Australia has long been hailed as the epicenter of the BBQ. unfortunately, I feel that the title is under threat from our Asian counterparts, especially countries like Thailand. With just as much fresh local seafood and drastically reduced labour cost, the beachside BBQ in the Gulf of Thailand is a sight to behold. Before you think I am not comparing apples with apples don’t forget that I spent over 6 years in Port Douglas which is one of Australia’s premier tropical beach destinations.
The reason is simple. Less government interference. A beachside BBQ should be on, or right next to, the beach. On Koh Phangan you are right there with white sand between your toes. Alas, in Port Douglas you have miles of red tape to cross which, more often than not, leaves you high and dry and unable to see the beach.
The balance needs to be there but while the Thai’s tend to be too lax we are far too rigid in our approach of stopping all access to the beach. No cold sunset beers on Four Mile Beach without breaking the law! Crazy, right?
Enough of that, let’s talk about what can be found here on the Gulf of Thailand. Wooden boats packed with ice then loaded with such thing as huge king prawns, snapper, sea bass, blue swimmer crabs, whole squid and, of course, whole lobster. All ready to be freshly cooked right in front of you.
Fires are right there as well with a cluster of chefs waiting to cook that special meal. Tables are immaculately set along the beach to watch the cooking action unfold.
Don’t think for a minute that this is reserved for 5* luxury either. Almost any hotel will have the same set up.
Prices may differ, so shop around, but all the seafood we’ve seen has been super fresh. No big fish markets here, our local fish in Thailand was sold off the boat each day as the catch comes ashore.
Certainly, it is one of my favourite ways to spend the evening with my family. The only trouble is working out which BBQ to choose for the night’s meal. What’s your favourite BBQ?