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Unearthing Asia 01 2010

Unearthing Asia 01 2010

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Published by: richx7 on Dec 30, 2010
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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



com IDR 50.CONTENTS Culture.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 78 .00 On the cover – the luxurious Rock Bar at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali THE GUIDE ISLANDS OF SOUTH EAST ASIA 46 Eco Paradise Uncover the eco paradise and scuba-diving Holy Grail of Raja Ampat 58 Beach Life Discover Phuket’s island paradise – quiet.000 SGD 7. Bali retains its hidden charms 46 4 64 www. tranquil.50 RM 14.unearthingasia.unearthingasia. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .


Bali’s hip happenings. 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.com . the Nikki Beach Club in Thailand. a quick Singapore rejuvenation. and more 28 DATEBOOK Festivals and events not to be missed 30 SPOTLIGHT Jakarta 24 hour in the Big Durian of South East Asia. Hong Kong’s new dig. 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. Jakarta www. with local tips and suggestions 34-41 INSIGHTS Top flashpacking gadgets.CONTENTS 96 84 15-26 BUZZWORTHY! Singapore’s Party flavor.unearthingasia.


They are independent travelers daring to brave off-the-beaten paths. in line with those wise words from a wise man above. I’m sure the suggested hotel boasts plentiful amenities. is to open up and surrender yourself to possibilities. Now. always thinking. My simple wish is that five. I can’t help but smile and raise a little toast to our team. ten. However. and be glad at our decision to embark upon this amazing journey together. They look for tips and hints from various offline and online medium. Nikolas Tjhin Editor-in-Chief 8 . Our readers are the Generation Y. and enjoy every single step of the journey as much as the destination in itself. we spend our lives weighing one thing against another. but budget conscious and looking for good advice. and heading into new territories blind with excitement. But more often than not. all too often I ended up frustrated as I browse the various magazines on offer. They are suggesting US$1000 a night luxury hotels. you’ll end up disappointed for not taking up the chance while you’ve still got the opportunity to do so. or even twenty years from now. young and affluent. we spend too much time contemplating. than by the ones you did do – Mark Twain Much too often. True. It is with that in mind I’d like to introduce Unearthing Asia to you. I ended skipping these suggestions for other more cost-effective options. from friends and strangers alike. It is this hole in the travel publication that we aim to service. web-savvy. that we ended up missing the window of opportunity that has just been presented.EDITOR’S NOTES Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. we’ll look back with fondness. Is this better? Is it too expensive? Too risky? But all too often. you may regret it after all. As I look forward to this project finally unfolding. but more often than not. The moral of the story here. or a US$150 meal of deep fried chicken tender. and the chicken tender heavenly upon my lips. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this inaugural offering from us. with a layer of cheese slipped in. The travel publication market is one that is crowded and very competitive. Considering.


Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. X. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.sg . please contact Nikolas Tjhin PT Tanindo Multi Media VBox 886 Singapore (62) 812 7809 8888 (62) 21 3221 9988 nik@unearthingasia. and we accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. All opinions are of the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by PT Tanindo Multi Media.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. Arsin. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of PT Tanindo Multimedia. 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.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. * Terms & conditions apply For advertising and marketing enquiries.* On top of that.net. All rights reserved. transparencies. (65) 6336 6116 medialink@pacific. For editorial and media enquiries. or other materials. SH All rights in this publication and the name are owned and licensed to PT Tanindo Multi Media.


a not-for-profit online publication (www. 04 Scoty Graham Scotty Graham is a freelance photographer that has been living and working in Jakarta. 06 Bona Soetirto Bona Soetirto is an experienced Freelance Commercial Photographer and Digital Imager for various media in Jakarta. and writing. culture. restaurateur and jungle momma. and has logged over 4000 dives through out the world. and where to find it! Grab your copy now in various locations in Indonesia.blogspot. TGA and Kinokuniya outlets. a Los Angeles. 03 03 Barrie Lie-Birchall Barrie is a freelance writer who started his nomadic steps at an early age travelling though Europe. 05 Debbie Reyes-Coloma Singapore-based Debbie Reyes-Coloma is a freelance feature and lifestyle writer for various publications in the region. he is also a photography lecturer at Pelita Harapan University. Going beyond conservation.com . Underwater photography keeps his interest in diving alive as it is always a challenge. She believes in letting spirituality emerge through the common.gaiadiscovery. She also advises businesses to go green by operating in harmony with nature and adopting cost-effective eco inventions. 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. Indonesia for the past 15 years.com). travel. Visit his photo blog at http://www.CONTRIBUTORS 04 05 06 01 01 Mallika Naguran Mallika Naguran founded and manages Gaia Discovery. He has been diving for over 25 years. Recently. She lives on Koh Pha Ngan Island in southern Thailand where she indulges in her passion for food. especially fashion photography. California based agency. 02 02 Natalie Revvie Natalie Revie is a freelance writer. But. how to wear them. 12 www. Central Asia and the Pacific. and has a never-ending learning curve.com. They are fully dedicated to give you inspirations on what to wear. daily. 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. such as Gramedia. to promote eco travel and living in Asia. and works as a Retoucher for Reelsessions. he started Continuum.scottygraham. especially in major bookstores in Jakarta. Mallika is now focusing on restoring degraded environments and improving the livelihoods of the poor. Dresscode Dresscode is the first fashion magazine in Indonesia with the unique concept of “non-article” magazine. Not only that. his own center to teach Digital Imaging.unearthingasia.


Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI. HK AND MORE! Culture. featuring exciting adventures. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions.com IDR 50. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. And not only that. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading.000 SGD 7.Culture. For this inaugural issue.unearthingasia. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.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. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region.50 RM 14.Issue 01 www. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia.

exhibition halls. It is being built on the ruins of a historical 1930s tobacco factory and will house restaurants. This 7-star hotel will give its guests a new view of the famous city of Istanbul. so visitors can expect an amazing experience like nothing on earth! NT. from right below its city center.WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE REGION BUZZWORTHY! HOTEL UNDERWATER LUXURY To coincide with its Culture Capital of Europe nomination.5 meters). Turkey is set to unveil a 7-floor underwater hotel in 2010. Local experts suggest the underwater visibility of the Bosphorus Strait is at an estimated 10-feet (approximately 3. the islands of south east asia 15 . and rooms all with underwater view.

despite the global economic crisis. travel and party enthusiasts. 16 www. This year. and they were definitely not dissappointed by the show on offer.BUZZWORTHY! EVENT F1 EXTRAVAGANZA Once again.com . ML.unearthingasia. this was Party town. 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. Many were here to witness first hand what the fervor of F1 was all about. For three days. with international acts like the Black-Eye Peas to Backstreet Boys to Beyonce all wowing the crowds at various venues around the circuit.

1.komaneka. The resort’s on-site facilities include an Indonesian fine dining restaurant. bar. Nestled upon the hillsides by the Campuhan River valley. guests are invited to savor the tranquility and breathtaking beauty of Ubud. function rooms and Wanasmara wedding Chapel. With 34 spacious suites and 10 elegant villas.com) is open at Jalan Bisma-Ubud. with amazing views of the river. gym. spavilla. Ayu Asti. Main pool Komaneka at Bisma © Agus Pande the islands of south east asia 17 . half Olympic sized swimming pool.One Bed Room Pool Villa Komaneka at Bisma © Komaneka BUZZWORTHY! VILLA HILLSIDE VIEW Another sister hotel of Komaneka (www.2 mile jogging track under canopy of trees. sloping rice fields and the coconut groves in the surrounding. this luxurious resort is designed as a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle destination. each with its 12 meter long private pool and terrace. circular wading pool.

the second edition of The Miele Guide will be bigger and better. 80 more than the previous edition. from the top five restaurants in each country to an overview of each featured country’s dining scene. says Pauline Ooi. The area is full of delicious authentic Thai food. ML. the 2009/2010 issue will feature a host of additional information. 18 . The acclaimed 5-star art sanctuary welcomes its new Executive Sous Chef. KA. Malaysia. NT. Mongolia and Nepal. The guide will feature 400 restaurants across Asia. Dubai. Associate Publisher of the little red book. The talented chef has gained much experience while working in Germany. and broaden the perspective by evaluating two more countries. as well as the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. a perfect spot in the heart of the preserved old town Bangkok.BUZZWORTHY! GUIDE MIELE TIME Following its inaugural 2008/2009 issue. Raul Deschu. Situated in the privileged location of Bangkok’s historic district. CHEF NEW TALENT There’s a new face in town at the Padma Resort Bali. Austria and Thailand. 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. hailing from Romania. and will ensure additional varieties in Padma Resort’s Food and Beverage Outlets and Programmes. there are numerous attractions worth visiting just a walking distance away – the Khao San Road are minutes away. In addition to ranking the region’s top restaurants.


