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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
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.com IDR 50.50 RM 14. tranquil. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . Bali retains its hidden charms 46 4 64 www.unearthingasia. 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.Issue 01 www.CONTENTS Culture.com 78 .unearthingasia.000 SGD 7.
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.unearthingasia. Jakarta www.CONTENTS 96 84 15-26 BUZZWORTHY! Singapore’s Party flavor. and more 28 DATEBOOK Festivals and events not to be missed 30 SPOTLIGHT Jakarta 24 hour in the Big Durian of South East Asia. the Nikki Beach Club in Thailand. 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. with local tips and suggestions 34-41 INSIGHTS Top flashpacking gadgets. a quick Singapore rejuvenation. Bali’s hip happenings.com . Hong Kong’s new dig.
or a US$150 meal of deep fried chicken tender. The moral of the story here. but budget conscious and looking for good advice. I’m sure the suggested hotel boasts plentiful amenities. and enjoy every single step of the journey as much as the destination in itself. always thinking. we spend too much time contemplating. or even twenty years from now. Now. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this inaugural offering from us. from friends and strangers alike. you’ll end up disappointed for not taking up the chance while you’ve still got the opportunity to do so. young and affluent. They are independent travelers daring to brave off-the-beaten paths. Nikolas Tjhin Editor-in-Chief 8 . They are suggesting US$1000 a night luxury hotels. But more often than not. with a layer of cheese slipped in. and the chicken tender heavenly upon my lips. Considering. than by the ones you did do – Mark Twain Much too often. web-savvy. I ended skipping these suggestions for other more cost-effective options. in line with those wise words from a wise man above. you may regret it after all. all too often I ended up frustrated as I browse the various magazines on offer. we spend our lives weighing one thing against another. I can’t help but smile and raise a little toast to our team. Is this better? Is it too expensive? Too risky? But all too often. and heading into new territories blind with excitement. As I look forward to this project finally unfolding. but more often than not. True. However. It is this hole in the travel publication that we aim to service. It is with that in mind I’d like to introduce Unearthing Asia to you. My simple wish is that five. is to open up and surrender yourself to possibilities. They look for tips and hints from various offline and online medium. Our readers are the Generation Y. and be glad at our decision to embark upon this amazing journey together.EDITOR’S NOTES Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. we’ll look back with fondness. ten. The travel publication market is one that is crowded and very competitive. that we ended up missing the window of opportunity that has just been presented.
please contact Nikolas Tjhin PT Tanindo Multi Media VBox 886 Singapore (62) 812 7809 8888 (62) 21 3221 9988 nik@unearthingasia. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. SH All rights in this publication and the name are owned and licensed to PT Tanindo Multi Media. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.com The Fairmont Beijing Hotel Fill out our survey to enjoy a Free 1 Year Subscription* and stand a chance to win free hotel stays!* We are offering free one year subscriptions to residents of Singapore. * Terms & conditions apply For advertising and marketing enquiries.* On top of that. X. please contact Dawn Khoo Media Link Pte Ltd 1 Sophia Road #07-22 Singapore 228149 (65) 6336 1725.net.sg . All rights reserved. For editorial and media enquiries. All opinions are of the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by PT Tanindo Multi Media. transparencies. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. (65) 6336 6116 medialink@pacific. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of PT Tanindo Multimedia. Arsin. or other materials.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. and we accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts.
a not-for-profit online publication (www.CONTRIBUTORS 04 05 06 01 01 Mallika Naguran Mallika Naguran founded and manages Gaia Discovery. Indonesia for the past 15 years. and works as a Retoucher for Reelsessions. such as Gramedia.unearthingasia. Going beyond conservation. and has a never-ending learning curve. restaurateur and jungle momma. 12 www. She also advises businesses to go green by operating in harmony with nature and adopting cost-effective eco inventions. Recently. the everyday – this is what makes for truly beautiful writing. She lives on Koh Pha Ngan Island in southern Thailand where she indulges in her passion for food.com). 04 Scoty Graham Scotty Graham is a freelance photographer that has been living and working in Jakarta. 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. Not only that. he is also a photography lecturer at Pelita Harapan University.blogspot. daily. Dresscode Dresscode is the first fashion magazine in Indonesia with the unique concept of “non-article” magazine. She believes in letting spirituality emerge through the common. Mallika is now focusing on restoring degraded environments and improving the livelihoods of the poor. Underwater photography keeps his interest in diving alive as it is always a challenge. TGA and Kinokuniya outlets. But. Central Asia and the Pacific. 06 Bona Soetirto Bona Soetirto is an experienced Freelance Commercial Photographer and Digital Imager for various media in Jakarta. Visit his photo blog at http://www.gaiadiscovery.com . how to wear them.scottygraham. and has logged over 4000 dives through out the world. California based agency. culture. to promote eco travel and living in Asia. 05 Debbie Reyes-Coloma Singapore-based Debbie Reyes-Coloma is a freelance feature and lifestyle writer for various publications in the region. and writing. and where to find it! Grab your copy now in various locations in Indonesia. 02 02 Natalie Revvie Natalie Revie is a freelance writer. especially in major bookstores in Jakarta.com. 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. travel. 03 03 Barrie Lie-Birchall Barrie is a freelance writer who started his nomadic steps at an early age travelling though Europe. He has been diving for over 25 years. especially fashion photography. a Los Angeles. he started Continuum. his own center to teach Digital Imaging. They are fully dedicated to give you inspirations on what to wear.
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 .Culture. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.000 SGD 7. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . For this inaugural issue. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions.unearthingasia. featuring exciting adventures. And not only that. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. HK AND MORE! Culture.Issue 01 www. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home.com IDR 50. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region.50 RM 14.
5 meters). Local experts suggest the underwater visibility of the Bosphorus Strait is at an estimated 10-feet (approximately 3. exhibition halls.WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE REGION BUZZWORTHY! HOTEL UNDERWATER LUXURY To coincide with its Culture Capital of Europe nomination. so visitors can expect an amazing experience like nothing on earth! NT. It is being built on the ruins of a historical 1930s tobacco factory and will house restaurants. This 7-star hotel will give its guests a new view of the famous city of Istanbul. and rooms all with underwater view. the islands of south east asia 15 . from right below its city center. Turkey is set to unveil a 7-floor underwater hotel in 2010.
Many were here to witness first hand what the fervor of F1 was all about.BUZZWORTHY! EVENT F1 EXTRAVAGANZA Once again. travel and party enthusiasts.unearthingasia. 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. 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. For three days. despite the global economic crisis. ML. with international acts like the Black-Eye Peas to Backstreet Boys to Beyonce all wowing the crowds at various venues around the circuit. this was Party town. 16 www. and they were definitely not dissappointed by the show on offer.com . This year.
One Bed Room Pool Villa Komaneka at Bisma © Komaneka BUZZWORTHY! VILLA HILLSIDE VIEW Another sister hotel of Komaneka (www.com) is open at Jalan Bisma-Ubud. with amazing views of the river. spavilla. function rooms and Wanasmara wedding Chapel. each with its 12 meter long private pool and terrace. this luxurious resort is designed as a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle destination.2 mile jogging track under canopy of trees. circular wading pool. Ayu Asti. guests are invited to savor the tranquility and breathtaking beauty of Ubud. Nestled upon the hillsides by the Campuhan River valley. The resort’s on-site facilities include an Indonesian fine dining restaurant.komaneka. sloping rice fields and the coconut groves in the surrounding. With 34 spacious suites and 10 elegant villas. 1. gym. Main pool Komaneka at Bisma © Agus Pande the islands of south east asia 17 . half Olympic sized swimming pool. bar.
The area is full of delicious authentic Thai food. Malaysia. as well as the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. hailing from Romania. the second edition of The Miele Guide will be bigger and better. BOUTIQUE ROYAL PALACE The Bhuthorn is the result of four years of renovation that sees the heritage-listed building transformed into an elegant three guestroom boutique hotel with intricate attention to details. The guide will feature 400 restaurants across Asia. KA. Associate Publisher of the little red book. In addition to ranking the region’s top restaurants.BUZZWORTHY! GUIDE MIELE TIME Following its inaugural 2008/2009 issue. and broaden the perspective by evaluating two more countries. says Pauline Ooi. The talented chef has gained much experience while working in Germany. there are numerous attractions worth visiting just a walking distance away – the Khao San Road are minutes away. 18 . Situated in the privileged location of Bangkok’s historic district. and will ensure additional varieties in Padma Resort’s Food and Beverage Outlets and Programmes. the 2009/2010 issue will feature a host of additional information. The acclaimed 5-star art sanctuary welcomes its new Executive Sous Chef. 80 more than the previous edition. CHEF NEW TALENT There’s a new face in town at the Padma Resort Bali. NT. Dubai. Raul Deschu. from the top five restaurants in each country to an overview of each featured country’s dining scene. Austria and Thailand. a perfect spot in the heart of the preserved old town Bangkok. Mongolia and Nepal. ML.
EVENT TWINS EFFECT
A special collaborative art exhibition opened to great fanfare in the Gaya Gallery, which ran through 6th to 30th October. The exhibit was the production of Ida Bagus Indra, one of Bali’s great artists, with John O’Sullivan, hotelier, wordsmith and artist in his own right. The exhibition has definitely raised the artistic bar with the fresh approach to collaborative mixed-medium works produced by these two fine personalities. KA.
