Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chatuchak Weekend Market in 2014 (aka Jatujak Market) @ Bangkok [Thailand]

Close to four years have lapsed since my last visit to Thailand's largest market and i figured there would be a lot of new things for me to see in my recent vacation! Four years might be a short span for some but in the dynamic retail industry, things never really slow down.

After that last shopping episode with Alex in Taiwan, i am so worried he would be extending the same type of shopaholic attitude in Bangkok by buying 40 pairs of socks! 

Guess he was too tired that day. In addition, we only had about three hours to shop before dashing back to the hotel to check out. Anyway, those adventurous enough to try street food in Thailand can consider buying the fruits, especially the pineapples. Don't blame me if you get the runs! 

At this time, we were still along the street from Mo Chit BTS to Chatuchak Weekend Market. I personally felt that the vendors seemed to be really "sensitive" when you want to snap a shot; this contrasts with Taiwan where retailers welcome you to take pictures.

Knitted toys for sale. These photographs were secretly taken! I am not really looking forward to my Korea trip; the ahjummas there are said to be downright rude and incredibly loud! Darn, i am missing Taiwan already. 

T-shirts with cute images of dogs! I had the intention to purchase a few pieces for friends but chickened out after a while; what if they dislike the design, what if the size is wrong? It would be a waste of money if they don't / can't wear it! 

Stepping into Chatuchak proper via a small gate. 

Classic wooden signage; sometimes i hate to take so many photographs. Many a time when i run through the photographs, i would kick myself in the ass for not buying an item / items that appeared in it! 

We started very early and reached the market at around 9 am! Since the official operating hour starts from 10 am, not all stalls had pulled up their shutters and open for business! 

Stacks and stacks of towels! 

Wrappers for all occasions! There are generally two types of items i hate to bring back from overseas; paper products and breakable stuff (i could fondly remember that time when i had to haul back a good-sized piggy bank from Bangkok a few years ago). 

Who can forget the clothing retailers in Chatuchak!? There were usually quite a number of budding designers and you might be able to find nice, unique wear in a few of them. Do check for the quality!

An artist pondering about his concept. From far, it does look like scribbling yet when you look closer, he was drawing out the silhouettes of passersby.

Looks like something i would put on the lawn for a wedding! Do you know Singapore house-owners would purposely travel to Bangkok, purchase their furniture and then export it to the little red dot? Design was said to be better at a much lower price. 

Coconut ice cream in Chatuchak! As it was only about 9.15 am, i decided to leave this for a later timing when the weather would be much hotter! 

Fake flowers - dad loves to buy them although i find them to be very diligent dust collectors! My new house, if i get one next year, shall have the minimalist style! If there are flowers, they would be fresh (and likely wilting)! 

This "main" road of Chatuchak has shops lining on both sides and often features a lot of activities; be it clearance sale, performances by street buskers, brands booths and even sales of live animals like puppies / rabbits towards the end of the day! 

A crying dog; likely the result of a manufacturing defect.

I commented to quite a number of friends that clothes (at least for men) seemed to be a lot cheaper compared to a few years ago. Most shirts cost slightly a bit more than S$10 and in this instance, two for less than S$17! 

Another item i regretted not buying; hats and / or caps!!!! My recent hair style required additional styling which i am seriously not interested in doing when i am already facing lack of sleep! 

A landmark of Chatuchak; the clock tower is often the meeting point for friends given its visibility from most sections of the market as it is located right in the middle. 

The clock was spoiled though when i was there! Nevertheless, it could be a big headache to navigate the market in big groups; my suggestion would be to break up and then meet at the clock tower at a specific time (Bangkok or Singapore time, i leave it to your group). 

Hanging owls; reminded me of the time when i was in Sun Moon Lake at Taiwan where there was an owl workshop that retails products with images of owl. 

Toddler in a makeshift playpen while the dad worked. Given the heat, the boy was really cranky and poor dad had to try his best to pacify him! Haha.

Leather products - for those who have yet been to Chatuchak, the market is divided into a number of general sections and although not strictly adhered to, there is still some level of conformity in the products that are being sold. 

For example, stalls selling jean usually congregated at one section. The same goes for leather products; there would just be a higher incidence of spotting them at one section.

