lessons learnt (the bangkok edit)

here’s something lighthearted for the weekend – a wrap up of some things I learnt on this trip:

the city is beautiful at night – and it’s incredibly difficult to take photos from the back of a speeding tuktuk (but it’s an experience to behold, and really – passing all those cars stuck in the jam is extremely satisfying).

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soul food mahanakorn, bangkok

I’m getting a leg up on this last bangkok post – I’m literally buried under the weight of all the food I’ve been having in singapore but haven’t shared! I’ve also saved (one of the) best for last – this popular hideaway of a trendy restaurant in thonglor that’s been gaining traction in blogs and fashionable magazines.

it’s seemingly contrary that this abettor of thai cuisine was set up by an american – but the food is great, the cocktails extensive and decent, and the vibe rather yuppie-ish – but in a very laid-back and non-annoying manner. it’s filled almost entirely by expatriates and tourists (as we were), but it didn’t detract from our enjoyment at all – let’s not argue about authenticity and all that bejazz in the face of such lovely dining, eh?

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wat arun, bangkok

also known as the large temple across the river. the actual unshortened name translates to temple of dawn, which sounds quite rather like it belongs in an indiana jones flick (gotta love those) – but it’s nothing so haunted or menacing or treasure-filled (but what do I know).

we took a short boat ride over to the temple to play the part of tourist, but I’m almost ashamed to tell you we were bad jaded specimens: we took a couple of shots outside because it was just so pretty, but never went in. cross the river, clickety-click, and back over the river for lunch.

please don’t judge.

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kum poon, bangkok

the food here, is quite good. it’s casual, inexpensive, gives me the same trendy+fuss-free vibe as my favourite sushi tei and busaba haunts, and we came twice during the trip – which really is probably all that’s needed to be said.

it’s essentially street food that’s prettied up to suit its furnishings, and unlike most modern interpretations of local food – it both succeeds in being exciting but approachable. it’s not high-falutin’ gourmet or startlingly good in and of itself – but it is very likable, and we got more-than-decent meals both times.

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taling-chan floating market (the eating), bangkok

fantastic eating – gratifyingly inexpensive, as well – by the semi-floating market at taling chan. if you had thoughts of eating on a boat while streaming past vendors on their tiny vessels – well, this isn’t it.

here, you plop down on a rather securely fastened floating platform that bobs gently atop the water and wait for your food to be brought to you from the boat-parked kitchen (so to speak). I like this better: great food, no fear of being splattered by dubious river water, and no bulky life-vest constricting the appetite – precisely my jazz.

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taling-chan floating market, bangkok

I pulled the trigger a little too quickly this morning – descriptions now included!

when you get to thailand, a floating market is almost definitely on your list of go-tos. if you’re like us and can’t quite be bothered to get to the typically picturesque markets outside bangkok (the most popular being the damnoen saduak floating market) – two hours early travel and massive crowds to deal with – then this is a great choice. right within the boundaries of the city, a good proper market with more locals than tourists and lots of good food, this place fit right into our schedules and stomachs.

we ate very well here (but that’s for the next post!) – and saw quite a bit about how the locals live, and shop. if you remember the vietnamese market I visited last year, then perhaps you’d notice similarities between the two!

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mos burger (central world), bangkok

it is friday, y’all – so I’m taking it easy on the bloggin’, and so should you. perhaps a snack mid-morning.

I stopped eating fast food (in general – the big M’s hotcakes still slide in) nearly 8 years ago – just sharing, not proselytizing, so all the exposure I get to it now are mostly through the partner (a man’s gotta get his fries, right?)

so we popped by mos burger during a hot afternoon’s break in bangkok, and found out that they actually have a menu option of a fries+onion rings combo! this used to be one of my favorite chains (aeons ago) for the rather high-quality fast food dining experience: you’ve got to wait, but the food comes piping hot and freshly-cooked, their offerings are usually an awesome japanese interpretation that breaks the monotony of burgers-n-chips (rice burgers with shrimp and eel? yes please!), and it’s served to your table in these lovely baskets and gorgeous wrapping.

the fries and rings were crazy hot and well-browned when they arrived at table – but were quite a bit on the greasy side, disappointingly. not that the partner had any problem finishing them off with ketchup and chilli, no no.

it’s a good quick break, and hey – with a glass of cola (deliciously more vanilla-tasting here than in singapore) – sometimes, there’s no better way to escape the heat and while off a bit of time.

do you guys get mos where you are, and do you like it too? have a great weekend!

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phan-khom contemporary thai cuisine, bangkok

fair, but largely unexceptional thai cooking at this restaurant in central world, bangkok. we were walking around trying to find a restaurant that was not-too-expensive, not-too-casual and not-too-crowded, and found it here – but we also got found not-quite-remarkable cooking in that mix.

nothing wrong with the cooking of course, but it’s the sort of establishment I would delineate for friday night what-do-we-eat dinners than any special occasion dining. except for those pork ribs up there, which were pretty dang good.

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mr jones orphanage cafe, bangkok

absolutely a sweet-tooth’s dream and a dentist’s money-maker of a cafe in the siam paragon mall in bangkok – this is a long photo post, so bear with me. but the spread was amazing – I can’t even imagine how many types of cakes and sweets and confectionary were on offer.

it’s very clearly a female-targeted place, and of the young, squealing, one-directioner variety: it’s got cutesy furniture, tiny booths that grown man look squashed in, and of course the sweet-dominated menu reflects it best. but I’ve got to be straight – I recommend this more for the sheer experience than any gastronomic interest; the chocolate cake we did have was rather pedestrian.

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ramen express seafood, bangkok

okay-ish thai food near central world in bangkok – good in a pinch but many better options exist. this was the first place we ate at in bangkok – and it wasn’t a great introduction to the city, but it was 9pm, we had touched down just two hours ago, and everything else was closed.

this place stood out with its bright lights and rather convenient location opposite the hotel; the food was alright, really – but it tells you alot when everyone else in the store was clearly not bangkokiann: the prices are inflated, the food a bit too oily and salty. I think its biggest merit is staying open long past its neighbors.

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