Off to work with a little mini multisector which involves a double sector in Bangkok. A destination I’m always happy to see and decent timings for exploring. We departed Dubai at 2:50am and it was a lovely five hours and forty minutes across to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Landing at lunchtime, we made our way through the charmingly chaotic streets to the hotel. I hadn’t slept at all the night before and had been awake 24 hours at this point, so I made plans to meet some crew for dinner and went straight to bed to pass out for a few hours.
I met the crew in the lobby and we were heading to a restaurant that a few people had recommended to me called Cabbages and Condoms. We took a Tuk Tuk and also used the SkyTrain for the first time. As one of the crew Tommy was brought up in Thailand so could speak and read Thai which helped hugely!
An odd name for a restaurant but there’s a reason for it. Cabbages and Condoms operates as a “Business for Social Progress”, and all profits support the The Population & Community Development Association (PDA) and its programs in primary health, education, HIV/AIDS, rural development, environment and water etc.
The restaurant started as a small vegetable stand on PDA office premises where the vegetables, along with lace panties, T-shirts, key chains, condoms, and oral contraceptives were sold to the local residents. PDA’s Chairman, Mechai Viravaidya, called the shop “Cabbages and Condoms”, a catchy sobriquet that never failed to elicit chuckles from passersby and draw the curious into the shop. In the seventies Mechai added a small outdoor restaurant where the ‘Som Tam’ (Green Papaya Salad) and ‘Larb Gai’ (Spicy Chicken Salad) were among the best in Bangkok. As the cuisine gained a reputation, outsiders began showing up. Some of our specialty dishes you may try are ‘Massaman Curry’(Chicken, beef or lamp sweet curry with potato), ‘Mieng Khum’ (Thai ancient appetizer-lemon, dried shrimp, peanut, ginger, deep-fried coconut, chilli, shallots and special sauce with wild betel leaves), ‘Phad Thai Goong Sod’ (Stir-fried rice noodle with shrimps), ‘Tom Yam Goong’ (Thai spicy shrimp soup, seasoned with chilli, lime, lemongrass and galangal), ‘Khao Niew Mamuang Inter’ (Mango and sweet rice) and ‘Po Pia Tod’ (Deep-fried roll of vegetables and glass noodle).
Today, the award-winning ‘Cabbages and Condoms’ Restaurant is acknowledged as one of the finest Thai restaurants in Bangkok. It attracts diners from all over the world, can comfortably seat 400 guests at any one time and does so on many nights.
We grabbed a table which overlooked the courtyard covered in twinkling lights and looked through the menu. Ordering local beers (a must when in Thailand) I opted for chicken satay, morning glory (stir fried water spinach in oyster sauce with garlic and chilli, absolutely unbelievable and a MUST when in Thailand) and Pad Se-Ew Kai Moo
The food was so good and the recommendations I were given were definitely not oversold. I was absolutely stuffed after three dishes, so much so, I couldn’t even manage to order myself a mango sticky rice… if you know me or keep up with my blog you’ll know my obsession and love for mango sticky rice is a love like no other, so to not order a mango sticky rice just proves just how much food I had eaten by myself. One of the other crew ordered some Sala Jee Loi Kae (salak fruit with crushed ice and syrup) which was also SO good and will be added to my Thai favourites.
We paid the bill and headed to Khao San Road as one of the crew Nikolas had never been before! A must when in Bangkok so we headed over there for a night cap or two…
We ended up bumping into some other crew from the flight which was so lovely and then all five of us piled into a Tuk Tuk and headed back to the hotel for a long sleep before the next sector the following day.
Waking up late morning, I got ready for work and we did the shuttle over to Hong Kong and back again. We actually have over three hours on ground so we’re given access to the Premium Lounge in Hong Kong so I Skyped my Dad whilst I filled up on fish ball noodle soup with cups of tea before operating back to Dubai.
The next day I woke late, I was super tired and decided to head over to the Unicorn Cafe which is a favourite amongst crew. It’s around a twenty five minute walk from the hotel and it was incredibly hot! Many locals were wandering around under parasols to shelter from the intense heat, and when I finally arrived at the cafe I was definitely ready for a cold beverage.
I sat down in the colourful cafe that was adorned at every surface with unicorns. Both prints and actual stuffed animals, and grabbed a menu.
Look at some of those options from the menu above! Interesting to say the least. I opted for a vanilla frappe that came in a star shaped glass jar in a pink and blue colour, with a slice of rainbow crepe cake. The cake was amazing, such a delicious treat and served with a side of raspberry coulis, I could have eaten it twice over!
I walked back to the hotel calling at the supermarket to stock up on mango sticky rice, watermelon and dragon fruit to take back to Dubai and a refreshing iced matcha latte to cool down.
A wonderful layover in Bangkok, a city that always provides such a fun layover. I can’t wait to see it on my roster again. As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more daily updates: