A Morning Jog At Lumpini Park In Bangkok

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | Published in

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Do you jog or exercise or even work out at the gym during your vacation? I don't normally go jogging during my travels, although I know a blogger who does (you know who you are! LOL!) but surprisingly I did just that during my Bangkok trip last February.

It so happened that my friend and I stayed at Pinnacle Lumpinee Hotel near Rama IV Road, and this hotel is located quite near to Lumpini Park, Bangkok's most famous park.



From the map above (click to enlarge), you can see the giant green lung which is Lumpini Park. (sometimes spelt as Lumphini). The hotel where we stayed is at the right bottom corner. Can you spot it?

If you notice, Pinnacle Lumpinee Hotel is rather near to Malaysia Hotel which is also quite famous. It is also very near to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium and the Lumpini MRT Station. I'll share more about the hotel in my next post.

Although the 5-star Dusit Thani Hotel where I stayed during one of my previous trips is even nearer to Lumpini Park - it's just directly opposite! (refer to map) - I did not get the chance to visit the park that time. So I had to make sure that I visit it during this trip!

See the view of Lumpini Park from my Dusit Thani Hotel room during my previous stay in Bangkok HERE.

So on my second day in Bangkok, I woke up early for breakfast at my hotel and then proceeded to put on my jogging shoes. To get to Lumpini Park from my hotel, I had to cross the overhead bridge to the other side of the Rama IV Road.



The photo above was taken from the bridge. Rama IV Road is quite a busy road with lots of cars! Once I am on the other side of the road, all I need to do is to walk straight all the way to reach Lumpini Park!

Oh, by the way, I was walking alone that morning. My friend did not join me - he was still at the hotel room sleeping! He was not keen to go jogging on his holidays. Guess I can't blame him as not everyone is as crazy as me!

But honestly, jogging was just an excuse for me to visit the park. I had actually wanted to see what the locals do at Lumpini Park for the longest time.

My friend and I had planned to go to Terminal 21 Shopping Mall (which I have blogged about in previous posts - Read HERE) at 10am that day.

It was only 8am when I left my hotel, so that gave me ample time to walk to Lumpini Park, jog around, perhaps snap some photos, walk back to my hotel and take a nice shower before we start our itinerary for the day.



The above is the map and directory of Lumpini Park. (Click to enlarge).

Perhaps you may want to click on this online map instead - it's more colorful and easier on the eyes : )

I was actually quite amazed when I read the directory. The park has - you better believe this! - a public library, a food court, a school, a radio station, a dance hall, a swimming pool, a body building open gym, a tennis court, a glass house, an elderly centre, a youth centre, a nursery and a floating island!

I started my jog but ended up mostly walking as I wanted to take pictures of the scenery and activities in the park. I passed by a group of people doing tai chi.



Next to this group of people was a Clock Tower.



Beautiful patterns on the wall of the Clock Tower base.



From what I heard, Lumpini Park is Thailand's first public park and was named after Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha in Nepal. It was actually founded by King Rama VI in 1925. A statue of the King stands at the southwestern entrance to the park. I took a photo of it last time and posted it HERE.

 As I jogged, I passed by a Chinese Pavilion.



I decided to drop by and take a picture of the ceiling inside the pavilion.



A closer shot of the carvings on the ceiling wall.



There is a huge man-made lake in this park, where you can go for a boat ride. I like the view from here. So calm and serene.



In fact, the whole park with its greenery and lake was a direct contrast to the concrete jungle of Bangkok. It's an ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. To the people in Bangkok, Lumpini Park is probably similar to what Central Park is to the New Yorkers.

But what is that object in the middle of the lake? Let me enlarge the picture.



Do you know what that is?

I think there's even a monument in the park with a similar structure on top.



Any Thais reading this can tell me what that object is?

View of the monument from the front.



I saw a row of duck-shaped boats on the lake. I would love to go for a boat ride, but the thought of doing that all alone puts me off immediately. Haha!



I guess not many people were riding those pedal boats that morning as it was a working day. Probably there would be more people doing so in the evenings or during weekends.



I resumed my jogging and then I saw this in the distance. Is that a wind turbine or something?



There were a few of them at the park and you can see the blades turning when it's windy. Perhaps the park generates its own electricity from these wind turbines?



Soon, I passed by a yellow colour building. If I'm not mistaken, this must be the Public Library.



