On this balmy evening in Bangkok, I had fully intended to bust out a whole editorial for you with quintessential luxe eveningwear and cherry red lips in my showstopper of a hotel room with its sweeping views of city lights and swarming traffic. But of course, time and my self-timer* would only allow these two shots before I had to exit upstairs to shoot with Ston at The Speakeasy, followed by an extensive brain ramble with Jared and Bern over what felt like several litres of sparkling Perrier. And perhaps for the better and more contextually accurate – I had been wearing this heat proof tee and skirt with a deeper neckline and higher split for about three hours earlier, filming with Jesse and Boyy at their new café on Thonglor, before stumbling in the door and sitting in a cold bath to counter the humid effects of a long day.
Hotel Muse itself is a lot darker and more atmospheric than any other city centre haunt. I’m certainly one to appreciate a 1920s first class train carriage in all its red-wooded, marble-topped, heavily draped glory (and yes, there was a giant glass window between the exceptionally detailed bathroom and a cloud of a bed). In stark contrast to the intense street culture and razor sharp skyscrapers multiplying out of the ground, it was refreshing to come home from working in the heat to an indulgently different world altogether – as I’m sure it would be every night.
And then there was the skyline – oh what a skyline. To me, New York’s horizon looks most striking in black and white on a sunny day. Bangkok looks best in midnight technicolour. Somehow, the entire city’s electric neon palette is completely coordinated, and glows vaguely blue as you struggle to comprehend the sheer number of freaking lights that must be switched on as a mighty fine substitute to a ceiling of stars. Come midnight, lightning runs in split second veins across empty pieces of sky, heartstop thunder, and a downpour worthy of Cat and my hair of choice – all of the after-dark charms, it seems, of Phuket and any other wildly tropical location I’ve ever stayed in. You would half expect a Cat ten times the size with softer feet and ulterior motives to cross the street twelve floors below you, and in the morning it would go into hiding (or morph into its fuel-powered reincarnation) when the shouting vendors and bikes and tuk tuks woke up again. Indeed, just as I adore Sydney’s balance of concrete and beach life, Bangkok finds the same medium with an infinitely more dramatic jungle (and then Sri Panwa is but a short flight away… right?).
So, dear Bangkok: I think I love you, and I miss you already.
I’ll be back.
* A lot of you have been asking how I’m going with my new Nikon (sorry about the late response on this one) – I have to say too, that I’ve definitely had to take far less shots to ensure something that’s in focus and lit the way I’m happy with (I’m talking one in ten versus one in fifty previously). Maybe it has something to do with the sensitivity of focal change on the lens? I don’t know. I do know that, given the 24.3 megapixel situation, my imagery is coming up so much cleaner and sharper with far more vibrant colours on the raw image with very little post-processing required. Which is awesome. For more technical specs, you might want to take a look at the breakdown, or chat to somebody who knows far more than little me.