Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Special edition: Sleepless nights in Bangkok (Part Two)

These days travelers mostly rely on the online booking, esp. those popular sites for hotels as Agoda or Air Asia for flights and we believe their offer is always the best! It's not always true!
Especially for  hotels in Thailand, there is so many choices! It's good to check with Agoda and at the same time directly with the hotel! Compare the price! Most of the time, the offer is almost the same! Exactly the same thing with Air Asia, if we don't book long in advance, no much difference compared with Thai Airways, plus the inflight meal!

           Late at night on the street in Bangkok

About the hotel, every time going back to Bangkok, I tried a new one. Location. Facilities. Price. To me - location is No 1. This time I stayed at Bally's serviced apartment in Sukhumvit, soi 20, it's a real long walk to Asok - a sky train station. It was my mistake as I booked in hurry but on the other hand, it would be good for me, an extra 15' to exercise!

                      and at the night market in Patpong - not crowded on weekdays!  

 There is more things to do in Bangkok at night than daytime! Night life in Bangkok is an exciting world: many things to offer, compared to Saigon, from street eating, massage, karaoke, shows, disco, those activities that I better not list down here! Whatever is your taste, no problem! You will find something, somewhere or with someone to discover!

                              but it seems people never rush home...

        as some still looking for a fun night...

Bangkok is the paradise for all kinds of massage! Everywhere. Every price. Every time. From very affordable 250 Baht (8,3 USD) for 1hr foot massage or Thai massage or 500 Baht (16,6 USD) for oil 2000-3000 Baht at some luxury spas in town or hotels.
I love foot massage, much better than in Saigon until I found a place at Ton That Thiep - Kenoya. The oil massage is also good but too much oil, even I did ask for less...still very oily! The traditional Thai massage is awesome, but if you don't feel good, better not try as you may feel worse! Anyway it depends!

          and hoping for a busy night shift...

Eating in Bangkok is so easy, everywhere I can find something I like but as habit I stick to certain places: if I do shopping at The Emporium, I surely will take away some salad and soup from  "Gourmet", if in Silom I love noodles at the noodles shop called Noodie (but this time the shop has gone or under renovation - I have no idea!), if the food court - I may prefer the one at Siam Paragon!

        everyone busy ...even at the chicken rice stall 

I did try street foods in Bangkok as well. I love grilled chicken with sticky rice, I love fresh juice they are selling at most sky train stations, I love those small traditional sweet snacks - I regret that in Vietnam - no one can do our traditional sweets up to the level - that we can display, sell at the luxury food court as in Bangkok or Tokyo.

         or busy with their late meal of the day on the street...

           Thai traditional sticky rice cooked with coconut sauce and served with fresh mango

          Fish cake, sausage...all kinds of tasty snacks for probably the last meal of the day! 

                              Grilled pork cake - looks like our nem nuong but taste is different!  

            a close-up shot of very attractive and yummy grilled pork sticks! 

          I pass by this eatery many many times and bought some...simply homemade dishes! 

             Looks spicy and tasty - Thai fish curry, I can even smell all spices from this dish!  

         Same as Southern Vietnamese cuisine - Thai loves to add tasty coconut sauce to many dishes!              

           The vendor was taking a rest in the corner, left his cart on the sidewalk! 

Last year I stayed also in Sukhumvit, by chance I found a famous, among Thai, Vietnamese restaurant - Le Dalat. I heard from my Thai colleague, the owner was a famous and very wealthy Vietnamese beauty Queen in 1960s. She moved to Bangkok with her family and set up this upscale restaurant! The dishes served at Le Dalat are considered as ones of the best representing the lavish Viet cuisine in Thailand!

         Le Dalat in 200 year old building brought all the way from Hanoi.    (photo from Le Dalat) 

     and inside this upscale restaurant - the best Vietnamese dishes are served here! (Photo from Le Dalat)

What I really like in Bangkok or Thailand in general, that's Thai's mentality to serve the customers. I love the way they care about tourists as their own guests, they nicely stand on their knees to serve some drink, to offer's very contrasted with Vietnamese. We really need to learn from Thai about this, especially in Hanoi!
One more thing I do love in Thailand is ...elephants. I don't know why but I have a great sympathy for this huge animal, especially when I look at their eyes! Before at Silom I saw how they used baby-elephant to get the money from the tourists by selling sugarcane for elephants...nowadays it's forbidden by laws!
Is it easy to live in such vibrant, exciting city as Bangkok? As tourists - yes! Quite sometime ago, when I attended a workshop with some guests in Bangkok, one western man in his 60s came up to me and introduced himself. He's a native French but his mother was Vietnamese. His wife is Thai. He's living in Thailand more than 30 years and haven't been back to Vietnam since 1960s...Sharing his life experience, he said not easy for him as a white guy living in Thailand. I surprisingly asked why? He said something very shortly but I understand what he meant.

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