Bangkok DIY: The Search for the best Phad Thai

Anyone set for Bangkok?

Before you contact your travel agent or get on a set tour, allow me to share our DIY (do-it-yourself) Bangkok trip for our fourth year anniversary.

It was my first time to plan (in detail, as you would see later) an out of the country trip for me and my husband. I did plan our past out-of-town trips within the Philippines, but I initially doubted that planning a trip abroad would be just as easy---well, to be honest, it's not! Heehee...

Okay, I'm supposed to entice you to do a DIY Bangkok trip, right? I won't say it's as easy as planning a local trip. It can be intimidating at first, with all that worry about currency conversion, language barrier, etc.---but trust me, I was able to do everything without a glitch! (Wink!)

actual itinerary in pdf form converted to JPG using convertpdftoimage

Now you can go ahead and follow the above itinerary if you:
  • Plan to stay in Silom area while in Bangkok
  • Would like to have temple tours as the highlight of your trip (and not shopping)
Silom is like Quezon Ave. or Ayala Ave. here in Manila.

Somewhere in Silom

It is not a much popular choice for temporary abode for budget travelers compared to Khao San Road. It just so happened that we had free accommodation to a hotel in Silom area so we had to stay there. However, if we're going to pay for accommodations ourselves,  I would have chosen one of those hostels in Khao San or these relatively affordable accomodations:
As I've said earlier, we had free accomodations in Bangkok--in Silom City Hotel. How we got it for free? I'll reveal that in another post.

Silom City Hotel

Silom City Hotel is not exactly along Silom Road but on one of its side streets, Soi Prachum (Soi Silom 22). "Soi" means an  side-street branching off a major street (called Thanon). It took us a long time to find the hotel's address since we were looking for a street sign labeled "Soi Prachum" as it was the one stated in the hotel's card. We learned that it would have been easier if we look for "Silom 22" instead. Just a tip on looking for streets in Bangkok: When walking on the major street towards increasing soi numbers, all the even-numbered sois are on the right side and the odd-numbered ones on the left side of the street.

When you look up the above hotel in Tripadvisor, you'd see numerous reviews about it, mostly negative. I'd say: Ignore them!

Silom City Hotel is a nice, small hotel---not as big and as busy as a major hotel chain but I won't consider it as one of the seedy ones either. If you'd ask me to compare it to a hotel here in Manila, it's similar to City Garden Hotel or Executive Plaza.

What's Hot & ; Not with Silom Area?
  • Silom is "tourist-safe." It's not too busy and not too laid-back either. Also there were no hawkers and touts on the lookout for foreigners to, ugh, victimize. 
  • Lots of establishments to suit your needs: malls, pharmacies, eateries, souvenirs---name it, it's there!
  • The downside is Silom is quite far from the famous BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System or Bangkok's MRT).  In our case, the nearest BTS station  which is Surasak is a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Definitely "walkable," but after all the tour around Bangkok area, temples and malls, you'd definitely wish that the BTS station was just a few steps away from your doorstep. If I were to plan a Bangkok trip again, I would choose a hotel or hostel within a BTS station or location a few blocks away. I will talk more about this future Bangkok game plan in a later post.
  • It's near Soi Patpong---Bangkok's red light district. I don't know if it's considered "hot" or "not" --- depends on the person I guess, hehe.
Random tips on Silom area:

Have medicines ready. My husband complained of stomach upset in the morning of our second day in Bangkok and we found out that most pharmacies in Silom area don't open until 10AM. Unlike here in the Philippines, they don't sell over-the-counter meds in convenient stores. (How inconvenient! Hmffft!)

For first-hand experience on Thai's fresh produce, we found this market around Soi Silom 20.

Market at Soi Silom 22

Fresh fruits. It's like in our neighborhood market, except for the price signs in baht

"Inihaw na saging, anyone?" (Roasted bananas)

Let me recommend this restaurant along Central Silom (same area as Tops Supermarket). It's Lee Cafe.

Meet Mr. Lee (Ground Floor, Central Silom Complex)

part of Lee Cafe's menu

My first of many phad thai (130 baht)

Lee Cafe marked my first stop for our "search for the best, yet cheap phad thai" themed trip. Dishes usually range from 100 baht up. 

My take on Lee Cafe's phad thai? It was good--definitely better than what they serve here in Manila (Jatujak, Oody's). After the first taste, I almost wanted to say, "Now I know how an authentic phad thai should taste like!" But I have to remind myself that it is too early to say that. We're set to eat different phad thai versions as much as our stomach can tolerate hehe.

More phad thais and behind the scenes on our Bangkok DIY itinerary next time!


Anonymous said...

Wow nagutom ako!

Kailangan pa talagang pumunta sa thailand para sa phad thai na 'yan.

Nung matikman ko kasi ang phad thai sa bangkok, ibang-iba sa phad thai dito kahit sa mga "authentic" kuno na thai resto.

phad thai! phad thai!

Tin said...

Thuk Thai in Ortigas tastes "authentic" somehow. Badtrip yung sa Som's...authentic daw...bleah!

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