I recently went on a rather impromptu and short trip to Bangkok! Bangkok is only 2h 30mins via plane from Singapore and it is a popular destination among Singaporeans due to the close proximity from our country and also because there is a lot to enjoy, especially if you’re on a tight budget!
I’m sure there’s a lot of travel blogs from Singapore about Bangkok so I shall not go into the small details, especially since I’m no expert with Thailand. This is my 3rd trip to Thailand only, first being Phuket in 2011 and second being Bangkok in 2015.
And honestly, my main objective and deciding factor to go on this trip was for ABC Cooking Studio Thailand! I wanted to attend a class there while my ABC Passport is still valid (one class per country, expires within 2 years). Therefore the trip was a very short 48 hrs in the country only, but is sufficient to get all my objectives done.
I only confirmed this trip 11 days prior to leaving and booked my trip 9 days before it happened, but was lucky to get a rather low priced air ticket via Scoot Tuesday sales. It was around $149 with carry on baggage only (more than enough for me). Since I had very short timing here I made sure I planned out everything I wanted to do.
Day 1 – Burger & Lobster, After You,
Big C Supercenter
I took a 4pm flight out of Changi and arrived there by 5:30pm. Thankfully the flight was very on time and I got to my dinner reservation at Burger & Lobster, after dropping off my bag, albeit late. The restaurant is located at Gaysorn Village, a small but upscale mall near Chit Lom BTS Station.
If there’s one thing I would recommend about Bangkok is to take the train if you can, because the traffic within the city doesn’t move unless it’s really late at night!
Unlike the original menu in London, Burger & Lobster in Bangkok offers a bigger variety of lobster dishes as well as sides. I went with the Grilled Lobster (฿1500++). I first tried Burger & Lobster in Dubai (2017) and I liked it enough to want to come back! It is generally A LOT better than the fake brand we have in Singapore (which is honestly bad). The restaurant in Bangkok (and Dubai) was not crowded at all and the service was attentive enough. Waiting time for our food was also short, making it ideal because I had a tight schedule! In London they used to not take reservations but now they do! I made my reservations online and they were very responsive within the next working day.
Burger & Lobster will be coming to Singapore when Jewel at Changi Airport opens but I’m dead sure that it will be super crowded. The price in Bangkok costs way more than it is in London, but similar price to Dubai’s. I guess this is because Lobsters have to be imported anyway and countries like Dubai, Bangkok and definitely Singapore is further away from the Lobster source.
Burger & Lobster
Gaysorn Village Ground Floor,
999 Phloen Chit Rd, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Bangkok, Thailand
After dinner, I went to After You at The Market for dessert. After You is a popular dessert chain famed for their Shibuya Toast. There are many outlets but I selected The Market because it is closest to Big C which I will be going to right after and this is within walking distance of Gaysorn Village. The mall is relatively quiet and empty compared to other popular malls like Siam Paragon and Central World.
This is the full sized toast which cost ฿195, and they also had a baby sized one for ฿175. Considering the price difference is less than SG$1, of course I went for the full size!
I would say the toast itself was nice and I understand the hype about it. The ice cream wasn’t the best quality but it will do. I just had to try this for the novelty but I probably won’t purposely plan to have this again.
I walked here from Gaysorn Village on ground level, but this mall is actually linked from Gaysorn Village via their R Walk overhead bridges which will pass by Big C first and then links to The Market.
The Market Bangkok, G Floor
Big C Supercenter in Bangkok is like what Lotte Supermarket is like in Korea. The most popular one among tourists is right behind Gaysorn Village, linked to Chit Lom BTS Station via R Walk overhead bridge. It’s a huge hypermart where you can buy everything you need!
Best part? They are open til 2am! I saved this for last because After You closes at 10pm.
Before coming here I was doing my research and noted that I could get dried butterfly pea flowers from Big C. This gives a natural blue colour for coloring rice used in kueh or nasi lemak!
