Wednesday, July 17, 2013
We took the Express Boat back towards the city and got off at Memorial Bridge Pier to visit… the Pak Khlong Talat, also known as, the flower market!
Once you leave the pier, take the first left and then right at the 7-11. After that, follow the colours and the smell of flowers! 😀
Unfortunately, the best time to check out Pak Khlong Talat is pre-dawn from around 3-4am. Needless to say, the market was a little sleepy and empty when we walked around. Still plenty of sights to take in though!
Such reasonably priced (compared to Canada and Australia) flowers… a little something for everyone!
We saw many phuang malai garlands being made will skilled hands and sold on the spot. These are used as offerings to images of Buddha inside temples or shrines at home, ancestor shrines, etc.
Mike… enjoying a nice cold Singha (bought at a nearby 7-11 and opened for by the cashier) on the streets of Bangkok.
On the way back to the pier, I saw these two sorting out a huge stock of chili peppers and asked if I could take some pictures. They happily waved me to go ahead. Notice the cell phone in the plastic bag – I guess I wouldn’t want chili juice all over my cell either!
Memorial Bridge and its respective pier with someone fishing.
Thanks to Mark Weins and his YouTube video about kuay tiew rua (boat noodles) at Victory Monument, we had to try!
Once you get off the BTS at Victory Monument station, stay within the overhead walkway and head towards the canal (keeping Victory Monument on your left).
The canals are now very dirty and polluted.
This is not the side you want to be on…
You want to be on this side! Which is why it’s important to keep Victory Monument on your left hand side as you are walking through the pedestrian overpass. We didn’t know that and did an unnecessary full circle around Victory Monument.
When you reach the canal and get down onto the road, there will be a number of boat noodle restaurants to choose from. We decided to follow the one Mark Weins visited in his video and were quite happy!
So… what are boat noodles? They are called so because they were traditionally served from boats. Nowadays, you can sit in a restaurant and enjoy them instead. They are also sold in small portions that sit shallow in the bowl, to limit spillage due to rocking by the boat.
The noodles are first blanched in hot soup before being tossed into a bowl with a little bit of water spinach (Morning Glory), a pork meatball and a few slivers of either pork or beef. The most important ingredient in a bowl of boat noodles is fresh pig’s blood which cooks immediately once hot soup is poured in, thickening the broth and giving the dish its characteristic wholesome pork flavour.
The restaurant staff did not speak much English but it wasn’t hard to get our requests across with English on the menu. All dishes cost 10 baht each and we proceeded to eat!
We both started with one each of the “Noodles thicken soup with beef” and “Noodles thicken soup with pork” The staff also brought over a plate of “Fried dumplings” (fried wonton skins) and “Streaky pork with crispy crackling” (fried pork rinds), which we readily agreed to take.
Thick chewy noodles in a little bit of really flavoursome porky broth. There was also sugar, fish sauce, chili flakes and vinegar chili sauce at the table so you can flavour the noodles to your liking.
So tasty! And because the portions are so tiny, we definitely got in a few more orders before leaving satisfied 🙂 I think the final bill came to 100-150 baht ($3-5). Would definitely come again if we ever visit Bangkok!
By now, it was late afternoon and so we headed back to the hotel to hang with Laura one last time. With a bit of relaxation and chatting by the pool, it wasn’t long before it was time for us to head to the airport!
Sooner than we realized, we were getting off the train and checking into our flight back to Singapore at 8pm.
Our short trip to Bangkok was finally (felt much longer) coming to an end.
A few shots inside the Suvarnabhumi Airport.
End of our Bangkok trip! … And I guess by default, end of Day 05!