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5 Events and Festivals Worth Waiting for

5 Events and Festivals Worth Waiting for

Southeast Asia is renowned for many joyful and exuberant festivities. For the remainder of 2018, it’s worth checking out these highly visible public and social occasions.

/// ASEAN ///

 

Living ASEAN has put together five favorite hangouts for you to pick, from art and culture to festivals and go-to party destinations. If you’re ready, let the journey begin.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

Bangkok, Thailand / October 19, 2018 – February 3, 2019

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is Thailand’s first international art show featuring works by renowned artists from across the globe including Yayoi Kusama, Marina Abramovic, Yoshitomo Nara, Elmgreen & Dragset, Choi Jeong Hwa, Wisut Ponnimit, Kawita Vatanajyankur, and Lee Bul. The four-month festival will see many exhibitions being held at thriving art scenes across the capital from Buddhist temples to historic places along the River Chao Phrya, even the busy commercial district on Sukhumvit Road. Precisely, it’s aimed at making Bangkok a world art destination.  

For more information: http://www.bkkartbiennale.com/

http://www.baanlaesuan.com/tag/bangkok-art-biennale-2018/


 

Bagan Hot Air Balloon Season

Bagan, Myanmar / October 20, 2018 – April 10, 2019

Imagine you could fly. The hot air balloon ride promises to be an inspiring experience in Bagan. It’s an interesting way to see the ancient city as you drift over the vast archeological site in that’s home to more than 2,000 Buddhist shrines in central Myanmar. The balloon season starts October 20 and lasts until next April. Because only 22 balloons are allowed each day, it’s good to make reservations in advance so that you don’t miss out on early morning flights. Take in the view over a cradle of civilization that began in the early eleventh century. The Old Bagan landscape is gorgeous at sunrise.

Photographs: https://myanmarvels.com


 

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

Bali, Indonesia / October 24-28

There’s more to the Indonesian archipelago than volcanic mountains, beaches and coral reefs. Nestled in the uplands of Bali, Ubud is a town with a quiet beauty that’s widely known for traditional crafts and performing arts. Every year writers, thinkers, as well as visual and performing artists converge on the town to participate in the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, which is scheduled for October 24-28. The event in now into its 15th year.

 


 

Cambodian Water Festival – Bon Om Touk

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia / November 21-23

The Cambodian Water Festival or Bon Om Touk is celebrated on November 21-23, which coincides with the end of the rainy season based on the lunar calendar. The occasion symbolizes the abundant life that rivers bring. Cities and towns across the country join in the season of festivity, but the biggest celebration takes place in the capital. The water festival culminates in a boat race on the River Tonle Sap that runs through Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The rowing boats are a legacy from old-time naval warfare and represent the passing of knowledge from past to present generations.

Photographs: http://global-children.org


 

Zoukout Beach Festival

Siloso Beach, Singapore / December 1

In a mood for partying? Come December 1 Singapore’s Siloso Beach will play host to the largest dusk-to-dawn beach festival with plenty of water activities. The event is much sought after by electronic music fans looking forward to dancing the night away. The fun event organized by Zouk nightclub is now in its 18th year. This year’s festival features the music band Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, number 2 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 list. Partying starts at nightfall and continues until the morning after. So dance till you drop!

 

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Peranakan Moderne: A Synthesis of Chinese, Indian, and Malay Cultures

Peranakan Moderne: A Synthesis of Chinese, Indian, and Malay Cultures

The Singapore-based designer brand “ipse ipsa ipsum” has unveiled one of the finest collections of Peranakan-inspired home décor and accessories.

/// Singapore ///

 

The front and rear of the floor standing mirror. — By ipse ipsa ipsum.
Bright and beautiful colors, and design on the rear panel tell fascinating stories of the Peranakan experience. — By ipse ipsa ipsum.

Bold and beautiful, Peranakan design is the product of Chinese migration into the Malay archipelagos of centuries ago. Making its world debut at last year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore, the new product line called “Straits Reflection” included a tabletop mirror and a floor-standing mirror that told stories of a fascinating amalgam of Chinese, Indian, and Malay craft traditions.

