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14 May 2008

Jetsetting Foodistas | Joey In Thailand

JoeyJoey's Love Affair with (Thai) Food & Shopping
Jetsetting Foodistas: A Travelogue by JoeyBangkok & Pattaya in 5 Days* Apologies in advance for my rather all-over-the-place entry


I have to confess. I was supposed to write a decent narrative/account of my trip to Thailand, complete with bells & whistles and, actually, I did sort of do that. Unfortunately, I wrote it for my personal blog, so it's not exactly ideal for me to just cross-post it here. However, after giving it some thought, I decided to, at least, run through what I did in Thailand and, of course, give you an idea of the food I devoured there. Devoured, because I ate so much and, upon coming home to Manila, I was 4 lbs heavier! That was maybe the most delicious journey to four extra pounds I've ever had, though, so it was very much worth it.

(And, entre nous, I lost the 4 lbs eventually anyway.)

And yet another confession: I've been on the look out for a really good Thai resto here in Manila and I have yet to find one (suggestions, anyone?), so upon arriving in Thailand, you can bet that I ate and tried everything I could. (Diet? What diet?)

My first day in Thailand was spent in Bangkok. We stayed at Baiyoke Sky Hotel, with Indra Square right across from it. Indra Square is easily my favourite place to shop in Thailand. Not only was it cheap, open every day (and had a night street market/bazaar every single night), but it was literally shopping at my doorstep. Travel tip? If you're going to Thailand, pack light and pack extra bags for all the shopping you will be doing. Everything there is sooo cheap, from the clothes to the food. To quote my mum, "You will go mad with the shopping there!"

Another thing I love about Indra Square is Food Street, this little food court on the building's second floor. There's a wide selection of food there and everything is, of course, cheap. My favourite thing to eat there is the Seafood Tom Yam from the stall at the very back (beside the stall that has duck). It's at 40 Baht a bowl (around Php 50 or US$1.25), and it's really good and really filling -- perfect after a day of hardcore shopping and haggling.

Baiyoke Sky's breakfast buffet gave me a resounding and very satisfying "Good morning!" on my second day. Soo much food! My dad told us to eat plenty (he didn't have to tell us twice haha) because we were going on a temple tour and we didn't know if we would be able to come back in time for lunch. I had fruits in yogurt and newly-cooked naan bread. No photos, unfortunately (cameras weren't allowed), but I can assure you that they really know how to do their Breakfast Buffet in Thailand. Or, well, at least they did in the two hotels I stayed in.

We left for our half-day temple tour and visited the Marble Temple and the Standing Buddha Temple. Fortunately, we were able to make it back to the hotel with time for a quick lunch at Food Street before our ride to Pattaya arrived.

This time, I tried glass noodles with seafood (40 Baht) and had some of my mum's lunch, which was some sort of seafood noodles (40 Baht) both really yummy. My dad had this bowl of spicy wanton noodles (40 Baht), which I didn't dare try since my dad loves his food extremely spicy. I also tried what the guy at the stall called sweet combination (25 Baht for two toppings) where you had your pick of halo-halo-like ingredients/toppings in sweet coconut milk and topped with shaved ice -- delicious. I had mine with red jelly-covered guava and and what the guy called melon, but tasted a lot like avocado.

In Pattaya, we stayed in A-One Hotel, a luxury cruise ship-themed hotel. After checking in and stashing our things in our rooms, we went off to walk around Beach Road. This is where I discover farang, this really sweet guava they grow in Thailand. It has this light apple-green coloured exterior and the inside of the guava is white and wonderful. In Pattaya, they sold it at 20 Baht (Php 26 or US$0.60) for one on the street. I found out later that you can also buy this back in Bangkok for only 10 Baht. I suppose they upped the prices since the area we stayed in (which is also where the stall I bought from was located) is really a tourist area. Still very cheap though.

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of farang (which, funnily, is also the Thai word for 'foreigner' -- I'd imagine they made all sorts of double-meaning jokes with that word) because I'd usually consume it before I'd remember to take a photo of it. Oops.

After going to mass at St. Nikolaus, we went back to Beach Road to have dinner at Open Shore, which, our waiter told us, just opened and was Filipino-owned. That, of course, made us pretty happy with our choice of restaurant. Not only was the food great, but the service was very good and the man entertaining the diners for the night was great fun and particularly fond of us. I had phad thai with shrimp as my main dish and we ordered spicy seafood salad, thai herb salad, and a grilled seafood platter to share.

