Sky Bar Interruptis in Bangkok

When you hand someone your business card it should mean something. A powerful symbol of exchange between two people, as though you are sharing yourself with a person, that you want them to know you. Maybe even trust you. Alright, perhaps I’m extrapolating here a tad too much. When I gave my business card to the manager of Lebua at State Tower, it did mean something. Access. I was there to cover his luxury hotel and to get me some of this: Damn, wrong photo. I meant this: Access to the legendary Sky Bar, boasting the best view of Bangkok. As the manager in the hotel lobby (or could he have been the manager at that particular moment?) clutched my business card, with a smile and a steady assurance he said, “No problem, Ms. Mark. You can photograph whatever you need.” Whatever you need. I clung to those words and could relax in the role of documentarian. […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Bangkok|41 Comments

Lebua At State Tower Bangkok: In Pictures

In order to complete this post, I had to look up the word “luxury”. From Dictionary.Com: “A material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living,usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity.” Are you ready for elegance? Refined living? To toss necessity forcefully out the window and laugh like a hyena? Okay, then. The Suite I swear, nicer than any apartment I’ve ever lived in — Canada and abroad included. […]

By |August 19th, 2013|Bangkok, Travel Tips|22 Comments

Wordless Luxury in Bangkok: Lebua At State Tower

There I was beneath the chandeliers, those tiny prisms of light casting an amber glow on the marble floors, bouncing off the wide columns and reflective surfaces, enriching the Queen Anne style furniture, deepening the rich browns of the lounge sofa, those citron pillows placed with care for a guest’s weary back. There I arrived, in Bangkok, nervous as hell because the last time I was here this country was the impetus to break off my 10 year relationship. But I made a promise, to reclaim Thailand as mine again. To attend the Digital Innovation Asia Conference, as a woman who knows herself finally and embraces it, instead of the shy, insecure naif I was. There I was on the search for Bradley Cooper because his essence had been here. And he’s hot. There I stood hoping to collide with his burly chest, but met him instead: There he sat delicately tinkling out “As Time Goes By”, which made me feel like a dame in a black and white film, with Robert Mitchum snarling at me as a cigarette flopped in his mouth. There I waited at the hotel desk, its lines clean and presence a golden beacon, your eyes can’t help but be drawn toward it. There she gestured as she said, “Yes, Miss Mark, let me take you to your room.” I paused, waiting for a pin to drop. Nobody had offered walk up service before. […]

By |August 14th, 2013|Bangkok|6 Comments

Digital Innovation Asia: The Little Conference That Could

Asia is exploding. Not from an overgrowth of retched smelling durian, but tourism. Read this Atlantic piece with your own eyes and you’ll see the glaring truth: Bangkok is now the most visited city by, well, everyone. Every kind of international traveler you can conceive of. Tokyo earns the most per tourist — probably because it’s damn expensive, but still, a win! Chinese tourists have exploded to 83 million in numbers. Makes my head hurt thinking of that many Chinese people out and about, but not to worry, there are still give or take a billion-ish left in the country. Take a gander at this map that tracks global tourism spending [1]: Notice that 7 out of 20 cities are in Asia. Asia is developing across the board; from industry, to consumerism, to technology and in society. The reputation of these benchmark destinations are shaping the way tourists purchase and choose where to go next. I’m lucky to live in a country that is rapidly changing, it’s akin to watching a mutant baby emerge with mystical and unexplainable powers every day. As of July 2013, there are 531 million Chinese users of the Internet and this usage is opening up their experiences and desires. I sometimes do an ice breaker exercise with my students and ask them, “Which country would you like to visit?” The answers I receive are interesting. Thailand is number one, then Japan and finally, Paris. Lots of my female students say, “Oh teacher, Paris is romantic, we want to see  Eiffel.” […]

By |August 9th, 2013|Bangkok|24 Comments