Category: Life in Thailand

Is it a festival or a tragedy?

Well, obviously for me, it is the latter. When you find a nasty looking Lad Na that is also vegetarian after a stressful morning of final exams with the Primary classes at the lunch table, you would probably be more enraged than I was.

From September 24 to October 2, food stalls will be hawking vegetarian food along the sois and pak sois all over Thailand. They call it ‘กินเจ’ (gin je) or vegetarian eats. Fortunately for the omnivores like myself, restaurants are not imposing this strictly in their entree or heck, it would be 9 days of forced fasting!

It is all over the place but thank God people still have choices. So if one is not up to going over their budget, its best to cook at home and bring a lunch box. If I was a vegetarian, this post would have probably been a showcase of what Thailand means when they say ‘vegetarian’. I mean think of how meticulous they are with their dishes! Somewhere out there, someone is gushing in their blog about this festiv and I am glad it’s not me!


Here are a few good reasons why a buffet buff will love this Korean-with-a-twist-of- Japanese barbeque ‘all you can eat’ restaurant:

THE BEEF -For only 530 baht per head, one gets their hands on the best beef parts for grilling! Some of the other yakinikus here in Thailand I’ve gone before have the stringy-est and chewy-est beef ever but sitting in a table full of endless meat, one has no time to address it. So it was quite refreshing to get to meet the softest and juiciest beef stuff in town that by the end of it I was wondering ‘Ah, beef…where have you been all this time?’

THE LAMB– I have only had lamb twice in my entire lifetime until last night. The first one was a stew cooked and served in Sweden, so it was obviously good. The second one was a badly half-cooked lamb dish in Malaysia. So when I saw Kingkong had lamb on the menu, I was pretty apprehensive. Would it be as frangrant as that poorly cooked dish that felt like a bottle of perfume was part of the condiments in the aftertaste? I still went to try it, and boy was I in for huge surprise! I am now a big fan of Kingkong despite the pricey-ness because of their lamb!

THE PORK LIVER– While all the other pork parts like the bacon, pork slabs and ribs were notable, this one was something to remember by. They were served frozen so when put on the grill, it created music to the ultimate foodie’s ears- the sizzling that resulted to a heaven in a bite (and more!). Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside!

THE CHICKEN MEDALLIONS– These, too, came in frozen on a plate so there was plenty of sizzling action to be had. Now, I am not a big chicken lover but it wouldn’t be fair not to feature this one after everyone had gone gaga over it.

THE SOUPS– 9 of us shared a long table with two grills for our farewell/ thank you dinner courtesy of Mitrphol Group on our Business English Class closing and they all were gushing about the Kingkong soup. Apparently, it was ‘to die for’ but I had my eyes set on something else- the Clam Clear Soup. Think classic miso soup with a handful of clams. Yum! But finding a lonesome clam at the bottom of my bowl was disappointing. Not very representative of the pictures on the menu tablet.

THE THAI MILK TEA– I am eternally biased when it comes to Cha Nom Yen. I personally think it is Thailand’s best gift to humanity. But for my first drink, I asked for a glass of soda. Then there was buzz among us that the Cha Nom was heavenly. I never bothered to finish my soda before asking for a glass of Cha Nom. Man, it was party on the palate for me! Now this stuff is as common in Thailand as 7/11 shops in Bangkok. I get it for breakfast every morning at 20 per 15oz but Kingkong’s exceptional I couldn’t help but think aloud if they were retailing this as a stand alone. Sad to hear they weren’t 😦

I probably had more Cha Nom in my stomach more than meat last night but I went home fully bloated!

Evrything else, of course flowed like a river. The word was ‘unlimited’. Unlimited rice, mushrooms, meat, veggies and what have you. Depending on preference we all had a go at the unlimited option.

Of course, every single one of us came like a pro that night- hungry, famished, starving. Some of us even skipped lunch to prep for Kingkong, hahaha!

THE DESSERTS – Although there was nothing magical about their sweets, it sure was a very interesting set of choices to me. I didn’t anymore space for it but the apple ice cream looked promising, the jelly and whipped cream was a sure hit to my company and the shaved ice with red beans was something to remember, this one I had a straw-poke taste test.

