Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bangkok, September '12: A Morning At Chatuchak Weekend Market

Woke up early the next morning and got ready to start shopping Bangkok dry. I took my bath first (because I'm a girl and girls always take longer to get ready so we always get to use the bathroom first) while The Husband made us our morning drinks – coffee for him, tea for me.

Cute little electric kettle.

After that, we were off!

Took a cab from the hotel and went straight to Chatuchak. Surprisingly, the drive there only cost us 100 Baht. @_@ In KL, cabbing that same distance would have cost us a bomb!

Crazy, messed up telephone wires.

We arrived at our destination in a little over a half hour;
just a minute before 11AM, Malaysian time.

Chatuchak (more fondly known to the locals as JJ Market) is one of those places my friends have always gushed about. Ah Beng used to spend all his shopping money buying stuff here. Haha. Thing is, although I've been to Bangkok before, I've never ever been to Chatuchak. (Blasphemy? =p) We ran out of time during that last trip. Haha. But hey, at least I made it this time!

Store guide.

Chatuchak seems to sell EVERYTHING under the sun.
Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself!

Zoomed in on the specifics for you.

E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. From clothing and accessories, to food, vegetables and fruits, to books, paintings, and garden equipments, to pets and even  fighting cock shows. @_@ Crazy. Bangkok really knows how to do markets like nobody else does. Haha. I think we were a little early though. Only 9AM BKK time so I guess that's why the market wasn't totally busy-busy yet.

Outdoor section.

Indoor section.

Do you see what I see???

OMG, so colourful and pretty, right??? I would totally have bought a pack to snack on while shopping if I was there with friends. But this group I'm with are a little more... urm... health-conscious. So we ended up with fresh orange juice instead. Haha. 

It was not even half as good as the pomegranate juice or orange/lime juice we had the night before at China Town. It had a bitter aftertaste I didn't quite like.

Another map at a police booth that tells you why Chatuchak
is called JJ Market by the locals. They call it Jatujak! =)

Soon after, it was decided that it was time for lunch. So we stopped to eat at one of the outdoor eating areas, set up under tents. OMG, it was almost noon and the weather was just so freaking hot! It was like an oven under there. -_-'''

Yup. Surprise surprise, I ordered the fried rice. Again.
Mixed this time; not tomyam. Learned my lesson. Haha.

Not great. Too wet and not very tasty.

No wonder it could arrive in front of me
just FOUR minutes after I ordered. :-/

Lunch was over almost as quickly, too. 15 minutes, kau tim. Stuffed our faces as fast as we could to get out of the heat and back into the cool indoor market area. Haha. On the way in, I couldn't resist stopping at an ice-pop stall to get a cool ice-pop on a stick.

I picked the Coke-flavoured one.

Red-faced from the supreme Bangkok heat and
looking forward to my first taste of that ice-pop.

Too bad I had to throw more than half away. The Husband refused to let me finish it in spite of the fact that I was melting from the heat! "Dirty water," he said. BOO HOO... T_T

Smiling in spite of the heat. Super hot weather outside.

After that, we went back to doing some shopping. But somehow ended up at the kitchenware, household and living department. -_-''' What a waste of precious shopping time! Not like we were going to buy any pots and pans or fake flowers to bring home also. Haiya. That's what happens when a market is too big and you don't have a hand-held map to navigate your way from stall to stall.

Colourful dangly things in the household section.

Thank goodness we got ourselves out of that cutlery/kitchenware/fake-flower maze and went back to the clothing section after that. If there's one stall I'd like to go back to the next time I find myself at JJ Market, it'd be THE CORNER:

It sells lots of pretty, embroidered and appliquéd ladies tops for just 200 Baht each. There were some nice English-styled lace dresses there, too. But the dresses cannot buy la. Too ex already. All over 1,000 Baht. Some even more than 2,000 Baht. (Ouch.) But the tops were affordable so I just hovered over that table and ignored the other stuff. HAHA.

