Tag Archive | Bangkok

Volunteering in relief centres: things to keep in mind

Little girl packing clothes

The flooding in Thailand has left thousands of people homeless and in danger. While a lot of people particularly those in safer zones were busy discussing how things came about and who to blame, others were busy volunteering at evacuation and relief centres. We decided to join the latter.

On Saturday off I went with friends Anake Lekkon and Nesszi Lapin to Don Muang airport to help pack goods for the flood victims. Being a VSO volunteer not so long ago, I thought I was ready – just a T-shirt, short pants and slippers – then I realized there are a few things that I should bear in mind. These may be simple but still worth sharing.

What to bring
When our mind is too focused on what we can do, we tend to neglect what we can bring. With houses submerged in water, some people have barely anything so bring whatever you can. This is the best time to clean your closet and let go of things you haven’t used for the past years.

When we reached there, the first thing I got involved with was unpacking  cartoons and packs. How I wished then that I had brought my cutter, it would have made the job a lot easier and faster.

Comfort is one important factor to be able to work efficiently. So, bring a mask as there will always be different kinds of odor to deal with. Better yet, have a menthol inhaler in your pocket. Don’t forget your handkerchief and for ladies, anything to tie your hair. It also pays to bring a band aid.

What to wear
Wear a T-shirt bigger enough to allow you to move comfortably. For ladies, this helps when you have to squat. Shoes will allow you to move or run quickly than slippers and it can protect your feet better too.

What to do
This actually never crossed my mind before I went there because I expected that we will pack goods. However, when we reached there we were greeted by a crowd of people – and I mean massive crowd. Some were busy working but a lot just stood there without doing anything. The manpower was not maximized and it was not very systematic.

A little boy collecting nylon ties and garbage

In this kind of situation, just try to use your initiative and start working without being told. You don’t need to have a specific task. In my case, I went back and forth distributing and tying sacks, carrying packed goods and even gathering trashes. Just try to help the other volunteers do their job more efficiently and easily.

On Sunday, we decided to go to the ThaiHealth Relief Centre instead. As there weren’t as many people as there were in Don Muang airport, the organisation staff were able to manage the volunteers and gave us specific tasks to do. Our group, composed of friends from the Youth Engagement Summit Nyo Min Ko, Pimsiri Danphitsanuparn and Ruby Manchada,  made EM (Effective Microorganisms) balls which will be thrown unto the flooded areas to reduce water pollutants that can cause the spreading of diseases. We learned that sending donations to ThaiHealth is better as they send them off to the affected areas right away.

What we did last weekend were just simple acts of kindness to our affected Thai brothers and sisters. But these little acts when put together can already make a difference. After all, caring for others is more meaningful when it becomes a verb.

ThaiHealth Relief Centre
BorBorSor Bldg, near Paholyothin Soi 3. By BTS, get off at Sanampao Station. Get out at Exit 3 and walk towards Aree for about 100 meters. The center will be on your left. For more information, call Ms. Patsy Tapasan at 0898148800

After You Dessert Cafe: Heavenly Treats

If you are craving for a heavenly dessert at very affordable prices, After You Dessert Cafe is the place.

I am on my 3rd day of self pampering and “me” time so I decided to meet a girl friend in Siam Paragon for an afternoon shopping. After an hour of roaming around, I felt a sudden longing for something choco-flavored and After You, located at the ground floor, was the best choice. I heard from a friend that the place is always packed with people and there’s always a long queue. And guess what, the queue was indeed long! But that didn’t stop us from going ‘coz I was sure the wait will always be paid off by its super delicious treats. Fortunately, we didn’t really wait that long and the staff were very friendly.

It was so hard to have a pick ‘coz everything was so tempting. But a choco-lover as I am, I opted for Chocolate Mud Brownie and Toffee Frappe — heavenly!

While munching our desserts, me and my friend tried to decipher the reason behind the name After You. I also let out my curiosity over their logo. Then she said, perhaps the cafe is after EWE, a female ram and perhaps Aries is the zodiac sign of the owner? Well, it made sense. Anyway, when I get back home, I was so thrilled to tell my friends that finally I’ve been to the talked-about dessert place. Can’t wait for my next visit! I’m craving already 🙂
After You branches are located in the following:

J Avenue, Thonglor13
Tel no. 0.2712.9266
Sweet hours: 9:00am – midnight (everyday)

Lavilla, Paholyotin
2 nd Floor
Tel no. 0.2613.0597
sweet hours: Mon – Thu 10:00am – 22:30
Fri – Sun 10:00-23:00

The Crystal Park, Phase 2
Tel no. 0.2515.0549
sweet hours: 11:00am – 22:00 (everyday)

Overnight transit in Bangkok: Silom is the place

Last month, a friend was on a transit in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport on his way to Dhaka, Bangladesh for 12 hours. He arrived in Bangkok at 10PM and his flight to Dhaka was at 10AM the following day. It was his first time in Thailand so I was very keen to show him around Bangkok. However, the challenge was to find a place for us to chill out knowing that not many shops and places are open overnight. After much thought, voila! We chose to take him to Silom.

A place for shopping
Indeed, Silom was the perfect choice. As late as 3AM, there are still vendors selling various items along the sidewalk. You can grab some really chic clothes, jewelry, souvenirs, bags, shoes, silk, and much more at very affordable prices. Of course, vendors usually give a higher price if you are a foreigner. You just have to know how to bargain. If they insist on the same price, try buying two or more items and ask for a discount. I once liked a silk scarf so much but the cost was ridiculously 800 Baht. I tried to bargain and pretended I am not so interested with the item. In the end, she gave me the scarf for only 200 Baht 🙂

A place for delicious food and drinks
Silom has a lot of restaurants that serves delicious Thai food and other cuisines. We ate at one of the open restaurants there for only 500 Baht for the three of us. With that amount, we already had som tam, tum yum, rice, chicken barbecue, singha beer, coke and fried noodles.

A place for night life
There are a lot of clubs and bars open in the area where you can enjoy and have a good drink. The famous strip dancing show in Patpong is also just around the area. There is also this so-called gay soi (gay street) with several gay lounges and clubs.

If you’ll arrive in Bangkok before 12 midnight, you can take the airport link train to Phyathai station for 40 Baht. From there, you take the train (BTS) to Sala Deang then you can start roaming around Silom just after you get down from Sala Deang station.