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AirAsia inflight Magazine TRAVEL 3Sixty째

54 Ja nua ry 2012

Gujerat, India

Soaring to the Sun Paws for Peace

AirAsia InFlight Magazine

United Buddy Bears

Return to Majesty

Queens Park Rangers


2012 Dragon Year of the

Palawan, Philippines

Paradise Found

01 2012

help save the Earth. Read the magazine online and stop stealing me!

CHECK-IN Contents January 2012 56



ENTER THE DRAGON Chinese New Year 2012




PAWS FOR PEACE United Buddy Bears


PARADISE FOUND Palawan, Philippines






TRAVEL LOG South Korean Sojourn




Rest & Rejuvenate


Bridging the Gap

110 KIDS SPACE Year Round Fun


Your Best Foot Forward



The Buzz from our Guests


News from AirAsia

128 MY AIRASIA Who’s the Boss?

104 VANITY FARE New Year, New You

106 JETSETTER Dan Lynn

IN FLIGHT 112 PLANE FUN Puzzles & Games

114 PICTURE PERFECT Photos Taken by AirAsia Guests





Stuff you’d Love to Know


January Events to Keep a Lookout for

26 COMPASS Cheap & Chic


Joy of Flying


Semarang, Indonesia


January Foodie News

32 PAGE TURNER Read-y for 2012


Encouraging Economic Endurance

36 PRESCRIPTION Heed your Health

38 SCORE BOARD Big on Brands

40 HYPER TECH The Big Small



Save 10% on your next holiday from Kuala Lumpur at

Book a holiday from Kuala Lumpur with your American Express速 Card and enjoy fantastic savings Make your booking with your American Express Card from 1 December 2011 to 29 February 2012 and enjoy 10% savings on all package deals from Kuala Lumpur for travel between 1 January and 30 June 2012. Simply click the American Express banner ad at and use the promo code AAGAmex2012 to enjoy this exclusive offer. Terms and Conditions: This offer begins 1 December 2011 at 00:01hrs and ends 29 February 2012 at 23:59hrs. Valid for new purchases only. Promo with the accommodation component is valid on for American Express Cardmembers who use the promo code AAGAmex2012 during the promotion period and applicable for selected hotels only. Package rates are per person based on twin sharing basis. Accommodation check-in/out period is valid from 1 January to 30 June 2012. Full payment shall be made upon booking. A non-refundable processing fee is applicable for payments via credit, debit and charge card. Fare includes fuel surcharges; carbon offset surcharge (for flights to/from Europe) and airport taxes (except for selected airports where airport tax is collected at the point of departure). All taxes must be paid at the time of purchase unless otherwise stated. Foreign fares are subjected to currency exchange rates. No refunds are permitted after payment has been made. Guest travelling are responsible for obtaining and must possess and have available for presentation as required by the relevant authorities all entry and exit, health and other documents required by law. AirAsia reserves the right to deny guests from boarding without proper travel documentation. Other terms & conditions apply.




Kathleen Tan R. Rajendra Kan Seak Hong Beverly Rodrigues Chitra S

Gujerat, India



Return to Majesty


Adam Lee Fazlina Bee Binti Abdul Rashid Fadillah Kamarudin Alice Yong, Captain Lim Khoy Hing, Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap, Efi Hamzah, Farheen Ali, Pete King, Shantini Suntharajah, Tony Incenzo Indran Balavishnu (Malaysia) Mairianne Reardon (Singapore, UK and International Markets) Charuphan Pojchanart (Thailand) Vikhram Radhakishnan (Indonesia)


Palawan, Philippines


01 2012


ON THE COVER 2012 Year of the Dragon Illustration by Tim Lai

Tel: +6 03 7962 5813 (Phar Partnerships Malaysia) E-mail: Travel 3Sixty° wishes to thank Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles, MPH, Pansing Marketing, Quikmark Media EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES PUBLISHED BY


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Matthew Mok, Jayne Kam, Irvin Hanni Iyan Yudhiana Ong Chin Han, Jason Phoon, Mohd Sufian Charmaine Wong, Goh Wee Kee, Howard Choong

All rights reserved. The opinions and statements of contributors in Travel 3Sixty° do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or AirAsia Berhad. Travel 3Sixty° and AirAsia Berhad are not responsible or liable in anyway for the contents of the advertisements, articles, photographs or illustrations contained in this publication. We reasonably assume that all articles are factual and not plagiarised or intentionally libellous. The editorial team reserves the right to edit and / or re-write all materials according to the needs of the publication upon usage. Reproduction of material from Travel 3Sixty° in any form is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. Unsolicited materials will not be returned unless accompanied by sufficient return postage. All information correct at the time of printing.


