Welcome back to me…

Hello, Me! Welcome back from the Land of the Dead!😆 Jesus Christ already resurrected twice since my last post. Meaning two Easter Sundays had passed already. And yet, I was sleeping like a log! 💤 I guess I completely forgot I have a travel blog and that it needs to be updated from time to time. Now, it’s time to wake up and resurrect this page. Ha!ha!

What have I been doing in a year and a half of nothingness? I wish I could say I was meditating, had a quiet solitude in the middle of nowhere or went to the mountains to seek tranquility like the Tibetan monks. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a concrete jungle earning a living and doing the kind of stuff normal humans do. And on the side, I was very busy preparing and planning for our family trips that’s either domestic or international travels. It was no joke planning and preparing for a family of five to travel to Europe! Especially if you need a visa to enter a country. Yes, we went there last December 2018 to spend Christmas and New Year in a far away continent. ☺️ Juggling work and preparing visa requirements / appointments, accommodations planning, tours / itinerary plus the numerous other activities was stressful. However, it was all worth it because my “joeys” were very happy to set foot in Europe (France and United Kingdom) for the first time. Even the yellow vest protest rally on a Saturday in Avenue des Champs-Élysées couldn’t dampen the mood for the first timers in Paris! I have many things to share but let me write about it some other time. If I can remember to write about it at all. Ha!ha!

Arc de Triomphe view. Noticed the police cars?

Tower Bridge in London

I haven’t even written about my 2017 trip to Italy which was super nice, the family’s epic (super cold) winter holiday in Seoul, South Korea, the quick weekend get away in Taipei, Taiwan and here I am talking about our winter 2018 travels.😂 Talk about fast forward!

Since it’s already 2019 might as well write about our recent family holiday this month in Thailand. Better to talk about it now while it’s still fresh. First of all, let me tell you that even though it was very hot in Bangkok we enjoyed our stay… a lot! Maybe it helped that the hotel we stayed in was nice. We decided to book a three bedroom apartment at Chatrium Hotels & Residences https://www.chatrium.com for our holiday. It was comfortable, the swimming pool is nice and the buffet breakfast was very good with a lot of choices. The hotel price wasn’t so bad either for the accommodations that we had. Sharing some photos of our Thailand trip.

View of Chatrium Hotel & Residences

Poolside view

The trip coincided with the coronation weekend of the new King of Thailand. Thus, we weren’t able to visit the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha because it was closed to the public. The place surrounding the area was bedecked in yellow which is the color of the royal family. Luckily, Wat Pho was open and it was the only one we were able to visit because the extreme heat of the sun can drain one’s battery!🤣 No more energy to explore other places of interest and time was limited as well.

Wat Arun view from the river taxi

View of the Grand Palace from the street

Inside Wat Pho

Buddha

Reclining Buddha

After visiting Wat Pho, we wanted to go to a mall already to have some mango shake, iced butterfly pea tea or thai milk tea to quench our thirst and just stay inside a cold air conditioned place. We were melting slowly under the heat of the sun. The mind was willing to explore more but the body was weak!😰

But before the mall, we had to look for another interesting place. Due to the popular netflix show about street foods, we dropped by the street side restaurant of Jay Fai who was awarded a Michelin Star. We wanted to experience it but we didn’t know you have to book in advance for a table. The booking is up to 30 days in advance! Yes, that’s how popular she is. Mind you, the place is just a normal street food eating place in Bangkok. No aircon, just electric fans and you can actually see Jay Fai cooking!😁 Must be really good to be fully booked for a month.

A fully booked Jay Fai restaurant

Jay Fai in the kitchen

Since one of the agenda was to eat good food while in Bangkok, we went to another Michelin Star resto named Saneh Jaan. The place is a bit “posh” looking and unlike Jay Fai’s you have to be in at least a decent attire preferably not in slippers and shorts kind of outfit. Note that it is not your normal Michelin star place where the serving is little. You can actually order and share the food. Yehey!! The Thai Milk tea is good so don’t forget to try it as well if you visit the place.

Lobby

Appetizer

Pad Thai

Fried rice

Thai Curry

Restaurant entrance

Bangkok is a beautiful city. It’s well known as a shopping haven with very good but cheap food and wild night life! Remember The Hangover movie? They even have a walking tour for that. I’ll gladly pay for a tour if the guide is Bradley Cooper. Ha!ha! I hope to go back to Thailand again and explore the other places of interest. Maybe, a Phuket trip in the future.

Anyway, I hope to find more time to write and share about my travel escapades, post photos and update this page to help fellow travellers who have the same wanderlust soul as me!😊 But for now, I gotta go. Note that the photos were all taken from my mobile phone. Thus, bear with the low quality of photos.✌🏼

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

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Bangkok Food Trip…

Food is essential to us and when you are in a foreign land, you either go out and eat their local food or stick to international fast food a.k.a. McDonald’s (Ha!Ha!). I am not normally adventurous (if I travel alone) when it comes to eating local food as I’m afraid I might get an upset stomach. But thanks to a colleague who recommended good places to eat, I was able to do so in Bangkok. From tom yum soup, Phad Thai, pineapple fried rice in restaurants or food halls to eating noodles in a hole in the wall kind of place. 