 

The designer brand was launched in 2016 as an initiative of “Sam & Sara”, an established Indian silverware business headquartered in Singapore. Combining ultramodern materials with traditional craftsmanship skills, the new brand aimed to create original designs under the slogan, “The extraordinary for the ordinary”.

“Straits Reflection” by Jeremy Sun and Nicholas Paul was the result of collaboration between the designer brand and the Peranakan Museum in Singapore. Peranakan Chinese, or Straits-born Chinese, are the descendants of Chinese who migrated into the Malay archipelagos form the 15th to 17th centuries. Over time, their cultural heritage, architecture, design, and cuisine have become prominent landmarks in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of southern Thailand.

Indian floral patterns, Chinese bird paintings, and Malay-style bold colors bespeak centuries of cultural interactions. — By ipse ipsa ipsum.

“Straits Reflection” is evidence of an artistic ability that has evolved through on-going interactions among Chinese, Indian, and Malays. Its design aesthetics combine Indian floral patterns with traditional Chinese bird paintings, and Malay-style bold colors.

A curious mix of the old and the new, “Straits Reflection” includes a tabletop mirror that displays temperatures and air quality values, and a matching floor-standing mirror that reflects on the Peranakan experience.

Sam & Sara booth at IFFS 2018

 

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Star Wars X Nathan Yong: From Star Wars to Home Decor Articles

Star Wars X Nathan Yong: From Star Wars to Home Decor Articles

Star Wars X Nathan Yong, home décor articles and sculptures inpired by the instruments of war from the epic movie series.

 

Nathan Yong’s semi abstract marble sculptures are inspired by some of the greatest moments from Star Wars.

In collaboration with Disney, Singaporean designer Nathan Yong has unveiled a new collection of marble home décor articles that got their inspiration from some of the most important Star Wars scenes. His powers of invention will continue to wow those with a lifelong love of the epic motion picture series.

Besides Jedi knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, and the greatest villains of all time, it’s the weapons and vehicles in Star Wars that have captivated millions of viewers across the globe. The same was true for the newly released Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi.

(Left) The black marbel side table gets its inspiration from the TIE-Fighter, a war vehicle of the Imperial Fleet. (Right) The white marble table is modeled after the Millennium Falcon commanded by Han Solo.

The epic moments of the story of a long time ago have inspired the Singaporean designer to create a new collection of marble home décor articles called Star Wars x Nathan Yong. Nathan, who owns the independent, foreward thinkingh brand Grafunkt recently unveiled his latest inventions at the 2018 International Furniture Fair Singapore. The collection included side tables influenced by the design of four machines and vehicles from Star Wars; namely, the Millennium Falcon, the TIE-Fighter, the all-terrain armored transport AT-AT, and the Sandcrawler. For each model, only tree pieces were made.

(Left) The side table in warm brownish hue is modeled on the mobile fortress Sandcrawler. (Right) The marble table gets its inpiration from the all-terrain armored transport AT-AT.

Why Star Wars? Nathan puts it this way. “I am stoked to have the opportunity to collaborate with Disney on this collection as Star Wars is very much a part of me and my generation’s life with its imperative pop culture impact and influence. Being a classic film while its contemporaries fade into obscurity, Star Wars remains timeless, accompanying us from boyhood through adulthood.”

His latest collection of semi abstruct sculptures debuted alongside leading European brands featured at this year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore, which took place from March 8-11.

 

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Different Names Same Good Food / Anyone for a Yong Tau Fu?

Different Names Same Good Food / Anyone for a Yong Tau Fu?

In Malaysia and Singapore, the popular noodle soup is known as “Yong Tau Fu”. In Thailand, it goes by the name “Yen Ta Fo”. Different names for the same good food!

A mix of crispy fries is readied for a Malaysian-style Yong Tau Fu.

