When in Jaipur, get your picture taken

“Hello! Hello! Old Camera!”. We usually bolt in a different direction when a street-side tout starts shouting at us, but upon seeing Mr. Chand and his vintage camera just outside Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal, we knew we’d be in for something good. The camera is a piece of history. Manufactured in Germany in the 1860s, the…

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Vernacular Frenzy — 11 everyday India souvenirs

India’s best souvenirs aren’t found in gift shops and craft markets, but in places where the locals do their everyday shopping. From household items to kitchen utensils, we selected some of our favorite finds.  Where to find it Most of these items are some common, you’re bound to find them before you even start looking.…

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Colaba coolness — Abode boutique hotel in Mumbai

Finding a charming boutique stay in Mumbai can be a challenge. Sure, you have the Taj, the Oberoi and a plethora of international luxury chains, but small-scale, design-driven boutique hotels are few and far between. A standout is Abode Bombay in the heart of South Mumbai’s bustling Colaba district. Set in a beautiful historical building…

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Mughal Magic — The Udaipur City Palace

Call us superficial, but we’d be lying if we’d deny that we put Rajasthan on our ‘to-go’ list mainly because we wanted to shoot a single picture: the blue Queen’s Chambers at the City Palace in Udaipur (header image) – it did not disappoint. Built over the course of 400 years, the Udaipur City Palace…

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The French touch — Scarlette boutique hotel in New Delhi

What is it with the French and their ways of making any space look effortlessly chic? Staying at Scarlette, a small-scale boutique hotel in New Delhi, feels like entering the set of an ELLE Decor or AD shoot, complete with carefully arranged magazine stacks and precisely positioned picture frames, but peppered with a heavy je…

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Contemporary Cool — 28 Kothi in Jaipur

Judging from the pompous palace hotels dotted around Jaipur and its surroundings, the Rajasthani’s know a thing or two about luxury stays. However, the over-the-top combinations of velvet drapes and gilded pillars are not everyone’s cup of chai (it’s certainly not ours), so stumbling upon the newly-opened 28 Kothi brought a huge relief. Set inside…

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These 9 bars and restaurants are making Bangkok Chinatown great again

The days of Bangkok’s Chinatown merely being a street-food heaven are long gone. Attracted by low rents and a slower pace of urban life, Bangkok’s hipsters have flocked to this area and have started snatching up dilapidated shophouses to turn them into something cool. Nowadays, Chinatown’s nightlife scene rivals that of Thonglor and Sukhumvit. The…

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Happy Espresso — Bangkok’s oldest barista pours a perfect latte

Finding good coffee in Bangkok’s Chinatown area has always been a challenge. Sure, you have the classic coffee shops serving kaffe boran and roadside carts pouring a cup of overly sweet instant coffee, but a perfect latte seemed hard to come by. That was until the lovely folks at Ba Hao recommended Happy Espresso at…

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Thai Innovative Craft — a contemporary take on traditional techniques

When you combine the techniques of traditional artisans with the direction of some of Bangkok’s most creative minds, magic is bound to happen. Last month, we had the honour of joining SACICT (The Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand) and 56thStudio on a visit to local craftsmen and communities in and around Chiang…

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A Villa of Great Pleasure – Villa Mahabhirom in Chiang Mai

Rome wasn’t built in a day – and Villa Mahabhirom is a great example of that. It took three design-savvy friends seven years to build this hidden luxury retreat in one of Chiang Mai’s lesser-visited neighborhoods. In contrast with most luxury hotels in Northern Thailand, you won’t find much Lanna architecture at ’The Villa of…

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