Sunday, December 13, 2020

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

During my first visit to Bangkok with Alicia, we did not visit a floating market. So, after Dad did a little homework, we visited one on the last day of our weekend trip.

My first impressions of the place was that it felt like an organised place. In fact, it was not quite what I expected (not sure what I was expecting, frankly). There were traffic controllers and there was even an information booth. It was clean, spacious and very local, I thought.

I did notice that the non-floating portion of the market was way bigger than the actual floating portion of the market. It was colourful and bustling with activity, mainly the local folk purchasing their lunch or afternoon tea snacks and fresh produce for the week.

There was a tiny cafe tucked away in the far end of the market, where we obviously had to stop for coffee and to try some food from the many food stalls that dotted the market.

How I have missed authentic Pad Thai

While there were many food stalls there were on land, there were those that were floating, too:

You would order your food from the stall and it would be cooked on the long tail boat. There were tables and benches nearby for you to eat your meal "fresh off the boat".

There were also the fresh produce boats:

We took the opportunity to go for a boat ride, too. We insisted on a traditional one, where the long tail boat is manned and moved by an oar instead of one that is moved by an engine. It was an interesting and calming ride down the canal.

We went past homes and observed how the locals' lives revolved around the water. They tended to their gardens, played with their pet dogs and there was even one man who was "washing his boat" in his "garage". I did not want to make him feel awkward, so I did not take a photo of him.

The boat veered off the main canal. We were brought to what seemed like an abandoned floating restaurant. It also had a lotus pond.

This made Mum very excited.

At the end of the boat ride, we gave the boat rower (what is a more proper term for them?) a tip.

Although a little traveling required to get here (we took a Grab), I highly recommend this floating market for a more authentic experience. Those within the city are fine, too, but perhaps I feel that those seem more touristic.

30/1 หมู่ที่ 15 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170, Thailand
T: +66 2 422 4270 
Weekends and public holidays 8:00am to 5:00pm

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Khin Lom Chom Sa Phan

 As I took a siesta on one of the days of the trip, Mum and Dad went out to get snacks. One of the locals they spoke to recommended to them a restaurant called Khin Lom Chom Sa Phan, which we patronised for dinner.

It was a huge set-up, with both roofed and also alfresco seating. We chose to sit in the alfresco area for the fresh air and view of Rama VIII Bridge over the Chao Phraya River.

We tried our best to understand the Thai-only menu. I suppose that is one way to gauge whether it is a local haunt or touristy place. The wait staff also did not have very much English, so we decided to go for safe options:

Green curry chicken

Seafood tomyum

Claypot baked mussels

Crispy pork with stir-fried vegetables

Taste-wise, we really could not tell what authentic Thai dishes were supposed to taste like but since they all were rather tasty and judging from the amount of people there, we concluded that they servee good food here. Prices are slightly steep but I suppose the ambience has been factored into it.

11/6 Samsen 3 Alley, Wat Sam Phraya, Phra Nakhon, 10200 Bangkok, Thailand
T:+66 2 2628 8382, M: +66 81 893 5552
Daily 11:00am to midnight

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Floral Cafe at Napasorn

 As Mum is a big fan of flowers, we always try hard to include a flower market in our holiday itineraries. I was fortunate to find a flower market of cultural significance within Bangkok, and not terribly far from where we stayed. The Pak Khong Talat, Bangkok's primary flower market.

We did not quite make it to the market. Instead, our need for a pit stop after half a day's worth of walking in Bangkok heat brought my attention to a sign across the street from where I was standing at that moment, a sign that included words like coffee, cake, Floral Cafe. An impromptu itinerary modification followed.

I managed to convince Mum and Dad to enter by reminding them of their visit to Cafe Hay Fever in Mongkok, Hong Kong. That was also at a flower market and was also a working floral and gift shop. I recommended the place to them for their Hong Kong trip a few years ago. As that visit left a rather strong and positive impression, they agreed to step into Floral Cafe at Napasorn.

As we entered, we were greeted by a rather busy scene - many staff were cutting the stems of flowers, putting flowers together, composing bouquets, wrapping bouquets with floral paper and ribbon, talking over the phone and well, you get the picture. Perhaps it was the confused look on my face that a wait staff picked up on, as he quickly welcomed me and directed me to the back of the shop with this thumb, "Welcome ma'am, go upstairs," in authentic Thai accent.

