After a short 50 minute flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok, and riding on a really sweet and spacious bus to the Century Park Hotel to drop off our bags, a group of us headed to an optional dinner at a restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms.
Bangkok ended up being everything I expected and nothing I expected all at the same time. This restaurant is a prime example of what I mean by that.
The Population and Community Development Association (PDA), founded in 1974, works to promote family planning in urban and rural areas of Thailand, where knowledge of and access to such services have been scarce. The founder, Mr.Mechai Viravaidya, worked to attract media coverage to aid in changing his society’s values, particularly with respect to taboo subjects such as sex, contraception, and vasectomies.
He theorized that cabbages are a common food in Thailand, grown in all villages and eaten by most Thais. If he was successful in making condoms as common and cheap as cabbages, then perhaps he could make some of the health problems facing Thailand disappear!
This unique spot at times requires a sense of humor and respect for the mission it serves. Some of the money paid for our meal goes towards supporting the work of the Population and Community Development Association and an on-site clinic even offers vasectomies! As a thank you, condoms are given with the bill instead of after dinner mints.
I anticipated Thailand to be the culinary delight of this trip, and I wasn’t disappointed – the pad see ew I had at Cabbages and Condoms could very well be the best I’ve ever had. And being half-way through my antibiotics, I had to skip the Thai beer, instead drinking a fresh fruit punch which was absolutely delicious.
The place may look tacky, but the service was fantastic, the food was fabulous and the mission of PDA is respectable. If you ever go to Bangkok, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out.