June 7, 2015

The Ramen Rater’s Trip To Thailand: Day 1 – Departure & Arrival


Day 1 * Day 2 * Day 3 * Day 4 * Day 5 * Day 6

A few months ago, I received an email from Ms. Pojjanee over the Thai President Foods. They make MAMA instant noodles and I had recently done a Meet The Manufacturer series with them. It was just after New Year’s and she asked if my wife and I would like to visit their factories in Thailand! There was one hitch though – my wife would be in her third trimester of her pregnancy at the time of the trip and we both agreed that it might be a little too much for her unfortunately. My sister was happy to take her place if it was alright, and it was. With that, here we go on our trip!

So the first leg of our flight left from Seattle, Washington at 1:50am May 14th. A well-packed plane took off on time.

We were greeted to water bottles in our seats. I had no clue how many water bottles I’d bsee on our trip – good thing really; Asia’s a hot place this time of year!

On the little screen embedded in the seatback in front of us, you can watch movies as well as this little GPS animation – really amazing that most of the time we were at 35,000ft, going over 500mph and the temperature outside was usually 40 degrees below zero – that’s cold!

After about 12 hours, we arrived in Taipei at Taoyuan Airport. We had a couple hours to mill around so we checked things out.

Back in October on my trip through here on my way to Penang, the theme was large sculptures of insects and beetles on fruit. This time, little people with large eyeball heads was the theme.

A Hello Kitty airplane! I found out they have Hello Kitty neck pillows, Hello Kitty food and even Hello Kitty printed toilet paper on these.

The Hello Kitty airplanes have their own Hello Kitty gate, and nearby, a Hello Kitty breastfeeding room.

We opted to skip this one – sounded a little rough.

Next was our flight to Bangkok – we were glad that it was much shorter than the 12 hours it took to get to Taipei!

Here’s my sister on a travelator at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. Getting through security was really easy and the man who checked my passport even smiled at me at the end! We got our luggage and met the guys who took us to our hotel room to relax a bit before going out to have something to eat.

Bangkok’s street were bustling with motorbikes and cars. Hot, humid and vibrant.

We stayed at the Chatrium Hotel, which is next to the Chaophraya river, a main waterway through Bangkok.

The room was very spacious and comfortable – but the real perk was outisde on the balcony.

We both almost fell over when we saw this amazing view. We were on the 23rd floor and could see everything! We tried to relax a bit but basically ended up just staring out the window just saying ‘wow’ a lot.

A view from the balcony.

The guys picked us up again and took us to a restaurant on the river called Lotus. Here we have some creamy shrimp tom yum soup.

Crab curry.

I had mentioned that I was very interested in trying Durian. Durian in known as the King of Fruit!

It’s a tough one to describe – definitely has to be experienced firsthand. It’s texture is kind of like a banana mixed with the stringiness of what you’d find inside a pumpkin. It has a very creamy kind of texture, reminiscent of papaya and ice cream. The one thing is that it has a smell – very strong smell!

A video my sister took of me trying fresh Durian for the first time. Mr. Banks (across from me) seemed fascinated to see how I’d react to the flavor.

They gave us a little sealed tray of it to have after dinner in the room. Now, during my time in Langkawi I remember seeing a sign in the hotel there that said no pets or Durian was allowed. Back at the Chatrium Hotel, we were going up the elevator and I noticed it started to smell. When we got to the room, it became quite evident that the smell was quickly filling the room! We tried putting it into a couple plastic bags, but no dice – the King of Fruit couldn’t be stopped! We knew then it had to go away!

We went back down to the lobby where I asked how it should be disposed up – the concierge had a very disapproving look and said it wasn’t allowed in the hotel and that I should find a receptacle outside the hotel to put it. Here’s the little trash can we found a little ways down. It’s funny – I really liked Durian a lot in my mouth, but not so much in my nose! It was really nice to now have a Durian story with me now.

Finally it was time to go to sleep – a long journey to Bangkok was over and a week of seeing new places, people and sights await!

Products cooked according to package instructions. Product reviews done prior to adding any additional ingredients.

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