29 January 2010

Is it time for Vietnamese food ?

On almost every corner in Bangkok you will find an abundance of restaurants, shops, and streetside vendors. They differ greatly in products offered, from simple to luxurious, even though they might be located right next to one another. Talking about restaurants, in the same area you might see simple food carts right next to luxury restaurants along the road.

In Bangkok, there are many restaurants which offer local and foreign food.
You love Chinese food? Go to China town, Yaowarat road, and you will be amazed by the abundance of choices. What about Japanese food or American fast food? Just hit the shopping malls or look around the business area, and you will get what you are looking for quickly. The same, to less extend, is true for Italian, French, German food - you name it!

Now, with all these  exciting choices, how do we actually tell if the food is really high quality?
By price, really?
It may surprise you, but by not only my opinion, some of the less expensive Asian food is not only more original, but sometimes of equally high quality as its counterpart in a luxury restaurant in Silom or Sukhumvit. Certainly, you will not get the same kind of atmosphere as a luxury restaurant will provide, but hey, if it's about food only, all that counts is freshness, quality of ingredients, and this special art of cooking that is unique to Asian food.

How do I prove my point? I wish I could take you right down to my favorite Thai-Vietnamese restaurant close to Satorn road.

The place is simple yet clean and frequented by locals and foreigners alike. The food choices are presented in menus in both languages Thai and English, and some of the dishes are pictured in photographs. So far this description could be true for most of the local restaurants on side streets in Bangkok, you might think, but wait until you tried the food. The taste is fresh, unpretentious, straight forward yet full with hints of oriental flavors.


I had a chance to talk with the owner of this restaurant about her food. What is different from other surrounding restaurants? She answered me with smiling face.
"I select  seafood, beef, chicken and other ingredients in the best quality available. Additionally we clean vegetables by using ozone water. One more thing"
She looked down to me, smiling again and whispering:" "I use the same seasoning as the luxury restaurant does."


"Bai Mieng Restaurant"



Pad Thai (popular menu)

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Fried Rice

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Fried curry with fish


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Muu Kam Wan

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Several kind of vegetables in a bowl

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The owner of the restaurant (on the right hand side) and I.


Bai Mieng is located on Suanplu road adjacent to Thanachart Bank. It is bout 300 meters from the main South Satorn road.  In contrast, there are many restaurants on this road. The price per dish is about 50 - 120 Baht. It opens from 9 am to 9 pm.

Bai Mieng will open a new branch in Chiang Mai, "Bai Mieng Chiang Mai (Suanplu)", it is located at Ton Kham 2 road, Tha Sala district. If you want to know more information, make a phone call no. 053-248938.


By: GeoVenture
 
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01 January 2010

Is traveling in Thailand by using public transport actually fun?


Traveling is one of the most exciting activities, whatever type of traveling you choose. It fulfills your desire and needs. Nowadays there are many traveling businesses which offer various tours to you, such as boat tour, trekking tour, historical tour or even health care tour. Before you travel, you basically have to make a plan ahead, where you want to visit, where to stay, what to do and how to go there etc. Additionally, you have to make a decision about transportation. 

If you decide to use public transport, you may come up with a question like: “Is it fun or not fun to travel by public means?” 

In Thailand, there are many kinds of public transportation including bus, train, motorcycle etc. which carry you from place to place, fast and slow. It depends on where you go.

To use public transport, there are several advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include, for instance - you encounter your new environment and surroundings more intimately, you will directly enjoy the landscape, people, villages etc., get in contact with local people without barriers, and you will be more flexible than going by organized transport. On the other hand, some of the disadvantages of using public transport: It might take a longer time to reach your destination than by going with an organized transport, you might encounter scamming people, there is always a chance to get lost, especially in a country where you don't speak the language, and last but not least, you will most likely have to deal with numerous connections.

Whenever I want to travel I always prefer public transport.
Furthermore, travel by using public means can support local business and local people. It also makes my travel much more adventurous. It’s exciting, fun and usually safer than one might think. For me using the same transport as locals do, unlike tourists, makes me feel a genuine traveler.

One of my fun experiences was to travel to Amphawa, Grove and Floating Market trip by train which connected with taxi and ferry boat. The whole trip took about 2.30 hours.

At first I took a train from Bangkok at Wong Wien Yai Railway Station to Mahachai. When I arrived at Mahachai I walked to the pier passing by the fresh market which is full of fresh seafood.

Secondly, I took the ferry boat to another pier and had to walk some distance to reach Ban Laem Railway Station. From this station the train leaves for Mae Klong, where I visited the famous mobile market right at the train tracks. After that, I walked to Song Taew station (Song Taew is a pick up truck which adapts to two row seats for passengers).

Thirdly, I took this pick up truck and headed to my destination “Amphawa”, and finally I walked about 100 meters to the hotel. On the way to Amphawa, there are many things to see, such as mangrove, salt farm, coconut grove, river, Thai traditional houses etc.

Here are some of my pictures taken during my "Amphawa grove and floating market trip”
 
Morning at Amphawa floating market, Samut Songkram, Thailand.



Tha Kha floating market, it's about 10 km. from Amphawa.




Another interesting spot in Amphawa, Wat Bang Kung. Ubosot is enclosed by  a sacred ficus tree.


Thanks for reading my travel blog.
GeoVenture

Tripbod in Thailand
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