Bought another bottle of juice to share (guava this time – also so-so only) after that, it was bye-bye JJ Market and hello, taxi ride and Bangkok jam again.

Typical Thai ad seen on the way out.

So what did I buy at JJ Market?

Black sleeveless top with appliqué and sequins
that cost 200 Baht. (Mama's gift to her daughters-in-law.
I got one, my SIL got one. Haha. Fair-fair.)

Close up of the appliqué and sequins.

A hippo t-shirt for myself – thought it was cute.

Thai Elephant tees for The Husband's nephew and niece.

A super cheap, super comfy dress that only cost me 100 Baht.

Hair clips. They were 6 for 100 Baht.

And that's it! I'd totally go back to JJ Market again if ever I'm in Bangkok. Think it'll be my stop of choice, followed by Platinum Mall. (More on Platinum Mall in a later post.) It's cheap, it's big, it's not quite as hot and uncomfortable as people say it is (although not at all cool and luxurious either) and, like I said and will say again, it's cheap. Cheap wins. =p JJ Market, I will be back!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Macarons Are Not Macaroons

Yup, I just discovered that they're not one and the same. In fact, upon doing some Googling, I discovered they're SO different that I almost slapped myself for not knowing the difference in the first place. -_-''' #failedEnglishwriter

ANYHOO, enough about my incompetence as a writer. (I'm a writer, not a baker? =p) Hot on the tails of her superb Homemade Red Bean Mooncake, Ra-Ra made me some pretty, pink Raspberry Macarons and Chocolate Chip Raspberry Ice Cream.

Pink Bear Macarons!

Almost too pretty to eat, right? Haha. But just almost. Cos eat them, I did and OMG, I'm so glad I did. They were superb! Even better than the ones I had at T Fourty Two during my bridal shower last year! Serious. Just the right amount of sweetness to go perfectly with sugarless English Breakfast Tea. Yums!

No pictures of the ice cream (yet)
cos I haven't tucked into it. =)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Disk Repair

Sorry, guys. Didn't mean to stay away and keep mum for so long but... as you can see, I've had some urgent matters to handle and tackle these past few days. :-/

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Much-Needed Haircut

When The Husband found out I was going to get a haircut, he said, "CUT SHORT! GO BALD ALSO OK!" Yeah, right. He only mentioned the bald part cos he knows I would never do it. Anyway, it's about time lah. Been aaaages since I've had a haircut. Think the last was waaaay back in January when I first returned to KL, man. Wth. I'm so behind on the priming it's embarrassing. -_-

So... yesterday, as planned, I paid a visit to my favourite stylist on the planet – hair maestro, Daniel Seet – and got my tresses significantly shortened.


Now, I can't decide if I like this length and cut. Sigh.
And yet again, I miss my long hair. T___T

Bangkok, September '12: Dinner In China Town

It seems like every country has a China Town. The Chinese are everywhere! I think we're hardy like cockroaches – cannot die wan – and because of that, we manage to survive anywhere we find ourselves at. Haha. Bangkok is no different.

So, after sleeping the rest of the afternoon away and on our first night in town, we decided to head to China Town to try out some Teochew food that was highly recommended to Papa. Cabbed our way to China Town and, as expected, it was a big, bright "hello" to streets lined with Mandarin signages.

Yup, you know you're where the Chinese are at when you see stuff like that hanging around being sold. Haha. The Chinese eat e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! (Hong Kong is a million times worse though. Those people eat things I don't even recognise. *gags* @_@)

We walked around looking for the shop – New Kwong Meng Restaurant – but didn't seem to see signs of it anywhere. Stopped and asked a couple of nice Thai boys for direction, too, but they didn't seem to know where it was either. They recommended us another place instead. Hahaha. Fail.

All the while, my eyes kept going back to the colourful stalls that sold pomegranate and orange/lime juice along the streets. Every where we went, those colourful stalls were there! Scattered along the streets. One after another. And they all sold the same drink! @_@ You'd hear light clinking sounds of the fruit being stirred around the hand-press juicer and then voila! Fresh juice appears!