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I was walking around my area, saw some bushes of butterfly pea flowers and decided to cook nasi lemak with blue extract! 💙 using whatever ingredients I could dig up at home – homemade sambal, air fried ikan bilis, cucumber, omelette and CP brand Japanese Golden Crispy Chicken oven toasted.
I previously tried to make blue rice with a few butterfly pea flowers I plucked randomly outside but fresh flowers has less intense colour, and I probably need a lot more. I had no idea where I could find dried butterfly pea flowers in Singapore so do get it in Bangkok if you want them!
I found 2 brands here, of the same volume but one costs ฿45 while the other is ฿100. Of course I went with the ฿45 one! They also sell Pandan Lemongrass tea which I imagine to be very fragrant. This cost ฿150 for around 30g.
I also noticed that they sell rice (glutinous or non-glutinous) that has already been coloured! They have 💛yellow (tumeric), ❤red (roselle), 💚green (pandan) and 💙blue (butterfly pea) rice!
It makes a great souvenir because it’s so pretty but rice is heavy and I have luggage constraints.
I also got some other popular products:
Coconut chips by Kunna going at 3 × 50g for ฿135. They also sell a big 150g pack which cost more than that. No logic so I bought the 3× pack of course. Crispy Strawberry where Buy 5 get 1 free! Each packet ฿49. Cannot mix with other flavours though! And last but not least, some Lays chips in unique Thai flavours!
As for the ChaTraMue tea products, I saw their own shop at The Market earlier and I took note of the prices. I didn’t buy it there and then because I wanted to compare prices to Big C. Some items are same price at Big C but many are more expensive, none of it was cheaper. For example, the Rose Tea leaves (left side) cost ฿125 the booth but ฿150at Big C. The right side Rose Tea Mix (with sugar) is the same price at both places. The Thai Tea and Green Tea mix are same price but the Rose Tea in tin cost more at Big C.
I bought the small packets of instant mix Thai Milk Tea and Green Milk Tea (฿40) and Rose Tea Mix (฿195). These are same price as the ChaTraMue booth.
This is my shopping haul! I know it’s not a lot compared to others but I have no check in luggage or else I would have totally bought Blue Elephant brand Thai Cooking pastes. They do provide plastic shopping bags but I brought my own as it’s easier to handle.
Big C Supercenter Rajdamri
97/11 Rajdamri Rd, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Day 2 – Emporium & EmQuartier Mall, Thai Massage, ABC Cooking Central World
This is my only full day for this trip so I had a lot to cover!
First up was breakfast at Roast, the cafe every Singaporean in Bangkok raves about! I went to the outlet at EmQuartier Mall, which is walking distance from where I was staying. It opens at 10am.
I’m gonna be basic AF today, going to these cafes. I don’t even eat cafe food in Singapore, but at least the cafes here aren’t hipster! They’re kinda like P.S. Cafe ambiance.
We were first served the bread everyone raves about and yes it is very nice! Crusty and warm yet soft inside. The butter is also softened which makes it easy to eat.
I must say the lighting here is superb. It is every food blogger’s dream lighting. I didn’t even have to edit this pic my pictures. I had the Butternut Squash Gnocchi but my love for this dish ends at how nice it looks in pictures – it looks better in photos than it tasted. The gnocchi itself is nice but the sauce wasn’t made of good pumpkin (like not Japanese standard pumpkin). I’ll just say the same dish could’ve potentially been better if some ingredients could level up. I could barely taste the sage flavour at all.
The Corn beef hash from the brunch menu actually tasted better than the gnocchi.
1st floor, The Helix Quartier, EmQuartier, Sukhumvit, Bangok 10110
I headed to Emporium mall and checked out the Gourmet Market, a more upscale supermarket that is the same as Siam Paragon’s, where I found more herbal tea! The Pandan and Lemongrass is really fragrant and same price as Big C yesterday at ฿150. So I bought one more. However, the butterfly pea here is more expensive than Big C at ฿150 too.
There’s also another brand (right picture) called Spice Story and this brand so expensive at ฿268. It looks like a tourist trap.
Conclusion: if you want Pandan and/or Lemongrass tea and Butterfly Pea Tea for cheaper, shop at Big C!
4th Floor, 622, Sukhumwit Rd., Klongtun, Klongtoei, Bangkok 10110
After brunch, I went for massage at Vanilla Spa near EmQuartier Mall. They had a weekday promotion which includes 60 mins Thai Massage and 30 mins Head Shoulder and Neck massage for ฿450 (U.P ฿550). I was alright but I felt the experience I had at Let’s Relax or Yunomori during my previous trip was better. I made my reservation online prior to my trip and I’m glad I did because they were quite busy.
10/9-10 Soi Sukhumvit 39, Sukhumvit Rd.,Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Right after my massage I headed back to EmQuartier and I went to ChaTraMue to try their famous Thai Iced Tea! I decided to try the Rose Milk Tea because it sounds good and they used a super pretty cup.
The tea itself tastes really nice and it’s not Bandung (rose syrup) for sure, it actually tastes really strong of rose tea.
And this was something I regretted having because I previously did not know that rose tea is a natural laxative! I’ve had rose tea at home with rose buds I bought from China, but to make the flavour this strong, detectable even with milk added in it, it must be a really concentrated amount of rose buds they used in their tea. No wonder I did not experience any laxative effect when I had my own rose tea at home but for ChaTraMue it is a whole different experience.
I experience laxative grade of diarrhea around 1.5hrs after consuming this and I did not know what was really happening until 2 days later when a reader informed me of the effects of ChaTraMue’s Rose Tea! I initially thought I had ate something dirty/ that I’m intolerant to but it was strange because I did not experience any tummy ache or other signs of food poisoning.
My advice is to not have this ChaTraMue rose tea if you’re not prepared to clear your bowels entirely. It didn’t help that I ate a lot this day and thus has so much to empty out and spent so much time visiting various toilets. I might have spent 2 hrs in total clearing my bowels and that is a lot of time wasted considering I only had 48 hours in this trip!
TL;DR: The rumors are true. ChaTraMue Rose Tea IS A LAXATIVE. It causes explosive diarrhea!
I had lunch at another cafe popular among Singaporeans, Vanilla Cafeteria at EmQuartier Mall. This is actually exactly 1 floor above Roast and had the same beautiful natural lighting. The lighting is every food blogger’s dream! Their style is similar, with newsletter style menu and all.
I had the squid ink pasta with garlic and river pawns (฿460). Well, it is not bad but it’s typical cafe food. and it is not really my style of food. The ingredients are made to sound good but actually the flavour wasn’t very impressive, typical of cafe style pasta. The prawns are also mushy and not the best it could have been.
I probably will not visit cafes in Bangkok anymore in my next visit. I’d rather have food cooked with better execution. This dish is expensive as well – it cost more than my massage!
1st floor, The Helix Quartier, EmQuartier, Sukhumvit, Bangok 10110
My rest of the day was to be spend in Chit Lom area and I headed to Central Chidlom Mall to get Pinkberry! I first tried and loved this in NYC and I would eat it everyday. I found that no other froyo we have in Singapore (llao llao etc) could match up. In Bangkok it is overpriced (฿130 for plain, ฿170 with toppings) and not as good as in USA, but oh well. I appreciate cold stuff in this weather!
1027 Phloen Chit Road, Central Chidlom, 3rd Floor, Bangkok 10330
Shortly after having this, my nightmare began. I started having diarrhea! Thankfully there are plenty of free and clean toilets in Chit Lom area of Bangkok! I started first at Central Chidlom. Next on my list was to head to Platinum Mall by foot, which is a 15mins walk away from Central Childom. I was to walk through the R Walk overhead bridge to Central World first and proceed via R Walk to Platinum Mall. This R Walk thing links all the major malls in the area.
