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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
CONTENTS Culture.unearthingasia.50 RM 14.00 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. Bali retains its hidden charms 46 4 64 www.Issue 01 www. 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.com IDR 50. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .000 SGD 7.unearthingasia. tranquil.com 78 .
with local tips and suggestions 34-41 INSIGHTS Top flashpacking gadgets.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. the Nikki Beach Club in Thailand.unearthingasia. a quick Singapore rejuvenation. Hong Kong’s new dig. Bali’s hip happenings. 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.CONTENTS 96 84 15-26 BUZZWORTHY! Singapore’s Party flavor. and more 28 DATEBOOK Festivals and events not to be missed 30 SPOTLIGHT Jakarta 24 hour in the Big Durian of South East Asia. Jakarta www.
My simple wish is that five. young and affluent. It is with that in mind I’d like to introduce Unearthing Asia to you. However. Our readers are the Generation Y. Nikolas Tjhin Editor-in-Chief 8 . web-savvy. we’ll look back with fondness. and heading into new territories blind with excitement. The travel publication market is one that is crowded and very competitive. Considering. They are suggesting US$1000 a night luxury hotels. They look for tips and hints from various offline and online medium. we spend too much time contemplating. True. all too often I ended up frustrated as I browse the various magazines on offer. or even twenty years from now. always thinking. with a layer of cheese slipped in. The moral of the story here. and enjoy every single step of the journey as much as the destination in itself. Is this better? Is it too expensive? Too risky? But all too often. in line with those wise words from a wise man above. but more often than not. But more often than not. from friends and strangers alike. They are independent travelers daring to brave off-the-beaten paths. I ended skipping these suggestions for other more cost-effective options. Now.EDITOR’S NOTES Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. I’m sure the suggested hotel boasts plentiful amenities. ten. or a US$150 meal of deep fried chicken tender. As I look forward to this project finally unfolding. is to open up and surrender yourself to possibilities. It is this hole in the travel publication that we aim to service. you’ll end up disappointed for not taking up the chance while you’ve still got the opportunity to do so. and be glad at our decision to embark upon this amazing journey together. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this inaugural offering from us. that we ended up missing the window of opportunity that has just been presented. I can’t help but smile and raise a little toast to our team. but budget conscious and looking for good advice. and the chicken tender heavenly upon my lips. we spend our lives weighing one thing against another. than by the ones you did do – Mark Twain Much too often. you may regret it after all.
For editorial and media enquiries. please contact Nikolas Tjhin PT Tanindo Multi Media VBox 886 Singapore (62) 812 7809 8888 (62) 21 3221 9988 nik@unearthingasia. (65) 6336 6116 medialink@pacific. All rights reserved.* On top of that. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.sg . Arsin.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. or other materials.net. All opinions are of the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by PT Tanindo Multi Media. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.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. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of PT Tanindo Multimedia. SH All rights in this publication and the name are owned and licensed to PT Tanindo Multi Media. * Terms & conditions apply For advertising and marketing enquiries. and we accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. transparencies. X. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. please contact Dawn Khoo Media Link Pte Ltd 1 Sophia Road #07-22 Singapore 228149 (65) 6336 1725.
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. he is also a photography lecturer at Pelita Harapan University. and has a never-ending learning curve. Central Asia and the Pacific. especially in major bookstores in Jakarta. 06 Bona Soetirto Bona Soetirto is an experienced Freelance Commercial Photographer and Digital Imager for various media in Jakarta.CONTRIBUTORS 04 05 06 01 01 Mallika Naguran Mallika Naguran founded and manages Gaia Discovery. especially fashion photography. Dresscode Dresscode is the first fashion magazine in Indonesia with the unique concept of “non-article” magazine. 12 www. and where to find it! Grab your copy now in various locations in Indonesia. California based agency.com .unearthingasia. and works as a Retoucher for Reelsessions. daily.gaiadiscovery.com. culture. He has been diving for over 25 years. Recently. 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. Underwater photography keeps his interest in diving alive as it is always a challenge. how to wear them. 02 02 Natalie Revvie Natalie Revie is a freelance writer. and writing. 04 Scoty Graham Scotty Graham is a freelance photographer that has been living and working in Jakarta. 03 03 Barrie Lie-Birchall Barrie is a freelance writer who started his nomadic steps at an early age travelling though Europe. She believes in letting spirituality emerge through the common. They are fully dedicated to give you inspirations on what to wear. restaurateur and jungle momma. But. Not only that. he started Continuum. 05 Debbie Reyes-Coloma Singapore-based Debbie Reyes-Coloma is a freelance feature and lifestyle writer for various publications in the region. Visit his photo blog at http://www. his own center to teach Digital Imaging. a not-for-profit online publication (www. such as Gramedia. TGA and Kinokuniya outlets. Going beyond conservation. and has logged over 4000 dives through out the world. She lives on Koh Pha Ngan Island in southern Thailand where she indulges in her passion for food. a Los Angeles.scottygraham. Indonesia for the past 15 years.com). to promote eco travel and living in Asia. travel.blogspot. the everyday – this is what makes for truly beautiful writing. 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.
com IDR 50. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. featuring exciting adventures.Issue 01 www. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions. And not only that. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region.50 RM 14.000 SGD 7.Culture. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.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 . For this inaugural issue.unearthingasia. HK AND MORE! Culture. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home.
the islands of south east asia 15 . Local experts suggest the underwater visibility of the Bosphorus Strait is at an estimated 10-feet (approximately 3. This 7-star hotel will give its guests a new view of the famous city of Istanbul.WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE REGION BUZZWORTHY! HOTEL UNDERWATER LUXURY To coincide with its Culture Capital of Europe nomination.5 meters). It is being built on the ruins of a historical 1930s tobacco factory and will house restaurants. and rooms all with underwater view. exhibition halls. from right below its city center. so visitors can expect an amazing experience like nothing on earth! NT. Turkey is set to unveil a 7-floor underwater hotel in 2010.
This year. this was Party town.unearthingasia. 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. 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. ML.BUZZWORTHY! EVENT F1 EXTRAVAGANZA Once again. 16 www. Many were here to witness first hand what the fervor of F1 was all about. and they were definitely not dissappointed by the show on offer.com . travel and party enthusiasts. with international acts like the Black-Eye Peas to Backstreet Boys to Beyonce all wowing the crowds at various venues around the circuit. despite the global economic crisis. For three days.
2 mile jogging track under canopy of trees. with amazing views of the river. Ayu Asti. this luxurious resort is designed as a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle destination. With 34 spacious suites and 10 elegant villas.komaneka. bar. guests are invited to savor the tranquility and breathtaking beauty of Ubud. function rooms and Wanasmara wedding Chapel.com) is open at Jalan Bisma-Ubud. gym. half Olympic sized swimming pool. sloping rice fields and the coconut groves in the surrounding.One Bed Room Pool Villa Komaneka at Bisma © Komaneka BUZZWORTHY! VILLA HILLSIDE VIEW Another sister hotel of Komaneka (www. Main pool Komaneka at Bisma © Agus Pande the islands of south east asia 17 . Nestled upon the hillsides by the Campuhan River valley. The resort’s on-site facilities include an Indonesian fine dining restaurant. spavilla. each with its 12 meter long private pool and terrace. circular wading pool. 1.
In addition to ranking the region’s top restaurants. KA. a perfect spot in the heart of the preserved old town Bangkok. the second edition of The Miele Guide will be bigger and better. The acclaimed 5-star art sanctuary welcomes its new Executive Sous Chef. CHEF NEW TALENT There’s a new face in town at the Padma Resort Bali. Malaysia. from the top five restaurants in each country to an overview of each featured country’s dining scene. Situated in the privileged location of Bangkok’s historic district. hailing from Romania. Mongolia and Nepal. Associate Publisher of the little red book. there are numerous attractions worth visiting just a walking distance away – the Khao San Road are minutes away. and will ensure additional varieties in Padma Resort’s Food and Beverage Outlets and Programmes. and broaden the perspective by evaluating two more countries. The guide will feature 400 restaurants across Asia. Austria and Thailand. 18 . Raul Deschu. The area is full of delicious authentic Thai food. 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. 80 more than the previous edition. says Pauline Ooi. NT. Dubai.BUZZWORTHY! GUIDE MIELE TIME Following its inaugural 2008/2009 issue. as well as the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. The talented chef has gained much experience while working in Germany. the 2009/2010 issue will feature a host of additional information. ML.
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.
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com . a spectacular new Nikki Beach Club. Discover quintessential luxury at Nikki Beach’s remote Beach Club Bungalow Resort. Expertly designed for ultimate relaxation complimented by a sophisticated ambiance. Tania Berg. located on the west side of Thailand’s most exotic and exclusive island.BUZZWORTHY! RESORT BEACH PARTY Nikki Beach. has chosen the idyllic island of Koh Samui in Thailand to launch their latest opening. Nikki Beach Koh Samui brings the vibrant nightlife of Miami to the shores of Lipa Noi Beach. one of the world’s most recognizable luxury lifestyle and entertainment brands. 22 www.unearthingasia.
Seno Gumira Ajidarma. Dede Oetomo.BUZZWORTHY! Marco Calvani & Kicky Alexander Janet De Neefe Wole Soyinka. of course. Wena Poon. play readings. The festival also featured a program packed full of performances. Nobel Prize Winner in Literature EVENT UBUD FESTIVAL From 7 to 11 October. such as – Wole Soyinka. humour and. readings and in-conversations with the world’s greatest exponents of their craft. the 2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival took place in Ubud. Bali. food. Woon Tai Ho. Mohammed Hanif. the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for literature. the outspoken poet. A host of literary stars made their appearance in the festival. debates. Julia Leigh the islands of south east asia 23 . music and song. The theme reflected the Festival’s commitment to turn this literary gathering into an inspiring moment. through which writers and readers from every corner of the world can establish a mutual understanding and come together. and many others. with the theme of SukaDuka: Compassion & Solidarity. film. Fatima Bhutto. KA. Asitha Ameresekere. Tom Cho. Amir Muhammad Wena Poon The festival was a 4-day event of panel sessions. journalist and novelist from Pakistan. as well as Lloyd Jones.
The luxurious Rock Bar at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali played host to the closing awards party. NT.com . 24 www. in which visitors were treated to original performances by Ahtron McCanne and Richie Perrot.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. as well as a truly spectacular Bali sunset in the backdrop.unearthingasia.
NT.BUZZWORTHY! BOUTIQUE SLEEK DESIGN A swanky new hotel just hit the town with a modern and chic feel.harbour-plaza. emphasizing sleek design and creative innovation.com . 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.unearthingasia. 26 www. The Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees (www.com/hp8d) in Hong Kong boasts a unique lobby designed by HK-based Patrick Leung of PAL Design. The electric hotel features 702 charming guestrooms and suites right in the heart of old town Hong Kong.
net 28 www. February 28 to March 10. 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. this mass Hindu pilgrimage towards the holy city of Haridwar is the world’s largest gathering of yogis. 2010 Kushimoto Fire Festival At the beginning of the year. pilgrims and devotees.taiwanhotspring. sadhus. Witness the festival’s appointed ruler starting the party with a Mardi Gras-inspired procession through the streets of Goa’s capital. February 13 to 16. October 2009 . April 14. the residents of Kushimoto perform a ritual burning of the grassy land in front of the Shino Misaki Watchtower. attracts hundreds of yogi masters from all over the globe. During the Carnival. Those looking for a spiritual journey should consider following suit.unearthingasia. or you can simply stand aside and enjoy the spectacle or take part in the various riverside processions that are ongoing throughout the event. Rishikesh. the yoga capital of the world. 2010 Ardh Kumbh Mela Held just once every three years. Over 70 million believers will seek enlightenment through a ritual of bath at the Ganges.January 2010 www. 2010 Goa Carnival The famed hippie paradise begins the year with a food-fight carnival event in the lead-up to Lent. resorts across the island offer special activities and hot spring packages for visitors to enjoy a restorative soak paired with healthy cuisine. You’ll see oranges.com . They congregate on the banks of the Ganges to explore anything and everything about transcendental meditation.DATEBOOK FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED International Yoga Festival For 10 days at the beginning of Spring. flour and even kitchen utensils thrown about in good fun.
4 April 2010 the islands of south east asia 29 .co. political intrigues.waiparawine. culture and even religious background rituals which are still followed today. and the extraordinary skills of artists and craftsmen of the day. for the biggest food and wine festival in the Waipara Valley Wine region. Don’t miss out on their six tournaments throughout the year.25 January 2010 Tokyo Sumo Tournament Japan’s national sport is one that is rich with history. The artefacts highlight changing Egyptian funerary customs. 06 March 2010 www. superb music and excellent wines from all over 16 countries.nz Greytown Arts Festival Held on Wellingon Anniversary weekend. New Zealand. the Greytown Arts’ Festival will comprise visual. Their use of a variety of materials reveal geographical surroundings of workshops and artistic fashions of the period. Enjoy a day of fiesta with an array of gourmet treats. and check out the visual art on display while you are there. Don’t miss out on the host of activities in the newly redesigned Town Centre. this highly anticipated exhibition is set to grace the National Museum of Singapore from December through to April. 23 January . with the very first held in Tokyo at the beginning of the year. January 2010 The World of Ancient Egypt Featuring over 230 Egyptian objects and major works from 4500 BCE to 1st century BCE.Waipara Valley Wine and Food Festival Head down to Christchurch. 22 December 2009 . performing and literary arts.
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.
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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
With a 1.unearthingasia. or style.6 GHz or 1. usually associated with tech-savvy adventurers who prefer to travel independently. road trips and plane flights.igo.99. performance and design.com MacBook Air Every flashpacker needs a good portable laptop to lug around between countries.com Novatel MiFi Not all countries you travel to will have a strong. in the car. the ultimate in portability. here are the top six essential gadgets you will need to gear up and stay connected.INSIGHTS GADGETS Flashpacking Essentials The simple definition of flashpacking can be defined as backpacking with flash.apple. US$49. you’ll be amazed at how so much power can be packed into such a thin design. iGo Charger The iGo universal chargers can power thousands of devices with its patented tip technology. For the budding flashpackers. www.com . www.at home. The Novatel MiFi creates your very own network of broadband connectivity wherever you are.novatelwireless. or even on the plane. From US$1499. stable wireless network to keep you connected.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor powering it up. Charge your devices wherever you want . It’s a trend that aptly paints our digital culture – we are no longer able to travel without all the luxuries of technology. Enter the MacBook Air.com 34 www. www.
a GPS map. From US$229.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.com Flip MinoHD The FlipMinoHD is an evolution of the original Flip Mino camcorder. it allows complete customization and flexibility. which packs a powerful machine able to record up to 720p resolution with a full 4GB internal memory into a sleeker.com Apple iPhone 3GS The ultimate must-have gadget for traveling flashpackers.apple.com the islands of south east asia 35 . It’s not only a phone. It is much better than your average point and shoot. flair and overall usefulness into a single package like nothing else.canon. a currency converter and so much more! From US$199. smaller model. www.theflip. yet much lighter than a bulky Digital SLR. but also a compass. From US$399. Powered up by the billion or so applications available for download. www. fun. the Apple iPhone 3GS combines more functionality. www.
