While it is well known as a Thai dessert around the world, in Thailand sticky rice and mango isn’t really all that common in my experience. Perhaps because the Thais seem to prefer unripe mango with the salt, sugar, chili dip. If you’re craving the fresh, creamy, sweet taste of mango sticky rice look no further than the image below (click image for full recipe).
It’s mid-afternoon, you’re hungry, hot and tired, and you need a boost. To the rescue comes Moo Ping with a little bag of sticky rice. As you know from your travels around Thailand, this grilled pork appetizer can be found nearly anywhere and it’s a great way to replenish your failing energy while out and about. Click the image to learn how you can make Moo Ping at home, and wow your friends with your Thai cooking skills.
I know if you live in Thailand you can get sticky rice on darn near every corner, and if you have a Thai wife or girlfriend she can easily whip some up for you at the drop of a hat.
If you aren’t living in Thailand though, here’s a way to make sticky rice without the traditional bamboo steamer. If you love your sticky rice like we do you might just thank me for this.
Because plain old laab isn’t enough, here’s a version that I personally love – laab moo tod, or fried balls of pork laab. The crunchy exterior and soft spicy interior is a great way to start a meal, and they go down great with an ice cold beer. Click the pic.
After our kickoff recipe of spring rolls, we would like you to have a look at the famous Issan dish of Laab Moo. It is a spicy combination of pork, shallots, chili, limes and other aromatics and if you’ve been to Thailand I’m sure you are familiar with this version as well as the many other types of laab that are available. Again, you can click on the photo below to see the full recipe and post.
So, Golf and I decided that we would try our hands at blogging about food. The new site can be found at http://coolcathotfood.com and features a mix of Western and Asian inspired dishes. Those of you already living in Thailand might find some inspiration from the Western foods, while those who haven’t made the move to Thailand will certainly benefit from Golf’s authentic take on Thai classic dishes.
So, today I give you Thai spring rolls, which as you know can be found on nearly every street in Bangkok, but I assure you that there are better than any street vendor spring rolls. For the full recipe simply click on the picture.
Pattaya is, as anyone with any familiarity with Thailand knows, renowned for its nightlife. The party atmosphere in most Pattaya bars never stops and it really is a place that every nightlife-lover should experience at least once in his or her lifetime. Having said that, there are many other dimensions to the nightlife, it’s not just about late-night partying. Many bars are, for example, just great venues to kick back and relax, or enjoy a meal… or two!
A selection of slower paced Pattaya Bars
There are literally hundreds of bars in Pattaya and regardless of whether or not you know where to go, you will find plenty of entertainment to suit your needs. That is true regardless of your age, your nationality, your music preferences or your food preferences. There are places for singles, places for couple and places for entire families to while away the night.
Since there are already an endless number of reports covering all the crazy late-night stuff that goes on in the bars of Pattaya, I thought a sober reflection on some of the more peaceful options might be in order.
The bar in the Picture above is my favourite bar of all. It is called the Pattaya Beer Garden and it is found at the end of the pier on Beach Road (just before Walking Street). This place is perfect for quality food at low prices in a romantic setting.
Since Pattaya bay is west facing, you get to see the sunset over the sea and that gives lots of photo opportunities. The music played here tends to be Western pop music, anything from the 1980’s to the current time. The menu has a wide selection of Thai and Western food and both are well prepared (quite unusual for the restaurants here as most restaurants tend to excel in either one or the other).
For an altogether different sort of bar, there are a number of converted Volkswagen Camper vans dotted around the city. I really like this sort of thing; if you are from a cold northern hemisphere country you’ll probably agree that there’s something relaxing about the whole outdoor lifestyle in Thailand. That outdoor aspect is typical of most Pattaya bars and it’s something you don’t get in countries with cold climates. A converted Camper van with a few tables and a mobile sound system belting out some songs helps me to kick my shoes off, sit back and enjoy!
Another good thing is that, if you like a smoke, the outdoor aspect means that you don’t have to worry about any no-smoking signs! I don’t care much for cigarettes, but I am a fan of the sheesha (tobacco and molasses) that many of the bars sell.
