Bangkok Cat Cafe – Play with cats in Thong Lor!

Cat Cafe Bangkok

Just when I thought I had seen it all, Bangkok opened a Cat Cafe! Yes, an actual cafe where you can go an play with big furry cats and eat biscuits and brownies in the shape of felines. What more could you want?!

Cafe Cafe Bangkok

Getting there is easy, it’s only around ten minutes walk from the sky train at Thong Lor on Sukhumvit Soi 53, Purr Cat Cafe is located on a sleepy residential road  watch out for the sign on the left hand side of the street as you walk along. Open from 11:00am daily except Monday it easy to spend a few of hours in Kitty Land, stroking the cats and sampling the sweet treats.

Cat Cafe BangkokI think the cat below has the best idea: hide and nap. It’s tough at the top of the Cat Cafe in Bangkok, and these guys get tired. Most of the Persian cats here spend their time asleep, but that’s okay, getting to pet them is a great way to reduce stress, much easier to do when they are asleep, and you need that in a city like Bangkok, especially when most apartments are too small to own a kitty all of your own. Cat Cafe to the rescue!

Cat Cafe Bangkok

The best thing about the menu here is that it was mostly cat shaped. Let’s be honest, I’ve had better scones and biscuits elsewhere, but I really appreciated the effort and thought that had gone into the food. The staff at Cat Cafe are really friendly but service is slow. We didn’t mind so much as we wanted to spend time playing with the cats.

Cat Cafe

I enjoyed my trip to the Purr Cat Cafe, but I haven’t felt the need to go back since. It really is one of these mad things that needs to be seen to be believed! Bangkok is one of the cities where trends come and go really fast, and I worry that the Cat Cafe might be one of those. It’s easy to look after 14 cats when people are regularly coming to visit them, but what happens when the crowds and the money goes? I hope that the cats will still be looked after.

Bangkok Cat Cafe

 
 
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 11:00-22:00 and Saturday & Sunday 11:00-23:00
Address: Soi Sukhumvit 53 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10110
Tel: +66 2 108 3604

Top 5 things to do in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

We used Kota Kinabalu as a base for exploring some of the other great things that the area has on offer. It was a great way to get a taste of Malaysian Borneo without spending too much time travelling around. Below are my five favourite things we did whilst there.

A morning with the orang-utans at the Shangri la Rasa Ria resort.
It takes about 30 minutes in a taxi to get to the hotel. Taxis seem very expensive compared to Bangkok and they never use their meters! This can be frustrating, but it’s still a lot cheaper than London cabs. It only cost around 70 Malaysian Ringgits each way (14GBP). The hotel’s nature reserve is around a ten minute walk from the hotel and they have feedings at 10am and 2pm each day. It’s important to phone the hotel and book ahead as it’s very popular, there were around 30 people when we were there. After watching a short video on the conservation work that is happening in Borneo, it’s another 10 minute walk up a hill to the viewing platform. The orang-utans at this centre are very young as it’s the first stage of rehabilitation before returning then to the wild. There is nothing more amazing that sitting in the jungle and watching them swing in the branches above you. They are not afraid of humans so come surprisingly close. We were also lucky enough to get close up to a very young orang utan who was still getting to grips with climbing and swinging. We got to spend around two hours with the orang-utans in total. It really is a great way to get up close to these creatures if you don’t have time to go further afield.

White water rafting on the Kiulu River
I have always wanted to go white water rafting so when I found out we could do it on a river an hour outside Kota Kinabalu I was very excited. The rainy season had just started so the river was scarily fast in the eyes of complete novices. We were very lucky to have to boat to ourselves with our guide Sem. He navigated us down the river introducing us to the delights of body rafting which is being thrown around the river with only your life jacket to protect you from the rocks and swirling water and even did some planned capsizing. I hadn’t laughed so much in a long time.

A day on the Islands
Around fifteen minutes from Kota Kinabalu by boat lies some very beautiful small Islands which are perfect for a days relaxing. A lot of people visiting them seemed to be Island hopping but we decided to stick to one: Sapi. We went on a Saturday so it was quite busy on the main beach, but there was a smaller beach just around the corner which was perfect for a days swimming, snorkelling and napping in the shade. The Island also has bathroom facilities and food, but we chose to take packed lunches from town. The snorkelling is some of the best that I have done since arriving in Asia. The waters are really warm and there is still a lot of coral and lots of fish. I was very lucky and managed to spot a family of clown fish whilst snorkelling – it was very exciting to finally see Nemo.

