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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
unearthingasia.com 78 . tranquil.com IDR 50. Bali retains its hidden charms 46 4 64 www. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . 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.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.50 RM 14.unearthingasia.CONTENTS Culture.000 SGD 7.Issue 01 www.
a quick Singapore rejuvenation. the Nikki Beach Club in Thailand. and more 28 DATEBOOK Festivals and events not to be missed 30 SPOTLIGHT Jakarta 24 hour in the Big Durian of South East Asia. with local tips and suggestions 34-41 INSIGHTS Top flashpacking gadgets.com . 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. 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. Hong Kong’s new dig.unearthingasia. Bali’s hip happenings.CONTENTS 96 84 15-26 BUZZWORTHY! Singapore’s Party flavor. Jakarta www.
we spend too much time contemplating. we’ll look back with fondness. always thinking. I’m sure the suggested hotel boasts plentiful amenities. However. with a layer of cheese slipped in. and be glad at our decision to embark upon this amazing journey together. we spend our lives weighing one thing against another. My simple wish is that five. ten. Considering. you may regret it after all. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this inaugural offering from us. But more often than not. It is this hole in the travel publication that we aim to service. They are independent travelers daring to brave off-the-beaten paths. or even twenty years from now. Nikolas Tjhin Editor-in-Chief 8 . As I look forward to this project finally unfolding. in line with those wise words from a wise man above. The travel publication market is one that is crowded and very competitive. The moral of the story here. from friends and strangers alike. or a US$150 meal of deep fried chicken tender. you’ll end up disappointed for not taking up the chance while you’ve still got the opportunity to do so. I can’t help but smile and raise a little toast to our team. True. that we ended up missing the window of opportunity that has just been presented. and heading into new territories blind with excitement. They are suggesting US$1000 a night luxury hotels. but more often than not. Our readers are the Generation Y. Is this better? Is it too expensive? Too risky? But all too often. I ended skipping these suggestions for other more cost-effective options. all too often I ended up frustrated as I browse the various magazines on offer. It is with that in mind I’d like to introduce Unearthing Asia to you. but budget conscious and looking for good advice. They look for tips and hints from various offline and online medium. is to open up and surrender yourself to possibilities. and enjoy every single step of the journey as much as the destination in itself.EDITOR’S NOTES Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. young and affluent. Now. and the chicken tender heavenly upon my lips. than by the ones you did do – Mark Twain Much too often. web-savvy.
you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. For editorial and media enquiries. All rights reserved.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.net. and we accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts.BEHIND THE SCENES Commissioners Husein VP Consultant Kicky Alexander Achmad Sobari The AYANA Resort and Spa Bali Editor in Chief Nikolas Tjhin Singapore Editor Michelle Lee Sales Manager Nadia V Finance Manager Alexander Alvin Contributors Mallika Naguran Scotty Graham Debbie Reyes-Coloma Vannara Putra Char Magalong Natalie Revie Nabeetha Naseer Bona Soetirto Dresscode Magazine Publisher PT Tanindo Multi Media Distributor MarketAsia Pte Ltd Media Representative Media Link Pte Ltd Legal Consultant Dr F.* On top of that. transparencies. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of PT Tanindo Multimedia. Arsin. All opinions are of the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by PT Tanindo Multi Media. * Terms & conditions apply For advertising and marketing enquiries.sg . (65) 6336 6116 medialink@pacific. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. please contact Nikolas Tjhin PT Tanindo Multi Media VBox 886 Singapore (62) 812 7809 8888 (62) 21 3221 9988 nik@unearthingasia. X. or other materials. SH All rights in this publication and the name are owned and licensed to PT Tanindo Multi Media. please contact Dawn Khoo Media Link Pte Ltd 1 Sophia Road #07-22 Singapore 228149 (65) 6336 1725. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.
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. and has a never-ending learning curve.gaiadiscovery. especially fashion photography. 06 Bona Soetirto Bona Soetirto is an experienced Freelance Commercial Photographer and Digital Imager for various media in Jakarta. 05 Debbie Reyes-Coloma Singapore-based Debbie Reyes-Coloma is a freelance feature and lifestyle writer for various publications in the region. Indonesia for the past 15 years. his own center to teach Digital Imaging. She also advises businesses to go green by operating in harmony with nature and adopting cost-effective eco inventions. restaurateur and jungle momma. and has logged over 4000 dives through out the world. he started Continuum. culture. 03 03 Barrie Lie-Birchall Barrie is a freelance writer who started his nomadic steps at an early age travelling though Europe. and works as a Retoucher for Reelsessions. travel. Recently. to promote eco travel and living in Asia. daily.com. Dresscode Dresscode is the first fashion magazine in Indonesia with the unique concept of “non-article” magazine. how to wear them. especially in major bookstores in Jakarta. She believes in letting spirituality emerge through the common.unearthingasia. California based agency.scottygraham.CONTRIBUTORS 04 05 06 01 01 Mallika Naguran Mallika Naguran founded and manages Gaia Discovery. 02 02 Natalie Revvie Natalie Revie is a freelance writer. 12 www. Mallika is now focusing on restoring degraded environments and improving the livelihoods of the poor. Going beyond conservation.com . But. They are fully dedicated to give you inspirations on what to wear. TGA and Kinokuniya outlets. a not-for-profit online publication (www. and where to find it! Grab your copy now in various locations in Indonesia. 04 Scoty Graham Scotty Graham is a freelance photographer that has been living and working in Jakarta. Central Asia and the Pacific. He has been diving for over 25 years. Underwater photography keeps his interest in diving alive as it is always a challenge. he is also a photography lecturer at Pelita Harapan University.com).blogspot. and writing. 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. a Los Angeles. the everyday – this is what makes for truly beautiful writing. Visit his photo blog at http://www. Not only that. She lives on Koh Pha Ngan Island in southern Thailand where she indulges in her passion for food. such as Gramedia.
Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.unearthingasia. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia.com IDR 50.50 RM 14. HK AND MORE! Culture. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . And not only that. featuring exciting adventures. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.Culture.000 SGD 7. For this inaugural issue.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 .Issue 01 www. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE REGION BUZZWORTHY! HOTEL UNDERWATER LUXURY To coincide with its Culture Capital of Europe nomination. exhibition halls. so visitors can expect an amazing experience like nothing on earth! NT. and rooms all with underwater view. It is being built on the ruins of a historical 1930s tobacco factory and will house restaurants. the islands of south east asia 15 . from right below its city center.5 meters). Turkey is set to unveil a 7-floor underwater hotel in 2010. This 7-star hotel will give its guests a new view of the famous city of Istanbul. Local experts suggest the underwater visibility of the Bosphorus Strait is at an estimated 10-feet (approximately 3.
this was Party town. ML. This year.com . with international acts like the Black-Eye Peas to Backstreet Boys to Beyonce all wowing the crowds at various venues around the circuit.BUZZWORTHY! EVENT F1 EXTRAVAGANZA Once again.unearthingasia. travel and party enthusiasts. Many were here to witness first hand what the fervor of F1 was all about. despite the global economic crisis. 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. 16 www. 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. and they were definitely not dissappointed by the show on offer. For three days.
each with its 12 meter long private pool and terrace.2 mile jogging track under canopy of trees. Ayu Asti.One Bed Room Pool Villa Komaneka at Bisma © Komaneka BUZZWORTHY! VILLA HILLSIDE VIEW Another sister hotel of Komaneka (www. guests are invited to savor the tranquility and breathtaking beauty of Ubud. function rooms and Wanasmara wedding Chapel. Nestled upon the hillsides by the Campuhan River valley. 1.com) is open at Jalan Bisma-Ubud. Main pool Komaneka at Bisma © Agus Pande the islands of south east asia 17 . with amazing views of the river. bar. this luxurious resort is designed as a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle destination. gym. half Olympic sized swimming pool. sloping rice fields and the coconut groves in the surrounding. With 34 spacious suites and 10 elegant villas. circular wading pool. spavilla. The resort’s on-site facilities include an Indonesian fine dining restaurant.komaneka.
NT. from the top five restaurants in each country to an overview of each featured country’s dining scene. CHEF NEW TALENT There’s a new face in town at the Padma Resort Bali. Raul Deschu. says Pauline Ooi. In addition to ranking the region’s top restaurants. there are numerous attractions worth visiting just a walking distance away – the Khao San Road are minutes away. and broaden the perspective by evaluating two more countries. ML. hailing from Romania. as well as the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. Malaysia. 80 more than the previous edition. Associate Publisher of the little red book. Mongolia and Nepal. KA. The acclaimed 5-star art sanctuary welcomes its new Executive Sous Chef. the second edition of The Miele Guide will be bigger and better. Situated in the privileged location of Bangkok’s historic district. a perfect spot in the heart of the preserved old town Bangkok. the 2009/2010 issue will feature a host of additional information. The area is full of delicious authentic Thai food. The talented chef has gained much experience while working in Germany. 18 . The guide will feature 400 restaurants across Asia. 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.BUZZWORTHY! GUIDE MIELE TIME Following its inaugural 2008/2009 issue. Dubai. Austria and Thailand. and will ensure additional varieties in Padma Resort’s Food and Beverage Outlets and Programmes.
