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Culture, Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010

Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa
Koh Pha Ngan Bali

New Zealand’s Splashing
Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle
Eastern Cuisine + Heeding
the Call of Asia in Taiwan +
Singapore Stopover + Spotlight
Vol 01 - Issue 01
on Jakarta + Flashpacking
IDR 50.000 SGD 7.50 RM 14.00
Essentials + A Tropical Affair



Issue 01 www.unearthingasia.000 SGD 7. and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Phangan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism.unearthingasia.50 RM IDR 50. Bali retains its hidden charms 64 78 4 . tranquil. 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 46 Uncover the eco paradise and scuba-diving Holy Grail of Raja Ampat 58 Beach Life Discover Phuket’s island paradise – quiet.


and more 28 DATEBOOK Festivals and events not to be missed 91 TRAVEL TALES 30 SPOTLIGHT Jakarta 24 hour in the Big Durian of South East 91 Arabian Servings Asia.contents 96 84 15-26 BUZZWORTHY! Singapore’s Party flavor. and more Photographer extraordinaire. a quick 96 Heeding the Call Singapore . the Nikki Beach Club in Thailand. with local tips and suggestions A tasty guide to the culinary delights from the region of Middle East 34-41 INSIGHTS Top flashpacking gadgets. Bali’s hip happenings.unearthingasia. Craig Ferguson shard his tales of travel all over the region of Asia 84 STYLE GUIDE A Tropical Affair 104 A perfect beachfront rendezvous by the 104 Splashing Lake Taupo seaside coast of Segarra. Hong Kong’s new dig. Jakarta Jump right into adventure and explore deep into the Kiwi’s stunning landscape at Lake Taupo 6 www.


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


or other Nadia V materials. Arsin. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Sales Manager transparencies. No part of this Kicky Alexander magazine may be reproduced Achmad Sobari without the permission of PT Tanindo Multimedia. BEHIND THE SCENES Commissioners All rights in this publication Husein VP and the name are owned and licensed to PT Tanindo Consultant Multi Media. please contact Contributors Nikolas Tjhin Mallika Naguran PT Tanindo Multi Media Scotty Graham VBox 886 Debbie Reyes-Coloma Singapore Vannara Putra (62) 812 7809 8888 Char Magalong (62) 21 3221 9988 The Fairmont Beijing Hotel Natalie Revie nik@unearthingasia. All opinions Nikolas Tjhin are of the writers’ and not necessarily endorsed by Singapore Editor PT Tanindo Multi Nabeetha Naseer Bona Soetirto Fill out our survey to enjoy Dresscode Magazine For advertising and marketing a Free 1 Year Subscription* Publisher PT Tanindo Multi Media enquiries. X. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for more Media Link Pte Ltd to residents of Singapore. (65) 6336 6116 We are offering free one year subscriptions medialink@pacific. Finance Manager For editorial and media Alexander Alvin enquiries.* On top of that. All The AYANA Resort and Spa Bali Editor in Chief rights reserved. please contact and stand a chance to win Distributor Dawn Khoo Media Link Pte Ltd free hotel stays!* MarketAsia Pte Ltd 1 Sophia Road #07-22 Singapore 228149 Media Representative (65) 6336 1725. SH the running to win free hotel stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. * Terms & conditions apply . you’ll also be in Legal Consultant Dr F. and Michelle Lee we accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts.


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


we are generously offering our readers free one year New Zealand’s Splashing subscriptions.Issue 01 www.50 RM 14. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine + Heeding the Call of Asia in Taiwan + stays at various destinations – Hong Kong. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call Singapore Stopover + Spotlight on Jakarta + Flashpacking more details. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. stunning Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. And not only that.Culture.00 Essentials + A Tropical Affair .000 SGD 7. featuring exciting adventures. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI. For this inaugural issue. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for Vol 01 . IDR 50. HK AND MORE! Culture.unearthingasia.

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

ML. and they were definitely not dissappointed by the show on offer.unearthingasia. despite the global economic crisis. travel and party enthusiasts. Many were here to witness first hand what the fervor of F1 was all about. the nightsky of Singapore provides the glits and glam in an exciting Singapore GP F1 event that is fast becoming a highlight of the year for race. fans still flocked to the Marina Bay circuit to see Lewis Hamilton take the crown in an exciting race with Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso taking up the remaining podium finishes. For three days. with international acts like the Black-Eye Peas to Backstreet Boys to Beyonce all wowing the crowds at various venues around the circuit. this was Party town. This year. 16 .buzzworthy! EVENT F1 EXTRAVAGANZA Once again.

