At 8 AM the train pulls into the final destination, Trang station, and something doesn’t look right. Police have set up the road block and the building is on fire. I can still hear the Bang sound coming from the inside of the burning building. I google up BBC news only to find there was a bomb explosion in Trang 9 hours ago and the building is believed to be the Diamond department store.
Southern Thailand is the Muslim territory and there have been bomb attacks from time to time, but why now?
Flame is still inside the building, and the Fire Fighters are shooting water through a small window that doesn’t do any better.
Two reasons I want to visit Trang,the Trang cake and Trang’s traditional coffee ‘Kopi’. This is supposed to be my first Kopi experience but the shop sits within the Police line so the owner can’t take customers in even if the shop’s door is up. She gives me one of the shop’s Trang cake for free . This shop is famous for its ‘kopi’ and is called ‘Kopi’ too. She is the 2nd generation from the establisher of the shop.
This aluminium coffee roaster and the brewer are Trang’s traditional unique way of Kopi making legacy. Not many shops keep this way as it takes time longer than an Espresso machine. Trang has local coffee plantations in near mountains and the bean are roasted in this tin wood-fired roaster on a charcoal. I have to move out to the alternative Kopi shop that is in my backup list.
The Trang cake looks like this, nothing special or awesome-foursome delight. Just sponge cake with flavours. Did I have a right one?
I am looking for the PJ guest house damn, that is another one also inside the Police line. Just walk along Rama 6 road and follow this sign, Kohteng Hotel.
5-star backpackers turns to a dark, smelly, grubby and old place but you can’t argue with the price 200 Baht.
Now try to sip at a local Kopi shop(Ran-goo-bee) and this is a hard find. No English or Thai sign, no Menu or display of food. Locals call this “Yue Chieng”
Yep you are at right place if you see this aluminium roaster.
An old man brews coffee while his wife delivers “Khanom Phat Chang”
Talking about coffee, very disappointed for its fame. Taste like a cup diluted with water and doesn’t give me any character. I miss out all of Nutty, Bold, Acidic, Sweet or Deep taste. I feel sorry for an oldman’s hard work to be called ‘Shit’.
But this “Khanom Phat Chang” tastes surprisingly good. Roast pork pieces in the “Khau Niaw”(sticky rice) wrapped in Banana leaves.
I have come to Trang all the way for two things which don’t impress me at all, and the rain is pouring down hard.
This is life. You have got to check for yourself anyway before you stamp something out.
A couple of blocks away from the Kopi shop, a Vegan restaurant greets me. Foods are all Tofu and mushroom based with or without spices.
This fish looking Tofu meal is my favourite.
A dish like this costs only 40 Baht.
Trang’s cute three wheeler Song-Taew(Shared taxi-like truck).
Not very far from the train station, a fella cooks the spicy fried chicken on the street, one piece goes for 20 Baht and a cooked rice for 5 Baht. I buy 4 pieces.
This is not the end of my food revenge to Trang. See-Khong-Moo, a spicy roasted pork ribs with rice for 100 Baht.
I think Trang should be famous not for the Kopi or cake but for the street food. I could have stayed longer if this city had a cheap massage shop. The cheapest one is on 2nd floor of Trang hotel for 300 Baht for two hour but it looks like seedy.
I’m going to go down to Penang Malaysia. Follow me.