Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wild Plants

I am also trying my hand at photographing wild plants and flowers that I come across while looking for insects. This is a mimosa pudica flower.The mimosa is more well-known for its ability to close up its leaves upon being touched. Children loves to play with this interactive plant. It's a weed here but is said to originate from South America.
This here is a fuzzy curled fern tip with dew drops.Grass flowers, I was surprised to see that grass also have flowers and they are quite awesome.

Macro Photography Crazy

I just absolutely crazy about macro photography. I found a lens that wasn't cumbersome and heavy. I got the Canon EF 50mm F/2.5. It's perfect for me and I am quite pleased with the results just after three days of working with the lens.
These are some of the photos that I took. These are of two dragonflies that allowed me to get right in their faces to photograph them.This is the indigo dropwing dragonfly.This here is the female dawn dropwing dragonfly.The peacock pansy butterfly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pho24 Vietnamese Pho Noodles

I love noodles and since I had to run down to the Marina area. I stopped by Pho24 to sample their pho.
Pho24 at Millenia Walk is a franchise of Vietnam's Pho24, a fast food chain for Vietnamese beef noodles. I chose a combo bowl of beef flank and brisket and a cup of Vietnamese drip coffee.The first thing I tasted was the broth after I added in the bean sprouts, sliced onions, chili and lime juice. It was tasty and clean on the palate the way I like my pho broth. I would have enjoyed my bowl of noodles if the beef slices weren't over cooked. The coffee was strong and smooth, the way I like it. I still prefer the pho outlet at Suntec.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lemongrass, Sukhumvit Soi 24

I had to have a meal at Lemongrass before I left for home, as I always enjoyed their food. Besides, it almost a pilgrimage for me.
Most people rave about the antiques and the quaint setting. However, I find the place rather dingy and grimy but it does serve good Thai food. Be prepared to pay a little more than usual as Lemongrass is well known.
I decided not to order my tried and tested dishes but instead try other items on the menu. I picked Mieng Gai (minced chicken cooked with ginger and eaten with raw green wraps)as my appetiser. The greens were lettuce, cabbage and beetle leaves.Next came Hoy Mang Pu (steamed mussels). The bowl came in tangy clear broth that was so yummy. It looked deceivingly easy to prepare. Galangal, lemongrass, coriander, shallots, bird's eye chili, kaffir leaves, and kaffir lime juice.To round of my meal, I had Woon Sen Kai Ken (fried glass noodles with salted egg yoke). The next time, I'm in Bangkok I'm going to buy salted duck eggs and take them home with me. They weren't as salty as the ones we get from China and a lot tastier too.It was a great meal and a great way to end my much needed vacation.

Random Samplings

Random sampling of food that I have had in Bangkok.
MBK has two food centers, fifth and sixth floor. This plate of chicken rice was my dinner from the sixth floor food court. It was just chicken rice (average).

The canteen at the Vimanmek Mansion look ordinary and they will turn you away if they need to feed staff. We went back after the tour and the food is freshly cooked on order. I decided to try stir fried seafood with basil and tom yam kung. My order was surprisingly delicious (v. good).
At the spur of the moment, I decided not to have the tour guide drop me off at the hotel. I bailed on him at Nana station and wondered around the middle section of Sukhumvit. I chanced upon this Chinese restaurant on Soi 15, Yong Lee Restaurant that was filled with Thais on their lunch break. I decided to have lunch here. As I didn't think to ask for a menu, I ended up with wanton and roast duck noodles (good).
I got to Lemongrass at 2 pm only to find that they have closed. So I wondered into an air conditioned food court, only to find that no one understood me nor could they tell me what they sold. I ended up at a noodle stall that sold tom yam noodles (good).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hindu Shrines Around the Ratchaprasong Junction

The highest concentration of Bangkok Shrines dedicated to Hindu gods and a goddess is around the Ratchaprasong junction. Each commercial building has a deity as its guardian and patron.
Of all the Bangkok shrines, the most popular among Thais and foreigners is the Erawan Shrine, a shrine visited by hundreds everyday. The shrine has an gripping legend that deeply influenced the fate and name of the hotel behind it, the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. Another popular shrine with the locals is the Trimurti Shrine across the road in front of Central World Plaza. Trimurti refers to the Trinity of Hindu gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.
The Trimurti Shrine is one of the Bangkok Shrines with a very romantic allure. Called the Lovers' Shrine, many believe that those who pray here for true love will have their dreams fulfilled.
Located next to the Trimurti Shrine is the Ganesha Shrine, dedicated to Ganesha, the lord of success. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles.
Across the road in Gaysorn Plaza, a luxury shopping mall, is the Lakshmi Shrine a shrine dedicated to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, beauty and prosperity.
At the entrance to the Intercontinental Hotel, just next to Gaysorn Plaza, the Vishnu Shrine honors the Hindu god Vishnu, the protector of life, the preserver of the universe and the consort of Lakshmi.Opposite the Intercontinental is the last of the Hindu gods around Ratchaprasong junction. This is the Indra Shrine, for the supreme god of Hinduism Indra, the god of thunder and rain, the god of war and the deity for Amarin Plaza.

Abundance of Food

There is just so much food that some get turned into dried foods. Here are some women selected salted fish that are semi-dry.Pork is also cured and sold on the street.Salted beans.Fresh honey combs with grubs still in them.White corn.Dried seafood in the shops along the Chao Phraya River.

Before Starbucks Came To Town

I chanced upon this float by cafe at the entrance to the floating market. This is how we Asians make our local coffee over charcoal fire and the coffee strained sometimes through a sock.Teh tarik Thai style with lots of panache but see the tea soaked cardboard.Iced coffee that hits the spot on a hot day.Freshly squeezed tangerine juice that is refreshing on a hot humid day.My personal favorite iced lemongrass tea that is fragrant and smooth.Herbal drink that is suppose to lower body heat on a hot day. It tastes a little strange initially but it's not too bad.

Street Food III - Sweets

Street hawkers also spoil you with a wide variety of desserts too.
Candied pumpkin balls wrapped in mini pancakes.Candied fruit.Crispy morsels of rice biscuits topped with sweet coconut cream.

Bangkok Street Food II

There is unbelievable amount of food being sold on the streets of Bangkok and it was impossible to try them all. This smiling lady who obliging posed for me is selling fried fish cakes.This man is selling pig's trotters and intestines stewed in soy sauce. We tried it one night at a different street hawker and it was delicious just forget about the fat you are consuming.Stall selling fried rice or noodles which ever way you like it.Ingredients to a bowl of noodle soup, include liver, pig's blood and minced pork.This kuay chap seller at the floating market. Grilled salt covered snakeheads, catfish and chicken on the street near Central World. The fish had pandan stuffed into their mouths to add frangrance to an otherwise very bland fish.Satay at Chatuchak.