Old Town Bangkok: The Muslim Restaurant

Sunday is our day.  On Sundays (when we have time) we like to go explore Bangkok, there is so much to see, so much that is yet to be discovered in this City of Angels.  Today, we started our journey on Bangkok’s oldest road: Charoen Krung Road.  Built in 1861, this road runs through the major sites of Old Bangkok and still retains the charm of old Bangkok.  Our main destination though was the Muslim Restaurant near to Charoen Krung Soi 42 and by the intersection of Silom Road and Charoen Krung Road.

Now I’ve been on this road many times before, but usually it was on a car passing by on my way to the hotels that sit along the Chaophraya River.  Walking, however, gives you a whole different perspective on things.  You get to see and explore what previously you would have missed.  Going carless, you get the freedom of walking wherever you so desire and ending up in unexpected places.   A little Bangkok adventure.  We love it.

And so we went to the “Muslim Restaurant.”  It was unexpectedly near to modern Bangkok and its skytrains.  Just a hop away and walking distance from the skytrain this Muslim restaurant looks like it belongs from another period.  I am surprised first at how spacious it is and secondly at how simplistic it is.  In this day and age where billboards and advertisements fill up every available space, this restaurant has nothing but a single sign overhead and a glass cabinet where certain foods are put on display.  The name itself is simple and self-explanatory.  You know what food you will get to eat here.

The clientele that eat here all seemed to be regulars and perhaps lived in the neighbourhood.  There were so many seats, you could just sit here and have a nice quiet lunch.  Here you could eat slowly, chat and just enjoy the Sunday.  It’s quiet and there is no noise pollution here.  I like it.  The decor takes me back in time without the time machine.


We ordered “Khao Mok Kai” (Spiced Chicken Rice- Biryani) and “Khao Mok Phae” (Mutton Rice), Beef Mataba and Beef Curry.  It’s a lot of food I know, but we wanted to try them all and we had a lot of walking ahead of us. 

I  have to tell you, it was one of the best ones I’ve had yet in Bangkok. I’m not exaggerating and I do like to eat this dish.  The rice was soft and flavorful.  It had a lot of spices and they just tickled your tongue, especially if you add the accompanying sauce.  The mutton was falling off the bones and the chicken tender.  I loved it.  The Mataba (roti-with beef filing) was not oily and went well with its cucumber sauce.  The beef curry was not too heavy and the beef in small slices.

I polished my plate clean.

I also loved when the bill came.  It was definitely very reasonable.  The total came to around 240 Baht ($8).  The chicken biryani was 55baht ($1.8), and the mutton rice 95baht ($3.2).  Such a wonderful meal it was.  Authentic, clean, and delicious.

5K Cancer Care Charity Fun Run

If you are a member of my facebook page, you probably already saw some photos I’ve posted from this morning’s Cancer Care Charity Fun Run.  This is my second time running the 5K and the first time I did it alone without Alex motivating me on.  I have to say it wasn’t easy considering I was having stomach cramps, but then running is all a mind game.  Once you get in it, you just have to try and win over.

The mind game for me started the minute I woke up.  I wasn’t feeling very well and my lazy me kept telling me to just sleep in and forgo it.  So many reasons popped into my head in a matter of minutes.  Luckily, the past year and a half the lazy me’s voice has been growing quieter and quieter as it had been losing its battles to the active me.

“Active” me jumped into attack the “lazy” me and it told me to just get my lazy bum off my bed, get ready and get to the park.  It told me that when I was there, if I was still truly feeling ill, then I can just do a very slow jog or walk. (This was the active me’s way of getting me to the run, fully knowing that once I was there I would have to run.)  I had to go.  I could not just give in and let the “lazy” me win over after all this hard work.

And so I got myself into the car and got to the park.  As the “active” me had already known, seeing all the people, the bustle and hustle of the Cancer care charity run made me forget everything else and just want to join in the fun.

The run started, I was amidst the crowd and then the adrenaline sets in.   I see people running and I want to run.  There are hundreds of people. I’m number 130.  I start slowly, moving in and out of crowds, it feels like I’m playing a game.  There are people of all different ages and races.  There are families, there are children with their parents, there are brothers, sisters, there are couples, there are friends, there are colleagues and there are real active runners that just zoom past you like they had a turbo engine attached to them.

