Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Perfect Day in Bangkok – Truly the Land of Smiles

Woke up about 10am this morning after arriving last night. Was a great sunny day and after a nice warm bath I had ‘daddy’s home cook breakfast’ – the joy of traveling with a father who is an excellent cook! ;-)

After breakfast we got ready and hit downtown to Yaowarat – Bangkok’s Chinatown and where I will go in my every trip to Bangkok without fail. So you might wonder what attracts me back to Chinatown every time? My answer is simple : LOVE!

For in Chinatown Bangkok lives this wonderful man that I love very very much. LOL! My Thai Goddad! He lives or rather has a shop in chinatown for the last umpteen years. My dad and my goddad had been childhood friends and he has me as his goddaughter since I was 2 years old. My Goddad is by far the best father in the world of course beside my daddy darling! I have introduced numerous friends to him and all of them love him in the very first instance – without failed. Some call him the Maitere Buddha look alike, some says he is such a grandfatherly figure – for whatever names he get – he is like one of the most generous man I ever known and he loves me a lot.

For instance one week prior my visit to Bangkok the last trip he had somebody to send some sweeten nuts from Hadtyai, mangoes from Supanburi and he brought a lot of stuff I love to eat. This time three days before my arrival he got some mangoes and keeps them till is rightly ripe for my arrival! My Godmom says he talks about me coming to Bangkok to everyone who visits the office. Indeed I am a very lucky girl!

So as we arrive as usual – godmom ordered our favorite noodle soup ( Chels will go crazy over this one ). This time I had a lot of fishballs to eat it with! *wink* Just as we finish the noodles the maids brought down several plates of mango sticky rice ( no doubt my mom and also Nikko’s fav ). As we are done with mango sticky rice, the maid then brought down a large plate of freshly cut mangoes and it is served with Goddad’s favorite tea – 409 – the King of Teas. By now I really needed a rest for my stomach so I ventured out for some accessories shopping around that area. I return about half hour later to find another of my favorite delight – ‘roti canai’ milk mini size wrapped in tracing paper – they are hot and tasty right out from the pan. With that comes another serving of freshly cut mangoes and 4 huge mangoes to take home! My stomach is in heaven that afternoon!

Coming home we got ready for Sukanya’s farewell party @ The Oriental Bangkok. This is another dining experience that I’ll never forget. Conde Nast Traveler wrote “If only all hotels can be like this” and I support every word it says. I have dine in no small amount of 5 star hotel restaurants around the world – Mandarin Oriental & Ritz Carlton KL, Peninsula & Inter Continental HongKong, St Regis Shanghai, Wynn Macau, Ritz Cartlon Half Moon Bay near San Francisco, Sofitel & Crown – Melbourne, Raffles & Mandarin in Singapore however really I have not quite experience something like The Oriental Bangkok. It is not only the food and the selection that makes the hotel outstanding – it is the finest in details, the warmth and attentiveness of the hotel staffs and the grandeur and charm that the hotels held for so many years.

It all starts from the moment we arrive at the door, as the guard open the door we were approached by an attendant. What can I do for you madam he asked and Jojo replied we are having dinner tonight at the Riverside Terrace. Well this is the point where the difference begins – instead of telling us how to get there or pointing to us the direction – he merely says let me show you the way and he escorted us all the way to the restaurant. I would say I am impressed.

Of course when we arrived everyone’s already there and we all exchange hello’s’ n each of us found our seat. I was seated next to mom and Kun Kurt while Dad’s beside Kun Bella and Jojo. I noted that even we are just having buffet dinner by the riverside, and there are almost 20 of us in the long table they restaurant never fail to set up the dinner table in a perfect table setting – the whole range from bread knife to dessert utensils. Even the water goblet has a small cotton sewn placement mat at the base to prevent the condense water from dripping onto the table.

The next thing we move up to start our buffet dinner. I selected some bread, salad, sushi and sashimi to start with. As I walked of the selection table, a waiter come forward and offer to carry my plate, I hand it over as he escorted me back to my dining table, just as I was to approach my seat another waiter was there waiting to put my chair out for me to be seated. The best thing was that it does not only happen to me but to the rest as well. I thought it was supposed to be a buffet dinner but I am truly amazed with how much personalization the hotel can put in. As Kun Kurt decided on the choice of red wine we are having on that night - the ‘correct’ red wine glass was place in front of those who chooses to drink – LOL – *wink* not only that the but the glass was placed very carefully at the correct position on the table.

The food for that night was great – the variety in its selection – meat, sauce, style of cooking ranged from Japanese – Indian – Western – Thai etc etc etc. I was totally in another heaven. It was a jazz band playing that night – the selection of music is those I totally loved; the sound level was I would call it perfect – just loud enough for us to listen and enjoy as well as soft enough for our voices to talk to each other.

My final experience was of course asking for direction to the toilet. I first asked a lady waitress that show me and tells me how to get there, just as I walk a few steps over another man waiter seems to know where I am heading leads me to half way and another lady shows me the way from there. The toilet very much like all the colonial hotels – has it own charm and beauty especially in the powder room.

The dinner started and ended in perfection. The one word I’ll describe it as – IMPECCABLE. The company was great – the conversation and jokes exchanged better! It felt like being home with all the Signity staffs. I love their work culture. They even call my mother ‘mama’.

I got to say – I love my life. I felt so blessed with the variety and choices I am always with – the enjoyment of simple local delights ‘mango sticky rice’ and ‘noodle soup’ at the road side stalls to the classy dining at The Oriental Bangkok. The love of close family friends which is similar to the love of suppliers and work related friends.

Thank you Goddad and Godmom, Uncle Chai for all the goodies I enjoyed so much at your place as always. Thank you Kun Kurt for inviting us along to your company’s ‘family dinner’, Kun Bella for sending us home, Kun Sukanya for your support and friendship rendered and all the staff of Signity who makes us feel at home in Bangkok with you.
Thank you God and angels from making my life as always – in your divine perfection!

p/s: Miss you Hong Hong – somehow when I wrote this I knew you will certainly be one of those who will enjoy dining like this. In fact when I was dining last night they played Sway and another song (it’s in the Susan Wong’s album) I thought of you. ;-)