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

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


A special collaborative art exhibition
opened to great fanfare in the Gaya
Gallery, which ran through 6th to
30th October. The exhibit was the
production of Ida Bagus Indra,
one of Bali’s great artists, with John
O’Sullivan, hotelier, wordsmith
and artist in his own right. The
exhibition has definitely raised the
artistic bar with the fresh approach
to collaborative mixed-medium
works produced by these two fine
personalities. KA.

A new facial treatment that addresses the issues of aging
and rejuvenation are now available at the Mandarin Spa
in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The 45 minute session
incorporates a consultation with acupuncture therapy
specifically targeting wrinkles while providing numerous
other benefits.

The theory behind facial acupuncture is based on the
ancient concept that the body’s energy diminishes with
age. During the treatment, tiny, hair-fine acupuncture
needles intended to stimulate the flow of qi throughout
pathways in the body are inserted at specific points on
the face. This boosts circulation, increases collagen and
plumps fine facial wrinkles. NT.



This year’s visitors to the annual
Singapore JewelFest were treated
to a stunning custom-built Jewel
Pavilion, which provided the perfect
setting for the two opening shows to
kick-start the week-long festivities.
The two-part showcase, themed
“Love of Romance” and “Love in All its
Glory”, showcased jeweleries worth
over S$120 million created by 25
jewelers especially for the event. NT.

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

the islands of south east asia 21

Tania Berg. one of the world’s most recognizable luxury lifestyle and entertainment brands. located on the west side of Thailand’s most exotic and exclusive island. Expertly designed for ultimate relaxation complimented by a sophisticated ambiance. has chosen the idyllic island of Koh Samui in Thailand to launch their latest . Nikki Beach Koh Samui brings the vibrant nightlife of Miami to the shores of Lipa Noi Beach.buzzworthy! RESORT BEACH PARTY Nikki Beach. 22 www.unearthingasia. a spectacular new Nikki Beach Club. Discover quintessential luxury at Nikki Beach’s remote Beach Club Bungalow Resort.

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

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


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


January 2010 January 2010 www. Witness the festival’s appointed ruler starting the party with a Mardi Gras-inspired procession through the streets of Goa’s capital. or you can simply stand the Shino Misaki . During the Carnival. Over 70 million believers Kushimoto Fire Festival Taiwan’s hot springs culture dates back will seek enlightenment through a ritual At the beginning of the year. October 2009 . attracts hundreds of yogi masters from all over the globe. Rishikesh. of bath at the Ganges. the over a century. pilgrims Fine Cuisine Carnival and devotees. part in the various riverside processions the fire? that are ongoing throughout the event. 2010 28 www. February 28 to March 10. Are you for visitors to enjoy a restorative soak aside and enjoy the spectacle or take brave enough to join in walking through paired with healthy cuisine.taiwanhotspring. 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. this mass Hindu pilgrimage towards the holy city of Haridwar is the world’s largest Taiwan Hot Springs and gathering of yogis. 2010 Goa Carnival The famed hippie paradise begins the year with a food-fight carnival event in the lead-up to Lent. Those looking residents of Kushimoto perform a ritual resorts across the island offer special for a spiritual journey should consider burning of the grassy land in front of activities and hot spring packages following suit. You’ll see oranges. 2010 Ardh Kumbh Mela Held just once every three April 14. sadhus. They congregate on the banks of the Ganges to explore anything and everything about transcendental meditation. February 13 to 16. the yoga capital of the world.

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

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 08:00AM
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

10:00AM 01:00PM
Start your sightseeing For lunch, head to the Senayan area
by visiting the Salihara to enjoy authentic Indonesian food at
Community Complex in TeSaTe, a new concept restaurant
South Jakarta, an expansive that not only promotes the richness of
Gado-gado, 3000 square meters of local culinary, but highlights the unique
Indonesian Salad land that plays host to a Indonesian culture and celebration.
theater, a gallery and an Try out authentic local favorites served in
office building plus guest luxurious gourmet settings such as the
house. The gallery is an humble satay, nasi goreng (fried rice) or
empty space with circular sop buntut (oxtail soup).
walls, without angles nor
borders, providing a wider
perspective to the various
contemporary arts on