EVENT TWINS EFFECT
A special collaborative art exhibition opened to great fanfare in the Gaya Gallery, which ran through 6th to 30th October. The exhibit was the production of Ida Bagus Indra, one of Bali’s great artists, with John O’Sullivan, hotelier, wordsmith and artist in his own right. The exhibition has definitely raised the artistic bar with the fresh approach to collaborative mixed-medium works produced by these two fine personalities. KA.
SPA FACELIFT REJUVENATION
A new facial treatment that addresses the issues of aging and rejuvenation are now available at the Mandarin Spa in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The 45 minute session incorporates a consultation with acupuncture therapy specifically targeting wrinkles while providing numerous other benefits. The theory behind facial acupuncture is based on the ancient concept that the body’s energy diminishes with age. During the treatment, tiny, hair-fine acupuncture needles intended to stimulate the flow of qi throughout pathways in the body are inserted at specific points on the face. This boosts circulation, increases collagen and plumps fine facial wrinkles. NT.
EVENT JEWEL FEST
This year’s visitors to the annual Singapore JewelFest were treated to a stunning custom-built Jewel Pavilion, which provided the perfect setting for the two opening shows to kick-start the week-long festivities. The two-part showcase, themed “Love of Romance” and “Love in All its Glory”, showcased jeweleries worth over S$120 million created by 25 jewelers especially for the event. NT.
RESORT LUSH LUXURY
The eagerly awaited Amantaka Resort is ready to grace the lush green fields of Luang Prabang. This luxe resort from Adrian Zecha and his team is set to take it up a notch with refined decor, lofty spaces, verandas, pools and tantalizing spa treatments, on top of the pristine environments and beautiful temples in the vicinity. The resort also has a yoga studio, tennis courts, a library and an art gallery. ML.
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located on the west side of Thailand’s most exotic and exclusive island. 22 www. Expertly designed for ultimate relaxation complimented by a sophisticated ambiance. a spectacular new Nikki Beach Club.unearthingasia. one of the world’s most recognizable luxury lifestyle and entertainment brands. Tania Berg. Discover quintessential luxury at Nikki Beach’s remote Beach Club Bungalow Resort. Nikki Beach Koh Samui brings the vibrant nightlife of Miami to the shores of Lipa Noi Beach. has chosen the idyllic island of Koh Samui in Thailand to launch their latest opening.BUZZWORTHY! RESORT BEACH PARTY Nikki Beach.com .
Fatima Bhutto. Dede Oetomo. Tom Cho. play readings. Wena Poon. Bali. Mohammed Hanif. The festival also featured a program packed full of performances. Julia Leigh the islands of south east asia 23 . the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for literature. music and song. of course. film. food. through which writers and readers from every corner of the world can establish a mutual understanding and come together. Nobel Prize Winner in Literature EVENT UBUD FESTIVAL From 7 to 11 October. A host of literary stars made their appearance in the festival. the 2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival took place in Ubud. such as – Wole Soyinka. Amir Muhammad Wena Poon The festival was a 4-day event of panel sessions. readings and in-conversations with the world’s greatest exponents of their craft. Seno Gumira Ajidarma. debates. humour and. KA.BUZZWORTHY! Marco Calvani & Kicky Alexander Janet De Neefe Wole Soyinka. The theme reflected the Festival’s commitment to turn this literary gathering into an inspiring moment. journalist and novelist from Pakistan. Woon Tai Ho. and many others. Asitha Ameresekere. with the theme of SukaDuka: Compassion & Solidarity. the outspoken poet. as well as Lloyd Jones.
unearthingasia. as well as a truly spectacular Bali sunset in the backdrop. The luxurious Rock Bar at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali played host to the closing awards party. the festival also offered free workshops for aspiring young filmmakers.com .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. NT. in which visitors were treated to original performances by Ahtron McCanne and Richie Perrot. 24 www. Aptly called the Balinale.
emphasizing sleek design and creative innovation. The Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees (www.com . 26 www.BUZZWORTHY! BOUTIQUE SLEEK DESIGN A swanky new hotel just hit the town with a modern and chic feel. giving visitors a unique blend of old and new. NT. The electric hotel features 702 charming guestrooms and suites right in the heart of old town Hong Kong. featuring optical illusions and an environment that feels like you’re inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa.harbour-plaza.com/hp8d) in Hong Kong boasts a unique lobby designed by HK-based Patrick Leung of PAL Design.unearthingasia.
the residents of Kushimoto perform a ritual burning of the grassy land in front of the Shino Misaki Watchtower. They congregate on the banks of the Ganges to explore anything and everything about transcendental meditation. February 13 to 16. this mass Hindu pilgrimage towards the holy city of Haridwar is the world’s largest gathering of yogis.taiwanhotspring. Those looking for a spiritual journey should consider following suit. October 2009 .unearthingasia. April 14. pilgrims and devotees.January 2010 www. Rishikesh. During the Carnival.com . 2010 Kushimoto Fire Festival At the beginning of the year. You’ll see oranges.net 28 www. attracts hundreds of yogi masters from all over the globe. the yoga capital of the world. Over 70 million believers will seek enlightenment through a ritual of bath at the Ganges. 2010 Ardh Kumbh Mela Held just once every three years. Witness the festival’s appointed ruler starting the party with a Mardi Gras-inspired procession through the streets of Goa’s capital. 2010 Goa Carnival The famed hippie paradise begins the year with a food-fight carnival event in the lead-up to Lent. 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. flour and even kitchen utensils thrown about in good fun. sadhus. February 28 to March 10. or you can simply stand aside and enjoy the spectacle or take part in the various riverside processions that are ongoing throughout the event. resorts across the island offer special activities and hot spring packages for visitors to enjoy a restorative soak paired with healthy cuisine.DATEBOOK FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED International Yoga Festival For 10 days at the beginning of Spring.
waiparawine.25 January 2010 Tokyo Sumo Tournament Japan’s national sport is one that is rich with history. political intrigues. for the biggest food and wine festival in the Waipara Valley Wine region.Waipara Valley Wine and Food Festival Head down to Christchurch. and the extraordinary skills of artists and craftsmen of the day. The artefacts highlight changing Egyptian funerary customs. Their use of a variety of materials reveal geographical surroundings of workshops and artistic fashions of the period. Don’t miss out on the host of activities in the newly redesigned Town Centre. 23 January . the Greytown Arts’ Festival will comprise visual. 06 March 2010 www.4 April 2010 the islands of south east asia 29 . superb music and excellent wines from all over 16 countries. New Zealand. this highly anticipated exhibition is set to grace the National Museum of Singapore from December through to April. with the very first held in Tokyo at the beginning of the year. Enjoy a day of fiesta with an array of gourmet treats.co. culture and even religious background rituals which are still followed today.nz Greytown Arts Festival Held on Wellingon Anniversary weekend. performing and literary arts. and check out the visual art on display while you are there. Don’t miss out on their six tournaments throughout the year. 22 December 2009 . January 2010 The World of Ancient Egypt Featuring over 230 Egyptian objects and major works from 4500 BCE to 1st century BCE.
The Big Durian
Jakarta Like its fruit namesake, the Big Durian of Indonesia is often a shock to first-time travelers. It’s a heaving mass of some 10 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl that is one of Asia’s most exciting and liveliest cities. There is plenty to do here, from shopping at the many luxurious shopping centers to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia. Here’s a full day itinerary in Jakarta, followed by tips from locals who call it home.
The newly renovated Hotel Indonesia
Wake up to a metropolitan view of the city in the newly remodeled Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. With interiors inspired by contemporary Indonesian art and style and located in Jakarta’s city center, the iconic hotel is the ideal place for business, shopping and extravagance.
TeSaTe’s delicious local servings
Start your sightseeing by visiting the Salihara Community Complex in South Jakarta, an expansive 3000 square meters of land that plays host to a theater, a gallery and an office building plus guest house. The gallery is an empty space with circular walls, without angles nor borders, providing a wider perspective to the various contemporary arts on display. www.unearthingasia.com
For lunch, head to the Senayan area to enjoy authentic Indonesian food at TeSaTe, a new concept restaurant that not only promotes the richness of local culinary, but highlights the unique Indonesian culture and celebration. Try out authentic local favorites served in luxurious gourmet settings such as the humble satay, nasi goreng (fried rice) or sop buntut (oxtail soup).
Gado-gado, Indonesian Salad
Senayan City, right across from Plaza Senayan
With your stomach and taste-bud fulfilled, head to the Senayan area for some upscale shopping at Plaza Senayan, where luxury brands such as BVLGARI and Louis Vuitton reside alongside local favorites like Sebastian’s and Biyan. Right opposite, the newer Senayan City is also worth exploring, offering 8 floors of shopping, food and entertainment.