SPA FACELIFT REJUVENATION
A new facial treatment that addresses the issues of aging and rejuvenation are now available at the Mandarin Spa in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The 45 minute session incorporates a consultation with acupuncture therapy specifically targeting wrinkles while providing numerous other benefits. The theory behind facial acupuncture is based on the ancient concept that the body’s energy diminishes with age. During the treatment, tiny, hair-fine acupuncture needles intended to stimulate the flow of qi throughout pathways in the body are inserted at specific points on the face. This boosts circulation, increases collagen and plumps fine facial wrinkles. NT.
EVENT JEWEL FEST
This year’s visitors to the annual Singapore JewelFest were treated to a stunning custom-built Jewel Pavilion, which provided the perfect setting for the two opening shows to kick-start the week-long festivities. The two-part showcase, themed “Love of Romance” and “Love in All its Glory”, showcased jeweleries worth over S$120 million created by 25 jewelers especially for the event. NT.
RESORT LUSH LUXURY
The eagerly awaited Amantaka Resort is ready to grace the lush green fields of Luang Prabang. This luxe resort from Adrian Zecha and his team is set to take it up a notch with refined decor, lofty spaces, verandas, pools and tantalizing spa treatments, on top of the pristine environments and beautiful temples in the vicinity. The resort also has a yoga studio, tennis courts, a library and an art gallery. ML.
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com . has chosen the idyllic island of Koh Samui in Thailand to launch their latest opening. a spectacular new Nikki Beach Club. located on the west side of Thailand’s most exotic and exclusive island. Discover quintessential luxury at Nikki Beach’s remote Beach Club Bungalow Resort. Expertly designed for ultimate relaxation complimented by a sophisticated ambiance. 22 www.BUZZWORTHY! RESORT BEACH PARTY Nikki Beach.unearthingasia. Nikki Beach Koh Samui brings the vibrant nightlife of Miami to the shores of Lipa Noi Beach. Tania Berg. one of the world’s most recognizable luxury lifestyle and entertainment brands.
as well as Lloyd Jones. music and song. Julia Leigh the islands of south east asia 23 . Woon Tai Ho. humour and. and many others. the 2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival took place in Ubud. Bali. A host of literary stars made their appearance in the festival. Amir Muhammad Wena Poon The festival was a 4-day event of panel sessions. the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for literature. film. Fatima Bhutto. readings and in-conversations with the world’s greatest exponents of their craft. with the theme of SukaDuka: Compassion & Solidarity. The theme reflected the Festival’s commitment to turn this literary gathering into an inspiring moment. the outspoken poet. Seno Gumira Ajidarma.BUZZWORTHY! Marco Calvani & Kicky Alexander Janet De Neefe Wole Soyinka. play readings. Nobel Prize Winner in Literature EVENT UBUD FESTIVAL From 7 to 11 October. The festival also featured a program packed full of performances. journalist and novelist from Pakistan. of course. Asitha Ameresekere. through which writers and readers from every corner of the world can establish a mutual understanding and come together. Wena Poon. Mohammed Hanif. KA. Dede Oetomo. food. debates. such as – Wole Soyinka. Tom Cho.
BUZZWORTHY! Jajang C Noer Didi Petet and Jajang C Noer EVENT BALINALE ROCKS A 6-day film festival showcasing 25 films from 13 countries by both international and Indonesian film-makers with the sole purpose of promoting Bali to filmmakers and artists were held recently in Bali. 24 www. Aptly called the Balinale. in which visitors were treated to original performances by Ahtron McCanne and Richie Perrot. NT. The luxurious Rock Bar at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali played host to the closing awards party.com . as well as a truly spectacular Bali sunset in the backdrop.unearthingasia. the festival also offered free workshops for aspiring young filmmakers.
BUZZWORTHY! BOUTIQUE SLEEK DESIGN A swanky new hotel just hit the town with a modern and chic feel.com .com/hp8d) in Hong Kong boasts a unique lobby designed by HK-based Patrick Leung of PAL Design. emphasizing sleek design and creative innovation.harbour-plaza. 26 www. The electric hotel features 702 charming guestrooms and suites right in the heart of old town Hong Kong. NT. The Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees (www. giving visitors a unique blend of old and new. featuring optical illusions and an environment that feels like you’re inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa.unearthingasia.
January 2010 www. 2010 Kushimoto Fire Festival At the beginning of the year. or you can simply stand aside and enjoy the spectacle or take part in the various riverside processions that are ongoing throughout the event. 2010 Ardh Kumbh Mela Held just once every three years.taiwanhotspring. attracts hundreds of yogi masters from all over the globe. this mass Hindu pilgrimage towards the holy city of Haridwar is the world’s largest gathering of yogis. You’ll see oranges. Those looking for a spiritual journey should consider following suit. sadhus.unearthingasia. February 13 to 16. the residents of Kushimoto perform a ritual burning of the grassy land in front of the Shino Misaki Watchtower. October 2009 . flour and even kitchen utensils thrown about in good fun. 2010 Goa Carnival The famed hippie paradise begins the year with a food-fight carnival event in the lead-up to Lent. resorts across the island offer special activities and hot spring packages for visitors to enjoy a restorative soak paired with healthy cuisine. Witness the festival’s appointed ruler starting the party with a Mardi Gras-inspired procession through the streets of Goa’s capital. April 14.com . Over 70 million believers will seek enlightenment through a ritual of bath at the Ganges. the yoga capital of the world. They congregate on the banks of the Ganges to explore anything and everything about transcendental meditation. February 28 to March 10. Are you brave enough to join in walking through the fire? January 2010 Taiwan Hot Springs and Fine Cuisine Carnival Taiwan’s hot springs culture dates back over a century. Rishikesh.net 28 www. During the Carnival. pilgrims and devotees.DATEBOOK FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED International Yoga Festival For 10 days at the beginning of Spring.
22 December 2009 . Enjoy a day of fiesta with an array of gourmet treats. culture and even religious background rituals which are still followed today.nz Greytown Arts Festival Held on Wellingon Anniversary weekend. 23 January . 06 March 2010 www.co. Don’t miss out on their six tournaments throughout the year.Waipara Valley Wine and Food Festival Head down to Christchurch. January 2010 The World of Ancient Egypt Featuring over 230 Egyptian objects and major works from 4500 BCE to 1st century BCE. this highly anticipated exhibition is set to grace the National Museum of Singapore from December through to April. superb music and excellent wines from all over 16 countries. New Zealand. for the biggest food and wine festival in the Waipara Valley Wine region. and the extraordinary skills of artists and craftsmen of the day.25 January 2010 Tokyo Sumo Tournament Japan’s national sport is one that is rich with history. with the very first held in Tokyo at the beginning of the year. Their use of a variety of materials reveal geographical surroundings of workshops and artistic fashions of the period. political intrigues. Don’t miss out on the host of activities in the newly redesigned Town Centre.waiparawine. and check out the visual art on display while you are there. The artefacts highlight changing Egyptian funerary customs. the Greytown Arts’ Festival will comprise visual. performing and literary arts.4 April 2010 the islands of south east asia 29 .
The Big Durian
Jakarta Like its fruit namesake, the Big Durian of Indonesia is often a shock to first-time travelers. It’s a heaving mass of some 10 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl that is one of Asia’s most exciting and liveliest cities. There is plenty to do here, from shopping at the many luxurious shopping centers to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia. Here’s a full day itinerary in Jakarta, followed by tips from locals who call it home.
The newly renovated Hotel Indonesia
Wake up to a metropolitan view of the city in the newly remodeled Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. With interiors inspired by contemporary Indonesian art and style and located in Jakarta’s city center, the iconic hotel is the ideal place for business, shopping and extravagance.
TeSaTe’s delicious local servings
Start your sightseeing by visiting the Salihara Community Complex in South Jakarta, an expansive 3000 square meters of land that plays host to a theater, a gallery and an office building plus guest house. The gallery is an empty space with circular walls, without angles nor borders, providing a wider perspective to the various contemporary arts on display. www.unearthingasia.com
For lunch, head to the Senayan area to enjoy authentic Indonesian food at TeSaTe, a new concept restaurant that not only promotes the richness of local culinary, but highlights the unique Indonesian culture and celebration. Try out authentic local favorites served in luxurious gourmet settings such as the humble satay, nasi goreng (fried rice) or sop buntut (oxtail soup).
Gado-gado, Indonesian Salad
Senayan City, right across from Plaza Senayan
With your stomach and taste-bud fulfilled, head to the Senayan area for some upscale shopping at Plaza Senayan, where luxury brands such as BVLGARI and Louis Vuitton reside alongside local favorites like Sebastian’s and Biyan. Right opposite, the newer Senayan City is also worth exploring, offering 8 floors of shopping, food and entertainment.
After a day of activities, head to the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Book yourself a much deserved hour of Javanese massage, with techniques of skin rolling, long kneading strokes and acupressure to strengthen the body for the night ahead.
Kemang is also host to an array of cafes, bars and pubs serving all kinds of drinks to suit all tastes. For a relaxing, ambient mood, head to Casa Cafe for drinks and desserts. Located right above the trendy Aksara Bookstore, the cafe is a breath of fresh air offering beers, wines by the glass and delectable cocktails. Coffee lovers would prefer Tornado Coffee or Merdeka Coffee, where the lure of strong caffeine draws you in.
The night starts with a feast at Kemang, Jakarta’s glamorous kampong neighborhood that is popular with locals and expats alike. Try out the delectable Javanese specialties at Payon, where traditional touches like the clay floor tiles and swatches of batik give it a unique appearance compared to Kemang’s usually minimalist urban interior. Or you can opt to dine with a view at Shy, sited atop the 4th level at The Papillion. The restaurant’s Dutch chef presents daily seven and four course menus, in addition to their host of expert European fusion cuisine.