Lazy me comes back again like a broken record that keeps replaying certain parts.  Lazy me wants to walk and just enjoy the nice cool breeze and the green green trees that line one of the few parks in Bangkok.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been there. 

Active me pushes the thought aside and I remember Alex’s trick to keep me running. The trick is to keep looking around and enjoy the scenery.  I start noticing the water in the ponds, the old men that come out to sit and enjoy the park, the senior ladies who come out for a walk, the Chinese style pagoda and the children’s playground.  Its a beautiful park especially in the morning light.  I wonder why I don’t come here more often.

I then think of another’s colleague advice on putting her mind elsewhere.  Focus it on other parts of the body.  I move it from my head to my fingers, to my phone and then somehow it goes to my feet.  It starts getting fun to change my pace and then alternate the way my feet hits the ground.  For awhile, its fun and I feel I could go on for awhile.

I did, however, cave into lazy me and walk partly.  However, for fear of walking too long, I’d just give myself a few landmarks ahead and once I get to it, I tell myself I have to run.  Sometimes I use people as landmarks, sometimes its trees, or its some benches.  It works.  It stops me from taking too long a break.

My run takes a total of roughly 40 minutes and I can tell you nothing feels better than running through the finish line.  I did it.  I ran (with some walking) 5K.   Its still not my favorite activity in the world, but its getting easier. It certainly felt easier than my last 5K run in November.  And with time it should get easier and easier!  One day I’ll do the 10K. Yes, I will.

What happens to your mind when you run?  What tricks do you use to keep yourself running?  Please share any tips or advices.  Thank you!

I like, You Like : Peace

I like, you like. We all like different things.  Life is strange, everyone of us like different things. It makes things complicated sometimes, but then it is also the spice of life.   Imagine how monotone and plain everything will be if everyone on earth all liked a particular shade of blue and loved the exact same food.  We would be one big monotonic human race. Boring.

Oftentimes though, we forget that others like different things.  Sometimes we like things done a particular way or like things a certain way to such an extent that we come to think that is “THE” way to do things, the ONLY way.    We’d start thinking, “I like A and B, because of C and D.  And because I think so, it is the best way.  Everyone should like and do it the way I do.  If they don’t, they are making a mistake.”

We get so obessed in our beliefs and so set in our likes we project ourselves onto others, all the while, forgetting that he/she is not like me.  He/She is NOT me.  We get annoyed if they disagree. 

That is not the way it was meant to be.

Each and everyone of us develops his/her own likes and dislikes as we grow older.  To see another person clearly, we should realize that he/she doesn’t have to like the same things as we do.  I mean, even the simplest things like colours can be argued about.  For example, just look at the colour “pink.”  Some like pink, some like dusty pink, some like shocking pink.  There are so many shades and each appealing in different ways.  Some dislike pink altogether and like grey, dark grey, charcoal grey. 

Even colours differ, how can we expect everyone to like the same foods, same books, and have the same ideas as us? 

Love everyone for who they are.  Note and observe their differences, their likes and dislikes and life becomes a lot more fascinating.   It allows us to learn about different things and experience new aspects of life that surround us.  Forget not that he/she is NOT me and that everyone has a right to choose what they like or don’t like.   Bathe in our differences and life will be so much more pleasant.  This world would also be so much peaceful…If only we had world peace.  Peace my friends.

Please “alight”

Languages are funny things.  They evolve and transform over time.  Different countries use different versions of the same language.  Cleaning up some things from my previous trip to Singapore, I was reminded of this funny word I noticed while I was there.  The word “alight.”  Now I haven’t been to England for over a decade so I’m not sure if this word is still used widely there, but in Singapore it is used when you take the underground or as they call it the MRT. 

Upon approaching stations where you can take connecting trains, the speaker will announce “Please alight at XXX station for XXXX.”  It comes out in a clear, crisp and perfectly accented english. It’s easy to understand and the word makes perfect sense, but somehow everytime I hear the word, it makes me grin.  It sounds like a different world. A different time.

I don’t remember having heard the word “alight” being widely used in the US when I was there, but that was a long time ago. (Not on the East Coast or in Philly anyways)  Do you know where else “alight” is widely used?  Or are there other words that somehow pique your interest as “alight” did mine? 😛  Please share 🙂

“Life” on this Earth

Sitting amongst my belongings, clearing out old documents, and finding the proper place for my things I wonder about life and death.  It’s really quiet here in my new house, and absent of my TV, DVD and stereo which have yet to be unpacked, I have a lot of quiet time to ponder and contemplate about life.  I like it actually.   I wonder mostly about what will happen to all these accumulated things once I am no longer on this earth and how they affect my life?

Then I think about death.  Life is fleeting.  This past New Years, news of horrific accidents made me sad.   Those who died were good people, with good lives and families which loved them.  Many were young.  Life could be taken from us anytime, anywhere, in anyform. Gone in a flash.

So when the time finally arrives, what matters then?  Is it all these belongings we have?  Is it the title we hold or the positions we held?  Is it the money in our bank account?  Or is life really just about what kind of person you are?  What good did you do in this world, and how you treated those around you?

I think the latter holds true.  When all is done, the only thing that matters in our lives is the experiences we had, the memories, and how we touched those around us.  What matters is not the money you had, but what you did with it. What matters is what kind of person you were.  What matters is your intentions and your actions, for actions speak louder than words. What matters is how you lived.

What do you think life is about? Please share. Thank you 🙂

The Adjective

Adjectives are a funny thing.  We use it to describe things, objects and people that surround us. It is something we do almost unconsciously and so I have lately noticed how adjectives used to describe one changes. For a very long time, I was always described as “chubby” by those who know me.  I was then likened to a panda and then a penguin.  All very cute animals, and terms of endearment but if you noticed, pandas and penguins are black and white and have no waistline!  Now,  I have become “long neck” or even “chopstick legs.” Perhaps I’m a long neck dinosaur or a twiggy twig walking? Oh the stick insect!

Whatever adjective we are described as by our friends and those who know us, I think the most important factor to remember is to be healthy.  No one is perfect, we all have flaws and there are countless adjectives to describe us humans.  Therefore, it matters not what we are called,  what matters is how well we take care of our health, exercise, and have a balanced lifestyle. 🙂  Here’s to good health!

Dogs Swim, Me Eat : iTube at Sukhumvit 39

This afternoon, Alex and I visited iTube for the first time.  We’ve just recently discovered this hidden secret, just recently opened, in the heart of the city and I have to say it is indeed a cool concept and one that is appealing to dog lovers.  It’s a place where you can imagine spending your Sunday afternoon chilling away in the comfort of a 1960’s style house with coffee, cakes and a saline pool where dogs get centre stage.    It’s not just a coffee shop, it’s a place where dogs can swim and have fun.  Here, dogs can feel at home and run around as if they were the masters of the place.

Upon first driving into Soi Promit, just off Sukhumvit 39, you are surrounded by a number of houses until you reach an apartment building.  Turn left and iTube is to your left.  It’s hard to miss this 1960’s house in its unique blue colour.  I love the large parking space and the lush garden that greets you upon arrival.  I feel like I’m visiting a friend’s house, yet this is a place that is open to all dog lovers.  A large golden retriever named “Candy” runs over to greet the guests and has a full time job of swimming in the pool.  What a blessed dog.

In the hot sun, with the clear saline water pool, I feel like jumping in to play with Candy.   I hear that some owners actually do and there is a shower where they can wash.  They have everything here.  There’s a shower area for dogs where they are washed before jumping in the pool, and shampooed after a good swim.  There’s a grooming room where they are blowed dry and beautified before their trip home.  There are also life vests of all sizes for dogs.  Small, Medium and Large.  There are also two dog caretakers to do the washing for you.

Once finished, you can choose to relax in various areas.  There’s the outdoor pool and garden area, the main lounge and the little shop area where you can sit amongst cute dog cushions and buy little goodies for your dogs.   I’m tempted to buy the cushions back.  It looks like Dyzio, my beloved dog.