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.

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.




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.

The eagerly awaited Amantaka Resort is ready to grace the lush green fields of Luang Prabang. This luxe resort from Adrian Zecha and his team is set to take it up a notch with refined decor, lofty spaces, verandas, pools and tantalizing spa treatments, on top of the pristine environments and beautiful temples in the vicinity. The resort also has a yoga studio, tennis courts, a library and an art gallery. ML.

the islands of south east asia


22 www. 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. Discover quintessential luxury at Nikki Beach’s remote Beach Club Bungalow Resort. Expertly designed for ultimate relaxation complimented by a sophisticated ambiance. Tania Berg.com .unearthingasia.BUZZWORTHY! RESORT BEACH PARTY Nikki Beach. located on the west side of Thailand’s most exotic and exclusive island. a spectacular new Nikki Beach Club.

Asitha Ameresekere. Dede Oetomo.BUZZWORTHY! Marco Calvani & Kicky Alexander Janet De Neefe Wole Soyinka. as well as Lloyd Jones. the outspoken poet. music and song. Bali. Tom Cho. KA. The theme reflected the Festival’s commitment to turn this literary gathering into an inspiring moment. film. play readings. journalist and novelist from Pakistan. A host of literary stars made their appearance in the festival. food. debates. readings and in-conversations with the world’s greatest exponents of their craft. Mohammed Hanif. Wena Poon. and many others. Amir Muhammad Wena Poon The festival was a 4-day event of panel sessions. the 2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival took place in Ubud. Fatima Bhutto. Seno Gumira Ajidarma. through which writers and readers from every corner of the world can establish a mutual understanding and come together. such as – Wole Soyinka. Julia Leigh the islands of south east asia 23 . of course. humour and. The festival also featured a program packed full of performances. Woon Tai Ho. with the theme of SukaDuka: Compassion & Solidarity. Nobel Prize Winner in Literature EVENT UBUD FESTIVAL From 7 to 11 October. the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for literature.

NT. as well as a truly spectacular Bali sunset in the backdrop. Aptly called the Balinale. in which visitors were treated to original performances by Ahtron McCanne and Richie Perrot. The luxurious Rock Bar at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali played host to the closing awards party.com .unearthingasia.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. 24 www. the festival also offered free workshops for aspiring young filmmakers.


BUZZWORTHY! BOUTIQUE SLEEK DESIGN A swanky new hotel just hit the town with a modern and chic feel. featuring optical illusions and an environment that feels like you’re inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 26 www. giving visitors a unique blend of old and new.unearthingasia.com . The Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees (www. NT.harbour-plaza. The electric hotel features 702 charming guestrooms and suites right in the heart of old town Hong Kong.com/hp8d) in Hong Kong boasts a unique lobby designed by HK-based Patrick Leung of PAL Design. emphasizing sleek design and creative innovation.


unearthingasia. attracts hundreds of yogi masters from all over the globe. 2010 Kushimoto Fire Festival At the beginning of the year. Those looking for a spiritual journey should consider following suit. They congregate on the banks of the Ganges to explore anything and everything about transcendental meditation. the residents of Kushimoto perform a ritual burning of the grassy land in front of the Shino Misaki Watchtower. pilgrims and devotees. February 28 to March 10.taiwanhotspring. the yoga capital of the world. October 2009 .January 2010 www. Over 70 million believers will seek enlightenment through a ritual of bath at the Ganges. flour and even kitchen utensils thrown about in good fun. You’ll see oranges. 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. Rishikesh.DATEBOOK FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED International Yoga Festival For 10 days at the beginning of Spring. this mass Hindu pilgrimage towards the holy city of Haridwar is the world’s largest gathering of yogis. During the Carnival. February 13 to 16. 2010 Goa Carnival The famed hippie paradise begins the year with a food-fight carnival event in the lead-up to Lent. 2010 Ardh Kumbh Mela Held just once every three years.com . resorts across the island offer special activities and hot spring packages for visitors to enjoy a restorative soak paired with healthy cuisine. or you can simply stand aside and enjoy the spectacle or take part in the various riverside processions that are ongoing throughout the event. April 14. sadhus. Witness the festival’s appointed ruler starting the party with a Mardi Gras-inspired procession through the streets of Goa’s capital.net 28 www.

for the biggest food and wine festival in the Waipara Valley Wine region.25 January 2010 Tokyo Sumo Tournament Japan’s national sport is one that is rich with history. superb music and excellent wines from all over 16 countries.nz Greytown Arts Festival Held on Wellingon Anniversary weekend. Don’t miss out on their six tournaments throughout the year. Enjoy a day of fiesta with an array of gourmet treats. political intrigues. 23 January . with the very first held in Tokyo at the beginning of the year. and check out the visual art on display while you are there. culture and even religious background rituals which are still followed today. January 2010 The World of Ancient Egypt Featuring over 230 Egyptian objects and major works from 4500 BCE to 1st century BCE.waiparawine. this highly anticipated exhibition is set to grace the National Museum of Singapore from December through to April.co.4 April 2010 the islands of south east asia 29 . the Greytown Arts’ Festival will comprise visual. New Zealand. Don’t miss out on the host of activities in the newly redesigned Town Centre. 22 December 2009 . Their use of a variety of materials reveal geographical surroundings of workshops and artistic fashions of the period. The artefacts highlight changing Egyptian funerary customs. performing and literary arts. and the extraordinary skills of artists and craftsmen of the day.Waipara Valley Wine and Food Festival Head down to Christchurch. 06 March 2010 www.

The Big Durian
Jakarta Like its fruit namesake, the Big Durian of Indonesia is often a shock to first-time travelers. It’s a heaving mass of some 10 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl that is one of Asia’s most exciting and liveliest cities. There is plenty to do here, from shopping at the many luxurious shopping centers to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia. Here’s a full day itinerary in Jakarta, followed by tips from locals who call it home.

The newly renovated Hotel Indonesia

Wake up to a metropolitan view of the city in the newly remodeled Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. With interiors inspired by contemporary Indonesian art and style and located in Jakarta’s city center, the iconic hotel is the ideal place for business, shopping and extravagance.

TeSaTe’s delicious local servings

Start your sightseeing by visiting the Salihara Community Complex in South Jakarta, an expansive 3000 square meters of land that plays host to a theater, a gallery and an office building plus guest house. The gallery is an empty space with circular walls, without angles nor borders, providing a wider perspective to the various contemporary arts on display. www.unearthingasia.com

For lunch, head to the Senayan area to enjoy authentic Indonesian food at TeSaTe, a new concept restaurant that not only promotes the richness of local culinary, but highlights the unique Indonesian culture and celebration. Try out authentic local favorites served in luxurious gourmet settings such as the humble satay, nasi goreng (fried rice) or sop buntut (oxtail soup).

Gado-gado, Indonesian Salad


Senayan City, right across from Plaza Senayan


With your stomach and taste-bud fulfilled, head to the Senayan area for some upscale shopping at Plaza Senayan, where luxury brands such as BVLGARI and Louis Vuitton reside alongside local favorites like Sebastian’s and Biyan. Right opposite, the newer Senayan City is also worth exploring, offering 8 floors of shopping, food and entertainment.

After a day of activities, head to the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Book yourself a much deserved hour of Javanese massage, with techniques of skin rolling, long kneading strokes and acupressure to strengthen the body for the night ahead.

Kemang is also host to an array of cafes, bars and pubs serving all kinds of drinks to suit all tastes. For a relaxing, ambient mood, head to Casa Cafe for drinks and desserts. Located right above the trendy Aksara Bookstore, the cafe is a breath of fresh air offering beers, wines by the glass and delectable cocktails. Coffee lovers would prefer Tornado Coffee or Merdeka Coffee, where the lure of strong caffeine draws you in.

The night starts with a feast at Kemang, Jakarta’s glamorous kampong neighborhood that is popular with locals and expats alike. Try out the delectable Javanese specialties at Payon, where traditional touches like the clay floor tiles and swatches of batik give it a unique appearance compared to Kemang’s usually minimalist urban interior. Or you can opt to dine with a view at Shy, sited atop the 4th level at The Papillion. The restaurant’s Dutch chef presents daily seven and four course menus, in addition to their host of expert European fusion cuisine.

