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Al Bastakiya, Dubai

Al Bastakiya

A neighborhood bursting with history in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The name Bastakiya is from "Bastak" which was a town part of the Arab-dominated province of Lars in south-central Iran. The construction of this neighborhood dates back to the 1890s.

Harvard Art Museums

The glass-and-steel architecture of Harvard Art Museums is art.

Seeing so much great work in one place is inspiring because it reminds you that the human mind is capable of great creativity and problem-solving.

How to get around in Bangkok

Bangkok

You're in Bangkok. You want to go out and take in the city but don't want to deal with traffic. What are your options? Well, you have many.

I find walking easiest for short distances if not raining (rainy season from July to October). You can walk around but you won't be able to cover much ground. The main reason people don't walk much is the heat and humidity (hot season from March to June). You could get on the road by taking a: 

  • Taxi (cheap)

  • Tuk-tuk (haggling required)

  • Motorbike taxi
    Locals on short journeys to and from work are the primary clientele, but they're not adverse to tourists using their services.

  • Buses
    You can go practically anywhere in the greater Bangkok metropolitan region by bus. It takes time to familiarize with the lines of buses in Bangkok and it is not always easy to get information in English.

But all of the above will have you stuck in the notorious Bangkok traffic. Bangkok traffic jams among world's worst. Drivers can spend an average of 64 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Bangkok Trip-93.jpg

The best option to get around Bangkok inner city is to take the Skytrain (BTS), which is my favorite. You don't have to worry about traffic. It's a cheap, smooth, clean, fast way to get around Bangkok. One day pass is the way to go. It will save you a LOT of time in rush-hour.  If you have the option, AVOID rush hours (7-9 am and 5-7 pm). It’s hell. 

You can also use MRT subway. It's designed more for the residential/commuter passenger.

I later found out that there is no photography on the Skytrain (oops). How do you like to get around in Bangkok? Let me know in the comments. 

Finding Art in Istanbul

Whenever I'm in a new city a must do is to check out the art scene. It's a great way to get acquainted with the culture. To this end, I head over to Istanbul Modern. Also known as Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. A museum of contemporary art in the Beyoğlu district.

Beautiful Palaces and Houses on the Bosphorus

In the past, I have mentioned the Topkapı Palace gradually lost its importance as the Sultans preferred to spend more time in their new houses along the Bosphorus. Well, here are some worth leaving palaces for.

For those who are geographically curious, the Bosphorus is a narrow, natural channel and an internationally significant waterway by Istanbul. Internationally significant because it forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia. 

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace was home to all the Ottoman sultans for a period of nearly four centuries. What's magnificent about the palace isn't its architecture (though very ornate), It's the view from its grounds. So one snowy day I took a walk around. 

The Topkapı Palace gradually lost its importance as the Sultans preferred to spend more time in their new dwellings along the Bosphorus. More about that in a different post.