Thai Cafés

I know it has taken me long to pen this down and there is absolutely no reason except that I had been procrastinating and been on back to back trips ever since I returned from Thailand. I promise (like always) to be more regular and share everything in the coming weeks about where I have been till now. In my last post, I shared my Thailand itinerary, all the places I went to, where I stayed, what I did. Since it was already too extensive, I thought of doing another post only on the places I ate at. So without further ado, below are some of the best places to eat around Thailand and trust me you will not regret experiencing them:

The Velo Cafe, Hua Hin

Hua Hin was our first stop after landing in Bangkok. It is a small, lazy town and while we were there it was raining so we had to spend most of our time indoors. Velo café was very close to our hostel (Jetty hostel) and it was a newly opened cafe (just a few weeks old) run by this young guy who was making everything fresh. We called for one cold mocha and affogato along with a grilled tuna sandwich. Trust me when I say this, I haven’t had a yummier tuna sandwich before because I somehow don’t like the taste and smell of uncooked, cold tuna and I went for this because it was going to be grilled and it tasted amazing.

 

Because I enjoyed my first meal here so much I went here again the next day to have breakfast. This time we called for some cappuccino along with croissant and pancakes, which again was really tasty.

 

The Coffee Club, Hua Hin

For people staying at Hilton, this could be a cheap alternative for the breakfast buffet since it is walking distance from there. I honestly, did not find it very cheap or pocket-friendly due to the addition of VAT in the bill (which was a first for us in Thailand) cause of which this breakfast proved to be a little expensive (around 900 baht for 4 things). Nevertheless, I urge you guys to go for this one if you want to have a sumptuous, filling start to your day. We went for the feta cheese mushroom omelette along with regular pancakes, mocha and ofcourse our favourite coffee dessert these days, affogato. Although in hindsight, I now feel I should have gone for the coconut pancakes since they are the most famous there, so if you happen to visit there, keep it in mind to order the coconut pancakes.

 

Lion and Shark Cafe, Krabi

Our next stop was Krabi, one of the busiest islands in Thailand and given the population of tourists at any given point, the place is flooded with restaurants and cafes every few metres. We went for Lion and Shark cafe for our first night’s meal. We had a nice mushroom pepper soup along with a mexican veggie pizza. The place also has a hostel alongside and hence you will always find some backpackers sitting around, lazing, absorbed in their books.

 

Tom Yam Ton, Ao Nang, Krabi

If there’s one place that gets completely booked out for dinner in Krabi, it is Tom Yam Ton thai food restaurant which was right next to our guest house Ao Nang Guesthouse. The place apparently gets booked out for dinner one day before so the day we reached Ao Nang we couldn’t do dinner there so we made a reservation for next evening. If you are a thai food lover, you will definitely love this place. I went for the classic pad thai noodles along with thai green curry and rice which was absolutely worth the half an hour wait.

thai green curry and pad thai noodles

Snapseed 7

 

Since we enjoyed the place so much we had our next day morning breakfast there which was this really yummy bowl of muesli with fresh fruits and yoghurt.

FullSizeRender 4

 

Tanya’s Cafe, Koh Samui

We celebrated New Year’s at Koh Samui and spent maximum time here. This is another tourist friendly destination which is flooded with a lot of restaurant/ cafe options and we were looking for a nice breakfast cafe on New Year’s Eve and stumbled on this cafe through TripAdvisor rating. Tripadvisor reviews have been a saviour for us on this trip and all the places that we ate at were thanks to lovely reviews and ratings on TripAdvisor. I strongly suggest you guys to use that when you are travelling internationally.

Since I wanted to eat fruits, which by the way you get in plenty in Thailand. Whether you are in Bangkok, Krabi or any island, the choice of fresh fruits and coconut water that you get here is unparalleled. I went for fresh fruits with cream and chia seeds along with some vegetable omelette, mocha and cappuccino. Everything is freshly prepared by Tanya and her family. She is extremely warm, friendly and would suggest you dishes if you can’t make up your mind like me 😛

 

 

Wile Tribe Cafe, Koh Samui

Another really good cafe for breakfast in Koh Samui is the Wild Tribe cafe, thanks to a wide array of vegan, gluten-free and healthy options on the menu catering to people of every palette. They have a lot of options for smoothies and juices as well. We went for gluten free strawberry pancakes and cheese omelette.