Finally, finish your day partying it up at Blowfish Kitchen & Bar at Wisma Mulia, one of the most happening nightspot in town. Coupled with nearby Puro, an Italian lounge and resto, Blowfish is a luxury high-end dining during the afternoon that turns into an all-out clubbing scene at night.
the islands of south east asia
A Middle Eastern ambiance at Anatolia, Kemang
Like many other citizens of Jakarta, Scotty and Tika complained bitterly about the bad traffic, especially on the weekends. As such, they rarely ventured too far away from home in South Jakarta, but do enjoy the occasional excursions to one of the local golf courses – Jagorawi, Rainbow Hills and Gunung Geulis are a few of their favorite courses. For food, their go-to places are Peppenero (formerly known as the Tratoria) for some excellent Italian food and the Tamat Thai (in Kemang) for some spicy, value for money Thai food. Also in Kemang, Anatolia is a place they reserve for special occasions – “they serve expensive, but authentic Turkish food – delicious and a great atmosphere!” Over on the other side, towards the North, Yansen also opts to avoid the traffic and heads closer to home for food and relaxation. He recommended Segarra, off the coast of Ancol, for a “relaxing, beach-side ambience,” and Glasshouse in Muara Karang for that favorite past time of boys – catching the big match. He also shared about Dermaga, a boisterous sea-side cafe where you can enjoy a hot and spicy offering – Bakmi Sakaw – “we Indonesians love spicy food!” he noted enthusiastically. For those who enjoys live music, the Fountain Cafe at Hotel Grand Hyatt comes heavily recommended by Sandy, who enthused “I love their live band, its also very conveniently located and very comfortable, a great place to chill-out and de-stress.”
Jagorawi Golf Club
Hotel Grand Hyatt
you’ll be amazed at how so much power can be packed into such a thin design. From US$1499. For the budding flashpackers.INSIGHTS GADGETS Flashpacking Essentials The simple definition of flashpacking can be defined as backpacking with flash. or style.com 34 www. www. Enter the MacBook Air. or even on the plane. here are the top six essential gadgets you will need to gear up and stay connected.at home.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor powering it up. the ultimate in portability. www.unearthingasia. performance and design.igo. stable wireless network to keep you connected.apple. in the car. road trips and plane flights. www.99. iGo Charger The iGo universal chargers can power thousands of devices with its patented tip technology. The Novatel MiFi creates your very own network of broadband connectivity wherever you are.novatelwireless. It’s a trend that aptly paints our digital culture – we are no longer able to travel without all the luxuries of technology. US$49.com . usually associated with tech-savvy adventurers who prefer to travel independently. With a 1.com Novatel MiFi Not all countries you travel to will have a strong.com MacBook Air Every flashpacker needs a good portable laptop to lug around between countries.6 GHz or 1. Charge your devices wherever you want .
www. which packs a powerful machine able to record up to 720p resolution with a full 4GB internal memory into a sleeker. fun. It is much better than your average point and shoot.com Flip MinoHD The FlipMinoHD is an evolution of the original Flip Mino camcorder. yet much lighter than a bulky Digital SLR.com the islands of south east asia 35 . Powered up by the billion or so applications available for download.canon. From US$399.apple. but also a compass. www. a currency converter and so much more! From US$199. From US$229. smaller model.theflip. flair and overall usefulness into a single package like nothing else. it allows complete customization and flexibility. the Apple iPhone 3GS combines more functionality.com Apple iPhone 3GS The ultimate must-have gadget for traveling flashpackers. a GPS map.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. It’s not only a phone. www.
Compared to the 1. call them at (65) 6732 9989 or through email at doctor@nuuclinic. AccuLiftTM by AccuSculptTM makes use of a revolutionary powerful 1. with virtually no complications. RF treatment and liquid facelift.” explains Dr Chew.” explains Dr Chew.” Dr Chew is one of the few aesthetic doctors who has been awarded the rights to administer this procedure in Asia.444nm laser. and requires a shorter operation time. Capable of removing excess fat deposits that have migrated downwards due to gravity.320nm ones that we used in the past. Renowned Dr K K Chew’s NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness at Paragon is the place to go for a quick aesthetic fix. this new wavelength dissipates less heat. “but what’s different with AccuLiftTM is the use of the 1. which makes it perfect as an over-the-weekend treatment. It is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only local anaesthesia. The good thing about this treatment is that it delivers excellent results. With its effective and safe results. eyebags. NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic is located at 290 Orchard Road #09-18/19. with the latest in face and body treatments that focuses on total rejuvenation. Paragon Medical Suites.444nmwavelength laser to correct imperfections on the skin quickly and safely. it also tightens skin and minimises the need for filler injections. 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. for instance. The clinic offers a relaxing ambience that is sure to leave you refreshed and raring to go! Laser Face Lift With today’s technology.com . AccuLiftTM is a good alternative to procedures such as Thermage. the process of correcting skinrelated facial imperfections can take place as easily as digitally enhancing a picture on the computer screen. saggy jowls. double chins. Singapore is the preferred pitstop to replenish and rejuvenate. To book an appointment. “Laser facelifts aren’t entirely new. and deep wrinkles along the laugh lines.064nm and 1. “AccuLiftTM works especially effectively to visibly eliminate facial problems.INSIGHTS HEALTH Singapore Stopover For those looking for a quick break in between their long-distance flights.
At the Plaza Premium Lounge. The Plaza Premium Lounge is the world’s first commercial VIP lounge open to airport users from all walks of life. beverages. the Plaza Premium Lounge aims to provide the greatest convenience to all kinds of travelers. Singapore. or an office away from home. or truly rest and relax. a welcome haven between flights. giving travelers a sanctuary beyond the airport crowds. light snacks or a wholesome buffet spread. Hyderabad. Shanghai. If only you can get work done.com .unearthingasia. business services and attentive staff ups the ante in services and hospitality. Muscat. Kuala Lumpur. Wi-Fi. Situated in both Arrival and Departure Levels of the international airports. music. Add into that the occassional delays and holdups that stretches your waiting time – time that can be substantial. New Delhi. 38 www. Plaza Premium Lounges feature cushy seatings. television. or better yet – work out a much needed sweat and get the adrenaline pumping.Lounging in Transit Business travelers are often stuck in the airport in-between transits a lot more often than others. they have now opened more than 30 locations in 11 international airports – Hong Kong. Beijing. Guangzhou. Headquartered in Hong Kong. you can do all that and much more. Vancouver and Toronto.
shower amenities. which includes high-speed internet workstations.INSIGHTS BUSINESS Singapore Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport centers around a modern lifestyle and relaxation concept. Open 24 hours daily to all travelers. They are situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. For RM88 per person. Malaysia The Plaza Premium Lounge runs 3 lounges in Malaysia. with a Zen inspired decor adjacent to an outdoor sunflower garden. This rate includes shower with amenities. massages. Johor). you can enjoy the facilities for the whole of 2 hours. it features shower with amenities. Lounge use is available @ S$30 + 7% GST per adult. business centre and a wide selection of movies and international publications. the islands of south east asia 39 . golf putting. a variety of food and beverages. internet & email access & free local telephone calls. free flow of snacks and salad bar. Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Sultan Ismail International Airport (Senai. non-alcoholic beverages. Even as an economy passenger you can enjoy the luxury of a business class passenger. fitness lifestyle lounge and offer services such as oxygen therapy. free flow of beer. VIP meet and greet. napping beds and foot reflexology. to mention a few.
INSIGHTS RECIPE Greek Connection 40 .
Add vanilla and honey. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted.* On top of that. remember to leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up. 3. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. Jakarta and Bali! See next page for more details. 7. This recipe freezes well. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Set the toppings aside. Sprinkle 2 . 2. * Terms & conditions apply . 6. but don’t let that fool you! Follow this easy-todo instructions for a refreshing taste of Greece right on your kitchen floors.3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Let cool. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and butter them up thoroughly. 4. Unroll phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan. layering them on top of each other as you go. Repeat this until you have 8 sheets of dough all layered up. The Fairmont Beijing Hotel AYANA Resort and Spa Bali Fill out our survey to enjoy a Free 1 Year Subscription* and stand a chance to win free hotel stays!* We are offering free one year subscriptions to residents of Singapore. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan.This traditional Greek favorite may look complex and sophisticated. You also want to cover the phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. Add into that two sheets of dough. The topmost layer should be about 6 . but if you do so. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Bake this for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. You may want cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. and serve in cupcake papers for immediate refreshement! 8. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and butter the bottoms and sides of a pan. nuts. 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 1.8 sheets deep. butter. 5.
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46 Eco Paradise Uncover the eco paradise and scuba-diving Holy Grail of Raja Ampat 58 Beach Life Discover Phuket’s island paradise – quiet. and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Pha Ngan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism. Bali retains its hidden charms . tranquil.
lies the Holy Grail of scuba diving. Isolated and untouched. Mallika Naguran uncovers the blossoming jewel of Raja Ampat and its eco conservation efforts.The setting sun at Raja Ampat’s Kri Eco Resort sets the tone for an afternoon of relaxation. . Deep in the hearts of Papua. the raw natural beauty will strike you like no other destinations could. With photos by Scotty Graham.
approaching us cautiously on the wooden table. a pioneer dive operator in Raja Ampat and owner of Kri Eco Resort and Sorido Bay Resort at Papua.” the islands of south east asia 47 . people are at the heart of any ecology-related business. I didn’t have to specially rear these wild things. ducks and birds just roaming around. but I don’t fancy my body becoming part of their habitat. the first thing that springs to mind for most is the preservation of nature. “You know when I built this place 15 years ago. A gecko emerges from behind the ketchup bottles. I wonder if I should remove my hand that’s resting in its path – I do love animals.” he tells over dinner. Max extends his hand out to the gecko to crawl on. Indonesia. For Max Ammer.THE GUIDE Being eco can mean a number of things to different people. They just appeared – we have monitor lizards. “Eco to me means working with the local people to build a better future.
