Dining at Locavore – Coming Home and Eating Local

Dining at Locavore – Coming Home and Eating Local

When we left Ubud 2 years ago, anyone who read the last of my Ubud blog posts would assume I would never return. In fact, when I left, I too assumed I would never return. But, when the chef at Locavore Bali invited us for lunch, I suddenly found an excuse to return to Ubud. I’m glad I did. Why We Returned to Ubud During our last week living in Bangkok, we attended an award ceremony for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, hosted by The World’s 50 Best. I’m still not entirely sure how we ended up on the invite list. I will assume it is because we met Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, the 2015 best restaurant in the world. Or, that I am a budding culinary author with my recent publication of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna, home to the 2016 best restaurant in the world. Sometimes, it’s just luck. We showed up at the W Hotel in Bangkok, where the top echelon of the Asian culinary world rubbed shoulders. We were fancy for one night. We tried to fit in. We drank Champagne. We sat in the large ball room and awaited the announcement of the top 50 restaurants in Asia. Only one of which we’ve actually eaten at. But, we met the chef during that visit, so I felt a little more fancy. At one point they announced the top restaurant in Indonesia, and without knowing anything more, one word crossed my lips: Locavore. In fact, Locavore also won the Highest Climber Award. Of the top 50 restaurants in Asia, Locavore rose from 49,...
What is Thai Yoga Massage

What is Thai Yoga Massage

We spend a lot of time getting massages. It is one of the prime benefits of living in Southeast Asia, and one of the things we miss when we are eating our way around Europe. We’ve enjoyed half-day couples spa treatments at our favorite Bangkok spa. But, more than anything, we are popping into Dahra in Bangkok for a foot massage, or often a Thai massage. We rarely, though, go for a Thai yoga massage. What Is a Thai Massage The massages that most people are used to experiencing in the Western world include oil and long, strong strokes. That is certainly not a Thai massage. Thai massage is more, well, interactive. When I receive a Thai massage, first they offer me an outfit to change into. Eric often leaves his own t-shirt on as the massage shirts are usually way too small. We lay down on cushions on the floor, and the Thai massage begins. There is a lot of squeezing and kneading, along with a lot of interactive stretching and pulling. It is not uncommon to feel like a pretzel. The Thai massage therapist ends up straddling, or sometimes even standing, on top of the guest. A well-trained Thai massage therapist will ask whether the guest wants their massage soft, medium, or hard. I used to always ask for hard. Perhaps I thought that if I asked for anything less than a hard massage I would not be getting my money’s worth. After several really good Thai massages at Dahra Spa in Bangkok, though, I realized it was time to start requesting medium. Either way, at the end of a...
Romance on Mai Khao Beach Thailand

Romance on Mai Khao Beach Thailand

About a year ago, I was excited to settle down into our new life living in Bangkok. We had our little apartment, a group of friends, and a city full to explore. After almost 18 months, though, I needed a break from the big city. Big time. I needed rest, relaxation, quiet, and a little romance on Mai Khao Beach. Where is Mai Khao Beach I love Bangkok. I really do. I like that I can travel to anywhere in the world from Bangkok airport. I love that in one day I can eat cheap Pad Thai on the street, and great Mexican that night. I love that we can shop at enormous shopping malls, and Eric can get his hair cut for about $5. But, towards the end of our stay in Bangkok, I craved quiet. I realized, suddenly, how loud the city is. The traffic, the tuk tuks. The traffic. I felt like I could not even hear myself think. So, we hopped a Nok Air flight to Phuket, and within 10 minutes from the airport, we were on the beach. Mai Khao Beach is located on the north west side of Phuket. It’s miles long, wide and clean. And, is home to a turtle hatchery. In the mornings, it’s possible to walk for almost an hour in either direction, while listening to, well, not much. Unlike other areas of Phuket, Mai Khao Beach is quiet. And, yes, romantic. Most important, I could hear myself think. Mai Khao Beach Romance We were greeted at the Renaissance Phuket by a pleasant surprise: An upgrade to a private pool...
Maldives Sunset Dinner at Outrigger Resorts

Maldives Sunset Dinner at Outrigger Resorts

One of our favorite things to do when traveling to tropical locations is to enjoy a little cocktail at sunset. While staying at the Outrigger Resorts in the Maldives, we took our sunset experience one step farther. We spent one of our last nights on the island enjoying a Maldives sunset dinner, with toes in the sand. Maldives Sunset at Outrigger Resorts While we waited for the sun to set in the Maldives, we relaxed on specially set lounge chairs, set just for us. We sipped glasses of sparkling wine and waited for the sun to set. I’d like to say we sat and simply enjoyed the sunset. But, as people who know us can guess, we spent the time snapping photos and capturing video of the stunning sky. It seemed that every few minutes the sky changed color, as did the area surrounding the elaborate table that the Outrigger staff set up for us. At first, we drank our sparkling wine as the pinks and blues took over the sky. Then, as dusk set, and the full moon peeked out, our table set up became even more romantic. Once the sun set beyond the horizon, we sat down to start our meal. Yes, the sunset was stunning. But, what I was most excited about? Enjoying a luxury meal, with wine pairings, in the Maldives, with sand between the toes. We didn’t even wear our shoes out for dinner that night. In fact, we were able to walk out the front door of our beach villa straight to our water front dinner table. Maldives Sunset Meal Overall, I was pretty...
5.8 Underwater Restaurant – Dining Underwater

5.8 Underwater Restaurant – Dining Underwater

When researching the what to do in the Maldives, we spent most of the time researching the website of the resorts we planned on visiting. After all, in most cases, travelers land on a private island, and stay on that private island. During my research, though, I never thought we would end up in an underwater restaurant. About 5.8 meters underwater to be exact.  5.8 Underwater Restaurant Just before dusk, we left the soft sands of the Maldivian island where we were spending our luxury holiday in the Maldives. We walked onto a jetty that juts out into the warm Indian Ocean. As we walked along, we looked to either side and spotted small, black tipped reef sharks, that seemed to be circling us. Just before hitting Aquarium restaurant, where dined the night before, we made a left turn down another overwater walkway. This one offered views of Hurawalhi resort to the left, and the sea to the right. We crossed over several glass panels, which offered views to the world underwater, just below our feet. This was just a sign of what was about to happen. Our server opened the double doors, almost as though he was presenting another world to us. And, in some ways, he was. We started to walk down a narrow spiral stair case, descending further and further away from the light above. Around each bend was a window offering the views that surrounded us. The first view included about 15% of the land above the water line, and I could catch a glimpse of the resort in the distance. The rest of the view was dark...
Beach Front Villa in The Maldives – A Luxury Escape

Beach Front Villa in The Maldives – A Luxury Escape

Another dream come true in the Maldives! Five nights in a luxury beach front villa. Sand between the toes, blue skies, and blue seas. This was our stay at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives. So, what’s like to stay in a beach front villa in the Maldives? Relaxing At Our Beach Front Villa There are two ways to really experience a luxury stay in the Maldives. One of the most recognizable ways, is in an overwater villa, surrounded by blue seas. We certainly experienced this while staying at Hurawalhi, in one of the north atolls. But, not every property is exclusively filled with overwater villas. In fact, most of the rooms in the Maldives are beach front villas. That was just our experience at Outrigger in the Maldives. At first, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t have another overwater villa experience. But, our beach front villa was lovely, comfortable, and huge! A little more in tune with nature than Hurawalhi, our beach front villa included a small plunge pool, a comfortable seating area, and even a jacuzzi on the roof! Our thatched roof villa was surrounded by tropical greenery and felt entirely private. I was also happy for the extra space in the villa, as it did rain a bit during our stay. I did not feel as “stuck” inside because we had the extra space. But, the best part of our beach front villa was that we could walk directly from our deck, onto the white sand beach, and directly into the clear blue waters. Frankly, this was particularly important with the rain, as we were able...
Our New Food Traveler's Guide to Emilia Romagna is available on Amazon now!

Do you love to eat?

Don't miss a tasty morsel. Subscribe and receive a FREE eBook "37 Must Eat Foods in Southeast Asia"

You have Successfully Subscribed!