Wednesday, December 26, 2018

[Travel/ Food Guide] Itinerary to Bangkok (曼谷), Thailand (泰国) 2018.

According to some travel websites, Bangkok topped as Malaysians' top 3 favorite destinations of the year... the metropolis and capital of Thailand remains attractive and popular due to its ever-evolving excitements and thrilling food scenes. Following our previous trip to Bangkok in 2015, we have managed to make another short trip there this October 2018. We chose to stay in Silom area instead of Pratunam (which we did in our previous trip), Silom area is relatively quieter but still buzzing with plenty of food outlets, bars and massage parlors. Transportation is never been easier with BTS (Bangkok Transit System) so no worries on which area you are staying, as long as you have a Rabbit Card (can be purchased at any BTS stations in Bangkok), you can hop on to any train to any destinations in the metropolis.

1) Maeklong Railway Market
Address: Muang Samut Songkhram District
Business Hours: 7 am to 4 pm. Opens Daily.

An hour's drive away (approximately 80 km) from the metropolis- Bangkok is Maeklong Railway Market, a market known for active trains moving across the market. Before the railway was built, it was a busy market but the government at that time insisted to build the railway and the vendors refused to move away so they started to do business surrounding the railway. When the time comes, the moving train will slow down while the market vendors will make way for the train without huge movements. The interesting part to see how the vendors could evade the train with only minimal actions. Nothing much to buy over there except fresh local produce... visitors visiting the market more for the novelty of seeing the train passing by, not so much on shopping or indulgence.

2) Baan Somtum Sathorn
Address: 1 Pramuan Rd, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
Business Hours: 11 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 26 30 3486
Nearest BTS: Surasak BTS Station Exit 1 and walk for 10 minutes

Pomelo Salad (THB 95)

Baan Som Tam's Signature Salad (THB 70)

Grilled Pork Neck (THB 125)

White Tom Yum Seafood (THB 170)

Grilled Chicken (THB 60)

Deep Fried Fish Cake (THB 100)

Steamed Snapper with Vegetables (THB 385)

Ever since my first encounter with Baan Somtum in 2015, I have a strong urge to visit this restaurant again.... and so I did. It remains as my favorite restaurant in Bangkok, the reasons are simple- authentic Thai food with exciting flavors and of course, reasonable prices. Their range of Salads are mind-blowing but it can be daunting for those with low heat-tolerance. The dishes here can be lip-burning hot but that's exactly the pull factor here. All dishes we had were amazing and did not disappoint. If we must recommend, it would be the Steamed Snapper with Vegetables... fresh, sweet Snapper served with Chili dips that packed a powerful punch. The Vegetables were great with the dips either. Baan Somtum is definitely a place that I would not miss whenever I am in Bangkok.

3) After You Dessert Cafe Siam Square One
Address: Ground Floor, Siam Square One, 254, Phayathai Road Wang Mai, Pathum Wan, 10330, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 12 noon to 12 am. Opens Daily.
Government Tax: Yes 7%
Nearest BTS Station: Siam Square BTS Station Exit 2

Mango Sticky Rice Kakigori (THB 265)

Hojicha Kakigori (THB 265)

Thai Tea Kakigori (THB 245)

Milo Volcano Kakigori (THB 245)

Buttermilk Pancake (THB 175)

Shibuya Honey Toast (THB 195)

After You Dessert Cafe needs no further introduction, the famous Dessert parlor had many dessert lovers flocked to Bangkok just to have a taste on the desserts. It has quite a few number of outlets across Bangkok but for your convenience-sake, the outlets at Siam Square One and Siam Paragon are amongst the popular ones. Having tried a few Kakigori flavors, we found the Thai-specialty Mango Sticky Rice Kakigori stood out amongst the rest. It has a bold Mango flavor with creamy Coconut Cream, served with thick Mango Jam. The whole concoction was brilliantly sweetened; just we thought it would be a little monotonous to dig in further, the Glutinous Rice was hidden at the bottom, offering an addictive chewy bite. Hojicha Kakigori can be another good one too, especially for those who prefer a refreshing vegetal Green Tea flavor. The rest were less exciting. Though we had to wait for slightly more than 20 minutes, we thought it was worth it. 

4) Larp Suanplu 3
Address: 40, Silom 3, Silom, Bang Rak, 10500, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 11 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 94 313 3985
Larp Suanplu 3 Facebook Page
Nearest BTS Station: Chong Nonsi BTS Station

Papaya Salad (THB 80)

Grilled Pork Neck (THB 110)

Green Curry Chicken (THB 125)

Lemongrass Chicken (THB 125)

Spicy Jelly Fish Salad (THB 125)

Stir Fried Glass Noodles (THB 75)

We stayed at Silom area during our trip to Bangkok and we accidentally discovered this unpretentious, home-styled Thai restaurant. Most of the servers do not speak English here but fortunately, the tourist-friendly menu makes ordering easier. Prices are modest and affordable here... you can hardly find expensive dishes but instead, delicious yet inexpensive home-cooked Thai dishes. We especially recommend the Spicy Jelly Fish Salad... the Jelly Fish comes in unusually large size... way larger than those we can find here locally in Penang. The flavor-combo worked perfectly well... a little sweet and spicy, definitely a great starter to whet up the appetite. The Green Curry Chicken was a dish that left us with deep impression either... creamy Green Curry Chicken with a hint of sweetness and bold Basil aroma, a dish perfectly spooned over rice.