 

Tree House, Koh Tao

Our next stop was Koh Tao where we went specially to dive after seeing all the beautiful pictures and reading so much about it. As compared to Krabi and Koh Samui, Koh Tao is a relatively smaller island where there aren’t a lot of options so while walking one evening we spotted this colourful place and decided to have dinner here. The place is managed by a couple and it is famous for thai food. We called for pad thai noodles along with some hot noodle soup.

 

The Road Less Travelled, Koh Samui

Another interesting, colourful cafe cum hostel that we came across was The Road Less Travelled near the ferry pier at Koh Samui while we were really hungry one evening and wanted to have a quick munchie. Although we couldn’t really eat here anything since they were preparing the place for New Year party, the owners were really sweet to offer us some hot croissants along with coffee. The cafe is really beautifully done and has a great dessert menu so I would highly recommend you to try it since it’s walking distance from the ferry pier.

IMG_2217

 

Paper Butter, Bangkok

One of my favourite food places on this trip has to be Paper Butter in Bangkok which was inside the vicinity of our hostel, The Yard Hostel where we stayed during the last two days of our trip. They serve these yummy veg and non veg patties in charcoal burgers which are apparently really good for digestion. I went for the beetroot patty while my partner went for their famous beef burger. I have to tell you that it was perhaps one the best burgers I have had in my life. It was soft, juicy and the charcoal burger added this nice burnt flavour to the patty and sauces. Must must go-to place while you are in Bangkok.

Snapseed 8

 

I strongly urge you guys to have local thai food as much as you can along with lots of fruits and coconut water, which is available for really cheap. Even while we were driving around, we used to pack fruits for snacking and they proved to be healthy and filling. I would recommend going local and simply entering these tiny restaurants wherever you are since they would serve the most authentic food along with lots of love and warmth.

 

 

 

All images © Kainat27

 

The Thai Way

Couldn’t have gifted myself a better end to 2017 than a Thailand trip. 2017 has been a year of travel for me, of which Seychelles and Thailand will top the list without an iota of doubt. Earlier I thought I was equally inclined towards mountains and beaches but now that’s beginning to change and I feel I am more of a waterbaby. Thailand will also be memorable for ticking an important thing off the bucket list: SCUBA DIVING. Yes, I finally dived in the middle of a beautiful ocean only to be surrounded by colourful fishes. In this blog I will mostly be writing about the entire trip, where all I went and stayed. I will also be doing another post soon on all the cafes, restaurants I visited during the trip.

Day 1: Bangkok. We reached our hostel Here hostel in the heart of Bangkok city around 2 pm after a long journey only to crash in our cosy room for a while before we headed to explore some night markets and the city life. We wanted to take it slow and retire early so as to be fresh for the drive next day. Yes, Thailand has been a first legit road trip for us. My boyfriend and I drove to the different islands through road, at some places we had to ferry the car. It was a fun, tiring drive.

Snapseed 5

Snapseed 4

Slide your way through hostel dorms at Here

We went to the popular Platinum Shopping Mall and the Saphan Phut Night Market in Bangkok as we wanted to stock up on some beach essentials. Platinum Mall has a lot of options for women and just one floor for men (that’s a pity) but you have to have the patience to scout the best shops and bargain for everything that you buy. There are some cute shops such as Moshi Moshi where you can buy things like headphones, neck pillows, stationery, mobile covers, hand bags etc. Saphan Phut is the street parallel to Platinum Mall and it had all kinds of stuff at half the price than inside the mall but the quality of clothes was rather ordinary and didn’t seem long lasting.

Snapseed 7

After roaming the streets for a while, we wanted to have a good meal and while driving around in search of some eatery, we accidentally took a wrong route and ended up reaching Sukhumvit area through a toll road. Bangkok is full of toll roads and if you are not careful you will end up spending so much money on tollways. But I am glad we reached Sukhumvit cause we got to eat authentic pad thai noddles and a hot broth full of veggies at Tamnak Isan Ekamai where the meals are prepared by traditional Isan people of Thai region.