Originally a part of traditional Hakka cuisine, the scrumptious noodle soup is enjoyed by many people across peninsular Southeast Asia. Particularly in Malaysia, it has pride of place among top 100 dishes with a national heritage status.

 Yong Tau Fu has been among many big hits on the menu for hundreds of years. Its various recipes were brought in by the Hakka people, one of major groups who migrated into the Region from southeastern China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Malaysian-style Yong Tau Fu with a side dish of crispy fried condiments. They can be added to soups or eaten with dipping sauces.

As its name implies, the recipe is made of tofu stuffed with ground pork and then deep-fried to give it a distinctive crispy flavor. It is the perfect match for a bowl of soup, good with dipping sauces, and makes a delicious accompaniment for noodle. Nowadays near-original versions of Yong Tau Fu can still be found everywhere in Malaysia.

Meantime, the Thais like their Yen Ta Fo slightly different from the original. They treat it as a noodle dish that comes either with or without deep-fried tofu. Instead, the Thai recipe features fish balls, pleasantly crisp calamari, pig’s blood cakes, and tender shoots and leaves of water spinach. Some Yen Ta Fo joints offer pork-stuffed tofu, while others may do without it entirely.

Known as Yen Ta Fo, the Thai noodle meal with its signature pink soup is served with pig’s blood cakes and tender shoots and leaves of water spinach.
Hakka noodle, as the Thais call it, is a variation of the Yen Ta Fo recipe.

The Thai version is distinguished by the signature pink soup that gets its color from fermented red bean curd. The Thais also like their Yen Ta Fo with a variety of condiments, including taro fries, shrimp balls, jellyfish, and wood ear, aka black fungus. Some like their Yen Ta Fo the Thai way in spicy chili soups. A lot of people confuse Yen Ta Fo with a similar recipe without the pink soup. Although made with the same ingredients, the latter is known as “Kuaytaew Khae”, literally Hakka noodle.

Ingredient of Malaysian-style Yong Tau Fu
Be spoilt for choice! There’s nothing like a full-course Yong Tau Fu served Malaysian-style.

Traditionally, a Malaysian-style Yong Tau Fu begins with first-course meals consisting of a mix of crispy fries, such as tofu, purple eggplant, stuffed meals, and sweet pepper, aka bell pepper. It’s hard to beat a good dipping sauce to start with. Then it’s time to eat them with a soup and add noodle to complement a great meal. Yong Tau Fu is ranked among Malaysia’s top 100 dishes with a national heritage status, along with other big hits such as Nasi Lemak (a rice dish cooked in coconut milk with anchovies and hot sauces), Nasi Ayam (chicken rice), and Ketupat (rice dumpling in palm leaf pouch).

Queueing for a Yong Tau Fu in Singapore. If you’re patient, it will get to your turn.
(Left) A Singapore-style Yong Tau Fu comes in a noodle soup. (Right) Crispy fried anchovies, locally known as “Ikan Bilis”, add flavor to a Yong Tau Fu meal.

In Singapore, where Yong Tau Fu is a culinary success story, rice vermicelli is served on a plate along with a bowl of spicy soup called Laksa. It is recommended to try this with Chee Cheong Fun, a rice noodle roll that comes in either dry or wet versions. There are plenty of Yong Tau Fu joints to be found. The price is reasonable, but keep in mind the line is rather long. If you are patient, it will get to your turn. Enjoy your meal! 

 

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Southeast Asia’s Car Market Updates

Southeast Asia’s Car Market Updates

Here’s an update on Southeast Asia’s automotive markets at the close of 2017. Used cars made up the largest sector in the car markets of Myanmar, and Cambodia. Thailand ranked number 12 among the world’s top motor vehicle producers. Indonesia was the largest car market in Southeast Asia. Region-wide, Toyota reigned supreme as the bestseller except in Malaysia, which was happy to stick with homegrown brands.

The ASEAN car market represents a diverse assortment of brands and a great deal of variety in the way member countries respond to their specific needs. The mix includes thriving homegrown brands, world-class motor vehicle producers, as well as heavens for new and pre-owned cars and trucks.

