Trang Town’s traditional breakfast is dim sum and some real Thai coffee (or maybe Chinese jasmine tea).
Travelfish.org had some good recommendations, as did Peung’s brother (Pong O-Cha Cafe), but we asked a few locals and got another answer altogether: Ruan Thai Dim Sum. From Thumrin Hotel (1 block from the train station) we needed to take a tuk-tuk about 2 km (25 baht per person, and we took the driver’s cell number to call him for the return ride too). As soon as we pulled up in front we knew it was a great choice. The semi-pavilion-style building was jam-packed full of Thais, over 200 at least. Others were standing around under the awning in front waiting for bigger tables to open. We pounced on one that had dirty dishes and bamboo steam trays still stacked on it.
Not a foreigner in the house. Ordering is simple. Each table has a number glued to a corner and a stack of papers with that number printed on the back. Go around to the various food stations and place your order (you can point at the unsteamed dim sum you want – no English required). The slip gets attached to your stack of bamboo trays when they are placed over the steam.
Another station takes orders for coffee, Thai tea or other drinks. Here also the roast ducks hang behind glass, another very popular menu item. Out front, fresh dough is being rolled into pa tong go, a sort of X-shaped bread that is tossed into the deep fryer.
A Trang signature dish, moo yang, a semi-sweet, partly crisp form of grilled pork with the fat layers and skin still attached. This is seasoned a bit similar to the roast pork in Bangkok, but the sweetness and grilling make it otherwise completely different. Also, it is nothing like pork satay. (I must say, not my favorite. Give me the satay!)
We ordered 5 two-piece trays of dim sum, an order each of duck and moo yang, plus cha yen, an iced Thai tea with milk (you have to order with or without milk here unlike in other places where milk is simply expected) and an iced coffee (also with milk). Both are sweet. A few fresh salad veggies and a pot of hot Chinese jasmine tea are served free to each table. Our bill for the two of us came to 276 baht – about USD$9-10.
When we arrived at 8 am the place was packed, and it was just as busy when we left almost an hour later. The variety of food and the price and the vast local appeal make this a must-eat sort of place.
See all my blog posts about travel in Trang