Snapseed 15

Snapseed 22

Day 2: After having a sumptuous breakfast of waffle and fruits at Here (don’t miss the breakfast), we started our drive towards Hua Hin, which is touted to be a romantic destination in Thailand. We don’t know why but I guess the laid back vibe and the pleasant weather kind of makes everyone cosy. The weather in Hua Hin was cold as compared to Bangkok with cold winds and rains, for which we were unprepared for. The weather didn’t let us do anything except indulge in some refreshing massage. The location of our hostel was right in the heart of the busy street which was in proximity to all the popular cafes and restaurants. We walked to the night market on the evening we arrived and bought a bunch of stuff, including these really comfortable trainers for just 500 baht. The streets are lined with crepe and coconut stalls every few mins and that was our dinner for the evening.

Snapseed 12

Jetty hostel in Hua Hin is a newly opened hostel and the owner Cap, being an architect has designed the interiors himself. In the entrance lobby are these beautifully designed suitcases that adorn the wall that he has cut from old suitcases of his grandmother. Throughout the hostel there are these pretty corners with wooden work. The view from the terrace is the uninterrupted ocean view.

Snapseed 2

Snapseed 21

IMG_1986

 

Day 3: We went to the historical Hua Hin railway station which is considered to be one of the attractions in the town. It’s a small station where hoards of tourists had gathered just to click pictures. A must visit if you enjoy old architecture.

Snapseed 20

IMG_2048 2

Pretty. Isn’t it?

Day 4: We started our drive to Krabi early in the morning around 9 am since it was a long 6-7 hours drive and we wanted to reach before sunset. We had a great breakfast at Velo cafe (more information on this in my next post) and headed straight to our next destination. The drive to Krabi is the most prettiest drive in the entire Thailand. We found ourselves driving amidst huge palm trees and limestone mountains that glow at night. We were staying in this beautiful guesthouse Aonang Guesthouse and the owner, Tin was really sweet to help us with kind suggestions and places to visit nearby to make the most of our limited stay. Again this guesthouse was very close to the popular sunset point at Ao Nang Beach and the entire market area in Krabi. On our first evening, we just walked to the market, had a nice meal at a cafe nearby and retired since we were tired after all the driving.

FullSizeRender 3

Drive to Krabi

Snapseed 23

View from Ao Nang Guesthouse

Day 5: We woke up and went to the popular hot springs which is an hour’s drive from Ao Nang. It’s advisable to rent a bike if you don’t have a personal mode of transport since cabs are quite expensive in Krabi. We thought that the Hot Springs will be crowded and full of people but when we reached there, we were surprised to find only few people. It’s located in a secluded place amidst a huge fancy property. There are these mini pools before the actual hot springs where you can start by dipping your feet and then once your body has gotten used to the temperature, you can proceed to immersing yourself in the pool. It’s really fascinating as to how a certain part of the pool is warm and then the lower bottom where the water opens is cold. It’s also advisable not to be in the warm water for a prolonged period since it can drain you.

FullSizeRender 5

Snapseed 3

A mini warm pool

Snapseed 17

Hot Spring

We were here for a good two-three hours before we arrived at Ao Nang beach for the beautiful sunset.

IMG_2201

Ao Nang Beach

Day 6: We left Ao Nang shortly after breakfast to start our drive towards Donsak from where we had to take a ferry to Koh Samui. The ferry port at Donsak is huge and beautiful. We had to wait there for an hour for our ferry. We managed to reach Koh Samui only by late evening and the hostel where we were supposed to stay (P168) missed our booking and we were transferred to another hotel which was on the party street of Chaweng Beach in Samui.

Snapseed 8

Donsak Raja Ferry port

We went to party at the famous Ark Bar on Chaweng beach. I really enjoyed being there. The music, fire show and the vibe was really good.

Day 7: We moved to another hostel Chill In near Lamai beach in Samui and before heading there we had one of the best breakfasts of our trip at Tanya’s cafe. Chill In hostel was situated right at the beach and during evenings and early mornings, the waves used to hit the edge of the parapet. On our way to the hostel, we passed this beautiful viewpoint from where you could see the entire ocean and it was a pretty sight. We spent the day chilling at the hostel and playing some interesting card games with fellow hostel mates.

