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Culture, Lifestyle and Attractions
Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010
Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali
Vol 01 - Issue 01 www.unearthingasia.com
IDR 50.000 SGD 7.50 RM 14.00
New Zealand’s Splashing Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine + Heeding the Call of Asia in Taiwan + Singapore Stopover + Spotlight on Jakarta + Flashpacking Essentials + A Tropical Affair
and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Phangan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .unearthingasia.com IDR 50.com 78 . Bali retains its hidden charms 46 4 64 www. tranquil.Issue 01 www.00 On the cover – the luxurious Rock Bar at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali THE GUIDE ISLANDS OF SOUTH EAST ASIA 46 Eco Paradise Uncover the eco paradise and scuba-diving Holy Grail of Raja Ampat 58 Beach Life Discover Phuket’s island paradise – quiet.000 SGD 7.CONTENTS Culture.50 RM 14.unearthingasia.
unearthingasia.CONTENTS 96 84 15-26 BUZZWORTHY! Singapore’s Party flavor. Jakarta www. Bali’s hip happenings. the Nikki Beach Club in Thailand. and more TRAVEL TALES 91 Arabian Servings A tasty guide to the culinary delights from the region of Middle East 96 Heeding the Call Photographer extraordinaire. a quick Singapore rejuvenation. with local tips and suggestions 34-41 INSIGHTS Top flashpacking gadgets. and more 28 DATEBOOK Festivals and events not to be missed 30 SPOTLIGHT Jakarta 24 hour in the Big Durian of South East Asia. Hong Kong’s new dig.com . Craig Ferguson shard his tales of travel all over the region of Asia 104 Splashing Lake Taupo Jump right into adventure and explore deep into the Kiwi’s stunning landscape at Lake Taupo 91 104 6 84 STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair A perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra.
True. but more often than not. Nikolas Tjhin Editor-in-Chief 8 . always thinking. than by the ones you did do – Mark Twain Much too often. and be glad at our decision to embark upon this amazing journey together. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this inaugural offering from us. and heading into new territories blind with excitement. Is this better? Is it too expensive? Too risky? But all too often. young and affluent. Considering. It is with that in mind I’d like to introduce Unearthing Asia to you. They are suggesting US$1000 a night luxury hotels. web-savvy. all too often I ended up frustrated as I browse the various magazines on offer. Our readers are the Generation Y. and the chicken tender heavenly upon my lips. However. As I look forward to this project finally unfolding. They are independent travelers daring to brave off-the-beaten paths. I’m sure the suggested hotel boasts plentiful amenities. we spend too much time contemplating. The moral of the story here. They look for tips and hints from various offline and online medium. you’ll end up disappointed for not taking up the chance while you’ve still got the opportunity to do so. I ended skipping these suggestions for other more cost-effective options.EDITOR’S NOTES Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. you may regret it after all. is to open up and surrender yourself to possibilities. My simple wish is that five. that we ended up missing the window of opportunity that has just been presented. The travel publication market is one that is crowded and very competitive. we spend our lives weighing one thing against another. or even twenty years from now. Now. and enjoy every single step of the journey as much as the destination in itself. or a US$150 meal of deep fried chicken tender. we’ll look back with fondness. ten. from friends and strangers alike. It is this hole in the travel publication that we aim to service. with a layer of cheese slipped in. but budget conscious and looking for good advice. in line with those wise words from a wise man above. I can’t help but smile and raise a little toast to our team. But more often than not.
and we accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts.BEHIND THE SCENES Commissioners Husein VP Consultant Kicky Alexander Achmad Sobari The AYANA Resort and Spa Bali Editor in Chief Nikolas Tjhin Singapore Editor Michelle Lee Sales Manager Nadia V Finance Manager Alexander Alvin Contributors Mallika Naguran Scotty Graham Debbie Reyes-Coloma Vannara Putra Char Magalong Natalie Revie Nabeetha Naseer Bona Soetirto Dresscode Magazine Publisher PT Tanindo Multi Media Distributor MarketAsia Pte Ltd Media Representative Media Link Pte Ltd Legal Consultant Dr F. X.sg . transparencies. SH All rights in this publication and the name are owned and licensed to PT Tanindo Multi Media. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.com The Fairmont Beijing Hotel Fill out our survey to enjoy a Free 1 Year Subscription* and stand a chance to win free hotel stays!* We are offering free one year subscriptions to residents of Singapore. Arsin. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. For editorial and media enquiries. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of PT Tanindo Multimedia. All rights reserved. * Terms & conditions apply For advertising and marketing enquiries. All opinions are of the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by PT Tanindo Multi Media.* On top of that. please contact Nikolas Tjhin PT Tanindo Multi Media VBox 886 Singapore (62) 812 7809 8888 (62) 21 3221 9988 nik@unearthingasia. please contact Dawn Khoo Media Link Pte Ltd 1 Sophia Road #07-22 Singapore 228149 (65) 6336 1725.net. (65) 6336 6116 medialink@pacific. or other materials.
02 02 Natalie Revvie Natalie Revie is a freelance writer. Underwater photography keeps his interest in diving alive as it is always a challenge. and where to find it! Grab your copy now in various locations in Indonesia.blogspot. especially fashion photography. Central Asia and the Pacific. Recently. his own center to teach Digital Imaging. 04 Scoty Graham Scotty Graham is a freelance photographer that has been living and working in Jakarta. Indonesia for the past 15 years. to promote eco travel and living in Asia. She believes in letting spirituality emerge through the common. it was the Indonesian archipelago that mesmerised him and for the last few decades has spent a considerable amount of his time there ever since. They are fully dedicated to give you inspirations on what to wear. and works as a Retoucher for Reelsessions. She lives on Koh Pha Ngan Island in southern Thailand where she indulges in her passion for food. daily. restaurateur and jungle momma. especially in major bookstores in Jakarta. such as Gramedia. California based agency. and writing. he started Continuum.gaiadiscovery. 05 Debbie Reyes-Coloma Singapore-based Debbie Reyes-Coloma is a freelance feature and lifestyle writer for various publications in the region.scottygraham. Visit his photo blog at http://www.com. Not only that. 03 03 Barrie Lie-Birchall Barrie is a freelance writer who started his nomadic steps at an early age travelling though Europe. how to wear them. and has logged over 4000 dives through out the world. a not-for-profit online publication (www. 12 www.unearthingasia. TGA and Kinokuniya outlets.CONTRIBUTORS 04 05 06 01 01 Mallika Naguran Mallika Naguran founded and manages Gaia Discovery. Dresscode Dresscode is the first fashion magazine in Indonesia with the unique concept of “non-article” magazine. His love of Australia saw Barrie hitchhiking around the country and then across the Tasman to New Zealand where he explored the country on a motorbike. the everyday – this is what makes for truly beautiful writing. But. 06 Bona Soetirto Bona Soetirto is an experienced Freelance Commercial Photographer and Digital Imager for various media in Jakarta.com). he is also a photography lecturer at Pelita Harapan University. Going beyond conservation. culture.com . He has been diving for over 25 years. Mallika is now focusing on restoring degraded environments and improving the livelihoods of the poor. She also advises businesses to go green by operating in harmony with nature and adopting cost-effective eco inventions. a Los Angeles. and has a never-ending learning curve. travel.
000 SGD 7. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region.Culture. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.50 RM 14. For this inaugural issue. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia.00 New Zealand’s Splashing Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine + Heeding the Call of Asia in Taiwan + Singapore Stopover + Spotlight on Jakarta + Flashpacking Essentials + A Tropical Affair . And not only that. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .com IDR 50. featuring exciting adventures. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.unearthingasia. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading.Issue 01 www. HK AND MORE! Culture.
Turkey is set to unveil a 7-floor underwater hotel in 2010.WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE REGION BUZZWORTHY! HOTEL UNDERWATER LUXURY To coincide with its Culture Capital of Europe nomination. and rooms all with underwater view. exhibition halls. the islands of south east asia 15 . from right below its city center. It is being built on the ruins of a historical 1930s tobacco factory and will house restaurants. This 7-star hotel will give its guests a new view of the famous city of Istanbul. so visitors can expect an amazing experience like nothing on earth! NT. Local experts suggest the underwater visibility of the Bosphorus Strait is at an estimated 10-feet (approximately 3.5 meters).
the nightsky of Singapore provides the glits and glam in an exciting Singapore GP F1 event that is fast becoming a highlight of the year for race. Many were here to witness first hand what the fervor of F1 was all about. For three days.BUZZWORTHY! EVENT F1 EXTRAVAGANZA Once again. ML. this was Party town.unearthingasia. 16 www. with international acts like the Black-Eye Peas to Backstreet Boys to Beyonce all wowing the crowds at various venues around the circuit. and they were definitely not dissappointed by the show on offer.com . despite the global economic crisis. This year. travel and party enthusiasts. fans still flocked to the Marina Bay circuit to see Lewis Hamilton take the crown in an exciting race with Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso taking up the remaining podium finishes.
spavilla. gym.2 mile jogging track under canopy of trees.com) is open at Jalan Bisma-Ubud.One Bed Room Pool Villa Komaneka at Bisma © Komaneka BUZZWORTHY! VILLA HILLSIDE VIEW Another sister hotel of Komaneka (www. guests are invited to savor the tranquility and breathtaking beauty of Ubud. bar. function rooms and Wanasmara wedding Chapel.komaneka. sloping rice fields and the coconut groves in the surrounding. Main pool Komaneka at Bisma © Agus Pande the islands of south east asia 17 . Ayu Asti. The resort’s on-site facilities include an Indonesian fine dining restaurant. circular wading pool. Nestled upon the hillsides by the Campuhan River valley. with amazing views of the river. this luxurious resort is designed as a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle destination. each with its 12 meter long private pool and terrace. 1. With 34 spacious suites and 10 elegant villas. half Olympic sized swimming pool.
Malaysia. from the top five restaurants in each country to an overview of each featured country’s dining scene. Dubai. Mongolia and Nepal. Situated in the privileged location of Bangkok’s historic district. Associate Publisher of the little red book. and will ensure additional varieties in Padma Resort’s Food and Beverage Outlets and Programmes. BOUTIQUE ROYAL PALACE The Bhuthorn is the result of four years of renovation that sees the heritage-listed building transformed into an elegant three guestroom boutique hotel with intricate attention to details. the second edition of The Miele Guide will be bigger and better. there are numerous attractions worth visiting just a walking distance away – the Khao San Road are minutes away. CHEF NEW TALENT There’s a new face in town at the Padma Resort Bali. The talented chef has gained much experience while working in Germany. hailing from Romania. and broaden the perspective by evaluating two more countries. a perfect spot in the heart of the preserved old town Bangkok. Raul Deschu. KA. the 2009/2010 issue will feature a host of additional information. 80 more than the previous edition. 18 . In addition to ranking the region’s top restaurants. ML. The acclaimed 5-star art sanctuary welcomes its new Executive Sous Chef.BUZZWORTHY! GUIDE MIELE TIME Following its inaugural 2008/2009 issue. says Pauline Ooi. The guide will feature 400 restaurants across Asia. NT. The area is full of delicious authentic Thai food. Austria and Thailand. as well as the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha.
EVENT TWINS EFFECT
A special collaborative art exhibition opened to great fanfare in the Gaya Gallery, which ran through 6th to 30th October. The exhibit was the production of Ida Bagus Indra, one of Bali’s great artists, with John O’Sullivan, hotelier, wordsmith and artist in his own right. The exhibition has definitely raised the artistic bar with the fresh approach to collaborative mixed-medium works produced by these two fine personalities. KA.
SPA FACELIFT REJUVENATION
A new facial treatment that addresses the issues of aging and rejuvenation are now available at the Mandarin Spa in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The 45 minute session incorporates a consultation with acupuncture therapy specifically targeting wrinkles while providing numerous other benefits. The theory behind facial acupuncture is based on the ancient concept that the body’s energy diminishes with age. During the treatment, tiny, hair-fine acupuncture needles intended to stimulate the flow of qi throughout pathways in the body are inserted at specific points on the face. This boosts circulation, increases collagen and plumps fine facial wrinkles. NT.
EVENT JEWEL FEST
This year’s visitors to the annual Singapore JewelFest were treated to a stunning custom-built Jewel Pavilion, which provided the perfect setting for the two opening shows to kick-start the week-long festivities. The two-part showcase, themed “Love of Romance” and “Love in All its Glory”, showcased jeweleries worth over S$120 million created by 25 jewelers especially for the event. NT.
RESORT LUSH LUXURY
The eagerly awaited Amantaka Resort is ready to grace the lush green fields of Luang Prabang. This luxe resort from Adrian Zecha and his team is set to take it up a notch with refined decor, lofty spaces, verandas, pools and tantalizing spa treatments, on top of the pristine environments and beautiful temples in the vicinity. The resort also has a yoga studio, tennis courts, a library and an art gallery. ML.
the islands of south east asia
Tania Berg.BUZZWORTHY! RESORT BEACH PARTY Nikki Beach. has chosen the idyllic island of Koh Samui in Thailand to launch their latest opening.com .unearthingasia. a spectacular new Nikki Beach Club. one of the world’s most recognizable luxury lifestyle and entertainment brands. Discover quintessential luxury at Nikki Beach’s remote Beach Club Bungalow Resort. Nikki Beach Koh Samui brings the vibrant nightlife of Miami to the shores of Lipa Noi Beach. 22 www. Expertly designed for ultimate relaxation complimented by a sophisticated ambiance. located on the west side of Thailand’s most exotic and exclusive island.
music and song. Asitha Ameresekere. the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for literature. The festival also featured a program packed full of performances. Julia Leigh the islands of south east asia 23 . journalist and novelist from Pakistan. Wena Poon. The theme reflected the Festival’s commitment to turn this literary gathering into an inspiring moment. film.BUZZWORTHY! Marco Calvani & Kicky Alexander Janet De Neefe Wole Soyinka. Tom Cho. Seno Gumira Ajidarma. Amir Muhammad Wena Poon The festival was a 4-day event of panel sessions. Fatima Bhutto. readings and in-conversations with the world’s greatest exponents of their craft. KA. humour and. debates. Bali. A host of literary stars made their appearance in the festival. with the theme of SukaDuka: Compassion & Solidarity. the 2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival took place in Ubud. of course. and many others. such as – Wole Soyinka. play readings. food. Dede Oetomo. Mohammed Hanif. through which writers and readers from every corner of the world can establish a mutual understanding and come together. as well as Lloyd Jones. Woon Tai Ho. Nobel Prize Winner in Literature EVENT UBUD FESTIVAL From 7 to 11 October. the outspoken poet.
as well as a truly spectacular Bali sunset in the backdrop. The luxurious Rock Bar at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali played host to the closing awards party. NT. in which visitors were treated to original performances by Ahtron McCanne and Richie Perrot.com . 24 www.BUZZWORTHY! Jajang C Noer Didi Petet and Jajang C Noer EVENT BALINALE ROCKS A 6-day film festival showcasing 25 films from 13 countries by both international and Indonesian film-makers with the sole purpose of promoting Bali to filmmakers and artists were held recently in Bali. Aptly called the Balinale. the festival also offered free workshops for aspiring young filmmakers.unearthingasia.
unearthingasia.com . The Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees (www. 26 www.BUZZWORTHY! BOUTIQUE SLEEK DESIGN A swanky new hotel just hit the town with a modern and chic feel. emphasizing sleek design and creative innovation.harbour-plaza. The electric hotel features 702 charming guestrooms and suites right in the heart of old town Hong Kong. featuring optical illusions and an environment that feels like you’re inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa. giving visitors a unique blend of old and new.com/hp8d) in Hong Kong boasts a unique lobby designed by HK-based Patrick Leung of PAL Design. NT.
2010 Goa Carnival The famed hippie paradise begins the year with a food-fight carnival event in the lead-up to Lent. You’ll see oranges.unearthingasia. Over 70 million believers will seek enlightenment through a ritual of bath at the Ganges. They congregate on the banks of the Ganges to explore anything and everything about transcendental meditation. flour and even kitchen utensils thrown about in good fun. During the Carnival. or you can simply stand aside and enjoy the spectacle or take part in the various riverside processions that are ongoing throughout the event. the residents of Kushimoto perform a ritual burning of the grassy land in front of the Shino Misaki Watchtower. February 13 to 16. 2010 Kushimoto Fire Festival At the beginning of the year. October 2009 .January 2010 www. the yoga capital of the world. pilgrims and devotees. sadhus.net 28 www. Rishikesh. this mass Hindu pilgrimage towards the holy city of Haridwar is the world’s largest gathering of yogis.taiwanhotspring.com . attracts hundreds of yogi masters from all over the globe.DATEBOOK FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED International Yoga Festival For 10 days at the beginning of Spring. Those looking for a spiritual journey should consider following suit. February 28 to March 10. Witness the festival’s appointed ruler starting the party with a Mardi Gras-inspired procession through the streets of Goa’s capital. 2010 Ardh Kumbh Mela Held just once every three years. Are you brave enough to join in walking through the fire? January 2010 Taiwan Hot Springs and Fine Cuisine Carnival Taiwan’s hot springs culture dates back over a century. resorts across the island offer special activities and hot spring packages for visitors to enjoy a restorative soak paired with healthy cuisine. April 14.
The artefacts highlight changing Egyptian funerary customs. 23 January . culture and even religious background rituals which are still followed today. New Zealand. for the biggest food and wine festival in the Waipara Valley Wine region. Enjoy a day of fiesta with an array of gourmet treats. and the extraordinary skills of artists and craftsmen of the day. January 2010 The World of Ancient Egypt Featuring over 230 Egyptian objects and major works from 4500 BCE to 1st century BCE. Don’t miss out on the host of activities in the newly redesigned Town Centre.25 January 2010 Tokyo Sumo Tournament Japan’s national sport is one that is rich with history. and check out the visual art on display while you are there. Don’t miss out on their six tournaments throughout the year. superb music and excellent wines from all over 16 countries.nz Greytown Arts Festival Held on Wellingon Anniversary weekend. political intrigues. the Greytown Arts’ Festival will comprise visual.4 April 2010 the islands of south east asia 29 . this highly anticipated exhibition is set to grace the National Museum of Singapore from December through to April. Their use of a variety of materials reveal geographical surroundings of workshops and artistic fashions of the period. performing and literary arts. 06 March 2010 www. with the very first held in Tokyo at the beginning of the year.co.Waipara Valley Wine and Food Festival Head down to Christchurch. 22 December 2009 .waiparawine.
The Big Durian
Jakarta Like its fruit namesake, the Big Durian of Indonesia is often a shock to first-time travelers. It’s a heaving mass of some 10 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl that is one of Asia’s most exciting and liveliest cities. There is plenty to do here, from shopping at the many luxurious shopping centers to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia. Here’s a full day itinerary in Jakarta, followed by tips from locals who call it home.
The newly renovated Hotel Indonesia
Wake up to a metropolitan view of the city in the newly remodeled Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. With interiors inspired by contemporary Indonesian art and style and located in Jakarta’s city center, the iconic hotel is the ideal place for business, shopping and extravagance.
TeSaTe’s delicious local servings
Start your sightseeing by visiting the Salihara Community Complex in South Jakarta, an expansive 3000 square meters of land that plays host to a theater, a gallery and an office building plus guest house. The gallery is an empty space with circular walls, without angles nor borders, providing a wider perspective to the various contemporary arts on display. www.unearthingasia.com
For lunch, head to the Senayan area to enjoy authentic Indonesian food at TeSaTe, a new concept restaurant that not only promotes the richness of local culinary, but highlights the unique Indonesian culture and celebration. Try out authentic local favorites served in luxurious gourmet settings such as the humble satay, nasi goreng (fried rice) or sop buntut (oxtail soup).
Gado-gado, Indonesian Salad
Senayan City, right across from Plaza Senayan
With your stomach and taste-bud fulfilled, head to the Senayan area for some upscale shopping at Plaza Senayan, where luxury brands such as BVLGARI and Louis Vuitton reside alongside local favorites like Sebastian’s and Biyan. Right opposite, the newer Senayan City is also worth exploring, offering 8 floors of shopping, food and entertainment.
After a day of activities, head to the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Book yourself a much deserved hour of Javanese massage, with techniques of skin rolling, long kneading strokes and acupressure to strengthen the body for the night ahead.
Kemang is also host to an array of cafes, bars and pubs serving all kinds of drinks to suit all tastes. For a relaxing, ambient mood, head to Casa Cafe for drinks and desserts. Located right above the trendy Aksara Bookstore, the cafe is a breath of fresh air offering beers, wines by the glass and delectable cocktails. Coffee lovers would prefer Tornado Coffee or Merdeka Coffee, where the lure of strong caffeine draws you in.
The night starts with a feast at Kemang, Jakarta’s glamorous kampong neighborhood that is popular with locals and expats alike. Try out the delectable Javanese specialties at Payon, where traditional touches like the clay floor tiles and swatches of batik give it a unique appearance compared to Kemang’s usually minimalist urban interior. Or you can opt to dine with a view at Shy, sited atop the 4th level at The Papillion. The restaurant’s Dutch chef presents daily seven and four course menus, in addition to their host of expert European fusion cuisine.