I felt like Alice in Wonderland as I was climbing that rather narrow flight of stairs. Midway, the climb was broken by a cosy office loft. As we neared the end of the climb, mini potpourri bouquets could be seen hanging over us and we stepped out of the rabbit hole into Wonderland, the cafe.

In my opinion, the interior of this cafe was far more impressive than the one in Hong Kong. Almost every corner was Instagrammable, so much so that I did not know how to take my photos! 

I was immediately attracted by the array of cakes displayed on what looked like a dressing table and in the display chiller. 

We ordered a slice of carrot cake, some iced tea and coconut ice cream.

From what I found out later on, the decor is changed according to season, which means that if you visit every 4th month, you would have new backgrounds for the food and your selfies.

If ever you visit Bangkok, or Bangkok Old Town to be precise, I highly recommend this cafe.

67 Chakkraphet Road, Khwaeng Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon 10200, Bangkok, Thailand
T: +66 2221 2039, +66 2222 6895; M: +66 99 468 4899
Daily 10:00am to 10:00pm


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Ground Eatery

 Did you know that other than Walnut Cafe and Bar, there is another cafe in PFCC? In fact, this other cafe is just two doors up from Walnut and it is called Ground Eatery. In the beginning, their name kept reminding me of The Grounds in Sydney but that is besides the point...

So far, I visited twice. Both visits were with different people and different purposes. The first visit with Jenny was for dessert after dinner while the second visit with Dad was for lunch.

I think from the photographs below, you would be able to deduce which photographs belonged to which visit:

Evidently a Japan-inspired pasta dish, this Mentaiko Pasta was a visual delight. Well-plated and with ingredients of attractive colours, it also tasted delicious, especially with the poached egg all mixed in with the pasta. The roe gave it additional texture, too.

Evidently a Japanese-inspired pasta dish

I found their Grilled Char Siew (MooPing) with Chazuke Rice and Zuzu Chilli to be an interesting dish. A teapot is served along with the bowl of rice. The waitress then taught me to pour the tea into the bowl before savouring.

Poppyseed cake

There was one aspect that really stood out for Jenny and I, though. On the night that we went for cake, we were served by a waiter whom we guessed is non-Malaysian. We were really impressed by his service - very obliging, friendly and helpful.

Ground Eatery
G-09, Tower 4 & 5, PFCC, Jalan Puteri 1/2, Bandar Puteri Puchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor.
T: +603 5879 7292, M: +6012 751 1963, E:
Mondays to Thursdays 11:00am to 9:00pm
Fridays to Sundays 11:00am to 10:00pm

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Wat Pho

Any visit to Bangkok would need to include a temple visit in its itinerary, wouldn't it? On our itinerary, we chose to visit Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The temple is one of six temples considered to be of the highest grade of the first-class royal temples in Thailand. As it is related to King Rama I, some of his ashes are enshrined here. King Rama III then expanded the temple complex, which enabled it to house the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including the 46m-long Reclining Buddha, which it is well known for. The expansion also allowed for it to be used as a public education centre and became the royal monastery. The marble illustrations and inscriptions placed in the temple for public instruction are recognised by UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme for its preservation of, access to and documentary heritage. The complex also contains a school of Thai medicine, and is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, which is still taught and practiced today.


The temple complex is divided by a road into two walled compounds. Of the two compounds, one is restricted to monks and students while the other is open to public. No prizes for guessing which compound we entered. They are pretty strict with the dress code - I was wearing knee-length bermudas and very nearly was not permitted to enter.

Medicine Pavilion

The compound had various pavilions, gardens and viharas (halls). Dotted around the compound were also many smaller chedis in addition to the four great chedis. A chedi is actually a stupa, I learnt that chedi is the Thai term for it. In total, there are 91 of these smaller chedis and they are known as the Phra Chedi Rai. Of the 91, 71 were built by King Rama III. These 5m tall chedis contain the ashes of the royal family. King Rama I built five groups of four chedis that share a single base. These chedis contain Buddha relics.

The chedis that took my breath away were the four great chedis. Known as the Phra Maha Chedi Rajakarn, they measure 42m in height and are dedicated to the first four Chakri kings, Rama I to Rama IV.

I was very taken in by the huge amount of attention to detail that the craftsmen involved must have given in the completion of these chedis. The careful organisation of the colourful glazed mosaic tiles in all sorts of sizes, the placement of different shapes to form patterns and ornaments, and the symbolic representation of each chedi.

