Monday, October 31, 2011


Bangkok is slowly becoming one of the fashion capitals in the world due to its endless supply of talented designers. Though departmental stores are still mainly occupied by the usual international brands, a few homegrown labels have managed to establish themselves and take their pride of place among the imported giants. One of the most successful local brands is ITHAPPENSTOBEACLOSET. What a name !

The outlet at Emporium Shopping Mall on Sukhumvit Road is both a cafe and a fashion boutique. Tables are placed outside the shop along the generous corridor, and they serve cakes and light meals for the fashion-forward crowd.

Inside the shop - befitting its name - the place is decked out like somebody's very large closet - albeit a very well-curated one. Things are thrown together in a somewhat haphazard manner - but there is definitely plenty of art behind the carefully controlled chaos.

Shopping here definitely takes patience. There are so many choices you can get dizzy pretty fast. I guess that's what the couches are for.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bangkok 2011 - Lunch at Krisa Cafe

After walking around Rattanakosin for a few hours, we were getting quite hungry. This cafe along Thanon Na Phra Lan next to the Grand Palace looked quite promising, so we decided to check it out. The place is quite tiny - just around 5 small tables seating the most 20 persons, with a small counter and tiny kitchen at the back. They have a first floor dining room that is a little bit more spacious, but we decided to stay on the lower floor.

The tiny kitchen.

The menu is understandly limited, but most of the popular Thai dishes are there - and prices are quite reasonable. We ordered a Kuay Tiew Rad Na and a Seafood Salad.

The food was reasonable, but not comparable to the better roadside stalls. However the nice ambiance made up for it. Definitely a great place to rest your legs in between visits at the Rattanakosin, as they also serve very nice and refreshing cold drinks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bangkok 2011 - Street Vendors around Rattanakosin

Walking around the Rattanakosin area in between visiting the temples and palaces, you are bound to bump into the street vendors. They are concentrated along Thanon Maha Rat Road, near the ferry point to Wat Arun (Tian Market).

If you are a fan of old coins, currency notes and amulets - this would be your Nirvana. Lots of stalls are piled high with small mountains of coins and amulets - all looking very authentic and interesting. However, if you are spending serious money it is best to go with someone who knows the wheat from the chaff.

We came across this stall selling small statues of Bhuddist monks. They looked so real - like the real person has been magically shrunked into a miniature size. You can even see every spot and blemish on the skin. Very eery !

Bangkok is full of colourful characters, and this Thai cowboy was singing up a storm on the sidewalk.

The Thais revere the Royal Family so much that even their photos are coveted items at the bazaar.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bangkok 2011 - Wat Pho

Wat Pho - commonly known as Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is probably the most visited site in Bangkok. It is one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok, and is famous for its reclining Buddha - one of the largest single Buddha images in the world. It is located at the Rattanakosin area - the historic palace and temple district at the Eastern end of Bangkok city. Though this area is considered very touristy, it is still one of the must-see areas in Bangkok - full of history, culture and interesting architectural structures. A leisurely walk through this area is one of the small pleasures in Bangkok.

The temple has over 1,000 Buddha images.

The sight of the Reclining Buddha statue - covered entirely in gold leaf, is quite awe-inspiring. I was particularly striken by the feet of the Buddha - in-laid with intricate mother-of-pearl patterns.

Inside the temple you can exchange your dollars for small coins and make a donation on your way out. This is one easy way to improve your Karma.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bangkok 2011 - Dinner at Thang Long Restaurant

Thang Long is a Vietnamese restaurant right next to LUXX XL Hotel, along Lang Suan Road. It is in a stylish purpose-built 2-storey detached building. The design is very modern and hip. Downstairs is an air-conditioned dining room, and up stairs is a semi- alfresco bar.

It seems to be very popular and was almost full on a Monday night. The menu offers most of the popular Vietnamese items, plus some unusual dishes. Not feeling too adventurous, I settled for something familiar.

Salad with Pork Sausage. This was very refreshing.

Rice Noodle Soup with Grilled Pork. A simple dish that was done quite well. The dipping sauce for the pork was very good - with just enough heat and saltiness to make it interesting.

Thang Long is one of those restaurants that is not too big, not too small and has great ambiance. It is great for an intimate dinner or for small groups. All the patrons seem to be having a great time. I would definitely go back.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Wife's Bakery - Sweet Indulgence

Hi all. I have exciting news ! My wife Christina just opened a bakery next to our house. It is in a converted 70s semi-D. We have refurnished it to create a warm and cosy little place for those who like sweet indulgences. If you are in Kuching, come and visit us. We have scrumptious cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, premium cookies and pastries - more varieties on weekends.

Web Site: Sweet Indulgence Kuching

German Cheesecake

Double Chocolate Cake

Address: 548A, Lorong Stampin 20, off Jalan Stampin, 93450 Kuching, Sarawak
Tel: 082-573298 Fax: 082-574298



Monday, October 17, 2011

Bangkok 2011 - Curio Shop on the MRT Station

Bangkok is a city full of surprises. Walk around long enough and you are bound to bump into something interesting. Like this antique shop on an MRT Station. This was actually on the Skytrain Station (Chong Nonsi Station) at South Sathorn Road – one of the busiest stations in Bangkok. The vendors have obviously picked their venue well.

If I had more room in my luggage, I would have bought some of the items. There were interesting furniture, old lamps and luggage. All would make quite interesting conversation pieces. I just hoped they had been properly acquired from their rightful owners !