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CHAEN TEA Experience, Japanese Tea House in Thonglor, Bangkok

CHAEN Tea Experience is a Japanese Tea House in Bangkok, just a few minutes from the BTS station Thonglor.

They have a nice selection of matcha teas. 

Chaen tea menu
matcha ice cream menu and desserts

The teas can be ordered both hot or cold, which wasn’t shown on the menu (on the menu it looked like the teas were only served chilled). The price for both hot or cold is the same.

I recommend you try the “Ceremonial matcha set serving with dango” set. Dango is the name for a small Japanese dessert. You get to choose between mitarashi dango (traditional Japanese rice dumplings smothered in an sweet soy glaze) or red bean dango. The Miyako No Shiro Usucha set costs 280 Baht and is good value for the money.

Ceremonial set: Miyako No Shiro matcha with Mitarashi Dango (みたらし団子) for 280 Baht
Ceremonial set: Miyako no shiro matcha with red bean dango (Anko dango (あんこ団子) for 280 Baht

The Umami Matcha ice cream is creamy and quite tasty, would recommend trying it.

Umami matcha ice cream from Kyoto for 180 Baht

The staff is friendly, doesn’t speak much English though. 

The have seating at the tea bar, a small outdoor seating area, and seating upstairs on tatami mats with little Japanese cushions where you can sit on the tatami. There’s also a separate room upstairs which seems to cater to private tea tasting for groups or small tea workshops.

Their matcha teas are great:


Milk Seimei matcha from Kagoshima, note: Pistachio, Umami. Very tasty.


Yutakamidori matcha (with milk) from Uji, Kyoto, notes: Umami & Seaweed, served hot, 180 Baht


I was a bit concerned because I typically don’t like the matcha when it has a “fishy” smell, and I suspected this to be fishy since it says it has notes of seaweed. Turns out though that while it had notes of seaweed, it didn’t have the negative fishy smell I strongly dislike. It’s quite a strong matcha, rocket fuel style.

Milk Midori from Kyoto, 160 Baht

They even have a matcha tea which is a blend of Japanese and Thai matcha tea—which I found surprising. I’ve never heard of Thai matcha tea.

Japanese desserts

Downstairs can sit at the tea bar.

CHAEN Tea Experience tea bar
Plenty of Matcha utensils
Drip matcha?
Welcome to the matcha lab
Strainers, matcha whisks, chashaku, containers, scales

Upstairs they also have a tatami seating area.

Tatami seating area with bamboo outside the window. Calm atmosphere
Mini Japanese garden in the exterior entrance area

Pleasant atmosphere, nice Japanese aesthetic. The shop is towards the end of a one-way alley, so while it’s not the most convenient place to get to, it’s pleasantly quiet and you don’t have the noise of the city all around you.

The wifi here is fast and stable, and there are some power outlets available where you can charge your devices too.

Convenient car parking is available in front of the shop.

Unfortunately, they don’t accept cash, only QR payment, or (and then only for orders of 500 Baht and above) credit card.

This place is nice. I think the staff could be more communicative and knowledgeable—they seemed very hesitant to speak English, and one of my favorite things about tea houses is when the people running the place are passionate about the teas they serve, and give you some background about them or are able to educate them.

Which merits mentioning: When they serve you tea, they always bring a little card which gives some info about the tea. The name of the tea, its origin, and flavor notes. That was nice.

If you’re in Thonglor and like matcha, then this place is definitely worth stopping by. Is it the best matcha place in Bangkok? Nope. But definitely a worthy addition to the Bangkok teahouse scene, which until just a few years ago consistent mostly of some Thai-Chinese tea houses serving mostly Oolongs and Chinese teas, and then Peace Oriental teahouse, and now a row of other shops. I’d personally rate it higher than MTCH

Find them:

  • Facebook page
  • Email: chaen.tea.ex@gmail.com
  • Phone: 096 265 6359
  • Address: 129 ซอยสุขุมวิท57 ถ.สุขุมวิท แขวงคลองตันเหนือ, Vadhana, Thailand, Bangkok
  • Google Maps

Sorabol: Bangkok’s oldest Korean BBQ restaurant

Sorabol is Bangkok’s longest-running Korean restaurant, and their Korean BBQ is pretty great.

