Khao Yai, Thailand is another hidden gem yet to be discovered by foreign visitors where nature and elegance is a perfect match. Due to its highland geographical advantage, there is never a lack of greenery and fresh air. Furthermore, the creative Thais had erected many beautiful structures that blend well with the surrounding natural backdrop. Hence, the locals have named this mountainous terrain “The Western land of Thailand”.
A very popular destination for the local elites as a weekend getaway or rejuvenation hub, Khao Yai promises plenty of fresh air with a touch of elegance, and atmospheric dining establishments serving interesting fusion options making her an absolute destination for first class travellers.
There is a famous European castle in Khao Yai that was solely built as a restaurant. It was known as The Smoke House when it was first established in early 2011. In 2014, it was rebranded as Midwinter Green by the new owner. The main building, set against a gorgeous backyard, comprises of five black-shingled peaks with a lighthouse next to it.
在考艾有座城堡非常有名，因为这是一家餐馆。在 2011 年建成开业时是 The Smoke House，但后来在 2014 年转手后就改成 Midwinter Green，而城堡的魅力依旧不减。城堡是由5座圆石筑成的大楼构成，在旁还建有一座灯塔，而后方则有一个美得没朋友的后院。
Primo café @ Primo Piazza
Primo Piazza is a miniature version of a 500-year old ancient town in Tuscany, Italy. One can feel an almost authentic Italian vibe in the air while exploring the area. Don’t miss out that slice of cake along with a cup of coffee for a true Italian experience.
Primo Piazza 是参照意大利托斯卡纳 500 岁老城而建的「袖珍」版老城，所以这里连空气都弥漫着「意味」，而在这样欧式的地方，当然不能错过喝杯咖啡吃片蛋糕的闲情。
Collecting hand knotted Persian carpets is a passion. Owning something beautiful and unique is a feast for the eyes. And knowing the fact that they have a value and something to pass on to the future generations make them even more worthwhile.
To some and many people, choosing the right design and colour can bring them good luck and well being. To me, choosing something I love is a relationship that is ever lasting.
I love all the Persian carpets I have acquired from Mr Waqar of Nasim Carpets@Straits Quay Penang. He consistently brings in wonderful and unique pieces which I find them hard to resist (laughing) but I have no regrets as I found that they are all unique and different from each other. I love the strong and bold contrasting colours. Unknown to most people, Persian and Turkish carpets can come in bright colours like emerald green, turquoise and contrasting yellow besides the normal red and blue. One has to be slowly educated to have the aesthetic of Mr Waqar. They come in detailed craftsmanship which takes months to years to complete. No doubt that they are not cheap but they are worth every single penny if one loves them. As I come home from a long day of work, to see a beautiful piece of art lying on the floor, it makes the rest of the day better.
After Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur, Chng Huck Theng held his solo bronze sculpture exhibition in home town Penang in One East Museum. Guest of Honor Lee Khai who is also the Chairman of Penang State Art Gallery commended Chng for his hard work and dedication being a serious artist in the Malaysia art world by virtue of conviction. President of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Fan Dian who was also present talked about the beauty of the sculpture and more importantly the artist has managed to blend in society happenings to further provide life into these bronze work of art.
Among the guests were Director General of National Art Gallery Malaysia, Prof. Datuk Mohamed Najib who wrote the foreward in the book ‘IMPerfect Creation’, advisor of Penang Art Society Tan Sri Dato Seri Tan Khoon Hai, Dato Chong Hong Fatt, Dr. Tan Boon Cheong and wife Dora, Vincent Tai, Carsten Sorensen and Susanna Hernesniemi.
Saloma’s iconic retro garments were displayed in custom-made showcases that allowed visitors to see them a 360 degree angle.
Puan Sri Datin Amar Salmah binti Ismail, more lovingly knownas Saloma, is a primadona who has had an immense influence on our nation’s music and film industry, particularly during the late 1950s to the early 1980s.
Though she is remembered mainly for her extraordinary singing and acting, she also had a true talent in cultivating her own style and identity. Therefore, it’s fitting that the nation’s first songstress has been crowned the “Icon of Retro Fashion,” as Saloma was a pioneer, trendsetter and fashion inventor.
