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Laure Mouton

Category Art Gallery

I ordered to Rock Around Asia a Cambodian marble stone carving of King Jayavarman VII in Mai 2016. The shipment was arranged by TNT from Thailand to France. They advised to submit the order to the Department of Fine Arts of Thailand’s Ministry of Culture to get their approbation (certificate) for importing such carving.

Once the transaction has been completed (excluding worldwide shipping fees), Rock Around Asia submitted the request to the Ministry of Culture. We have been very disappointed to hear that the carving of King Jayavarman VII from Pimai Temple is not allowed to be either reproduced or exported outside Thailand. It has been recently classified amongst the eight protected artworks.

After examining alternative options (carving in Cambodia and shipping directly to France), Rock Around Asia offered a total refund of costs. The reimbursement was processed in July 2016. Although it is very unfortunate that the order has not been successfully achieved, I appreciated the effective communication and transparency of Rock Around Asia.

Cecile Garcia & Philippe Torres

Category Art Gallery

We initially discovered Rock Around Asia gallery during a stay at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Novotel. As lovers of traditional South East Asian handcraft art, we were delighted to find so many & diverse unique pieces coming from various Asian countries. We visited this gallery twice and bought some beautiful sculptures, metal artworks & paintings which were all delivered in France without a problem and with respect of delivery timings. We appreciated so much each visit that they even became an exciting stop not to miss during our travels via Bangkok ! We highly recommend this gallery to find a large choice of Asian artwork, discover talented artists difficult to find by yourself, and share Eric Monteil’s communicating passion for Asian artwork. We will definitely keep an eye on the gallery’s website to find new treasures.

Laurent Kuenzle

CEO @ Asian Trails Group

Category Art & Museums Tours

Rock Around Asia bring museum exhibits into larger context and history and art comes alive through their passion and explanations. Eric Monteil and his team know museums and places in Bangkok that even long term foreign residents and locals have never heard about. You get real insight into Asia and the art world, different perspectives and academic content on a large variety of subjects, and all of this in a relaxed and leisurely manner. If you have a real interest in Asian contemporary history, contemporary culture and the art world, the Contemporary Thai Society Tour should not be missed.

Discovering Thailand through the museums of Bangkok

Isn’t it true that for many of us the sights that are closest to our homes are the ones we know the least? How many of us have really visited the tourist attractions in our own city despite recommending them to our friends and clients.

I, for one, have not been to many of the unique museums in Bangkok. It is in the spirit of discovering what’s in our backyards and on the initiative of our new partner, Rock Around Asia, we filled one of our minibuses with Asian Trails Thailand managers and set off for a full day of museum visits in Bangkok.

I must admit that I have not heard of the Thai Labour Museum. You won’t find it in any “to do lists”, “must see sights”, or listings of major guide books on Bangkok. A hidden little gem behind Makkasan Station, it claims to be the first and only labour museum in Asia. Don’t expect to see any multiple-storey grand building. Instead the museum is inside a discreet house, which used to be the railway police station. Make sure you wear light clothing, as parts of the museum are not air-conditioned. The museum gives a unique insight into the development of the modern Thai society, relating the story of the lower classes, as well as giving an equal account of Thailand’s contemporary history. You learn how the Thai people changed from a partially enslaved population to be a free people living in this modern industrial age, what motivated the Chinese to migrate to the Kingdom, and how work ethics changed after Thailand became a constitutional monarchy. The museum also pays tribute to the Thai kings who implemented reforms that were far ahead of their times. All inscriptions in the museum are in Thai and English. After an hour’s tour of its east and west wing you will be well versed with Thai’s contemporary history and the evolution of labour.

From history to medicine as we drove down to the Chao Phraya River, and crossed by boat to the Siriraj Medical Museum. For the Thai people this is one of the most well known museums in the country, and a compulsory field trip for most high school students in Bangkok. Housed in several parts of Siriraj Hospital, the most interesting area for foreigners is probably the Tsunami Museum that is part of the Forensic Medicine section. Here are accounts of the activities of the hospital’s doctors and nurses who traveled to the Phuket area on December 26, 2004 to help local hospitals cope with the injured and the dead from the devastating tsunami. Here you will relive the valiant efforts of these selfless medical personnel in saving lives with vivid and, at times, disturbing descriptions of injuries, and how the doctors and nurses coped with the sheer volume of the injured. It is also sad to watch the pictorial accounts of the forensic teams toiling through the piles of bodies to identify the victims, and the techniques they used to do this. There is screening of a comprehensive and touching documentary on the hospital’s activities after the tsunami. I don’t think anyone left the room without a tear in the eye. The Forensic and Pathological part of the museum is not for the faint hearted. Unlike its western counterparts where explicit photographs and displays of the dead and wounded are not usually displayed, the Siriraj Medical Museum shows all these and mostly in colour. Expect to see graphic photographs of victims of train and traffic accidents. Visitors may find some parts of this museum a bit too gruesome to visit, so plan which sections you wish to go to. A word of caution – the museum is a definite no go for families with young children.

