Apr 20, 2010

PERFECT SUNDAY!

I just LOVE to go for a brunch on Sunday mornings with some good friends! Here my spots in and around Zurich.. do you have some more great brunch places for us??

* RIVA, Wollishofen (only in Summer)
http://www.theriva.ch/deutsch/

* TOTO, Seefeld
http://www.ristorante-toto.ch/default.aspx?id=83

* FORUM, near Stauffacher (little bit smoky)
http://www.forumzh.ch/

* SEEDAMM PLAZA, Pfäffikon SZ (very very very nice!!)
http://www.seedamm-plaza.ch/

* BALTHAZAR, Bahnhofstrasse (nice "granny-cafe")
http://www.cafe-balthazar.ch/

* NOIR, Neugasse (only 10 seats, they've got their own coffee roasters)
http://www.cafe-noir.ch/

* SPRÜNGLI, Paradeplatz (necessarily make a reservation)
http://www.spruengli.ch/informationen/geschenkideen-restaurant.php

* CASABLANCA, Langstrasse
http://www.cafe-casablanca.ch/joomla/

* CHEYENNE, Oerlikon
http://www.cheyenne-oerlikon.ch/

* KUNSTHAUS, Kunsthaus
http://www.kunsthausrestaurant.ch/

* LAKE-SIDE, Zürich Horn
http://www.kramergastronomie.ch/lakeside/?kramer_id=4&page=lakeside

* COOLINARY, Marriott Hotel
http://www.coolinary.ch/

* MAX, Oerlikon (All American Breakfast Buffet)
http://www.restaurant-max.ch/Willkommen.4795+M554d6912b18.0.html

* MOVIE, next to the main-station (nice terrasse in Summer)
http://www.dinner.ch/

* LIMMATHOF, Limmatstrasse
http://www.arbeitskette.ch/limmathof/index.php

* UTO KULM, Uetliberg (wonderful view over Zurich)
http://www.utokulm.ch/deutsch/haus-events/sonntagsbrunch/

* RIFF RAFF, Neugasse/Langstrasse (food make by „Arbeitskette Zürich“)
http://www.riffraff.ch/gastronomie/bistro.html

* SKEBE, Bellevue (breakfast every day from 09:00 - 15:00)
http://www.kramergastronomie.ch/skebe/?kramer_id=6&page=skebe

* MAISON BLUNT, Gasometerstrasse (tea room)
http://www.maison-blunt.ch/

* TURBINENHAUS, between Wipkingen and Höngg (at the Limmat)
http://www.restaurant-turbinenhaus.ch/

* HASENSTRICK, Dürnten (farmer brunch)
http://www.hasenstrick-hotel.ch/

* ZÜRICHSEE SCHIFFFAHRT, Zürichsee
http://www.zsg.ch/index.php?sommerbrunchschiff

* RÜSTEREI, Sihlcity
http://www.ruesterei.ch/

* TRIIBHUUS, Altstetten (Caribbean brunch in a glasshouse)
http://www.bei-tony.ch/triibhuus/

* CHAESALP - their Sennezmorge in Summertime is fantastic!!
http://www.chaesalp.ch/

Apr 8, 2010

SAWASDEE BANGKOK

I just travelled to Bangkok over Easter for a short - but precious - shopping trip with my girls!
Nevermind the long flight hours, there is so much waiting for you that makes the long journey peanuts!!
Within 4 full days to indulge in this great and affordable shopping paradise you have plenty of time to discover the beauty of this one-of-a-kind metropolis.

Make sure you can stick to the following rules so you make the most out of your short trip!

1) Flying in with Thai Airways gives you a whole day to spend in Bangkok, at the arrival day as well as at the departure day. The convenient flight times give you more time on spot and make the pleasures of this city break even more unforgettable!
I know, usually for the flight selection the price is the major criteria, but make it a priority to find a flight that flies in to Bangkok as early as possible and to fly out as late as possible to get the outmost of your jorney…

2) If you feel tired after arriving in the early morning, after a hopefully relaxing and resting flight, try to sleep for another 2 hours, to gain some more energy…

3) Before you head out into the vibrant city life have a little lunch so you feel invigorated and powerful to explore everything.

4) Get the "Nancy Chandler's Map of Bangkok", it is the best to find your way through Bangkok and to get some extra hints on what to find where. You can get it at bookstores, at the airport or on the 5th floor at MBK (Mah Boon Krong-Shopping Mall) in the Naiin Bookstore!

5) To acclimatize best with the heat and humidity start your shopping spree at MBK. This huge Mall offers most of the very affordable market items in a climatized room, which prevents you from a climatic shock.

6) Try to stay awake as long as possible..it will help you to get into the thai-rhythm…

Shopping:
Thailand is a shoppers paradise!! So many things which are very very expensive to get in Switzerland are offered here to very reasonable prices. Before leaving Switzerland and to get an idea on how much money you can save with certain items, check the prices of your birth-control pill, your contact-lenses etc. and then make sure you compare them with the prices in Thailand. You'll be amazed!

MBK - Mah Boon Krong - Mall. As mentioned earlier this Mall offers plenty of opportunities to shop for goods and great finds! Stroll around through the different soi's (hallways) and find everything you need and want. From souvenirs, to Winter-jackets, to great Jeans…everything you wish for is available to a great steal!

Nice bags you can find on the ground floor (which in Thailand is already the 1st floor!) at "TON". Make sure to bargain…the great prices you will be offered, will be lowered even a bit more!
Another great bags-shop is "PHARAOH" on the second floor… very friendly people who have a wide range of different bags.

I got my contact-lenses for half than the price I would pay in Switzerland! My friends contacts were even a third of the Swiss price! A good place to buy them is: "Yours Optical" on the ground floor (1st floor!)

There are several pharmacies offering a great array of different medical supplies and drugs. Get you birth-control pill for not even a quarter of your Swiss price! Don't forget to check other drugs as Aspirin, Ponstan etc. you can get everything without a medical prescription!

If you want to get your hair refreshed, why not going to the hairdresser "Big Cut" on the 4th floor? They wash and blowdry your hair the way you want for only Baht 200.- (~CHF 6.-)

Another great place is right adjacent to MBK (exit on 2nd floor!). It's a little mall full of Manicure and pedicure places for a reasonable price! When getting out of the little Mall, you'll get to another neat place called "SIAM SQUARE". It is an open air area and in all the little soi's (side-roads) they offer one-of-a-kind small young designer clothes. Don't forget to bargain in those stores too…you'll surely get a discount!!

There you'll also find a great hairdresser called "Before & After" it's on Siam Square, Soi 2. They will wash and blowdry your hair for only Baht 250.- and you'll get a great headmassage included!

Chatuchak Market (JJ-Market) on the weekends Chatuchak market is very popular with tourists and locals too! This humungous market is a special place where you'll be able to find boutiques with clothes, shoes, bags etc. From the 1st to the 3rd road you'll find great places with great deals!
When hungry go to the JJ-Market hall. You can get there a nice Thai-style lunch for only Baht 30.- (CHF 1.-)

Suan Lum-Night Market is another nice market which opens daily from about 7pm until midnight! A great array of young designers and hip people sell their art and own clothingline. Find unique patterns along with the common souvenirs, furniture and much more.

SIAM Paragon Mall: A high class superb Mall with all the big designer labels (no fakes!). Make sure to check out the lower level where the food court is placed! The variety is immense and you could stay there forever and try all the different food styles. (Try the best Japanese-Burger in town at "MU-Burger"!! You'll be delighted!)

MASSAGES:
Make sure you visit a good spot for a real Thai Massage! Here are two options I've tried myself which are very recommendable:
-Health Land Spa & Massage Sathron (make sure to get an appointment in advance! Tel. 0-2637 8883)
2 hours Traditional Thai Massage costs Baht 450.- or 1,5 hours Aromatherapy Body Massage for Baht 850.-!
-Center Point Massage, 266/3 Siam Square Soi 3. Great for 1 hour foot massage at Baht 300.-. Make sure you can have the massage by "Pa", she is just fantastic!!

NIGHTLIFE/RESTAURANTS:
Here a couple of choices of restaurants, bars and clubs for you, which are rather expensive (western prices!) but are a nice option for a contrast.

Bars:
-Long Table bar and restaurant…They have nice drinks, very good (but expensive) food and a beautiful balcony with a great view of the city!
http://www.longtablebangkok.com/

-Vertigo & Moon Bar (@ Banyan Tree Hotel), a fantastic bar/restaurant on the top floor with a fantastic round view of the whole city! Enjoy fantastic drinks, extraordinary service and a little refreshing breeze on top of Bangkok!
http://www.banyantree.com/en/bangkok/resort_facilities/dining/vertigo_and_moon_bar

Restaurants:
-Koi - a great Japanese Restaurant with yummie sushi and great ambiente! (RSVP)
http://www.koirestaurantbkk.com/

- Bed Supper Club - a Restaurant/Club with themed evenings and great food. (RSVP)
http://www.bedsupperclub.com/index_switcher.php

Clubs:
-Demo Club- on a big place with 2 other big clubs! Plenty of people, great sound and mediterrean ambiente!
http://www.timeout.com/bangkok/clubs/venue/1:25541/demo

- Tapas Club - a 3 storys high building, with different music on each floor!
http://www.lost-in-bangkok.com/eng/Bangkok/Silom/Tapas.asp