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