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Culture, Lifestyle and Attractions
Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010
Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali
Vol 01 - Issue 01 www.unearthingasia.com
IDR 50.000 SGD 7.50 RM 14.00
New Zealand’s Splashing Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine + Heeding the Call of Asia in Taiwan + Singapore Stopover + Spotlight on Jakarta + Flashpacking Essentials + A Tropical Affair
com IDR 50.50 RM 14. tranquil.com 78 .Issue 01 www.000 SGD 7.unearthingasia.unearthingasia. and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Phangan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism. Bali retains its hidden charms 46 4 64 www. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .CONTENTS Culture.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.
CONTENTS 96 84 15-26 BUZZWORTHY! Singapore’s Party flavor. a quick Singapore rejuvenation. Hong Kong’s new dig. Bali’s hip happenings.unearthingasia. and more TRAVEL TALES 91 Arabian Servings A tasty guide to the culinary delights from the region of Middle East 96 Heeding the Call Photographer extraordinaire. Craig Ferguson shard his tales of travel all over the region of Asia 104 Splashing Lake Taupo Jump right into adventure and explore deep into the Kiwi’s stunning landscape at Lake Taupo 91 104 6 84 STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair A perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra. the Nikki Beach Club in Thailand.com . Jakarta www. with local tips and suggestions 34-41 INSIGHTS Top flashpacking gadgets. and more 28 DATEBOOK Festivals and events not to be missed 30 SPOTLIGHT Jakarta 24 hour in the Big Durian of South East Asia.
or a US$150 meal of deep fried chicken tender.EDITOR’S NOTES Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. My simple wish is that five. but budget conscious and looking for good advice. They are independent travelers daring to brave off-the-beaten paths. is to open up and surrender yourself to possibilities. It is this hole in the travel publication that we aim to service. But more often than not. I ended skipping these suggestions for other more cost-effective options. Our readers are the Generation Y. or even twenty years from now. I can’t help but smile and raise a little toast to our team. from friends and strangers alike. and enjoy every single step of the journey as much as the destination in itself. Considering. always thinking. They look for tips and hints from various offline and online medium. and the chicken tender heavenly upon my lips. all too often I ended up frustrated as I browse the various magazines on offer. and heading into new territories blind with excitement. but more often than not. It is with that in mind I’d like to introduce Unearthing Asia to you. we spend too much time contemplating. we’ll look back with fondness. The moral of the story here. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this inaugural offering from us. young and affluent. Nikolas Tjhin Editor-in-Chief 8 . The travel publication market is one that is crowded and very competitive. we spend our lives weighing one thing against another. As I look forward to this project finally unfolding. and be glad at our decision to embark upon this amazing journey together. They are suggesting US$1000 a night luxury hotels. Now. with a layer of cheese slipped in. I’m sure the suggested hotel boasts plentiful amenities. Is this better? Is it too expensive? Too risky? But all too often. However. web-savvy. than by the ones you did do – Mark Twain Much too often. 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. True. in line with those wise words from a wise man above. you may regret it after all. ten.
No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of PT Tanindo Multimedia. All rights reserved. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. X.* On top of that. * Terms & conditions apply For advertising and marketing enquiries.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. All opinions are of the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by PT Tanindo Multi Media.net. or other materials. and we accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. SH All rights in this publication and the name are owned and licensed to PT Tanindo Multi Media. transparencies. please contact Nikolas Tjhin PT Tanindo Multi Media VBox 886 Singapore (62) 812 7809 8888 (62) 21 3221 9988 nik@unearthingasia. please contact Dawn Khoo Media Link Pte Ltd 1 Sophia Road #07-22 Singapore 228149 (65) 6336 1725.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. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.sg . (65) 6336 6116 medialink@pacific. Arsin. For editorial and media enquiries.
his own center to teach Digital Imaging. such as Gramedia. it was the Indonesian archipelago that mesmerised him and for the last few decades has spent a considerable amount of his time there ever since.com . 03 03 Barrie Lie-Birchall Barrie is a freelance writer who started his nomadic steps at an early age travelling though Europe. They are fully dedicated to give you inspirations on what to wear. a not-for-profit online publication (www.CONTRIBUTORS 04 05 06 01 01 Mallika Naguran Mallika Naguran founded and manages Gaia Discovery.blogspot. to promote eco travel and living in Asia. TGA and Kinokuniya outlets. Not only that. California based agency. a Los Angeles. 04 Scoty Graham Scotty Graham is a freelance photographer that has been living and working in Jakarta.com). Underwater photography keeps his interest in diving alive as it is always a challenge. She lives on Koh Pha Ngan Island in southern Thailand where she indulges in her passion for food. and where to find it! Grab your copy now in various locations in Indonesia. and has logged over 4000 dives through out the world. He has been diving for over 25 years. culture. 06 Bona Soetirto Bona Soetirto is an experienced Freelance Commercial Photographer and Digital Imager for various media in Jakarta. Recently. and works as a Retoucher for Reelsessions. he started Continuum. daily. His love of Australia saw Barrie hitchhiking around the country and then across the Tasman to New Zealand where he explored the country on a motorbike.scottygraham. how to wear them. Dresscode Dresscode is the first fashion magazine in Indonesia with the unique concept of “non-article” magazine. and has a never-ending learning curve. and writing. the everyday – this is what makes for truly beautiful writing. Indonesia for the past 15 years.unearthingasia. he is also a photography lecturer at Pelita Harapan University. Going beyond conservation.gaiadiscovery. Central Asia and the Pacific. She believes in letting spirituality emerge through the common. 02 02 Natalie Revvie Natalie Revie is a freelance writer. restaurateur and jungle momma. Visit his photo blog at http://www. 12 www. especially in major bookstores in Jakarta.com. She also advises businesses to go green by operating in harmony with nature and adopting cost-effective eco inventions. 05 Debbie Reyes-Coloma Singapore-based Debbie Reyes-Coloma is a freelance feature and lifestyle writer for various publications in the region. But. Mallika is now focusing on restoring degraded environments and improving the livelihoods of the poor. travel. especially fashion photography.
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 . And not only that.Issue 01 www.unearthingasia. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 . HK AND MORE! Culture. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI.50 RM 14. For this inaugural issue.Culture. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading.com IDR 50. featuring exciting adventures. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia.000 SGD 7. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions.
the islands of south east asia 15 . Local experts suggest the underwater visibility of the Bosphorus Strait is at an estimated 10-feet (approximately 3. exhibition halls. from right below its city center.WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE REGION BUZZWORTHY! HOTEL UNDERWATER LUXURY To coincide with its Culture Capital of Europe nomination. This 7-star hotel will give its guests a new view of the famous city of Istanbul. Turkey is set to unveil a 7-floor underwater hotel in 2010. and rooms all with underwater view.5 meters). so visitors can expect an amazing experience like nothing on earth! NT. It is being built on the ruins of a historical 1930s tobacco factory and will house restaurants.
BUZZWORTHY! EVENT F1 EXTRAVAGANZA Once again. 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. Many were here to witness first hand what the fervor of F1 was all about. travel and party enthusiasts. this was Party town.unearthingasia. ML. This year. with international acts like the Black-Eye Peas to Backstreet Boys to Beyonce all wowing the crowds at various venues around the circuit. 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. despite the global economic crisis. For three days. 16 www.com . and they were definitely not dissappointed by the show on offer.
each with its 12 meter long private pool and terrace. Ayu Asti. 1. guests are invited to savor the tranquility and breathtaking beauty of Ubud. sloping rice fields and the coconut groves in the surrounding. With 34 spacious suites and 10 elegant villas.2 mile jogging track under canopy of trees. half Olympic sized swimming pool. this luxurious resort is designed as a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle destination. bar.com) is open at Jalan Bisma-Ubud.One Bed Room Pool Villa Komaneka at Bisma © Komaneka BUZZWORTHY! VILLA HILLSIDE VIEW Another sister hotel of Komaneka (www.komaneka. gym. with amazing views of the river. Nestled upon the hillsides by the Campuhan River valley. Main pool Komaneka at Bisma © Agus Pande the islands of south east asia 17 . The resort’s on-site facilities include an Indonesian fine dining restaurant. circular wading pool. function rooms and Wanasmara wedding Chapel. spavilla.
a perfect spot in the heart of the preserved old town Bangkok. the second edition of The Miele Guide will be bigger and better. The area is full of delicious authentic Thai food. Dubai. says Pauline Ooi. 80 more than the previous edition. Malaysia. from the top five restaurants in each country to an overview of each featured country’s dining scene. Situated in the privileged location of Bangkok’s historic district. The acclaimed 5-star art sanctuary welcomes its new Executive Sous Chef. In addition to ranking the region’s top restaurants. The guide will feature 400 restaurants across Asia. there are numerous attractions worth visiting just a walking distance away – the Khao San Road are minutes away. ML. and broaden the perspective by evaluating two more countries. KA. hailing from Romania. as well as the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. Raul Deschu. NT. 18 . CHEF NEW TALENT There’s a new face in town at the Padma Resort Bali. Associate Publisher of the little red book. and will ensure additional varieties in Padma Resort’s Food and Beverage Outlets and Programmes. the 2009/2010 issue will feature a host of additional information. The talented chef has gained much experience while working in Germany. Austria and Thailand.BUZZWORTHY! GUIDE MIELE TIME Following its inaugural 2008/2009 issue. 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. Mongolia and Nepal.
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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Nikki Beach Koh Samui brings the vibrant nightlife of Miami to the shores of Lipa Noi Beach. Expertly designed for ultimate relaxation complimented by a sophisticated ambiance.unearthingasia. located on the west side of Thailand’s most exotic and exclusive island. Discover quintessential luxury at Nikki Beach’s remote Beach Club Bungalow Resort. Tania Berg.BUZZWORTHY! RESORT BEACH PARTY Nikki Beach. one of the world’s most recognizable luxury lifestyle and entertainment brands.com . 22 www. has chosen the idyllic island of Koh Samui in Thailand to launch their latest opening. a spectacular new Nikki Beach Club.
Dede Oetomo. The theme reflected the Festival’s commitment to turn this literary gathering into an inspiring moment. humour and. food. Bali. through which writers and readers from every corner of the world can establish a mutual understanding and come together. the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for literature. The festival also featured a program packed full of performances. readings and in-conversations with the world’s greatest exponents of their craft. the 2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival took place in Ubud. and many others. such as – Wole Soyinka. music and song. KA. Julia Leigh the islands of south east asia 23 . as well as Lloyd Jones. of course. with the theme of SukaDuka: Compassion & Solidarity.BUZZWORTHY! Marco Calvani & Kicky Alexander Janet De Neefe Wole Soyinka. Nobel Prize Winner in Literature EVENT UBUD FESTIVAL From 7 to 11 October. Tom Cho. Amir Muhammad Wena Poon The festival was a 4-day event of panel sessions. Wena Poon. film. debates. journalist and novelist from Pakistan. A host of literary stars made their appearance in the festival. Asitha Ameresekere. Seno Gumira Ajidarma. Mohammed Hanif. the outspoken poet. Fatima Bhutto. Woon Tai Ho. play readings.
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. 24 www. Aptly called the Balinale. in which visitors were treated to original performances by Ahtron McCanne and Richie Perrot.BUZZWORTHY! Jajang C Noer Didi Petet and Jajang C Noer EVENT BALINALE ROCKS A 6-day film festival showcasing 25 films from 13 countries by both international and Indonesian film-makers with the sole purpose of promoting Bali to filmmakers and artists were held recently in Bali. NT. as well as a truly spectacular Bali sunset in the backdrop.com .unearthingasia.
emphasizing sleek design and creative innovation. giving visitors a unique blend of old and new.BUZZWORTHY! BOUTIQUE SLEEK DESIGN A swanky new hotel just hit the town with a modern and chic feel.com/hp8d) in Hong Kong boasts a unique lobby designed by HK-based Patrick Leung of PAL Design. The Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees (www.com .unearthingasia. NT. The electric hotel features 702 charming guestrooms and suites right in the heart of old town Hong Kong.harbour-plaza. featuring optical illusions and an environment that feels like you’re inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 26 www.
com . You’ll see oranges. attracts hundreds of yogi masters from all over the globe. 2010 Ardh Kumbh Mela Held just once every three years. February 28 to March 10. They congregate on the banks of the Ganges to explore anything and everything about transcendental meditation. 2010 Goa Carnival The famed hippie paradise begins the year with a food-fight carnival event in the lead-up to Lent. or you can simply stand aside and enjoy the spectacle or take part in the various riverside processions that are ongoing throughout the event.net 28 www. Those looking for a spiritual journey should consider following suit. the residents of Kushimoto perform a ritual burning of the grassy land in front of the Shino Misaki Watchtower.unearthingasia. During the Carnival. 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. pilgrims and devotees. 2010 Kushimoto Fire Festival At the beginning of the year. Over 70 million believers will seek enlightenment through a ritual of bath at the Ganges. sadhus.January 2010 www. the yoga capital of the world. flour and even kitchen utensils thrown about in good fun.DATEBOOK FESTIVALS AND EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED International Yoga Festival For 10 days at the beginning of Spring. Witness the festival’s appointed ruler starting the party with a Mardi Gras-inspired procession through the streets of Goa’s capital. February 13 to 16.taiwanhotspring. October 2009 . April 14. resorts across the island offer special activities and hot spring packages for visitors to enjoy a restorative soak paired with healthy cuisine. Rishikesh. this mass Hindu pilgrimage towards the holy city of Haridwar is the world’s largest gathering of yogis.
Don’t miss out on the host of activities in the newly redesigned Town Centre.waiparawine. New Zealand. this highly anticipated exhibition is set to grace the National Museum of Singapore from December through to April. superb music and excellent wines from all over 16 countries. the Greytown Arts’ Festival will comprise visual. Don’t miss out on their six tournaments throughout the year.4 April 2010 the islands of south east asia 29 . The artefacts highlight changing Egyptian funerary customs. 23 January .Waipara Valley Wine and Food Festival Head down to Christchurch.nz Greytown Arts Festival Held on Wellingon Anniversary weekend.co. 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. Enjoy a day of fiesta with an array of gourmet treats. 22 December 2009 . culture and even religious background rituals which are still followed today. and the extraordinary skills of artists and craftsmen of the day. Their use of a variety of materials reveal geographical surroundings of workshops and artistic fashions of the period. political intrigues. and check out the visual art on display while you are there. performing and literary arts. for the biggest food and wine festival in the Waipara Valley Wine region.25 January 2010 Tokyo Sumo Tournament Japan’s national sport is one that is rich with history. with the very first held in Tokyo at the beginning of the year.
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
or style.com . road trips and plane flights. you’ll be amazed at how so much power can be packed into such a thin design.com Novatel MiFi Not all countries you travel to will have a strong.unearthingasia. here are the top six essential gadgets you will need to gear up and stay connected. For the budding flashpackers.com MacBook Air Every flashpacker needs a good portable laptop to lug around between countries. stable wireless network to keep you connected.novatelwireless. www. It’s a trend that aptly paints our digital culture – we are no longer able to travel without all the luxuries of technology. performance and design. The Novatel MiFi creates your very own network of broadband connectivity wherever you are.INSIGHTS GADGETS Flashpacking Essentials The simple definition of flashpacking can be defined as backpacking with flash. Enter the MacBook Air. iGo Charger The iGo universal chargers can power thousands of devices with its patented tip technology. or even on the plane.com 34 www.at home. US$49.6 GHz or 1.igo. Charge your devices wherever you want . usually associated with tech-savvy adventurers who prefer to travel independently. With a 1. the ultimate in portability.99. www. From US$1499. in the car.apple.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor powering it up. www.
which packs a powerful machine able to record up to 720p resolution with a full 4GB internal memory into a sleeker. yet much lighter than a bulky Digital SLR. From US$229.apple.canon. a currency converter and so much more! From US$199. it allows complete customization and flexibility. From US$399. It is much better than your average point and shoot. fun. www.theflip. a GPS map. but also a compass.com Apple iPhone 3GS The ultimate must-have gadget for traveling flashpackers. www.com the islands of south east asia 35 . It’s not only a phone.com Flip MinoHD The FlipMinoHD is an evolution of the original Flip Mino camcorder.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. flair and overall usefulness into a single package like nothing else. the Apple iPhone 3GS combines more functionality. www. smaller model. Powered up by the billion or so applications available for download.
