Blog : CITY GUIDE

Pattani Naturally Charming Small Town

Pattani Naturally Charming Small Town

Many ask what is so fascinating about Pattani. We hear about negative events in the South of Thailand from time to time. But have you ever wondered what it’s really like to visit Pattani? Here’s an inside story.

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Story: Samutcha Viraporn / Photo: Sitthisak Namkham, Samutcha Viraporn

Naturally charming, Pattani is a cosmopolitan area with many small town secrets waiting to be discovered. You will love southern hospitality, the friendly and generous reception that locals, for the most part Muslims and Thais of Chinese descent, give their visitors. For simplicity’s sake, let’s look at 5 good reasons why you should pay them a visit.

 

The mangrove forest is both a source of food for locals and a healthy coastlands ecology that protects the city from strong winds.

Adventure: Take the Tunnel of Bushes through a Mangrove Forest

If you travel the world in search of adventure, the sight of a centuries-old mangrove forest and a tunnel of bushes that runs through it will fill you with awe. It’s home to tropical trees and woody plants with countless prop roots that thrive to form dense thickets. The unspoiled forest covers the entire coastal swamp that’s flooded at high tide. Dubbed one of Thailand’s healthiest wetland ecologies, the Bang Poo Mangrove Forest in Yaring District lies along Pattani Bay and only 25 kilometers from the provincial seat.

A tunnel of bushes among tropical coastal swamps offers views of impressive natural scenery. It tells stories of an enormous richness of the mangrove forest.
Tourists learn how to collect sea mussels, a hands-on experience at the Bang Poo Mangrove Forest, Yaring District.

It’s quite an education to stop by the Yaring Mangrove Forest Study Center. Take a boat ride under forest canopies, then head out to sea and back. The service is offered by villagers. Learn how to collect sea mussels like locals do. On the way back, take a moment to observe sea birds on the bay and coastal wetlands, where sedges and other grass-like species thrive. They provide raw material for sedge basket weaving industries in the area. It could be your most exciting ride, and the view is fantastic.

The tidal mouth of the Pattani River that empties into the Gulf of Thailand.
Dense groups of sedge thrive inside the mangrove forest. The glass-like plants are used to make weaving crafts associated with the way of life in southern Thailand.

The mangrove forest was originally part of ancient coastlands that had grown to form an impenetrable mass around Pattani Bay. After a period of neglect, concerted efforts have been successful in restoring it to good health. Nowadays, tour activities vary from season to season, ranging from boat rides into the forest on nights aglow with fireflies, to stargazing night rides, to homestays at affordable prices.


 

The façade of the widely revered shrine of Lim Kor Niew.

Old World Charm, Chinatown, and Cool Café

Like other settlements in an earlier time, Pattani originally was a regional hub of commerce. The charming old town sits on the banks of the Pattani River that provides convenient access to the open sea and areas in the hinterland. This is evident in the way shop houses and people’s homes are located along river banks. You will like a quiet saunter on Pattani Pirom Road from Ruedee Intersection to Anohru Road.

The place of origin of an extended family in Pattani in bygone times.

Since ancient times, the little Chinatown at Anohru had been a region of diverse cultures, where Thais, Indians and Chinese met for the buying and selling of goods. It’s also home to the holy shrine of Lim Kor Niew, a goddess widely revered for her supernatural powers. Other main tourist attractions include relics of a bygone society, such as the ancestral home of the Kunanurak clan, and the residence of Khunpitakraya, son of Chinese monk Kunanurak who governed Pattani in the past.

Pattani Pirom Road, one of the city’s most popular thoroughfares.
The café named “All Good Coffee & Bakery” is right next to a famous Hainan chicken restaurant.
The interior of IN_T_AF Café and Gallery looks out over the Pattani River.
Part of an interior living space at the home of Khunpitakraya.

Anohru Road is famous for cozy Chinese style inns, charming wood homes, and Sino-Portuguese architecture. Coffee lovers shouldn’t miss the old town’s greatest hangouts – All Good Coffee & Bakery (which is right next to a famous Hainan chicken restaurant), and IN_T_AF Café & Gallery.

Civilization has diverse origins. Krue Se Mosque is a beautiful piece of architecture and pride of Pattani town. The holy shrine of Lim Kor Niew is a widely revered temple that’s the city’s heart and soul.

Looking for a holy place to pray to God? There are the famous Krue Se Mosque and the Central Mosque of Pattani. Dress properly if you intend to visit.


 

Don’t miss out on it! Wae Mah Roti is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Delicious Food, Good Tea, Great Roti, and all

Pattani food culture is interesting for it brings people together to enjoy good eating. There is happiness in their eyes as people meet and eat together in their favorite restaurants. If Roti, or Chapati, is your thing, you shouldn’t miss the Wae Mah Roti shop. It’s always full of people, but it’s worth a visit. There’s the slightly salty, crispy crunchy kind to suit every pleasure of taste. The best place no doubt, if you want to eat like locals do. And it’s inexpensive, too!

Wae Mah Roti shop is busy all day every day.
The frying pan that goes to work non-stop every day at Wae Mah Roti.

For a more modern atmosphere, there is Chaba Roti & Coffee located behind Mor Or (call sign of the Prince of Songkhla University at Pattani). It’s located on Samakkee Road Route B. Their famous tea recipes go together very well with Roti. A nice place to dine alfresco.
By the way, if strong tea is your thing, go to a small shop called Cha-Indo & Roti located on the same road. Right opposite from it stands Papa TaGu Restaurant that serves Khao Mok, the Thai Muslim version of Indian Biryahni. The fragrant yellow rice dish is served with chicken, fish, beef, or goat meat. All good. Take your pick. If you dine together as a group, it’s better to order trays of food and come away satisfied every time. You will love the Arab rice they use, which is perfectly fluffy and not sticky.

