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thailand/philippines bound...

X18 Angkor Wat

d*s reader dabney is headed to the philippines and thailand and is desp. seeking some great design recs for the area.

"i am headed to the philippines (manila) and thailand (bangkok, chiang mai) in a few weeks and am hoping to get suggestions for design-focused places to go, much like you did last month for shanghai. i have been to both places before, so i am not looking for tourist sites, but want to seek out great stores, etc... that i might have missed in the past."
anyone have some tips? thanks!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Bangkok, Jim Thompson carries the most beautiful silks. For unique design, the nyt ran a travel article, "to be young and hip in bangkok," which might help you out. It's here http://travel2.nytimes.com/2005/11/20/travel/20bangkok.html?ex=1144382400&en=6852bafffe863723&ei=5070

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you've seen it already, but in Bangkok the Jim Thompson House is amazing from a design perspective. Also, Sukkothai is off the beaten path and largely untouched and untouristy -- best seen on a bicycle.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Tabuena arts central said...

When in the Philippines, try hopping to Metro Cebu, where you can find the latest upbeat in furniture design Materials like rattan, bamboo, marble and other organic staff. For more hand crafted stuff head to Baguio or Paete in Laguna or head down to Palawan.


9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


if the timing works out, there's a big craft/design show that's open to the public...April 21-23rd....here's the link:

i haven't been to Thailand in a while, so i don't know what else is new & hip....eat a lot of great food! ;)


10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been about five or six years, but I recall that one of the malls in Bangkok (called Emporium? or something like that -- very high end, and accessible from the SkyTrain) had a couple of really nice forward-looking design shops. I was fairly impressed with Central (the department store -- go to their biggest location, as they have several around the city) and their selection of housewares, which mixed a very modern aesthetic with traditional thai handicrafts. Amid the chaos of the weekend market at Jatujak, there are a number of really intriguing tiny boutiques focused on home accessories and paper products. And for something more traditional, try getting out of Bangkok. I don't remember what it's called, but the Queen has established a small village of artisans, designed to preserve and promote thai handicrafts, where you can buy amazingly intricate hand-woven fabrics and baskets, and also learn more about how these beautiful works of art are created.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world's most beautiful antiques mall is in Bangkok. I think it is called River City or something like that - if you ask people will be able to direct you to it. It is in an enormous building - not outside. I bought some fabulous things there, that I treasure - straight out of Architectural Digest. Stuff there for every budget.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the suggestions everyone! ann and i are now so excited about our trip...

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some young, hip stuff in Bangkok, the Suan Lum Night Bazaar has a section full of young, hip clothing designers. The clothes are mostly made for teeny tiny Thai women (I'm small for a western woman, and I took a size large), but the designers are pretty fashion forward, fun, and cheap! Near this section there are a bunch of design-y home accessories and furniture shops/stalls as well. At Suan Lum you can also watch a really cheesy but great dance show in the beer garden.

Have a great trip!

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a few places in Manila where you can get a feel of classic as well as contemporary Filipino design:

1- GREENBELT 3 in Makati City: KISH has contemporary home items sourced from Philippine exporters. ABOUT (ABT) DESIGN carries wood, metal and leather items of three Filipino designers. BED & BEDDINGS has wonderfully designed bed linens, sumptously crafted wooden bed frames, and many other little riches to accent your bedroom. FIRMA has local and imported home and fashion accessories, very ornamental, richly decorated.

2- CAROLINA'S in Glorietta, also in Makati City: a treasure trove of sewing notions and bolts and bolts of material for clothing, drapery, throws, all intricately embellished, embroidered... and many designed by the owner herself, so I've heard.

3- MARIKINA SHOE EXPO in Cubao: no longer dedicated to shoes, a number of galleries, vintage and design focused stores have popped up. See this brief description: http://news.inq7.net/lifestyle/index.php?index=1&story_id=40796

4- Also, 19th-22nd of April is the MANILA F.A.M.E. INTERNATIONAL TRADE SHOW for home accessories, furniture, decor. Check it out at http://www.manilafame.com/

Enjoy the city but do try to get out to one of our fabulous beaches!

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know you don't want to go anywhere touristy, but touristy for Manila doesn't mean the same there as it does here (Manila itself doesn't cater to tourists in the same way many other Asian cities do). That being said, my husband & I had lots of luck at Balikbayan Handicrafts - they've got lots of great stuff - from knicknacks, paper products (I got loads of handmade photo albums - much like those you'll find at Kate's or something, but much, much cheaper), beautiful wood furniture & other products, jewelry, etc. We bought a solid wood gourd-shaped lamp for $25 and would've gotten more substantial furniture if we had a means to get it back (and the apartment space). If you do buy something big, they do ship overseas. There are 4 or 5 branches throughout the city - we went to the one in Quezon...

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I personnally recommend the market at the Greenhills mall. Less sterile than the Balikbayan store.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, my wife is from Chiang Mai and we went there recently. Crafts abound, good design is a little harder to find. Two places I can recommend in the Night Bazaar are:

1) A husband and wife who do silver and their brother who does screenprints (mostly cards and t-shirts). They have a very cool little shop at the Night Bazaar. The shop is on the 2nd floor of the main Night Bazaar building, number 141-142. They also have a website: http://www.thezoova.com .. One note: the t-shirts shrink a lot, buy a big one.

2) A ceramics place, also in the main building, shop #30.

There is also a bazaar near the university that attracts a lot of students - hip clothes there.

Have fun!

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you're going to manila and looking for a design experience in manila:

-b at home on reposo st., makati
-graphicdesigned lifestyle store in ecoville, makati
-souk shop of richie ortega-torres,ortigas?
-kultura in sm mall of asia,pasay
-the baul shop in saguijo bar, makati
-168 mall, manila or the tiangge of greenhills

don't go to the tourist traps that were previously mentioned.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey just found this spot. im also tryin to find untouristy places to go to in Bangkok, someplace crafty where they sell cheap felt or materials (im goin in like 4 days) so anyone there help!! My email is sweet_seduction007@hotmail.com if u have any good places in mind

7:33 AM  
Blogger Vintage me said...

I am an interior designer based in manila. and this is where i shop for home items and hard to find objects
Lri Business Plaza - located in reposo st, bel air makati.This is a 3 storey house of finest items from furniture and accesories that are not easy to find. This will be more convenient for you too rather than go to different places.
Then try Tiendesitas in ortigas for local antiques.Flea market style. sample the local cuisine as well.your money will go a long way.

11:13 PM  

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