Unfortunately, it was not opened yet - still too early in the morning - so I did not get the chance to enter the library.



I jogged towards what was termed a 'floating island'. It was simply a small land in the middle of the lake. Took a picture of this fountain as I left the island.



Not very sure what building this is but it looks nice. Perhaps the dance hall?



Then I came across an open gym with muscular guys doing their body building workouts. I was too shy to take pictures of them, but I was quite amazed with the variety of activities and facilities in this park!

I can just imagine how lively and interesting it would be during the evenings or weekends. Apart from joggers of all ages, you will probably see senior citizens doing Tai Chi, young people playing tennis, ladies dancing to music, aerobic classes, children running around, and bodybuilders strutting their stuff too! Wow!

Soon, it was time for me to finish up my last lap. As I was about to leave the park, I came across an unusual structure which looks like a tortoise shell surrounded by eggs!



This is actually a memorial sculpture called Sagittarius. It's in celebration of the auspicious occasion of His Majesty The King's 80th birthday and the 120th Anniversary of the Japan - Thailand diplomatic relations.



The concept of the sculpture was derived from His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand's birthday on December 5th, 1927 and Emperor Akihito of Japan's birthday on December 23rd, 1933, in reflection of their shared Sagittarius zodiac.



The Sagittarius sculpture is an expression of time agelessness, and a belief in the connection of humans and the constellations in this mysterious Universe, as well as the everlasting relationship between Thailand and Japan.



I am glad I visited Lumpini Park during my Bangkok trip. If you ever go to Bangkok, do make it a point to visit this park even if you are just there just for people watching.

The park is easily accessible via the BTS Skytrain or the MRT. Nearest stations are Sala Daeng BTS Station or Lumpini and Silom MRT Stations.

Random Notes 28

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, July 26, 2012 | Published in

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1. This is going to be a post with absolutely NO PICTURES. No photos at all, so if you don't read, you can leave now. LOL!

2. After having the Instagram app collecting dust on my iPhone for like, one year, I finally decided to start using it. Guess what? Having used it for 2 weeks now, I still do not know what the big deal is with Instagram! But don't let that stop you from following me! Haha!

3. Have you visited McCafe? No? You should. Their Cappuccino is only RM4.50. Starbucks' Cappuccino is about RM11.50. Do the maths : )

4. Have you heard about 'The Book That Cannot Wait'? It is a book printed in ink that will vanish after 2 months! Don't believe? Read about it HERE. Will you buy such a book?

5. Have you watched the latest Batman movie? If I'm lucky, I might just get to watch it some time this week. Keeping my fingers crossed! For those of you who have watched it, how much would you rate it  out of 10 points? Please don't give me a 10!

6. Congrats to my idol Mariah Carey for getting paid US$18 million to be a judge on American Idol reality TV show. Yay! Can't wait to watch the next season of American Idol!! But isn't it ironic that she gets paid US$18 million and the winner of Idol gets only US$1 million?

7. If there are 4 empty seats in a cafe meant for 4 people in a group, can I still sit there even though I am alone, thus depriving 4 people who wish to sit together?

8. Almost every day, I hear the news about people getting robbed or becoming victims of snatch thieves. Recently, a real estate agent was murdered. I did not connect to it until my friend told me she was shocked to see the murdered man's face in the newspaper. It turned out that he was her student's father.

9. Do you know I am the world's first Pinterest Panda? Haha! I have been pinning quite a number of photos lately. If you are a blogger, chances are that some of the pictures in your blog may have ended up being pinned onto my Pinterest site! Check out the pins HERE and if you like, please follow me! : )

10. I asked the waitress whether the chicken or the beef is nicer and she replied "Dunno. Up to you." Did I ask a stupid question or did she gave me a stupid reply?

11. I'm sure you have all heard the news, even if you are not a Twilight fan. Twilight star Kristen Stewart had confessed to adultery! Read about it HERE. If you were Robert Pattinson, will you forgive her?

Drinking Mandarin Orange Juice On The Streets Of Bangkok

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, July 23, 2012 | Published in

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Walking the streets of Bangkok city in the hot weather can get you really thirsty. But no worries, because chances are you will see many stalls along the streets selling Thai mandarin orange juice!



The mandarin orange juice is sold in plastic bottles like the above. OK, the angle of my shot makes this bottle looked a bit distorted LOL!