Chaba Roti & Coffee presents charcoaled Roti and Roti with curry, a Pakistan style recipe served with sunny-side up eggs.
Mouth-watering Khao Mok recipe at Papa TuGu. Order trays of food if you come as a group. It’s deeply satisfying.
The sign in front of Papa TuGu that has appeared in print media.

If the ambience of a restaurant is important in entertaining guests, we recommend Baan De Nara. Try out their signature yellow curry with mackerel and coconut milk. You may also like Solok, a traditional southern dish made of bell peppers stuffed with fish, shrimp, and a healthy dose of curry, a lesser-known recipe but delicious nonetheless.

The most delicious meals at Baan De Nara: Yellow curry with mackerel and coconut milk, Solok (traditional southern dish made of bell peppers stuffed with fish and a healthy dose of curry), Boodoo, and fired shrimp with lemongrass. All good.

Chinese food is meant to be savored and enjoyed. For that, we recommend London, an old restaurant widely admired for enchanting Chinese cuisine. Their highly pleasing recipes are on par with those that you get in Bangkok no doubt. But for a mouth-watering Rad-Na meal (stir-fried noodle with pork and kale soaked in gravy), go to Num Ros Restaurant, and you won’t be disappointed.


 

An event that’s part of the Pattani Decoded design exhibition.

A Vibrant and Growing Scene of Art and Design

You may have heard of the Koleh boat that over time has come to symbolize culture and the way of life on the Malay Penninsula. But there is more to Pattani than just the Koleh boat.
Nowadays, at a continually increasing rate the young generation of Pattani has taken a keen interest in art and design. As a result, an art gallery called “Patani Art Space” was born. It has achieved its objective in promoting the works and ideas of up-and-coming young artists in the three southernmost provinces.

Asst. Prof. Jehabdulloh Jehsorhoh, founder of Patani Art Space

Over the past several years, their designs have received proper recognition. Take for example the Benjametha brand of ceramics, which earned a few DEmark design awards; the Batik of Baan De Nara, which some Japan buyers bought for Kimono making; and the Tlejourn brand of footwear that turned recycled ocean waste into products of quality and value.

An outdoor market selling secondhand goods and vintages that’s part of the Pattani Decoded design week.
Patterns characteristic of Malay design by local artists on show during the Pattani Decoded design week.
Ocean debris transforms into raw material for the Tlejourn shoemaking industry.
Ceramic article by Emsophian from the brand Benjametha.

The force behind this success was Rachit Radenahmad. He teamed up with Melayu Living, a local creative group. Together they succeeded in staging “Pattani Decoded”, the province’s first Design Week showcasing works by local artists, designers and community members in August 2019.


 

Roti Achiva, a crisped-to-perfection Roti meal by members of the Vocational College of Pattani. A delicious memento to take home!

OTOP as Memento of Your Visit

Your adventures in Pattani are not complete without something to take home or a souvenir to remind you of your visit. For that, we recommend Roti Achiva, a local brand of crisped-to-perfection meals made by members of the Vocational College of Pattani. It’ so delicious it’s hard to stop eating. By the way, there’s another Roti brand called Miss Millah, which is also very good. It’s part of OTOP, an acronym for the “One Tambon, One Product” project. Take your pick. Or go for dried banana strips and fish flavored rice chips that are equally popular.

 

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“PATTANI DECODED” PATTANI DESIGN WEEK

 

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A Day Trip Through Yaowarat / Chinatown Bangkok

A Day Trip Through Yaowarat / Chinatown Bangkok

The historic business hub of Bangkok is on CNN’s List of “Best Districts for Street Food” and “Top Ten Chinatowns in the World”. Whether it be fine dining or quick one-dish dinners, you can find some of the best meals in Yaowarat. Combine your favorite pastimes into one-day adventure. Living ASEAN recommends stopping by these places.

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9:00 Coffee at Ama Hostel

Start your day at Ama Hostel Bangkok, a recently renovated Chinese style building located at 191 Soi Sapanhan off Chakkrawat Road in Samphanthawong area. The café in the forward section of the hostel offers coffee that smells so good. There’s nothing like the warm aroma of a steaming cup of coffee to wake you up to a beautiful day in old Chinatown. Nearby, push cart vendors serve delicious Kuichai meals and Kuay Jub noodes.

 

10:00 Shop at Sampeng Market and Yaowarat

A stone’s throw away from Ama Hostel stands Sampeng Market, a shopper’s paradise for goods at bargain prices, both retail and wholesale. The area is well known for many gift shops and stores selling fabrics, clothing and accessories, toys and seasonal decorating materials. Follow Chakkrawat Road and you come to Yaowarat Road.

 

12:00 Lunch at the Canton House

Enjoy the pleasure of authentic Chinese food at the Canton House. Established in 1908, the restaurant has since been renovated to give it unique appeal characterized by raw construction materials. The Canton House is located at 530 Yaowarat Road, Samphanthawong area. You will love the bite-sized Dim Sum in steamer baskets, steamed pork rib with black bean sauce, and fried Mantou (buns) with condensed milk. Thai and Western meals are also on the menu.

