As Waco mentioned in his previous post, we’ve just arrived in Malaysia, but we wanted to go back in time to early December. Here is a map that shows the path we took north.


Our overnight train from Chumpon back north to Bangkok once again landed us “home” in Bangkok. This time, we decided to try a different hotel in a different part of town, Bobae. The hotel was right on a water taxi line on Khlong Mahanak (Mahanak Canal). We ended up using the water taxi quite a bit and enjoying many aspects of it. Water taxis are not touristy; we were typically the only non-Thais on the boats. It was convenient; the taxi stop was about a minute walk from our hotel’s front door. It was adventuresome; the boats never stopped for more than a few seconds to let people off and on, so you had to be quick or else you’d end up IN the canal. There was no traffic on the canal. Bangkok traffic is awful; it’s gridlock every day and a very short distance ride in a cab can take a painfully long time. And finally, the fares were extremely affordable at just 10 baht, or about 28 cents per person.

We also used the BTS system, which is one of Bangkok’s mass transit train systems, and liked it quite a bit. It was much more orderly, clean and easy to use than the NYC subway which we used for a decade when we lived in New York City. It’s an unfair comparison (5 million NYC daily riders vs. 750,000 Bangkok daily riders), but still worth noting.

Seven Luck

Standing in front of our hotel on the canal


Waiting on the platform for a water taxi


Another day, another water taxi


Canal view

Same view at night

Same view at night

There was a large fruit market nearby and we walked by jack fruit vendors with huge piles of huge fruit almost every day. We also peeked into nearby Bobae tower, an incredible wholesale apparel operation with thousands of vendors with worldwide sales.


These look like durian, but are actually jackfruit

No Durian!

No durian sign in a cab (they stink!!!)

Bobae chicken

A Bobae neighborhood rooster


We tried not to be concerned about all of the babies and toddlers we would see on bikes and scooters everywhere. It’s just the way things are done here, but I admit I did have to hold my breath every time a scene like this occurred right in front of me. Hold on tight, baby!

Baby on board

Baby on board

We stumbled across a sweet cafe one day. The woman who owned it was the grand-daughter of the original owner and had filled it with kitschy 1950’s vintage pieces all displayed in Chinese style apothecary cabinets. She was proud to point out the original sign with hand-painted Mickey Mouse cartoons. She also volunteered to take a family photo of us in her shop. We couldn’t resist the rare opportunity to have an actual photo of the three of us together in one shot!

Rare family photo

Rare family photo

90 year old cafe

Very old cafe signage

We couldn’t come to a new neighborhood and not expect to meet a sweet dog, could we? Here is Jette at the local laundry spot meeting the owner’s dog.


Our laundry spot


Happy girl, happy dog

This new neighborhood had a lot of manufacturing style family businesses and we enjoyed seeing the small scale of each one; most appeared busy and successful.

Door Fabricator

Door fabricator displaying samples

Manufacturing Shop

Manufacturing shop in the neighborhood

Down the street

Great example of 1960’s modernist architecture near our hotel


We didn’t buy anything here, but had fun browsing

Bonsai Farm

Beautiful Bonsai Trees

Looks simple, tastes nice!

Chinese noodles from a popular tiny 4-table restaurant

Shipping these home for our front yard

Shipping these home for our front yard

Happy Buddha

Happy Buddha

We took in the “Bike for Dad” celebration.

Exicited about Bike for Dad

Excited about “Bike for Dad”

Bike for dad lights

“Bike for Dad” lights

Festive "Bike for Dad" street

Festive “Bike for Dad” street

There was a vendor selling these intriguing sweets which we had to try. They ended up being sweet bean treats and were definitely more beautiful than tasty to our palate.

Bikes for rent (Jette misses riding one!)

Bikes for rent (Jette misses riding one!)

Jette temporarily turned into a vampire

Jette temporarily turned into a vampire

Elephant Topiary

One of Bangkok’s amazing topiary-filled medians

Lovely cafe

Just had to get a photo of this gorgeous cafe space

We discovered a breakfast spot about a 15 minute walk from the hotel and immediately became regulars. We don’t really know the English language translation for the name of this place, but it’s a Thai fusion restaurant of sorts. It has a few incredible dishes that all three of us craved. Firstly, they make delicious, icy, Thai milk tea and serve it in frosty mugs. Their iced coffee drinks are fantastic as well. They serve hot, fresh, flaky, fluffy roti with spicy green chicken curry which is Jette’s favorite; the flavors and textures are an addictive combination. They have a signature dish that is difficult to describe, but very easy to eat. It starts with a layer of rice, topped with a crisped egg that has been fried in such a way that it barely resembles egg, yet is just light as air and crispy. Then, they top it all with a scoop of spicy “pad krapow moo” and then we make it disappear.


Walking to breakfast one morning

Secret (1)

Best breakfast spot in Bangkok!

Secret Breakfast

We love it here

Iced Latte

Iced Latte heaven


Iced Cappucino heaven


Jette loved the roti with green curry


Mystery meats

Mystery meats

Popular egg dish

Popular egg dish

So Crispy

Crispy egg on rice

We also were within walking distance from a very famous pad thai restaurant called Thipsamai. Going there was amazing, not just because of the delicious food, but for the entertainment value. The cooking took place on the street and there was so much action from everyone involved in making the hundreds of dishes of food they must make every night. The line snaked around forever and the atmosphere was lively. There was fresh, delicious orange juice and a street vendor selling steamed coconut sweets for dessert after dinner; a closed loop system. Dinner, drinks and dessert all within a stone’s throw!


Line at Thipsamai

Coconut Pudding

Coconut desserts after dinner

We worked quite a bit with Jette finding new cafes for a change of scenery. She accomplished quite a bit of writing and read a significant amount of ancient history.


Working hard

One more math workbook finished!

One more math workbook finished!

We discovered a new dining destination called Food Loft at one of the nicer department stores, Central Chidlom. Basically, a quiet, comfortable dining space set apart from kiosk-style, small restaurant kitchens that were able to prepare almost any dish anyone could desire. One of the kiosks had a northern Thai dish called Khao Soi for Waco. Another had a grilled salmon dish that Jette liked and a third had Indian food for me. On days when the noise, heat and grit of the city would have exhausted us, we would find ourselves wanting to escape to the luxury of our comfort foods in the Food Loft’s soft chairs and plentiful air conditioning. We definitely felt pampered there; it’s funny how simple true luxury really is. It all just depends on your perspective.

Salmon dinner

Salmon dinner

The holiday spirit was alive and well in Bangkok. Jette and I had to engage in some photo silliness.

Holiday Silliness (1)

Sparkly snowmen inspire silliness


A holiday display we liked

In case you didn’t know, Jette is permitted a “seasonal doughnut”, meaning one per season, or about four doughnuts a year. How did she spot the Dunkin Donuts?! Check “summer” and “fall” off her list. She made sure to hold back on her “winter” doughnut in case she wants to enjoy two at the same time when “spring” rolls around. Cheeky monkey!




Just before mid-December, we switched back to our familiar neighborhood, Silom and awaited the arrival of some very special visitors…

Boutique Cafe

Nob Cafe back in the Silom neighborhood

Nob Cafe

A cute display in the boutique portion of Nob Cafe