The first great chedi that was constructed was the mint green one. It was built by King Rama I to keep the relics of the Buddha from Ayutthaya, which was scorched to remove its gold covering by the Burmese.

King Rama III built two great chedis. The white one was built to hold the ashes of his father, King Rama II while the yellow one was built for himself.

Despite yellow being my favourite colour, my favourite of the four great chedis is the one in the shade of blue. This one was built by King Rama IV, or more famously known as King Mongkut. Yes, the same king that we were introduced to as children when watching the award-winning musical entitled The King and I.

I did not take any photos of the huge Reclining Buddha, as it has somehow become a habit of mine to not take photographs when inside any place of worship. I do not remember when this habit started, though, but yea, apologies for not having any photos of the Reclining Buddha, which was magnificent, by the way.

Wat Pho
2 Sanam Chai Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, 10200 Bangkok, Thailand.
Daily 8:00am to 6:30pm
Guided tours available, enquire at ticketing counter

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Nanda Heritage Hotel

*I have decided to do a dedication post to this hotel in Bangkok where my parents and I stayed last year. Due to the pandemic, they have had to cease operations starting from this month, until further notice. Times are hard. We have to constantly remind ourselves to be kind to one another, and to ourselves.

**Please excuse the quality of the photographs, as they were all taken using my mobile phone. My DSLR did not come along for this trip.


Nanda Heritage Hotel is located along a busy road, just a stone's throw away from a flyover bridge. Right next door, there is a local restaurant that is very similar to our kopitiam. A few blocks down the road, there are government buildings, which gave me the impression that they are quite close to some sort of an administrative centre  - I even saw the United Nations Economic and Social Commissions for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) and Royal Thai Army Headquarters buildings in the GrabCar along the way.

We entered the building from the basement, as the security guard thoughtfully allowed the car to drop us off there, to get us off the main road. A short flight of stairs brought us to a simple but elegant space, which we deduced was their lobby. It had warm wood shades with low lighting, which I suppose made sense, as they had one side of the room that was in glass panel to allow for natural lighting.

We later found out that the wooden components of the building were salvaged from the original Nanda Mansion. Ah, so there really is a heritage element to the hotel, it was not just a name. Apparently, the property on which it sits have been in the Lekhyananda family for generations. Nanda Mansion was the family's generations-old European-style teak wood residence that was built in 1920 on Petchburi Road, not too far from the hotel. They carefully removed, cleaned and repurposed many of the original parts of the family home, such as the wood door frames, windows, floorboards, wall boards, carved teak wood banisters, louvered ventilation panels, and the custom-made teak furniture to help create an authentic heritage ambience for the hotel.

The hotel's hidden centre courtyard was inspired by the Parinayok shanty community in the rear, thinking of it as an extension of Parinayok’s maze-like streets without a romanticized "slum" style. They used objects that were readily available, like light steel frame, which they adapted, and re-combined.

Not only did the 100-year-old Parinayok community lend the hotel some design ideas, but it also offers the opportunity to see what genuine Bangkok daily life looks like. We had a walk through the alley next to the hotel, where we observed first-hand the unstaged, non-touristy side of Bangkok.

We were shown to our room, a Deluxe Double Room. A two-pax room, they allowed us to have an additional single bed, which they placed where originally there would be a sofa.

I particularly liked the bathroom. They turned a long, narrow strip into what felt like a spacious area. I thought the use of a sliding door instead of the conventional push-pull door helped in maximising the use of space.

Simple and elegant, their no frills style was very much to my liking. They also provided toiletries, a hairdryer and face towels in the bathroom.

Let's move out of the room. A flight of stairs at our doorstep led us directly to their outdoor swimming pool. 

Flanked by frangipani trees and partly shaded by the shadows of the building itself and the foliage of trees, it makes for a welcome respite from the midday heat. 

For someone like me who cannot swim (yes, I know, I still cannot 😅), just relaxing by the pool on a sundeck chair with a book and cocktail in hand would be more my thing.

Their in-house restaurant, Nanda Restaurant, was where we had our first meal in Bangkok. I ordered a pad thai (my usual every time I visit a Thai eatery). It was plated very prettily and tasted alright. Nothing spectacular but it was not bad. It did, however, satisfy my craving for authentic pad thai (this is when I miss the food scene in Sydney 😞).

 We enjoyed our three-night stay here. The only complaint we have would be how almost all the GrabCar drivers took very long to get to us.

632 Wisut Kasat Road, Thailand 10200
T: +662 282 2900, E: