Sri Lanka: Second time round!

Day 1:   Arrival in Colombo after midnight on Emirates flight from Sinagpore.  Transfer to the outskirts of Negombo a small village near airport and stayed at Morning Star guest house for 65 USD.  A quaint guesthouse with swimming pool and nice gardens.  Next day when sis arrived after a nice breakfast we took a tuk tuk to Negombo and went to the local market. I bought a dress for 2.5 EUR, some nice material for sofa for 2 EUR and a plastic nice colourful bag for over half a EUR.  So far so good.

(image textile)

Day 2: Our tour began our driver Aruna who came to pick us up in a huge van and we took off to Kandy. On the way there we stopped at the Botanical gardens in Kandy and then went to the outskirts of Kandy to “Elegant Hotel” and elegant it was indeed absolutely stunning.  With a pool with a view to die for and only 5 rooms it’s the kind of place you could easily stay a few days just chilling out.  Had a lovely Lion beer with jungle view and then on to the other side of the hotel for the sunset.

(Photo Elegant Hotel)

Day 3: Off to Nuwara Eliya the Hill Plantation area with spectacular scenery on the way.  They call it “Little England” as this is where the British used to come to relax and find some cooler weather. We stopped at Blue Mountain tea factory took a look at who tea is produced and had a nice cup of tea and bought tea. This place was huge.  We then visited Macwood tea plantation and bought more tea.    In the afternoon we went for a walk around town and yes bought more tea!  In Nuwara Eliya we stayed at a homestay which was really authentic it was difficult to get there un a winding muddy road but thank Goodness we were with our driver.  The place was not quite as comfortable as we would have liked and it was cold temperature dropped to 15 degrees which felt even colder in the house but we did get massive hot water bottles!!  the dinner was the best of the entire journey.  The rice made with coconut water just melted in your mouth and all the little dishes were just delicious to say the least.  Dessert was curd made with buffalo milk and treacle syrup yum yum my sister didn’t taste it I had 2 rations!!

(Photo dinner Nuwara)

Day 4: We started our day’s tour with a 10 minute stop at Gregory Lake in Nuwara nice and pleasant to see the locals enjoying some chill time. From there we stopped at Seetha Amman (Sita temple really beautiful Hindu temple with loads of monkeys and only locals around.

(Photo temple with monkeys)

From here we went to have a cinnamon tea at the Grand Hotel as it was rainy waiting for our train to depart to Ella at 15.00 which of course departed about 40 minutes late.  The hotel has a lot of hype about it but I found it too new with no real colonial feel but yes clean and good for a tea. We were e in First Class in the train which cost 1000 rupies and it was comfortable but it was rainy and mistly so was hardly saw a thing a real real shame it is supposed to be one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. What we could see was amazing and the trees so so tall the nature in this area is so beautiful.  It was in a way fun as we chatted with some Japanese on the train and then the locals all started singing which was nice.   Upon arrival to Ella our driver picked us up at the station (luxury or what?) and took us to Ella Nature view guesthouse.  As always were out and beyond the town centre in a modest guesthouse but spacious and big beds. Dinner was horrendous though.  The surprise was next morning when we saw the view from the room possibly the best I have ever had it will be very difficult to beat this view.  We had a nice simple breakfast of varied fruit platter, Sri Lankan tea, eggs and toast nice, nice, nice I will never forget that view.

(photo of view at =Ella Nature view)

After breakfast we went up Adam’s peak (the small one) it was really enjoyable and once again beautiful landscape and views. It took us 37 minutes to get up to the peak. We had lunch at Chill Café with was excellent we had rice, veggies, egg and meat all wrapped up in a banana leaf!! Following we had a very good massage at XXXXXX for 3500 rupies we had a head, body and facial it was exactly what we needed.  I almost killed myself getting of the bed as I forgot it was so high as I was so zoombied out and with oil on my foot slid but thank Goodness I  got my balance back before slamming onto the floor. Phew!!  I needed a beer after that so back to Chill café!