Saloma’s outfits were very much part of her glamorous image and persona, complementing the way she sang, spoke and moved, as well as her coy gaze and magnetic smile. Always dressed to impress, Saloma was among the first in this country to merge fashion elements of the East and West. Her iconic garments included Kain Kapas, Peplum, Kain Sempit, Kain Belah and Kebaya Ketat, with added touches of Western elements. Due to her attention to detail, she also added personal embellishments in the form of sequins and beads, as well as stitching techniques and twining. During her heyday, young women across Malaysia and Singapore emulated her style from head to toe, including the way she wore her hair and accessories. Today, some of Saloma’s iconic and enduring retro fashions and silhouettes are again all the rage, experiencing a revival in contemporary fashion design.
In order to organise this landmark exhibition, which was held at the National Museum from 8 August to 31 October 2017, the Department of Museums Malaysia collaborated with the National Archives of Malaysia, as well as Saloma’s family and friends. 65 garments, in the care of the National Archives, were selected for the exhibition, and they were all handled with care using professional textile conservation techniques recognised by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Some of the display methods used by the museum include the 3D invisible mounting system (bukrem and ethafoam), padded torso and mannequins, t-bars, hanging cylinders and padded slants. These methods were employed to ensure the sustainability of the collection, as well to maintain their aesthetics. However, museum curators and conservators were faced with a unique set of challenges in handling Saloma’s garments. This is because the garments are much smaller than average, due to Saloma’s very petite, slender figure. Therefore, the display supports they used had to be painstakingly handmade to size.
The warm response that the exhibition has received from the Malaysian public is testament that Saloma’s legacy has endured and will continue to do so in the future.
More than 500 artists from Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Chile, and 90 galleries participated in the 3rd Sydney Contemporary Art Fair at Carriageworks. This 3rd edition international art fair saw some very interesting presentation including a white marble sculpture by Botero with the most expensive price of $575,000, an installation of a red room by Hiromi Tango, a naked human body giant sculpture by Garth Knight and many many more. It was a successful fair with more than 35,000 visitors. The organizers has decided to make this two-year-once art fair into an annual event in Sydney’s calendar.
Treasure Hunt 寻宝游戏
40 reputable dealers from all over Australia showcased some of the best antiques, art and collectibles in the Sydney Antique & Art Fair organized by the Australian Antique & Art Dealers Association. This four day event attracted many serious collectors and newbies going through the exhibition finding beautiful and sometimes rare pieces to add to their collections. According to General Manager Karen Lewis, it is getting harder to sustain this trade as the senior dealers are retiring and the younger generation are not as keen. Not to mention some have closed their shops and switched to selling online. More than 3000 visitors visited this event.
40名澳大利亚各地的知名经销商聚集悉尼古董艺术博览会，这项由澳大利亚古董与艺术品经销商协会所主办的活动上展示了珍贵的古董、艺术品和收藏品。而长达4天的展览会活动也吸引了许多资深收藏家和新手，他们借机物色一些珍稀美丽的收藏品。总经理 Karen Lewis 认为，随着高级经销商退休，年轻一代不热衷于古玩行业，维持行业的难度相对增大，还有些人关闭了他们的实体商店，转战网上销售。这个展览会有超过 3000名参观者。
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) has recently launched its inaugural flight operating directly to Vienna. Marking first flight celebrations, THAI held a reception presided by Mrs. Usanee Sangsingkeo with the attendance of the THAI’s team from Thailand and Austria. Over 250 guests attended the inaugural flight reception at Palais Ferstel in Vienna, including His Excellency Mr. Songsak Saicheua, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Thailand to Vienna.
THAI’s direct roundtrip flights to and from Vienna, located in Central Europe and the gateway to Europe, will make it convenient for passengers to connect flights to various destinations operated by THAI in Europe. Currently, THAI flies to 12 destinations in 10 countries in Europe, including Copenhagen, Oslo, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Stockholm, London, Rome, Milan, and Moscow, which equates to more than 80 flights per week. Passengers travelling from Europe will enjoy travelling to Thailand at a flight time of approximately 10 hours, especially those travelling from Austria which means direct, non-stop flights from Vienna-Bangkok.
Vienna is renown for its revered residents, such as Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. As the city of music, Vienna is famous for its classical composers and Imperial Palaces such as Schonbrunn Palace and Hofburg Palace, as well as the Museumsquartier baroque district.
