Monday, September 15, 2014

Mom's 60th Birthday 2014!

For those who still couldn't believe it, my mom has indeed reached the diamond landmark of 60 years old (oops, am i even allow to divulge her age?). 

In line with my family's low profile spirit (ya, right), we decided to keep the celebration simple and choose to have the birthday cake right at home after a fulfilling lobster porridge meal in Orchid Live Seafood.

Long time readers / followers should have realised by now that it was once again a delicious strawberry cake from Pâtisserie Glacé! The Japanese owner should consider opening a bakery cafe so that i can chill out while digging into a slice of their soft yet creamy cake! 

Let the singing began! Is there a Tamil language birthday song? The two kids would have perfected all four local languages for birthday songs if there's one! 

Jovyn had positioned herself correctly this time; this time round, she shall be the winner for the candle blowing session. Wait, shouldn't it be the birthday girl who has the greatest honour to do that!? 

Even the birthday cake had to be cut by three parties!!! hahaha. Oh well, as i mentioned before, it's because of the two hyperactive monsters that my family makes it a point to prepare a cake for every family member on their birthday. Before them, i don't even see the need to celebrate my birth!

No matter what, happy birthday my dearest mom! You are not likely to hear me say i love you but deep in my heart, you know i always do. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Asiatique The Riverfront - A Modern Night Market @ Bangkok [Thailand]

I might have been to the Land of Smiles countless times but it has been a few years since i last visited and with that in mind, i thought of making full use of the three short days in Bangkok by visiting some new places; one of which was Asiatique The Riverfront!

Getting there by public transport wasn't a pain in the ass; take the BTS to Saphan Taksin station and follow the crowd by walking towards the river. Look out for the sign to Asiatique Shuttle Boat and be prepared for a long queue for this free shuttle service! 

Located south of Bangkok, you may choose to take a cab although i would prefer to beat the notorious traffic jams and save the money for my return journey back to the hotel instead.

After that unfortunate ferry incident in South Korea, i am wondering if we are facing the same issue with ferries in Bangkok. So many people were standing and it felt more like a packed bus travelling on water!

The boat docked safely at Asiatique in around twelve minutes! Phew! Pity i didn't manage to be seated or else i could have taken a better picture of the purpose built night market from a far-off angle. Hm... Maybe not.

A picture of the shuttle boat for your reference. 

Open from 5pm till midnight daily, Asiatique The Riverfront was one of the few replacements for Suan Lum Night Market which closed down a couple of years ago even though i thought it was way more modern with trendy boutiques, fanciful restaurants etc! 

To a certain extent, i felt it was more like Clark Quay, albeit a much bigger one! 

Banking on the location's historical heritage as a trading post, the buildings were refurbished to reflect the architecture from 1907-1947. A number of warehouses were also converted into retail and dining spaces; you may even find live Muay Thai and a cabaret show

I was more keen in the 60-meter high ferris wheel (known as Asiatique Sky) and the shopping as i didn't have sufficient time for anything else (we arrived at around 8pm)! 

Talking about shopping, it wasn't the same as in Platinum Shopping Mall (where there is a wholesale price if you buy more than three pieces) or Chatuchak Weekend Market.

Both aforementioned shopping destinations popular with Singaporeans would close by around 7pm and what are you going to do when the night is still young and you are beyond the clubbing age?! Actually, i don't mind having a few hours of massage at night.

However, shopping fanatics would still be able to pick up some good deals at Asiatique although it would be worth noting that rentals at this elaborate lifestyle hub would not likely be as cheap as other areas. 

My friend managed to get a fake yet supposedly good quality Rolex watch for only S$80 after slashing S$120 off the quoted price! Alex was looking upon him like a discount god after this incident. 

I am totally not into paying for fake branded products; for me, i have gone past the phase of hard bargaining and prefer to relax in the comfortable environment. If only i have time to bum out in a nice cafe. 

Decided to check out Asiatique Sky while the rest were busy choosing another Rolex watch. Shining like a beacon of fun in the dark sky, i contemplated on forking out the 250 baht ticket for a short ride up! 

It started pouring!!! :(

I took refuge in the retail shops right opposite the landmark wheel and chanced upon quite a few unique shops; one sold his wares under the "Mr Moustache" label and another (above) offers products with cat images for sale. 

Befitting its past image as trading post, there were sculptures related to the trading industry like this gigantic cog in the middle of the walkway. 

With the rain continuing to be a hindrance, we opted to call it a day. I would have loved to stay longer for more photo taking but i was really exhausted!! So, let make another trip to Asiatique a possibility! 

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Location
2194 Charoenkrung Rd, 
WatPrayakai, Bangkoleam, 
Bangkok, Thailand

Website 

Map
As above. 

