The Best Thai Breakfast – Vietnamese Pan Eggs (aka Egg Pan)

pan eggs? egg pan? super yummy either way!

This is one of my favorite things to have for breakfast in Thailand, because the majority of Thai breakfasts is one dish: Grilled pork skewers and sticky rice – which is awesome, but gets old day after day.

There used to be an old lady who made the best version of this in town, but she closed her shop a decade ago. The one pictured above was made at a nearby restaurant owned by the mother of one of Mina’s classmates that opened pre-COVID and subsequently shut down. It was OK, but very typically made with margarine instead of butter.

An egg pan, or pan eggs, typically go for about a dollar per pan and are served with a stuffed roll called khanom pan yuan, or literally, “gook bread.” “Yuan” is kind of an ethnic slur for Vietnamese in Thai.

“gook bread” is usually a hard oblong roll; this one was actually a hot dog bun which is unforgivably inauthentic and just lame, dude

After the old lady mentioned above closed her shop, I thought about opening a breakfast place that served this only just so I could eat it whenever I wanted – because this dish is too dirt cheap to make much money on, or even to make properly with real butter. Alas, I only eat this now when I go to Khon Kaen (where they have enough customers at established shops to keep open), or just make similar breakfast at home.

Oh egg pan, and pan egg – how I miss thee.

Why I still love Thailand

The ad blurb translated by Googs:

Last day. Golden minute. When it’s gone,

Boiled chicken. Golden minute. Big size. Only 89 Baht each!!!!

One day only. Discount for 60 baht immediately when shopping for fresh food department. 600 baht or more / receipt.

This Chinese food festival!! with valuable quality at Tesco Lotus.

Tesco. Boiled chicken with entrails. Size M. Size 1.4-1.6 kg. Normal item is 189 Baht each.

⏰ Golden minute. Reduced to 89 baht each!!!!

⏰ Golden minute. The last day. 1 July. Year 63

so busy?

I’m currently in a state of being extremely busy juggling things like preparing for a new school term, managing a botched house extension, getting our main car repainted, moving a metric ton of dirt the workers we fired (from previously mentioned house extension job) left on the street in front of our house with the only Radio Flyer I’ve ever seen in Thailand, getting diphtheria/tetanus boosters because I gouged my leg on my rusty barbecue grill, replacing a temporary crown on my tooth with a permanent one, running around to every home improvement shop in town to find the correct angle grinder attachment/vinyl flooring sheets/ceiling hangers, etc.

Here is a shot of the best khao tom I’ve had all year, up in the mountains, on break from performing Okinawan music to Northeastern Thais.

Mountain mushroom soup rice glory!

Also, we miss Max and have decided not to bring him back on a repatriation flight to face 2 week quarantine by himself, and instead wait until we can go get him (intl flights are still not allowed into Thailand) safely.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet (for Thailand)?

Teaching online has been a side hustle for 10+ years and I’ve taught a few workshops along the way, so I get asked about the best platform a lot recently: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet?

So after testing and teaching classes this summer on all three, I can say that Google Meet is the best for a university teacher in Thailand.

This is based on performance, security, ease of use (for both teacher and student), and features. Price did not really factor into this decision, because my employer enabled free access to Meet and Teams. I will say that the 40-minute limit on free Zoom account meetings probably affects many.

Google Meet (basic but reliable) > Zoom (dumb 40 min. limit) > Microsoft Teams (uh… better suited for business?)

BONUS TIDBIT: Google Meet can now show many (max. 16) people on the grid, one of the last advantages Zoom (max. 49) had over it (Microsoft Teams is still at 4).

Photos of the “Elephant Cage” in Udon Thani, Thailand

Pages like this one and this one and this one got me interested in the cold war antenna array known as the “Elephant Cage.” It was built by the US military in Udon Thani province, northeast Thailand, at an air force base used for signals intelligence back in the day, and suspected of housing a CIA black site in more recent years (although it is now apparently a mushroom farm/museum open to the public). Wikipedia describes the Elephant Cage as thus:

The AN/FLR-9 is a type of very large circular “Wullenweber” antenna array, built at eight locations during the cold war for HF/DF direction finding of high priority targets. The worldwide network, known collectively as “Iron Horse”, could locate HF communications almost anywhere on Earth. Because of the exceptionally large size of its outer reflecting screen (1056 vertical steel wires supported by 96 120-foot towers), the FLR-9 was commonly referred to by the nickname “Elephant Cage.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/FLR-9

None of the Elephant cages exist anymore, although parts of the one in Udon might still be found around town, if local stories are to be believed. I just wanted to compile all of the photos I’ve bookmarked in a single post.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1528890/ex-us-base-not-secret-prison
Source: https://disabledveteransthailand.wordpress.com/ramasun-station-thailand/
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/7th_pictures/tour_of_ramasun/Tour_of_Ramasun.html
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boondocks/254318616/
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boondocks/254433519
Source: http://www.83rdrrsou.org/Maps/Non_Sung_Mueang_Udon_Thani_Thailand.html
Source: http://topicstock.pantip.com/wahkor/topicstock/2008/05/X6597669/X6597669.html
Source: http://topicstock.pantip.com/wahkor/topicstock/2008/05/X6597669/X6597669.html

That's where they went!

Over at the Bangkok Post, I just stumbled upon the reason why Play Bar, De Loft, and Image club in Maha Sarakham shut down at the same time a few years ago – they got busted for serving minors: 11 pubs ordered closed for 5 years in Maha Sarakham

Memories, yo.

One day, Play Bar was just gone. Like, knocked down and smashed into rubble. We heard the guys running it opened another place, but it just didn’t have the same history as Play Bar… That was one of the first chill outdoor places here, and it all started less than ten years ago. Now there’s twenty places like that.

RIP.

Two-wheeled Uranai

Driving down a main street toward Mitraphap Road in Khon Kaen, something caught my eye…
It was a broken down bicycle with trailer (or maybe a tricycle with a bed?) being used as a mobile fortune telling booth!

Little things like this still blow my mind every day in this country – it’s part of the charm.

Fortune telling is still a huge part of the culture, and for some reason, tarot cards seem to be getting very popular from what I see online.

Conquistador and Castle

This guy’s photos are so good, they don’t look like photos.

Amazing!

Khon Kaen, two months ago

It takes me so long to put things up on this blog these days. There’s posts I’ve been wanting to publish for more than a decade lol. Anyways, since another trip to Khon Kaen is coming up either tomorrow or this weekend, I wanted to put up some more photos of another back in August.

Artemis Archery, Khon Kaen
Mina getting lessons from the Thai Robin Hood
My favorite passenger seat pursuit is snapping photos all the way until we arrive.
Found a curry resto in Khon Kaen!
Oh lassi!
At KK airport dropping someone off, I think.