“AccuLiftTM works especially effectively to visibly eliminate facial problems. for instance. RF treatment and liquid facelift. “but what’s different with AccuLiftTM is the use of the 1. Renowned Dr K K Chew’s NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness at Paragon is the place to go for a quick aesthetic fix.INSIGHTS HEALTH Singapore Stopover For those looking for a quick break in between their long-distance flights. To book an appointment. With its effective and safe results. 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. this new wavelength dissipates less heat.444nm laser.” explains Dr Chew. with virtually no complications. AccuLiftTM by AccuSculptTM makes use of a revolutionary powerful 1. saggy jowls.444nmwavelength laser to correct imperfections on the skin quickly and safely. call them at (65) 6732 9989 or through email at doctor@nuuclinic.” explains Dr Chew. and deep wrinkles along the laugh lines. and requires a shorter operation time. NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic is located at 290 Orchard Road #09-18/19. which makes it perfect as an over-the-weekend treatment. Compared to the 1. Paragon Medical Suites. AccuLiftTM is a good alternative to procedures such as Thermage.064nm and 1. “Laser facelifts aren’t entirely new. The clinic offers a relaxing ambience that is sure to leave you refreshed and raring to go! Laser Face Lift With today’s technology. double chins. The good thing about this treatment is that it delivers excellent results.320nm ones that we used in the past. the process of correcting skinrelated facial imperfections can take place as easily as digitally enhancing a picture on the computer screen. eyebags.com .” Dr Chew is one of the few aesthetic doctors who has been awarded the rights to administer this procedure in Asia. with the latest in face and body treatments that focuses on total rejuvenation. it also tightens skin and minimises the need for filler injections. Singapore is the preferred pitstop to replenish and rejuvenate. Capable of removing excess fat deposits that have migrated downwards due to gravity. It is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only local anaesthesia.
or an office away from home. Kuala Lumpur. Singapore.unearthingasia. beverages. Add into that the occassional delays and holdups that stretches your waiting time – time that can be substantial. or truly rest and relax.com . music. you can do all that and much more. they have now opened more than 30 locations in 11 international airports – Hong Kong. If only you can get work done. light snacks or a wholesome buffet spread. Beijing. Hyderabad.Lounging in Transit Business travelers are often stuck in the airport in-between transits a lot more often than others. Plaza Premium Lounges feature cushy seatings. the Plaza Premium Lounge aims to provide the greatest convenience to all kinds of travelers. 38 www. giving travelers a sanctuary beyond the airport crowds. business services and attentive staff ups the ante in services and hospitality. Muscat. a welcome haven between flights. Wi-Fi. Headquartered in Hong Kong. Guangzhou. At the Plaza Premium Lounge. Situated in both Arrival and Departure Levels of the international airports. or better yet – work out a much needed sweat and get the adrenaline pumping. The Plaza Premium Lounge is the world’s first commercial VIP lounge open to airport users from all walks of life. television. Shanghai. Vancouver and Toronto. New Delhi.
non-alcoholic beverages. VIP meet and greet. Even as an economy passenger you can enjoy the luxury of a business class passenger. For RM88 per person. the islands of south east asia 39 . Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Sultan Ismail International Airport (Senai. They are situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. you can enjoy the facilities for the whole of 2 hours. Johor). Open 24 hours daily to all travelers. internet & email access & free local telephone calls. with a Zen inspired decor adjacent to an outdoor sunflower garden. Lounge use is available @ S$30 + 7% GST per adult. free flow of snacks and salad bar. business centre and a wide selection of movies and international publications. a variety of food and beverages. it features shower with amenities. massages. fitness lifestyle lounge and offer services such as oxygen therapy. Malaysia The Plaza Premium Lounge runs 3 lounges in Malaysia. golf putting.INSIGHTS BUSINESS Singapore Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport centers around a modern lifestyle and relaxation concept. napping beds and foot reflexology. to mention a few. free flow of beer. shower amenities. This rate includes shower with amenities. which includes high-speed internet workstations.
INSIGHTS RECIPE Greek Connection 40 .
Bake this for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. 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. you’ll also be in the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. and serve in cupcake papers for immediate refreshement! 8. Jakarta and Bali! See next page for more details. 4. Sprinkle 2 . nuts. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. butter. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and butter the bottoms and sides of a pan. 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. remember to leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up. Make sauce while baklava is baking. 5. Set the toppings aside. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and butter them up thoroughly. 7. Let cool. but if you do so. * Terms & conditions apply . 6. You may want cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts.8 sheets deep. but don’t let that fool you! Follow this easy-todo instructions for a refreshing taste of Greece right on your kitchen floors. 2. The topmost layer should be about 6 . Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. This recipe freezes well. Repeat this until you have 8 sheets of dough all layered up.* On top of that.3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top.This traditional Greek favorite may look complex and sophisticated. layering them on top of each other as you go. 3. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes. You also want to cover the phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. Add into that two sheets of dough. Unroll phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan.
Jakarta 4 weekend stays at the Batavia Hotel. Plus: Stand to Win Free Hotel Stays! AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. along with your personal information and mail it in. Beijing 2 weekend stays at the Fairmont Beijing Hotel right at the heart of downtown. and or postal issues. worth up to US$2000 The Batavia Hotel. misinformation. There are countless of attractions from all over simply waiting to be discovered – unearth these gems together with us! We want to reach out to as many people as possible with this publication. money order or credit card details. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta are subjected to an annual subscription fee. Free subscriptions are for the first 5000 surveys filled and received before 31st January 2010. The address can be found behind the next page. 42 www. more than 15 vouchers at 19 Swiss-Belhotel outlets all around Indonesia AYANA Resort and Spa Bali The Fairmont Beijing Hotel * Terms & Conditions apply – Unearthing Asia retains the rights to refuse free subscription based on unfinished survey questionnaires. worth up to US$950 The Fairmont Beijing Hotel. and are offering all residents of Singapore. Jakarta. Bali 2 night stay at the Jimbaran Bay View room at the luxurious AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. Subscriptions made outside Singapore.Free One Year Subscription! Unearthing Asia is a brand new publication designed to share with you the very best of this lovely region we call home. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta a one year (four issues) subscription entirely free of charge!* * All you need to do is complete the reader’s survey on the following two pages.* Please complete the form and send it in with your cheque.unearthingasia. located at the charming district of Kotatua. The winner of the free hotel stays will be contacted by 28th February 2010.com . Each hotel vouchers have their own respective terms and conditions. worth up to US$2000 Swiss-Belhotel Indonesia And finally.
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and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Pha Ngan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism.46 Eco Paradise Uncover the eco paradise and scuba-diving Holy Grail of Raja Ampat 58 Beach Life Discover Phuket’s island paradise – quiet. Bali retains its hidden charms . tranquil.
Deep in the hearts of Papua. the raw natural beauty will strike you like no other destinations could. With photos by Scotty Graham. lies the Holy Grail of scuba diving. . Isolated and untouched. Mallika Naguran uncovers the blossoming jewel of Raja Ampat and its eco conservation efforts.The setting sun at Raja Ampat’s Kri Eco Resort sets the tone for an afternoon of relaxation.
” he tells over dinner. but I don’t fancy my body becoming part of their habitat. Max extends his hand out to the gecko to crawl on. I wonder if I should remove my hand that’s resting in its path – I do love animals.THE GUIDE Being eco can mean a number of things to different people. I didn’t have to specially rear these wild things. “You know when I built this place 15 years ago. the first thing that springs to mind for most is the preservation of nature. people are at the heart of any ecology-related business. ducks and birds just roaming around. They just appeared – we have monitor lizards. A gecko emerges from behind the ketchup bottles. For Max Ammer. approaching us cautiously on the wooden table. Indonesia.” the islands of south east asia 47 . a pioneer dive operator in Raja Ampat and owner of Kri Eco Resort and Sorido Bay Resort at Papua. “Eco to me means working with the local people to build a better future.
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.
the coconut leaf and nut wall finishing and décor. But Max is committed to Raja Ampat’s people in more ways that one. One such talent couldn’t measure straight. the islands of south east asia 49 . Little of the coral reefs at Cape Kri (house reef) was destroyed with the building of Kri Eco Resort. with the job title of “All Rounders”. the bamboo chalets. Baby barracudas pursue parrotfish of amazing varieties. so a daily sight would be numerous fish species flitting around the pylons. At breakfast. a number of them barely made it through school. tagged along by turtles.THE GUIDE Green Resort Every night. In the morning. we are awakened by hysterical cackles from endemic birds such as eclectis parrots. The guest rooms at Kri Eco Resort are also perched above the waters. brush turkeys. I sat a respectable distance away from them. the dive crew are all Papuans. and its not always for business. the guests gaze at the juvenile bamboo sharks wading in the shallows just below the dining lounge on stilts. they are also harmless and rather immobile. whom Max employs. following dinner. No need for alarm clocks here. Even the bricks are made by hand by the senior folks. 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. sulphur crested cockatoos and hornbills. “I want local people to make the money. apparently they lie on coconut trees and love cracking the solid nuts with their rock-hard pincers. we were startled to see a pair of coconut crabs huddled around a bamboo pylon at the lounge ceiling. 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. Everything about Kri Eco Resort is handmade: the Sunset Lounge and its lazy deck chairs. including the jetty that Max’s father helped to build. whom revealed that he could have built the resorts (including the higher-end Sorido Resort) and run the operations quicker with more experienced staff from other parts of Indonesia. Hideous looking as they are. seeking shelter from sea currents or storms.” says Max. In fact. aided by local talent and muscle.
These are the stuff of legends. . one that will not last forever. but sadly.An amazing array of marine bio-diversity awaits you.
THE GUIDE .
a renowned marine scientist recorded 283 and 281 fish species. .In two single dives. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200.
However. the islands of south east asia 53 . the Raja Ampat Marine Park was formally declared. It was a stroke of luck when Dr Gerald Allen. and after three years. he recorded the highest count of fish species: 283 species at at Cape Kri and 281 at South Fam group. renowned marine scientist and author.000 that involves the issue of an annual waterproof plastic entrance tag. or better. he had improved the water wells in Raja Ampat with chlorination and safety measures and created 13 new wells for the people. The big fish started to dwindle. or risk losing its intrinsic beauty and biodiversity. which is a healthcare provision for mothers and children. Plans for a marine park were drawn.THE GUIDE A consultant with Conservation International (CI). Conservation at Raja Ampat now is taking on new heights with an aerial monitoring programme sponsored by CI and other NGOs. and the pristine state of corals. Conservation The pristine reefs of Raja Ampat and the plentiful marine species were under threat with destructive fishing practices such as bomb fishing and deep-sea trawlers. In two single dives. I found out that the zonation and management plans were still under development. Max knew he had to do something to stop the destruction and pollution. conservation. priority was given to the “Posyandu” system. A benchmark for an excellent fish count is 200. Part of the fee goes to community development. When I visited Kri Eco Resort in March 2009. Logging and mining on the islands impacted the waters with pollution. In 2007 and 2008. Something that’s also close to Max’ heart: in the early days. by mid-2007. it happened. in 2001. And the pilot keeping vigil behind the wheels is no other than Max Ammer himself. conservation and enforcement. ventured into this path. Dr Allen canvassed for Papua to be considered in the organisation’s conservation programme. Dr Allen was impressed with the numerous species of freshwater fishes found here. covering marine areas and land-based activities such as logging and mining. This involves a light aircraft surveillance to keep an eye on illegal activities on water and land. Raja Ampat needed protection. an important regulatory mechanism had already kicked in: the Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee of Rp500.
Papuans will learn how to grow clams and sell them in a sustainable fashion. 47. “They are good people and I want them to learn a new trade and to earn some income. Nikson couldn’t understand this white man’s actions. a road he has taken that is often long and bumpy. and will soon learn to leave the giant clams in dive sites alone.000 dives logged. People Welfare and Development Nikson Soor born in Batanta. Other plans afoot are homestays and kayaking adventures around the exotic mushroom islands. Raja Ampat. “He just put a tank on me and took me down. is just one example of how a Papuan is groomed to become an asset in Raja Ampat tourism industry. One such plan is to introduce a clam farm. one which he hopes to start designing soon . “I will teach Nikson how to fly even. This augments what he has already established with the locals – bird watching tours in particular the Red Bird of Paradise.” grins Nikson. It is the start of a long and deep friendship between the two. was instantly converted. concerned with pollution and illegal fishing. “and my eyes opened wide looking at the underwater life. Nikson tells me that he first met Max when he was a wee boy. he is also an environment advocate. and given weekly day off plus regular vacation. If you plan a trip in 2010.” Nikson.” he said. Sustainable Clam Trade Max intends to implement various new ideas. who added. a live aboard dive boat. who is eager to begin the aerial surveillance. hoping to get them out of the poverty cycle.THE GUIDE Don’t expect to see a Western dive guide or master at Papua Diving. Nickson who is 34 years old. who then see the value of this tourism activity and stop them from catching these birds and selling them overseas as exotic pets. Max believes in investing in local education and training local Papuans. who was just 14 then. This amiable and energetic Papuan dive master is a manager at Papua Diving with over 11. A trip to Max Ammer’s resorts is worth every dime. Nikson is not just a top dive guide sought after in Raja Ampat. Max bought those turtles from him and promptly the islands of south east asia 55 . released them. provided with food and shelter. you may just enjoy his other service.” laughed Max. and Max. Dive guides at Papua Diving are given proper employment contracts. They are also paid fair wages. but soon learnt the beauty and fragility of marine life. Proceeds go entirely to the villagers.and by himself of course. selling turtles that he had just caught with his fisherman father. Today. because there isn’t one.
It’s no wonder how so many diving enthusiasts gushes at the mere mention of Raja Ampat. . A true joy to behold.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.
lazing. with catcalls and whistles firing out from all around the place. and parasailing. To our left. mountain climbing or white-water rafting. snorkeling. and most visited one. For me however. there is a fashion catwalk with various ladies (or not) costumed up with long colorful feathers and glittering fake diamonds adorning their dresses. vending fake Rolexes and cheap tee-shirts for the shopaholic travelers. It’s a picture perfect postcard view of a 3-kilometer long white sandy beach perfect for swimming. From Phuket. rows upon rows of stalls take up shelter by the road side. Further down the road the alleyway widens and a carnival of sort entices tourists with welcoming arms. pubs and massage parlors lined up both sides of the road.THE GUIDE To our right. The Beach. Bars. windsurfing. the party never really stops. there are also various adventure trips heading inland for jungle trekking. and enjoying challenging water sports such as jet skiing. but in Phuket. most vibrant. Amongst Phuket’s various beaches. the islands of south east asia 59 . easily accessible by boat. It’s not even past dinner time yet. In the middle of the road. The perfect afternoon sun combined with fresh coconuts and Thailand’s scrumptious delicacies makes it a tantalizing option as we ponder our next plan. Patong Beach is the most developed. even after the devastating 2004 tsunami. these are all secondary. Various diving and snorkeling spots are scattered throughout numerous small islands around the area. I came here to experience a slice of the famed island paradise – the Phi Phi Islands. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in that aptly named 2000 movie. the beach beckons – pristine white sand upon long tresses of crystal clear water.
. it is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations. offers spectacular scenery. Understandably. of the southern coast of Thailand.Phuket Island. stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea.
we negotiated for a small down-payment for our tour arrangement. Numerous stalls on Phuket’s crowded street offered day-tours to tourists. We snorkeled a little more before finally making our way towards one of Phi Phi Don’s numerous resorts for a hearty meal.THE GUIDE The Island Paradise The journey to Phi Phi Islands was suspiciously easy to arrange. Tall breathtaking cliffs forms a circular wall around the area. the islands of south east asia 61 . with caves and passages dotting the tall cliffs. and my eyes searched around trying to find an entrance. made for a spectacular scenery. From the pristine Maya Bay. The Phi Phi Islands comprises six islands surrounded by the Andaman sea. The island’s shallow blue-green lagoons and coral gardens. and as such they are always eager to make a good impression. with full-payment given only when we were picked up from the hotel. not wanting to disturb the fragile ecosystem below the sea. As our boat neared the bay. I suppose we shouldn’t have worried – close to 98% of Phuket’s population depends upon tourism to make a living. Suddenly. 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. but Phi Phi Leh’s beach is very popular with the tourists as well. is the only island with permanent inhabitants. It was there on the serene Maya Bay in Phi Phi Leh that the movie was shot. Our boat anchored a little distance away from the beach. Crystal clear water gives view to the coral beds which are home to a wide range of sea life. it was still every bit as astonishing. Phi Phi Don. but very well worth the trip. and we were free to swim and snorkel around the boat. The journey there was over an hour long. the largest of the six. Being the untrusting travelers that we were. the green jungle opened up. and while my boat entry towards the beach was much less anti-climatic compared to DiCaprio’s jump over a ten-meter waterfall. the crew noticeably turned down the machine. paving a pathway of transparent sea to a small tranquil beach. we then made our way slowly passing the soaring limestone walls surrounding Phi Phi Leh.
clockwise from right Island hopping is a popular activity. drink and be merry. Hundreds of stalls offer tourists fake branded goods Nightlife at the Beach Later on at night. You are still able however. and a friend’s Rolex didn’t last though the end of the month. Beware that tips would be expected of these miscellaneous services.unearthingasia. tuk-tuk drivers offering rides. Those out to shop would be well advised to know that these are simply cheap thrills. Haggling is a must. a small one will suffice. what you would find here is a good mix of tourists and locals who are out to have a good time. we made our way through the jungle of shops cramping the coastal side of Patong beach. Every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. and numerous tailors touting cheap custommade suits. but those are far and few between. Indeed. They are also keen to promote their one-of-a-kind Thai Girl show. it made for an extreme contradiction.THE GUIDE This spread. parading and enticing various tourists who are eager to take photos and chat with them. There are indeed shops selling higher-quality fakes and the likes. Compared to the tranquil beach of Phi Phi Islands.com . Be warned as well that these lady-boys are every bit as beautiful as they were rumored to be. If you are looking for a romantic place to dine and wine. which features various acrobatic acts performed by the ladies and lady-boys. and you should always start by offering half of the original starting price. The jetty. that word would invariably be “rowdy”. On Wednesday nights. Instead. to find unique handcrafted items and some amazing paintings. There were also the noisy advertising of various muay-thai boxing matches calling out to impressionable travelers. they came out dressed in long glittering gowns with over-the top cabaret shows make-up. If one were to choose a word to describe Patong beach’s street side revelries. Thailand’s famed lady-boys come out to play. 62 www. Stunning views from the top of Phuket. be it vendors selling various cheap imitations. A coalescence of noisy pandemonium boomed in my ears as I made my way through the street. then this isn’t the right place for you. my Puma boots were a wreck only after a few sessions of soccer. or a relaxing lounge to chill and rest.
the islands of south east asia 63 .