Day 5:

We passed by Rawana waterfall and Buduruwagala Buddhist temple an ancient Budhist temple on the way to Tangalla.  The temple was definetely worth a stop.  At Tangalla suddenly the temperature increased and just as well as it is a beach area so nice. We stayed at the Serein hotel (127 USD night), another 9 room Boutique hotel which was smack on the beach and really nice and clean.  We walked all the way to the port and then returned to hotel for the sunset.   We had a relaxing dinner at hotel and enjoyed a bottle of bubbly that sis bought over from Spain.

Day 6:

Late start on our way to Bentota stopping 2 hours at Galle where we went for lunch at the original Mamas restaurant a quirky place with nice owners where we had a nice Sri Lankan curry on the second floor it was quiet and the food was great. We still don’t know if we went to the original Mamas or the fake one nonetheless we enjoyed it.  Following we went for a walk to see Lighthouse and then walked around and peeped into several shops.  I bought a nice ring with Green ametyst stone. I like to buy myself a ring when I travel….    We  then arrived to Shangri Lanka hotel at 17.30 pm so no time  to go to beach but who wants to go anywhere when you arrive to this paradise small hotel completely of the beaten track.  A gem, a wonderful small hotel with a nice pool.  I immediately jumped in the pool after my nice natural pineapple welcome drink.   I just love these small little places wonderful!

Day 7:

We went to see Bentota beach to check it out – it is a big beach nice for a long walk or to chill we ended up buying some textile from ladies on the beach we got a good bargain!!  Then we went back to hotel and our driver picked us up to go to Colombo where we basically stayed in a suburb when we were on our way there I was thinking where the hell are we going to end up but once again a real gem of a house this one we booked on airbnb and we basically had a lovely room in a gorgeous house.   We were miles away from anywhere so had Sri Lankan dinner there.  The  next day we hired a tuk tuk driver and went on a shopping spree all over Colombo.  I recommend Paradise Road you can have a nice coffee and shop there and then Barefoot this one has a wonderful restaurant too.  Following that we chilled out at the home, got bitten by mosquitoes and had nice Lion beer!!

Day 8: We went back to Morning Star in Negombo and had our worse meal of the whole trip so no use expanding on that one. Then everyone had come to some Xmas party on the beach so we had to walk a long way to get back to hotel and through the crowds.

Day 9: Goodbye day. Alex left straight after breakfast and I managed to have a massage at Jasmin Villa Ayurveda resort they came and picked me up and then took me back to hotel.  I paid around 2500 rupies and it was very nice.

Sri Lanka offers variety when travelling: culture, landscape, beach and is a peaceful country I wasn’t knocked out by the food but loved all the rotis and curries but I can get fed up of curry everyday. Tea is amazing so neither of us had a coffee in the entire trip. You can buy tea all over the country and the airport has a great selection too. The country in general is quite cheap although in the Christmas period you basically pay double.  We paid 450 USD for our driver and it was pure luxury to be picked up and dropped of everywhere.  In Sri Lanka unless you want to rent your own tuk tuk and travel (some adventurous people do and I would love) but if not personal driver is the way to go if not you can do it via public transport but you will need more time and you will not be able to stop wherever you want.

Batam escapade with spa and crafts galore:

23 Singa dollar got me straight from East Coast to Harbourfront centre all very straightforward. Some 20 minute delay with ferry departure time but in less than an hour I was at Batam. Ferry: 24 SGD.

I got picked up and my first impression was how tidy and beautiful Singapore is in comparison with Indonesia which seemed quite scruffy and poorer. You don’t realise you get very used to the cleanness in Singpore. I stayed at Tempat Senang spa boutique hotel and well it was absolutely wonderful a little paradise the kind of place one would expect in places like Bali small boutique hotel with differently themed rooms.  I stayed in the China room yes it’s all about China lately!

(photo of China room)

Upon arrival they explain everything to you and then once I had dropped my bag had a nice lunch.

(photo satay)

Hardly finishing my last bite I was taken to spa and had 3 hours of absolute bliss. In the package I booked for 173 SGD I had right to: pick up at pier, hotel room one night and 3 spa treatments. I took the following: Hawaian Lomi Lomi (the lady used her forearms in a wave like motion) followed by a Tibetan Hot Stone Massage (body is oiled and massaged with hot stones) and then ended up with a facial with an oatmeal balancing mask. One would think 3 hours are enough but let me explain in the first session you are still kind of switched on, in the second hours you start to switch of and on the third I was flying high with a deep sense of relaxation which feels very healthy. We hardly ever allow ourselves to reach that deeper level and it left feeling happy, in a meditative kind of state.

(Photo spa)

I then had a quick dip in the pool just before the storm arrived felt so close to nature surrounded by jungle, storm and clean air.

(photo storm)

I tried Root beer for dinner “yak” I thought it was going to be similar to beer but it tasted like medicine should have just gone for the real thing.   The setting was perfect: Balinese music in the background, Jungle nature, mellow lighting and service with a smile.  At moments like this I feel like the most fortunate person in the world.  Another Maria moment my friend Stef would say!  I am reading a book from Robin Sharma and read one paragraph and then take 10 mins thinking about it loving the slow flow………

No surprise I slept as a log in my Chinese bed and had a nice breakfast with huge coffee. I then booked myself for a hair spa which was done outside with birds chirping and once again thought “what a life”.  It took the guy a while to get the pressure right but the avocado cream, hot towel, massage on arms oh the bliss!

I then got chatting as one does with the Dutch owner or manager interesting exchange before I made my way to “Mirota” a crafts shop. I bought loads I just can’t control myself I just love all the creative textiles, the puppets ……..

 

Following the taxi driver dropped me at Batam centre where I managed to pack in another couple hours of joy even had a manicure.   So I basically spent one night away from home but felt like I had been on a one week holiday.  Coming to Singapore? I am so going to send you to Tempat Senang!

Yoga & mediation in a fishermen island: Koh Yao Noi

Being in Phuket for a conference I took the advantage to just prolongue my stay and hop over to Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. I stayed one night in Koh Yo Yai village the transfer from Phuket was 1000 THB about 30 minutes on the boat and it was one VIP transfer via private catamaran. The resort was very nice but isolated from any village or local people so I was glad I stayed one night and then took a speedboat to the neighbouring island of Koh Yao Noi. This island is quite unspoilt and a completely different scene from nearby Phuket a muslim fishermen and farmer island.

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I instantly liked this island it felt calm, laid back and ideal for a yoga retreat for 5 days. Island Yoga on the East side is an unpretentious kind of place which is what I like a real chill out place with a mixture of backpackers, independant travelers and yes one or two weirdos. The daily routine was get up at 5.30 am for a wonderful coffee at 6.00 am before the 6.30 sunrise Tai Chi session on the beach.

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What a way to start the day full of positive energy surrounded by astounding nature. Following came a 30 minute meditation session and then 1.30 hrs of a challenging by excellent yoga session. Then each day was a bit different one day I had a chakra session, another a kinesiology session which weren’t particularly good but you always pick up some pearl of wisdom then another 2 days I just took a truck taxi with a few others to visit the town market, an organic café all very chilled and “sabai sabai” (all well) as they say in Thailand. I had a few solo escapes to a Thai place which I loved with Thai music in the background and a spa and to Pasai beach which had a nicer beach and cafes and a few shops. In the evening was nice to just walk on the beach and watch the zillion crabs not so good for swimming as very shallow unless you really walk into the sea.

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Most people seemed to get around on a scooter I hired a bike one day and enjoyed cycling but it was really really hot so wasn’t out too long. Lovely to see the wooden houses, a few water buffalos, the wonderful green tropical nature and the local people smiling. Most ladies were covered in scarves and I saw many really young boys driving bikes around the island all with a smile on their face one happy island!.

