We got a few days off work because the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference was happening in Manila this year. My parents and I decided to go on a trip to Bangkok since I had never been there. A bit of background, our flight was supposed to leave on Wednesday, November 18 at 1245pm when the conference started and air space was clear of delegates arriving. Unfortunately, there was a sudden no fly zone imposed from 1pm until 11pm on that day and while we were already seated on the plane for an hour, we had to get off and sit through a 12 hour delay. Womp womp. Anyway, we arrived at our hotel at 4am in the morning and quickly PTFO’ed. That’s short for “Pass The Fuck Out” if you like having a potty mouth like me.
Our first meal was at Nara Thai cuisine, a bit of a walk from our hotel but near the central Erawan Shrine area. Nara is a casual Thai restaurant with multiple locations around Bangkok and they even have a couple of locations in Singapore. The ambiance definitely reminded me of Osha Thai in San Francisco. There were a couple of things we ordered that I have never had before: fish noodles in tom yum sauce and tapioca stuffed with minced pork. Nothing overly special but I thought the food was really good and I am still really craving Thai food. I was also able to try ramen with tom yum broth instead of the popular tonkotsu broth. That was super interesting but ultimately it was ramen with tom yum broth. I think the traditional glass noodles worked better. Worth a try though!
Bangkok surprised me with its transportation infrastructure. Compared to Manila, the freeways were generally smooth, there were lots of traffic warning signs, and people generally didn’t break traffic rules. Although our taxi didn’t have seat belts in the back and the drivers tend to burn through their gear clutches but hey! We were able to take a tuk tuk during our night time food tour (more on that later) and it was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Talk about an adrenaline rush. Tuk tuks can go surprisingly fast even up an on-ramp with 3 people in the back so that’s pretty impressive. Momma dJ and I were also able to take the train because it started raining and we didn’t have an umbrella for the long-ish walk back to the hotel. Not so bad during rush hour and a sudden downpour. I wish Manila could lift itself up to be a walkable city with a more dependable public transportation system. A safe, bike-able city would be nice too!
And after two days of running around the city center with my parents in tow (they would not let me out of their sight), we were back at Suvarnabhumi Airport or BKK. BKK is quite a modern airport being fully functional in the latter half of 2006. It boasts the world’s tallest free standing control tower and the fourth largest single building airport terminal after Dubai International Airport (DXB), Beijing Capital Airport (PKG), and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) respectively. The duty free shops were scattered all over the place and I loved that I could buy my Original Source body wash at Boots before I left. We generally don’t check bags in so no big liquids containers until after security. I also really really liked that they had stores dedicated to everything mango! They were selling mango sticky rice but my mom was watching me like a hawk so I didn’t get to sneak a serving into my tum tums. The windows by the gates were very beautifully shaped, very streamlined, and very modern. I LIKE.
I’m pretty sure I lost a teeny tiny bit of weight because it was so hot, I was sweating the whole time. I do want to go back to Bangkok and maybe go to Chiang Mai too in the future. Khao Soi (red curry noodles w/ chicken) originated from Chiang Mai and that’s what I really want to eat! Thank you, Bangkok. I hope we get to meet each other again soon!