Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bangkok Culinary Trip, Day 2

Good morning everyone....sawasdee 🙏🏼

Warning : I'm a crappy writer, so this post is going to be photo heavy,enjoy :D

For watching the 2nd day Bangkok Culinary Tour on Diatabs Indonesia Youtube channel, click this link 

Read the story of : Day 1 Bangkok Culinary Trip 

We have to get up early today, eventhough me and my room mate Dina, slept very late. We both have a strange routinity to make sure everything is well arranged. So when we hit the hotel room, instead of sleeping or taking a bath, we were opening our suitcases and arrange all the clothes to the cupboard. As if we can't do that the next day. *eyes rolling* Good news for me, I am not the only person with semi-ocd sympthom *grinning*. 

I woke up with panda eyes *sigh* but feeling happy as we have a full and tight schedule today. Excitement is in the air! After taking a bath, we go to the restaurant for breakfast. It took place at the ground floor, its not too crowded by the time we have our quite breakfast time, I ate 2 omelettes, 2 small pastries and a glass of orange juice. And then we are ready to go to : Dumnoen Saduak Floating Market. One of the most famous and oldest floating market in Thailand. It took about 1.5 hours from Sukhumvit to that place by bus. Luckily, the traffic condition is on our side, smooth ride until we reach our destination.  

It was a sunny day when we arrive at the floating market, better put our sunglasses on :*

If I were to describe Dumnoen Saduak, I think it is more or less the same as Indonesian traditional market. The difference is, they have river and boats. Many sellers selling souvenirs, traditional food and other interesting stuffs. We don't stroll around too long at the market as our boat is waiting. We were divided into three groups. In our boat : Dina, Sherlya, Jeje, Me and Kadek. It is one helluva crowded river! You can see a lot of seller on each side of the river offering their stuffs. If you want to buy something, you can move the boat closer and do the bargain.  Some of the sellers offer me too expensive price, I got too lazy to bargain and decided not to buy anything at all.

It was quite fun actually, eventhough I don't buy many things from the floating market. I finally get to try the famous coconut ice cream! Yeaaaayyy finally! 

Frankly speaking, it taste more or less the same as Indonesian Traditional Ice Cream, or famously known as Es Puter. The difference is that the coconut ice cream topping use pan roasted peanuts and colorful steamed glutinous rice. However, it is the experience of eating the ice cream in a small boat that keeps bumping one into another that counts! Unforgettable, that is!

Here are some pics from Sherlya and Jeje's camera :

It was hot and sunny in the floating market. But when we continue our culinary journey to Central Embassy, the weather switched immediately into rain mode. And the traffic jam is....bad. I guess it is more or less the same as Jakarta, traffic jam got worse every time it rains.

The Central Embassy mall is quite fancy, I can see many famous designers brand store there. Not too crowd, maybe because its weekday.

We are heading directly to Somboon Seafood. The place is famous for their Fried Curry Crab. Everything is already arranged by the travel agen, so in no time our orders arrived. Thanks God,   we are all starving! 

If we are talking about the food, it was oh so delicious. First,  tom yum gong, we were stunned at the first sight! It has this quite unique serving bowl, as you see on my pictures. Super hot spicy soup with prawn, mushroom and all. I love how the taste is very balance, everything is in place, just right, not overpowering one into another. 

Somboon seafood also very popular with their Fried Curry Crab. The meat is very sweet, you can easily tell that they use fresh and good quality crab, and that curry is da bomb! It doesn't taste heavy, but each ingredients is blend perfectly. You won't regret to make your finger dirty for this food! 5 points for Somboon Seafood ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Even though the food is full of spices, you need not to worry about your stomach condition #noworrywithdiatabs. 

Ok, our third stop of the day is : Or Tor Kor Market. Soooo very excited! When you travel anywhere around the world, traditional market is a must visit place. It is always fun to see, observe and experience near the local people. 

My first impression about this market is : clean and tidy! Even there are lotsa durian seller, I can't smell durian at all when I enter the market. 

Our purpose is of course to eat : DURIAN. Exotic fruit with a spesific aroma that makes people love and hate the most. Some people (including me) looove durian so much we eat anything that use durian as ingredients. And for some people, it is a big no no. I wonder why. 

We also got the chance to taste the famous Monthong and Kanyao durian. My favorite is Kanyao! Not too meaty, but the flavor is stronger than monthong. Me love it. According to Pak Bondan explanation, during one of the King of Thailand visit to Indonesia, our President, Bung Karno gave the king Durian tree. And then they make it a better version of durian as you can see now. Very interesting fact. 