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I could have stayed longer as it takes a day or two to start disconnecting and once you start this process you would just like to continue as good things start happening but the goodness remains and puts you on the right path to a more fulfilling life with better perspective. Ohm……

Nan for a slow pace in life

Took the 9.30 Nok Air flight easy peasy from Bangkok and at 10.40 landed in Nan. I was picked up by Mr.Monton from Nan Noble Hotel. This hotel is small only 10 little “huts” surrounded by nice nature and with a salt swimming pool 2kms from Nan. The owner Mr. Monton was an adorable man a real gentleman and very interesting to talk to that is what I like about small hotels they have a story and you chat with the owners.   Since it is low season I paid 800 THB a night (approx.. 20 EUR) a real bargain as the place was indeed special.

Anyway in no time at all I was on my bike around Nan for the rest of the day. It was hot but ain’t it always in Thailand!!

Nan is a sleepy provincial town but have to say it was more upbeat than what I thought but yes very rural, authentic and worth a visit if you like this kind of thing. It has important temples and has a prime location surrounded by beautiful nature and near to Laos. Nan is famous for its traditional boat races in October to November time. The Nan rivers is next to the village and the surrounding countryside has a lot of rice fields. Nan was only incorporated to Thailand at the beginning of 20th century as for centuries it was an independent kingdom.

Wat Phumin: This is a must see temple a good example of Thai Lue architecture with beautiful 19th century mural paintings displaying ways of life in the past everyone was getting pictures in front of “the whisper” it is very special and I took a few shots myself. It represents a couple whispering to each other you will see painting of this mural painting all over town in case you wish to purchase your own “whisperer”. I also visited Wat Chong Kham Was it was next to Wat Phumin.

The Whisperer

The Whisperer

If it is very hot and you can’t bother with a bicycle or walking you can get on a touristy tram that takes you on a couple hour tour to see the sights. It will cost you less than 1 EUR.

Wat Mingmuan truly reminded me of the White temple in Chiang Rai.

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Hot bread:

Had a lunch of chow Mein with tofu and it was super delicious it is on a bit of a busy road but it was very homely and lovely food I ended up talking with the ladies with my pigeon Thai and their limited but some English we managed to have a nice conversation. One asked me why do you like Thailand so much… and I said because of moments like this I go anywhere and end up speaking to people and it seems like so familiar I never ever feel lonely travelling in this country and of course the food, the smiles, and such a long etc.

Local market: well worth a visit to see all the natural produce but have to say bought some food for dinner and basically binned it didn’t really like it.

Then again temple time so visited Wat Suan Tan with Hindu/khmer motives with an interesting 15th century chedi.

XXXX I rented my bicycle from here for just over 1EUR for the day and when I went back to leave bike another limited but nice conversation and they gave me a big bottle of water which I insisted on paying…such generosity.

After hours cycling in the heat I just crashed out.

Second day:

After a nice breakfast including porridge (Thai version so salty) which was very delicious plus 2 fried eggs, 2 toast and 2 coffees! I went on a relaxed excursion with Jimmy the hotel owner’s son he had to buy some textiles for the hotel so was going North anyway the first stop was at the hotel owners parents’ home “the house of Chao Fongkham” he is an actual descendant of Nan royalty and nobility a very well preserved 150 year old teak house, 20 kms after we stopped at Nan Riverside Art Gallery definitely worth a visit they have an exhibition of canvas photos of the mural paintings from 3 different temples in Nan. Then we visited Wat Nong Bua temple very old, smaller than others but so beautiful with old mural paintings on the walls (this temple is out of town so you will need transport). The countryside in this part of Thailand is so beautiful with all the rice fields. I kind of felt a bit bad at seeing all the people working in the fields bending over – that’s a killer for the back…. We also visited Phuketsonthaya temple the views from this temple are just too good to be true.. in this temple they have temple stays it will cost you 50 THB or 80THB (1 Eur or 2 Eur) for what looked like really clean rooms and the view from the room “man” that is worth so so much…………..but the meditation is done in Thai although they sat that foreigners do go……….. I actually may have gone to stay there for a night or two had I known before…………

 

Anyway following this we went to a shop where you can observe all the weaving process this place was authentic not like others that seem to be just for show.   This was our last stop and after the drive back Jimmy left me in town and I ended up having a lovely lunch on the Nan River….. Gosh these moments are just “insuperables”.   I really fancied a beer but because it was a Buddhist holiday no alcohol which was a blessing in disguise as after I walked quite a lot and it was hot!!!

