It wasn’t our first time taking a tuk-tuk in Bangkok but it was the first time that we nearly got scammed.
We wanted to get to MBK Center from Pratunam Market. Saw a couple of tuk-tuk drivers waiting by the roadside (and harassing tourists for business as usual) but we totally ignored them and flagged down another tuk-tuk that was on the move.
The driver seemed alright and the fare he quoted us was reasonable. We hopped onto his tuk-tuk and off we went.
This driver tried to chat us up with his limited grasp of English. While we were busy engaging in small talk, we totally forgot to check our location on our GPS map which we would normally do when travelling (because some cheeky taxi drivers would purposely take longer routes and bring you on merry-go-rounds). It was only when our tuk-tuk came to some godforsaken place (back alley with slums & squatters in the distance) that we realised something was amiss. And then our dear driver revealed his true colours.
So drama, right?
He said he was going to drive us to somewhere first because he ‘blah blah blah blah blah’ (all his sob stories came up) and that he really needed money and so on. When I asked what place it was, he couldn’t answer me and only said he would drive us to MBK Center after going that place.
Who in the right mind will just go somewhere with a stranger without even knowing where that place is?
The next moment, we jumped down from the tuk-tuk and ran while trying to backtrack our route. He didn’t chase after us but it took us like 20 minutes or so to get out of that dodgy area on foot.
So peeps, if you want to try out the tuk-tuk experience in Bangkok, please be aware of your surroundings and put on your GPS map to make sure you’re heading the right way. Otherwise, get off the tuk-tuk quickly while you still can.
I’m not saying every tuk-tuk ride is like this. I had taken tuk-tuks several times in my last couple of visits to Bangkok but it was my first time encountering this which I thought I should share with you all. Just be more wary and cautious.
In my previous business trips to Bangkok, I had stayed at Pathumwan Princess Hotel that’s connected to MBK Center. And whenever I came here, there would be one shop that I would never miss out.
555 PaperPlus is a stationery shop that specialises in paper products. I come here to stock up on note paper and cards because the designs are so cute and you can’t find them out of Thailand. Yes, I admit, I have a huge collection of stationery that can easily last me for years but I will still buy when I’m here, haha.
What I really want to feature in this post (besides the tuk-tuk scam and this stationery shop) is the food selection you can find when at MBK Center. The MBK Center Food Court on the 6th floor is also known as MBK Food Island. It offers pretty good local cuisines at wallet-friendly prices and some of these dishes can be even better than what you get on the streets. There’s also another food court by the name of The Fifth Food Avenue on the 5th floor – this offers international cuisines at slightly more expensive prices.
There are 3 things that you shouldn’t miss when at MBK Food Island on the 6th floor.
MBK CENTER FOOD COURT A.K.A. MBK FOOD ISLAND
1. Oyster Omelette
Their oyster omelette (85 baht) is pretty big in portion. What I really like about this is how crispy and eggy this whole thing is. Tastes so much better than those soft, gooey and starchy ones. The oysters are always fresh and sweet too. Yum.
2. Kuay Chab
Just like our local SG kway chap but the kway here is rolled up versions of rice noodles.
While the broth from here isn’t as robust-tasting as the one from Platinum Mall’s food court, the pig blood curd here is absolutely delicious.
3. Mango Sticky Rice
Always love the vibrant colours of ingredients at the dessert stall.
I will never leave MBK Center without digging into a plate of mango sticky rice (120 baht). Been eating this since I first came to Bangkok in 2005. The mango is always cut into big, thick chunks and is so sweet and juicy. The texture of the sticky rice is also very good. It is neither hard nor soft and is perfectly flavoured with a tasty coconut milk sauce and an added fragrance of split mung beans.
Obviously, there are many more food choices at the food court but don’t fill yourself up yet because you have to make your way to the ground floor to check out this outdoor street market.
Plenty of food stalls that sell mainly local Thai fare.
There are seating spaces so you can buy your food, sit down and enjoy.
The market is located just outside Tokyu departmental store on the ground floor.
The grilled chicken (60 baht) may look dry from the outside but the meat itself is actually very moist. It’s so tender, the meat will just fall off the bones.
This is Fried Pork with Rice (50 baht). While the rice is too stodgy for my liking, I love the fried pork that was crispy but also very fatty. It’s a must to eat with the piquant green chilli sauce. Very umami in flavour.
For fresh orange juice, you have to get it from this stall because they use very fine ice which makes the orange juice here taste like a slushie.
Only 20 baht for a big cup of refreshing orange slushie. Best drink to have to combat the sweltering heat in Bangkok. We probably had 3 cups when there, lol.
The moo ping (grilled pork on skewers) from this market is also worth getting though again I must reiterate, the moo ping from Central World market is still the best, haha.
Next time when you come to MBK Center, don’t forget to check out this lovely street market for more street food selections!