Souvenir shopping in Iran (for design-savvy travelers)

Before arriving in Iran, we told ourselves to not bring anything but a small keepsake home. Little did we know that Iran’s mesmerizing bazaars, quirky antique stores, and carpet shops would make this an absolutely impossible promise to keep… This is what we ended up lugging back home: Best places for souvenir shopping in Iran…

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How to survive a visit to Chatuchak Market

Let’s face it: the Chatuchak Weekend Market just sucks. It’s unbearably hot, there are a million sweaty tourists slumping around and about 90% of the stalls are filled with useless crap. Luckily, there’s a few stalls and sections that stand out from this cesspool of mediocracy – making the suffering somewhat worth it.

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These 9 Bangkok hotspots are making 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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Lucky Number Eight — Ba Hao in Bangkok

With gentrification sweeping through Bangkok’s Chinatown and Instagram-appropriate cocktail bars popping up like mushrooms, the opening of Ba Hao could’ve easily been dismissed as yet another one. However, there is something about this transformed shophouse on Soi Nana (the other Soi Nana, that is), that makes me believe it’s worth the hype.  Founded by a…

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Weird and wonderful — Papaya Studio in Bangkok

Part vintage store, part photo studio and part museum, Papaya Studio is a place unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Grown from a collection of classic furniture and random oddities accumulated over the last 25 years by the eccentric shop owner, Mr. Tong, this massive depot now houses one of the largest vintage and antique collections in…

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Interior envy — Bangkok’s most well-designed Airbnb apartments

We sure do love ourselves a stay in a posh hotel or a well-designed boutique B&B, and luckily, Bangkok has no shortage of those. However, there’s something about these Airbnb’s that makes us forget about room service and pool access… Original Shophouse in Chinatown Located above a small tapas bar in a beautifully renovated Sino-Portuguese…

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A Chinatown secret — the Sol Heng Tai Mansion

Discovering the 200-year Sol Heng Tai Mansion was like discovering a hidden treasure. Having walked past at least 20 times without ever noticing it, we were struck with awe at the moment we stepped into its courtyard for the first time. This historical mansion was built before ‘Bangkok’ as we know it even existed. Dating…

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For old times’ sake — Bangkok’s old-style cafes

With metro tiles, bare lightbulbs and – dear god – iced coffees in mason jars being all the rage in Bangkok’s coffee shops these days, these old-style cafes found in Bangkok’s Old Town are a welcome change of scenery. Don’t expect Ethiopian beans, avocado toast or cold brew lattes, but good ‘ol Thai coffee and kaya toast…

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Living the suite life at Bali’s Bisma Eight

Prepare to let go of your carefully planned Bali itinerary, because once you’ve checked in at Ubud’s Bisma Eight it will be nearly impossible to get any outside activities done. It is as if this hotel is meticulously designed to completely mess up sightseeing plans and capture guests for the duration of their stay. We…

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Limalimo Lodge in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains

The rugged landscape of Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains National Park isn’t exactly the place where you’d expect a state-of-the-art boutique hotel to pop up, yet that is exactly what the fantastic team behind Limalimo Lodge managed to build. We took the hellish 14-hour bus ride from Addis Ababa to the Simien Mountains on our Eastern Africa trip…

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