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WELCOME 2012 It’s finally here folks. 2012; that special year that’s been on everyone’s mind for the past decade or so. And it’s an auspicious one at that too. Around three weeks into the year, the Chinese will herald in the year of the Water Dragon, which comes around every 60 years, with every 12-year cycle marked by the elements metal, water, wood, fire and earth. In the Orient, the Water Dragon is a special creature as it personifies creativity and growth. Although a fire and masculine energy (yang), the hot temperament of the dragon is calmed and redirected towards positive results with this water element. Trend spotters too have been supremely busy telling the world what’s in and what’s out for 2012. Pantone has proclaimed Tangerine Tango (17-1463) as the colour of 2012. This luscious shade that blends coral, orange and red portends all that is bright, cheerful and propitious. With food, Mexican cuisine is expected to take centre stage while macaroons crumble to give way to Snow Ice and exotic flavoured marshmallows – think Guinness and Cabernet! Citizens of the world will lose their marbles over all things British with the London Olympiad in July, and

as for destinations, travel magazines have zeroed in on Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Ukraine, Brazil and London as holiday hotspots. And let’s not forget the huge, pink elephant in the room – the Mayan prophecy for 2012. Though doom prophets are gleefully rubbing their palms, many believe that the Mayan and Hopi calendars have been wrongly interpreted. According to Joseph Robert Jochmans, author and researcher of ancient mysteries,“Both the Hopis and Mayans recognise that we are approaching the end of a World Age. In both cases, however, the Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another. The message they give concerns our making a choice of how we enter the future ahead. Our moving through with either resistance or acceptance will determine whether the transition will happen with cataclysmic changes or gradual peace and tranquillity.” There you go. It’s gonna be a great year! Managing Editor R.Rajendra

TONY, THE DRAGON AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes was born under the auspices of the Wood Dragon in 1964. Here’s a description of the characteristics of the Wood Dragon, which we think rather precisely describes the man!

“Wood has a modifying influence and brings creativity to this sign. Questioning and liberal, Wood Dragons enjoy talking about original ideas and are open to other points of view. They are innovative, imaginative practical and appreciate art in each of its forms. Generally less pretentious than the other Dragons, Wood Dragons have an ability to get along with people. They have the essentials to build a prosperous and happy life for themselves. Still, Wood Dragons are outspoken and at times a bit pushy to quell everyone, even in the friendliest quarrel.” Source:

01 INBOX 2012

Great! Not only has the magazine gone online, the bumper Dec 2011 issue was a lovely year-end gift for fans like me who thoroughly enjoy reading Travel 360° from start to end. I also totally dig your new look. The layout is clean, clutterfree and reflects a very contemporary way of presenting articles and stories. Most other magazines, I noticed, are gimmicky with unnecessary colours, graphics and design. Yours allow the stories and articles to entertain without resorting to cosmetics. Keep up the good job! ~ S Jakarathan, via e-mail

HERE’S THE BUZZ ON AIRASIA’S TWITTER, FACEBOOK AND WEIBO PAGES Absolutely good call on @airasia and their engagement strategy. Even CEO responds to most tweets. OurManinSH


I can’t thank you enough for the Silken Splendour article (Nov 2011). I was actually heading to Chengdu when I read the magazine. The article was a wonderful insight into Shu embroidery. Not only did I learn about silk, the tips on choosing and avoiding getting cheated with overpriced and fake silk products came in handy too. Thank you for an informative and interesting read on o Chengdu. ~ Shawn Wong, via e-mail.

ILKEN SSPLENDOUR The T e llegacy, egacy, cy sspl splendour and dp production ucti c ion n of k have ha have always alway lw ys intrigued ed and and n mesmerised. esm smerrised d. silk Frro om m a closely cclos sely guarded ed secret sec n royal rroy yal From in hous se eh e holds d to o a trade commodity, om mm y, the y the e silk k households indus sttrrry y in Che en ne lease e se of life eas liffe industry Chengdu findss a new in stunning stunnin s n g embroidered e ere ed art pieces. piec ces s. in WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: IRA DE REUVER


The article The Kidzania World (Oct 2011) caught my attention while travelling to Tokyo recently. The growth of a nation is invested in the youth. Such an investment is the creation of Kidzania. Kidzania will expose children to various vocations, creating an opportunity to learn and experience the skills needed for each job. Parents too will get good insights about their children’s interests. It is a great way of learning skills, which will be of great benefit for the younger generation as well as the nation. I strongly recommend that every kid be given the opportunity to visit Kidzania. ~ Dr. S. VasanthaPriya, Tokyo. The Kidzania World Kidzania is a wonderful place that kids can truly enjoy while learning about the real world.

*T&C apply. *Luggage shown here for illustration purpose only. Colours may vary.

I Thank you @AirAsia X Premium. Slept for at least 10 hrs out of 13hr flight. Most comfortable flight ever #AirAsia. Sam White

On the flight to KUL to DPS just now on @AirAsia,’David Beckham’, ‘Paris Hilton’ & ‘Julia Roberts’ were doing the safety demo. That caught the attention of everyone! Very creative way to cheer-up an early morning flight. Marul69

Great job AA! I have been waiting for you to come to Osaka since 2008! I have already booked 2 tickets from Osaka to KL! Noriko Hasegawa Suzuki

travel3sixty november

junior jet club


@AirAsia Web check in is so ez. Don’t have to stress out at the airport everytime we tour. Jakarta here we come! WingMeng

KidZania is a unique edutainment centre that promotes intellectual growth through educational and professional role-playing activities for children between the ages of four to 16. It is a kid-sized replica of a real city complete with an airport, hospital, supermarket, beauty salon, theatre and more. In KidZania, kids get KIDZOS, the official KidZania currency to either save or spend on buying goods or participating in activities. Once they run out of KIDZOS, however, the kids will have to roll up their sleeves and ‘work’ to earn them back. Kids who visit KidZania can experience being a pilot, play the role of a flight attendant, become a customer at the bank, play surgeon on the operating table, take a course to obtain a KidZania driving license, host and support the production of a television programme and try out other activities that cover over 90 different professions. While in KidZania, kids will also get to meet three friendly mascots: • Urbano, an energetic 9-year-old boy who is adventurous and curious. His favourite music is Rock.

• Vita, a delightful 7-year-old girl who is caring and a great thinker. She loves Pop music. • Bache, Urbano and Vita’s enthusiastic, funny and affectionate pet dog. Bache’s favourite music is Urban.

Urbano, Vita and Bache in KL

KidZania’s lively and adorable mascots made their first appearance in Kuala Lumpur at the recent Boustead

KidZania Kuala Lumpur

Holdings Petrol (BHP) Orange Run where they were spotted mingling at the start line with the under-18 category runners and later keeping the crowd entertained with a KidZania dance performance. Working with AirAsia, KidZania Kuala Lumpur is also the first KidZania state to have a fuselage fixture extending out of the building. Opening at the end of this year, KidZania Kuala Lumpur will be located at the Curve NX – a new building connected to the Curve shopping mall in the Mutiara Damansara township.

Lookout for Miss Kidzania in Jakarta

KidZania Jakarta was formed in 2007 and has since organised many activities. This year, KidZania Jakarta will hold one of its biggest events, Miss Kidzania Indonesia, for the third consecutive year. The event finale will be held in December 2011. Indonesian kids aged between seven to 12 years old can register from October until mid November. Selection criteria will be based on Brains, Beauty and Behaviour. Throughout the event, participants will be judged based on their sense of caring for the environment and broad based general knowledge. Many interesting prizes await, including an opportunity to become the brand ambassador of KidZania Jakarta for one year. KidZania Jakarta is an indoor facility, located on the 6th floor of Pacific Place Shopping Mall.




