January 01, 2011


BKK here I come

My first time in Bangkok I spent less then 24 hours. I was meeting a good friend and our plans were to travel around Thailand and Vietnam together. 24 hours, however, was not in the plan.  We were to have spent 4 days there! Everything about it my 1st time was wrong: from the "green" hotel that I had chosen to stay in that had green things growing in the shower, to the T shirt vendor on the street who saw us and was thrilled to inform us that he had jumbo sizes for us to choose from, to my 1st Thai oil massage. It was done while I was naked, freezing and I was manipulated around as if I were a pretzel. Who knew! One of my more vulnerable moments. We left for the North the next morning.

Since that memorable 1st time I have returned to Bangkok several times. Like any big metropolis it often takes more then one visit to get your bearings. So on my way home from Vietnam I made myself go back to Bangkok. I never looked back, I fell in love with it.

The first thing I do now when I arrive in Bangkok is to have a Thai massage, many of them; never naked or with oil. The 2nd thing is to immediately hit a street food stall. The third is to hit JJ market. It is like going to Vin Expo in Bordeaux, Round Top In Texas or the world's largest stadium on earth chock full of antiques and "antiques", fascinating people watching, food, jewelry, furniture, art, to name only a handful of categories. It is only on the weekends and it is intense, invigorating and a pickers rush.

I love the broad Thai smile that instills in me that instant trust and remember how I must brush up on my hard nosed bargaining skills before I go each time! It is what makes these trips such incredible adventures, nothing is ever the same. With each visit I enter like a virgin and leave feeling a little more seasoned.
Cow greab pak mor
These white dumplings are prepared in front of you on top of a hot plate. Salted radish is fried with garlic and coriander root, sugar and soy sauce and folded into white rice flour sheets. OMG!
La Tiang
La Tiang is a fantastic looking ‘bird’s nest’ concoction. A filling made from minced pork or shrimp and onion, peanuts, coriander, fish sauce and sugar is presented in a striking yellow nest made with eggs with a subtle kick of chili at the end. be still my heart.
  Beginning of what was a long and fruitful day at "JJ" or Chatuchak market last year! 

I leave this week for S.E. Asia and hope you will shop along with me on my journey and share with me my somewhat irreverent musings and always lots of photo's.

SAWATDEE PI MAI" (สวัสดีปีใหม่), Happy New Year...

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