Monday, August 27, 2012

My Bangkok Eid

Here's what I did during Eid..

My family and I went to Bangkok!

It's a bit funny though since I went there three months ago with my friends. This time, I got to cover most of the tourists spots. Here are some of the places I went...

We went on a tour package - itinerary was packed cos we went to a lot of places. The first place we went was River Kwai. If you've watched The Bridge On River Kwai (1957), I think you would know what's the history of River Kwai. To sum it up, in the 1940s, Japanese army captured  the Commonwealth, American and Dutch army and these prisoners of war were forced to build this railway. Thousands of civilians died too in the course of building this railway. It was really sad when we went to the JEATH war museum (JEATH stands for Japan, England, America, Thailand and Holland - the countries involved), knowing so many died in the worst possible way.

So anyway, after the JEATH war museum tour, we went on a boat ride to see the real railway (second picture, clockwise). Knowing that so many died building this railway makes me sad. All those innocent people, tortured.. (Rest in peace). Anyway, if you've watched the movie, I think the trip would be more special - I remembered fragments of the movie as I was too young (I think I watched it when I was 10 or younger, can't remember). My dad kept on feasting us with historical facts about the bridge so it was more interesting for me (like my dad, I'm a history buff too). I suggest to those who are planning (or going) there, read up on this bridge first. Then you'll get the 'feel' of it.

After the boat trip and lunch, we went to the Tiger Temple. This place has got to be my most favourite place EVER. Tigers were everywhere. Of course they were chained up at first but still, tigers are tigers and they were NOT in cages. The tigers were like big fat cats, rolling here and there - the staffs working were even poking them with sticks, as if teasing them! But, as scary as they were, I felt like giving them a big bear hug and tumble with them because they were so big.. and fat! See the pictures up there, that's me, being a daredevil. I have to admit, I was a bit scared and intimidated. And ooh, tiger footprints! How cute are they?

A note to people who wish to go to the Tiger Temple: Shorts, singlets, striking, colourful clothing (like red or orange) are a NO NO. They won't let you buy tickets and you would have to buy t-shirts or sarongs selling nearby. Which is a waste of money, in my opinion. Bring shawls instead. (This implies to ALL temples, if you're planning to go to temples - in a nutshell, dress appropriately. No sexy, bare clothing. Went to Wat Arun which is The Temple of Dawn and they won't let you in if you're well, bare).

The next day, we went to Thailand's popular Floating Market. It's like a normal market but instead of having to walk around, you have to take boats. I think it costs 150 TB for each person. I thought of buying something from the market at first but I think I'm more comfortable buying things the traditional way - you know where you can walk and walk off easily whenever you don't want something? It's definitely a different experience because not only they have shops, but they can actually cook in their boats! I think they have really good balance...

Ooh, I cannot end my post without including this really wonderful Muslim food restaurant. The food there is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sedap (yummy). Clockwise: What the restaurant looks from the front, the ever popular Tom Yum (nothing beats Thailand's Tom Yum - you can't get great Tom Yum in Malaysia! A lot of mediocre Tom Yum here, but no great ones!), beef cashew nuts (I think that's the name) and Somtam. For those who are not familiar with Tom Yum, it's one of Thailand's popular dish (or soup, you might call it). It has this splendid mixture of various flavours, mainly spicy and sour. Oh yes, indeed it was spicy. Nose were runny, drank a ton of water but it was worth it. Worth every single sip. To this day, I am still craving for that Tom Yum.. I can still taste the sourness.. They should rename it "Tom Yummy" (geddit, geddit? :D).

Back in Melaka (during my student days), my housemate and I were crazy over Somtam. We would drive an hour to the Melaka city just for that specific Somtam in Tesco (I can't remember which Tesco though.. *my bad*). It was like an escape, a sweet (or maybe sour?) escape where we would talk and and talk over a good plate of Somtam. Anyhoots, my Melaka Somtam had stripped raw mangoes, raw tomatoes, peanuts, shrimps, among others. Though Mak Yah Somtam had most of these but this one had chicken in the shape of balls! See those round things on the plate, they're chicken! This one too had this spicy and sour taste. I think Thailand is known for their spicy-ness and sourness. Totally right up my alley (I like sour stuffs!). (Crap, my tummy's making an orchestra now...)

Plus, the owners (husband and wife team) were really friendly. AND they speak Malay! Well, the husband, a Malay from Pattani speaks full Malay. The wife speaks Malay too but not as full as the husband but understandable. A plus point for us as there wasn't that much of a language barrier. I would totally go here if I ever visit Bangkok again (which I think I will!). 

Here's the address:
Mak Yah Muslim Restaurant
497/16 Petchaburi Rd., Rachatevee.
(Along the road side beside Soi 7)
By the way, Soi in Thai, means 'road'. So it's 'Road 7'.
Operating hours: 10am - 9pm

Oh by the way, I hope I'm not too late to wish everyone a Selamat Hari Raya! (Happy Eidulfitri!). Great food to start off my Eid celebration after a month of fasting.... Happy tummy means a happy Aleza. :)

Khop khun khaa! (I caught myself saying this all the time in Bangkok - it means 'thank you').


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