After a day of activities, head to the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Book yourself a much deserved hour of Javanese massage, with techniques of skin rolling, long kneading strokes and acupressure to strengthen the body for the night ahead.
Kemang is also host to an array of cafes, bars and pubs serving all kinds of drinks to suit all tastes. For a relaxing, ambient mood, head to Casa Cafe for drinks and desserts. Located right above the trendy Aksara Bookstore, the cafe is a breath of fresh air offering beers, wines by the glass and delectable cocktails. Coffee lovers would prefer Tornado Coffee or Merdeka Coffee, where the lure of strong caffeine draws you in.
The night starts with a feast at Kemang, Jakarta’s glamorous kampong neighborhood that is popular with locals and expats alike. Try out the delectable Javanese specialties at Payon, where traditional touches like the clay floor tiles and swatches of batik give it a unique appearance compared to Kemang’s usually minimalist urban interior. Or you can opt to dine with a view at Shy, sited atop the 4th level at The Papillion. The restaurant’s Dutch chef presents daily seven and four course menus, in addition to their host of expert European fusion cuisine.
Finally, finish your day partying it up at Blowfish Kitchen & Bar at Wisma Mulia, one of the most happening nightspot in town. Coupled with nearby Puro, an Italian lounge and resto, Blowfish is a luxury high-end dining during the afternoon that turns into an all-out clubbing scene at night.
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A Middle Eastern ambiance at Anatolia, Kemang
Like many other citizens of Jakarta, Scotty and Tika complained bitterly about the bad traffic, especially on the weekends. As such, they rarely ventured too far away from home in South Jakarta, but do enjoy the occasional excursions to one of the local golf courses – Jagorawi, Rainbow Hills and Gunung Geulis are a few of their favorite courses. For food, their go-to places are Peppenero (formerly known as the Tratoria) for some excellent Italian food and the Tamat Thai (in Kemang) for some spicy, value for money Thai food. Also in Kemang, Anatolia is a place they reserve for special occasions – “they serve expensive, but authentic Turkish food – delicious and a great atmosphere!” Over on the other side, towards the North, Yansen also opts to avoid the traffic and heads closer to home for food and relaxation. He recommended Segarra, off the coast of Ancol, for a “relaxing, beach-side ambience,” and Glasshouse in Muara Karang for that favorite past time of boys – catching the big match. He also shared about Dermaga, a boisterous sea-side cafe where you can enjoy a hot and spicy offering – Bakmi Sakaw – “we Indonesians love spicy food!” he noted enthusiastically. For those who enjoys live music, the Fountain Cafe at Hotel Grand Hyatt comes heavily recommended by Sandy, who enthused “I love their live band, its also very conveniently located and very comfortable, a great place to chill-out and de-stress.”
Jagorawi Golf Club
Hotel Grand Hyatt
com 34 www. www. www. It’s a trend that aptly paints our digital culture – we are no longer able to travel without all the luxuries of technology. iGo Charger The iGo universal chargers can power thousands of devices with its patented tip technology. in the car.com Novatel MiFi Not all countries you travel to will have a strong. Charge your devices wherever you want .apple.at home. performance and design. stable wireless network to keep you connected. www. here are the top six essential gadgets you will need to gear up and stay connected. With a 1. the ultimate in portability. usually associated with tech-savvy adventurers who prefer to travel independently.com . road trips and plane flights. you’ll be amazed at how so much power can be packed into such a thin design.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor powering it up.novatelwireless.INSIGHTS GADGETS Flashpacking Essentials The simple definition of flashpacking can be defined as backpacking with flash.igo.99. Enter the MacBook Air.com MacBook Air Every flashpacker needs a good portable laptop to lug around between countries. From US$1499. or style. US$49.unearthingasia. or even on the plane. For the budding flashpackers. The Novatel MiFi creates your very own network of broadband connectivity wherever you are.6 GHz or 1.
From US$229. www. which packs a powerful machine able to record up to 720p resolution with a full 4GB internal memory into a sleeker. From US$399. www.Canon PowerShot SX10 IS The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS gives you a lot of a camera and a very useful 20x optical zoom in a body that’s still reasonably compact. Powered up by the billion or so applications available for download.com Apple iPhone 3GS The ultimate must-have gadget for traveling flashpackers. www. flair and overall usefulness into a single package like nothing else.com the islands of south east asia 35 . It is much better than your average point and shoot. the Apple iPhone 3GS combines more functionality. a currency converter and so much more! From US$199.canon.com Flip MinoHD The FlipMinoHD is an evolution of the original Flip Mino camcorder. It’s not only a phone. yet much lighter than a bulky Digital SLR. it allows complete customization and flexibility.apple.theflip. a GPS map. but also a compass. smaller model. fun.
Singapore is the preferred pitstop to replenish and rejuvenate. saggy jowls. the process of correcting skinrelated facial imperfections can take place as easily as digitally enhancing a picture on the computer screen. Renowned Dr K K Chew’s NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness at Paragon is the place to go for a quick aesthetic fix. RF treatment and liquid facelift. AccuLiftTM by AccuSculptTM makes use of a revolutionary powerful 1. call them at (65) 6732 9989 or through email at doctor@nuuclinic. “AccuLiftTM works especially effectively to visibly eliminate facial problems.” Dr Chew is one of the few aesthetic doctors who has been awarded the rights to administer this procedure in Asia.444nmwavelength laser to correct imperfections on the skin quickly and safely.INSIGHTS HEALTH Singapore Stopover For those looking for a quick break in between their long-distance flights. NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic is located at 290 Orchard Road #09-18/19. eyebags.444nm laser.com . The clinic offers a relaxing ambience that is sure to leave you refreshed and raring to go! Laser Face Lift With today’s technology. 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. To book an appointment.” explains Dr Chew. with virtually no complications. with the latest in face and body treatments that focuses on total rejuvenation. and requires a shorter operation time. which makes it perfect as an over-the-weekend treatment. this new wavelength dissipates less heat. With its effective and safe results. It is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only local anaesthesia.” explains Dr Chew.064nm and 1. and deep wrinkles along the laugh lines. it also tightens skin and minimises the need for filler injections. The good thing about this treatment is that it delivers excellent results. “Laser facelifts aren’t entirely new. Compared to the 1. Paragon Medical Suites.320nm ones that we used in the past. AccuLiftTM is a good alternative to procedures such as Thermage. for instance. Capable of removing excess fat deposits that have migrated downwards due to gravity. “but what’s different with AccuLiftTM is the use of the 1. double chins.
Singapore. Plaza Premium Lounges feature cushy seatings.com . they have now opened more than 30 locations in 11 international airports – Hong Kong. Hyderabad. If only you can get work done.Lounging in Transit Business travelers are often stuck in the airport in-between transits a lot more often than others. 38 www. Situated in both Arrival and Departure Levels of the international airports. you can do all that and much more. Muscat. the Plaza Premium Lounge aims to provide the greatest convenience to all kinds of travelers. beverages. or an office away from home. Kuala Lumpur. business services and attentive staff ups the ante in services and hospitality.unearthingasia. Guangzhou. or better yet – work out a much needed sweat and get the adrenaline pumping. light snacks or a wholesome buffet spread. New Delhi. or truly rest and relax. Wi-Fi. television. a welcome haven between flights. Headquartered in Hong Kong. Vancouver and Toronto. giving travelers a sanctuary beyond the airport crowds. music. The Plaza Premium Lounge is the world’s first commercial VIP lounge open to airport users from all walks of life. At the Plaza Premium Lounge. Beijing. Shanghai. Add into that the occassional delays and holdups that stretches your waiting time – time that can be substantial.
the islands of south east asia 39 . For RM88 per person. Malaysia The Plaza Premium Lounge runs 3 lounges in Malaysia. Johor). Lounge use is available @ S$30 + 7% GST per adult. a variety of food and beverages. you can enjoy the facilities for the whole of 2 hours. free flow of snacks and salad bar. with a Zen inspired decor adjacent to an outdoor sunflower garden. which includes high-speed internet workstations. Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Sultan Ismail International Airport (Senai. it features shower with amenities. They are situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. napping beds and foot reflexology. non-alcoholic beverages. Even as an economy passenger you can enjoy the luxury of a business class passenger.INSIGHTS BUSINESS Singapore Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport centers around a modern lifestyle and relaxation concept. business centre and a wide selection of movies and international publications. massages. Open 24 hours daily to all travelers. to mention a few. golf putting. shower amenities. internet & email access & free local telephone calls. free flow of beer. VIP meet and greet. This rate includes shower with amenities. fitness lifestyle lounge and offer services such as oxygen therapy.
INSIGHTS RECIPE Greek Connection 40 .
Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. 4. * Terms & conditions apply .8 sheets deep. but if you do so. 5. You may want cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. butter. Bake this for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. and serve in cupcake papers for immediate refreshement! 8. 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. Add into that two sheets of dough. nuts.This traditional Greek favorite may look complex and sophisticated. Jakarta and Bali! See next page for more details. remember to leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up. Unroll phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Repeat this until you have 8 sheets of dough all layered up. Add vanilla and honey. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Make sauce while baklava is baking. 7. Let cool. 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. but don’t let that fool you! Follow this easy-todo instructions for a refreshing taste of Greece right on your kitchen floors. 6. 2. You also want to cover the phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Sprinkle 2 . Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and butter the bottoms and sides of a pan. layering them on top of each other as you go. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. 3. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and butter them up thoroughly.* On top of that. The topmost layer should be about 6 . Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Set the toppings aside. This recipe freezes well.
Each hotel vouchers have their own respective terms and conditions. The address can be found behind the next page. Jakarta. along with your personal information and mail it in. and or postal issues. misinformation.* Please complete the form and send it in with your cheque. money order or credit card details. Beijing 2 weekend stays at the Fairmont Beijing Hotel right at the heart of downtown. more than 15 vouchers at 19 Swiss-Belhotel outlets all around Indonesia AYANA Resort and Spa Bali The Fairmont Beijing Hotel * Terms & Conditions apply – Unearthing Asia retains the rights to refuse free subscription based on unfinished survey questionnaires. and are offering all residents of Singapore. Subscriptions made outside Singapore. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta a one year (four issues) subscription entirely free of charge!* * All you need to do is complete the reader’s survey on the following two pages. Plus: Stand to Win Free Hotel Stays! AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. located at the charming district of Kotatua. 42 www. Free subscriptions are for the first 5000 surveys filled and received before 31st January 2010.Free One Year Subscription! Unearthing Asia is a brand new publication designed to share with you the very best of this lovely region we call home. worth up to US$950 The Fairmont Beijing Hotel. Jakarta 4 weekend stays at the Batavia Hotel. worth up to US$2000 The Batavia Hotel.com . worth up to US$2000 Swiss-Belhotel Indonesia And finally. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta are subjected to an annual subscription fee. The winner of the free hotel stays will be contacted by 28th February 2010. There are countless of attractions from all over simply waiting to be discovered – unearth these gems together with us! We want to reach out to as many people as possible with this publication. Bali 2 night stay at the Jimbaran Bay View room at the luxurious AYANA Resort and Spa Bali.unearthingasia.
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tranquil. and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Pha Ngan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism. Bali retains its hidden charms .46 Eco Paradise Uncover the eco paradise and scuba-diving Holy Grail of Raja Ampat 58 Beach Life Discover Phuket’s island paradise – quiet.
Mallika Naguran uncovers the blossoming jewel of Raja Ampat and its eco conservation efforts. Isolated and untouched.The setting sun at Raja Ampat’s Kri Eco Resort sets the tone for an afternoon of relaxation. lies the Holy Grail of scuba diving. . the raw natural beauty will strike you like no other destinations could. With photos by Scotty Graham. Deep in the hearts of Papua.
Indonesia. For Max Ammer. They just appeared – we have monitor lizards.” the islands of south east asia 47 . Max extends his hand out to the gecko to crawl on. I didn’t have to specially rear these wild things. “You know when I built this place 15 years ago. approaching us cautiously on the wooden table.THE GUIDE Being eco can mean a number of things to different people. the first thing that springs to mind for most is the preservation of nature. A gecko emerges from behind the ketchup bottles. a pioneer dive operator in Raja Ampat and owner of Kri Eco Resort and Sorido Bay Resort at Papua. but I don’t fancy my body becoming part of their habitat.” he tells over dinner. “Eco to me means working with the local people to build a better future. people are at the heart of any ecology-related business. I wonder if I should remove my hand that’s resting in its path – I do love animals. ducks and birds just roaming around.
you don’t have to go far to enjoy abundant marine life. . Right below the pier itself are thousands of fishes swimming freely.THE GUIDE At the Kri Eco Resort.
I sat a respectable distance away from them. Hideous looking as they are. The guest rooms at Kri Eco Resort are also perched above the waters. we were startled to see a pair of coconut crabs huddled around a bamboo pylon at the lounge ceiling. the coconut leaf and nut wall finishing and décor. aided by local talent and muscle. sulphur crested cockatoos and hornbills. In the morning. In fact. so a daily sight would be numerous fish species flitting around the pylons. apparently they lie on coconut trees and love cracking the solid nuts with their rock-hard pincers. seeking shelter from sea currents or storms. we are awakened by hysterical cackles from endemic birds such as eclectis parrots. But Max is committed to Raja Ampat’s people in more ways that one. whom Max employs. 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. resulting in the construction of a not so perfect wooden platform that scuba divers walk on to get to the dive equipment center at the end of the jetty and to hop on to the dive boats. the guests gaze at the juvenile bamboo sharks wading in the shallows just below the dining lounge on stilts.” says Max. they are also harmless and rather immobile. brush turkeys.THE GUIDE Green Resort Every night. including the jetty that Max’s father helped to build. 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. the islands of south east asia 49 . Even the bricks are made by hand by the senior folks. At breakfast. Baby barracudas pursue parrotfish of amazing varieties. with the job title of “All Rounders”. the dive crew are all Papuans. and its not always for business. a number of them barely made it through school. No need for alarm clocks here. Little of the coral reefs at Cape Kri (house reef) was destroyed with the building of Kri Eco Resort. “I want local people to make the money. One such talent couldn’t measure straight. following dinner. tagged along by turtles. the bamboo chalets. Everything about Kri Eco Resort is handmade: the Sunset Lounge and its lazy deck chairs.
. These are the stuff of legends.An amazing array of marine bio-diversity awaits you. but sadly. one that will not last forever.
THE GUIDE .
a renowned marine scientist recorded 283 and 281 fish species. . A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200.In two single dives.
However. ventured into this path. When I visited Kri Eco Resort in March 2009. Logging and mining on the islands impacted the waters with pollution. And the pilot keeping vigil behind the wheels is no other than Max Ammer himself. I found out that the zonation and management plans were still under development. Max knew he had to do something to stop the destruction and pollution. This involves a light aircraft surveillance to keep an eye on illegal activities on water and land. 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. Plans for a marine park were drawn. In two single dives. priority was given to the “Posyandu” system. renowned marine scientist and author. The big fish started to dwindle.THE GUIDE A consultant with Conservation International (CI). or better. In 2007 and 2008. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. covering marine areas and land-based activities such as logging and mining. or risk losing its intrinsic beauty and biodiversity. an important regulatory mechanism had already kicked in: the Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee of Rp500. conservation and enforcement. and the pristine state of corals. the Raja Ampat Marine Park was formally declared. and after three years. Dr Allen was impressed with the numerous species of freshwater fishes found here. the islands of south east asia 53 . it happened. in 2001. It was a stroke of luck when Dr Gerald Allen. he had improved the water wells in Raja Ampat with chlorination and safety measures and created 13 new wells for the people. which is a healthcare provision for mothers and children. Raja Ampat needed protection. conservation. he recorded the highest count of fish species: 283 species at at Cape Kri and 281 at South Fam group. Part of the fee goes to community development.000 that involves the issue of an annual waterproof plastic entrance tag. Something that’s also close to Max’ heart: in the early days. by mid-2007. Conservation at Raja Ampat now is taking on new heights with an aerial monitoring programme sponsored by CI and other NGOs. Dr Allen canvassed for Papua to be considered in the organisation’s conservation programme.
who was just 14 then. provided with food and shelter. Papuans will learn how to grow clams and sell them in a sustainable fashion. This amiable and energetic Papuan dive master is a manager at Papua Diving with over 11.THE GUIDE Don’t expect to see a Western dive guide or master at Papua Diving. Raja Ampat. Nickson who is 34 years old. This augments what he has already established with the locals – bird watching tours in particular the Red Bird of Paradise. Dive guides at Papua Diving are given proper employment contracts. and will soon learn to leave the giant clams in dive sites alone. is just one example of how a Papuan is groomed to become an asset in Raja Ampat tourism industry. Nikson is not just a top dive guide sought after in Raja Ampat. “I will teach Nikson how to fly even. was instantly converted. he is also an environment advocate. concerned with pollution and illegal fishing. Nikson couldn’t understand this white man’s actions. “They are good people and I want them to learn a new trade and to earn some income. Sustainable Clam Trade Max intends to implement various new ideas. They are also paid fair wages.” grins Nikson. one which he hopes to start designing soon . who is eager to begin the aerial surveillance. hoping to get them out of the poverty cycle.” he said. Other plans afoot are homestays and kayaking adventures around the exotic mushroom islands. you may just enjoy his other service. selling turtles that he had just caught with his fisherman father. Max believes in investing in local education and training local Papuans. who then see the value of this tourism activity and stop them from catching these birds and selling them overseas as exotic pets.” laughed Max. Max bought those turtles from him and promptly the islands of south east asia 55 . A trip to Max Ammer’s resorts is worth every dime. “and my eyes opened wide looking at the underwater life. Proceeds go entirely to the villagers.000 dives logged. “He just put a tank on me and took me down. and Max. a live aboard dive boat. 47. If you plan a trip in 2010. Today. but soon learnt the beauty and fragility of marine life. a road he has taken that is often long and bumpy. who added. released them. One such plan is to introduce a clam farm. because there isn’t one. People Welfare and Development Nikson Soor born in Batanta.” Nikson. and given weekly day off plus regular vacation. Nikson tells me that he first met Max when he was a wee boy. It is the start of a long and deep friendship between the two.and by himself of course.
