Six Senses Destination Spa – Phuket located on Naka Yai Island, just off the north-east coast of Phuket in Phang Nga Bay, looks to be the ultimate escape from the deluge of modern life. No twitter, no email and no junk food. That’s the hook for me, forced disconnection and boredom. It’s said that when at rest we absorb what we have learned and experienced, so I see this as the perfect cap to my usual escapes in Bangkok where I fill my every waking moment with the sights and sounds that this cultural mecca can offer.
The spa features all the personalized attention you would expect from a resort of this class. There are 61 pool villas and pool villa suites, private butlers, and Thai., Indonesian, Indian and Chinese themed treatment areas. The food is grown on the island or sourced locally, with raw foods and fresh juices featured prominently on their menu.
Though not mentioned and I doubt many of their guests would request it but I assume if the programs the spa had on offer were not to your liking you could hike around the island or visit the nearby fishing village.
During a short stay in Taipei Salvo Severino shot this intimate portrait of a great city. Wonderful work.
Animation and Visual effects artist Salvo Severino compiled this intimate series of production on his most recent short stay in the Tapei, When talking to him he told me that he is slowly being converted from an avid photographer into an inspired videographer. With the weather limiting him on his travels Salvo decided to go for a minimal amount of kit on this shoot and he ended up filming handheld adding a more personal touch and attracting less attention to himself. His Inspiration he states came from his new experience of the city, as being quite new to it, he felt attracted by some details that citizens of taipei may find obvious or normal, for him his new surroundings were so interesting that he couldn’t stop from shooting.
Immfusion is stylish budget accommodation within the everyday environs of Sukhumvit On Nut.
With her unique combination of culture, food and affordability, Bangkok is my favorite city to work and gain inspiration. This is of course not the best time to be recommending a base for your Bangkok visit, the risk of violence or civil war is very much alive, but when things do settle down the Immfusion should be on your list of places to stay.
Immfusion’s decor is an interesting mix of North African and Thai influences, a unique look for Bangkok, with pastel colors, beautiful patterns and cushions abound. The rooms are spartan but clean. This is good hotel for getting around Bangkok. It’s just 5-10 minutes away from On Nut station where you can travel all over the city.
If during your visit the protests return, the Imm Fusion Sukhumvit is only 20 minutes away from the airport by expressway.
The X2 Kui Buri is an upscale resort located on 4 plus acres of beachfront just outside the popular resort towns of Hua Hin and Pranburi. If you are looking to escape the noise and excitement of Bangkok this is an ideal location — especially since the surge in popularity of Hua Hin has reduced some of it’s charm.
The area surrounding Kuri Buri is quiet and underdeveloped, with the only communities being local fishing villages. The resort has 23 semi private villas each with their own terrace, garden and pool with most having uninterrupted views of the beachfront. It’s design is remarkable for it’s careful attention to the surrounding environment, with the preservation of large, old growth trees, and undisturbed open green spaces. I love the use of locally-quarried rock and stone in the Villa walls — beautiful.
Of all the locations I have visited across Asia the place in which I always want to return but never seem to have the opportunity is Luang Prabang. The last time I visited was a number of years ago and I remember the interesting and rich cultural heritage, the architecture, the monks walking at dawn, the temples and the surrounding countryside. What I enjoyed most was the slow pace in which life moved, fresh bread and Lao beer, and games of badminton with children in the countryside. When I visited tourism wasn’t quite what it was today and while I stayed in a guesthouse there were a number of excellent upscale properties. These days there are far more including the excellent 3 Nagas pictured above.
Above Second is a new artist-run gallery and studio space located at 31 Eastern Street, Sheung Wan, in Hong Kong. Last month they hosted the “WHAM BAM THANK YOU M’AM!!!” exhibition, part of the urban arts event POW WOW. Watch for future exhibitions in this space.
American born, Hong Kong-based artist Jasper Wong (co-founder of Above Second) came together with Chinese-born, Paris-based Wu Yue as they created a series of pieces exclusively for this show. Hypebeast has an interview with the artists: POW WOW: A Meeting of Creative Minds.
Definitely a recommended stop on any visit to Hong Kong.
Above Second Gallery
31 Eastern Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Take the MTR to Sheung Wan and take the tram to Eastern Street. Walk the two blocks uphill and you’re there.
Unlike the dank motels where Americans allegedly seek anonymous sex, Japan’s love hotels are playful and unapologetically sexual. Photographer Misty Keasler shows the humor, desire, and even the loneliness of these empty rooms.
A passenger with her hands full hurries to catch her train at the railway station in Nanchang, east China, at the weekend. She was one of millions travelling home to celebrate the start of the year of the tiger on February 14th.
The Irish Times reports on the Chinese annual sojourn to their family home in order to celebrate the coming new year.
Chinese boarded buses, trains and planes at the weekend for the world’s largest annual human migration, as they went home to their families to celebrate the start of the year of the tiger on February 14th.
About 2.5 billion trips are expected over 40 days. The rail ministry said four million people travelled by train across China on Saturday alone.