I’m told that earlier there was a Chi-huahua contest held at iTube and that some had their Chi-huahua swim.  I could never imagine a dog so small swimming, yet they do.  Bulldogs too and Siberian huskies.   I want to see these dogs swim.

iTube, is a place for those who want to escape the busy Bangkok life and spend quality time with their dogs.  Or even if you don’t have dogs just yet, you could come here to just watch other people’s dogs and mingle.  From my past experience, dog lovers are usually friendly people and they will mingle with other dog lovers. 

While roaming around the place, I was also thinking what a great place this would be to host those dog birthday parties or other events for dog people.  It’s kid friendly, family friendly.  There’s parking space, there’s a large garden and there’s a pool.   Good family event place….

Pricewise?  It depends on the size of your dog.   It’s per hour so for an hour of unlimited swim, its 380thb for small dogs, 480thb for large dogs and 600thb for x-tra large dogs.  Coffee and tea are relatively inexpensive at roughly 80thb. 

It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00-18.00.  So if you want to go shop at Emporium, but don’t want to leave your dog at home, you can drop them off, let them swim and come pick them up later, all happy, washed and groomed.  What a cool deal huh?  Oh, they have a website of course 🙂 Check it out!  http://www.itubepool.com/

Chocolate Crazy at Cherubin, Sukhumvit 31

It’s been a few days since my last post and much has happened since then.  Well, by “much” I mean I’ve moved from an apartment back into a house, did some unpacking and am slowing getting used to driving new routes to and from the house.  Anyways, after all this packing and unpacking, I am now dreaming of some great Chocolate cake by Cherubin following my virtual trip to ISAO.

I love chocolate, I love dark chocolate.  I love chocolate that isn’t too sweet nor too creamy.  I love Lindt dark chocolates.  They’re the best.

There are a lot of bakery shops in Bangkok with all types of cakes to suit your style, but one that is especially appealing to me though is CHERUBIN.  It’s located on Sukhumvit 31, right next to ISAO (reviewed in my previous post) and is a cute little bakery with roughly 6-7 tables.  It’s quite spacious and there is an adorable little corner inhabited by a number of teddy bears.   (I know I’m a little old for teddy bears, but there is just something about them that make me all soft inside. )  It has a clean, sleek atmosphere yet there are also two soft couches and some teddies here and there to make you feel cosy and warm.

They have a great menu of cakes, with the main ingredient all being chocolate. (Yes, they specialize in chocolate so if you are a chocolate lover like me, you’d love it.)  With over a dozen kind of cakes to choose from I was at a lost and so I had to try their best recommendations.   I had the “Nuts About Chocolate, “the “French Chocolate Cake” and “Caramel Monkey” both were just wonderfully delicious. 

The Nuts about Chocolate was a two-layered soft chocolate sponge covered with chocolate and almond nuts.  The chocolate was just the way I like it..not too sweet, not too fudge-like and had a delicate choclate taste.   The French Chocolate cake was also good for those who like warm chocolate cake where the centre just melts away with each bite.  This too wasn’t so sweet and the slightly salty taste was good.  I also had the Caramel Monkey which, of course, has bananas inside it, with some cream and a light coat of powdered chocolate.  Hmm… it was good. 

To go with these cakes, Cherubin offers a variety of hot chocolate, ice chocolate, teas and other drinks.  If you have tea, the pot is refillable with hot water so you could share it with a few of your friends.

Price-wise it is around 100-120thb ($3-4) per piece and you could spend a good hour or so there just having some chill out time or relaxing with good friends. 

Mind you, it has only 2 parking spaces so I recommend walking a little and using the BTS.  Get off at Phromprong station and walk to Sukhumvit 31.  It’s on your left once you enter the soi.  It’s a nice little walk.. you pass by Villa Supermarket  and other little shops.  

I hope you enjoy the cake! I don’t have it at the moment, but just writing about it takes me back to its wonderful taste.  🙂  Hmm..I will have to start baking once I’m settled in with the big oven.

“ISAO” Japanese Fusion Sushi Bar


I’m taking a break from moving and clearing away clutter today and instead take myself on a virtual holiday to a great sushi place I tried out with my dear friends over the holidays.  It’s called “ISAO” and is located at Sukhumvit 31, accessible by BTS Phrom Phrong station.  (They have 1 parking space, so I recommend taking the BTS or the taxi.)  I like the sushi there, I like it very much and right now wish I could go for some “Jackie” or the “Spicy salmon.”


