Eating at Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu, Bangkok

I’ll be frank. I thought if I was going to get food poisoning anywhere, it would have been at Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu. We came off hour for a late lunch, so only one or two other local people were dining. It was quiet and very…rustic.

Located not far from the famous Khao San Road on a busy street of its own, filled with cheap shopping goods there was no sign with the name of the stall, but the GPS location was spot on and it located on the corner right next to a parking garage. Sitting under the umbrellas we cooled down from running around the busy city.

Look around and everyone will have the same thing, the namesake item – tom yum goong.

The soup is mildly spicy and it didn’t look pretty. It was thick and gritty, but man did it taste good! Strange to me vegetables, a rich broth, and those prawns. The prawns were some of the most delicious morsels I ate on my journey through Thailand – worth the trepidation of eating at this kind of establishment. I had never sucked the juice out of a prawn head before, so you may notice a mere second of hesitation.

It tasted like a rich egg yolk slurry, I could have eaten a dozen of these. I made the bad choice of splitting a bowl of this, would have loved my own. Make sure to order a side of rice to help slop up your broth. I never did have any issues from eating here (or anywhere in Thailand for that matter), if though it looked a bit more risqué than other food vendors. Worth it for this incredible soup.

Quick Tips:

+Address: Soi Kraisi, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

+Open 9:00-6:30 pm daily

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My favorite meal in Bangkok: Nhong Rim Klong

Food in Bangkok is so incredible, it is with the greatest honor that I dub Nhong Rim Klong as my favorite meal in the city. It isn’t in the main hub of Bangkok, but worth making the trek out. It was perfect after visiting the Airplane Graveyard, also way out there in the farther reaches of the city – but to get from one to the other it is a nice local ferry ride on the Khlong. The market has a GPS listing on GoogleMaps, as we reached our destination there was no sign out front shepparding me in. I imagined something bigger and was looking around clearly confused. Thankfully, one of market workers approached me to point me in the right direction, how did I miss it?

That Bangkok heat. Just a covered kitchen and few tables next to the canal. We got there before the lunch rush, but tables would fill up with locals over the course of our meal along with plenty of to go orders. I was surprised we were handed a menu with English names which made things all the easier.

Food came out quickly enough, but sipping on a thai iced tea was perfect while waiting and cooling down from the morning adventures.

Cabbage fried with fish sauce and crab meat was the meal that I’ll never forget. Generous chunks of fresh crab meat tenderly cooked with simple yet, exquisite rich and buttery flavor.

On a bed of crisp cabbage with egg and onion – the texture contrast was right on. To accompany this righteous dish, a spicy seafood soup tom yum – emphasis on spicy.

Something inside made my entire mouth tingly numb! There were plenty of juicy perfect shrimp inside and obviously chock full of vegetables. The broth was excellent to splash over a side of rice. Lastly, because we ordered way too much food here – was the stir fried spicy chili sauce with crab and vegetable.

This is definitely your place to get a crab fix, they know just what to do with it and do not skimp. The veggies are eclectic this meal was certainly another spicy one.

Quick Tips:

+Address: Ekkamai Soi 21, Khlong Tan Nuea, Kate Wathana, Bangkok, Thailand

+Hours: 8:30-4:00PM, Monday through Saturday

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Shopping in Bangkok: Flower Market

Bangkok is a consumer’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for a thrifty bargain in the heat of an outdoor market, or high end items at a posh air-conditioned mall, leave room in your suitcase.

Surprisingly, I really couldn’t smell a strong fragrance emanating from Pak Khlong Talat, Bangkok’s 24/7 Flower Market.

Even a market full of fresh flowers can’t combat air pollution in Bangkok. That didn’t mean it wasn’t an escape in its own right.

Color everywhere, rows and rows of blossom.

Plumerias are one of my favorites, reminding me of traveling through Hawaii.

Lotus flowers always make me think spiritual thoughts.

Bushels of flowers I cannot name.

Flower garlands for religious shrines, similar to offerings I saw all over the country.

Most deliveries take place in the wee hours of the morning, but you can still see tuktuks coming in with greens.

You can brighten up your accommodation with a purchase, but they generally sell in bulk.

Located close to Wat Pho, it’s worth a detour and you won’t only find flowers. It’s a budding produce market as well. Flower shops stem out onto the adjacent streets, so explore the area to extend your time.

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Shopping in Bangkok: Amulet Market

Bangkok is a consumer’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for a thrifty bargain in the heat of an outdoor market, or high end items at a posh air-conditioned mall, leave room in your suitcase.

You may notice them hanging from your taxi drivers rear view mirror, or on the neck of the local Thai walking by you on the sidewalk. Shrines in temples, right beside the local 7-11, and in my Thai sister-in-laws home. Buddha symbols are everywhere watching over the citizens of Thailand, protecting them. If you’re looking to ward off evil while in Bangkok, stop by the Amulet Market in old town, a few minutes walk from the Grand Palace. All but invisible to the main street unless you were seeking it, the narrow alleyway is filled with amulets.