 

13:00 Wat Leng Noei Yi

The historic Wat Leng Noei Yi is rooted deeply in this community of Thai citizens of Chinese descent. Founded in 1871, the temple has been involved in every facet of life of the followers of Buddhism. It sees the busiest time during the period leading to Chinese New Year celebrations. Slowly burning joss sticks are used in paying tribute to the Lord Buddha. It’s good idea to avoid getting smoke in your eyes.

 

14:00 Jay Noi’s Kuichai Meal

About 250 meters to the right of Wat Leng Noei Yi stands a famous push-cart business selling fried Kuichai meals. Jay Noi’s Kuichai is renowned for being one of the most delicious vegetable meals in Yaowarat. Located on Charoen Krung Road, the humble push cart vendor sells Kuichai at 10 Baht apiece. The menu also includes fried Taro and Jicama (a globe shaped root vegetable). They are equally delightful.

 

15:00 Cakes at Wallflowers Café

Beat the heat in the afternoon with yummy mouthwatering cakes served with frothy Thai tea with cheese. Located at 31-33 Soi Nana, Pom Prab area, Wallflowers Café sits on the upper floor of a florist’s shop, which provides inspiration for many beautiful items on its menu. The café is owned and operated by an architect who has great interest in the art of coffee making.

Great Bangkok Spots to Explore by BTS

Great Bangkok Spots to Explore by BTS

Want to get the most out of your time in Bangkok? Sure, there are great shopping malls, but where else to go? Here are some Living ASEAN recommendations on enjoying Thailand’s capital city. For comfort and convenience, we suggest using the BTS system for your weekend jaunt to see new lifestyles and interesting art works, or spend time with gods and angels at sacred sites all around town.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: favforward.com /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham, favforward.com, YAYOI KUSAMA Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo, Courtesy of Artists

Start out on the Sukhumvit Line

>> BTS National Stadium 

BACC

Where’s the largest art exhibition space in the “Big Mango?” Easy. It’s right here at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre: exhibitions, music, films, literature, education, and, on the 5th floor, handicraft art. Then there’s the BACC souvenir shop for buying art show mementos, works by the artists themselves, and plenty of other things. Shows here aren’t just uplifting, but inspire our own creative instincts. Right now BACC is one of the prime locations for Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival l, showing such works as “Basket Tower” by Choi Jeong Hwa and “Tape Bangkok 2018,” by Numen For Use Design Collective.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
Rising high into the air, a tower of brightly colored baskets is lovingly crafted by South Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa. The soaring sculpture is currently on show at BACC. His inspiration is encapsulated in his motto, “Your heart is my art.” More works of art by the happy and lively South Korean can be seen at Park Nai Lert Heritage Home and department stores in Siam Square, Chidlom, and Rajaprasong.
Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
An installation by a group of German artists is in the form of a tunnel fastened with clear adhesive tapes. The “Numen For Use Design Collective” has exhibited at major art scenes from Frankfurt to Paris to Ohio. In Bangkok, the Tape Tunnel is being staged at BACC.

>> BTS Siam

BTS SIAM

This location is a sort of urban landmark, not merely a place for teenagers to hang out, but a showplace for the modern age. There’s a center for technology and innovation, plus a bezillion shops and outlets: Siam Discovery, the Siam Center, Siam Paragon, and Siam Square, each distinct area offering its own select products and product selections.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 shines here, too, featuring works of various prominent artists brought in from abroad. One such is Yayoi Kusama, an 81-year-old Japanese known as the “Princess of Polka Dots.” She has extended her love of that quirky blob into many branches of creativity: sculpture, painting, arrangement art, and many more, to become one of the world’s most highly esteemed contemporary female artists, giving exhibitions and receiving top international awards in many countries.

You can see some Kusama signature works on display at Central World: the beautiful arrangement art piece “Inflatable Pumpkins Balloons” hangs suspended from high above and polka dots adorn escalator handrails, changing this massive space into an art gallery where you yourself are a participant in the creation. More Kusama is seen at nearby Siam Paragon in “I Carry On Living With The Pumpkins,” where you’ll find the polka dot theme continued on a silver pumpkin with mosaic-style skin.

The exhibits listed above are the works of Yayoi Kusama, Japan’s most prominent contemporary artist. The red pumpkin with black polka dots and the silver fruit with multiple colors are part of a collection titled “I Carry on Living with the Pumpkins”. Sometimes called “The Princess of Polka Dots”, Kusama works mainly in sculpture and installation and is widely known for her obsession with endless dots, nets, and mirrored space. The 89-year-old artist continues to create amazing works of art, most notably installations.

>> BTS Chit Lom

BTS Chit Lom

Walking along the skywalk between the BTS Chit Lom and Siam stations you can reach a lot of great locations: Central World, Central Chit Lom, Gaysorn Village, and a lot of famous hotels. The Erawan Shrine is right below, where pilgrims come to pay homage to six divinities believed to grant blessings to worshippers petitioning for success in work, money, love, or various other realms.

Wisut Ponnimit
Wisut Ponnimit

At Central World is yet another Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival display: an exhibition featuring the beloved Miss Mamuang, by artist Wisut Ponnimit, cartoonist and illustrator. Stop by to meet Miss Mamuang and take pictures with these rare art works. 

>> BTS Ploenchit

BTS Ploenchit

The Ploenchit area has not only major office buildings and governmental locations such as embassies, but also department stores and hotels. And near here is a major passenger boat pier for connections to Pratu Nam (the Watergate district) and various locations along Phetchaburi Road.