THE GUIDE At the center of Palawan. Char Magalong unearthed a magical attraction priming for international limelight and renown .
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 . a sure sign of the various beach activities they must have participated in – swimming at the beach. Throughout the years. I flashed a smile at a group of tourists passing by. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park boasts a thriving wildlife and a full sea to forest ecosystem. its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many. or diving to the depths of Palawan’s magnificent seas. I made a mental note to check out the beach. but first I had a whole new city to explore. and few are able to resist its charm. indeed in all of Southeast Asia. snorkeling. with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan. I could smell the ocean salt in the air. can compare with the beauty of Palawan. Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade. As I made my way into the hotel.Few places in the Philippines.
Mesmerizing aerial view of the island paradise. A thriving wildlife.unearthingasia.com . Another point of aerial view. another gasp of awe 66 www.Clockwise from top The subterranean river goes out into the sea.
it is the second largest city in the country with approximately 120.000 hectares. the islands of south east asia 67 . that it was named after a Spanish Princess in 1864. this was reduced to Puerto Princesa. we’ll find Puerto Princesa right in the middle. the province itself bound by the South China Sea in the west and the Sulu Sea in the east. and has often been dubbed the capital of ecotourism. the place was named Puerto de la Princesa and as time progressed. from the seafarers who dock there to the nature lovers and environmentalists who are amazed by the protected area.If we look at the map of the Philippines and the Palawan Island. It is a city that prides on its cleanliness and natural beauty.000 inhabitants. Princes Eulalia of Spain. Legend has it that Puerto Princesa was named after a maiden who used to roam the island on certain evenings of the year. When she died. Totaling an area of approximately 260. History tells us however. Others would say that she receives her name from being a haven for everyone.
5 kilometers into the cave. landing in the top 77 nominees. peaceful lagoon that supports a thriving wildlife. monitor lizards. As it had rained the night before. bird watching and the likes. Located 50km north of the capital. the area boasts a number of cave systems worth exploring. Daylight Hole and the Kawili Cave. The cave was extremely dark. we were led in slowly.2-kilometer long river that goes through a mesmerizing cave before it makes its exit right into the South China Sea. Finally it was our turn! As our tour guide warned us about safety precautions and what not to do inside. squirrels and other friendly animals find their ecosystem near the cave. The Iwahig is a unique wall-less prison colony where convicts act as they would living in a village. it boasts a 8. was Palawan’s most esteemed wonders – the Underground River.unearthingasia. You will be awed by the exquisite beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites in rainbow colors – a truly wondrous view. Right at the mouth of the cave lies a clear. Monkeys. the Crocodile Farm. Very recently. Aside from the Underground River. a breathtaking experience comparable to none. Other than exploring the cave. We picnicked and ate our lunch as we waited for our turn to get into the Underground River.THE GUIDE Island hopping is a popular activity here. 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. Finally. gently making its way through the scintillating river. 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.com . There are also city tours that brings you to various attractions such as the Iwahig penal colony. but a fun experience never the less. and it will take sometime for you to get used to. At the top of my list of must-see attractions however.The site contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. A regular tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. Other areas to explore include the Lions Cave. the road condition was especially bad and we got stuck twice on our way there. do fishing or carve handicraft products for souvenirs. Butterfly Garden and Mitra’s Ranch. Nothing too serious. partially through paved roads but also on dirt and muddy roads. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also offers other activities such as mountain and rock climbing. Climbing Ugong Rock allows one to view the spectacular karst formations and surrounding natural beauty. the underground river has been nominated to be a part of the world’s New Seven Wonders of Nature. going up to 1. we reached the opening of the Underground River. 68 www. They cultivate rice and other crops. As such. the boat turtled onwards. The rock formations inside were truly one of a kind. The journey up north was a good three hours drive.
Venturing into the dark cave. very near the sea level.unearthingasia. Relaxing in the clear lagoon at the mouth of the river 70 www. clockwise The clouds form a magical shadow over the National Park. Paddling back out after a fun adventure This page. At the entrance of the subterranean river. from top The National Park is located low.Previous spread.com .
THE GUIDE Natalie Revie journeyed into Thailand’s jungle paradise to find it beautifully evolving into a different entity 72 .
But fortunately.The island paradise of Koh Phangan is slowly but surely attracting its worthy share of developers and luxury travelers. a relief to budget travelers and luxury high-fliers all around . the island seemed determined to balance between its development and natural charms.
With its broad white sandy beaches. And the little-known hippy paradise of Koh Phangan may be able to provide exactly that. set against unspoiled jungle backdrops and glittering ocean. little-known sister of the two. Koh Phangan has truly established itself as the destination of choice for party-animals. elegant lady. Recently however. the islands of south east asia 75 . Koh Phangan exudes a special magical privacy to invigorate even the most jaded international jet-setter. At the moment it certainly seems that way. Koh Phangan is a party-goers paradise of legendary proportions. But change is coming to this jungle paradise isle. as the big hotels and developers turn their beady eyes from the already ravaged Koh Samui and realize that today’s luxury guests want something a little different for their dollars. as the small number of developers and big hotels moving in are not only developing with an eye to natural aesthetics. failing to show up on all but the most backpack savvy trails. Koh Phangan remained until recently the quiet. Having escaped the brutal development of its sister island Koh Samui. it has evolved into 5-star boutique resort destination. and flying entirely under the radar of commercial hotels and package-holiday tourism. With its infamous full moon party every month for the last two decades. hippies and backpackers alike. its relatively slow development will hopefully mean it has learned its lesson from neighboring Koh Samui’s mistakes.THE GUIDE Lying in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand. an astonishing transformation that is not unlike a blossoming of a young flower into a beautiful. but with a common commitment to green ethos and protecting the island’s gorgeous flora and fauna. Added to that.
So the wild hippy paradise of yesteryear is changing. The result is very different from days-goneby – more refined definitely. 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. right next to the traditional $5-a-night backpacker huts of old Koh Phangan. so as not to disturb the guests in their $300 dollar-a-night rooms. Thong Nai Pan. resorts and restaurants. And credit must be given where it’s due to Rasananda management. but no less beautiful. it finds not just the drunken revelers of yore.com . it is being altered with sensitivity. but beautiful residences. luxury 300-threadcount towels lie on sun-loungers next to hippies on their way to the next low-key destination of choice for backpackers. At the moment. In addition to these high-end tourists. complementing the exquisite natural surroundings. and unusually it seems to be entirely harmonious. and created in harmony with the environment. 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. who have managed to create an elegant. With more residences being built privately and by small local developers. as inaccessible as it was by bumpy pickup over an unpaved jungle track. the community is set to increase in both size and diversity.unearthingasia.The coast of Tong Nai Pan Noi Attracting the most attention in the 5-star resort stakes is the stunning Thong Nai Pan. but quietly. 76 www. opened its doors for business. As it comes of age the jewel in its crown. Who knows how long that arrangement is set to last? But currently. on the northeast corner of the lush island. sets a leading example not just for Koh Phangan but for development in Thailand as a whole. At night the jungle reverberates to the sounds of the traditional Thong Nai Pan parties and bongo drums. Rasananda. beautiful resort that still gives a nod to the rustic Thai charm which entrances visitors to Thailand every year. Now when the full moon shines on Koh Phangan. Thong Nai Pan has been called ‘the jewel of Koh Phangan’ and for years was the best kept secret in the region. from Alaskan kayakbuilders to Israeli cheese-makers. But uncommonly for Thailand. Now Thong Nai Pan has been recognized as the truly 5-star destination on Koh Phangan and this year new luxury resort. the beach has naturally attracted an interesting community of expats. taste and discretion.
The crystal blue water is perfect for water sports and activities the islands of south east asia 77 .
Bali retains its hidden charms and unexplored attractions. . Barrie Lie-Birchall enthuses.THE GUIDE Amidst the influx of overflowing tourists. Ubud. Fog and mist creeping into the forest as the setting sun envelops the horizon. Bali.