 

Toyota Avanza is Indonesia’s bestseller among SUV’s and APV’s.

– Thailand and Indonesia –

Thailand and Indonesia are major regional economic players. Indonesia boasted the largest automotive market, while Thailand ranked number 12 among the world’s leading motor vehicle producers. In 2017, its total production was expected to top two million units, of which more than half were exported. A slight decrease in 2017 export volumes was more than offset by a 12-percent increase in the internal car market.

The Toyota Hilux pick-up truck reigns supreme in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

The Thai automotive industry has been a success story since 2000. The country produced a little over 400,000 motor vehicles in that year. Toyota Hilux has long been the bestselling model especially in the provinces throughout Thailand. Apart from carrying goods and agricultural products, the truck was used in various forms of human transportation. But for people living in or near the city, Toyota and Honda cars were the preferred choices.

Indonesia, the ASEAN’s largest automotive market, ranked number 17 among the world’s top motor vehicle producers. Its 2017 production was expected to far exceed 1.2 million units, up from 1,177,389 in 2016, during which 1,048,134 new units were sold on the domestic market. Sport utility vehicles (SUV), all purpose vehicles (APV), and larger trucks were the favorites, considering Indonesia had the largest population in the ASEAN.

Bangkok ranks number 2 among the world’s cities with bad traffic jams. At the same time, Thailand is an automobile manufacturing hub in the ASEAN. / Photo: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

The two countries are grappling with the same problem – traffic congestions.  A TomTom traffic index ranked Bangkok, and Jakarta number 2, and 3, respectively, among the cities with the worst midtown traffic snarl-ups. It was a high price to pay since it was the automotive industry that generated incomes from exports, employment, and tax revenues. As technology advanced, both countries were hoping to count on electric cars and new urban public transport to improve traffic flow.


 

Motor vehicles designed for left-hand-side driving cause much difficulty in Myanmar, which had adopted right-hand-side driving since independence. / Photo: Samutcha Viraporn

– Myanmar and Cambodia –

It was a different situation in Myanmar and Cambodia. Strong economic growth in recent years has seen sharp increases in demands for pre-owned motor vehicles. In both countries, new cars accounted for less than 10 percent of total sales in 2016, during which Myanmar imported as many as 120,000 secondhand vehicles from Japan. Here Toyota Probox was the favorite. Trouble was the all-purpose vehicle from Japan was designed for driving on the left side of the road (the steering wheel being on the right-hand side).  After independence, Myanmar had changed to move traffic in the right side of the path. If you are front seat passengers, watch out for passing and oncoming vehicles when you get out of the car in Myanmar. Judge the space available when getting off the bus, because you could find yourself in the middle of the road.

Suzuki Carry truck

To solve the problem, the Myanmar Government has enacted a law banning the importation of secondhand automobiles designed for driving on the left side of the road. But it would take a long time to see any results. To meet an increasing demand for new automobiles, Suzuki has recently opened a factory in Myanmar. In 2017, it produced 2,700 Suzuki Carry trucks, of which about 1,000 units were sold in the domestic market. In big cities like Yangon and Mandalay, more new cars from Europe and Japan continued to make their presence felt, albeit very slowly.  

Secondhand cars are everywhere in Phnom Penh. / Photo: Samutcha Viraporn

Meanwhile in Cambodia, secondhand Toyota Camry and Lexus SUV’s were the favorites among people in urban areas. The country imported pre-owned automobiles mostly from the United States, Japan, and the Middle East. In the small new-car market, the Cambodians generally preferred the Toyota brand with pick-up trucks being the all-time bestsellers. The same was true in nearby Thailand and Laos, where the light-duty trucks were used to carry both farm products and human passengers.


 

The homegrown brand Perodua Axia is Malaysia’s bestseller.