Right below the pier itself are thousands of fishes swimming freely.THE GUIDE At the Kri Eco Resort. . you don’t have to go far to enjoy abundant marine life.
I sat a respectable distance away from them. No need for alarm clocks here. so a daily sight would be numerous fish species flitting around the pylons. 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. seeking shelter from sea currents or storms. Hideous looking as they are. apparently they lie on coconut trees and love cracking the solid nuts with their rock-hard pincers. following dinner.” says Max. But Max is committed to Raja Ampat’s people in more ways that one. aided by local talent and muscle. The guest rooms at Kri Eco Resort are also perched above the waters. 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. including the jetty that Max’s father helped to build. Baby barracudas pursue parrotfish of amazing varieties. Even the bricks are made by hand by the senior folks. In fact. the bamboo chalets. “I want local people to make the money. sulphur crested cockatoos and hornbills. At breakfast. In the morning. and its not always for business. they are also harmless and rather immobile. the dive crew are all Papuans. Everything about Kri Eco Resort is handmade: the Sunset Lounge and its lazy deck chairs. brush turkeys. the coconut leaf and nut wall finishing and décor. we were startled to see a pair of coconut crabs huddled around a bamboo pylon at the lounge ceiling. 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. Little of the coral reefs at Cape Kri (house reef) was destroyed with the building of Kri Eco Resort.THE GUIDE Green Resort Every night. tagged along by turtles. we are awakened by hysterical cackles from endemic birds such as eclectis parrots. with the job title of “All Rounders”. One such talent couldn’t measure straight. the guests gaze at the juvenile bamboo sharks wading in the shallows just below the dining lounge on stilts. a number of them barely made it through school. the islands of south east asia 49 .
An amazing array of marine bio-diversity awaits you. one that will not last forever. . These are the stuff of legends. but sadly.
THE GUIDE .
In two single dives. a renowned marine scientist recorded 283 and 281 fish species. . A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200.
I found out that the zonation and management plans were still under development. conservation. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. Logging and mining on the islands impacted the waters with pollution. However. he had improved the water wells in Raja Ampat with chlorination and safety measures and created 13 new wells for the people. by mid-2007. the Raja Ampat Marine Park was formally declared. priority was given to the “Posyandu” system. Part of the fee goes to community development. which is a healthcare provision for mothers and children. Dr Allen canvassed for Papua to be considered in the organisation’s conservation programme. ventured into this path. renowned marine scientist and author. Max knew he had to do something to stop the destruction and pollution. an important regulatory mechanism had already kicked in: the Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee of Rp500. In two single dives. And the pilot keeping vigil behind the wheels is no other than Max Ammer himself. covering marine areas and land-based activities such as logging and mining. Dr Allen was impressed with the numerous species of freshwater fishes found here. This involves a light aircraft surveillance to keep an eye on illegal activities on water and land. and after three years.THE GUIDE A consultant with Conservation International (CI). When I visited Kri Eco Resort in March 2009. Conservation at Raja Ampat now is taking on new heights with an aerial monitoring programme sponsored by CI and other NGOs. In 2007 and 2008. It was a stroke of luck when Dr Gerald Allen. and the pristine state of corals. Raja Ampat needed protection. or risk losing its intrinsic beauty and biodiversity. the islands of south east asia 53 . or better.000 that involves the issue of an annual waterproof plastic entrance tag. The big fish started to dwindle. conservation and enforcement. Plans for a marine park were drawn. 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. Something that’s also close to Max’ heart: in the early days. it happened. he recorded the highest count of fish species: 283 species at at Cape Kri and 281 at South Fam group. in 2001.
released them. Other plans afoot are homestays and kayaking adventures around the exotic mushroom islands. “He just put a tank on me and took me down. and Max. a road he has taken that is often long and bumpy. who is eager to begin the aerial surveillance. but soon learnt the beauty and fragility of marine life. This augments what he has already established with the locals – bird watching tours in particular the Red Bird of Paradise. People Welfare and Development Nikson Soor born in Batanta. It is the start of a long and deep friendship between the two. he is also an environment advocate. Sustainable Clam Trade Max intends to implement various new ideas. because there isn’t one. hoping to get them out of the poverty cycle. who was just 14 then. “and my eyes opened wide looking at the underwater life. concerned with pollution and illegal fishing. Nikson couldn’t understand this white man’s actions. Nikson is not just a top dive guide sought after in Raja Ampat.” he said. If you plan a trip in 2010. Raja Ampat. who then see the value of this tourism activity and stop them from catching these birds and selling them overseas as exotic pets. Max believes in investing in local education and training local Papuans. provided with food and shelter. one which he hopes to start designing soon . “They are good people and I want them to learn a new trade and to earn some income.” grins Nikson. Proceeds go entirely to the villagers. was instantly converted. a live aboard dive boat. Max bought those turtles from him and promptly the islands of south east asia 55 . selling turtles that he had just caught with his fisherman father. Nickson who is 34 years old. and will soon learn to leave the giant clams in dive sites alone.” laughed Max. “I will teach Nikson how to fly even.and by himself of course. 47. and given weekly day off plus regular vacation.” Nikson. This amiable and energetic Papuan dive master is a manager at Papua Diving with over 11. A trip to Max Ammer’s resorts is worth every dime. Today. you may just enjoy his other service. Papuans will learn how to grow clams and sell them in a sustainable fashion. who added. Dive guides at Papua Diving are given proper employment contracts. is just one example of how a Papuan is groomed to become an asset in Raja Ampat tourism industry.THE GUIDE Don’t expect to see a Western dive guide or master at Papua Diving. They are also paid fair wages. Nikson tells me that he first met Max when he was a wee boy. One such plan is to introduce a clam farm.000 dives logged.
It’s no wonder how so many diving enthusiasts gushes at the mere mention of Raja Ampat.The colorful corals is host to an abundance of fishes. A true joy to behold. .
miskawaan.com or call us: +66 7733 2271 www. how magniﬁcent would you like to feel? For booking inquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org Terms and Conditions apply: . Koh Samui.8 Luxury Beachfront Villas on Maenam Beach. Thailand Just a moment at Miskawaan is all you need to illuminate your brilliance ENJOY 3 DAYS AND PAY ONLY 2 – or – ENJOY 4 DAYS AND PAY ONLY 3 So.
and unwittingly discovered its rowdy side as well .Vannara Putra uncovers Phuket’s island paradise – quiet and tranquil.
In the middle of the road. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in that aptly named 2000 movie. even after the devastating 2004 tsunami. and enjoying challenging water sports such as jet skiing. mountain climbing or white-water rafting.THE GUIDE To our right. but in Phuket. Further down the road the alleyway widens and a carnival of sort entices tourists with welcoming arms. windsurfing. there is a fashion catwalk with various ladies (or not) costumed up with long colorful feathers and glittering fake diamonds adorning their dresses. pubs and massage parlors lined up both sides of the road. From Phuket. and parasailing. lazing. The perfect afternoon sun combined with fresh coconuts and Thailand’s scrumptious delicacies makes it a tantalizing option as we ponder our next plan. The Beach. I came here to experience a slice of the famed island paradise – the Phi Phi Islands. with catcalls and whistles firing out from all around the place. most vibrant. Amongst Phuket’s various beaches. It’s not even past dinner time yet. the beach beckons – pristine white sand upon long tresses of crystal clear water. easily accessible by boat. snorkeling. there are also various adventure trips heading inland for jungle trekking. vending fake Rolexes and cheap tee-shirts for the shopaholic travelers. these are all secondary. To our left. Bars. Patong Beach is the most developed. and most visited one. It’s a picture perfect postcard view of a 3-kilometer long white sandy beach perfect for swimming. Various diving and snorkeling spots are scattered throughout numerous small islands around the area. the islands of south east asia 59 . For me however. rows upon rows of stalls take up shelter by the road side. the party never really stops.
it is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations. stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea. . Understandably. of the southern coast of Thailand.Phuket Island. offers spectacular scenery.
Crystal clear water gives view to the coral beds which are home to a wide range of sea life. The island’s shallow blue-green lagoons and coral gardens. Numerous stalls on Phuket’s crowded street offered day-tours to tourists. Phi Phi Don. and we were free to swim and snorkel around the boat. 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. but very well worth the trip. As our boat neared the bay. We snorkeled a little more before finally making our way towards one of Phi Phi Don’s numerous resorts for a hearty meal. with caves and passages dotting the tall cliffs. made for a spectacular scenery. Being the untrusting travelers that we were. is the only island with permanent inhabitants. we then made our way slowly passing the soaring limestone walls surrounding Phi Phi Leh. Our boat anchored a little distance away from the beach. The journey there was over an hour long. and as such they are always eager to make a good impression. paving a pathway of transparent sea to a small tranquil beach. but Phi Phi Leh’s beach is very popular with the tourists as well. the crew noticeably turned down the machine. with full-payment given only when we were picked up from the hotel.THE GUIDE The Island Paradise The journey to Phi Phi Islands was suspiciously easy to arrange. From the pristine Maya Bay. I suppose we shouldn’t have worried – close to 98% of Phuket’s population depends upon tourism to make a living. not wanting to disturb the fragile ecosystem below the sea. The Phi Phi Islands comprises six islands surrounded by the Andaman sea. the green jungle opened up. the largest of the six. and while my boat entry towards the beach was much less anti-climatic compared to DiCaprio’s jump over a ten-meter waterfall. It was there on the serene Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh that the movie was shot. and my eyes searched around trying to find an entrance. Tall breathtaking cliffs forms a circular wall around the area. we negotiated for a small down-payment for our tour arrangement. the islands of south east asia 61 . Suddenly. it was still every bit as astonishing.