We woke up bright and early again the next day, this time because we had to catch our speed boat ride to Coral Island, where we were going to spend our morning. Nice as they were, I'd have to say that the beaches in Pattaya and in Coral Island don't hold a candle to our beaches here. I'm not much for swimming around and sunbathing, so I spent most of my morning napping under an umbrella with someone giving me a massage. I did walk around a bit in search of some farang, but found the only stall selling some with not-so-fresh looking farang that were much more expensive (40 Baht!) had I bought it along Beach Road. By midday, we were back on Beach Road, with a shuttle taking us to where we were to have our lunch.

We had our lunch in this Chinese restaurant near Gems Gallery Pattaya. Our lunch here was part of our travel package, so we didn't really know what to expect. After our guide paid for our meal at the desk and we were seated at our table, we were immediately brought several dishes, most of which I didn't know the name of. We each had pineapple rice (topped with pork floss) and then several dishes to share: a clear soup with dark green leaves, kangkong in some sort of salty sauce, something that looked and tasted like patatim, some sort of fried pork, steamed fish, and slices of pineapple for dessert (which was prolly the original content of the hollowed pineapple "shell" our pineapple rice came in). We were also served pitchers of their house tea (rice tea). It was a surprisingly good, simple (but plentiful) and satisfying lunch.

We were back in our hotel a bit past one -- a good number of hours before our ride to the Alcazar Cabaret (a Las Vegas-style transvestite revue). My mum and I decided to go get massages while the men stayed behind in the hotel since it was so hot outside. I think Thai massage may be the most painful massage I've ever received, haha! It was, however, very satisfying afterwards.

The Alcazar Cabaret was super! They were all sooo sexy and some of them were really, really pretty. I really loved the Dream Girls costumes they had. If you're ever in Pattaya, you can't miss this show! I mean, not only because it's fantastic, but it's a very, very important cultural symbol.

We had dinner along Beach Road again, at this seafood place called Mr. 99 where you can go fishing in the middle of the resto. Our waiter was really nice friendly. He kept teaching us how to say things in Thai while we taught him how to say it in Tagalog. For dinner, I had Phad Thai as my main dish again and my dad got us an assorted seafood plate to share.

The next morning, we traveled back to Bangkok and checked ourselves in again at Baiyoke Sky Hotel. This was the morning of our encounter with Mr. Evil Tuktuk Driver (MR. ETD). He was really nice at first, even offering to take our photos in his tuktuk before we went off to MBK. On our way there, he tried to coerce us to let him take us to visit his sponsor's store (The Gems Gallery again, apparently) before he took us to MBK. We kept refusing him and he told us he'll take us straight to MBK only if we paid him 200 Baht. My dad, of course, said no. A very very angry exchange followed after that, but, luckily, my dad is still way scarier than MR. ETD so he dropped us off a block away from MBK and rode angrily off. Although he was prolly more scared than angry since my mum took down his name and license number and threatened to report him to the police.

We had lunch at this Thai resto in MBK. I had phad thai again while a tall glass of sweetened chamomile tea. We left MBK soon after lunch though, after deciding we could do better shopping in Indra Square. We then took the train to Mochit to go see the Chatuchak weekend market. It was Monday, but we wanted to go scope out the area anyway. Mostly because it gave us a reason to use the train, haha.

After walking around the area for a while (and buying fruits -- this time I just had some papaya; farang relatively has a lot calories), we took the train back to the station nearest to our hotel. We walked some blocks back to Rajprarop Road, where we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping at Indra Square and then had dinner at Food Street. I had the seafood tom yam again, since it was my last chance to have it before we left.Joey in Thailand

We flew back to Manila the next day. My inflight meal consisted of mixed tapas (albacore tuna with radish pickles and melon balls), an appetizer of prawn terrine and Westphalian ham on asparagus mimosa, a seven-grain roll, an entree of roasted chicken ballotine in morel sauce served with sinamak pommes noisette, green tea, and pistachio dacquiose from Bizu.

Thailand was loads of fun! I honestly can't wait till my next visit. This time, I'll be armed with more bags, a bigger budget, and a diet waiting for me for when I come back home to Manila several pounds heavier, haha! Wait for me, Bangkok ♥

Hannah Breakfast


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See many, many more photos of my trip to Thailand on my flickr.

29 comments:

  1. Okay. Haha. To be honest, when I saw your post, I was like whoa, so long haha. But I guess you did good for a narrative worth 5 days.

    I've been to Indra Square before and, yes! I did get to try eating in Food Street. And, yes, it's so very cheap there! I saw that dessert stall, but I was a little hesitant to try it. I didn't and now, after reading your post, I really wish I'd been more adventurous.

    Joey, your photos are fantastic. I really mean it. Have you ever considered submitting photos to magazines or something? I think they would take you. Not saying you should though, but if you're up for it, I think you've got a good chance of getting them to sit up and take notice.