We then stroll around the market, searching for anything interesting. The sad thing is, I don't know why I don't take many pictures inside this market. I remember we spend quite a lot of time at Or Tor Kor. I guess we were focusing on oleh2 shopping rather than enjoying the market itself. So, I really hope I will be able to visit Or Tor Kor Market once again *crossingfinger*. 

After fulfilling our tummy with durian, we are heading back to hotel, we have so little time to prepare for our scheduled dinner at Chao Praya Cruise. But then there was a change of plan. The dinner was cancelled. 

As suggested by Pak Bondan, we are going to Asiatique The Riverfront, a unique market with so many choices of food and beverages, clothing, spa products, bags etc. 2-3 hours surely not enough to explore this huge place with sooooo many interesting sellers and stalls. They also have some restaurants by the Chao Praya River, and a ferris wheel like the London Eye. 

If you are looking for Thailand souvenirs and food, you are in the right place ! You name it, from t-shirt, ethnic bags, shoes, spa and beauty products, keychain, refrig magnet, sandals, accessories, wallet, and also thailand food, for example nestea thai tea and durian, coconut and mango candy also available here, with good price! Some of the seller also can speak a little Indonesian. And they don't offer too expensive price, so it is really fun to shop here. But still, you must always bargain! Dina, Jeje and me didn't get the chance to explore the whole place, but at least we got everything we need. You can see that from our big plastic bag and the big smile in our face :D

And after a tiring day, we went back to our hotel and start to pack our luggage again.  We are going home tomorrow. Dina helped me to zip my luggage (Thanks, room mate!) as it grow big, fat and very difficult to deal with, you know the reason why, rite? :)) 

To be continue......

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bangkok Culinary Trip, Day 1

We were supposed to meet up at the meeting point at Soekarno Hatta the latest at 7.30am. I am late *sigh*. Its all because I forgot to bring my camera memory card. I was so panic back at the car that day, I can't believe I forgot one very important thing. So I have to stop over at some mobile phone store to buy any memory card available. They have some types but all was without wifi, So I cannot transfer my pictures to my handphone at all. Really really bad news. 

When I finally arrive at the airport, I rushed myself to the meeting point, and found out that most of the participants were already there, including the legendary Pak Bondan Winarno. To meet him in person is an honour. And to travel and doing the culinary trip with him is a blessing for me. He is a very humble and full of knowledge person. I admire him right away! 

left to right : Reza, Didit, Kadek, Bu Dame, Pak Bondan, Dina, Eliza, Sherlya, Jeje, Mba Sella, dan 2 perwakilan dari TX Travel

There are 13 of us. 5 contest winners (Dina, Eliza, Rifky, Sherlya and Jessica), 1 representative from Diatabs  (Ibu Rumenta), 1 rep from Dentsu, brand agency (Mba Salli) and 2 rep from Aitindo, digital agency (Boris and Didit), 1 brand ambassador (Pak Bondan Winarno), 1 host (Reza), and 2 cameramen ( Kadek and Dahny). After all the participants complete, we took group picture and heading for check-in. While waiting, the 2 cameramen, Kadek and Dahny interviewed Dina and me. Oh so nervous. I used to hide behind the lens, just like them! I took food photos almost everyday, its me behind the lens, not the other way around.  

We took Garuda direct flight to Bangkok, it's an approximately 3.5 hours flight. 

After a quite brekkie time,  some of us sleeping, watching, reading or whatever to keep us busy. And I don't exactly remember on what time that was, we bumped into a turbulence. It is quite scary to feel the plane jostle and jolt seeking the right altitude. It feels like the plane has dropped for I don't know how many feets. 20? 50? 100? I can't tell. All I remember is the butterfly on my stomach when that happens. And after a few super tense minutes, thank you, God, we arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport in one complete piece 😁.

We were picked up by a tour guide named Ari. He is very warm and friendly, and surprisingly he speaks Indonesian well even though hes never been to Indonesia. As we walk and take a look around the airport, we saw a booth that was crowd with tourists, Ari told us that the booth selling Thailand sim card with internet access. We directly take a que and pay for 299 baht for Thai sim card with 1.5 gigabyte internet access. They activate the sim card in no time, I texted my family right away, to let them know that I arrived in Bangkok safely.