5) Patpong Night Market
Address: Thanon Patpong 1, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, 10500, Bangkok, Thailand.
Opening Hours: 6 pm to 12 am. Opens Daily.
Nearest BTS: Saladaeng BTS Station Exit 1

Patpong Night Market is infamous for its 'special' services offered here; while the usual night market items can also be found, visitors visiting this night market often look for another form of 'excitement'. Look around the night market and you will find shady shops with girls doing pole-dancing. But beware though, the staff will try to lure you in so do stay alert. Patpong Night Market is definitely a place to see the other side of Bangkok.

6) Nai Ek Roll Noodles
Address: 442, Soi 9, Yaowarat Road, Samphanthawong, 10100, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 7:30 am to 1:30 am. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 02 226 4651

Braised Pork Trotter Rice (THB 50)

Braised Pork Trotter (THB 80)

Braised Duck (THB 80)

Pork Kway Chiap (THB 50)

Pork Spare Ribs with Chinese Herbal Soup (THB 60)

Braised Bean Curd (THB 50)

Braised Pork Trotter is one of the popular delicacies in Bangkok and one of the best places to savor this jelly goodies with pockets of fats would be Nai Ek Roll Noodles at Yaowarat Road (Chinatown).  The place opens as early as 7:30 am and it gets busy as soon as it opens. Many regular patrons would order a bowl of the rolled Rice Noodles to go with the Pork Trotter. The place is also famous for its Pork Innard Soup. After a heavy meal here, you can wash it with a bowl of classic, local Bangkok desserts... selling right next to this place. 

7) Bangkok's China Town- Yaowarat Road
Address: Yaowarat Road, Samphanthawong, 10100, Bangkok, Thailand.

Teo Chew Moon Cake (THB 38) at Tae Lao Chin Seng Bakery

No trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to Chinatown... one of the oldest areas of Bangkok and one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. There are plenty things to see, eat and try here. Start with the shops along Yaowarat Road... with myriad of dried seafood options, nuts, Chinese delicacies available.

The highlight of Yaowarat Road is of course the market... one stretch of street with vendors selling fresh produce and Chinese-related goods. But before entering the market, do drop by Tae Lao Chin Seng Bakery... said to be one of the oldest bakeries in Bangkok. It has plenty of classic Chinese biscuits but there was one particular item that we have never seen before in Malaysia.... the Teo Chew Moon Cake. Unlike the conventional Chinese Moon Cakes, this particular version is a little chewy in texture... a hybrid between biscuit and bread, with savory-sweet filling. With the toasted Sesame coating, the whole package can be very addictive. 

While visiting the market, you may check out the dried produce or nuts.... the de-facto souvenir option for Malaysians visiting Thailand. You may find good bargains here. Along the journey, quench your thirst at a shop that specializes in serving fresh Chinese Herbal Tea and Juices. The non-sweetened Almond Milk is one of a kind and worth trying... for a mere THB 20.

Almond Milk (THB 20)

8) Lek Seafood
Address: 89, Soi Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra 3, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, 10500, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 5 pm to 12 am. Closed on every Sundays.
Contact Number: +66 02 636 6460

Surat Thani Fresh Oysters (THB 75)

Steamed Squid with Thai-styled Spicy and Sour Sauce (THB 190)

Deep Fried Snapper (THB 650)

Claypot Tofu (THB 140)

Papaya Salad (THB 80)

Seafood Pad Thai (THB 150)

Stir Fried Morning Glory (THB 120)

Grilled Pork Neck (THB 120)

If you would like to have Seafood in Silom area, check out Lek Seafood... a curious place hidden in one of the alleys near the exit of BTS Station. It only opens in the evenings and by dinner time, the place will be thronged with both locals and tourists. The menu is tourist-friendly, with English translations and names. 

You can find fresh Surat Thani Oysters here. Though a little pricier than the ones we had in Phuket, they were fresh and plump, at least they did not disappoint. But what we enjoyed the most was the Deep Fried Snapper served with sweet and sour sauce... the fish was fried till a shattering crisp on the outside (we could even chew the bones) while the flesh inside remained juicy. The texture was addictive and for such a huge fish, we thought it was reasonably priced. The Pad Thai and Grilled Pork Neck were equally great either.

Have Fun Exploring Bangkok!

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