I even walked past ABC Cooking in Central World on my walk there!
I visited so many toilets at Central World as I walked along! But I was determined to get myself to Platinum Mall because…
I wanted to specifically buy iron on patches from Platinum Mall, the most famous wholesale indoor mall in Bangkok among Singaporeans.! I know some markets like night market or day market would sell these too but I would rather shop in an air conditioned mall and I like how at DIY by Madam Ping, they neatly organised their patches by design in individual dividers, instead of scattering it all randomly like most markets do.
Patches are sold at 5 for ฿100! If you buy 100 pieces it would be ฿15 each. I learnt that they sell these patches from a post I saw online and the writer gave me rough directions thus I could find this shop! I took a picture of the shop name if anyone is interested. It is on the first floor, at a side most lane (same side as the cargo lift). By the way, it is my first time to Platinum Mall, I did not get to come here during my previous trip.
I was so paranoid that the shops would close by the time I got to the mall, because I was 1h+ behind my schedule due to the diarrhea episodes! I got here around 5pm. The advice I found online was to come early because shops closes as early as 6pm. It was Friday and the mall was still bustling at 5+pm but I did see some shops closed for the day.
DIY By Madam Ping
Floor 1F, Zone 1, Soi SOHO 8, Room 222/347B, Platinum Mall
222, Phetchaburi Road, Thanon Phetchaburi, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
And of course I couldn’t leave Platinum Mall without buying some clothing. I bought just 1 top, and it is not cheap. I was not buying anything wholesale (I am all alone so there’s nobody to share bulk purchase with) so the prices would be normal retail prices. But still, it is cheaper than what you would buy it for in Singapore.
Floor 1F, Zone 2, Soi SOHO 7, Room 222/293A, Platinum Mall
222, Phetchaburi Road, Thanon Phetchaburi, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
My initial plan was to have Pad Thai at Platinum Mall’s food court but I had no appetite to eat, and hence my dinner was just mango sticky rice and a fresh coconut from one of the booths outside Central World.
I sure need that coconut water to re-hydrate all that I lost! I chose the coconut in husk as compared to those they poured into a cup because that eliminates human handling of the liquid (what if the cup is not sterile?) and there’s no ice added. This seems to be the cleanest drink around if you go by this logic! Water inside the coconut is untouched.
And mango sticky rice is at least dairy free for sure (and also because what’s Thailand without mango sticky rice?) And rice should keep me full? I just selected a stall at random. This is probably inflated tourist price but I have no time to waste (I need to factor in toilet time before my class at ABC!).
And here’s the moment I’ve been waiting for! A class at ABC Cooking Studio Central World! My lesson was booked for 7pm.
For Thailand they have 2 ABC Cooking studios – one in Central World and the other in Central Festival Eastville. The latter is a more suburban mall and is not possible to get there without a taxi or car. Initially I did not get a class in Central World and was prepared to head to Eastville, but thankfully they a new 7pm class in the exact recipe I wanted to do, just days before my trip! Central World is WAY more accessible with Chit Lom BTS station near by. I could easily make my way back to my accommodation via public transport, not worrying about traffic jam wasting my time.
Members of the public can also join for a 1 Day English lesson on Thai Cooking at ฿1800!
ABC members (regardless of whether you have cooking course in your home country) also has the option of attending Thai Cooking Lesson for free using the ABC Passport if they prefer this over the regular course classes.
I chose to do a regular cake basic with my Passport but I didn’t know I could pay to attend Thai Cooking as well for ฿1500! I most definitely would have paid to attend.
I chose to make tarts because 1) they do not have this offered in Singapore’s ABC 2)I like chocolate tarts and 3) tarts are easier to transport around at room temperature! I even brought 2 pieces back to Singapore.