Finally, finish your day partying it up at Blowfish Kitchen & Bar at Wisma Mulia, one of the most happening nightspot in town. Coupled with nearby Puro, an Italian lounge and resto, Blowfish is a luxury high-end dining during the afternoon that turns into an all-out clubbing scene at night.
the islands of south east asia
A Middle Eastern ambiance at Anatolia, Kemang
Like many other citizens of Jakarta, Scotty and Tika complained bitterly about the bad traffic, especially on the weekends. As such, they rarely ventured too far away from home in South Jakarta, but do enjoy the occasional excursions to one of the local golf courses – Jagorawi, Rainbow Hills and Gunung Geulis are a few of their favorite courses. For food, their go-to places are Peppenero (formerly known as the Tratoria) for some excellent Italian food and the Tamat Thai (in Kemang) for some spicy, value for money Thai food. Also in Kemang, Anatolia is a place they reserve for special occasions – “they serve expensive, but authentic Turkish food – delicious and a great atmosphere!” Over on the other side, towards the North, Yansen also opts to avoid the traffic and heads closer to home for food and relaxation. He recommended Segarra, off the coast of Ancol, for a “relaxing, beach-side ambience,” and Glasshouse in Muara Karang for that favorite past time of boys – catching the big match. He also shared about Dermaga, a boisterous sea-side cafe where you can enjoy a hot and spicy offering – Bakmi Sakaw – “we Indonesians love spicy food!” he noted enthusiastically. For those who enjoys live music, the Fountain Cafe at Hotel Grand Hyatt comes heavily recommended by Sandy, who enthused “I love their live band, its also very conveniently located and very comfortable, a great place to chill-out and de-stress.”
Jagorawi Golf Club
Hotel Grand Hyatt
For the budding flashpackers. US$49. usually associated with tech-savvy adventurers who prefer to travel independently. Charge your devices wherever you want . iGo Charger The iGo universal chargers can power thousands of devices with its patented tip technology. or style. The Novatel MiFi creates your very own network of broadband connectivity wherever you are.apple. performance and design. www.novatelwireless.99. It’s a trend that aptly paints our digital culture – we are no longer able to travel without all the luxuries of technology.unearthingasia.INSIGHTS GADGETS Flashpacking Essentials The simple definition of flashpacking can be defined as backpacking with flash.igo. stable wireless network to keep you connected. here are the top six essential gadgets you will need to gear up and stay connected.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor powering it up. in the car. or even on the plane. With a 1.com MacBook Air Every flashpacker needs a good portable laptop to lug around between countries.com . www. Enter the MacBook Air. road trips and plane flights. From US$1499.com 34 www.com Novatel MiFi Not all countries you travel to will have a strong.6 GHz or 1.at home. www. you’ll be amazed at how so much power can be packed into such a thin design. the ultimate in portability.
but also a compass.theflip. www.com the islands of south east asia 35 .apple. flair and overall usefulness into a single package like nothing else. fun. a GPS map. which packs a powerful machine able to record up to 720p resolution with a full 4GB internal memory into a sleeker.canon.Canon PowerShot SX10 IS The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS gives you a lot of a camera and a very useful 20x optical zoom in a body that’s still reasonably compact. Powered up by the billion or so applications available for download. yet much lighter than a bulky Digital SLR.com Flip MinoHD The FlipMinoHD is an evolution of the original Flip Mino camcorder. From US$229. www. a currency converter and so much more! From US$199. smaller model. It is much better than your average point and shoot. www. From US$399. it allows complete customization and flexibility.com Apple iPhone 3GS The ultimate must-have gadget for traveling flashpackers. the Apple iPhone 3GS combines more functionality. It’s not only a phone.
320nm ones that we used in the past.444nmwavelength laser to correct imperfections on the skin quickly and safely. it also tightens skin and minimises the need for filler injections. eyebags.” Dr Chew is one of the few aesthetic doctors who has been awarded the rights to administer this procedure in Asia. which makes it perfect as an over-the-weekend treatment. The good thing about this treatment is that it delivers excellent results.com . AccuLiftTM is a good alternative to procedures such as Thermage.064nm and 1. With its effective and safe results. with the latest in face and body treatments that focuses on total rejuvenation. for instance. RF treatment and liquid facelift. To book an appointment.” explains Dr Chew. and requires a shorter operation time. Singapore is the preferred pitstop to replenish and rejuvenate. NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic is located at 290 Orchard Road #09-18/19.” explains Dr Chew.444nm laser. saggy jowls. It is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only local anaesthesia. Capable of removing excess fat deposits that have migrated downwards due to gravity. “but what’s different with AccuLiftTM is the use of the 1. with virtually no complications. and deep wrinkles along the laugh lines. call them at (65) 6732 9989 or through email at doctor@nuuclinic. Renowned Dr K K Chew’s NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness at Paragon is the place to go for a quick aesthetic fix. “AccuLiftTM works especially effectively to visibly eliminate facial problems. Compared to the 1. double chins. The clinic offers a relaxing ambience that is sure to leave you refreshed and raring to go! Laser Face Lift With today’s technology. Paragon Medical Suites. “Laser facelifts aren’t entirely new. the process of correcting skinrelated facial imperfections can take place as easily as digitally enhancing a picture on the computer screen. The procedure is quick – a total of 30 to 45 minutes for a minor problem area – and you can generally expect to return to your normal routine in two days.INSIGHTS HEALTH Singapore Stopover For those looking for a quick break in between their long-distance flights. this new wavelength dissipates less heat. AccuLiftTM by AccuSculptTM makes use of a revolutionary powerful 1.
Add into that the occassional delays and holdups that stretches your waiting time – time that can be substantial. Situated in both Arrival and Departure Levels of the international airports. The Plaza Premium Lounge is the world’s first commercial VIP lounge open to airport users from all walks of life. or an office away from home. or truly rest and relax. Shanghai. Beijing. Headquartered in Hong Kong.Lounging in Transit Business travelers are often stuck in the airport in-between transits a lot more often than others. Plaza Premium Lounges feature cushy seatings. New Delhi. music. If only you can get work done. or better yet – work out a much needed sweat and get the adrenaline pumping. Vancouver and Toronto. Singapore. Wi-Fi. television. the Plaza Premium Lounge aims to provide the greatest convenience to all kinds of travelers. Guangzhou.com . 38 www. a welcome haven between flights. business services and attentive staff ups the ante in services and hospitality. giving travelers a sanctuary beyond the airport crowds. beverages. Hyderabad. you can do all that and much more. they have now opened more than 30 locations in 11 international airports – Hong Kong. Kuala Lumpur. At the Plaza Premium Lounge. Muscat. light snacks or a wholesome buffet spread.unearthingasia.
internet & email access & free local telephone calls. VIP meet and greet. it features shower with amenities. napping beds and foot reflexology. fitness lifestyle lounge and offer services such as oxygen therapy. Even as an economy passenger you can enjoy the luxury of a business class passenger. the islands of south east asia 39 . which includes high-speed internet workstations. golf putting. Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Sultan Ismail International Airport (Senai. shower amenities. non-alcoholic beverages. free flow of snacks and salad bar. to mention a few. This rate includes shower with amenities. Lounge use is available @ S$30 + 7% GST per adult. Open 24 hours daily to all travelers. with a Zen inspired decor adjacent to an outdoor sunflower garden. free flow of beer. massages.INSIGHTS BUSINESS Singapore Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport centers around a modern lifestyle and relaxation concept. a variety of food and beverages. For RM88 per person. Malaysia The Plaza Premium Lounge runs 3 lounges in Malaysia. They are situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Johor). business centre and a wide selection of movies and international publications. you can enjoy the facilities for the whole of 2 hours.
INSIGHTS RECIPE Greek Connection 40 .
* Terms & conditions apply .3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. 7. The Fairmont Beijing Hotel AYANA Resort and Spa Bali Fill out our survey to enjoy a Free 1 Year Subscription* and stand a chance to win free hotel stays!* We are offering free one year subscriptions to residents of Singapore. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 20 minutes. This recipe freezes well. You also want to cover the phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. 6. Bake this for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. and serve in cupcake papers for immediate refreshement! 8. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon.8 sheets deep.This traditional Greek favorite may look complex and sophisticated. Make sauce while baklava is baking. You may want cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and butter them up thoroughly. nuts. Repeat this until you have 8 sheets of dough all layered up. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. The topmost layer should be about 6 .* On top of that. 4. INGREDIENTS 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough 1 pound chopped nuts 1 cup butter 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup water 1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup honey DIRECTIONS 1. Set the toppings aside. Jakarta and Bali! See next page for more details. Add into that two sheets of dough. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and butter the bottoms and sides of a pan. Let cool. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. layering them on top of each other as you go. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. butter. Unroll phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan. but if you do so. 5. 3. 2. Add vanilla and honey. Sprinkle 2 . but don’t let that fool you! Follow this easy-todo instructions for a refreshing taste of Greece right on your kitchen floors. remember to leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.
Jakarta 4 weekend stays at the Batavia Hotel. more than 15 vouchers at 19 Swiss-Belhotel outlets all around Indonesia AYANA Resort and Spa Bali The Fairmont Beijing Hotel * Terms & Conditions apply – Unearthing Asia retains the rights to refuse free subscription based on unfinished survey questionnaires. located at the charming district of Kotatua. Bali 2 night stay at the Jimbaran Bay View room at the luxurious AYANA Resort and Spa Bali.unearthingasia.* Please complete the form and send it in with your cheque. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta a one year (four issues) subscription entirely free of charge!* * All you need to do is complete the reader’s survey on the following two pages. Each hotel vouchers have their own respective terms and conditions. worth up to US$2000 The Batavia Hotel.Free One Year Subscription! Unearthing Asia is a brand new publication designed to share with you the very best of this lovely region we call home. misinformation. and are offering all residents of Singapore. Plus: Stand to Win Free Hotel Stays! AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. Free subscriptions are for the first 5000 surveys filled and received before 31st January 2010. Beijing 2 weekend stays at the Fairmont Beijing Hotel right at the heart of downtown. The address can be found behind the next page. Jakarta. money order or credit card details. 42 www. Subscriptions made outside Singapore. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta are subjected to an annual subscription fee. and or postal issues.com . worth up to US$2000 Swiss-Belhotel Indonesia And finally. worth up to US$950 The Fairmont Beijing Hotel. along with your personal information and mail it in. The winner of the free hotel stays will be contacted by 28th February 2010. There are countless of attractions from all over simply waiting to be discovered – unearth these gems together with us! We want to reach out to as many people as possible with this publication.
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46 Eco Paradise Uncover the eco paradise and scuba-diving Holy Grail of Raja Ampat 58 Beach Life Discover Phuket’s island paradise – quiet. and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Pha Ngan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism. Bali retains its hidden charms . tranquil.
With photos by Scotty Graham. Isolated and untouched. . lies the Holy Grail of scuba diving. the raw natural beauty will strike you like no other destinations could. Mallika Naguran uncovers the blossoming jewel of Raja Ampat and its eco conservation efforts.The setting sun at Raja Ampat’s Kri Eco Resort sets the tone for an afternoon of relaxation. Deep in the hearts of Papua.