– Malaysia –

The only ASEAN country with successful homegrown brands, Malaysia boasted the third largest automobile market in the Region. Here, new car sales exceeded 580,000 units per year with the Perodua taking the largest portion of the market. (UMW Corporation held 38 percent of shares in the Malaysian car manufacturer.) Perodua sold about 200,000 cars per year, far outranking Honda which sold a little over half that number. Proton, another homegrown Malaysian brand, came in third place, while Toyota in fourth.  


 

Singapore halts car population growth and concentrates on developing urban public transport. / Photo: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

– Other ASEAN Member Countries –

Keep an eye on the Philippines, whose automobile market grew by a whopping 20 percent in 2016. The same was expected in 2017, during which new car sales were expected to be about 450,000 units. Singapore was an entirely different story. It was government policy to keep new car sales growth below 0.25 percent. Meantime, it was focusing on proper maintenance of existing automobiles and developing urban public transit, for which Singapore has already invested US$22.9 billion.

 

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There’s More to New Year Than January 1

There’s More to New Year Than January 1

For peoples across the ASEAN, New Year means more than the first day on the new calendar. Whether it’s Songkran, Thingyan, Choul Chnam Thmey, Tet, or Nyepi, the happy day is publicly acknowledged with enthusiasm and joy. As celebrations kick off, traveling can be difficult. We think it wise to plan ahead. Here’s the period the New Year Festival is traditionally celebrated around the ASEAN in 2018. Have a safe journey!

A public procession celebrating the Thingyan Festival, Myanmar / Photo: Tayzar

The New Year Festival differs from country to country across the ASEAN. It’s part of a tradition that has been in existence long before the advent of the new calendar. The happy day goes by different names — “Songkran” in Thailand, “Thingyan” in Myanmar, “Choual Chnam Thmey” in Cambodia, “Tet” in Vietnam, and “Nyepi” in Bali. It’s publicly acknowledged with enthusiasm and festivity that has transformed into the Region’s timeless attraction. If you’re planning a visit during the holiday season, we think it wise to plan ahead. Here’s the period the New Year Festival is traditionally celebrated around the ASEAN in 2018.

An elephant and tourists splash each other with water at the scene of a Songkran event in Thailand. / Photo: JJ Harrison

Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia share a common culture when it comes to celebrating New Year. The season of goodwill and festivity is based on Buddhist/Hindu beliefs that they received from India. It’s celebrated around mid-April in keeping with the Buddhist solar calendar. The occasion marks a change of seasons from cold to hot, which coincides with the rising of Aries in ancient astrology.

Over time, each country has developed its own system of beliefs associated with the beginning of a new year. The Myanmar version is concerned with the elephant-headed deity Ganesh, son of Shiva, who is worshipped as the destroyer of obstacles and patron of learning. In Thailand, the beliefs center around the legend of Thao Kibil Prom, a deity who was beheaded after losing a bet on intelligence games. The two stories reflect elaborate systems of Buddhist/Hindu beliefs about cleansing rituals, to which the Southeast Asian mainland is greatly indebted. Over time, the use of water to rid a person and place of something deemed unpleasant or defiling has evolved into a tradition, which later transformed into a popular water festival that we see today. 

The Thingyan water festival in Myanmar / Photo: Tayzar

– Myanmar –

Thingyan is the most widely celebrated festival in Myanmar. Traditionally, it was a public holiday that usually lasted about ten days to allow the people plenty of time to travel, celebrate the water festival, and reunite with families in far-away provinces. Just recently the holiday period has been cut short despite opposition from some sectors. As for 2018, the Thingyan Festival is scheduled for April 13 through 16, and culminates in Myanmar New Year’s Day on April 17. In Yangon, the water festival centers around Kandawgyi Pet Lann Road, and Kabaraye Road.