The Balinese feared a repeat upon tourism that occurred previously in 2002. It didn’t happen. the Balinese still retain their cultural and religious ways of life. and yet. Bali was soon to be crushed again on October 1. unaffected. As the tourist influx grew and Bali was flooded with carefree tourists from around the world. Rudolf Bonnet and Le Mayeur. in-depth.Scenic surf and steep cliffs on the coastline Bali. In October 2002. this became apparent when the island of Bali became a stopover on the renowned ‘hippy trail’ in the 1960’s. 2005 with a series of terrorist suicide bomb attacks in Jimbaran and Kuta. but soon became a novelty destination for celebrities such as Noel Coward. Bali’s eventual step into the limelight was predominately due to anthropologist Margaret Mead who researched and documented. amongst others. the main tourist district of Kuta was devastated by three massive bombs killing 202 people. The ancient temple of Taman Ayun the islands of south east asia 79 . is drenched in mass tourism. it soon became a target for anti-western extremist Islamic groups. From then on the steady flow of tourists increased over the coming decades. As a paradise destination for westerners. unlike other islands in the archipelago of Indonesia. The cyclonic invasion of this tiny island began with a trickle in the 1930’s with the likes of artists Walter Spies. The impact upon the Bali tourism industry was immediate. 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.
with make up and styling by the Dresscode Team. Crossed-weaved heels – Dum Dum at Alun Alun Indonesia. Heart buckled ethnic belt – Tari Maya at Alun Alun Indonesia. Jakarta. Photographed by Bona Soetirto.STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair Unrestraint and picturesque settings conjure a perfect beachfront rendezvous by the seaside coast of Segarra. Ringlets Bracelet – Origo at Alun Alun Indonesia . Modern batik printed dress – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia.
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. Batik printed corset (worn as an obi) – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Tube summer dress – BIASA. Rattan ethnic bangles (set of 3) – Diori at Alun Alun Indonesia.This Page Tie-dyed summer dress – Lilou at Alun Alun Indonesia. Gold Ethnic flats – Giffa at Alun Alun Indonesia. Colorful Ringlets Statement Necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia. Hand-painted decorative umbrella – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia 87 .
Styled by the DRESSCODE Team. Photographed by Bona Soetirto. . Fish scales sandals – VNC Modeled by Audrey. Striped vest – BIASA. Multicolor statement necklace – Divvy Hippy Yippy at Alun Alun Indonesia.STYLE GUIDE Sarong style skirt (worn as a tube dress) – BIASA. Crossed-weaved beach hat – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia.
Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI. For this inaugural issue.Issue 01 www. featuring exciting adventures.00 New Zealand’s Splashing Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine + Heeding the Call of Asia in Taiwan + Singapore Stopover + Spotlight on Jakarta + Flashpacking Essentials + A Tropical Affair . Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home.000 SGD 7. And not only that.com IDR 50.Culture. we are generously offering our readers free one year subscriptions. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more details. Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali Vol 01 .50 RM 14. stunning sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. HK AND MORE! Culture. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.unearthingasia.
and comes up with a tasty guide for the foodie at heart.TALES GOURMET Nabeetha Naseer samples the vivacious array of culinary delights from the region of Middle East. .
They can be eaten on its own.TALES GOURMET Arabian cuisine usually consists of a dozen or more small dishes. or mixed with one another 92 . but more commonly used as dip for pita bread.
lamb stew in a sweet-sour sauce. from top Pita bread a serving of dips. northern Turkey. borek. khoresh. The baba ghanouj is especially tasty. Mezze (or appetizers) When you are in Lebanon. vegetables. Each country adds their own distinct touches to the mix. It may even contain a number of rice dishes that is mixed with meats. make sure to try out a course of mezze and you’ll realize right away why the tables are all super large. felafels. stuffed grape leaves. it is almost never without the region’s staple food. sumac. . fruits and nuts. bread. completing a vibrant map of culinary delights throughout the region. For the uninitiated. is the usage of aromatic spices. It has become a part of everyday multicultural cuisines around the globe. the main course could vary between kebabs of grilled chicken or lamb. mint and chickpeas – these are a few of the common ingredients you’ll find throughout the region. You’ll be served dozens of small dishes with exotic tidbits all placed on the table at once Some of the more common mezzes are the baba ghanouj. While a meal may exclude meat.Right. Honey. kebabs are generally grilled or broiled meats over skewer or sticks. parsley. deep-fried chickpea balls. in which thinly cut grilled lamb is basted with tomato sauce over pide bread and generously slathered with melted butter and yogurt. Iskender kebab is a famed specialty from Bursa. A common bond between them however. shape and color. an eggplant dip. feta-stuffed phyllo pastries and dolmas. beef and lamb. the most commonly used meat are chicken. sesame seeds. but be warned – it can be quite spicy! Main Courses Depending on which country you are in. Since Muslims do not consume pork. Grilled chicken with vegetables Middle Eastern cuisines come in a wide variety of taste.
One thing I learned is to leave the sludge at the bottom. sautéed tomato and eggplant with yogurt. salads and breads This is the usual companion of meals. Among the common ones are Tabboulleh (tart parsley). unless if you are in Iran where tea are commonly served. Brides Fingers (Asabia el Aroos) are slender crisps of filo filled with sweetened nuts that are popular with the locals. But for those who fancy desserts on their own. flat breads and the traditional Jewish Challah. It can give your throat an itchy. but with lower calories and fat.unearthingasia. as it is forbidden in the Islamic tradition to do so. If you’re uncomfortable with this. Protein and fiber are in abundance due to the inclusion of nuts.Vegetables. They are comparable to the likes of baklava. But if you are to try eating with your hands. spinach. uneasy feeling. most bakeries tend to sell sweet pastries and the likes to curb your sweet tooth cravings.com . Desserts and Snacks You are normally served a small cup of sweet. do not hesitate to ask for a fork and spoon. pita. avoid doing so with your left hand. Meals in the Middle East are often eaten using your hands. 94 www. Other desserts include baklava and perhaps almond crusted cookies as well. following the Islamic tradition that is prevalent in the region. Desserts are served occasionally. coffee. thick.
Thailand. He shared tales of his amazing journey with Nikolas Tjhin. Call Light shining into Khao Luang Caves.TALES ART Heeding the After years of traveling around the region of Asia. Phetburi (Phetchaburi). photographer Craig Ferguson finally settled down in Taiwan. .
and worked it out as I went along. the awardwinning photographer calls the islands of south east asia 97 . in Taiwan Taiwan home. Photo credit . He initially studied science and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. he traveled through Asia for a year.Selina Ferguson. With its numerous cultural traditions and some of the most fascinating sights on earth. First Love Craig hailed from Australia. and then into a cheap guesthouse. Now.” He then learned the ropes on his own on a Manual SLR while at school in the 1980s and progressed from there. After that. I basically made it up as I went along!” shared the enthusiastic traveler. it’s no wonder how so many people have fallen head over heels with this beautiful region. Craig Ferguson is one such victim. I found my way onto a local bus to Banglamphu. Bright red lanterns. “I had nothing booked. Even from a very young age. wedding and personal portrait type photography. landing in Bangkok and simply “winging it” as he goes along. Always with a camera. having fallen in love with Asia over his various treks throughout the region. and is starting to shift his focus away from travel photography into music. having grown up mostly in a beach-side suburb of Sydney. Right off graduation. “I remember always wanting to take pictures with my dad’s ‘slide camera’. he has always shown an interest in photography. The Goddess of the Sea. Somehow. The call of Asia is a strong one.The yearly pilgrimage for Mazu.
. Hualien. Taiwan.Japanese gate.
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. 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. he booked a ticket back to Bangkok and went on the road again. From there he went to Kathmandu. local governance.Angkor Wat. “After some halfhearted attempts to fit into the standard career-track in Australia. before heading back home to Australia. on a path that sees him on a very unusual backpackers trail across Asia. then to Lombok. Burma and then onto Nepal. Tibet. but never found it. Koh Pha Ngan and then Bangkok. Cambodia.” he shared. transiting in Singapore. Having exhausted the south eastern part of Asia. Craig searched around for a fulfilling opportunity. He headed south towards the Thai islands for a while. then down into Malaysia before crossing over into Sumatra – “orangutans. he didn’t find anything that fits him and gave him satisfaction. “All this happened a couple of days after the 9/11 attack in the US. “I mostly did it alone. Starting out in southern Thailand. but not before a final couple weeks of relaxation on Koh Tao. the call of Asia grew too strong. and on to Lhasa.” and then to Bali. Following a short stint in corporate IT. So in 2001. back to Bali. the islands of south east asia 99 .” he shared. and onwards to Nepal for a slower pace of life. trekking in the Annapurnas and exploring the old parts of Kathmandu. lakes and surfing made up most of it. One of the everlasting experiences of this particular travel was the winter pilgrimage season in Bodhgaya. hospitality and NGOs. so it was an interesting experience to be completely cut off from the news for five days at that particular time. he headed back up towards Surat Thani. meeting up with other travelers along the way. I’d saved enough money that I was able to travel backpacker style for the year without needing to work. He spent a good five months in the Himalayans region. which intrigued Craig so much that he made plans to return the following year as well. his so called second round of travel sees him journey to Langkawi.
