Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bangkok Winter still hot! - Wat Arun and Wat Pho

You can't go to Thailand without visiting any temple, and this morning we visited Wat Pho and Wat Arun.

Wat Pho the "Reclining Buddha Temple" is the largest temple in Bangkok. Besides the huge gold plated reclining Buddha, there're other little temples within the ground with even more Buddha images.

After Wat Pho, we took a short boat ride across the river to Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, which is famous for their prangs (Khmer-style tower). These prangs are beautifully decorated with bits of porcelain and some still look very colorful after all these time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bangkok Winter still hot! - Damnoen Saduak floating market

While the floating markets in Bangkok are all very touristy already, it is still interesting to experience it at least once lah. So we booked this Damnoen Saduak floating market and Mae Klong train market half-day tour package from Mama Tour at Kao San Road for THB600 (SGD24), including a mini van to the hotel to pick us up.

The journey to Damnoen Saduak floating market is about 2 hours and when we finally reached there, we were transferred to the little boat the tour agency has arranged for us.

Like seriously, in Bangkok, you not only have traffic jam on the roads, you have boats jam on the river too!

Apparently a lot of people are here for the River Noodles that is popular in all floating markets. And there are quite a few boats selling them, each claiming to be the best, and all with their own crowd.

So of course we have to try the River Noodles too lah! And the verdict? Kind of taste like our fishball bee hoon, just replace the fishballs with meat balls. But still very tasty lah!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bangkok Winter still hot! - Seafood and Iced Tea

We've heard so much about how cheap seafood is in Thailand so a seafood dinner has to be in the plan.

After reading a couple of blogs, we singled out a couple of recommended seafood restaurants, and we finally chose Song tong because it is nearer to our hotel.

We ordered some of the more popular dishes like curry crab, fried oyster omelette, pork satay and this, our favourite, grilled big head prawns! These prawns with large chunk of flesh are grilled to a perfect smoky taste, and that paste in their heads was really rich! But they're not cheap! These 3 big prawns cost more than the curry crab lor!

When ordering the crab, my Thai friend pointed out that the locals prefer to order shell-less crabs. Yup! They really don't like to dirty their hands like we do when we eat chili crabs! And so she ordered us a plate of curry crab without shell! And the verdict? Hmm... while the taste of the little crab meat fried in curry and egg is quite tasty, but I still want my crab shells!

On the way back to hotel that night, we bought a cup of Thai iced tea from the little stall in the basement of Terminal 21. And I've confirmed that it is the best Thai iced tea we've ever had! The tea is so strong and fragrant and is mixed so well with the condensed and evaporated milk! Ok it is still sweet like the rest, but its fragrant makes you forgive its sweetness! Next time when you're in Bangkok, look for this "thumb up" brand of Thai iced tea! You won't regret it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bangkok Winter still hot! - Papaya salad at Somtam Nua

You can't go to Bangkok without eating papaya salad, and Somtam Nua is definitely the place to go to. Of all the salad we had in this trip, I find Somtam Nua's papaya salad easiest on my palate. Tasty and not too sour.

Somtam Nua is so popular among the local and tourists that even at 2pm, we had to queue for a table. But luckily the turnover was pretty quick so we didn't have to wait for too long.

We ordered iced tea and coffee, and as usual, they are super duper sweet!

Besides the usual papaya and peanuts etc, SomTam Nua also added crispy pork skin to their papaya salad! That really bring the whole dish to another level!

The other popular dish in Somtam Nua is the fried chicken wings, and every table has one! They're really crispy and very tasty with the aroma of fried garlic! But that's not all! If you dip the wings in their chili sauce, you'll be in heaven immediately!

We ordered the sweet and spicy fried fish as well, as inspired by our neighbour on the next table, and didn't regret it. The fish was fried well, with crispy skin outside but tender and moist inside. The sweet and spicy sauce makes it even more tasty.

Overall, we had a great and cheap meal at Somtam Nua. The only thing we didn't like was the sticky rice. It got cold very quickly and became really hard.

SomTam Nua 
Address: 392/14 Soi Siam Square 5, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bangkok Winter still hot! - Eat Tom Yum Kung at Tom Yum Kung

Khao San Road was the first place we visited in Bangkok, because we had to go there to book our half day floating market and railroad market tour. Khao San Road is a popular ang mor place in Bangkok, with lots of budget hotels and tour agencies to cater to the backpackers. The only thing I don't get is, why isn't there any BTS or MRT station near this so-called backpackers heaven har? I thought backpackers travel by public transport one?

Anyway, after we managed to locate the tour agency and booked our tour, we had our early dinner at a restaurant called "Tom Yum Kung", which is famous for their... erm... Tom Yum Kung.

The restaurant is hidden in a little alley away from the main road, but you should be able to locate it by the huge red signboard they put up. Just open your eyes when you walk. The setup of the place is more European than Thai, which gives you a hint of their target market, and the price of the food. Ok lah, the price is not really that expensive, but I'll say it's above average in Bangkok lor.

Yup, for our first meal in Bangkok, we ordered the typical Thai food we usually order in a Thai restaurant in Singapore - Tom Yum Kung, Pandan chicken, Green Curry Fried Rice.

The Tom Yum Kung is not bad, not too spicy for me and just sour enough. I really like the prawns. They are big and juicy fresh!

But my favourite is really the Pandan Chicken. These are so different from those we get in Singapore! You can actually taste the pandan in the chicken! It is so fragrant and tasty!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bangkok Winter still hot! - Staying at Grand Millennium

We searched through all the prices and pictures and comments of the ever-growing number of boutique hotels in Bangkok, but ended up with the hotel chain Grand Millennium. Well, there're a couple of reasons for us choosing Grand Millennium Sukhumvit Bangkok.

The price
We managed to get like SGD130 per night for a spacious room, which is not too expensive as compared to the smaller rooms from some of the cheaper boutique hotels. Okay, our room rate doesn't include Wifi and breakfast. But I'm getting a local SIM card anyway and I don't really fancy those mundane hotel breakfast buffets of toasts/omelette/juices and almost always cannot-make-it local delights.

The location
I know lots of Singaporeans are staying at Siam area, and for some, as near to Platinum Mall as possible. But I'm not really into shopping and don't fancy all the chaotic crowd upon stepping out of the hotel. I like that the Grand Millennium is tagged away at a quiet corner in Asok area. But still, we can walk to the Asok BTS and Sukhumvit MRT stations in less than 5 minutes. The new Terminal 21 shopping mall is nearby too for sudden shopping urge, and a 7-11 store even nearer for even more emergency food and drinks. So yes, its location works for me.

The room

The service
As an international hotel chain, of course Grand Millennium provides good service! Some more in Thailand the land of smiles! But my favorite guys are the doormen. On the first day after checking in, we wanted to go to Khao San Road, which we know is not served by any BTS or MRT. So I told the doorman to get me a taxi. Instead of follow my instruction blindly, he advised us to take a MRT to a nearby station then change to taxi instead, due to the long jam time on the road he was expecting during that time of the day. I've also noticed that whenever the doormen get a taxi for us, they'll instruct the taxi driver to go by meter too! Helpful guys, they are!