    I've never been to Pattaya. I like how your room looks though. Not as roomy as your Baiyoke room (from what I can see), but I am all for the nautical theme. And the farang! My God, the farang. I didn't know that you called them that, but I had so many of those things in my last trip to Thailand. I liked them with the powder. The guavas there are unbelievable.

    Next time the parentals mention going to Thailand, I'll be sure to mention Pattaya. How much work had those ladymen gotten?? I'm seriously worried. If I passed one of them on the street, I wouldn't even know. I'd think it was a woman. A tall, quite attractive, leggy woman. Very scary, indeed.

    Great photos, Joey. And, babe, good job on the post :) Sans seeing its length, I didn't notice how long it actually was. It was very fun and easy to read, in other words.


    - Kev

    PS. Tuktuk drivers are horrible to tourists. Awful little operation they have there. Sorry to hear about what happened to you guys, but I'm glad your dad was there. Be careful next time you go, okay? Some taxi drivers are involved in that sort of thing too.

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  2. Interesting hahaha! Not only the food but your experiences too. I am not really into Thai food but the pictures you took looked great. Last time I went to Thailand we ate at this seaside restaurant and the food was still alive and moving hahaha what a shocker!

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  3. Hey Joey! I love your shots! Haha! And as usual, your pics make me hungry.

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  4. Kev
    it never crossed my mind, haha. I don't know, kev. photography is really just a hobby for me. thanks for suggesting tho :P and thankyou for saying they're great ♥ hobby or not, it's nice to hear that people enjoy my photos.

    and, yeah, the room was a little small (it was a junior suite tho) but i liked it :P v. comfy and it seemed homey, somewhat.

    i liked my farang without the powder. but then i don't really add more to my food, in general (sauces, powders, etc), so maybe it's just me :9

    and yeahh! they're really so sexy. talk about feeling insecure of your own femininity hahahh!

    and yeahh, i'm a little worried people will see my post and be like "omg, so long D:" and just not bother. but, yes, for five days worth of travel, i think i didn't do too badly :9

    thanks for sharing your thoughts, etc, kev! i really appreciate it when people take time to comment, no matter how short or long ♥

    (and, yes. v. scary tuktuk man. boo.)


    Pat
    thanks, pat! and what place is that?? and what was it that you ordered that was still alive and kicking? ._. that's scary.

    unless they meant it to be that way. but then that's a little scary too. (but if it was edible and it was yummy, i'd prolly still try it, i think :9 moving or not hahah!)

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  5. ed
    thanks, eddy ♥ and haha! that means i'm doing it right then, if i can induce hunger with my photos :P

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  6. jakedharrison@gmail.comMay 14, 2008 at 11:03 PM

    Hey Joey! Great post, as always :)

    I've been to Bangkok before. I stayed in Siam Paragon and while we did visit Chatuchak, we did most of our shopping at MBK. I'm afraid we weren't as adventurous about our shopping as you were. You are right though: everything is very cheap!

    Unless you ride on a tuktuk. Our driver asked us for so much. We refused and told him that it couldn't possibly cost that much, but he was shouting and cursing us foreigners in Thai, so we just gave in. Suppose the man needed the money badly.

    You may say it's a long post, but it was very easy to read. Your voice, as always, is very refreshing. Also, incredible photos! You're obviously blessed with a photographer's eye.

    Great job, Joey :) always looking forward to your posts (and your photos)


    Jake

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  7. Jake
    thankyou!! you always have such nice lovely things to say ♥

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  8. outstanding photos, joey! and great post - i love how you write!

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  9. Awesome pictures, as always :) It's summer! You're supposed to gain weight! Haha! :)

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  10. anonymous
    thanks :D

    Tiff
    thankyou :9 and yes LOL. definitely weigh more now than the start of the year.

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  11. Joeyyyyy :P

    I'm glad you had loads of fun in Thailand. And, wtf, 2000 Baht in how many hours??? My God, HAHA. Joey = power shopper?

    Nice photos :P Didn't know you were into photography (Sorry! been under a rock lately). And didn't know about this blog either. Thanks for sharing it with me.

    PS hoy, you write well, ah :)

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  12. Carlos
    i would have spent more if my mum hadn't been there hahahh! :P (but i'm glad she was. otherwise i would be like "omgimpoverished T_T")

    and, yes, i am the (self-declared) queen of power shopping :3

    and LOL. yeah! you're never online. where have you been anyway? what kind of lame rock are you under, seemingly so of any means of communication? :<

    and thankyou for commenting ♥ i'm a little worried no one would bother to read it since it's so long, etc.

    and thanks :9 i've forgotten how much i loved writting until lately.