Compared to the 1.” explains Dr Chew.INSIGHTS HEALTH Singapore Stopover For those looking for a quick break in between their long-distance flights. AccuLiftTM by AccuSculptTM makes use of a revolutionary powerful 1. call them at (65) 6732 9989 or through email at doctor@nuuclinic. To book an appointment. Singapore is the preferred pitstop to replenish and rejuvenate. The clinic offers a relaxing ambience that is sure to leave you refreshed and raring to go! Laser Face Lift With today’s technology. AccuLiftTM is a good alternative to procedures such as Thermage. The good thing about this treatment is that it delivers excellent results. eyebags. Paragon Medical Suites. and deep wrinkles along the laugh lines.com . the process of correcting skinrelated facial imperfections can take place as easily as digitally enhancing a picture on the computer screen. for instance. this new wavelength dissipates less heat. it also tightens skin and minimises the need for filler injections. RF treatment and liquid facelift.064nm and 1. with the latest in face and body treatments that focuses on total rejuvenation. NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic is located at 290 Orchard Road #09-18/19. “but what’s different with AccuLiftTM is the use of the 1. with virtually no complications.” Dr Chew is one of the few aesthetic doctors who has been awarded the rights to administer this procedure in Asia.444nm laser.320nm ones that we used in the past. Renowned Dr K K Chew’s NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness at Paragon is the place to go for a quick aesthetic fix. which makes it perfect as an over-the-weekend treatment.” explains Dr Chew. “AccuLiftTM works especially effectively to visibly eliminate facial problems. 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. With its effective and safe results. and requires a shorter operation time. double chins. It is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only local anaesthesia. Capable of removing excess fat deposits that have migrated downwards due to gravity. “Laser facelifts aren’t entirely new.444nmwavelength laser to correct imperfections on the skin quickly and safely. saggy jowls.
Vancouver and Toronto. or better yet – work out a much needed sweat and get the adrenaline pumping. New Delhi. you can do all that and much more. beverages.unearthingasia. The Plaza Premium Lounge is the world’s first commercial VIP lounge open to airport users from all walks of life. Add into that the occassional delays and holdups that stretches your waiting time – time that can be substantial. Plaza Premium Lounges feature cushy seatings. they have now opened more than 30 locations in 11 international airports – Hong Kong.com . or truly rest and relax. 38 www. Wi-Fi. a welcome haven between flights. television. light snacks or a wholesome buffet spread. Hyderabad. Headquartered in Hong Kong. Shanghai. Beijing. At the Plaza Premium Lounge.Lounging in Transit Business travelers are often stuck in the airport in-between transits a lot more often than others. music. the Plaza Premium Lounge aims to provide the greatest convenience to all kinds of travelers. Muscat. Guangzhou. giving travelers a sanctuary beyond the airport crowds. or an office away from home. If only you can get work done. Kuala Lumpur. business services and attentive staff ups the ante in services and hospitality. Situated in both Arrival and Departure Levels of the international airports. Singapore.
it features shower with amenities. For RM88 per person. Open 24 hours daily to all travelers. the islands of south east asia 39 . free flow of beer.INSIGHTS BUSINESS Singapore Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport centers around a modern lifestyle and relaxation concept. massages. a variety of food and beverages. Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Sultan Ismail International Airport (Senai. free flow of snacks and salad bar. VIP meet and greet. They are situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. fitness lifestyle lounge and offer services such as oxygen therapy. golf putting. you can enjoy the facilities for the whole of 2 hours. business centre and a wide selection of movies and international publications. which includes high-speed internet workstations. Malaysia The Plaza Premium Lounge runs 3 lounges in Malaysia. napping beds and foot reflexology. internet & email access & free local telephone calls. shower amenities. non-alcoholic beverages. Johor). Even as an economy passenger you can enjoy the luxury of a business class passenger. This rate includes shower with amenities. Lounge use is available @ S$30 + 7% GST per adult. to mention a few. with a Zen inspired decor adjacent to an outdoor sunflower garden.
INSIGHTS RECIPE Greek Connection 40 .
Jakarta and Bali! See next page for more details. * Terms & conditions apply . Unroll phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Let cool. The topmost layer should be about 6 . Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. 3.* On top of that. 2. but if you do so. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. This recipe freezes well. butter. Add into that two sheets of dough. 7. but don’t let that fool you! Follow this easy-todo instructions for a refreshing taste of Greece right on your kitchen floors. Set the toppings aside.8 sheets deep. 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. Sprinkle 2 . layering them on top of each other as you go.3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. 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. Repeat this until you have 8 sheets of dough all layered up. You also want to cover the phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. nuts. 4. remember to leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up. 5. You may want cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and butter the bottoms and sides of a pan. Add vanilla and honey.This traditional Greek favorite may look complex and sophisticated. 6. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and butter them up thoroughly. Bake this for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. and serve in cupcake papers for immediate refreshement! 8. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.
worth up to US$2000 The Batavia Hotel. money order or credit card details. Jakarta 4 weekend stays at the Batavia Hotel. misinformation. 42 www. Each hotel vouchers have their own respective terms and conditions. located at the charming district of Kotatua.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. The winner of the free hotel stays will be contacted by 28th February 2010. The address can be found behind the next page. Beijing 2 weekend stays at the Fairmont Beijing Hotel right at the heart of downtown.* Please complete the form and send it in with your cheque. 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. Plus: Stand to Win Free Hotel Stays! AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta are subjected to an annual subscription fee. Jakarta. and or postal issues. Subscriptions made outside Singapore. along with your personal information and mail it in. and are offering all residents of Singapore. Free subscriptions are for the first 5000 surveys filled and received before 31st January 2010. worth up to US$2000 Swiss-Belhotel Indonesia And finally. 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.unearthingasia. worth up to US$950 The Fairmont Beijing Hotel.com . 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. Bali 2 night stay at the Jimbaran Bay View room at the luxurious AYANA Resort and Spa Bali.
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Bali retains its hidden charms .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. tranquil.
the raw natural beauty will strike you like no other destinations could. Isolated and untouched.The setting sun at Raja Ampat’s Kri Eco Resort sets the tone for an afternoon of relaxation. Deep in the hearts of Papua. With photos by Scotty Graham. . Mallika Naguran uncovers the blossoming jewel of Raja Ampat and its eco conservation efforts. lies the Holy Grail of scuba diving.
A gecko emerges from behind the ketchup bottles. I didn’t have to specially rear these wild things. They just appeared – we have monitor lizards. Indonesia. a pioneer dive operator in Raja Ampat and owner of Kri Eco Resort and Sorido Bay Resort at Papua. ducks and birds just roaming around.” the islands of south east asia 47 . “Eco to me means working with the local people to build a better future. people are at the heart of any ecology-related business. but I don’t fancy my body becoming part of their habitat.” he tells over dinner. the first thing that springs to mind for most is the preservation of nature. approaching us cautiously on the wooden table. “You know when I built this place 15 years ago. I wonder if I should remove my hand that’s resting in its path – I do love animals. Max extends his hand out to the gecko to crawl on.THE GUIDE Being eco can mean a number of things to different people. For Max Ammer.
. Right below the pier itself are thousands of fishes swimming freely. you don’t have to go far to enjoy abundant marine life.THE GUIDE At the Kri Eco Resort.
seeking shelter from sea currents or storms. they are also harmless and rather immobile. Hideous looking as they are. Baby barracudas pursue parrotfish of amazing varieties. the islands of south east asia 49 . sulphur crested cockatoos and hornbills. so a daily sight would be numerous fish species flitting around the pylons. we were startled to see a pair of coconut crabs huddled around a bamboo pylon at the lounge ceiling. aided by local talent and muscle. apparently they lie on coconut trees and love cracking the solid nuts with their rock-hard pincers.” says Max. whom Max employs. following dinner. No need for alarm clocks here. The guest rooms at Kri Eco Resort are also perched above the waters. I sat a respectable distance away from them. In fact. including the jetty that Max’s father helped to build. the coconut leaf and nut wall finishing and décor. One such talent couldn’t measure straight.THE GUIDE Green Resort Every night. and its not always for business. the dive crew are all Papuans. At breakfast. 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. In the morning. “I want local people to make the money. 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. the bamboo chalets. Everything about Kri Eco Resort is handmade: the Sunset Lounge and its lazy deck chairs. a number of them barely made it through school. with the job title of “All Rounders”. the guests gaze at the juvenile bamboo sharks wading in the shallows just below the dining lounge on stilts. tagged along by turtles. 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. we are awakened by hysterical cackles from endemic birds such as eclectis parrots. Even the bricks are made by hand by the senior folks. Little of the coral reefs at Cape Kri (house reef) was destroyed with the building of Kri Eco Resort. brush turkeys.
one that will not last forever. . These are the stuff of legends. but sadly.An amazing array of marine bio-diversity awaits you.
