In all my visits to Bangkok (four and hoping for more) I never really tried street food, which was a pity. Bangkok and Thailand have such a varied street food culture and I was staying away from it! But I visited the Chinatown Bangkok which is on the Yaowarat Street and the record was set right! The plan was to roam around and eventually have dinner there.
Our first stop was the Kuan Yin Shrine which is a Chinese Temple. As you can see red was the dominant color around. I picked a particularly quiet moment to click the picture, there were quite a few people around, offering their prayers.
The idea was to explore Bangkok by night and see what it offered. So we explored Yaowarat Street area which is the Chinatown and Pak Klong Talat which is the largest 24 hour flower market in Bangkok. Both are colorful places.
So how did I fare as a vegetarian? I actually did fine. One of the first things that I could try were vegetable spring rolls. And they were good.
I tried the famous Durian for the first time on this walk. I read so much about it, I saw notices in front of hotels saying ‘no Durian allowed’ but I thought the fruit was alright. Maybe the famed smell which bars its presence from many hotels kicks in after a few days? I could eat the fruit without holding my nose.
But I could venture only to take a picture of fried grasshoppers (extreme right) and other insects which are sold as food!
The food market is a night market. You can see some vendors put the chairs right by the road. It was a lot of fun walking around and eating things! I was told that there are days when Chinese eat only vegetarian food due to religious reasons and the street market sell a lot more variety.
But the most fun was watching food being cooked while we waited for it to arrive to our table. And nothing was on fire, this is how they cook food on the Yaowarat Street! The flames would go really high when they put vegetables on the frying pan. I was constantly told to take care and not become too engrossed in taking pictures, or my hair might catch fire!
After food it was time to head to Bangkok’s biggest flower market Pak Khlong Talat but then I have already written about it, you just need to click the link to see it. It was a beautiful night out for me in Bangkok and it was my first proper introduction to street food and Durian!
I was invited by TAT New Delhi to visit Thailand and I had an amazing time.
I feel I am most vulnerable when I arrive in a country. I have often missed out on the night’s sleep, chances are I would have felt tense about getting the visa which would have arrived last moment. Of course I watch movies non stop in a flight and I drink a glass of wine too. I try not to sleep a wink. When I am not watching a movie I try to look out of the window and heaven forbid if I don’t get a window seat!
So when I arrived at Kuala Lumpur. all of this was true. There was a person waiting for me at the arrival with a placard and it was easy to spot him. He put me in a taxi and off we went. The only trouble was I was not supposed to pay for taxi and to me it felt no one else had paid! I asked the taxi driver, “How do you get paid for this trip?” He said, “By coupon, your company man paid it before you got in.” I love such introductions to a country, when they don’t try to fleece me when I am the most sleep deprived and wide eyed. After this I had to enjoy Kuala Lumpur.
In my excitement of trekking up to the Everest Base Camp (which I did almost back to back after Malaysia) I have not blogged much about Malaysia. It is now time to rectify it.
I stayed only 3nights and 4 days, I wish I had more time in Malaysia but here I go. I will post today some photos from the China Town in Kuala Lumpur.
I went to China Town on Day 1 after that sleepless flight, so I was dead tired. I decided I would catch up on sleep later! This was an evening visit and the China Town was full of exotic fruits, including the Durian. No I didn’t try any, I was content clicking pictures. I have tasted Rambutans at Suryagarh, Jaisalmer. And they taste a bit like Litchi to me but then I am no connoisseur when it comes to fruits and food. I clicked the Durian and one more exotic looking fruit but the pictures didn’t come out too well.
I remember these clay pots were one of the first pictures I clicked at the China Town, Kuala Lumpur. I asked the stall owner if I could click a picture and he nodded a yes readily. I was clicking another picture in China Town when the owner almost walked into my frame thinking I was a useless tourist only clicking pictures. The irony was he had vegetarian stuff and I had already placed an order. He was a bit contrite after it and I brushed aside the incident. It was nothing. And I know how irritating we tourists with our cameras can get.
It was dusk and I tried taking an evening shot hand held which is often not a good idea. Still here is a shot of China Town, KL at dusk.
And finally here are colorful Chinese Lanterns which I found quite fascinating. I have been to only four places in Asia till now (OK 3, I anyway live in India) Nepal, Malaysia and Singapore and I have loved what I have seen.
Now when I look at my Malaysia pictures I wish I had clicked more. And that I had a few more days to explore this beautiful country.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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