Highlights in Bangkok – 2015 Edition

Some of you might be questioning how my life is in Bangkok, Thailand.
 
Well, to make it short, I would just say that it’s AWESOME! I get to live abroad with my beloved man… I got a job in a cool start-up company with colleagues from all around the world… I basically travel everyday around Bangkok… I join interesting gatherings and communities in the city, and so on.
 
However, no city in this world is perfect. After almost 7 months living in this city, I found myself disliking the super hot weather, big time. When it rains, it looks like flood is coming to take over the whole city, cause it’s unbelievably hard and stormy all the time. Besides, I found it hard to learn the language. Not only Thai language has its own alphabets, but this thing about the 5 tones is just driving me crazy. I could never pronounce anything right, even though I thought I already did, and still nobody understood me. Such a shame for someone who actually has a passion in foreign languages, huh?
 
Anyway, enough for the ugly truth, cause now I’m about to share THE HIGHLIGHTS IN BANGKOK, The Most-Visited-City in The World in 2014 ~
If you’re planning to visit me, or at least visit Bangkok, anytime soon, you might want to keep reading this post! I’m warning you in advance, it’s quite random and raw with no particular oder and no specific theme for these following interests I’m sharing here.
 

1. Terminal 21


 
Photo taken from http://www.bangkokpost.com
This was one of the first malls I’ve visited in Bangkok, and up until now still remains my favorite one. It’s a middle-end mall that has a very unique concept: each story/floor has each own city theme! London, Paris, Tokyo, Istanbul, San Francisco, etc.
Photo taken from http://www.pinboardasia.com
On each level, you may find things that are related to the theme city. For example, you can find Japanese-style clothing on Tokyo story, and lots of American-style restaurants on San Francisco one.
Photo taken from http://www.bangkok.com
Buying groceries and signing up for a bank account is even possible here since they have supermarket and banks. This mall also has a cinema on the top floor (Hollywood), and a not-to-miss huge Pier 21 Food Court that sells super cheap and yummy Thai cuisine! Really, the price of the dishes at this food court is exactly the price you pay for street food. But, you get to eat in a air-conditioned room with Bangkok view from its glass walls!
Photo taken from http://www.vkeong.com

How to get there: BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit. The mall’s directly connected to the exits.


 
 

2. Pala Pizza Romana Bangkok


 
 
This place, without any doubt, is one of the best pizza restaurants in Bangkok. They serve the pizza in square slices or meters, as they bake it in meter long slabs of dough in a narrow oven. My chef boyfriend (who obviously knows a lot about food and cooking) claimed that the dough they have in this restaurant is quite something.
 
I’ve even heard from my colleague that this restaurant actually supplies their pizzas for other Italian restaurants, and even the expensive ones found in 5 star hotels! Hmm… No wonder that it’s so so good. My favorite one is Rustica, with mozzarella, baked potato, parmesan, and parsley. Of course, not only pizza, they also have starters, salad, pasta, and desserts. Their crème brûlée is a must-try, too!


How to get there: In the meeting point of BTS Asok and MRT Sukhumvit, just beside Dunkin Donuts.


 
 

3. Rasa Khas Indonesian Restaurant


Oops, excuse me for “missing home”. Rasa Khas means “special/distinctive flavor” in Bahasa Indonesia. This restaurant is run by a guy from Jakarta since January 2013. Expected to be the only Indonesian restaurant in Bangkok, it is surprisingly very good. I really like to come and eat here everytime I suffer from homesick and just want to listen to some Indonesian traditional music played while I’m having my meals. What’s even better, you can find dishes from various parts of Indonesia: Padang, Bali, Jakarta, etc. My favorite was Sate Ayam and Pempek for the food, and Es Cendol for the beverage 🙂

How to get there: BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit, then walk around 5-8 minutes to the restaurant. The address is 86/2 Sukhumvit 23.


 

4. Bang Krachao Island


If you’re a type that is a little bit adventurous and longing for some nature in the middle of the busy, crowded, and polluted city, Bang Krachao Island would be the perfect choice for you to spend a few hours of your day in Bangkok!
Photo taken from http://www.migrationology.com
The best thing to do in Bang Krachao is biking around the island! If you don’t have a bike, do not worry. You may find lots of bikes for rent once you arrive in the island. For me and my biker-wannabe boyfriend, we already got our own bikes, so we’re cool.
 
Start your day as early as possible. Get to Khlong Toei Pier and take the small boat to Bang Krachao Island. The fare would depend whether you bring your own bike or not, but again, do not worry since everything in trip will be a “cheap cheap” one!
Once you get to the island, start biking around it! Feel the breeze on your face, the fresh air around, and the interesting sites along the way. Be careful with narrow roads, and also with some street dogs who are not very friendly to tourists over there, hehe. Still love ’em, though!
 
After you’re done with your morning workout, stop by at some places to have your breakfast. Then, go home and feel recharged! 🙂
 

How to get there: If you have your own bike, just go straight to Khlong Toei Pier, then take the boat to the island. If not, get to MRT Khlong Toei, then take taxi / motorbike taxi to Khlong Toei Pier, then the boat.


 
 

5. Eathai


Another food court that is worth a try in Bangkok! Don’t expect the price to be as cheap as Pier 21, but expect the higher quality of food and nicer dining ambience here. As a food court located inside a high-end shopping mall, Central Embassy, Eathai actually offers good deals for the food and beverages there. I would say the prices are in middle range… definitely still cheaper than if you eat in other F&B outlets in this particular mall.
 
The nice thing about this food court is its food market concept, complete with the carts and even tuk-tuks in certain corners. Not only Thai cuisine, you can also find western food in this place.

I personally went there the first time because I was looking for some coconut ice cream. JJ Coconut Ice Cream, which is normally found in Chatuchak Weekend Market, sells the best coconut ice cream in town. But since Chatuchak Weekend Market is only open for the weekends (obviously), I asked the owner if they have another place to sell the ice cream. She told me that they also supply their ice cream here, in Eathai. So I went down there to hunt it 🙂

How to get there: Simply get off at BTS Phloen Chit.


 

 6. Chatuchak Weekend Market


This is simply where all the foreign budget shopaholics go in Bangkok. You can find almost everything here, from clothes, shoes, bags, paintings, antiques, jewelries, home decors, ceramics, books, food, plants, and even pets (though I don’t agree people selling pets). Why I say “foreign”? Cause normally the locals know an even cheaper place to go to shop :p

Photo taken from http://www.virtualtourist.com

To be honest, I don’t really like to shop clothes here, since the place is really hot and most of the time you can’t try the clothes as there is no fitting room provided. However, I gotta admit that you can find good deals for okay-quality stuff in this market. If you are merely a tourist in Bangkok, I recommend you to visit this market at least once. Find more details in its website: http://www.chatuchak.org

For me, personally, the no. 1 thing I fancy about Chatuchak Weekend Market is the JJ Coconut Ice Cream, the one I mentioned previously. For only 40 THB, you get the most delicious coconut ice cream (with 2 toppings) and a small glass of coconut drink!

Coconut ice cream in coconut bowl 🙂 – You may select 2 toppings from the available options.
I always go for the peanuts and kolang-kaling (sugar palm fruits) for the toppings 🙂

How to get there: Get off at BTS Mo Chit or MRT Chatuchak Park, then walk towards the market entrance. Otherwise, if you want to get off directly inside the market, go for MRT Kamphaeng Phet. The JJ Coconut Ice Cream is only a few meters away from this MRT exit 🙂


7. Lumphini Park


There are actually some good parks around Bangkok, and one of them is Lumphini Park. In the morning, this park is full of people jogging, while during sunset time, they do aerobics. Of course you can join for free if you like. You can also go for biking here if you got your own bike.

View of Banyan Tree Bangkok from Lumphini Park
Statue of King Rama VI at Lumphini Park
Boyfriend :p
Sunset view from Lumphini Lake, we were taking the photo while paddling the swan boat!

How to get there: MRT Lumphini Park. Yes, the park has its own MRT station 🙂




8. Asiatique The Riverfront


It’s a large open-air one-stop-shop for several attractions in Bangkok: clothing & souvenir stores, restaurants, ferris wheel, cabaret show, live Muay Thai performance, 4D cinema, and bazaar (for certain events or periods only). The place is specialized for night shopping or activities as its service hours are 4 PM to 12 AM only. It’s a fun place to be, even if you don’t plan to buy anything and just want to take some pictures there.