Finally, finish your day partying it up at Blowfish Kitchen & Bar at Wisma Mulia, one of the most happening nightspot in town. Coupled with nearby Puro, an Italian lounge and resto, Blowfish is a luxury high-end dining during the afternoon that turns into an all-out clubbing scene at night.

the islands of south east asia


A Middle Eastern ambiance at Anatolia, Kemang

Local Tips
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




Enter the MacBook Air.com 34 www. stable wireless network to keep you connected.INSIGHTS GADGETS Flashpacking Essentials The simple definition of flashpacking can be defined as backpacking with flash.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor powering it up. or even on the plane.99.6 GHz or 1.com Novatel MiFi Not all countries you travel to will have a strong. iGo Charger The iGo universal chargers can power thousands of devices with its patented tip technology. or style.apple. The Novatel MiFi creates your very own network of broadband connectivity wherever you are. usually associated with tech-savvy adventurers who prefer to travel independently. www. in the car.at home. It’s a trend that aptly paints our digital culture – we are no longer able to travel without all the luxuries of technology. here are the top six essential gadgets you will need to gear up and stay connected.com MacBook Air Every flashpacker needs a good portable laptop to lug around between countries. www. For the budding flashpackers. the ultimate in portability.novatelwireless. www. Charge your devices wherever you want . road trips and plane flights.unearthingasia. With a 1. you’ll be amazed at how so much power can be packed into such a thin design. US$49.igo.com . performance and design. From US$1499.

com Flip MinoHD The FlipMinoHD is an evolution of the original Flip Mino camcorder. www. but also a compass. Powered up by the billion or so applications available for download. it allows complete customization and flexibility.com the islands of south east asia 35 .apple. smaller model. It is much better than your average point and shoot. yet much lighter than a bulky Digital SLR. From US$399. the Apple iPhone 3GS combines more functionality. fun. a GPS map.canon.theflip. www. It’s not only a phone. www. a currency converter and so much more! From US$199. flair and overall usefulness into a single package like nothing else. which packs a powerful machine able to record up to 720p resolution with a full 4GB internal memory into a sleeker. 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 Apple iPhone 3GS The ultimate must-have gadget for traveling flashpackers.


which makes it perfect as an over-the-weekend treatment. Capable of removing excess fat deposits that have migrated downwards due to gravity.320nm ones that we used in the past. the process of correcting skinrelated facial imperfections can take place as easily as digitally enhancing a picture on the computer screen. with virtually no complications. NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic is located at 290 Orchard Road #09-18/19. RF treatment and liquid facelift. The good thing about this treatment is that it delivers excellent results. It is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only local anaesthesia. and deep wrinkles along the laugh lines. AccuLiftTM by AccuSculptTM makes use of a revolutionary powerful 1. eyebags. “but what’s different with AccuLiftTM is the use of the 1. To book an appointment. “Laser facelifts aren’t entirely new. “AccuLiftTM works especially effectively to visibly eliminate facial problems.444nm laser.com . and requires a shorter operation time. for instance. saggy jowls. this new wavelength dissipates less heat.” Dr Chew is one of the few aesthetic doctors who has been awarded the rights to administer this procedure in Asia. The clinic offers a relaxing ambience that is sure to leave you refreshed and raring to go! Laser Face Lift With today’s technology. double chins. Singapore is the preferred pitstop to replenish and rejuvenate. 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. Renowned Dr K K Chew’s NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness at Paragon is the place to go for a quick aesthetic fix. Compared to the 1. Paragon Medical Suites. AccuLiftTM is a good alternative to procedures such as Thermage.INSIGHTS HEALTH Singapore Stopover For those looking for a quick break in between their long-distance flights.444nmwavelength laser to correct imperfections on the skin quickly and safely. call them at (65) 6732 9989 or through email at doctor@nuuclinic.” explains Dr Chew. it also tightens skin and minimises the need for filler injections. with the latest in face and body treatments that focuses on total rejuvenation.064nm and 1.” explains Dr Chew. With its effective and safe results.

you can do all that and much more. Muscat. Vancouver and Toronto. or truly rest and relax. television. Shanghai. Wi-Fi. Beijing.unearthingasia. Plaza Premium Lounges feature cushy seatings. business services and attentive staff ups the ante in services and hospitality. Singapore. or an office away from home. light snacks or a wholesome buffet spread. or better yet – work out a much needed sweat and get the adrenaline pumping. Guangzhou.com . Kuala Lumpur. If only you can get work done. a welcome haven between flights. Add into that the occassional delays and holdups that stretches your waiting time – time that can be substantial. At the Plaza Premium Lounge. New Delhi. Headquartered in Hong Kong.Lounging in Transit Business travelers are often stuck in the airport in-between transits a lot more often than others. The Plaza Premium Lounge is the world’s first commercial VIP lounge open to airport users from all walks of life. the Plaza Premium Lounge aims to provide the greatest convenience to all kinds of travelers. beverages. 38 www. music. Hyderabad. they have now opened more than 30 locations in 11 international airports – Hong Kong. Situated in both Arrival and Departure Levels of the international airports. giving travelers a sanctuary beyond the airport crowds.

shower amenities. Johor). VIP meet and greet. They are situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. For RM88 per person. you can enjoy the facilities for the whole of 2 hours. Even as an economy passenger you can enjoy the luxury of a business class passenger. golf putting. This rate includes shower with amenities.INSIGHTS BUSINESS Singapore Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport centers around a modern lifestyle and relaxation concept. Malaysia The Plaza Premium Lounge runs 3 lounges in Malaysia. fitness lifestyle lounge and offer services such as oxygen therapy. internet & email access & free local telephone calls. Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Sultan Ismail International Airport (Senai. with a Zen inspired decor adjacent to an outdoor sunflower garden. napping beds and foot reflexology. a variety of food and beverages. free flow of beer. non-alcoholic beverages. to mention a few. Lounge use is available @ S$30 + 7% GST per adult. it features shower with amenities. free flow of snacks and salad bar. massages. Open 24 hours daily to all travelers. business centre and a wide selection of movies and international publications. the islands of south east asia 39 . which includes high-speed internet workstations.

INSIGHTS RECIPE Greek Connection 40 .

You may want cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and butter the bottoms and sides of a pan. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it.8 sheets deep. Sprinkle 2 . 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. The topmost layer should be about 6 . Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Bake this for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. nuts. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and butter them up thoroughly. 5. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. layering them on top of each other as you go.* On top of that. Unroll phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan.3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. * Terms & conditions apply . 4. Add into that two sheets of dough. 3. Set the toppings aside. but if you do so. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. 2. remember to leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up. This recipe freezes well. You also want to cover the phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. Let cool. but don’t let that fool you! Follow this easy-todo instructions for a refreshing taste of Greece right on your kitchen floors. Repeat this until you have 8 sheets of dough all layered up. Make sauce while baklava is baking. and serve in cupcake papers for immediate refreshement! 8. Jakarta and Bali! See next page for more details. Simmer for about 20 minutes. 7. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. 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. butter. 6.This traditional Greek favorite may look complex and sophisticated.

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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.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 . tranquil.

The setting sun at Raja Ampat’s Kri Eco Resort sets the tone for an afternoon of relaxation. Isolated and untouched. With photos by Scotty Graham. . Deep in the hearts of Papua. the raw natural beauty will strike you like no other destinations could. lies the Holy Grail of scuba diving. Mallika Naguran uncovers the blossoming jewel of Raja Ampat and its eco conservation efforts.

Indonesia. “You know when I built this place 15 years ago. They just appeared – we have monitor lizards. but I don’t fancy my body becoming part of their habitat. approaching us cautiously on the wooden table. people are at the heart of any ecology-related business. A gecko emerges from behind the ketchup bottles. For Max Ammer. I didn’t have to specially rear these wild things. Max extends his hand out to the gecko to crawl on. “Eco to me means working with the local people to build a better future. 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. I wonder if I should remove my hand that’s resting in its path – I do love animals. the first thing that springs to mind for most is the preservation of nature.THE GUIDE Being eco can mean a number of things to different people.” the islands of south east asia 47 .” he tells over dinner.

Right below the pier itself are thousands of fishes swimming freely. .THE GUIDE At the Kri Eco Resort. you don’t have to go far to enjoy abundant marine life.

