Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ivy's Travel: Christmas in Bangkok Diary {Part I}


Another Bangkok travel diary, this time on Christmas. Obviously, we didn't plan to go to Bangkok to celebrate Christmas since it isn't the best city for it. The majority religion in Bangkok is Buddhism, so you hardly see any big celebrations nor Christmas decorations here. 

To cut straight to the story, we spent 6 days in the city and again, we stayed at our favorite hotel in Bangkok, Amari Watergate Hotel. I'm not going to talk much on this as I've covered on why we love this hotel on my previous Bangkok trip. But to say it again, if you like street food and shopping, Pratunam is the best area to stay in Bangkok, and Amari Hotel is the best one to stay, good accommodation with great location. 

Oh, btw, one of the most frequent question I received via instagram is about what kind of simcard I use. Traveling to Bangkok is very easy and convenient. Right after you walk out from arrival gate, you will find many shops selling prepaid simcard and they will help you to activate it on your phone. For a 7days of unlimited internet cost me 299 Baht (IDR 114.000,-). Very cheap. Choose any kind of provider, all the same. I normally always use True or Dtac.

DAY 1- PRATUNAM SABX2 WANTON MEE - YAOWARAT - T&K SEAFOOD

SABX2 WANTON MEE
Address: Petchburi Soi 19, Pratunam 
Opening hours: 9am - 3pm

Pork Wanton Mee 100 Baht (IDR 38.000,-)

Pork Rice 100 Baht (IDR 38.000,-)

Since our hotel is just like 10 minutes walk to SabX2, it felt illegal to not revisit. We actually do like the noodle, and when the queue is not crazy, we always make sure to drop by.

THAI PIG EAR SALAD @PRATUNAM ALLEY 
Address: Petchburi soi 19, Pratunam (Same alley as SabX2, across First Hotel)
Opening hours: 3pm - finish  

If you eat intestines, I urge you to try this oh so good pig ear salad. It is so so goooood! The sauces they use, that lime, basil and the chilli, makes it spicy sour at the same time. Really really good. It was only a humble side road business using cart, but make no mistake, people queue up start from the opening at 3pm and normally by 5, they are sold out already. We have been a fan since our first time in Bangkok. It was not hard to find, just come at 3pm, find First Hotel, the cart is right across them.


White Christmas decoration in front of Central World Mall

YAOWARAT CHINATOWN 

We have been to Bangkok more than 10 times, but never once set foot at Chinatown because it was quite far from Pratunam, and with that horrible traffic, we felt lazy even before going. But on this trip, I make it a must to go there since I've heard there are plenty of good food in the area. We went by taxi (100 baht from Pratunam), took around 35minutes. Honestly speaking, we felt that there was nothing really interesting in Chinatown. Shopping and food wise. It was good to know, but I don't think I will go again next time.

T&K SEAFOOD
Address: 49 Phading Dao, Yaowarat Road 
Opening hours: 5pm - 2am 

Pla Kapong (Steamed fish with lime) 350 Baht (IDR 133.000,-), Som Tam 100 Baht (IDR 38.000,-)

Oyster Omelette 120 Baht (IDR 45.000,-)

T&K seafood is by far the most crowded and popular eatery at Chinatown. It is located at the first intersection of Yaowarat road and with that crowd and queue, you won't missed it. The long queue turned both of us off, but turns out to be very quick. We were seated in like 5 mins. The place is an old house where you can choose to sit on the side road as well. We were seated inside and it wasn't a good dining ambiance. The inside was so cramped and so packed. I would suggest to better sit outside by the road. But the food was generally good, especially the Pla Kapong. Man, Thai food with their lime and spices, how it can be so fresh, light yet sour and spicy at the same time.

Random chocolate and pandan toast (40 Baht, IDR 15.000,-) at the end of Yaowarat Road

DAY 2 - CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT - WANG LANG MARKET - MR. JOE - ENDO SUSHI

CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT

I've heard that Wang Lang market is one of the busiest local market in Bangkok, since we love exploring local area and traditional markets, we made a trip there, but it wasn't an easy ride. The queue to take the boat is quite long and don't picture riding a nice classy boat, it is more like a fisherman wooden boat, open air type, with the crazy 34 degrees heat and around 30 minutes boat ride, wasn't really something I would be doing again.

WANG LANG MARKET
Directions: Take BTS to Saphan Taksin station exit 2, walk to the pier and buy Chao Praya express boat ticket 14 Baht per person. Go down at Phannok pier (Thang Wang Lang). It took around 30 minutes boat ride. 

If you do want to go here, the boat will stop at many pier stops before stoping at Wang Lang market. It's not the end destination, so everytime the boat stops, you need to look closely on the pier sign. If you see Phannok pier, that's your cue to step down. Wang Lang market located just behind the pier, across from a huge hospital that I can't remember the name.