Photo taken from http://www.aroimakmak.com
Photo taken from http://www.zthailand.com

This place used be Denmark-based East Asiatic Company, which was a western firm conducting trade with Thailand between 1897 – 1947. The port facilities were then taken over and renovated, and just in 2011, Asiatique The Riverfront opened for public.

Asiatique Sky, the 60-meter ferris wheel with 42 gondolas

I personally never tried that ferris wheel, as I don’t really think it’s that special anyway… but, if you would like to try, prepare 300 THB per person (adult) – cheaper for children, adults, or disabled guests. If you would like to get a private gondola, you need to pay 1,500 THB for 2-3 persons inside or 2,000 THB for 4-5 persons.

How to get there: The most fun way to get to Asiatique is to take the sky train and get off at BTS Saphan Taksin, the station on the pier of Chao Phraya River. After, take the free shuttle boat provided there!
PS: Not a fan of cruising with boat? Just take a taxi otherwise 🙂




9. Koken Sushi & Dining Bar


Koken is a small Japanese restaurant owned by a Thai guy who used to live in the US.

It is surprisingly VERY VERY GOOD and til now remains as my favorite Japanese restaurant in Bangkok… even better than the Japanese restaurants found around Thaniya Plaza in Silom, which is believed to be the ‘Japan Town’ in this city.

The entrance does not look very convincing, but never mind about the entrance, really!
Small and cozy interior, just the right size of restaurant to have good time with close friends!
My all-time favorite beer: Sapporo!

Hmm, I don’t really have good pictures of the food in this restaurant as my phone camera was not really working properly that time (or my phone is just not that good, ha). But really, if you’re a fan of sushi just as big as I am, I recommend this restaurant over the ones in Silom.

What’s more interesting about the menu is that they make the Japanese dishes with a bit of Thai touch, which makes it quite unique 🙂
Just make sure you prepare around 1,000 THB per person for food and beverages here.

How to get there: BTS Chong Nonsi, and then take a car taxi or motorbike taxi to 96 Soi Naradhiwat 15 Yak 4, Tungmahamek. 


10. Saffron


Saffron is a Thai fine-dining restaurant, and also the signature restaurant of Banyan Tree brand. The Saffron I am referring to is the one located in Banyan Tree Bangkok.

Photo taken from http://www.banyantree.com

Well, what can I say, Banyan Tree Bangkok is the place where my boyfriend currently works, and I used to work for Banyan Tree Ungasan in Bali for almost 2 years, so somehow the brand remains special in my heart.

But to be honest I don’t recommend this restaurant just because of that, and my boyfriend is actually handling another F&B outlet, which is Vertigo Restaurant & Moon Bar (…which, I will not review this time!). It is because I literally had THE BEST THAI CUISINE here, in Saffron. Not that I don’t like Thai street food, but the food presentation they have in this restaurant is just so appealing and so so nice. I have dined here 4 times, so far. Food is great, service is awesome.

That’s my brother Ignaz! We had dinner here for my mom’s birthday, last 10 September 2015 🙂

The best thing to do is to order their set menu, which costs around 1,500 – 2,000++ THB for a 4-course one. I think ordering a la carte will just confuse you and you will not get the best deal after all.

Don’t forget to dress up properly! Remember, it’s a fine-dining restaurant, not McDonald’s!
No shorts or sandals, no sleeveless tops for men. Smart casual is the dress code… so you have to be casual, and smart, haha!

How to get there: Since you will be dressing up well and everything, I suggest you to take a taxi. However, if you wish to avoid traffic jam, then take the underground train and get off at MRT Lumphini Park, and walk 5 minutes to the hotel.


11. Forensic Museum


This is not a very mainstream place to visit for typical Bangkok tourists, but if you’re into creepy stuff just as much as I am, then this is da shit to see when you’re here.

Forensic Museum is one of the 5 museums you can visit in Siriraj Medical Museum, located in Siriraj Hospital area. What you can see here includes the mummified body of the first known serial killer in modern Thai history: Si Quey. 