A gecko emerges from behind the ketchup bottles. Indonesia. I didn’t have to specially rear these wild things. but I don’t fancy my body becoming part of their habitat. a pioneer dive operator in Raja Ampat and owner of Kri Eco Resort and Sorido Bay Resort at Papua.THE GUIDE Being eco can mean a number of things to different people. They just appeared – we have monitor lizards. the first thing that springs to mind for most is the preservation of nature. ducks and birds just roaming around.” he tells over dinner. approaching us cautiously on the wooden table. “Eco to me means working with the local people to build a better future. people are at the heart of any ecology-related business. Max extends his hand out to the gecko to crawl on. I wonder if I should remove my hand that’s resting in its path – I do love animals. “You know when I built this place 15 years ago.” the islands of south east asia 47 . For Max Ammer.
THE GUIDE At the Kri Eco Resort. Right below the pier itself are thousands of fishes swimming freely. . you don’t have to go far to enjoy abundant marine life.
with the job title of “All Rounders”. the coconut leaf and nut wall finishing and décor.THE GUIDE Green Resort Every night. The guest rooms at Kri Eco Resort are also perched above the waters. the dive crew are all Papuans. the guests gaze at the juvenile bamboo sharks wading in the shallows just below the dining lounge on stilts. At breakfast. In fact. tagged along by turtles. Baby barracudas pursue parrotfish of amazing varieties. the bamboo chalets. including the jetty that Max’s father helped to build. resulting in the construction of a not so perfect wooden platform that scuba divers walk on to get to the dive equipment center at the end of the jetty and to hop on to the dive boats.” says Max. whom Max employs. aided by local talent and muscle. Everything about Kri Eco Resort is handmade: the Sunset Lounge and its lazy deck chairs. we were startled to see a pair of coconut crabs huddled around a bamboo pylon at the lounge ceiling. they are also harmless and rather immobile. and its not always for business. following dinner. sulphur crested cockatoos and hornbills. Little of the coral reefs at Cape Kri (house reef) was destroyed with the building of Kri Eco Resort. “I want local people to make the money. brush turkeys. He builds local talent and skills in this remote region of Indonesia spanning from tourism-related ventures to trades for livelihood to careers in scuba diving. But Max is committed to Raja Ampat’s people in more ways that one. so a daily sight would be numerous fish species flitting around the pylons. No need for alarm clocks here. we are awakened by hysterical cackles from endemic birds such as eclectis parrots. Even the bricks are made by hand by the senior folks. seeking shelter from sea currents or storms. whom revealed that he could have built the resorts (including the higher-end Sorido Resort) and run the operations quicker with more experienced staff from other parts of Indonesia. apparently they lie on coconut trees and love cracking the solid nuts with their rock-hard pincers. I sat a respectable distance away from them. the islands of south east asia 49 . In the morning. Hideous looking as they are. a number of them barely made it through school. One such talent couldn’t measure straight.
one that will not last forever. .An amazing array of marine bio-diversity awaits you. These are the stuff of legends. but sadly.
THE GUIDE .
. a renowned marine scientist recorded 283 and 281 fish species.In two single dives. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200.
covering marine areas and land-based activities such as logging and mining. and after three years. or better. Max knew he had to do something to stop the destruction and pollution. it happened. The big fish started to dwindle. And the pilot keeping vigil behind the wheels is no other than Max Ammer himself. Conservation The pristine reefs of Raja Ampat and the plentiful marine species were under threat with destructive fishing practices such as bomb fishing and deep-sea trawlers. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. the Raja Ampat Marine Park was formally declared. and the pristine state of corals. Raja Ampat needed protection. Dr Allen canvassed for Papua to be considered in the organisation’s conservation programme. conservation and enforcement. Part of the fee goes to community development. by mid-2007. which is a healthcare provision for mothers and children. In two single dives. Dr Allen was impressed with the numerous species of freshwater fishes found here. he had improved the water wells in Raja Ampat with chlorination and safety measures and created 13 new wells for the people. This involves a light aircraft surveillance to keep an eye on illegal activities on water and land. conservation.000 that involves the issue of an annual waterproof plastic entrance tag. Conservation at Raja Ampat now is taking on new heights with an aerial monitoring programme sponsored by CI and other NGOs. or risk losing its intrinsic beauty and biodiversity.THE GUIDE A consultant with Conservation International (CI). renowned marine scientist and author. priority was given to the “Posyandu” system. Logging and mining on the islands impacted the waters with pollution. In 2007 and 2008. the islands of south east asia 53 . in 2001. an important regulatory mechanism had already kicked in: the Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee of Rp500. I found out that the zonation and management plans were still under development. Plans for a marine park were drawn. ventured into this path. It was a stroke of luck when Dr Gerald Allen. he recorded the highest count of fish species: 283 species at at Cape Kri and 281 at South Fam group. However. Something that’s also close to Max’ heart: in the early days. When I visited Kri Eco Resort in March 2009.
THE GUIDE Don’t expect to see a Western dive guide or master at Papua Diving. who added. was instantly converted. People Welfare and Development Nikson Soor born in Batanta. Nickson who is 34 years old. who is eager to begin the aerial surveillance. “He just put a tank on me and took me down. is just one example of how a Papuan is groomed to become an asset in Raja Ampat tourism industry. and will soon learn to leave the giant clams in dive sites alone.” grins Nikson. Raja Ampat. Nikson is not just a top dive guide sought after in Raja Ampat. “I will teach Nikson how to fly even. Max bought those turtles from him and promptly the islands of south east asia 55 .” he said. Other plans afoot are homestays and kayaking adventures around the exotic mushroom islands. and Max. because there isn’t one. This augments what he has already established with the locals – bird watching tours in particular the Red Bird of Paradise. who then see the value of this tourism activity and stop them from catching these birds and selling them overseas as exotic pets. Dive guides at Papua Diving are given proper employment contracts. you may just enjoy his other service. released them. a road he has taken that is often long and bumpy. Nikson tells me that he first met Max when he was a wee boy. selling turtles that he had just caught with his fisherman father.” Nikson. Nikson couldn’t understand this white man’s actions. They are also paid fair wages. who was just 14 then. Papuans will learn how to grow clams and sell them in a sustainable fashion. a live aboard dive boat. and given weekly day off plus regular vacation.and by himself of course. concerned with pollution and illegal fishing. Max believes in investing in local education and training local Papuans. It is the start of a long and deep friendship between the two. he is also an environment advocate. One such plan is to introduce a clam farm. If you plan a trip in 2010. “They are good people and I want them to learn a new trade and to earn some income. hoping to get them out of the poverty cycle. Proceeds go entirely to the villagers.000 dives logged. “and my eyes opened wide looking at the underwater life. A trip to Max Ammer’s resorts is worth every dime. Today. but soon learnt the beauty and fragility of marine life. provided with food and shelter. 47.” laughed Max. one which he hopes to start designing soon . This amiable and energetic Papuan dive master is a manager at Papua Diving with over 11. Sustainable Clam Trade Max intends to implement various new ideas.
. A true joy to behold.The colorful corals is host to an abundance of fishes. It’s no wonder how so many diving enthusiasts gushes at the mere mention of Raja Ampat.
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Vannara Putra uncovers Phuket’s island paradise – quiet and tranquil. and unwittingly discovered its rowdy side as well .
Various diving and snorkeling spots are scattered throughout numerous small islands around the area. the beach beckons – pristine white sand upon long tresses of crystal clear water. Further down the road the alleyway widens and a carnival of sort entices tourists with welcoming arms. The perfect afternoon sun combined with fresh coconuts and Thailand’s scrumptious delicacies makes it a tantalizing option as we ponder our next plan.THE GUIDE To our right. easily accessible by boat. most vibrant. the party never really stops. there are also various adventure trips heading inland for jungle trekking. these are all secondary. In the middle of the road. and parasailing. I came here to experience a slice of the famed island paradise – the Phi Phi Islands. with catcalls and whistles firing out from all around the place. Amongst Phuket’s various beaches. mountain climbing or white-water rafting. the islands of south east asia 59 . snorkeling. lazing. and enjoying challenging water sports such as jet skiing. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in that aptly named 2000 movie. It’s not even past dinner time yet. but in Phuket. windsurfing. Patong Beach is the most developed. rows upon rows of stalls take up shelter by the road side. For me however. there is a fashion catwalk with various ladies (or not) costumed up with long colorful feathers and glittering fake diamonds adorning their dresses. pubs and massage parlors lined up both sides of the road. vending fake Rolexes and cheap tee-shirts for the shopaholic travelers. It’s a picture perfect postcard view of a 3-kilometer long white sandy beach perfect for swimming. To our left. and most visited one. even after the devastating 2004 tsunami. From Phuket. The Beach. Bars.
it is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations.Phuket Island. of the southern coast of Thailand. stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea. offers spectacular scenery. Understandably. .
but Phi Phi Leh’s beach is very popular with the tourists as well. The Phi Phi Islands comprises six islands surrounded by the Andaman sea. not wanting to disturb the fragile ecosystem below the sea. I suppose we shouldn’t have worried – close to 98% of Phuket’s population depends upon tourism to make a living. the crew noticeably turned down the machine. From the pristine Maya Bay. The island’s shallow blue-green lagoons and coral gardens. made for a spectacular scenery. is the only island with permanent inhabitants.THE GUIDE The Island Paradise The journey to Phi Phi Islands was suspiciously easy to arrange. we then made our way slowly passing the soaring limestone walls surrounding Phi Phi Leh. the largest of the six. The journey there was over an hour long. but very well worth the trip. Phi Phi Don. with full-payment given only when we were picked up from the hotel. and as such they are always eager to make a good impression. Tall breathtaking cliffs forms a circular wall around the area. paving a pathway of transparent sea to a small tranquil beach. the islands of south east asia 61 . We snorkeled a little more before finally making our way towards one of Phi Phi Don’s numerous resorts for a hearty meal. it was still every bit as astonishing. Crystal clear water gives view to the coral beds which are home to a wide range of sea life. Our boat anchored a little distance away from the beach. with caves and passages dotting the tall cliffs. Being the untrusting travelers that we were. and my eyes searched around trying to find an entrance. Suddenly. and we were free to swim and snorkel around the boat. Numerous stalls on Phuket’s crowded street offered day-tours to tourists. the green jungle opened up. As our boat neared the bay. we negotiated for a small down-payment for our tour arrangement. 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. and while my boat entry towards the beach was much less anti-climatic compared to DiCaprio’s jump over a ten-meter waterfall. It was there on the serene Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh that the movie was shot.
com . they came out dressed in long glittering gowns with over-the top cabaret shows make-up. There were also the noisy advertising of various muay-thai boxing matches calling out to impressionable travelers. my Puma boots were a wreck only after a few sessions of soccer. They are also keen to promote their one-of-a-kind Thai Girl show. tuk-tuk drivers offering rides. to find unique handcrafted items and some amazing paintings. and you should always start by offering half of the original starting price. that word would invariably be “rowdy”. 62 www. Instead. If you are looking for a romantic place to dine and wine. Indeed. Beware that tips would be expected of these miscellaneous services. Compared to the tranquil beach of Phi Phi Islands. a small one will suffice. clockwise from right Island hopping is a popular activity. Hundreds of stalls offer tourists fake branded goods Nightlife at the Beach Later on at night. Stunning views from the top of Phuket. There are indeed shops selling higher-quality fakes and the likes. Be warned as well that these lady-boys are every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. then this isn’t the right place for you. it made for an extreme contradiction.THE GUIDE This spread. be it vendors selling various cheap imitations. On Wednesday nights. Haggling is a must. parading and enticing various tourists who are eager to take photos and chat with them. Those out to shop would be well advised to know that these are simply cheap thrills. The jetty. If one were to choose a word to describe Patong beach’s street side revelries. drink and be merry.unearthingasia. but those are far and few between. we made our way through the jungle of shops cramping the coastal side of Patong beach. which features various acrobatic acts performed by the ladies and lady-boys. what you would find here is a good mix of tourists and locals who are out to have a good time. Thailand’s famed lady-boys come out to play. Every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. and a friend’s Rolex didn’t last though the end of the month. You are still able however. and numerous tailors touting cheap custommade suits. or a relaxing lounge to chill and rest. A coalescence of noisy pandemonium boomed in my ears as I made my way through the street.
the islands of south east asia 63 .
Char Magalong unearthed a magical attraction priming for international limelight and renown .THE GUIDE At the center of Palawan.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park boasts a thriving wildlife and a full sea to forest ecosystem. As I made my way into the hotel. Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade. Throughout the years. or diving to the depths of Palawan’s magnificent seas. and few are able to resist its charm. I could smell the ocean salt in the air. can compare with the beauty of Palawan. a sure sign of the various beach activities they must have participated in – swimming at the beach.Few places in the Philippines. snorkeling. I made a mental note to check out the beach. indeed in all of Southeast Asia. its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many. but first I had a whole new city to explore. offering visitors a wide array of activities and attractions All images used on this editorial feature were kindly provided by the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park the islands of south east asia 65 . I flashed a smile at a group of tourists passing by. with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan.
unearthingasia. Mesmerizing aerial view of the island paradise. A thriving wildlife. another gasp of awe 66 www.com .Clockwise from top The subterranean river goes out into the sea. Another point of aerial view.
It is a city that prides on its cleanliness and natural beauty.If we look at the map of the Philippines and the Palawan Island. When she died. it is the second largest city in the country with approximately 120. Totaling an area of approximately 260. the islands of south east asia 67 . we’ll find Puerto Princesa right in the middle. the place was named Puerto de la Princesa and as time progressed. Others would say that she receives her name from being a haven for everyone.000 inhabitants. from the seafarers who dock there to the nature lovers and environmentalists who are amazed by the protected area. and has often been dubbed the capital of ecotourism. the province itself bound by the South China Sea in the west and the Sulu Sea in the east. Princes Eulalia of Spain. Legend has it that Puerto Princesa was named after a maiden who used to roam the island on certain evenings of the year.000 hectares. that it was named after a Spanish Princess in 1864. this was reduced to Puerto Princesa. History tells us however.
The journey up north was a good three hours drive. 68 www. Monkeys. Nothing too serious.unearthingasia. Very recently. As it had rained the night before. Other than exploring the cave. a breathtaking experience comparable to none. the Crocodile Farm. the road condition was especially bad and we got stuck twice on our way there. We picnicked and ate our lunch as we waited for our turn to get into the Underground River. Aside from the Underground River. going up to 1. the area boasts a number of cave systems worth exploring. The Iwahig is a unique wall-less prison colony where convicts act as they would living in a village. The cave was extremely dark. partially through paved roads but also on dirt and muddy roads. gently making its way through the scintillating river. we were led in slowly. Climbing Ugong Rock allows one to view the spectacular karst formations and surrounding natural beauty. and it will take sometime for you to get used to. the underground river has been nominated to be a part of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature. Daylight Hole and the Kawili Cave. They cultivate rice and other crops. The Subterranean River National Park at Puerto Princesa is a haven of natural beauty that has been nominated to become one of the new Seven Wonders of the world. bird watching and the likes. squirrels and other friendly animals find their ecosystem near the cave. A regular tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.THE GUIDE Island hopping is a popular activity here. peaceful lagoon that supports a thriving wildlife. monitor lizards. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also offers other activities such as mountain and rock climbing. it boasts a 8. but a fun experience never the less. You will be awed by the exquisite beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in rainbow colors – a truly wondrous view.The site contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. As such. Other areas to explore include the Lions Cave. There are also city tours that brings you to various attractions such as the Iwahig penal colony.5 kilometers into the cave. Finally. the boat turtled onwards. At the top of my list of must-see attractions however.com . Right at the mouth of the cave lies a clear. with the Sta Lourdes wharf serving as a port for tourists who want to rent boats for fixed tours or to simply go wherever they like. The rock formations inside were truly one of a kind. landing in the top 77 nominees.2-kilometer long river that goes through a mesmerizing cave before it makes its exit right into the South China Sea. Located 50km north of the capital. was Palawan’s most esteemed wonders – the Underground River. we reached the opening of the Underground River. Finally it was our turn! As our tour guide warned us about safety precautions and what not to do inside. do fishing or carve handicraft products for souvenirs. Butterfly Garden and Mitra’s Ranch.
Venturing into the dark cave.unearthingasia. from top The National Park is located low. clockwise The clouds form a magical shadow over the National Park. At the entrance of the subterranean river.com . Paddling back out after a fun adventure This page.Previous spread. very near the sea level. Relaxing in the clear lagoon at the mouth of the river 70 www.
THE GUIDE Natalie Revie journeyed into Thailand’s jungle paradise to find it beautifully evolving into a different entity 72 .
But fortunately. the island seemed determined to balance between its development and natural charms. a relief to budget travelers and luxury high-fliers all around .The island paradise of Koh Phangan is slowly but surely attracting its worthy share of developers and luxury travelers.
Koh Phangan remained until recently the quiet.THE GUIDE Lying in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand. it has evolved into 5-star boutique resort destination. as the small number of developers and big hotels moving in are not only developing with an eye to natural aesthetics. Koh Phangan exudes a special magical privacy to invigorate even the most jaded international jet-setter. the islands of south east asia 75 . set against unspoiled jungle backdrops and glittering ocean. At the moment it certainly seems that way. With its broad white sandy beaches. Having escaped the brutal development of its sister island Koh Samui. but with a common commitment to green ethos and protecting the island’s gorgeous flora and fauna. elegant lady. as the big hotels and developers turn their beady eyes from the already ravaged Koh Samui and realize that today’s luxury guests want something a little different for their dollars. and flying entirely under the radar of commercial hotels and package-holiday tourism. failing to show up on all but the most backpack savvy trails. With its infamous full moon party every month for the last two decades. And the little-known hippy paradise of Koh Phangan may be able to provide exactly that. Koh Phangan has truly established itself as the destination of choice for party-animals. Koh Phangan is a party-goers paradise of legendary proportions. hippies and backpackers alike. little-known sister of the two. Added to that. its relatively slow development will hopefully mean it has learned its lesson from neighboring Koh Samui’s mistakes. But change is coming to this jungle paradise isle. an astonishing transformation that is not unlike a blossoming of a young flower into a beautiful. Recently however.
And credit must be given where it’s due to Rasananda management. Who knows how long that arrangement is set to last? But currently. who have managed to create an elegant. and unusually it seems to be entirely harmonious. on the northeast corner of the lush island. and created in harmony with the environment. opened its doors for business. At the moment. right next to the traditional $5-a-night backpacker huts of old Koh Phangan.The coast of Tong Nai Pan Noi Attracting the most attention in the 5-star resort stakes is the stunning Thong Nai Pan. the beach has naturally attracted an interesting community of expats. At night the jungle reverberates to the sounds of the traditional Thong Nai Pan parties and bongo drums. beautiful resort that still gives a nod to the rustic Thai charm which entrances visitors to Thailand every year. Thong Nai Pan’s off-the-beaten track location has proved a huge draw to these intrepid folk: the result is an eclectic mix of interests and nationalities represented on the beach. But uncommonly for Thailand. but no less beautiful. from Alaskan kayakbuilders to Israeli cheese-makers. In addition to these high-end tourists. resorts and restaurants. Thong Nai Pan has been called ‘the jewel of Koh Phangan’ and for years was the best kept secret in the region. it finds not just the drunken revelers of yore. it is being altered with sensitivity. So the wild hippy paradise of yesteryear is changing. That these two polar opposites – backpackers and jet-setters – co-exist so seamlessly on one beach is perhaps testament to the special magic of Thong Nai Pan. 76 www. luxury 300-threadcount towels lie on sun-loungers next to hippies on their way to the next low-key destination of choice for backpackers. taste and discretion. Thong Nai Pan. Rasananda. sets a leading example not just for Koh Phangan but for development in Thailand as a whole.unearthingasia. complementing the exquisite natural surroundings. but beautiful residences. so as not to disturb the guests in their $300 dollar-a-night rooms. but quietly. the community is set to increase in both size and diversity. With more residences being built privately and by small local developers.com . As it comes of age the jewel in its crown. Now when the full moon shines on Koh Phangan. Now Thong Nai Pan has been recognized as the truly 5-star destination on Koh Phangan and this year new luxury resort. The result is very different from days-goneby – more refined definitely. as inaccessible as it was by bumpy pickup over an unpaved jungle track.
The crystal blue water is perfect for water sports and activities the islands of south east asia 77 .
. Bali.THE GUIDE Amidst the influx of overflowing tourists. Ubud. Barrie Lie-Birchall enthuses. Fog and mist creeping into the forest as the setting sun envelops the horizon. Bali retains its hidden charms and unexplored attractions.
unlike other islands in the archipelago of Indonesia. It didn’t happen. Rudolf Bonnet and Le Mayeur. the main tourist district of Kuta was devastated by three massive bombs killing 202 people. The cyclonic invasion of this tiny island began with a trickle in the 1930’s with the likes of artists Walter Spies. the Balinese. is drenched in mass tourism. The Balinese feared a repeat upon tourism that occurred previously in 2002. 2005 with a series of terrorist suicide bomb attacks in Jimbaran and Kuta. amongst others. The ancient temple of Taman Ayun the islands of south east asia 79 . As the tourist influx grew and Bali was flooded with carefree tourists from around the world. and yet. but soon became a novelty destination for celebrities such as Noel Coward. it soon became a target for anti-western extremist Islamic groups. Bali’s eventual step into the limelight was predominately due to anthropologist Margaret Mead who researched and documented. In October 2002. As a paradise destination for westerners. Bali was soon to be crushed again on October 1. the Balinese still retain their cultural and religious ways of life.Scenic surf and steep cliffs on the coastline Bali. The impact upon the Bali tourism industry was immediate. unaffected. this became apparent when the island of Bali became a stopover on the renowned ‘hippy trail’ in the 1960’s. From then on the steady flow of tourists increased over the coming decades. in-depth.
Bali once again enjoys boom times with record numbers of tourists visiting the island. There are numerous reasons this tiny Hindu island possesses immense appeal to westerners. Primarily, it’s a cheap holiday destination with much the same on offer as most South-east Asian destinations; good shopping, relaxed tropical atmosphere, bars and nightclubs as well as restaurants every 50 metres. Bali is geared towards tourists and first impressions will see you being overwhelmed. More than Meets the Eye But, there is more to Bali than the aforementioned. It is an island that possesses a spiritual mystique woven around a unique culture and a religion that is a fascinating amalgam of animism and Indian Hindu beliefs. In the land of a 1,000 temples, religion is the dominating force and this can be seen in the daily rituals and ceremonies of the Balinese. Travelling around Bali can be an enlightening experience. The delightful thing is that wherever you go, your senses are tantalised by sheer beauty. Green textured rice paddies clinging to hillsides and rugged mountains are mesmerising. Being an island of varied landscapes it affords some of the most spectacular panoramas in the Indonesian archipelago.
Green rice terraces forms a beautiful scenery
It is no wonder then that Bali is so appealing. Travelling anywhere across the 140-kilometer wide island yields breathtaking surprises and everlasting impressions. An island covering an area of 5, 561 sq kilometer and totally surrounded by crystal blue oceans it is only natural that a lot of the coastline is spectacular, and at dusk, unforgettable mind-blowing sunsets. Coconut-palm lined sandy beaches and sparkling clear waters offer some of the best scuba diving and surfing to be found anywhere in the world.
The whole island is one enjoyable surprise after the other. Walking around traditional markets has always been one of my favourites taking in the atmosphere of Balinese traders haggling or imbibing in the delights of the array of traditional foods. Scaling the steps of centuries old temple and gazing at the myriad of statues slowly being eroded by time or witnessing a temple festival with the Balinese in colourful dress has never ceased to amaze me. Bali has something to offer everybody. Talking slow walks along sandy beaches at sunset or being adventurous and bungyjumping off dizzy heights, or just chillingout leisurely wandering the streets talking to the locals.
the islands of south east asia
Pura Ulun Danu temple on Lake Brataan, Bali, Indonesia
Unexplored Paradise Getting around Bali is quite easy and there are many areas in Bali that are rarely visited by tourists or travellers alike. Then there are those areas yet to be fully developed as a tourist destination. The east coast of the island is one such area that has escaped the onslaught. This is one part of the island that has always entranced me. Sleepy fishing villages are dotted up and down the coastline with deserted beaches lined with row after row of colourful fishing boats. Inland you will find pristine areas of dense jungle clinging to towering hillsides and valleys with a carpet of rich-green rice paddies. Not far from the town of Amlapura there is a place seldom seen by regular tourists that has the most stunning and beautiful panoramic view of rice fields on the entire island of Bali. It is a place
called Ngis, a small village barely visible from the main road. In between the town of Amlapura and the village of Abang along the east coast road you will come to a sharp bend in the road and here you will find the heavenly view. The island of Bali is the epitome of paradise. Where else in the tropics could you drive through a massive hole in a sacred Banyan tree, be thrilled at the power of white-water as you raft furiously along the rapids of the Ayung River deep in the jungle, or go fishing with the locals on their traditional boats. Bali has something for everyone. If you are just a tourist with a desire to chillout and relax or possesses a lust for adventure, a passion for archaeological history or perhaps a nature-lover; Bali and its friendly people have all these and much, much more.
Being centrally located in the archipelago, Bali affords the traveller opportunities to visit the other islands in Indonesia with a variety of inexpensive flights on offer utilising numerous airline services. You can virtually travel to all points of the compass and experience other cultures for as many days as you like and still return to Bali and finish your holiday. Bali as a tourist destination in Southeast Asia has so much more to offer. It is an island where you can relax in sheer luxury at high-end resorts, or revel in the crazed tourist scene of Kuta in budget accommodation. Bali is an island where you can live on $10 a day quite comfortably and an island where you can be a global citizen in paradise and, it is a place that time has not forgotten but respected for its unique culture and friendly people.
Heart buckled ethnic belt – Tari Maya at Alun Alun Indonesia. Ringlets Bracelet – Origo at Alun Alun Indonesia .STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair Unrestraint and picturesque settings conjure a perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra. Modern batik printed dress – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Crossed-weaved heels – Dum Dum at Alun Alun Indonesia. Jakarta. Photographed by Bona Soetirto. with make up and styling by the Dresscode Team.
STYLE GUIDE .
Rattan ethnic bangles (set of 3) – Diori at Alun Alun Indonesia. Batik printed clutch – Ilalang at Alun Alun Indonesia Opposite Page Long wool shawl (worn as a headband) – Mellies Moss at Alun Alun Indonesia. Gold Ethnic flats – Giffa at Alun Alun Indonesia. Batik printed corset (worn as an obi) – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Tube summer dress – BIASA. Hand-painted decorative umbrella – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia 87 .This Page Tie-dyed summer dress – Lilou at Alun Alun Indonesia. Rope wooden sandals – Heroine at Alun Alun Indonesia. Colorful Ringlets Statement Necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia.
Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Crossed-weaved beach hat – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Styled by the DRESSCODE Team. . Multicolor statement necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Fish scales sandals – VNC Modeled by Audrey. Striped vest – BIASA.STYLE GUIDE Sarong style skirt (worn as a tube dress) – BIASA.
Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .Issue 01 www.000 SGD 7. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region.00 New Zealand’s Splashing Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine + Heeding the Call of Asia in Taiwan + Singapore Stopover + Spotlight on Jakarta + Flashpacking Essentials + A Tropical Affair . HK AND MORE! Culture. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. For this inaugural issue. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions.50 RM 14.unearthingasia. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home. And not only that.com IDR 50. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.Culture. featuring exciting adventures. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.
.TALES GOURMET Nabeetha Naseer samples the vivacious array of culinary delights from the region of Middle East. and comes up with a tasty guide for the foodie at heart.
They can be eaten on its own.TALES GOURMET Arabian cuisine usually consists of a dozen or more small dishes. or mixed with one another 92 . but more commonly used as dip for pita bread.
vegetables. While a meal may exclude meat. an eggplant dip. sesame seeds. borek. Mezze (or appetizers) When you are in Lebanon. Honey. Iskender kebab is a famed specialty from Bursa. it is almost never without the region’s staple food. bread. feta-stuffed phyllo pastries and dolmas. kebabs are generally grilled or broiled meats over skewer or sticks. Each country adds their own distinct touches to the mix. It has become a part of everyday multicultural cuisines around the globe. from top Pita bread a serving of dips. beef and lamb. Grilled chicken with vegetables Middle Eastern cuisines come in a wide variety of taste. For the uninitiated. in which thinly cut grilled lamb is basted with tomato sauce over pide bread and generously slathered with melted butter and yogurt.Right. the main course could vary between kebabs of grilled chicken or lamb. The baba ghanouj is especially tasty. completing a vibrant map of culinary delights throughout the region. You’ll be served dozens of small dishes with exotic tidbits all placed on the table at once Some of the more common mezzes are the baba ghanouj. parsley. deep-fried chickpea balls. fruits and nuts. lamb stew in a sweet-sour sauce. but be warned – it can be quite spicy! Main Courses Depending on which country you are in. A common bond between them however. It may even contain a number of rice dishes that is mixed with meats. mint and chickpeas – these are a few of the common ingredients you’ll find throughout the region. . make sure to try out a course of mezze and you’ll realize right away why the tables are all super large. stuffed grape leaves. Since Muslims do not consume pork. shape and color. northern Turkey. the most commonly used meat are chicken. is the usage of aromatic spices. sumac. khoresh. felafels.
It can give your throat an itchy. 94 www. sautéed tomato and eggplant with yogurt. but with lower calories and fat. Meals in the Middle East are often eaten using your hands. coffee. pita. But if you are to try eating with your hands. Brides Fingers (Asabia el Aroos) are slender crisps of filo filled with sweetened nuts that are popular with the locals. thick. unless if you are in Iran where tea are commonly served. spinach. do not hesitate to ask for a fork and spoon. as it is forbidden in the Islamic tradition to do so. Protein and fiber are in abundance due to the inclusion of nuts. But for those who fancy desserts on their own. salads and breads This is the usual companion of meals. most bakeries tend to sell sweet pastries and the likes to curb your sweet tooth cravings. Desserts and Snacks You are normally served a small cup of sweet. avoid doing so with your left hand.Vegetables. Desserts are served occasionally. flat breads and the traditional Jewish Challah.com . One thing I learned is to leave the sludge at the bottom. Among the common ones are Tabboulleh (tart parsley).unearthingasia. following the Islamic tradition that is prevalent in the region. Other desserts include baklava and perhaps almond crusted cookies as well. If you’re uncomfortable with this. They are comparable to the likes of baklava. uneasy feeling.
Phetburi (Phetchaburi). Call Light shining into Khao Luang Caves.TALES ART Heeding the After years of traveling around the region of Asia. . photographer Craig Ferguson finally settled down in Taiwan. He shared tales of his amazing journey with Nikolas Tjhin. Thailand.
having fallen in love with Asia over his various treks throughout the region. “I had nothing booked.The yearly pilgrimage for Mazu. Always with a camera. I basically made it up as I went along!” shared the enthusiastic traveler. Bright red lanterns. After that. the awardwinning photographer calls the islands of south east asia 97 .” He then learned the ropes on his own on a Manual SLR while at school in the 1980s and progressed from there. and is starting to shift his focus away from travel photography into music. Even from a very young age. First Love Craig hailed from Australia.Selina Ferguson. in Taiwan Taiwan home. and worked it out as I went along. Somehow. Now. With its numerous cultural traditions and some of the most fascinating sights on earth. The Goddess of the Sea. “I remember always wanting to take pictures with my dad’s ‘slide camera’. he has always shown an interest in photography. He initially studied science and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. I found my way onto a local bus to Banglamphu. Right off graduation. Craig Ferguson is one such victim. Photo credit . it’s no wonder how so many people have fallen head over heels with this beautiful region. wedding and personal portrait type photography. landing in Bangkok and simply “winging it” as he goes along. having grown up mostly in a beach-side suburb of Sydney. and then into a cheap guesthouse. The call of Asia is a strong one. he traveled through Asia for a year.