(Insert photo lunch on the river)

I walked and walked trying to make some time till the Saturday walking market started and bliss there were some ladies there with some loungers giving out massages so I jointed the village lot and had a very very enjoyable foot massage chatting with the locals. Yes another “Maria moment” for what ah yes 30 mins foot massage for 2.5 EUR. After I walked up and down the market but didn’t really buy anything…. Don’t worry I made up for it in Phrae my next stop.

Bound for Mae Sot: a very special visit that left a lasting impression

It’s June 27, 2014 and myself and five of my colleagues from the Bangkok office embark on a weekend trip, in the name of Amadeus but at our own expense, to visit “Colabora Birmania”,

a very small NGO (non-governmental organisation) based in Mae Sot, a little border town in Western Thailand.

Border towns have always fascinated me; there is always a sense of the influx of cultures and that feeling that there is nothing and everything happening all at the same time. Mae Sot, in particular,

feels so much like Myanmar – it is actually called “Little Myanmar”. You can even cross the Friendship Bridge and walk over to Myawaddy, a dusty Myanmarese.

Mae Sot is one of the largest Myanmarese communities outside of Myanmar and has, for a long time, been home to ethnic groups such as the Karen, Hmong and Lahu, as well as Myanmarese migrant

workers. There are more than 160,000 Myanmarese living in refugee camps and about two million working (most of them illegally) in Thailand escaping from their country. In addition only one in every three children receive an education.

Colabora Birmania

Is an NGO born four years ago, set up by five Spanish people who were in Mae Sot teaching English and helping the many displaced people from Myanmar. Now, it is a fully active NGO helping to improve the living conditions of Myanmarese people, forced to flee their country due to the brutal conflict. Many of these end up in refugee camps, but others live in “no man’s land”. By this, I mean that they are illegal, which essentially means they don’t exist! This makes them vulnerable to trafficking and slave labour and they live in terrible conditions with very little means to feed and clothe themselves.

 The 42 Km School

On Saturday, we visited one of the schools they support – the “42 Km School” – where 400 children receive a basic education and regular meals, and a further 45 board at the school. Not only do they receive an education and the chance to be ‘normal children’, but they are released from the daily hardship of working in the fields. 

Their parents, or those lucky enough to have them, earn on average just two to three EUR per day. This is not enough to get by, and so they have to live ‘hand to mouth’.

 Amadeus makes a difference

Through various fundraising events, Amadeus was able to send funds to buy materials for the school, as well as donate our own old branded merchandise and a rather large collection of toys from Amadeus employees. The teachers and children were so excited by our visit and had prepared a wonderful welcome ceremony of traditional Myanmarese singing and dancing. It was very special and we were all a little teary eyed… 

After sharing out the toys and gifts for the children and teachers, we treated them to a special treat of ice-cream and snacks. A large box of ice-cream costs just 12 EUR and brought the biggest smiles of delight to the faces of 45 children.

Visiting the community

Following the school visit, we saw some of the communities where many of the students’ parents live. It was heartbreaking to see these children’s faces light up when they were given a second hand teddy bear. In many cases, the toys were bigger than they were!

We also donated toiletries to the ladies in the community. With the help of Lha from the NGO, we were able to explain what the different beauty products were for, as they are not used to shampoos, cleansers etc.

 

Time with the children at Safe House Orphanage

On Sunday, we visited a small orphanage where 58 children live in a tiny space – it was almost unbearable to see. The children don’t even have beds and sleep on mats on the floor in two rooms – one for the boys and one for the girls. Again, they were delighted to see us and even more so with the ice-cream and snacks! A little moment of joy for these extremely underprivileged children.