Si Quey was a man originally from China who migrated to Thailand. He turned out to be a cannibal who preyed on children in the 1950s, first murdering them and then eating them. He was finally caught, convicted, and executed. Actually, it was strictly forbidden to take a photo inside the museums, but I secretly managed to take this one:

Si Quey will haunt you in your dreams tonight…

Basically, in this museum and the other 4 museums, you can see preserved organs, skeletons, displayed parasites, etc. Very interesting, only if you have sick (or let’s call it “medical”) interest like mine 🙂

How to get there: You can’t reach Siriraj Hospital by BTS nor MRT, so you have to take a taxi (at least a motorbike taxi). The address is 2 Prannok Road, Bangkok Noi. Just say “Siriraj” to your taxi driver, he will know where to take you.




12. Gaggan


Ladies and gentleman, please let me introduce you to the No. 1 Restaurant in Asia according to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 award: Gaggan – Progressive Indian Cuisine.

The name of the restaurant was taken from its owner/main chef’s name: Gaggan Anand.
Photo taken from http://www.worldfortravel.com

My boyfriend took me to this restaurant for his birthday celebration a while ago. It was the longest set menu I’ve ever had in my life: 10 courses with 12 nibbles and 1 petitfour. Crazy!!! We chose the “Best of Gaggan” set menu for 4,000++ THB per person. They also have shorter set menu , “Taste of Gaggan”, for 2,500++ THB per person. I know the price is crazy, but dude, you are paying for super high quality FOOD & ART here, so it’s totally worth it.

Wearing our batik outfits for the date!
Best of Gaggan – sorry for the blurry photo!

To be frank, I do not want to destroy the art of the dishes by posting unprofessional photos taken by my phone camera here, so I suggest you to go check the images of the dishes in Google, or in their official website: http://www.eatatgaggan.com

Oh, and if you are a vegetarian foodie, this restaurant will still work well for you as they have special menu for the vegans 🙂

How to get there: It’s another fine-dining restaurant, dress up well and go get a taxi. The address is 68/I Soi Langsuan, Phloenchit Road.




13. Chocolate Ville


If you are a “photaholic” or a “selfie-freak”, or you just happen to be an Asian still wishing that someday your turn to visit Europe will come, this place far away from downtown of Bangkok will work for you.

Food and beverages here are definitely overpriced, but the place is nice to capture with your camera – whatever camera it is. To be honest, I have no idea why this place is called Chocolate Ville, since its theme is not about chocolate at all.

Not much about this place, I think this is just like Universal Studios area without attractions such as mary-go-round and friends. So, I’m just going to share my pretty pictures:

That’s it 🙂

How to get there: Err… just take a taxi. I think you can get there by public bus as well, but I seriously don’t know which bus number you need to take. The address is 351, Khan Na Yao. Believe me, most of taxi drivers know Chocolate Ville, you just have to make sure that they are using the fare metre before you decide to get into the taxi and go!




14. Mama Dolores


OMG people, yes, I’m going to share again about another restaurant I like in Bangkok. People who don’t know me well enough might think that my recommendations about things to do in Bangkok will be more about where to shop dresses, but hey this skinny girl here is actually has a bigger crush on food. So yeah.

Mama Dolores entrance. Photo taken from http://www.eataroi.com
Photo taken from http://www.eataroi.com

I seriously need to stop using photos from other websites and get a better camera to be able to produce more original photos, which are GOOD.

This one is mine. Fettuccine Pesto for lunch 🙂

Before, I was recommending Pala Pizza Romana for pizza, so now I’m recommending Mama Dolores for its pasta menu. The best are Pesto and Aglio Olio – classic! As a born-Italian-food-lover (can I say that, cause I’ve been munching pizza and pasta since I was baby?), I can’t help but keep coming to this restaurant which is actually very close to my former apartment.

Its location might be in some ‘alley’ in Tungmahamek area, but the food here is well taken care of by the big kitchen team. The concept of this restaurant is also an open kitchen one, so it’s fun to watch them preparing your order while you’re drinking with your buddies.

How to get there: Maybe taking a motorbike taxi is a better idea than taking a car taxi as you need to get through some small streets before reaching this restaurant. The address is 20 Soi Yen Akat, Tungmahamek, Sathorn.




15. Dine in The Dark (DID)


Finally I’m gonna share the most interesting and unforgettable dining experience I’ve ever had, not only in Bangkok, but in my life: Dine in The Dark (DID) in Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit.

