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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. Bali retains its hidden charms 46 4 64 www. and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Phangan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism.unearthingasia.CONTENTS Culture. tranquil.unearthingasia.000 SGD 7. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .Issue 01 www.com 78 .50 RM 14.com IDR 50.
Bali’s hip happenings. Craig Ferguson shard his tales of travel all over the region of Asia 104 Splashing Lake Taupo Jump right into adventure and explore deep into the Kiwi’s stunning landscape at Lake Taupo 91 104 6 84 STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair A perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra. Hong Kong’s new dig. Jakarta www. with local tips and suggestions 34-41 INSIGHTS Top flashpacking gadgets.CONTENTS 96 84 15-26 BUZZWORTHY! Singapore’s Party flavor. a quick Singapore rejuvenation.unearthingasia. the Nikki Beach Club in Thailand. and more 28 DATEBOOK Festivals and events not to be missed 30 SPOTLIGHT Jakarta 24 hour in the Big Durian of South East Asia. 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.com .
in line with those wise words from a wise man above. However. we spend too much time contemplating. Our readers are the Generation Y. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this inaugural offering from us. or a US$150 meal of deep fried chicken tender. from friends and strangers alike. My simple wish is that five. all too often I ended up frustrated as I browse the various magazines on offer. But more often than not. It is this hole in the travel publication that we aim to service. Is this better? Is it too expensive? Too risky? But all too often. but budget conscious and looking for good advice.EDITOR’S NOTES Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. and the chicken tender heavenly upon my lips. The moral of the story here. you’ll end up disappointed for not taking up the chance while you’ve still got the opportunity to do so. that we ended up missing the window of opportunity that has just been presented. you may regret it after all. Now. They look for tips and hints from various offline and online medium. True. Considering. than by the ones you did do – Mark Twain Much too often. and heading into new territories blind with excitement. It is with that in mind I’d like to introduce Unearthing Asia to you. I can’t help but smile and raise a little toast to our team. and enjoy every single step of the journey as much as the destination in itself. As I look forward to this project finally unfolding. and be glad at our decision to embark upon this amazing journey together. They are independent travelers daring to brave off-the-beaten paths. always thinking. young and affluent. with a layer of cheese slipped in. we spend our lives weighing one thing against another. is to open up and surrender yourself to possibilities. but more often than not. I ended skipping these suggestions for other more cost-effective options. web-savvy. The travel publication market is one that is crowded and very competitive. Nikolas Tjhin Editor-in-Chief 8 . ten. They are suggesting US$1000 a night luxury hotels. or even twenty years from now. we’ll look back with fondness. I’m sure the suggested hotel boasts plentiful amenities.
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. All rights reserved. or other materials. please contact Dawn Khoo Media Link Pte Ltd 1 Sophia Road #07-22 Singapore 228149 (65) 6336 1725. 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. and we accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of PT Tanindo Multimedia. All opinions are of the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by PT Tanindo Multi Media. please contact Nikolas Tjhin PT Tanindo Multi Media VBox 886 Singapore (62) 812 7809 8888 (62) 21 3221 9988 nik@unearthingasia. transparencies. (65) 6336 6116 medialink@pacific. For editorial and media enquiries.sg . Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.* On top of that. Arsin.net. X. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.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.
Visit his photo blog at http://www. culture. She also advises businesses to go green by operating in harmony with nature and adopting cost-effective eco inventions. and has logged over 4000 dives through out the world. She believes in letting spirituality emerge through the common.unearthingasia. Mallika is now focusing on restoring degraded environments and improving the livelihoods of the poor.com). and where to find it! Grab your copy now in various locations in Indonesia. Underwater photography keeps his interest in diving alive as it is always a challenge.com . restaurateur and jungle momma. he is also a photography lecturer at Pelita Harapan University. and works as a Retoucher for Reelsessions. Not only that. California based agency.scottygraham.CONTRIBUTORS 04 05 06 01 01 Mallika Naguran Mallika Naguran founded and manages Gaia Discovery. They are fully dedicated to give you inspirations on what to wear. She lives on Koh Pha Ngan Island in southern Thailand where she indulges in her passion for food. 05 Debbie Reyes-Coloma Singapore-based Debbie Reyes-Coloma is a freelance feature and lifestyle writer for various publications in the region. 04 Scoty Graham Scotty Graham is a freelance photographer that has been living and working in Jakarta. he started Continuum. travel. the everyday – this is what makes for truly beautiful writing. Recently. and writing. especially fashion photography. to promote eco travel and living in Asia. 02 02 Natalie Revvie Natalie Revie is a freelance writer. especially in major bookstores in Jakarta. 06 Bona Soetirto Bona Soetirto is an experienced Freelance Commercial Photographer and Digital Imager for various media in Jakarta. a Los Angeles.com. and has a never-ending learning curve. his own center to teach Digital Imaging. 12 www. 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. Indonesia for the past 15 years. such as Gramedia.gaiadiscovery. 03 03 Barrie Lie-Birchall Barrie is a freelance writer who started his nomadic steps at an early age travelling though Europe. But. 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. TGA and Kinokuniya outlets. Dresscode Dresscode is the first fashion magazine in Indonesia with the unique concept of “non-article” magazine. how to wear them.blogspot. Central Asia and the Pacific. He has been diving for over 25 years. Going beyond conservation. a not-for-profit online publication (www. daily.
Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI. For this inaugural issue. And not only that. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. featuring exciting adventures.unearthingasia. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions.50 RM 14.Culture.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. HK AND MORE! Culture. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.Issue 01 www.000 SGD 7. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .
WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE REGION BUZZWORTHY! HOTEL UNDERWATER LUXURY To coincide with its Culture Capital of Europe nomination. Local experts suggest the underwater visibility of the Bosphorus Strait is at an estimated 10-feet (approximately 3. the islands of south east asia 15 . so visitors can expect an amazing experience like nothing on earth! NT. and rooms all with underwater view. Turkey is set to unveil a 7-floor underwater hotel in 2010. exhibition halls. This 7-star hotel will give its guests a new view of the famous city of Istanbul. It is being built on the ruins of a historical 1930s tobacco factory and will house restaurants.5 meters). from right below its city center.
despite the global economic crisis. travel and party enthusiasts. this was Party town. For three days. Many were here to witness first hand what the fervor of F1 was all about.com . 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.BUZZWORTHY! EVENT F1 EXTRAVAGANZA Once again. with international acts like the Black-Eye Peas to Backstreet Boys to Beyonce all wowing the crowds at various venues around the circuit. and they were definitely not dissappointed by the show on offer. ML.unearthingasia. 16 www. the nightsky of Singapore provides the glits and glam in an exciting Singapore GP F1 event that is fast becoming a highlight of the year for race. This year.
half Olympic sized swimming pool.komaneka.One Bed Room Pool Villa Komaneka at Bisma © Komaneka BUZZWORTHY! VILLA HILLSIDE VIEW Another sister hotel of Komaneka (www. 1.com) is open at Jalan Bisma-Ubud. guests are invited to savor the tranquility and breathtaking beauty of Ubud. each with its 12 meter long private pool and terrace. function rooms and Wanasmara wedding Chapel. Ayu Asti. With 34 spacious suites and 10 elegant villas. circular wading pool. sloping rice fields and the coconut groves in the surrounding. this luxurious resort is designed as a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle destination. The resort’s on-site facilities include an Indonesian fine dining restaurant.2 mile jogging track under canopy of trees. gym. spavilla. Main pool Komaneka at Bisma © Agus Pande the islands of south east asia 17 . bar. with amazing views of the river. Nestled upon the hillsides by the Campuhan River valley.
the second edition of The Miele Guide will be bigger and better. Austria and Thailand. CHEF NEW TALENT There’s a new face in town at the Padma Resort Bali. the 2009/2010 issue will feature a host of additional information. a perfect spot in the heart of the preserved old town Bangkok. NT. The guide will feature 400 restaurants across Asia. and broaden the perspective by evaluating two more countries. Dubai. Raul Deschu. and will ensure additional varieties in Padma Resort’s Food and Beverage Outlets and Programmes. Malaysia. from the top five restaurants in each country to an overview of each featured country’s dining scene. Mongolia and Nepal. hailing from Romania. there are numerous attractions worth visiting just a walking distance away – the Khao San Road are minutes away. The talented chef has gained much experience while working in Germany. 80 more than the previous edition. BOUTIQUE ROYAL PALACE The Bhuthorn is the result of four years of renovation that sees the heritage-listed building transformed into an elegant three guestroom boutique hotel with intricate attention to details.BUZZWORTHY! GUIDE MIELE TIME Following its inaugural 2008/2009 issue. ML. In addition to ranking the region’s top restaurants. as well as the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. The acclaimed 5-star art sanctuary welcomes its new Executive Sous Chef. 18 . says Pauline Ooi. Associate Publisher of the little red book. The area is full of delicious authentic Thai food. KA. Situated in the privileged location of Bangkok’s historic district.
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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unearthingasia.BUZZWORTHY! RESORT BEACH PARTY Nikki Beach. Tania Berg. one of the world’s most recognizable luxury lifestyle and entertainment brands. Expertly designed for ultimate relaxation complimented by a sophisticated ambiance. 22 www. a spectacular new Nikki Beach Club. Discover quintessential luxury at Nikki Beach’s remote Beach Club Bungalow Resort. Nikki Beach Koh Samui brings the vibrant nightlife of Miami to the shores of Lipa Noi Beach. has chosen the idyllic island of Koh Samui in Thailand to launch their latest opening.com . located on the west side of Thailand’s most exotic and exclusive island.
