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Search For The Hidden Cafe

In search of Bangkok’s most elusive cafe.

Walking in Thailand

I had planned to leave China in the early summer of 2020 … but then I had two flights canceled and the third flight would have have cost me around $6,000. So I talked to the administrators here at Zhejiang Wanli University in Ningbo and started paperwork for the fall semester. I figured that by January more countries would have opened up and I’d be able to fly out. Well, here I am, six months later, stuck in Ningbo and once again getting ready to start paperwork for another semester, now hoping to fly out in the summer.

Right now, as I type this, it’s February 12, 2021, the lunar New Year’s Day. Here in Ningbo, it’s been overcast and rainy for the last few days. Last night, I heard fireworks on the streets around campus, but today it’s very quiet. I was out on my bike earlier shopping at the few stores open today.

Just like a year ago, each day I have to send my body temperature to the director of the Chinese language program. At banks and malls, we have to sign in, write down an ID number, which for me is my passport number, and then have our temperature checked. We also need to show a green-colored health code on a smartphone, but I never carry my smartphone off campus. Fortunately, the director was able to procure a small card for me that functions the same as the digital health code. I just flash it and they let me in.

So what to do today? Well, join me as I climb into a time machine and travel back to a day before the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Back in 2014, when I was living in Bangkok, I happened to read about a small restaurant and cafe in Ari, a neighborhood a few Skytrain stops north of where I lived in Victory Monument. I looked at a map, wrote down the directions and address, and headed out the door with my backpack and camera in hand. Let’s go.

Walking in ThailandWalking west on Rangnam Road, to the Victory Monument Skytrain station.

Duty free shopThis is a duty-free shopping outlet of some kind. Buses from the airport pull up and disgorge frantic shoppers. I only went in there once. I didn’t buy anything.

Bangkok storeIn Bangkok, finding shade is essential for survival.

Bangkok SkytrainCrossing the elevated walkway to the Skytrain turnstiles.

Bangkok Skytrain 2That’s the southbound train. We’re waiting for the northbound one.

Skytrain stop BangkokYep, we got off at the right stop. Let’s find the exit.

Skytrain exit BangkokWe take Exit 3.

Bangkok lady phoneOkay, we turn left at the end of this street.

Hidden Cafe BangkokIt’s on the right side of the street and there should be a sign. Do you see it? Hey, there it is. Let’s cross over.

Hidden CafeHmm. What do you think?

Really? Okay, let’s see.

Thai cafeHey, this might be the place.

Cafe in BangkokYep.

Luxury cafe BangkokNice.

Acer computerShades off and the Acer booted up.

English breakfast BangkokEnglish breakfast first, and then a coffee.

Hidden Cafe BangkokHidden Cafe, Ari, Bangkok. Let’s come back here again next weekend for brunch, okay?


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Filed under: China, Thailand

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has written 4 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

4 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • Trevor Warman February 17, 2021, 11:43 am

    Yo Jeffrey

    Great to see another post! Good job.

    Am still in Mexico, doing good, doing posts: https://www.nomadicbackpacker.com/street-art-jalatlaco-oaxaca.html

    Link Reply
    • Jeffrey March 1, 2021, 11:46 am


      I’m not on any social media, so I can’t leave a response at your blog.

      Hey, great to see that you’re in Oaxaca City. Really nice set of photos. Wow, the sunlight, those colors — man, what a contrast to here in Ningbo, where it’s overcast and rainy every day.

      I’d like to do an update from here in Ningbo, but I’m waiting for a sunny day. It could be a few more weeks.

      Link Reply
  • Trevor Warman March 1, 2021, 7:17 pm

    No problem. I use only DISQUS on my site… though one can always leave a comment as a guest… but here is just as good.

    Hope u get some sun soon. Regards. TREVOR

    Link Reply
  • Ted March 31, 2021, 12:21 pm

    At least the directions were okay, some aren’t. I hope the food was worth it all.

    Link Reply