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  13. Hey Joey! It's been a while. I saw this linked from your flickr. It's awesome that you started a food blog! And it's really good, as far as I can tell. Well, I've only read this entry so far, but it's very good. I love how you write, haha :) I was smiling throughout your post.

    I miss our ballet days! I hope you're doing well :) Do you have ym? I messaged you my msn and ym IDs via flickr. Add me up, okay? I'd love to chat with you again.


    cesca

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  14. I've been to those temples before. My photos didn't come out as nice as yours though, lmao :P

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  15. Great photos! What camera do you use? Photography is a frustration of mine. Can you give me any advice?

    -- M

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  16. Cesca
    added you ♥

    Mich
    i don't know whether to say thank you or what hahahh :P thailand is a nice place to visit tho, yeah? :9

    M
    um. i use a nikon d40. the camera you use shouldn't matter tho c: like i always say, it's the person/photographer who takes/makes the photos, not the camera.

    i'm mostly mucking around with my camera so, really, i'm in no position to give photography tips/advise. sorry :c good luck with your photos tho :)

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  17. Love it! Great post, Joey :)

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  18. I'm going to Bangkok in a few days. Thank you for the article! I'm going to be sure to visit Indra Square for the food and shopping :D

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  19. Land of the thighs. Lol. A tranny cabaret ei? How'd your dad and your bros react to that? Hmmm... Scary thought. Hot trannies. Technically they're girls already due to the amount of work done on them but still... i dunno. *shudders* Hmmm nice pics too. Haha. But sadly i haven't been to land of the thighs so i can't really relate much. But i'll try to keep this stuff in mind if ever i DO get to go there someday. :D

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  20. Anonymous
    thankyou :)

    Dee
    oooh! i hope you enjoy :D and be sure to haggle the price down :9 and the more you buy, the lower the price per item :3 so that system is great if you want different styles/colours of a certain thing o:

    have fun in thailand! :) hope the article helped you figure out some stuff to try/do c:

    Nico
    LOL. why am i not surprised that you'd put it that way? and yeahh, get the parentals to take you there -- i think you'll enjoy it. the alcasar show is tasteful, honestly. it's really good. watch it! and, if you're being a big dork (like we tend to be :9), think about the social and cultural implications of the show -- you'd find it really interesting. o:

    miss you, nikky :c come see me soon!

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  21. every food in the pics have shrimps on them! {ok not all, but most. :p ) haha wow, you detailed every move you made in thailand. ang kulet. :D im not much a fancy of them thai foods but your pictures kinda made them.. umm. attracting. :o that's nice. :p

    oh i know a thai resto here somwhere, its called SR Thai. uhhh but im not endorsing it. just to give an example. :p

    hoping more more food galore to serve here in your site. tc~! :D

    PS; haha joey + 4lbs. hmmm.
    PSS; sorry for the late comment. was rather busy doing other stuff. :) haha ;)

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  22. Pat
    LOL. yeahhh, i ♥ shrimp :P i think that goes without saying (you're right -- pretty darn obvious with my photos hahahh). and thanks? :P thai food is yummy, but i always ask them to ease up on the spice.

    and yikes SR Thai LOL. hannah and i tried going there once, but while we were looking at the menu, a cockroach crawled across the table and we were like O_O when we told the waitress, she just brushed it off the table with the menu. didn't even bother trying to squish it/make sure it wouldn't crawl it's ugly bug arse to the kitchen =_= so much for sanitation. hannah and i looked at each other, high-tailed it out of there and ducked into cravings. -_- lol

    you take care too, pat :) thanks for taking time to review!

    ps. yeahh :P 4 lbs! so takaw. but it's gone now :P

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  23. Hey Joey! We never seem to go out! Hahaha, busy summer i suppose.

    Anyway, there are good thai places here! Like people's palace in gb3 and silk in serendra. :)

    Let's go out soon. :) but after june 7? Coz ill be studying my ass off until then.

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  24. Camille
    yeahh! :( we should plan something definite already haha :) and after june 7 sounds good. just tell me when, hon ♥

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  25. Joey, you take just about some of the best photos ever :) Great post!

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  26. Thanks so much, Marco!! That's so nice of you to say ♥

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  27. Gorgeous travel photos, Joeylooooooove :) padelete ng previous comment ko. Super sorry!!

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  28. Lea
    thankyou! and it's okay :) sorry for forgetting to sign myself out of your laptop. my mistake :P deleted the comments. would have looked pretty stupid anyway, my making a comment on myself LOL.

    (but OMGhahahh i can't believe i forgot. sooo sorry. that was my mistake! thanks for signing out of my account, dearie)

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  29. Thai food is defnitely one of my faves! Chicken Pandan, Pad Thai, Tom Yum, and the Stick Rice and Mango dessert :)

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