Photo taken from http://www.bangkokscene.com

I clearly have no original photos that I took by myself, and definitely you can’t take the picture of the food, since the concept of this restaurant is that you really have your meals in total darkness!

You don’t get to be blindfolded or anything silly like that. You just get to enter the completely dark dining area by relying on your designated waiter/waitress. Before entering the dining room, you have to choose your menu, from the options of Asian Menu, Western Menu, Vegetarian Menu, and Surprise Menu. Since Jutet and I don’t have any restriction when it comes to eating, we then chose the Surprise Menu… anything the chef would prepare for us 🙂 – Price is 1,400++ THB per person for food only, by the time we were dining there.

The most amazing thing about this restaurant is not that you have to guess what’s on your plate without using your eye sights, or that the dining area is in complete darkness, but the because of the fact that all waiters and waitresses are… BLIND.

Khun E was assigned for me and Jutet as our private waiter. What’s even more amazing is that, even though he is blind, his service was flawless, from assisting us to enter the dark room, having us seated, preparing the napkins and cutlery, bringing the food and drinks, explaining about how to eat the food, until assuring that we are enjoying the dinner and taking us out of the dark room in the end of the whole experience. He was even better than most of the waiters I know in other places. I feel like he could “see” in the darkness, while I -on the other side- got panicked a bit in the beginning cause I’ve never been in a place so dark like that before! There was no difference AT ALL whether I opened my eyes or when I closed them! But no… Khun E was truly blind. He was just well trained and he was so skillful in using his other senses to get his job done… and that’s actually what the dining was all about: switching on our other senses when our eye sights are off.

Photo of some of team members of DID, but I don’t think Khun E is here. Photo taken from http://www.bangkokscene.com

I am really impressed by the fact that Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit hires blind employees to be part of their F&B Service team. Part of the revenue will also be donated to foundation for the blind in Thailand. This is not only one of the best CSR practices I’ve ever known, but also a great way to encourage disabled people out there to not lose hope in their life, cause as a matter of fact, they can be as good as -or even better than- normal people!

If you’re interested to experience this one-of-a-kind dining, please check http://www.dineinthedarkbangkok.com for more details.

How to get there: BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit. The hotel is located between Soi 12 and Soi 14 on Sukhumvit Road.





Aaw you’re still there???
It’s either you love this post so much so you read it until the end, OR you just skipped all the content and just read the sub-titles and reached this paragraph, haha.
Well, however it was, thank you for reading my blog post this time about the highlights in Bangkok!
I will most probably write more as I will be living here at least until 6 more months, so I have the chance to wander around and share more to you 😉

Special thanks to a bunch of friends who have visited me in Bangkok since I moved here in the end of February 2015. You know who you are:
Eurike, Maria, Icha, Ajeng, Welsen, Shiella, Richardo, David, Nanta, Devi, Shelly, Selly Elisa, Winny, and Ramon!
I’ve missed to see Kak Ayu, Patrick, Florie, and Aska when they were around 😦 – Hope you guys visit again soon!
Ah, and I look forward to meet my lovely ladies Ochin and Natski very very soon here!

That’s all for now, fellas. Have a good day/night!
สวัสดีค่ะ – Sa wat dee kha!

Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

  1. I was just looking at your Highlights in Bangkok – 2015 Edition – …Pumpkin Furball! website and see that your website has the potential to get a lot of visitors. I just want to tell you, In case you don’t already know… There is a website service which already has more than 16 million users, and the majority of the users are interested in topics like yours. By getting your site on this network you have a chance to get your site more visitors than you can imagine. It is free to sign up and you can read more about it here: http://c.or.at/25v – Now, let me ask you… Do you need your site to be successful to maintain your business? Do you need targeted traffic who are interested in the services and products you offer? Are looking for exposure, to increase sales, and to quickly develop awareness for your website? If your answer is YES, you can achieve these things only if you get your website on the service I am describing. This traffic service advertises you to thousands, while also giving you a chance to test the service before paying anything at all. All the popular sites are using this service to boost their readership and ad revenue! Why aren’t you? And what is better than traffic? It’s recurring traffic! That’s how running a successful website works… Here’s to your success! Find out more here: http://c.or.at/25v

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s