Tag Archives: MBK Center

MBK CENTER FOODCOURT @ BANGKOK, THAILAND

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I do apologize for the absence as I was doing my stint in Shanghai. Just got back to Singapore and will be flying to Taipei for a short trip to feature lots of street food! Then after that will be heading on to my new stint in Suzhou, China, where there are a lot of nice and traditional snacks and foodstuff, which I will be slowly discovering them.

I was recently in Bangkok as you can see from my previous post on Bangkok’s Most Hated and apart from what pissed me off, was the great food in the land of smiles. I was checking back my previous posts and was quite surprise that I didn’t write anything about the food in the foodcourt of Mahboonkrung or otherwise known as MBK. For the benefit of those who have not been to Bangkok before, MBK is the MUST GO place in Bangkok. It has almost 80% of all the things Thailand has to offer. From titbits, to accessories, IT stuff, massage places, cinema, restaurants, cafes, supermarket, banks, money exchanges, lifestyle shops, furniture shops, etc… Basically I think you got the idea. And the foodcourt is the best place to try most of some Thai local dishes, in a cleaner environment, if you have a weak stomach. Like most Singaporeans, MBK’s foodcourt is where we usually report to when first reach Bangkok. The food there is pretty good (Thai local standards) but a little more pricey than that of the street. No choice lah, foreigners flood that place daily, forcing price up quite a lot.

MBK Foodcourt

So I was there last week, I already knew what I wanted to eat for lunch. But before you can buy your food, please go buy coupons first. Here is all base on coupons, no cash unless for the stalls not within the foodcourt. How much to change? Hmm… I usually change about 300bahts so that you don’t have to run here and there. You can refund balance coupons once you’re done with eating and remember, you have to utilize the coupons on the same day… if not, you’ll lose the monetary value tied to the coupons in your hands!

Coupon counter at the far end
Coupons for food!

So after changing the coupons, I headed to my favourite Khao Kar Moo (Thai for Pork Leg Rice) stall. You can let the stall person know you don’t want fats or skin and they will just give you the pork leg meat with some salted vegetables. Add an egg for 10baht. Total is about 55baht (S$2.30). Just love the soft skin (without the fats of course) and together with the sourish chilli sauce, it’s really appetising! Yums!

Awesome Khao Kar Moo (Pork Leg Rice)

Portions like the above is actually quite little for a normal adult. So I would usually order a side dish which you can share with whoever is with you. Hoy Tod is like the Fried Oyster in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. But this one is crsipy and assorted seafood. Used to be 70baht but now it’s 120baht.

Hoy Tod Talaay (Hot Plate Seafood)

The great thing about dining in Bangkok, they always have these pharmaceutical companies sponsoring tissues on the tables! Free to use! 🙂

Free tissues

As for desserts, look out for the little fruit shops lined on the ‘outskirts’ of the foodcourt. Check out the yellow signages stalls. But prices have gone up a lot for the mango one to about 140baht. Used to be only 80-100baht. But this time I ordered Sticky Rice with Durian instead for 60baht. It was awesome. Very strong in taste, and very fulfilling. 🙂 If you are packing back to your hotel room, please make sure they tie properly and double pack it. Cos most hotels do not allow you to bring durians into the hotel premise itself. Make sure also the aircon is independant and not central sharing!

Stalls with yellow signages where desserts are sold
Securely packed for scentless bringing back to your hotel rooms 🙂
Khao Niao Tulian (Durian Sticky Rice) Awesome and strong taste, gave a lot of durian, love it!

Rating: 4.5/5

Taste: Awesome food quite close to most street food!

Portion: Average

Price: Average for some. A lot cheaper than the food court at Siam Paragon.

RTE: Like I said, must report to this place everytime in Bangkok!

Location: 444 Phayathai Rd.,Pathumwan, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand. (http://goo.gl/maps/tTF0)

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Bangkok’s Most Hated

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You must be wondering why such a subject title… I don’t usually write such stuff except on my Facebook notes. But I think this is way overdue. I believe others have written about this and I should do my part as well to help bring this to the attention of the Tourism of Thailand and hope they can work with the Thai Department Of Land Transportation asap.

I’m talking about the pesky tuk tuk drivers and taxi drivers. Tuk tuks are an icon in Thailand. You mention tuk tuk, everyone knows its Thailand. To be honest, I have stopped taking tuk tuks more than a decade ago. Reason is they don’t charge reasonably anymore. What used to be 20-40baht, became prices with no ceilings. I witnessed one couple being quoted 150baht to their nearby hotel from MBK‘s taxi stand when I was here in Jan but they still went for it… I reckon they thought it was cheap and they were middle-easterns. That’s why when someone comes up to me and ask if I wanna take a tuk tuk, I just walk pass them and brush them away. Tuk tuk my foot! Tuk your head then you know!