Anyway, I have to say the orange juice is sweet with a hint of sour - perfect as a thirst quencher on a hot day!



It so happened that last February, my friend and I were walking along Charoen Krung road and we were thirsty after a yummy meal of Volcanic Fried Mussels and Oysters. We bumped into this stall opposite Robinson Bang Rak.



There were loads of green colored mandarin oranges in a basket and some bottles of orange juice in a box filled with ice just next to it. I have seen many of these stalls during my previous visits to Bangkok, and even bought the drinks from them, but this is the first time I took photos of the stall. Haha!



The man at the stall would take the mandarin oranges and cut them into half.



Then, he would squeeze the cut oranges with a special gadget. The juice collected in a jug would then be transferred into plastic bottles and placed in the box filled with ice to keep them fresh.

Isn't it good to know that they are fresh orange juice with no added coloring and preservatives?



Oh, by the way, did you notice that the man wore a nice apron with pictures of cute bears? I want that apron! : )

Each bottle of mandarin orange juice costs 20 baht (RM 2), which I thought was pretty reasonable.

Since I have drunk this orange juice many times before, I decided to try other fruit juices also bottled in the same manner, during this trip. I bought a bottle of guava juice and a bottle of dragon fruit juice at a shop in Silom, also for 20 baht each.



They were pretty delicious but I was not sure if these juices contain sugar and preservatives. I guess if you want authentic juices, stick with the mandarin orange juice sold at stalls along the streets of Bangkok.

Volcanic Fried Mussels And Boonsap Desserts At Bang Rak

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, July 19, 2012 | Published in

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After a number of posts on local travels which include a visit to historical Melaka and a weekend trip to Belum Rainforest, I'm now back with my Bangkok posts!

During my trip to Bangkok last February, my friend and I visited Bang Rak. This is the area near to Saphan Taksin BTS Station. There seems to be a lot of good eateries between Taksin BTS Station and the junction of Charoen Krung and Silom Road.

However, we did not have time to visit all the places. I had wanted to eat lunch at Black Canyon Coffee inside Robinson Bang Rak, but it was full!


Image courtesy of j2kfm.com

So we walked to this shop called Volcanic Fried Mussel and Oyster (or Thip Hoi Thot Phu-khao Fai in Thai).

Funny name for a restaurant, but there's a story behind it. Located just opposite Robinson Bang Rak at Soi Charoen Krung 50, this restaurant is famous for its well, volcanic fried mussel and oyster! Haha!



From what I heard, the shop was originally a humble outdoor stall. The owner had used a diesel stove to cook, performing stunts that made the flame flared up high, thus attracting attention of tourists. That was how it got its name 'Volcanic Fried Mussels'.

Later, the owner moved into this shoplot and used a gas stove instead, so there were no more fire stunts to watch. However, the shop's famous fried mussel and oyster pancake continues to draw locals and tourists alike.

Both my friend and I ordered a plate of their signature dish each.



It was really very delicious!! Generous loads of pan-fried fresh mussels and oysters were served on top a bed of bean sprouts and eggs, accompanied by a bowl of sweet and sour chili sauce. The texture was crispy and gooey at the same time - perfect!

Priced at 70 baht (RM 7), I thought it was totally worth my money, considering the large portion. If you ever visit Bang Rak, do not miss this yummy Volcanic Fried Mussels and Oysters!

Directions : From Saphan Taksin BTS Station, head north along the Charoen Krung Road towards Robinson Bang Rak. Turn left before Robinson Bang Rak into Soi Charoen Krung 50. The shop is somewhere on your left.

After our lunch, my friend and I walked along Charoen Krung Road to look for desserts. We walked past Robinson Bang Rak and then saw a shop called Boonsap Thai Desserts.

Boonsap Thai Desserts sells a wide variety of sweet stuffs and I was told that it is a famous dessert shop in Bang Rak, and possibly the whole of Bangkok. My friend tried their sticky rice with mango, but I zoomed in on their very unique sticky rice with creamy steamed egg custard (sangkhaya).



Priced at 25 baht (RM2.50), it was delicious! The egg custard was very smooth and creamy and matched perfectly with the sticky rice. Yummy!!

Of course, this still cannot beat my top favourite sticky rice with durian, which was not available at Boonsap. But I am definitely biased because I love durians way too much! LOL!

