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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thailand. Part I.

Twelve years ago, I set foot in this Southeast Asian country and vowed to be back. The food, the beaches, the rainforest, and the culture all drew me in. After this particular trip, Drew and I are vowing to return, hopefully in less than twelve years. We love, love, love this country!

Bangkok has changed so much since I last visited. It seems so much bigger now. Much more metropolitan. I was happy to see that they now have a great public transportation system. Under and above ground subways. It was so easy to get around this big city. Traffic was horrendous unless it was in the wee hours of the night, so we always took the subway in the daytime. Taxis across town cost less than $5 sometimes when there's no traffic. Incredible, huh? I stepped over the yellow line to take this picture and quickly got a whistle blown at me by the security guard. They don't mess around here.
From 5-blog


Larger than life size billboards are everywhere in Bangkok.
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Shopping is accessible everywhere in Bangkok! How do people ever save money in this city? There's something for everyone from high-end malls with high-end names to your local street purse vendor.
From 5-blog

And my very favorite street item, food!
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This looked like a Thai taco to us, so we had to try it. It ended up being a sweet cream filled with some sweet/salty orange stuff, which I'm guessing is shredded carrots, but I could be wrong.
From 5-blog

From 5-blog

They got everything from appetizers, to main course dishes, to dessert on the street.
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And of course, let's not forget the Thai lottery. I heard they love playing that here. But I guess there's a good population in the States that love playing lotto as well, my mom included. I'll never forget the one time my mom asked me to bike to the convenience store to buy SuperLotto, with a little Buddha in my hand. We didn't win of course, because Buddha doesn't grant lottery wishes, but I guess it was worth a shot.
From 5-blog

And sadly, as in all big cities, there are beggars. I'm not sure if they're homeless because I didn't notice them at night. There were quite a few disabled people with microphones attached to megaphones singing though. I wonder where they all go at the end of the day. Do they have family they go home to? Or do they all have a group home they live at? I wish I knew how to speak Thai so I could ask them.
From 5-blog

In Bangkok, there were tons of megamalls. They were of varying status, from your flea market type shops to your malls with Prada and Gucci stores. Of course, the mall with the cheaper stores were more packed with people. I couldn't believe every escalator here was filled with people.
From 5-blog

The most awesome discovery Drew and I made in Bangkok was Siam Paragon's food floor. We strolled around this mall for a bit, but spent most of our time frolicking on the food floor. Yes, a whole entire floor of a mall devoted to FOOD! Everything was spotless. There were restaurants with foods from all over the world (but we didn't come to Thailand to eat Italian), bakeries, gelato, an impressive supermarket, and an extremely popular food court where we dined at every day while in Bangkok. When we first set eyes upon this place it was like we had died and gone to heaven. Seriously.
From 5-blog

a)Right before the food court opens (and of course we were there before they opened!), the servers all stand by their stations. Diners purchase cards with food credit on them. You then buy your food with the card and when you're full, you can go and get your unused money back. Most meals were somewhere between $1-$3. For a deliciously, satisfying meal.
b)There was a huge selection of Thai food here. Cuttlefish anyone?
c)Every food vendor had different types of chilis and sauces near their stations. I ate so much spicy food during our trip that I now have heartburn when I eat anything spicy now. So sad.
d)One of our favorite meals, hard-boiled eggs and soft pork, in a dark fish/soy sauce broth.
e)Asians waste no parts of the animals they eat. =) Some foods looked Chinese/Vietnamese to me. Though I'm sure since all these countries are so close (and there's a good number of Chinese in Thailand) that the foods cross borders.
f)A coffee shop with the name "Coffee Beans by Dao". Of course I had to take a picture!
g)I love these custard bun desserts. The best part is, they squeeze in the custard after you order so that it doesn't make the bun all soggy.
h)The bakery section of the food floor.

I'll end this mainly food post with one of my favorite fruits in the world. It is so heavenly divine that everyone's gotta try it at least once in their lives. (Though it's definitely not for everyone.) The durian.
From 5-blog

It's a very scary looking fruit from the outside. Huge spikes sticking out of this weirdly shaped fruit. On the inside though, the yellow fruit is sweet and custardy, with sometimes a hint of garlic. Weird, I know. But oh so good, when you get a good one. Unfortunately, it really wasn't durian season, so the one I had wasn't that great, but I was still happy to try it, though I've had better ones from the Asian supermarket in my town.
From 5-blog

This highly fragrant fruit (also seen as offensively pungent to some) is banned from all public transportation and hotels in Thailand because of its overpowering aroma/odor. It's not for everyone, but if you ever come across it, you should give it a try! The taste is not as strong as the smell. =)

2 comments:

Lanie Dao said...

Sooo cool Lynn! We hope to be able to go to Thailand real soon too!

Gisele said...

OMG Lynn!!! It's awesome to look your photos in Thailand!!! I bet you guys had tons of fun! So interesting to to follow this adventure there you had and all the culture there you captured. Thanks for sharing! Please keep posting.. Part I, II and III are not enough!! Love reading and looking those amazing photos!!!