Rain in Bangkok.

Today marks the first time I’ve ever been rained on in Bangkok. Not that fun apparently, since mosquitoes get an open invitation to the party and feast on my legs for all they’re worth. That, and the fact that dreary weather makes all that trudging around Chatuchak a little less fun. Interesting fact: every subsequent trip to the weekend market takes less time, because I’m less and less inclined to cover the entire area as I get older. Of course, having a sprained ankle doesn’t help in the least.

(A few other interesting blurps for the archives.)

The super cabby who got us to our destination in record time, weaving through the streets and Sois with unflappable calm. When faced with a jam, he gave a half-smile and promptly turned into the next lane. Watching him on my phone’s GPS felt like I was witnessing some computer AI easily traversing a level 0 maze – bah, too easy.

Not forgetting the thorough Thai massage at Health Land, professionalism at its peak. Where else do you find a masseur performing remedial massage on a sprained ankle with no prior notice? Full marks seriously.

And it’s the last night of my holiday at last. Good things come to an end, bad things never last forever, and time flows with the unceasing pace of an unhurried man. I’ve had a pretty good break, and may the next one be better than this.

Aside from over-whistling, constantly losing my way, an incessant refusal to use the big notes before the smaller ones, being overly focused on slipper shopping and an avid burper after meals, I think I’ve been a pretty good travel companion.

Not forgetting: thanks to the FG for not complaining (too much), her good humour and temper (most of the time) is what makes her a great friend and travel mate. I doubt we’ll get another stab at something like this ever again, so this will probably be our last trip together. May the memories last forever.

Advertisements

The final getaway, 2012 edition.

Ten days is what it is, and the brief holiday is coming to a close. A little getaway at Bangkok for the next couple of days, and it’s back to full-blown reality after that. I think the availability of internet access in the hotel room is going to kill the holiday spirit somewhat.

J has always been a great host on my trips here, ever the consummate foodie adviser and tour guide. He has been nothing short of spectacular today, driving us from the airport to a great dinner spot and back to the hotel after a grueling 280 km road trip earlier in the day.

Have you ever had a holiday that feels slightly unreal and dreamlike at times? Like a dream, yet it’s effing obvious this isn’t one because unlike a dream, shit happens in real life. Dream or not, I’m glad to be able to take time out like this for a few more days.

Borrowed time, I call it.

Bangkok round three #7 – Hotel review

[Miserable dinner] – V‘s Flickr, 10th Jan ’07

Finally, the hotel review!

Short and sweet, here’s the gist of my review.

  • Location quite good, within ten minutes’ walking distance of Petchburi BTS station
  • Clean and decent-sized rooms
  • Good service from staff
  • Delicious breakfasts
  • 100% positive reviews from past hotel guests who stayed there

For its price, it definitely outmatches Asia Hotel in everything except proximity to the BTS station. And Asia Hotel charges money for everything: hot water, even a spoon o.O
At least I managed to borrow a spoon free of charge at Samran Place.

I wouldn’t recommend this to first-time Bangkok travellers, but everyone else is free to try this place out.
A few snaps of our hotel room.

Samran Place Hotel
302 Petchburi Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400
Tel: 02-611-1245-54
www.samran.com

P.S. Book early though, seems like it’s hard to get rooms if you’re a last minute person. Least that’s what we heard from another friend.

Bangkok round three #6

[Noodles] – V‘s Flickr, 9th Jan ’07

Last day of the trip, nothing better to do than to wait for our flight.


They still have the 60 seconds challenge in Bangkok o.O And I got a drink discount coupon out of it.


We call it the Fan-tastic, they call it the McRice. Different names, same stuff. They got pork ones here woot.


Final count of our stuff.


A listing of the cab charges inside our cab to the airport; it certainly took us awhile to hail a cab. The peak hour jam started, and no cabs were willing to take us to the airport until one of the hotel staff came out and helped us to get one. Kudos to the fellow : ) Great service!


Long wait at the airport. As it turned out, our flight was delayed along with a couple of other budget flights. So we had time to burn, and walked around the airport looking for food Z.

And we checked-in, headed for the transit lounge, only to find that the restaurants were at the two extreme ends, left and right. Damn. So we had to push our luggage all the way past the duty free stalls/shops (tourist snares, these stuff).. and headed to the fast food section.

That area was definitely not well-designed, I tell you. Cramped with little way to walk between seats, it became a nightmare when a whole bunch of transit passengers swarmed in. This was how it looked like after that.


Voila.

And the food was blardy overpriced at that, almost twice the price of a normal BK meal outside. It became a matter of price over flavour when I was ordering the food right then.


Pizza with a BK Big Fish meal. Bloody long queue, bloody lousy dinner.


Second-final rant: the toilets were kinda hard to find. They were located near the eateries yes, but behind them. Who the hell would notice them? Yes signboards, beautiful. You don’t expect people to see the signboards by placing them at the extreme corners of the corridor, hidden by the shops. Do you?


And the long walk to the boarding gate. Crap. This post is full of rants -.-

Bangkok round three #5

[Untitled] – V‘s Flickr, 8th Jan ’07


Breakfast 😀 Pancakes and fried rice. The pancakes were really good, now that I think back. Compared to my experiments in the kitchen heh heh. LS and QW left for the airport after breakfast, so it was farewell right then.

Our friend J promised to take us out for a foodie trip in the evening, so V and I spent our day shopping. Walking around, looking and buying stuff, eating blah blah. The usual touristy things. The interesting stuff was much later.