Finally, after walking past about a million of these stalls, we decided to stop and enjoy some fresh juice. Yayyyy! 3 bottles for only 100 Baht. But since there were four of us, we bargained for 4 bottles for 130 Baht so we get two of each to share between the two couples. =p

Pomegranate juice.

Orange/Lime juice.

I can't decide which I like better. The pomegranate juice was sweeter. But the orange/lime (I have no idea what fruit it actually is – looks like orange on the outside but zesty and yellow like lime) was wonderfully refreshing, too! If only they sold juices like these in Malaysia. I'd indulge in a bottle or two as a perk-me-up on hot afternoons without a second thought!

Anyway, after the juice, we went back to walking around, hunting down that Teochew restaurant again. Just like it was in Perth with Ipoh Restaurant, when Papa puts his mind to something, IT. GETS. DONE. Haha. And true enough, get done it did! He found the restaurant in some dark, abandoned lorong in the middle of nowhere.

New Kwong Meng Restaurant, China Town, Bangkok.

Finally! Some English words for verification that we're at the right place.

If you wanna try this place out, make sure you
walk down the dark lorong behind UOB at China Town.

Your cue to enter the lorong.

Anyway, I don't know if Teochew food is famous in Thailand lah but New Kwong Meng Restaurant was supposed to be good. And it was. Some of the food we ordered, at least. =p Like the peanuts.

OMG, the peanuts! It came piping hot! So nice!
I wonder why they don't serve hot peanuts in Malaysia.

The Stir-Fried Crab with Black Pepper
was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, too!

Hands down the best crab I've had in a looong time. (But then again, it has been a looong time since I've had crab anyways. -_-''' #deprived) We ordered just ONE crab and that was enough for all four of us cos the crab was HUGE! I was in crab heaven. Check out the size of the pincher!

It was the size of my palm!

Papa also ordered Fish Head with Taro Soup in Hot Pot.

I thought this fish dish with yam was ok-ok only.
Not too bad, but nothing to shout about either.

But confirm-firm The Husband and I 100% dunno how to appreciate the fried oysters in egg. Smelly like hell. End up whole plate Papa and Mama had to finish.

I nudged an oyster with my chopsticks and it started oozing black gunk. YERRRR... So geli-fying, man. I died at the sight. And when I ate it, I died again. T_T Thank goodness they served us bitter Chinese Tea at the end of the meal to wash it all down. Haha.

3 dishes of oyster, fish and crab came up to RM200. Expensive dinner, if you ask me. But the crab was good lah. I really wouldn't mind going back just for the crab. But nothing else. That's if I can find the shop again lah. Haha.


After that, we walked around a little bit more, and decided to head back to the hotel for an early night. (Not that early by Malaysian time lah. Already 10PM by the time we started hailing cabs.)

Sorry blur pic but... LOOK AT THE CUTE DOGGY ON THE BIKE!

The streets were jammed as usual. (See picture above.) So, The Husband suggested we ride the Tuk-Tuk for the novelty of it (and so that we can zip in and out of traffic). Asked for a quote and were told that the ride back to the hotel would cost us 100 Baht. Cheh. Same price as take taxi wat. Might as well sit in the comfort of a cab with aircon, right? While walking away, the man shouted, "OK OK! 80 BAHT!" Haha. No, thank you.

Your typical Thailand Tuk-Tuk.

Anyway, 80 Baht or not, the Tuk-Tuk was
deemed unsafe for the distance we were to travel
so we ended up taking a cab anyways.

The men hailing a cab.

Oh, by the way, this is my first trip to Thailand where I didn't step into a Tuk-Tuk even once throughout the 4 days. We cabbed everywhere! More worth it to travel by cab when you travel in fours, I think.


4-8 Padsai Road
Yaowarat Soi 19

Tel: 02-224-2201, 02-224-2170

Open daily, 11am to 10pm
Listed in CNNGO's Best Eats as Bangkok's Best Teochew Restaurant.

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