The bus provided by the travel agent was clean, big and comfy. I think its a bit too big for our small group btw, but the bright side is, you don't have to feel awkward with your seatmate or anything. You have two chairs all to yourself.  The bus' window were huge , it gives me clear view of Bangkok traffic  jam (yes, traffic jam!) and also the scenery. Tall buildings, fly over over fly over, Crowded housings, beautiful building with colorful roofs, just like Jakarta! But I found Bangkok a bit cleaner and more organize. Maybe because I only see a very small part of Bangkok? I don't know. The weather  was quite friendly that time, cloudy with a little sunlight.

Our first stop is : 

Kalapapruek Resto

We ate red curry roast duck, which is very delicious. Eventhough the appearance looks a bit intimidating (red and thick), the taste was not  too spicy for us Indonesian. But the combination of chili flakes (eventhough the level of spiciness is low) and coconut milk really can cause you a lot of trouble with your digestive system. But, my friends, #noworrywithdiatabs.

Som Tum or Thailand papaya salad, it is refreshing with the dominant sour taste. 
To be honest I ate better version of it in Jakarta.

The third menu is fried tiger prawn in tamarind sauce. Sour and spicy and finger lickin! Delicioso!

Kalapapruek Resto looks small on the outside. But actually quite spacious on the inside. And it has this beautiful and delicious corner that makes me drool...rows of cakessss! Pies! Sweets and more baked goodies! Oh help me God. I suddenly miss my kitchen and my oven *a real baker problem*. 

A little behind the scene while we were shooting at Kalapruek, pic taken by Dina. Thanks for the pic, roomate 🙏

Btw, check out this youtube link for the Video of Day 1 Bangkok Culinary Trip with Diatabs. Awesome!

And here we are in front of Kalapapruek with the legendary Mr. Maknyus 😁

5 winners and Mr. Maknyus :)


Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Po

Sawasdee ! Left to right : Dhani, Boris, Kadek, Reza, Pak Bondan, Bu Dame, Mba Salli, Rifky, Sherlya, Didit, Jeje, Liza, Dina, picture courtesy : Didit

We don't go inside the Grand Palace, only took few group photos and move to our next destination, Wat Arun by boat. The rain was drizzling that time, so we took a little run all the way to the boat yard. 

can't help not to take picture of this cute building

on our way to the boat yard

Wat Arun or Temple of the Dawn has a very different architecture from any other temple in Bangkok. When we arrived, the temple was still under renovation. You can see alot of woods/pipes covering it from afar. But, it cannot cover the beauty of the details when you take a closer look. Porcelaine, beautiful and colorfull drawings really amazes me.

And then we hurriedly walk to Wat Pho, still walking distance, but the rain is dripping harder at that very moment. I got a headache instantly. I guess age does matter,
eh? After buying the tickets, we took off our shoes and get the blue plastic prepared by the caretaker and put our shoes inside. I didn't bring any lense other than my fix 50mm lens, so it is hard to take a pic of the sleeping Budha. 

Our next schedule is heading to Old City area, there is a Pad Thai vendor famously known for their authentic and delicious padthai. Too bad the place was closed. So we tried the next door padthai vendor instead, the taste is quite decent. Btw, In front of Thip Samai Padthai, you can find an orange juice vendor, you all gotta try it. It is quite expensive, 180 baht/bottle. But really worth the price. Super fresh with generous orange pulp. Very recommended! 

After fulfilling our tummy needs, we went to Khaosan Road. This destination gives me chill. Wanna know why? Because we are going to eat bugs! *going pale* *and then faint*. Please wake me up when the show is over. 

This part of trip I want to erase from my memory. Especially the part when i cried and shaking in front of the camera. No acting required! I am really freakin scared to death with all those bugs. I mean......Sorry i am speechless here. Thanks God they erase the particular scene. Based on Pak Bondan explanation, the Thai eat bugs in order to satisfy their hungry tummy and the need to eat healthy and high protein food with a little money to spend. Still, that is not enough to build a sudden interest with bugs (for me). Okay, since this topic is nothing i wanna discuss with, lets just fast forward to hotel scene.

So it was late, everyone is tired, its time to throw ourselves to our comfy pillows and bed at The Davis, Sukhumvit. See you on day 2 *waving excitedly*

Travel tips: 
1. If you want to visit the temples, make sure you are dressed properly. Nothing too open or too short is allowed. So forget your spaghetti strap or ultra short jeans, put on your cardigan instead. 
2. If you use DSLR or mirrorless camera, make sure to bring the right lens. You'll get much trouble with fix 50mm lens like mine. 
3. Use comfy sandals or sneakers. Don't try to wear your favorite sexy-hi heels. You might get your leg sprained, especially if you  have to face the unpredictable weather like us.