Bangkok Flower Market

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Orchid sellers at work.

In a tangle of streets near Chinatown in Bangkok, is an area called Pak Klong Talad (the Flower Market) – the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in the city. The market consists of shops spilling out onto the sidewalks, and extra stalls crowded in too. It has all kinds of popular flowers including marigolds, roses, orchids, lilies and more. Continue reading

Buddha in Bangkok

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P1140949“Buddha is for respecting, Not Furniture, Not Tattoo”. This was the message on a sun-umbrella in the tourist-crowded grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, and ‘respecting’ the Buddha is made easy with some pretty stunning incarnations of him around town. Continue reading

Thai Roofs

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At The Grand Palace, Bangkok

I’ve only been in Bangkok for a day, but already I’m agog at the traditional Thai (or Siamese) architecture, especially the roofs. Their colours, their curlicues, the ornamentation, the flourishes of decorative bits and pieces, the sheer exuberance of them… Continue reading

A Last Look At Ubud

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Rice paddy in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

I was only in Ubud  briefly, hardly enough time to form an opinion about Bali, or Indonesia, that giant nation of about a quarter of a billion people that’s around 75% sea…but I thought I’d like to erase the memories of the hideous traffic and the broken sidewalks with some pics of the beautiful things I saw in Ubud. Continue reading

Eating Out in Ubud

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Mozaic, Ubud, Bali

For a fairly small town, there are a LOT of restaurants in Ubud. It is possible to eat traditional Indonesian food, regional dishes, the famous local nasi goreng (a.k.a. fried rice) — but I’m afraid I’m not the person to help you with descriptions of Indonesian food. Yes, I sat through a colourful family-style lunch where local chefs told us how they did it all, which was interesting, but it wasn’t really something my taste buds went for. Besides, two fat ladies, middle-aged Australian sisters, were sitting right next to me and hoovered up the food before I could so much as whip out my iPhone for a food pic. Continue reading

Art in Ubud: Neka Art Museum

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Detail from ‘Two Dancers’ (Dua Penari) (1975) by Srihadi Sudarsono

Ubud has historically been a bit of a mecca for artist-types, and has a reputation as an artists’ colony. In between Writers’ Festival events, I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Neka Art Museum, a fairly substantial collection of Bali artists past and present, boasting a few exceptional works. Continue reading