Marc Schmitz
Marc Schmitz

Getting off at the BTS Ploenchit Station gives you additional access to Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. Famous art works are shown nearby at Central Embassy, Nai Lert Park Heritage Home, One Bangkok, and Alliance Française Bangkok. One especially interesting collection features the work of Marc Schmitz, whose fascination with the relationships between people and spaces has produced paintings, large arrangement art pieces, and video art. Mr. Schmitz looks to challenge the limits of communication on many fronts, giving us works that really make us think. His goal is to stimulate a continuing conversation between observer and art piece that at some point becomes like real personal communication. His later work contemplates commonly known relationships between people and history by means of large works installed in public spaces, filling the gap between art history and contemporary art in useful ways. You can see his works at Nai Lert Park Heritage Home from Oct. 19 to Feb. 3.

>> BTS Asoke

BTS Asoke

Asoke: district of prosperity, and one of the capital city’s major communication and transportation hubs. From the Asoke Intersection, where Asoke Montrii, Rathchaphisek, and Sukhumvit Roads meet, a network of streets and alleys can whisk us to important areas all over Bangkok. The super-fast, convenient, and comfortable BTS and MRT rapid train systems connect here, helping efficient time management. The Airport Link train is just one stop away by MRT, adding convenience for foreign travel. Directly by the rail stations is the Terminal 21 shopping complex, each floor designed with many shops and services mimicking a different international airport, and with a giant food center where you can partake of different lifestyles, all open for your daily enjoyment.

>> BTS Phrom Phong

BTS Phrom Phong

Here the “EmDistrict,” meaning EmQuartier and the Emporium, flanks Sukhumvit Road on both sides. EmQuartier has three shopping complexes. The Helix Quartier, or Building A, is distinctive for its “floating garden” starting on the 5th floor. From here you’ll walk up and around, up and around on a helical ramp where you can dine at luxury restaurants and visit shops along the way.

The Glass Quartier features high-end outlets, fashion shops, a Virgin Active Fitness center, and the Bhiraj Tower (Sammachawanich Building 3) is a 30-storey office building. The Bhiraj has a central reception hall on floor M from which you’ll take a high-speed elevator up to the 15th floor, where you’ll find a helipad and a roof deck with a stunning view. Be sure not to miss the hall on the 45th floor, home to the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival’s display of works by artist Kawita Vatanajyankur.

Kawita Vatanajyankur
Kawita Vatanajyankur

SILOM

Silom Line

>> BTS Sala Daeng MRT Si LomMRT Sam Yan

MRT Sam Yan

We arrive here after changing to the Silom Line. This district is replete with businesses and office buildings, colorful department stores, and hangout spots, with public parks scattered here and there. At the corner by MRT Sam Yan Station a new “lifestyle community” is soon to be completed: the Samyan Metrotown Life Expansion, a mixed-use building complex conceived under a concept called “three friends.” Lifestyle choices and personal enjoyment are coupled with learning and expanding perspectives with the aim of unlocking personal and community potential over the long term. The motto here is “learning is built around friendship”: “smart” spaces are designed to promote learning and be user-friendly under the concept of an “urban life library,” or “treasury of food and learning,” as a new chapter is added to the legend of Sam Yan. Three districts, three libraries, complete and unique in all of Thailand.

>> BTS Chong Noni – BRT Thanon Chan

BTS Chong Noni – BRT Thanon Chan

The BTS Chong Nonsi Station is located in the Silom district between the Sathorn-Narathiwat and Silom-Narathiwat intersections, pretty much the city’s financial center. Full of office buildings, embassies, and condos, and with quick SkyTrain access, Chong Nonsi is especially popular with foreigners. The byword here is “mobility,” as Chong Nonsi is easily accessible by public and private transport. Besides BTS there’s the BRT Express Van Sathorn Station, and if you want to escape the clogged streets there is nearby Sathorn Pier, where you can catch an express boat: just hop on BTS and glide down to Taksin Station for that. There you can also easily cross to the Thonburi side of Bangkok: both coming in and exiting the city is convenient. Also, a quick ride to the BRT Thanon Chan station brings you to yet another Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival installation: the Theater of Indulgence, where the work of many fine artists is featured.

If you have time to use BTS to get beyond the normal tourist activities, why don’t you check out some of these great locations? See art works unseen anywhere before tell inspiring and trendsetting stories through reflections of culture and society, lighting fires of thought we can use to improve our daily lives. Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is held between October 19, 2018 and February 3, 2019 at 20 locations in Bangkok.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, (BAB) is an art fair which will transform Bangkok into a city for art lovers. Famous artists from many corners of the world have brought their works here to be shown at 20 landmark sites.

(Download here)

Link: https://favforward.com/lifestyle/art/49226.html

30 Works of Art You Can’t Miss at BAB 2018
30 Works of Art You Can’t Miss at BAB 2018

Colorful Changes in Bangkok: 6 spots welcome the new year with color

Colorful Changes in Bangkok: 6 spots welcome the new year with color

In this final month before the New Year, wherever you look in Bangkok you’ll see joyous festivities with colorful lights. Come with Living ASEAN to six of them!

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Gott /// Photography:  Rittirong Tongjunsuk, Tanakitt Khum-on

Thailand Illumination Festival 2017 – Ratchada

This garden of more than 15 acres bustles with fascinating activities under the brilliantly glowing light of more than a million bulbs. Here you’ll find a tunnel of many colors, a Christmas tree festooned with lights, models of the 12 constellations of the zodiac, and an indoor sound and light show featuring songs composed by H.M. Rama 9. Open to visitors free of charge Monday – Thursday from 6 to 10 PM, and Friday – Sunday 6 to 11 PM until January 6, 2018: Ratchadapisek Road Soi 8, opposite the Esplanade shopping center.