 

A bucket and a water pistol are absolutely necessary if you plan on taking part in the water festival celebrating Thailand’s New Year come mid-April. / Photo: Takeaway

– Thailand –

Thailand’s traditional New Year, known as Songkran, falls on April 13 through 15. In Bangkok, the water festival takes place on various locations, such as Khao San Road that’s popular among foreign tourists, and Silom Road that’s favorite among the general public including the gay community. In fact, a good time is had by all during Songkran, and it’s not limited to just the two spots mentioned. Up north, the province of Chiangmai is mega rich in Songkran tradition. Tourists, both local and foreign, traverse thousands of miles to converge in the city during the high season.

 

Songkran Festival in Laos / Photo: Njambi Ndlba

– Laos –

The people of Laos start celebrating Songkran or Pi Mai Lao (literally Lao’s New Year) on April 13. Take time to relax since April 14 through 16 is the official public holiday. It’s a slice of paradise for those impressed by warm, sweet, and welcoming hospitality unique to the Lao PDR.

 

A gong and tom-tom procession heralds the Cambodian New Year. / Photo: Rdghalayini

– Cambodia –

For 2018, the Cambodian New Year or Choul Chnam Thmey falls on April 13 through 16. The annual event is celebrated with a multitude of joyful festivities and merit making ceremonies in Buddhism. People often confuse Choul Chnam Thmey with the Cambodian Water Festival, which is an entirely different event. The Water Festival, known as Bon Om Touk, is celebrated with row boat racing in the capital Phnom Penh usually in October or November each year.

ASEAN Tourism / What a Difference a Slogan Makes!

ASEAN Tourism / What a Difference a Slogan Makes!

Since 2013, the ASEAN as a whole has attracted upwards of 100 million visitors from across the globe. Slogans appear to have a significant role in motivating the potential tourists and travelers to make a visit. While we have grown familiar with our amazing memorable phrase, other countries have theirs. Let’s see what works across the Region.

/// ASEAN ///

 

Floating Market, Thailand / Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand

According to the 2016 World Economic Forum report, the ASEAN Region “continues to be one of the most exciting parts of the global economy, having grown by around 5% a year in nearly two decades.”

The WEF report said that about 104 million foreign travelers visited the Region in 2015, while ASEANstats.org, a division under the AEC Department of the ASEAN Secretariat, put the number in excess of 108 million. Of this, nearly 46 million or 42.2 percent were travelers from within the ASEAN membership. Meantime, the Region welcomed about 18 million travelers from China. A forecast indicated the number could top 20 million in 2017.

Slogans appear to have significant impact on the tourism industry. Many countries have seen great success for they provide a glimpse into pretty much everything a destination has to offer, from natural and cultural attractions to food to history and the people. All the good attributes are encapsulated in a single striking phrase.

Since 1998, “Amazing Thailand” has been the short and sweet slogan that worked best for the Kingdom. It contributed to propelling Thailand to the ninth place among the World’s Top 10 International Tourism Destinations in 2016, during which it drew up to 32.6 million foreign visitors. 

Phi Phi Le, Thailand / Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand
Breakfast is served Singapore style / Photo: Sittisak Namkham

At the same time, WEF’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report ranked Singapore as Southeast’s most tourism-friendly country, followed by Malaysia and Thailand in second and third places.

As for Cambodia, the tourism industry accounts for 28.3% of GDP and counting, thanks to Angor Wat being the country’s landmark attraction.

The Philippines has seen success in tourism as a result of having many beautiful islands, while Indonesia thrives on rich and diverse natural attractions.

Myanmar is coming back strong, albeit with a few hiccups in the areas of accommodations, conveniences, and modern amenities.

Indonesian version of the Monkey King Photo: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com
Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangoon, Myanmar / Photo: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

For your reading pleasure, here’s a list of tourism slogans from around the Region. Check it out.

Brunei – The Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder

Indonesia – Wonderful Indonesia

Laos – Simply Beautiful

Malaysia – Truly Asia

Myanmar – Let the Journey Begin

The Philippines – It’s More Fun in the Philippines

Singapore – Your Singapore

Thailand – Amazing Thailand

Vietnam – Timeless Charm

Fresh fish in Laung Prabang market, Laos / Photo: Samutcha Viraporn

 

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ASEAN Designers Shine at World Architecture Festival 2017

ASEAN Designers Shine at World Architecture Festival 2017

Your attention, please! The results are in. Designers from around the ASEAN have done it again at this year’s World Architecture Festival in Berlin.