Maybe i was too early; i recollected encountering quite a number of human jams when i was there a few years ago. Hm... is Chatuchak slowing losing its charm?

This would be one stall that Walt Disney Inc would love to sue for copyright infringement! 

Time for my coconut ice cream! They were as yummy as i remember! This would be one thing you must have at Chatuchak weekend market; i like mine with corns and peanuts!

Friends visiting Bangkok nowadays always buy this brand of peanuts back to Singapore! Like Tao Kae Noi seaweed, Koh-Kae peanuts come in a number of flavours popular with the masses.

'Main' road again. 

The activities have yet to start as vehicles continued to stream it! Do look out for vehicles; the drivers are usually quite safe but pedestrians often assume the road is off limit for vehicles. 

Couple t-shirts!

Additional random pictures of clothing retailers along the main road. 

I think i have bought a similar tee shirt with an elephant design for Jerald when he was younger! Doubt he can fit into it now; oh well, Jovyn could always have the hand-me-down. 

My friend was stuck in this 100-Baht shop! At less than S$4 a piece, even my mom would pop by to take a better look! 

Who in the right mind would pay money for this outrageous bag featuring a feathery eye design?!!?! Likely a person who would be going for a costume party or a performer for a getai! 

Having mentioned the above, i might just go for this yellow sleeveless tee. Quite cute mah although well beyond the suitability of my age. 

The famous duck drumstick noodle at Chatuchak! I had when i first travelled to Bangkok and could not remember much except for the flavourful broth.

I am not sure how this would gel with a house ID; they were rather carnival like yet with elements of religion (maybe Thai, maybe Tibetan)! Anyway, my usual nonsensical rant just to fill up the description for each photo. 

The tees here had really special designs and were also priced a bit higher than those conventional ones found in MBK! I have had a bad experience with tees in Bangkok; cheap ones tend to shrink the length and expand the width!!!

Notice the army bag that the man had on his back? Isn't that the bag from Singapore Army!? Frankly, you can spot a Singaporean quite easily; our dress sense and of course our Singlish.

I was famished and was craving for the paella by this Caucasian gentleman!! But i had to leave because we only had half an hour to get back to the hotel and as all of us know, traffic in Bangkok can be atrocious!! 

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Location
Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, 
Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand

Map of Jatujak Weekend Market
As above. Please click and save as a picture in your hard drive for the higher resolution.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

PappaRich & his Super Rich Combo Nasi Lemak @ Star Vista [Singapore]

With such an "atas" sounding name, i should be forgiven for assuming this restaurant served only Western food at astronomical pricing! If you have been to any of its six outlets in Singapore, you would have known by now PappaRich offers Malaysian cuisine! 

Darn, that's honestly embarrassing! 

Anyway, i would not have stepped in if not for a group of colleagues who decided on it as a dinner venue for unknown reasons. I think it could possibly be its remote location at a corner of Star Vista.

Order taking via an order form; i prefer the old ordering method where an order taker would come to your table and you could even solicit recommendation (which i admit, might not even turn out good)! However, the shortcoming of taking up too much time in an industry with a manpower shortage has made it extremely crucial for dining establishments to use the order list instead.

Super Rich Combo Nasi Lemak
First thing - attack the crispy papadum before it gets soft! Nasi lemak sellers should consider adding this Indian snack as a staple to the Malay dish for that alternative texture just like nasi briyani!

At first glance, the image was definitely one of richness (for ingredients of course) and i could count a chicken drumstick, braised beef, squid, curry potatoes and basmati rice! Beef was tough and i thought mutton would have been a better substitute while the squid would have benefit from a better marination. 

The rice, despite its intense star anise essence and peppered with raisins, was in a sorry state of dryness! Rescue came in the form of the three types of curry / spicy sauces! 

In the competitive realm of nasi lemak, the chilli sauce makes / breaks it and even though this (including the juicy chicken drumstick which came with a thin crispy skin) was quite good, it was still not comparable to Mdm Kwan's and Grandma's signature nasi lemak

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Location
1 Vista Exchange Green, 
#01-43, The Star Vista, 
(Next to Buona Vista MRT Station)

Website

Pricing
Super Rich Combo - S$16.90
[Subject to GST and Service Charge]

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