Choom Chon 40 Hong, Kra Road - ชุมชน 40 ห้อง ถนนกระ

I have just added another favourite dining spot to my list!


I have passed this road so many times and said to myself 'I must go there soon' but tonight I actually got there.


This community was originally formed about 20 years ago to house council workers but as years have gone by people from outside have moved in and opened businesses. Now the street is lined with tables just before sunset and seems to have become a popular dining spot for the locals. I arrived at opening time 17.30pm.


I went to what must be the smallest of the restaurants, it only has 3 canal side tables and is run by a wonderfully friendly family with 'Mum' doing the cooking and her son serving. I ordered with no idea of the prices as I hadn't noticed the sign above the restaurant and was amazed to find out just how cheap and tasty it was. One plate of rice, one bottle of water, one plate of food (see photo below) all for 79 Baht, and what an unusual location for Phuket. Beer and other drinks are available too. This restaurant boasts WiFi but the signal was not strong enough to get across the road although I think they will be improving on that soon.



Now some of you may be wondering if the canal smelt bad, well today there was no smell at all and the only worry I had was that I might accidentally knock my phone into the water! (So I put it away safely in my bag under the table)

Choom Chon 40 Hong is in the part of Kra Road that runs along-side Bang Yai Canal on the opposite bank to the Transport Office. It can be approached from Saphan Hin or from the bridge where Poonpol Road and Kra Road meet just close to Poonpol Night Plaza. You can see a map here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zp7kKIGNljC8.kBfjArz-puis

ประวัติหมู่บ้าน/ชุมชน: http://www.phuketcity.go.th/community/detail/13



162 Coffee, Chalong

On my way home from work I often stop for a cheap meal at a curry shop just along from Chalong Police Station. It's convenient as I can usually park right in front and there is a small convenience store there too if I need to pick up some supplies. There is quite a good selection of hot curries and they also sell some Thai desserts including some of my favourites. Now you're wondering what has this got to do with 162 Coffee, or maybe it's Coffee 162, I forgot to ask..........


Well ....when I stopped for curry today I discovered that a small coffee bar had opened and what a cool little place it is too! You can see where I had my curry in the background of the photo and it was while I was sitting eating there that I was looking at the retro coffee table set and just couldn't resist going and having a coffee right there and then. I took an espresso, 35 Baht, (you can see the list on the bar by clicking to enlarge the photo below). I was very happy to see that the espresso arrived in a nice white cup or 'demitasse' and was HOT yes hot with capital letters! I have often been served lukewarm coffee in much smarter restaurants than this one...well done 162!



Ko Vee's Curry Shop

Every now and again, for one reason or another, I find myself in a restaurant I never intended to visit, today was one of those days. It was raining, I was hungry,I wanted a parking space, I wanted a cheap meal and it was a special religious day 'Wan Ork Pansa' วันออกพรรษา or the Final Day of the Vassa which meant some businesses were closed. It was then I spotted a row of curry pots ......


I've been in loads of curry shops like this so I chose a couple of different curries and had them over rice, took a table inside but things were different from the curry shops I've been to before......


I suddenly felt I was in a family home, Ko Vee, the owner (I found out his name later) came over to see if I was able to eat the spicy curry (no problems there), people were coming and going, customers were clearing their own tables, Ko Vee gave them a cloth! He was chatting to them like they were family and for that matter maybe they were. Having finished my food I called him over to take the money, and seeing how friendly and chatty he was I asked him about the place.


Ko Vee told me that the house was built the year before he was born, 66 years ago in 1948 and he has lived there all his life, the restaurant is basically a roof extension of the building. Being interested in the history of Phuket, especially architecture, I love places like this. Ko Vee pointed out the post in the middle of the restaurant explaining how it had been made by hand using an axe and was of a wood that termites don't like, it was clear to see the marks made by the axe unlike modern day wood that is perfectly smooth. 


The field opposite (see top photo) was once a row of brothels that continued along Poonpon Road (which has always been famed for 'Soi 11' it's red light district), then, what must be about 30 years ago because I don't think they were there when I arrived in 1987, a fire destroyed them, since then the land has been used as a fruit market and now an area for bird singing contests. Further along the road near the traffic lights was once an abattoir (slaughterhouse) and the crossroads is locally known as 'See Yaek Rong Ka Sat' literally 'Slaughterhouse Crossroads'. The abattoir is long gone now and in its place stands the Jee Teng Complex that houses Vachira Clinic, a branch of the Vachira Government Hospital. 
(Whoops getting a bit off the subject there!)


Ko Vee sells curry and local sweets in a traditional coffee shop setting that probably hasn't changed since the tin mining days, he tries to attract Kon Poon Teh คนปุ๊นเต่ the 'old style' native Chinese community of Phuket which is what makes for the family atmosphere. Places like this are one of the reasons I love Phuket. 

It was a pleasure to meet such a friendly man that made me feel like I had known him for years and I'll be returning to chat to him again for sure!