You can even relax in the busier, louder Pattaya bars throughout the city. With temperatures rarely falling below 22 Celsius (even at the dead of night during the coolest months), you’ll find that most people head out into the nightlife wearing shorts, t-shirt and sandals… it’s all really informal and laid-back… and I love it!
This video is insane, especially if you are scared of snakes. I’m not particularly scared, but I’m not too crazy about them either, especially if they are sharing my living quarters. The worst we’ve had here in Bangkok is some ants and the occasional cockroach. This video of 56 cobras in a home in Krabi is totally off the hook. If you are comng to Thailand and don’t like snakes you should probably stay in Bangkok!
I used to love events like this back in the U.S. and am so glad to see the beginnings of artisanal movements here in Bangkok. It’s kind of ironic really because in essence many of the street vendors are the embodiment of artisanal food; that is food which is made by hand using traditional methods.
Big Bite Bangkok – The city’s only charity food tasting market!
Big Bite Bangkok is a series of outdoor markets featuring the best of the cityʼs small-scale artisinal food producers.
Food lovers from around the city come to taste, mingle, and donate money to charity.
At long last, a market for people who love food in all its forms: be it Thai, non-Thai, grilled, stir-fried, solid, liquid, or sold on a stick. From nam prik to bagels, doner kebab to freshly baked bread, Big Bite celebrates all that is delicious, edible, and thoughtfully made in Bangkok. The market will do this by featuring the handiwork of vendors from around the city.
Everyone attending the market samples big bites of the food on display for free. If they love what they taste, you can purchase bigger portions of the items from any of the vendors to eat or take home for later.
How to Attend Big Bite
The next event is July 14th, 2013 & will take place in the parking lot of the Maduzi Hotel (accessible by MRT & BTS).
Note: Please ride or walk, there’s no parking available.
Watch our facebook page or signup for our newsletter to make sure you’re invited!
If you have them, you know them well. Teenagers can be a joy in their openness and proud march into an ever expanding world. They can also be a nightmare of angst ridden needs. Needing to be accepted, needing to expand their independence, and often needing to be entertained. While Bangkok offers many entertainments for adults, what do you do with your teens when they are looking for entertainment in Bangkok?
Fortunately, Bangkok offers a plethora of activities for teens. There are the common activities that will keep them busy for several hours such as movies and bowling, which are available at most every shopping mall from the Central branches to Emporium and Esplanade, among others.
Those who enjoy skateboarding can find plenty of empty (and sometimes full) parking lots to shred on as well as a few actual skateparks such as The Ramp in Esplanade shopping mall (located on the ground floor in the back of the NY/LA store, 90 baht admission), Muang Thai Live X Treme Park at the Saranraj Maneerom Park (located at the corner of Ekamai and Petchaburi, also known as the Pink Skatepark), Zeer Rangsit Skatepark (in the Zeer Shopping Center, Don Muang), and under the Rama 8 bridge on both sides of the river.
Some other activities that should keep the teens happy for the weekend include the following:
Dancing – See my post on Bangkok dance schools.
Flowboarding – This is a combination of skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding and to a lesser extent, wakeboarding and skimboarding and is a great day out for young and old alike. Flow House Bangkok is located centrally on Sukhumvit Soi 26 and is open from 10am to midnight Mon-Fri and 8am to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. You can get lessons from trained instructors if necessary, and there’s no charge to enter Flow House so parents can come and enjoy the free WIFI while the kids shred the flows. Prices are 750 baht per hour, but they offer student discounts of 500 baht per hour or 900 baht for 2 hours (with student ID), and also have multi-hour cards available (buy 5 hours get 2 hours free, buy 10 hours get 5 hours free, buy 15 hours get 10 hours free).
Paintball – While you may think of paintball as an activity that happens on large expanses of forested land, there are a couple operators of paintball parks right within Bangkok. One is Combat Zone 62, which has been in operation for 15 years and is located on Sukhumvit 62 near Seacon Square. Another is Tubchang Paintball and BB, located on Ramkamheng 118 (Opposite the Tab Chang station on the airport link). Combat Zone 62 charges 350 baht for 100 balls, while Tubchang is just 250 baht for 100 balls.
