by / on April 25, 2012 at 11:57 am / in Asia, Gary Fong, Pattaya, Stay, Thailand


  PATTAYA, THAILAND - Civil unrest, political coups and floods… if you’re a frequent visitor to Thailand, chances are, you’ll probably have the unfortunate experience of encountering one or more of these dramas.  For me, it was the Red Shirt Protests, whose leaders chose to make Ratchadamri, my neighborhood at the time, their very own ground zero for all red activity. [...]

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by / on February 1, 2012 at 8:46 pm / in Gary Fong, Stay, Tokyo


  TOKYO - Tired of forking out US$500+ bucks a night for a hotel room in Tokyo, when all you do is sleep there?  Ever wonder if there’s a better deal to be had for your Japan visit?  With the yen being so strong these days, this no-frills hotel located in one of the swankiest districts in Tokyo may be the just [...]

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by / on December 27, 2011 at 6:24 am / in Bangkok, Gary Fong, See


  BANGKOK  – I always knew about it but never saw it; had no clue how amazing it was or what I was actually missing.  The Royal Barges National Museum, located along the banks of the Chao Phraya, ranks right up there with the magnificent Wat Praew Kaew.  A bit of a trek but, once you find it, you’ll be [...]

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by / on December 17, 2011 at 11:27 am / in Gary Fong, See, Tokyo


  TOKYO – If you’re a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and his animated masterpieces (e.g. Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro) then this is truly the place for you.  More than a museum (quite Disneyesque, actually), visiting Ghibli is like walking into one of Miyazaki’s films.  You’ll get a fun and fascinating look into the Ghibli magic, from life-sized prop and [...]

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by / on December 17, 2011 at 4:15 am / in Eat, Gary Fong, Tokyo


  TOKYO – Known for ‘great tempura at an affordable price’ or – as some would say- for being ‘good and cheap,’ this original branch of the famous Tsunahachi chain serves up some pretty darn tasty tempura.  The seafood is fresh, the veggies seasonal and the final product, cooked in sesame oil, is crispy and light.  The menu is designed [...]

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by / on December 17, 2011 at 4:08 am / in Bangkok, Gary Fong, Shop


  BANGKOK – It was once known as the first western-style mega mall in Bangkok but nowadays MBK’s claim to fame is the rather unfortunate nickname “ground zero for all things pirated.”  Like Bangkok’s infamous Chatuchak market, I have a love-hate relationship with MBK – the swarm of families decked out in the latest knock-offs is enough to scare the [...]

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by / on October 21, 2011 at 8:08 am / in Asia, Bangkok, Gary Fong, Hotels, Stay


  BANGKOK – Love, love, LOVE the Metropolitan Bangkok’s Met rooms:  super spacious and modern, with soothing earth tones; big comfy beds (and lovely sheets to go with), huge bathrooms (shower, tub and silky smooth robes) and a full-on entertainment system (to watch all those pirated discs you ‘didn’t buy’).  The rest of the hotel – service, pool (which annoyingly, [...]

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by / on October 21, 2011 at 8:01 am / in Asia, Gary Fong, Relax, Tokyo


  TOKYO – Take it where you can get it.  Narita Express (NEX) may be transport of choice for going to and from Japan’s main airport but it’s also a prime opportunity for some quality RELAX TIME before dealing with the chaos of Narita or if arriving, before stepping into the Tokyo whirlwind.  A first (or last) row, single seat [...]

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by / on October 21, 2011 at 7:54 am / in Asia, Bangkok, Gary Fong, Relax, Sights


  BANGKOK – Need to feel worked, relaxed and refreshed?  Then call Silom Massage and ask for John.  His three hour Traditional Thai Massage session (anything less and you’ll want more) will renew your faith in this hugely over-exploited practice.  John, a Myanmar national, speaks little English but knows the body like all therapists should (and most don’t).  Usually one [...]

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by / on October 21, 2011 at 7:52 am / in Asia, Eat, Gary Fong, Restaurants, Tokyo


TOKYO – This kushiyaki-style eatery (meat and veggies skewered on sticks then grilled) next to a cemetery serves up a decadent ‘cheese peep’ (roasted green peppers wrapped in bacon and filled with creamy, melted cheese) and to-die-for ‘shisho tsukune’ (ground chicken seasoned with shiso leaves then grilled).  The rest of the food is quite tasty as well including the wasabi [...]

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