Born and raised in Paris, I am familiar with the haute couture stores of Avenue Montaigne or Rue Saint Honoré where the highest end luxury shops in the world can be found. The finest silk pieces I have ever seen are sliding through my fingers and I feel their soft and delicate textures. The shiny fabrics reflect the light delicately. The relief of the silk gives it an unexpected depth. However, I am not in the upscale heart of Paris, I am in rural Cambodia a stone’s throw from the temples of Angkor where this rare Khmer silk was made just for the king: “It took more than 10 years of research, and trial and error to revive the century-old forgotten techniques of silk weaving of the Khmers!” says Sophea Peach, the founder of Golden Silk, and it all started with the devata‘s sculpture of Angkor… Let me show you…” Keep travelling
I may have passed by it thousands of times in Paris, my home town. Still: every time I walk by, I have to stop to admire its stunning architecture, detailed sculptures, scary gargoyles, and beautiful glow in the evening sun. In more than 850 years, it has seen Keep reading
The Morgan library is not on every tourist trail in New York City, and is a masterpiece housing a tremendous collection mostly from the Middle-Ages and Renaissance gathered by Pierpont Morgan, a man who shaped the U.S.A.
Being born and raised in Europe, we are quite familiar with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance eras. Italy and its treasures like Florence, the medieval wonders of France, the UK or Prague, etc. are sites we have been lucky to visit. Heading to New York City, our first reflex is not to head to the repositories of the old world, but to discover its urban jungle and Keep reading
If Southern Thailand has been a victim of its own success by developing mass tourism in an unsustainable way like in Koh Phi Phi, some islands remain barely touched. Ko Yao Noi is such an island, with a stunning setting, paradisiac beaches, and kind inhabitants. Its low key atmosphere makes it a real heaven best discovered by scooter. Keep travelling
Ironically, the largest flower in the world is hard to spot! Growing in South East Asia, it can be found in the forests of Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand. The lucky hiker may come across one while exploring the trails of the park which lead to natural pools and waterfalls. Keep travelling!
With its vertical limestone cliffs covered in lush vegetation dramatically plunging into the turquoise waters and white sand beaches, no wonder why Maya Bay, a stone’s throw from Koh Phi Phi Island was chosen as the filming location for the Hollywood blockbuster “The Beach”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. However, Keep travelling!
The majestic temples of Angkor are victim of their own success: with 4 million visitors a year mostly during the dry season focusing mainly on three temples, the atmosphere can be lost. Still, it is possible to experience the Angkor temple complex off the beaten path for a fantastic and authentic discovery, unravelling the splendour of the great Khmer civilisation.
I skilfully steer my mountain bike along a few pointy rocks on a narrow single track through the jungle of Cambodia. In front of me appears a desolated ruin, half swallowed by tree roots of strangler fig trees. Birds sing, butterflies flutter around reflecting the strong sun rays peeping through the dense vegetation on their brightly-coloured wings, and a cat yawns while stretching its front paws on the step of the almost-millennium old Khmer temple of Preah Khan in the temple complex of Angkor.
In Laos, weaving is a traditional handicraft practiced by many women. Before being able to start weaving, a whole process is required to turn cotton into thread and yarn.
If today, most women buy the cotton threads, it is still common to Keep travelling
After setting off in the pitch dark night, we are amazed by the beauty of the landscape surrounding us as we peep through the window of our cabin aboard the Mariner the next morning: dark grey granite boulders rise up from the turquoise Andaman Sea, palm trees are lined up on a white-sand beach, contrasting nicely with the deep blue sky, and a lush vegetation covers the North Surin island, 70 kilometres off the West coast of Southern Thailand and only a dozen kilometres away from the border with Myanmar. We are extracted from our contemplation by the bell, signalling our first dive briefing of our three-day-nine-dive live-aboard SCUBA diving expedition. If the island looks paradisiac, we are eager to explore the underwater world of the Surin and Similan Marine parks that contain some of the world’s best dive sites! Keep travelling
An eye sore for most locals, the characteristic maze of communication wires are said to be put underground by a massive project that is to improve the image of the city by 2020. Keep travelling