Apparently this is the longest running Korean BBQ restaurant in Bangkok. It’s quite a big place with lots of seating. Was here during a regular weekday, and it was quite full, and a bit understaffed (it was hard to get the staffs attention at times). 

The food was great though.

🥩BBQ Beef set

Feeds 2-3 people. Costs around 1600 Baht (plus service charge and taxes). Great meat with plenty of quality barchan (the little side dishes).

  • 100g of thinly sliced short ribs (Saeng Galbi)
  • 150g of ribeye steak (Deung shim)
  • 115g of spicy marinated thinly sliced beef (Yang yum galbi)
  • 200g of marinated thinly sliced beef (bulgogi)
  • a big bowl of soybean paste stwe with vegetables and tofu (doenjang jjigae)
Korean beef BBQ on the grill at Sorabol Bangkok
raw beef at Sorabol Korean BBQ Bangkok
Saeng Galbi and Deung shim

You can ask the staff to barbecue for you if you want. The quality of the meat was very good, everything was clean and had a good aesthetic.

barbequing beef at Sorabol Bangkok
You can ask the staff to barbecue for you at your table
raw beef on Korean grill
Beautiful beef

Banchan (Korean condiments)

When you order Korean BBQ you always get free, refillable condiments. There’s of course the obligatory bowl of Kimchi, which was good but a bit on the bland side for my taste, a bowl of radish kimchi, and sukju-namul (mung bean sprouts).

banchan at Sorabol
Some of the banchan (free condiments) you get with your Korean BBQ at Sorabol

The banchan (반찬) are pretty good.

Ssamjang paste, mini Korean pancakes, fresh garlic and chopped chili

The Pajeol-i (파절이), Korean spicy green onion salad, was good, but far from the best I’ve had in Bangkok.

Pajeol-i (파절이)
Pajeol-i (파절이)

The sigeumchi namul (시금치나물, Korean spinach) was good. Fresh and still had some bite to it.

Sigeumchi namul (시금치나물)
Sigeumchi namul (시금치나물)


pork bibimbap at Sorabol
Pork bibimbap

🍲 Pork bibimbap was pretty bland, and contained very little pork. Wasn’t impressed.

Noe of the things I liked about this place was the sheet of paper that explained the different condiments and displayed three ways of enjoying your Korean BBQ. This way you get a little food education right at the table.

Paper sheet that comes with your Korean BBQ and explains condiments and eating styles

I’ve also never had myeong-i namul (a sweet pickled leave that you wrap around a piece of meat), and that alone is great. That being said, be aware that the myeong-i namul is limited: you get one serving and that’s it.


The service was friendly, but over capacity. It was quite hard to get the staffs attention at times to order drinks, get banchan refills, and order more food.

Once we managed to get the waiters attention and ordered the check, it took about 10 minutes to get the check, and another 10 minutes to get our change after we paid already. Basically when I tell the waiter I want to pay, I want to get out there as soon as possible and not spend another 20 minutes sitting at the table.

It’s a yes!

It’s definitely one of my favorite Korean BBQ places in Bangkok. It’s very clean, the quality of the meat is great, good condiments. Plenty of Korean and Thai customers here. It’s best to book a table in advance, especially on weekends and holidays.


MTCH matcha tea shop in Ari, Bangkok

MTCH is a chain of matcha tea houses in Bangkok. We’ve visited the branch at Ari, which is in a quiet little soi just a five minute walk from BTS Ari.

I love the concept of a store that’s dedicated to nothing but matcha, because let’s face it, most matcha you get in town is of pretty poor quality. So how does MTCH stack up against this?

The Arashi is their signature matcha latte blend: very strong.

I tried with a sweetness level of 25% (I typically like no or very little sweetness), and even for me it was still a bit too much bitterness and edginess for me, so next time I’d try this with 50% sweetness level. That being said, I’ve had matcha’s where added syrup was required at all that went down smoother than Arashi with 25% sweetness. Not a huge fan to be honest.

We also tried the Okumidori matcha latte, which is medium strong matcha.

