Alexa’s birthday came up while we were in Bangkok, so we treated ourselves to two nights in nice hotel and a fancy birthday dinner at a trendy restaurant called Basil. We had a delicious appetizer plate with many different types of well-prepared food. We also moved to the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, which is in the modern city center.
Alexa had a birthday spa day with a massage, a Thai body scrub and a facial before our fancy dinner (but declined to go to a ping-pong ball show). Jason stayed behind in the fancy hotel to take full advantage of the breakfast buffet, gym, pool and English language TV while the birthday girl was out getting spa treatments.
The restaurant had a tasty appetizer called meing kham, which is a plate of betel leaves, dried coconut, dried shrimp, peanuts, minced ginger, lime, red onion and chili peppers with a side of sweet chili pepper sauce. You wrap all the coconut, minced lime and root spices up in the betel leaf and then add a dab of the sweet chili sauce on the top and eat it. At first it seemed odd and like it would be too strong, but it was a good and very flavorful way to start our meal. We had a mixed appetizer plate, with some excellent fried soft shell crab and a delicious coconut crab dish as well. Alexa had creme brulee in a coconut for desert. For dinner, we definitely spent more than our daily budget allows, but it was a nice birthday treat to eat at a fancy restaurant and stay at a nice hotel.
Sukhumvit is somewhat of a more normal part of Bangkok compared to Khoa San road (although the lodging on Khoa San road is much cheaper). It has a elevated light rail above the main street, and many of the modern and multi-national hotels and restaurants you see in any cosmopolitan city in the world.