Edible Excursions: Ferry Building Food Tour

When traveling to San Francisco, always come hungry. If you need help figuring what to eat, join a food tour, like Edible Excursions, and discover what the local food scene is all about. 
 


We ate our way through the Ferry Building down by the waterfront. This place is perfect for foodies who want to explore numerous food options. In 1898, the Ferry Building opened as a hub for ferry transportation. When the need for ferries became obsolete, it turned into office space and then into a magical marketplace. Located next to the financial district, the Ferry Building is very easy to get to. This is one of the top places I recommend to all my friends who want to visit San Francisco. It’s spaced out, with lots of room to walk. The building has natural lighting as well, perfect for food photos! When we arrived there was a huge Farmer’s Market going on as well, with vendors selling fresh lavender, sweet fruit, divine olive oils, and more. It seemed like there was an infinite amount of tents and things to try. The Ferry Building offers top quality shops and artisan producers, you’ll see very quickly which shops form the longest line. You’ll know their stuff is good! 


 
The Food Tour

Andy and I were so excited to start our San Francisco trip with a food tour. We’ve visited the Ferry Building before, but only tried one of the sit-down restaurants. Now was our chance learn more about what was offered in the marketplace. Our tour met at the front entrance of the building. We found our guide, Joshua, who was holding an Edible Excursions sign and two baguettes! Here are all 10 vendors we stopped at. 
 


1. Frog Hollow Farm - Here we got a delicious full-sized apricot and cherry tart! They bake with the freshest fruit (they had a produce tent right outside for the farmer’s market) and the crust was flaky and so yummy. They were warmed up to perfection, a great way to start the tour.
 


2. Prather Ranch Meat Co - Joshua told us that this was his favorite chili, and no one can top it. We got a small cup of chili, with sour cream and cheese. It had the perfect amount of heat and top quality meat. Their meat is local, sustainable, and raised ethically so you can definitely taste the difference.


3. Recchiuti Confections - Here we tried a Fleur de sel chocolate piece. This is made of chocolate, sea salt, and caramel, all good reasons to spoil yourself. If you want something sweet and heavenly just in one bite, try some of the amazing handcrafted chocolate here. 
 


4. Boccalone - Two words: meat cone. Yes, a paper cone stuffed with three types of salty smoked meat. It was presented so beautifully like a flower, I had to get a photo before eating it. Boccalone cold cures, meaning they use colder air during the drying process. They also use less salt. So their process takes time, but you can taste the difference.
 


5. Acme Bread - Finally we get to try the baguettes that Josh was holding throughout the whole tour. The bread was made to pull apart easily and pairs perfectly with some good cheese and wine. 
 


6. Cowgirl Creamery - While tasting our bread, we paired it with award -winning cheese from Cowgirl Creamery right next door. The first one we tried was called Mt. Tam, their most popular cheese. It’s made with Straus Family organic milk, this tasted so creamy and buttery! The second one we tried was Red Hawk, a more pungent cheese with a smooth taste. 
 


7. Miette Patisserie - There was a birthday girl on the tour, so Joshua surprised her with a cupcake from Miette Patisserie, such a cute little gift. Here we got to try a strawberry macaron with buttercream filling, so soft and perfect! They also sell a variety of sweets and cakes.
 


8. Dandelion Chocolates - Here we got to sample three different types of chocolate. Joshua had us do a blind taste test and guess the amount of cocoa and what the tasting hints were. We all pretty much failed at guessing, but it was interesting to know that it was all the same percentage. With tasting notes of fruits, tart yogurt, peaches and cream, brownies and toasted nuts, there’s something for every type of palette.
 


9. Out the Door - Super fresh Vietnamese food here! We sampled some shrimp spring rolls and dipped it into creamy peanut sauce. Don’t be afraid of the sauce, be generous and just slather it on! One of my favorite stops on the tour! 
 


10. Humphry Slocombe - Of course we saved the best for last. ICE CREAM! Now, this ice cream stand is a little different, here they serve ice cream for adults! We got to sample all the flavors and then choose one scoop to enjoy. My favorites were the Secret Breakfast (bourbon + cereal) and Beer Goggles (tasted like a Guinness Float). They also had Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee flavor which was high on my list as well! If I could eat them all I could, they were all so good, it was hard to choose my scoop.