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. . A true joy to behold.
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and unwittingly discovered its rowdy side as well .Vannara Putra uncovers Phuket’s island paradise – quiet and tranquil.
From Phuket. with catcalls and whistles firing out from all around the place. Amongst Phuket’s various beaches. rows upon rows of stalls take up shelter by the road side. Various diving and snorkeling spots are scattered throughout numerous small islands around the area.THE GUIDE To our right. but in Phuket. vending fake Rolexes and cheap tee-shirts for the shopaholic travelers. Further down the road the alleyway widens and a carnival of sort entices tourists with welcoming arms. these are all secondary. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in that aptly named 2000 movie. and parasailing. windsurfing. snorkeling. Bars. To our left. It’s not even past dinner time yet. and enjoying challenging water sports such as jet skiing. there are also various adventure trips heading inland for jungle trekking. the beach beckons – pristine white sand upon long tresses of crystal clear water. lazing. easily accessible by boat. I came here to experience a slice of the famed island paradise – the Phi Phi Islands. It’s a picture perfect postcard view of a 3-kilometer long white sandy beach perfect for swimming. the party never really stops. even after the devastating 2004 tsunami. there is a fashion catwalk with various ladies (or not) costumed up with long colorful feathers and glittering fake diamonds adorning their dresses. For me however. The perfect afternoon sun combined with fresh coconuts and Thailand’s scrumptious delicacies makes it a tantalizing option as we ponder our next plan. most vibrant. pubs and massage parlors lined up both sides of the road. In the middle of the road. the islands of south east asia 59 . mountain climbing or white-water rafting. and most visited one. Patong Beach is the most developed. The Beach.
it is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations.Phuket Island. Understandably. stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea. of the southern coast of Thailand. . offers spectacular scenery.
The Phi Phi Islands comprises six islands surrounded by the Andaman sea. the largest of the six. the crew noticeably turned down the machine. It was there on the serene Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh that the movie was shot. 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. Crystal clear water gives view to the coral beds which are home to a wide range of sea life. From the pristine Maya Bay. with full-payment given only when we were picked up from the hotel. with caves and passages dotting the tall cliffs. the islands of south east asia 61 . I suppose we shouldn’t have worried – close to 98% of Phuket’s population depends upon tourism to make a living. made for a spectacular scenery.THE GUIDE The Island Paradise The journey to Phi Phi Islands was suspiciously easy to arrange. The island’s shallow blue-green lagoons and coral gardens. Our boat anchored a little distance away from the beach. Phi Phi Don. and while my boat entry towards the beach was much less anti-climatic compared to DiCaprio’s jump over a ten-meter waterfall. is the only island with permanent inhabitants. The journey there was over an hour long. Suddenly. we negotiated for a small down-payment for our tour arrangement. paving a pathway of transparent sea to a small tranquil beach. and my eyes searched around trying to find an entrance. Being the untrusting travelers that we were. but very well worth the trip. As our boat neared the bay. not wanting to disturb the fragile ecosystem below the sea. but Phi Phi Leh’s beach is very popular with the tourists as well. Tall breathtaking cliffs forms a circular wall around the area. We snorkeled a little more before finally making our way towards one of Phi Phi Don’s numerous resorts for a hearty meal. and we were free to swim and snorkel around the boat. the green jungle opened up. Numerous stalls on Phuket’s crowded street offered day-tours to tourists. we then made our way slowly passing the soaring limestone walls surrounding Phi Phi Leh. it was still every bit as astonishing. and as such they are always eager to make a good impression.
There are indeed shops selling higher-quality fakes and the likes. Hundreds of stalls offer tourists fake branded goods Nightlife at the Beach Later on at night. but those are far and few between. Indeed. what you would find here is a good mix of tourists and locals who are out to have a good time. be it vendors selling various cheap imitations. Every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. A coalescence of noisy pandemonium boomed in my ears as I made my way through the street. 62 www. a small one will suffice. If one were to choose a word to describe Patong beach’s street side revelries. or a relaxing lounge to chill and rest. to find unique handcrafted items and some amazing paintings. they came out dressed in long glittering gowns with over-the top cabaret shows make-up. my Puma boots were a wreck only after a few sessions of soccer. Instead. If you are looking for a romantic place to dine and wine. Beware that tips would be expected of these miscellaneous services. Those out to shop would be well advised to know that these are simply cheap thrills. and you should always start by offering half of the original starting price. Stunning views from the top of Phuket. which features various acrobatic acts performed by the ladies and lady-boys. parading and enticing various tourists who are eager to take photos and chat with them. then this isn’t the right place for you. it made for an extreme contradiction.unearthingasia. On Wednesday nights.com . drink and be merry. and numerous tailors touting cheap custommade suits. we made our way through the jungle of shops cramping the coastal side of Patong beach. There were also the noisy advertising of various muay-thai boxing matches calling out to impressionable travelers. Haggling is a must. Thailand’s famed lady-boys come out to play. Be warned as well that these lady-boys are every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be.THE GUIDE This spread. tuk-tuk drivers offering rides. They are also keen to promote their one-of-a-kind Thai Girl show. clockwise from right Island hopping is a popular activity. Compared to the tranquil beach of Phi Phi Islands. You are still able however. and a friend’s Rolex didn’t last though the end of the month. The jetty. that word would invariably be “rowdy”.
the islands of south east asia 63 .
Char Magalong unearthed a magical attraction priming for international limelight and renown .THE GUIDE At the center of Palawan.
and few are able to resist its charm. I flashed a smile at a group of tourists passing by. its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many. a sure sign of the various beach activities they must have participated in – swimming at the beach. indeed in all of Southeast Asia. can compare with the beauty of Palawan. As I made my way into the hotel. Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park boasts a thriving wildlife and a full sea to forest ecosystem.Few places in the Philippines. I made a mental note to check out the beach. 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. snorkeling. but first I had a whole new city to explore. or diving to the depths of Palawan’s magnificent seas. with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan.
unearthingasia. another gasp of awe 66 www.Clockwise from top The subterranean river goes out into the sea.com . Mesmerizing aerial view of the island paradise. A thriving wildlife. Another point of aerial view.
from the seafarers who dock there to the nature lovers and environmentalists who are amazed by the protected area. Legend has it that Puerto Princesa was named after a maiden who used to roam the island on certain evenings of the year. When she died. this was reduced to Puerto Princesa. Totaling an area of approximately 260. Others would say that she receives her name from being a haven for everyone.000 inhabitants. it is the second largest city in the country with approximately 120. and has often been dubbed the capital of ecotourism. that it was named after a Spanish Princess in 1864. History tells us however. the islands of south east asia 67 . we’ll find Puerto Princesa right in the middle. the province itself bound by the South China Sea in the west and the Sulu Sea in the east. Princes Eulalia of Spain.If we look at the map of the Philippines and the Palawan Island. the place was named Puerto de la Princesa and as time progressed.000 hectares. It is a city that prides on its cleanliness and natural beauty.
Aside from the Underground River. Very recently. peaceful lagoon that supports a thriving wildlife. the road condition was especially bad and we got stuck twice on our way there. At the top of my list of must-see attractions however. was Palawan’s most esteemed wonders – the Underground River. The Iwahig is a unique wall-less prison colony where convicts act as they would living in a village. Climbing Ugong Rock allows one to view the spectacular karst formations and surrounding natural beauty. squirrels and other friendly animals find their ecosystem near the cave. Finally it was our turn! As our tour guide warned us about safety precautions and what not to do inside. Other areas to explore include the Lions Cave. the Crocodile Farm. Finally. As it had rained the night before. There are also city tours that brings you to various attractions such as the Iwahig penal colony. As such. gently making its way through the scintillating river. The rock formations inside were truly one of a kind.THE GUIDE Island hopping is a popular activity here. the area boasts a number of cave systems worth exploring. The cave was extremely dark. the underground river has been nominated to be a part of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature.com . Right at the mouth of the cave lies a clear. 68 www.unearthingasia. We picnicked and ate our lunch as we waited for our turn to get into the Underground River. the boat turtled onwards. Located 50km north of the capital. 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. it boasts a 8. 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. landing in the top 77 nominees. Monkeys. do fishing or carve handicraft products for souvenirs. we reached the opening of the Underground River. a breathtaking experience comparable to none. Butterfly Garden and Mitra’s Ranch.2-kilometer long river that goes through a mesmerizing cave before it makes its exit right into the South China Sea. Daylight Hole and the Kawili Cave. and it will take sometime for you to get used to. They cultivate rice and other crops. Nothing too serious. A regular tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.The site contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. we were led in slowly. You will be awed by the exquisite beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in rainbow colors – a truly wondrous view. but a fun experience never the less.5 kilometers into the cave. going up to 1. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also offers other activities such as mountain and rock climbing. The journey up north was a good three hours drive. monitor lizards. Other than exploring the cave. bird watching and the likes. partially through paved roads but also on dirt and muddy roads.
very near the sea level. 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. clockwise The clouds form a magical shadow over the National Park. Venturing into the dark cave.unearthingasia.Previous spread. At the entrance of the subterranean river.com .