The theme reflected the Festival’s commitment to turn this literary gathering into an inspiring moment. music and song. Julia Leigh the islands of south east asia 23 . Seno Gumira Ajidarma. KA. Asitha Ameresekere. Mohammed Hanif.BUZZWORTHY! Marco Calvani & Kicky Alexander Janet De Neefe Wole Soyinka. Amir Muhammad Wena Poon The festival was a 4-day event of panel sessions. Wena Poon. Fatima Bhutto. food. readings and in-conversations with the world’s greatest exponents of their craft. Bali. and many others. through which writers and readers from every corner of the world can establish a mutual understanding and come together. of course. the 2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival took place in Ubud. Woon Tai Ho. Dede Oetomo. the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for literature. such as – Wole Soyinka. humour and. as well as Lloyd Jones. journalist and novelist from Pakistan. the outspoken poet. Tom Cho. debates. A host of literary stars made their appearance in the festival. Nobel Prize Winner in Literature EVENT UBUD FESTIVAL From 7 to 11 October. The festival also featured a program packed full of performances. film. play readings. with the theme of SukaDuka: Compassion & Solidarity.
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. in which visitors were treated to original performances by Ahtron McCanne and Richie Perrot. 24 www. Aptly called the Balinale. The luxurious Rock Bar at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali played host to the closing awards party. the festival also offered free workshops for aspiring young filmmakers.com . as well as a truly spectacular Bali sunset in the backdrop.unearthingasia. NT.
harbour-plaza. The electric hotel features 702 charming guestrooms and suites right in the heart of old town Hong Kong.unearthingasia.BUZZWORTHY! BOUTIQUE SLEEK DESIGN A swanky new hotel just hit the town with a modern and chic feel. NT. The Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees (www. featuring optical illusions and an environment that feels like you’re inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 26 www.com . giving visitors a unique blend of old and new. emphasizing sleek design and creative innovation.com/hp8d) in Hong Kong boasts a unique lobby designed by HK-based Patrick Leung of PAL Design.
attracts hundreds of yogi masters from all over the globe.January 2010 www. February 13 to 16. Witness the festival’s appointed ruler starting the party with a Mardi Gras-inspired procession through the streets of Goa’s capital. 2010 Goa Carnival The famed hippie paradise begins the year with a food-fight carnival event in the lead-up to Lent. 2010 Ardh Kumbh Mela Held just once every three years. or you can simply stand aside and enjoy the spectacle or take part in the various riverside processions that are ongoing throughout the event.com . flour and even kitchen utensils thrown about in good fun.net 28 www. sadhus. They congregate on the banks of the Ganges to explore anything and everything about transcendental meditation. October 2009 . You’ll see oranges. 2010 Kushimoto Fire Festival At the beginning of the year. the residents of Kushimoto perform a ritual burning of the grassy land in front of the Shino Misaki Watchtower.taiwanhotspring. April 14. During the Carnival. this mass Hindu pilgrimage towards the holy city of Haridwar is the world’s largest gathering of yogis. Over 70 million believers will seek enlightenment through a ritual of bath at the Ganges.unearthingasia. February 28 to March 10. Those looking for a spiritual journey should consider following suit. pilgrims and devotees. the yoga capital of the world. resorts across the island offer special activities and hot spring packages for visitors to enjoy a restorative soak paired with healthy cuisine. Are you brave enough to join in walking through the fire? January 2010 Taiwan Hot Springs and Fine Cuisine Carnival Taiwan’s hot springs culture dates back over a century. Rishikesh.DATEBOOK FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED International Yoga Festival For 10 days at the beginning of Spring.
nz Greytown Arts Festival Held on Wellingon Anniversary weekend.4 April 2010 the islands of south east asia 29 . culture and even religious background rituals which are still followed today. for the biggest food and wine festival in the Waipara Valley Wine region. political intrigues. New Zealand. this highly anticipated exhibition is set to grace the National Museum of Singapore from December through to April. with the very first held in Tokyo at the beginning of the year.25 January 2010 Tokyo Sumo Tournament Japan’s national sport is one that is rich with history. superb music and excellent wines from all over 16 countries. Don’t miss out on their six tournaments throughout the year. performing and literary arts. Don’t miss out on the host of activities in the newly redesigned Town Centre.waiparawine. and the extraordinary skills of artists and craftsmen of the day. 22 December 2009 .co. the Greytown Arts’ Festival will comprise visual. The artefacts highlight changing Egyptian funerary customs. 23 January . January 2010 The World of Ancient Egypt Featuring over 230 Egyptian objects and major works from 4500 BCE to 1st century BCE. 06 March 2010 www. Their use of a variety of materials reveal geographical surroundings of workshops and artistic fashions of the period.Waipara Valley Wine and Food Festival Head down to Christchurch. Enjoy a day of fiesta with an array of gourmet treats. and check out the visual art on display while you are there.
The Big Durian
Jakarta Like its fruit namesake, the Big Durian of Indonesia is often a shock to first-time travelers. It’s a heaving mass of some 10 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl that is one of Asia’s most exciting and liveliest cities. There is plenty to do here, from shopping at the many luxurious shopping centers to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia. Here’s a full day itinerary in Jakarta, followed by tips from locals who call it home.
The newly renovated Hotel Indonesia
Wake up to a metropolitan view of the city in the newly remodeled Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. With interiors inspired by contemporary Indonesian art and style and located in Jakarta’s city center, the iconic hotel is the ideal place for business, shopping and extravagance.
TeSaTe’s delicious local servings
Start your sightseeing by visiting the Salihara Community Complex in South Jakarta, an expansive 3000 square meters of land that plays host to a theater, a gallery and an office building plus guest house. The gallery is an empty space with circular walls, without angles nor borders, providing a wider perspective to the various contemporary arts on display. www.unearthingasia.com
For lunch, head to the Senayan area to enjoy authentic Indonesian food at TeSaTe, a new concept restaurant that not only promotes the richness of local culinary, but highlights the unique Indonesian culture and celebration. Try out authentic local favorites served in luxurious gourmet settings such as the humble satay, nasi goreng (fried rice) or sop buntut (oxtail soup).
Gado-gado, Indonesian Salad
Senayan City, right across from Plaza Senayan
With your stomach and taste-bud fulfilled, head to the Senayan area for some upscale shopping at Plaza Senayan, where luxury brands such as BVLGARI and Louis Vuitton reside alongside local favorites like Sebastian’s and Biyan. Right opposite, the newer Senayan City is also worth exploring, offering 8 floors of shopping, food and entertainment.
After a day of activities, head to the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Book yourself a much deserved hour of Javanese massage, with techniques of skin rolling, long kneading strokes and acupressure to strengthen the body for the night ahead.
Kemang is also host to an array of cafes, bars and pubs serving all kinds of drinks to suit all tastes. For a relaxing, ambient mood, head to Casa Cafe for drinks and desserts. Located right above the trendy Aksara Bookstore, the cafe is a breath of fresh air offering beers, wines by the glass and delectable cocktails. Coffee lovers would prefer Tornado Coffee or Merdeka Coffee, where the lure of strong caffeine draws you in.
The night starts with a feast at Kemang, Jakarta’s glamorous kampong neighborhood that is popular with locals and expats alike. Try out the delectable Javanese specialties at Payon, where traditional touches like the clay floor tiles and swatches of batik give it a unique appearance compared to Kemang’s usually minimalist urban interior. Or you can opt to dine with a view at Shy, sited atop the 4th level at The Papillion. The restaurant’s Dutch chef presents daily seven and four course menus, in addition to their host of expert European fusion cuisine.
Finally, finish your day partying it up at Blowfish Kitchen & Bar at Wisma Mulia, one of the most happening nightspot in town. Coupled with nearby Puro, an Italian lounge and resto, Blowfish is a luxury high-end dining during the afternoon that turns into an all-out clubbing scene at night.
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A Middle Eastern ambiance at Anatolia, Kemang
Like many other citizens of Jakarta, Scotty and Tika complained bitterly about the bad traffic, especially on the weekends. As such, they rarely ventured too far away from home in South Jakarta, but do enjoy the occasional excursions to one of the local golf courses – Jagorawi, Rainbow Hills and Gunung Geulis are a few of their favorite courses. For food, their go-to places are Peppenero (formerly known as the Tratoria) for some excellent Italian food and the Tamat Thai (in Kemang) for some spicy, value for money Thai food. Also in Kemang, Anatolia is a place they reserve for special occasions – “they serve expensive, but authentic Turkish food – delicious and a great atmosphere!” Over on the other side, towards the North, Yansen also opts to avoid the traffic and heads closer to home for food and relaxation. He recommended Segarra, off the coast of Ancol, for a “relaxing, beach-side ambience,” and Glasshouse in Muara Karang for that favorite past time of boys – catching the big match. He also shared about Dermaga, a boisterous sea-side cafe where you can enjoy a hot and spicy offering – Bakmi Sakaw – “we Indonesians love spicy food!” he noted enthusiastically. For those who enjoys live music, the Fountain Cafe at Hotel Grand Hyatt comes heavily recommended by Sandy, who enthused “I love their live band, its also very conveniently located and very comfortable, a great place to chill-out and de-stress.”
