Day 36: The cheapest way around Bangkok — RailTravel Station

As my hostel was near the Bangkok (Hua Lamphong) Railway Station, and I was meeting a friend in the city for dinner, I figured the fastest way to get to our meeting point was by none other than the railway itself. Of course, it turned out to be the cheapest way too. Price I paid […]

via Day 36: The cheapest way around Bangkok — RailTravel Station


In late 2012, I was researching for a fine-dining dinner in Bangkok with Katherine and Andrew, and came across this restaurant proclaiming to serve “Progressive Indian” cuisine. Intrigued, I made a reservation, knowing little how amazed I’ll be at the end of that evening’s culinary experience.

Menu bookThat restaurant was Gaggan. Fast forward to 2015, it is now N0.1 on San Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, and Top 10 on the World’s Best Restaurants; alongside illustrious names like El Celler de Can Roca of Girona, Spain; Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen; Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy; and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s Eleven Madison Park in New York. It’s about time too, as Gaggan is one of the most exciting restaurants I’ve chanced upon in recent years.

At Gaggan with Chef OwnerChef Anand, extreme right.

Chef Gaggan Anand is a very talented man, and friendly too (he says Gaggan is the probably the…

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International Express: Bangkok to Hat Yai and Butterworth by Train

RailTravel Station

The International Express is a daily service to Hat Yai and Butterworth from Bangkok and vice versa. Departing from Bangkok, the train uses 6 to 8 second class sleeper coaches, 1 buffet coach and 1 first class cabin coach, with 2 of the second class sleepers continuing their journey to Butterworth.

Click here for the reverse journey.

The State Railway of Thailand recently updated the platforms with new electronic information screens providing additional information at each platform, a welcome addition.

The train crew readies the train for departure.

The buffet car is ready for you even before the train departs. You may choose to dine here or have your meal at your seat.

The chef makes preparations in the kitchen for lunch and dinner.

This is Khao Pad Rot Fai (ข้าวผัดรถไฟ), or Railway Fried Rice. The set costing 110 baht comes with a side soup and orange juice. This was also…

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Tucked away in a little soi off Langsuan, there stood a house which was converted into a Michelin-star Restaurant called Gaggan. For foodies who appreciates the art of scientific gastronomy and are willing to pay through the nose to experience such exquisite dining, the experience can be oh-so-divine. For the unfamiliar, Gaggan serves progressive Indian cuisine. Its recipes are simple but made elegant by exotic presentation and futuristic cooking techniques. We initially discovered this place by a sheer drive-by coincidence – and only because Silver Bullet recognized the name when he saw the signage close to it while we were stuck in a very slow moving traffic on a road we quite often passed by. This place is not heavily advertised, and if not for Silver Bullet who pointed it out, we would not have known that this place existed right in the heart of Bangkok . It literally is  a 10-15 minutes journey away from our home.

We trooped off to Gaggan one evening with 6 other friends , using 3 birthday celebrations for January mommies  and a good family friend leaving Bangkok as an excuse to spend an exorbitantly expensive amount of money on food created in the name of gastronomical pleasures. There were several menus to choose from and I decided to pick the most extensive menu in the name  of curiosity.  We were all seated on the table next to the kitchen and it was really awesome to be able to watch the staff in the kitchen preparing our food before we were served. Now, I don’t remember every single item that was served, but I do remember that every single dish served tasted awfully divine.

The first complementary drink was refreshing and the Lychee Drink I picked was absolutely gorgeous to start the evening going. This particular is my favourite – I remember that  it tasted like egg, and the moment you put it in your mouth, the ball burst into  a delicious confetti of flavor which I cannot even begin to describe.

The taste was flavourful and the sensation indescribable. And then there was this, And this, And this, And a bunch more…

The fish curry was extraordinary as well and by the time I got to the lamb towards the end of the course, I felt so full that I thought my stomach would burst. It was a really wonderful experience and I would not mind doing it again for the second time. My only gripe and dissatisfaction with the whole experience boiled down to only 1 thing I found rather distasteful: the Matre’D – while not obnoxious, did not seem friendly or forth-coming. In fact ,she was aloof, cold and has one of the most condescending-i-am-above-you-and you-do-not deserve-anything-from-this place tone I have ever experienced. My observation dictated that she eyed us in such contempt, with hardly a smile across her face.  The entire experience I had with her made me feel that we were inconveniencing her more than anything, and how dare we dine at a place where we probably should not be able to afford a meal as exquisite as that. Hence,  while the food experience was fantastic, I really do feel like Gaggan could use a better Maitre’D to serve their customers. I mean, we did pay a good amount of money and the least she could do is lower herself down a little bit by providing genuinely  sincere, excellent service to complement the food that were served. Instead, she chose to serve us a mightier-than-thou attitude. She was  a disappointment to such a renowned establishment. It was, otherwise a sweet, triple birthday celebration and a nice farewell to one of our good friends.

And one other thing: If you are looking for an authentic, traditional Indian cuisine, this might not be the place to be expecting that.

Source: A Review: Gaggan

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Photo Bangkok runs from July 29th to October

4th 2015

PhotoBangkok is a triennial international photography festival aiming to create alternative, sustainable platforms and new opportunities for the photographic community and creative industries in Thailand and beyond. PhotoBangkok is a collaborative project bringing together organisations, institutions, artists, curators, galleries and designers. The PhotoBangkok team has designed a comprehensive plan for this first edition consisting of a wide range of exhibitions and diverse educational programs for the general public, amateurs and professionals with more than 50 local and international artists involved.

Our goal is to utilise available resources to their full potential by sharing knowledge, exchanging cultural expression and collaborating through photography, while to establishing a foundation essential for the creative community and future generation to develop and build on.

Coming July 29th – October 4th 2015

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