Our next stop is BACC or the Bangkok Art & Cultural Center, which probably has the biggest impact on the art world in Thailand since its opening. It is located opposite the MBK shopping complex, a few steps away from the National Stadium skytrain station, and is one of the easiest museums to access in the city. A number of halls are allocated to permanent exhibitions, but many are hosting temporary art shows that are quite interesting. Art is always a matter of taste, and the latter is pure individualism. What I like about the center is the mix of foreign and local art, local artists influenced by foreign elements, and foreign artists experimenting with Asian culture. I don’t know if the foodie term of ‘fusion’ applies to paintings and sculptures, but if it does then the temporary exhibitions at BACC certainly fit this term. Check BACC’s website for the schedule of exhibitions.

We have teamed up with Rock Around Asia to bring more meaning to museum visits and a wider context to the exhibits, as the company offers highly intellectual foreign and local experts for these visits. Their guides not only explain the museum’s displays, but will also bring perspective and academic content into the tour. They are also experts on a large number of museums and sights in Asia. Working together, Asian Trails can tailor make unique experiences for special interest groups, academics, universities, and travelers with distinct interests.

Gilles Galindo

Category Photography Workshop

Quelle meilleure occasion qu’une expatriation en Asie pour se remettre sérieusement à la photographie? Bien sûr mais cela m’a aussi fait prendre conscience que mon approche avait évoluée au fil des années, probablement comme la plupart des amateurs. Après une période que je dirai intense, avec toujours deux boîtiers Canon FT à la marche avec des objectifs ou des pellicules différentes, beaucoup de lectures, de pratique du développement noir et blanc et même couleur, est venue la période famille. Celle où l’on cherche à capter des instants en consacrant moins de temps aux cadrages, éclairages…. Les appareils ont changé bien sûr, en allant vers des boîtiers automatiques toujours avec pellicule argentique (Chinon) ou des compacts numériques (Canon PowerShot ou Samsung) pour assurer le résultat.

J’ai beaucoup hésité à sauter le pas vers un reflex numérique face à la complexité que je pouvais observer sur ceux de mes enfants. J’ai décidé de sauter le pas grâce à la mise en confiance que m’a procurée Eric Monteil lors d’une rencontre dans son showroom puis des 10 heures de stage que j’ai faites avec lui.

Après un refresh sur les basiques (profondeur de champ, vitesse, obturation, sensibilité…) l’essentiel a été dans un premier temps de démystifier la complexité de l’appareil (de l’oublier) en montrant que soit certaines fonctionnalités étaient superflues soit d’autres, utiles certes, étaient réalisable aussi à posteriori sur ordinateur. Premier enseignement : si on a choisi un effet particulier on ne pourra jamais recréer la scène d’origine, donc restons naturels, on verra plus tard!!

Ces heures d’échange ont été riches , en oubliant la technique, pour se focaliser sur la mise en scène des photos. Nous avons fait cela en l’illustrant grâce à la très riche photothèque personnelle d’Eric, aussi bien qu’en analysant les plus et moins de certaines des miennes.

Pour ma part je préfère dans un film les scènes d’action faites avec de vrais cascadeurs plutôt qu’avec de la synthèse numérique. En photo je me focalise donc plus sur la prise de vue elle-même plutôt que de reporter tout sur des outils complexes comme Photoshop. Eric a su trouver un juste milieu en montrant tout le bien que pouvait apporter quelques traitements réalisés avec des logiciels simples d’abord, sans passer ses journées à traquer le pixel.

J’ai appris beaucoup de choses dans ces 10 heures mais j’invite ceux qui seraient tentés par l’expérience de prévoir suffisamment de temps. Contraint par mon retour d’expatriation je n’ai pas pu faire suffisamment de photos entre deux rencontres et il m’a manqué d’avoir plus de retours sur mon travail de ce véritable artiste qu’est Eric.

Virginie Kury

Manager Inbound French Markets @ Asian Trails

Category Art & Museums Tours

For the visitors who want to discover something different than the normal touristic routing in Bangkok, Rock around Asia has plenty of alternatives ideas and they are all well supervised by experts. So, we experience the Thai Labour Museum which is very well structured and very informative. At this same place there is a film projected about the Thammasat University were thousands of students were demonstrating back in 1973. After a nice lunch at a Japanese restaurant, we cross the Prao Chaya river to head towards Siriraj Hospital. There we could see a very special anatomy exhibit as well as an amazing documentary and exhibit about how this hospital got mobilized to support the rescue of the people affected by the Tsunami in 2004 in Phuket and Khao Lak. We finish the tour with a visit at a Bangkok Art and Culture Center where female Thai Artist  Jirattaya, who leads Art Tours at Rock Around Asia, gave us some explanation about the 4th Bangkok International Biennale Printmaking and Drawing Exhibition. It was very interesting to get some input about the technics the artists are using. All in all it was a very interesting tour in terms of culture and we touch a various number of thematic, such as medicine, science, politics and art. Well organized and highly recommended for people who would like to see something different and getting deeper into the Thai culture.

Henning Biskopstø

CEO @ Go Tasty

Category Art & Museums Tours

By far one of the best tours I have been on! Going in, I did not have much knowledge about the trip and it was with great pleasure to realize how exiting and educational the selected sights were. That said, I believe our guide Eric Monteil had a lot to do with the positive experience. Eric is very passionate about the Thai contemporary society and the energy translated perfectly to the group, making the trip a much richer experience, than visiting the sights alone. He also possess exceptional knowledge about the sights and history and it was well presented and shared in an interesting and entertaining way. It is goes without saying that Eric was able to answer any question about the topics and add another layer of knowledge, making it the easiest recommendation for an art tour that I have ever made.

Kevin Konczak

Business Development Executive @ JAC International

Category Art & Museums Tours

To whoever wants to discover Bangkok and its museums, I would recommend Rock Around Asia without any hesitation. If you need reliable, knowledgeable and fun people, you cannot go wrong with choosing to use Rock Around Asia services. Our group was taken on an entire day trip, visiting places such as the Siriraj Hospital Museum or the Thai Labour Museum. Eric Monteil was always making sure to provide as much explanations as possible to make the visits interesting and educational. He is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Thai ancient and modern history and helps understand why the Bangkok of today is the way it is. A must if you are in Thailand for holidays or if you are an expat willing to learn about your host country

Carlos Mendez

Freelance Marketing

Category Art & Museums Tours

A Rock around Asia Art & Museums Tour is definitely a better way to see the museums in Bangkok.  Our day tour consisted of a visit to 4 different museums spread across a section of the city. Our first 2 museums were located in Siriraj hospital. I have gone to both of the Siriraj medical museums twice, only to get bored looking at the same exhibits. Going with Eric Monteil, our guide, helped me truly understand not only the exhibits but the history of the actual museums and even the area round them. After a short taxi ride, our second museum was the smallest but the most interesting for me; the Thai labour museum. Eric has a lot of knowledge about the history and social developments of Thailand and helped our group go through the museum in a way that everything made sense.   For our last museum we visited the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and visited the art galleries on the top floors. Jirattaya, a female Thai Artist who leads Art Tours at Rock Around Asia, explained to us the various techniques employed for each painting, making me appreciate even more each work of art.  I learned so much on this trip and saw thing I never noticed the first times I visited the museums myself. Rock Around Asia tour is highly recommended!

Satima Phantumano Mendez

Insurance Agent @ AIA Thailand

Category Art & Museums Tours

My husband and I did the Contemporary Thai Society Museum Tour led by Eric Monteil. It was very informative and eye-opening tours! I loved the Siriraj Medical Museum the most. It is the real-specimen museum that I have learned a lot about Anatomy, Pathology, and Parasitology. I guarantee, you would never see something like this museum before!! Anyway, If talking about Art and History, we were impressed by Eric’s knowledge. We can tell that he has real passion and interest in Thai Art and history. We knew he did lots of work before taking us on this special tour. He emailed us the info of the places we would visit couple days before the tour. It was very fun Sunday. We walked, we took a boat crossed Chao Phraya River and we took Taxi to the museum. We saw how people live in Bangkok along the way when we moved from one museum to the others. If you are new to Thailand and want to know more about Thai Art and History, I highly recommend Rock Around Asia Art & Museums Tours!

Susanna Pahl

CEO @ Sawadee Travel Thailand

Category Art & Museums Tours

We signed up for the Contemporary Thai Society Museum Tour not entirely understanding what we are getting ourselves into, because the tour topics and locations of visits are not listed in the regular tourist books or websites. And we are pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in the corner of Bangkok that is untouched by the main stream tourists. Eric Monteil, our guide, was very passionate and knowledgeable about the topics and has finely guided / demonstrated through the different museums, monuments and buildings of what Thai culture is all about, and what kind of influences it has been through over the years not just in the political perspectives, but also in terms of medical education, art and the overall Thai people’s way of life.

Taki Konstan

Category Art Gallery

Just wanted to drop a note to Eric Monteil to say how happy I am with the painting recently acquired. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk me through the available works, assist in on how best to ship and manage the painting on delivery. Really happy with your general service and very impressed that you checked back to see it arrived safe along with framing tips and then asked again how it looked in my place. It takes pride and joy in our dining room with lots of great compliments from friends. So once again thanks and hopefully I will buy something again soon!!. Cheers.

Angela & Heiner Vogel

Category Art Gallery 

Rock Around Asia’s actual presentation in its new location is most attractive and very comprehensive. I experienced with pleasure Eric Monteil’s very good and professional consulting service which let me to the acquisition of a canvas of the painter Anurak from Thailand. The delivery to Europe was punctually and the packaging was professionally made to avoid any risk of damage to the canvas. After the purchase Eric’s follow up during transport time and after receipt was perfect and confirmed the trust I felt when I met him the first time in his gallery. Anurak’s painting will find its place in a private house in the Provence in France and its luminosity will mirror the light Southern France is famous for. Eric will receive pictures once the painting is at its place.

Janice Shaw

Category Art Gallery 

We were staying at the Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel where we discovered this gem of a boutique near the hotel elevators. The display windows caught my eye and inside, the boutique did not disappoint. Rock Around Asia is an excellent arts & crafts gallery with a great variety of unique items in different materials (including some jewelry). There were both modern and traditional styles of crafts and art but all of them different from the usual things we had seen on our trip to Japan, Thailand and Cambodia. The prices were surprisingly affordable. The boutique also ships if  there’s no room left in your luggage which was the case for us. We bought a really cool limited edition print of Bangkok and were worried about it being shipped and arriving damaged. Eric Monteil showed us the PVC tube he would use and I was very much reassured so ship we did. Our print arrived not only intact but very soon after our arrival home. The PVC tube was indestructible-brilliant idea! As for Eric and Annie, they are two really interesting people. Annie’s a designer and Eric has a great knowledge of Asia from his extensive travels and curiosity. Our visit to Rock Around Asia was an absolute pleasure. Thanks again.

Ricky Fishman

Category Art Gallery 

I have been traveling around Asia for many years, both as an educational tour leader and a collector of South Asian art.  I had just completed a tour of Cambodia and Laos and had been on the lookout for a specific type of art work.  I love paintings that combine traditional motifs and modern sensibilities.  And while I found some very nice textiles in this vein in Laos, I did not see what I was really looking for.  My wife and I were in transit from Laos to the US and stopped for the evening at the Novotel Hotel by the Bangkok Airport.  We were tired from travel, had a bite to eat, and when my wife went up to our room I told her I would met her there after I checked out the art gallery I noticed in the hotel lobby.  Much to my amazement, there was the art I had been looking for.  The proprietors of this gallery seemed to have my exact taste in mind.  Fabulous paintings, and sculptures, both traditional and modern.  I bought a beautiful painting from a local Thai artist and a completely psychedelic resin Buddha from Bali.  And the pieces both fit my budget.  I had assumed that in the lobby of the Novotel the objects would be out of my reach.  Not the case!! Eric Monteil and Annie Apiradee have impeccable taste and I could not recommend their gallery more highly.  In fact, I am hoping to put together an art tour with them for a future educational travel program of mine.

David Gunther

Category Art Gallery 

We got home on Saturday the 13th, a very long flight.  I got your email with the photos, Thank You.  The angel made it home with only slight damage.  The two front points of the crown were broken off.  The one which you had already repaired was broken in the same spot and the one next to it.  All is well they have been skillfully reapplied with very little witness to the trauma.  I had imagined the angel in a specific spot in my library and that is where it now rests, a perfect compliment to the room. Thank you very much Eric Monteil.

David & Patricia Schroeder

Category Art Gallery 

After a visit in Thailand we stayed at the Novotel right at the airport before catching our early morning flight. It is a very nice hotel but we discovered the best part – that being the Rock Around Asia Art Gallery. After traveling for almost 3 months the last thing we needed was something more to take home. But, the Gallery was very intriguing and we couldn’t resist taking a quick look. Ok, so it ended up not being a quick look in the gallery, there is just so much to see and learn about. LOTS of unique pieces and like I said we had just spent almost 3 months traveling the South Pacific. But I must tell you we saw things we had not seen before. We ended up purchasing two pieces one we carried on and the other Eric packed in a box that ended up having to be checked baggage. When we arrived in Quito (Equator), one of the first things we did was check that box, but Eric Monteil did such a great job it had hardly moved during the very long trip. We will be sure to stop by again the next time we are in Bangkok, and I think not wait until the last minute to visit Rock Around Asia.

Andreas Roffler

Category Art Gallery 

Rock Around Asia does not only offer a wide range of beautiful contemporary art from all around Asia, they are also the agents of choice for consultancy and any special client-requests around Asian art. The bowls have all arrived and they are in immaculate condition. We are very happy with them, as they are very nice both in color as well as in style. Additionally, we have also very much appreciated your good service as we had a quite specific request and you all managed so professionally from search to delivery without a lot of work for us. Thank you very much Eric Monteil and Annie Apiradee.

Susanne Egert

Category Art Gallery 

Today I took my bird home! Thanks to the tracking option I realized that the parcel must have been delivered to the local customs office. So I called them  before I got any notice from them and I could go there to settle everything with them. So now the tukan is in my livingroom, no casualties! I just have to put him together. I am so happy I bought him! He is really very special and I like to look at this unusual object of art! Thanks for packing it so well! All the best for you Eric Monteil.

Amy Wong

Category Art Gallery 

It is a pleasure to look at the gallery, everything looks nice and I found something very interesting, which I took the action to buy them and ship back to Hong-Kong. One of my brought piece is a bit damaged when I saw in gallery which is a small remark, hope this can be improved in future that all pieces there are in good condition. I am happy with the service in the gallery, arrangement for the shipment, documents, communication is good.  I am very appreciated the services provided by Eric Monteil and Annie Apiradee.

Mikael Juring

Category Art Gallery 

I find the concept of Rock Around Asia quite appealing with good, quality artwork of many different kinds from various countries in Asia. The gallery itself is located at a prime location in the Novotel lobby and very close to Bangkok´s International Airport. The service of the staff is outstanding when being both friendly and professional. I will certainly return as a customer in the near future!

Michel Dailly

Category Tour

When we chose to participate in this intriguing cultural journey, I was convinced that we were going to have a great trip, but I was wary about the hotel daily change. I sensed as an organizational constraint. In fact, it’s part of the journey, and above all, it’s part of the dream. Each day corresponds its hotel, always associated with the spirit of the day tours. And every day was wonderfully fulfilled:

  • The lush vegetation, mangrove and the floating market with the first day, finally, an amazing hotel between flora and water.
  • The day on the water: Wat Arun, the royal junks and then khlongs a cozy hotel, more modest, but the river, close to the flower market and opposite Wat Arun.
  • The Chinese city, a street maze where one trade, where one prays, where the kitchen, where one lives and one night in the colonial China with a jazz band finesse to accompany dinner .
  • Wat Po, the Reclining Buddha, the Royal Palace and, for the evening and night, the magic of the colonial empire is discovered by crossing the Chaophraya in a flagship. [In this country never colonized, Western influence is very present in the architecture of official and royal buildings of past centuries.]
  • The day of art: from traditional to modern art museum with a final bombastic spectacle picture traditions of different regions of Thailand, then a refined and contemporary hotel in the heart of the city and its infinity pool on the terrace nineteenth floor which offers, city, amazing views to the “freshness” of the early morning.
  • Already the last day, driven by our guide in the soul of Small Vehicle Buddhism whose architecture footprint as the only grandiose modesty. Our last bangkokien hotel, one of the most charming of the course with its swimming pool and Jacuzzi with sea water at the river.

Thank you for this part of dream. It is likely that we will return.

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