VAULT FESTIVAL, LONDON, UK (28 JANUARY – 22 MARCH) Eight weeks of first-rate arts, VAULT Festival turns Waterloo into the venue of immersive experiences as London’s biggest, boldest, and wildest arts festival! Throughout 18 spots, you will lose yourself into cutting-edge theatres, comedies, and live performances from both established and emerging artists, aiming to send important messages to the world. Sustainability is one of the major ethoses of this year’s festival. Visit www.vaultfestival.com for further details and schedule. SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, UTAH, USA (23 JANUARY – 2 FEBRUARY) Where international people gather for the love of artful storytelling, Sundance Film Festival has long been the magnificent platform of fresh voices, for both audiences and filmmakers. Being America’s hugest independent film festival, attendees can discover the new light of documentaries, short films, and other forms of storytelling through daily talks, multimedia installations, to live performances. Check out www.sundance.org for the line-up SOMETHING NOUVEAU, BANGKOK, THAILAND (14 JANUARY – 16 APRIL) Inspired by art pieces by Klimt, Mucha, Beardsley and the art by the nature, SOMETHING NOUVEAU is the new multimedia exhibition at the new Museum of Digital Art (MODA) Bangkok. As Art Nouveau has been recognised as the glorious age of art, architecture, and design, its being “avant-garde” never ceases to inspire modern artists or amaze art aficionados. You can indulge into otherworldly experience of multimedia art at 2nd floor, RCB Gallery, River City Bangkok. Book your ticket at www.zipeventapp.com/e/Something-Nouveau UNKONSCIOUS BEACH FESTIVAL, PHUKET, THAILAND (6 – 7 FEBRUARY) This February, the Paradise Beach has been turned into a wonderland on the beach for electronic music lovers. With the world’s famous DJs and artists lining up and marvellous light shows to fill you with epicness, bring your best dance moves with you and enjoy the best blast! Find out more about the festival at unkonsciousfestival.com KHALID FREE SPIRIT WORLD TOUR, BANGKOK, THAILAND (24 MARCH) The six-time Grammy Award nominee and four-time American Music Awards winner, Khalid will bring ‘Khalid Free Spirit World Tour’ to Bangkok on 24 March, after his fast sold out show in 2018. Tickets price starts at THB1,800 via www.thaiticketmajor.com, 02 262 3838 and all ThaiTicketMajor outlets. HYUKOH LIVE IN BANGKOK 2020, bangkok, thailand (31 march) Hyukoh, an indie rock band formed in 2014, consisting of OHHYUK(vocal,guitar,producer) ,DONGGEON(bass),HYUNJAE (guitar),and INWOO(drums). Shortly after the debut,the band not only gained mainstream popularity in Korea,but from all around the world. Experience their show in Bangkok with their latest music on 31 March 2020 at Moonstar studio. Tickets are available at https://ticketmelon.com/viji/hyukoh Rex Orange County live in Bangkok 2020, Bangkok, Thailand (14 May) Rex Orange County announces his debut tour of Asia, playing 5 shows across the region. His debut album, ‘bcos u will never b free’, self-released on Soundcloud when he was barely 18, caught a wave of interest. The British singer and multi-instrumentalist has just completed a sell-out UK tour playing 3 huge shows at O2 Academy Brixton and currently headed to the US for more sold out shows. Tickets at www.ticketmelon.com/viji/ROC
Amsterdam is a lively city with a central downtown district that does not find time to rest. Here, remnants of the city’s maritime past are interwoven with elements of contemporary life that include bars, shops, cafés and vices with a broad spectrum of appeal. The liberal Dutch society tolerates cannabis usage and prostitution, much to the delight of those from neighbouring countries who travel here to celebrate buck’s parties or inquisitive tourists hailing from countries that are more conservative. While the legality of cannabis is hazy, this raunchy side of Amsterdam appeals to some while most are simply inquisitive and curious onlookers. When most travellers think of Holland and its largest city Amsterdam (The Hague is the capital), images of windmills, wooden shoes called clogs, wheels of Gouda cheese and fields of multicoloured tulips spring to mind. However, the reality is that the closest encounter most visitors will have with these Dutch icons is the endless rows of souvenirs displayed in tourist precincts like Bloemenmarkt, a floating flower market. However, visitors will definitely encounter bikes, dykes and lights while exploring the sights of this lively, multicultural and cosmopolitan city of just 800,000 residents. CENTRAL AMSTERDAM Holland has always intrigued me and even more so, when I realised that a quarter of the country is below sea level with its gateway Schiphol Airport situated on a former lake, several metres below sea level. As my KLM plane approached Schiphol, I checked beneath the seat for the lifejacket, just in case. Of course, planes do not land on water thanks to Holland’s ingenious network of ancient dykes and polders that keep the seawater at bay. I checked a map of Amsterdam to appreciate that the city and surrounding areas are indeed a network of canals, lakes, rivers and dykes holding back the waters of the North Sea. Amsterdam’s famous dykes are not so obvious but without retaining walls and floodgates to keep out the seawater, there would not be much to see of Amsterdam as basically it, and much of Holland, has been reclaimed from the sea. This reclamation has been ongoing for centuries and explains why the Dutch are such great hydrological engineers. I also discovered that one of the functions of windmills in days gone by was to pump water from the land out to sea to keep the seawater in check. Canals are one of the main attractions and a canal cruise is the best way to admire just how important these were for Amsterdam’s original settlers. While the River IJ divides Amsterdam, most visitors do not appreciate it as the main tourist attractions are in central Amsterdam just to the south of the river. From an elevated vantage point at the rear of the main railway station, I appreciated that the River IJ waterfront divides central Amsterdam and Amsterdam Noord. Both parts of the city are visible from the Centraal Station located in a lively port precinct where large ocean-going cruise ships moor at the nearby docks. Visitors emerge from the city side of Centraal Station on
Commanding a prime position on the magnificent shores of Krabi’s Klong Muang Beach, Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort offers 240 spacious and comfortable guest rooms and suites spread out in 8 units of low-rise buildings that intertwine beautifully with lush tropical gardens and ponds. Superb facilities include a plethora of dining options featuring cuisines from across the globe, two outstanding swimming pools, fitness center, spa and a host of fun water sport activities including sailing, snorkeling, kayaking and speedboat excursions to unspoiled tropical islands in the Andaman Sea. The resort has recently introduced a holistic “BeWell” program that is designed to improve lives through fitness and wellness and to provide experiences that have long-lasting, positive and health-enhancing benefits. Innovative and flexible, “BeWell” consists of 6 individual premium retreats - Muay Thai; Fitness; Spa & Wellness; Weight Loss; Yoga; Active Wellbeing. The retreats makes full use of Dusit Thani’s wonderful fitness and spa facilities. DFiT, Krabi’s biggest and best equipped fitness center, provides a comprehensive selection of free weights, state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment, tennis and badminton courts and a professional-standard Muay Thai ring; The aptly named Linger Longer Spa, set in tranquil, calming surrounds, offers a carefully chosen menu of health, beauty and massage treatments that combine a global fusion of influences from Bali, Thailand, Hawaii, Japan and China. Each “BeWell” retreat runs for 3 - 14 days (up to 21 days for the Weight Loss retreat) and can be structured to meet the needs of every individual, to ensure the perfect balance between “BeWell” and holiday leisure time. Each includes a health and wellness consultation, personal training in the chosen activity, a selection of massages at Linger Longer Spa, access to over 30 weekly group classes and free use of all facilities at DFiT. Resort General Manager, Urs Lienhard explained the reasoning behind the introduction of “BeWell”…”We want to provide something for everyone who visits us here at this beautiful spot on the Andaman Sea. Our aim with the “BeWell” program is to help create the perfect holistic time away from home by bringing balance to a vacation so that when people move on they feel healthier, energized and revitalized.”
For those Thais looking for the ultimate romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day, Airbnb announces that one lovestruck couple will be the first to spend the night in the historic home of Shakespeare’s Juliet in Verona, Italy. Casa di Giulietta has inspired generations with its iconic balcony that reflects Shakespeare’s description in Romeo & Juliet. And now one winner and their partner will be given unprecedented access to the 13th century building, to step back in time and relive the powerful words of Shakespeare. To enter and have the chance to win this unique Only On Airbnb stay, Thais must pen a letter to Juliet, sharing their own poignant love story and explaining why they and their partner would be perfect guests. Entries can be submitted at airbnb.com/juliet until 11:59pm EST on 2nd February 2020 (11:59am on 3rd February 2020 Thailand time). Working with an Italian architect, Airbnb has transformed the centuries-old building into a sumptuous stay fit for a modern day Romeo and Juliet: one couple will be waited on by a personal butler and treated to a romantic candlelit dinner prepared by two Michelin star chef Giancarlo Perbellini in a glittering dining room filled with crystals, candles and flowers. And after a busy day of feasting, exploring and reading Juliet’s love letters, they will retire for the night to Juliet’s medieval-themed bedroom which features “Letto di Giulietta”, the original bed used in Zeffirelli’s classic 1960s movie ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The 13th century townhouse is a celebrated landmark and museum in the center of Verona and thanks to Airbnb and Verona’s Municipality, the building will be turned into a home for the first time since the 1930s. “Juliet’s House is the most important museum in the City of Verona, attracting millions of visitors every year. Partnering with Airbnb brings the widely known Shakespearian myth of Romeo and Juliet to life in a way never before offered. We are excited to promote our cultural heritage, share traditions that were previously safeguarded, and bring international visibility to the City of Verona,” said Federico Sboarina, Mayor of Verona Municipality. Highlights from the Stay include: A Romeo and Juliet inspired exploration of Verona, the city of love. Private tour of the most romantic home in the history of literature. Reading and replying to some of Juliet’s most recent love letters. Exclusive access to Michelin star chef Giancarlo Perbellini while he prepares the romantic feast. Candlelit dinner for two prepared by Giancarlo in Juliet’s sumptuous dining room. A night in Juliet’s traditional bedroom transformed for the evening into a romantic boudoir. “Every day countless new connections are made across the world by people travelling on Airbnb - creating new friendships and sometimes new love. Since 2008, an estimated one million guests have hosted their weddings on Airbnb. This Stay will give one couple the unique chance to celebrate their love in what is possibly the most romantic home in the history of literature,” said Giacomo Trovato, General Manager for Italy at Airbnb.
FOR SOME PEOPLE, MYANMAR IS A SECRET COUNTRY THAT CUTS THEM OFF FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD. IN FACT, THERE ARE LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL TREASURES FOR ALL TRAVELLERS TO EXPLORE. AFTER YOUR FIRST TIME TRAVELLING IN THIS GOLDEN LAND, YOU WOULD PLAN FOR MORE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS NOW EASIER TO ACCESS AND MORE CONVENIENT FOR ANY STYLES OF JOURNEY. I took the morning boutique flight of Bangkok Airways from Bangkok to Yangon. After one hour and 20 minutes, I landed at Yangon International Airport where I could see the construction of the new terminal to welcome more visitors in the future. Later on, I was greeted by the limo chauffeur who passed me the Wi-Fi password on board and showed me around with his fluent English. From the airport to downtown, I think Yangon has changed a lot in terms of development, such as public bus service instead of the local mini-trucks, the young generations wearing more pants not just Sarong and Longyi. By the way, the buildings from the British colonial period and the faces of people are still beautiful to me as always. Only 45 minutes from the airport, I saw Sule Pagoda majestically standing in a distance. It meant that we were now arriving at the heart of Yangon. A few minutes later, our limo arrived at Pullman Yangon Centrepoint, the brand new hotel located nearby Sule Pagoda and more attractions in Yangon. In my opinion, this hotel is situated in a perfect location for all travellers who love to walk around the neighbourhood area like me. I could see the Maha Bandula Public Park and the City Hall on the opposite site, surrounded by the wonderful colonial style buildings, while my heart was beating faster when I entered my room and saw the perfect scenery of Yangon river through the window. But it is not enough, the hotel staff told me that the Bogyoke Market and the railway station is located a few blocks from here. That would be my itinerary for tomorrow because this afternoon we had to start our journey off with a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar. This Buddhist sanctuary is where the local people and overseas visitors come here to pray and make an offering. From Pullman Yangon Centrepoint, we can see apparently it was built with tons of gold and it is true! Religion is important to the people in Myanmar. Although, the technology tries to conquer the world but people still come here to pay homage to the Buddha, mediate and donate; that’s why Shwedagon Pagoda is the tallest pagoda in this country. After spending a couple hours for worship, we returned to the hotel for dinner at E’cucina Italian Restaurant. It is highly recommended for anyone who wants to enjoy the original Italian taste in Yangon. As I mentioned before, I wanted to visit the neighbourhood area so I went to bed early and fall asleep so quickly in the softened bed of Pullman standard. The next day, I woke
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna binti Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this evening officiated the launch of Brunei Darussalam – The People’s Republic of China Year of Tourism 2020 at Jerudong International School, Arts Centre. Accompanying Her Royal Highness was Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Chief of Adat Istiada Negara. Upon arrival, Her Royal Highness was greeted by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism and Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. Her Royal Highness was also greeted by His Excellency Mr Zhang Xu, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism of People’s Republic of China and Her Excellency Madam Yu Hong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China. At the opening ceremony, Her Royal Highness consented to officiate the Brunei Darussalam – The People’s Republic of China Year of Tourism 2020. Prior to the launch, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism in his welcoming remarks read the Royal Congratulatory Message from His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam to His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China on the Brunei Darussalam and the People’s Republic of China Year of Tourism 2020. Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong also thanked Her Royal Highness for gracing this evening’s event and to officiate the Opening Ceremony of the Brunei Darussalam – The People’s of China Year of Tourism 2020. In his speech, Yang Berhormat Dato highlighted on the connectivity between Brunei Darussalam and the People’s Republic of China that has expanded with flights to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Changsa, Nanning, Kunming, Hanhgzhou, Haikou and, most recently, Beijing. This reflects the support to strengthen the network development, built on the basis of strong bilateral relationship between both countries and has been made possible through dedication, continued and coordinated efforts. With today’s event, and with the two countries’ strong network initiatives, coupled with Brunei Darussalam – the People’s Republic of China Year of Tourism 2020; Yang Berhormat Dato in his Opening Remarks said that both countries could further enhance cooperation with a view to increasing two-way tourist visits and promoting greater people-to-people exchanges between Brunei Darussalam and the People’s Republic of China. The opening event of the Brunei Darussalam – The People’s of China Year of Tourism 2020 showcased a variety of cultural performances from the two countries. Before leaving the event, Her Royal Highness consented a group photo with the cultural performers. At the event, His Excellency Mr Zhang Xu, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism of The People’s Republic of China also delivered a
Once a highly prosperous capital city of the country, today Sukhothai welcomes visitors to get up close to the glory of the bygone era – packed with traces of ancient history, as well as verdant scenery. In one fell swoop, Sukhothai features plentiful charming spots to experience and unwind. And here is the recommended checklist that is tested and tried. ● SUKHOTHAI HISTORICAL PARK The remaining structure depicts the glory of the Sukhothai era and how Buddhism flourished during the period. Inside the majestic 70 sq km area of Sukhothai Historical Park sit the significant vestiges, which are recognised as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Noen Prasat is the remains of the former royal palace, and small-sized Wat Sa Si appeals to visitors with its graceful and unique beauty. The washed-out remains of Wat Mahatat still look grandiose and serene. ● KING RAMKHAMHAENG MONUMENT At the heart of the Sukhothai Historical Park is the bronze statue of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, who is regarded as a benevolent ruler in Sukhothai era and as the “Father of the Thai Language”, as his major achievement was the compilation of a system of writing and a new set of Thai alphabet which he adapted from the various forms of Khmer script that were previously used. His invention is still being used in the present. The Monument is grandly done and you are welcome to pay homage to the late king and to ring the solid bell as a gesture of respect. ● WAT SI CHUM Actually part of the Sukhothai Historical Park but situated about two kilometres away from the central compound, and requiring a new entrance ticket (THB 20 for Thais), Wat Si Chum is the notable ancient temple with gigantic sacred Buddha Statue which is housed in the fitted chapel. Local Thais and tourists alike come here to worship with flowers, incense and candles. This is one of the most photogenic temples in Sukhothai, thus don’t forget to get a snap with respect to the place. ● RAMKHAMHAENG NATIONAL MUSEUM Situated right opposite the ticket office to the historical park, the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is unfortunately often neglected, which is a real pity as it houses numerous valuable ancient objects that were found within the compound and from nearby archaeological sites. In addition, to present a linear development of cultures in Thai territory and the link between the regions in the past featuring objects from archaeological sites of other regions are also displayed. The exhibition is divided into five zones; the Graphic Exhibition in Lai Sue Thai Memorial Building, The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum Building where antiquity gallery took place, Stucco Sculpture Gallery, Wooden Pavilion and the Museum’s Yard with replica of Sangkhalok kiln, elephant at the base of chedis. The entrance fee is THB 30 for Thais and THB 150 for foreigners. The Museum opens daily from 9am-4pm. ● MAI KLANG KRUNG RESTAURANT A very local eatery where you can savour the true taste of Sukhothai, while imbuing the artifacts decorated within the restaurant compound which make perfect Instagrammable shots. A choice of food
In honour of the upcoming Chinese zodiac year of the rat, Gucci has created two new Grip watches showing Mickey Mouse on the dial. The Disney character’s eyes are also visible in the dark thanks to the use of Luminova. Both timepieces reflect the signature look of the Grip line, with a streamlined silhouette and two windows on the dial indicating the hour and minute. The 35mm edition brings together a yellow gold PVD case and a GG Supreme canvas strap, while the 38mm version is crafted in steel with the GG logo engraved on the bracelet. The Grip watch is inspired by the world of skateboarding. It fits snugly around the wrist, much like sneakers stick to the grip tape on a skateboard.
With Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday this year, replace the standard chocolates or long-stem roses with a short fairy-tale getaway at one of these luxury and upper upscale hotels and resorts. From romantic city escapades to dreamy beach retreats, We invite weary couples to hit pause, take a breather from the daily grind and embark on an amorous yet rejuvenating trip with their Valentine. Indulge in a mindful escape in urban Singapore Surrounded by lush green foliage and exuding timeless colonial charm, Hotel Fort Canning is the perfect base for spending some quality time together in Singapore. Lovebirds can experience the “Crazy Rich Asian” lifestyle this Valentine’s - indulging in retail therapy at the popular Orchard Road shopping belt, savouring the very best of culinary delicacies from fancy restaurants to authentic street eats, and feeding the mind with knowledge at the city’s various racial, religious and cultural enclaves. Take it up a notch with the hotel’s Love Blossoms special, where couples are treated to a complimentary bottle of Prosecco, a box of chocolate pralines, premium bubble bath with floral petals, and a pair of Hotel Fort Canning Love Squirrels. Enjoy a romantic tropical beach retreat on the coast of Da Nang, Vietnam For corporate warriors who need some Vitamin Sea, the sunny coast of Da Nang, Vietnam is perfect for a weekend rendezvous. Renowned as a beach lover’s paradise, the city is home to countless beaches with crystal-clear waters and soft powdery sand. Furama Resort Danang offers the ultimate Valentine’s Day retreat with their Honeymoon package. The two-night experience includes a private candlelit dinner with a bottle of house wine on the pristine Bac My An Beach, 60-min spa treatment and two glasses of “Honeymoon Cocktail”. Guests are also entitled to complimentary round-trip airport transfers allowing for a sweet celebration in style. Other than a revitalizing time at the resort, we recommend experiencing the magical underwater world at the Cham Islands, a beautiful spot off the Vietnamese coast teeming with marine life as well as diving and snorkeling activities as a couple. Embark on an extraordinary wellness journey in Seoul, South Korea Discover a different side of Seoul with a wellness itinerary that puts the spotlight on creating private and intimate moments for couples. Begin with a hike through Cheonggyesan Mountain on the scenic Wonteogol Trail, followed by a visit to Gangnam for Korean medicinal balance spa treatments at the flagship store of a well-known Korean beauty brand. For a memorable romantic experience, couples can immerse in beautiful sunset views while strolling along the Hangang River in the evening. Take the romantic wellness getaway a step further with the Promesse d'amour package at Lotte Hotel Seoul. Staying in the Executive Tower, guests will be greeted with a complimentary bottle of red wine, mini cookies and flowers when they step into the Junior Suite. The package also includes free access to the Le Salon executive lounge, as well as a private meal at Pierre Gagnaire à Seoul where the exquisite “Esprit” menu awaits guests. Experience the ultimate pampering in Lugano,