THE GUIDE .
a renowned marine scientist recorded 283 and 281 fish species. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. .In two single dives.
or better. Conservation at Raja Ampat now is taking on new heights with an aerial monitoring programme sponsored by CI and other NGOs. This involves a light aircraft surveillance to keep an eye on illegal activities on water and land. conservation and enforcement.THE GUIDE A consultant with Conservation International (CI). 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. an important regulatory mechanism had already kicked in: the Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee of Rp500. However. covering marine areas and land-based activities such as logging and mining. in 2001. In 2007 and 2008. Raja Ampat needed protection. the islands of south east asia 53 . Something that’s also close to Max’ heart: in the early days. he had improved the water wells in Raja Ampat with chlorination and safety measures and created 13 new wells for the people. The big fish started to dwindle. Plans for a marine park were drawn. Dr Allen canvassed for Papua to be considered in the organisation’s conservation programme. the Raja Ampat Marine Park was formally declared. I found out that the zonation and management plans were still under development.000 that involves the issue of an annual waterproof plastic entrance tag. which is a healthcare provision for mothers and children. Max knew he had to do something to stop the destruction and pollution. and the pristine state of corals. In two single dives. And the pilot keeping vigil behind the wheels is no other than Max Ammer himself. he recorded the highest count of fish species: 283 species at at Cape Kri and 281 at South Fam group. and after three years. Part of the fee goes to community development. by mid-2007. or risk losing its intrinsic beauty and biodiversity. Dr Allen was impressed with the numerous species of freshwater fishes found here. When I visited Kri Eco Resort in March 2009. Logging and mining on the islands impacted the waters with pollution. priority was given to the “Posyandu” system. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. it happened. ventured into this path. renowned marine scientist and author. conservation. It was a stroke of luck when Dr Gerald Allen.
“He just put a tank on me and took me down. They are also paid fair wages. A trip to Max Ammer’s resorts is worth every dime. Nickson who is 34 years old. because there isn’t one. Max believes in investing in local education and training local Papuans. who then see the value of this tourism activity and stop them from catching these birds and selling them overseas as exotic pets. 47. Dive guides at Papua Diving are given proper employment contracts. released them. Max bought those turtles from him and promptly the islands of south east asia 55 .000 dives logged. This amiable and energetic Papuan dive master is a manager at Papua Diving with over 11. Papuans will learn how to grow clams and sell them in a sustainable fashion.” Nikson. Proceeds go entirely to the villagers. one which he hopes to start designing soon . who was just 14 then. and Max. a road he has taken that is often long and bumpy. and given weekly day off plus regular vacation. but soon learnt the beauty and fragility of marine life. “They are good people and I want them to learn a new trade and to earn some income. you may just enjoy his other service. and will soon learn to leave the giant clams in dive sites alone. “I will teach Nikson how to fly even. Raja Ampat. Nikson is not just a top dive guide sought after in Raja Ampat.” grins Nikson. Sustainable Clam Trade Max intends to implement various new ideas. hoping to get them out of the poverty cycle. is just one example of how a Papuan is groomed to become an asset in Raja Ampat tourism industry. provided with food and shelter. who added. who is eager to begin the aerial surveillance. concerned with pollution and illegal fishing. It is the start of a long and deep friendship between the two.” laughed Max. selling turtles that he had just caught with his fisherman father. was instantly converted. a live aboard dive boat. Nikson tells me that he first met Max when he was a wee boy. One such plan is to introduce a clam farm.and by himself of course.” he said. People Welfare and Development Nikson Soor born in Batanta.THE GUIDE Don’t expect to see a Western dive guide or master at Papua Diving. This augments what he has already established with the locals – bird watching tours in particular the Red Bird of Paradise. If you plan a trip in 2010. Nikson couldn’t understand this white man’s actions. Today. he is also an environment advocate. Other plans afoot are homestays and kayaking adventures around the exotic mushroom islands. “and my eyes opened wide looking at the underwater life.
. It’s no wonder how so many diving enthusiasts gushes at the mere mention of Raja Ampat.The colorful corals is host to an abundance of fishes. A true joy to behold.
com Terms and Conditions apply: .8 Luxury Beachfront Villas on Maenam Beach.com or call us: +66 7733 2271 www. Koh Samui. Thailand Just a moment at Miskawaan is all you need to illuminate your brilliance ENJOY 3 DAYS AND PAY ONLY 2 – or – ENJOY 4 DAYS AND PAY ONLY 3 So.miskawaan. how magniﬁcent would you like to feel? For booking inquiries please email: reservations@miskawaan.
Vannara Putra uncovers Phuket’s island paradise – quiet and tranquil. and unwittingly discovered its rowdy side as well .
the party never really stops. It’s not even past dinner time yet. even after the devastating 2004 tsunami. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in that aptly named 2000 movie. snorkeling. To our left. easily accessible by boat. mountain climbing or white-water rafting. rows upon rows of stalls take up shelter by the road side. there is a fashion catwalk with various ladies (or not) costumed up with long colorful feathers and glittering fake diamonds adorning their dresses. 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. lazing. In the middle of the road. vending fake Rolexes and cheap tee-shirts for the shopaholic travelers. windsurfing. most vibrant. Patong Beach is the most developed. Amongst Phuket’s various beaches. From Phuket. and enjoying challenging water sports such as jet skiing. these are all secondary. Bars. but in Phuket. the beach beckons – pristine white sand upon long tresses of crystal clear water. there are also various adventure trips heading inland for jungle trekking. and most visited one. It’s a picture perfect postcard view of a 3-kilometer long white sandy beach perfect for swimming. pubs and massage parlors lined up both sides of the road. The perfect afternoon sun combined with fresh coconuts and Thailand’s scrumptious delicacies makes it a tantalizing option as we ponder our next plan. and parasailing. For me however. the islands of south east asia 59 . Various diving and snorkeling spots are scattered throughout numerous small islands around the area. The Beach. Further down the road the alleyway widens and a carnival of sort entices tourists with welcoming arms.THE GUIDE To our right.
it is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations. stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea. Understandably. of the southern coast of Thailand. offers spectacular scenery.Phuket Island. .
and as such they are always eager to make a good impression. From the pristine Maya Bay. Being the untrusting travelers that we were. The journey there was over an hour long. the islands of south east asia 61 . Crystal clear water gives view to the coral beds which are home to a wide range of sea life.THE GUIDE The Island Paradise The journey to Phi Phi Islands was suspiciously easy to arrange. Tall breathtaking cliffs forms a circular wall around the area. not wanting to disturb the fragile ecosystem below the sea. 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. the green jungle opened up. We snorkeled a little more before finally making our way towards one of Phi Phi Don’s numerous resorts for a hearty meal. As our boat neared the bay. we then made our way slowly passing the soaring limestone walls surrounding Phi Phi Leh. Phi Phi Don. and we were free to swim and snorkel around the boat. it was still every bit as astonishing. It was there on the serene Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh that the movie was shot. but very well worth the trip. Numerous stalls on Phuket’s crowded street offered day-tours to tourists. made for a spectacular scenery. and my eyes searched around trying to find an entrance. 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. we negotiated for a small down-payment for our tour arrangement. and while my boat entry towards the beach was much less anti-climatic compared to DiCaprio’s jump over a ten-meter waterfall. The Phi Phi Islands comprises six islands surrounded by the Andaman sea. Our boat anchored a little distance away from the beach. Suddenly. with caves and passages dotting the tall cliffs. the largest of the six. is the only island with permanent inhabitants. with full-payment given only when we were picked up from the hotel. The island’s shallow blue-green lagoons and coral gardens. paving a pathway of transparent sea to a small tranquil beach. but Phi Phi Leh’s beach is very popular with the tourists as well.