Naturally. On that second trip to Bodhgaya. before ending up in Taiwan where a friend was already based. “It was through them that I got to meet the Dalai Lama – he came to visit them. Once again. with group workshops and a couple of one-on-one students. but he ended up falling in love with the lifestyle here and stayed longer. And then shoot it again. Amongst his list of highlights. The rest just followed. To Craig. and we have no plans to leave.” “It’s hard to choose a favorite place because I’ve been to so many great places. although it’s been quite a few years since I was last there. chasing clients. He is starting to teach photography. Craig is busy building a multifaceted photography business. persistence is key to his success. 100 www. weddings and music as well. To budding travel photographers. where he spent a few trips photographing the various Angkor-era ruins in both Cambodia and Thailand which have proved to be photographic highlights. which included interviewing Noel Gallagher for 30 minutes before the show. Now. “the whole India and Nepal area is one I love.com . his meeting with the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya is one of them. “I wouldn’t swap it for the world though!”. “As well as all the usual frustrations of travelers everywhere. Craig was privileged enough to be able to witness the ceremony between the two different Buddhist traditions. with his focus drifting a little further away from travel photography since being here.” On top of that.” he enthused. “I got into travel photography as a result of my love of photography and my love of travel. He has now spent seven years in Taiwan – “it was a pretty easy transition to make to life here. and you’ll find success starts to come your way. a tip he constantly shares with his students and friends alike.” he opined. his intention was to stay for one to two years. he finds himself spending time with some Thai monks who were staying there. Shoot what you enjoy.unearthingasia.” he narrated. Initially. looking for new leads and meeting deadlines. and had the pleasure to shoot for Oasis when they toured earlier this year. and then continue traveling. He now shoot a lot of portraiture.TALES ART Taiwanese opera performer from the Xin Ing Feng Opera Group. I met and married my wife. some stood out more than others. Craig headed back east to replenish his funds. which was an amazing experience. his sound advice is to “try to shoot the images and subjects that give you the most satisfaction. but there’s the added pressure of marketing. being a travel photographer is rewarding work but hard. He stopped in Thailand and Vietnam. and also shake hands with and speak to the Dalai Lama. I spent a substantial part of the time living in one of the smaller cities. Along the way. Craig also had a soft spot for Thailand. Settling Down Following that. and they invited me inside their temple.” he noted.” Craig shares. Let your own nautral style and creativity show through.
performing in Taiwan “A Moving Sound”.Oasis. a Taiwanese theater performance .
Search for Indie Travel in iTunes Check out the new magazine at indietravelpodcast.com .Love travelling? The Indie Travel Podcast is an independent travel site with regular audio and video podcasts along with articles by travellers from all over the world.com http://lonelyplanet.com/magazine Travel well indietravelpodcast.
TALES ADVENTURE Splashing Lake Taupo Debbie Reyes-Coloma ventured into the Kiwi’s stunning landscape to find the Maori spirit of adventure well fanned and alive One of the most famous hiking routes in the Tongariro National Park leads to this amazing sight of the Blue Lake © Destination Lake Taupo .
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. most extreme adventures. awe-inspiring geothermal and volcanic wonders. There is no shortage of activities for vacationers regardless of age or fitness. Situated in the volcanic heart of the North Island. Perhaps inspired by New Zealand’s pure natural surroundings—from vast open spaces filled with stunning rugged landscapes to gorgeous beaches. Plus there are plenty of chances to take a break and continue the fun on dry land. the Lake Taupo region is home to New Zealand’s largest fresh water lake. and sailing. fishing. The youngest country on earth has some of the most incredible water adventures that guests can experience. the Waikato River has always been a great provider—from fish and freshwater lobster to drinking water. this area is renowned for trout fishing and kayaking. such as bungy jumping and zorbing. the islands of south east asia 105 . Spanning 619 sq km. it is New Zealand’s largest natural waterway. Lake Taupo is Australasia’s largest lake. At 425 km in length. The lake’s attractive pumice sand beaches give it the appearance of an inland ocean. Water activities take place in the lakes all year round—which include waterskiing. fascinating geothermal areas and the famous Huka Falls. With 47 rivers and streams flowing into the lake. kayaking. jet skiing. it is as big as Singapore. It was created by a gigantic volcanic eruption in 181AD. parasailing. cruising. canoeing. To the local Kiwis. irrigation and hydroelectric power. 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. and temperate climate—the Kiwi’s spirit of adventure is what has attracted visitors from across the globe to join in the fun.
White Island off the coast of Whakatane is a unique experience as New Zealand’s only active marine volcano. 106 www.unearthingasia. To the amateur diver this requires skill in reading your depth gauge.hukafallsjet. 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. aquatic life is abundant.com) boat ride! Marvel at the incredible water level views of the spectacular Huka Falls. 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. Because of the warm waters.com . one needs experience and professional help because of the lake’s location above sea level. You should seek advice and assistance from a qualified professional scuba diving school or tour operator in the area.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. Should you wish to scuba dive in a volcanic area.
This 17-kilometre volcanic trail rises to 1600 metres above sea level. leading you over ancient lava flows. up mountain summits. along scoria slopes and through craters.You’ll never regret walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. There’s nothing else like it in the world © Destination Lake Taupo .
nz) through stunning Lake Tarawera on the 38-foot luxury launch Clearwater Pride. Take the Clearwater Cruises (www. The majestic backdrop of a dormant volcano. A chartered cruise is one of the best ways to experience golden sunsets.unearthingasia. 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. Check www. There is a full range of fishing equipment on board so guests can try fishing for trophy-sized rainbow trout. Cook your catch in thermal sand at Hot Water beach. 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. hot springs. It’s the white water seekers challenge of fun. Visit www. Cross the Waikato River by boat. Sailing on a yacht. past limestone and volcanic cliffs and then race down 50m ‘roller coaster’ rapids at exhilarating speeds.com . through gorges. Now’s your chance to race the rapids! At Orakei Korako. the Hidden Valley (www.co. sail boats. Float past ancient beech forests. From parasailing to wakeboarding. and then explore a world of gushing geysers. Make sure you have your camera with you. wet. boiling mud pools and some of the largest silica terraces in the world. The Tongariro River is known as the perfect river for your first white water rafting experience. tranquil waters and pumice beaches. The weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in.nz before your trip. The lake’s reflective waters mirror mountains. New Zealand has four seasons: Summer (14°C from Dec to February).co. and Clearwater staff can organise a range of on-water and land-based activities. 108 www. bush and sky.nz).metservice. It’s such a beautiful holiday scene with people enjoying and relaxing on the lakeshores despite the season. Arriving in Taupo by road as a visitor.The chilly waters at the mouth of the Waitahanui Stream are easier to stand when there’s the distraction of an amazing sunset © Gareth Eyres Lake Taupo’s panoramic 360° views are amazing.co. go back in time in this unique geothermal wonderland. Winter (9°C from June to August) and Spring (12°C from Sept to November). Lake Taupo is the ideal place to try your nerve and your water skills. Autumn (10°C from March to May). one of nature’s true gifts. it’s just so wonderful to see this beautiful lake full of swimmers. naturally heated thermal waters and unspoiled flora and fauna provide a beautiful playground.newzealand.com for more adventures off and on the ground.orakeikorako. speedboats or jet skis. water skiers. where you can also enjoy a soak in a natural hot spring.clearwater. wild adventure that any brave adventurer needs to do. It’s the exciting.
The volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing never fail to surprise. Within this world of earth tones that were spewed from subterranean magma vaults. explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area © Destination Lake Taupo . Here you can see the Emerald Lakes. wild colours provide visual excitement.
000.com. S 099394 T: +65 6825 3888 F: +65 6825 3848 reservation@amarasanctuary. Underwater World & Dolphin lagoon. island admission. Terms and conditions apply. Indonesia Tel: (62) 361 753880 Fax: (62) 362 752787 Website: www. 3.com Pat-Mase.dekuta. Nasui-Shiobara. Japanese Room @ Y18. Shiobara. daily buffet breakfast. 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.sg for reservations and rates or enquiries www.000. and late check-out till 6pm. Indulge in Bali Breakaway package at USD 695 for 4days/3nights in two bedrooms villa inclusive of welcome fruit and flowers. inclusive of breakfast for two.quincy.pat-mase.sg The Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa 1 Larkhill Road. Aizuya Hotel A Japanese Inn where you will experience traditional authentic Japanese cuisine made with local ingredients. Terms and conditions apply. Meeting Room usage and laundry. Mini-bar. 2.nett per night for a Superior room.jp Website: www. From $258++ per night. Japan Tel: +81 3 3541 4967 Fax: +81 3 3541 4968 E-mail: email@example.com. sky ride and Songs of the Sea. inclusive of – limousine pick-up. Stay 3 nights and pay for only 2 nights. The Quincy Hotel 22 Mount Elizabeth Singapore 228517 Please call +65 6496 7699 / 1800 7373 279 or email reseasy@fareast. We offer a very special rate in March at IDR 728. Pat-Mase.000. unlimited internet access and local calls.net Park Hotel Clarke Quay 1 Unity Street. unlimited evening cocktails and beverages. River Taxi ride from Clarke Quay. rain shower and wi-fi internet connection in all areas.com . buffet breakfast. free wi-fi internet connection and round trip airport transfers. all day coffee and tea as well as parking. High Tea. Jimbaran Bali A place unparalleled for its calm and serene environment within a tropical oasis of landscaped gardens. Inclusive of complimentary buffet breakfast. Japanese Twin Room @ Y22. Japanese Room w/ private natural spa @ Y28. daily 2 pieces of laundry. Jimbaran-Bali Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera 100 Kawasan Bukit Jimbaran Bali 80364 – Indonesia +62 361 708 708 www. Bali. Executive set lunch at Brizo Restaurant & Bar. Park Hotel Clarke Quay Club Single/Twin Room for S$238++ per night. dekuta is strategically located in the heart of Kuta. Singapore 237983 Tel: (65) 6593 8888 Fax: (65) 6593 8899 Website: www. broadband Internet. Price includes Dinner & Breakfast.. Terms and conditions apply. minibar.000. Luge. daily breakfast and one-time seafood BBQ in villa.com www.PROMOTIONAL OFFERS The Quincy Hotel Your Business Sanctuary Promotion. Terms and conditions apply.com. one of the following options for 2 ppl: 1.com Aizuya. Sentosa Island.amarahotels. local calls. set lunch & dinner.com dekuta Set in modern minimalist design which equipped with LCD TV 32”. Jl Poppies Lane II #8 Kuta.
