Tag Archives travel

Portals to Old Ahmedabad

I wandered through the courtyard neighbourhoods called pols of old Ahmedabad for three terrific hours during a Heritage Walk, fascinated by the faded artistry and ambience of these doors and gateways. On this trip, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to not one but two modern homes in the new city of Ahmedabad — the beautiful ...

Animals in Ahmedabad

Old Ahmedabad is a colourful labyrinth reminiscent of a quaint medieval Italian town, except with meandering cows and docile Indian dogs and donkeys everywhere. Here is a gallery of God's creatures in Gujarat starting the day in their hood. Already having breakfast downstairs The calves have nothing to eat yet A stranger appears to offer ...

A Heritage Walk around Old Ahmedabad અમદાવાદ

I woke up refreshed and started my first day in Gujarat with a morning Heritage Walk around the walled city of Old Ahmedabad, pronounced as "Amdavad"  in Gujarati. The three-hour guided tour by the Ahmedabad Heritage Foundation starts at 8am from the elaborate Swaminarayan Hindu temple, traverses through a maze of streets, and ends at Jama Masjid, ...

A Near-Death Experience in Shenzhen

The first trip I took this year in 2014 (before my three weeks spanning February and March in India) was in January, a two-night media stay across the border at the sprawling Fours Seasons Shenzhen. I was doing some SZ research online and chanced upon an old After Hours column of mine published on January 1st ...

Food Sourcing Trip Japan 2012

In October 2012, I went on a palate-enriching "Amazing Race" food-sourcing trip around Japan with Head Sushi Chef Kazutoshi Endo of Zuma Hong Kong. Endo's been kneading raw fish onto vinegared rice as Head Sushi Chef for Zuma London. When Heston Blumenthal wants sushi, he calls Endo up. That means he gets face in Japan. Not bad ...

One Eleven in Seminyak, Bali

Bali's one of those enchanting, magical places that I try to visit at least once a year. Obviously, when I say enchanting and magical, I'm not talking about Kuta (nor do I ever set foot there). Usually I stay down south at sunny Jimbaran Bay for the beaches and the seafood, then up the misty ...

Turtle Stew in Tokyo

After a day at the Yamasa Soy Sauce Factory in Narita and their brewery in Chōshi, Chiba, we went back to Yamasa Shoyu's Tokyo office for a meeting with their president, Mr. Hamaguchi. He’s a very soft-spoken and cultured man, even after endless pourings of beer and sake. And he took us to Ishii, a restaurant ...

Astonishing Ajanta

We're off to the Ajanta Caves after taking full advantage of the breakfast buffet (I am loving the dosas, the uttapam and the poha) at the Taj Residency Aurangabad. These deserted Buddhist monasteries were carved out from a horseshoe-shaped cliff in the 2nd century BC, with a second group of cave temples built around 600. As opposed to the cutout ...

Food Pilgrimage in Tokyo—START!

In October 2012, I went on a palate-enriching "Amazing Race" food-sourcing trip around Japan with Head Sushi Chef Kazutoshi Endo of Zuma Hong Kong. Endo's been kneading raw fish onto vinegared rice as Head Sushi Chef for Zuma London. When Heston Blumenthal wants sushi, he calls Endo up. That means he gets face in Japan. Not bad ...

The Church on Spilt Blood

A trip to St Petersburg is incomplete without a visit to this visually striking cathedral. In a city of breathtaking Baroque and Neoclassicism, this church by a canal stands out with its attention-grabbing 17th century architecture, harking back to the romanticized and colourful "Candy Land" of medieval Russia. It's like Russian Art Nouveau, a nationally ...

Designer Furniture on Bolshaya Konyushennaya

After two days of marinating my eyes in classical art at the Hermitage coupled with St. Petersburg's relentlessly beautiful Baroque and Neoclassicism on crack aesthetics, modern design was a sight for sore eyes. I chanced upon these intoxicating interior and furniture stores (one of them is DESIGN GALLERY/BULTHAUP from Berlin) on Bolshaya Konyushennaya after visiting the gorgeous Church of ...

Nightlife in Hangzhou

There is something magical about Hangzhou. Just like Kyoto and Ubud in Bali, it’s a city shrouded in history and physically enveloped by Mother Nature. Hangzhou is totally China's green city, with over 60 percent of the place covered with ancient trees. As a young boy, I read voraciously about the place, and was fascinated by ...

A Day at a Soy Sauce Brewery

First on the itinerary bright and early at 7am after a Roppongi night out was the ultra high tech and immaculate factories of Yamasa Shoyu in Narita, newly built in 2011. It's a very auspicious start to the day as Endo — despite being Japanese — is 10 minutes late, and I, a whopping 15 freaking minutes... for ...

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