After months of anticipation we had finally arrived in Thailand and our first stop – Bangkok. Although shattered we had our priorities well and truly in order and following a quick survey of our rooms and a shower, we agreed to meet in reception to step out on the town.
‘We’ were myself and Rocket, Marmoset (whose special birthday it was) Mata Hari, Oceana, The Dam Buster, and those pesky boys Stepney and DJ Ozz. A happy band of exhausted but excited travellers. Those who materialized early in reception – I think Rocket and possibly DJ, asked the staff for recommendations for a good local bar – a Thai bar, less touristy if possible.
They were immediately directed to bars the English like, but they persisted – and confusingly were advised that we needed to walk for about 15 minutes where we would find The Sun Sea Bar – they checked the name, puzzled? Yes sir, it is very nice…
Away we went, figuring that if we saw any nice options on the way we would stop in. Shuffling around in a group of eight is never easy but we managed ok although we had been walking for quite a while and still no sign of the illusive ‘Sun Sea Bar’. A conflab was held and someone pointed to a bar over the road with outside seating and a lovely garden – shall we just go in there? I think it was Stepney…. Yes, we thought that looked ok and just what we had been looking for.
We pottered in and found a table, someone grabbed the drinks list, music was playing – hooray we had arrived in Thailand – and were happily ensconced in the ‘Zanzibar’, if you say it slowly…
Anyway, it was convivial, somehow bizarre, but finally we were relaxed. Later that evening, body clocks all over the place, we were slightly peckish and stopped off at a food stall to have our baptism into the Bangkok street food scene. A few of us sat on the roadway and enjoyed some delicious satay and noodles.
Like all things, you have success with some venues and not with others. On another day we returned from a visit to the Royal Palaces and having sort of missed lunch we scoured the local area for something tasty. Stumbling across a streetfood stand that seemed still to be serving lunch, there were a few seats down an alley way, and we gratefully shuffled in.
We made do with the food which wasn’t our finest moment as the stall was closing up and feeling a bit deflated we finally sat down in the slightly dingy alleyway – as DJ Ozz took his seat some music played in the background…it was a sound from a 1970’s ‘sit com’ that goes……
A comic comment on us – in a city full of fabulous food sitting in a dark alley eating errr, we weren’t entirely sure what. We laughed, I said to DJ “did you hear that too” just in case I was going nuts, someones mobile phone ring tone no doubt but hey…. It played a couple more times and we laughed and laughed….
We went on to have some great food, jumped on and off the speedy canal boats and the metro (which is air conditioned and has TV’s on it if you don’t mind- eat ya heart out Boris) and Rocket was particularly happy he got to enjoy the oyster omelette of his dreams – loved it!
The way we seem to shuffle about in a comic, rags to riches way, meant that the following evening on DJ’s birthday we were dining at the Mandarin Oriental – the best hotel in world. I believe it has been voted that anyway, by whom I do not know, however we enjoyed their buffet supper beside the river, more clinking of glasses more laughter so why not extend the fun and go on to Sky Bar.
A bar on top of a ridiculously high building – an experience never to be forgotten, not least of which was the fact that we bought the single most expensive round of drinks we have ever bought – and that my friends, is saying something. Marmoset says to Rocket, “shall we have another drink” Rocket says “we need to have another whip”, “no” she says “we’ve just had one”….”I know” says Rocket…”oh” says Marmoset…
The food we experienced throughout or stay in Bangkok was a fantastic part of the journey, as were the people and the wonderful vibe not to mention the shopping – I’d love to go back, I will go back.
Above is Rocket’s oyster omelette, consumed in a small restaurant in Bangkok’s chinatown. David Thompson is a guru of Thai food whom I respect immensely – I wanted to put one of his recipes in this post Here you go – enjoy!