Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Foodtripper's Adventure in Thailand (Part 1)

To shop and to eat. That is my great Thailand motto.

We left Manila via Kuwait Airways at 11:15pm, Feb 9, and arrived at Bangkok after the 3.45 hour trip. Time difference is an hour less in Thailand. Anyhow, i slept for only 10 mins in the plane out of sheer excitement, full stomach (yes, i dig plane food), and the distraction of a good movie since Just Like Heaven is being shown.

The plane landed at around 2am the next day, and we finally checked-in at the First House Hotel at 3am. Notwithstanding the lack of sleep, we still had our half-day city tour scheduled at 8am, the same day.

Now let me tell you about breakfast. Breakfast is inclusive in the hotel package and i'm sure glad it is. Chicken noodle soup is an everyday staple, and so are rice and veggies. You wouldn't imagine how happy i was with this setup. The first time i saw the buffet table, i couldn't contain my emotion and almost shouted "I heart your buffet breakfast!" now pass me the plate please. And yes, my love affair with tea and cream started in Bangkok.

Moving on, our tour guide picked us up at the scheduled time and off we proceeded to the temple tours. First stop is at the Wat Pho, where the Temple of the Reclining Buddha can be found. Next we went to visit the Wat In, where the standing buddha can be found, the leather shop, and finally the jewelry factory.

Temples are boring. Now let's go to where the action is.

By lunch time, we were munching away at the street hawkers corner right beside our hotel at the Pratunam area. Communication was really bad, and my other sister, Anne, got really pissed off because one of the noodle vendor in the area wouldn't sell her anything despite pointing the food and sign language. Oh well, mom and i were able to buy this cooked-like-tempura shrimp for 20baht since i'm still full from my breakfast feast. Joy went for a chicken noodle soup (20baht), and Anne finally got around to buying a decent rice meal of her own.

My radar went full blast as soon as laid my eyes upon this old vendor selling some kind of a create-your-own guinataang halohalo-like food at one corner of the street. True enough, the old lady cannot speak English, but my pointing skills worked and i was rewarded with a sweetened cassava-sticky rice-coconut milk concoction for only 7baht (would you believe?!?) I don't really know what it is called, but the thing with her stall was that you get to pick the combination, and the lady will mix everything before your very eyes. Anne, got her own as well, but overdid it with the combination of banana-langka-tapioca-and other stuffs that turned out overly sweet after all.

We returned to the hotel for the much needed sleep after lunch. But i can't. Just as i was about to sneak out of the room. Anne woke up to my dismay and insisted on coming with me for a quick walk around the area. After an hour, we returned back to the hotel only to find mom and Joy waiting for us at the lobby. We then took a walk to the main road in search for a currency exchanger not realizing that it was a little after five which is beyond the closing time of banks.

Again, i was so distracted with the street hawkers grilling waffles, and mini pancake-like stuffs that i just had to have one of those myself. Mom was completely grossed-out and kept warning me to stop buying street foods (btw, they grill by their hands) but i gave in anyway. The little pancakes i bought turned out some kind of little coconut cakes that comes in plain and looks-like-chocolate-but-doesn't-taste-like-one flavor, which btw is completely delish for only 20baht.

The early street food adventure must have been too much for a "mature" first-timer like mom. She was lbm-stricken that afternoon. And so all three of us, minus mom of course, still proceeded to explore the hard-core Pratunam area. No serious shopping yet. And so once again, we were confronted with a street lined with hawkers of all sorts. To buy or not to buy is not the question. Given the chance, I would have bought all the street foods right then and there but i have no baht of my own. Fortunately, i was able to snag a couple of baht from mom to continue the food tripping adventure.

Yes, there were fried insects, and no i didn't try it. The young coconut juice is absolutely divine for only 15baht. Don't think that this is the same from our local buco juice because it doesn't even come close, at least for me. The taste is so sweet, coconutty, and beyond the beyond. We also bought papaya and yellow watermelon for 10 baht each for some munchies at the hotel. My two sisters, ordered a take-away beef and veggies meal (quite pricey for 100+baht) at a nearby resto, which by the way smelled and tasted so blechhhh because of the coriander overload.

Next stop was to buy a cup noodle for my poor mom. I was able to find a Nissin noodle (thank heavens!) at a 7-eleven store which, by the way, turned out spicy as well.

And that was just our first day.


Blogger carlosceldran said...

Yum. Bangkok. Drool.

8:40 PM  

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