May 12

It has become somewhat an annual trip for us to hit Bangkok during one of their motorshows. First was Bangkok International Motorshow back in 2012. We have heard so much about the motorshow in Bangkok but did not had the chance to visit it until in 2012. We decided to ensure that we visit it that year. And so we did. The following year we skipped the motorshow but head to Bangkok Autosalon 2013 instead. And this year, it’s back to Bangkok International Motorshow 2014.

And so we packed our bags and left our big bulky DSLRs behind while we brought along our little mirrorless cameras and hopped on one of the flights to Bangkok.

The flight was only a short 2 hours, but it was a rather uncomfortable flight. This is not due to turbulence of anything like that, but rather a very noisy group of passengers. All of them, strangely had toilet tissue paper stuffed into their ears for reasons unknown to me. I did not bother to ask as well.

We actually love the little J1 camera. It actually performs rather well.

It was a 2 hours flight, and with nothing else much to do, we played around with the camera. We were trying to get some artistic angle just from where we were seated.

We stayed at our usual place, a nice little place called Lubd in Siam Square. The name Lubd means ‘sleep well’ in Thai. How appropriate! We like this place because of it’s close proximity to where we usually go. Places like MBK, Siam Centre and Paragon. Directly in front of the hostel is one of the train stations. It’s literally a stone’s throw away.

It’s not a dodgy hostel with dimly lit corridors. It’s a modern and chic hostel with clean rooms, sheets and more importantly, clean bathrooms and toilets.

While we were there, they had this spicy challenge. Eat 1 chilli within one minute, you get 10% discount. Eat 10 chillies within a minute, you get a 100% discount on room rates!! How cool (or hot) is that! Visit their website and social media as follows :

Facebook : www.facebook.com/LubdHostel

Website : www.lubd.com 

This is the view of the 4 bed dormitory. This is the room after 3 nights with 4 guys! So please excuse the mess.

This is another view from inside looking out to the door.

Each of us get our own electrical sockets, reading light and a place to hold our little items like chargers, phones or mp3 players.

Here’s Jason resting comfortably.

The first thing we did, right after check in, was to head out to the Japanese BBQ Buffet!!

It’s 2 hours of glorious meat and seafood offerings. There’s various types of pork and beef in various marinates. There’s also seafood like squid, salmon and prawns.

There’s other stuff you may order as well, like sushi and california rolls. Drinks are free flow as well. Here, there’s another level of menu where you can only order from if you have paid for the ‘premium buffet’. It includes other stuff like cod fish and snow crab. Maybe we should try that the next time.

This is the shopping mall where the BBQ shop is located. Somehow I cannot remember the name of the shop. But the shopping mall is small. Just a little circle type layout. You cannot miss that BBQ shop. This is located at Langsuan Road. Further down is another Jap BBQ Buffet called King Kong.

After dinner is obligatory visit to the 4-faced Buddha shrine. It’s conviniently located on the way back to the hostel. Yes, we walk. That way we can save money on transportation, as well as we can take in the sights and sound of Bangkok’s bustling city. There are also lots of street food along the way.

But if there is a need to go a little further, then the 4 of us is just the right amount of people to hail a cab and split the bill. Most of the time it’s cheaper per person and much more comfortable.. well.. comfortable to a certain extend considering the size of the 4 of us. hahaha

This is the infamous MBK. Kind of a one stop shop of everything Bangkok. It includes a food court which serves various local food, and various other shops selling various items including fashion, electronics, camera, make up as well as beauty products, from the branded and pricey to the cheap.

And we found something rather interesting while browsing around in Siam Paragon which is similar to places like Pavillion in KL. However, what is interesting it that they sell Thai street food here as well.

Seen here is the infamous grilled pork.

As well as other types of street food.

I think this is fish, but am not sure. Did not manage to try them as I was quite filled up.

Another view of the grilled pork. Of course the price here is more expensive compared to the ones you get by the roadside,

Yeah, I know it looks like something else. But I guess it’s sausage. Did not manage to try this as we were rather filled up by the time we got to this. Maybe the next round.

 

But what you get is a very comfortable environment to browse around and to munch on the snacks. Plus, being in a shopping mall, and an upmarket shopping mall, you can be assured of the cleanliness.

And considering that we were in Bangkok during the warmest time of the year, the air conditioned ‘street food’ area is much welcomed.

 

Another interesting dining experience is Sizzler’s.

Western cuisine, but with a spread of salad bar, complete with pasta and soup.

It’s wonderful break to enjoy some greens after consuming so much meat.

This is another must have in Bangkok; their soup noodles. Simple yet delicious!!

Yes, it’s rather strange to go all the way to the land of tomyam to have Japanese cuisine. But according to Jason, it’s the best Japanese curry rice, something which the curry rice here in cannot compare to. And they do serve pork curry rice as well besides the ones we usually find here which is chicken curry rice.

To me, it tastes.. well.. like any other Japanese curry rice, haha. But do give it a try, let us know how it is.

This is another place we would visit each time we are there in Bangkok, Swensen’s!! Why? Because it’s so much cheaper over there, and there so much more variety!

Oh… and guess who we bumped into! hehehe

This is all for now, a brief look into our general activities in Bangkok. Coming up would be our trip to the Motorshow itself. That post would be a very long post with tonnes of photos. So do check back.

Till then, happy week ahead!!

 

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Mar 28

More or less a continuation from our previous blog, today we will ramble a little about our Nikon J1. Yes it’s an old camera model now. It was also an older model when we purchased it. But here’s the story.

oh.. btw… this is a very general ‘story’ instead of a review. So no technical specifications or comparison or pixel peeping here.

We wanted a smaller, more manageable camera to use when we are not lugging around our bulky DSLR cameras. So we set out to find a point and shoot camera. But we do have requirements like a point and shoot with reasonable image quality and such. We went through several options, but non actually met our other requirement; that it had to be cheap.

We actually did think about a mirrorless camera, but they were rather pricey. But somehow we stumbled upon the Nikon J1, an outgoing model which (at that time) was already replaced by the J2 and with the J3 looming in the background, itching to take over the J2 and make the J1 obsolete.

But nonetheless, it was a very attractive offer of RM999 for a Nikon J1 with the 10mm f2.8 lens and a 16GB SD card to boot. It did come with a carrying case, but it was so appalling that it ended up the bin.

The extra bit you see in the picture above is an extra bit which gives the J1 a more retro look.

Makes it look like an old film type camera!!

The Nikon J1 is, as you may have already known, is a mirrorless camera with interchangable lens.

The sensor is a 10mp with a crop factor of 2.7. Yeah.. very small sensor if you compare it to other mirrorless cameras out there, but it’s sufficient for us. And if you compare it with point and shoot cameras (which was our initial plan), this is a huge sensor.

So the 10mm f2.8 lens yields a 35mm equivalent of 27mm. Just nice or a holidaying focal length. Plus, the lens is small compare to the standard zoom lens which it usually comes with. We opted for this lens because of it’s size and that it’s focal length suits our purpose.

So we got a camera which actually exceeds our expectations, which initially was just a standard point and shoot camera. This one shoots RAW files as well! And interchangeable lens means that we can get different lenses should we choose to.

There’s only 2 issues with this camera.

The first is that it’s a little bit bigger than a standard point and shoot camera. So it’s no longer a pocketable camera. But it’s still ok. We can still slip it into a belt pouch. Very much easier to manage when you are out and about on a holiday. Especially when you are trying to have dinner at a popular roadside seafood eatery in Bangkok with so little space. A DSLR would be a pain!

The second is the video recording button. To record a video, first you have to set the mode to video mode. This is normal. But to start video recording, you would have to press a dedicated video recording button situated next to the shutter release button.

So, very often I find myself taking still photos instead of recording a movie, because I tend to use the shutter release instead of the dedicated movie recording button.

Ok. Maybe that’s just me. Hmm… I guess it’s just me as I think it’s kind of a standard thing to have a dedicated movie recording button.

Anyways, it’s also a win win situation since we are using Nikon and have Nikon lenses, we can have the option of using our standard Nikkor lenses on the J1!!

This is the Nikon J1 with the FT01 Lens adapter.

It’s like an extension, or for the macro fans amongst us, sort of looking like an lens tube.

You attach the adapter to the camera, and then the standard nikon lens.

Like this one here, the Nikon J1 with an adapter and the Nikon 50mm f1.4G, making it a 135mm f1.4 lens! Does it not look so cool it freezes all other cameras? *giggle*

What’s more cool is this..

The Nikon J1 with Nikon 24-70 lens :)

So there you have it. The reason why we got the J1 instead of any latest model. It’s a steal!!

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