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Archive for the ‘Travel’ category

Northern Laos

December 5th, 2011

This winter we took an opportunity after visiting a project site in Chiang Rai to go on a slow boat cruise from Chaing Khong to Luang Prabang in Laos. The cruise took two days on Makong River with an overnight stay in a peaceful resort near Pakbeng. I was glad that we took this route especially during this time of the year because the landscape along either side of the river was dense forest (although looked like about 30% had become ethanol landscape) so the air was cool and fresh. Being able to spend eight hours straight for two days to contemplate and catch up on our reading with a look-out on what seems like a slowly moving balcony was priceless. I hope we could do this again soon!

The Glass House

July 30th, 2011

Some black & white images from our visit to the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, CT,  in early spring 2009. Though it was cold and rainy, the visit was well worth it. The house has been open for visiting (guided tour required) since 2007. Tours are normally booked up fast so book well ahead in advance.

The Philip Johnson Glass House

Rattanakosin Island

January 4th, 2011

In November a friend of ours was visiting from the States so we took her for an epic walk in this brutal heat around Rattanakosin Island. Some of the notable places we visited, all on foot : ), include:

Wat Ratchanaddaram (also known as Loha Prasat), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only remaining metal-based Buddhist temple in the world. Its architecture was inspired by Sri Lankan-style temple.

Thammasat University, Tha Prachan Campus, one of the most prestigious universities in Thailand located on Chaophraya River. Plenty of delicious and affordable street foods.

The Grand Palace, which we didn’t get in because it’s closed at 3 pm.

Golden Mountain Temple Fair at Wat Saket, one of the largest annual fairs in Bangkok, which usually happens around Loy Krathong festival. Golden Temple Fair has been traditionally held every year for more than a hundred years.

Sao Chingcha (The Giant Swing), a religious structure that was used in Brahmin ceremony, now a tourist attraction.

Tuscany

September 29th, 2010

Thanks to an impromptu meeting in the south of France in early fall, we got an opportunity to visit Italy again this year. This time we decided to rent a car and spend a week exploring the gorgeous landscape, historic cities, and gastronomy of Tuscany, one of many places we never thought we’d have a chance to visit. This was a real nice treat before returning to our studio in Bangkok again!

Here are a few notable places from this visit:

Fattoria Pratale
A farmhouse we stayed at. Located in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa or about 30 minutes outside of Florence. Our apartment was a corner apartment with windows open directly to a sea of vineyards. I really wish we had had the time to stay in more.

Antica Trattoria La Toppa
A cozy family-style homemade Italian restaurant recommended by a lady at the farmhouse. Very friendly hosts. And, freshly made pastas are a must-try.

Il Cavaliere by Castello di Gabbiano
A charming restaurant we ran into by accident on our way back to our apartment. Reservations are typically required for dinner as there are not many tables (indoor, at least.) All dishes, the oil, and the sparkling wine were excellent. Pricy but well worth it.

The City of Siena
I fell in love with the old town.
Its cathedral, Santa Maria Assunta, is awe-inspiring and the most flamboyant space we have ever physically been in. One warning though is that parking is very hard to find and the roads outside of old town can be hectic and confusing. So, studying the roads and public parking location beforehand is always wise.

Museo di Castelvecchio

June 28th, 2010

One of our most admired architects is an Italian architect, Carlo Scarpa. It had been our life long goal to see his works in real life. So, when we decided to move from New York to Bangkok to explore local design and manufacturers here, we headed for a backpacking trip throughout Western Europe.

One of the most memorable places on our trip is Museo di Castelvecchio, a medieval castel in Verona, Italy. It was restored and renovated by Carlo Scarpa during mid-century into a museum to exhibit artifacts, paintings, and other medieval arts.

Scarpa’s use of modern materials, such as steel and pour-on-site concrete,  harmoniously combined with the old structure is very elegant and unpredictable. Plus, it’s hard not to be awed by his meticulous detailing of almost everything from a mere opening to an intricate hand-railing system. Just like any successful space, the warm feeling of being there cannot be portrayed by any photographs or words so it is highly recommended for anyone who enjoy visiting architectural sites.

Museo di Castelvecchio

Inca Trail

May 18th, 2010

Here are some images from our 4-day trek on Inca Trail in Peru. Now I’m not sure how we survived this when nowadays just walking up two flights of stairs to a BTS station feels almost excruciating.

In retrospect, the trek felt as if neverending but, fortunately, the surrounding was magnificent and the weather felt good (enough). From this we learned the importance of being in a supportive environment (beautiful landscape + comfortable weather); having a strong and decent motivation (to survive this trip and get home safely to taste stewed pork shoulder one more time in this life – yes, this is decent); and, lastly, setting a clear goal, making sure to head in the right direction (Machu Picchu), and just not giving up.

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