“Spirituality, reflection, the serene beauty of the rice paddy, village life; maybe next episode. This time, it’s all about consuming medically inadvisable amounts of food and drink.”

“This may surprise you, but I am not an alcoholic. I don’t drink at home ever. There’s no beer in my fridge. If I’m not working, I’m not hanging out in bars. But if I was an alcoholic, and I did hang in bars, I would hang here.”

“Chiang Mai at night. We are well on our way. To where, to what, I don’t know, I don’t much care. But I do know it’s time to eat. In Thailand it’s almost always a time to eat. Yes, and drink. We shall be doing that, too.”

“I need to have some chicken wings. I need to have some like fried mozzarella sticks. I need to go to a gun range, more beer, more food.”

“Welcome to Chiang Mai Province, tucked up near the borders of Burma, China, Laos, India not too far away. All of them have left their mark on the food.”

By the numbers

  • 67M
    Population of Thailand
  • 100
    Bottles of whiskey produced per day at distillery Bourdain visited
  • Countless
    Number of shots consumed


The Khao Ka Moo Cowboy Hat Lady.
The Khao Ka Moo Cowboy Hat Lady.

Khao Ka Moo Cowboy Hat Lady

Night Market, Chang Phueak Gate, T. Chang Phueak, Muang

What Bourdain ate: Khao kha moo (stewed pork leg).

Soom Sien Bar

80/1 Sirinthorn Road, T. Chang Pueak, Muang

What Bourdain ate: Grilled pork intestine and drinks.

Papaya salad at Khao Soi Lam Duan.
Papaya salad at Khao Soi Lam Duan.

Gia Tod Teing Keun

139 Kampaengdin Road, T. Haiya, Muang

What Bourdain ate: Deep fried chicken and Thai chili dip nam prik noom.

Khao Soi Lam Duan

352/22 Chareonrat Road, T. Wat Gate, Muang

What Bourdain ate: Khao soi (curry coconut milk noodle soup), som tam (green papaya salad), Thai iced tea.

Pa Daeng Jin Tup

Located at the corner of Mae Yoi Intersection, T. San Sai, San Sai

What Bourdain ate: Hammered meat and drinks.

Him Tang

32 Moo 3, T. On-Klang, A. Mae-On

What Bourdain ate: Pig-blood soup, grilled pig tail and beer.

Kao Cham Cha

Located at the corner under the Rain Tree, Rattanakosin Road, Wat Gate, A. Muang

What Bourdain ate: Larb (meat salad).


1001, Chiang Mai-Mae Jo Road, Nong Jom, T. Fa Ham, A, San Sai

What Bourdain ate: Pad kee mao (drunken noodles), kra pao gai (Thai basil chicken), pad cha talay (seafood stirfry).

Chiang Mai Cabaret

Anusan Market, Chang Klan Road, T. Chang Klan, Muang

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Andy Ricker is the chef and owner of Michelin starred Pok Pok Ny in Red Hook, Brooklyn as well as seven other restaurants in Portland, NYC and L.A. He first visited Thailand as a backpacker in 1987. Since then, he has spent several months each year traveling, eating, cooking and studying the food culture in Thailand and neighboring countries. Ricker has won two James Beard Awards and is best selling cookbook author.

Ricker on the concept of ‘authentic’ Thai cuisine: “If you’re in the United States and you say traditional authentic Thai restaurant, to me that has come to mean a standard Thai restaurant in America. That menu. When you come here, authentic is different. You’re the daughter of the woman who made this, then to you this is the most authentic version of that dish. If you are from Nan province, you still make larb but it doesn’t taste like this.”


Kathoey: A term used by some to refer to transgender women.

Nam prik noom: Thai green chili dip.

Khao soi: Curry coconut milk noodle soup.

Som Tam: Green papaya salad.

Khao kha moo: Stewed pork leg.