8 months ago

Fah Thai Magazine May June 2018

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HAPPENINGS LAOS LUANG PRABANG MYANMAR YANGON SPOTLIGHT Heritage Luxe Located in the heart of Luang Prabang, brand new hotel AVANI+ Luang Prabang sits within walking distance to the banks of the Mekong River while being strategically close to the Royal Palace, Night Market and beautiful temples. AVANI+, in a town that’s earmarked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, raises the bar on contemporary French neo-classical architecture. Blending into the historic neighbourhood, the French colonial-inspired interiors blend with modern elegance in its 53 rooms and suites. An intimate, open-plan feel with louvre wooden doors open to a balcony or terrace overlooking either the pool or a private courtyard. For guests, AVANI+ offers a stunningly contemporary property set within the historic riverside zone, and conceived for a demanding new breed of traveller. After a day spent exploring temples or an adventure boat trip to Kuang Si Waterfalls or Pak Ou Caves, the hotel offers a retreat to AVANISPA for rejuvenation before enjoying a dinner cruise down the Mekong. Setthathirath Road, Hua Xieng Village, Luang Prabang, +856 71 262 333, avani/luang-prabang GOOD MORNING, YANGON Motivated by fitness, health, and the enjoyment of a morning calm, a mix of pro and amateur runners recently got together to share their love for the activity and are encouraging those who happen to be in Yangon join them. Started by a group of Thai expats, the group meets at 6am near Kandawgyi Lake. As a bonus, Yangon’s many angles get discovered in the early morning hours while roads are still quiet with a wonderfully agreeable weather. The 10km route takes the group downtown and over the Pansodan bridge with the beautiful Yangon Central railway station within view. More historical and iconic British Colonial buildings mark the route, with many of them still in use. This running tour also goes past a local wet market and the large People’s Park near Shwedagon Pagoda, followed by breakfast. BEST BITE OF PIZZA Calling themselves Yangon’s homegrown slices, Parami Pizza serves excellent and authentic pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. If your cravings go beyond that, the menu of fine Italian dishes tempt children and adults alike in a relaxed ambience. Menu highlights include authentic Neapolitan pizza, antipasti like Hokkaido Octopus Carpaccio using fresh ingredients of pomelo and citrus-chilli dressing, homemade Tagliatelle with Venetian Duck Ragu of slow braised duck, eggplant, olives, peppers, and must-have desserts like the classic Tiramisu and Nutella Pizzette. The place is typically busy in the evening after work hours with its prime location on the main road of Parami, so advanced bookings are ideal to avoid the wait. Open late until 11pm. 11/C, Corner of Malikha Road and Parami Road, 7th Quarter, Mayangone Township, Yangon, +95 9 261767616, NO MORE FOREIGN FOODS FOR MORNING ALMS Everyday in the early calm in Luang Prabang, hundreds of monks make their way through the streets for morning alms. Recently however, throngs of tourists have disrupted the ritual. In the enthusiastic need to participate, inappropriate foods have been given. With cameras and smartphones, they also clamour for ‘exotic’ photos of monks. Hawkers laden with baskets of sticky rice bags also run to tourists to sell their wares. Oftentimes a frenzied atmosphere ensues, and morning alms now sometimes give way to camera flashes and yelling, with inappropriate food offerings consisting of lollipops and ‘khao larm (sticky rice char-cooked in a bamboo tube.) To return peace and the true meaning of alms offering, Luang Prabang now puts a ban on foreign foods. With local tourism authorities providing guidelines, khao larm is forbidden, including pre-packaged offering sets that get inserted with imported snacks. The tourism organisation stresses that sticky rice – a staple food in Laos – sold during morning alms must be of good quality and freshly steamed. More can be learned at 112