Bangkok is a veritable feast for the senses. From the minute you set foot on the tarmac, the city offers an explosion of diverse offerings satiating the curious traveller’s mind. The contrast of old and new, the traditional and modern, grabs you immediately. It is evident everywhere – from the gleaming, gilded temples to the fusion restaurants and the sights and sounds of the busy Asian metropolis.
This juxtaposition was appropriate for IWC’s Da Vinci Exhibition launched in the Siam Paragon Mall this summer, a fitting display of what form the “new” can create when referencing the old. I arrived in Bangkok the day before the launch, excitement only further fuelled by the wonderful cacophony of sounds and sensory overload – and by the prospects of delicious gastronomic delights. And boy, I was not disappointed.
Our first meal at Bo.Lan was unforgettable and their durian coconut pudding made sure of it (yes, I was that girl who asked for a second helping). The dinner entertainment was an excerpt of the traditional Ramakien puppet show, and one of Thailand’s fashion editors was kind enough to narrate the history of this epic and explain why the friendly Hanuman puppet had taken off with my handbag (only to return it shortly after in exchange for a kiss).
The next day was spent recovering from the previous night’s full belly and preparing for the evening’s launch with the following ingredients in my hotel room: hair, make-up, coffee – not necessarily in that order. After a quick break for lunch at nearby Jim Thompson’s Bombyx (and their incredible assortment of all things satay and scallop), we arrived at Siam Paragon where the energy was high and the excitement created by the mirrored photo booth even higher. It was a night of celebrating; we chatted with press and friends from all over the region, pausing only for a moment to cut the ribbon and officially launch and open the exhibition.
Our final morning was spent exploring more of the city, the infamous Thai sun beating down on us as we (and thousands of like-minded tourists) meandered through the temples and the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles – where the Queen’s wardrobe of meticulously designed pieces is on display, the collection fit for a – well, you know. Strolling through the exhibit is a must; the petite Queen’s outfits are a wonderful portal to the history of Thailand, exploring the meticulous handiwork of Thai artisans working alongside the designers.
The trip concluded with a final meal on the river at Sala Rattanakosin, where the vast array of Thai food laid out on the table was the perfect way to bid Bangkok farewell and induce a welcome food coma before the journey back home to Manila.
Kim Jones wore the Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 (Ref. IW459011) during the event.
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