At breakfast. the islands of south east asia 49 . whom Max employs. brush turkeys. Even the bricks are made by hand by the senior folks. the guests gaze at the juvenile bamboo sharks wading in the shallows just below the dining lounge on stilts. Little of the coral reefs at Cape Kri (house reef) was destroyed with the building of Kri Eco Resort. with the job title of “All Rounders”. following dinner. The guest rooms at Kri Eco Resort are also perched above the waters. they are also harmless and rather immobile. apparently they lie on coconut trees and love cracking the solid nuts with their rock-hard pincers. Baby barracudas pursue parrotfish of amazing varieties. One such talent couldn’t measure straight.THE GUIDE Green Resort Every night. 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. a number of them barely made it through school. Hideous looking as they are. the dive crew are all Papuans. and its not always for business. But Max is committed to Raja Ampat’s people in more ways that one. the coconut leaf and nut wall finishing and décor. 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. so a daily sight would be numerous fish species flitting around the pylons. “I want local people to make the money. we are awakened by hysterical cackles from endemic birds such as eclectis parrots. the bamboo chalets. 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. I sat a respectable distance away from them. sulphur crested cockatoos and hornbills. seeking shelter from sea currents or storms. including the jetty that Max’s father helped to build. tagged along by turtles. In fact. No need for alarm clocks here. Everything about Kri Eco Resort is handmade: the Sunset Lounge and its lazy deck chairs.” says Max. we were startled to see a pair of coconut crabs huddled around a bamboo pylon at the lounge ceiling. In the morning. aided by local talent and muscle.

one that will not last forever.An amazing array of marine bio-diversity awaits you. . but sadly. These are the stuff of legends.


a renowned marine scientist recorded 283 and 281 fish species. . A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200.In two single dives.

Raja Ampat needed protection. 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. in 2001. ventured into this path. by mid-2007. it happened. covering marine areas and land-based activities such as logging and mining. Max knew he had to do something to stop the destruction and pollution. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. conservation. In two single dives. However. he had improved the water wells in Raja Ampat with chlorination and safety measures and created 13 new wells for the people. renowned marine scientist and author. Plans for a marine park were drawn. It was a stroke of luck when Dr Gerald Allen. the Raja Ampat Marine Park was formally declared. Part of the fee goes to community development. When I visited Kri Eco Resort in March 2009. he recorded the highest count of fish species: 283 species at at Cape Kri and 281 at South Fam group. The big fish started to dwindle. or risk losing its intrinsic beauty and biodiversity. which is a healthcare provision for mothers and children. Logging and mining on the islands impacted the waters with pollution. Conservation at Raja Ampat now is taking on new heights with an aerial monitoring programme sponsored by CI and other NGOs. conservation and enforcement. an important regulatory mechanism had already kicked in: the Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee of Rp500. the islands of south east asia 53 . and after three years. In 2007 and 2008. This involves a light aircraft surveillance to keep an eye on illegal activities on water and land. I found out that the zonation and management plans were still under development. And the pilot keeping vigil behind the wheels is no other than Max Ammer himself. Dr Allen canvassed for Papua to be considered in the organisation’s conservation programme. priority was given to the “Posyandu” system.THE GUIDE A consultant with Conservation International (CI). Something that’s also close to Max’ heart: in the early days. Dr Allen was impressed with the numerous species of freshwater fishes found here.000 that involves the issue of an annual waterproof plastic entrance tag. or better. and the pristine state of corals.


and given weekly day off plus regular vacation. This amiable and energetic Papuan dive master is a manager at Papua Diving with over 11. you may just enjoy his other service. They are also paid fair wages.” laughed Max. and Max.000 dives logged. If you plan a trip in 2010. 47. Max bought those turtles from him and promptly the islands of south east asia 55 . a live aboard dive boat. A trip to Max Ammer’s resorts is worth every dime. is just one example of how a Papuan is groomed to become an asset in Raja Ampat tourism industry. who added. hoping to get them out of the poverty cycle. Nikson couldn’t understand this white man’s actions.and by himself of course. “I will teach Nikson how to fly even. One such plan is to introduce a clam farm. Max believes in investing in local education and training local Papuans. who was just 14 then. “They are good people and I want them to learn a new trade and to earn some income. concerned with pollution and illegal fishing. Nikson tells me that he first met Max when he was a wee boy. selling turtles that he had just caught with his fisherman father.” Nikson.” he said. Proceeds go entirely to the villagers. one which he hopes to start designing soon .THE GUIDE Don’t expect to see a Western dive guide or master at Papua Diving. Other plans afoot are homestays and kayaking adventures around the exotic mushroom islands. a road he has taken that is often long and bumpy. “He just put a tank on me and took me down. It is the start of a long and deep friendship between the two. who is eager to begin the aerial surveillance.” grins Nikson. Today. Dive guides at Papua Diving are given proper employment contracts. This augments what he has already established with the locals – bird watching tours in particular the Red Bird of Paradise. “and my eyes opened wide looking at the underwater life. Nikson is not just a top dive guide sought after in Raja Ampat. he is also an environment advocate. Sustainable Clam Trade Max intends to implement various new ideas. and will soon learn to leave the giant clams in dive sites alone. People Welfare and Development Nikson Soor born in Batanta. released them. was instantly converted. because there isn’t one. provided with food and shelter. Papuans will learn how to grow clams and sell them in a sustainable fashion. Nickson who is 34 years old. Raja Ampat. but soon learnt the beauty and fragility of marine life. who then see the value of this tourism activity and stop them from catching these birds and selling them overseas as exotic pets.

A true joy to behold.The colorful corals is host to an abundance of fishes. . It’s no wonder how so many diving enthusiasts gushes at the mere mention of Raja Ampat.

how magnificent would you like to feel? For booking inquiries please email: reservations@miskawaan. 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.8 Luxury Beachfront Villas on Maenam Beach.com or call us: +66 7733 2271 www.com Terms and Conditions apply: .miskawaan. Koh Samui.

Vannara Putra uncovers Phuket’s island paradise – quiet and tranquil. and unwittingly discovered its rowdy side as well .

rows upon rows of stalls take up shelter by the road side. windsurfing. In the middle of the road. most vibrant. I came here to experience a slice of the famed island paradise – the Phi Phi Islands. For me however. easily accessible by boat. there is a fashion catwalk with various ladies (or not) costumed up with long colorful feathers and glittering fake diamonds adorning their dresses. and parasailing. and enjoying challenging water sports such as jet skiing. The Beach. The perfect afternoon sun combined with fresh coconuts and Thailand’s scrumptious delicacies makes it a tantalizing option as we ponder our next plan. Patong Beach is the most developed. snorkeling. mountain climbing or white-water rafting. From Phuket. It’s a picture perfect postcard view of a 3-kilometer long white sandy beach perfect for swimming. Amongst Phuket’s various beaches. vending fake Rolexes and cheap tee-shirts for the shopaholic travelers. To our left. It’s not even past dinner time yet. but in Phuket. and most visited one. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in that aptly named 2000 movie. lazing. Various diving and snorkeling spots are scattered throughout numerous small islands around the area. these are all secondary. pubs and massage parlors lined up both sides of the road. the party never really stops. the islands of south east asia 59 . there are also various adventure trips heading inland for jungle trekking. the beach beckons – pristine white sand upon long tresses of crystal clear water.THE GUIDE To our right. Further down the road the alleyway widens and a carnival of sort entices tourists with welcoming arms. Bars. with catcalls and whistles firing out from all around the place. even after the devastating 2004 tsunami.

it is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations. Understandably. stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea.Phuket Island. of the southern coast of Thailand. offers spectacular scenery. .

with full-payment given only when we were picked up from the hotel. we then made our way slowly passing the soaring limestone walls surrounding Phi Phi Leh. the crew noticeably turned down the machine. the largest of the six. is the only island with permanent inhabitants. The Phi Phi Islands comprises six islands surrounded by the Andaman sea. Suddenly. and we were free to swim and snorkel around the boat. 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. 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. The island’s shallow blue-green lagoons and coral gardens. The journey there was over an hour long. Tall breathtaking cliffs forms a circular wall around the area. the islands of south east asia 61 . Phi Phi Don.THE GUIDE The Island Paradise The journey to Phi Phi Islands was suspiciously easy to arrange. Being the untrusting travelers that we were. not wanting to disturb the fragile ecosystem below the sea. and while my boat entry towards the beach was much less anti-climatic compared to DiCaprio’s jump over a ten-meter waterfall. We snorkeled a little more before finally making our way towards one of Phi Phi Don’s numerous resorts for a hearty meal. with caves and passages dotting the tall cliffs. Numerous stalls on Phuket’s crowded street offered day-tours to tourists. From the pristine Maya Bay. Our boat anchored a little distance away from the beach. and my eyes searched around trying to find an entrance. Crystal clear water gives view to the coral beds which are home to a wide range of sea life. It was there on the serene Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh that the movie was shot. made for a spectacular scenery. As our boat neared the bay. but very well worth the trip. we negotiated for a small down-payment for our tour arrangement. I suppose we shouldn’t have worried – close to 98% of Phuket’s population depends upon tourism to make a living. the green jungle opened up. it was still every bit as astonishing. and as such they are always eager to make a good impression.

