The Pancake Ninja: video
Like other places in Thailand, Ko Tao is also home to the delicious late-night street snack roti (pancake). Ko Tao's roti is no different to the roti anywhere else: but in this case, it's how you cook it that makes all the difference. Ko Tao is home to the legendary Pancake Ninja: this guy can be found in his little stall on Sairee most nights; and no matter who or what you've witnessed previously, you ain't seen flippin' til you've seen him in action. In 30 seconds flat, pancake cooking meets Kung Fu. Check out the video.
Over the 10 days or so that I spent on Ko Tao, I saw the Pancake Ninja quite regularly — and I got to know him quite well. He's originally from Bangladesh, but he moved here to Thailand several years ago, where his uncle taught him the venerable art of pancake ninjography (made-up word alert). Back in Bangladesh, he was a university student: but he was forced to drop out and to move to Thailand, due to various family and financial problems. Hopefully he'll be able to go home one day, and to continue his studies. In the meantime, anyone who visits Ko Tao should consider it their sacred obligation to sample the Ninja's excellent roti. They're not pancakes, they're art.
Banana and chocolate roti: the classic and the best.
The ninja in action: a dizzying array of flying dough, knives, condiments and spatulas.