Week 3: Still Discovering Bangkok

Relaxing On The Roof

After the previous quiet week I was starting to go a little stir crazy.  I don’t consider myself an overly social guy but after a while I crave for a conversation that lasts longer than me ordering a meal from someone that doesn’t speak English… Most of the time I don’t even speak when ordering food, I just point at the picture of what I want.  So Monday night was a great start to my week…

IMG_0936it was great to get out of the apartment with my Wife (semi recovered from food poisoning) and catchup with my cousin while he was in town for business.  We grabbed a Tuk Tuk near our apartment and survived the trip to the Hilton Millenium.  I tried to film the journey but it doesn’t capture the true atmosphere of hurtling down a busy street in heavy traffic while sitting in a mini cage attached to some kind of motorbike thing.  The Tuk Tuk’s are great but lack the comfort of air-con found in taxis… taxis here are as bad as New York where the drivers are very fussy about where they are willing to go.  Everytime we have tried to get a taxi it has taken 5 or 6 to  find one willing to take us and then they try to set a price around 3x more than it would cost when you force them to start the meter.  Annoying but it’s just the way it’s done.

My wife and I caught up with my cousin at his hotel and went up to the 360° Rooftop Bar.  The view across the river at night was spectatcular and the atmosphere on the rooftop was calm and relaxing.  Having a long conversation bouncing between business, movies, travel and even politics was refreshing.  Having a couple of Bourbon & Cokes was also a bonus.

Sang Som & Hong Thong (The Local Spirits)

IMG_1209I mentioned previously that Bourbon here is expensive.  However, this week I discover a local Rum called Sang Som which is very affordable.  A 300ml bottle costs aound AU$5 ($135THB).  It’s not super smooth but it is a decent Rum (surprisingly good for that price) and it’s my new drink of choice while I’m staying in Thailand.

I also tried Hong Thong which is supposed to be a local blended Whiskey but to me it tasted like a blend of Rum, Bourbon and a dash of Scotch.  Hong Thong is drinkable but I prefer the Sang Som.  I’ve heard that the Hong Thong doesn’t give you a hangover but I’m not sure that I want to test that theory right now.

Thankfully I picked up a bottle of each to try and I liked the Sang Som because this new knowledge came in handy on the weekend.  I’ll explain in more detail later 😉

Returning For Ramen

There is no shortage of food options here.  Everyday it’s a struggle to decide what new dish to try.  I wish I could eat more but I’m not a big eater (I know that surprises most people but it’s true).  I like to snack and that’s a bonus here, there are a lot of food courts that have small meals for around AU$2 ($50THB) so I can get a couple of different meals for lunch or dinner.

Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen Silom

I’m always looking for new things to eat but had to return to Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen because it is still the best thing I’ve eaten since arriving here.  This week I ordered the same dish as last week but I got it in the signiture hot stone bowl.  The stone bowl is 300°C and they bring it to the table, then pour in the soup and put a tin chimney lid over the top.  Steam quickly starts firing out of the lid (I now understand why they have the large volcano graphic on the window). A minute later the waitress removes the lid and add the remaining soup which continues to boil in the hot stone bowl.  The Ramen is now perfectly cooked.

This is going to be a weekly routine from now on but I may have to try some other flavours.  So far I have tried the Miso based soup with the hottest ingredients.  While my tastebuds love it at the time my body doesn’t handle the burn so well the next day.

Asiatique: So Much Food

Continueing with the topic of food… We went to Asiatique this weekend.  Asiatique is an upscale market/food/bar/hipsterish area on the riverfront.  I found out about it from a Top 10 List on Bangkok.com. I’ve also found a few other places to check out over the next month thanks to this website.

Asiatique 01

Asiatique was surprisingly relaxed as far as venues here go.  We had caught the BTS to Saphan Taksin and then taken the free Ferry down the river.  They packed a lot of people on the ferry but it was a good quick trip.

Happy Fish 01

We walked into a Bar called “Happy Fish” to take a break from the heat. There was a live band playing a good selection of old rock songs so we grabbed a comfy table and ordered some more food and drinks.  This is where I found I could buy a whole bottle of Sang Som for 350bht (about AU$14), add a couple of cans of Coke and Ice and it was all brought to the table as Bottle Service. Everytime my glass got close to empty a waiter or waitress would appear and refill my drink, making them stronger with each pour.  I polished off the botle over 90mins and was feeling very relaxed. We then headed out for another walk around before catching a Taxi back to the apartment.

Meeting At the Club House

UFC-198 was on this weekend and I headed out to a Sports Bar named “The Clubhouse” to meet up with some of the FMD (Full Metal Dojo) Guys to watch it.  It’s a good little bar with plenty of TV’s and a western style menu of snacks.  I missed half the fights because I was talking to a couple Americans about travelling and things to do.  One of the guys is a Magician so I’ll be catching up with him again at the Magic Castle in Hollywood next month.  The other guy shared some funny stories about hanging out with Dan Bilzarian. Both very cool and funny guys.

Married for 9 Years Now

Celebrated my 9th Wedding Anniversary this week. While my wife can drive me crazy at times she is still my best friend.  We spent the day doing the things that we have a common interest in… Food & Movies!

AJ and Wynn 9 years on

Had a lovely lunch at Eathai in Central Embassy.  Then returned to Siam Paragon to go and see the new X-Men movie in 4D.  4D was an interesting experience, the seats shake you around during the action scenes, there are air jets in the headrest that blast your face and the have flashing stobe lights around the room.  It was a great way to see a wild action movie but at times all the special extras of the 4D experience become distracting from the movie.  I’ll stick to 2D from now on.

My Tailored Suit Diet Method

It’s no secret that I love eating tasty meals and while travelling there is no shortage of new meals to experience and enjoy.  I hate to miss out on trying something new so that means I have to exercise more to stay in shape.  I’d rather workout to burn off food than miss out on food.  The problem with travelling is that it’s hard to be motivated to train while continually stimulated by new tasty treats around every corner.  I’m not a fan of stepping on the scales, I prefer to let my clothes tell me if I’m getting fat and lazy.

Riches Suits MBK

I needed to get a new suit for some upcoming events and Bangkok is known for it’s tailor made suits. I found this place RICH”ES in MBK. I’ve now been measured and am getting a new suit made to fit me perfectly.  I went in for the final fitting yesterday and everything is looking good except that they need to make more room for my arms.  I took that as a compliment and am happy that my arms haven’t shrunk too much with the recent lack of weight training.  The suit should be a perfect fit for me so this will be my new guideline for my diet and exercise requirements.

Next Up Is ONE FC and FMD MMA

The next two weeks will be a lot of fun as I’m getting involved in the local MMA Scene working at two MMA events. On 27th May is OneFC’s first Thailand event. I’ll be working as Cage Assistant to get my foot in the door. looking forward to meeting the rest of the OneFC Crew and working with Olivier Coste again.

The following weekend will be the Full Metal Dojo MMA Event and Party.  These guys run a show like no other.  They like the crowd to be up close and personal with the action, standing cageside and yelling for your fighter is encouraged here.  It’s held inside the Insanity Niteclub and has a great party atmosphere.  They even have a pool party happening before the show to help ramp up the crowd and get everybody in the right frame of mind 😉 I’ll be working as a Judge on this event and then partying with the crowd afterwards. It’s bound to be a wild night.

There will be plenty of Pics taken at both events so check out the next blog post… MMA in Bangkok