episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Tony explores the bustling streets of Bangkok and immerses himself in the local street foods, cultural practices and people of Thailand. The culture of Thailand incorporates a great deal of influence from India, China, Cambodia and the rest of Southeast Asia, and Thai cuisine blends five fundamental flavors: sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty. No sooner does the crew arrive in Bangkok, they find themselves in the center of a political upheaval. Amid the protests, violence and uncertainty, Tony and the crew make a point of discovering the elements that make Thailand magical.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Thailand - Tony takes a stroll amongst giant banana leaves in Thailand
While in Thailand, Tony meets up with Eric Rivera, a finalist in No Reservations’ Fan Contest. Eric, a Muay Thai fighter, has always felt connected to Thailand and wants his chance to show Tony the wonders of this amazingly diverse country. First they head to Songkran, the Buddhist New Year festival, home of the world’s largest water fight. Then Tony travels to Samut Songkran, northwest of Bangkok, via train with his friend and guide, Gong. Along their journey, they travel through – yes, right through – the Maeklong Market, a bustling outdoor market that just happens to be situated right on the train tracks. Check out the video clip below from tonight’s episode of No Reservations that shows Tony exploring this unique marketplace:

From train to boat, Tony and the crew then travel up-canal to the Gulf of Thailand, where men harvest fresh cockles in the mud of the gulf. Tony, always willing, gives it a shot and ends up waist-deep in gooey brown mud. Tony and crew then find themselves in Ampua, a town on the banks of the Mekong River and home to a floating market popular with tourists visiting Thailand. Next, Tony meets up with friend and ex-pat author, Jerry Hopkins, to explore the many canals of Bangkok. At the Taling Chan Floating Market they sample grilled stuffed snakehead fish, a popular treat in Thailand. I can only imagine what a snakehead fish looks like! But The Blot loves Thai food, so I’m really looking forward to seeing everything Tony tries tonight, from massaman curry, to Thai mackerel and frog curry!

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations airs Monday nights at 10/9c on the Travel Channel.
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