Senayan City, right across
from Plaza Senayan


02:30PM 05:30PM 09:00PM
With your stomach and taste-bud After a day of activities, head to the Spa Kemang is also host to an array of cafes,
fulfilled, head to the Senayan area at Four Seasons Hotel to relax, refresh bars and pubs serving all kinds of drinks
for some upscale shopping at and rejuvenate. Book yourself a much to suit all tastes. For a relaxing, ambient
Plaza Senayan, where luxury deserved hour of Javanese massage, with mood, head to Casa Cafe for drinks
brands such as BVLGARI and techniques of skin rolling, long kneading and desserts. Located right above the
Louis Vuitton reside alongside strokes and acupressure to strengthen the trendy Aksara Bookstore, the cafe is a
local favorites like Sebastian’s body for the night ahead. breath of fresh air offering beers, wines
and Biyan. Right opposite, by the glass and delectable cocktails.
the newer Senayan City is Coffee lovers would prefer Tornado
also worth exploring, offering
07:00PM Coffee or Merdeka Coffee, where the
8 floors of shopping, food and The night starts with a feast at Kemang, lure of strong caffeine draws you in.
entertainment. Jakarta’s glamorous kampong
neighborhood that is popular with locals
and expats alike. Try out the delectable 11:00PM
Javanese specialties at Payon, Finally, finish your day partying it up at
where traditional touches like the Blowfish Kitchen & Bar at Wisma
clay floor tiles and swatches of Mulia, one of the most happening
batik give it a unique appearance nightspot in town. Coupled with nearby
compared to Kemang’s usually Puro, an Italian lounge and resto,
minimalist urban interior. Or you Blowfish is a luxury high-end dining
can opt to dine with a view at during the afternoon that turns into an
Shy, sited atop the 4th level at all-out clubbing scene at night.
The Papillion. The restaurant’s
Dutch chef presents daily seven
and four course menus, in
addition to their host of expert
European fusion cuisine.

the islands of south east asia 31


A Middle Eastern ambiance
at Anatolia, Kemang

Local Tips
Like many other citizens of
Jakarta, Scotty and Tika
complained bitterly about the
bad traffic, especially on the
weekends. As such, they rarely
ventured too far away from home
in South Jakarta, but do enjoy the occasional excursions to
Jagorawi Golf Club 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
Hotel Grand Hyatt 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.”



com 34 www. iGo Charger The iGo universal chargers can power thousands of devices with its patented tip technology. Charge your devices wherever you want . From US$1499.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor powering it up.unearthingasia. With a 1. For the budding flashpackers. stable wireless network to keep you connected. Novatel MiFi US$49. It’s a trend that aptly paints our digital culture – we are no longer able to travel without all the luxuries of . you’ll be amazed at how so much power can be packed into such a thin design.99. usually associated with tech-savvy adventurers who prefer to travel independently. The Novatel MiFi creates your very own network of broadband connectivity wherever you are. road trips and plane flights. performance and design. in the car. MacBook Air Every flashpacker needs a good portable laptop to lug around between countries. the ultimate in Not all countries you travel to will have a here are the top six essential gadgets you will need to gear up and stay connected.novatelwireless. or style. www.INSIGHTS gadgets Flashpacking Essentials The simple definition of flashpacking can be defined as backpacking with flash. home. or even on the plane. Enter the MacBook Air.

which packs a powerful machine able to record up to 720p resolution with a full 4GB internal memory into a sleeker. From US$399. yet much lighter than a bulky Digital SLR. fun. Apple iPhone 3GS From US$229. www. Powered up by the billion or so applications available for download. Canon PowerShot SX10 IS The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS gives you a lot of a camera and a very useful 20x optical zoom in a body that’s still reasonably compact. a currency converter and so much more! From US$ The ultimate must-have gadget for traveling flashpackers.theflip. smaller model. It’s not only a phone. the Apple iPhone 3GS combines more functionality. It is much better than your average point and shoot. flair and overall usefulness into a single package like nothing the islands of south east asia 35 . but also a compass. Flip MinoHD The FlipMinoHD is an evolution of the original Flip Mino camcorder. a GPS map. it allows complete customization and flexibility.


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

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

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

INSIGHTS recipe Greek Connection 40 .

