After a bumpy four hour mini bus ride from Koh Lanta I arrived in Trang slightly the worse for wear (I get bus sick as well as sea sick apparently!) and super glad that Nick and I decided to spend a night there before hopping onto the 15 hour overnight train to Bangkok.
The first place I was determined to visit was Kit Pung Vegetarian, an all vegan Jay restaurant located pretty close to the train station, but as fate would have it we arrived 10 minutes after they closed up for the day so it had to wait. Luckily I had plenty of bus ride snacks leftover and I was very happy to sit still and read for a while before heading out to explore Trang's bustling night markets. On Friday and Saturday nights there are not one but two night markets in this small town. One in front of the train station and one just off of Th Praram VI, the road that runs north from the station. At the non-station night market I hit the jackpot and finally found something I'd heard a whole lot about, Kanom Krok (sometimes spelt Khanom Krok). The stall selling these sweet and salty traditional Thai coconut rice pancakes was nestled right in the back corner of the market and was run by two incredibly friendly people who were fairly amused by my (over)excitement.
The Kanom Krok I found were topped with sweetcorn and something that looked like bacon but that in hindsight (and after asking the peeps from Vegan Food Quest who adore these treats) was probably taro although I didn't risk eating them at the time.
These were just as delicious as I'd been led to believe they would be and Nick and I scoffed the whole portion in record time. Our hands were covered in sweet coconutty batter by the end. My only word of warning is that you need to know what you're looking for when you're searching for these (maybe a screenshot of a photo would be helpful) because they do look an awful lot like the little fried quails eggs that are another night market fave' - I definitely wandered back and forth past a few stalls muttering egg or pancake to Nick!
Fruit is another night market classic and I went OTT with the mango as always. I love it.
The next day we woke up bright and early because Jay eateries start serving around 7am and we both wanted to make damned sure that we got enough food for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the train. I had no idea what would be in store as we hadn't hit up a Jay eatery on our travels yet.
There were plenty of choices and the idea was to pick two dishes to go with rice. I have no idea what any of the things Nick and I ate were but I was super happy that despite finding my chilli allergy highly amusing they were able to point out about five things I could choose from.
The result was a slightly bland meal but at breakfast I'm totally cool with that as long as it involves carbs and I liked the pieces of mock meat in one of my dishes enough that I filled my tupperware with that and more rice for dinner on the train.
Jay eateries are entirely vegan which is pretty cool but it does also mean no onion nor garlic. I'm pretty okay with this on occasion if it means I can get vegan food easily and I was happy to see the shelves were full of vegan products that you could take away.
I was especially intrigued by this five spice gluten stew. If I had had access to a microwave I'd have totally bought it and given it a whirl and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for it on my travels.
I did pick up this tasty ham and coleslaw sandwich for lunch, I'm a huge bread fan and it's hard to find it vegan style in Thailand so I snapped one up along with a few steamed barbeque faux pork buns which made an amazing train dinner alongside the tupperware box of rice and faux meat stew.
I discovered the joy of steamed buns or bao in San Francisco a couple of years ago and I love them so much. They're doughy, a little sweet and jam packed with faux meaty wonderfulness.
I spent the rest of the day wandering around markets with Nick marvelling at all of the different types of mushrooms and the size of the rats and trying to spot cats leaping between stalls.
Nick and I travelled in the first class compartment between Trang and BKK because we were feeling fancy and it was fun to have our own little room. It was super cosy and the time flew by really fast. I read a whole book, slept for hours and then arrived in Bangkok raring to go.
Oh hey, I'm on a train!