/// ASEAN ///

Photo: World Architcture Festival

Every year, architects and interior designers from across the globe converge upon the German capital to participate in the World Architecture Festival. This year’s event took place from 15-17 November, during which both major prizes and highly-commended mentions were awarded to successful designers in many categories from architecture, to interior design, to landscaping and small projects.

World Building of the Year Winner 2017: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Project in Guangming Village, China

Among this year’s winners, a design group from the Philippines took first prize in the Small Project of the Year, while groups from Thailand and Vietnam were successful in several categories.

The Philippine group, Streetlight Taguro by Eriksson Furunes, Leandro V. Loscin Partners, and Jago Boase, won first prize for work in the Civic and Community category taking home the Small Project of the Year honor.

Vietnam’s Vo Trong Nghia Architects won first prize in the House, Office, and Education category, while the Hypothesis group of Thailand took two awards in the Mixed Use and Leisure-Led Development, and the Hotel Interior categories.

House – Completed Building Winner: Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Binh House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Small Project of the Year Winner 2017 and Civic & Community Winner: Eriksson Furnes + Leandro V.Loscin Partners + Jago Boase, Streetlight Taguro, Tacloban, The Philppines

An Indonesian group, known as Produce.Workshop, took home one award in the Interior Display category, while Singapore triumphed with the biggest prize for 2017 taking home the INSIDE World Interior of the Year award.

From outside the ASEAN region, the Chinese University of Hong Kong took the biggest prize for the World Building of the Year category in recognition of its post-earthquake reconstruction project at Guangming Village, China.

Other winners from around the ASEAN are listed below.

Small Project of the Year Winner 2017 and Civic & Community Winner: Eriksson Furnes + Leandro V.Loscin Partners + Jago Boase, Streetlight Taguro, Tacloban, The Philppines

 

House – Completed Building Winner: Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Binh House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 

Office – Future Projects Winner: Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Viettel Offside Studio, Hanoi, Vietnam

 

Health – Future Projects Winner: Magi Design Studio, Desa Semesta, Bagor, Indonesia

 

Leisure-Led Development – Future Projects Highly Commended: Hypothesis, Krahm Restaurant, Chiang Rai, Thailand

 

Education – Future Projects Highly Commended: Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Viettel Academy Education Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam

 

Hotel & Leisure – Completed Building Winner: Cong Sinh Architects, Vegetable Trellis, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 

Mixed Use – Completed Building Highly Commended: Stu/D/O Architects, Naiipa Art Complex, Bangkok, Thailand

 

INSIDE World Interior of the Year Winner 2017 and Display Winner: Produce.Workshop, Fabricwood, Singapore

 

INSIDE Hotel Winner: Hypothesis, Ir-On Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

 

INSIDE Display Highly commended: AK+, Loco Local for Hermes 2016: Spring/Summer Forever, Singapore

 

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A New Boutique Hotel in Singapore’s Historic Chinatown

A New Boutique Hotel in Singapore’s Historic Chinatown

Embracing warmth, comfort, and privacy, a new boutique hotel takes up a row of six former shophouses in Singapore’s historic Chinatown. The beautifully renovated Hotel Mono retains the charm of Southeast Asian styled architecture, while highlighting the distinctive personality of Rococo-era ornamentation.

/// Singapore ///
Story: Weena Baramee /// Photography: Hotel Mono

An expression of art and the interior inside the Lobby at Hotel Mono

Its Rococo aesthetic is apparent in the lightness of interior design, cozy spaces, and the tall and narrow windows that speak to the French stylistic period. The gentle black and white theme on the exterior seamlessly interweaves with the lifestyles of traditional Singapore and the city’s urban bustle. 

