We began our day three with a quick shopping at a local batik shop. To be honest, I was confused whether it’s a Thai batik or Indonesian batik since the wrapping bore Indonesian language. Anyhow, if you are looking for a souvenir to bring home, batik is a sarong you can give to your family members and friends.
We departed for Surat Thani, which is two hours’ drive away from Krabi. We stopped for lunch at Sugarree Muslim Restaurant where we were introduced to local dishes such as khonon jin, southern Thai rice noodle with fish or crab curry and Thai stuffed crab.
Fried fish seasoned with dried shrimp. First time seeing this style of frying fish.
Looks like vermicelli. This is Thai rice noodle made from rice or fermented rice. Usually served with in many varieties of stock or soup. It is also used as noodle for Southern Thai laksa.
Kuah laksa cooked in thick coconut milk
Stuffed crab or poo cha.
Fried salted duck eggs.
While salted duck eggs are common in South East Asia, it is totally rare for it to be served fried sunny side up. Every Thai in the tour group made a point that the salted duck eggs of Chaiya is a must try and the best souvenirs to bring home. My tour group ended up bringing home more than 50 boxes. What makes the Chaiya salted duck eggs based on my tasting experience is that the salted duck eggs are neither too salty nor bland. It tastes perfect for you to want more and more of the salted eggs.
Sugarree Muslim Restaurant opens for 24 hours. You can find the restaurant along Route 41, near to a petrol station.
EXPLORING THE ROYAL TEMPLE IN SURATTHANI
When the guide first mentioned Chaiya, my head mentally sang Shah Rukh Khan’s hit song of, “Chaiya, chaiya”. Please excuse my Bollywood inclination. Chaiya is a district in Surathani and also one of the oldest cities in Thailand.
We then proceeded to Wat Praborommathat Chaiya, a royal temple of the highest rank. Inside, there is a structure containing Chaiya Buddha’s relics, believed to have been built around the 13th or 14th century. The Chaiya Buddha’s Relics is the symbol of Surat Thani province and the advent of Buddhism in Surat Thani over a thousand years ago.
We also explored Chaiya National Museum that contain valuable artefacts since the times of Sumatra-originated Srivijaya rule back in the 8th century, situated next to the royal temple. It was interesting to find out that the Srivijaya empire was responsible in expanding Buddhism to the whole of Peninsula Malaysia and Southern Thailand, and the fact that Chaiya was one of its capitals.
Before leaving for our next destination, which was Nakhon Sri Thammarat, we went shopping for good quality silk at Pha Mai Phum Riang.
We had dinner at Chao Rue Restaurant in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
The trip to South Thailand was courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand and ASEAN Ladies Circle.