62 www. and numerous tailors touting cheap custommade suits. but those are far and few between. Compared to the tranquil beach of Phi Phi Islands. If you are looking for a romantic place to dine and wine. or a relaxing lounge to chill and rest. that word would invariably be “rowdy”. They are also keen to promote their one-of-a-kind Thai Girl show. Thailand’s famed lady-boys come out to play. a small one will suffice. what you would find here is a good mix of tourists and locals who are out to have a good time. be it vendors selling various cheap imitations. Be warned as well that these lady-boys are every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. There were also the noisy advertising of various muay-thai boxing matches calling out to impressionable travelers. Hundreds of stalls offer tourists fake branded goods Nightlife at the Beach Later on at night. parading and enticing various tourists who are eager to take photos and chat with them. tuk-tuk drivers offering rides. Stunning views from the top of Phuket. Haggling is a must. they came out dressed in long glittering gowns with over-the top cabaret shows make-up. and a friend’s Rolex didn’t last though the end of the month. Every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. You are still able however.THE GUIDE This spread.unearthingasia. A coalescence of noisy pandemonium boomed in my ears as I made my way through the street. On Wednesday nights. it made for an extreme contradiction. drink and be merry. we made our way through the jungle of shops cramping the coastal side of Patong beach. Instead. There are indeed shops selling higher-quality fakes and the likes. to find unique handcrafted items and some amazing paintings. which features various acrobatic acts performed by the ladies and lady-boys. The jetty. If one were to choose a word to describe Patong beach’s street side revelries. my Puma boots were a wreck only after a few sessions of soccer. then this isn’t the right place for you. Those out to shop would be well advised to know that these are simply cheap thrills. and you should always start by offering half of the original starting price. clockwise from right Island hopping is a popular activity. Indeed. Beware that tips would be expected of these miscellaneous services.com .
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.
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 . snorkeling.Few places in the Philippines. or diving to the depths of Palawan’s magnificent seas. I made a mental note to check out the beach. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park boasts a thriving wildlife and a full sea to forest ecosystem. indeed in all of Southeast Asia. a sure sign of the various beach activities they must have participated in – swimming at the beach. can compare with the beauty of Palawan. and few are able to resist its charm. with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan. Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade. I flashed a smile at a group of tourists passing by. Throughout the years. I could smell the ocean salt in the air. As I made my way into the hotel. but first I had a whole new city to explore. its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many.
Another point of aerial view. another gasp of awe 66 www.com . Mesmerizing aerial view of the island paradise.Clockwise from top The subterranean river goes out into the sea. A thriving wildlife.unearthingasia.
It is a city that prides on its cleanliness and natural beauty.000 inhabitants. from the seafarers who dock there to the nature lovers and environmentalists who are amazed by the protected area. Legend has it that Puerto Princesa was named after a maiden who used to roam the island on certain evenings of the year. that it was named after a Spanish Princess in 1864. History tells us however. 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. the province itself bound by the South China Sea in the west and the Sulu Sea in the east. this was reduced to Puerto Princesa. Princes Eulalia of Spain. Totaling an area of approximately 260. and has often been dubbed the capital of ecotourism. the islands of south east asia 67 .000 hectares. it is the second largest city in the country with approximately 120. we’ll find Puerto Princesa right in the middle.If we look at the map of the Philippines and the Palawan Island. When she died.
Butterfly Garden and Mitra’s Ranch. do fishing or carve handicraft products for souvenirs. a breathtaking experience comparable to none. Climbing Ugong Rock allows one to view the spectacular karst formations and surrounding natural beauty. partially through paved roads but also on dirt and muddy roads. 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. Aside from the Underground River. we reached the opening of the Underground River. but a fun experience never the less. the underground river has been nominated to be a part of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature.com .unearthingasia. Monkeys. monitor lizards. Right at the mouth of the cave lies a clear.5 kilometers into the cave. The rock formations inside were truly one of a kind. Finally it was our turn! As our tour guide warned us about safety precautions and what not to do inside. peaceful lagoon that supports a thriving wildlife. Other areas to explore include the Lions Cave.The site contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. You will be awed by the exquisite beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in rainbow colors – a truly wondrous view. was Palawan’s most esteemed wonders – the Underground River. the road condition was especially bad and we got stuck twice on our way there. landing in the top 77 nominees. 68 www. Finally. There are also city tours that brings you to various attractions such as the Iwahig penal colony. it boasts a 8. the Crocodile Farm. we were led in slowly. We picnicked and ate our lunch as we waited for our turn to get into the Underground River. The cave was extremely dark. Other than exploring the cave. The journey up north was a good three hours drive. the area boasts a number of cave systems worth exploring. Very recently. going up to 1. The Iwahig is a unique wall-less prison colony where convicts act as they would living in a village. Located 50km north of the capital. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also offers other activities such as mountain and rock climbing. 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. At the top of my list of must-see attractions however. and it will take sometime for you to get used to. the boat turtled onwards. gently making its way through the scintillating river.2-kilometer long river that goes through a mesmerizing cave before it makes its exit right into the South China Sea. Daylight Hole and the Kawili Cave. A regular tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. As it had rained the night before. As such. bird watching and the likes. squirrels and other friendly animals find their ecosystem near the cave.THE GUIDE Island hopping is a popular activity here. Nothing too serious. They cultivate rice and other crops.
Paddling back out after a fun adventure This page.Previous spread.unearthingasia. Relaxing in the clear lagoon at the mouth of the river 70 www. Venturing into the dark cave. At the entrance of the subterranean river. very near the sea level. from top The National Park is located low.com . clockwise The clouds form a magical shadow over the National Park.
THE GUIDE Natalie Revie journeyed into Thailand’s jungle paradise to find it beautifully evolving into a different entity 72 .
the island seemed determined to balance between its development and natural charms.The island paradise of Koh Phangan is slowly but surely attracting its worthy share of developers and luxury travelers. a relief to budget travelers and luxury high-fliers all around . But fortunately.
failing to show up on all but the most backpack savvy trails. At the moment it certainly seems that way. elegant lady. set against unspoiled jungle backdrops and glittering ocean. but with a common commitment to green ethos and protecting the island’s gorgeous flora and fauna. Koh Phangan exudes a special magical privacy to invigorate even the most jaded international jet-setter. 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. Recently however. Koh Phangan remained until recently the quiet.THE GUIDE Lying in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand. the islands of south east asia 75 . Koh Phangan has truly established itself as the destination of choice for party-animals. little-known sister of the two. Added to that. Koh Phangan is a party-goers paradise of legendary proportions. Having escaped the brutal development of its sister island Koh Samui. hippies and backpackers alike. an astonishing transformation that is not unlike a blossoming of a young flower into a beautiful. But change is coming to this jungle paradise isle. its relatively slow development will hopefully mean it has learned its lesson from neighboring Koh Samui’s mistakes. as the small number of developers and big hotels moving in are not only developing with an eye to natural aesthetics. and flying entirely under the radar of commercial hotels and package-holiday tourism. And the little-known hippy paradise of Koh Phangan may be able to provide exactly that. With its infamous full moon party every month for the last two decades. With its broad white sandy beaches. it has evolved into 5-star boutique resort destination.
on the northeast corner of the lush island. Now Thong Nai Pan has been recognized as the truly 5-star destination on Koh Phangan and this year new luxury resort. but no less beautiful. complementing the exquisite natural surroundings. sets a leading example not just for Koh Phangan but for development in Thailand as a whole. the beach has naturally attracted an interesting community of expats. Rasananda. the community is set to increase in both size and diversity.The coast of Tong Nai Pan Noi Attracting the most attention in the 5-star resort stakes is the stunning Thong Nai Pan. taste and discretion. 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. so as not to disturb the guests in their $300 dollar-a-night rooms. Thong Nai Pan. who have managed to create an elegant. as inaccessible as it was by bumpy pickup over an unpaved jungle track. from Alaskan kayakbuilders to Israeli cheese-makers. Who knows how long that arrangement is set to last? But currently. And credit must be given where it’s due to Rasananda management. and created in harmony with the environment. 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. The result is very different from days-goneby – more refined definitely. it is being altered with sensitivity. As it comes of age the jewel in its crown. Thong Nai Pan has been called ‘the jewel of Koh Phangan’ and for years was the best kept secret in the region. resorts and restaurants. it finds not just the drunken revelers of yore. beautiful resort that still gives a nod to the rustic Thai charm which entrances visitors to Thailand every year. Now when the full moon shines on Koh Phangan. But uncommonly for Thailand. but quietly. and unusually it seems to be entirely harmonious. luxury 300-threadcount towels lie on sun-loungers next to hippies on their way to the next low-key destination of choice for backpackers. So the wild hippy paradise of yesteryear is changing. right next to the traditional $5-a-night backpacker huts of old Koh Phangan.com . but beautiful residences. In addition to these high-end tourists. opened its doors for business. 76 www. At the moment.unearthingasia. At night the jungle reverberates to the sounds of the traditional Thong Nai Pan parties and bongo drums. With more residences being built privately and by small local developers.