THE GUIDE Natalie Revie journeyed into Thailand’s jungle paradise to find it beautifully evolving into a different entity 72 .
a relief to budget travelers and luxury high-fliers all around . the island seemed determined to balance between its development and natural charms. But fortunately.The island paradise of Koh Phangan is slowly but surely attracting its worthy share of developers and luxury travelers.
as the small number of developers and big hotels moving in are not only developing with an eye to natural aesthetics. little-known sister of the two. set against unspoiled jungle backdrops and glittering ocean. hippies and backpackers alike. failing to show up on all but the most backpack savvy trails. Koh Phangan is a party-goers paradise of legendary proportions. the islands of south east asia 75 . its relatively slow development will hopefully mean it has learned its lesson from neighboring Koh Samui’s mistakes. 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. Having escaped the brutal development of its sister island Koh Samui. Recently however. But change is coming to this jungle paradise isle. Added to that. Koh Phangan has truly established itself as the destination of choice for party-animals. it has evolved into 5-star boutique resort destination. With its infamous full moon party every month for the last two decades. an astonishing transformation that is not unlike a blossoming of a young flower into a beautiful. At the moment it certainly seems that way.THE GUIDE Lying in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand. With its broad white sandy beaches. Koh Phangan remained until recently the quiet. and flying entirely under the radar of commercial hotels and package-holiday tourism. And the little-known hippy paradise of Koh Phangan may be able to provide exactly that. elegant lady. Koh Phangan exudes a special magical privacy to invigorate even the most jaded international jet-setter. but with a common commitment to green ethos and protecting the island’s gorgeous flora and fauna.
Now Thong Nai Pan has been recognized as the truly 5-star destination on Koh Phangan and this year new luxury resort. who have managed to create an elegant. but no less beautiful. Thong Nai Pan. Thong Nai Pan has been called ‘the jewel of Koh Phangan’ and for years was the best kept secret in the region. resorts and restaurants. but beautiful residences.The coast of Tong Nai Pan Noi Attracting the most attention in the 5-star resort stakes is the stunning Thong Nai Pan. the community is set to increase in both size and diversity. right next to the traditional $5-a-night backpacker huts of old Koh Phangan. luxury 300-threadcount towels lie on sun-loungers next to hippies on their way to the next low-key destination of choice for backpackers. As it comes of age the jewel in its crown. complementing the exquisite natural surroundings.com .unearthingasia. At the moment. That these two polar opposites – backpackers and jet-setters – co-exist so seamlessly on one beach is perhaps testament to the special magic of Thong Nai Pan. 76 www. as inaccessible as it was by bumpy pickup over an unpaved jungle track. and unusually it seems to be entirely harmonious. Rasananda. In addition to these high-end tourists. on the northeast corner of the lush island. from Alaskan kayakbuilders to Israeli cheese-makers. And credit must be given where it’s due to Rasananda management. it finds not just the drunken revelers of yore. it is being altered with sensitivity. beautiful resort that still gives a nod to the rustic Thai charm which entrances visitors to Thailand every year. With more residences being built privately and by small local developers. Now when the full moon shines on Koh Phangan. At night the jungle reverberates to the sounds of the traditional Thong Nai Pan parties and bongo drums. So the wild hippy paradise of yesteryear is changing. so as not to disturb the guests in their $300 dollar-a-night rooms. taste and discretion. but quietly. The result is very different from days-goneby – more refined definitely. and created in harmony with the environment. Who knows how long that arrangement is set to last? But currently. the beach has naturally attracted an interesting community of expats. opened its doors for business. sets a leading example not just for Koh Phangan but for development in Thailand as a whole. But uncommonly for Thailand. Thong Nai Pan’s off-the-beaten track location has proved a huge draw to these intrepid folk: the result is an eclectic mix of interests and nationalities represented on the beach.
The crystal blue water is perfect for water sports and activities the islands of south east asia 77 .
THE GUIDE Amidst the influx of overflowing tourists. Fog and mist creeping into the forest as the setting sun envelops the horizon. Ubud. . Bali. Bali retains its hidden charms and unexplored attractions. Barrie Lie-Birchall enthuses.
this became apparent when the island of Bali became a stopover on the renowned ‘hippy trail’ in the 1960’s. The Balinese feared a repeat upon tourism that occurred previously in 2002. and yet. unaffected.Scenic surf and steep cliffs on the coastline Bali. The ancient temple of Taman Ayun the islands of south east asia 79 . Bali’s eventual step into the limelight was predominately due to anthropologist Margaret Mead who researched and documented. unlike other islands in the archipelago of Indonesia. It didn’t happen. From then on the steady flow of tourists increased over the coming decades. in-depth. the main tourist district of Kuta was devastated by three massive bombs killing 202 people. but soon became a novelty destination for celebrities such as Noel Coward. In October 2002. The impact upon the Bali tourism industry was immediate. it soon became a target for anti-western extremist Islamic groups. 2005 with a series of terrorist suicide bomb attacks in Jimbaran and Kuta. The cyclonic invasion of this tiny island began with a trickle in the 1930’s with the likes of artists Walter Spies. Rudolf Bonnet and Le Mayeur. Bali was soon to be crushed again on October 1. the Balinese. is drenched in mass tourism. As a paradise destination for westerners. the Balinese still retain their cultural and religious ways of life. amongst others. As the tourist influx grew and Bali was flooded with carefree tourists from around the world.
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.
STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair Unrestraint and picturesque settings conjure a perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra. Jakarta. Crossed-weaved heels – Dum Dum at Alun Alun Indonesia. Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Modern batik printed dress – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. with make up and styling by the Dresscode Team. Heart buckled ethnic belt – Tari Maya at Alun Alun Indonesia. Ringlets Bracelet – Origo at Alun Alun Indonesia .
STYLE GUIDE .
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.This Page Tie-dyed summer dress – Lilou at Alun Alun Indonesia. Colorful Ringlets Statement Necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Batik printed corset (worn as an obi) – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Tube summer dress – BIASA. Hand-painted decorative umbrella – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia 87 . Rattan ethnic bangles (set of 3) – Diori at Alun Alun Indonesia. Gold Ethnic flats – Giffa at Alun Alun Indonesia.
Photographed by Bona Soetirto. .STYLE GUIDE Sarong style skirt (worn as a tube dress) – BIASA. Striped vest – BIASA. Crossed-weaved beach hat – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Styled by the DRESSCODE Team. Fish scales sandals – VNC Modeled by Audrey. Multicolor statement necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia.
Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. And not only that. featuring exciting adventures. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home.Issue 01 www.000 SGD 7. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. HK AND MORE! Culture. For this inaugural issue. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.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 .unearthingasia.com IDR 50. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions.Culture.50 RM 14. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.
. and comes up with a tasty guide for the foodie at heart.TALES GOURMET Nabeetha Naseer samples the vivacious array of culinary delights from the region of Middle East.
They can be eaten on its own.TALES GOURMET Arabian cuisine usually consists of a dozen or more small dishes. or mixed with one another 92 . but more commonly used as dip for pita bread.
borek. an eggplant dip. Since Muslims do not consume pork. sumac. bread. vegetables. northern Turkey.Right. the most commonly used meat are chicken. completing a vibrant map of culinary delights throughout the region. is the usage of aromatic spices. Honey. from top Pita bread a serving of dips. While a meal may exclude meat. but be warned – it can be quite spicy! Main Courses Depending on which country you are in. stuffed grape leaves. Each country adds their own distinct touches to the mix. A common bond between them however. felafels. 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. kebabs are generally grilled or broiled meats over skewer or sticks. It has become a part of everyday multicultural cuisines around the globe. mint and chickpeas – these are a few of the common ingredients you’ll find throughout the region. Iskender kebab is a famed specialty from Bursa. khoresh. parsley. shape and color. Mezze (or appetizers) When you are in Lebanon. it is almost never without the region’s staple food. It may even contain a number of rice dishes that is mixed with meats. sesame seeds. deep-fried chickpea balls. For the uninitiated. lamb stew in a sweet-sour sauce. make sure to try out a course of mezze and you’ll realize right away why the tables are all super large. Grilled chicken with vegetables Middle Eastern cuisines come in a wide variety of taste. feta-stuffed phyllo pastries and dolmas. The baba ghanouj is especially tasty. . beef and lamb. fruits and nuts. the main course could vary between kebabs of grilled chicken or lamb. in which thinly cut grilled lamb is basted with tomato sauce over pide bread and generously slathered with melted butter and yogurt.
