When to Save and Splurge in Bangkok: Cheap Kayaking and Royal Thai Cuisine

Now being an Economics major, I’ve always been one for budgeting.

I make daily decisions about when to splurge and when to save my money. funny-meme-kittenPersonally, I choose experiences over items, and this has always been my motto:Screenshot (3)I’m here to prove that you can have fun on a budget, as long you know your priorities. 🙂

The following are two options for budget-friendly activities in Bangkok: Nong Bon Watersports Center and Cinema City.

Nong Bon Kayaking

This past weekend I went to Nong Bon Watersports Center.G0051759It’s off-the-beaten path, since it’s half way to the airport, but it only cost $5 for a taxi out there. Pretty cheap when split between friends.

When I arrived, I easily signed up for membership, which cost me two passport sized photos and a mere $1.50.
nongbonAs a member, I now have access to unlimited kayak rentals, plus free sailing and windsurfing lessons for the whole year! 😀IMG_0100My friend and I took the kayaks for a spin on the lake, which was a great upper body workout.G0121853The lake was clean and peaceful, surrounded by lush greenery and a bike path.G0061794The perfect city escape. 🙂G0111838The facility has lockers, showers, and outdoor weight room. Here’s the layout of the center. IMG_0101My only tip would be to bring a change of clothes, and probably steer clear of jean shorts. My butt was completely soaked! Hah! 😛G0161880There was a storm brewin’ so we didn’t stay for a sailing lesson, but the classes are offered daily at 10 AM and 2 PM. I’ll definitely check that out another time. 🙂

Anyway, the rain didn’t surprise me, since July is the wet season, and storms are likely almost every afternoon.

20160709_120837
strolling around Benjakiti Park, watching the rain clouds roll in

Our school driver has even invested in a little rain hat. So cute! ❤1467809351042As such, I’ve been seeking out mostly indoor activities, and a way to escape the storms.

Cinema City

Wednesdays are 100 baht night movie night at Cinema City.

For less than $3 you can find quality entertainment, and even a few strange cinema snacks.

Thais like to eat hot dogs without the bun, and their candy selection is also quite puzzling. 😕20160617_200906Thailand, I don’t know who you’re trying to fool. Cough drops are not considered candy. 😛20160617_200929Anyway, also unique to Thailand, movies begin with the national anthem, where everyone stands to pledge honor to the king.

On the plus side, most hit movies are shown in English and tickets can be bought beforehand using their English website. As well, the chilly theaters are a great way to escape both the heat and the rain. Thank you, Thailand. Kob Khun Ka! 😀

Also, don’t be sad if you’re still craving a bun that was missing from your cinema hot dog. 😥

The ice cream man on my street sells literal ice cream sandwiches- a buttery roll topped with two scoops of coconut ice cream and a few salty nuts. A nutty idea that strangely works. 😛teflplus_patong_coconut_ice_cream_1Anyway, now let’s talk about when to splurge, especially when it comes to food. Thailand has delicious cheap food, but sometimes dining is more than just the taste. It’s also about the presentation. 😛Screenshot (2) This week was my co-worker’s 30th birthday, so we decided to splurge on a fancy meal. We chose to dine on royal Thai cuisine at Thanying Restaurant in Silom district.DSC_3147

Royal Thai Cuisine: Thanying Restaurant

Thanying Restauarant was named in honor of a Thai Princess Sulabh–Valleng Visuddhi, and the restaurant is run by the princess’s son.
DSC_3148The decor appears incredibly regal, with teak wood furniture, vintage chandeliers, upscale wall covering, and fine porcelain china displayed in the cabinets. The restaurant was even recommended in New York Times Magazine. 😀
DSC_3137They serve upscale Thai entrees, and specialties from the different regions of Thailand.

DSC_3154
Tom Yum Goong – spicy shrimp soup, flavored with fragrant lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves

The wait staff had exquisite table etiquette, serving platters from the left and removing dishes from the right.

DSC_3151
going clockwise: salted egg with dried pork strings, papaya salad, tamarind paste, and a green chicken curry with coconut rice

Food was priced around 8-15 USD and wine ran around 40 USD per bottle.

DSC_3150
sweet corn pastry shells filled with both shrimp and peas, and curried chicken

Overall, it was an excellent night with friends, and a classy way to ring in the big 3-0. 😀DSC_3158

Now for a side note, and an update on teaching. 🙂

Teaching in Thailand

CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning

This term our English program has taken a new approach to teaching in the classroom.

The CLIL approach aims to teach a subject, such as science or math through the English language, and in turn, the students understand English by studying these subjects.

As an example, my Year 6 classes are learning about space and the planets in their science class.

As a way to teach ESL using the CLIL method, I’ve integrated this space vocabulary into my lesson, creating a “space station project,” where the kids had to design and advertise their own space shuttle.
20160711_111347The students were put in groups of four, and each was given a job, like project manager and designer.
20160707_095255The students began by completing a brainstorming worksheet. They used new space vocabulary, and also the future tense, describing what the shuttle “will have” and “won’t have.”20160711_111105Next, they created a poster advertising their space station. For example, the poster on the left had a hamburger restaurant on their space shuttle, and the Pepsi canister was their human waste compost. So gross! 😮
presetn2Overall, this group project helped build skills in teamwork, knowledge of space terminology, and created an environment for them to express their creativity and speak freely in English.IMG_0097In the end , the students received a grade based on their brainstorming worksheet, final poster, and on a short oral presentation explaining their design.presentSome of them obviously have no fear of public speaking.
IMG_0093Some even decided to dress up as hypothetical space citizens on their shuttle. 😀IMG_0094And of course, all speeches started and ended with a respectful bow. ❤20160711_111014Well, that’s all I have for now. Hope you enjoyed this update. 🙂

Next up I’ll be heading to Chiang Mai, spending five glorious days in the mountains of northern Thailand. Can’t wait to tell you all about it. Until then. Take care and enjoy your week. 😀

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