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    Tropical Storm Tour: Thailand Part 27

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015
    Bangkok, Thailand

    A pleasant afternoon on bus number 15 in Bangkok, Thailand.
    A pleasant afternoon on bus number 15 in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Asavanant Dental Clinic in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Asavanant Dental Clinic in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    I had crap ton of errands to run today before I travel to Cambodia on July 3, so I wasted no time as I hopped on the trusty old bus number 15 down to Siam, where I boarded the SkyTrain bound for Asavanant Dental Clinic down in Sukhumvit. Disembarking at the Thong Lor stop, the dentist was right there on the corner. As I entered the swanky lobby, two young ladies in sharp uniforms greeted me with a wai and a “Sawadee ka!” One of them escorted me into the elevator and rode with me upstairs. The two receptionists were likewise friendly and informed me that my cleaning with the ultrasonic scaler would cost between 1,400 and 2,600 baht, depending on how much plaque was present, and that the dentist could see me in 45 minutes.

    A side branch to Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A side branch to Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Legendary wok star Mr. Dum goes off on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Legendary wok star Mr. Dum goes off on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    So, I sat in the waiting room looking at magazines and checking out the western classical music-themed interior. The owner of Asavanant is big on classical music and art, and likens the procedures undertaken at his business to creating works of art in peoples’ mouths! Sure enough, 45 minutes later on the nose, the dentist’s assistant called me into the office, where he greeted me with a smile and asked how long it had been since my last cleaning. I told him I get one every four to five months and my last one had been in March. Armed with that info, he sat me down in the chair and reclined me until I was flat on my back with my head almost lower than my body.

    A lady woks up some goodness on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A lady woks up some goodness on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    My plate of hot, steaming Pad Thai from Pad Thai Fire Look on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    My plate of hot, steaming Pad Thai from Pad Thai Fire Look on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Then he put a weird mask over my face with only an opening for my mouth and went to town scraping off the plaque all over my teeth and, most importantly, under the gums. Twenty minutes later, I emerged a new man with a squeaky clean mouth. When I asked him if the ultrasonic scaler removes any enamel from teeth, he cheerfully explained that it just breaks part plaque but does not remove enamel. This dentist was the polar opposite of the arrogant and rude female dentist I encountered there on my last visit in 2012. Eager to immediately get my teeth all dirty again, I walked straight across the street to Sukhumvit Soi 38, to look for a chef named Mr. Dum and his famous Bangkok street food stall, Pad That Fire Look.

    A food stall on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A food stall on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    A food stall on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A food stall on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    As I ordered an egg roti at a stall womaned by three young ladies, I said, “Pad Thai Fire Look,” to one of them as I motioned toward an empty stall right next to theirs with some woks and pans stacked up. They informed me that Mr. Dum would arrive shortly. Sure enough, as I sat and chowed down on the Roti, a man began setting up the Pad Thai stall. A little while later, as he donned his apron and trademark beanie, I instantly recognized him as Mr. Dum from some photos I had seen of him on the web. As he got to work stirring up a great big batch of super-heated goodness, I busted out my camera and captured a few shots and some amazing video of the huge fire billowing out of his stall. Praised on myriad Thai food blogs, Mr. Dum is a flamboyant wok star who employs dramatic motions to realize his flame-filled creations that whet the appetites of scores of locals and foreigners alike–and the results really are quite delicious. I heartily recommend Pad Thai Fire Look to anyone who visits Bangkok.

    An overview of Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.
    An overview of Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

    The Mo Chit bus station in Bangkok, Thailand.
    The Mo Chit bus station in Bangkok, Thailand.

    With my belly full, I climbed back up onto the SkyTrain and rode that packed sardine can ll the way north to Mo Chit, where I disembarked and tried to find my way over a mile or so to the bus station. As I walked through the winding paths of Chatuchak Park, I asked a local if I was headed the right way to the bus station, but he informed me that it was too far, and recommended I take a taxi. So, I retraced my steps and jumped on the back of a motorcycle. I was a bit worried that since I didn’t have on a helmet that we might get stopped and hassled by the police. Luckily, that didn’t happen.

    A tuk-tuk on Thanon Tanao in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.
    A tuk-tuk on Thanon Tanao in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    The dreaded Thanon Khao San in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.
    The dreaded Thanon Khao San in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    At the bus terminal, a nice lady sold me a ticket for a non-stop bus to Siem Reap, Cambodia for the princely sum of $23. I read on some blogs that this bus is the best one, because it takes you all the way; you don’t have to disembark and haggle your way onto a Cambodian bus at the border. After another motorcycle ride back to the SkyTrain–fortunately with a helmet this time–I headed back to Siam. The wait for bus number 15 was pretty long, so I didn’t make it back to May Kaidee’s before closing time. I had to settle for another vegetarian restaurant just down the alley, where I ordered some yellow curry and rice. It was decent, but definitely not as delicious as May’s. Also, the pineapple shake I ordered tasted super bland, like they just put a tiny amount of the fruit into a glass of ice and turned on the blender. Oh, well! You can’t win ’em all.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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