If one were to choose a word to describe Patong beach’s street side revelries. Thailand’s famed lady-boys come out to play. Indeed. Beware that tips would be expected of these miscellaneous services. Every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. they came out dressed in long glittering gowns with over-the top cabaret shows make-up. or a relaxing lounge to chill and rest.THE GUIDE This spread. Instead. Be warned as well that these lady-boys are every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. my Puma boots were a wreck only after a few sessions of soccer. that word would invariably be “rowdy”. and a friend’s Rolex didn’t last though the end of the month. On Wednesday nights. what you would find here is a good mix of tourists and locals who are out to have a good time. tuk-tuk drivers offering rides. we made our way through the jungle of shops cramping the coastal side of Patong beach. There are indeed shops selling higher-quality fakes and the likes. The jetty. and you should always start by offering half of the original starting price. but those are far and few between. Those out to shop would be well advised to know that these are simply cheap thrills. drink and be merry. then this isn’t the right place for you. Haggling is a must. There were also the noisy advertising of various muay-thai boxing matches calling out to impressionable travelers. A coalescence of noisy pandemonium boomed in my ears as I made my way through the street. 62 www. Hundreds of stalls offer tourists fake branded goods Nightlife at the Beach Later on at night. Stunning views from the top of Phuket. a small one will suffice. Compared to the tranquil beach of Phi Phi Islands. and numerous tailors touting cheap custommade suits.unearthingasia.com . it made for an extreme contradiction. If you are looking for a romantic place to dine and wine. 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. You are still able however. to find unique handcrafted items and some amazing paintings. clockwise from right Island hopping is a popular activity. They are also keen to promote their one-of-a-kind Thai Girl show. be it vendors selling various cheap imitations.
the islands of south east asia 63 .
THE GUIDE At the center of Palawan. Char Magalong unearthed a magical attraction priming for international limelight and renown .
Few places in the Philippines. indeed in all of Southeast Asia. and few are able to resist its charm. can compare with the beauty of Palawan. but first I had a whole new city to explore. I flashed a smile at a group of tourists passing by. Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade. with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan. As I made my way into the hotel. a sure sign of the various beach activities they must have participated in – swimming at the beach. I made a mental note to check out the beach. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park boasts a thriving wildlife and a full sea to forest ecosystem. I could smell the ocean salt in the air. Throughout the years. or diving to the depths of Palawan’s magnificent seas. its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many. offering visitors a wide array of activities and attractions All images used on this editorial feature were kindly provided by the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park the islands of south east asia 65 . snorkeling.
another gasp of awe 66 www.unearthingasia.Clockwise from top The subterranean river goes out into the sea.com . Another point of aerial view. A thriving wildlife. Mesmerizing aerial view of the island paradise.
the province itself bound by the South China Sea in the west and the Sulu Sea in the east. from the seafarers who dock there to the nature lovers and environmentalists who are amazed by the protected area. When she died. the place was named Puerto de la Princesa and as time progressed. Others would say that she receives her name from being a haven for everyone. that it was named after a Spanish Princess in 1864.000 hectares. Princes Eulalia of Spain. the islands of south east asia 67 .If we look at the map of the Philippines and the Palawan Island.000 inhabitants. it is the second largest city in the country with approximately 120. It is a city that prides on its cleanliness and natural beauty. Legend has it that Puerto Princesa was named after a maiden who used to roam the island on certain evenings of the year. we’ll find Puerto Princesa right in the middle. History tells us however. Totaling an area of approximately 260. this was reduced to Puerto Princesa. and has often been dubbed the capital of ecotourism.
As it had rained the night before. There are also city tours that brings you to various attractions such as the Iwahig penal colony. Butterfly Garden and Mitra’s Ranch. You will be awed by the exquisite beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in rainbow colors – a truly wondrous view. the underground river has been nominated to be a part of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature. peaceful lagoon that supports a thriving wildlife.THE GUIDE Island hopping is a popular activity here. Located 50km north of the capital. At the top of my list of must-see attractions however. landing in the top 77 nominees. The cave was extremely dark. we were led in slowly. Finally. Nothing too serious. The Iwahig is a unique wall-less prison colony where convicts act as they would living in a village. 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. 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. and it will take sometime for you to get used to. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also offers other activities such as mountain and rock climbing. the area boasts a number of cave systems worth exploring. Aside from the Underground River. They cultivate rice and other crops. Other areas to explore include the Lions Cave.2-kilometer long river that goes through a mesmerizing cave before it makes its exit right into the South China Sea. Finally it was our turn! As our tour guide warned us about safety precautions and what not to do inside. but a fun experience never the less. Other than exploring the cave. gently making its way through the scintillating river. was Palawan’s most esteemed wonders – the Underground River. 68 www.com . bird watching and the likes. a breathtaking experience comparable to none. The journey up north was a good three hours drive. we reached the opening of the Underground River. Monkeys. A regular tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. the Crocodile Farm. the road condition was especially bad and we got stuck twice on our way there. We picnicked and ate our lunch as we waited for our turn to get into the Underground River. Very recently. the boat turtled onwards. partially through paved roads but also on dirt and muddy roads.5 kilometers into the cave.The site contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. Right at the mouth of the cave lies a clear. monitor lizards.unearthingasia. squirrels and other friendly animals find their ecosystem near the cave. As such. do fishing or carve handicraft products for souvenirs. Climbing Ugong Rock allows one to view the spectacular karst formations and surrounding natural beauty. Daylight Hole and the Kawili Cave. going up to 1. The rock formations inside were truly one of a kind. it boasts a 8.
Relaxing in the clear lagoon at the mouth of the river 70 www. At the entrance of the subterranean river. from top The National Park is located low.unearthingasia.Previous spread. clockwise The clouds form a magical shadow over the National Park. Venturing into the dark cave. Paddling back out after a fun adventure This page.com . very near the sea level.
THE GUIDE Natalie Revie journeyed into Thailand’s jungle paradise to find it beautifully evolving into a different entity 72 .
The island paradise of Koh Phangan is slowly but surely attracting its worthy share of developers and luxury travelers. But fortunately. a relief to budget travelers and luxury high-fliers all around . the island seemed determined to balance between its development and natural charms.
an astonishing transformation that is not unlike a blossoming of a young flower into a beautiful. failing to show up on all but the most backpack savvy trails. And the little-known hippy paradise of Koh Phangan may be able to provide exactly that. Having escaped the brutal development of its sister island Koh Samui. Koh Phangan is a party-goers paradise of legendary proportions. Recently however. but with a common commitment to green ethos and protecting the island’s gorgeous flora and fauna. and flying entirely under the radar of commercial hotels and package-holiday tourism.THE GUIDE Lying in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand. hippies and backpackers alike. set against unspoiled jungle backdrops and glittering ocean. little-known sister of the two. Koh Phangan remained until recently the quiet. Koh Phangan exudes a special magical privacy to invigorate even the most jaded international jet-setter. it has evolved into 5-star boutique resort destination. 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. With its broad white sandy beaches. 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. Koh Phangan has truly established itself as the destination of choice for party-animals. But change is coming to this jungle paradise isle. At the moment it certainly seems that way. as the small number of developers and big hotels moving in are not only developing with an eye to natural aesthetics. With its infamous full moon party every month for the last two decades. Added to that. elegant lady.
Thong Nai Pan. Who knows how long that arrangement is set to last? But currently.The coast of Tong Nai Pan Noi Attracting the most attention in the 5-star resort stakes is the stunning Thong Nai Pan. As it comes of age the jewel in its crown. the community is set to increase in both size and diversity. who have managed to create an elegant.com . 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. The result is very different from days-goneby – more refined definitely. it is being altered with sensitivity.unearthingasia. 76 www. Thong Nai Pan’s off-the-beaten track location has proved a huge draw to these intrepid folk: the result is an eclectic mix of interests and nationalities represented on the beach. But uncommonly for Thailand. With more residences being built privately and by small local developers. In addition to these high-end tourists. beautiful resort that still gives a nod to the rustic Thai charm which entrances visitors to Thailand every year. Now Thong Nai Pan has been recognized as the truly 5-star destination on Koh Phangan and this year new luxury resort. on the northeast corner of the lush island. So the wild hippy paradise of yesteryear is changing. and unusually it seems to be entirely harmonious. but quietly. it finds not just the drunken revelers of yore. the beach has naturally attracted an interesting community of expats. resorts and restaurants. but no less beautiful. opened its doors for business. so as not to disturb the guests in their $300 dollar-a-night rooms. but beautiful residences. At the moment. complementing the exquisite natural surroundings. from Alaskan kayakbuilders to Israeli cheese-makers. Rasananda. as inaccessible as it was by bumpy pickup over an unpaved jungle track. sets a leading example not just for Koh Phangan but for development in Thailand as a whole. Now when the full moon shines on Koh Phangan. right next to the traditional $5-a-night backpacker huts of old Koh Phangan. At night the jungle reverberates to the sounds of the traditional Thong Nai Pan parties and bongo drums. And credit must be given where it’s due to Rasananda management. Thong Nai Pan has been called ‘the jewel of Koh Phangan’ and for years was the best kept secret in the region. luxury 300-threadcount towels lie on sun-loungers next to hippies on their way to the next low-key destination of choice for backpackers. taste and discretion. and created in harmony with the environment.
