Well, our second day in Bangkok was interesting. We were excited because Liam's best friend Guillaume was coming to Bangkok for work and so was Liam's sister Biz, her husband Chai and their 1 year old son Yuthana. We were just really excited to have a gang to hang out with. Plus Biz lived in Thailand for a long time and Chai is Thai so having locals with us gave us a bit of cred.
However, during the day we were alone. We were going to find Topshop but on our way there we bumped into this man. He thought we were looking for MBK and helpfully gestured for us to go a certain direction. He even thought I was Thai. A lot of people thought I was Thai. When he realised we were both foreigners, he started talking to us about our holiday and told us about this really good restaurant that he goes to with his family that does really good tom yum soup and this factory that sold cheap designer clothes. I'm not so into designer clothes, but my mum is and I figured I could find some nice scarves for her. This really nice man spoke to a tuk tuk for us so he didn't overcharge us.
I know what you are thinking. This is not going to end well. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
So the tuk tuk was taking us to some mysterious restaurant for amazing tom yum. As we were driving, I realised we were in Phaya Thai because we drove past the station. The tuk tuk began to slow down and head into a gigantic seafood restaurant setting up for lunch and dinner. We felt a bit weird because we were expecting some kind of small eatery, but we headed inside anyway. When we were seated, it was quite obvious that we were expected to order some kind of lobster or crab. As it was just lunch time, we opted for some Tom Kha Gai and a Pad Thai.
Sadly, I don't have any photos, but the food was very tasty. The only issue was that both dishes cost 300 baht. That's AU$10 and while that might be totally acceptable for a delicious Tom Kha Gai (FYI Tom Kha Gai is a coconut and galangal soup), but pad thai? Pad Thai is 40 baht from a street vendor. We didn't mind too much since that meal was still cheaper than what we could get in Australia. We paid and left.
When we went to find our tuk tuk, we noticed there was a Puey Thai sticker on the tuk tuk. Liam started talking to the tuk tuk driver about the Bangkok massacre last year where the Red Shirts were protesting their right to democracy and the millitary sent snipers on the sky walk to shoot the protestors. Our tuk tuk driver, who was probably about 60, rolled up the leg of his pants and showed us this massive scar on his leg. He said he was shot by the snipers. It was really moving. We shook hands. I think he was just really happy to have someone to talk to and to meet foreigners who knew what's going.
Afterwards, we went to this "factory" with the discounted designer clothing. Except it wasn't a factory but a tailor. When we went in, we were super confused. The tailors were super confused. There was no factory full of discounted goods so we just left. Our tuk tuk driver took us somewhere that sold legitimate duty free jewelry. I was so close to buying this gorgeous emerald and white gold ring when Liam received a phone call from Guillaume. We left abruptly and headed over to MBK for a drink with Guillaume.
Later that night, Liam and I went back to Phaya Thai and had dinner at this bar. I don't know what it's called but it was very busy. We sat outside. The atmosphere was great. One table was full of off duty business men, another table full of young adults.
Chicken and cashew stir fry
The squid larb, for me, was a revelation. It was beyond delicious. We had a few more of these beers before we headed back to the hotel. While we were in the lobby using the internet, we received a call from Biz and Chai. They were in the hotel lobby as well! We found them and exchanged hugs and hellos. Yuthana was in a cranky mood, crying and all that. He was being carried by Noi, Chai's younger sister's bestfriend. She was so wonderful and friendly. We also met Bank, who is Chai's older sister's son. Noi and Bank left and we helped Biz and Chai up to their rooms. When they settled in, we started chatting and drinking beer and gin until pretty late.