Part of experiencing a culture is in trying the local food. When visiting Bangkok, Thailand, you can find good representation of the Thai cuisine in restaurants that serve Royal Thai cuisine like Thanying, but if you ask the locals, they would likely say that the best Thai food is found at the street stalls or small local shops. But if you ask for recommendations, you would likely hear varying opinions on favorite places to eat — each person likely has his or her own favorite place to go.
If you’re in Bangkok, and you want to try the street food, you can search around on the Internet to find out what the locals have to say about areas or places to go to find their favorite food stalls if there is a particular dish that you want to try out. But another way to go about it is simply to just ‘play it by ear’ (or, by nose) — plan your day to visit the places you want to see, and then around lunch or dinner time (or even along the way when you like to eat snacks), just look around and go to places that have food that looks or smells delicious, and where there are others eating. You may have to be creative in communicating with the vendor if he or she only speaks Thai and you don’t understand what they have written at their stalls (most are likely written in Thai, though the price would be written using the same numeric scripts). You should also have an open mind and be adventurous in trying out the food, as some of the ingredients may not be what you are used to eat at home. Also, be ready with some medication in the event that your stomach can’t handle the food that you eat — it’s a risk that you have to take, but in my opinion it’s worth it.
The photo below was taken when we stopped outside the pier near the Grand Palace where we disembarked after riding the Chao Phraya Express Boat. The pier exit was lined with stalls selling variety of food and fresh fruits and vegetables. It was quite a shock to the senses with the sights, smells and sounds of the food being prepared and served. My cousin Kristi decided to stop at one vendor that sells coconut-based snacks. It was freshly made to order and the price was quite cheap. And more importantly, it was delicious.