Dubrovnik

The loveliest old city in Croatia, many say, is Dubrovnik. Located in south of the country fronting the Adriatic Sea and in the middle of the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik is a place that is medieval, mythical and occasionally, magical. The walled-off Old City has parts which date from the 11th century. If it weren’t for the hundreds of other tourists like me, wandering the Old City’s steep cobblestoned streets would feel like time travel. Although this country has existed as Croatia for only 28  years, more than two million tourists descended on Dubrovnik last year. That is undoubtedly helped along by…

Mabuhay

“It’s always more Fun in the Philippines” as the travel ads say – and indeed it is! It has been five years since I last step foot in the bustling city of Manila. Far too many travelers arrive in this city only to jump on a plane to Boracay or Palawan – it’s their loss as the capital has plenty to offer.           There came a point in my visit that I simply had to stop myself from eating – as it seems that the only activity I did during the five days I was here was to…

Sawadee

สวัสดี (Welcome)! My last visit to the Land of Thousand Smiles was in 2013 for a day – as a transit stop on my way to Bhutan. I am back in the city for a reunion with old University friends. Bangkok is an exhilarating attack on the senses – the intense humidity, fast moving tuk-tuks, aromatic spices, gleaming skyscrapers, and the seemingly peaceful boats gliding along the Chao Phraya River.                         Be it street Food or Michelin restaurants, Bangkok has a lot to offer. Bombyx is one of the…

Antipasto, Primo, Secondo

Dining in Italy can be a drawn out affair, especially during dinners. Staring with the Antipasto (appetizer), followed by Primo (first course), Secondo (main course), and a Dolce (dessert). Be it in a Ristorante, a Trattoria, an Osteria, a Tavola Calda or a Pizza Rustica (selling pizza by the slice), there are tons of eating choices. Rome is famous for its thin-crust pizzas and Emma is both an excellent pizzeria and restaurant that serves classic dishes like carbonara, amatriciana and cacio e pepe.   When I was in Rome three years ago, a friend from back home recommended Roscioli Salumeria…

Venice

Ciao Venice! I can’t believe that my last time to this enchanting city was in 2003 – fifteen years ago! I must admit that part of my hesitation to return to Venice is the several news accounts of daunting crowds of tourists outnumbering locals by two to one. I keep reminding myself that one is never more than a bridge or alley away to a more quiet campi (square) or neighbourhood. Venice continues to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.                                …

Biennale: Vatican Chapels

Undoubtedly, the Holy See Pavillion stole the show at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. The Vatican Chapels, located in the woodland of San Giorgio Maggiore Island, felt more intimate away from the main Giardini and Arsenale grounds. The project consists on ten pavilions by ten different practices from around the globe. The roster of names rangers from heavyweights such as Norman Foster and Eduardo Souto de Moura to Smiljan Radic.                                                            …

La Biennale Di Venezia

So this is the main event for this trip to Italy – to visit the Biennale Archittettura 2018. One of the preeminent cultural events in the world, since its inception in 1895, the Venice Biennale has been of the most important and influential events in international contemporary art. Alternating each year between Art and Architecture, the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture provides an opportunity for architects and designers to showcase new projects.There are 63 national pavilions this year curated by Grafton Architects with the theme of Free Space.                          …

Torna a Roma

“Back to Rome” after three years – I have returned to the former seat of power of the Roman Empire. This city is overflowing with iconic sights and architectural treasures that earn its name of the Eternal City. I am stopping by for a few days on my way to my main destination in Italy. It is never a chore to be in this living theatre.                                                                    

AMS Eats

On my third trip to this beautiful city, I went back to a few of the memorable eats I had five years ago and at the same time, tried out a couple of new ones.       My first stop was the The Cafe at the Rijksmuseum. A few notable items on the menu are by Chef Joris Bijdendijk of the RIJKS restaurant.     I recall a few of my favourites during my one-month stay in this city five years ago. Pancakes Amsterdam has several locations (I go to the one on Negen Straatjes) and is my favourite…