Jagorawi Golf Club
Hotel Grand Hyatt
novatelwireless.99.com 34 www. the ultimate in portability. iGo Charger The iGo universal chargers can power thousands of devices with its patented tip technology. performance and design. in the car.apple. From US$1499.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor powering it up. The Novatel MiFi creates your very own network of broadband connectivity wherever you are. Charge your devices wherever you want .6 GHz or 1. road trips and plane flights.com .at home.unearthingasia.INSIGHTS GADGETS Flashpacking Essentials The simple definition of flashpacking can be defined as backpacking with flash. here are the top six essential gadgets you will need to gear up and stay connected. usually associated with tech-savvy adventurers who prefer to travel independently.igo. you’ll be amazed at how so much power can be packed into such a thin design. With a 1.com Novatel MiFi Not all countries you travel to will have a strong. Enter the MacBook Air. www. It’s a trend that aptly paints our digital culture – we are no longer able to travel without all the luxuries of technology. or even on the plane. www. stable wireless network to keep you connected.com MacBook Air Every flashpacker needs a good portable laptop to lug around between countries. US$49. or style. For the budding flashpackers. www.
smaller model. It’s not only a phone. www. From US$229.com Apple iPhone 3GS The ultimate must-have gadget for traveling flashpackers. a currency converter and so much more! From US$199.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. www.canon. yet much lighter than a bulky Digital SLR. the Apple iPhone 3GS combines more functionality. it allows complete customization and flexibility. flair and overall usefulness into a single package like nothing else. From US$399. It is much better than your average point and shoot. but also a compass. Powered up by the billion or so applications available for download.theflip. fun.apple. a GPS map.com Flip MinoHD The FlipMinoHD is an evolution of the original Flip Mino camcorder. which packs a powerful machine able to record up to 720p resolution with a full 4GB internal memory into a sleeker.com the islands of south east asia 35 . www.
“Laser facelifts aren’t entirely new. “AccuLiftTM works especially effectively to visibly eliminate facial problems. Compared to the 1. saggy jowls. To book an appointment. call them at (65) 6732 9989 or through email at doctor@nuuclinic. it also tightens skin and minimises the need for filler injections. the process of correcting skinrelated facial imperfections can take place as easily as digitally enhancing a picture on the computer screen. with the latest in face and body treatments that focuses on total rejuvenation. With its effective and safe results. “but what’s different with AccuLiftTM is the use of the 1.” Dr Chew is one of the few aesthetic doctors who has been awarded the rights to administer this procedure in Asia. with virtually no complications. Capable of removing excess fat deposits that have migrated downwards due to gravity. The good thing about this treatment is that it delivers excellent results. Singapore is the preferred pitstop to replenish and rejuvenate. which makes it perfect as an over-the-weekend treatment. Paragon Medical Suites. Renowned Dr K K Chew’s NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness at Paragon is the place to go for a quick aesthetic fix.” explains Dr Chew.064nm and 1.com . AccuLiftTM by AccuSculptTM makes use of a revolutionary powerful 1. RF treatment and liquid facelift. AccuLiftTM is a good alternative to procedures such as Thermage. and deep wrinkles along the laugh lines. The clinic offers a relaxing ambience that is sure to leave you refreshed and raring to go! Laser Face Lift With today’s technology. NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic is located at 290 Orchard Road #09-18/19. and requires a shorter operation time.320nm ones that we used in the past.” explains Dr Chew.INSIGHTS HEALTH Singapore Stopover For those looking for a quick break in between their long-distance flights. eyebags. 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.444nmwavelength laser to correct imperfections on the skin quickly and safely. double chins. for instance. this new wavelength dissipates less heat. It is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only local anaesthesia.444nm laser.
If only you can get work done.Lounging in Transit Business travelers are often stuck in the airport in-between transits a lot more often than others.com . At the Plaza Premium Lounge. Plaza Premium Lounges feature cushy seatings. business services and attentive staff ups the ante in services and hospitality. the Plaza Premium Lounge aims to provide the greatest convenience to all kinds of travelers. Kuala Lumpur. you can do all that and much more. Headquartered in Hong Kong. Shanghai. Vancouver and Toronto. television. Singapore. music. Situated in both Arrival and Departure Levels of the international airports. or an office away from home. or better yet – work out a much needed sweat and get the adrenaline pumping. they have now opened more than 30 locations in 11 international airports – Hong Kong. Guangzhou. Wi-Fi. light snacks or a wholesome buffet spread. Add into that the occassional delays and holdups that stretches your waiting time – time that can be substantial. Hyderabad. New Delhi. giving travelers a sanctuary beyond the airport crowds.unearthingasia. a welcome haven between flights. beverages. or truly rest and relax. The Plaza Premium Lounge is the world’s first commercial VIP lounge open to airport users from all walks of life. Beijing. Muscat. 38 www.
free flow of beer. it features shower with amenities. massages. This rate includes shower with amenities. Lounge use is available @ S$30 + 7% GST per adult. napping beds and foot reflexology. business centre and a wide selection of movies and international publications. They are situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Johor). VIP meet and greet. to mention a few. a variety of food and beverages. Open 24 hours daily to all travelers. you can enjoy the facilities for the whole of 2 hours. internet & email access & free local telephone calls. Even as an economy passenger you can enjoy the luxury of a business class passenger. shower amenities. For RM88 per person. free flow of snacks and salad bar. Malaysia The Plaza Premium Lounge runs 3 lounges in Malaysia. Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Sultan Ismail International Airport (Senai. fitness lifestyle lounge and offer services such as oxygen therapy. the islands of south east asia 39 .INSIGHTS BUSINESS Singapore Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport centers around a modern lifestyle and relaxation concept. non-alcoholic beverages. with a Zen inspired decor adjacent to an outdoor sunflower garden. golf putting. which includes high-speed internet workstations.
INSIGHTS RECIPE Greek Connection 40 .
but don’t let that fool you! Follow this easy-todo instructions for a refreshing taste of Greece right on your kitchen floors. 6. Unroll phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Simmer for about 20 minutes.This traditional Greek favorite may look complex and sophisticated. 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. 2. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You also want to cover the phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. but if you do so. The Fairmont Beijing Hotel AYANA Resort and Spa Bali Fill out our survey to enjoy a Free 1 Year Subscription* and stand a chance to win free hotel stays!* We are offering free one year subscriptions to residents of Singapore. The topmost layer should be about 6 . Repeat this until you have 8 sheets of dough all layered up. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. Jakarta and Bali! See next page for more details. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and butter the bottoms and sides of a pan. layering them on top of each other as you go.* On top of that. Sprinkle 2 . Bake this for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. 7. butter. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Let cool. Add into that two sheets of dough. * Terms & conditions apply . Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and butter them up thoroughly. Set the toppings aside. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. 4. You may want cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted.3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. remember to leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up. Add vanilla and honey. 5. and serve in cupcake papers for immediate refreshement! 8.8 sheets deep. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. This recipe freezes well. 3. nuts.
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tranquil.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 .
With photos by Scotty Graham. Isolated and untouched. the raw natural beauty will strike you like no other destinations could. Mallika Naguran uncovers the blossoming jewel of Raja Ampat and its eco conservation efforts. . lies the Holy Grail of scuba diving.The setting sun at Raja Ampat’s Kri Eco Resort sets the tone for an afternoon of relaxation. Deep in the hearts of Papua.
but I don’t fancy my body becoming part of their habitat. Max extends his hand out to the gecko to crawl on. ducks and birds just roaming around.” the islands of south east asia 47 . A gecko emerges from behind the ketchup bottles.THE GUIDE Being eco can mean a number of things to different people.” he tells over dinner. “You know when I built this place 15 years ago. For Max Ammer. approaching us cautiously on the wooden table. Indonesia. “Eco to me means working with the local people to build a better future. a pioneer dive operator in Raja Ampat and owner of Kri Eco Resort and Sorido Bay Resort at Papua. people are at the heart of any ecology-related business. I didn’t have to specially rear these wild things. the first thing that springs to mind for most is the preservation of nature. They just appeared – we have monitor lizards. I wonder if I should remove my hand that’s resting in its path – I do love animals.
. you don’t have to go far to enjoy abundant marine life. Right below the pier itself are thousands of fishes swimming freely.THE GUIDE At the Kri Eco Resort.