Snapseed 14

The Viewpoint

Snapseed 16

Chill In hostel

Day 8: This was New years eve day and we wanted to rest it out as much as we could so as to be all pumped up for the night. We were going for the full moon party to Koh Phangan. We paid 2300 baht for a couple that would take us by a speedboat to Phangan and bring us back at any time in the wee hours. The speedboat ride was quite bumpy and we were glad to have made it alive. The full moon beach was crowded with thousands of people and it was difficult to even walk your way to the beach. I don’t think I will ever be back to a full moon party because one has to be completely drunk to enjoy these kind of parties and I realised that it’s not my thing.

IMG_2224

 

Day 9: We had an early morning ferry to catch to Koh Tao, which was going to be our last island destination for the trip and we were particularly very excited because we were going to be diving for the first time ever. Koh Tao is a relatively smaller island as compared to the rest of them that it almost feels like a small town/ village. There might not be as many 7 Elevens (a popular supermarket chain in Thailand. You’ll find them every few metres wherever you go) in Koh Tao as there are diving schools. We just relaxed the day we arrived as we were very tired from partying the earlier night so we just walked around, had thai food at a popular restaurant right next to our hostel. We were staying at a great hostel, The Dearly hostel in Koh Tao. I think it’s the biggest hostel in Koh Tao, also walking distance from the ferry pier. It is huge, spacious and has clean rooms.

Snapseed 9

Snapseed 18

 

Day 10: And the D- day was here. I had contemplated diving so much only because I was suffering from a severe toothache which was making it very difficult for me to even talk but the people at Ozone Diving School assured me that if I did everything slowly, it wouldn’t affect and since I was in Koh Tao to dive, I couldn’t have not done it. We arrived at the diving school at 11 in the morning and our instructor, a South American guy now living in Thailand explained us few basics before we left to go to the island. He was a sweet and motivating instructor and it’s important to have a good instructor who will just motivate you to have fun under water. We went to another island Koh Nangyuan to dive, which is an extremely beautiful island.

IMG_2267

As usual, we were having the pre-dive jitters like everyone does and since there were too many things to remember, we kept clarifying them again and again before we actually jumped. While wearing the suit and the gear before the dive, the oxygen cylinder that goes on your back is the heaviest and jumping with that weight was quite scary but if you follow the instructions it’s pretty simple. Once we jumped, I was like that’s it? Is that all we had to do.  The marine life underwater is absolutely breathtaking. From beautiful shaped corals to different varieties of fish ranging from angelfish to barracuda, neon damsels, parrotfish, horsefish etc. I saw all kinds of fishes at Japanese Gardens in Koh Nangyuan. It is considered to be one of the best diving destinations in the world. No wonder there are tons of diving schools in Koh Tao and each school is equally competitive than the other. After doing this try dive, I am very sure of going for a full fledged diving course so that I can dive anywhere in the world.

IMG_2314

Enjoying the sunset post diving

Day 11: We were on the road the entire day driving back to Bangkok which was in all a 16 hours journey, two ferry rides over 4 hours and then 11 hours of driving. It was the longest and tiring drive of our lives. We finally reached the Yard Hostel in Bangkok late in the night. This is another hostel which is beautiful. They serve basic yet filling breakfast in the morning and they have this fancy burger place in their premises, Paper Butter which is famous for their charcoal burgers.

Snapseed 11

Snapseed 10

Day 12: This was the final day of our trip which was spent shopping on the streets of Bangkok, buying gifts for family and friends.

Some tips if you are planning a Thailand trip:

  1. One mistake we did was not calculate the distances between two destinations and in the process when we reached a certain place we were so exhausted by the end of the it that we just wanted to crash. And eventually we were left with just one day or one and a half day to spend in that place.
  2. One thing I learnt the hard way was: never ever forget to carry your medication. Although you get the basic paracetamol tablets there but antibiotics are difficult to find and they are very expensive.
  3. It’s better to have your own mode of transport since taxis around islands is expensive so once you take a ferry to a certain island, just hire a bike. We hired a car from the airport since we wanted to do a road trip and it still proved to be extremely cost effective.
  4. There are great hostels in Thailand, one of the best I have experienced so far in any country. So don’t waste money on hotels, stay in hostels while in Thailand.
  5. Stay in each island for atleast 3-4 days so as to enjoy it to the fullest.
  6. Lastly: eat local. Thai food is one of the best cuisines in the world.

 

 

All images © Kainat27