I love marketplaces because of the variety of food and drinks. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you can enjoy it here right on the bay. We tasted food from 10 amazing vendors of the Ferry Building and my stomach had never been happier. Joshua was the perfect tour guide. He helped us become SF foodies through storytelling and experiences. Being a chef, his passion definitely shined through while he was conducting the tour and that’s one of the best parts of a food tour, having an amazing guide. Overall, we had a great time and now we know so much more about San Francisco culture, history, and food! Till next time Ferry Building. 
 
Thank you Edible Excursions for having us! Please check them out if you’re planning a trip to San Francisco, you won’t be disappointed. 
 

Sunsuri Phuket // Thailand Resort

After an hour long, 1000 baht taxi ride, we finally made it to Rawai, the southern tip of Phuket, Thailand. On this part of the island, it’s not too crowded, the beaches are pristine and quiet. To our right was a calm lake, and to our left was Nai Harn Beach, which we couldn’t wait to enjoy. We finally saw the entrance sign to our resort, Sunsuri Phuket, and then got dropped off at the lobby. Check in was a breeze, and we were welcomed with complimentary drinks, fruit skewers and some cool towels (it was the hottest in Phuket during our trip). Sunsuri Phuket is the definition of a luxury getaway; if you find yourself trying to plan a Thailand vacation take a chance and drive that extra mile. You’ll find yourself at one of the most incredible resorts.

Andy and I were escorted by buggy to our ocean view pool villa, all the way at the top of the hill. The accommodations are spaced far apart and it would’ve been a trek to get up to our room. Fortunately, they had a complimentary buggy service, which we used about 10 times a day. With our key in hand, we walked up the steps and opened the wooden door to our gorgeous villa. Right when we entered, there was an amazing view of the Andaman Sea and to the right was our balcony and private infinity pool. With floor to ceiling glass walls, it was the perfect place to relax and watch the sunset in our living area and then have a good night’s sleep in their comfy king sized bed. To our surprise, they set up two elegant swan towels with flowers spread around the bed (so romantic!). Then we saw the luxurious bathroom; two sinks, big mirrors, a rain shower, and of course the large bathtub that faced the view. We were in awe, and we couldn’t wait to spend the next three days in our cozy retreat.

5 Things to Experience at Sunsuri Phuket

1. Indulge in one of the many buffets

Our first night there we got to enjoy the Asian-inspired buffet at SAIL restaurant. For foodies, it’s basically heaven. There were so many options to taste. My pro tip for going to a buffet is to just take a little bit of each so you have room to try everything! My favorite part was the dessert selection! They had various types of Thai desserts in little bowls and cups. I wish I didn’t get full so I could eat more of those. For breakfast, we had another buffet at SIP, where they made special order eggs and had a yummy selection of juices like pineapple and lychee. We peeked downstairs back at SAIL and they had unlimited Thai Tea! That same day, we came back for dinner, which was, of course, another buffet. After eating a lot of street food, this meal felt so glorious. They had the best Pad See Ewe and they even had a fried banana dessert, which you could pair with ice cream and sweet syrups.

2. Lose track of time at the pool

Set in the middle of the property, there are 4 pools you can enjoy. There are so many things to do while you’re at the pool. Right off the bat, we got to experience water boxing, where you hold your balance while trying to knock down your opponent. If you lose your balance or get hit, down you go into the pool! We used our Muay Thai skills we learned earlier in the day, and I was able to knock Andy off! After that, we ordered some refreshing cocktails to enjoy poolside. I think I spent about an hour just lounging on my new pineapple floatie, pure bliss. For those thrill seekers, they also have a water slide and a diving platform! I faced my fears and jumped off a few times, it was exhilarating! We spent a good 3 and half hours at all the pools, and then realized since that wasn’t enough, it was time to enjoy the sunset at our pool villa.

3. Learn how to cook a 4-course Thai meal

Andy and I are pretty much master chefs now! With the help from Chef Aroon, we both learned how to whip up four new Thai dishes. Suited in our tall chef hat and Sunsuri aprons, we began cutting vegetables and mixing ingredients together. Our first dish was Yam Ta-Lay, spicy seafood and lemon juice mixed together into a refreshing salad. Our second dish was Gaeng Jued Gai Sab, a light chicken soup with vegetables. Our third dish was Phad Kra Prow Nue, wok-fried beef with garlic, chili, and hot basil leaves. Our final dish was a Thai classic, Kluay Buad Chee, sweetened bananas in coconut milk cream. To our surprise, we just prepared a four-course meal in about 45 minutes. When everything was finished, we received a certificate of completion and got to enjoy our delicious lunch on the outside patio.