In the morning. a number of them barely made it through school. Baby barracudas pursue parrotfish of amazing varieties. brush turkeys. whom revealed that he could have built the resorts (including the higher-end Sorido Resort) and run the operations quicker with more experienced staff from other parts of Indonesia. “I want local people to make the money. In fact. The guest rooms at Kri Eco Resort are also perched above the waters. I sat a respectable distance away from them.THE GUIDE Green Resort Every night. the islands of south east asia 49 . we were startled to see a pair of coconut crabs huddled around a bamboo pylon at the lounge ceiling. apparently they lie on coconut trees and love cracking the solid nuts with their rock-hard pincers. No need for alarm clocks here. Little of the coral reefs at Cape Kri (house reef) was destroyed with the building of Kri Eco Resort. Even the bricks are made by hand by the senior folks. whom Max employs. we are awakened by hysterical cackles from endemic birds such as eclectis parrots. including the jetty that Max’s father helped to build. tagged along by turtles. Hideous looking as they are. following dinner. But Max is committed to Raja Ampat’s people in more ways that one. At breakfast. and its not always for business. He builds local talent and skills in this remote region of Indonesia spanning from tourism-related ventures to trades for livelihood to careers in scuba diving. resulting in the construction of a not so perfect wooden platform that scuba divers walk on to get to the dive equipment center at the end of the jetty and to hop on to the dive boats.” says Max. sulphur crested cockatoos and hornbills. the guests gaze at the juvenile bamboo sharks wading in the shallows just below the dining lounge on stilts. seeking shelter from sea currents or storms. so a daily sight would be numerous fish species flitting around the pylons. the coconut leaf and nut wall finishing and décor. Everything about Kri Eco Resort is handmade: the Sunset Lounge and its lazy deck chairs. the dive crew are all Papuans. aided by local talent and muscle. with the job title of “All Rounders”. the bamboo chalets. One such talent couldn’t measure straight. they are also harmless and rather immobile.
These are the stuff of legends. . one that will not last forever.An amazing array of marine bio-diversity awaits you. but sadly.
THE GUIDE .
In two single dives. . A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. a renowned marine scientist recorded 283 and 281 fish species.
Plans for a marine park were drawn. renowned marine scientist and author. In 2007 and 2008. Dr Allen was impressed with the numerous species of freshwater fishes found here. or risk losing its intrinsic beauty and biodiversity. it happened. When I visited Kri Eco Resort in March 2009. in 2001. by mid-2007. and after three years. an important regulatory mechanism had already kicked in: the Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee of Rp500. he had improved the water wells in Raja Ampat with chlorination and safety measures and created 13 new wells for the people. Raja Ampat needed protection. Something that’s also close to Max’ heart: in the early days. It was a stroke of luck when Dr Gerald Allen. Conservation at Raja Ampat now is taking on new heights with an aerial monitoring programme sponsored by CI and other NGOs. Logging and mining on the islands impacted the waters with pollution. In two single dives. Dr Allen canvassed for Papua to be considered in the organisation’s conservation programme.000 that involves the issue of an annual waterproof plastic entrance tag. ventured into this path. And the pilot keeping vigil behind the wheels is no other than Max Ammer himself. However. the islands of south east asia 53 . the Raja Ampat Marine Park was formally declared. The big fish started to dwindle. or better.THE GUIDE A consultant with Conservation International (CI). priority was given to the “Posyandu” system. Part of the fee goes to community development. 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. he recorded the highest count of fish species: 283 species at at Cape Kri and 281 at South Fam group. This involves a light aircraft surveillance to keep an eye on illegal activities on water and land. Max knew he had to do something to stop the destruction and pollution. covering marine areas and land-based activities such as logging and mining. and the pristine state of corals. which is a healthcare provision for mothers and children. conservation. I found out that the zonation and management plans were still under development. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. conservation and enforcement.
Other plans afoot are homestays and kayaking adventures around the exotic mushroom islands. Nikson is not just a top dive guide sought after in Raja Ampat. because there isn’t one. and Max. Max bought those turtles from him and promptly the islands of south east asia 55 . provided with food and shelter. “He just put a tank on me and took me down. One such plan is to introduce a clam farm. Nikson couldn’t understand this white man’s actions.” grins Nikson. It is the start of a long and deep friendship between the two. selling turtles that he had just caught with his fisherman father. and given weekly day off plus regular vacation. who was just 14 then. you may just enjoy his other service. This augments what he has already established with the locals – bird watching tours in particular the Red Bird of Paradise. Dive guides at Papua Diving are given proper employment contracts.” laughed Max. Nickson who is 34 years old.THE GUIDE Don’t expect to see a Western dive guide or master at Papua Diving. “They are good people and I want them to learn a new trade and to earn some income. is just one example of how a Papuan is groomed to become an asset in Raja Ampat tourism industry. “and my eyes opened wide looking at the underwater life.” he said. who then see the value of this tourism activity and stop them from catching these birds and selling them overseas as exotic pets. hoping to get them out of the poverty cycle. Today.and by himself of course. who added. A trip to Max Ammer’s resorts is worth every dime. one which he hopes to start designing soon . who is eager to begin the aerial surveillance. If you plan a trip in 2010. They are also paid fair wages.” Nikson. “I will teach Nikson how to fly even. People Welfare and Development Nikson Soor born in Batanta. Sustainable Clam Trade Max intends to implement various new ideas. Nikson tells me that he first met Max when he was a wee boy. 47. Max believes in investing in local education and training local Papuans. and will soon learn to leave the giant clams in dive sites alone. concerned with pollution and illegal fishing. Raja Ampat. a road he has taken that is often long and bumpy. Papuans will learn how to grow clams and sell them in a sustainable fashion. released them. This amiable and energetic Papuan dive master is a manager at Papua Diving with over 11. a live aboard dive boat. was instantly converted.000 dives logged. he is also an environment advocate. Proceeds go entirely to the villagers. but soon learnt the beauty and fragility of marine life.
. A true joy to behold. 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.
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and unwittingly discovered its rowdy side as well .Vannara Putra uncovers Phuket’s island paradise – quiet and tranquil.
Patong Beach is the most developed. there is a fashion catwalk with various ladies (or not) costumed up with long colorful feathers and glittering fake diamonds adorning their dresses. windsurfing. The Beach. For me however. most vibrant. the party never really stops. vending fake Rolexes and cheap tee-shirts for the shopaholic travelers. To our left. rows upon rows of stalls take up shelter by the road side. but in Phuket. with catcalls and whistles firing out from all around the place. It’s not even past dinner time yet. The perfect afternoon sun combined with fresh coconuts and Thailand’s scrumptious delicacies makes it a tantalizing option as we ponder our next plan. Bars. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in that aptly named 2000 movie. even after the devastating 2004 tsunami. Further down the road the alleyway widens and a carnival of sort entices tourists with welcoming arms.THE GUIDE To our right. and most visited one. the beach beckons – pristine white sand upon long tresses of crystal clear water. pubs and massage parlors lined up both sides of the road. In the middle of the road. lazing. It’s a picture perfect postcard view of a 3-kilometer long white sandy beach perfect for swimming. From Phuket. snorkeling. there are also various adventure trips heading inland for jungle trekking. Various diving and snorkeling spots are scattered throughout numerous small islands around the area. Amongst Phuket’s various beaches. easily accessible by boat. and parasailing. mountain climbing or white-water rafting. the islands of south east asia 59 . and enjoying challenging water sports such as jet skiing. I came here to experience a slice of the famed island paradise – the Phi Phi Islands. these are all secondary.
. of the southern coast of Thailand. stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea. Understandably.Phuket Island. offers spectacular scenery. it is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations.
I suppose we shouldn’t have worried – close to 98% of Phuket’s population depends upon tourism to make a living. 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. As our boat neared the bay. but Phi Phi Leh’s beach is very popular with the tourists as well. the largest of the six.THE GUIDE The Island Paradise The journey to Phi Phi Islands was suspiciously easy to arrange. we then made our way slowly passing the soaring limestone walls surrounding Phi Phi Leh. but very well worth the trip. Numerous stalls on Phuket’s crowded street offered day-tours to tourists. Suddenly. and as such they are always eager to make a good impression. We snorkeled a little more before finally making our way towards one of Phi Phi Don’s numerous resorts for a hearty meal. not wanting to disturb the fragile ecosystem below the sea. It was there on the serene Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh that the movie was shot. is the only island with permanent inhabitants. and while my boat entry towards the beach was much less anti-climatic compared to DiCaprio’s jump over a ten-meter waterfall. with full-payment given only when we were picked up from the hotel. Tall breathtaking cliffs forms a circular wall around the area. it was still every bit as astonishing. made for a spectacular scenery. the green jungle opened up. Crystal clear water gives view to the coral beds which are home to a wide range of sea life. Our boat anchored a little distance away from the beach. Phi Phi Don. Being the untrusting travelers that we were. and we were free to swim and snorkel around the boat. we negotiated for a small down-payment for our tour arrangement. the islands of south east asia 61 . The journey there was over an hour long. the crew noticeably turned down the machine. paving a pathway of transparent sea to a small tranquil beach. The Phi Phi Islands comprises six islands surrounded by the Andaman sea. with caves and passages dotting the tall cliffs. The island’s shallow blue-green lagoons and coral gardens. From the pristine Maya Bay. and my eyes searched around trying to find an entrance.
parading and enticing various tourists who are eager to take photos and chat with them. it made for an extreme contradiction. be it vendors selling various cheap imitations. Thailand’s famed lady-boys come out to play. On Wednesday nights. Be warned as well that these lady-boys are every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. Hundreds of stalls offer tourists fake branded goods Nightlife at the Beach Later on at night. 62 www. but those are far and few between. and you should always start by offering half of the original starting price. If you are looking for a romantic place to dine and wine. to find unique handcrafted items and some amazing paintings. which features various acrobatic acts performed by the ladies and lady-boys.unearthingasia. they came out dressed in long glittering gowns with over-the top cabaret shows make-up. There are indeed shops selling higher-quality fakes and the likes. A coalescence of noisy pandemonium boomed in my ears as I made my way through the street.com . There were also the noisy advertising of various muay-thai boxing matches calling out to impressionable travelers. then this isn’t the right place for you. You are still able however. Compared to the tranquil beach of Phi Phi Islands. Haggling is a must. Beware that tips would be expected of these miscellaneous services. They are also keen to promote their one-of-a-kind Thai Girl show.THE GUIDE This spread. Stunning views from the top of Phuket. drink and be merry. tuk-tuk drivers offering rides. The jetty. Every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. my Puma boots were a wreck only after a few sessions of soccer. clockwise from right Island hopping is a popular activity. Instead. a small one will suffice. and a friend’s Rolex didn’t last though the end of the month. Indeed. that word would invariably be “rowdy”. what you would find here is a good mix of tourists and locals who are out to have a good time. we made our way through the jungle of shops cramping the coastal side of Patong beach. or a relaxing lounge to chill and rest. Those out to shop would be well advised to know that these are simply cheap thrills. If one were to choose a word to describe Patong beach’s street side revelries. and numerous tailors touting cheap custommade suits.
the islands of south east asia 63 .