Among the common ones are Tabboulleh (tart parsley). It can give your throat an itchy. as it is forbidden in the Islamic tradition to do so. If you’re uncomfortable with this.unearthingasia. But if you are to try eating with your hands.Vegetables. But for those who fancy desserts on their own. avoid doing so with your left hand. unless if you are in Iran where tea are commonly served. Desserts and Snacks You are normally served a small cup of sweet. most bakeries tend to sell sweet pastries and the likes to curb your sweet tooth cravings. pita. uneasy feeling. They are comparable to the likes of baklava. coffee. but with lower calories and fat. Desserts are served occasionally. One thing I learned is to leave the sludge at the bottom. Other desserts include baklava and perhaps almond crusted cookies as well. Meals in the Middle East are often eaten using your hands. following the Islamic tradition that is prevalent in the region. flat breads and the traditional Jewish Challah. thick. salads and breads This is the usual companion of meals. sautéed tomato and eggplant with yogurt. do not hesitate to ask for a fork and spoon. 94 www. spinach. Protein and fiber are in abundance due to the inclusion of nuts.com . Brides Fingers (Asabia el Aroos) are slender crisps of filo filled with sweetened nuts that are popular with the locals.
TALES ART Heeding the After years of traveling around the region of Asia. Call Light shining into Khao Luang Caves. He shared tales of his amazing journey with Nikolas Tjhin. photographer Craig Ferguson finally settled down in Taiwan. Thailand. . Phetburi (Phetchaburi).
wedding and personal portrait type photography. having fallen in love with Asia over his various treks throughout the region. he has always shown an interest in photography.The yearly pilgrimage for Mazu. landing in Bangkok and simply “winging it” as he goes along.Selina Ferguson. the awardwinning photographer calls the islands of south east asia 97 . it’s no wonder how so many people have fallen head over heels with this beautiful region. The Goddess of the Sea. Photo credit . After that. “I remember always wanting to take pictures with my dad’s ‘slide camera’. and is starting to shift his focus away from travel photography into music. having grown up mostly in a beach-side suburb of Sydney. and worked it out as I went along.” He then learned the ropes on his own on a Manual SLR while at school in the 1980s and progressed from there. First Love Craig hailed from Australia. The call of Asia is a strong one. he traveled through Asia for a year. Always with a camera. Somehow. “I had nothing booked. With its numerous cultural traditions and some of the most fascinating sights on earth. and then into a cheap guesthouse. Craig Ferguson is one such victim. Even from a very young age. in Taiwan Taiwan home. I basically made it up as I went along!” shared the enthusiastic traveler. Bright red lanterns. He initially studied science and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. Now. Right off graduation. I found my way onto a local bus to Banglamphu.
.Japanese gate. Taiwan. Hualien.
meeting up with other travelers along the way. Tibet.Angkor Wat. So in 2001. Burma and then onto Nepal. 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 never found it. He spent a good five months in the Himalayans region. Following a short stint in corporate IT. Starting out in southern Thailand. One of the everlasting experiences of this particular travel was the winter pilgrimage season in Bodhgaya. a World Heritage site and a major tourist destination TALES ART That impromptu travel lasted a whole 12 months and more. hospitality and NGOs. then to Lombok. so it was an interesting experience to be completely cut off from the news for five days at that particular time. and onwards to Nepal for a slower pace of life. before heading back home to Australia. “All this happened a couple of days after the 9/11 attack in the US. He headed south towards the Thai islands for a while. Craig searched around for a fulfilling opportunity. Koh Pha Ngan and then Bangkok. he didn’t find anything that fits him and gave him satisfaction. the islands of south east asia 99 . I’d saved enough money that I was able to travel backpacker style for the year without needing to work. back to Bali.” and then to Bali. Cambodia. transiting in Singapore. then onwards to Jakarta through Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta. and on to Lhasa. local governance. the call of Asia grew too strong. he headed back up towards Surat Thani.” he shared. Having exhausted the south eastern part of Asia. “I mostly did it alone. lakes and surfing made up most of it. but not before a final couple weeks of relaxation on Koh Tao.” he shared. which intrigued Craig so much that he made plans to return the following year as well. “After some halfhearted attempts to fit into the standard career-track in Australia. his so called second round of travel sees him journey to Langkawi. on a path that sees him on a very unusual backpackers trail across Asia. trekking in the Annapurnas and exploring the old parts of Kathmandu. he booked a ticket back to Bangkok and went on the road again. then down into Malaysia before crossing over into Sumatra – “orangutans. From there he went to Kathmandu.
On that second trip to Bodhgaya. where he spent a few trips photographing the various Angkor-era ruins in both Cambodia and Thailand which have proved to be photographic highlights.” Craig shares. his intention was to stay for one to two years. Craig is busy building a multifaceted photography business. and had the pleasure to shoot for Oasis when they toured earlier this year. He stopped in Thailand and Vietnam. I spent a substantial part of the time living in one of the smaller cities. chasing clients. being a travel photographer is rewarding work but hard. He is starting to teach photography. a tip he constantly shares with his students and friends alike. Shoot what you enjoy. and you’ll find success starts to come your way. “I got into travel photography as a result of my love of photography and my love of travel. some stood out more than others. although it’s been quite a few years since I was last there. Once again. and they invited me inside their temple.” he opined. To Craig.com . Amongst his list of highlights. his sound advice is to “try to shoot the images and subjects that give you the most satisfaction. Settling Down Following that. Let your own nautral style and creativity show through. and we have no plans to leave. “I wouldn’t swap it for the world though!”. but he ended up falling in love with the lifestyle here and stayed longer. 100 www. with his focus drifting a little further away from travel photography since being here.TALES ART Taiwanese opera performer from the Xin Ing Feng Opera Group. which was an amazing experience. Craig was privileged enough to be able to witness the ceremony between the two different Buddhist traditions. To budding travel photographers. and also shake hands with and speak to the Dalai Lama. before ending up in Taiwan where a friend was already based.unearthingasia. And then shoot it again.” he narrated. which included interviewing Noel Gallagher for 30 minutes before the show. weddings and music as well. Craig headed back east to replenish his funds. He has now spent seven years in Taiwan – “it was a pretty easy transition to make to life here. looking for new leads and meeting deadlines. “It was through them that I got to meet the Dalai Lama – he came to visit them.” he enthused. Naturally. He now shoot a lot of portraiture. his meeting with the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya is one of them. persistence is key to his success. “As well as all the usual frustrations of travelers everywhere. Now.” On top of that.” “It’s hard to choose a favorite place because I’ve been to so many great places.” he noted. and then continue traveling. Along the way. he finds himself spending time with some Thai monks who were staying there. but there’s the added pressure of marketing. The rest just followed. with group workshops and a couple of one-on-one students. Craig also had a soft spot for Thailand. Initially. I met and married my wife. “the whole India and Nepal area is one I love.
Oasis. a Taiwanese theater performance . performing in Taiwan “A Moving Sound”.
com .com/magazine Travel well indietravelpodcast.Love travelling? The Indie Travel Podcast is an independent travel site with regular audio and video podcasts along with articles by travellers from all over the world. Search for Indie Travel in iTunes Check out the new magazine at 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 .
Plus there are plenty of chances to take a break and continue the fun on dry land. fascinating geothermal areas and the famous Huka Falls. At 425 km in length. kayaking. Situated in the volcanic heart of the North Island. There is no shortage of activities for vacationers regardless of age or fitness. cruising. Lake Taupo is Australasia’s largest lake. such as bungy jumping and zorbing. the Waikato River has always been a great provider—from fish and freshwater lobster to drinking water.A cliff stone carving © Darryl Torckler The Waikato River is the longest waterway in New Zealand © Rob Suisted The Kiwis are known for inventing some of the world’s craziest. the islands of south east asia 105 . irrigation and hydroelectric power. To the local Kiwis. this area is renowned for trout fishing and kayaking. There are also many tour operators in the region who offer day trips or overnight camping excursions. The youngest country on earth has some of the most incredible water adventures that guests can experience. The Waikato River is the only river flowing out of the lake. swimming. most extreme adventures. the Lake Taupo region is home to New Zealand’s largest fresh water lake. Water activities take place in the lakes all year round—which include waterskiing. Perhaps inspired by New Zealand’s pure natural surroundings—from vast open spaces filled with stunning rugged landscapes to gorgeous beaches. it is New Zealand’s largest natural waterway. and temperate climate—the Kiwi’s spirit of adventure is what has attracted visitors from across the globe to join in the fun. jet skiing. The lake’s attractive pumice sand beaches give it the appearance of an inland ocean. fishing. With 47 rivers and streams flowing into the lake. it is as big as Singapore. parasailing. awe-inspiring geothermal and volcanic wonders. Spanning 619 sq km. and sailing. canoeing. It was created by a gigantic volcanic eruption in 181AD.
hukafallsjet. one needs experience and professional help because of the lake’s location above sea level.unearthingasia. 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. Should you wish to scuba dive in a volcanic area. 106 www. Because of the warm waters. 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.com . To the amateur diver this requires skill in reading your depth gauge. You should seek advice and assistance from a qualified professional scuba diving school or tour operator in the area. 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.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. White Island off the coast of Whakatane is a unique experience as New Zealand’s only active marine volcano. aquatic life is abundant.
leading you over ancient lava flows. along scoria slopes and through craters. This 17-kilometre volcanic trail rises to 1600 metres above sea level. There’s nothing else like it in the world © Destination Lake Taupo .You’ll never regret walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. up mountain summits.
