If you agree with this statement, you might be surprised by our answer! The truth is, America is full of people from around the world. We suggest looking into your community. Does it have a decent sized population of people from other countries? If so, do they have a place to gather? This might be a good place to start traveling in your hometown.
When Tom and I moved to the San Diego area, we chose to explore our new home base. Since many communities revolve around spiritual beliefs, we researched Thai Buddhist temples in Southern California. To our surprise, one is located a quick 20-minute drive from our home.
Wat Buddhajakramongkolratanaram is located in Escondido, CA. The temple is not only open for prayer. It also offers Thai culture and language classes for children. Please don’t think that this temple is only for people of SE Asia decent. Each Sunday morning from approximately 10:30 to 1:00, members of the temple offer food and goods for sale to benefit the community. Everyone is welcome to try authentic, homemade dishes. Or purchase some unique plants to enhance the home garden.
Please don’t tell us that you enjoy authentic Thai food from the local restaurant. Believe us when we tell you that it is “Americanized”. If you want to taste truly unique Thai food in the San Diego area, look no further than this temple. Boat noodle soup is prepared onsite. Papaya salad is made to order. You can specify if you prefer Thai style, which is sweeter or Lao style which is sour and earthy. If you want something mild, go for the fried chicken. Or try some unique curries and desserts. Believe us, this is as real to Thai cooking as you can get without traveling to Thailand. Or our house.
The temple also hosts festivals to celebrate traditional Thai holidays. Songkran, which is the Thai New Year, is the temple’s largest event. The entire outdoor area is filled with vendors selling food, beverages, and unique goods. It is an event not to be missed! Also, be sure to look at their schedule to find special events throughout the year.
If you are interested in taking a short drive from San Diego to experience true Thai food and culture, we highly recommend a visit to this Thai temple in the middle of a housing area in Escondido. The friendly people, tasty food, and unique culture are not to be missed!