Our next stop on our November 2017 trip to SE Asia was the bustling city of Bangkok. So far, Bangkok is the largest and busiest city we’ve seen on our travels. The traffic was INSANE so public transportation was a must! Since it was so hard to get around, we were limited to how much we could see in a short time. Most of our visit was spent eating and shopping and taking in the urban Asian culture.
The first day we were in Bangkok we spent most of the day in a taxi trying to get from the airport to the Riva Surya Hotel where we were staying. Driving through the city, we realized how dedicated the Thai people are to their king and that many people use some sort of smelling salt to stay awake while driving in the basically non-moving traffic. Once we finally arrived, we ate a nice lunch on the river, went to the gym in our hotel and pretty much relaxed the rest of the day away.
Our first full day in Bangkok was a day of eating delicious Thai food. We weren’t sure where to go in Bangkok so we took a cab to the center of town where we found Siam Square and the Siam Paragon Mall. This mall was amazing. You could literally buy or eat anything you want in this place. Scott was enamored with a whole floor of the mall dedicated to luxury cars and I loved the apparel and the seeing the largest food court of my life. You could buy anything in this food court including whole chickens and sweet buns shaped like teddy bears. We also went into a gourmet market and picked up some teas, spices and durian products for my sister who has a love of foreign delicacies.
My favorite part of Siam Paragon, however, was our stop for some tea. TWG stores are all over the world but I’d never had the pleasure of visiting one. Not only does it have the largest selection of loose leaf teas I’ve ever seen, but we were able to sit down and each have a pot of tea made especially for us using tea perfecting techniques. Of course, we had to buy a whole bunch of it to share with friends and family and each other.
After tea time, I bought a new dress and we took a cab to the COMO Metropolitan Hotel to eat at their restaurant, Nahm. Nahm is the only Thai food restaurant to be listed amongst the top 50 restaurants in the world, it has a Michelin star and it consistently ranks in the top 10 restaurants in Asia. Since Thai food is my favorite cuisine, I was dying to try this place. It truly did not disappoint! The atmosphere was actually pretty casual and inviting, but the food was AMAZING! Scott had a Strawberry Mule while I sipped a glass of Rosé. We were served an amuse bouche of pineapple and spiced meat and we ordered a pork and lobster canapé (spicy and so flavorful). For our main courses I got the coconut curry with blue crab and Scott ordered chicken with ginger sauce. By far one of the best lunches I’ve ever had.
We went back to our hotel after Nahm and rested our stomachs before a quick afternoon workout at the hotel gym. Then we got ready for yet another culinary experience. For dinner we wanted to get the best view of the city possible so we chose to eat at Saffron at the Banyan Tree hotel and then get cocktails at The Moon Bar. The dinner at Saffron didn’t really compare to our amazing lunch at Nahm, but The Moon Bar was incredible! This lounge was on the 59th floor and had 360 degree views of Bangkok. The service was really nice and the atmosphere was swanky and fun.
The next day was our last full day in Bangkok and my favorite day in this city. We finally discovered the Sky Train public transportation and getting around the city became much easier!
I dabble in cooking my own curries at home and when we first started planning our trip to Thailand, a cooking class was top of my list. We found Pink Chili Cooking Class in Bangkok and it was more of a cultural experience than just a cooking lesson. We met our guide and she took us through a local market which was much larger and more foreign than the ones we saw in Chiang Mai. There were huge stalls of fresh produce, bins upon bins of rice, sauces and spices I couldn’t begin to name and pretty fascinating (or maybe even disturbing) displays of meat. We saw full pork heads, every part of a chicken, live toads, and live eels just to name a few delicacies displayed. Another interesting thing is that nothing was kept over ice. I’m assuming the goods sell so quickly that preservation isn’t an issue, but it was odd to see a slab of meat just perched on a tile countertop. I could have stayed in this market for hours, but we were there only to purchase the freshest ingredients possible for the meals we would be cooking for lunch that day.
We took our super fresh ingredients straight back to Pink Chili’s kitchen where we began chopping and slicing immediately. The first thing we made was our own red curry paste with mortar and pestle. We then continued on to make sweet and sour chicken, crispy spring rolls, red curry with chicken and eggplant, a sweet chili sauce and pumpkin in coconut milk for dessert. I thought absolutely everything was DELICIOUS! I just wish we had some of these ingredients back in Seattle so that I could recreate this curry.
We made some fun friends during our cooking class and one of them took a polaroid photo of us newlyweds before we all went our separate ways. Scott and I took the Sky Train back to Siam Square and wandered around for a while and then decided to check out a Thai movie theatre.
We went to a 3-D Imax showing of Thor Ragnarok and sat in a love seat style chair at the very top of the theatre. They had amazing popcorn and some funky tasting Sprite and, of course, some Hello Kitty decor. One of the more unexpected things about seeing a movie at a Thai theatre is that they do a tribute to the king before the previews where everyone stands up. The movie was great and exactly the relaxing night we needed to end our time in such an intense city. The next morning we would be getting up and catching yet another early flight to Phuket! That will be a much longer blog full of AMAZING photos by Scott. As always, thanks for reading and going on our adventures with us!