Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Bangkok Trip - Part 2

This continues to my earlier post on our recent short holiday to Bangkok, Thailand. On our third (and 2nd last day) day of our holiday, we took a boat cruise along the Chao Phraya river. From the boat, we saw a number of old monuments, buildings and temples. One temple that really stood out was, Wat Arun.

Wat Arun, known as The Temple of Dawn, is located on Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, right opposite the Grand Palace compound. It is easily accessed by boat from the Bangkok side. The temple dates back to the Ayutthaya period. A 79-metres-tall massive central pagoda commonly called “Phra Prang” is surrounded by four small ones at each corner. The central pagoda was decorated with pieces of multi-coloured glass and porcelain which sparkle in the sun. Wat Arun is among the most famous of the more than 400 Buddhist temples and monasteries in the city.

We also caught sight of the Royal Thai Navy Headquarters,Royal Barge Museum, temples and waterfront houses along the river and its canals.

Later in the morning we took time to visit Royal Thai Handicraft Centre to view craftsmen working on wood carvings. It's amazing to see them chipping away at a block of wood which will eventually become a piece of delicate and intricate carving.

Some other sights around Bangkok city as we spent the rest of the day exploring and shopping.

I also want to share with you another popular Thai dish which I am sure you will enjoy. This quick and easy chicken dish is an excellent introduction to Thai cuisine. Deep frying the basil adds another dimension to this dish. Thai basil, which is sometimes known as Holy basil, has a unique, pungent flavour that is both spicy and sharp. The dull leaves have serrated edges. To deep fry Thai basil leaves, make sure that the leaves are completely dry. Deep fry in hot oil for about 30-40 seconds, lift out and drain on kitchen paper.

Stir-fried Chicken with Holy Basil and Chillies (Gai Pad Krapao)
(serves 4)


3 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 - 4 red chillies, seeded and chopped
450g (1 lb) chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
2 - 3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
10 - 12 Thai basil leaves
2 red chillies, finely sliced, to garnish
20 Thai basil leaves, deep fried (optional)


1) Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and swirl it around.

2) Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry until golden.

3) Add the chicken and stir-fry until it changes colour.

4) Season with fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Continue to stir-fry for 3 - 4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Stir in the fresh Thai basil leaves. Garnish with sliced chillies and the deep fried basil, if using.


Maggie said...

This looks like a great trip. I love the wood carvings! It must take nerves of steel and a lot of patience to carve such a huge piece of wood.

Anonymous said...

What a fun trip! The wood carvings look amazing. The Thai chicken stir-fry dish sounds really good. I've actually been looking for Thai basil but they don't have it in my supermarket right now.

Kana said...

What a wonderful trip!

Unknown said...

I love how the basil goes semi-transparent when it's fried, it makes such an attractive garnish.

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