Luang Prabang Laos

IMG_5561 IMG_5629In a very spur of the moment gesture I got on a plane yesterday and came to one of my favorite places on the planet: Luang Prabang, Laos.  And I am so glad I did.  It is many things, a telecommunications center is not one of them, so wifi is dodgy, ergo my taking 2 days to get this post up.  Here are some pictures of this time warp paradise: IMG_5545And you thought French colonialism was over?  French influenced food can be found all over town, but no one does it better than the owners of L’Elephant, who have several venues in town one of my favorites is their Cafe Ban Vat Sene where I enjoyed a lovely lunch.IMG_5551IMG_5546IMG_5548IMG_5587The Nam Khan, or slow river, which flows on one side of town the Mekong flows down the other.IMG_5663The main course of my lunch at the Amantaka.  The most expensive hotel in town and well worth a visit if only for their $35, three course lunch.IMG_5630IMG_5669IMG_5563

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Eating on the Streets

IMG_5269From early in the day to late into the night hard working Thai’s set up shop on the streets often creating mini sidewalk restaurants. The average Thai worker will either stop by and pick something up to take home or if there is a seat available sit down and eat on a stool perch at the the edge of the sidewalk.  Kin Khao Reu Yang? Is Thai for: Have you eaten?IMG_5270IMG_5272IMG_5268IMG_5282 IMG_5281 IMG_5284 IMG_5280 IMG_5283

 

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Made in Candy: Candy Making as Mall Entertainment

IMG_5020Mall culture in Bangkok is like no other.  Like Canada they have a climate that most of the year is unbearable and everyone wants to escape.  The solution to this: highly air conditioned malls filled with shops of every kind (mostly upscale international brands) and a lot of places to eat.

When you have maxed out your credit cards and can’t eat another thing there are other forms of entertainment: Sea World, Madame Tussauds and Made in Candy 

To be honest I was amazed at how transfixed Neil and I were by the candy makers.  So much so Continue reading

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Pizza What?

IMG_5203As best as I can tell Stickhouse is an Italian chain that makes gelato popsicles and a dizzying array of flavors and options. The fact that someone thought that making a pizza looking plater out of one of them is just, well….very creative.    Love that at the top of the picture they are serving it with something that looks like french fries: work that theme!IMG_5200This particular store is in Siam Paragon a huge upscale mall adjacent to the Siam Skytrain station and is filled with super expensive international designer stores: Prada, Marc Jacobs, Hermes, Dolce and Gabana, Calvin Kline and so on.  Bangkok is trying to compete with Singapore which has Orchard Road – basically an entire street of malls. At this rate it looks like Bangkok is going for an entire city of malls.  The thing is that in between all the crazy expensive stores is some good food, local designers (less and less) and just some crazy shit like Pizzalato!  I am working on a series of posts about the malls here.   Truly it’s hard to believe sometimes that we are in Thailand because the last time I have seen this much Japanese food was in Japan!  Bangkok sure has changed in the 8 years since I was last here.

 

 

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On the Streets of Bangkok

IMG_4949The streets of Bangkok are a riotous bounty of vendors selling everything from food to flowers and well, really anything you can possibly think of is for sale on the streets of Krungthep.

I love it and never feel more alive than walking down a busy soi (side street/alley) Continue reading

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Thug Kitchen Cookbook

When I watched this I figured it was a joke, but it turns out it’s actually a cookbook? Not suitable for people sensitive to gratuitous swearing.  Otherwise it’s kind of funny.

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Dining on Singapore Airlines

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Sawatdee Khrap from Bangkok.

I arrived 2 days ago after a marathon 36 hour journey from New York.

IMG_4665My home for most of that time.

Why, you may ask, did it take 36 hours to get to Bangkok when usually it takes around 20 or so?  Well I wanted to travel the much touted Singapore Airlines so badly and the only way I could do it was on miles. The only routing I could get with miles was: San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and on the return, Bangkok, Singapore, Moscow, Houston.  I flew to SFO from JFK on American Airlines (which was surprisingly great), also on an award ticket and am not sure how I will get home from Houston as I still haven’t bought a ticket. I’m on the wait list to fly back directly into JFK and I am hoping, fingers crossed that I actually will be able to get on that flight.

For those of you who are not huge airline nerds like myself, Singapore Airlines has a reputation for having some of the best premium cabins in the skies, with particularly good service and food.  My favorite aspect of their catering is a service they offer called: book the cook, where by after you have booked a ticket you can choose from any number of dozens of dishes, ranging from strip steak to Nasi Goreng to Lobster Thermidor to any number of traditional Singaporean, Thai and Malaysian dishes.  It’s over whelming.  And really some of the best food I’ve ever had on a plane, certainly some of the nicest presentation.

To wash the meal down there was an extensive drink list which included: Tattinger Prelude Grand Crus Champagne. Oh and a selection of  15 different types of tea!

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IMG_4669Chicken and Pistachio Pâté, Apricot Compote, Bread Selection.

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Strip Steak au Jus, Roasted Potatoes, Asparagus and Carrots.  The vegetables were crunchy and delicious, and the steak, something hard to make just right on the ground, was actually served medium rare!

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And Crème brûlée for dessert. It was Continue reading

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