 

 

 

I must end this article by thanking Carmen and Lha who took such good care of us during the weekend and bowing down to all the five members of “Colabora Birmania”. All of us on this visit were deeply touched and incredibly impressed by their work. What we saw make us certain of one thing – we’ll be back to help “Colabora Birmania” in any way we can.

 

Click here to find out more about Colabora Birmania

 

From left to right: Carmen & La from Colabora Birmania, Marco Weigang, Stephanie Strunk, Emma Gray, Maria Benz, Piyathida Mahosothnant & Smerkhae Lertchai

 

2 days to fall in Love: Bangkok

 It’s my 4th year living in Bangkok I have relentlessly taken every opportunity to see this city which has enamored me to the point I just feel like crying with emotion when I listen to the national anthem yes it’s that bad. If you like the quirky, adventurous, non-obvious side of life just read on………..

Day one:

Waking up and historic sites:

You wake up and feel happy as you are in one of the most amazing cities in the world you have a nice relaxed breakfast as you will need energy for the day. I suggest you can stay on the river (nice if you are a first timer to Bangkok) as then you are near most of the historic sites. You must visit the Grand Palace, the reclining Buddha and Wat Arun….. All beautiful and all close to each other.

Try to get to the Grand Palace earlier rather than later and be careful if your tuk tuk driver says the Grand Palace is closed the likelihood is that it is a lie and they just want to take you to shops. Nowadays this Palace is used for ceremonial purposes but the Royal Family doesn’t reside here.

The Grand Palace is open to the public every day from 08:30 to 15:30, except during special Royal ceremonies so check before.  

 Reclining Buddha

Go on your first cocktail:

– Near the Grand Palace you can go for a rest to Arun Residence, 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Mahrat Rd. down ac curious little lane stands this small boutique hotel on the river where you can go for a coffee, lunch or for a sunset cocktail. For cocktails go to the Amorosa bar on the 4th floor no need to make reservation as it is first come first served so make sure you are there from 17.30 to 18.00 for the sunset.

 Arun Hotel

Chinatown:

Straight from cocktails you take a taxi or a tuk tuk to Chinatown (don’t go to your hotel as you will crash out) … From early evening it becomes alive with amazing food you just walk down Yaworat and its sideway lanes and around Sampeng Lane it is crowded with hawkers and burst with energy, colour and action. This is an amazing and authentic Chinatown! After a nice dinner I think you will have had enough so back to hotel for a nice cool shower and good night’s sleep as more action tomorrow!!

 Chinatown

Day two:

For day two I am going to suggest several different options depending on what you fancy you can either do more sightseeing or you can do a shopping + spa day.

The magical Chao Phraya River and klongs (canals)

So you can take a trip on a longboat round the canals on Chao Phraya River this is very impressive you cannot believe you are in a city this could take you a couple of hours and then you can chill out at your hotel’s swimming pool or go to the Oriental for a tea in the lobby which is impressive.

 Klongs

Shopping: I need to spend some cash moment!

If you are into shopping you can go to Chatuchak the most amazing market I have seen in my life I must have gone at least 20 times and I always discover something new, it is like a treasure hunt I must advise it can be overwhelming the first time as it is huge. You can take BTS to Mo Chit station and then follow the crowds through the park but if you are looking for Buddhas, bags, clothes well actually if you are looking for anything you can find it there. After Chatuchak the likelihood is that you will be carrying loads of shopping so you will need to head back to your hotel to leave your treasures.

If you are into fakes then best you make it to MBK which is right next to National Stadium BTS station. MBK is actually near the Jim Thompson House so you can combine both. Jim Thompson was an American that disappeared mysteriously in Malaysia; he played a key role in reviving the silk trade and what you can visit is his traditional teak house plus belongings that reflect the traditional Thai life. There is also a nice restaurant there to have lunch. The pineapple with rice inside is very nice.

