the grand palace, bangkok

so I’ve shown you two places now where you can eat pretty darn well near the grand palace – but what of that great compound itself?

I admit to a slight amount of jadedness – I’ve been lucky enough to do my turn around dozens of churches, european palaces and town squares such that they’ve started to merge in a continental blur. but the bangkokian palaces and temples were such an immense shake of color and architectural appeal – just lovely.

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chote chitr, bangkok

decent thai food and rather uppity service at this hard-to-find restaurant (what is the thai equivalent of bistro?). back to thailand programming – we have a lot to get through, people! – and no better way than with this place, renowned amongst the prowlers of tripadvisor (such a mixed bag) and readers of lonely planet.

we had a (mis)adventure in getting to this place – we just could not find it for more than an hour, at which point the partner was getting a little testy. every second person we asked gave us contradictory directions (probably should have waited to ask a third person), and in the end we found a tuk-tuk that truly knew where it was.

the food was decent, prices reasonable – but we might never come back, and here’s why.

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kor panich mango sticky rice, bangkok

decent take-away mango sticky rice with a lineage near the grand palace in bangkok.

the partner loves this thai dish of glutinous rice served up with coconut milk and ripe mango, so of course I had to include it in our food itinerary. this one’s a classic no-frills rendition – in short very good, though I think we’ve had better (an implication of personal preference rather than any technical imperfections on their part).

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sabx2/pratunam wanton mee and stewed pork trotters, bangkok

decent braised pork trotters and wanton noodles – though rather overhyped – in the heart of pratunam. so this place is pretty famous – I had never heard of it before coming, but the partner found it on someone’s facebook and hey, one google led to many results.

this is going to be a two-faceted recommendation: if you were brought up in an asian country on the best bounciest noodles and juicy red roast pork, this place is skippable; if not, this would be a fantastic introduction to a decent plate of noodles and chinese-style trotters.

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chatuchak weekend market, bangkok (take 1)

grilled sweet-and-sticky marinated pork skewers (so delicious!) | every-kind-of-‘ball you could want

there’s no better way to start a deluge of bangkok posts than with the famed chatuchak weekend market – a market square north of the city centre that’s packed with stalls selling nearly everything you could want (and most likely don’t need).

we went with the best of intentions – there are zones demarcated by category (the work of an optimist, really, as the whole place is really just a mix-and-match of stalls that set up wherever they can) – but we ended up just doing a stroll through alleys that caught our eye. which might, actually, mean we covered not half of the market that afternoon.

but you’re here for the food – so let’s go!

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a bangkokian venture

I’m back! and the travel channel’s about to be switched on around here – but first, my favorite shot of the city.

it was a short trip, but a great one – bangkok is manic and crazy and frenetic (and so familiar to most us city-dwellers) – but retains enough rusticity (really a polite way of saying third-world developing-nation charm) to make for an out-of-daily-life experience.

food to follow!