Singa Home / Bangkok First Visit | 20-261117

Landing. With each landing back in Singapore, the place feels more like home – and like an exotic new adventure. As homesick as I feel, having just said goodbye to my family and friends and knowing I won’t be back for at least six months, I still can’t help smiling as my taxi takes me through the lush greenery and past all of the sleek skyscrapers of Singapore. As soon as my phone gets signal, I receive a message from S welcoming me home, and when I get to Tiong Bahru, he’s standing ready in front of our walk-up to help me up with my many bags. He’s bought hydrangea, my favourite flower, and filled the whole flat with small bouquets of flowers from the local market. And he’s got gifts from Sydney – frankie and beautiful yoga pants from my favourite brand, Nimble Activewear. Immediately, I get back to daily classes at barre2barre, and all of the teachers are so sweet – saying they missed me. I bring one of my friends to class as well, a sweet girl from Copenhagen who is only here for three months, working for Bang & Olufsen. Over breakfast at Ronin after one of the classes, she tells me that she’s been thinking about leaving before she was supposed to – because she’s feeling so homesick. I slowly manage to convince her to stay until Christmas as planned, simply by telling her how well I know what she’s going through and asking her to imagine what she would do right now if she were in Copenhagen. She’s gonna move in with us for the past few weeks, and then we can do a lot of cosy Christmassy stuff together… and in no time it will be 15 December, and she will be off to meet her mum up with her mum in Tokyo… It would be quite an anticlimax if she went home to Copenhagen now and had to travel with her mum to Japan… much more exciting and romantic to meet her halfway after months abroad.

Bangkok. On Wednesday, S leaves for an offsite in Bangkok, and as usual, I follow on Friday night to spend the weekend with him there. My first time in Bangkok ever… and the world’s your oyster… Haha… From what I experience, in those 48 hours, it’s such an exciting, dynamic city, with some charming points here and there, with lots of transportation time in-between. Visiting makes me grateful for the infrastructure in Singapore and European, Australian and American cities … cities built for people to walk around comfortably in their streets and spaces. Bangkok is pretty chaotic and dirty, even if it is dotted with exciting architecture, alluring food stalls, lush greenery, magnificent temples… Alluring for sure. We are staying in Ari, a hip and happening and yet very local area with a bunch of cool and authentic cafes, restaurants, shops, galleries and spas. Very leafy as well. Our Airbnb is an architectural pearl owned by a young Thai couple whose dream it is to open their own boutique hotel: they’ve got lots of helpful and awesome tips. S has a surprise on Saturday – Mystery Date Bangkok Edition (look here, here, here, here and here for previous Mystery Dates): gliding into the golden hour in a narrow wooden boat, along foliage-framed winding klongs (canals), passing gilded temples, floating markets and wooden houses on stilts. A woman in a smaller rowing boat sells us a Singha beer on the way, which we share while we smile at the world passing by. Very romantic! He gets sick on Saturday night and stays in bed most of Sunday, where I check out the enormous Chatuchak Market, the trendy coffee shops in Japanese Quarter, Ekkamai, the art collector, businessman (who helped revitalise the Thai silk industry in the 1950s) and architect Jim Thompson’s beautiful red teak house nested in its little jungle, amazing Warehouse 30 and vibrant Chinatown on my own… While I feel sorry for him, and prefer exploring with him, it’s also kind of fun to be out and about in a new place on my own. On Sunday night, he’s feeling a bit better and we wander around Ari to get some yummy local food and a divine foot massage in the super luxurious Calm Spa, incidentally full of Danish interior design. Ah. Definitely want to come back some time soon for more of Bangkok’s sensory overload…

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