Bhophut Fisherman’s Market – Koh Samui

In Samui this is must do. It may be aimed at tourists but you do see the culture, colours and comportment of local life that you may not witness otherwise. Absolute hustle bustle of people on a long narrow street with bars, trinket shops and food vendors. It’s a great experience whether you chose to walk in leisure, people watch, sip a mojito or buy a well haggled bikini. Later in the evening this place seems like one big street party.. Along with many other smaller street parties.

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The feature picture above is that of a local kid – her savoir-faire for the trade, yet detached in crowd look was quite intriguing.. So I took my long zoom lens and captured my artistic representation for what might be her banal activity.

Below are some more pictures from the market.. Where I’d love to be lost again.

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As you can tell by the pictures, I’d best describe this market :

Value for money – from cheap local delicacies for foodies to fulfilling every want of shopaholics .. the market caters to all
Chilled out – relax, sip a Long Island iced tea and people watch
Culture & colour – you’ll find plenty of this thanks to local tradesmen

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Last time in Paris – Part Trois

In Paris I visited my most memorable place ever and with my little experience of writing, no words I know will do it justice. One word – Monmatre, another word – exquisite, for more clarity – google images. The walk to sacre coeur and the church itself had a quintessential European quality.. one of the best I have seen so far. The views from the hill top were breathtaking as were the ones in the cable car on the ride down to pigalle. We spent that evening walking in the slightly seedy streets of Pigalle.. although not quite so seedy to intimidate non french tourists. We spotted moulin rouge from across a busy road. Happy for the sighting, not so happy for it looked nothing as mystical as in the film (moulin rouge). My imagination was let down ever so slightly.. but moments later the artifacts in museum of eroticism got them right on top again – yes there is such a thing (/museum).

The next day was a new day and a new walk – this time we strolled along avenue des champs elysees – what’s not to love about that street. A tree lined strip with colourful potted flowers and some of the most magnificent french temptations on display – from French bakeries (of course). I remember my first encounter with savoury crepe from a street vendor.. Crepe de jambon et fromage, with which I now have an ongoing affair. Amongst other stops we paid a visit to L’audree for macaroons, Gurlain for a sniff of luxury and Louis Vuitton flagship store for a glimpse of luxury. Like all good shows the finale to this one was also quite spectacular – a view of l’arc de triomphe.. followed by a few 100 pictures.

So that was most of what I remember from 4.5 years ago. I have been able to babble on with the help of my friend who remembers more – google. Reminiscing this fantastic holiday is helping me prepare for my next one to Paris.. which is less than a week away! This time I plan to explore a range of patisseries, restaurants, bars and write about indulgence extraordinaire in a blog entry with some very exciting (and better quality) pictures.

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Last time in Paris – Part Deux

ImageSo not dictated by any todo list the first day we walked along river Siene and made our way to Norte dame – an absolute pleasure. We walked some more and also visited museum of George Pompidou – that quirky building with some quirky and some very feminist art – the kind of quirk I appreciate on a holiday. However what was more memorable than view inside Pompidou was the view from its roof top cafe where we sipped on our espresso and the simple yet satisfying taste of ‘crepe au chocolat et banane’ from a nearby creperie beaubourg.

The next day we spent inside the louvre ticking through our to-see list of all the famous paintings on display and then taking a few hundred pictures of the louvre pyramid. This brought back my memories of reading the Da Vinci code novel – an experience I really enjoy of reading a book with detailed descriptions of a place and then visiting it in real life. Although I now mostly use google street view as a substitute to reading, less exciting but far less hard work. Now then, as much as I enjoyed admiring Mona Lisa (or admiring this seemingly ordinary painting with an extraordinary price tag) from 10 meters distance while being squashed by 100 other tourists only to get a glimpse, my highlight of the day was visiting a Parisian friend for dinner.

We were invited to chez Raphaelle for dinner. On the menu that evening.. home cooked Parisian food – carrot soup and soft cheese and broccoli quiche with a glass of wine (because French drink with sophistication – not binge!) and chatter with our lovely hostess. Her cosy apartment and warm comportment with a view of Eiffel tower made our evening perfect. We even took a walk with her to Effiel tower (10 minutes from her place) to admire it bejewelled with twinkling lights at the hour. C’est parfait!

Last time in Paris – Part Un

ImageAs my first entry on travel, I decided to blog on the city of Love – Paris. My first and only trip (so far) to Paris was in autumn of 2009. Fresh out of university and fresh into my life as a professional software developer, I was the richest I had ever been. Au contraire, riddled with university loan I was also the most frugal I had ever been. Plan was, go for an European city break, stay cheap, eat well, visit well – simple! So my very clever partner booked us a package (flights and stay) holiday for 3 nights, which at the time we thought was a cracking deal. Alright, at £180 per person I still think it was a steal, only now we don’t appreciate the value for money a 2star accommodation offers – c’est domage!

Paris for me was a first holiday of its kind. One where we walked miles and miles enjoying this sunny, beautiful, rich of history European City. Parisians seemed outwardly expressive, living in a culture where passion and indulgence are not reserved for indoor spaces only. Not merely stating a cliche, I did witness some rather passionate couples. One that still makes me giggle is a woman enjoying a special seat while reading her book – atop her man’s torso while he lay on grass napping in the sun – she was certainly very “comfortable”. Where as any such display of affection might seem awkward in another city, it seems perfectly natural within few days of being in Paris.. I kid you not.