4. Relax at Nai Harn Beach

The real reason why you visit Phuket is for the beaches, right? We took a 5-minute complimentary shuttle ride to Nai Harn Beach on our last day before check out. When you get there, rent a pair of beach chairs and an umbrella for about 200 baht, you’ll need shade if you want to survive the heat! They have a strip of shops and cafés where you can find some lunch and buy some coconuts to quench your thirst. Check out Sea Breeze Café, a partner of Sunsuri. You’ll also find stores that carry every kind of floatie imaginable! I couldn’t control myself, so I bought a huge pineapple for 250 baht. After sunbathing, we took a dip in the ocean to cool off and do some swimming!

5. Take a private Muay Thai Lesson

Imagine an outdoor deck, overlooking lush greenery and lake. Then add hot weather and Muay Thai lessons, you have the perfect workout to burn all the calories you gained at the buffet! Our instructor Patt, was very informative and patient and taught us the basics of Thai boxing. He wrapped our hands and instructed how to do basic punches, kicks, and a combination of both. After that, it was time to put on the boxing gloves and give it all we got. It was the perfect setting to have a fitness class, to learn more about Thai culture while working out is a huge plus!

Our visit to Sunsuri Phuket was simply amazing. Our two-night stay flew by, but we made so many memories and made new friendships with the gracious staff. We requested late check out, that’s how much we didn’t want to leave! Thank you Fook for having us, you made Phuket a magical destination for us!

North City Hill Resort // Chiang Mai, Thailand

Nestled 20 minutes away from the bustling Chiang Mai center, there is a tranquil resort with world-class amenities waiting for you to enjoy. North Hill City Resort is one of Chiang Mai’s top luxury resorts. This brand new resort is located on a golf course and inspires you to connect with nature. Every guest that stays here is treated like a VIP. We were so excited to arrive at our sophisticated hideaway in Chaing Mai, Thailand.

DAY ONE

Upon arrival, we entered through the gate and passed through the 18-hole golf course. We were dropped off and greeted right at the front door. It was time to check in to our room, but before that, they welcomed us with a refreshing drink and chocolate mousse, the presentation was amazing! Next, one of the front desk agents got us checked in, confirmed our spa reservation and cooking class details. I was surprised when they handed us our own personal tablet (to borrow during our stay) containing all the information you needed to know about the resort. Then we were led to our deluxe room, only a short walk from the lobby. We were blown away by the modern décor and amenities.

We had only a few minutes to settle in before our spa treatment at GayaRandra Spa, only a short golf cart ride away. We got to experience a couple’s steam, scrub and oil massage, a blissful 90-minute treatment. It was the perfect way to relax after traveling all day! First, we showered to rinse off any impurities, then we entered the steam room to warm-up before our treatment. Next, we were led to the couple's room where we began our body scrub. The heavenly scent of coffee filled the air, as we were buffed with coffee scrub from head to toe. We finished off with divine oil massages, which soothed our sore muscles and let us drift into full relaxation mode.

After our spa treatment, we walked up to the Astro Sky Bar. Sitting on top of the resort building, we sipped our White Russian and Mai Tai’s and munched on some pizza while enjoying a warm Chiang Mai night.

Day Two

We woke up bright and early since we had a morning full of elephant adventures. Our pickup was at 6:30 am and North Hill Resort started serving breakfast at 6 am. We didn’t want to rush our meal, so they let us call ahead and order. Since the menu was on the tablet, we were able to scroll through and order right away. Once we got to Zest, our breakfast was served promptly and we didn’t waste any time. Breakfast is complimentary with every reservation; you can choose either a western or Thai entree. They had the best pineapple juice I’ve ever tasted, and our breakfast was complete with pastries, yogurt, coffee, and fruit. Before we got picked up for the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, they gave us delicious iced coffees for the ride.

We returned to North Hill at around 2 pm, and we were exhausted! We spent the whole morning traveling, and then we got to feed, bathe and play with elephants. It was an amazing experience, but the ride back made me super dizzy. What better way to cure a headache, than some down time at the infinity pool. We suited up and relaxed on their massive daybeds, and then took a dip. The cool water felt so good, the temperature was rising as the sun came up.

After some pool time, we showered and took a quick nap. Then we used North Hill’s complimentary shuttle to get to Chiang Mai Old Town to meet up with our new friends we met at the elephant camp! More on this later, but it was a fun night. We got a shuttle ride back and our luxurious bed never felt better. 

