Archive | April, 2015

7 Things We Love About Bangkok

Reclining Buddha Bangkok

Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok

Staying in the Old Quarter

This, not that, is what we were looking for in Bangkok

We settled in for a week at the Feung Nakorn Balcony Rooms, the only hotel in a quiet section of Bangkok’s old quarter. The largely residential neighborhood is within walking distance of some of Bangkok’s popular sites, including the GrandPalace. But the sightseeing began just steps from the hotel. Across the street was a lovely temple we had almost all to ourselves.

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How Not to Achieve Balance in Your Life

In what has to be the most dystopian ad campaign ever, Microsoft has released a new info-graphic demonstrating how we can fill all of those unproductive moments in our lives with something totally worthwhile, like meetings. 

Work on vacation

It goes without saying that everyone wants to work on vacation, because what’s the point of going someplace different if you can’t swaddle yourself in the same exact bullshit you deal with every other day of your life?

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Bangkok’s Grand Palace and Its Fashionable Resident

Grand Palace Bangkok

The Thai royals’ former residence is a splendid, sprawling complex of buildings, halls, pavilions, gardens, and courtyards. Built in 1782 and today used mostly for ceremonial purposes, the Grand Palace glitters with ornate detailing, bold colors, and gleaming spires, all competing for the eye. Bronze lions, gilded mythological creatures, and giant, three-headed guard statues are on display here. So is the world’s longest wall painting.

Grand Palace Mural Bangkok

Grand Palace mural

But the main attraction is a mere 26 inches tall and tucked away inside a darkly lit temple. Spot the tourists acting like paparazzi, and you know you’ve found the right place. On a veranda at Wat Phra Kaew, cameras are pointed through a small open window, zoom lenses trained on a specific object. People jockey for space to capture its image since photos aren’t allowed in the temple.

What is all the fuss about?

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Why We Love Much-Maligned Siem Reap

1$ Tapas night at Ivy Guesthouse is hard to beat

1$ Tapas night at Ivy Guesthouse is hard to beat

Siem Reap gets no respect. It’s true, it’s a western enclave. There isn’t much to see in town, and it exists mostly as a basecamp for Angkor Wat. And if you’re looking for immersion in Cambodian culture, this isn’t where you want to be. But having said all of that, it’s wrong to conclude, as so many people do, that Siem Reap isn’t “real” or is somehow inauthentic. Siem Reap is very much a real city, albeit a heavily westernized one. I say that because there are plenty of places in the world where people live and work that are very much like Siem Reap. We know, because we used to live in, and still love, one such place.

To us Siem Reap felt like the Hoboken of South East Asia. Now that probably doesn’t mean anything to anyone who hasn’t lived in our former city, but suffice it to say, Siem Reap felt a bit like home to us.

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Lessons Learned: Tips for Touring Angkor Wat Like a Pro

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

We spent seven days in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and three days exploring the temples of Angkor Wat. Here are some of the things we wish we knew before arriving at the largest religious monument in the world.

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