then this isn’t the right place for you. A coalescence of noisy pandemonium boomed in my ears as I made my way through the street.THE GUIDE This spread. Compared to the tranquil beach of Phi Phi Islands. Thailand’s famed lady-boys come out to play. my Puma boots were a wreck only after a few sessions of soccer. drink and be merry. but those are far and few between. If you are looking for a romantic place to dine and wine. and numerous tailors touting cheap custommade suits.unearthingasia. and you should always start by offering half of the original starting price. Those out to shop would be well advised to know that these are simply cheap thrills. we made our way through the jungle of shops cramping the coastal side of Patong beach. On Wednesday nights. They are also keen to promote their one-of-a-kind Thai Girl show. 62 www. what you would find here is a good mix of tourists and locals who are out to have a good time.com . that word would invariably be “rowdy”. Hundreds of stalls offer tourists fake branded goods Nightlife at the Beach Later on at night. There were also the noisy advertising of various muay-thai boxing matches calling out to impressionable travelers. which features various acrobatic acts performed by the ladies and lady-boys. it made for an extreme contradiction. You are still able however. Haggling is a must. Instead. or a relaxing lounge to chill and rest. Be warned as well that these lady-boys are every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. a small one will suffice. be it vendors selling various cheap imitations. they came out dressed in long glittering gowns with over-the top cabaret shows make-up. Indeed. If one were to choose a word to describe Patong beach’s street side revelries. tuk-tuk drivers offering rides. parading and enticing various tourists who are eager to take photos and chat with them. There are indeed shops selling higher-quality fakes and the likes. The jetty. Beware that tips would be expected of these miscellaneous services. Stunning views from the top of Phuket. Every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. clockwise from right Island hopping is a popular activity. to find unique handcrafted items and some amazing paintings. and a friend’s Rolex didn’t last though the end of the month.

the islands of south east asia 63 .

THE GUIDE At the center of Palawan. Char Magalong unearthed a magical attraction priming for international limelight and renown .

I could smell the ocean salt in the air. 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 . Throughout the years. but first I had a whole new city to explore. can compare with the beauty of Palawan. or diving to the depths of Palawan’s magnificent seas. I made a mental note to check out the beach. snorkeling. a sure sign of the various beach activities they must have participated in – swimming at the beach. As I made my way into the hotel.Few places in the Philippines. I flashed a smile at a group of tourists passing by. indeed in all of Southeast Asia. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park boasts a thriving wildlife and a full sea to forest ecosystem. with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan. its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many. Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade. and few are able to resist its charm.

com .unearthingasia. Another point of aerial view. Mesmerizing aerial view of the island paradise. A thriving wildlife.Clockwise from top The subterranean river goes out into the sea. another gasp of awe 66 www.

When she died.If we look at the map of the Philippines and the Palawan Island. Totaling an area of approximately 260. Legend has it that Puerto Princesa was named after a maiden who used to roam the island on certain evenings of the year. it is the second largest city in the country with approximately 120. this was reduced to Puerto Princesa. that it was named after a Spanish Princess in 1864. and has often been dubbed the capital of ecotourism. Others would say that she receives her name from being a haven for everyone.000 inhabitants. we’ll find Puerto Princesa right in the middle. the islands of south east asia 67 . the place was named Puerto de la Princesa and as time progressed. It is a city that prides on its cleanliness and natural beauty. Princes Eulalia of Spain. the province itself bound by the South China Sea in the west and the Sulu Sea in the east.000 hectares. History tells us however. from the seafarers who dock there to the nature lovers and environmentalists who are amazed by the protected area.

THE GUIDE Island hopping is a popular activity here. The rock formations inside were truly one of a kind. Located 50km north of the capital. They cultivate rice and other crops. A regular tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. 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.unearthingasia. There are also city tours that brings you to various attractions such as the Iwahig penal colony. the underground river has been nominated to be a part of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature. do fishing or carve handicraft products for souvenirs.5 kilometers into the cave. Climbing Ugong Rock allows one to view the spectacular karst formations and surrounding natural beauty. we reached the opening of the Underground River. we were led in slowly. squirrels and other friendly animals find their ecosystem near the cave. Other areas to explore include the Lions Cave. You will be awed by the exquisite beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in rainbow colors – a truly wondrous view.com . Right at the mouth of the cave lies a clear. but a fun experience never the less. a breathtaking experience comparable to none. The cave was extremely dark. the Crocodile Farm. Daylight Hole and the Kawili Cave. monitor lizards. Monkeys. the area boasts a number of cave systems worth exploring. peaceful lagoon that supports a thriving wildlife.2-kilometer long river that goes through a mesmerizing cave before it makes its exit right into the South China Sea. the boat turtled onwards. partially through paved roads but also on dirt and muddy roads. Nothing too serious. As it had rained the night before. We picnicked and ate our lunch as we waited for our turn to get into the Underground River. Very recently. The Iwahig is a unique wall-less prison colony where convicts act as they would living in a village. 68 www. going up to 1. The journey up north was a good three hours drive. Other than exploring the cave. bird watching and the likes. the road condition was especially bad and we got stuck twice on our way there. it boasts a 8. Finally. Aside from the Underground River. As such. Finally it was our turn! As our tour guide warned us about safety precautions and what not to do inside. Butterfly Garden and Mitra’s Ranch.The site contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. gently making its way through the scintillating river. landing in the top 77 nominees. and it will take sometime for you to get used to. was Palawan’s most esteemed wonders – the Underground River. 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. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also offers other activities such as mountain and rock climbing. At the top of my list of must-see attractions however.


At the entrance of the subterranean river.com .unearthingasia. very near the sea level.Previous spread. clockwise The clouds form a magical shadow over the National Park. Venturing into the dark cave. Relaxing in the clear lagoon at the mouth of the river 70 www. from top The National Park is located low. Paddling back out after a fun adventure This page.


THE GUIDE Natalie Revie journeyed into Thailand’s jungle paradise to find it beautifully evolving into a different entity 72 .


But fortunately. the island seemed determined to balance between its development and natural charms. a relief to budget travelers and luxury high-fliers all around .The island paradise of Koh Phangan is slowly but surely attracting its worthy share of developers and luxury travelers.

THE GUIDE Lying in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand. set against unspoiled jungle backdrops and glittering ocean. little-known sister of the two. it has evolved into 5-star boutique resort destination. an astonishing transformation that is not unlike a blossoming of a young flower into a beautiful. Added to that. elegant lady. as the small number of developers and big hotels moving in are not only developing with an eye to natural aesthetics. but with a common commitment to green ethos and protecting the island’s gorgeous flora and fauna. Koh Phangan is a party-goers paradise of legendary proportions. Recently however. the islands of south east asia 75 . failing to show up on all but the most backpack savvy trails. Koh Phangan has truly established itself as the destination of choice for party-animals. At the moment it certainly seems that way. its relatively slow development will hopefully mean it has learned its lesson from neighboring Koh Samui’s mistakes. With its broad white sandy beaches. and flying entirely under the radar of commercial hotels and package-holiday tourism. With its infamous full moon party every month for the last two decades. Having escaped the brutal development of its sister island Koh Samui. But change is coming to this jungle paradise isle. 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. hippies and backpackers alike. And the little-known hippy paradise of Koh Phangan may be able to provide exactly that. Koh Phangan exudes a special magical privacy to invigorate even the most jaded international jet-setter. Koh Phangan remained until recently the quiet.

on the northeast corner of the lush island. and unusually it seems to be entirely harmonious. 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. taste and discretion. luxury 300-threadcount towels lie on sun-loungers next to hippies on their way to the next low-key destination of choice for backpackers.unearthingasia. Now when the full moon shines on Koh Phangan. sets a leading example not just for Koh Phangan but for development in Thailand as a whole. 76 www. At the moment. Who knows how long that arrangement is set to last? But currently. right next to the traditional $5-a-night backpacker huts of old Koh Phangan. it finds not just the drunken revelers of yore. Thong Nai Pan has been called ‘the jewel of Koh Phangan’ and for years was the best kept secret in the region. beautiful resort that still gives a nod to the rustic Thai charm which entrances visitors to Thailand every year. and created in harmony with the environment. Thong Nai Pan. But uncommonly for Thailand. In addition to these high-end tourists. At night the jungle reverberates to the sounds of the traditional Thong Nai Pan parties and bongo drums. but quietly. so as not to disturb the guests in their $300 dollar-a-night rooms. And credit must be given where it’s due to Rasananda management.com . complementing the exquisite natural surroundings. the beach has naturally attracted an interesting community of expats. As it comes of age the jewel in its crown. resorts and restaurants. opened its doors for business. 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. So the wild hippy paradise of yesteryear is changing. but beautiful residences. the community is set to increase in both size and diversity. it is being altered with sensitivity. The result is very different from days-goneby – more refined definitely. 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. With more residences being built privately and by small local developers. from Alaskan kayakbuilders to Israeli cheese-makers. Rasananda. as inaccessible as it was by bumpy pickup over an unpaved jungle track. who have managed to create an elegant.The coast of Tong Nai Pan Noi Attracting the most attention in the 5-star resort stakes is the stunning Thong Nai Pan.