Day Three

Before it was time to leave this magical place, we got to experience North Hill’s Farm-to-Table cooking class. For only 2,500 baht per couple, it’s such a great deal!

North Hill has a lush vegetable farm growing right next to the resort. Our first task was a quick garden tour, where we got to harvest fresh ingredients and smell herbs right from the source. At check-in, we selected 5 dishes that we wanted to cook. Dishes were picked in advance so that the chefs can prep some of the ingredients. When we got to the leaf shaped gazebo, a colorful array of vegetables, sauces, meats and so much more were beautifully laid out on the table. 

For the next hour, Chef Kong was our private teacher, and we learned how to prep, cut, simmer and cook our way to 5-course Thai lunch! Our first dish was called Gaeng Keaw Wan Moo, a green pork curry with coconut milk, served with steamed rice. Our second dish was the famous pad thai, stir fried noodles with prawn and tamarind sauce. This tasted so much better than street food! Our third dish was Khao Phad Moo, Thai fried rice with pork. Our fourth dish, was Pad Preow Wan Gai, chicken mixed with sweet and sour sauce and colorful vegetables. Our last creation was Khao Soi, also known as Chiang Mai curry Noodles, this was my absolute fave and I couldn’t wait to dig in.

An hour passed and I couldn’t believe we created this feast! Everything was plated perfectly and we enjoyed a private lunch in the garden after we took some food photos. We were completely stuffed, there was enough food for a family of four! After we were finished we received certificates of completion and took a photo with Chef Kong. We were now ready to leave North Hill with happy tummies and lots of amazing memories. 

Now it was time to check out, and we were so sad we were leaving this wonderful resort. At check out, we received a framed photo that we took just minutes ago. Such a sweet touch, and something we’ll never forget.

Thank you North Hill staff and Krittiya for having us, we had an incredible stay!

Recap Video:

 

Things to Do in Chiang Mai

  • Visit a Night Market: If you’re in Chaing Mai on a Sunday, visit the market in Old Town. The streets are filled with vendors selling food and souvenirs. This is the best place to work your bartering magic and score some great deals!
  • Get a Massage: There are massage parlors everywhere around the city! If you want to be adventurous, go to the Night Bazaar and work out a package deal for the Fish Spa and Foot Massage. It seems like a crazy idea at first, you put your feet into a tub of small fish that eat away dead skin cells. After a few minutes, you get used to the tickling vibration. Next, get a 30-minute foot massage to pamper yourself. After walking around the city and getting sunburnt, your feet definitely need some care. We spent about $10 for this hour of bliss.
  • Elephant Jungle Sanctuary: About an hour from the city is an elephant camp where you get to feed, bathe and play with elephants rescued from riding camps. This was definitely the highlight of my trip and I highly recommend it! I got to see a baby elephant, it was a dream come true.

Ziplining Through Chiang Mai with Flight of the Gibbon

Our visit to Chiang Mai would not be complete without some gibbons and ziplining. I’ve only been zipling once before, on Catalina Island, while it was an amazing experience it didn’t compare to the scenery and thrill of Flight of the Gibbon’s zipline. This company is one of the top rated, people from all over the world recommend it, so we couldn’t wait to try it out.

We were picked up promptly at 6am from our hotel, and we drove for about an hour in a nice air conditioned van. On the way up to the headquarters, you pass small Thai communities and start to see parts of the jungle. Once you get to HQ, you can use the bathroom (no bathroom breaks while ziplining), sign a waiver and then get a locker to stow away your belongings. After that, you put on your safety harness and helmet, and as a souvenir, they give you a free branded bandana to keep!

Once we were all suited up to go, we drove for about 5 minutes to the first line. Our guide, Jason, spoke great English, and was very helpful in explaining the rules of ziplining. They genuinely care about everyone’s safety, so they made sure to thoroughly demonstrate the proper way to zip line.

Now off to the first line, my heart was racing, even if I’ve done this before, it still got that feeling in my gut. Jason hooked me up to the line and reassured me that I was here to have fun! After I leaped off that first line, it felt amazing. Flying through the lush green jungle of Thailand was incredible. We hiked for about 10 minutes to see the gibbons hanging out in a tree, then it was off to the longest line.