The crystal blue water is perfect for water sports and activities the islands of south east asia 77 .
Fog and mist creeping into the forest as the setting sun envelops the horizon. . Bali retains its hidden charms and unexplored attractions. Ubud.THE GUIDE Amidst the influx of overflowing tourists. Barrie Lie-Birchall enthuses. Bali.
Rudolf Bonnet and Le Mayeur. The Balinese feared a repeat upon tourism that occurred previously in 2002. but soon became a novelty destination for celebrities such as Noel Coward. Bali’s eventual step into the limelight was predominately due to anthropologist Margaret Mead who researched and documented.Scenic surf and steep cliffs on the coastline Bali. The ancient temple of Taman Ayun the islands of south east asia 79 . the Balinese still retain their cultural and religious ways of life. is drenched in mass tourism. amongst others. In October 2002. this became apparent when the island of Bali became a stopover on the renowned ‘hippy trail’ in the 1960’s. in-depth. Bali was soon to be crushed again on October 1. From then on the steady flow of tourists increased over the coming decades. the Balinese. It didn’t happen. it soon became a target for anti-western extremist Islamic groups. and yet. As a paradise destination for westerners. The impact upon the Bali tourism industry was immediate. 2005 with a series of terrorist suicide bomb attacks in Jimbaran and Kuta. the main tourist district of Kuta was devastated by three massive bombs killing 202 people. unaffected. The cyclonic invasion of this tiny island began with a trickle in the 1930’s with the likes of artists Walter Spies. unlike other islands in the archipelago of Indonesia. 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.
Heart buckled ethnic belt – Tari Maya at Alun Alun Indonesia. with make up and styling by the Dresscode Team. Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Modern batik printed dress – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Ringlets Bracelet – Origo at Alun Alun Indonesia . Crossed-weaved heels – Dum Dum at Alun Alun Indonesia.STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair Unrestraint and picturesque settings conjure a perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra. Jakarta.
STYLE GUIDE .
Rope wooden sandals – Heroine at Alun Alun Indonesia. Batik printed corset (worn as an obi) – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Colorful Ringlets Statement Necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia.This Page Tie-dyed summer dress – Lilou at Alun Alun Indonesia. Hand-painted decorative umbrella – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia 87 . Batik printed clutch – Ilalang at Alun Alun Indonesia Opposite Page Long wool shawl (worn as a headband) – Mellies Moss at Alun Alun Indonesia. Tube summer dress – BIASA. Rattan ethnic bangles (set of 3) – Diori at Alun Alun Indonesia. Gold Ethnic flats – Giffa at Alun Alun Indonesia.
STYLE GUIDE Sarong style skirt (worn as a tube dress) – BIASA. Crossed-weaved beach hat – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. . Styled by the DRESSCODE Team. Striped vest – BIASA. Multicolor statement necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Fish scales sandals – VNC Modeled by Audrey. Photographed by Bona Soetirto.
HK AND MORE! Culture. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.50 RM 14. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.00 New Zealand’s Splashing Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine + Heeding the Call of Asia in Taiwan + Singapore Stopover + Spotlight on Jakarta + Flashpacking Essentials + A Tropical Affair .com IDR 50.000 SGD 7. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . For this inaugural issue.Culture.unearthingasia. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home. featuring exciting adventures. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions. And not only that.Issue 01 www.
TALES GOURMET Nabeetha Naseer samples the vivacious array of culinary delights from the region of Middle East. and comes up with a tasty guide for the foodie at heart. .
They can be eaten on its own. or mixed with one another 92 . but more commonly used as dip for pita bread.TALES GOURMET Arabian cuisine usually consists of a dozen or more small dishes.
parsley. deep-fried chickpea balls. sumac. Iskender kebab is a famed specialty from Bursa. feta-stuffed phyllo pastries and dolmas. is the usage of aromatic spices. While a meal may exclude meat.Right. but be warned – it can be quite spicy! Main Courses Depending on which country you are in. stuffed grape leaves. shape and color. borek. make sure to try out a course of mezze and you’ll realize right away why the tables are all super large. vegetables. bread. an eggplant dip. from top Pita bread a serving of dips. For the uninitiated. it is almost never without the region’s staple food. fruits and nuts. The baba ghanouj is especially tasty. Honey. . in which thinly cut grilled lamb is basted with tomato sauce over pide bread and generously slathered with melted butter and yogurt. felafels. mint and chickpeas – these are a few of the common ingredients you’ll find throughout the region. the most commonly used meat are chicken. sesame seeds. kebabs are generally grilled or broiled meats over skewer or sticks. Grilled chicken with vegetables Middle Eastern cuisines come in a wide variety of taste. It may even contain a number of rice dishes that is mixed with meats. khoresh. It has become a part of everyday multicultural cuisines around the globe. the main course could vary between kebabs of grilled chicken or lamb. Since Muslims do not consume pork. beef and lamb. lamb stew in a sweet-sour sauce. northern Turkey. completing a vibrant map of culinary delights throughout the region. You’ll be served dozens of small dishes with exotic tidbits all placed on the table at once Some of the more common mezzes are the baba ghanouj. Mezze (or appetizers) When you are in Lebanon. A common bond between them however. Each country adds their own distinct touches to the mix.
But for those who fancy desserts on their own. flat breads and the traditional Jewish Challah.unearthingasia. One thing I learned is to leave the sludge at the bottom. most bakeries tend to sell sweet pastries and the likes to curb your sweet tooth cravings. pita. It can give your throat an itchy. unless if you are in Iran where tea are commonly served. salads and breads This is the usual companion of meals. coffee. If you’re uncomfortable with this. 94 www. do not hesitate to ask for a fork and spoon. thick. Protein and fiber are in abundance due to the inclusion of nuts. but with lower calories and fat. following the Islamic tradition that is prevalent in the region. Among the common ones are Tabboulleh (tart parsley). Other desserts include baklava and perhaps almond crusted cookies as well. spinach. But if you are to try eating with your hands. Desserts are served occasionally. Desserts and Snacks You are normally served a small cup of sweet. Brides Fingers (Asabia el Aroos) are slender crisps of filo filled with sweetened nuts that are popular with the locals. uneasy feeling.com . sautéed tomato and eggplant with yogurt. They are comparable to the likes of baklava.Vegetables. avoid doing so with your left hand. as it is forbidden in the Islamic tradition to do so. Meals in the Middle East are often eaten using your hands.
Thailand. .TALES ART Heeding the After years of traveling around the region of Asia. He shared tales of his amazing journey with Nikolas Tjhin. Phetburi (Phetchaburi). photographer Craig Ferguson finally settled down in Taiwan. Call Light shining into Khao Luang Caves.
he traveled through Asia for a year. in Taiwan Taiwan home. Photo credit .Selina Ferguson. I found my way onto a local bus to Banglamphu. and worked it out as I went along. Even from a very young age. The call of Asia is a strong one. After that. having grown up mostly in a beach-side suburb of Sydney. “I remember always wanting to take pictures with my dad’s ‘slide camera’. Craig Ferguson is one such victim. Right off graduation. Somehow. landing in Bangkok and simply “winging it” as he goes along. Always with a camera. the awardwinning photographer calls the islands of south east asia 97 . “I had nothing booked. With its numerous cultural traditions and some of the most fascinating sights on earth. and is starting to shift his focus away from travel photography into music. First Love Craig hailed from Australia.The yearly pilgrimage for Mazu. and then into a cheap guesthouse. Bright red lanterns. He initially studied science and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. wedding and personal portrait type photography. it’s no wonder how so many people have fallen head over heels with this beautiful region. I basically made it up as I went along!” shared the enthusiastic traveler. having fallen in love with Asia over his various treks throughout the region. The Goddess of the Sea. he has always shown an interest in photography.” He then learned the ropes on his own on a Manual SLR while at school in the 1980s and progressed from there. Now.
Hualien.Japanese gate. Taiwan. .
