Wild Bangkok

While I’ve been sick–of the physical and home variety–lately, I am still loving  the Big City.

Which includes a restaurant the Boyfriend and I discovered just before Christmas break. We were wandering downtown, doing some shopping for Christmas, mostly at the new H&M store (whaaat!) and it was freezing and I was so stressed out.

I was sick, work was driving me insane, and I had a million things to do before leaving for home. (Aww…).

The BF and I decided to grab some food–we tried an Italian place we’d heard of, but that was crazy crowded and expensive.

Then–we saw it.

Down a side street, a small, unobtrusive sign. All I saw was “Thai” and we made a beeline.

That’s right, folks. Wild Bangkok Bar & Grill, just off of 16th Street in Denver.

Amazing. (Spoiler alert..)

We sat on the floor on cushions, in a dark quiet corner, with Chang beers in our hands (some of my favorite from the trip) and devoured Cashew Nut Chicken and, of course, Pad Thai.

I’m not going to pretend the food was as good as it is in Thailand–um, it’s Thailand–but it was preetttyyy darn close. I can never find the perfect Pad Thai, so I hardly ever order it, but the BF definitely inhaled his.

As for my Cashew Nut Chicken, well, I was lickin’ my plate clean as well. The sauce! The cashews! The vegetables were fresh, the chicken was flavorful and not even a little bit dry. And it all went down very easy with my Chang.

It was the first time in weeks I was able to relax. That says a lot.

And not just because of the beer.

Mostly because of the atmosphere. (Okay, the beer helped.)

Somehow, even though the place was crowded, and the bar was hoppin’  (they have lanyards of Chang for just a few bucks so…people were enjoying that) it felt like it was just the two of us. We were in the corner, and it was surprisingly private and quiet.

At least we had the illusion of privacy, which works for me.

Also, we got to sit on the floor. Who doesn’t love to sit on the floor and eat??

The sitting-on-the-floor and the expansive Thai decor complete with candles all provided another illusion: one where, when you walk out the door, you would actually be in the lush jungle of Northern Thailand.

So, if you’re in the Denver area, go to Wild Bangkok.

Make sure to request seating in the Northern Thai area!

Or hey, why don’t I just take you? (I want to go again and again and again…)

It’s even on me–it’s as close as I might get to Southeast Asia for awhile.

Sadly.

But at least I have Wild Bangkok to hold me over for now… 🙂

 

A Year Ago Today…

Last year, on November 11, I was here:

Any guesses?

That’s right: the Loy Krathong festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

Really, one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, as…cliche…as that sounds.  For those of you not in the know, Loy Krathong (loy kratone) is a festival in Thailand where you send a lantern into the sky or a boat (kratone) down the river, in deference to the gods. As you send your lanterns/boats out, you’re supposed to make a wish.

It started with the boats, but then spread throughout the land with lanterns to those who didn’t have water anywhere near.

It was beautiful, peaceful…and then suddenly like Fourth of July on crack. Imagine if we didn’t have any firework laws–and you’ll get the picture. We sent our lantern into the sky, then dove for cover as fireworks shot through the crowd.

AND this year?

I’m here:

That’s right, Vegas baby!

Very different from Thailand.

Yet, also not so different.

The festival was insane and somewhat terrifying; Vegas is the same. However, in the daylight Vegas is not a charming Thai city filled with old wats, monks, flower vendors and old city walls. No, in the daylight Vegas, without the lights, is garish and fake, and somehow even more frightening than at night. At night everything is bright and glossed over; even the vans depicting images of women-for-sale on the side look shinier. In the daylight, the vans look poorly cleaned and the women have dead eyes.

Despite that, I had fun in Vegas (even with my boyfriend’s family who are EXHAUSTING). I made about 40 buckaroos gambling (and lost a bit more than that) ate my weight at several buffets, and celebrated a wedding at a hotel where there was an anime convention.

And it’s nice to be able to say, “Only in Vegas….”

would a man wearing a giant dinosaur head be lurking in your wedding pictures.

Maybe the charm of Las Vegas is there’s nowhere like it, garishness and all.

Although really, seeing fake-Paris and fake-Venice kind of just makes me want to go to the real places even more…

Maybe next year. 🙂