For this edition of How I Travel, we have Prakaikaew Na-Ranong, a.k.a Khun Moo, whose father is a hospitality legend in Thailand. Khun Moo is the daughter of Wichit Na-Ranong, who is known as the “father of tourism in Phuket”, as well as a mother of two herself. She is also the Co-owner and Managing Director of the renowned five-star luxury hotel, The Slate.
Join us as we uncover Prakaikaew's travel tips and tricks, which she's accumulated over the years from her international adventures.
Last trip? My last trip started in Palm Springs, California. We went there for Modernism week, an annual event to celebrate midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. Then we continued to Mexico City, Cuernavaca and San Miguel de Allende. The highlight in Mexico City was Bosque de Chapultepec, once the temporary home of the Aztec empire.
Today, the forest offers many cultural interests, such as the presidential residence, the former presidential palace, a zoo and several museums. My favourite one is Museo Nacional de Antropología. One of the best meals during the trip was at Guzina Oaxaca in Mexico City.
Cuernavaca was a summer getaway for the Aztec Emperors in the 19th Century and is nicknamed the “Eternal City of Spring”—a must was the Robert Brady Museum. Our last stop was San Miguel de Allende which is a colourful small town and has great shopping!
Next trip? Shanghai, then New York and Miami. I will attend ILTM Asia in Shanghai. I also have meetings in New York and Miami in June.
What do you love most about travelling? The essence of travelling for me is about discoveries. I find it very invigorating to discover new things and meet new people.
Most memorable travel experience? My trip to Burma many years ago truly moved my soul. Every little thing was fascinating—walking around the city, watching people sell betel nuts, observing monks in burgundy robes on the ferry, visiting antique shops, trying delicious street food…
It was so captivating to walk in the downtown area, looking at decaying colonial buildings that were once the city’s glory. Standing in front of them, imagining what they used to be like when the city was in its prime, was quite an unforgettable experience.
And the worst? The worst was the queuing in Shanghai at the World Expo. It was in June and a really hot and crowded summer.
One place you’d visit over and over again? Madrid… the city I have gone back to over and over again in the past eight years. I love the way of living and lifestyle in Madrid.
Three things you always travel with? iPad, gym gear, headphones. I try to work out as soon as I land and keep working out five to six days a week even while I am travelling. Working out is an energy boost. It makes me stay focused longer and think more clearly.
What do you normally read on the plane? E-lifestyle magazines. I am constantly flipping through the pages of Shape, Self, Porter, Madame Figaro (Weekly Supplement of Le Figaro), S Moda (Supplement of El Pais) and Elle Decor Italia.
Favourite travel companion? My boyfriend.
Aisle or window seat? Window.
Favourite travel app? Cool Cousin. This app allows me to connect to locals who share my interests and get their personalised suggestions. It’s really the best way to discover a place as you get to see the city through the eyes of a like-minded local.
Your best travel tip? Walking is the best way to discover the place you visit. You get to discover streets and hidden paths that you would never see in a car, plus you get engrossed in the local culture and never know what you may find around the corner.
Any tips on overcoming jet lag? Circular breathing—it's also a good hangover cure!
See also: How I Travel: James McBride of Nihiwatu