 Chatuchak shopping

Oh my feet are killing me: I need some tender loving Spa care:

Asia Herbs (have several locations):

The facial is to die for and have a big variety of treatments. Very clean and also sell some spa products. You can have hot natural herb balls placed on your body and it relieves tension, pain and smells divine oh I just want to go there right now….

Lavana:

This Spa on Sukumvit Soi 12 they actually have a great morning offer if you purchase an oil massage you get a free facial and breakfast up till 13.00pm. It is a big spa, clean, professional and the 2 times I went I was very satisfied.. Open till very late best to book.

Bangkok is full of spas and you can just walk into many and have a foot massage for as little as couple Euro…

Sunset: I need a cocktail time!!

There are many sky bars in Bangkok and it is something you don’t get to do just in most places so I recommend going to one or two if you can manage. My favourite is “Above Eleven” on Sukumvit Soi 11 up on floor 33 of Fraser Suites where you can also have dinner. I also like uber cool “Long Table” on Sukumvit Soi 16 where cocktails are powerful and yes it does have a huge long table which is 24 meters long they also have finger food which goes down nicely with the strong cocktails try the water melon mojito man it rocks!. If you are staying on the river then you can go to Vertigo a bit touristy but on 66th floor so very impressive in Banyan Tree Hotel on Satorn.

Above eleven rooftop

Those cocktails have made me hungry:

There is food everywhere in Bangkok and I mean this literally you can buy food in the streets, in the markets and of course the ever so cool restaurants. Here are a few of my favourites:

If looking for Thai: Suppaninga (small and quaint), FACE (big & spectacular in a big wooden Thai looking house. If you prefer a real local experience then go to Sukumvit Soi 38 and from 17.30 there is an amazing display of outdoor kiosks which make the food for you right there and they have a few plastic tables and stools (all on BTS Thonglor). Good thing is if you have dinner here then there are some cool bars nearby like: Iron Fairies, Badmotel, Shades of Retro……..

 If you want a real Thai experience then you must go to Tawaengdeng a beer garden with Thai food (cheap) and show and dance it is such good fun (under cover and nice) you watch the show that makes no sense but very entertaining and then at 11pm the lights go out and it goes wild there is a great atmosphere we ate galore and drank ourselves silly and still only paid about 15 EUR.

For Japanese: In the Mood for Love (if you are a couple in love this is a very lovely dovey place) on Sukumvit Soi 36, Issao on Sukumvit Soi 31

All in all 2 days are not enough to see what this fascinating city has to offer it is a thrilling place I advise you just go with the flow, feel it…it is a chaotic city but at every corner you will see beauty believe me I live here!!

 Flowers Jim Thompson house - Copy

 

Moko – Healthland – Jim Thomspon

Today I finally made it to MOKO this sounds very strange in Spanish but is one of the latest coffee shop/restaurants to appear on the scene in Bangkok. Located in Satorn Soi 10 it was a nice surprise, airy, jazzy music in the background, interesting photography and not too many people. Coffee was good and my classic brushetta was oh so so good………  I would most certainly recommend going.  I paid 370 THB (approx. 8 EUR).

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In Healthland between ski 10 & 12 still on Satorn I had a foot massage (approx 6 EUR) it was a bit noisy but went down a treat it is getting hot hot in Bangkok.

Following and coming back to the world I took a motorbike to Silom Village he went round the back alleys so got there in no time at all for 20 THB (50 Cents). There is one shop I really like there with buddhas and handicrafts but it was closed, they also have a shop with very good handbag hi-so fakes there but I am more into the Buddhas.

Then I walked all down Satorn and then all the way down Surawong till I made it to the Jim Thompson shop previously passing the Jim Thompson restaurant which looks really nice so will be back there.  They also had a very good lunch menu….. I did “nit noi” (little) shopping in Jim Thompson and then took a tuk tuk home (100 THB) 1.20 EUR I really could not be bothered to negotiate and that was my Sunday not so adventurous today played it easy for a change but not for long and yes on the road again next weekend…….