. Hualien. Taiwan.Japanese gate.
before heading back home to Australia. and on to Lhasa. He spent a good five months in the Himalayans region. “After some halfhearted attempts to fit into the standard career-track in Australia.” he shared. a World Heritage site and a major tourist destination TALES ART That impromptu travel lasted a whole 12 months and more. then onwards to Jakarta through Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta. Burma and then onto Nepal. but never found it. “I mostly did it alone. he headed back up towards Surat Thani. the islands of south east asia 99 . but not before a final couple weeks of relaxation on Koh Tao. People often ask what the best memory etc is and it’s really hard to say – there were so many highlights!” Heeding the Call After returning to Australia. then to Lombok. on a path that sees him on a very unusual backpackers trail across Asia. and onwards to Nepal for a slower pace of life. the call of Asia grew too strong. transiting in Singapore.” and then to Bali. Koh Pha Ngan and then Bangkok. So in 2001. Craig searched around for a fulfilling opportunity. back to Bali. From there he went to Kathmandu. local governance. He headed south towards the Thai islands for a while. meeting up with other travelers along the way. his so called second round of travel sees him journey to Langkawi. One of the everlasting experiences of this particular travel was the winter pilgrimage season in Bodhgaya. I’d saved enough money that I was able to travel backpacker style for the year without needing to work. so it was an interesting experience to be completely cut off from the news for five days at that particular time. Following a short stint in corporate IT. he booked a ticket back to Bangkok and went on the road again. then down into Malaysia before crossing over into Sumatra – “orangutans. he didn’t find anything that fits him and gave him satisfaction. Cambodia. Tibet. Having exhausted the south eastern part of Asia. trekking in the Annapurnas and exploring the old parts of Kathmandu. “All this happened a couple of days after the 9/11 attack in the US. which intrigued Craig so much that he made plans to return the following year as well. lakes and surfing made up most of it.” he shared. hospitality and NGOs. Starting out in southern Thailand.Angkor Wat.
” Craig shares. being a travel photographer is rewarding work but hard. “It was through them that I got to meet the Dalai Lama – he came to visit them. but there’s the added pressure of marketing. He has now spent seven years in Taiwan – “it was a pretty easy transition to make to life here. before ending up in Taiwan where a friend was already based. which was an amazing experience. and we have no plans to leave. where he spent a few trips photographing the various Angkor-era ruins in both Cambodia and Thailand which have proved to be photographic highlights.” he noted. but he ended up falling in love with the lifestyle here and stayed longer. looking for new leads and meeting deadlines. and they invited me inside their temple. Craig also had a soft spot for Thailand. and then continue traveling. Now.” he narrated.” he opined. “the whole India and Nepal area is one I love.” On top of that. The rest just followed. To budding travel photographers. Craig is busy building a multifaceted photography business. 100 www. He is starting to teach photography.TALES ART Taiwanese opera performer from the Xin Ing Feng Opera Group. and also shake hands with and speak to the Dalai Lama.” “It’s hard to choose a favorite place because I’ve been to so many great places. Naturally. “I wouldn’t swap it for the world though!”. Settling Down Following that. I spent a substantial part of the time living in one of the smaller cities. although it’s been quite a few years since I was last there. Let your own nautral style and creativity show through.com . Along the way.unearthingasia. his meeting with the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya is one of them. his intention was to stay for one to two years. “As well as all the usual frustrations of travelers everywhere. Initially. He stopped in Thailand and Vietnam. and you’ll find success starts to come your way. he finds himself spending time with some Thai monks who were staying there. To Craig. Once again. On that second trip to Bodhgaya. with his focus drifting a little further away from travel photography since being here. and had the pleasure to shoot for Oasis when they toured earlier this year. And then shoot it again. Amongst his list of highlights. Shoot what you enjoy. I met and married my wife. chasing clients. Craig headed back east to replenish his funds. weddings and music as well. Craig was privileged enough to be able to witness the ceremony between the two different Buddhist traditions. his sound advice is to “try to shoot the images and subjects that give you the most satisfaction. persistence is key to his success. which included interviewing Noel Gallagher for 30 minutes before the show. “I got into travel photography as a result of my love of photography and my love of travel. with group workshops and a couple of one-on-one students. He now shoot a lot of portraiture. a tip he constantly shares with his students and friends alike.” he enthused. some stood out more than others.
performing in Taiwan “A Moving Sound”. a Taiwanese theater performance .Oasis.
com http://lonelyplanet.Love travelling? The Indie Travel Podcast is an independent travel site with regular audio and video podcasts along with articles by travellers from all over the world.com/magazine Travel well indietravelpodcast.com . Search for Indie Travel in iTunes Check out the new magazine at indietravelpodcast.
TALES ADVENTURE Splashing Lake Taupo Debbie Reyes-Coloma ventured into the Kiwi’s stunning landscape to find the Maori spirit of adventure well fanned and alive One of the most famous hiking routes in the Tongariro National Park leads to this amazing sight of the Blue Lake © Destination Lake Taupo .
most extreme adventures. fascinating geothermal areas and the famous Huka Falls. Spanning 619 sq km. canoeing. With 47 rivers and streams flowing into the lake. it is New Zealand’s largest natural waterway. There are also many tour operators in the region who offer day trips or overnight camping excursions. jet skiing. it is as big as Singapore. The youngest country on earth has some of the most incredible water adventures that guests can experience. and temperate climate—the Kiwi’s spirit of adventure is what has attracted visitors from across the globe to join in the fun. kayaking. There is no shortage of activities for vacationers regardless of age or fitness. Water activities take place in the lakes all year round—which include waterskiing. Perhaps inspired by New Zealand’s pure natural surroundings—from vast open spaces filled with stunning rugged landscapes to gorgeous beaches. To the local Kiwis. fishing. The Waikato River is the only river flowing out of the lake. awe-inspiring geothermal and volcanic wonders. the islands of south east asia 105 . It was created by a gigantic volcanic eruption in 181AD. swimming. Situated in the volcanic heart of the North Island. Lake Taupo is Australasia’s largest lake. At 425 km in length. the Waikato River has always been a great provider—from fish and freshwater lobster to drinking water.A cliff stone carving © Darryl Torckler The Waikato River is the longest waterway in New Zealand © Rob Suisted The Kiwis are known for inventing some of the world’s craziest. this area is renowned for trout fishing and kayaking. the Lake Taupo region is home to New Zealand’s largest fresh water lake. The lake’s attractive pumice sand beaches give it the appearance of an inland ocean. parasailing. and sailing. cruising. Plus there are plenty of chances to take a break and continue the fun on dry land. such as bungy jumping and zorbing. irrigation and hydroelectric power.
com . You should seek advice and assistance from a qualified professional scuba diving school or tour operator in the area. White Island off the coast of Whakatane is a unique experience as New Zealand’s only active marine volcano.hukafallsjet.com) boat ride! Marvel at the incredible water level views of the spectacular Huka Falls. The awesome performance of the Huka Jet boats will put your heart in your mouth when your driver spins your Huka Jet through 360° in its own length at high speed. aquatic life is abundant. 106 www.unearthingasia. and enjoy the sensation as you slide past cliffs and trees at 80km per hour. catch a jet boat ride to the base of Huka Falls Lake Taupo and its connecting rivers represent one of the most prolific wild trout fisheries in the world @ Gareth Eyres © Destination Lake Taupo © Destination Lake Taupo Feel the exhilaration and the power of a Hukafalls Jet (www.TALES ADVENTURE Below Tandem skydiving will show you the most stupendous view of the central North Island Far Below If you prefer your scenery with a large dash of action. Because of the warm waters. Be ready to get wet! To scuba dive in Lake Taupo. Should you wish to scuba dive in a volcanic area. one needs experience and professional help because of the lake’s location above sea level. To the amateur diver this requires skill in reading your depth gauge.
up mountain summits.You’ll never regret walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. along scoria slopes and through craters. This 17-kilometre volcanic trail rises to 1600 metres above sea level. There’s nothing else like it in the world © Destination Lake Taupo . leading you over ancient lava flows.
clearwater.orakeikorako. Sailing on a yacht. wild adventure that any brave adventurer needs to do. There is a full range of fishing equipment on board so guests can try fishing for trophy-sized rainbow trout.metservice. and Clearwater staff can organise a range of on-water and land-based activities. water skiers. the Hidden Valley (www. sail boats. Visit www. The weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in. Lake Taupo is the ideal place to try your nerve and your water skills. The white water rafting experience can be a peaceful drifting trip on the Tongariro’s or the Mohaka for the adventure seeker who needs the thrill of blasting down endless rapids at a romping pace. The lake’s reflective waters mirror mountains. chugging on the old steamboat or speeding across the lake on a launch is also a thrilling way to spend a day or late afternoon. through gorges. It’s the white water seekers challenge of fun. From parasailing to wakeboarding.com for more adventures off and on the ground. go back in time in this unique geothermal wonderland. A chartered cruise is one of the best ways to experience golden sunsets.unearthingasia. 108 www. Now’s your chance to race the rapids! At Orakei Korako. past limestone and volcanic cliffs and then race down 50m ‘roller coaster’ rapids at exhilarating speeds.nz before your trip.nz) through stunning Lake Tarawera on the 38-foot luxury launch Clearwater Pride. hot springs. speedboats or jet skis. Make sure you have your camera with you. Autumn (10°C from March to May). naturally heated thermal waters and unspoiled flora and fauna provide a beautiful playground. where you can also enjoy a soak in a natural hot spring. and then explore a world of gushing geysers. boiling mud pools and some of the largest silica terraces in the world. tranquil waters and pumice beaches. It’s the exciting. one of nature’s true gifts. It’s such a beautiful holiday scene with people enjoying and relaxing on the lakeshores despite the season. wet. Arriving in Taupo by road as a visitor. The majestic backdrop of a dormant volcano. Cook your catch in thermal sand at Hot Water beach. Check www.co. Float past ancient beech forests.com .nz).The chilly waters at the mouth of the Waitahanui Stream are easier to stand when there’s the distraction of an amazing sunset © Gareth Eyres Lake Taupo’s panoramic 360° views are amazing.co. Take the Clearwater Cruises (www.newzealand. Cross the Waikato River by boat. New Zealand has four seasons: Summer (14°C from Dec to February).co. The Tongariro River is known as the perfect river for your first white water rafting experience. bush and sky. Winter (9°C from June to August) and Spring (12°C from Sept to November). it’s just so wonderful to see this beautiful lake full of swimmers.
explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area © Destination Lake Taupo .The volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing never fail to surprise. Here you can see the Emerald Lakes. Within this world of earth tones that were spewed from subterranean magma vaults. wild colours provide visual excitement.
