It has been more than two and the half years since I last packed my bags in search of a far-away adventure. The Covid-19 pandemic has put a dampener to my travels and so it was time I started to explore again. And what better place to test out my first post-Covid foray than Bangkok, Thailand. I have lost count as to the number of times I have been to this place, both for work and for fun.
Even from the first instance of stepping foot on this city, it was clear that things have not returned to normality. I was the first in line at the immigration counter. The baggage carousel looked empty and I was out of the airport in record time! Even the queue for the purchase of a SIM card to use was minimal and I opted for a DTAC 8-day Happy Tourist plan at 299 baht. There are others around the airport reception area and options include AIS and True Move.
As I had been to nearly all the tourist spots, I just wanted a free-and-easy no-itinerary holiday and just aimlessly walk around the sights and sounds around the Mah Boonkrong area. Arriving early, I walked down the hotel to look for a quick snack from the sidewalk. The prices of these street hawker foods have gone up a fair bit! Everything was not 100baht anymore, but more like 160baht as a starting price!
For breakfast we headed to On Lok Yun, a rustic old-world coffee shop near the Grand Palace. This place is a favourite haunt among the Singaporean tourists wanting the experience what it was like in the 60's and 70's. I must say that the kaya (local jam made of eggs) tasted much like the ones I had when I was growing up in Penang!
And after wandering aimlessly around the Siam Center area, it was time for lunch. A short walk across to the Siam Square One area, to Somboon Seafood. But there's just enough time for one more shopping spree near the restaurant before the table is ready!
For dinner/supper there is no better place than Jen O Chula. It won the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2020. The dish to order? Well let me sum it up by saying that it is a hodgepodge of seafood, eggs and meatballs cooked in Tom Yum soup topped up with Instant Noodles! But the taste is like no other, so put it in your bucket list the next time you are in Bangkok. The queue might look long but it moves quickly. However it is best to make a booking before going there.
For high tea, there are just too many places to recount. However, my favourite must be Thong Yoy Cafe at the ground floor of Paragon Shopping Centre. It serves authentic Thai desserts, and if you are lost as to what to order, try the complete platter! It comes with a bit of everything and you can while the time away savouring each one by one at your heart's leisure!
Most of the night markets around town have closed down due to the Covid-19 movement restrictions, and tourist are just making their way back. The most vibrant (and probably the only one around) must indeed by the Jodd Fairs train night market next to Central Rama 9 Mall. Take time to wonder and enjoy the many exotic foods and drinks the whole night through!
It is M.K. Wong's dream to visit at least 50 countries before his feet can carry him no more. With over 35 countries under his belt, M.K. is planning for his next escapade.