The crystal blue water is perfect for water sports and activities the islands of south east asia 77 .
Bali retains its hidden charms and unexplored attractions. Barrie Lie-Birchall enthuses.THE GUIDE Amidst the influx of overflowing tourists. Bali. Fog and mist creeping into the forest as the setting sun envelops the horizon. Ubud. .
unlike other islands in the archipelago of Indonesia. The ancient temple of Taman Ayun the islands of south east asia 79 . Bali was soon to be crushed again on October 1. the Balinese. the main tourist district of Kuta was devastated by three massive bombs killing 202 people. is drenched in mass tourism. The Balinese feared a repeat upon tourism that occurred previously in 2002. In October 2002. and yet. As the tourist influx grew and Bali was flooded with carefree tourists from around the world. but soon became a novelty destination for celebrities such as Noel Coward. it soon became a target for anti-western extremist Islamic groups. It didn’t happen. Bali’s eventual step into the limelight was predominately due to anthropologist Margaret Mead who researched and documented. in-depth. Rudolf Bonnet and Le Mayeur. the Balinese still retain their cultural and religious ways of life. 2005 with a series of terrorist suicide bomb attacks in Jimbaran and Kuta. The impact upon the Bali tourism industry was immediate.Scenic surf and steep cliffs on the coastline Bali. this became apparent when the island of Bali became a stopover on the renowned ‘hippy trail’ in the 1960’s. unaffected. From then on the steady flow of tourists increased over the coming decades. amongst others. As a paradise destination for westerners. The cyclonic invasion of this tiny island began with a trickle in the 1930’s with the likes of artists Walter Spies.
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.
Crossed-weaved heels – Dum Dum at Alun Alun Indonesia. with make up and styling by the Dresscode Team. Jakarta. Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Modern batik printed dress – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Heart buckled ethnic belt – Tari Maya at Alun Alun Indonesia.STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair Unrestraint and picturesque settings conjure a perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra. Ringlets Bracelet – Origo at Alun Alun Indonesia .
STYLE GUIDE .
Tube summer dress – BIASA. Colorful Ringlets Statement Necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Hand-painted decorative umbrella – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia 87 . Gold Ethnic flats – Giffa at Alun Alun Indonesia.This Page Tie-dyed summer dress – Lilou 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. Rattan ethnic bangles (set of 3) – Diori at Alun Alun Indonesia. Batik printed corset (worn as an obi) – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Rope wooden sandals – Heroine at Alun Alun Indonesia.
Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Striped vest – BIASA. . Crossed-weaved beach hat – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Multicolor statement necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Fish scales sandals – VNC Modeled by Audrey. Styled by the DRESSCODE Team.STYLE GUIDE Sarong style skirt (worn as a tube dress) – BIASA.
Culture. 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. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.50 RM 14. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region.com IDR 50.00 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 . Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home.000 SGD 7. And not only that. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . featuring exciting adventures.Issue 01 www. HK AND MORE! Culture. For this inaugural issue.unearthingasia. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.
.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. or mixed with one another 92 .TALES GOURMET Arabian cuisine usually consists of a dozen or more small dishes. but more commonly used as dip for pita bread.
It has become a part of everyday multicultural cuisines around the globe. Mezze (or appetizers) When you are in Lebanon. fruits and nuts. mint and chickpeas – these are a few of the common ingredients you’ll find throughout the region. shape and color. an eggplant dip. but be warned – it can be quite spicy! Main Courses Depending on which country you are in. lamb stew in a sweet-sour sauce. felafels. khoresh. in which thinly cut grilled lamb is basted with tomato sauce over pide bread and generously slathered with melted butter and yogurt. The baba ghanouj is especially tasty. 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. Each country adds their own distinct touches to the mix. completing a vibrant map of culinary delights throughout the region. A common bond between them however. Since Muslims do not consume pork. Iskender kebab is a famed specialty from Bursa. stuffed grape leaves. bread. the most commonly used meat are chicken. from top Pita bread a serving of dips. Grilled chicken with vegetables Middle Eastern cuisines come in a wide variety of taste. beef and lamb. parsley. It may even contain a number of rice dishes that is mixed with meats. . the main course could vary between kebabs of grilled chicken or lamb. For the uninitiated. feta-stuffed phyllo pastries and dolmas.Right. Honey. is the usage of aromatic spices. sumac. it is almost never without the region’s staple food. borek. northern Turkey. sesame seeds. kebabs are generally grilled or broiled meats over skewer or sticks. deep-fried chickpea balls. While a meal may exclude meat. make sure to try out a course of mezze and you’ll realize right away why the tables are all super large. vegetables.
as it is forbidden in the Islamic tradition to do so. unless if you are in Iran where tea are commonly served. flat breads and the traditional Jewish Challah. Desserts and Snacks You are normally served a small cup of sweet. salads and breads This is the usual companion of meals. Among the common ones are Tabboulleh (tart parsley). Meals in the Middle East are often eaten using your hands. Brides Fingers (Asabia el Aroos) are slender crisps of filo filled with sweetened nuts that are popular with the locals. If you’re uncomfortable with this. Protein and fiber are in abundance due to the inclusion of nuts.unearthingasia. avoid doing so with your left hand. But for those who fancy desserts on their own. uneasy feeling. coffee. sautéed tomato and eggplant with yogurt.Vegetables. following the Islamic tradition that is prevalent in the region. One thing I learned is to leave the sludge at the bottom. Desserts are served occasionally. thick. do not hesitate to ask for a fork and spoon. spinach. most bakeries tend to sell sweet pastries and the likes to curb your sweet tooth cravings.com . 94 www. but with lower calories and fat. It can give your throat an itchy. But if you are to try eating with your hands. pita. Other desserts include baklava and perhaps almond crusted cookies as well. They are comparable to the likes of baklava.
Call Light shining into Khao Luang Caves. . Thailand.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. Phetburi (Phetchaburi).
After that. I found my way onto a local bus to Banglamphu. having fallen in love with Asia over his various treks throughout the region. He initially studied science and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. the awardwinning photographer calls the islands of south east asia 97 . he traveled through Asia for a year. “I remember always wanting to take pictures with my dad’s ‘slide camera’.The yearly pilgrimage for Mazu. I basically made it up as I went along!” shared the enthusiastic traveler. With its numerous cultural traditions and some of the most fascinating sights on earth. “I had nothing booked.” He then learned the ropes on his own on a Manual SLR while at school in the 1980s and progressed from there. wedding and personal portrait type photography. Always with a camera. in Taiwan Taiwan home. Photo credit . landing in Bangkok and simply “winging it” as he goes along. and is starting to shift his focus away from travel photography into music. Somehow. having grown up mostly in a beach-side suburb of Sydney. and then into a cheap guesthouse. Craig Ferguson is one such victim. First Love Craig hailed from Australia. Now. Right off graduation. The call of Asia is a strong one. it’s no wonder how so many people have fallen head over heels with this beautiful region. Bright red lanterns. The Goddess of the Sea. and worked it out as I went along. he has always shown an interest in photography.Selina Ferguson. Even from a very young age.
