Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Foodtripper's Adventure in Thailand (Part 3)

Our third day in the city is all about shopping. From the hotel, we hailed a cab (35baht flag down rate) that took us to the BTS Phaya Thai station going to Mon Chit (25baht) where the Chatuchak Weekend Market is located. Chatuchak is probably one of the world's biggest bazaar, and i could very well compare it to BF Ruins x 100, if you're familiar with it.
Finally we were able to have our money converted into bahts right in time for shopping. From Chatuchak we split into two groups (mom-joy; me-anne) agreeing to meet up by lunch time at the bank situated right in the center of the bazaar.

Just as we were walking in the main pathway, i saw this stall selling local ice cream in what else but young coconut flavor. The exciting part is that you get to choose two toppings of your own with choices that range from sweet-sticky rice, corn, sweet potato, taro, nata, peanut, etc. I had taro and nata on mine, topped with milk for only 20baht.
As expected, i eventually lost sight of my sister, who, by the way lost total control of her shopping in return. Frankly, though, i don't like shopping in Chatuchak because of the heat and confusion one could get by just going around half the area. It's so big i was not able to explore a good portion of it, largely because of fear that i will never find my way back. As i was strolling along one side of the street, again something yummy-looking caught my fancy. For 20baht, i was able to buy this mini-custard filled pastries which i have no pictures of anyway.

For the record, the lunch i had in Chatuchak was the spiciest i had in the city. We were in some sort of a mad rush to get back for more shopping that we opted to buy food in this stall where most of the locals flock for lunch. I had this non-assuming veggie dish for 25baht, that upon closer look reveals the uber generous presence of chili seeds in it. I insisted on eating half of it and ended up having stomach burns. Good thing, the brewed iced coffee i bought for 15baht helped wash away most of the sting in my mouth.
After lunch, we were once again separated, but this time, we no longer caught sight of each other in the area. We agreed to meet up by 2pm but Joy and Mom "claimed" that they got lost and so the chain of unplanned events happened. Before leaving the area, my food radar got so distracted with this small resto beside the waiting area serving this green dessert. I'm fascinated with the idea that it serves only this particular food and people just kept on coming non-stop. I had my dose for 15baht/bowl and until now i'm still wondering what it is. At that time i'm 100% convinced that it's the Thai's own version of our local buco-pandan but when i tasted it i'm not so sure anymore. The thought still haunts me until now. Have i just eaten green worms or is it cold green pasta swimming in iced coconut milk? Whatever.

Anne and i went back to the Phaya Thai station, notwithstanding the heavy rainfall, and took a cab going to Mah Boon Krong (MBK) Shopping Center. The mall is disappointing- and i mean that to the highest level. We could have just spent the time we wasted there exploring Chatuchak for more finds. To compensate for the waste of time, i shopped for groceries instead, and i'm so glad i did. Nestle yoghurts are sold for roughly around 10baht/cup and even cheaper if you buy in packs of 4. They even offer flavors not locally sold here such as blueberry and sweet corn. I bought a dozen to take home. One more thing i noticed is that bottled water is super cheapest in Thailand. We've been buying 1.5L of Nestle pure since our first day and it only costs 13baht in 7-eleven, and 11baht in larger grocery stores.

Anyhoo, back in the hotel, we found each other in time for dinner. Apparently mom and Joy were also at MBK mall and even hopped to Siam Square for a quick browse around. Dinner is at the hotel resto were we had this awesome Phad Thai, stir fried veggies, and ground sweet basil chicken which is a misnomer as it turned out spicy hot once again.

Where else can you get an authentic Thai massage than in Thailand itself. I just learned that they even have this some kind of central massage school in Wat Pho where masseurs learn the art of Thai massage the traditional way. I had my massage with my sister at the spa beside the hotel for only 250baht/hour and its really good, save for the part where i almost freaked out when the masseuse cracked my neck like how barbers do it here. I don't know if its really a part of it because when i asked the rest of the family if they got the same neck-cracking experience they looked at me like i'm a maniac. At least mine was different.


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