Rummaging through my old holiday photos, I decided I will write something about a restaurant that I frequented when I was visiting Bangkok.
The last trip I had was in 2007 and that trip was different because, the airport is already new, I was with my family – my brother, aunt and cousin, and I was not anymore working in Cambodia, I was visiting.
My romance with Thailand
When I was in Cambodia from 2000 to 2005, I mostly travel alone to Bangkok for my dental appointment. A little (too much information about me) was that I used to have braces when I started working there and most Cambodians have never met someone with the kind of ortho-dental contraption I have let alone know how to manage it. I have trust issues with dentist I don’t know and no one can point me to someone that might have inkling about what I had in my mouth. So the only option for me was to commute to Bangkok at least 3 to 4 times per year to have adjustments and other dental needs. Of course its an opportunity to shop and watch movies in proper venue — wide screen, popcorn, cola and lazy boy. Nothing beats a weekend in Bangkok then, capped with a good foot massage and nice hair cut. There are pig out on Thailand street food and real Thai cuisine. Let me not forget the road trip, train rides, border crossing trips I had over those years.
It’s an expensive dental appointment but apart from air fare, the rest of the trip one can really travel on shoe string budget — you don’t have to stay in fancy hotel if you will be out most of the time, as long as it has good hotel services and clean, I don’t mind. I don’t mind if there are lady boys and big bellied Caucasian men in the lobby, or floating in the pool, as long as they don’t bother me I don’t mind them.
I always stay in the Sukhumvit area. You will find everything in the longest boulevard in Thailand (and the world according to wikitravel). Along it’s stretch you will find a mix of high-end to low-end shopping malls, dated hotels – back to the 50’s (The Federal Hotel and Rex Hotel) to the 5 star hotel (JW Marriott Hotel). You can have opportunity to explore local Thai cuisine to exotic Lebanese food and all other kind you fancy.
And here’s what I want to tell you
After a very long introduction, the restaurant I was talking about is Cabbages and Condom, an authentic Thai restaurant walking distance from where I always stay at Soi 11. This is one restaurant you shouldn’t miss and you will find it along Soi 12 interior and almost all taxi drivers know the restaurant, it’s popular with tourist here’s why …
When you get there and enter you will be met by these two men dressed to impress.
Well, I hope they are still there to welcome people and seeing these two, curiosity will already start to tickle you. I just hope now its still there if not then i’ll settle for the smiles of the people from the country known for it.
Don’t be offended when you’re greeted by those two static gentlemen, it does not mean to do that, CC is a theme restaurant promoting family planning and teaches about HIV / AIDS prevention. Former tourism and AIDS minister Mr. Condom opened this restaurant to increase awareness on safe sex practices through the use of condom among many other programs the government of Thai started.
You can take home condoms they are available everywhere in the restaurant. This is not to promote sex or promiscuity among its patron but rather to educate them. The income for the restaurant are used for the various project CC support through the Population and Community Development Association (PDA).
Still the decision to support and accept what they promote is a personal choice. I go back to the restaurant because I love Thai food and it has one of the best Thai red curry I tasted in town at the same time I know I am helping a worthy cause that saves and improve lives and takes them out of poverty. (Having said all that, I am sure my sister would’t mind).
Post script: Word of Caution
Back then I have issues of safety especially when going back to the hotel from dinner. I have to walk at least 200m from the restaurant to the main road and a short distance to the foot path and across in the dark with some people sleeping along the path. I don’t say the people will hurt you or something but it’s not bad to take extra caution when walking home alone at night in Bangkok and any place you’re not familiar. Best would be to ask the restaurant to hail you a cab and go home faster and safer 🙂
Maybe those that have been in the area lately can give out better information about safety. TY
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