Having exhausted the south eastern part of Asia. So in 2001. but never found it. hospitality and NGOs. the call of Asia grew too strong. a World Heritage site and a major tourist destination TALES ART That impromptu travel lasted a whole 12 months and more. From there he went to Kathmandu.” and then to Bali. transiting in Singapore. I’d saved enough money that I was able to travel backpacker style for the year without needing to work.” he shared. He spent a good five months in the Himalayans region. on a path that sees him on a very unusual backpackers trail across Asia. his so called second round of travel sees him journey to Langkawi. then to Lombok. then onwards to Jakarta through Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta. the islands of south east asia 99 . One of the everlasting experiences of this particular travel was the winter pilgrimage season in Bodhgaya. “After some halfhearted attempts to fit into the standard career-track in Australia. he headed back up towards Surat Thani. local governance. Following a short stint in corporate IT. trekking in the Annapurnas and exploring the old parts of Kathmandu. He headed south towards the Thai islands for a while. Cambodia. which intrigued Craig so much that he made plans to return the following year as well. then down into Malaysia before crossing over into Sumatra – “orangutans. Burma and then onto Nepal. Starting out in southern Thailand. before heading back home to Australia. Tibet.” he shared. and onwards to Nepal for a slower pace of life. “I mostly did it alone. lakes and surfing made up most of it. and on to Lhasa. he booked a ticket back to Bangkok and went on the road again. 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. so it was an interesting experience to be completely cut off from the news for five days at that particular time. back to Bali. Koh Pha Ngan and then Bangkok. Craig searched around for a fulfilling opportunity. “All this happened a couple of days after the 9/11 attack in the US.Angkor Wat. meeting up with other travelers along the way. but not before a final couple weeks of relaxation on Koh Tao. he didn’t find anything that fits him and gave him satisfaction.
his intention was to stay for one to two years. Craig also had a soft spot for Thailand.” “It’s hard to choose a favorite place because I’ve been to so many great places. persistence is key to his success. with group workshops and a couple of one-on-one students.unearthingasia.” Craig shares. but there’s the added pressure of marketing. Craig is busy building a multifaceted photography business.TALES ART Taiwanese opera performer from the Xin Ing Feng Opera Group. Amongst his list of highlights. Initially. weddings and music as well. He has now spent seven years in Taiwan – “it was a pretty easy transition to make to life here. 100 www. Naturally. where he spent a few trips photographing the various Angkor-era ruins in both Cambodia and Thailand which have proved to be photographic highlights. which included interviewing Noel Gallagher for 30 minutes before the show. looking for new leads and meeting deadlines. which was an amazing experience. but he ended up falling in love with the lifestyle here and stayed longer. his meeting with the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya is one of them. and also shake hands with and speak to the Dalai Lama. and they invited me inside their temple. Craig headed back east to replenish his funds. Shoot what you enjoy. and you’ll find success starts to come your way.” On top of that. Now. The rest just followed. I spent a substantial part of the time living in one of the smaller cities. “As well as all the usual frustrations of travelers everywhere. He is starting to teach photography.” he narrated.” he noted. and had the pleasure to shoot for Oasis when they toured earlier this year. chasing clients. although it’s been quite a few years since I was last there. Along the way. To Craig. Craig was privileged enough to be able to witness the ceremony between the two different Buddhist traditions. Let your own nautral style and creativity show through. On that second trip to Bodhgaya. a tip he constantly shares with his students and friends alike. he finds himself spending time with some Thai monks who were staying there.” he enthused. Settling Down Following that. Once again. To budding travel photographers. being a travel photographer is rewarding work but hard. with his focus drifting a little further away from travel photography since being here. “It was through them that I got to meet the Dalai Lama – he came to visit them. “the whole India and Nepal area is one I love. before ending up in Taiwan where a friend was already based. and we have no plans to leave.” he opined.com . his sound advice is to “try to shoot the images and subjects that give you the most satisfaction. some stood out more than others. I met and married my wife. And then shoot it again. He now shoot a lot of portraiture. He stopped in Thailand and Vietnam. “I got into travel photography as a result of my love of photography and my love of travel. and then continue traveling. “I wouldn’t swap it for the world though!”.
Oasis. performing in Taiwan “A Moving Sound”. a Taiwanese theater performance .
Love travelling? The Indie Travel Podcast is an independent travel site with regular audio and video podcasts along with articles by travellers from all over the world.com/magazine Travel well indietravelpodcast.com .com http://lonelyplanet. Search for Indie Travel in iTunes Check out the new magazine at indietravelpodcast.
TALES ADVENTURE Splashing Lake Taupo Debbie Reyes-Coloma ventured into the Kiwi’s stunning landscape to find the Maori spirit of adventure well fanned and alive One of the most famous hiking routes in the Tongariro National Park leads to this amazing sight of the Blue Lake © Destination Lake Taupo .
Plus there are plenty of chances to take a break and continue the fun on dry land. The Waikato River is the only river flowing out of the lake. it is New Zealand’s largest natural waterway. At 425 km in length. irrigation and hydroelectric power. this area is renowned for trout fishing and kayaking. Spanning 619 sq km. it is as big as Singapore. With 47 rivers and streams flowing into the lake. jet skiing. the Lake Taupo region is home to New Zealand’s largest fresh water lake. parasailing. Perhaps inspired by New Zealand’s pure natural surroundings—from vast open spaces filled with stunning rugged landscapes to gorgeous beaches. such as bungy jumping and zorbing. It was created by a gigantic volcanic eruption in 181AD. To the local Kiwis.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. fascinating geothermal areas and the famous Huka Falls. canoeing. Water activities take place in the lakes all year round—which include waterskiing. The lake’s attractive pumice sand beaches give it the appearance of an inland ocean. kayaking. fishing. the islands of south east asia 105 . The youngest country on earth has some of the most incredible water adventures that guests can experience. most extreme adventures. cruising. the Waikato River has always been a great provider—from fish and freshwater lobster to drinking water. awe-inspiring geothermal and volcanic wonders. There is no shortage of activities for vacationers regardless of age or fitness. Lake Taupo is Australasia’s largest lake. and temperate climate—the Kiwi’s spirit of adventure is what has attracted visitors from across the globe to join in the fun. Situated in the volcanic heart of the North Island. There are also many tour operators in the region who offer day trips or overnight camping excursions. swimming. and sailing.
aquatic life is abundant. Because of the warm waters. Should you wish to scuba dive in a volcanic area.com) boat ride! Marvel at the incredible water level views of the spectacular Huka Falls. catch a jet boat ride to the base of Huka Falls Lake Taupo and its connecting rivers represent one of the most prolific wild trout fisheries in the world @ Gareth Eyres © Destination Lake Taupo © Destination Lake Taupo Feel the exhilaration and the power of a Hukafalls Jet (www. The awesome performance of the Huka Jet boats will put your heart in your mouth when your driver spins your Huka Jet through 360° in its own length at high speed. one needs experience and professional help because of the lake’s location above sea level.TALES ADVENTURE Below Tandem skydiving will show you the most stupendous view of the central North Island Far Below If you prefer your scenery with a large dash of action.com .hukafallsjet. and enjoy the sensation as you slide past cliffs and trees at 80km per hour. White Island off the coast of Whakatane is a unique experience as New Zealand’s only active marine volcano. To the amateur diver this requires skill in reading your depth gauge. 106 www.unearthingasia. 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.
up mountain summits. 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.
wet. New Zealand has four seasons: Summer (14°C from Dec to February). bush and sky. Check www. The majestic backdrop of a dormant volcano. water skiers. wild adventure that any brave adventurer needs to do. and then explore a world of gushing geysers.unearthingasia. one of nature’s true gifts. Make sure you have your camera with you.newzealand. The weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in. past limestone and volcanic cliffs and then race down 50m ‘roller coaster’ rapids at exhilarating speeds. the Hidden Valley (www. hot springs. It’s such a beautiful holiday scene with people enjoying and relaxing on the lakeshores despite the season.orakeikorako. Float past ancient beech forests. 108 www.co. It’s the exciting. Cook your catch in thermal sand at Hot Water beach. Arriving in Taupo by road as a visitor. it’s just so wonderful to see this beautiful lake full of swimmers. There is a full range of fishing equipment on board so guests can try fishing for trophy-sized rainbow trout. sail boats. where you can also enjoy a soak in a natural hot spring.metservice.co. The lake’s reflective waters mirror mountains. Cross the Waikato River by boat. The white water rafting experience can be a peaceful drifting trip on the Tongariro’s or the Mohaka for the adventure seeker who needs the thrill of blasting down endless rapids at a romping pace. The Tongariro River is known as the perfect river for your first white water rafting experience. Now’s your chance to race the rapids! At Orakei Korako. speedboats or jet skis. tranquil waters and pumice beaches. Visit www. Lake Taupo is the ideal place to try your nerve and your water skills. through gorges. A chartered cruise is one of the best ways to experience golden sunsets.co. Winter (9°C from June to August) and Spring (12°C from Sept to November). Sailing on a yacht.com . naturally heated thermal waters and unspoiled flora and fauna provide a beautiful playground. Autumn (10°C from March to May). 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. and Clearwater staff can organise a range of on-water and land-based activities.clearwater.nz before your trip.nz). From parasailing to wakeboarding. Take the Clearwater Cruises (www.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. boiling mud pools and some of the largest silica terraces in the world.com for more adventures off and on the ground. go back in time in this unique geothermal wonderland. It’s the white water seekers challenge of fun.nz) through stunning Lake Tarawera on the 38-foot luxury launch Clearwater Pride.