Soon enough the evening came, and here’s stop #1:


Scala Shark’s Fin at Chinatown.


The shark’s fin wasn’t a lot in terms of quantity, but the stew was thick and tasted really good. Bubbling hot, yum yum.

Stop #2 was another stall in the area:


I didn’t really note down the name of the shop, so you’re free to use my photo to look at every darn shop in Chinatown till you come across something that looks like this.

And what did it sell?


This is Bangkok’s version of kuay chap. The soup’s clear instead of dark, and the square pieces of kuay teow were instead rolled into little sticks. Roast meat added into the mix as well, it definitely tasted way different.

We took a tuktuk over to stop #3, as it was quite a distance away.


The front of the shop.


According to J, this place served the best padthai in Bangkok. And it seemed that way as well, judging from the price and the ingredients used o.O This bugger cost twice the price of a normal packet on the roadside, and it had a covering of egg outside the noodles, as well as prawns inside. Woot, classy.

In case you’re wondering how to get to this place, V took a picture of this map.


You’re supposed to get off at this temple called Wak Thetidaram, and walk across the road. Simple enough.

Stop #4 was next to stop #3.


I’ve no idea what this is called, but it’s a light snack that contains finely made eggs inside. Nice : )

Stop #5, our final foodie stop for the night.


This place is a coffeeshop, something like Ya Kun or Killiney’s.

What made it different was one particular product it sold, and that’s what J brought us here for.


Kaya 😀 Well, they called it egg custard and it lived up to that name. Smooth and creamy like custard, it went down really well with the steamed bread. Yum, I’m feeling hungry just writing this right now. I better go get some food later : (

And what’s the difference with the different coloured kaya? Nothing much, maybe a little difference in texture that’s all.

-~-

We visited the flower market next. According to J, this wholesale flower market was a 24 hour affair, and it was actually his first time there as well. I think he regretted that though, when he saw the prices of the flowers there. Absolutely much cheaper than online purchases, so he said.



And here we concluded our night. We had enough of food, seen enough and it was time to head back to the hotel.

(Damn, I think I really should go get some food. I’m hungry after looking at all these pics and remembering the taste.)

Bangkok round three #4

[Untitled] – V‘s Flickr, 7th Jan ’07

The fourth day was the last day of travel for LS and QW (her boy). QW had to start school so aye, their trip had to be shorter than two unemployed slackers like us. We woke up pretty early for this, and where did we go?

The Grand Palace. Most people usually visit this on their first trip, and I’m only going there on my third trip heh. Kewl.

I went berserk and took a hell lot of shots, so pardon me if there’s no commentary at this part. Tiring to keep typing, y’know. Just sit back and enjoy (?) the pics.


Minature of Angkor Wat.


Offerings from the devout.


This pic on the right was probably the only funny shot I took. Seems like the lion’s laughing, isn’t it?

Apologies for the image flood; I really wanted to filter the good ones, but heh it seemed that I liked most of the pics I took so here they are.

-~-


Lunch at Platinum Mall after that.

And a long walk up and down Pantip Plaza thereafter. Basically windowshopped for some stuff we wanted, and hmm the Thinkpads there seemed especially cheap for the specs. Especially the R60 o.O


Foodie time again, A&W.

-~-

And here’s the Christmas displays I promised.

-~-

And just when you thought the day was over, we headed back to MBK for dinner. By this time, V had figured out how to walk around from Pratunam back to MBK without taking a single cab, so we saved quite a bit of money but did a hell lot of walking.


Ramen! Gyoza! 😀 Not too filling though, so we agreed to have supper later on.

*insert massage session in between for LS and me, while QW and V went down to the internet cafe*



All of these at a roadside stall near our hotel, bloody cheap price at that. The tom yum goong was seriously so hot, my lips went numb from it whew. Powerful stuff.

And this marked the end of LS/QW’s holidays, and our fourth day.

Bangkok round three #3

[Chatuchak] – V‘s Flickr, 6th Jan ’07

(Back to clearing my backlog.)

Day three was Saturday, and yeah weekend meant Chatuchak day in Bangkok. For us at least. Another round of trudging around the hot endless mazes of the weekend market.



The complimentary breakfast at the hotel was really, really good. No kidding about this part. There were six items you could choose from the menu, and we tried five of them, all absolutely delicious. We had the croissants and fried rice today, and the fruits were part of the croissant set.


Here’s one of the stalls at Chatuchak. The owner looks alot like the cartoon he draws on his tee shirts eh? 😀 We caught him on his first day of business, but he only had a single piece of each, oops. Too bad, no sales from our end.

We didn’t buy too much this time round. Maybe it’s because we’d just stopped by a few months ago, or simply that nothing caught our eye. Whatever heh.


A performer over there, no blardy idea what that instrument was.

You’ll notice that there weren’t too many pics, mainly because we were too busy walking around and looking for each other. LS and her boy were walking separately from us, as we had walkie talkies to communicate by. (Courtesy of her boyfriend.) Shit happened though, as there was extreme attenuation (read: signal loss) at Chatuchak, and we lost contact. No small thanks to the countless stalls, I suspect.

We met each other back at the hotel after that anyway, so all was fine. The rest of the day was a pretty lazy one, to say the least. I had a long soak in the bathtub, took a nice nap before going out to dinner.


Dinner at Fuji, the Japanese restaurant I wrote about in the last trip. Not too many photos, not too many comments. Eat, eat and enjoy!