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Ordering Thai Noodles in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Noodle soup in Thailand is called gŭai-dtĭao, and it is ordered either with wide large noodles (sên yài) or thin noodles (sên lék). The soup includes a dark broth or clear broth. The dark noodle soup is called gŭai-dtĭao nám-dtòk (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวน้ำตก) — the phrase nám-dtòk literally meaning waterfall. However, if you just order gŭai-dtĭao, you are likely to get the bloody version, unless the Sakon Nakhon noodle stand doesn’t serve it.

Eating a soup with blood makes some foreigners a little queasy, so in today’s learn Thai lesson we are going to show you how to order gŭai-dtĭao without blood. You could always say mâi sài lêuat (ไม่ใส่เลือด), which means “not with blood”. But that isn’t how a Thai would order it. They would order it like we do in the following Thai language lesson.

ขอก๋วยเตี๋ยว น้ำใส่ ครับ
Khaw gŭai-dtĭao nám-sài khráp.
Request noodle soup water-with (polite).

Learn Thai Language Tip: We mentioned that noodle soup in Thailand can be ordered with wide big noodles, which are called sên yài. The phrase sên yài also has a colloquial meaning. The Thai slang meaning of sên yài is that of a big shot or very important person who usually can get away with anything.

To remember how to order noodle soup without the blood, remember this learn Thai rhyme: “If blood makes you cry, order gŭai-dtĭao nám-sài.”