Coming Up Next : My Favorite Thirst Quencher In Bangkok

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An Afternoon At Putrajaya Floria 2012

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, July 16, 2012 | Published in

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Two weeks ago, I took a short break from work and headed to Putrajaya to visit the Putrajaya Floria 2012.



Held annually since 2007, Putrajaya Floria is a Flower and Garden Festival cum Exhibition that showcases lots of different flowers like orchids, heliconia, hibiscus, roses, bonsai and more. This year, bougainvillea is the star attraction as the theme for Floria 2012 is Bougainvillea - Enduring Beauty.



Surprisingly, I did not take many photos of bougainvilleas.



I had wanted to go in the evening to snap photos of the the night floral parade which features beautifully lit boats cruising up and down the Putrajaya Lake. Unfortunately, I was not free to do so.

Read about my night visit to last year's Putrajaya Floria 2011 HERE.



This year, the flower and garden festival was held for 9 days from 30th June to 8th July 2012.

Taking pictures of the flowers in the hot afternoon sun is not really my kind of thing. But since I was there, I might as well snap some photos.



As a result, I suffered from sunburn, especially around the side and back of my neck area. Remind me next time to bring along sunblock!



There were also some Showcase Gardens from international participants, like this one from Indonesia.



I also visited the Garden Bazaar where visitors can buy plants, garden products, biotech products, and landscaping services. I came upon a stall selling Stevia, which is a plant that can act as a natural sweetener without raising your blood sugar. This is how the Stevia plant looks like.



The stall also sells Stevia extracts though I think it is better to grow your own. I was almost tempted to buy the Stevia plant.



Another stall nearby sells water features like this one.



This arch is the entrance to the Homestay Tourism Garden. Can you see the famous Putrajaya bridge in the distance?



This is like a replica of a Malay kampung (village) complete with a wooden house, a small garden, a mini pond and .... a couple of ducks.



Can you see the bougainvilleas?



The ducks. They are real ducks by the way : )



A nice kampung-like ambience.



Oh! They have this game too, where you go hopping with one foot in the squares. What's the name of this game? I doubt modern city kids still play it.



Next, I visited the orchid gardens.



Lots of beautiful orchids here!



I used to have orchids in my own garden too, but now it's replaced with bougainvilleas. Don't ask me why. I am not the gardener in my home so naturally I have no say in what plants I want in the garden. LOL!

Oh wait! Maybe that's why I did not take many photos of bougainvilleas. My own bougainvilleas are far more beautiful than the ones found here. Haha!!



If you like orchids, then you will enjoy it here.



There were many more orchids but I did not have the time to take more photos of them.



Then I saw the 1Malaysia logo made from flowers.



It's on top of a pillar that was itself adorned with beautiful flowers.



Wonder when will the Government start KB1M which stands for Kedai Bunga 1Malaysia? But I think KP1M is more important! That's Kedai Petrol 1Malaysia. LOL!



I went to the Herbal Garden and spotted some misai kucing (cat's whiskers). Can you see the whiskers? : )



Do you know the health benefits of misai kucing? It is said to be able to treat circulatory disorders, kidney stones, gout, hypertension and diabetes.

A beautiful garden with the Putrajaya Lake in the background captured my attention immediately. I love the view from here!



Some of the colorful flowers and plants in this garden bed.



There was also a Therapy Garden where you can enjoy some reflexology and foot massages after all the walking.



I did not go for any foot massages but the ambiance here was quite nice. Now if only the sun would stop being so hot!



By the way, this Putrajaya Floria exhibition was held at Presinct 2 near this famous landmark - the Millennium Monument (Monumen Alaf Baru).



There were stalls and vans selling iced drinks and ice cream, which was exactly what I needed!



The obelisk-shaped Millennium Monument is analogous to the Washington Monument in Washington DC, USA. It has etchings denoting important periods and milestones in Malaysian history. Standing at 68 metres tall, this structure is hard to miss.

Lastly, I visited this beautiful garden.



Nice ambience. So relaxing.



The sound of water flowing is always calming to my mind.



How do you like these 'trees'?



Can you see a flock of birds flying in the distance?



It was not so hot here, so I spent more time taking pictures.





OK, so they were not real birds. LOL!



I had an enjoyable time at Putrajaya Floria 2012. Will I return next year? That ... remains to be seen.

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