Within this world of earth tones that were spewed from subterranean magma vaults. explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area © Destination Lake Taupo . wild colours provide visual excitement.The volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing never fail to surprise. Here you can see the Emerald Lakes.
island admission.pat-mase.com Aizuya. Jimbaran-Bali Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera 100 Kawasan Bukit Jimbaran Bali 80364 – Indonesia +62 361 708 708 www. sky ride and Songs of the Sea. 2. From $258++ per night. Indulge in Bali Breakaway package at USD 695 for 4days/3nights in two bedrooms villa inclusive of welcome fruit and flowers. buffet breakfast. Park Hotel Clarke Quay Club Single/Twin Room for S$238++ per night.quincy. all day coffee and tea as well as parking. Inclusive of complimentary buffet breakfast. broadband Internet. High Tea. one of the following options for 2 ppl: 1.000. Japanese Room @ Y18. daily breakfast and one-time seafood BBQ in villa.com . 3. dekuta is strategically located in the heart of Kuta. Meeting Room usage and laundry. S 099394 T: +65 6825 3888 F: +65 6825 3848 reservation@amarasanctuary. free wi-fi internet connection and round trip airport transfers.aizuya.parkhotelgroup. unlimited internet access and local calls. Luge. inclusive of breakfast for two.com dekuta Set in modern minimalist design which equipped with LCD TV 32”. Stay 3 nights and pay for only 2 nights. Shiobara. inclusive of – limousine pick-up. local calls. Terms and conditions apply. Price includes Dinner & Breakfast. River Taxi ride from Clarke Quay. Japanese Twin Room @ Y22.com.dekuta. Bali.com. minibar. daily buffet breakfast. Aizuya Hotel A Japanese Inn where you will experience traditional authentic Japanese cuisine made with local ingredients.000. set lunch & dinner.nett per night for a Superior room. unlimited evening cocktails and beverages. Jimbaran Bali A place unparalleled for its calm and serene environment within a tropical oasis of landscaped gardens. Terms and conditions apply.PROMOTIONAL OFFERS The Quincy Hotel Your Business Sanctuary Promotion. rain shower and wi-fi internet connection in all areas.. Underwater World & Dolphin lagoon. Terms and conditions apply. Jl Poppies Lane II #8 Kuta.000. Japanese Room w/ private natural spa @ Y28.com Pat-Mase.co.net Park Hotel Clarke Quay 1 Unity Street.amarahotels.com www. Sentosa Island. Japan Tel: +81 3 3541 4967 Fax: +81 3 3541 4968 E-mail: shiraishi@japanxpress. Singapore 237983 Tel: (65) 6593 8888 Fax: (65) 6593 8899 Website: www.000. and late check-out till 6pm. The Amara Sanctuary Integrated Recreation (IR) at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa (2D/1N for two) S$288++ – One night stay in twin or double deluxe room. Nasui-Shiobara. Executive set lunch at Brizo Restaurant & Bar. We offer a very special rate in March at IDR 728. Indonesia Tel: (62) 361 753880 Fax: (62) 362 752787 Website: www. daily 2 pieces of laundry.sg for reservations and rates or enquiries www.jp Website: www. The Quincy Hotel 22 Mount Elizabeth Singapore 228517 Please call +65 6496 7699 / 1800 7373 279 or email reseasy@fareast. Mini-bar. Pat-Mase. Terms and conditions apply.sg The Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa 1 Larkhill Road.
CITIBANK HIGHLIGHTS Travel Privileges with Citi Platinum Card Enjoy a complimentary upgrade wherever you go Whether it is business or leisure. Hotel promotion is valid until 30 April 2010. Also get TRIPLE GFF Miles for all transactions at Supermarket. you will be covered for your hospital stay. When you travel overseas. • Enjoy a complimentary room upgrade at any participating 5-star Hotels in Indonesia Exclusively for Citi Ultima. you can enjoy the following complimentary upgrade privileges: • Purchase your ticket at any Bayu Buana Travel Services and get a chance for a complimentary upgrade to Business Class of any of your preferred airlines (1 upgrade per day). medical surgery or any doctor consultation fees up to Rp 300. So. Refund will not be given to any medical fees that occurred when or after the cardholder (or spouse) is over the age of 70 years old. Terms and Conditions applied. Gasoline and Departement Store from 16 November 2009 . you are automatically guaranteed a medical insurance coverage on your travel outside Indonesia. make sure you always travel with Garuda Indonesia Citi Card. * The above value may change in accordance to company policies.citibank. Terms and Conditions applied. For Travel information. This information is made available for the sole purpose of informing the public. contact Bayu Buana at (021) 2350 9999 or visit www. and medical expenses occur caused by accident or sickness. Travel promotion is valid until 6 January 2010.co.000. Your family is also covered. Garuda Indonesia Citi Card Medical coverage on your overseas travel As Garuda Indonesia Citi Cardholders.000*.id for Hotel information. Citi Platinum and Garuda Indonesia Citi Cards.28 February 2010 . it is not a valid insurance policy.
Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.* On top of that. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.The AYANA Resort and Spa Bali The Fairmont Beijing Hotel Fill out our survey to enjoy a Free 1 Year Subscription* and stand a chance to win free hotel stays!* We are offering free one year subscriptions to residents of Singapore. * Terms & conditions apply . Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.
Suddenly. The passing year may seem full of negative experiences. I would book a ticket to the Christmas Islands if I were you.Mar 20) You’re not fully informed – quite yet.May 20) A little of bad news is coming your way Taurus. Invent a new character. You’ll find all of your most creative inner whims fulfilled with a simple snap of your finger. the nonchalant Aries is largely unaware of the creative energy that has been welling up inside you. Renew your energy and figure out what comes next. but they are important in shaping you up for the brighter future ahead. May I suggest a trip to the Big Durian of South East Asia. Go for it! You’ll meet up with other people who are in similar states of transformation and journey. Capricorn (Dec 22 . For you Sagittarius.Feb 18) Party harder and smarter than usual Aquarius. a doomed beauty that will sooner or later die away – much like everything else on earth actually. and give toast to the coming year. I suspect this will be a place flooded with sea water. 118 www. After playing out your fantasy.TRAVEL HOROSCOPE Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Flee as far as possible from your usual haunts. The time is nigh to drown yourself in alcoholic beverages of all kind. Aquarius (Jan 20 . a personality with an interesting back story. Aries. 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. dear Capricorn. Aries (Mar 21 . to boldly welcome the coming new year as soon as possible. The isolated heights of Tibet awaits you Sagittarius Pisces (Feb 19 . is to let loose and tap into this creative energy. Shed away your habitual influences and your customary comforts.Apr 19) According to my analysis of the astrological omens. Don’t worry too much about whether things are going your way.com . the time is right for a simple break of isolation and new experiences. Jakarta? It’s a place where you can do anything you want to. In fact. and enjoy a week of acting and play-making in the isolated heights of Tibet. Venice is one such destination. Taurus (Apr 20 . like the southern islands of the coast of Thailand. Relax and go with the flow. a hauntingly beautiful city doomed to lose itself to the drowning sea. and then get back into it right away after your well-deserved break. you’ll do well to reflect back and determine a new direction for your personal life. But being in this place feels liberating.unearthingasia. but don’t give up – the story is far from over! Take some time out in the middle of this stressful period to collect yourself and ponder a thought. you feel able to do and say all kinds of things that didn’t seem permissible before. I’m thinking a place of leisure and relaxation. Celebrate the coming festivities with a bang. or so they say. a place in between worlds. Your homework.Jan 19) The time is right to head back into your natural habitat. and together you’ll form quite a merry crew.
Nov 21) Before you commence your life-long dream Scorpio. as I always say.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. and you would do well to follow your heart’s content – lest you live to regret this missed opportunity for a unique experience. your friends and family will still be there for you come 2010. I bid you make your peace with God. Leo (July 23 . Bali is a popular place for honeymooners. with the sun-filled days off the coast of Palawan? Cancer (June 21 . Better start now. Libra (Sep 23 . away from your usual crowd of friends and family.Oct 22) Spare no expense. Get set and let the adrenaline roar! Virgo (Aug 23 .Gemini (May 21 . the cosmos grant you the license to thrive on the unexpected blessings that come from giving yourself to the random intelligence of a stranger. fret not. Scorpio (Oct 23 . you’ve got it all here.July 22) For the foreseeable future. I envision an eventful getaway in the near future. There will be an offer to travel and celebrate the festivities together. whatever that may be. with the sweet smell of romance in the air. Don’t put restraints on your enjoyment or give yourself a subconscious guilt trip for what you’re seeing and doing. They can wait. The city of Queenstown in New Zealand offers much in the way of adventure. When you think about everything you’ve done and seen. It was said there are so many ramen stalls in Tokyo that even if you were to eat ramen thrice a day. it would take a good few years to try them all out.Sep 22) The most challenging parts of your travels have also brought you the greatest lessons. Maybe start of slow. A spiritual journey is on the cards – may I suggest the region of India? It’s an area reeking with religious mysticism. dubbing itself the Adventure Capital of the World. Take it! After all. . but that maybe too early for you. All this mental liberation leads you to want to try a few daring physical acts too. Life is only worth living your own way.June 20) You’re totally ready to take things to the next level. romantically or in some other way. Make an effort to range far and wide during your explorations. from the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism to the passionate compassion of the Buddha. you’re grateful for all of your experiences.
from the street-side stalls serving ramen noodles (a personal favorite) to the luxe sushi restaurants serving one-of-a-kind delicacies. it’s crazy! It’s like one world in the same place together. a paradise haven close to my hometown. I love to meet new people and find new perspectives to life and unique ways of life that can only be found from the lives of local people. I love to go to new places. fast-paced city that never fails to amaze. as I prefer authentic local food. I love to travel. Beautiful people. and what attracts me the most is the culture. another destination that I absolutely loved was Japan. Bali is another favorite. the food and the people. Stella Rissa is fast becoming a rising star in the Asian fashion industry. I always have a good impression for new places. and it’s all in Rupiah – much cheaper than spending in Dollars and Yens! I go there at least once every two months. That happens often here. I don’t really enjoy much of the luxurious fine-dining scene in Bali. the sooner the better! 120 . Finally. I’ve only been there once. like at Warung Made. because its one of the most stylish trend-setting fashion cities in the world. I’m planning for another visit there actually. 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. which is a very hectic. amazing culture. The food was amazing. and in fact its really like my second home. and my favorite places in Bali are KuDeTa for its amazing ambiance. artistic inspirations and jaw-dropping nature. I often go to New York to visit my sister.BON VOYAGE The winner of 2008’s Cleo Award for the Best Young Designer. and the new Rock Bar which simply boasts a spectacular looking venue. It’s a great place to go for a creative inspiration. but you do have to be careful of overloading your senses. 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. interesting destination that is more than just a shopping destination. but I totally fell in love with the place. at least once every two years. Fresh off the plane from her London trip.
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