THAI operates four roundtrip flights per week from Bangkok-Vienna utilising Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that is equipped with 348 seats consisting of 42 seats in Royal Silk Class with full flat beds that recline 180 degrees and 306 seats in Economy Class. THAI’s exceptional in-flight service has won the prestigious Skytrax 2017 World Airline Awards for the World’s Best Economy Class, World’s Best Airline Lounge Spa, and Best Economy Class Onboard Catering.
从泰国热带海滩直达冷峻宏伟的奥地利山脉将不再是梦想。泰国国际航空公共有限公司(Thai Airways International Public Company Limited-THAI)近日开通了首个直飞维也纳的航班。为了庆祝首航开启，泰航代理总裁Usanee Sangsingkeo 女士主持了一项由泰国和奥地利两地泰航团队参加的招待会。250多名嘉宾也出席了这项在维也纳费尔特斯宫的首飞庆祝会，包括泰国驻维也纳特命全权大使 Songsak Saicheua 阁下。
The Tulou in Fujian and Diaolou in Guangzhou provinces were self-built structures by the locals who were mainly living outside the fort located deep inside the hilly or mountain areas. Both of these amazing architectural wonders were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2007 and 2008. Today, these heritage sites are becoming more of a tourist attraction than a residential area as they have attracted visitors from different parts of the world.
In the past, the commoners were given protection by the emperors in forts but constant wars among the different quarters battling to eliminate one another had led to the shift of commoners to the southern regions such as Fujian and Guangdong provinces. There, the people began to build their new homes but unfortunately they were met with robbers and bandits. As such, the people themselves decided to build a ‘big house’ so that they could stay together. It was a show of strength and a great example of how everyone could be protected by sheer unity. Besides, the most interesting elements about these structures were the escape routes and embrasures.
It was a show of strength and a great example of how everyone could be protected
by sheer unity.
The Fujian Tulou or simply known as ‘earth buildings’ were built during the Sung dynasty and its building materials relied heavily on available raw materials such as stones, wood, bamboos and most important, the sand, soil and clay. These buildings come in all shapes and sizes depending on the earth structure and the weather in that area. The main purpose is to create a strong structure with sufficient ventilation and light. In short, these Tulou were well-structured and safe for residents while able to house between 200 to 800 people.
The Hakka and Minan villagers in Fujian were those responsible for constructing these buildings. The buildings could be distinguished in two categories, one being the standalone unit and the other being the cluster type. Although there were many Tulou in the province, only 46 were regarded as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Eryilou, also known as ‘The King of Tulou’, was the largest single unit built in 1770 consisting of four floors from the outside layer and another floor inside. It possesses an impressive outer ring diameter of 71 metres with 48 rooms on each level. Tourists are allowed to visit this building where the residents offer a wide range of local handmade products and souvenirs. Not to mention one would be amazed when walking up and looking into the rooms that were once living quarters. Situated not far from Eryilou were the Nanyanglou and the Dongyanglou. The former is now a museum and the latter was converted to a performing area to entertain and educate visitors on its unique culture.
On the other hand, the Diaolou entered the Chinese architectural scene during the Ming dynasty until right before the end of the Chinese Republic era. Similar to the Tulou, these high towers most combines of Western and Chinese style were built as protection in response to local banditry. There were more than 3,000 of such towers in the past but today, only around 1,800 remain of standing, most of which are unoccupied if not abandoned. The construction of these buildings were mainly funded by overseas Chinese with the hope that their immediate and extended family members could have a safe place to protect themselves when necessary.
Built with stones, bricks or concrete, these tower-like buildings were very well-equipped with solid prison-like bars and thick metal windows to shelter against any shooting or force entry. Furthermore, there were special embrasures created to take aim at intruders. The Zilicun village was among the best preserved architecture site and it contributed to the largest number of Diaolou recognised by UNESCO. Walking up these old buildings allow visitors to experience how people lived in these tall buildings that were designed not only with relatively small rooms but also narrow staircases with plenty of steps. Nonetheless, the view from the building was breathtaking. Another not-to-be-missed attraction was the luxurious Li Garden with private canal, beautiful gardens and six villas built by a wealthy Chinese emigrant businessman living in the USA. Not forgetting a Diaolou for emergency protection purposes.
The Tulou and Diaolou were once built for protection but today these fine heritage buildings open their doors to the world showcasing what residents in the past would have done to protect their families and belongings. Perhaps the attitude and the unique architecture will be good research and study materials for generations to come.