PEr FYI

May 6, 2017

PlearnWan, Hua Hin…traditional charm

A stroll in PlearnWan is an exercise in time travel, with many buildings recreating the 1950s feel. The atmosphere is casual and uncrowded.

Explore everything from liquor, inexpensive plastic-and-tin toys, snacks as well as a beauty salon, photo studio, outdoor cinema screen and a 20-room guesthouse or ‘Piman Plern Wan. Hard-to-find snacks, such as ‘tong muan sod’ (sweetened pancake) and ‘ka lor jee’ (similar to Japanese mochi), are cooked up a’la minute at one of the hawker carts lining the walkway along with typical fare such as noodles and barbecued pork over rice

It’s not all chocolate box perfection but while in Hua Hin, there’s nothing better than strolling through the unheralded but absurdly charming streets of PlearnWan. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 1, 2017

Camp Greaves, Seoul…reel to real

The chance to spot movie locations is a favourite game the world over. But even better than spotting recognisable places on the screen is spotting recognisable film locations in real life.

Home to one of the major hit 2016 South Korean television series – Descendants of the Sun – Camp Greaves,  the former US military camp near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, north of Seoul, is one of the best movie sites in the city. Here you get to visit Song Joong-ki’s waiting room, try on soldiers’ uniform, make military dog tags, get a photo taken in front of a green screen photo booth.

Though I am not familiar with this K-drama, judging by the high octave excitement of the folks in my group, this has been a reel to real experience for them. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 16, 2017

Cut & Curl, Bangkok…you can trust with them your tresses

Filed under: Activities, hair salon, Thailand, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 4:05 pm

Haircuts are just like jeans. Whether you pay $10 or $100, you need to find the right fit.

Centralworld is well-served by swish salons. Cut & Curl is a narrow salon which is sleek and simple. The whole vibe is comfortable and relaxed, the young, super-friendly, down-to-earth team is without any airs or graces and the clientele is an eclectic mix reflective of Bangkok dwellers. The cut trim itself, by Khun On, is frills-free, which includes a thorough scrub at the washing station and a simple blow dry, that showcase my newly snipped style perfectly.

Happily, my locks were in very safe hands indeed. Added bonus: Cut & Curl takes walk-ins. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

cut and curl bkk

 

April 9, 2017

Urban Retreat, Bangkok…Save your money and go elsewhere

Thai massage isn’t for everyone, especially when it’s done traditionally (read: aggressively). You’re not there to be pampered. You’re there to be worked on. And walked on.

Smack dab a stone’s throw from the Asok BTS station, this urban oasis offers a full menu of spa services from massages and body scrubs to body mask and waxing. Sadly, their traditional massage here was  no-ecstasy, all-exorcism. The masseur – Khun Waew – resorted to simply ‘brute’ strength more than correct technique. She ignored everything I asked for, which was to focus on my lower back. I really think this woman has no clue on the proper technique of Thai massage and started making things up.

Save your money and go elsewhere. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

urban retreat bkk

March 26, 2017

Calypso, Bangkok…burlesque, or rather more appropriately boylesque

Filed under: Activities, attraction, cabaret, restaurant, show, Thailand, theatre — Tags: , , , , , — PEr @ 8:41 pm

Bangkok is, without question, the world capital of gender-bending performing arts.

At Calypso, the ladyboys take the stage for a 75-minute-long splashy show that features dancers, lavish costumes, musical interludes and comedy. Some of the boys-as-babes try their best to impersonate and lip-sync some of the most well-known female musicians.

Yes, everything is opulent and over the top. But the prices are steep and the bar staff can be snooty.

My advice? If you’ve seen this kind of cabaret before, there won’t be a lot of surprises here. But if you never have — or if you’re a fan — it’s probably worth the coin to take in Calypso. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 18, 2017

Asia Tour MICE and Leisure Co, Bangkok…fixer – par excellence

The popularity of escorted tours is on the rise.

Asia Tour MICE and Leisure Co, led by Panyawat Peter Tongprasert (CEO – Chief Entertainment Officer) has proven itself to my evident satisfaction. Its portfolio is wide-ranging: from Fototastic Challenges and party vehicles to team building activities and golf tournaments and police escort services. They customize sophisticated itineraries which cater for every type of traveler. With excellent planning, good contacts on the ground and close attention to detail, they set extremely high standards of customer service and his staff have consistently delivered.

If you are looking to book anywhere in Thailand – either a detailed itinerary or a fairly straightforward trip – you won’t do better than to get quotes from Peter and Asia Tour MICE. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 4, 2017

4DX Theatre, Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok…the next generation in movie watching

4DX theaters come with the technology providing environmental effects synced with the movie. Imagine seeing a movie in 3D (glasses and all) but with added physical sensations like wind, rain, and a moving seat.

I tested the technology for the first time through Disney’s new release, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” I have to admit that at times watching the audience seems more compelling than the movie I was viewing. Perhaps, thankfully too, I could not detect any smells during the movie. I am not sure whether a malfunctioning system, a programming error or my sinus allergies were to blame. Whenever someone was firing bullets, compressed air was fired at my head. The flashing lights on the side of the auditorium that were supposed to represent lightning and timid sprays of water whenever the action got near bodies of liquid. Whenever punches are thrown, your chair pokes you in the back, like an airport massage lounger gone berserk

The short of it? 4DX is unlike anything I’ve felt in a movie theater before, and it was just cool enough that I would recommended splurging on a great movie. However, movie selection is key. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 21, 2017

Dragon-I, Hong Kong…cream of Hong Kong’s club scene

Whether you’re looking to meet someone new, dance to the biggest DJs in the world or just want to have the kind of legendary night you’ll keep secret until the day you die, you’ll find it all in Hong Kong.

Dragon-I is an amazing uber-chic club with a stunning setting. A dining area known as Red Room, a dance floor and bar space with New York-style booth seating called Playground. It doubles as a modern restaurant and the food is surprisingly good. The crowd is those that know and those that want to find out.

Dragon-I is the cream of Hong Kong’s club scene ensuring a great night out in style. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 7, 2017

Premium outlet Cha-Am, Hua Hin…..a ghost town disguised as an outlet mall

If you are a seasoned shopper, you would probably love to shop in outlet malls.

There is not enough big names to pull the shoppers into this premium outlet. Although it has names like GEOX, Billabong, ECCO, Triumph, Samsonite, Lacoste, everything isn’t a bargain, finding a deal in here requires a little work – and it sorely lacks the appeal of outlet malls. It’s simply just dull and very quiet. Practically deserted.The staff standing by idly while they wait for something to do. Very dull with no atmosphere. Zero, ziltch, nil, nothing, nada.

It’s just a vast expanse of brick and mortar emporiums that many Thai and tourists no longer visit. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 31, 2016

Palm Spring Spa, Zhuhai….hands down the best massage of my life

I’ve always enjoyed going to a spa, sit back, relax and forget the world, for a few hours at least.

Today’s spa aficionados can choose from a bewildering array of treatments. The choice can be overwhelming, but here in Palm Spring Spa, the TCM massage is an exceptional, effective treatment which provide welcome comfort and rapid relief. The massuer is capable of intuitively picking up on what I need – a damn-good kneading – and she tailored the massage accordingly. Her knowledge of musculature is generally great, as she tackles each overlapping muscle within my lower back, shoulder blades, neck, and traps using different strokes in different directions. I’ve had countlessmassages in my life, and this one stands out.  The experience was defined by strong hands, focused pressure, precision, and a keen understanding of the human body.

If I was based in Zhuhai, I would make this a weekly or biweekly happening. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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