. Taiwan. Hualien.Japanese gate.
then to Lombok. Having exhausted the south eastern part of Asia. He headed south towards the Thai islands for a while. he headed back up towards Surat Thani. lakes and surfing made up most of it. then down into Malaysia before crossing over into Sumatra – “orangutans.” and then to Bali. Cambodia. he didn’t find anything that fits him and gave him satisfaction. Following a short stint in corporate IT. he booked a ticket back to Bangkok and went on the road again. transiting in Singapore. hospitality and NGOs. the call of Asia grew too strong.Angkor Wat. “I mostly did it alone. trekking in the Annapurnas and exploring the old parts of Kathmandu. Tibet. then onwards to Jakarta through Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta. One of the everlasting experiences of this particular travel was the winter pilgrimage season in Bodhgaya.” he shared. so it was an interesting experience to be completely cut off from the news for five days at that particular time. and onwards to Nepal for a slower pace of life. I’d saved enough money that I was able to travel backpacker style for the year without needing to work. “After some halfhearted attempts to fit into the standard career-track in Australia. his so called second round of travel sees him journey to Langkawi. Burma and then onto Nepal. back to Bali. He spent a good five months in the Himalayans region. Craig searched around for a fulfilling opportunity. Koh Pha Ngan and then Bangkok. So in 2001. a World Heritage site and a major tourist destination TALES ART That impromptu travel lasted a whole 12 months and more. which intrigued Craig so much that he made plans to return the following year as well. Starting out in southern Thailand. local governance. on a path that sees him on a very unusual backpackers trail across Asia. but never found it. the islands of south east asia 99 . before heading back home to Australia. meeting up with other travelers along the way. 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. “All this happened a couple of days after the 9/11 attack in the US. From there he went to Kathmandu. but not before a final couple weeks of relaxation on Koh Tao.” he shared. and on to Lhasa.
100 www. I met and married my wife. although it’s been quite a few years since I was last there.” he narrated. a tip he constantly shares with his students and friends alike. Shoot what you enjoy. I spent a substantial part of the time living in one of the smaller cities. Craig was privileged enough to be able to witness the ceremony between the two different Buddhist traditions. and also shake hands with and speak to the Dalai Lama. which included interviewing Noel Gallagher for 30 minutes before the show. before ending up in Taiwan where a friend was already based. Initially. And then shoot it again. Settling Down Following that. where he spent a few trips photographing the various Angkor-era ruins in both Cambodia and Thailand which have proved to be photographic highlights.” On top of that.” “It’s hard to choose a favorite place because I’ve been to so many great places.” he enthused. chasing clients. “the whole India and Nepal area is one I love. He is starting to teach photography. looking for new leads and meeting deadlines. Now. “I got into travel photography as a result of my love of photography and my love of travel.” he noted. he finds himself spending time with some Thai monks who were staying there. but he ended up falling in love with the lifestyle here and stayed longer.” he opined. He stopped in Thailand and Vietnam. and had the pleasure to shoot for Oasis when they toured earlier this year. Craig is busy building a multifaceted photography business. “I wouldn’t swap it for the world though!”. and you’ll find success starts to come your way. and we have no plans to leave. which was an amazing experience. Along the way. his meeting with the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya is one of them. with his focus drifting a little further away from travel photography since being here. his intention was to stay for one to two years. being a travel photographer is rewarding work but hard. “As well as all the usual frustrations of travelers everywhere. his sound advice is to “try to shoot the images and subjects that give you the most satisfaction.TALES ART Taiwanese opera performer from the Xin Ing Feng Opera Group. To budding travel photographers. The rest just followed. and then continue traveling.unearthingasia. but there’s the added pressure of marketing. some stood out more than others. with group workshops and a couple of one-on-one students. He now shoot a lot of portraiture. Once again. weddings and music as well. Naturally. On that second trip to Bodhgaya.” Craig shares. persistence is key to his success. Craig headed back east to replenish his funds. “It was through them that I got to meet the Dalai Lama – he came to visit them. Craig also had a soft spot for Thailand. Amongst his list of highlights.com . Let your own nautral style and creativity show through. and they invited me inside their temple. To Craig. He has now spent seven years in Taiwan – “it was a pretty easy transition to make to life here.
Oasis. performing in Taiwan “A Moving Sound”. a Taiwanese theater performance .
com .com http://lonelyplanet. Search for Indie Travel in iTunes Check out the new magazine at indietravelpodcast.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.
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 .
It was created by a gigantic volcanic eruption in 181AD. Lake Taupo is Australasia’s largest lake. the Waikato River has always been a great provider—from fish and freshwater lobster to drinking water. The Waikato River is the only river flowing out of the lake. There is no shortage of activities for vacationers regardless of age or fitness. Spanning 619 sq km. the Lake Taupo region is home to New Zealand’s largest fresh water lake. With 47 rivers and streams flowing into the lake.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. and sailing. and temperate climate—the Kiwi’s spirit of adventure is what has attracted visitors from across the globe to join in the fun. Situated in the volcanic heart of the North Island. The lake’s attractive pumice sand beaches give it the appearance of an inland ocean. To the local Kiwis. There are also many tour operators in the region who offer day trips or overnight camping excursions. kayaking. Plus there are plenty of chances to take a break and continue the fun on dry land. fishing. the islands of south east asia 105 . it is as big as Singapore. it is New Zealand’s largest natural waterway. awe-inspiring geothermal and volcanic wonders. parasailing. At 425 km in length. jet skiing. Perhaps inspired by New Zealand’s pure natural surroundings—from vast open spaces filled with stunning rugged landscapes to gorgeous beaches. Water activities take place in the lakes all year round—which include waterskiing. fascinating geothermal areas and the famous Huka Falls. such as bungy jumping and zorbing. canoeing. most extreme adventures. irrigation and hydroelectric power. cruising. this area is renowned for trout fishing and kayaking. The youngest country on earth has some of the most incredible water adventures that guests can experience. swimming.
You should seek advice and assistance from a qualified professional scuba diving school or tour operator in the area.com . aquatic life is abundant. To the amateur diver this requires skill in reading your depth gauge. White Island off the coast of Whakatane is a unique experience as New Zealand’s only active marine volcano.com) boat ride! Marvel at the incredible water level views of the spectacular Huka Falls. Because of the warm waters. and enjoy the sensation as you slide past cliffs and trees at 80km per hour. 106 www. 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. one needs experience and professional help because of the lake’s location above sea level. 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.hukafallsjet.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.unearthingasia. Be ready to get wet! To scuba dive in Lake Taupo. Should you wish to scuba dive in a volcanic area.
leading you over ancient lava flows. up mountain summits. This 17-kilometre volcanic trail rises to 1600 metres above sea level. along scoria slopes and through craters. There’s nothing else like it in the world © Destination Lake Taupo .You’ll never regret walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
one of nature’s true gifts. 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. tranquil waters and pumice beaches. and Clearwater staff can organise a range of on-water and land-based activities. wet. it’s just so wonderful to see this beautiful lake full of swimmers. the Hidden Valley (www. bush and sky. There is a full range of fishing equipment on board so guests can try fishing for trophy-sized rainbow trout.newzealand. and then explore a world of gushing geysers. through gorges. where you can also enjoy a soak in a natural hot spring.co. New Zealand has four seasons: Summer (14°C from Dec to February).metservice. It’s the white water seekers challenge of fun. 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. water skiers.nz before your trip.com for more adventures off and on the ground.unearthingasia. The Tongariro River is known as the perfect river for your first white water rafting experience. Now’s your chance to race the rapids! At Orakei Korako. Visit www.nz). wild adventure that any brave adventurer needs to do. The majestic backdrop of a dormant volcano. naturally heated thermal waters and unspoiled flora and fauna provide a beautiful playground. Check www.clearwater. It’s the exciting.co.co. The lake’s reflective waters mirror mountains.nz) through stunning Lake Tarawera on the 38-foot luxury launch Clearwater Pride. Autumn (10°C from March to May).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. Make sure you have your camera with you. Arriving in Taupo by road as a visitor. hot springs. Sailing on a yacht. Lake Taupo is the ideal place to try your nerve and your water skills. 108 www.com . The weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in. sail boats. past limestone and volcanic cliffs and then race down 50m ‘roller coaster’ rapids at exhilarating speeds. Winter (9°C from June to August) and Spring (12°C from Sept to November). It’s such a beautiful holiday scene with people enjoying and relaxing on the lakeshores despite the season. Cook your catch in thermal sand at Hot Water beach. boiling mud pools and some of the largest silica terraces in the world. go back in time in this unique geothermal wonderland. Take the Clearwater Cruises (www. A chartered cruise is one of the best ways to experience golden sunsets. Float past ancient beech forests. speedboats or jet skis.orakeikorako. From parasailing to wakeboarding. Cross the Waikato River by boat.
wild colours provide visual excitement. Here you can see the Emerald Lakes.The volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing never fail to surprise. Within this world of earth tones that were spewed from subterranean magma vaults. explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area © Destination Lake Taupo .
