Friday, June 29, 2012

Pattaya Food Diary

I was excited when I heard that I'll be sent to Pattaya for work. I had fond memories of my trip to Bangkok almost a decade ago, which includes eating an excellent beef noodle soup in a makeshift stall. So you could just imagine how much I was looking forward to some free time to try the street food in Pattaya.

Bangkok, 2003. Several pounds lighter, but already a voracious eater
Alas, we were billeted in an area with no hole-in-the-wall eateries in sight. Ambulant vendors though, drop by regularly. The offerings were good. Not pictured here is the best tofu-on-a-stick I had the fortune to try. I can still remember how silky and flavorful it was, dripping with sweet-and-spicy sauce. 
Chicken on a stick, with bits of  grilled green pepper, and pineapple 
Fish balls
Wednesday night our hosts treated us to dinner at a beach-side restaurant. I wasn't able to get its name, but I  highly recommend you try it.

This was our view
The friendliest of cats curled up on my feet during dinner
After a moment, the food came. I wasn't able to get the names, but they were delicious (the fish and seafood  were fresh). And spicy. I was sweating like a pig while eating, but that's okay. There's no point eating bland food in Thailand.

This bowl packs a lot of heat... you can see here.
The dips were lethal as well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

At the Asia Pattaya Hotel

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I stayed for a week in Pattaya for work.

Pattaya is the second most visited city in Thailand, and is about two hours away by car from Bangkok. It is a popular beach destination.

We were fortunate to have a view of the ocean in our rooms. Imagine waking up every morning to this

Travel opens the mind, providing a vista to other cultures.
Look closer. This is not the usual Bilble by the night lamp.
Shots from the beachfront and the garden.

The food for breakfast was modulated--not too much heat. Fortunately, many of the lunch and dinner fare came in spicy, which I prefer.
Pad Thai for breakfast 
iced dessert
There was no free wi-fi in the hotel. To keep tabs of what was happening back home, i.e. the impeachment, we crossed over to the Elephant Bar fronting the hotel. A bottle of beer allowed us online access. Next to the hotel, the bar was our home away from home. During the conference, we relied on the text messages of friends back home. We Filipino delegates were multi-tasking--attending to the conference and tallying the Senate vote. That was quite an afternoon.

Birds were everywhere in Pattaya. Not just sparrows and the occasional pigeons, but aves grandes like our feathered friend featured below. A conference colleague told me Thais leave animals alone. Immediately I was transported to childhood summers spent in the province, where slingshots were popular with the neighborhood boys.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Asia Pattaya Hotel's Beach Front

The best feature about Asia Pattaya Hotel where I stayed for a week last month is its beach front  (more on  the hotel here). The water is a little rough for swimming, but the view is spectacular, and a little walk along the beach in the morning is just what the weary needs. Enjoy the photos!
The view once you exit at the back of the hotel
Our descent to the beach starts here
The vista

Dennis walking ahead

Saw this somewhere 

On our way back to the hotel

We saw someone doing yoga here earlier 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pictures from Two Years of Philippine Fashion Week

I love my artist friends. Many members of the first group that I joined in university are now writers, interior designers, painters, and media practitioners. I am in awe of the creative process, and as much as possible I celebrate with them when they exhibit their works.

I'm fortunate to be friends with fashion designer June Pugat, and he has been graciously inviting me to his shows during Philippine Fashion Week at SMX. I look forward to the whole spectacle, and this post, long overdue, is my way of thanking him. For one hour I also get the chance to photography things other than food. 
Group shot from Fanny Serrano's show, the only decent picture I have of last
month's PFW. Time to buy a camera with better zoom.
My friend was part of the Grand Allure collection

My friends, like Paul, came in dressed to the nines.
Below are pictures from June's collection last year.

My friend, June Pugat
The following pictures are from the other designers in the Grand Allure Collection held last year.

Danica Magpantay in a Fanny Serrano



Until the next show later this year.