Overall, their menu is worth exploring, and I’ll definitely be back for more.

MTCH matcha ice cream

The matcha ice cream comes in 4 levels (1 to 4, 4 being the most intense).

The matcha ice cream was kept too cold, especially number 4, so when you get it it’s basically hard as a rock and you have to wait for 15 minutes for the ice to melt a bit. Personally I prefer the charcoal covered matcha ice cream at Peace Oriental tea house over this, the matcha here is a bit edgier and more bitter, whereas the Peace matcha ice has a more intense matcha flavor without the edgy bitterness.

Paper & plastic cups and spoons?

Why don’t they serve the matcha in proper tea cups? Disposable cups and spoons just add to plastic and paper waste, and the experience of eating from them isn’t nearly as nice as eating from a proper cup and bowl and eating with something other than a little takeaway plastic spoon. Especially at this price point this seems like a poor choice to me. Yes, this has their own branding and all, but still—do we really need more plastic? And personally I hate eating ice cream with a flimsy plastic spoon that bends, or sipping hot tea from a paper cup.

Seating & atmosphere

There’s ample seating space available in the two storey shophouse. Typically teahouses feature a wooden interior, but this one is all white, a bit of calm Apple store asthetic: minimalistic and modern.

Stainless steel tea counter
I thought the tip box was kind of cute.
Not quite sure what to make of the interior choices

I dislike the fluorescent lights, but fortunately there’s good natural light.

You can also buy matcha tea in bags to take away and prepare at your home, and they also sell utensils (bowls and brushes).

They currently have 3 branches in Bangkok:

Ari, 9-18:00 (Closed on Tue)
Ratchapruk, 11-20:00
Sukhumvit, 9-18.00 (Closed on Tue)


$2.50 freshly squeezed orange juice at Suvarnabhumi airport Bangkok

At Zurich airport, you buy a bottle of “cheap” water for 5 Euro. At Bangkok’s international Suvarnabhumi airport, you get a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice for 80 Baht (around 2.50 USD). On the ground floor, when you walk towards the airport rail link (the train that connects the airport with the city center), there’s an orange juice vending machine. And it’s actually freshly squeezed orange juice. When I tried it today it was pretty good: the oranges were sweet and of good quality.

The oranges are stacked in there, and once you insert money they fall into this machine that slices the oranges in two and then pressed out the juice and fills it neatly into a cup. The entire thing is relaly hygenic—you now see these types of vending machines all over Bangkok.

Give it a try next time you’re at the airport and want a little healthy refreshment!


Cheap food at Suvarnabhumi airport

cheap food court at suvarnabhumi airport bangkok

If you’re at BKK airport and just want to grab a quick cheap meal, there’s a little food court on the first floor: Magic Food Court. You first have to buy coupons at the entrance which you can then exchange for food at any of the stalls. Any unused coupons you can return and get cash back. Coupons are only valid on the day of purchase, so make sure to use them up or exchange them back to cash on the same day if you have any coupons left over.

You purchase coupons here at the entrance, which you then use to pay for food or beverages at the stalls

There are about a dozen stalls that sell different kinds of food.

One of the food stalls in Suvarnabhumi airport’s “Magic Food Court”

Don’t expect the most amazing food here—it’s simply fare, mediocrely prepared, but it’s good enough to fill you up and you don’t pay the typical inflated airport prices.

A plate of rice with curry and squid sets you back just about 80 Baht. A bottle of water around 10 or 20 Baht.

Here’s the menu of one of the stalls, called “Master Cooker”. As you can see, prices range from 60 Baht to 160 Baht, which actually gives you a sizable serving of food.

There are plenty of tables with seating available, and a lot of the staff working at the airport also gets their food here during their lunch breaks.

When you walk to the back you’ll see the “bar & coffee” area where you can buy drinks, anything from plain water to soft drinks, smoothies, even beer (a can of Leo for about 50 Baht). Even fresh coconut water costs just 60 Baht (in the city it typically costs around 40 Baht on the street, and around 60-150 in restaurants).

This is where you buy beverages in Suvarnabhumi airport’s Magic Food Court

I can’t say that I enjoyed the pho—it was filling at best, but nothing else.

The rice with curry was pretty bad. The curry with mama noodles was pretty decent.

The squid curry with rice wasn’t great, but it wasn’t as bad as it looks in this photo
This doesn’t look particularly appetizing neither, but it actually was pretty good for that price

The shop selling papaya salad in the corner is also pretty okay, I know a ground staff member from Issaan that eats here all the time.

They also sell fresh fruits—e.g. precut watermelon, apples, mango, pineapple, etc for about 45 Baht per serving, which is about twice what you pay in the city, but for fresh fruits at an international airport still a steal.


Breakfast in Bangkok @ Siam: Clinton Street Baking Company

This is definitely one of my favorite new American breakfast places in Bangkok: Clinton Street Baking Company. It’s located on the ground floor of the Siam Paragon shopping mall. The pancakes are wicked. So are the eggs.

I’m a real snob when it comes to ingredients of a simple breakfast, particularly eggs. And here’s my verdict: these eggs leave nothing to be desired.

I had the Farmer’s Plate: Soft scrambled eggs, farmhouse cheddar, rosemary soft paddies, and herb-roasted tomatoes with sourdough-toast. Now I’m a city kid, but if this is what farmers eat, I wanna be a farmer.

We also had their blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter. Usually when you order pancakes with maple syrup, they’re always stingy with the maple syrup. Here, they give you a big jug of maple syrup, more than even an unreasonable person like me could ask for. Cause if you have pancakes, the last thing you want to be is reasonable. Pure indulgence.

The staff was friendly, polite and attentive.

When you order a pot of tea, they will even offer to refill it for free with hot water. Which is uncommon for a restaurant in a high-end shopping mall like the Siam Paragon, and it made me like them all the more.

Check out their Facebook page or their website.


Bangkok’s Cocks


You can often see these little cages with roosters in Bangkok – they are mostly held by people eager to have them compete in a cockfight. And yes, betting is always involved. However, the nice thing about that sometimes you wake up to the sound of roosters – in the middle of downtown Bangkok, where the last thing you expect to hear is that “village sound” 🙂


The Old Man And The Plastic Bags

Every once in a while you come across someone who just looks like a person who had an interesting life story.

How about this old Asian man with his thick white hair andhis long white beard?

old Asian man in Bangkok


Transfer from Bangkok To Pattaya

Looking for Transfer from Bangkok to Pattaya?

1 to 3 people:

  • private, air-conditioned luxury Sedan (with driver) (see pictures below)
  • pick up at your hotel in Bangkok
  • drop off at any place you want in Pattaya
  • includes all tollway fees, gasoline and surcharges

Price: 1500 Baht

Up to 8 people:

  • private, air-conditioned van (with driver)
  • pick up at your hotel in Bangkok
  • drop off at any place you want in Pattaya
  • includes all tollway fees, gasoline and surcharges
  • up to 7 people (same price)

Price: 2500 Baht

There are many companies that offer a transfer from Bangkok to Pattaya, and you will sure be able to find something cheaper if you look a bit more.

The cheapest way to go to Pattaya fast is to simply get on a public van from Victory Monument. A one-way ride costs just around 120 Baht per person – but keep in mind that the vans are very crowded and they have fixed drop-off points, so if you value convenience it’s better to book a private transfer from Bangkok to Pattaya.

The transfer takes around 1,5 to 2 hours.

Here pictures of a typical luxury sedan that can carry up to three passengers (1500 Baht for the transfer from Bangkok to Phuket):

Toyota Camry ToyotaCamry3 ToyotaCamry4 ToyotaCamry

(prices & conditions as of April 2013)


Why Public Transportation Is The Best Way To Move Around Bangkok

We always recommend our clients to move around Bangkok by skytrain or subway if possible instead of taking a taxi. Even though taxis are very cheap in Bangkok. The reason? Well, look for yourself:

Bangkok Traffic Jam

Being stuck in traffic for hours is nothing unusual at all in this metropolis of more than 11 million people (and way too many cars). If you ever get caught up in one of the infamous Bangkok traffic jams, simply mentally reframe it as an meditation, or an exercise in patience and to keep a good emotional state even in potentially annoying situations 🙂