Random boat noodle for lunch

You won't see many tourists in Wang Lang as the market is not a popular destination for tourist. Yes, there are plenty of food, souvenir, shopping stuffs, but we personally don't feel the market is that good.

MR. JOE
Address: 313/7 Soi Chan 42-44, wat Phraya Kai 
Open: 8.30am - 4pm

Thailand is famous for its unbelievably good of cracking pork belly, and Mr. Joe without doubt is one of the most popular place serving them. Their main dish is actually Kuay Jap (pork intestine with soup), but their fried crackling pork belly is what make them famous.

Signature Crispy Pork 55 Baht

It was not a short ride to come here, the traffic in Sathon area where they are located is often packed, but the crispy pork made it worth while. It was crazy crisp! I don't know how they can make the skin so crisp that when you bite them, you feel like eating a chips. So goood on the crackling but on the flavor was a bit bland. The pork belly wasn't marinated, but once you dipped them in the sauce, the taste starts to elevate. For us personally, taste wise, we still prefer the one in Chatuchak, but crackling crisp wise, hands down, Mr. Joe.
 
Kuay Jap 60 Baht

When I posted this on IG stories, many of you asked me on the directions to go there. Mr. Joe is located not in a busy area, so it is definitely not easy to find. The reason why we didn't bump into any trouble in finding them is because I screen capture their address in Thai language from this blog:
Go to the link, screen capture the address, and show it to your cab driver, and you'll be okay. Most of the cab driver in Bangkok don't really read English, so for places that aren't located in popular area, you need to have the name and address in their local language. I normally go by google search (that's how I found the blog) or I asked hotel's concierge to help me write the name and address in Thai. 
Note: From Mr. Joe to Pratunam 120 Baht.

ENDO SUSHI 
Address: 235 The Taste, Thong Lor, 2nd flr
Opening hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm; 5.30pm - 10.30pm (Closed on Mon) 

When I heard that one of Osaka's most popular sushi, Endo sushi opens in Bangkok, I immediately put it in our list. Thong Lor area is popular with many Japanese restaurants, Endo sushi is located inside The Taste, where all the tenants in the building are Japanese cuisines. We had a delicious dinner at Endo. A nice break from all that local Thai food. The sushi was fresh and melt in your mouth.
Set A - Anago, Uni, Engawa, Toro, Hamachi 480 Baht (IDR 182.000,-)

Set B - Kani, Tsubugai, Hotate, Toro, Tachiuo 480 Baht (IDR 182.000,-)

Fresh Oyster 150 Baht (IDR 57.000,-) per piece 


DAY 3 - CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET - PLATINUM MALL - TALAD NEON NIGHT MARKET - THIP SAMAI 
CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET 
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm weekend only

For us, a trip to Bangkok no matter how often it is, won't be complete without visiting Chatuchak, my favorite weekend market. No matter how touristy it became, I still haven't find any other weekend market nicer than them. Not going to say much since my I have been sharing about Chatuchak many times in previous Bangkok posts, I just want to let you know the location of what we think is the best grilled pork belly in town.

Look for Soi 8 section 17 and you'll find this pork belly vendor. 

TALAD NEON NIGHT MARKET 
Address: Petchaburi Road next to Berkeley Pratunam Hotel, 5 minutes walk from Platinum Mall

Talad Neon night market is a recent new night market in Pratunam. It is located next to Berkeley Hotel, not too far from Platinum fashion mall. Talad Neon night market is not really big, it is an empty open air yard turned into street stand vendors selling F&B and clothes. When we visit, it didn't really have anything. I'm not sure if it has something to do with they are still really new during our period of visit or if the market really does have nothing.

THIP SAMAI (PAD THAI PRATU PI)
Address: 313 - 315 Maha Chai Rd, Khwaeng Samran Rat
Opening hours: 5pm - 2am 

Thip Samai is the most popular Pad thai restaurant in Bangkok. Open only from 5pm to after midnight, long queue is to be expected. All over the walls are covered with recognition in frames from media and newspaper. I can't remember the pad thai prices, but if I'm not mistaken mine is about 250 Baht as I chose the one with big prawns as the topping. Is the Pad Thai really is as good as people said? Well, since I'm not a pad thai person, my opinion might be bias, it was good but I didn't feel anything that special.


One thing you must order when you come here though is their signature pulpy fresh orange juice. So fresh and so good. I don't know how to explain it, but their orange juice is different with others. I saw many customers bought the big bottles to take home.

Fresh Orange Juice with Pulp 160 Baht

Continue to next post, click here.

*Based on Bangkok trip 22 - 27 Dec 2016. 1 Baht = 380 Rupiah

No comments: