At the foot of Kao Tang Kuan: Refreshing coconut dessert
You can easily spot this roadside hawker cart that is usually crowded with locals at the foot of Tang Kuan Hill. This stall sells a very inexpensive Thai dessert that uses coconut as star ingredient. The lady displays skilful strokes to de-husk and cut open the coconut effortlessly in less than a minute; drain off the coconut juice into a container; scrape to loosen the coconut meat inside the shell; then put in some green colored glutinous rice, breads crumbs, peanuts, "atap" seeds, some small tapioca cubes; 4 scoops of coconut ice cream; layer on top some milk; and finally prepare a cup of coconut juice from the container where she had earlier drained the juice into to go along with this dessert.
I bet If this thing were to make it into the poolside bar menu of a posh 4/5 star hotel ( added with a small umbrella toothpick sticking on top of the ice-cream), a paying customer would be easily ripped off with at least a US$5 to $10 bill. But this wonderful dessert, through the hands of these simple and honest folks who run small businesses just to make a decent living, cost a mere 30 Baht!
What to pay: 30 Baht
various: mermaids for sale
I was disapointed with the shops in Songklha-but they don't cater too much to tourists. They do sell silly souvenirs-like this basket of mermaid paper weights. Near Samila beach, there are a bunch of stores that sell t-shirts, stuff made out of shells and other tourist souvenirs. But that's about it.
various stalls: buy traditional cloth
On the island of Koh Yo, you can buy handmade cloth from local women or men along the street. You can buy a plaid design or one color pieces of cloth/textiles. Expect to haggle hard.
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