Thailand Illumination Festival 2017
festival of lights
Thailand Illumination Festival 2017

festival of lights
Beautiful Bangkok – Magnolia Ratchadamri Boulevard

Here a “3-D projection mapping” light show by the artist group “Limelight” paints a 60-story building with images depicting Bangkok ways of life, culture, and history. Shows from Dec. 14 – 31 2017 five times daily, at 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, and 8PM. On New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) there’s a special additional show for the 2018 countdown at 11:55 PM.

festival of lights
Beautiful Bangkok

LIGHT UP CHRISTMAS TREE CELEBRATION – Central World

CentralWorld Shopping Plaza has set up an amphitheater in front for a wondrously decorated “land of music” featuring world-famous Argentinian artist Javier Gonzales Burgos. The huge Christmas tree surrounded by statues including Santa, polar bears, and reindeer is a visual highlight.

LIGHT UP CHRISTMAS TREE CELEBRATION
LIGHT UP CHRISTMAS TREE CELEBRATION
festival of lights
LIGHT UP CHRISTMAS TREE CELEBRATION

festival of lights

Harry Potter: Christmas in the Wizarding World – Siam Paragon

The space fronting on Siam Paragon has become a magical country, giving muggles a not-to- be-missed photographic opportunity under the theme “Christmas in The Wizarding World,” put on by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and GES,
organizers of the international show “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” on its first visit to Thailand.

festival of lights
Harry Potter: Christmas in the Wizarding World

festival of lights
Let’s Celebrate 2018: The Holidays Bring Me Here – Central Embassy

A ten-meter Santa Claus, largest in Southeast Asia, rises majestically above Central Embassy shopping plaza, this year brilliant with more than a million Christmas lights. Here also is “Santa Playland,” designed to take everyone back to a fun-filled childhood atmosphere.

festival of lights
Let’s Celebrate 2018: The Holidays Bring Me Here
festival of lights
Let’s Celebrate 2018: The Holidays Bring Me Here

festival of lights
Winter Wonderland the Grand Celebration – The Emquartier – EMPORIUM

The Emquartier – EMPORIUM has transformed the trade center to be a miraculous land of winter under the theme “Winter Wonderland: the Grand Celebration,” with a 12-meter white bear and an army of small white bears beaming smiles at all
passersby. There is also a light show with content changing each week.

festival of lights
Winter Wonderland the Grand Celebration
festival of lights
Winter Wonderland the Grand Celebration

Link: http://www.baanlaesuan.com/88727/design/directory/5-light-up-bangkok/

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3 Places You Have to Experience At Lhong 1919

3 Places You Have to Experience At Lhong 1919

The culturally historic Chinese-Thai Huo Chuan Laung Steamer Pier built on the Chao Phraya in 1850 was reborn in 2017 as “Lhong 1919.”

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Taliw /// Photography:  FavForward.com 

The charm of original Chinese architecture and murals on 167-year-old walls have been preserved, and it’s already an everyday Bangkok tourist destination where locals relax and take pictures. Don’t forget to sample the delectable tastes and fantastic décor at these three dining and coffee-drinking establishments:

RONG SI

We start with a premium Chao Phraya riverside Thai restaurant at Wharf No. 41, the former site of a rice mill. Billed as “Rong Si seafood, intense Thai tastes in a modern Chinese atmosphere,” the original building was reinforced and preserved, with some worn-out components kept for décor: old roof tiles liven up the walls; a refurbished wooden banister serves as room divider.

Menu Suggestions

  • Stuffed lotus petals (miang kleep bua) with roasted tidbits – coconut, nuts, dried shrimp, etc. – and a unique and fresh dipping sauce.
  • Crab stew (lon pu yai): a true Thai taste featuring the very freshest crab catch
  • Stir-fried crab in curry sauce (pu phat phong karee): full-flavored, thick with fresh crab meat
  • Deep-fried snapper in fish sauce (pla kaphong thawt nam pla) with a fine hidden sweetness
  • From the drinks menu, iced black tangerine and honey yuzu

Pla kaphong thawt nam pla
Crab stew (lon pu yai)
honey yuzu

NAI HARNG

Nai Harng, a first-rate “street food” eatery, mixes old-fashioned with contemporary. The décor is full-on “Yaowarat” Chinese, with bright neon lights and the Chinese community of old Siam represented in murals and the open-kitchen design of the building itself. A grilled pork/river shrimp vendor cart out front emphasizes the street food theme. 

Menu suggestions

  • The famous signature dish, “Nai Harng fried rice,” from Patara Fine Thai Cuisine, a Thai chain with branches worldwide
  • River shrimp baked in agar noodles (goong ob wun sen)
  • Papaya salad (som tam), an intense Thai taste served with crispy-skinned, succulent barbecued chicken and hot sticky rice
  • Healthy, colorful drinks made from organic butterfly-pea (anchan) flowers
  • Anchan iced coffee, iced anchan and lime, and sugarcane juice with grass jelly
River shrimp baked in agar noodles
Nai Harng fried rice
Anchan iced coffee and iced anchan and lime

PLEARNWAN PANICH

For a very special atmosphere plus drinks and sweets you’ll find nowhere else, we finish our tour at the Huo Chuan Laung Pier branch of Plearnwan Panich dessert shop, a restored wooden building connecting to an ancestral mausoleum. The flavor of this eye-catching retro-style café is based around antique Chinese-style furniture and ornamentation.