For those who love variety, this is the perfect activity. We finished in a couple of hours and got to experience lines from different lengths, we got to glide like superman (facing the ground and catching on to a net at the end), cross suspension bridges made of planks of wood and wire, and belay down a super tall tree! They also had a zipline where you can go down as a couple, being the only couple in the group they made us do the honeymoon pose, kissing while flying like a monkey haha.

15 lines later, we were all done. We were offered some refreshing herbal iced tea at the bottom and then it was time to head back to HQ. After you return your gear, you can purchase your photos (they have a photographer) and then head over to lunch. Included in the ticket is a Thai lunch that is served family style with the people in your group, it was super satisfying after an action packed morning. They also had live music playing in the background. One our way back to the hotel, we got to stop at a temple and small waterfall.

If you want to experience ziplining through Chiang Mai, I highly recommend booking with Flight of the Gibbon. Tickets are 4,199 baht and they include transportation, ziplining, a meal and fun memories. Experiencing the jungle in Thailand is definitely something you don’t want to miss, it was one of the highlights of my trip! Don’t forget bug spray and sunscreen!

Thank you Flight of the Gibbon for having us!

Bangkok Food Tours // Thailand

Traveling to a foreign place can be scary sometimes. New modes of transportation, language barriers, and food choices can cause a lot of confusion. Even if you’re winging your plans, I highly recommend booking a walking food tour. On our second day in Thailand, we got to experience the Historical Bangrak Food Tour. Our meet up spot was one of the Skytrain Exits, making it easy to get there. Our guide was Moh, she spoke great English and was super funny.

Our tour consisted of Mom & Pop restaurants, where recipes have been passed down for generations. Bangrak is full of diverse flavors, many that have mixed with Thai influence. I love that this tour supports small communities like this one.

Our first stop was a street cart, where we got to try yummy jackfruit. Jackfruit is yellow on the inside and has similarities to Juicy fruit gum, it’s totally edible though! The outside is large bumpy peel.

Our next stop was an eatery most known for their roasted duck. At this stop we had FIVE dishes to taste, we were getting so much right off the bat. The first dish was roasted duck on a bed of rive with a side of cucumber. We topped it off with a honey, sugar, vinegar dressing, and it was amazing! The second dish was a common Thai dish, papaya salad. It was so refreshing in this hot climate! We even got to see how they made it. Next we tried some sticky rice, and our guide suggested that we put some of the papaya salad dressing on top for some flavor. Next was Nam Tok Moo, pork mixed in with spices and mint leaves. The last dish at this stop was a chicken mushroom soup, which was kinda spicy for me. In Thailand, I’m able to test out my spicy tolerance, and I know I can’t handle Thai spicy level yet.

Next, we walked to a temple and learned about some Thai etiquette. While our guide explained temples and 5 rules, she let us try this colorful coconut candy. It was so good, she even had extra and let us try more.

Our next restaurant stop was a Muslim Thai place. Here our guide explained different types of curry. The dish we tried was an egg naan flatbread with cucumbers, and panang curry which had noodles in it! This place was a fusion of Thai and Indian, it was so unique and delicious!

After, that we walked over to Miss Lee, a small hole in the wall restaurant known for their fish ball soup. On the wall, it said a bowl was only 50 baht (about $1.50). Here you can choose which type of noodle you’d like. The soup was a pink broth, a mix of ketchup, fish balls, fried tofu and some vegetables. It was so good, one of the kids on our tour and asked for another bowl for himself!  The perfect pairing for a spicy soup, a cold refreshing bottle of coca cola. For some reason, it always tastes better in a glass bottle.

We walked down Silom for about 15 minutes and passed by a Buddha tree, where local wrap colorful fabrics and offer Red Fanta, apparently, the color red is lucky! A local also splashed us with water since it was day 2 of Songkran.

Our last stop was a nicer restaurant called Kalpapruek. Here, we tried a flatbread that you can dip in green curry. Our last taste was a scoop of ice cream, they saved the sweetest for last. I got young coconut and Andy got tamarind. Our guide suggested that we mix the two flavors to create an amazing combination.

Everything we tasted was “aroi mak”, meaning “very delicious” in Thai. I think the best way to get to know a city is by their food, and through their food you can learn more about their culture. What was great about this tour was that we got to taste unique dishes instead of the common Pad Thai and Thai Tea that we all know and love. Their pricing is totally reasonable, considering all the food you get. After 4 hours of walking and eating, I was full and my stomach was happy. Thank you Bangkok Food Tours for having us!