THE STAFF– one of my biggest issues in going (or not) to a buffet is getting enough crew attention. Kingkong definitely edged all the other buffet chains in Thailand, perhaps anywhere else in the world. Their attention to customer needs and wants was superbly impressive, at least this branch in Ploenchit. Never did used empty plate last on the table for longer than a minute. Everything was on hand less than a minute at our bidding.

So the big question is: WOULD I GO BACK? Definitely! A resounding one would be my answer. Whether alone or with company, this one will definitely be on my list of guilty pleasures.

When was the last time you held a ball in your hands and owned your first strike?

It’s my second week getting involved in the ICA Volleyball Girls Team and I have never felt more driven in sports like I have in forever. Our rehearsals to make sure the team develop teamwork were held well way out of my way after work during a weekday but I push for it. I struggle with working out on my own, and I figured this would be a great way to do so and enjoy fellowship and camaraderie while at it.
The ladies began raising funds for the jerseys, registration and ball and today we just got our uniforms. Thanks to the donors, we donned our jerseys at the training today. Although the match was postponed to next Saturday, we worked our butts off at training with our coach Michael Alano from 6am to 10:30 today at the pink park in Ekkamai.

To be honest, I don’t care if I didn’t get to play at the match. The training to do perfect service, digs and spikes is already an incentive. Not to mention the working out made more fun by playing with friends.

Are you living in Thailand? Have you heard about the #20bahtfrenzy ?

If you do, you already probably know that this is the time of the year in Thailand where fruits of all sorts can be bought for 20baht per kilo! This is anywhere between June to September, and if I’m lucky enough, it extends until October.

Something about the country’s landscape makes it easier for farmers and crops to make a major haul out, fortunately for fruit-lovers like me. Rivers and canals are sprawled across this vast swampland for a country.

Expats who are living in Thailand at this time of the year would post random pictures of fruits for 20 baht a kilo, sometimes cheaper and would get a long thread of comments from friends outside the country gushing in unbelief!

For only 2 Malaysian Ringgit, or 25 pesos, or 4 Swedish Kronor, fruits like mangosteen and ripe mangoes are hard to find even in tropical countries like mine for this price, more so for Europe.

Now at its tail end, the #20bahtfrenzy will be looked forward to next year. You can still get fruits all year-round but prices vary and are not as pocket-friendly as they should be.

Oh, and spices like these jalapenos can be bought for 20baht a bunch at the wet market next door, along with a bunch of garlic, onions and tomatoes, and many other thingamajigs. Maybe my next #20bahtfrenzy post will be about that. What is yours?

I recently bought a 5-kilo bag of soil for 20baht at the garden shop nearby and now that I have found that it is easier than digging from the backyard, I plan to buy a bag every month. Why?

1. Plants need nutrient replenishing. Potted plants are very prone to soil erosion. Imagine the heat they have to endure being outside and contained in compact space, then getting drenched when it rains or during the regular watering? Some of the soil particles get washed away down the drainage. Periodic replenish of soil to your pots will make happy and refreshed plants.

2. It’s time to try other crops. By now, I pretty much know what kind of crops thrive in my own urban farm. Depending on the space, the heat exposure and the general weather conditions, not everything I put in a pot grows. But everyday is a new day to try out other crops and see if you can grow them. Having a stash of good soil will always come in handy.

That little papaya came from a whole ripe papaya I bought fresh from the market. I dried the seeds for a week and sprinkled them in a few pots. I got a happy surprise after a few days. These bittergourd bloom is my second attempt to grow these fragile crawlers. My first batch died in the heat and probably not enough space. This time they got more space and more shade. I shall see how they fare.

3. Relocating is the next big thing! I saw that my aloe veras are thriving really well given the conditions. It is now bursting out of its pot and has many little shoots to compete with. After my first pluck-out proved successful, I am now confident to pluck a few more and replant them to independence. So I did. Glad to have some soil at bay.

The same goes for my mint, they are very low maintenance and perfect for re-growing. Just snip off a couple twigs and bury the bottom end in a pot of soil. They grow very quickly.

Small pots like these are no problem for them plus these are perfect for indoor settings on special occassions or table tops where guests can pluck out the freshest mint leaves and pop them in their mouths!

These morning glories are remnants of my soup two weeks ago. I popped them in my pot designated for compost pit then I covered them with fresh soil. Instead of rotting, they grew. I am not sure if I would eat them though, haha!