The crystal blue water is perfect for water sports and activities the islands of south east asia 77 .

Ubud. Bali retains its hidden charms and unexplored attractions. Barrie Lie-Birchall enthuses. Bali.THE GUIDE Amidst the influx of overflowing tourists. . Fog and mist creeping into the forest as the setting sun envelops the horizon.

unaffected. the Balinese. it soon became a target for anti-western extremist Islamic groups. It didn’t happen. As a paradise destination for westerners. this became apparent when the island of Bali became a stopover on the renowned ‘hippy trail’ in the 1960’s. The ancient temple of Taman Ayun the islands of south east asia 79 . in-depth. The impact upon the Bali tourism industry was immediate. The Balinese feared a repeat upon tourism that occurred previously in 2002. From then on the steady flow of tourists increased over the coming decades. Rudolf Bonnet and Le Mayeur. Bali’s eventual step into the limelight was predominately due to anthropologist Margaret Mead who researched and documented. The cyclonic invasion of this tiny island began with a trickle in the 1930’s with the likes of artists Walter Spies. Bali was soon to be crushed again on October 1. In October 2002. unlike other islands in the archipelago of Indonesia. As the tourist influx grew and Bali was flooded with carefree tourists from around the world. amongst others. the main tourist district of Kuta was devastated by three massive bombs killing 202 people.Scenic surf and steep cliffs on the coastline Bali. is drenched in mass tourism. the Balinese still retain their cultural and religious ways of life. and yet. but soon became a novelty destination for celebrities such as Noel Coward. 2005 with a series of terrorist suicide bomb attacks in Jimbaran and Kuta.


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.




Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Heart buckled ethnic belt – Tari Maya at Alun Alun Indonesia. Crossed-weaved heels – Dum Dum at Alun Alun Indonesia. with make up and styling by the Dresscode Team.STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair Unrestraint and picturesque settings conjure a perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra. Jakarta. Modern batik printed dress – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Ringlets Bracelet – Origo at Alun Alun Indonesia .

85 .


Hand-painted decorative umbrella – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia 87 . Colorful Ringlets Statement Necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia.This Page Tie-dyed summer dress – Lilou 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. Batik printed clutch – Ilalang at Alun Alun Indonesia Opposite Page Long wool shawl (worn as a headband) – Mellies Moss at Alun Alun Indonesia. Tube summer dress – BIASA. Gold Ethnic flats – Giffa at Alun Alun Indonesia.

Styled by the DRESSCODE Team. Crossed-weaved beach hat – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. .STYLE GUIDE Sarong style skirt (worn as a tube dress) – BIASA. Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Fish scales sandals – VNC Modeled by Audrey. Multicolor statement necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Striped vest – BIASA.


Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. HK AND MORE! Culture. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . featuring exciting adventures.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 .000 SGD 7.50 RM 14. And not only that. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.Issue 01 www.Culture. For this inaugural issue. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions.com IDR 50.unearthingasia. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.

.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 . but more commonly used as dip for pita bread.TALES GOURMET Arabian cuisine usually consists of a dozen or more small dishes.

For the uninitiated. make sure to try out a course of mezze and you’ll realize right away why the tables are all super large. mint and chickpeas – these are a few of the common ingredients you’ll find throughout the region. is the usage of aromatic spices. The baba ghanouj is especially tasty. Each country adds their own distinct touches to the mix. from top Pita bread a serving of dips. stuffed grape leaves. deep-fried chickpea balls. Mezze (or appetizers) When you are in Lebanon. shape and color. Since Muslims do not consume pork. borek. 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. lamb stew in a sweet-sour sauce. the main course could vary between kebabs of grilled chicken or lamb. bread. . Iskender kebab is a famed specialty from Bursa. Grilled chicken with vegetables Middle Eastern cuisines come in a wide variety of taste. northern Turkey. kebabs are generally grilled or broiled meats over skewer or sticks. feta-stuffed phyllo pastries and dolmas.Right. sumac. it is almost never without the region’s staple food. vegetables. It may even contain a number of rice dishes that is mixed with meats. sesame seeds. beef and lamb. felafels. an eggplant dip. in which thinly cut grilled lamb is basted with tomato sauce over pide bread and generously slathered with melted butter and yogurt. but be warned – it can be quite spicy! Main Courses Depending on which country you are in. completing a vibrant map of culinary delights throughout the region. khoresh. the most commonly used meat are chicken. A common bond between them however. Honey. fruits and nuts. While a meal may exclude meat. It has become a part of everyday multicultural cuisines around the globe. parsley.

avoid doing so with your left hand. coffee. Desserts are served occasionally. But for those who fancy desserts on their own.unearthingasia. uneasy feeling. But if you are to try eating with your hands. Among the common ones are Tabboulleh (tart parsley). flat breads and the traditional Jewish Challah. Brides Fingers (Asabia el Aroos) are slender crisps of filo filled with sweetened nuts that are popular with the locals. unless if you are in Iran where tea are commonly served. pita. Desserts and Snacks You are normally served a small cup of sweet.Vegetables. It can give your throat an itchy. most bakeries tend to sell sweet pastries and the likes to curb your sweet tooth cravings. Protein and fiber are in abundance due to the inclusion of nuts. Meals in the Middle East are often eaten using your hands. Other desserts include baklava and perhaps almond crusted cookies as well. If you’re uncomfortable with this. They are comparable to the likes of baklava. One thing I learned is to leave the sludge at the bottom. salads and breads This is the usual companion of meals. spinach. sautéed tomato and eggplant with yogurt. 94 www. as it is forbidden in the Islamic tradition to do so.com . following the Islamic tradition that is prevalent in the region. do not hesitate to ask for a fork and spoon. thick. but with lower calories and fat.


He shared tales of his amazing journey with Nikolas Tjhin. . Call Light shining into Khao Luang Caves. Thailand. Phetburi (Phetchaburi).TALES ART Heeding the After years of traveling around the region of Asia. photographer Craig Ferguson finally settled down in Taiwan.

“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. Craig Ferguson is one such victim. it’s no wonder how so many people have fallen head over heels with this beautiful region. Even from a very young age. he traveled through Asia for a year. having grown up mostly in a beach-side suburb of Sydney.” He then learned the ropes on his own on a Manual SLR while at school in the 1980s and progressed from there. Photo credit . Somehow. “I had nothing booked. He initially studied science and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. the awardwinning photographer calls the islands of south east asia 97 . First Love Craig hailed from Australia. The Goddess of the Sea. landing in Bangkok and simply “winging it” as he goes along. Bright red lanterns. I found my way onto a local bus to Banglamphu. and then into a cheap guesthouse. and worked it out as I went along. he has always shown an interest in photography. and is starting to shift his focus away from travel photography into music. After that. The call of Asia is a strong one. in Taiwan Taiwan home. Always with a camera. With its numerous cultural traditions and some of the most fascinating sights on earth.Selina Ferguson. Right off graduation. having fallen in love with Asia over his various treks throughout the region. wedding and personal portrait type photography. Now.

Hualien. Taiwan.Japanese gate. .

the call of Asia grew too strong. I’d saved enough money that I was able to travel backpacker style for the year without needing to work. a World Heritage site and a major tourist destination TALES ART That impromptu travel lasted a whole 12 months and more. then down into Malaysia before crossing over into Sumatra – “orangutans. Burma and then onto Nepal. so it was an interesting experience to be completely cut off from the news for five days at that particular time. then to Lombok. Starting out in southern Thailand. but never found it. local governance. So in 2001. on a path that sees him on a very unusual backpackers trail across Asia. Cambodia. before heading back home to Australia. meeting up with other travelers along the way.” and then to Bali. Tibet. his so called second round of travel sees him journey to Langkawi. He spent a good five months in the Himalayans region. trekking in the Annapurnas and exploring the old parts of Kathmandu. which intrigued Craig so much that he made plans to return the following year as well.Angkor Wat. then onwards to Jakarta through Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta. Craig searched around for a fulfilling opportunity. he didn’t find anything that fits him and gave him satisfaction. 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. but not before a final couple weeks of relaxation on Koh Tao. he booked a ticket back to Bangkok and went on the road again. Having exhausted the south eastern part of Asia. he headed back up towards Surat Thani. He headed south towards the Thai islands for a while. One of the everlasting experiences of this particular travel was the winter pilgrimage season in Bodhgaya. hospitality and NGOs. and onwards to Nepal for a slower pace of life. From there he went to Kathmandu.” he shared. lakes and surfing made up most of it. back to Bali. and on to Lhasa.” he shared. the islands of south east asia 99 . Koh Pha Ngan and then Bangkok. “After some halfhearted attempts to fit into the standard career-track in Australia. Following a short stint in corporate IT. “All this happened a couple of days after the 9/11 attack in the US. “I mostly did it alone. transiting in Singapore.

