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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.