quincy. free wi-fi internet connection and round trip airport transfers.000. S 099394 T: +65 6825 3888 F: +65 6825 3848 firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer a very special rate in March at IDR 728. Pat-Mase. and late check-out till 6pm. Sentosa Island. Meeting Room usage and laundry. daily buffet breakfast. The Quincy Hotel 22 Mount Elizabeth Singapore 228517 Please call +65 6496 7699 / 1800 7373 279 or email email@example.com. sky ride and Songs of the Sea. 3. Terms and conditions apply. Stay 3 nights and pay for only 2 nights.com www. all day coffee and tea as well as parking. unlimited internet access and local calls. broadband Internet. Nasui-Shiobara. dekuta is strategically located in the heart of Kuta. Aizuya Hotel A Japanese Inn where you will experience traditional authentic Japanese cuisine made with local ingredients.com . unlimited evening cocktails and beverages. Jimbaran Bali A place unparalleled for its calm and serene environment within a tropical oasis of landscaped gardens. 2. Executive set lunch at Brizo Restaurant & Bar.com Pat-Mase. From $258++ per night. Mini-bar. Terms and conditions apply. buffet breakfast. inclusive of – limousine pick-up. daily breakfast and one-time seafood BBQ in villa. one of the following options for 2 ppl: 1. Japan Tel: +81 3 3541 4967 Fax: +81 3 3541 4968 E-mail: shiraishi@japanxpress. Inclusive of complimentary buffet breakfast. Japanese Room w/ private natural spa @ Y28. Luge.aizuya. daily 2 pieces of laundry. set lunch & dinner. rain shower and wi-fi internet connection in all areas. Underwater World & Dolphin lagoon. Jl Poppies Lane II #8 Kuta.pat-mase. River Taxi ride from Clarke Quay. local calls. Jimbaran-Bali Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera 100 Kawasan Bukit Jimbaran Bali 80364 – Indonesia +62 361 708 708 www. Japanese Twin Room @ Y22.com Aizuya. Terms and conditions apply. Park Hotel Clarke Quay Club Single/Twin Room for S$238++ per night.000. Bali..nett per night for a Superior room.com. island admission.jp Website: www.PROMOTIONAL OFFERS The Quincy Hotel Your Business Sanctuary Promotion. Indulge in Bali Breakaway package at USD 695 for 4days/3nights in two bedrooms villa inclusive of welcome fruit and flowers. The Amara Sanctuary Integrated Recreation (IR) at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa (2D/1N for two) S$288++ – One night stay in twin or double deluxe room. Singapore 237983 Tel: (65) 6593 8888 Fax: (65) 6593 8899 Website: www.000.amarahotels.com dekuta Set in modern minimalist design which equipped with LCD TV 32”.net Park Hotel Clarke Quay 1 Unity Street.co. Japanese Room @ Y18. minibar. Indonesia Tel: (62) 361 753880 Fax: (62) 362 752787 Website: www.sg The Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa 1 Larkhill Road.sg for reservations and rates or enquiries www. Terms and conditions apply. inclusive of breakfast for two.000.parkhotelgroup. Price includes Dinner & Breakfast. High Tea. Shiobara.
you will be covered for your hospital stay. When you travel overseas. Terms and Conditions applied. Terms and Conditions applied.id for Hotel information. you can enjoy the following complimentary upgrade privileges: • Purchase your ticket at any Bayu Buana Travel Services and get a chance for a complimentary upgrade to Business Class of any of your preferred airlines (1 upgrade per day). * The above value may change in accordance to company policies. For Travel information.000. it is not a valid insurance policy. So. make sure you always travel with Garuda Indonesia Citi Card.citibank. and medical expenses occur caused by accident or sickness. Gasoline and Departement Store from 16 November 2009 . Your family is also covered.co.000*. medical surgery or any doctor consultation fees up to Rp 300.28 February 2010 . This information is made available for the sole purpose of informing the public. Refund will not be given to any medical fees that occurred when or after the cardholder (or spouse) is over the age of 70 years old. Travel promotion is valid until 6 January 2010. contact Bayu Buana at (021) 2350 9999 or visit www. Garuda Indonesia Citi Card Medical coverage on your overseas travel As Garuda Indonesia Citi Cardholders. Also get TRIPLE GFF Miles for all transactions at Supermarket. • Enjoy a complimentary room upgrade at any participating 5-star Hotels in Indonesia Exclusively for Citi Ultima. you are automatically guaranteed a medical insurance coverage on your travel outside Indonesia. Citi Platinum and Garuda Indonesia Citi Cards.CITIBANK HIGHLIGHTS Travel Privileges with Citi Platinum Card Enjoy a complimentary upgrade wherever you go Whether it is business or leisure. Hotel promotion is valid until 30 April 2010.
The AYANA Resort and Spa Bali The Fairmont Beijing Hotel Fill out our survey to enjoy a Free 1 Year Subscription* and stand a chance to win free hotel stays!* We are offering free one year subscriptions to residents of Singapore. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. * Terms & conditions apply .* On top of that. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.
The time is nigh to drown yourself in alcoholic beverages of all kind. a hauntingly beautiful city doomed to lose itself to the drowning sea. Go for it! You’ll meet up with other people who are in similar states of transformation and journey. Celebrate the coming festivities with a bang. dear Capricorn. Aquarius (Jan 20 . Make sure all the proper forms have been filled out over the weekend – this next part of your trip requires meticulous attention to make sure it all goes smoothly. or so they say. I would book a ticket to the Christmas Islands if I were you. a doomed beauty that will sooner or later die away – much like everything else on earth actually.com . like the southern islands of the coast of Thailand. Venice is one such destination. You’ll find all of your most creative inner whims fulfilled with a simple snap of your finger. In fact. Suddenly.Apr 19) According to my analysis of the astrological omens.Mar 20) You’re not fully informed – quite yet.Jan 19) The time is right to head back into your natural habitat. the time is right for a simple break of isolation and new experiences. May I suggest a trip to the Big Durian of South East Asia. and enjoy a week of acting and play-making in the isolated heights of Tibet. Aries. is to let loose and tap into this creative energy. For you Sagittarius. Don’t worry too much about whether things are going your way. and together you’ll form quite a merry crew. The passing year may seem full of negative experiences. Jakarta? It’s a place where you can do anything you want to. Capricorn (Dec 22 . Shed away your habitual influences and your customary comforts. Taurus (Apr 20 . I’m thinking a place of leisure and relaxation. and then get back into it right away after your well-deserved break. but don’t give up – the story is far from over! Take some time out in the middle of this stressful period to collect yourself and ponder a thought.TRAVEL HOROSCOPE Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Flee as far as possible from your usual haunts. to boldly welcome the coming new year as soon as possible. Aries (Mar 21 . I suspect this will be a place flooded with sea water. you’ll do well to reflect back and determine a new direction for your personal life. After playing out your fantasy. and give toast to the coming year. 118 www. Your homework. but they are important in shaping you up for the brighter future ahead. a place in between worlds.Feb 18) Party harder and smarter than usual Aquarius. you feel able to do and say all kinds of things that didn’t seem permissible before. Relax and go with the flow. the nonchalant Aries is largely unaware of the creative energy that has been welling up inside you. The isolated heights of Tibet awaits you Sagittarius Pisces (Feb 19 . Renew your energy and figure out what comes next. But being in this place feels liberating. a personality with an interesting back story.May 20) A little of bad news is coming your way Taurus. Invent a new character.unearthingasia.
Libra (Sep 23 . . as I always say.Oct 22) Spare no expense. the cosmos grant you the license to thrive on the unexpected blessings that come from giving yourself to the random intelligence of a stranger. romantically or in some other way. All this mental liberation leads you to want to try a few daring physical acts too.June 20) You’re totally ready to take things to the next level.Gemini (May 21 . It was said there are so many ramen stalls in Tokyo that even if you were to eat ramen thrice a day. Take it! After all. I bid you make your peace with God.Aug 22) Life is just way too short to worry about people needlessly! So if you’re wondering about what people may think of you as you embark on this personal adventure. The city of Queenstown in New Zealand offers much in the way of adventure. but that maybe too early for you. and you would do well to follow your heart’s content – lest you live to regret this missed opportunity for a unique experience.Sep 22) The most challenging parts of your travels have also brought you the greatest lessons. I envision an eventful getaway in the near future. Life is only worth living your own way. your friends and family will still be there for you come 2010. There will be an offer to travel and celebrate the festivities together. Leo (July 23 . fret not. Maybe start of slow. whatever that may be. from the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism to the passionate compassion of the Buddha.July 22) For the foreseeable future. Don’t put restraints on your enjoyment or give yourself a subconscious guilt trip for what you’re seeing and doing. you’re grateful for all of your experiences. Better start now. Scorpio (Oct 23 . Bali is a popular place for honeymooners. Make an effort to range far and wide during your explorations. you’ve got it all here. They can wait. it would take a good few years to try them all out. When you think about everything you’ve done and seen.Nov 21) Before you commence your life-long dream Scorpio. with the sweet smell of romance in the air. Get set and let the adrenaline roar! Virgo (Aug 23 . A spiritual journey is on the cards – may I suggest the region of India? It’s an area reeking with religious mysticism. dubbing itself the Adventure Capital of the World. with the sun-filled days off the coast of Palawan? Cancer (June 21 . away from your usual crowd of friends and family.
amazing culture. Finally. and my favorite places in Bali are KuDeTa for its amazing ambiance. That happens often here.BON VOYAGE The winner of 2008’s Cleo Award for the Best Young Designer. a paradise haven close to my hometown. because its one of the most stylish trend-setting fashion cities in the world. like at Warung Made. and the new Rock Bar which simply boasts a spectacular looking venue. It’s a great place to go for a creative inspiration. they were all superb! It is also one of the rare places where a very strong cultural roots and a modern outlook in life are mixed seamlessly in harmony. interesting destination that is more than just a shopping destination. she snuck some time out from her hectic preparation for the upcoming Jakarta Fashion Week to share with us her love and passion for traveling. and in fact its really like my second home. I’m planning for another visit there actually. I always have a good impression for new places. I love to go to new places. fast-paced city that never fails to amaze. artistic inspirations and jaw-dropping nature. the food and the people. Fresh off the plane from her London trip. and what attracts me the most is the culture. which is a very hectic. as I prefer authentic local food. another destination that I absolutely loved was Japan. I often go to New York to visit my sister. I don’t really enjoy much of the luxurious fine-dining scene in Bali. the sooner the better! 120 . and it’s all in Rupiah – much cheaper than spending in Dollars and Yens! I go there at least once every two months. Bali is another favorite. but I totally fell in love with the place. but you do have to be careful of overloading your senses. it’s crazy! It’s like one world in the same place together. Stella Rissa is fast becoming a rising star in the Asian fashion industry. from the street-side stalls serving ramen noodles (a personal favorite) to the luxe sushi restaurants serving one-of-a-kind delicacies. The food was amazing. Beautiful people. I love to travel. I’ve only been there once. at least once every two years. I love to meet new people and find new perspectives to life and unique ways of life that can only be found from the lives of local people.
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