Tag Archives: bangkok

Amazing Thailand!!!!

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Hello! Hello! I know it’s been a while for us writing…like my blogging partner said, the last 6 months of 2014 went by in a whirlwind. Honestly, a lot of times I did sit down in front of my laptop and thought about writing a post, but I then I was like “I have nothing to share.” So back again, I would switch off the laptop, and go on with the daily routine. My husband constantly asked why I wasn’t blogging and I kept saying I have nothing to write about; in all honesty, I was getting a bit lazy. But as they say, absence makes the heart go fonder and I am back!

Bangkok Traffic

Bangkok Traffic

A lot happened in 2014….probably the biggest is the fact that we are expecting a baby in May!!!! A million emotions are constantly running through me, feelings of excitement an d nervousness. I think I might write a separate post on all that I keep constantly thinking about.

Let me get back to what this blog is supposed to be about, as the title suggests, I just came from a quick 4 day trip to Bangkok. It’s the city I grew up in and even though most of my friends and family have moved on….the city still holds a super special place in my heart. The last time I visited Bangkok was almost 6/7 years ago and while a lot has changed, a lot hasn’t.

Strolling around Lumpini Park

Strolling around Lumpini Park

So what did I do in Bangkok? I ate, shopped, slept, ate, shopped, slept….on repeat. I guess that is what a good vacation is about. I constantly complain that the Thai food in India doesn’t quite make the cut. Some places (ex: Baan Tao or Polka Dots in Pune have good curries), but they don’t get that 100% authentic taste. Also they say, street food in Thailand is the best, so I was pretty much on a mission to make my husband try all the food that I grew up eating…from the krapao kai…to Swensens ice-cream to Paprika chips.

Mama Tom Yum

Mama Tom Yum

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Sticky Chewy Fantasy at Swensens….still my favorite ice cream flavor!

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Mango Ice Cream & Mango Custard at Mango Tango, Siam

 

We, also, did do a lot of shopping for the baby. Yes, you can find almost everything you need for a baby in India (thank you Amazon.in), but variety is an issue. I fell in love with almost all the baby things I saw and actually had to be told to stop shopping for the baby (the malls in Bangkok probably deserve a separate post as well).

It was a much needed trip. I am back feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to take on the next 6 weeks of work. Bangkok….I am not sure when we will meet next, but till next time….see ya!

The trendy Terminal 21 mall, which is designed like an airport with each floor representing a different global city.

The trendy Terminal 21 mall, which is designed like an airport with each floor representing a different global city.

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Bangkok Recap

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I meant to do this post almost two weeks back, but having a baby really takes up a whole lot of time. And I have had even less time since my husband, bro and sis in law were in Thailand for a few days before we flew back.

I was at home for a good five months, as I chose to have my delivery in Thailand. The last week was spent settling in back in India, unpacking (of which there is still a long way to go), and making sure my baby was adjusting well to a new place, people and climate. We came from hot and humid where you need air conditioning to survive to non-stop drizzling and a chill that requires you to put on a warm cardigan.

My time back home was spent eating a lot of Thai food, spending time with cousins who had flown down and taking them around, meeting old friends and simply enjoying such a long stay at home. I ended up going to all the places covered in my previous post, and some more.

The malls are decorated with sculptures and installations throughout the year so they make for great photo taking opportunity, of which we did quite a bit.

Here are just a few photos from my long summer in Bangkok. Oh how I miss it and my family already.

Us at Spring Summer

Us at Spring Summer

My brother and I at Terminal 21

My brother and I at Terminal 21

Ocean World at Paragon

Ocean World at Paragon

Siam Center

Siam Center

Some of the food along the way

Some of the food along the way

Asiatique

Asiatique

My dad and I-shopping time

My dad and I-shopping time

Mommy and I

Mommy and I

 

Baby Fair Weekend

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This past weekend I visited the bi-annually held Thailand Baby and Kids Best Buy fair held at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center (QNSCC). The center holds events throughout the year, and hosts everything from pet expos to travel fairs. This four day event is quite popular for both expectant parents as well as those with toddlers. In addition to discounted rates, it also provides the convenience of everything under one roof.

One could basically walk out with an entire nursery stocked for a new born. There was everything from cloth diapers and cots to baby carriers, sterilizers, play mats and even baby-safe nail paint.

One of the numerous aisles at the fair

One of the numerous aisles at the fair

Being a popular event, the venue was packed with expectant mothers as well as those parents with young children. I definitely made the right decision of leaving my baby at home. It would have been near impossible to hold him and go through the available stock, even though my mom was with me.

Discounts at Wacoal Baby

Discounts at Wacoal Baby

My brother had picked quite a bit of clothes and accessories during the earlier baby fair which was held in February, and comparatively the clothes were much better last time round. This time the clothes were first of all mostly for girls, and even then either really small sizes or then for toddlers. It was quite difficult to stock up on clothes for 9-12 and even 6-9 months for boys. Parents with baby girls must have had a blast. I saw the cutest shorts from Benetton in a whole range of candy colors, then there were dresses, skirts, ballet pumps and strappy sandals.