It’s the white water seekers challenge of fun. It’s the exciting. 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.orakeikorako. Visit www. speedboats or jet skis. Check www. Arriving in Taupo by road as a visitor. Winter (9°C from June to August) and Spring (12°C from Sept to November). hot springs.newzealand. Cook your catch in thermal sand at Hot Water beach. There is a full range of fishing equipment on board so guests can try fishing for trophy-sized rainbow trout. A chartered cruise is one of the best ways to experience golden sunsets. where you can also enjoy a soak in a natural hot spring. Cross the Waikato River by boat.com .nz).nz before your trip. The lake’s reflective waters mirror mountains. sail boats. Autumn (10°C from March to May). past limestone and volcanic cliffs and then race down 50m ‘roller coaster’ rapids at exhilarating speeds. and then explore a world of gushing geysers. bush and sky.clearwater. Now’s your chance to race the rapids! At Orakei Korako. Take the Clearwater Cruises (www. The weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in. The majestic backdrop of a dormant volcano. 108 www. one of nature’s true gifts. From parasailing to wakeboarding. New Zealand has four seasons: Summer (14°C from Dec to February). naturally heated thermal waters and unspoiled flora and fauna provide a beautiful playground. It’s such a beautiful holiday scene with people enjoying and relaxing on the lakeshores despite the season.The chilly waters at the mouth of the Waitahanui Stream are easier to stand when there’s the distraction of an amazing sunset © Gareth Eyres Lake Taupo’s panoramic 360° views are amazing.co. tranquil waters and pumice beaches. boiling mud pools and some of the largest silica terraces in the world. wild adventure that any brave adventurer needs to do.co.com for more adventures off and on the ground. Make sure you have your camera with you. The Tongariro River is known as the perfect river for your first white water rafting experience.metservice. go back in time in this unique geothermal wonderland. through gorges. the Hidden Valley (www.unearthingasia. wet. Float past ancient beech forests. it’s just so wonderful to see this beautiful lake full of swimmers. 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. water skiers. and Clearwater staff can organise a range of on-water and land-based activities. Sailing on a yacht. Lake Taupo is the ideal place to try your nerve and your water skills.nz) through stunning Lake Tarawera on the 38-foot luxury launch Clearwater Pride.co.
wild colours provide visual excitement. Here you can see the Emerald Lakes.The volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing never fail to surprise. explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area © Destination Lake Taupo . Within this world of earth tones that were spewed from subterranean magma vaults.
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dear Capricorn. Go for it! You’ll meet up with other people who are in similar states of transformation and journey. Shed away your habitual influences and your customary comforts.May 20) A little of bad news is coming your way Taurus. and give toast to the coming year. Jakarta? It’s a place where you can do anything you want to. 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. a doomed beauty that will sooner or later die away – much like everything else on earth actually. but they are important in shaping you up for the brighter future ahead. Aries.Feb 18) Party harder and smarter than usual Aquarius. a hauntingly beautiful city doomed to lose itself to the drowning sea. 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. Aquarius (Jan 20 . a personality with an interesting back story. to boldly welcome the coming new year as soon as possible. Celebrate the coming festivities with a bang. and enjoy a week of acting and play-making in the isolated heights of Tibet. like the southern islands of the coast of Thailand. is to let loose and tap into this creative energy. For you Sagittarius. I suspect this will be a place flooded with sea water. Taurus (Apr 20 . a place in between worlds. May I suggest a trip to the Big Durian of South East Asia. Aries (Mar 21 . 118 www. Renew your energy and figure out what comes next. and then get back into it right away after your well-deserved break.Mar 20) You’re not fully informed – quite yet.unearthingasia. and together you’ll form quite a merry crew.com . Capricorn (Dec 22 . you’ll do well to reflect back and determine a new direction for your personal life. The time is nigh to drown yourself in alcoholic beverages of all kind. or so they say. You’ll find all of your most creative inner whims fulfilled with a simple snap of your finger.Apr 19) According to my analysis of the astrological omens. Your homework.TRAVEL HOROSCOPE Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Flee as far as possible from your usual haunts. Relax and go with the flow. Suddenly. The isolated heights of Tibet awaits you Sagittarius Pisces (Feb 19 . the time is right for a simple break of isolation and new experiences. But being in this place feels liberating. Invent a new character. I would book a ticket to the Christmas Islands if I were you. After playing out your fantasy.Jan 19) The time is right to head back into your natural habitat. you feel able to do and say all kinds of things that didn’t seem permissible before. Venice is one such destination. The passing year may seem full of negative experiences. the nonchalant Aries is largely unaware of the creative energy that has been welling up inside you. I’m thinking a place of leisure and relaxation. Don’t worry too much about whether things are going your way. In fact.
and you would do well to follow your heart’s content – lest you live to regret this missed opportunity for a unique experience. They can wait. Bali is a popular place for honeymooners. romantically or in some other way. Get set and let the adrenaline roar! Virgo (Aug 23 . you’re grateful for all of your experiences. Libra (Sep 23 . from the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism to the passionate compassion of the Buddha. All this mental liberation leads you to want to try a few daring physical acts too.July 22) For the foreseeable future. Make an effort to range far and wide during your explorations. . with the sweet smell of romance in the air. The city of Queenstown in New Zealand offers much in the way of adventure. When you think about everything you’ve done and seen. Better start now. I bid you make your peace with God. whatever that may be. A spiritual journey is on the cards – may I suggest the region of India? It’s an area reeking with religious mysticism. as I always say.Sep 22) The most challenging parts of your travels have also brought you the greatest lessons.Nov 21) Before you commence your life-long dream Scorpio. but that maybe too early for you.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. it would take a good few years to try them all out.June 20) You’re totally ready to take things to the next level. It was said there are so many ramen stalls in Tokyo that even if you were to eat ramen thrice a day.Oct 22) Spare no expense. dubbing itself the Adventure Capital of the World. you’ve got it all here. Scorpio (Oct 23 . with the sun-filled days off the coast of Palawan? Cancer (June 21 . your friends and family will still be there for you come 2010. Don’t put restraints on your enjoyment or give yourself a subconscious guilt trip for what you’re seeing and doing. Take it! After all.Gemini (May 21 . Life is only worth living your own way. fret not. There will be an offer to travel and celebrate the festivities together. Maybe start of slow. away from your usual crowd of friends and family. the cosmos grant you the license to thrive on the unexpected blessings that come from giving yourself to the random intelligence of a stranger. Leo (July 23 . I envision an eventful getaway in the near future.
The food was amazing. I’ve only been there once. a paradise haven close to my hometown.BON VOYAGE The winner of 2008’s Cleo Award for the Best Young Designer. I love to travel. 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. amazing culture. which is a very hectic. at least once every two years. and what attracts me the most is the culture. fast-paced city that never fails to amaze. I don’t really enjoy much of the luxurious fine-dining scene in Bali. It’s a great place to go for a creative inspiration. I always have a good impression for new places. Bali is another favorite. 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. as I prefer authentic local food. the food and the people. and in fact its really like my second home. the sooner the better! 120 . Stella Rissa is fast becoming a rising star in the Asian fashion industry. 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. like at Warung Made. I often go to New York to visit my sister. That happens often here. I’m planning for another visit there actually. and my favorite places in Bali are KuDeTa for its amazing ambiance. it’s crazy! It’s like one world in the same place together. but I totally fell in love with the place. and the new Rock Bar which simply boasts a spectacular looking venue. another destination that I absolutely loved was Japan. but you do have to be careful of overloading your senses. interesting destination that is more than just a shopping destination. from the street-side stalls serving ramen noodles (a personal favorite) to the luxe sushi restaurants serving one-of-a-kind delicacies. Beautiful people. because its one of the most stylish trend-setting fashion cities in the world. I love to go to new places. artistic inspirations and jaw-dropping nature. Fresh off the plane from her London trip. Finally. and it’s all in Rupiah – much cheaper than spending in Dollars and Yens! I go there at least once every two months.