By Johnny Lopes
Khaosan Road, Bangkok; Backpacker Mecca. The street gets stupid busy at night between fellow travelers and merchant hustlers. You can buy everything from new suits to a ride to a local ping-pong show. As an amateur photo-journalist project, I went out in the early morning to seek out the silent streets -- I wanted to capture the contrast of early morning life versus the chaotic alcohol-fueled evenings.
I am still new out here and while I've been eating a lot of street food, I hadn't had Pad Thai yet. Enter our pre-teen chef. At the top of Khasoan, our little hero was guarding her stall, piled high with three different kinds of noodles and spring rolls. She was serving breakfast to the local merchants setting up for the day, and for 50 baht, she whipped up a mean Pad Thai with egg and chicken. In under two minutes, I was taking in the country's signature dish while admiring the young chef. Meanwhile, her boss (mom) was pleased to see I was enjoying the dish. I gave a thumbs up and received a smile. Sap! Yum!
*Johnny Lopes is based in San Francisco and is currently traveling through Southeast Asia for two months. Follow what he's eating on his Flickr feed.