5 months ago

Fah Thai Magazine Sep-Oct 2018


HAPPENINGS LAOS VIENTIANE MALDIVES / INDIA MALDIVES / MUMBAI A STAY THAT’S GOLDEN Located within walking distance to the 16th-century Pha That Luang, Vientiane’s mostrespected pagoda, sits a new boutique hotel, Le Thatluang D’or by D Varee. Inspired by both French colonial and traditional Lao architecture, the design elements set a new benchmark in hotels and its urban immersion into the Vientiane scene. Noted for their restored architectural structures and designs, the hotel offers 50 guestrooms ranging from a Deluxe to Presidential Suite. The Deluxe room, at 35 square metres, is ideal for couples or business travellers who prefer a lifestyle hotel in Vientiane. The 71-square-metre Premier Suite, on the other hand, offers plenty of space for guests to relax with a balcony overlooking a leafy neighbourhood. All rooms provide a strong sense of ultimate comfort with beds and luxurious details. Le Thatluang D’or by D Varee also provides a fine dining experience at Suankua Bistro, an open-air restaurant. Guests can find some down time at their swimming pool and fitness centre. That Luang Neua, Saysettha, Vientiane, +856 21 41 7958, +856 21 41 7959, ARTISAN-DRIVEN Do you need to squeeze in a few hours of shopping on your trip to Vientiane? A stop at Saoban means bagging some quality Lao crafts that vary from bamboo basketry to silk scarves, to forks and spoon recycled from bomb remnants. To promote sustainability, fair trade and traditional craft skills, Saoban’s products are created straight from Lao villages. Skillfully made by hand, all the goods employ traditional materials and techniques passed down from generations. Buying from Saoban supports employment and training for artisans, with profits from the sale of Saoban products staying in the village, thereby creating a stable, sustainable livelihood for rural families and communities. Laos is a country of diverse ethnic groups, with each of them highly adept in their own unique craft and artisanal skills. This rich diversity produces abundant styles and directly linking local craftspeople to alternative markets which helps preserve the centuries-old art silk cultivation and knowledge. 97/1 Chao Anou Road, Ban Watchan, Chanthabouly, Vientiane, +856 21 241 835 SPOTLIGHT A Curated Joy The Maldives doesn’t lack in luxurious resorts and with the opening of Joali this September, luxury meets curated art and amenities to provide guests with what the property calls the “Joy of Living” experience. Individualised stories inspire the design of elegant rooms, marked by artisanal amenities, curated in-room libraries, and select objets d’art. Butler and valet services make the living easy, along with their stunning infinity pools at this luxurious retreat. Art and design is central to Joali’s aesthetic offering, evident in the creative design and layout of the architecture and their own art space, the Joali Art Studio & Gallery. Guests benefit from 73 beach and water villas and residences, restaurants with a global slant on fusion cuisine, an ESPA Spa, and fitness and sports activities. With sustainability a top priority, Joali organises jaunts to learn about coral degradation or visits to local communities. French expat Micka Perier, an experienced coffee roaster, recently introduced Le Trio, Vientiane’s first boutique coffee roastercum-coffee bar in the downtown area. Set inside a small yet stylish shop house, Le Trio impresses coffee aficionados with a a gleaming roasting machine that occupies most of the modest space. The beans are grown in Bolaven Plateau – a coffee grower’s utopia in Southern Laos – and Perier blends them for their different and unique characteristics. Open daily 8am-4pm, Setthathirath Road, Near Nam Phu Square, SPOTLIGHT The Finest Bolaven Roast MUMBAI IDOL September marks the beginning of the festive season in Mumbai, which carries on over the next couple of months. The 10-day long festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri are the most awaited celebrations in the city, Here’s how and where to join in the festive fervour in Mumbai. Ganesh Chaturthi is a celebration of Lord Ganesh (Ganapati), arguably Mumbai’s favourite deity. It begins with the installation of a Ganesh idol both in private homes as well as in public pandals (a temporary structure erected for housing the idol). These range from small ones in an apartment complex to massive public pandals that are thronged with devotees from all over the city. DANCE BEATS The other major festival celebrated in Mumbai is Navratri. This festival honours the goddess Durga and her triumph over the demon Mahishasura. At night, it’s time for revelry – men and women wear colourful, traditional outfits and perform the garba and dandiya dance, a high-energy dance involving complex whirling, rhythmic clapping and elaborate steps while tapping together wooden batons. This year, Navratri begins on October 10. There are several places where you can watch and even participate in dandiya like Kora Kendra Ground (Haridas Nagar, Borivali), Goregaon Sports Club (Link Road, Malad), and Police Hockey Ground (Ghatkopar). 138 139