Thursday 22 July 2010

Thailand (and KL) recommendations?

In eleven days - ELEVEN! - I will be here:

Panorama Railay seen from the Lookout
'Panorama Railay seen from the Lookout' by Steffen und Christina

My lovely travel companion and I are poised to flee Melbourne's winter for the warmer climes of Thailand's beaches for nine glorious days. Other than a few days in Bangkok I've never been to Thailand before, so am fairly ecstatic with anticipation (even if it means missing a week of MIFF).

We're flying in and out of Krabi and at this stage we intend to spend a few days in Railay, then head down to one of the less-touristy beaches on Ko Phi Phi, or maybe Ko Lanta. Or maybe somewhere else within easy reach of Krabi... it's all rather spontaneous for now. If any of you have any travel tips or foodie recommendations for that part of the world, I'd GREATLY appreciate them! We're also spending a Monday night at the end of our trip in Kuala Lumpur - we're thinking hawker food at a night market, then out for drinks. So any KL tips would be most welcome too...

Oh, and speaking of MIFF: this Saturday I'm going along to one of the film festival's special events, the 50th anniversary screening of Alfred Hitchcock's classic 'Psycho' with LIVE ORCHESTRA at the Regent Theatre. Yes, the score of the film will be performed live onstage! Tickets from Ticketmaster. My friend Nicholas Buc is conducting the orchestra, so send me an email if you're interested in attending either the afternoon or evening performance and I may be able to organise a special price on tickets... :)

Nick's concert


msihua said...

OMG.. you have to go to Chatuchak market in BKK and Som Tam.. go look for my post on that...

KL --> too many good things to recommend.. do you know where you'll be staying? It'll be easier to direct you then =)

Emily said...

You have the try the chocolate and banana pancakes, they're at every street corner, can't miss them!

Gosh I miss Thailand, oh the sun!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

in krabi, food isnt all that great, local flavours are tweaked to foreigners.

in kl, theres heaps to go to.

can check out

been to krabi and obviously live in kl.

Tom said...

KL. Eat Bah Kut Teh.

You must!!! This was a good one:

But I've been told there are many better.

While you're there, go to Wondermilk for some cuppacakes :)

chick in a ute said...

Costa Lanta resort/bar on Ko Lanta - very glam (no faux thai antiques, just cool minimalism) fabulous design, great bar!

Erin said...

I would recommend Koh Lanta - very laid back lots of cool bars and restaurants. Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort was really nice too and their Ruan Thai restaurant was brilliant.

Anonymous said...


I'm just another one of your blog fans but had to leave a comment this time as I went on the same exact trip last year. I went on a trip to krabi,railay, phi phi and KL last year and it was amazingg.

In Phi phi - make sure you book your own private longtail boat for the day to take you around maya bay etc. This is my best tip as I felt sorry for the other tourists who were jampacked in speedboats :(

In Railay - don't forget to visit the hidden Phra nang beach which is beautiful at sunset.

In Krabi - cooking lessons with Siam Cuisine Thai Cookery School was so yum. We use our

In Thailand we tried to order big lobsters and whole fish(in tamarind sauce) dish quite often as they're super costly here.

In KL - check out Petaling St for its night market food..chaotic but yummy. Chilli crab ws finger lickin good.


Matt Martin said...

Far and away the best resource on Thai food I've found is photographer Austin Bush's food photography website . Ate my way around Bangkok and Mae Hong Son following his recommendations and exceedingly convenient Google Map and never had a bad meal.

Anonymous said...

As per my above comment about KL - sorry I meant to say the open-air food stalls at Bukit Bintang, not Petaling St.
Petaling St is in china town which I would advise not to go at night time from personal experience:)

melbourne said...

This blog is gorgeous:

Duncan | syrupandtang said...

Depending on where you're staying in KL...

I never thought I'd recommend this sort of thing, but the Madam Kwan chain (Pavilion Mall, at the far end of Bukit Bintang), also some other malls is an interesting study in very reliable local dishes. The prices are shockingly high (ie, cheapish, but 3-5 times the hawker price), but the quality is good and execution is restaurant-style. At first I didn't "get" the idea of local dishes in a stylish chain restaurant, but then a local explained the attraction of a stylish "safe" food environment.

I was also surprised to find that the upstairs food area at Central Market was not only very popular with office workers at lunchtime but some of the food was quite good.

Although some of the hawker streets can be popular and buzzing (eg, near Bukit Bintang), the quality can be very unpredictable. Best to go with a local who knows specific places.

Anonymous said...

KL - Jalan Alor in the city for hawker-style food. Petaling Street is a day-market for shopping but you can get food there as well.

For drinks, if you like roof tops, check out Luna Bar at Menara Pan Global or Sky Bar at Traders Hotel. Alternatively, there's Gosh, Vanity Mansion or Elysium down on Asian Heritage Row.

if you feel adventurous, go by Bangsar One and Bangsar Village.

I'm going to KL too in a week's time.. yay!!

have a marvelous trip:)

p/s keep up the amazing blog on culinary delights in Melb. It has been such a pleasure reading it:)

Alisa Milburn said...

Face is great for the experience and the food stands up to the test as well.

What's For Tea? said...

Oh you lucky thing I just got back from Railay about two weeks ago!

There is a little hawker-style restaurant on the swampy side of the island. I had a curry so hot that it was almost a religious experience but so tasty!
Be careful of the long island ice teas at Skunk bar too - dangerous!

And roti banana pancakes are the best, I wrote about them here

Have a great time :)

Em said...

Yey Claire! How exciting:)

I'm particularly happy that you've asked for advice from your readers because i'm going to Thailand and KL in September so I could use some advice too!

Big thanks for sharing your Melb food love with all of us. Some of my faves that i've visited because of you are: Porgie +MJ, Tutto Bene, Pizza Meine Liebe (OMFG!), i Carusi 2, Xiao Ting Box....etc!

Anonymous said...

The Hokkien noodles look good in KL.

Anonymous said...

Another KL food blog.

Anonymous said...

Indian in KL?

Phil said...

On Austin Bush's blog, read this post - - it outlines his recommendations for a first timer in Bangkok.

My favourite places are the street stalls clustered around Thanon Yaowarat at night and the food hall in MBK mall is a great place to get your bearings. Also Nonthaburi market is worth a look -

Anonymous said...

for authentic cheap seafood go to port klang or lala chong.

proper hawker malay food- kampung bharu

or perhaps changkat for drinks?

will you be there during the fasting season? if you are you must check their daily food markets at various locations intended!

Mel Y said...

Oh, why I am also heading to Krabi in a few days! If I happen to spy you there, I will be the strange girl coming up and saying hello to you :-) Enjoy your holiday!

Anonymous said...

Hello Claire,
I have been following your blog for a little while. Being a Malaysian I'll definitely recommend you going to Jalan Alor (I'm sure you'll find it exotic, eating by the roadside). it's not too far away from Bintang Walk or even KLCC.

Another one (and I must recommend this) is going to Kayu nasi Kandar (i think that's what it's called).. it's near a shopping complex called "the curve", basically hawker food. If you're familiar with roti canai (indian bread that goes with dahl), it's sweet counterpart is the roti tisu - a thin layer of..well roti topped with sugar. It's one of the best I had in my life and it's 1 meter long at Kayu :)

Anonymous said...

oh, btw a blog post about the roti tisu at Kayu is here: