POSTCARD #2: Foliage, Baguio 2016


I have a rather infamous travel bummer – I don’t do well with nature. People from my side of the world love the sun, sand, and sea; I don’t. People spend weekends hiking; I’d rather stay in, thank you very much. Me and nature, and my asthma more than occasionaly, would very much like to be left apart. 

Though last year saw my endless pursuit of le concrete jungle, one trip stuck out of them all… well, at least half. 

I’ll always love Baguio. I think the city is romantic; not too nature-y, not too concrete-y (if that makes sense.) It’s the one place nearest home I actually want to go to every weekend, if my hooman energy permits. Wait til it drizzles a bit and let the atmosphere completely change and hold you in love with the city by the mountains some more. 

Among my favorite spots is the Ben Cab museum – with human art in the front, and nature’s art in the back; with the comfort food of Cafe Isabel in between. This foliage is from Ben’s personal garden, I believe – which is a side of a mountain let me tell you. Plus points, when the fog covers the entire property – absolutely stunning to see. 

There’s less than two weeks before summer finally concludes its hellish heat. Maybe I should head back to Baguio, even for a weekend. 

#Bangcock Day 2: Museum of Contemporary Art and Soi Ekkamai

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It was our second day in Bangkok and we decided to try the breakfast buffet at Baiyoke… Hmmm nothing special. I was at least happy they poach their eggs. I was sooooo tired the night before that I think I ate three of those plus cereals and bucket loads of tea.

IMG_5881IMG_5882Sunrise view from the Baiyoke buffet floor

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We decided to split ways that day because not everyone of us wanted to go to the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Chatuchak area. Baiyoke is near Ratchaprarop Airport Link City Line so we boarded a train there and transferred to Sukhumvit BTS to Mo Chit. We planned to ride the bus but, meh, it was difficult to figure out where to board. Plus all the signs were in Thai. So we just took a cab to MOCA, because the sun was harsh that day, too.

IMG_5887This cafe greets you by the entrance. They serve a decent Iced Americano, and a couple of pastries as well. 

IMG_5888IMG_5889IMG_5890The MOCA hosts a big collection of paintings, sculpture, and mixed media art pieces from local art influencers in the country. 

IMG_5891IMG_5892Vachara Prayulkan

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The Thai museum was built in honor of King Rama IX and of Italian sculptor and Father of Thai Contemporary Art Corrado Feroci, also commonly known in Thailand as Professor Silpa Bhirasri. It was in 1923 when Feroci came to Thailand by invitation of the king to teach Western Art to Thai students. It was those days, too, when Thailand was beginning to open up and welcome western influences to modernize Thailand and shield themselves from foreign invasion.

IMG_5894Sriwan Janehuttakarnkit – my favorite piece from all the paintings in the museum. 

DSC02107IMG_5897IMG_5900Thavorn Ko-Udomvit

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Even in Modern Thailand, religious art central to Buddhism, the predominant religion in the country, is highly influential. Several art pieces tell the story of Samsara and Nirvana and how different supernatural entities influence these two.

IMG_5905IMG_5906Preecha Thaothong

IMG_5907House of Phimphilalai

IMG_5908IMG_5910Sudjai Chaiyapan

IMG_5911Keittisak Chanonnart

IMG_5912Sompong Adsurabhan

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IMG_5918Tetsuya Noda

IMG_5919Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew

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It was lunchtime when we left the museum. After getting some postcards from the museum shop and resting in the cafe, I decided to go to Soi Ekkamai and see what I can find there. Just off Sukhumvit, it also has its own BTS station, Ekkamai hosts a number of interesting shops in Bangkok. Mostly dubbed by locals as a hipster soi (wtf hahahaha) a number of holes in the wall call this part of Bangkok their home. As per research as well, it hosts a number of independent cafes. Sounds like my kind of area to get lost in!

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I don’t think I’ll be able to get over the fact that authentic Pad Thai is really yummy! Before starting my walking tour of the soi, I found this vintage-themed restaurant called Cafe Classique which offers all the Thai food you can think of. I was still half-full from the buffet earlier but I couldn’t pass up for Pad Thai either. The prices were a bit higher than what you would normally pay on a Southeast Asian trip but I didn’t care that much.

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I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity for authentic Thai massage as well! Along Soi Ekkamai is Health Land, one of the more popular chain of spas in the city. I was almost sold to have my massage on the cheaper ones but having myself pampered in this albeit expensive spa was one of the highlights of my trip. It was well-spent baht on an hour and a half worth of massage. Next time I’m in Bangkok, I’ll really make it a point to stay in Ekkamai instead!

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I also found this quirky book cafe which sells postcards. As you know, I’ve been postcrossing and I make it a point to buy and send postcards wherever I am. Too sad though, the books available were all in Thai so I couldn’t buy any.

IMG_5947IMG_5948IMG_5949IMG_5950IMG_5951More quirky specialty stores like If I were a carpenter.

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I was having too much fun that next time I knew I needed to be back at the hotel because we were going to have the Hangover Tour for the night! I was sad to have only so much little time in Ekkamai! 🙁

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Up next — what happens in Patpong stays in Patpong… or not?!

*With photos from Con and Val

Thailand Creative and Design Center

So on our first night in Thailand, we decided we want to see a museum. Yeah, I know it’s kind of a foolish idea to even think to go to the museum beyond 6pm, unless they have a special event or a gala. But not in Thailand I guess, as the TCDC is open until 9pm and is inside a mall. How cool is that!

The Emporium is an upscale mall/department store along Sukhumvit

The exhibit when we visited was all about the history of design around the world! It was lovely walking through collections of some of the design world’s greatest inventions.

Tamagotchi is the forefather of Nintendogs and other pet-based game. Japan, you rock! And oh, I heard the app is coming to iOS soon?

The TCDC in Thailand has a library of design archives. I guess students in the creative field, or maybe hobbyists will benefit from this. 

The icing on the cake is the The Shop @ TCDC! Seriously, this museum shop has got to be the awesomest that I’ve ever seen! It’s full of quirky stuff (that you prolly won’t need, but will make you buy!) from Thai designers to others from around the world! I had fun just looking at the various collections, I don’t know maybe spent 1-2 hours just looking. at. everything. So pretty aka this space trumps any other high end shops for me!

I wish there are more museums like this.

Photos taken using an iPhone 5

Thailand Creative and Design Center
6/F Emporium 622 Sukhumvit Rd
Take BTS Skytrain to Phrom Phong
+662 664 8448
Tu-Su 10:30-21:00h

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