Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fair-Trade Craft Sales and Tours in Thailand

colored baskets among sale items at Thai fair
At ThaiCraft Association's monthly sales, a large range of crafts are on sale at fair-trade prices.

Are you in looking for hand-made in Thailand handbags, stuffed toys, woven baskets, wooden picture frames or silver jewelry? How about tableware, lamps, bed linen, souvenirs and holiday ornaments?  Bangkokians skip the shops, street stalls and wandering vendors--and bargaining. Instead, they go to the monthly fair-trade craft show. Bonus: handicraft quality is good and the artisans themselves set prices and earn most of the profits. You can meet the makers as well. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Art and Indie Movies in Bangkok - Lido, Scala and RCA Theaters

thai movie theaters include imax

Independent movies, art-house films, alternative cinema, foreign-language, non-mainstream, whatever ... such movies are screened regularly at these theaters.

Updated 23 July 2014 The Apex-Lido theaters are the most convenient places to see alternative movies in Bangkok. These two old theaters with a total of four screens are located in movie-mad Siam Square, easily reached from either the Siam Square or Stadium Skytrain stations. There used to be three old theaters; sadly, the Siam Theater went up in flames in the final days of the May 2010 demonstrations.

The Lido theaters are housed in a large building across Rama I Road from the Siam Center. The three theaters here have been carved from what was once a single big theater.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rainforest World Music Festival - Best Annual Events Malaysia

 Indonesia's Rafli Wa SAJA to headline Rainforest Music Festival 2013

The region's best festival of world music is held for three days every June or July in the Malaysian Borneo state of Sarawak.  Directions, location, costs, hotels.

The annual outdoor Rainforest World Music Festival, held near Kuching, next runs from June 20-22, 2014. So far, no further details of the 2014 festival, stay tuned.

Among 2012's year's leading performers were the percussion band Gema SLDN-SCV  and sape player Maya Green  from Sarawak, Australian aboriginal singers and dancers Nunukul Yuggera, Korean dancers Palsandae and  Indonesia's Rafli Wa SAJA  ensemble ( Rafli, or Rafly, is the singer above)

You can see the full 2012 schedule and download a program here.  The headliners perform at night but there are also workshops during the day. These tend to be more interactive and include both the main acts  and some local musicians. Workshops this year will present stories and songs of Borneo's Bidayuh people, Jamaican singers, Malay gamelan players, Bandari dance and song from southern Iran, Korean folk songs, and a Chinese chamber ensemble.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Best Bangkok Art Galleries - Sathorn Road

art gallery in Bangkok's Sathorn area

H Gallery interior

Three private art galleries and two artsy spaces close to Sathorn and Silom roads are covered in the second chapter of a two-part walking tour.

Updated June 3, 2014. If you have just exited Silom Galleria, whose galleries were described in the first part of the tour, you are now ready for the actual walking portion. (If you want to visit more galleries after this, the three Ardel galleries are covered in a third entry.) Once on Silom Road, turn right, away from the river. You're aiming for the Indian temple and Pan Road.  But after passing a Subway sandwich outlet, you may want to make a little detour on the first lane on your right, Silom Soi 19.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Asiatique - Review of Bangkok's Riverside Night Market

renovated East Asiatic warehouses by thaiasiatique.com

Attractions, food, directions for Bangkok’s shiniest night bazaar: Has Asiatique replaced the late, lamented Suan Lum market?

Updated OctoberTourists in town for a few days will find enough to buy, eat and be amused by at Bangkok’s newest, flashiest night market by the river.  Opened in spring 2012, Asiatique is shinier, more upmarket, than its chief rival, Siam Paradise Night Bazaar, or the defunct Suan Lum Night Market—and much more than the Onnuj night market. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Singapore Food Festival in July - Best Annual Events Singapore

 Singapore Food Festival image by Singapore Tourism Board
Malay satay 

July's Singapore Food Festival has meals and events for all ages and price ranges. Locals and tourists are welcome. What/When/Where/How much.

Singapore's World Gourmet Summit is the annual food festival foreigners are more likely to recognize. But the week-long Singapore Food Festival--next to run July 12 to 21, 2013--is actually more popular, supposedly attracting more than 400,000 participants each year. It features more family-friendly outdoor events and friendlier prices. Rather than Michelin-starred French and Italian chefs, the cooks here are all almost all local and even include some of the stellar street vendors.

Launched in 1994 by the Singapore Tourism Board, the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) used to run for a month. The 20th edition will span nine days.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Best Thai Art Galleries in Bangkok - Silom Road

Shy Maiden (after Botero) - Thai painter Jirapat

Shy Maiden (after Botero) by Jirapat T

Nine commercial art galleries close to Silom Road and the Chao Phraya River are covered in the first chapter of a two-part walking tour.

Updated! September 20, 2014

Tourists who want to see and buy work by the best living Thai artists don’t have an easy time of it. The new, private Museum of Contemporary Art finally has provided a showcase for some of the greats of Thai modern art. The more central Bangkok Art and Culture Centre sometimes has good shows, but no permanent collection.  In brief, it's harder to see and buy the work of younger generations.

All Airlines Flying to/from Myanmar (Burma) - International Routes

All Airlines Flying to/from Myanmar (Burma) - International Routes

Here are the 25 airlines that fly to Myanmar (Burma) and their air routes. These airlines fly directly on  regularly scheduled flig...