15 June 2009

What I love RIGHT NOW in Bangkok

Every few months, no matter where you live, I think it's a good practice to take a look around and make note of the things that excite you in that minute. What people, places, things really get you excited to be planted where you are? After a quick few minutes of reflection, I always feel a bit more excited to continue blooming where I am planted. So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite things at this moment!

10 o'clock in the morning. The smell of charcoal wafts through the city's air as the street vendors begin to prepare for the lunch crowd. The light dances on the leaves of trees and the heat rises in little snakey streams from the pavement. And, when the charcoal lights up, the scent transports me to an exotic land. And, then, I realize... wait, this is an exotic land and I get to live here. A happy walk home continues.

Pla Dip, a fusion restaurant. Now brace yourselves, this sounds like an odd combination: Thai, Italian and Japanese. Odd, but somehow it works here. The place features an outdoor wood fire oven, an in-house DJ and an industrial minimalist vibe. A kick-back watering hole, with great food that my husband and I keep returning to time and time again.

The return to rainy season! A few afternoon storms always help to cool the hot humid morning air. No matter where you live, a change of season should be embraced.

School uniforms. As Thai summer ends, Thai children are heading back to school for another term and that brings school uniforms. With an endless parade, it is fascinating to see how all different ages of children attempt to adapt their uniforms while staying within school code. Office supply binder clips seem to be extremely popular with teenage girls. I haven't yet figured out their meaning or purpose, but they are clamped onto the uniforms belts of almost every pre-teen and teenage girl in town. And, with my daughter starting school here in just a few short months, the parade of uniforms provides fodder for the ongoing topic of "school is cool"!

Thai Thai at J.J. market. Located on the outside edge of Section 8 at Chatuchak Market, this little stall offers gauzy hand made clothing items for women. Tunics, skirts, and billowy sundresses from 100 percent cotton in a gorgeous pallette of colors for about the price of two lattes. Can't go wrong.

Funarium. A relatively new outstanding indoor play complex for kids up to age thirteen. With an indoor bike track (with bikes of every size), a basketball court, HUGE bumpy slides of every make, obstacle courses, ball pits and an in-house art studio, this place is heaven for Bangkokian kids and parents in search of active fun in an air conditioned environment. My kids raced until they dropped and I look forward to our next visit!

For a few of my favorite things from months past, take a click here!

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 55:
Rustic Thai Crab Boil
Beautiful, fresh ingredients prepared in the simplest of ways to create something amazing--- the very essence of my favorite dishes. It seems that nearly every seaside culture has it's version of this dish and no matter where you find yourself in the world it's a dish worth serving up!

1 tablespoon veggie oil
1 head of garlic
4 shallots, diced
15 pieces of thinly cut salami
2 carrots cut into large pieces
2 corn, on the cob, cut into large pieces
2 crab (I like Thai blue crab when in Bangkok), cleaned
1 cup broth
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon smoky paprika
1 giant hand full of thai basil, plus extra for garnish

In a large stock pot, heat the veggie oil and add the salami, whole head of garlic and shallots. Cook until the shallots are golden. Add a few tablespoons of water as necessary to prevent the ingredients from buring. Add the stock, coconut milk, curry paste, paprika and basil. Bring to a simmer and add corn and carrots. Cook, covered until carrots are fork tender. Add the crab and cook until bright in color (approximately 5-7 minutes depending on the size of the crab). Pour immediately into a large bowl, garnish with basil. Remove the garlic, squeeze out of paper and serve alongside with warm crusty bread (and a lot of napkins!).


  1. I love Pla Dip too! We took friends there and they kind of wondered what the big deal was when they first saw it. Then, we got into the evening and they realized that it was the perfect relax forever sort of great food-great drink place.

  2. This recipe looks so delicious. I had no idea you could find such beautiful crab in Thailand.

  3. I still have my Thai uniforms from when I went to school there. I loved the fact that we got them tailor made to fit and I loved carrying my little briefcase. Is your daughter going to be wearing a uniform? They're the way to go!

  4. You are such a great mom! I love that your fave things list includes something for your kids. The fun place looks cool.


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