Monkey Dick anyone? Check out Chanthaburi’s weird street snacks.

A picturesque waterside village in Chanthaburi province is an Instagram sensation with visitors drawn by the strange names of weird street snacks, including the rightly famous “Monkey Dick.”

English public schoolboys have been forced to eat the spotted variety of English dick for time immemorial. Many remain addicted to senility, with the dessert a fixture of House of Commons’ menus. But it’s a lot more substantial than the Thai version – a mung bean rice crepe on a stick in a phallic shape.

Located 10 kilometres south of Chanthaburi, the village of Ban Nong Bua has been home to Hainanese descendants for over 200 years. Their forefathers, seafarers, sailed from Hainan Island in Southern China to settle down along the mouth of the Chanthaburi River.

The Hainanese built wooden shophouses, Chinese shrines, eateries, a slaughterhouse and a small noodle factory at Ban Nong Bua. The community has since grown into the busy marketplace of today where jewellers ply their trade.

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Ban Nong Bua has recently transformed itself into a weekend travel hotspot. Visitors and weekenders enjoy exploring the historical district and searching for a wide variety of street food with mouth-watering names like “Cow Piss.”

When it came to weird street snacks, old-schoolers believed that you could name a dessert anything, even if it sounded provocative or unappealing, because it’s the taste that counts.

Rolling a piece of dough between your fingers before dropping it into a pot of boiling water. Raweewan Klueabkaew – “Auntie Tum” – said…

“This dessert has been around Ban Nong Bua for a century. At first, it didn’t have a name. One day, the children in the house asked what the name of the dessert was. The cook told the children that it was a monkey dick. That was because it looked like a monkey’s penis, which it does.”

Folks in Ban Nong Bua share the mangroves with lots of macaques.

The offending snack is a mung bean rice crepe (Kanom Tua Pab). The dough is made of glutinous rice flour. Cooked in boiling water, the penises are laid on a mung bean mixture before being served them with grated coconut and sugar. It will fill your mouth with a nutty, crunchy, and sweet mishmash.

If monkey dick and cow piss, don’t set your tastebuds alight, there’s always “Beetle Shit.”

Of course, Ban Nong Bua has more to share with hungry visitors than desserts with odd names. In the past, there was a busy fish market on the old pier, but now that the Gulf of Thailand is empty of fish, tourist shops and a food court have taken their place.

For lunch on the run, seafood-based street food and the traditional Thai snack of La Tiang – shrimp, pork and peanuts minced together and wrapped in a thin mesh-like omelette casing. For a sit-down meal, try Mu Liang noodles with Chanthauri’s signature broth with made local herbs and spices.

Shellfish connoisseurs will love tucking into a crispy mussel omelette and smoked clams that come with a sensational seafood dip and are washed down with the dubiously named but delicious drink of “Cow Piss” or sugar cane juice.

The food market at Ban Nong Bua is about 10 kilometres south of downtown Chanthaburi. It’s open from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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