Menu suggestions

  • “Half-breed” (luk khrueng) coffee combines old-style Thai boran or oliang with international coffee beans for a mellow taste, sweetness added with cold fresh milk
  • Healthy dark iced sesame tofu coffee for the lactose-intolerant
  • Sangkhaya: egg and coconut custard

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/41yVSRfTqeq
Link www.facebook.com/LHONG-1919

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Ten Rather Odd Singapore Laws

Ten Rather Odd Singapore Laws

It’s not just the ban on chewing gum: Singapore has some wildly strange laws that a lot of folks aren’t even aware of. Don’t you go running around naked at home, now, or – if someone sees you – you could get arrested!

/// Singapore ///
Thank you: Eve K Honda from AECOM Singapore

 

There are quite a few look at things a foreigner or tourist might find astonishing: this is against the law, there’s a law against that in Singapore. Generally they’re supposed to make for a better quality of life, but you’d better be careful about letting mosquitoes breed, forgetting to flush the toilet, going naked in your own house, or acting gay.

1. It’s not a good idea to walk naked in the house, because if someone outside sees, they can call the cops on you.

2. You’re not allowed to pee in a public place other than a rest room. Of course you might pee playing in the ocean, who’s going to know? But if you’ve have dumped your load in the restroom and not flushed, there’s a penalty. Sometimes you’ll even see a warning sign.

3. If you’re gay, it’s forbidden to act on it in public. A girl and a boy usually can kiss and hug each other, no problem, but gays have to be a little secretive in Singapore.

Singapore officials spraying mosquitoes

4. You can’t have a place where mosquitoes breed. There are random inspections all the time, where they even look at planter pots. You can be fined 2000 Singapore dollars for this one. One construction site was reported to be playing host to 6000 larvae, and they had to halt construction for a full year.

5. So sorry for all you party-lovers! You’re not allowed to drink alcohol in public places here between 10:30 PM and 7 AM – except occasionally at government-approved events.

6. It’s forbidden to gather or store rain water or even sea water for personal use, because it’s considered a national resource.

The merit-making activity of releasing animals is also forbidden in Singapore.

7. You may not give human food to animals in public parks such as ducks, geese, or fish. Each species has to be given the right kind of food. The merit-making activity of releasing fish, birds or turtles is also forbidden.

8. Talking in an elevator isn’t allowed. In Singapore even if you see someone chatting cheerfully with a friend, you’ll notice that when the elevator door opens everyone shuts right up.

9. In an MRT station during peak hour it’s forbidden to stop and turn all the way around, or even change the pace you’re walking up.

Grass lawn, a type of green area found everywhere in Singapore

10. You’ll see grass lawns all over town, but they’re for dogs to do their business, not for kids to kick balls or run and roll around in.

Points 8-10 are behavior guidelines, no legal penalties, but they are social mores. If you don’t follow them, the locals can get quite offended.

 

Environmentally friendly building designed by WOHA Architects

Singapore takes urban development and building design very seriously: every project is in overseen by a specific agency to ensure regulations are followed to the letter. Singapore is especially concerned about environmental quality, and has with having guidelines from important agencies, such as

Green Mark by BCA

BCA (Building & Construction Authority is an international standards agency that assigns value to projects regarding environmentally significant factors such as green space, sustainability, climate response, energy efficiency, environmental impact, etc.

Urban Design Guidelines

The city planning agency Urban Redevelopment Authority ensures that building designs are in harmony with national policy calling for such things as “smart technology”: buildings have to be “smart.”

Well-cared-for trees trimmed by skilled personnel

NParks Guidelines

The large National Park Board (NParks) Agency is responsible for the Island’s greenery and plant life, assigning identification numbers to each variety. Qualified and knowledgeable officials are in charge of gardening and tree trimming, especially for the designated “heritage trees.”

PUB Guidelines

The Public Utilities Board is in charge of drainage nationwide. Construction sites must manage their own drainage problems, and no drainage into public areas is allowed. The PUB also enforces laws  preventing people from wasting water.

Tourists and foreigners who enter to work in Singapore should study and learn these strange – and strict – Singapore laws. The basic consideration here is that life should be orderly in order to properly develop the country and its citizenry to make the most efficient use of the limited resources of this small island nation.

 

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Seven of the Hippest New Places Everyone in Bangkok Should Check Out

Seven of the Hippest New Places Everyone in Bangkok Should Check Out

Here are seven newly opened spots you should make a point of seeing next time you visit Bangkok. They are not only great tourist spots, but museums of knowledge where you can enjoy yourself the whole day long.

/// THAILAND ///

Story: Weena Baramee /// Photography:  Nantiya Busabong, Tanakitt Khum-on, Sitthisak Namkham, Soopakorn Srisakul, Ritthirong Chanthongsuk

Changchui

The new Changchui Creative Space on Sirindhorn Road sprawls over 4 acres (11 rai) with restaurant, coffee shop, and a wide variety of other shops scattered about. Inside you’ll see a collection of buildings often set at unusual angles and built mainly with recycled materials: corrugated iron, glass, wood panels, wrought iron, and old doors and windows such as you might see in Bangkok communities. The eclectic beauty of this mix is what gives Chanchui its unique identity. Here are all sorts of beautiful spots where it’s fun to pull out your phone and take selfies.