Bake this for about 50 and stand a chance to win minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. Make sauce while baklava is baking. you’ll also be in over it. 2. butter. to residents of Singapore. free hotel stays!* 6. * Terms & conditions apply . Let cool. Sprinkle 2 . but don’t let that fool you! Follow this easy-to- do instructions for a refreshing taste of Greece right on your kitchen floors. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and butter the bottoms and sides of a pan. Simmer for about We are offering free one year subscriptions 20 minutes. You also want to cover the phyllo dough with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. INGREDIENTS 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough 1 pound chopped nuts The Fairmont Beijing Hotel 1 cup butter 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup water 1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup honey DIRECTIONS 1. AYANA Resort and Spa Bali 4. This recipe freezes well. Repeat this until you have 8 sheets of dough all layered up. layering them on top of each other as you go.8 sheets deep. You may want cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. 5. Kuala Lumpur 7. Set the toppings aside. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. remember to leave destinations – Hong Kong. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce and Jakarta. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and butter them up thoroughly. and serve in cupcake papers for immediate refreshement! the running to win free hotel stays at various 8. 3.3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top.This traditional Greek favorite may look complex and sophisticated. Add into that two sheets of dough. See next page for more details. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes a Free 1 Year Subscription* all the way to the bottom of the pan. but if you do so. Jakarta and Bali! it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Unroll phyllo dough and cut whole stack in half to fit pan. nuts.* On top of that. The topmost layer should be about Fill out our survey to enjoy 6 . Add vanilla and honey.

worth up to US$2000 AYANA Resort and Spa Bali Swiss-Belhotel Indonesia And finally. located at the charming district of Kotatua. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta to be discovered – unearth these gems together with us! are subjected to an annual subscription fee. misinformation.Free One Year Subscription! * Unearthing Asia is a brand new publication designed to All you need to do is complete the reader’s survey on the following share with you the very best of this lovely region we call . Each hotel vouchers have their own respective terms and conditions. 42 www. Beijing 2 weekend stays at the Fairmont Beijing Hotel right at the heart of downtown. publication. Free subscriptions are for the first 5000 surveys filled and received before 31st January 2010.* Please complete the form and send it in with your cheque. The address can be found behind the next page. more than 15 vouchers at 19 Swiss-Belhotel The Fairmont Beijing Hotel outlets all around Indonesia * Terms & Conditions apply – Unearthing Asia retains the rights to refuse free subscription based on unfinished survey questionnaires.unearthingasia. Jakarta. and are offering all residents of Singapore. along with your personal information and mail it in. and or postal issues. There are countless of attractions from all over simply waiting Subscriptions made outside Singapore. worth up to US$2000 The Batavia Hotel. Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta a one year (four issues) subscription entirely free of charge!* Plus: Stand to Win Free Hotel Stays! AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. Bali 2 night stay at the Jimbaran Bay View room at the luxurious AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. The winner of the free hotel stays will be contacted by 28th February 2010. two pages. money order or credit card We want to reach out to as many people as possible with this details. worth up to US$950 The Fairmont Beijing Hotel. Jakarta 4 weekend stays at the Batavia Hotel.

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tranquil. and its rowdy side as well 64 Subterranean Magic Unearth a magical Palawan attraction priming for international limelight 72 Coming of Age Koh Pha Ngan is beautifully morphing in its slow but steady evolution 78 After the Storm Despite the threat of terrorism and overtourism. Bali retains its hidden charms .46 Eco Paradise Uncover the eco paradise and scuba-diving Holy Grail of Raja Ampat 58 Beach Life Discover Phuket’s island paradise – quiet.

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

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

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

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

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

the guide .

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the islands of south east asia 63 .

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

I made a were kindly provided by the Puerto Princesa mental note to check out the beach. I could smell the ocean National Park boasts a thriving wildlife and salt in the air. with most tourists using it as a stop over before heading to the various reefs of corals and coves around Palawan. indeed in all of Southeast Asia. I flashed a smile at a group of tourists The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River passing by. As I made my way into the hotel. but Subterranean River National Park first I had a whole new city to explore. can compare with the beauty of Palawan. the islands of south east asia 65 . Puerto Princesa – its capital – serves as a center for tourism and trade. offering visitors beach activities they must have a wide array of activities and attractions participated in – swimming at the beach. and few are able to resist its charm. Few places in the Philippines. Throughout the years. a sure sign of the various a full sea to forest ecosystem. or diving to the depths of All images used on this editorial feature Palawan’s magnificent seas. snorkeling. its pristine islands and sandy beaches has tantalized the minds of many.