Some places around Siam Square you should try:

1. Inter Restaurant – they offer inexpensive but very good food. It’s not a high end resto but who cares if the food is really good? I tried the pineapple fried rice with stir fried shrimps. So yum! I actually finished the whole serving. Talk about gluttony!😄😝 Oh well, at less than 300 baht I had a Happy Tummy! My pictures are unedited and not photoshopped so pardon the mess! Get lost in translation though in this resto because the staff aren’t so good in speaking or communicating in English. Just point what you like! 😜

Address: 432/1-2 Siam Square 9, 10330, Bangkok, Thailand

 

Inter’s Pineapple Fried Rice


Stir Fried Shrimps

  

Chow time for a hungry person


Wiped out food = Happy Tummy!😋

 

2. See Fah – I tried the Shrimp Cake and Phad Thai and it’s really good. Too bad I can only eat one meal in this resto and can’t try everything but I’m sure the other food in the menu are all good. Especially if the place is well recommended. 😊 

Address: 434-440 Siam Square 9, Rama 1 Road, 10330 Bangkok, Thailand

 

See Fah Restaurant


Sample of See Fah’s Menu

  

Phad Thai


Shrimp Cake

 
3. White Flower Factory – the ambiance of the place alone was already worth it. Tried this with my colleague and the food did not disappoint!😋

Address: 4/F Siam Square One, Pathum Wan, Bangkok

 

Tom Yum Soup & Salad

 

Stif Fried Shrimps.. Forgot the name of the dish

 

4. Coffee Beans by Dao – if you’re taking a break from eating Thai food, this place offers western style food. And it’s delicious! I tried this place in Siam Paragon’s food hall located at the basement of the mall. 

www.coffeebeans.th 


Cute Food Menu at Coffee Beans by Dao


Sample of the menu

  

I tried their Carbonara and it’s good 😋


The desserts at this place is to die for. If only I can bring it all home I will. I just tried one of their best seller. Bought a slice and brought it back to the hotel to eat. 😅

 

Coffee Beans by Dao Cake

 

Vanilla Crepe Cake with Strawberry Sauce


What I haven’t tried in Siam Square area was the After You Cafe due to lack of time. But, it’s something to look forward to when I go back for a visit. Hopefully with family and for vacation!😄

 

After You Cafe


That’s all for now. The next post will be the food adventures outside Siam Square area. 😊 

xoxo, 

the traveling KANGaroo 

Where and What to eat in Japan…

Japan is a food haven for a lot of people. So many good places to eat and satisfy your cravings for ramen, sushi etc that I will no longer dare mention where is the best place to eat as I’m sure you’ll find out for yourself. Or, have read it in food blogs or other sites. Some are pricey, some are not.

What I want to share are some of our family’s favorite cheap finds in Japan.

  • Ohsho – founded in 1967 and known for its low-priced fare is a Japanese restaurant chain serving gyoza (fried dumplings) and other Chinese-style food. There are over 600 restaurants in Japan. It is everywhere in Osaka and Kyoto. Unfortunately in Tokyo, we had a hard time looking for one. The only restaurant we found there is located somewhere in Shibuya.
  • Pablo – cheese tart that we found in Shinsaibashi, Osaka and Shibuya, Tokyo. You will not miss this because the locals are lining up to buy this melt in your mouth creation. The family devoured this in seconds.
  •  Shirokuma – Japanese curry house that we found in Osaka near our hotel in Shinsaibashi. Quite good and the staff was very friendly plus there’s free wi-fi. This is a “counter style” place as in most of the places to eat in Japan. People go in, eat and leave.
  • Yoshinoya – although it can be found in our home country (Philippines), this is one of our favorite go-to fast food restaurant in Japan. It’s a good place to fill the tummy especially for a family with picky eaters (kids) and it is reasonably priced too.
  • Sukiya – another fast food restaurant that is abundant in Tokyo. Cheap and will fill your hungry tummy after miles and miles of walking. Quite good but beware because the crew is very lean. Sometimes there’s only one person serving the whole restaurant. Japanese are efficient and there’s no question that they can do it but you’ll also get lost in translation because some of the crew don’t understand english. My daughter complained that she ordered curry but got served with beef bowl. ha!ha! Check out their menu at: http://www.sukiya.jp/
Sukiya

Sukiya

  • Hidakaya – a very good and affordable ramen place in Tokyo. Offers smaller size bowls at a cheaper price. They offer gyoza, chicken karaage and fried rice too which is great because my kids are not too keen on eating ramen. Look for this sign and you’re in the right place! Their website is: http://hidakaya.hiday.co.jp/

Hidakaya

  • Lotteria – started out in Japan in 1972 but is more popular in South Korea. The kids love this place and their order is always “the big boneless fried chicken”. It’s an alternative to McDonald’s. My personal favorite is the Shrimp Burger. I just don’t know if they offer it all year round. Again, this place is value for your money. Here’s their website: https://www.lotteria.jp/

Lotteria

Aside from these places, one should not miss going to the local market where you can find more places to eat sushi, sashimi and a lot more. In Osaka we went to Kuromon Market. Not only can you eat good food in the market but you can also shop for kimonos, food stuff to bring home etc.

The trip is not complete if we don’t step in at McDonald’s where they served Green Tea shake. It is the kids preference when they get tired eating Japanese food. They also love 7-Eleven, Lawson’s and Family Mart because of the many food choices in these convenience stores.

Another way to find good and cheap food are bento boxes sold in the grocery/supermarkets. When you visit a department store, try to check out the basement where the grocery is usually located. It is where you can find good stuff and where some of the locals buy their meal.

Of course, when you go and explore places you are bound to discover something that will interest your palate. Or there will be recommendations from other food blogs on what and where to eat. Just savor it. Enjoy every moment and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Lastly, when you are in Dotonbori area in Osaka, don’t forget to eat Takoyaki!

In Dotonbori

 xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo