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The Indagare Guide to Armchair Travel While Social-Distancing: How to Virtually Experience Our Favorite Destinations Around the Globe

As we continue to stay home and practice social distancing, there are still ways to celebrate our favorite destinations and dream of the ones that we have yet to explore, which fill us with wonder and a hunger for life. To help you keep the spirit of discovery alive, we’ve created a new kind of “armchair travel” guide: a curated list of the recipes, playlists, films and books that evoke our favorite places, sourced from our members, our staff, hotel partners and fellow travelers around the world. This guide can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home—solo, with your loved ones, virtually—and we encourage you to make it your own. Until we can get out on the road again, we’ll be using these lists to journey around the world, from the Amalfi Coast to Marrakech, and we will continue to expand them with your feedback, through it all, because how you travel matters—even when that means staying at home.

How do you travel from home? Send us pictures snapped while using this guide—and your additions to it!—at content@indagare.com.

Dreaming Of: Italy 

Says Trip Designer Gabrielle DuCharme Petakas: “Lately I have been feeling nostalgic for the Amalfi Coast, and I have been preparing spaghetti alle vongole (which pairs perfectly with an Aperol spritz) to take me back. I fell in love with this combination during my first trip there—we ordered it at every beach club!” Meanwhile, Trip Designer Elizabeth Meyers has been meditating on Puglia: “Right now, I would love to be enjoying a cocktail under the olive trees at Masseria San Domenico, where the bar itself is wrapped around an olive tree. But while we stay at home, I’m trying to find other ways to recreate those perfect, slow moments—that I usually only find elsewhere—when you are truly present in your surroundings, without any stress.”

What to Cook: Making fresh pasta is a great stay-at-home activity to while away several hours—and it’s one that we never seem to have time for, when life is going at its usual speed. We love Eataly’s recipe for fresh pasta dough—or you can book one of our pasta-making Global Classroom sessions for authentic, live instruction! Plus, you can make use of a variety of ingredients to round out the dish with your sauce and sides, depending on what you have handy. Here are a few recipes to get you inspired, in search of La Dolce Vita—at home:

What to Drink: Belmond Hotel Cipriani Bellini; Four Seasons Florence Vintage Negroni; Aperol or Campari Spritz; Americano; La Bicicletta; Any bottle of wine from your favorite region of Italy (try Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna or Sicily!) 

What to Listen To: Call Me By Your Name (original motion picture soundtrack); Italy Instrumental (Spotify playlist); Dean Martin; Giacomo Puccini; Giuseppe Verdi; Vincenzo Bellini, preferably interpreted by Maria Callas; plus—listen to our Italy playlist on Indagare’s Spotify

What to Watch: 

  • Romance: Eat, Pray, Love; Under the Tuscan Sun; Roman Holiday; A Room with a View; Call Me By Your Name; Stealing Beauty
  • Drama: Gladiator; Life is Beautiful; I Am Love; The English Patient; Romeo and Juliet (Franco Zeffirelli 1968 version); My Brilliant Friend (HBO Series); Cinema Paradiso
  • Thriller: The Talented Mr. Ripley; La Dolce Vita
  • Comedy: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • Family-friendly: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat; The Lizzie McGuire Movie

What to Read: 

  • Fiction: The Leopard; Call Me By Your Name; A Room with a View; My Brilliant Friend; A Farewell to Arms; Much Ado About Nothing; Julius Caesar; The English Patient
  • Nonfiction: Eat, Pray, Love; The Land Where Lemons Grow; Eating My Way Through Italy: Heading Off the Main Roads to Discover the Hidden Treasures of the Italian Table; Four Seasons in Rome

Plus—travel to Italy via Zoom with our latest Global Classroom and Global Conversation offerings.

Dreaming Of: Mexico

Says Indagare’s Senior Director of Marketing Diana Li: “My mind has been on Mexico—now more than ever, after our two Global Conversations with designer Rodman Primack and lifestyle specialist Marcella Echavarria, who brought me back to the vibrant world of brightly-colored homes, textiles and indigenous artwork that I fell in love with in Mexico’s great craft cities, from Mexico City to Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende. I’ve been looking at some of the souvenirs that I purchased there, which are wonderful reminders, but to hear Rodman and Marcella’s perspectives—even over Zoom—was truly transporting! And, of course, a mezcal margarita with fresh lime juice always helps to set the scene.”

What to Cook: Tacos are fun and get your creative juices flowing—without a huge time commitment. The recipe options are endless, and they can be customized to suit a variety of tastes and dietary restrictions. We especially love less typical combinations, like fried brussel sprouts with lime juice and tahini or spicy grilled shrimp with avocado and cubed grapefruit. Here are a few additional recipes to get you inspired:

What to Drink: Rosewood Mayakoba Spicy Cucumber Margarita; Las Ventanas al Paraíso Jalapeño Margarita; Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Reyes; Paloma; Michelada (our preferred recipe: the lager of your choice, poured over ice and mixed with fresh lime juice—and a dash of hot sauce, if desired—with spicy salt)

What to Listen To: Casa Pueblo Tulum and Gitano Tulum Tropical Gypsy (Spotify playlists for Tulum hotspots Casa Pueblo and Gitano); Chilling at the Beach by DJ Adrian (Spotify playlist for Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort); Vicente Fernandez; plus—listen to our Mexico Beach playlist on Indagare’s Spotify

What to Watch: 

  • Romance: Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate)
  • Drama: Frida; Roma; Under the Volcano; Against All Odds
  • Thriller: Amores Perros; Spectre
  • Family-friendly: Coco; Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

What to Read: 

  • Fiction: The Story of My Teeth; The Savage Detectives; Aztec
  • Nonfiction: Mexico from the Inside Out; The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait; The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle; Nothing, Nobody: The Voices of the Mexico City Earthquake; Architecture of Luis Barragán 

Plus—travel to Mexico via Zoom with our latest Global Classroom and Global Conversation offerings, and explore our upcoming Insider Journey with Architectural Digest Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley here.

Dreaming Of: France

Says Indagare’s Creative Director Simone Girner: “Part of me feels like it is always in Paris, where I lived for many years, and this week in particular, my mind drifted back there, because last year at this time, I traveled to Paris and to Corsica for Indagare. Corsica, especially, was a revelation—an island of incredible natural beauty that felt like a bit of an undiscovered gem. It’s certainly a French island—with fantastic food, wines and great beach clubs—but it also has a strong vibe of Italy mixed in…so it’s the best of both worlds. I can’t wait to go back as soon as I can. In the meanwhile, I always have a French playlist on my Spotify—with Benjamin Biolay, Serge Gainsbourg, Charles Aznavour, Patricia Kaas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Carla Bruny and many others—keeping me company and allowing me to dream of a return to France soon.”

What to Cook: From baguettes and croque monsieurs to steak frites and cassoulet, no one does cozy comfort food like the French do. For a relaxing night in, open a bottle of your favorite vintage, try your hand at Julia Child’s most iconic dishes—or one of the recipes below—and transport yourself to “La Vie en Rose” (which was first recorded by Edith Piaf to celebrate the liberation of Paris from German occupation at the end of World War II):

  • From La Réserve Ramatuelle: Quinoa tabbouleh with chimichurri sauce recipe
  • From Four Seasons George V, Paris: Sea bass with buttermilk recipe from Le Cinq restaurant’s three-Michelin-starred chef Christian Le Squer
  • From Hôtel de Crillon, Paris: Strawberry tart recipe
  • From Indagare member Jeanne Petrucci, M.S., Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: Incredible Instant Pot French Onion Soup recipe (by Laurel Deininger, M.S., R.D.N., L.D.N., C.D.E.)
  • From the Indagare Team: Baguettes recipe (by Molly O’Neill); Coq Au Vin recipe (by Ina Garten); Chocolate soufflé recipe (by Martha Stewart)

What to Drink: Hôtel de Crillon Pretty in Pink cocktail; La Réserve Paris Haathee cocktail; The Ritz Sidecar; French 75; Cocktails made with St. Germain, Vermouth or Lillet; Any bottle of wine from your favorite region of France (try Burgundy, Bordeaux or the Loire Valley); Champagne (bien sûr!)

What to Listen To: Love in Paris (Spotify playlist); Midnight in Paris (original motion picture soundtrack); Paris Café Jazz (Spotify playlist); Edith Piaf; Jacques Brel; Benjamin Biolay; Serge Gainsbourg; Noir Désir; Zaz; Manu Chao; Radio Nova (a wonderful French radio station that can be streamed); plus—listen to our Paris playlist on Indagare’s Spotify

What to Watch: 

  • Romance: Midnight in Paris; Moulin Rouge!; An American in Paris; Breathless (1960 original); Les Enfants du Paradis; Le Mépris; Les Demoiselles de Rochefort; Jules et Jim
  • Drama: The Intouchables; Les Misérables; Saving Private Ryan; Coco Before Chanel; The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Le Havre; Colette; La Vie en Rose
  • Comedy: Amélie; Julie & Julia; Gigi; The Artist; La Grande Vadrouille (Don’t Look Now… We’re Being Shot At!)
  • Family-friendly: Ratatouille; The Aristocats; Hugo

What to Read: 

  • Fiction: Les Misérables; The Paris Wife; The Nightingale; All the Light We Cannot See; City of Darkness, City of Light; Suite Française; The House in Paris; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Little Prince
  • Nonfiction: A Moveable Feast; Mastering the Art of French Cooking; My Life in France; From Paris to the Moon; Me Talk Pretty One Day; Love and Louis XIV; The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire; Metronome: A History of Paris from the Underground Up

Plus—travel to France via Zoom with our latest Global Classroom and Global Conversation offerings.

Dreaming Of: Russia

Says Operations Manager Kathryn Nathanson: “From the grit of Moscow to the imperial splendor of St. Petersburg, Russia is a country of layers that you are going to want to continue to peel back. I am currently reminiscing by looking through photos of some of my favorite experiences there—watching a performance at the Bolshoi Theatre, strolling through the gilded palaces of Tsarskoye Selo and, of course, enjoying a traditional Russian meal of caviar, blinis with crème fraîche and vodka.” Trip Designer Avery Carmichael, who got a special, snowy look at the country last winter, is preferring to travel through literature: “St. Petersburg feels shrouded in mystery and high drama. There’s so much that’s frozen in time, from the confection-like exteriors of the Fabergé Museum to the intricacies of the St. Isaac’s Cathedral’s interior dome. Strolling along Nevsky Prospect and the Neva River, I couldn’t help but picture the ornate carriages of the Tolstoyan era. Now, I’m turning to those novels—and new additions, like Lara Prescott’s The Secrets We Kept—to bring those places to life again, during quarantine.”

What to Cook: Historically hard winters—and decades under Communist rule—have inextricably woven the rituals of “hunkering down” into Russian culture and cuisine. We recommend turning to the classic recipes of the region for inspiration (and which laid the foundation for the contemporary restaurant scene that is turning heads in Moscow and St. Petersburg):

  • From Belmond Grand Hotel Europe St. Petersburg: Beef Stroganoff recipe
  • From Indagare member Jeanne Petrucci, M.S., Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: Chicken plov recipe (by Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N.)
  • From the Indagare Team: Sour pickles recipe (by Cathy Barrow); Borscht recipe (by Claire Saffitz); Siberian pelmeni (Russian ravioli) recipe (by Craig Clairborne); Medovik honey cake recipe (by Samin Nosrat)

What to Drink: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe Akhmatova and Million Red Roses cocktails; Ritz-Carlton Moscow Moscow Mule cocktail; Black tea; Kombucha; Your preferred brand of vodka; Kvass; Kompot; Sbiten (with or without wine)

What to Listen To: Russian Folk Music (Spotify playlist); Polina Gagarina; Mariinsky Orchestra; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Sergei Prokofiev; Dmitri Shostakovich; Sergei Rachmaninoff; Igor Stravinsky; plus—listen to our Russia playlist on Indagare’s Spotify 

What to Watch: 

  • Romance: Anna Karenina; Doctor Zhivago; Onegin
  • Drama: The Last Czars; War and Peace; Burnt by the Sun
  • Thriller: GoldenEye; The Bourne Supremacy
  • Documentary: Icarus
  • Family-friendly: Anastasia

What to Read: 

  • Fiction: Anna Karenina; The Master and Margarita; A Hero of Our Time; Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida; Crime & Punishment; A Gentleman in Moscow; The Secrets We Kept
  • Nonfiction: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman; The Romanovs: The Final Chapter; The Ransom of Russian Art; Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia

Plus—explore our upcoming Insider Journey to St. Petersburg and Moscow with Architectural Digest here.

Dreaming Of: Senegal

Says Indagare Associate Editor Elizabeth Harvey: “I visited the West African coastal nation of Senegal in August, and lately I have been dreaming of returning for a much-needed dose of excitement and challenge—and seaside living. The capital city, Dakar, is a multisensory, complex place that invites its explorers to wander along broad avenues lined with palm trees and politicized graffiti murals, to linger in open-air markets where fishermen heft in their day’s catch aboard pirogue boats—to be served, grilled, with spiced rices and an ice-cold La Gazelle beer, by women in printed head scarves—and to speculate at the foundations of modern feats of architecture, soon to rise against a historic, and long underdeveloped, skyline. While I am waiting to travel again, I’ve been listening to Youssou N’Dour—the king of Senegalese mbalax—on Spotify, to bring a little bit of Senegal to life in quarantine.”

What to Cook: An Indagare pick for Where to Travel Next, Senegal is home to one of the most dynamic food scenes in Africa. The most popular national recipes—such as jollof, thieboudienne, maafe and yassa—are fairly straightforward and result in rich, satisfying meals. The elements of Senegalese cuisine—which combine West African, French, Dutch and Portuguese influences—consist of stewed or grilled meat, chicken or fish, root vegetables and rice or fonio grain (seasoned with garlic, onion, pepper, tomato and other fresh herbs). Incorporate mustard or peanut sauce to be truly Senegalese. For additional inspiration, check out the menu at Teranga, an up-and-coming, fast-casual restaurant in New York City that was founded by Noah Levine and Pierre Thiam (who was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown)—or, if you are quarantining in New York City, order online for delivery!

  • From the Indagare Team: Classic jollof recipe (by Chef Pierre Thiam); Chicken mafe recipe (by Francis Lam); Senegalese Fish and Rice (Thiéboudienne) recipe

What to Drink: Fresh fruit juices made from bissap (hibiscus), ginger, mango, mint and lime; La Gazelle (or a comparably bright lager); Crisp, summery French wines

What to Listen To: Youssou N’Dour; Ismael Lo; Baaba Maal; Pape et Cheikh; Orchestra Baobab

What to Watch: 

  • Drama: The Atlantics; The Pirogue
  • Documentary: Incorruptible; Parts Unknown, “Senegal” (Season 7, Episode 7); Given

What to Read: 

  • Fiction: God’s Bits of Wood; So Long a Letter; Three Strong Women; The Belly of the Atlantic
  • Nonfiction: However Long the Night; The Abandoned Baobab: The Autobiography of a Senegalese Woman

Curious about travel to Senegal? Read our article in the new Spring/Summer 2020 edition of Indagare Magazine, now available online.

Dreaming Of: India

Says Indagare’s Senior Director of Membership Elise Bronzo: “Post-quarantine, I thought my travel-loving heart would be aching for wide open spaces and the great outdoors, but my daydreams are currently streaming scenes from my favorite markets in the world, especially in India: friendly exchanges with local merchants, bartering by hand gesture to overcome language barriers, aching ankles after a day along cobblestoned alleyways, total saturation. The owner of my local farm stand has been humoring me, allowing me to emphatically barter for bananas and sweet potatoes through our masks and rubber gloves, but I have yet to successfully lower my bill.”

What to Cook: Few countries in the world stimulate the five senses in such a vibrant way as does India—and the bright colors and aromas of cardamom, turmeric, clove, ginger, chili and cumin leave some of the strongest lasting impressions on travelers to the subcontinent. While staying at home, the help of a slow-cooker makes preparing delicious—and comforting—curries and stews manageable; plus, the Indian kitchen offers wonderful vegetarian options. Don’t forget the naan—which can also be prepared without yeast, if you are unable to come by it! Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

  • From Rambagh Palace Jaipur: Laal maas recipe
  • From Indagare member Jeanne Petrucci, M.S., Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: Pumpkin vegetable curry with spinach recipe; Spiced quinoa vegetable bake recipe; Chicken tikka masala recipe; Tandoori roasted cauliflower recipe; Cardamom orange overnight chia pudding recipe (by Jeanne Petrucci, M.S., R.D.N.)
  • From the Indagare Team: Butter chicken recipe (by Rick Martinez) and Tandoori carrots with Vadouvan spice and yogurt recipe (by Claire Saffitz)

What to Drink: Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai From the Harbour Since 1933 cocktail; Rambagh Palace Jaipur Martini; Chai martini; Whiskey chai tea; Darjeeling tea

What to Listen To: Ustad Bismillah Khan; Pandit Shivkumar Sharma; Pandit Ravi Shankar; AR Rahman; Slumdog Millionaire (original motion picture soundtrack); Wonderwall Music (George Harrrison, 1968); plus—listen to our India playlist on Indagare’s Spotify  

What to Watch:

  • Romance: Eat, Pray, Love; Monsoon Wedding; Bride & Prejudice
  • Drama: Gandhi; Slumdog Millionaire; Lion; Salaam Bombay!
  • Comedy: The Darjeeling Limited; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Documentary: Period. End of Sentence
  • Family-friendly: The Jungle Book

What to Read:

  • Fiction: The God of Small Things; Midnight’s Children; A Passage to India; Kim; White Tiger; The Great Indian Novel; Latitudes of Longing; The Calcutta Chromosome
  • Nonfiction: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity; The Great Railway Bazaar; An Autobiography of Gandhi: The Story of My Experiments With Truth; Eating India: An Odyssey Into the Food and Culture of the Land of Spices; Eleven Ways to Love

Explore the Indagare Guide to India.

Dreaming Of: The American South

Says Indagare Trip Designer—and College of Charleston alumna—Missy Weil: “During this chaotic time, I’ve been trying to channel the slow pace and serenity of Charleston. Spending time under a tree with a good book, or even just having a front porch cocktail when it’s warm (lately I’ve been having a Michelada or a Paloma)…I try to take time to enjoy the small things. I really miss my favorite restaurants there, 167 Raw being one of them. To bring them to life while staying at home, I’ve been recreating their seafood-focused dishes, which really symbolize those months right before summer kicks off, for me.” 

What to Cook: The cities of the American South—notably, Nashville, New Orleans, Charleston and Savannah—are home to some of the country’s most robust food scenes, with hot spots like The Obstinate Daughter and Husk combining the cultures of classic American comfort food and Southern hospitality with contemporary notions of farm-to-table dining and local, sustainable sourcing. Especially as we head into summer weather, there’s nothing like a dose of Southern charm to brighten up your days at home. Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

What to Drink: Arnold Palmer; Iced tea; Old-Fashioned; Mint Julep; Sazerac; Hotel Zero George Eau de Vie, Oaxaca Farmer and Healthy Habit cocktails; Blackberry Farm & Blackberry Mountain Gin & Treuse, Bloody Martini, Main House Veranda Spritzer and Spring’s Bellini; Perry Lane Hotel‘s Peregrin Rooftop Seersucker Suit cocktail (Maker’s Mark Private Select, black tea, lemon, 18.21 earl grey bitters)

What to Listen To: Louis Armstrong; Jelly Roll Morton; Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Miles Davis; Duke Ellington; Johnny Cash; June Carter; Patsy Cline; Elvis Presley; Otis Redding; Etta James; Ella Fitzgerald; Ray Charles; Dolly Parton; Kenny Rogers; The Allman Brothers Band; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Creedence Clearwater Revival; Rascal Flatts; Alabama Shakes; Kacey Musgraves; Leon Bridges; Country Music 101 (Spotify playlist); Blues Classics (Spotify playlist); Bluegrass Origins (Spotify playlist)

What to Watch:

  • Romance: Sweet Home Alabama; The Notebook
  • Drama: Gone With the Wind; A Streetcar Named Desire; The Help; Lincoln; 12 Years a Slave; Walk the Line; The Blind Side
  • Comedy: Driving Miss Daisy; Forrest Gump; Steel Magnolias
  • Family-friendly: Remember the Titans; The Princess and the Frog

What to Read:

  • Fiction: Gone With the Wind; A Confederacy of Dunces; The March; The Help; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor; Their Eyes Were Watching God; The Secret Life of Bees; Cold Mountain; As I Lay Dying; Where the Crawdads Sing; Sing, Unburied, Sing; The Underground Railroad; Safe Haven
  • Nonfiction: Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death, and Life in New Orleans; Zeitoun; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Plus, explore the list of Books That Transport Us, curated by owner of Dallas-based bookshop Interabang Books (and Indagare Member) Nancy Perot!

Curious about domestic travel? Read our recent article: East Coast Vacations from New York and Boston.

Dreaming Of: Morocco

Marrakech is a city full of secrets, one that invites discovery and surprises,” says Trip Designer Madeline Case, who scouted the destination this past fall. “From the outside, it’s almost monotone—each wall an identical shade of terracotta—but behind what looks like an ordinary door, lies a hidden garden, a courtyard covered in dazzling patterns and vibrant colors. It’s a city that encourages you to expect the unexpected and explore with a sense of childlike wonder and delight at what you may uncover. Even while we’re staying at home, just recalling the magic of this place makes my day a bit brighter.” 

What to Cook: If you’re looking to mix things up in your quarantine kitchen, an evening in Morocco is sure to provide that much-needed dose of excitement. Let the aromas of saffron, mint, nutmeg, verbena and cayenne carry you away to the bustling alleys of the pink-walled medina, the echoing halls of tiled palaces and quiet, verdant gardens. While the options for inspiration are endless, we recommend starting with this iconic lineup: couscous, a fresh salad (anything with eggplant, tomato, peppers or olives works) and a classic tagine. For an added challenge, try recreating a Moroccan dessert—most recipes require a simple list of ingredients that emphasize orange, almond, coconut and honey.

What to Drink: Moroccan Mint tea—and add bourbon, simple syrup, ginger and citrus to make a Moroccan Mint Julep; L’Heure Bleue Palais, Essaouira Sombrero’s Surprise cocktail; Black tea; Pomegranate juice; Bourbon, whiskey or gin muddled with cardamom, citrus, bergamot or cinnamon 

What to Listen To: Malika Zarra; Zohra Al Fassiya; Mahmoud Guinia; Ammouri Mbarek; Morocco Sounds (Spotify playlist); Sahara (Spotify playlist); plus—listen to our Morocco playlist on Indagare’s Spotify  

What to Watch:

  • Romance: Casablanca
  • Drama: Hideous Kinky; Babel; Razzia
  • Documentary: L’Amour Fou; Parts Unknown, “Morocco” (Season 1, Episode 5); Given

What to Read:

  • Fiction: The Spider’s House; Larabi’s Ox: Stories of Morocco; The Sand Child; A Life Full of Holes; Lulu in Marrakech; The Sheltering Sky; Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
  • Nonfiction: A House in Fez; The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca; Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail; In Morocco (Edith Wharton); Lords of the Atlas; Valley of the Casbahs: A Journey Across the Moroccan Sahara

Explore the Indagare Guide to Morocco.

Dreaming Of: Thailand

Says Indagare Associate Membership Manager Sarah Levine, who spent time living in Thailand prior to joining the Indagare team: “I’m dreaming of being back in Bangkok—where the streets are pulsing with energy, friendly smiles are abundant, and the smell of fragrant, sweet herbs fills the air in buzzing markets. To transport us there while we’re in quarantine, my family has adopted “Thai Tuesdays,” when we prepare a Thai feast of rich curries and spicy basil stir fries. We’ve also experimented with cocktails that make us feel like we are lounging in the waters of the Emerald Lagoon outside of Phuket by infusing liquors with different combinations of lemongrass, ginger and Thai chili!”

What to Cook: Preparing a Thai meal is a fun and rewarding activity to enliven hours at home—and the perfect way to mentally escape to this culturally-rich tropical paradise. Whether you are dreaming of the forests of Chiang Mai, the alleys of chaotic Bangkok or the beaches of the southern islands, there are plenty of unique regional dishes to transport you. Plus, Thai cuisine is loaded with immunity-boosting ingredients like citrus, garlic, ginger, turmeric, papaya and mango, as well as sinus-clearing spices. Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

What to Drink: Cha Yen (Thai iced tea); Six Senses Yao Noi homemade Ginger Beer; Six Senses Yao Noi Lemongrass Cosmo; Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Bamboo Bar Hawker cocktail; Four Seasons Chiang Mai Mule (Stolichnaya, chili, ginger, lime); Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok Tamarind Whiskey Sour; Fresh fruit juices; Coconut water; Thai beers like Singha and Tiger; Whiskey, gin, bourbon or vodka, shaken with your preferred combination of tonic water, fresh lime juice, pineapple syrup, grapefruit, ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, Thai basil, Thai chili, strawberry, hibiscus or simple syrup

What to Listen To: Carabao; Tata Young; Klear; Lydia Sarunrat Deane; Thailand Top 50 (Spotify playlist)

What to Watch:

  • Action: Rambo; Bangkok Dangerous (2000 original version)
  • Romance: Anna and the King
  • Drama: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives; The Railway Man; The Beach
  • Thriller: No Escape; The Man with the Golden Gun 
  • Comedy: The Hangover Part II
  • Documentary: Parts Unknown, “Thailand” (Season 3, Episode 8); Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story; Given
  • Family-friendly: The King and I (1956 and 1999 versions) 

What to Read:

  • Fiction: The Beach; Fieldwork; Sightseeing; The Narrow Road to the Deep North; The Bridge Over the River Quai; The Orchid House; Bangkok 8; Private Dancer
  • Nonfiction: Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand; The Damage Done; Bangkok Babylon; Jim Thompson: The Unsolved Mystery

Curious about travel to Thailand? Read our article in the new Spring/Summer 2020 edition of Indagare Magazine, now available online.

How do you travel from home? Send us pictures snapped while using this guide—and your additions to it!—at content@indagare.com.

– Elizabeth Harvey on May 20, 2020

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