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Showing posts with label Thailand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thailand. Show all posts

17 May 2013

Thai Memories Reloaded

I was cleaning up my hard disk, taking out the unwanted files and making some space for the next creations. Then the Thai trip photo folder came up. Spent some time going through the days once again. 

It was a wonderful one, with lot of experience and learnings as a traveler. Thought of sharing some pics from the collection.

Started of with a wonderful meal on-board Thai Airways. Must say that, their service was excellent.
Thai is full of color. Be it their makeup, houses, malls, mobiles to vehicles...

Tweeting and making use of the GPRS offer

Can never forget this beach side BBQ dinner we had on a night walk. Delicious it was...

Night is always young in Thailand. See the illuminated street behind. I believe, it was 1 in the morning.

Seafood is the king of Thai streets. I have no idea what an all I tried on the street walks. My stomach withstood all those trials

This is at the Nong Nooch garden. The place was so colorful with highly creative object. Enjoyed the time spent there.

I mentioned about the significance of color in Thai. This is one example :)

Thai really gave us the feeling that we are on the top of the world. 

Moment of rest in between a heavy walk

Shot at Gem Gallery Thailand. I asked for a click and they were posing with smiles

Colorful Tuk-Tuk outside Wat Po temple

Golden color almost everywhere gave rich look to the whole place

This fountain has significance related to Buddha

This place was full of bonsais...Lovely view

Our partners in crime, whom we met on the trip, posing with the golden Buddha statues. We were together during the whole trip.

Tired of clicking the food part.

This iconic building stands tall near to the Indira Market and was out land mark for moving around.

Was in diet for almost all the time during the trip :)

Safari World - Fantastic place to spend a couple of days.

The number of people visiting the place on a day were on thousands. We were literally running to catch up the subsequent shows in the park. Didn't want to miss even a single one. 

Enjoying each and everything in the place.

Initially I thought there are only black rocks all around the place, until I realized they were the crocos.

Huge billboards on Kings birthday celebrations. So royal it looked.

I just went out for a walk at around 12 in the morning and came back with the above collection and enjoyed it with a movie. Slept by 2 in the morning and woke up by 6. Never ever did in my life before :)

Exploring the Thai Metro route for a quick ride.

Strangers at the Thai Metro station on the way to Chit Lom

Unlike the Bangalore Metro, they had credit card sized cards as the ticket.

Malls were decorated to the best. And Ani spotted here favorite chocolate on the way

Streets and people were getting into the Christmas mood, So was I :) Spirit of the season

Did not care the people around, did what ever crazy things we wanted to do.

Where is the Santa. Who cares, lets click one pic before he comes.

Colorful memories of gigantic size

Magic of the ocean. Did not expect that magnificent view inside.

Waiting for the turn to get excited....

With the ticket of excitement for an ocean exploration

Got the card. Now swipe & explore

Christmas Christmas....

We call this cake? There should be a much more beautiful name for this...

No more search. We found him

Who told that I am scared of sharks??????

One of the top 5 biggest malls in Asia

12 December 2012

Thailand Cuisine: When Stomach Calls

The First Taste:
The first Thai food taste gripped on my taste buds when we were on-board of Thai Airways. I instantly got the secret behind the taste. Being from Kerala, my taste buds are in line with spicy and highly masala flavored dishes. And Thai cuisine is all about sour, sweet, salty, and bitter. Spice got no role over there. But yes you can get it on request. I did not have any problems with that but my wife did.

Who likes the non-spicy food?
 I have seen my directors from US / Europe, when they are in India for business visits, very much concerned about the spicy food. By mistake if they have it; end of their taste buds and their face will change its color. They can't stand that pain. And so they will love the Thai food. Perfect blend for them. I think the whole Thai cuisine evolved to entertain the visitors from those countries, who are the major tourist out there. No wonder when heard that the number of Thai restaurants went up from four in 1970s London to between two and three hundred in less than 25 years. And Thai cuisines has the top ranks in the World's 50 most delicious foods, compiled by CNN.

Rice matters:
As far as I am concerned about the food, rice is a kind of 'must' part for me. I love Kerala "Bullet Rice" and ready to travel any distance for it (My North Indian friends can't even swallow it). And rice got a place in Thai cuisine, while it can be surrounded by the varieties. Soups got a prominent place in the menu too

Usually eats with fork & spoon, you will get chopsticks almost everywhere. I even tried using it, but failed terribly. 

Sauce & Pastes:
On the second day at Pattaya, when looking around for a spicy sauce, I came across a variety. When asked the chef, he told its Fish Sauce, a very aromatic and strong tasting fish sauce. Took a couple of spoons and went well with mashed potato and beans.

When Ani was looking out for something spicy, I discovered the paste variety nearby. The Thai Chilli pastes. And saw two types of it - Thick and watery. The thick one will goes well with the marinated salads.

When we started to have the soup, it didn't have the spice in it and I helped Ani by pouring the entire paste in to her soup and must say that: "She blasted me". When I tasted the soup up on her blasting request, I realized the mistake. It almost burned my stomach line.

Kerala Style Prawns Chammanthi (Paste):
Saw one paste made with dried prawns. It almost tasted like the one which my mother makes. And must say it was fantastic with the rice.

There was a Chinese family next to us in the restaurant and I was watching their chop stick skills. Wow, that was wonderful. Like Ani, they too did not like the Thai cuisine I believe. They had a couple of boxes with packed side dish. No idea whats the reason, but they were using a lot of soy sauce. 

The sweet encounter:
I have mentioned about a sticky rice dish in this post. Sticky rice is a unique variety of rice that contains an unusual balance of the starches present in all rice, causing it to cook up to a sticky texture. Might be the cooking style made it looks transparent. Mango as a side dish, it was sooooo good with thick coconut milk. While we were having the buffet dinner at a famous grill on the Pattaya beach, I came across this dish for the first time. They've kept it 

On the first day, Ani decided to try the Thai noodles and it wasn't of the kind that's usually seen in south India  It was so thin, like white hair. Ani loved the dish, with squid.

You can get the varieties of it.Stir-Fried Rice Noodles (Phad Thai), Fried Rice Noodles Topped With Thick Sauce (Raad Naa), Noodles With Meat Or Fish Stock, Pork Or Beef Noodles (Gu-Tiaw Rua), Noodle Soup With Fermented Red Soy Beans & the list goes on & on...

No Durians?
When we were in Bangkok, in our hotel, we noticed a strange warning. Durians not allowed. It looked like a fruit, but had no idea why they did not allow it.

It looks like jack fruit tree. But cut open it is completely different. The unusual flavor and odor of the fruit have prompted many people to express diverse and passionate views ranging from deep appreciation to intense disgust. 

So I got to know the answer I was looking for. The smell of the fruit is so intense and it will remain in the air for a long time. So think about the areas that are air conditioned. It will be a real disgust for people. 

Poor fruit. But I saw great lovers of it buying tons of it on their truck. It was also  strange at that moment to know that Thailand each year holds the World Durian Festival in early May.

Fried Insect Stalls?ehh:
The most afraid part did not happen and I am so happy for that. The Fried Insects stalls. While watching it on Youtube, I almost puked a couple of times. And so I did not even try to raise that as a question.

Here comes my favorite dish. Tom Yam Goong.

That's a dish name. But before that, it represented me the martial arts hero: Tony Jaa. Even there's a movie with that name. But there is also a dish in that name there :) While researching before the trip, I thought it will be available in some ultra star hotels. But I could see that in a sea food hotel near to the hotel we stayed in Pattaya. The main taste maker was a giant shrimp. Delicious.

The journey in a nutshell:
I tried almost 30-35 varieties. And Ani tried her level best to control my food run. 

Here is the thump rule. Do not have that mindset that you will be getting the best dishes in the 5 star hotel. Yes, that's right. At the same time you can also get the same in the long chain sea food hotels all through the streets.

The street wonders:
I must say, it was a kind of food festival for me. There was a street near to the Bangkok Palace Hotel, which is the way to the Indira Market and various other shopping streets. Around a kilometer and I couldn't resist the delicacies around. If you are eager about the names of the dishes; then have a notebook with you. 90% of the time, you will not get what they tell you and even if you understand the name will be of a mile long. I forgot most of the names.

Ask & You Will Recieve:
If you want to make sure what you eat, then have your queries short: Pork? Fish? Chicken? Beef? either they will say yes or will echo the same word in a completely different name. In a couple of places me and the shopkeeper had a disagreement on the same name: Chicken.

If you are worried about the ambiance part, not liking the crowded area, then try the shopping malls. Siam Paragon or Central World. The only concern is the time you might take to go through the menu. It will take hours and even if you are in success in it: you will be confused. Because food is the only thing in this world which a human being deny once he is full.

You have to take the food court coupon for purchasing. So make your items ready and sum it up to take the food coupon and enjoy the creativity.

Our guide was sweet enough to provide us several thai special fruits on commute. Thank you Kitty :)

Obsessed with Indian food?
People who are very specific about Indian food in Thailand: do not worry, you got a lot of Indian restaurants there. For pure veg people: Jain food will be the best option and a safe bet.

I was not at all bound to Indian food and so I could enjoy the Thai cuisines. Food was Indian, but the price was international. For a Sivasagar masaladosa, the cost was around INR 260. But there was no option for the India food lovers.

Bubble Tea or Boba tea:
The shopkeeper spelled something similar : Oh what was that. I instantly fell in love with it. I had milk flavored bubble tea while Ani tried fruit flavored one. In Thai climate it was the best drink I had. And the black balls inside it was Tapioca Balls or they call it pearls.

Pressure on your wallet:
If you ask about the cost: it varies from 5 Baht to infinity. Seafood starts from 300 Bahts or INR 600 & up.

So if you are heading Thailand; get ready to celebrate with your taste buds.

08 December 2012

The Grass Root Shots

These pictures are taken at Mini Siam. Was just trying, on the floor shot for these two buildings and I believe it has turned out to be good.

Mini Siam had been started to research the project in 1985, and had been constructed in 1986 with more 29 Rais which separated to be Mini Siam, and Mini Europe. For the rest area, there are the Booking Halls, the Souvenir Shops for lease, and the Parking Lots. The Democracy Monument in Bangkok was the first model to build.

We came to know about this place bit late. But didn't want to miss this for any reason. We immediately rented a tuk-tuk and headed towards the place and enjoyed the evening, gazing at the wonders of this place.

The Night Ride

I am a person who enjoys the feelings around a particular situation. There is something of that sort which makes our life either happy / sad. Leave the sad part and fill the life with joy, is what I follow.

Being on a foreign land, is always a different feeling. You don't know the streets, the people or how to travel.
Even they will feel like you are an alien in their land :)

I've heard about tuk-tuk from the first day we planned for the Thailand trip. Added that to the list as one of the things to try.

We hired a tuk-tuk from the Pattya beach after a delicious grill buffet. And only we four in it (another couple from Hyderabad whom we met at Thailand) and we had all the freedom to shout and whistle with joy.

Ani was looking around the lively places, which were filled with tourist, even at that time.

But what I did is to go to the back side of the tuk-tuk and stood on a small platform, which was bit extended outside.  If you do that in Bangalore, you will get a fine notice for sure :)

There's a similar journey I want to try - Travel a long distance in the last compartment of the train. The last compartment means, where the person with a white uniform stands and juggle with the red / green flag. Right there :)

I must say that feeling was fantastic :) Wanted to have another ride in it, through that lively street :)