Soak in Sukhothai’s Local Secret
Words Sarita Urupongsa
Information & Photos Tourism Authority of Thailand
If you’re in search of a slower pace of life, then “Ban Na Ton Chan” is the place to wind down in traditional Thai style. Tucked in Sukhothai’s Si Satchanalai district, this tiny village offers the chance to witness the weaving of Khit fabric with ancient Phikun flower patterns, basket-weaving, making of wooden toys, and the traditional dying of beautiful designs using mud.
You can also take a stroll through the orchards, soak in the lush green of paddy fields, enjoy a bicycle ride around the village and breathe in the pure, pollution-free air. For a longer stay, visitors can opt for a cosy homestay and get first-hand experience of community-style living.
No visit to Ban Na Ton Chan is complete without a bowl of its signature “Guay Tiew Phra Ruang” (Phra Ruang noodles), known locally as “Khao Perb”.
The word “Perb” comes from the northern dialect meaning “to fold”. Khao Perb, much like Khao Griab Pak Mor or Steamed Rice-Skin Dumplings, is made by spreading fresh rice-flour mixture on a thin white cloth stretched over a clay pot. The thin crêpe is cooked by the steam from the pot below, before it is topped with assorted vegetables such as cabbage, bean sprouts, morning glory, glass noodles or fillings of your choice. The pot is then covered until the fillings are cooked, before the crêpe is folded over to create a dumpling.
The dumplings are placed in a bowl along with minced pork, then a hot, aromatic pork broth is poured over them. However, this delicacy is not complete without a steamed sunny-side-up egg. The steamed egg is simple to make – just break an egg on the white cloth, cover it until cooked and then place it in the bowl of soup. Top your steaming bowl of noodles with finely-chopped spring onions, coriander and seasoning of your choice and slurp it up!