SPIRIT OF ASIA
Singer, songwriter and performer Pchy–Witwisit Hiranyawongkul is captivated by ancient cities of Asia.
Here are four fantastic cities that have left a lasting impression on his mind.
On that trip, we went to many places, starting from Jaipur before heading to Udaipur. I was amazed by magnificent buildings and the people of Jaipur at first, but after a few days, I fell in love with the slow pace of Udaipur. The weather was nice, and as I was there during the New Year, the fireworks were spectacular, especially when I saw their reflection on the lake. I’d never thought I would spend my New Year there, and it was definitely an Incredible India moment. If you have a chance to go there, visit Ganesh Handicraft Emporium, which is a four-storey building where Indian crafts can be found, from beddings to accessories. Don’t worry if you can’t carry all of them with you — you can also ship them back.
I never thought I’d fall in love with this small city, but I did. It is home to classic Colonial architecture, alongside modern graffitis. There are also peranakan houses with beautiful furniture which will blow your mind. One of really good places is Tropical Spice Garden where you can learn about various spices. Despite being small, you can find everything here, from art pieces to beaches, from ancient buildings to nightlife. It’s also not far from Thailand.
This small ancient city might be boring to some teenagers because there’s not much entertainment. Even local Kyoto people have to take the train to Osaka for nightlife. But everything is so beautiful here because of its rich history. It’s so beautiful you will remember it without photos. At night, go to Gion and see geishas. I went there just before the cherry blossom season so it wasn’t too crowded. It’s great for exploring on foot and on a bicycle. You should also go to Kinkakuji if you’re an Ikkyusan fan, or visit the famous Torii at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, seen in Memoirs of a Geisha. For food, try horse sashimi, which might sound odd at first, but tastes really good.
HOI AN, VIETNAM
The houses here look simple, something you would expect to see in rural China. But there are apparent Vietnamese vibes all around, from the shrines and markets to the cycling culture. It’s something out of a poster. I love exploring small alleys, making my way through the city. I have been to Hoi An twice and I always visited Morning Glory, a local restaurant which makes really delicious spring rolls. It’s beautiful during the day and at night. There are also many cool tailor shops and shoe shops which offer really good quality at an affordable price. You get a good experience and good items as well.