Char Magalong unearthed a magical attraction priming for international limelight and renown .THE GUIDE At the center of Palawan.
its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many. and few are able to resist its charm. Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade. As I made my way into the hotel. indeed in all of Southeast Asia. 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. a sure sign of the various beach activities they must have participated in – swimming at the beach. but first I had a whole new city to explore. can compare with the beauty of Palawan. Throughout the years. or diving to the depths of Palawan’s magnificent seas. with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan. snorkeling.Few places in the Philippines. I flashed a smile at a group of tourists passing by. offering visitors a wide array of activities and attractions All images used on this editorial feature were kindly provided by the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park the islands of south east asia 65 . I made a mental note to check out the beach.
another gasp of awe 66 www. Another point of aerial view.unearthingasia.Clockwise from top The subterranean river goes out into the sea.com . Mesmerizing aerial view of the island paradise. A thriving wildlife.
History tells us however. we’ll find Puerto Princesa right in the middle. this was reduced to Puerto Princesa. Princes Eulalia of Spain. the islands of south east asia 67 . the place was named Puerto de la Princesa and as time progressed. that it was named after a Spanish Princess in 1864.If we look at the map of the Philippines and the Palawan Island. the province itself bound by the South China Sea in the west and the Sulu Sea in the east. Others would say that she receives her name from being a haven for everyone. it is the second largest city in the country with approximately 120. It is a city that prides on its cleanliness and natural beauty.000 inhabitants. Legend has it that Puerto Princesa was named after a maiden who used to roam the island on certain evenings of the year. and has often been dubbed the capital of ecotourism.000 hectares. Totaling an area of approximately 260. from the seafarers who dock there to the nature lovers and environmentalists who are amazed by the protected area. When she died.
monitor lizards. partially through paved roads but also on dirt and muddy roads. As such. do fishing or carve handicraft products for souvenirs.THE GUIDE Island hopping is a popular activity here. Other than exploring the cave. the underground river has been nominated to be a part of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature.com . You will be awed by the exquisite beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in rainbow colors – a truly wondrous view. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also offers other activities such as mountain and rock climbing. was Palawan’s most esteemed wonders – the Underground River. The rock formations inside were truly one of a kind. bird watching and the likes. the Crocodile Farm. Finally. Daylight Hole and the Kawili Cave. The Subterranean River National Park at Puerto Princesa is a haven of natural beauty that has been nominated to become one of the new Seven Wonders of the world. Aside from the Underground River. As it had rained the night before. Located 50km north of the capital. the road condition was especially bad and we got stuck twice on our way there. we were led in slowly. the area boasts a number of cave systems worth exploring. The journey up north was a good three hours drive. A regular tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.5 kilometers into the cave. the boat turtled onwards. peaceful lagoon that supports a thriving wildlife. a breathtaking experience comparable to none. but a fun experience never the less. Butterfly Garden and Mitra’s Ranch. we reached the opening of the Underground River. Right at the mouth of the cave lies a clear. We picnicked and ate our lunch as we waited for our turn to get into the Underground River. Nothing too serious. Very recently. There are also city tours that brings you to various attractions such as the Iwahig penal colony. and it will take sometime for you to get used to. it boasts a 8. going up to 1. Other areas to explore include the Lions Cave. Monkeys. At the top of my list of must-see attractions however. Finally it was our turn! As our tour guide warned us about safety precautions and what not to do inside.2-kilometer long river that goes through a mesmerizing cave before it makes its exit right into the South China Sea.The site contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. with the Sta Lourdes wharf serving as a port for tourists who want to rent boats for fixed tours or to simply go wherever they like. The Iwahig is a unique wall-less prison colony where convicts act as they would living in a village. gently making its way through the scintillating river. Climbing Ugong Rock allows one to view the spectacular karst formations and surrounding natural beauty.unearthingasia. The cave was extremely dark. 68 www. squirrels and other friendly animals find their ecosystem near the cave. landing in the top 77 nominees. They cultivate rice and other crops.
com . At the entrance of the subterranean river. Paddling back out after a fun adventure This page. from top The National Park is located low.unearthingasia.Previous spread. Relaxing in the clear lagoon at the mouth of the river 70 www. clockwise The clouds form a magical shadow over the National Park. Venturing into the dark cave. 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 .
a relief to budget travelers and luxury high-fliers all around . But fortunately.The island paradise of Koh Phangan is slowly but surely attracting its worthy share of developers and luxury travelers. the island seemed determined to balance between its development and natural charms.
Koh Phangan remained until recently the quiet. Koh Phangan has truly established itself as the destination of choice for party-animals. elegant lady.THE GUIDE Lying in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand. 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. With its infamous full moon party every month for the last two decades. Koh Phangan is a party-goers paradise of legendary proportions. Having escaped the brutal development of its sister island Koh Samui. At the moment it certainly seems that way. and flying entirely under the radar of commercial hotels and package-holiday tourism. hippies and backpackers alike. With its broad white sandy beaches. its relatively slow development will hopefully mean it has learned its lesson from neighboring Koh Samui’s mistakes. set against unspoiled jungle backdrops and glittering ocean. failing to show up on all but the most backpack savvy trails. the islands of south east asia 75 . And the little-known hippy paradise of Koh Phangan may be able to provide exactly that. but with a common commitment to green ethos and protecting the island’s gorgeous flora and fauna. as the small number of developers and big hotels moving in are not only developing with an eye to natural aesthetics. Koh Phangan exudes a special magical privacy to invigorate even the most jaded international jet-setter. But change is coming to this jungle paradise isle. Recently however. Added to that. it has evolved into 5-star boutique resort destination. little-known sister of the two. an astonishing transformation that is not unlike a blossoming of a young flower into a beautiful.
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 Thong Nai Pan has been recognized as the truly 5-star destination on Koh Phangan and this year new luxury resort. resorts and restaurants. But uncommonly for Thailand. taste and discretion. right next to the traditional $5-a-night backpacker huts of old Koh Phangan. Now when the full moon shines on Koh Phangan. 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. Rasananda. In addition to these high-end tourists.The coast of Tong Nai Pan Noi Attracting the most attention in the 5-star resort stakes is the stunning Thong Nai Pan. 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. and unusually it seems to be entirely harmonious. so as not to disturb the guests in their $300 dollar-a-night rooms. opened its doors for business. complementing the exquisite natural surroundings. As it comes of age the jewel in its crown. Thong Nai Pan has been called ‘the jewel of Koh Phangan’ and for years was the best kept secret in the region. it is being altered with sensitivity. but no less beautiful.unearthingasia. who have managed to create an elegant. from Alaskan kayakbuilders to Israeli cheese-makers. luxury 300-threadcount towels lie on sun-loungers next to hippies on their way to the next low-key destination of choice for backpackers. but quietly. Thong Nai Pan. the community is set to increase in both size and diversity. The result is very different from days-goneby – more refined definitely. and created in harmony with the environment. 76 www. With more residences being built privately and by small local developers. but beautiful residences. on the northeast corner of the lush island. it finds not just the drunken revelers of yore. And credit must be given where it’s due to Rasananda management. So the wild hippy paradise of yesteryear is changing.com . Who knows how long that arrangement is set to last? But currently. beautiful resort that still gives a nod to the rustic Thai charm which entrances visitors to Thailand every year. At the moment. the beach has naturally attracted an interesting community of expats. At night the jungle reverberates to the sounds of the traditional Thong Nai Pan parties and bongo drums.
The crystal blue water is perfect for water sports and activities the islands of south east asia 77 .
THE GUIDE Amidst the influx of overflowing tourists. . Fog and mist creeping into the forest as the setting sun envelops the horizon. Ubud. Barrie Lie-Birchall enthuses. Bali. Bali retains its hidden charms and unexplored attractions.
it soon became a target for anti-western extremist Islamic groups. The cyclonic invasion of this tiny island began with a trickle in the 1930’s with the likes of artists Walter Spies. The ancient temple of Taman Ayun the islands of south east asia 79 . the Balinese still retain their cultural and religious ways of life. and yet. As the tourist influx grew and Bali was flooded with carefree tourists from around the world. this became apparent when the island of Bali became a stopover on the renowned ‘hippy trail’ in the 1960’s.Scenic surf and steep cliffs on the coastline Bali. From then on the steady flow of tourists increased over the coming decades. In October 2002. is drenched in mass tourism. As a paradise destination for westerners. in-depth. It didn’t happen. the main tourist district of Kuta was devastated by three massive bombs killing 202 people. Rudolf Bonnet and Le Mayeur. unaffected. but soon became a novelty destination for celebrities such as Noel Coward. Bali was soon to be crushed again on October 1. The impact upon the Bali tourism industry was immediate. amongst others. 2005 with a series of terrorist suicide bomb attacks in Jimbaran and Kuta. unlike other islands in the archipelago of Indonesia. The Balinese feared a repeat upon tourism that occurred previously in 2002. Bali’s eventual step into the limelight was predominately due to anthropologist Margaret Mead who researched and documented. the Balinese.