A tiger year is particularly auspicious in the Chinese zodiac, symbolising power, force and strength. Getting back to your home town for the lunar new year party is essential and people put up with alarming hardships in overcrowded train stations and airports to get home.
Taiwan experiences to a lesser degree the same migration as people living in the north make their way south via clogged highways, buses and trains. I’ve always escaped the mayhem by catching a flight off-island before the excitement begins.
Chinese throng trains and buses as year of tiger sparks annual migration. Via One inch punch.
Located at the corner of Sukhumvit 16, Asoke Junction, Sukhumvit’s bar-fuelled shopping hub, Ma Du Zi is a 41-room Boutique Hotel with beautifully designed rooms and the feel of a gentleman’s club. Despite the boring modern facade the interior looks amazing with cues to it’s Chinese heritage, carefully placed art, curved low-lit corridors, and well appointed rooms with huge beds.
On a recent trip to Bangkok I had the opportunity to stay at the Salil Hotel in Thonglor, a new boutique hotel off Sukhumvit Soi 55. The Salil is very new, in fact when I visited you could still catch the odd smell of paint from the brightly adorned walls. It’s fantastic to be able to experience a new property such as this – all the staff had the exuberance, jitters, and inexperience that new staff usually have. That coupled with their genuine friendliness and freshly minted facilities helped to make a pleasant stay.
The facilities themselves were all I needed. The WiFi worked almost as advertised with only the need to get permission to use the network an unfortunate glitch. Great TV with DVD’s available to borrow (freshly pressed from a bitorrent source it seems), books to read and a perfectly comfortable bed. I don’t expect much else from a hotel, I seldom eat where I stay and am never around to partake in any other ‘luxury’ services.
This is a montage of footage a few friends and I shot for a Documentary during the summer/fall of 2009.
The documentary was shot entirely on the canon 5D MKll in and around Cairo and Beirut. Big ups to Magic Lanterns Firmware update, as well as the Kessler Pocket Dolly for being a huge help in making this happen.
Beautiful work by Khalid Mohtaseb at nextlevelpictures.com
A preview of the ‘Louis Vuitton Soundwalk: Shanghai’ audio tour.
A unique location-based urban soundtrack offering a unique portrayal of Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Narration is provided by the three greatest icons of Chinese Cinema: Gong Li for Beijing, Shu Qi for Hong Kong and Joan Chen for Shanghai.
The soundtrack is produced in collaboration with Soundwalk and is available in six languages.
The Sunshine Shop is the kind of place I like to visit. Run as an experiemental workshop by Samatcha Apaisuwan at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center this temporary space features fixed/single gear bikes, fine art prints, design objects and bags. Most ofthese items are for sale but also serve as inspiration for the artists that are working in the space as you visit. It’s not often you get to talk to the artists whose work you are purchasing, watch them work, and be surrounded by some of their own sources of inspiration.
While I do like to write about places to stay and visit, particularly the colourful boutique hotels in Bangkok, I don’t often take the opportunity to focus on great places to eat. Reviewing food is admittedly not my forté. When travelling I don’t often eat at the same types of restaurants as other people do, in fact most often I don’t eat at restaurants at all, preferring instead to buy groceries and eat at small stalls frequented by locals. Street food and groceries are my main foodie recommendations.
As a side note, if you are traveling to, or through, Taipei you really should read a hungry girl’s guide to Taipei, and if travelling to Bangkok consult, Modern Food in Bangkok by Geoffrey Smith. They have a good handle on where to eat and they can serve as your culinary guides to these two magnificent cities.
Breaking from my usual habit I would like to mention a very special place I happened upon by chance during a recent trip to Bangkok. I was out on an extended photo walk for perhaps a few hours, purposely lost, hungry, and I forgot to bring something to eat in my backpack. The need to quickly refuel, and enjoy some respite from the heat, was becoming somewhat urgent. I knew I was roughly in the neighbourhood, so I was trying to locate Café Ubuntu or Eatme in the BTS Chong Nonsee area, suggestions I had made in my Itinerary For A Short Stay in Bangkok. As luck would have it I got distracted by a day market and it’s wonderful display of colorful fruit, got further off track (getting lost is one of the great joys of visiting Bangkok), and by good fortune happened upon the oddly named Café ice — a restaurant, art gallery & wine bar. The atmosphere inside is absolutely fantastic and a great break from the intoxicating fumes you more often than not are exposed to when choosing to eat at the street food stalls and open air restaurants.
The atmosphere inside is quiet, warm and inviting, beautifully furnished with locally manufactured furniture, and most importantly the food was fantastic. The menu was varied, with both Thai. and Western dishes. I had the green curry which they graciously adjusted to my taste and it was the creamiest I have had in years. Lots of people were sampling the extensive wine menu but I stuck with water and Thai. coffee.
Though the restaurant gets busy this is the perfect place to stop and be inspired by both great food and the art that adorns the walls.
Café Ice 44/2 Soi Piphat 2 Sathorn 8, Bangkok 02-636-7373 firstname.lastname@example.org Map