Link : www.changchuibangkok.com


YELO House

For 40 years a Ratchathewi district warehouse for printing equipment, after that this building sat abandoned and lifeless, but it’s now been transformed into a creative space for inventors, designers, artisans, and support personnel. The 480-square-meter indoor space holds an art gallery, office, meeting hall, co-working space, photo studio, and an area for holding workshops and organizing events. The name YELO comes from “You Ever Live Once,” expressing how the old warehouse has come back to life and vitality once more.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/yelohouse/


Warehouse 30

Creative Community Mall is the brainchild of Duangrit Bunnag, famous Thai architect and teacher. Here he has transformed an old warehouse from the mid-1940s into an exciting creative space stretching over 600 square meters and divided into rooms where visitors can dig in and indulge themselves in whatever catches their fancy at a co-working space, art exhibition, clothing store, flower shop, bookshop, hip coffee shop, and on and on. The space also includes the Warehouse 30 flea market for homemade articles and a multi-use space for setting up exhibits, workshops, or various events.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/TheWarehouse30/


Baan Bangkhen

Here’s a new vintage-style spot where the visitor can chill out and travel back in time to old Thailand, with lots of places with murals and scenes perfect for picture-taking. Almost every corner holds a treasure trove of knowledge from the past. The café and restaurant are open 24 hours, and also there’s a new building nostalgically designed as an old-style Thai commercial house full of an exciting collection of antique furniture and ornamentation.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/baanbangkhen/


TCDC Charoenkrung

TCDC has moved to a spiffy new location: the central post office building on Charoenkrung Road. An 8,700-square-meter area five stories high holds a general library, material library, makerspace, co-working space, workshop, and an area for small or large exhibitions. The building was built in 1940 C.E, Throughout the building and especially on the front, you’ll see beautiful period art deco works commissioned by the Department of Architecture.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/tcdc.thailand/


Bangkok City Library

The Bangkok City Library at the Khok Wua Intersection is a true learning center. Filling a space of more than 4,590 square meters, its light-colored walls, high ceiling, glass windows, and skylights give a feeling of spacious comfort that simply invites you to sit down for a good read. The library is 4 storeys high, books arranged by category on each storey, with comfortable seating in every corner.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/bangkokcitylibrary/


Siam Serpentarium

This repository of knowledge about the lives of snakes offers a mixed media exhibition light and sound show suitable for people of any age and gender. The building is in three main sections: the “virtual museum” zone which holds the mixed media show with lifelike models and 3-dimensional pictures, a “snake garden” with more than 50 species of snakes both common and rare, and the “Naga Theater.” In this last zone snake doctors demonstrate how to extract snake venom from live specimens, and there is a stage play about naga and garuda legends.

Link : https://www.facebook.com/siamserpentarium/


 

 

Jatujak Isn’t Just for Weekends

Jatujak Isn’t Just for Weekends

If two days is not enough time for the weekend, you still have plenty of hours to shop on weekdays.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul 

Make Mistake
Koch
Brezza Dee

Situated near the MRT Kampaengpet Station, Jatujak Plaza is open on weekdays, too, except either Monday or Tuesday depending. It’s a popular marketplace for not only furniture, home furnishings and decorating items, and souvenirs, but also plenty of pet animals from dogs to cats to fishes. And the list goes on.

Hat Up

The Plaza at Jatujak Park sits right next to a vast built-up area set aside for the weekend market. Furniture, home décor items, and a plethora of lifestyle goods combine to give the Plaza its distinctive character. The marketplace had been the hub of pet lovers before it was transformed into rental spaces for businesses, notably art and craft retailers.

Philos
Philos
MS Natural Design

As time went by, Jatujak Plaza continued to attract more and more business people from makers of furniture and home décor items to architects, interior designers, and fashion stylists. Over the years it has become a popular rendezvous for homeowners as well as hotel and hospitality business entrepreneurs who are in the market for cool furniture and décor supplies. Some furniture makers have retail businesses here, while others import decorating goods from regional sources, notably Indonesia and the Philippines.      

Mango
Leather O
Tin Home Toy
ML Living

The plaza’s advantage lies in its proximity to an MRT station and business hours on weekdays. The marketplace is open from 10 AM to 6 PM daily, but you have to pick the right day to shop. Most retail businesses here are closed on Monday, while others choose to stay closed on Tuesday, too. Some shops don’t open exactly on the hour. For your convenience, it is recommended that you be there around 11 AM. There is a pet zone located at the further end.

3 New Boutique Hotels in Singapore You Need to Visit

3 New Boutique Hotels in Singapore You Need to Visit

Take your dream hotels and put them on the best locations, and you’ve got a beautiful enchanting place. Introducing three new boutique hotels you need to visit in Singapore. One of them is a Philippe Starck-designed exclusive hotel located on a quayside that has transformed to become a fashionable urban area.

/// Singapore ///
Photography: Sitthisak Namkham, The Warehouse Hotel

– M Social Singapore –

Located on the riverside at Robertson Quay, M Social Singapore is the brainchild of world renowned designer Philippe Starck. Its avant-garde atmosphere in every room and public area is inspired by the Memphis style. Such a perfect blend of textures, bold colors, and luxury accents is aimed at the millennial generation. The hotel’s main target group comprises young adults of the early twenty-first century who have dominated most of the technological world. Taking its concierge role to a new level, a robot butler named “Aura” is on hand to serve you a bottle of drinking water and a towel if you want it delivered to your room. The in-house restaurant Beast & Butterflies is a separate unit from the main lobby. The design provides more privacy for dining away from the heavier traffic of the main area. Stylish decor and alluring lighting ideas make it a perfect place to meet for business or just chitchatting and taking in beautiful river views. 

