Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s also the only meal of the day that can involve cake, crispy pork, rice porridge, and deep-fried dough in the same sitting. At least, that’s the case in the southern Thailand city of Trang, where residents start snapping up breakfast as early as 4 a.m.
I learned about Trang in this BBC Travel article from food and travel writer Austin Bush. In the article, Bush explores Trang’s bustling breakfast culture that’s led to the residents’ “reputation as serious eaters.” Bush calls the city’s obsession with breakfast “almost pathological,” detailing Trang’s gigantic dim sum halls, extensive street vendor offerings, and—perhaps most importantly—the near-constant aromas from the area’s famed roast pork.
Why is Trang so nuts for breakfast? There are a few factors. Bush explains that the countryside surrounding Trang is home to a robust rubber farming industry—an industry that requires rubber tappers to wake up as early as 2 a.m., eating their first few meals of the day before the sun comes up. The city is also home to a large Cantonese population with a vast network of dim sum halls, a significant Muslim population offering open-air halal restaurants, and a community of ethnic Thais operating all-day curry stalls. While these dishes might be considered lunch elsewhere in Thailand, they’re the best way to start the day in Trang.
If, like me, you’re feeling inspired by Trang’s approach to early-morning eating, make sure to check out the full article here.