I am back in Munich for the summer and I am falling in love with my old home city again: the people, the architecture, the green parks and the river where I went running for the first time in 14 months again this morning, and the crisp and clear sky with its beautiful little wooly clouds are simply beautiful.
However they say the soul travels slower than airplanes fly and so mine is still on its way back from Bangkok, my last stop in Asia. Not only do I like discovering new food places wherever I am but I also love photography and contemporary art. Bangkok is more about graphic design than art in the classical European sense, but the newish Bangkok Art & Culture Center next to the MBK mall is well worth a visit. The modern and spacious building is a space where Thais just come to have a coffee and many school kids come to do their homework. I spent most of my last day there, walking around, looking, discovering. Three of the nine (!) levels were full of little arty shops and photography exhibitions, one level housed a film festival, one the finalists and winners of a drawing and printing contest, yet another some great installations and finally at the top all art forms (including Facebook!) were integrated in a captivating project called Politic Me.
I was only in the city for two nights but made the time to check out some new (to me) little cafés and veggie restaurants. Bangkok does not have nearly as many organic or vegan-vegetarian eateries and markets as Chiang Mai but more and more are popping up. Thailand is well-known for its medical tourism and the capital has several malls built around wellness and medical care such as the Mediplex or Q-House’s Life Center with fitness studios, spas, cosmetic surgery, dentists, and… healthy food. The ambience is somewhat sterile but they are centrally located, easy to find and the food there is delicious!
Here are my tips on where to eat fair, green and well in Bangkok:
Khao San Road area:
May Kaidee - an institution under travelers, May Kaidee offers delicious vegan Thai food, cheap and comforting – an all-time favourite! Has three locations in Bangkok and a cooking school. Might be the only place with healthy food AND a fun and busy vibe in Bangkok.
Khun Churn – vegetarian restaurant on the GF of the Mediplex mall, connected to the BTS station Ekkamai (corner Sukhumvit Soi 42). Large choice of Thai and macrobiotic dishes, a little expensive by Thai standards but great quality.
Open daily from 10am to 8:30pm
Sustaina – I didn’t eat there but visited the busy organic shop and looked at their menu. Sustaina is a well reviewed organic restaurant just off Sukhumvit Soi 39 (walk into the first little lane on the left in Soi 39, around the corner and it is on your right), serve meat and fish too but all from sustainable sources. Great choice for healthy veggies!
BTS station Phrom Phong
Restaurant open daily: 10:30am-2pm, 5-8:30pm, shop open from 10:30am to 8:30pm
Rasayana – Bangkok’s first and best raw food café, delicious desserts and a long menu full of all the gourmet raw classics such as soups, smoothies, salads and their specials: sun burger, fettuccini in red sauce, Thai pasta, nut loaf and savory stuffed tomatoes. Check out their whole menu.
Location: 57 Soi Sukhumvit 39 (Soi Prom-mitr) Sukhumvit Rd, a short walk from BTS station Phrom Phong (they also have a Pattaya location).
Open daily from 10am until 8pm
Govinda Italian Restaurant – Govinda is just off Sukhumvit Soi 22, well signposted, fully vegetarian and organic, offers whole wheat pizzas, vegan options for everything if you ask, lovely big salads and has a mean dessert menu. You can sit inside or out, it is well worth a visit!
Opening times: Wed-Sun 11:30am-3pm, 6-11:15pm; Mon 11:30am-3pm, 6-11:15pm
Location: BTS station Phrom Phong
Ariya - Ariya Organic Café is on the street level of the Life Center, another health/medical mall in the Q-House Lumphini, just next to MRT (not BTS!) station Lumphini. Sparkling new, still a bit quiet but offers fresh and crunchy raw food, organic juices and smoothies and a mouth-watering banana cake!
Here are three more that were on my list but I didn’t visit personally, please let me know how they are in the comments field or on foodcircle’s Facebook page if you did.
Home Sweet Home Organic Garden – it is Narathiwat Rd. Soi 8 – recommended by a very dear friend
Seven Spoons - http://www.kohspot.com/bangkok/eats/seven-spoons-organic-bangkok-dining/
Anotai – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anotai/40116588503?sk=info
Don’t miss the Bangkok Art and Culture Center:
Location: corner of Rama I and Phayathai Roads, right across from MBK.
Mass transit: Connected to BTS National Stadium
Hours: 10 am-9 pm Tuesday to Sunday
Web: www.bacc.or.th (mostly Thai but just go and discover, there is always a lot going on)
Hoping you will never need it, but just in case:
BNH Hospital is top notch, very cheap compared to Europe, has very kind staff and great standards. I had dental work done there and a nasty bout of parasites treated – I highly recommend them for any care you need. They speak perfect English and you can make appointments online. They are also very easy to get to by sky train (BTS Sala Daeng)