Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bangkok 2014 Day 4: MBK and back to Singapore

Day 4: 6 May 2014 (Tue)

It was our last day here. So fast! We did not plan to go too far, so would be shopping around the area. As the shopping malls will only be opened at 10am and we had to check out at before noon, we found it troublesome to go out and then back again for check out. So after we had taken our breakfast at the hotel, we went back to pack and check out at around 10am and left our luggages there. This way we could go out until around 3pm before returning for our luggages and to the airport.

The Tuk-tuks along the road. Did not take one so a photo shot will do!

The BTS tracks and skywalk at the busy road junction.

We walked over to MBK. We had a very short time here on our first day. So explored the shops here. It was so huge that we ended up spending the rest of the time here and not anywhere.

We spotted these cute and colourful food at the ground floor of MBK. Think it was some kind of food fair. These are called Luk Chup which are made of mung bean paste, coconut cream and set with clear gelatin and then shaped and coloured to look like miniature fruits and vegetables. Bought a packet to sample 40baht (~$1.67). Thought they will be very sweet. Surprisingly, I like them very much and we bought a few more packets to pack back to Singapore. :)

We had our lunch at MBK food hall at 6th floor.

Vegetarian mixed rice 50baht (~$2.09) is available here.

Noodle soup with stewed duck 45baht (~$1.88). I seemed to like braised food alot, compared to the fried and spicy food which I am not used to. Haha!

Mango sticky rice 120baht + 5baht for takeaway(~$5.22). Can't leave Bangkok without eating this!

It was easy to meet Singaporeans in Bangkok. We met 2 who were shopping at MBK and chatted a bit and very coincidentally, they were also taking the same flight back to Singapore by Scoot later. They told us that MBK was also their last stop and they left their luggages at the Bag Deposit at 6th floor. We told them we stayed very near and did not need to use the service. But it is a good information for everyone and you can make MBK as last shopping mall if you want.

We bought more stuffs from Tops market and Boots, a popular pharmacy chain from UK, Returned to our hotel to pick up our luggages and packed the last minute buys. Off to airport at 4pm. The taxi fare was 240baht + 2 toll charges 50baht and 25baht (paid along the way). Total taxi fare was 315baht (~$13.16). Reached at 5pm and taking the flight back at 8pm. Bye Bangkok! Although we did not visit many more places, I am sure I will be back!

WiFi is available at the airport.
Get the password from the counter.

Lists of posts for the trip:

Bangkok 2014: Planning for the trip
Bangkok 2014 Day 1: To the Land of Smiles
Bangkok 2014: Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam
Bangkok 2014 Day 2: BTS and Erawan Shrine
Bangkok 2014 Day 2: Chatuchak Weekend Market
Bangkok 2014 Day 2: Or Tor Kor Market and Asiatique The Riverfront
Bangkok 2014 Day 3: Half-Day Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market Tour
Bangkok 2014 Day 3: Platinum Fashion Mall
Bangkok 2014 Day 4: MBK and back to Singapore

Thanks for joining me on a virtual trip. Thailand is such a wonderful country to visit. Shopping and eating everyday. Despite there was some political unrest. The place was very peaceful as normal. The people were very friendly. Communication was not a problem. Most can speak English. Some of them can speak Chinese and Teochew. We met Singaporeans everywhere. I hope for peace in the country!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bangkok 2014 Day 3: Platinum Fashion Mall

Day 3: 5 May 2014 (Mon)

After the half day tour, we rested in our room and refreshed ourselves before setting off for more shopping at Platinum Fashion Mall. The hotel staff helped us to get a taxi there and cost 50baht (~$2.09).

The big Platinum Fashion Mall specializes in retail and wholesale of fashion clothes and accessories. Generally you get cheaper prices if you buy more. There are 3 zones of shopping for men, women, children clothes, bags, shoes and accessories and local food product shops. It's endless shopping here and some more it's fully air-conditioned and don't have to sweat like at the Chatuchak Market. There's a large Disney gift shop too.

Not too many photos here as we were mostly doing window shopping. Really shopping is not my cup of tea. I don't think we covered many shops and lost stamina. We slowly wandered to the food court at level 6 and had our dinner.

I ordered Pork limb rice at 45baht (~$1.88). Basically stewed pork trotter. The meat was very tender and also lots of fat. But not used to eating so much fat though. Too bad the braised eggs were sold out.

Mum was able to find vegetarian mixed rice here at 50baht (~$2.09).

After dinner, we bought some local food products.
Some famous Thai snacks.

The popular 林真香 products.

After buying, the shops were already beginning to close. It was only 7pm so do come earlier if you need a lot of shopping time. So we left the place and walked along the street outside. Close to 8pm we were ready to be back and tried to call a taxi. There was a problem. There were plenty of taxis around BUT all of them refused to go by meter and were overcharging us. We paid only 50baht on the way here and the return trip was 100baht. Tried a few taxis and all of them charged the same price. No use waiting, so we had to accept it.

Next: MBK and back to Singapore

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bangkok 2014 Day 3: Half-Day Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market Tour

Some free time during CNY so better finish up all the posts for Bangkok.

Day 3: 5 May 2014 (Mon)

I booked the Half-Day Damnoen Saduak Floating Market & Maeklong Railway Market Tour from Deal.com.sg at $26 per person. I would say it is really value for money for the great experience. As the 2 places are some distance away from the city, it saves us the hassle of looking and taking public transport there. The deal is still going on occasionally. So you can keep a lookout if you are interested in going.

This is the description of the deal.