Flight Simulation – Ok, so this one might be just as much for the parents as the teens, but either way it is a rush. If you’ve ever wanted to fly a jet airplane, the simulators at Flight Experience Bangkok can make your dreams come true. At 6,900 baht for an hour it certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s cheaper than flying the real thing…and safer too. You will find them located in the Sibunruang Building on Soi Convent (which runs between Sathorn and Silom).
Of course that’s just a taste of all that’s available in Bangkok, but next time you are stumped for something to keep the teens entertained you might want to consider some of the options above. I’m sure your teens will be truly surprised and delighted and they may even forgive you the next shopping trip or temple you drag them along to.
Airlines are in focus today in Thailand. First we have news from Bangkok Airways:
SkyTrax has revealed the winners of their prestigious awards program called “World Airline Awards 2013″ that had more than 18 million airline passengers from around the world voting for their favorite travel experiences. Bangkok Airways was voted the 3rd place in the category of World’s Best Regional Airline and the 2nd place in the category of the Best Regional Airline in Asia.
Next (possibly in response to the Bangkok Airways awards?) we have Thai Airways announcing a fare sale for domestic tickets. I’ve always liked flying with Thai Airways, but usually their ticket prices are far more expensive than other airlines. With this sale, they are more in line with their competition. It’s a good opportunity to pick up an excellent fare on a good airline if you are planning on flying within Thailand.
“Domestic Hot Sales” special fares promotion for domestic flights!
Ticket reservation can be made from 1 July 2013 until 10 July 2013 (Passengers may depart from 1 September 2013 – 30 September 2013). Fares are inclusive of all taxes and surcharges.
To make a reservation, please visit http://www.thaiairways.com, or call the THAI Contact Center at +662-356-1111 (24 hours).
**Important: Tickets are available for reservation on 1 – 10 July 2013 only.
My daughter Alivia simply adores dancing and anything to do with dancing. So, as soon as she turned 3 we were keen to find a dance program to get her some professional instruction and hopefully nurture the love she has for dance and music. While many programs won’t accept three year olds, we were delighted to find several that do. We eventually settled on Cala Dance which is located in the Emporium Tower just behind the Emporium shopping center.
Cala Dance Studio doesn’t have a website, so if you aren’t referred to them by someone you might not even know they exist. Still, they are very popular and classes fill up quickly. The staff is fluent in Thai and English and I believe they also speak Japanese and Mandarin (not sure how fluently though). They also offer a free trial class for kids, which is a huge bonus if you aren’t sure about the school or your child’s interest level in an organized dance class. They are on Facebook though and you can contact them there or by calling 02-664-8985. Prices are 420 baht for an individual class or 4,200 baht for 12 weeks (1 hour per week). There is also a 500 baht registration fee. If you pay with cash there is a 5% discount.
Granted it has only been 1 class, but we were quite pleased with Cala Dance Studio based on our initial impression. They really care for the dancers and are quick to ensure that every girl participates and that they are having fun as well. I suspect we will stick with Cala for the foreseeable future. If Alivia shows a real talent or dedication to dance however I think we would consider moving to a larger dance school.
There are many other dance studios available in Bangkok as well. Your choice will probably be determined by what type of dancing you are looking for (ballet, jazz, latin dancing, etc), and the location of the dance studio in relation to your home, work or school. Below are the dance schools I was able to find during my search for a suitable place for our daughter:
Bangkok Dance Academy – They offer a variety of dance types, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, Spanish and Thai dancing. They also have a rhythmic gymnastics offering and a strength and flexibility class. With 12 locations available you can probably find something suitable no matter where you are located. Check out their schedule of classes here.
Dance Centre School of Performing Arts – Located on Sukhumvit 33, this school follows the curriculum of the Royal Academy of Dance in London. Pre-ballet classes are available for children aged 4 and over. Prices are 4,650 baht for 12 weeks (1 hour per week) or 500 baht drop in rate. There is also a 500 baht annual registration fee.
Rising Star Dance Academy – Since 1996, Rising Star has been teaching ballet, jazz dance, rhythmic gymnastics, hip hop, belly dance, Spanish dance, and ballet exercise to students ages 3 to adult. They are located on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor).