A day in Kota Kinabalu Park
Even though I had no desire to spend a few days climbing the mountain it was very nice to spend a day in the Park. It does take a few hours to get there, but we were very lucky to have our own minivan and lots of space to nap. After a wonder around a local market (with lots of dried fish and amazing mountain views) we headed into the jungle to do the canopy walk. I loved being up in the trees walking along wobbly bridges. We spent a good hour walking in the jungle and up in the trees. On our way down we got to experience Poring Hot Springs. The water smelt like sulphur and was very hot, but even after 30 minutes are little bath tub had failed to fill up. The springs were far more functional than I had been imagining but it was still a worthwhile experience. During our drive back we stopped at one of the small villages and I got to see the Rafflesia flower, which is about the size of a car wheel and takes a year to grow, pretty impressive.

Explore the Town
Okay, the town itself is not particularly picturesque but it has a good set up for tourists, with good tour operators and some nice restaurants. We spent a good few hours exploring the new malls that had opened at each end of town, and I managed to purchase some new dresses and shoes. We also spent far too long in Coffee Bean and Old Town. Coffee Bean had litres of Chai Tea Latte and huge tasty scones (I live in Bangkok so I am allowed to eat Western food in these places!). Old Town was cheap yummy local food: Curry with Roti, Noodles with duck, delicious juices with Spirulina. Another place I would recommend was a restaurant called El Centro. We went there on two occasions and they were both delicious. Big salads, huge piles of chips and extremely friendly staff.

I really enjoyed my time in Malaysian Borneo. It was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation, things were easy to find and work out but you weren’t surrounded by Tourists. Borneo had never been on my list of must see places but it is certainly somewhere I would like to return to, hopefully to see the beautiful sites on the East Coast.

Balee Laos restaurant – Sukhumvit Soi 16

We have recently been introduced to a great restaurant at the end of Soi 16. You have to walk quite far too find it, but it’s worth the extra trek. You can spot it easily by the large neon pink sign.

There is a huge patio area outside with candles and bamboo chairs. They even provide citronella spray to keep away the mosquitoes. The staff are amongst the friendliest we have encountered in Bangkok, with the added bonus of having a good grasp of basic English.

The restaurant describes the food as authentic Eastern-Thai cuisine.

We have visited on several occasions and the food is very good. They are happy to make the dishes ‘mai ped’ (not spicy) and they have some very yummy things on the menu and the cocktails are pretty good too!
I really enjoyed the fried fish cubes with lime and peanuts. They come on a platter and you scoop the yummy mix into a leaf and stuff it all in your mouth. I would also recommend the spicy sausage and the delicious duck.

One of my favourite things about Thai food is the sticky rice. It comes in a small basket and it is so sticky it’s almost bouncy, my fork has rebounded quite a few times. Once you add a dish that has a nice sauce to it (the servers here will recommend if sticky rice is suitable) it’s just SO much better than plain boiled rice.

The main reason I keep coming back to Balee Laos is because I am completely in love with the stray cat who lives in the alley. We have named her Roxanne after the Police song. She is mostly friendly (when you are feeding her meat, she is not as keen as I am on the sticky rice). I wanted to take her home, but I think she is too wild for a one bed flat. I plan to visit her frequently so that we can eat fish cubes together.

Eating for a good cause.

Yesterday evening we got to experience the delights that is one of Bangkok’s best known restaurants: Cabbages and Condoms. With the tag line ‘Our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy’ it was set up by the PDA (Population and Community Development Association) to promote understanding and acceptance of family planning in Thailand. All the profits go towards projects they have set up around the country.  

It’s a very pretty restaurant with an outdoor terrace and many twinkling fairy lights. Fans spray a cooling mist overhead and the food . I had the stickiest rice in the world, it was so stuck together that my spoon kept bouncing off it and had to use my yummy beef sauce to dissolve it! Sadly the entertainment wasn’t so delightful. Pictured above is the lady playing what looked like a plank of wood with a few strings attached and sounded worse!! Thankfully the cocktails made up for it and we had a great night out, with only a slight headache the next day.