Boat Noodle: The Simple Dish of Ayutthaya

The noodle dish without the soup.

Many Thai dishes are generally influenced by Indian and Chinese cuisine. Thai people have an amazing ability to adopt and modify foreign foods. They usually find a way to spice up the dishes to cater to their tastes. Thai noodle soup is clearly a Chinese influence. It comes in different styles and easy to find in local restaurants in Thailand.

“Gway Tiew Reaw” or “noodle soup from the boat” is one of the most popular noodle soups in the country. It is uniquely Thai, b0th tastes and style. Obviously, the name comes from the boat that sells the Thai noodle soup.

Boats were once the most popular means of transportation in the Thai kingdom, thanks to a wide network of canals and rivers. People not only used the waterways to transport produce and goods to the market but also converted their boats into a floating shop or a restaurant.

The noodle boat at Bang Pa In Palace in Ayutthaya (with the Mekhala boat in the background).

The noodle soup boat consists of a big soup pot, ingredients and a set of serving bowls, spoons and chopsticks. It is usually served with fresh bean sprouts, basil leaves, fried wonton wrappers and pork rinds. Traditionally, the vendors use a row boat that fits just one person. So, customers eat the dish on the riverbank. Aytthaya is known to serve the most delicious Thai noodle soup of this style.

Since most of the villages are accessible by roads, the noodle soup boats are seldom seen. Some of them move their floating restaurants onshore. A row boat is often put in front of the restaurants to show the kind of noodle soup they serve. There are many good restaurants in Ayutthaya that offer this style of noodle soup. It’s worth trying this dish when you visit this former capital of Thailand.

The Ayutthaya style: you can add fresh bean sprout, fried wanton wrappers and pork rinds in the noodle dish

Boat noodle