which was an amazing experience.com .” he narrated. some stood out more than others. He now shoot a lot of portraiture. looking for new leads and meeting deadlines. Shoot what you enjoy. his meeting with the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya is one of them. “As well as all the usual frustrations of travelers everywhere.” Craig shares.” he noted. his sound advice is to “try to shoot the images and subjects that give you the most satisfaction. And then shoot it again. although it’s been quite a few years since I was last there. he finds himself spending time with some Thai monks who were staying there. with his focus drifting a little further away from travel photography since being here. Settling Down Following that. He is starting to teach photography. Let your own nautral style and creativity show through.” “It’s hard to choose a favorite place because I’ve been to so many great places. his intention was to stay for one to two years. but there’s the added pressure of marketing. and you’ll find success starts to come your way. weddings and music as well. chasing clients.” he opined. I spent a substantial part of the time living in one of the smaller cities.” he enthused. Craig was privileged enough to be able to witness the ceremony between the two different Buddhist traditions.TALES ART Taiwanese opera performer from the Xin Ing Feng Opera Group. persistence is key to his success. before ending up in Taiwan where a friend was already based. being a travel photographer is rewarding work but hard. To Craig.” On top of that. and they invited me inside their temple. where he spent a few trips photographing the various Angkor-era ruins in both Cambodia and Thailand which have proved to be photographic highlights. a tip he constantly shares with his students and friends alike.unearthingasia. “I wouldn’t swap it for the world though!”. which included interviewing Noel Gallagher for 30 minutes before the show. with group workshops and a couple of one-on-one students. 100 www. On that second trip to Bodhgaya. “It was through them that I got to meet the Dalai Lama – he came to visit them. and then continue traveling. Craig is busy building a multifaceted photography business. and had the pleasure to shoot for Oasis when they toured earlier this year. and we have no plans to leave. I met and married my wife. Naturally. Once again. Now. but he ended up falling in love with the lifestyle here and stayed longer. “the whole India and Nepal area is one I love. The rest just followed. He has now spent seven years in Taiwan – “it was a pretty easy transition to make to life here. He stopped in Thailand and Vietnam. To budding travel photographers. Amongst his list of highlights. Craig headed back east to replenish his funds. Craig also had a soft spot for Thailand. Initially. Along the way. “I got into travel photography as a result of my love of photography and my love of travel. and also shake hands with and speak to the Dalai Lama.

Oasis. performing in Taiwan “A Moving Sound”. a Taiwanese theater performance .


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 . Search for Indie Travel in iTunes Check out the new magazine at indietravelpodcast.com/magazine Travel well indietravelpodcast.com http://lonelyplanet.

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 .

Perhaps inspired by New Zealand’s pure natural surroundings—from vast open spaces filled with stunning rugged landscapes to gorgeous beaches. With 47 rivers and streams flowing into the lake. Water activities take place in the lakes all year round—which include waterskiing. canoeing. irrigation and hydroelectric power.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. it is New Zealand’s largest natural waterway. it is as big as Singapore. fascinating geothermal areas and the famous Huka Falls. At 425 km in length. There are also many tour operators in the region who offer day trips or overnight camping excursions. To the local Kiwis. Spanning 619 sq km. and sailing. The youngest country on earth has some of the most incredible water adventures that guests can experience. fishing. such as bungy jumping and zorbing. the Lake Taupo region is home to New Zealand’s largest fresh water lake. most extreme adventures. awe-inspiring geothermal and volcanic wonders. the Waikato River has always been a great provider—from fish and freshwater lobster to drinking water. jet skiing. The Waikato River is the only river flowing out of the lake. Situated in the volcanic heart of the North Island. swimming. the islands of south east asia 105 . Plus there are plenty of chances to take a break and continue the fun on dry land. The lake’s attractive pumice sand beaches give it the appearance of an inland ocean. cruising. this area is renowned for trout fishing and kayaking. parasailing. and temperate climate—the Kiwi’s spirit of adventure is what has attracted visitors from across the globe to join in the fun. Lake Taupo is Australasia’s largest lake. It was created by a gigantic volcanic eruption in 181AD. There is no shortage of activities for vacationers regardless of age or fitness. kayaking.

aquatic life is abundant. White Island off the coast of Whakatane is a unique experience as New Zealand’s only active marine volcano.com . Be ready to get wet! To scuba dive in Lake Taupo. and enjoy the sensation as you slide past cliffs and trees at 80km per hour.com) boat ride! Marvel at the incredible water level views of the spectacular Huka Falls. 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. 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. Because of the warm waters. To the amateur diver this requires skill in reading your depth gauge. Should you wish to scuba dive in a volcanic area. one needs experience and professional help because of the lake’s location above sea level.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. You should seek advice and assistance from a qualified professional scuba diving school or tour operator in the area.

up mountain summits. leading you over ancient lava flows.You’ll never regret walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 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 .

It’s the white water seekers challenge of fun. boiling mud pools and some of the largest silica terraces in the world. one of nature’s true gifts.nz).co.co.com . naturally heated thermal waters and unspoiled flora and fauna provide a beautiful playground.nz) through stunning Lake Tarawera on the 38-foot luxury launch Clearwater Pride.clearwater. 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.com for more adventures off and on the ground. the Hidden Valley (www. Autumn (10°C from March to May). 108 www. go back in time in this unique geothermal wonderland. From parasailing to wakeboarding. The majestic backdrop of a dormant volcano.unearthingasia. Cook your catch in thermal sand at Hot Water beach. and Clearwater staff can organise a range of on-water and land-based activities. There is a full range of fishing equipment on board so guests can try fishing for trophy-sized rainbow trout.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. 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. It’s the exciting. Sailing on a yacht. where you can also enjoy a soak in a natural hot spring. tranquil waters and pumice beaches. Float past ancient beech forests. Visit www. The Tongariro River is known as the perfect river for your first white water rafting experience. wild adventure that any brave adventurer needs to do. bush and sky. through gorges. Lake Taupo is the ideal place to try your nerve and your water skills. Take the Clearwater Cruises (www. water skiers. Check www. Winter (9°C from June to August) and Spring (12°C from Sept to November). The weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in. Make sure you have your camera with you. sail boats. past limestone and volcanic cliffs and then race down 50m ‘roller coaster’ rapids at exhilarating speeds. It’s such a beautiful holiday scene with people enjoying and relaxing on the lakeshores despite the season. Arriving in Taupo by road as a visitor. speedboats or jet skis.nz before your trip.newzealand. The lake’s reflective waters mirror mountains.co. A chartered cruise is one of the best ways to experience golden sunsets.metservice. Now’s your chance to race the rapids! At Orakei Korako. hot springs. it’s just so wonderful to see this beautiful lake full of swimmers.orakeikorako. wet. Cross the Waikato River by boat. New Zealand has four seasons: Summer (14°C from Dec to February). and then explore a world of gushing geysers.

Here you can see the Emerald Lakes. explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area © Destination Lake Taupo .The volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing never fail to surprise. Within this world of earth tones that were spewed from subterranean magma vaults. wild colours provide visual excitement.