citibank. medical surgery or any doctor consultation fees up to Rp 300.CITIBANK HIGHLIGHTS Travel Privileges with Citi Platinum Card Enjoy a complimentary upgrade wherever you go Whether it is business or leisure. This information is made available for the sole purpose of informing the public. Hotel promotion is valid until 30 April 2010. Refund will not be given to any medical fees that occurred when or after the cardholder (or spouse) is over the age of 70 years old.28 February 2010 . Travel promotion is valid until 6 January 2010. Gasoline and Departement Store from 16 November 2009 . contact Bayu Buana at (021) 2350 9999 or visit www. Garuda Indonesia Citi Card Medical coverage on your overseas travel As Garuda Indonesia Citi Cardholders.000. and medical expenses occur caused by accident or sickness. Terms and Conditions applied. make sure you always travel with Garuda Indonesia Citi Card. So. Also get TRIPLE GFF Miles for all transactions at Supermarket. it is not a valid insurance policy. When you travel overseas. you are automatically guaranteed a medical insurance coverage on your travel outside Indonesia. For Travel information.id for Hotel information. Citi Platinum and Garuda Indonesia Citi Cards. • Enjoy a complimentary room upgrade at any participating 5-star Hotels in Indonesia Exclusively for Citi Ultima. Terms and Conditions applied. Your family is also covered.000*. * The above value may change in accordance to company policies.co. you can enjoy the following complimentary upgrade privileges: • Purchase your ticket at any Bayu Buana Travel Services and get a chance for a complimentary upgrade to Business Class of any of your preferred airlines (1 upgrade per day). you will be covered for your hospital stay.
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and enjoy a week of acting and play-making in the isolated heights of Tibet. 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. May I suggest a trip to the Big Durian of South East Asia. The time is nigh to drown yourself in alcoholic beverages of all kind. the time is right for a simple break of isolation and new experiences. is to let loose and tap into this creative energy. dear Capricorn. you feel able to do and say all kinds of things that didn’t seem permissible before. you’ll do well to reflect back and determine a new direction for your personal life.Feb 18) Party harder and smarter than usual Aquarius. a personality with an interesting back story. Shed away your habitual influences and your customary comforts. Renew your energy and figure out what comes next. 118 www.unearthingasia. Jakarta? It’s a place where you can do anything you want to. Aries (Mar 21 .May 20) A little of bad news is coming your way Taurus. I suspect this will be a place flooded with sea water. Taurus (Apr 20 .Mar 20) You’re not fully informed – quite yet. and then get back into it right away after your well-deserved break. the nonchalant Aries is largely unaware of the creative energy that has been welling up inside you. After playing out your fantasy. Your homework. But being in this place feels liberating. Venice is one such destination.TRAVEL HOROSCOPE Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21) Flee as far as possible from your usual haunts.Apr 19) According to my analysis of the astrological omens.Jan 19) The time is right to head back into your natural habitat. Capricorn (Dec 22 . a hauntingly beautiful city doomed to lose itself to the drowning sea. but don’t give up – the story is far from over! Take some time out in the middle of this stressful period to collect yourself and ponder a thought. I would book a ticket to the Christmas Islands if I were you. The passing year may seem full of negative experiences. and give toast to the coming year.com . Aquarius (Jan 20 . like the southern islands of the coast of Thailand. In fact. or so they say. Don’t worry too much about whether things are going your way. Invent a new character. to boldly welcome the coming new year as soon as possible. Suddenly. Celebrate the coming festivities with a bang. Aries. but they are important in shaping you up for the brighter future ahead. You’ll find all of your most creative inner whims fulfilled with a simple snap of your finger. Relax and go with the flow. a place in between worlds. a doomed beauty that will sooner or later die away – much like everything else on earth actually. and together you’ll form quite a merry crew. I’m thinking a place of leisure and relaxation. Go for it! You’ll meet up with other people who are in similar states of transformation and journey. For you Sagittarius. The isolated heights of Tibet awaits you Sagittarius Pisces (Feb 19 .
July 22) For the foreseeable future. Life is only worth living your own way. . romantically or in some other way. fret not. The city of Queenstown in New Zealand offers much in the way of adventure. away from your usual crowd of friends and family.Aug 22) Life is just way too short to worry about people needlessly! So if you’re wondering about what people may think of you as you embark on this personal adventure. I envision an eventful getaway in the near future. with the sun-filled days off the coast of Palawan? Cancer (June 21 .Oct 22) Spare no expense.Sep 22) The most challenging parts of your travels have also brought you the greatest lessons. Make an effort to range far and wide during your explorations. with the sweet smell of romance in the air. from the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism to the passionate compassion of the Buddha. All this mental liberation leads you to want to try a few daring physical acts too. your friends and family will still be there for you come 2010. A spiritual journey is on the cards – may I suggest the region of India? It’s an area reeking with religious mysticism. and you would do well to follow your heart’s content – lest you live to regret this missed opportunity for a unique experience.June 20) You’re totally ready to take things to the next level.Nov 21) Before you commence your life-long dream Scorpio. Get set and let the adrenaline roar! Virgo (Aug 23 . you’ve got it all here.Gemini (May 21 . Better start now. whatever that may be. it would take a good few years to try them all out. Take it! After all. Libra (Sep 23 . Don’t put restraints on your enjoyment or give yourself a subconscious guilt trip for what you’re seeing and doing. I bid you make your peace with God. you’re grateful for all of your experiences. They can wait. It was said there are so many ramen stalls in Tokyo that even if you were to eat ramen thrice a day. Scorpio (Oct 23 . but that maybe too early for you. Bali is a popular place for honeymooners. Maybe start of slow. When you think about everything you’ve done and seen. dubbing itself the Adventure Capital of the World. the cosmos grant you the license to thrive on the unexpected blessings that come from giving yourself to the random intelligence of a stranger. There will be an offer to travel and celebrate the festivities together. Leo (July 23 . as I always say.
interesting destination that is more than just a shopping destination. artistic inspirations and jaw-dropping nature. Beautiful people.BON VOYAGE The winner of 2008’s Cleo Award for the Best Young Designer. from the street-side stalls serving ramen noodles (a personal favorite) to the luxe sushi restaurants serving one-of-a-kind delicacies. The food was amazing. because its one of the most stylish trend-setting fashion cities in the world. fast-paced city that never fails to amaze. which is a very hectic. the food and the people. It’s a great place to go for a creative inspiration. I’ve only been there once. and my favorite places in Bali are KuDeTa for its amazing ambiance. another destination that I absolutely loved was Japan. but you do have to be careful of overloading your senses. and what attracts me the most is the culture. I often go to New York to visit my sister. I love to meet new people and find new perspectives to life and unique ways of life that can only be found from the lives of local people. the sooner the better! 120 . Bali is another favorite. That happens often here. I love to go to new places. a paradise haven close to my hometown. 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 the new Rock Bar which simply boasts a spectacular looking venue. as I prefer authentic local food. I always have a good impression for new places. but I totally fell in love with the place. I love to travel. it’s crazy! It’s like one world in the same place together. Stella Rissa is fast becoming a rising star in the Asian fashion industry. at least once every two years. Finally. I don’t really enjoy much of the luxurious fine-dining scene in Bali. Fresh off the plane from her London trip. 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. I’m planning for another visit there actually. like at Warung Made. and in fact its really like my second home. and it’s all in Rupiah – much cheaper than spending in Dollars and Yens! I go there at least once every two months. amazing culture.
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