Of late, taxi drivers are also picking up the unreasonable ceiling-less cab fares. Yes, even when you board at MBK or any malls now. For those who have never been to Bangkok and MBK, this mall has everything you need and would cover perhaps 80% of your entire shopping in Bangkok. Hence the taxis that comes in the taxi queue now have only one thing in mind… SLAUGHTER. ‘Cos they know, 9 out of 10 in the queue is definitely a foreigner. So one of this taxi driver met me tonight, as I pretended I cannot speak Thai… tried to slaughter me.

I lined up as usual at the taxi queue around closing time around 10pm. When it was my turn to board, I told the security who will announce to the taxi driver where your hotel is so that they will have no excuse for not knowing where it is. So I boarded the taxi with the top sign turned on (it say metered btw) and I repeated to the driver my hotel name in English and the street name. He drove off, started smiling and said,”Heh heh gimme 200baht ok?” I was shocked and replied,”200baht??? No way! Go by meter!” Then he went on,”Ok ok 150baht!” I replied,”Go by meter if not I’ll get off!” Then he said,”Ok then you gimme how much? 100baht?” I said,”No meter, I get off!” Then he stopped the taxi and said,”Ok get off! I queue again” I told him I’m gonna report this and asked for his car number. He even pointed to me the number! I was so pissed I kicked open the door, told him he’s F#$KED UP and walked off without closing the door! After that I walked back to the taxi stand, the security guard was closing up the stand and got me another taxi and made sure he would go by meter before I got on. I got back to my hotel straight without going in circles (normally they would), and the fare was only 41baht. I gave the driver 60baht and asked him to keep the change. I came back and told the front office ladies about the whole incident, and they clapped and said I was very good and did the right thing!

Well this is not my first time happening to me and all my other friends experience the same shit as well. Obviously this has been reported many times and has been going on for the past 6-8 years? What are the Tourism Board and Land Authority of Thailand doing about this? What is suppose to be a relaxing and pleasant trip to Bangkok, turns out to be a bitter one, full of rage! Even the locals are affected by these blood suckers who are suppose to ferry their passengers safely point to point, going by the correct prices. Luckily for me, I had the last laugh because the queue was closed already and no more passengers, so if the bastard came back after one round, it’ll be an empty run! 🙂

Just in case the authorities do not know what to do, here are some suggestions:

  1. Suspend the driver’s license for one month for first reported case, 6 months for second offence and 1 year for third time. After which, he/she will not be able to drive anymore.
  2. Make first offenders serve the one month suspension above at the malls blowing the whistle and announcing the names of the hotels of every passenger.
  3. Make second offenders wash 50 taxis daily for 6 months.
  4. If need other suggestions, please let me know, my friends will be standing by with lots of ideas.

For foreigners in Bangkok for holidays or business:

  1. Insist on going by meter for all cabs!
  2. Tuk tuk rides should NOT be more than 100baht. 50bahts for less than 2km distance.
  3. Do not oblige by going to visit some temples, jewellery shops, souvenir shops, etc. These drivers will get 5-10baht petrol vouchers if they bring you there and you must stay there for at least half an hour. The sales people are damn good at what they do, they’ll have a way to convince you to buy something.
  4. Taxi from airport will go by meter as the ladies at the counter will write the name of your hotel to the drivers. If they wanna go by highway, then you’ll have to pay for the toll fees for a few more tenths.
  5. Taxi to the airport from city should not be more than 300baht, including toll fees.
Exactly what I meant… a sign in the lift of my hotel.

If only everyone do what I did; that is, do not encourage these drivers to cheat and reward those who didn’t, then they will wake up their ideas and turn on the meter without a doubt whenever someone comes on board! It is so bad now that the driver is not even afraid of complains anymore… does that mean the authorities do not have any power over them? If the authorities do not do anything soon, the Land of SMILES will not be a nice place to visit anymore because the ones SMILING are the tuk tuk and cab drivers, with a long sword waiting to slaughter any foreigners.

Sounds scary right? Then do something about it by sharing with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, etc… so that more people know how to react when they encounter during their visit to Bangkok. At the same time, I really hope this blog reaches the eyes of the authorities. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thailand. My relatives are here and loads of friends too. Just that some black sheep are making Bangkok really ugly and in the long run, will affect the livelihood and economy of Thailand.

Big Roy

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