Tiny baby shoes

Tiny baby shoes

One of the many book stockists

One of the many book stockists

Nevertheless I picked a few t-shirts, shorts, a pair of jeans from Gap baby, night suit sets, caps, socks, and a few educational flip cards. On the way back, we stopped by at a baby store and picked up the very popular Sophie the Giraffe teething toy for later, as it is not available in India. In the evening we headed to H&M, which is also currently on sale, and picked the cutest cardigans for my boy.

All in all a successful shopping weekend for my baby, and surprisingly I did not make a single purchase. I definitely recommend checking the baby fair if you are traveling to Thailand at this time of the year and have little ones.

Shop until you drop…in Bangkok

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One reason most tourists come to the ‘city of angels’ is for its endless shopping. Bangkok has a little for everyone, from high end and high street brands to local designers and street shopping.

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My cousin was recently in Bangkok with her family, and one of the main things on her agenda was shopping. And we did indeed spend quite a bit of time on our feet visiting both the malls and the street markets, picking everything from gold to shoes and souvenirs. Since we Indians love investing in gold, I suggest picking some nice pieces from here, since the gold is just so much prettier than the orange tinged version available in India. I always get asked where my jewelry is from anytime I am wearing a piece I picked in Thailand.

These are some of the places we ended up going to:

Malls: Sukhumvit road is dotted with malls, among which are some of the largest in the region. For anyone coming to Bangkok a must visit is Central World and Siam Paragon, which also includes an aquarium for the little ones. Other note worthy malls are Emporium and Central Chitlom. Since Bangkok is a fashion hub, store displays change multiple times a year, so be sure to check out the numerous sales.

Central World

Central World

Siam Paragon all lit up

Siam Paragon all lit up

Wholesale shopping: locals and tourist alike head to Platinum to pick up the latest trends without burning a hole in their pockets. Here as with the nearby Pratunam, the more pieces you buy, the less you end up paying per piece. And since they allow you to mix and match designs, you can literally buy an entire new wardrobe on a budget.

Another option in Sam Phaeng, where you can pick accessories, bags and rolls of fabric. You’ll always see retailers at these markets, stocking up on trendy outfits and accessories to sell from their boutiques later.

Chatuchak: open only on Saturday and Sunday, this open air market boasts of over 20,000 shops that sell everything from candles to custom furniture. But don’t let the size intimidate you, as the stores are carefully housed under sections, and further marked with street and shop numbers. And if your feet hurt from all the walking, just stop by at one of the foot massage places for quick pain relief like we did.

Chatuchak on a map

Chatuchak on a map

The tiny lanes of Chatuchak

The tiny lanes of Chatuchak

Asiatique: Bangkok until a few years back had a popular night market, but it was shut to make way for a hotel project. But now with Asiatique, we have one again! Situated across the river, you can hop on a ferry or use the shuttle service to get there. Open from 5pm until midnight this is fast becoming a popular destination, with dining and entertainment in addition to the shopping. The shops are housed in nine converted warehouses that had been taken for the Japanese during WWII and had been left abandoned since. Lots of picture taking opportunities, just remember to bring your walking shoes, because this place is massive. Don’t forget to ride the ferris wheel for a night time view of the city.

Welcome to Asiatique

Welcome to Asiatique

Warehouse 1 of 9

Warehouse 1 of 9

And while shopping, if you get hungry or thirsty, don’t’ shy away from the street food on offer. Definitely a must try!

Home is Incomplete without Food

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So, I am in Thailand for a while and since I have landed have basically been eating like there is no tomorrow. Thai food is relatively easy and faster to cook when compared to Indian, but sometimes the lack of ingredients takes away that authentic taste.

Phat Thai

Phat Thai

My first dish was Phat Thai at the airport itself at 6 in the morning, and lunch was Kapao Kai, known in English as Basil Chicken, and it is one dish that I can possibly eat every single day. I do try making some of the simpler dishes back in Mumbai such as Tom Yum soup, Pasta Tom Yum, Som Tam, and Boonsen.

Macaroni Tom Yum

Macaroni Tom Yum

Som Tam or Papaya Salad

Som Tam or Papaya Salad

The streets of Bangkok are a foodies paradise, and here you will find everything from a meal for under a dollar to one that will set you back by a couple hundred. And both ends of the spectrum are an experience in itself. One place I would definitely recommend is Vertigo at Bnayan Tree. And since the city is also a shoppers paradise, the malls are packed with unlimited food options as well, from donuts to gourmet.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit

Being a tropical country, fruit here is quite abundant as well and most are available year round. In India that was mainly apples and pears. Here I have been eating rose apples, sweet raw mangoes, ripe yellow ones, yummy guavas, and longan.

Since I am going to be home for a while, my plan is to learn the dishes that I crave the most in India from my maid. And hopefully I can replicate them once I am back in Mumbai.

Kutiyo Naam

Kutiyo Naam

Learning today: Kutiyo Naam.