Before the trip, I emailed and confirmed with them about my date of travel and place of accommodation. We were told to wait at the hotel lobby at 7am for their transport. We had early breakfast at the hotel and the transport came at 7am sharp. It was a minivan and there were 8 of us, including 2 other groups of 2 and 4 people picked up from other hotels.

Maeklong Railway Market Tour

Our first destination was the Maeklong Railway Market. The traffic was very smooth and we reached there in an hour's time at around 8.10am.

The minivan dropped us at one end of the Maeklong Railway station.

The scheduled timings of the train. Be sure to check and arrange your coming time so as not to miss the train passing by the market. That's the main reason we were here! We were told that the train will arrive at 9.45am so we had more than an hour to walk around the place here. Not bad as it was not a rushed trip.

Walked to the other end of the train station, and there it is - the Maeklong Railway Market. So what's interesting about this railway market? It looks like an ordinary local market, very busy and many locals and tourists around.

There was only 1 narrow path through the market covered by low-hanging awnings.

Scenes of the busy market in the morning

If you have not realized, we were actually walking on the train track. Yes! That's what is special about the market and why the market attracts so many tourists to come here for the experience of being so close to a passing train and capture the photo moments.

After walking through the market, we met our driver and he told us the train would be late and reach around 10.10am. We rested a while and looked for the best place to take photo of the coming train (which was very difficult as there were too many people like us, haha!).

The action came few minutes before the train comes. You will see the stall owners starting to move their goods away from the tracks. Some of them actually don't care and leave them as it is. When the train is very near, they will pull the awnings/umbrella to the back.

There comes the siren and the train is approaching slowly.

It was a very amazing moment. Just for several seconds, the moving train was just a centimeters away from us. Running through the tracks where the vegetables and fruits were all placed very near and seemed as though the train was running over it! And the best part is, as soon as the train had passed, the stall owners released the awnings back again and continued the business as usual in a matter of seconds. Of course! The train passes by several times a day and they have already been so used to it. They must be 'laughing at' tourists like us haha!

That's why this market has a nickname in Thai called Talad Rom Hoop, meaning Umbrella Pulldown Market or Folding Umbrella Market.

A quick video of the train passing by.

The train stopped at the train station. We went back and many people were taking photos with the train.

I went up the train for a quick shot.

We were a bit behind schedule due to the late train. Quickly went back to the minivan waiting for us for the next destination.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The Damnoen Saduak floating market, one of the most popular floating markets and a major tourist attraction. We took about half an hour from Maeklong and reached at a late time of 11am.

The driver brought us to the boat immediately. The boat just nice to seat in 8 of us.

The leisure boat trip brought us along the river. There were vendors selling goods and souvenirs from their boats. Some cooked and served food from the boats but we didn't try any as we didn't want to take up too much time of the people we shared boat with. The boat trip was actually quite boring as we saw mostly souvenirs and nothing special. Maybe either we were a bit late as the busy morning already ended or the place has already turned too touristic. The sun was scorching hot too at this time. Nevertheless it was my first time visiting a floating market so still an interesting experience.

A short clip of our boat ride.

It took about 30 minutes and we were back to where we boarded. There were some food and souvenir stalls. Nothing special and all of us requested the driver to bring us back before the intended time at 12pm. Took more than an hour back. There was a bit of traffic jam at the city, we returned to hotel at about 1.20pm .

Next: Platinum Fashion Mall

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

羊年吉祥(三)Hup Tou Sou Cookies 没有核桃的核桃酥

Third CNY cookies. Hup Tou Sou Cookies (Walnut cookies without walnuts) 没有核桃的核桃酥. The name so strange right? People say the traditional Hup Tou Sou has no walnuts. I have never tasted before. Since I have peanut oil and alkaline water leftover from mooncake making. I'm giving it a try.

Into the oven now.

Freshly baked.

Though the ingredients are so simple, just flour, sugar, a bit of butter, no eggs, the cookies surprisingly taste so good! Crunchy, fragrant, sweet and a bit salty. The key ingredients should be the peanut oil and alkaline water which give the cookies a special taste.

I have some problem with the amount of peanut oil from the original recipe. Maybe because I always prefer to weigh liquid ingredients in grams instead of ml, which may not be the same - 150ml may not be equivalent to 150g. So I added the peanut oil slowly until a dough is formed. I used only 100g peanut oil in the end.

Hup Tou Sou Cookies 没有核桃的核桃酥

Ingredients (I make 56 pieces, of sizes from 8-10g)

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g sugar (can be reduced further for me)
1/2 tsp fine salt

20g salted butter
100g peanut oil or cooking oil (original is 150ml)
1/2 tsp alkaline water 碱水


1. Add all dry ingredients except butter, peanut oil and alkaline water in a mixing bowl. Rub butter with flour mixture till crumble. Slowly add in peanut oil and alkaline water and mix together till a soft dough is formed. Initially the dough is very wet, after few good knead and it will become a smooth dough.

2. Weigh dough into 8-10g each and roll into small balls (initially I used 10g and then reduced to 8g because I prefer smaller size), and place on a baking tray.

3. Use a suitable bottle cap to press on the centre of each cookie to create a round pattern. (I use finger)

4. Brush with egg wash (egg yolk) and bake at 170 deg C for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Recipe adapted from: Nasi Lemak Lover

Done with 3 types of cookies this year. Wanted to try more recipes but not much time and we already have too much goodies at home. So shall end the baking here. Not a lot compared to others but we love all these 3 that I have made.

I wish everyone a prosperous Goat Year!
May all be safe and healthy!!