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

But uncommonly year new luxury resort. but no less has proved a huge draw to these . it is being altered with opened its doors for business. As it comes of still gives a nod to the rustic Thai charm age the jewel in its crown. the complementing the exquisite natural management. as inaccessible as it was parties and bongo drums. That these two polar opposites – intrepid folk: the result is an eclectic mix backpackers and jet-setters – co-exist of interests and nationalities represented Now when the full moon shines on so seamlessly on one beach is perhaps on the beach. 76 www. so by bumpy pickup over an unpaved as not to disturb the guests in their $300 jungle track. been called ‘the jewel of Koh Phangan’ At night the jungle reverberates to the and for years was the best kept secret sounds of the traditional Thong Nai Pan in the region. sets a leading example not just for every year. taste and discretion. on the northeast corner hippies on their way to the next low-key of the lush island. The coast of Tong Nai Pan Noi Attracting the most attention in the At the moment. In addition to these high-end tourists. resorts and restaurants. given where it’s due to Rasananda and by small local developers. but quietly. for Thailand. Koh Phangan but for development in Thailand as a whole. Thong result is very different from days-gone- huts of old Koh Phangan. with the environment. and unusually it seems to be recognized as the truly 5-star entirely harmonious. The to the traditional $5-a-night backpacker interesting community of expats. it finds not just the testament to the special magic of builders to Israeli cheese-makers. Rasananda. luxury 300-thread- 5-star resort stakes is the stunning count towels lie on sun-loungers next to Thong Nai Pan. So the wild hippy paradise of yester- destination on Koh Phangan and this year is changing. Thong Nai Pan has destination of choice for backpackers. from Alaskan kayak. and created in harmony create an elegant. Thong Nai which entrances visitors to Thailand Pan. dollar-a-night rooms. With drunken revelers of yore. And credit must be more residences being built privately residences. Who knows how long that arrangement is set to last? But Now Thong Nai Pan has been currently. Koh Phangan. Nai Pan’s off-the-beaten track location by – more refined definitely. beautiful resort that size and diversity. but beautiful Thong Nai Pan. who have managed to community is set to increase in both surroundings. right next the beach has naturally attracted an sensitivity.

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

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

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

the guide

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
Green rice terraces forms a beautiful scenery
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 It is no wonder then that Bali is so The whole island is one enjoyable
force and this can be seen in the daily appealing. Travelling anywhere across surprise after the other. Walking around
rituals and ceremonies of the Balinese. the 140-kilometer wide island yields traditional markets has always been
breathtaking surprises and everlasting one of my favourites taking in the
Travelling around Bali can be an impressions. An island covering an atmosphere of Balinese traders haggling
enlightening experience. The delightful area of 5, 561 sq kilometer and totally or imbibing in the delights of the array
thing is that wherever you go, your surrounded by crystal blue oceans it is of traditional foods. Scaling the steps of
senses are tantalised by sheer beauty. only natural that a lot of the coastline is centuries old temple and gazing at the
Green textured rice paddies clinging spectacular, and at dusk, unforgettable myriad of statues slowly being eroded
to hillsides and rugged mountains mind-blowing sunsets. Coconut-palm by time or witnessing a temple festival
are mesmerising. Being an island of lined sandy beaches and sparkling clear with the Balinese in colourful dress has
varied landscapes it affords some of waters offer some of the best scuba never ceased to amaze me. Bali has
the most spectacular panoramas in the diving and surfing to be found anywhere something to offer everybody. Talking
Indonesian archipelago. in the world. slow walks along sandy beaches at
sunset or being adventurous and bungy-
jumping off dizzy heights, or just chilling-
out leisurely wandering the streets
talking to the locals.


the guide

the islands of south east asia 81

Pura Ulun Danu temple on
Lake Brataan, Bali, Indonesia

Unexplored Paradise called Ngis, a small village barely visible Being centrally located in the
Getting around Bali is quite easy and from the main road. In between the town archipelago, Bali affords the traveller
there are many areas in Bali that are of Amlapura and the village of Abang opportunities to visit the other islands in
rarely visited by tourists or travellers along the east coast road you will come Indonesia with a variety of inexpensive
alike. Then there are those areas to a sharp bend in the road and here flights on offer utilising numerous airline
yet to be fully developed as a tourist you will find the heavenly view. services. You can virtually travel to all
destination. The east coast of the island points of the compass and experience
is one such area that has escaped the The island of Bali is the epitome of other cultures for as many days as you
onslaught. This is one part of the island paradise. Where else in the tropics like and still return to Bali and finish your
that has always entranced me. Sleepy could you drive through a massive hole holiday.
fishing villages are dotted up and down in a sacred Banyan tree, be thrilled at
the coastline with deserted beaches the power of white-water as you raft Bali as a tourist destination in South-
lined with row after row of colourful furiously along the rapids of the Ayung east Asia has so much more to offer.
fishing boats. Inland you will find River deep in the jungle, or go fishing It is an island where you can relax in
pristine areas of dense jungle clinging with the locals on their traditional boats. sheer luxury at high-end resorts, or revel
to towering hillsides and valleys with a Bali has something for everyone. If you in the crazed tourist scene of Kuta in
carpet of rich-green rice paddies. are just a tourist with a desire to chill- budget accommodation. Bali is an island
out and relax or possesses a lust for where you can live on $10 a day quite
Not far from the town of Amlapura adventure, a passion for archaeological comfortably and an island where you
there is a place seldom seen by regular history or perhaps a nature-lover; Bali can be a global citizen in paradise and,
tourists that has the most stunning and and its friendly people have all these and it is a place that time has not forgotten
beautiful panoramic view of rice fields much, much more. but respected for its unique culture and
on the entire island of Bali. It is a place friendly people.



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

85 .


This Page Tie-dyed summer dress – Lilou 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 . Rope wooden sandals – Heroine at Alun Alun Indonesia. Rattan ethnic bangles (set of 3) – Diori at Alun Alun Indonesia. Tube summer dress – BIASA. Batik printed clutch – Ilalang at Alun Alun Indonesia Opposite Page Long wool shawl (worn as a headband) – Mellies Moss at Alun Alun Indonesia. Batik printed corset (worn as an obi) – Nila Kandi at Alun Alun Indonesia. Gold Ethnic flats – Giffa at Alun Alun Indonesia.

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


unearthingasia. featuring exciting adventures. Lifestyle and Attractions THE INAUGURAL ISSUE WIN HOTEL STAYS IN BALI. Lifestyle and Attractions Vol 01 Dec/Jan/Feb 2010 Unearthing Asia The latest addition to your list of essential reading. IDR 50.Issue 01 www.50 RM 14. HK AND MORE! Culture. we are generously offering our readers free one year New Zealand’s Splashing subscriptions. stunning Raja Ampat Phuket Puerto Princesa Koh Pha Ngan Bali sceneries and unique attractions from all over the region. The magazine is an indispensable guide to Asia.Culture. For this inaugural issue. Unearthing Asia is a magazine dedicated to inspiring its readers to explore this beautiful region we call home.000 SGD Singapore Stopover + Spotlight on Jakarta + Flashpacking more details. Jakarta and Bali! Turn to page 42 for Vol 01 .00 Essentials + A Tropical Affair . And not only that. subscribers also stand a chance to win free hotel Lake Taupo + A Guide to Middle Eastern Cuisine + Heeding the Call of Asia in Taiwan + stays at various destinations – Hong Kong.

. 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.

or mixed with one another 92 .tales gourmet Arabian cuisine usually consists of a dozen or more small dishes. but more commonly used as dip for pita bread. They can be eaten on its own.

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

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


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

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

Taiwan. Hualien. .Japanese gate.

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

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

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


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

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 .

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

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. White Island off the coast of Whakatane is a unique experience as New Zealand’s only active marine . one needs experience and professional help because of the lake’s location above sea level.hukafallsjet. To the amateur diver this requires skill in reading your depth gauge. 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 Feel the exhilaration and the power of a Hukafalls Jet (www. Be ready to get wet! To scuba dive in Lake boat ride! Marvel at the incredible © Destination Lake Taupo water level views of the spectacular Huka Falls.tales adventure Below Tandem skydiving will show you the most stupendous view of the central North Island Far Below If you prefer your scenery with a large dash of action. 106 www. Because of the warm waters. You should seek advice and assistance from a qualified professional scuba diving school or tour operator in the area. aquatic life is abundant. and enjoy the sensation as you slide past cliffs and trees at 80km per hour.unearthingasia. Should you wish to scuba dive in a volcanic area.

along scoria slopes and through craters. up mountain summits. This 17-kilometre volcanic trail rises to 1600 metres above sea level. leading you over ancient lava flows. There’s nothing else like it in the world © Destination Lake Taupo .You’ll never regret walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

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

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

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

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

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