Bangkok International Dance Academy (B.I.D.A.) – Located in the Peninsula Plaza, on Rajdamri Rd. (Pathumwan), B.I.D.A. specializes in Ballroom and Latin dancing. They also offer the popular Zumba fitness dance class.
rumPUREE World Dance Studio – rumPUREE has two locations, Silom soi 4 and Amarin Plaza, making them accessible for a wide variety of dance enthusiasts. They offer a wide variety of dance classes, from traditional ballet to the popular Zumba fitness and even classes in pole dancing and striptease! Most of the classes are held at their Amarin Plaza location, with the Silom location being primarily the Latin dances (Salsa, Flamenco, Tango). Ballet is available for children as young as 4.
Studio Zoom – Located on the ground floor of Biohouse Sukhumvit 39, they offer ballet, jazz, hip hop, belly dancing, and even yoga. They also have Zumba fitness classes. Kids are welcome from as young as 4 years old.
Aree Dance Arts School – Aree has been training dancers in Bangkok since 1987 and has had several dancers go on to secure scholarships at top dance academies abroad and later pursue professional dance careers. They have two branches, the main branch on Sukhumvit (next to the Phra Khanong BTS) and a second branch on Silom (5th floor of the United Center Building), making them accessible to anyone in central Bangkok. They offer classes in Ballet, Jazz, Spanish dance, and Contemporary dance.
Alliance Francaise Thailande – Offers introduction to dance for 5-6 year olds, ballet for 7-12 year olds and jazz dance for 8-18 year olds. Located in Sathorn Mansion on Sathorn Tai.
A quick post to let you know that there are now corn dogs available in Bangkok, and what amazing corn dogs they are!
Yesterday after working up an appetite browsing through the Bangkok Farmers Market we decided to drop in on the Corn Dog Dude for a quick bite to eat. I had heard about this place before and it was rumored to be good. While I’m not one to believe in every rumor I hear, in this case it was true.
Golf actually said that these are the best hot dogs she has ever had. I don’t know if I would go that far, but I can attest to the fact that there are some damn good hot dogs, corn dogs and chili cheese fries being served at the Corn Dog Dude.
The hot dogs have just the right amount of spices in them and the rolls are soft and fluffy, providing a perfect counterpoint to the dogs. The corn dogs were just as heavenly. The outside had that great crunch and the inside was moist with just the right amount of sweetness. And the chili cheese fries were without a doubt the best I’ve had in Bangkok (with the exception of my own haha).
I also found it interesting that the owner of the Corn Dog Dude is not American (corn dogs are definitely an American invention and treat), but is French. All I can say is “Viva le corn dogs” because he is making some killer corn dogs and hot dogs in general. If you find yourself craving an authentic American type hot dog while in Bangkok check out the Corn Dog Dude, you won’t be disappointed. And tell Pascal that Steve from Thailand Musings sent you.
The Hot Dog Dude is on Facebook and is located at the K-Village shopping center (Sukhumvit 26) on the ground floor. They are open 7 days a week from 10:00 until 22:00. Hot dogs start at 75 baht and corn dogs are just 69 baht.
It was a great day yesterday. We started with dance lessons for Alivia (more on dance places in Bangkok later) and from there we headed to K-Village on Sukhumvit 26 for the monthly Bangkok Farmers Market event.
If you haven’t been to the Bangkok Farmers Market, I can definitely recommend that you check it out. Considering the number of people who were there today I would have to guess that some of you reading this may have already experienced this fun farmers market. It truly was packed from the time we arrived at 11 until we left sometime around 1:30. And when we arrived at 11:00 some of the vendors were already sold out of product (such as Conkey’s Bakery, who ran out of their secret recipe meatballs just as we arrived).
The Bangkok farmers market features predominantly organic products, which are becoming more popular and sought out by the environmentally conscious Bangkokians. Everything from organic fertilizers to natural soaps, organic fruits and veggies, breads and charcuterie, sweets and other delectables are available. They even have something to keep the kiddies entertained with a painting station, ponies (just to feed, not to ride), and a small play area set up.
They also have some live cooking demos, classes on how to make soaps at home, organic gardening classes and live music. It is definitely a good way to spend a few hours, just browsing around and talking to some of the vendors to learn more about the dangers of chemicals in the foods we eat here. And you can even pick up some great treats! We are totally enjoying the raspberry mustard, sourdough bread and cold smoked duck we picked up there. Add a wedge of cheese and a glass of wine and lunch is served.