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Terms and Conditions applied. 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. Your family is also covered.000*. Garuda Indonesia Citi Card Medical coverage on your overseas travel As Garuda Indonesia Citi Cardholders. Terms and Conditions applied. Citi Platinum and Garuda Indonesia Citi Cards. make sure you always travel with Garuda Indonesia Citi Card. it is not a valid insurance policy. Also get TRIPLE GFF Miles for all transactions at Supermarket. So.000. • Enjoy a complimentary room upgrade at any participating 5-star Hotels in Indonesia Exclusively for Citi Ultima.citibank. Hotel promotion is valid until 30 April 2010. you will be covered for your hospital stay. 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).co. and medical expenses occur caused by accident or sickness.CITIBANK HIGHLIGHTS Travel Privileges with Citi Platinum Card Enjoy a complimentary upgrade wherever you go Whether it is business or leisure.28 February 2010 . medical surgery or any doctor consultation fees up to Rp 300. contact Bayu Buana at (021) 2350 9999 or visit www. Gasoline and Departement Store from 16 November 2009 . you are automatically guaranteed a medical insurance coverage on your travel outside Indonesia. Travel promotion is valid until 6 January 2010. When you travel overseas. * The above value may change in accordance to company policies. For Travel information. This information is made available for the sole purpose of informing the public.id for Hotel information.
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Celebrate the coming festivities with a bang. Aquarius (Jan 20 .unearthingasia. 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. the nonchalant Aries is largely unaware of the creative energy that has been welling up inside you. and together you’ll form quite a merry crew. you’ll do well to reflect back and determine a new direction for your personal life. a hauntingly beautiful city doomed to lose itself to the drowning sea. After playing out your fantasy.Mar 20) You’re not fully informed – quite yet. The time is nigh to drown yourself in alcoholic beverages of all kind. May I suggest a trip to the Big Durian of South East Asia. Taurus (Apr 20 . You’ll find all of your most creative inner whims fulfilled with a simple snap of your finger. 118 www. Jakarta? It’s a place where you can do anything you want to. For you Sagittarius. I suspect this will be a place flooded with sea water. 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. Suddenly. but they are important in shaping you up for the brighter future ahead. is to let loose and tap into this creative energy. The isolated heights of Tibet awaits you Sagittarius Pisces (Feb 19 . Invent a new character. a personality with an interesting back story. Don’t worry too much about whether things are going your way. Aries.TRAVEL HOROSCOPE Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Flee as far as possible from your usual haunts. Relax and go with the flow. and give toast to the coming year. like the southern islands of the coast of Thailand.May 20) A little of bad news is coming your way Taurus. and then get back into it right away after your well-deserved break. a place in between worlds. and enjoy a week of acting and play-making in the isolated heights of Tibet. to boldly welcome the coming new year as soon as possible. Renew your energy and figure out what comes next.com .Feb 18) Party harder and smarter than usual Aquarius.Apr 19) According to my analysis of the astrological omens. Aries (Mar 21 . I’m thinking a place of leisure and relaxation.Jan 19) The time is right to head back into your natural habitat. or so they say. Capricorn (Dec 22 . Go for it! You’ll meet up with other people who are in similar states of transformation and journey. dear Capricorn. the time is right for a simple break of isolation and new experiences. In fact. you feel able to do and say all kinds of things that didn’t seem permissible before. Shed away your habitual influences and your customary comforts. I would book a ticket to the Christmas Islands if I were you. Venice is one such destination. The passing year may seem full of negative experiences. But being in this place feels liberating. Your homework. a doomed beauty that will sooner or later die away – much like everything else on earth actually.
you’re grateful for all of your experiences. your friends and family will still be there for you come 2010. A spiritual journey is on the cards – may I suggest the region of India? It’s an area reeking with religious mysticism. with the sweet smell of romance in the air. There will be an offer to travel and celebrate the festivities together. from the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism to the passionate compassion of the Buddha. Life is only worth living your own way. I bid you make your peace with God. away from your usual crowd of friends and family. Leo (July 23 . the cosmos grant you the license to thrive on the unexpected blessings that come from giving yourself to the random intelligence of a stranger. The city of Queenstown in New Zealand offers much in the way of adventure.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. fret not. Maybe start of slow. .Nov 21) Before you commence your life-long dream Scorpio. Get set and let the adrenaline roar! Virgo (Aug 23 .June 20) You’re totally ready to take things to the next level. I envision an eventful getaway in the near future. whatever that may be.July 22) For the foreseeable future. you’ve got it all here. dubbing itself the Adventure Capital of the World. it would take a good few years to try them all out.Sep 22) The most challenging parts of your travels have also brought you the greatest lessons. Better start now. as I always say. All this mental liberation leads you to want to try a few daring physical acts too. Scorpio (Oct 23 . Take it! After all. Bali is a popular place for honeymooners. Make an effort to range far and wide during your explorations. When you think about everything you’ve done and seen.Oct 22) Spare no expense. but that maybe too early for you. Libra (Sep 23 . romantically or in some other way.Gemini (May 21 . with the sun-filled days off the coast of Palawan? Cancer (June 21 . It was said there are so many ramen stalls in Tokyo that even if you were to eat ramen thrice a day. Don’t put restraints on your enjoyment or give yourself a subconscious guilt trip for what you’re seeing and doing. They can wait. and you would do well to follow your heart’s content – lest you live to regret this missed opportunity for a unique experience.
a paradise haven close to my hometown. I always have a good impression for new places. Bali is another favorite. I’ve only been there once. artistic inspirations and jaw-dropping nature. from the street-side stalls serving ramen noodles (a personal favorite) to the luxe sushi restaurants serving one-of-a-kind delicacies. and it’s all in Rupiah – much cheaper than spending in Dollars and Yens! I go there at least once every two months. I love to travel. which is a very hectic.BON VOYAGE The winner of 2008’s Cleo Award for the Best Young Designer. but I totally fell in love with the place. That happens often here. another destination that I absolutely loved was Japan. I often go to New York to visit my sister. it’s crazy! It’s like one world in the same place together. because its one of the most stylish trend-setting fashion cities in the world. Finally. The food was amazing. 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. the sooner the better! 120 . Fresh off the plane from her London trip. Beautiful people. It’s a great place to go for a creative inspiration. and what attracts me the most is the culture. Stella Rissa is fast becoming a rising star in the Asian fashion industry. I’m planning for another visit there actually. the food and the people. and the new Rock Bar which simply boasts a spectacular looking venue. I love to go to new places. at least once every two years. like at Warung Made. but you do have to be careful of overloading your senses. as I prefer authentic local food. 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. I don’t really enjoy much of the luxurious fine-dining scene in Bali. and in fact its really like my second home. 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. fast-paced city that never fails to amaze. and my favorite places in Bali are KuDeTa for its amazing ambiance. amazing culture.
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