Chinatown, Ikea and street food

Let’s catch up on our last few days in Bkk. We flew to Chiang Mai yesterday afternoon, so I’d better write down the Bkk stuff before I forget what we did.

When we were staying at the Sawasdee on Soi 8, we walked a minimum of 3kms a day – the hotel is 700 metres from Sukhumvit Rd and we walked up and down that stretch at least twice a day. I’m probably just trying to rationalise our decision to have 2 desserts each instead of dinner on Monday night … more on that later.

We took the MRT (different train system to the Skytrain) to Chinatown on Sunday, but a lot of it was closed because it was a national holiday to mark the 86th birthday of Queen Sirikit. Mother’s Day is also celebrated on August 12. We visited Wat Traimit Wittayaram Voraviharn Traimit Royal Temple to see the Golden Buddha, which sits  3 metres tall and weighs 5.5 tonnes. Wikipedia estimates it to be worth USD$250 million! Very interesting history including being covered in stucco for a couple of centuries and stored in a shed with a tin roof for a while.

I’d brought a pashmina with me to Thailand, but of course forgot to take it to the Wat that day. Women aren’t allowed to wear shorts in temples, but it’s okay for men. When we were at the entrance to the temple taking our shoes off, a flower seller told me I’d be okay in my almost knee-length shorts, but came over and tugged them down a bit, just to make sure! The Golden Buddha was very impressive, and the temple he’s in is gorgeous – hand-painted walls, beautiful floral arrangements.

We had lunch at Texas Suki in Chinatown – very large restaurant that specialises in steamboat cooking. Full of local families and a few farang white people. We didn’t do the steamboat thing, but just picked out a few things from the menu – dumplings, wonton soup, fried rice and black sesame dumplings in ginger soup for dessert. I’d seen them in a video and was keen to try them. They tasted a bit like a sesame seed version of peanut butter in a soft dumpling pastry and the ginger soup was very tasty.

We keep going back to Terminal 21 because there are so many food choices. Dinner on Sunday night was at a Thai place on the 4th floor, can’t remember what it was called, can’t remember what we ate. I probably had noodles, Greg probably had rice.

On Monday we went to Ikea! Caught the Skytrain to Samrong which is at the end of the Sukhumvit line, then got a Grab car to Ikea in the Mega Bangna Shopping Mall. The Ikea is incorporated into the shopping mall,  and it was possible to just walk in and out of different areas without having to walk through the entire store …  unlike every other Ikea we’ve ever visited. We had lunch there – Swedish meatballs, steamed salmon, Swedish apple cake. The shopping mall is huge and it was full of people shopping and eating.

I still wanted to try street food from either the omelet stall or the mushroom stall on Soi 8, but they were both closed when I went looking at around 4.30, so I got myself some Pad Thai (Thai noodles) and corn on the cob for Greg. Total cost 40 + 20 baht = AUD$ 1.70. Then later in the evening we went back to Terminal 21 to After You, a busy dessert restaurant. We had to wait for a table, and they only had 2 menus for the whole place, but we enjoyed what we had – I had affogato (ice cream with a shot of espresso to pour over it) and a Lavender-Lychee soda to drink, Greg had a warm just-baked choc-chip cookie thing topped with ice cream, chocolate sauce and more choc chips. On our way back to the hotel we found a food stall selling Thai roti – a thin layer of dough stretched out and cooked on a hotplate, then folded over either a banana (him) or an egg (me) and cut into bite-sized squares. The seller offered a variety of sweet toppings including chocolate sauce, condensed milk, something pink and some other kind of chocolate but we just had ours plain and they were delicious & cost less than $1 each.

the Golden Buddha in Chinatown
Roti seller on Sukhumvit
banana roti

Swedish meatballs at Ikea
On the canal boat again. a very efficient way to get across town, although we were not quite as nimble getting on or off as the locals.






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