The restaurant is not big but it has a second level where they have quite a few tables.  Upon entering, you immediately feel like you are in Japan.  It’s clean, cosy and feels authentic surrounded by bamboos.  The tables and chairs are comfortable.  You could spend a good two hours there chatting away and catching up. (We did anyways)  I think it would also be a good “date” place or somewhere to just go have a nice quiet lunch if you are out of ideas and don’t want to spend your life in the shopping malls.


The best part though is the food.   It’s a fusion sushi bar so what did we eat? We ate sushi rolls.  Amongst the five of us we ordered 12 dishes.  Imagine that.  It was just ridiculously good we just wanted more and more and not one of them disappointed.   The presentation was good and the taste even better, we had various versions of cute caterpillars with smiley faces (Jackie) and Dragons with long bodies of avocado.  They had spider rolls and scallop (Volcano.)  If you don’t want rolls, they also have karage (fried chicken) and other choices like tonkatsu.  We had the chicken and that too was good.  The ingredients were fresh and it reminded me of the great sushi rolls I had in the US.  I’ve not had such good ones yet in Bangkok.  This one tops my list for fusion sushi rolls. 


Price wise? For ordinary rolls like spicy salmon/tuna its about 250thb (~$8) and the more exqusite ones like Jackie and Dragon are 350thb (~$11.5).  After twelve very fulfilling dishes coupled with some smoothies, we totalled about 750thb ($25) each, but then I don’t think people usually eat as much as we did.  We ate as if it were a buffet.  I have no excuse, but it was New Years’ Eve and we had our little mini gift exchange 🙂


Anyways, thank you my dear friends for being great always and also recommending this place to me….Gosh I want some now!  I read that the Chef’s from Chicago’s “Green Tea” but am not sure about that. Does anyone know for sure? Please share your experience if you’ve been there and love/not love this place 🙂  Itadakimasu 🙂 

Oh here’s their website:  www.isaotaste.com  If you want to make reservations, call them at +662-258-0645

A decade of memories……or junk?

After a decade of living in this apartment, I am moving house.  It feels surreal as I go through my belongings and throw away things I’ve kept for far longer than I should have.  Moving is good.  It keeps one energized and stimulated eventhough it’s so tiring you forget where your days went.  Moving gives us an opportunity to go through our things and throw away the “excesses” and things that are no longer functioning.

Moving this time I’ve learnt that I am a great hoarder of plastic bags, paper bags and now canvas bags.  You name it. I have every kind of bag you could possibly want.  I’ve got the tiniest paper bags to the biggest plastic bag you’ve ever seen. I got bags from different countries, continents and different designs.  Different versions from the same shop even.  Wow, I wonder if I am saving them to have a museum of shopping bags?

I am not going to collect them anymore though.   I’ve learnt my lesson.

I bought some large black garbage bags this time and they are wonderful.  As Alex says, once you throw things inside them, you never see it again so it doesn’t tempt you to take it out and mourn over it.  I’ve used about half a dozen so far.

I filled up one entirely with my bag collection. Others with magazines, letters, bills.  I realize I’ve killed many trees in my lifetime. I hope some of this trash gets recycled.  Others I fill with cassette tapes.  That’s right..Cassette tapes and vdos.  Ten years ago, we still used them to listen to music. Now everything is on mp3 and mp4.  Movies on DVD.  I don’t even have a cassette tape player anymore and my vdo machine hasn’t been used in years.  Instead I just have an ipod filled with over a thousand songs.  I love it.

After all this, my tip to everyone is to at least once a year, buy some large black garbage bags and go through your drawers, shelves, coffee tables and closets.  Throw out things you have not touched in at least a year.  As one my readers recommend, put them into a box, label them with a date and if you don’t find yourself needing anything from it after a certain period of time, throw it away!

Don’t keep everything just for memory sake like I do! The memory is in your head…if you keep everything, you won’t be able to find it when the need arises.  Happy cleaning!