Travel Photo of the Week 15


This photo was taken at dusk at the King Rama IX Royal Park (also known as Suanluang Rama 9) in Bangkok, Thailand last October 2011.

Thailand was the first international travel destination that Daryl and I were able to go together. We first went to a conference in Chiang Mai and then we dropped by Bangkok for a couple of days before returning back to the Philippines.

I found it quite interesting that even if I had been based in Bangkok before for 3 years, I never really had the chance to see this park! Well, it was just good to finally get to see and walk around the park and with my husband, too :)  I’m thankful that our friends, Raya and Joey (with their kids), convinced us that we should check out the park.

Thank God for friends and yes, thank God for the opportunity to travel back again to Bangkok.


5 Hotels That Took Modern Interior Design Too Far

When it comes to hotels, interior design is key. Hotels all across the United States have to match their brand and price point with interior design atmospheres like luxurious, relaxing, business, modern, chic, and much more. It is a constantly moving target as consumer tastes change on a continual basis. One of the hardest trends to hit upon is “modern”. The reason that modern is so hard is because it isn’t actually a style. Colonial is a style. Boho chic is a style. Gothic is a style. Modern is more of a continual trend to try and hit. Despite the challenges that face someone designing for modern, most designer are adept at creating wonderful works of interior design.

However, other designers may have taken “modern” to a whole new level.

Hotel Americano – New York, New York

Let’s start with the building facade because that is the most noticeable building on the block. While this may technically be exterior design, it really can’t go without mentioning. The idea behind the building’s exterior structure is pretty ingenious. The execution is probably spot on to what was proposed. The result is a little too modern. Old conveyor belts were reused to create the hotel’s mesh encasement. Going green and building out of recycled materials is great but the exterior just looks like a giant tilted over their industrial kitchen prep slab.

The rooms themselves were designed to appeal to the high-end, fashionistas of the world. We’re talking the runway clothing that you would never end up wearing yourself. The rooms are extremely simple studios which under most circumstances would be fine. However, the rooms have an odd mix of midcentury-modern and this-century-modern. It makes for a delightfully odd pairing of brightly colored furniture and stainless steel and granite finishes.

Hotel Americano
Hotel Americano (Photo from hotel website)

Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel – Tokyo, Japan

We have to leave the states for this one hotel and head to Tokyo, Japan. This hotel might not entirely be categorized so much as “modern” as it is “futuristic”. If you are looking for something that might be modern in 100 years when overpopulation has forced our hand, you should check out the Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel. Yes, it is exactly what it implies. There are shared facilities within the property such as a bath, sauna, and lockers. Your room is actually a tiny sleeping pod that can be compared to something out of a space travel movie.

Granados 83 – Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain is home to one heck of a gothic quarter. It is also home to Granados 83, a hotel that may have taken modern design a little bit far. The interior of Granados 83 bar is a tad dark. Black tables are surrounded by black chairs which are located in a black walled bar with a black ceiling. It is no secret that black matches with virtually every color and happens to be a color used in a lot of modern design. Unfortunately the key is to match other colors with black to help bring out some accents.

The Park – New Delhi, India

India is a vibrant country with a rich history of festivals, food, and design. Typically you’ll see more traditional Indian design in most of their hotels and other public places. However, India is also a vastly growing technological power, meaning modern design in the American sense is creating roots there.

And like all mimic designs, not every single one is going to hit the nail on the head. The Park Hotel in New Delhi seemed to mix some modern design with Indian flair making for a design that looked like something a Disney teen pop star imagined. Stark white walls and floors with rounded surfaces create a nice modern design. Then throw in some semi-transparent dangling partitions, magenta furniture, and hot pink accent lighting and you have yourself modern design that went too far.

25hours Hotel – Hamburg, Germany

Even from the outside, you know that the 25hours Hotel in Hamburg, Germany is going for the modern look. The hotel has a multi-layered faced that features different textures, materials, and colors all designed to scream modern. Exteriorly speaking, they do a great job of this.

The interior design is a little much. The lobby features some seating choices that you would consider modern or mid-century modern. Think of a pin cushion with the top cut off and replaced with a plastic seat. The overhead lighting is a nice modern touch but where they go wrong is in the use of mirrors. Mirrors are used in design to help add depth to the walls and make rooms seem larger. When the entire wall is made up of mirrors separated by about six inches, it makes for more a “fun house” feel.

Converting Travel Videos from MP4 to AVI with the Movavi Video Converter Review

Nowadays there are tons of travel videos out there and if you’re a fan of jetting around the world and exploring new places then it’s a safe bet that you know all about them. In fact just like many others you probably download and save many of these travel videos so that you can watch them at your leisure.

One thing that you may have noticed when you download travel videos off the internet however is that they come in many formats – and two of the most popular are definitely MP4 and AVI. While generally you should have no problems viewing either of these formats on your PC or even Mac, other devices may have certain preferences in terms of compatibility. Or it may even be that you find that you prefer one format over the other for optimization reasons.


Whatever the case, being able to convert your travel videos from MP4 to AVI would come in handy. Although conventionally converting video formats has been viewed as complicated and technical – with the Movavi Video Converter it’s completely the opposite and will just take a few simple and straightforward steps:

1. Add the MP4 video that you want to convert by clicking on the ‘Add Video’ button and selecting it.
2. Click on the ‘Convert to’ dropdown menu and find the ‘AVI’ option.
3. Select ‘Convert’ to start the conversion process.

Assuming you’d like to convert AVI to MP4 then you just have to reverse this process. In fact, you can select practically any format under the sun to convert into, or even automatically optimize your videos by using one of the hundreds of presets that are included to do so for a specific device or platform.

On top of that, you’ll also have other features that you can take advantage of – such as being able to enhance the video quality, cut and combine video segments, crop and rotate videos, and even adjust the audio or add text to your videos. Effectively the Movavi Video Convertor will let you adjust your video until it is ‘just right’ for your purposes.

Be sure to give it a try so that you can see firsthand just how intuitive and easy to use the Movavi Video Convertor really is. Odds are you’ll find that it really opens up a number of new possibilities.