 

Recommended for: Active business persons, admirers of Starck’s design

Website: https://www.millenniumhotels.com/en/singapore/m-social-singapore/


 

– The Oasia Hotel Downtown Singapore –

An oasis of clam, the hotel beautifully ensconced in central Singapore has earned a reputation as the city’s living sky garden. Not only is it the center of visual interest, the distinctive bright tower with vertical gardens is originally conceived as safe haven for birds. The façade is crafted of aluminum cladding designed to filter light, provide shade, and promote natural air movement, making the boutique hotel a perfect place to wind down from city life outside. The Oasia is admired for sleek interior design and friendly earth tone colors. Apparently, it has become the icon of tropical vertical gardening currently trending across the Region. It’s the brainchild of WOHA Architects, a group specialized in green buildings on large scales.

 

Recommended for: Business persons who care about hospitality and convenient locations

Website: http://www.oasia.com.sg/downtown/?dcm=sem&gclid=CjwKEAjwlpbIBRCx4eT8l9W26igSJAAuQ_HGiNanY2h5o4ljASHSFD6pUHbuD2gEGCe5M8qNew0diBoCy8nw_wcB

 


 

– The Warehouse Hotel –

Built in 1895, the Warehouse Hotel sits on the bank of the Singapore River at Robertson Quay. The beautifully restored heritage building was once upon a time a warehouse in an area that was the hotbed of secret societies, liquor distilleries, and underground activities. Today the former warehouse on the quayside has transformed to became one of the stylishly unique destinations offering the finest experiences in the history and attractions of the community surrounding it.

The renovation project was the idea of the owners, The Lo & Behold Group, and the design firm Asylum. Together they turned the old “godown” into an ultrachic exclusive property showcasing the heritage of the island nation. Drop into the open bar with stunning views and an intimate atmosphere. It’s worth a visit.

 

Recommended for: Trendy Travelers and creative professionals

Website: http://www.thewarehousehotel.com/

 

Boutique Hotel Singapore

10 Hip Cafés in KL and Beyond

10 Hip Cafés in KL and Beyond

Not only is it Instagram worthy, but it’s also hip to be part of a thriving café culture. Next time you’re in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, here are ten cafés to chill out with a cuppa and post your best OOTD shots.

/// ASEAN ///

Merchants Lane 3
Merchant’s Lane
Merchants Lane 4
Merchant’s Lane
Merchants Lane 1
Merchant’s Lane

– Merchant’s Lane / Kuala Lumpur –

Its location in bustling Chinatown serves as constant inspiration in defining this stylish café’s aesthetics. The phenomenally popular Merchant’s Lane is known for its vintage touches, most apparent through its traditional rattan chairs. The upper level, a beautiful blend of traditional elements and modern touches, provides more space to cater to the quaint café’s ever-growing number of fans.

For more information on Merchant’s Lane, click here.

 


PM 3

PM 4

 

– Peter & Mawar / Kota Damansara –

Its namesake alludes diners to the café’s contradicting yet complementing elements. The heavy use of wooden panels on the walls and floors are cleverly contrasted with floral murals and pops of color from the Scandinavian-inspired furniture, giving the space a warm and welcoming vibe.

The upper level uses mirrors to make the narrow space appear roomier. Meanwhile, those enjoying a cup of latte at the outdoor area may be tempted to take a wefie or two against the iconic exterior walls.

For more information on Peter & Mawar, click here.

 


Nippori 1
Nippori
Nippori 8
Nippori
Nippori 2
Nippori

– Nippori / Empire Damansara –

A step into this minimalist café evokes the feeling of stepping into someone’s home, in line with the café’s concept of serving home-style Japanese food. The sunken seating is a refreshingly unique feature and blends perfectly well with other quirky elements in the café, from the magazines hung on the ladder to the colorful display of kitschy collectibles on the open shelves. The beautifully modern Nippori celebrates food through its eye-catching dishes, serving up neat, perfectly-arranged bowls of steaming rice and fresh salads.

For more information on Nippori, click here.

 


LOKL 1
LOKL Coffee Co
LOKL 10
LOKL Coffee Co
LOKL 2
LOKL Coffee Co

– LOKL Coffee Co / Kuala Lumpur –

Sharing a courtyard with popular backpacker spot BackHome Hostel, this cute compact café sets itself apart from KL’s long list of hipster joints by including top-notch local coffee in its menu. Its signature lightbulb-lit sign serves as a beacon for passers-by, tempting them to make a pit-stop for a rich cup of coffee. LOKL proudly proclaims its love for Kuala Lumpur through the iconic posters hung on its feature wall, often serving as a vibrant backdrop for OOTD shots.

For more information on LOKL Coffee Co, click here.

 


RR5
Rimba & Rusa
RR 1
Rimba & Rusa

– Rimba & Rusa / Kota Damansara –

Lush greenery is prominently featured at this hip coffee joint, starting from the mini rainforest adorning its entrance. Mint-colored accents used throughout the café is a welcomed complement to its collection of live plants, creating a cooling retreat from the city’s hot and humid weather.

The pretty desserts showcase, neatly displayed using see-through cake stands, is the first to greet diners stepping through the entrance. Pick your favourite cake, grab a seat by the ceiling-to-floor windows and watch the world go by.

For more information on Rimba & Rusa, click here.

 


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