GranTourismo! http://grantourismotravels.com The website of globetrotting professional travel writing & photography team Lara Dunston & Terence Carter. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 05:36:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 An Update from the Road: to Singapore via Phuket and back to Bangkok http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/04/06/an-update-from-the-road-to-singapore-via-phuket-and-back-to-bangkok/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/04/06/an-update-from-the-road-to-singapore-via-phuket-and-back-to-bangkok/#comments Sun, 06 Apr 2014 13:58:34 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21370 We’re back in Cambodia at our home in Siem Reap so this isn’t strictly an update from the road. Although I did start writing it in Singapore where I was feeling terribly guilty for having had to neglect poor Grantourismo because we were so busy working on print stories. Terence and I have just returned from …

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Authentic Beef Massaman Curry Recipe http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/04/03/authentic-beef-massaman-curry-recipe/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/04/03/authentic-beef-massaman-curry-recipe/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 06:57:19 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21361 An authentic beef Massaman curry is my favourite kind of Thai curry so there was no doubt I’d get around to making it sooner or later as part of our Year of Asian Cookbooks project. It’s the earthiness of Southern Thailand’s Massaman curry that makes this the most moreish of all curries. While the prep …

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Monday Memories: a Return to Instagram and Food Photography http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/10/a-return-to-instagram-and-food-photography/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/10/a-return-to-instagram-and-food-photography/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 03:09:54 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21348 It was this photo (above) that resulted in me giving up posting to Instagram just over a year ago. It didn’t happen straight after I posted the image, but a couple of months later when Lara asked me for the high-res, DSLR version of the image for a magazine story. But there was no high-res …

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Southern Thailand Geng Gari Gai Aromatic Chicken Curry Recipe http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/08/geng-gari-gai-aromatic-chicken-curry-recipe/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/08/geng-gari-gai-aromatic-chicken-curry-recipe/#comments Sat, 08 Mar 2014 11:11:47 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21309 This old Southern Thailand Geng Gari Gai aromatic chicken curry recipe “has a rich and delicious depth that only something rooted in the past can have,” according to Chef David Thompson of Nahm restaurant in Bangkok, who taught the dish to participants, including myself, at a culinary workshop held in Singapore last week as part …

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A Culinary Workshop with Chef David Thompson of Nahm http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/07/a-culinary-workshop-with-chef-david-thompson-of-nahm/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/07/a-culinary-workshop-with-chef-david-thompson-of-nahm/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:51:30 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21299 “I have no right to cook Thai food,” Australian chef David Thompson said in his opening remarks of a session on authenticity in cooking at The Future of Food forum, an Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants event, held last week here in Singapore. “Bullshit!” would be the honest Aussie response of any sane person with a palate …

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Monday Memories: Tetsuya Wakuda http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/03/monday-memories-tetsuya-wakuda/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/03/monday-memories-tetsuya-wakuda/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 02:46:17 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21291 On a brilliant, bright, sunny Saturday afternoon in Sydney, Australia in 1990 Lara and I took a taxi to the slowly-gentrifying working class suburb of Rozelle. We were armed with three bottles of wine and were on our way to dine at a restaurant called Tetsuya’s. It became an afternoon that seductively confirmed my increasingly …

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Beguiling Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/02/beguiling-halong-bay-in-northern-vietnam/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/02/beguiling-halong-bay-in-northern-vietnam/#comments Sun, 02 Mar 2014 00:56:38 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21237 A dazzling unspoilt seascape distinguished by clusters of verdant islands, craggy islets, limestone karsts, and schist outcrops that dramatically rise out of jade coloured waters, beguiling Halong Bay in northeast Vietnam is one of those enigmatic places that captures the imagination and doesn’t let go. Halong Bay has been immortalized in poetry, folk tales, myths, …

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Our Hanoi Bia Hoi Guide http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/01/our-hanoi-bia-hoi-guide/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/03/01/our-hanoi-bia-hoi-guide/#comments Sat, 01 Mar 2014 01:54:42 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21239 Wine bars and gastro pubs have been popping up in cities right across Asia in recent years. But while microbrewery craft beers and obscure French organic biodynamic wines have been taking the region by storm, in Hanoi the bia hoi joint has never been so popular. Here’s our Hanoi bia hoi guide to help you. …

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Monday Memories: Crossing a Suspension Bridge in Battambang http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/24/monday-memories-crossing-a-suspension-bridge-in-battambang/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/24/monday-memories-crossing-a-suspension-bridge-in-battambang/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 10:07:04 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21259 After getting a little misty-eyed while musing on our pre-Civil War travels in Syria and the special people we met, I decided it was time to look on the bright side and a destination recovering from a very tragic and violent past: Cambodia. In Cambodia, the past is still very present. We have friends our age who …

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A Guide to the Hanoi Art Scene http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/18/a-guide-to-the-hanoi-art-scene/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/18/a-guide-to-the-hanoi-art-scene/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:59:28 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21244 Most travellers visit Hanoi for the fantastic food. That was the main reason we went. After motorbikes, visitors to Vietnam’s capital find themselves dodging street food stalls. The footpaths are littered with locals perched on tiny plastic stools slurping pho, the legendary Vietnamese soup. Yet Hanoi’s contemporary art scene is doing well to compete for …

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Monday Memories: A Syrian Family in Their Beehive Home at Twal Dabaghein in Syria http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/17/monday-memories-syrian-family-beehive-house-at-twal-dabaghein/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/17/monday-memories-syrian-family-beehive-house-at-twal-dabaghein/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 16:19:13 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21254 It was the ever curious travel writer Gertrude Bell who wrote so eloquently about the apparent anomaly of the conical mud-brick houses found in Twal Dabaghein and Sarouj east of the city of Hama, Syria. Comparing them to nothing found outside of “illustrations to Central African travel books”, Bell had the same feeling we did …

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Remembering Syria and Syrians – The Sculptor Mustafa Ali http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/16/remembering-syria-and-syrians-the-sculptor-mustafa-ali/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/16/remembering-syria-and-syrians-the-sculptor-mustafa-ali/#comments Sun, 16 Feb 2014 14:49:06 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21222 This is the fourth installment of a series reflecting on the Syria we knew and the Syrians we befriended in the years we travelled to the country before the Civil War. Parts one and two were on the Storyteller Abu Shady and Jazz Duo Rasha Rizk and Ghazwan Zerkli. The Old City of Damascus had …

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Remembering Syria and Syrians – The Jazz Duo Rasha Rizk and Ghazwan Zerkli http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/15/remembering-syria-and-syrians-the-jazz-duo-rasha-rizk-and-ghazwan-zerkli/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/15/remembering-syria-and-syrians-the-jazz-duo-rasha-rizk-and-ghazwan-zerkli/#comments Sat, 15 Feb 2014 16:05:40 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21215 I wanted to share a moment in time from Damascus in 2009 for the third part of our series reflecting upon Syria and the Syrians we knew before the Civil War. That was the last time we visited Syria, to work on a handful of stories for magazines. We were also developing a book project …

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Remembering Syria and Syrians – The Storyteller Abu Shady http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/13/remembering-syria-and-syrians-the-storyteller-abu-shady/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/13/remembering-syria-and-syrians-the-storyteller-abu-shady/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 05:47:20 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21189 For the second part of a short series in which we’re reflecting on Syria and Syrians before the Civil War, the places we travelled and the people we met, we want to share a piece we did about the storyteller Abu Shady, who we last interviewed for a feature in 2009. The portrait above is …

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Remembering Syria and Syrians Before the Civil War http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/12/remembering-syria-and-syrians-before-the-civil-war/ http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/02/12/remembering-syria-and-syrians-before-the-civil-war/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:36:17 +0000 http://grantourismotravels.com/?p=21169 Last weekend, following a three-day ceasefire agreement reached during the Syria peace talks in Geneva the previous week, the UN evacuated some 700 Syrians from Homs’ old quarter, a rebel-held area besieged by Syrian government forces for some 18 months. A further 300 people were able to leave a few days later. Sadly, as they …

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