Additional Information
I had my dinner at Kamlangsib Fried Chicken Rice. 
Click here for my review!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kamlangsib Fried Chicken Rice @ Asiatique The Riverfront [Bangkok, Thailand]

With all the food scares nowadays, it's unnerving to have a chicken rice stall proudly proclaiming that it is more than just chicken rice! It also didn't help with a name that sounds like a profanity in the hokkien dialect. 

The truth is less complicated; what the food establishment at Asiatique (a waterfront mall in Thailand) meant was that it served other stuff beside chicken rice (for example, tom yum kung).

I am still more interested in chicken though and ordered the fried chicken set at 109 Baht (which included soup, vegetables and two slices of watermelon. 

Rice was aromatic (wasn't oily too) but the flavour slowly tapered off as we chewed further. The chopped up fried chicken tasted juicy with a crispy crust although the seasoning was pretty light; resulting in a piece of chicken that didn't leave much impression, sadly. 

Add the Thai chilli sweet sauce; it did enhance the palatability of the fried chicken.

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Location
Warehouse Six, T11,
Asiatique The Riverfront, Bangkok

Price
Fried Chicken Set - 109 Baht

Menu (Limited)
As above.

Additional Information
Go for the chrysanthemum tea at only 25 Baht; a refreshing drink to have after a hot day of walking all over Bangkok! Note: it can be a bit sweet for some of you. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

P2 Boutique Hotel - 10-Minute Walk from Platinum Shopping Mall @ Bangkok [Thailand]

I am still contemplating if i should post the itinerary for my recent Bangkok trip but i guess it shouldn't hinder me from starting on some "detailed" postings like accommodation! 

P2 Boutique Hotel may sound familiar to some of you, especially those who are attracted by the many travel deals to Bangkok offered by Groupon and deal.com.sg; it was usually listed as one of two hotels included as part of the travel package.

Now, i am skeptical when the deal was packaged so cheaply with airfare, airport shuttle and accommodation thrown in and the first question on my mind was the hotel's proximity to the city. For all you know, it could be a 20 to 30-minute DRIVE

More on that later - let's talk about the initial impression. I wasn't expecting such a reception area for a supposed 3-star accommodation! The counter staff sounded friendly enough though and to be honest, i am more concerned with the room. 

Laid with parquet flooring, i have no complaint about this superior room which was relatively clean. However, the "stylish" element in a boutique hotel seemed to be missing and the furnishing did appear a bit dated.

Oh well, i don't really mind that much so long the rates are affordable, the place is tidy with air-conditioning and the bed sheet is clean. And a television with more English channels please (for this, P2 needs to improve on)! 

Although we were assigned the top floor, please manage your expectations for the view beyond the drawn curtains; i was unlucky as my side faced a rooftop carpark! My friend's room overlooked another building right opposite; again, nothing spectacular.

The usual; after the amazing stay at CityInn hotel at Taipei, i think it would be a great idea for hotels to include free snacks in every room! Come on, it would not cost that much, at least not in Thailand! 

Free wifi was available and for those who bring along their laptops, you may use the LAN cable. The network at P2 was comparatively better without the delays / lags i often faced in other hotels. 

Bathroom was clean (no bathtub). I faced a similar issue with one reviewer on agoda.com; the shower-head was permanently veered to one side, resulting in the water spraying to the toilet bowl area and soaking the floor mat! 

Corridor was bright without the eeriness found in some hotels. This would be helpful for those who have the same fear as me when it comes to overseas stay.

Breakfast the next morning was at the restaurant on the ground level. Frankly, i have given up on complimentary breakfast (for hotel stays) in Thailand; spare your stomach and eat out instead if you have the choice. 

I was eating my own words that day as the breakfast in P2 was quite good! By the way, I don't mean the eggs and toast as they are the standard everywhere.

The stir-fried tang hoon was nicely flavoured while the broccolis were cooked perfectly without being overly salty! Even the fried rice was a lot more palatable; put it this way, i had second helpings! 

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Location
1091/213-216 Soi Petchaburi 33, New Petchaburi Road, 
Makkasan, Rachathavee Bangkok, 10400 Thailand

Map
As above (a 10-minute WALK to Singaporeans' favourite Platinum Shopping Mall and a direct road down to Chit Lom BTS; fortunately, the hotel wasn't in some far-fetched location)!

Website

Pricing
I didn't pay although i understand it was lower than S$40 a night via Agoda.com. Truthfully, how to "hiam" for that price?

Additional Information
A massage salon is situated within the hotel; do keep in mind that operating hours are till 10pm daily.

Airport transfer and tour packages can also be arranged (at a price). Maybe i should catch those lady boys or tiger shows the next time i visit! 

Print the above if you are staying in P2 Boutique Hotel; it would give the taxi driver a better understanding of its actual location! 

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