Tiny trinkets to hefty statues, with prices on both sides of the spectrum.

There is no one there to explain to you what these figures mean, no signage to tell you what each icon may protect you from or help you with.

Just find what calls to you.

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Shopping in Bangkok: Rot Fai Train Night Market

Bangkok is a consumer’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for a thrifty bargain in the heat of an outdoor market, or high end items at a posh air-conditioned mall, leave room in your suitcase.

Night markets are a staple in Bangkok for shopping, eating, and socializing – there are dozens of them each with their own personas. One of the biggest in the world is Chatuchak Weekend Market which has over 15,000 stalls over a 35 acre space. One of the grittiest is Patpong Night Market in Bangkok’s red light district. The one I chose to visit is Rot Fai Train Night Market, long removed from its original location beside the railway and placed on the outer fringe of the city.

This market is known for its vintage selection with a hipster vibe and there are dozes of rows for browsing.

Classic cars, old school action figures, coca cola merchandise, pickers will be on cloud nine. As clothes shopping goes there is plenty of kitschy fashion for guys

and gals – first hand and second hand, be ready to bargain to get the best deal.

I can’t believe I didn’t purchase some of the most amazing shoes I’ve ever seen, my only regret.

There are all sorts of knickknacks and souvenirs, including questionable stuffed animals for your child.

You can even go home with an adorable puppy!

Watch where you step, you never know what you’re going to find.

Street food is top notch. Try out some colorful bean snacks.

Or grab a barrel of dumplings.

Maybe you’re hungry enough for giant dumplings.

I love dumplings. Treat yourself to some tasty looking desserts.

Perhaps do quite the opposite – and try some disgusting looking bugs!

This was something I had on my bucket list while in Thailand, and though I saw bugs at many food markets this one felt like the right place – clean enough and merry enough (unlike some of the hardcore wet markets we visited) – they were actually pretty good!

Was not brave enough to try scorpions, maybe next time.

I washed the bugs down with a big cup of iced chrysanthemum tea – not too sweet and absolutely refreshing. There are sit down restaurants lining the market as well, you certainly will not go hungry here.

The market runs from sunset to midnight on Thursdays through Sundays.

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Shopping in Bangkok: Mall Experience at Terminal 21

Bangkok is a consumer’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for a thrifty bargain in the heat of an outdoor market, or high end items at a posh air-conditioned mall, leave room in your suitcase.

I’m not much of a mall shopper, I prefer to buy local at mom and pop’s. However, I heard that Bangkok malls are something to experience and Terminal 21 sounded like a hoot. Plus getting out of the heat after walking around at nearby Benjakiti Park and a free bathroom sounded phenomenal! We’ll get back to the bathrooms later. You can easily access this mall from the Asok BTS (aka skytrain) station – right outside. The mall is enormous and meant to look like an airport, the ladies at the information desk are even wearing stewardess uniforms. I’ve never seen so many floors.

Each floor has a motif dedicated to beloved cities such as London, San Francisco, Istanbul, and Tokyo.

I didn’t need to buy a thing to get a kick out of this place, the traveler in me smiling as I recognized icons from places I have enjoyed.

The food court is packed mostly with locals, but a few tourists mixed in, and they have some intriguing options.

From local Thai food to hot pot and conveyer-belt sushi there are over 50 restaurants, plus if you pick a stall with a window you’ll get a nice view up quite a few levels.

Upstairs there is movie theater and video games. Downstairs is a shiny bright and clean food market where you can pick up some interesting local snacks. And back to the bathrooms. The entrance way to the bathrooms are decorated well, just like the rest of the floors. In Rome they have the Bocca della Verita and in London they have the Tube. That’s not what is interesting, though. I’ve seen some of the most intense bathrooms traveling around the country – holes in the ground with makeshift cardboard walls, and just a bucket of water with a cup to flush. At Terminal 21 there are bidets, which may not be such a focal point to certain regional travelers, but most Americans have never experienced one!

Oh yeah and as the shopping goes? Non-chain unique clothes that you won’t find in your country and the brand name stores. Fun fact – this mall has the longest escalators in Thailand at 118 feet!

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Green Spaces of Bangkok: Benjakiti Park

Looking for some exercise or a shady place to relax, Benjakiti Park is a rare space in Bangkok to escape city life.

The parks key element is a large lake with a 1.2 mile perimeter path.

You can rent a bike and also swan boats. There are separate sides for cyclists and joggers – so you don’t need to learn how to say on your left in Thai.

You’ll get a pretty good view of the Sukhumvit neighborhood skyline. Colorful plants give a merry feel and butterflies love them.

Turtles pop to the surface of the lake.

Interesting birds sit on the lawn.

Sit a while and note how many species you see.

In the shade of the adjacent grass there is a playground, pagoda, and a peaceful Buddhist shrine.

With barely anyone inside during midday, this is a much less populated place than Lumpini Park.

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