Loft style décor that is a component in interior design
Single Room
Relaxation in a Rococo styled studio

A striking new landmark on historic Mosque Street, the 46-room Hotel Mono is an independent hotel catering to the needs of design-conscious travelers. Its statement-making black-and-white facade has been turning heads. The hotel occupies a row of six conservation shophouses, which have been completely transformed in an extensive refurbishment by President Design Award-winning firm Spacedge Designs. Hotel Mono was officially opened in November 2016.

The stylishly chic hotel presents an appealing proposition for discerning travelers – high quality rooms and service standards at very attractive prices. “We want to provide accommodations that are the best value for the money and a five-star service experience,” said GM Glenn Quah.

Besides charm and comfort in every room, guests enjoy better quality beddings, bathroom amenities and more spacious rooms, for prices comparable to the budget accommodations in the same area. Rates at the 46-room Hotel Mono start at just $160 net per night for a Double room, while a Family room sleeping four people costs under $300.

The bathroom ensemble reflects simplicity with contemporary flair.

Its bathrooms represent the conceptualization of a hip retreat for design-savvy travelers (and locals) – guests who appreciate the originality of design. A bold and contemporary design language is relevant throughout the hotel. Every room features a seamless integration of metal bars that traverse the space like lines drawn in the air, meantime, functioning as light fixtures, coat hangers and sculptures.

The boutique hotel celebrates the quality of being the only one of its kind. Due to restrictions and particulars in the floor plans of shophouse styled architecture, no two rooms are identical. Their unique characters are manifested in the name that affirms the validity of these bold and original design concepts.

Link : http://hotelmono.com/

Bangkok Is Top Global Destination City, Continued Growth Forecast for 2017

Bangkok Is Top Global Destination City, Continued Growth Forecast for 2017

Bangkok was at the highest place on the chart of Top Ten Global Destination Cities attracting 19.41 million visitors in 2016, outranking London, Paris, Dubai, and Singapore. A Mastercard index released recently showed the Thai capital benefited the most from international travel, while further growth in visitor arrivals were in the forecast for 2017.

/// ASEAN ///

 

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Bangkok / Photo: Tanakitt Khum-on

 

Visitor Volume

The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index predicted that Bangkok’s visitor arrivals would increase by 4.0 percent in the 2017 calendar year, while Singapore was forecast to move up one notch growing by 2.6 percent and outranking New York (at minus 2.4 percent). Meantime, Kuala Lumpur was likely to post a strong 7.2 percent gain in visitor arrivals for 2017, enabling it to keep its eighth place on the chart.

Kuala Lumpur / Photo: Sitthisak Namkham

From 2009 to 2016, two ASEAN cities also saw strong growth in visitor arrivals, namely: Jakarta up 18.2 percent, and Hanoi up 16.4 percent. Of all 132 destinations across the globe, Osaka was at the top with a whopping 24.0 percent growth in overnight visitor arrivals during the 8-year period.

Overall, international visitors to leading global destination cities increased in the 2016 calendar year. As for 2017, Tokyo’s visitor numbers were forecast to increase by as much as 12.2 percent, making it the strongest growth in visitors among the top ten.

 

National Gallery Singapore / Photo: Sitthisak Namkham

 

Cross-border Spending

The Mastercard index was more than just a ranking of top destination cities across the globe. Apart from international visitor volume, it also looked into tourist spending that contributed to furthering economic growth of countries. For the 2016 calendar year, Dubai was at the top with overnight visitors spending $28.50 billion, followed by New York ($17.02 billion), London ($16.09 billion), Singapore ($15.69 billion), and Bangkok ($14.08 billion), all in USD. Destination cities benefited greatly from tourism. Shopping accounted for 22.9 percent of tourist spending, local service 21.5 percent, and food and beverages 20.6 percent).

Royal Palace, Bangkok / Photo: Aphirux Suksa

Reference:

https://newsroom.mastercard.com/digital-press-kits/mastercard-global-destination-cities-index-2017/

https://newsroom.mastercard.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Mastercard-Destination-Cities-Index-Report.pdf

 

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