Bali once again enjoys boom times with record numbers of tourists visiting the island. There are numerous reasons this tiny Hindu island possesses immense appeal to westerners. Primarily, it’s a cheap holiday destination with much the same on offer as most South-east Asian destinations; good shopping, relaxed tropical atmosphere, bars and nightclubs as well as restaurants every 50 metres. Bali is geared towards tourists and first impressions will see you being overwhelmed. More than Meets the Eye But, there is more to Bali than the aforementioned. It is an island that possesses a spiritual mystique woven around a unique culture and a religion that is a fascinating amalgam of animism and Indian Hindu beliefs. In the land of a 1,000 temples, religion is the dominating force and this can be seen in the daily rituals and ceremonies of the Balinese. Travelling around Bali can be an enlightening experience. The delightful thing is that wherever you go, your senses are tantalised by sheer beauty. Green textured rice paddies clinging to hillsides and rugged mountains are mesmerising. Being an island of varied landscapes it affords some of the most spectacular panoramas in the Indonesian archipelago.
Green rice terraces forms a beautiful scenery
It is no wonder then that Bali is so appealing. Travelling anywhere across the 140-kilometer wide island yields breathtaking surprises and everlasting impressions. An island covering an area of 5, 561 sq kilometer and totally surrounded by crystal blue oceans it is only natural that a lot of the coastline is spectacular, and at dusk, unforgettable mind-blowing sunsets. Coconut-palm lined sandy beaches and sparkling clear waters offer some of the best scuba diving and surfing to be found anywhere in the world.
The whole island is one enjoyable surprise after the other. Walking around traditional markets has always been one of my favourites taking in the atmosphere of Balinese traders haggling or imbibing in the delights of the array of traditional foods. Scaling the steps of centuries old temple and gazing at the myriad of statues slowly being eroded by time or witnessing a temple festival with the Balinese in colourful dress has never ceased to amaze me. Bali has something to offer everybody. Talking slow walks along sandy beaches at sunset or being adventurous and bungyjumping off dizzy heights, or just chillingout leisurely wandering the streets talking to the locals.
the islands of south east asia
Pura Ulun Danu temple on Lake Brataan, Bali, Indonesia
Unexplored Paradise Getting around Bali is quite easy and there are many areas in Bali that are rarely visited by tourists or travellers alike. Then there are those areas yet to be fully developed as a tourist destination. The east coast of the island is one such area that has escaped the onslaught. This is one part of the island that has always entranced me. Sleepy fishing villages are dotted up and down the coastline with deserted beaches lined with row after row of colourful fishing boats. Inland you will find pristine areas of dense jungle clinging to towering hillsides and valleys with a carpet of rich-green rice paddies. Not far from the town of Amlapura there is a place seldom seen by regular tourists that has the most stunning and beautiful panoramic view of rice fields on the entire island of Bali. It is a place
called Ngis, a small village barely visible from the main road. In between the town of Amlapura and the village of Abang along the east coast road you will come to a sharp bend in the road and here you will find the heavenly view. The island of Bali is the epitome of paradise. Where else in the tropics could you drive through a massive hole in a sacred Banyan tree, be thrilled at the power of white-water as you raft furiously along the rapids of the Ayung River deep in the jungle, or go fishing with the locals on their traditional boats. Bali has something for everyone. If you are just a tourist with a desire to chillout and relax or possesses a lust for adventure, a passion for archaeological history or perhaps a nature-lover; Bali and its friendly people have all these and much, much more.
Being centrally located in the archipelago, Bali affords the traveller opportunities to visit the other islands in Indonesia with a variety of inexpensive flights on offer utilising numerous airline services. You can virtually travel to all points of the compass and experience other cultures for as many days as you like and still return to Bali and finish your holiday. Bali as a tourist destination in Southeast Asia has so much more to offer. It is an island where you can relax in sheer luxury at high-end resorts, or revel in the crazed tourist scene of Kuta in budget accommodation. Bali is an island where you can live on $10 a day quite comfortably and an island where you can be a global citizen in paradise and, it is a place that time has not forgotten but respected for its unique culture and friendly people.
Crossed-weaved heels – Dum Dum at Alun Alun Indonesia. Heart buckled ethnic belt – Tari Maya at Alun Alun Indonesia. Modern batik printed dress – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Ringlets Bracelet – Origo at Alun Alun Indonesia . with make up and styling by the Dresscode Team. Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Jakarta.STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair Unrestraint and picturesque settings conjure a perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra.
STYLE GUIDE .
Batik printed clutch – Ilalang at Alun Alun Indonesia Opposite Page Long wool shawl (worn as a headband) – Mellies Moss at Alun Alun Indonesia. Rope wooden sandals – Heroine at Alun Alun Indonesia. Colorful Ringlets Statement Necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Rattan ethnic bangles (set of 3) – Diori at Alun Alun Indonesia. Tube summer dress – BIASA. Gold Ethnic flats – Giffa at Alun Alun Indonesia. Batik printed corset (worn as an obi) – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Hand-painted decorative umbrella – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia 87 .This Page Tie-dyed summer dress – Lilou at Alun Alun Indonesia.
. Photographed by Bona Soetirto. Fish scales sandals – VNC Modeled by Audrey. Multicolor statement necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Crossed-weaved beach hat – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Styled by the DRESSCODE Team. Striped vest – BIASA.STYLE GUIDE Sarong style skirt (worn as a tube dress) – BIASA.
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 . The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. For this inaugural issue.com IDR 50. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading.50 RM 14. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. featuring exciting adventures. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .000 SGD 7. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions.Issue 01 www. And not only that. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.Culture. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home.unearthingasia. HK AND MORE! Culture. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details.
TALES GOURMET Nabeetha Naseer samples the vivacious array of culinary delights from the region of Middle East. and comes up with a tasty guide for the foodie at heart. .
They can be eaten on its own. or mixed with one another 92 .TALES GOURMET Arabian cuisine usually consists of a dozen or more small dishes. but more commonly used as dip for pita bread.
. from top Pita bread a serving of dips. parsley.Right. Iskender kebab is a famed specialty from Bursa. lamb stew in a sweet-sour sauce. sesame seeds. it is almost never without the region’s staple food. in which thinly cut grilled lamb is basted with tomato sauce over pide bread and generously slathered with melted butter and yogurt. khoresh. Since Muslims do not consume pork. is the usage of aromatic spices. beef and lamb. an eggplant dip. the main course could vary between kebabs of grilled chicken or lamb. 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. shape and color. fruits and nuts. For the uninitiated. the most commonly used meat are chicken. Grilled chicken with vegetables Middle Eastern cuisines come in a wide variety of taste. Each country adds their own distinct touches to the mix. northern Turkey. It may even contain a number of rice dishes that is mixed with meats. deep-fried chickpea balls. mint and chickpeas – these are a few of the common ingredients you’ll find throughout the region. make sure to try out a course of mezze and you’ll realize right away why the tables are all super large. kebabs are generally grilled or broiled meats over skewer or sticks. Honey. A common bond between them however. felafels. but be warned – it can be quite spicy! Main Courses Depending on which country you are in. While a meal may exclude meat. bread. feta-stuffed phyllo pastries and dolmas. vegetables. Mezze (or appetizers) When you are in Lebanon. sumac. The baba ghanouj is especially tasty. stuffed grape leaves. It has become a part of everyday multicultural cuisines around the globe. completing a vibrant map of culinary delights throughout the region. borek.
avoid doing so with your left hand. Protein and fiber are in abundance due to the inclusion of nuts. If you’re uncomfortable with this. sautéed tomato and eggplant with yogurt. coffee. spinach. Other desserts include baklava and perhaps almond crusted cookies as well.Vegetables. 94 www. They are comparable to the likes of baklava. Brides Fingers (Asabia el Aroos) are slender crisps of filo filled with sweetened nuts that are popular with the locals. One thing I learned is to leave the sludge at the bottom. It can give your throat an itchy.com . Desserts are served occasionally. do not hesitate to ask for a fork and spoon. following the Islamic tradition that is prevalent in the region. unless if you are in Iran where tea are commonly served.unearthingasia. Desserts and Snacks You are normally served a small cup of sweet. But if you are to try eating with your hands. But for those who fancy desserts on their own. pita. most bakeries tend to sell sweet pastries and the likes to curb your sweet tooth cravings. Among the common ones are Tabboulleh (tart parsley). uneasy feeling. salads and breads This is the usual companion of meals. as it is forbidden in the Islamic tradition to do so. but with lower calories and fat. Meals in the Middle East are often eaten using your hands. thick. flat breads and the traditional Jewish Challah.
Phetburi (Phetchaburi). Call Light shining into Khao Luang Caves. Thailand.TALES ART Heeding the After years of traveling around the region of Asia. . photographer Craig Ferguson finally settled down in Taiwan. He shared tales of his amazing journey with Nikolas Tjhin.
I basically made it up as I went along!” shared the enthusiastic traveler. Now. Even from a very young age. Somehow. “I remember always wanting to take pictures with my dad’s ‘slide camera’. he traveled through Asia for a year. in Taiwan Taiwan home. The Goddess of the Sea. Photo credit . and worked it out as I went along. “I had nothing booked. having grown up mostly in a beach-side suburb of Sydney.Selina Ferguson. he has always shown an interest in photography. With its numerous cultural traditions and some of the most fascinating sights on earth. Always with a camera.” He then learned the ropes on his own on a Manual SLR while at school in the 1980s and progressed from there. the awardwinning photographer calls the islands of south east asia 97 . Right off graduation. First Love Craig hailed from Australia. having fallen in love with Asia over his various treks throughout the region. landing in Bangkok and simply “winging it” as he goes along. Craig Ferguson is one such victim. and is starting to shift his focus away from travel photography into music. Bright red lanterns. After that. wedding and personal portrait type photography. and then into a cheap guesthouse. He initially studied science and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science.The yearly pilgrimage for Mazu. it’s no wonder how so many people have fallen head over heels with this beautiful region. The call of Asia is a strong one. I found my way onto a local bus to Banglamphu.
. Hualien. Taiwan.Japanese gate.
Having exhausted the south eastern part of Asia. lakes and surfing made up most of it. then to Lombok. meeting up with other travelers along the way. Cambodia.Angkor Wat. He headed south towards the Thai islands for a while. but never found it. and onwards to Nepal for a slower pace of life. before heading back home to Australia. but not before a final couple weeks of relaxation on Koh Tao. the call of Asia grew too strong. He spent a good five months in the Himalayans region. and on to Lhasa. One of the everlasting experiences of this particular travel was the winter pilgrimage season in Bodhgaya.” he shared. I’d saved enough money that I was able to travel backpacker style for the year without needing to work. Tibet. then down into Malaysia before crossing over into Sumatra – “orangutans. “I mostly did it alone. then onwards to Jakarta through Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta. a World Heritage site and a major tourist destination TALES ART That impromptu travel lasted a whole 12 months and more. trekking in the Annapurnas and exploring the old parts of Kathmandu. Following a short stint in corporate IT. “All this happened a couple of days after the 9/11 attack in the US. So in 2001.” and then to Bali. From there he went to Kathmandu. he headed back up towards Surat Thani. Koh Pha Ngan and then Bangkok. “After some halfhearted attempts to fit into the standard career-track in Australia. he booked a ticket back to Bangkok and went on the road again. Craig searched around for a fulfilling opportunity. local governance.” he shared. back to Bali. Starting out in southern Thailand. 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. he didn’t find anything that fits him and gave him satisfaction. hospitality and NGOs. which intrigued Craig so much that he made plans to return the following year as well. so it was an interesting experience to be completely cut off from the news for five days at that particular time. the islands of south east asia 99 . Burma and then onto Nepal. 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. transiting in Singapore.
” “It’s hard to choose a favorite place because I’ve been to so many great places. He has now spent seven years in Taiwan – “it was a pretty easy transition to make to life here. being a travel photographer is rewarding work but hard. his intention was to stay for one to two years. which included interviewing Noel Gallagher for 30 minutes before the show. with group workshops and a couple of one-on-one students. 100 www.TALES ART Taiwanese opera performer from the Xin Ing Feng Opera Group. To Craig. To budding travel photographers. The rest just followed. On that second trip to Bodhgaya. Along the way. and also shake hands with and speak to the Dalai Lama.” Craig shares. and then continue traveling. where he spent a few trips photographing the various Angkor-era ruins in both Cambodia and Thailand which have proved to be photographic highlights. and they invited me inside their temple. Amongst his list of highlights.” he narrated.” On top of that. and had the pleasure to shoot for Oasis when they toured earlier this year. Craig was privileged enough to be able to witness the ceremony between the two different Buddhist traditions. he finds himself spending time with some Thai monks who were staying there. He is starting to teach photography. Craig headed back east to replenish his funds.unearthingasia. which was an amazing experience. persistence is key to his success. but there’s the added pressure of marketing. He stopped in Thailand and Vietnam. I met and married my wife. before ending up in Taiwan where a friend was already based. weddings and music as well.” he noted. Craig is busy building a multifaceted photography business. a tip he constantly shares with his students and friends alike. I spent a substantial part of the time living in one of the smaller cities. Let your own nautral style and creativity show through. Shoot what you enjoy. Initially. and you’ll find success starts to come your way. some stood out more than others. He now shoot a lot of portraiture. “I wouldn’t swap it for the world though!”. And then shoot it again.com . “It was through them that I got to meet the Dalai Lama – he came to visit them. and we have no plans to leave. Naturally. chasing clients. looking for new leads and meeting deadlines. but he ended up falling in love with the lifestyle here and stayed longer. although it’s been quite a few years since I was last there. Now. Settling Down Following that. “As well as all the usual frustrations of travelers everywhere. his meeting with the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya is one of them. his sound advice is to “try to shoot the images and subjects that give you the most satisfaction. “the whole India and Nepal area is one I love. Once again.” he opined. with his focus drifting a little further away from travel photography since being here. “I got into travel photography as a result of my love of photography and my love of travel.” he enthused. Craig also had a soft spot for Thailand.
Oasis. performing in Taiwan “A Moving Sound”. a Taiwanese theater performance .
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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 .
To the local Kiwis. the islands of south east asia 105 . jet skiing. cruising. Water activities take place in the lakes all year round—which include waterskiing. swimming.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. awe-inspiring geothermal and volcanic wonders. the Lake Taupo region is home to New Zealand’s largest fresh water lake. With 47 rivers and streams flowing into the lake. It was created by a gigantic volcanic eruption in 181AD. At 425 km in length. irrigation and hydroelectric power. Perhaps inspired by New Zealand’s pure natural surroundings—from vast open spaces filled with stunning rugged landscapes to gorgeous beaches. it is New Zealand’s largest natural waterway. The lake’s attractive pumice sand beaches give it the appearance of an inland ocean. fishing. Situated in the volcanic heart of the North Island. Lake Taupo is Australasia’s largest lake. Spanning 619 sq km. and sailing. such as bungy jumping and zorbing. The Waikato River is the only river flowing out of the lake. There are also many tour operators in the region who offer day trips or overnight camping excursions. Plus there are plenty of chances to take a break and continue the fun on dry land. the Waikato River has always been a great provider—from fish and freshwater lobster to drinking water. parasailing. kayaking. this area is renowned for trout fishing and kayaking. it is as big as Singapore. There is no shortage of activities for vacationers regardless of age or fitness. and temperate climate—the Kiwi’s spirit of adventure is what has attracted visitors from across the globe to join in the fun. most extreme adventures. canoeing. fascinating geothermal areas and the famous Huka Falls. The youngest country on earth has some of the most incredible water adventures that guests can experience.
hukafallsjet. 106 www. Be ready to get wet! To scuba dive in Lake Taupo. 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. and enjoy the sensation as you slide past cliffs and trees at 80km per hour. aquatic life is abundant. To the amateur diver this requires skill in reading your depth gauge. 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) boat ride! Marvel at the incredible water level views of the spectacular Huka Falls. White Island off the coast of Whakatane is a unique experience as New Zealand’s only active marine volcano. Should you wish to scuba dive in a volcanic area. 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.unearthingasia. Because of the warm waters.com . You should seek advice and assistance from a qualified professional scuba diving school or tour operator in the area.
You’ll never regret walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. leading you over ancient lava flows. There’s nothing else like it in the world © Destination Lake Taupo . up mountain summits. This 17-kilometre volcanic trail rises to 1600 metres above sea level. along scoria slopes and through craters.
com .co. the Hidden Valley (www.nz) through stunning Lake Tarawera on the 38-foot luxury launch Clearwater Pride. Autumn (10°C from March to May). Check www. Cook your catch in thermal sand at Hot Water beach. A chartered cruise is one of the best ways to experience golden sunsets. one of nature’s true gifts. Sailing on a yacht. The majestic backdrop of a dormant volcano.nz before your trip. hot springs. 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. bush and sky. and then explore a world of gushing geysers. go back in time in this unique geothermal wonderland. Float past ancient beech forests.metservice. sail boats.co.clearwater. Take the Clearwater Cruises (www.orakeikorako. it’s just so wonderful to see this beautiful lake full of swimmers. water skiers. Winter (9°C from June to August) and Spring (12°C from Sept to November). Cross the Waikato River by boat. wild adventure that any brave adventurer needs to do. From parasailing to wakeboarding.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. Now’s your chance to race the rapids! At Orakei Korako. The Tongariro River is known as the perfect river for your first white water rafting experience. tranquil waters and pumice beaches. boiling mud pools and some of the largest silica terraces in the world. where you can also enjoy a soak in a natural hot spring. It’s the exciting. 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.newzealand. The weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in. wet. Lake Taupo is the ideal place to try your nerve and your water skills. It’s the white water seekers challenge of fun. speedboats or jet skis.com for more adventures off and on the ground.unearthingasia.co. Arriving in Taupo by road as a visitor. through gorges. The lake’s reflective waters mirror mountains. Make sure you have your camera with you. and Clearwater staff can organise a range of on-water and land-based activities. 108 www.nz). naturally heated thermal waters and unspoiled flora and fauna provide a beautiful playground. past limestone and volcanic cliffs and then race down 50m ‘roller coaster’ rapids at exhilarating speeds. New Zealand has four seasons: Summer (14°C from Dec to February). Visit www. There is a full range of fishing equipment on board so guests can try fishing for trophy-sized rainbow trout. It’s such a beautiful holiday scene with people enjoying and relaxing on the lakeshores despite the season.
Within this world of earth tones that were spewed from subterranean magma vaults. wild colours provide visual excitement.The volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing never fail to surprise. Here you can see the Emerald Lakes. explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area © Destination Lake Taupo .
Park Hotel Clarke Quay Club Single/Twin Room for S$238++ per night.PROMOTIONAL OFFERS The Quincy Hotel Your Business Sanctuary Promotion.000.co. local calls. Nasui-Shiobara. Mini-bar. minibar. Pat-Mase. island admission. Indonesia Tel: (62) 361 753880 Fax: (62) 362 752787 Website: www. Underwater World & Dolphin lagoon.net Park Hotel Clarke Quay 1 Unity Street. S 099394 T: +65 6825 3888 F: +65 6825 3848 reservation@amarasanctuary. From $258++ per night. 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. buffet breakfast. Stay 3 nights and pay for only 2 nights. Shiobara.sg The Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa 1 Larkhill Road. The Quincy Hotel 22 Mount Elizabeth Singapore 228517 Please call +65 6496 7699 / 1800 7373 279 or email email@example.com. broadband Internet.000. Sentosa Island. Price includes Dinner & Breakfast. unlimited evening cocktails and beverages. Terms and conditions apply.. Meeting Room usage and laundry. one of the following options for 2 ppl: 1.amarahotels. Jimbaran Bali A place unparalleled for its calm and serene environment within a tropical oasis of landscaped gardens.com www. set lunch & dinner. 2.com Aizuya.com. daily breakfast and one-time seafood BBQ in villa. inclusive of breakfast for two. sky ride and Songs of the Sea.000.quincy. Terms and conditions apply. rain shower and wi-fi internet connection in all areas. Luge. Bali.sg for reservations and rates or enquiries www.aizuya.com. Japanese Room w/ private natural spa @ Y28.parkhotelgroup. and late check-out till 6pm. Terms and conditions apply. daily 2 pieces of laundry. inclusive of – limousine pick-up.com Pat-Mase.000.com . Jimbaran-Bali Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera 100 Kawasan Bukit Jimbaran Bali 80364 – Indonesia +62 361 708 708 www.jp Website: www.dekuta. Aizuya Hotel A Japanese Inn where you will experience traditional authentic Japanese cuisine made with local ingredients. Jl Poppies Lane II #8 Kuta. River Taxi ride from Clarke Quay. Japan Tel: +81 3 3541 4967 Fax: +81 3 3541 4968 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org per night for a Superior room. Japanese Twin Room @ Y22. High Tea. We offer a very special rate in March at IDR 728.com dekuta Set in modern minimalist design which equipped with LCD TV 32”. dekuta is strategically located in the heart of Kuta. unlimited internet access and local calls. daily buffet breakfast. 3. Executive set lunch at Brizo Restaurant & Bar. Indulge in Bali Breakaway package at USD 695 for 4days/3nights in two bedrooms villa inclusive of welcome fruit and flowers. Inclusive of complimentary buffet breakfast. Terms and conditions apply. Singapore 237983 Tel: (65) 6593 8888 Fax: (65) 6593 8899 Website: www. all day coffee and tea as well as parking. Japanese Room @ Y18. free wi-fi internet connection and round trip airport transfers.
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like the southern islands of the coast of Thailand. Aries. Renew your energy and figure out what comes next.com .Jan 19) The time is right to head back into your natural habitat. May I suggest a trip to the Big Durian of South East Asia. but they are important in shaping you up for the brighter future ahead. you feel able to do and say all kinds of things that didn’t seem permissible before. and together you’ll form quite a merry crew. After playing out your fantasy. I suspect this will be a place flooded with sea water. Aquarius (Jan 20 . Relax and go with the flow. Capricorn (Dec 22 . Venice is one such destination. You’ll find all of your most creative inner whims fulfilled with a simple snap of your finger. 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. and then get back into it right away after your well-deserved break.Mar 20) You’re not fully informed – quite yet. The isolated heights of Tibet awaits you Sagittarius Pisces (Feb 19 . The passing year may seem full of negative experiences. But being in this place feels liberating. dear Capricorn. I would book a ticket to the Christmas Islands if I were you. For you Sagittarius. a doomed beauty that will sooner or later die away – much like everything else on earth actually. and enjoy a week of acting and play-making in the isolated heights of Tibet.Apr 19) According to my analysis of the astrological omens. 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. The time is nigh to drown yourself in alcoholic beverages of all kind. In fact. Go for it! You’ll meet up with other people who are in similar states of transformation and journey. 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. Suddenly. a personality with an interesting back story. or so they say. 118 www.May 20) A little of bad news is coming your way Taurus. I’m thinking a place of leisure and relaxation. Don’t worry too much about whether things are going your way. you’ll do well to reflect back and determine a new direction for your personal life. Your homework. Aries (Mar 21 . Invent a new character.TRAVEL HOROSCOPE Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Flee as far as possible from your usual haunts. Taurus (Apr 20 .unearthingasia. the nonchalant Aries is largely unaware of the creative energy that has been welling up inside you. a place in between worlds. is to let loose and tap into this creative energy. Shed away your habitual influences and your customary comforts.Feb 18) Party harder and smarter than usual Aquarius. Celebrate the coming festivities with a bang. and give toast to the coming year. a hauntingly beautiful city doomed to lose itself to the drowning sea. to boldly welcome the coming new year as soon as possible.
I bid you make your peace with God. The city of Queenstown in New Zealand offers much in the way of adventure. I envision an eventful getaway in the near future. Life is only worth living your own way. it would take a good few years to try them all out. whatever that may be. dubbing itself the Adventure Capital of the World. Bali is a popular place for honeymooners. you’re grateful for all of your experiences. from the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism to the passionate compassion of the Buddha. Take it! After all. the cosmos grant you the license to thrive on the unexpected blessings that come from giving yourself to the random intelligence of a stranger.Oct 22) Spare no expense.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. They can wait. . All this mental liberation leads you to want to try a few daring physical acts too. There will be an offer to travel and celebrate the festivities together. as I always say.Nov 21) Before you commence your life-long dream Scorpio. romantically or in some other way. A spiritual journey is on the cards – may I suggest the region of India? It’s an area reeking with religious mysticism.Gemini (May 21 . Leo (July 23 .July 22) For the foreseeable future.June 20) You’re totally ready to take things to the next level. When you think about everything you’ve done and seen. your friends and family will still be there for you come 2010. Libra (Sep 23 . Scorpio (Oct 23 . away from your usual crowd of friends and family.Sep 22) The most challenging parts of your travels have also brought you the greatest lessons. It was said there are so many ramen stalls in Tokyo that even if you were to eat ramen thrice a day. with the sweet smell of romance in the air. fret not. Get set and let the adrenaline roar! Virgo (Aug 23 . you’ve got it all here. and you would do well to follow your heart’s content – lest you live to regret this missed opportunity for a unique experience. Don’t put restraints on your enjoyment or give yourself a subconscious guilt trip for what you’re seeing and doing. but that maybe too early for you. with the sun-filled days off the coast of Palawan? Cancer (June 21 . Better start now. Make an effort to range far and wide during your explorations. Maybe start of slow.
The food was amazing. she snuck some time out from her hectic preparation for the upcoming Jakarta Fashion Week to share with us her love and passion for traveling. and in fact its really like my second home. That happens often here. it’s crazy! It’s like one world in the same place together. at least once every two years. amazing culture. I’ve only been there once. I always have a good impression for new places. I love to go to new places.BON VOYAGE The winner of 2008’s Cleo Award for the Best Young Designer. and what attracts me the most is the culture. 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. and my favorite places in Bali are KuDeTa for its amazing ambiance. I often go to New York to visit my sister. I love to travel. Bali is another favorite. interesting destination that is more than just a shopping destination. 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. a paradise haven close to my hometown. Beautiful people. Finally. and it’s all in Rupiah – much cheaper than spending in Dollars and Yens! I go there at least once every two months. which is a very hectic. fast-paced city that never fails to amaze. and the new Rock Bar which simply boasts a spectacular looking venue. but you do have to be careful of overloading your senses. from the street-side stalls serving ramen noodles (a personal favorite) to the luxe sushi restaurants serving one-of-a-kind delicacies. but I totally fell in love with the place. I don’t really enjoy much of the luxurious fine-dining scene in Bali. another destination that I absolutely loved was Japan. as I prefer authentic local food. the sooner the better! 120 . artistic inspirations and jaw-dropping nature. Fresh off the plane from her London trip. the food and the people. like at Warung Made. Stella Rissa is fast becoming a rising star in the Asian fashion industry. It’s a great place to go for a creative inspiration. because its one of the most stylish trend-setting fashion cities in the world.
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