High Tea.dekuta.com . Nasui-Shiobara. dekuta is strategically located in the heart of Kuta. River Taxi ride from Clarke Quay. The Amara Sanctuary Integrated Recreation (IR) at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa (2D/1N for two) S$288++ – One night stay in twin or double deluxe room. island admission.. S 099394 T: +65 6825 3888 F: +65 6825 3848 reservation@amarasanctuary. Indonesia Tel: (62) 361 753880 Fax: (62) 362 752787 Website: www. sky ride and Songs of the Sea.nett per night for a Superior room. Park Hotel Clarke Quay Club Single/Twin Room for S$238++ per night. unlimited internet access and local calls.sg for reservations and rates or enquiries www.000.PROMOTIONAL OFFERS The Quincy Hotel Your Business Sanctuary Promotion. We offer a very special rate in March at IDR 728.000. Terms and conditions apply. Bali. daily buffet breakfast. Underwater World & Dolphin lagoon. all day coffee and tea as well as parking. Jl Poppies Lane II #8 Kuta. Japan Tel: +81 3 3541 4967 Fax: +81 3 3541 4968 E-mail: shiraishi@japanxpress.com. broadband Internet.com.com dekuta Set in modern minimalist design which equipped with LCD TV 32”.aizuya. Terms and conditions apply.parkhotelgroup. local calls. daily 2 pieces of laundry. Meeting Room usage and laundry. Jimbaran Bali A place unparalleled for its calm and serene environment within a tropical oasis of landscaped gardens.quincy.com Aizuya. one of the following options for 2 ppl: 1. Singapore 237983 Tel: (65) 6593 8888 Fax: (65) 6593 8899 Website: www. and late check-out till 6pm. Japanese Room w/ private natural spa @ Y28. Inclusive of complimentary buffet breakfast. Shiobara. Mini-bar. Terms and conditions apply.net Park Hotel Clarke Quay 1 Unity Street. Jimbaran-Bali Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera 100 Kawasan Bukit Jimbaran Bali 80364 – Indonesia +62 361 708 708 www. Japanese Room @ Y18. 3. From $258++ per night. Luge. The Quincy Hotel 22 Mount Elizabeth Singapore 228517 Please call +65 6496 7699 / 1800 7373 279 or email reseasy@fareast. daily breakfast and one-time seafood BBQ in villa. Executive set lunch at Brizo Restaurant & Bar. Price includes Dinner & Breakfast.jp Website: www. 2. Sentosa Island.com www. Aizuya Hotel A Japanese Inn where you will experience traditional authentic Japanese cuisine made with local ingredients.sg The Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa 1 Larkhill Road. Terms and conditions apply. Stay 3 nights and pay for only 2 nights. Indulge in Bali Breakaway package at USD 695 for 4days/3nights in two bedrooms villa inclusive of welcome fruit and flowers. Japanese Twin Room @ Y22.000. set lunch & dinner.amarahotels. free wi-fi internet connection and round trip airport transfers.co.000. unlimited evening cocktails and beverages. buffet breakfast. inclusive of – limousine pick-up.pat-mase. minibar. Pat-Mase.com Pat-Mase. inclusive of breakfast for two. rain shower and wi-fi internet connection in all areas.

contact Bayu Buana at (021) 2350 9999 or visit www. Your family is also covered. When you travel overseas.000*. 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. Also get TRIPLE GFF Miles for all transactions at Supermarket. Gasoline and Departement Store from 16 November 2009 . This information is made available for the sole purpose of informing the public. you are automatically guaranteed a medical insurance coverage on your travel outside Indonesia. it is not a valid insurance policy.id for Hotel information. Citi Platinum and Garuda Indonesia Citi Cards. • Enjoy a complimentary room upgrade at any participating 5-star Hotels in Indonesia Exclusively for Citi Ultima.co. Terms and Conditions applied. So. Terms and Conditions applied. Hotel promotion is valid until 30 April 2010. For Travel information.CITIBANK HIGHLIGHTS Travel Privileges with Citi Platinum Card Enjoy a complimentary upgrade wherever you go Whether it is business or leisure. you will be covered for your hospital stay.citibank.28 February 2010 . * The above value may change in accordance to company policies. and medical expenses occur caused by accident or sickness. make sure you always travel with Garuda Indonesia Citi Card. Travel promotion is valid until 6 January 2010. medical surgery or any doctor consultation fees up to Rp 300.000. Garuda Indonesia Citi Card Medical coverage on your overseas travel As Garuda Indonesia Citi Cardholders. 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).






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Jakarta? It’s a place where you can do anything you want to. I would book a ticket to the Christmas Islands if I were you. and give toast to the coming year. Shed away your habitual influences and your customary comforts. May I suggest a trip to the Big Durian of South East Asia. In fact. Capricorn (Dec 22 . Venice is one such destination. Taurus (Apr 20 . Go for it! You’ll meet up with other people who are in similar states of transformation and journey.Mar 20) You’re not fully informed – quite yet.TRAVEL HOROSCOPE Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Flee as far as possible from your usual haunts. the time is right for a simple break of isolation and new experiences. Aquarius (Jan 20 . For you Sagittarius. a hauntingly beautiful city doomed to lose itself to the drowning sea. you’ll do well to reflect back and determine a new direction for your personal life. you feel able to do and say all kinds of things that didn’t seem permissible before. Aries.May 20) A little of bad news is coming your way Taurus.com . The passing year may seem full of negative experiences. and enjoy a week of acting and play-making in the isolated heights of Tibet. Your homework. I suspect this will be a place flooded with sea water. to boldly welcome the coming new year as soon as possible. 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. Aries (Mar 21 . a place in between worlds. or so they say.Feb 18) Party harder and smarter than usual Aquarius. and together you’ll form quite a merry crew. is to let loose and tap into this creative energy. Invent a new character. I’m thinking a place of leisure and relaxation. and then get back into it right away after your well-deserved break. You’ll find all of your most creative inner whims fulfilled with a simple snap of your finger. Renew your energy and figure out what comes next. a personality with an interesting back story. The isolated heights of Tibet awaits you Sagittarius Pisces (Feb 19 . 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.Apr 19) According to my analysis of the astrological omens. Don’t worry too much about whether things are going your way.unearthingasia. But being in this place feels liberating. a doomed beauty that will sooner or later die away – much like everything else on earth actually. the nonchalant Aries is largely unaware of the creative energy that has been welling up inside you. After playing out your fantasy. 118 www. like the southern islands of the coast of Thailand. Celebrate the coming festivities with a bang. The time is nigh to drown yourself in alcoholic beverages of all kind. but they are important in shaping you up for the brighter future ahead. dear Capricorn. Relax and go with the flow.Jan 19) The time is right to head back into your natural habitat. Suddenly.

Better start now.Sep 22) The most challenging parts of your travels have also brought you the greatest lessons. All this mental liberation leads you to want to try a few daring physical acts too. dubbing itself the Adventure Capital of the World. but that maybe too early for you. as I always say.June 20) You’re totally ready to take things to the next level. the cosmos grant you the license to thrive on the unexpected blessings that come from giving yourself to the random intelligence of a stranger. They can wait. from the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism to the passionate compassion of the Buddha. I envision an eventful getaway in the near future. fret not. Don’t put restraints on your enjoyment or give yourself a subconscious guilt trip for what you’re seeing and doing. and you would do well to follow your heart’s content – lest you live to regret this missed opportunity for a unique experience. Leo (July 23 . you’ve got it all here.Nov 21) Before you commence your life-long dream Scorpio. with the sun-filled days off the coast of Palawan? Cancer (June 21 . Get set and let the adrenaline roar! Virgo (Aug 23 . Bali is a popular place for honeymooners.July 22) For the foreseeable future. Libra (Sep 23 . A spiritual journey is on the cards – may I suggest the region of India? It’s an area reeking with religious mysticism. Life is only worth living your own way. The city of Queenstown in New Zealand offers much in the way of adventure. your friends and family will still be there for you come 2010. Scorpio (Oct 23 . When you think about everything you’ve done and seen. romantically or in some other way. whatever that may be.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. I bid you make your peace with God. Maybe start of slow. with the sweet smell of romance in the air. you’re grateful for all of your experiences. it would take a good few years to try them all out.Oct 22) Spare no expense. Make an effort to range far and wide during your explorations. Take it! After all. away from your usual crowd of friends and family. It was said there are so many ramen stalls in Tokyo that even if you were to eat ramen thrice a day.Gemini (May 21 . There will be an offer to travel and celebrate the festivities together. .

I love to travel. The food was amazing. and my favorite places in Bali are KuDeTa for its amazing ambiance. and it’s all in Rupiah – much cheaper than spending in Dollars and Yens! I go there at least once every two months. another destination that I absolutely loved was Japan. I don’t really enjoy much of the luxurious fine-dining scene in Bali. interesting destination that is more than just a shopping destination.BON VOYAGE The winner of 2008’s Cleo Award for the Best Young Designer. which is a very hectic. fast-paced city that never fails to amaze. as I prefer authentic local food. Finally. Bali is another favorite. and in fact its really like my second home. 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. I’ve only been there once. 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. it’s crazy! It’s like one world in the same place together. the food and the people. but you do have to be careful of overloading your senses. like at Warung Made. a paradise haven close to my hometown. the sooner the better! 120 . I often go to New York to visit my sister. because its one of the most stylish trend-setting fashion cities in the world. from the street-side stalls serving ramen noodles (a personal favorite) to the luxe sushi restaurants serving one-of-a-kind delicacies. Fresh off the plane from her London trip. 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. at least once every two years. and the new Rock Bar which simply boasts a spectacular looking venue. It’s a great place to go for a creative inspiration. amazing culture. Stella Rissa is fast becoming a rising star in the Asian fashion industry. That happens often here. I always have a good impression for new places. artistic inspirations and jaw-dropping nature. I’m planning for another visit there actually. and what attracts me the most is the culture. but I totally fell in love with the place. Beautiful people. I love to go to new places.

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