ABC Cooking Studio Thailand Central World
Room B311, 3rd Floor, Central World Plaza, 4, 4/1-4/2, 4/4 Rajadamri Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Day 3 – Sri Trat, Urban Retreat Spa
I initially planned to head to Emporium/ EmQuartier for shopping at Gourmet Market and some food like April’s Bakery and Pierre Herme Macarons (both available in EmQuartier Mall), but since I had already visited Emporium’s Gourmet Market the previous day and did not really have an appetite for desserts due to my diarrhea episode, I checked out later and headed straight for lunch. All my shopping fit nicely in my carry on baggage, which I later checked to be 9.4kg! Well within the 10kg limit for carry on baggage.
So for lunch I selected Sri Trat, a restaurant I found randomly last week, looking at the Michelin website. This restaurant is not award a Star, but just a Plate rating. I made my reservation via Facebook message and they took it.
I took 15 minutes to get here by walking. It is around 10 minutes walk from Phrom Phong BTS.
I was drawn to it by it’s thematic interior which did not disappoint. I also liked the style of food they offered, which was rustic Eastern Thai food. I had confidence that they would bring out the best flavours of their ingredients via good cooking.
On my previous Bangkok trip I had dined at Nahm and I liked how Thai flavours could make such good food, beyond the typical dishes we know of.
I ordered this because it’s the most photogenic dish I saw of theirs on Instagram.
For my mains I had Thai Red Curry, Stir Fried Chicken Thigh in Thai aromatic ingredients and curry fish cakes.
I would say that this is so much better than the typical Thai food I get! The flavours are way more intense and varied. I mean typical Thai food uses predictable ingredients like lime leaf, lemongrass, chilli padi etc, but I felt that the dishes here has more complex flavours due to abundance of different kinds of ingredients and the freshness. The flavours had more dimensions of flavours rather than just 1 taste!
I liked this meal way more than all the other food I’ve had in Bangkok. I will definitely look for more legit Thai restaurants like this next time I come to Bangkok and will not waste my stomach space at cafes.
I went with the dessert platter because I want a bit of everything! It comes with 4 items:
- “Turtle Egg” Dessert – a mung bean centered glutinous rice cake ball like dessert served in warm coconut milk soup
- Soft brown sugar crepe with green bean and coconut filling
- Rice cake balls coated with grated coconut (like ondeh ondeh)
- Sweet Turmeric Infused Sticky Rice topped with Dried Shrimp and Coconut
My favourite item here would be the “Turtle Egg” dessert. The coconut milk soup was so good!
90 Sukhumvit 33, Bangkok
After lunch, I had a 25mins Pomegranate & Corn Scrub + 90 mins Macadamia Oil Massage (฿1500) at Urban Retreat Spa which I had booked online. I chose the outlet near Phrong Phom BTS and it was around 9 mins walk from Sri Trat.
When I arrived the person told me the oil massage is chose is “soft to medium” pressure and I cannot request for stronger pressure. I was like “ok medium is fine,” half worrying the massage would be weak. It turns out that the masseuse is damn strong and the pressure is easily stronger than most other massages I’ve tried. Thankfully I didn’t switch my treatment to a strong massage one (like Thai Massage or Swedish) because that could’ve been painful.
Overall this massage was better than yesterday’s! It’s not cheap but still a lot cheaper than in Singapore so it makes sense to do massage here. If I were to return again next time, I would opt for just massage only. They started with the scrub first and that made the sheets kind of wet. They also used the same towel I had used for the shower, on me during the massage and the damp towel made me feel uncomfortable. I very much prefer using dry textiles.
Overall the massage was good but could’ve been better if I did not have the scrub before massage, and the service isn’t better than Let’s Relax. I probably would try out a different spa next time I come to Bangkok.
Urban Retreat Spa
599/2, Sukhumvit Road, Khlong Tan Nuea, Bangkok 10110
And with that I’ve completed all the things I wanted to do on this 48hr trip!