Miss KidZania pageant


travel3sixty october

Thanks AirAsia! You allow me to travel to France on a tight budget! (only SGD1200 from Singapore to Paris!). With your low fares, I can have more money for my food and accommodation in Paris. Also, saw some European guys taking pictures to celebrate their first trip to Asia! myEmilia Thanks AirAsia for allowing free flight changes during the Bangkok floods. Officer at AA Thailand Call Centre was great. I changed my flight with only 1 call. Lovep1125

I’ve been a fan of AirAsia ever since you arrived in China. AirAsia has granted me the chance to travel out of China, changed my life and, let me see and experience the beauty of the world. I’m grateful for this! Leo

Like what you read in Travel 3Sixty°? Share your thoughts with us! To show you how much we appreciate your feedback, we’ll give the best letter of the month a fabulous prize and the other two letters will receive a RM100 gift voucher each from Luggage Empire. Email your feedback to Travel 3Sixty° reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length, and only letters regarding articles published in Travel 3Sixty° will stand to win a prize.



01 RED FORT 2012

JUST AWESOME! LEFT: Celebrating 10 Awesome Years. (From L - R) AirAsia member of BOD Dato’ Fam Lee Ee, Deputy Group CEO Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, Group CEO Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani. BELOW, LEFT : AirAsia Chairman Dato’ Aziz Bakar welcoming guests as they disembark flight AK5101 from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur.




On December 8, 2011, AirAsia celebrated its 10th anniversary and commemorated the airline’s very first route from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, way back in 2001. With AirAsia Chairman, Dato’ Aziz Bakar leading the welcome party, an excited group of AirAsia AllStars received guests flying in from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur. The surprised guests were then presented with goodies in celebration of AirAsia’s special day. The LCC Terminal was also transformed into a carnival-like zone with fire-eaters and dance performances, interactive games and appearances by local radio personalities. Adding to the merriment, was a cake-cutting ceremony led by AirAsia Chairman, Dato’ Aziz Bakar; Group CEO, Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes; Deputy Group CEO, Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun; AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani; AirAsia Indonesia CEO, Dharmadi; AirAsia Philippines CEO, Maan Hontiveros; AirAsia Member of the Board of Directors, Dato’ Fam Lee Ee and, the senior management team from AirAsia and AirAsia X. The real icing on the cake, however, was the ‘Awesome Sale’. In celebration of AirAsia’s 10 Awesome Years, the airline offered fares from as low as 10 sen to hotspots like Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia, Bali, Bangkok and Hanoi. But, that’s not all! AirAsia also reduced its processing fee, applicable for all online transactions made with credit or charge cards to just RM5 per guest per sector. Visit for more information.


AirAsia’s mission is to democratise travel. This is clearly represented in its tagline: Now Everyone Can Fly. Over the past 10 years, AirAsia has grown from three destinations in 2001 to over 80 destinations across 24 countries. Today, over 140 million people have flown across the world with AirAsia.

“We worked hard over the past 10 years to take AirAsia to celestial heights. With passion, creativity and commitment, we’ve achieved our dreams which others deemed impossible. Where others were sceptical, we believed. And after 10 years since our inception, we remain as the popular choice among travellers, and we will continue to provide the best for many years to come.” ~ AirAsia Group CEO, Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes “This is our ‘thank you’ to guests for the support given all these years. We will continue to do our best for many years to come in providing everyone with the exceptional ‘AirAsia Experience’ via Awesome low fares, consumer-friendly products and services, a modern fleet, extensive network, great flight frequencies, convenient booking and payment channels, and choose-your-own features for meals, seats and baggage allowances.” ~ AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial, Kathleen Tan

AIRASIA TRAVEL CENTRES To bring AirAsia even closer to the public, the airline opened its 35th AirAsia Travel and Service Centre (ATSC) in Malaysia at KL City Walk. Complementing the popular online services available at, ATSCs act as one-stop travel and service centres that offer ‘offline’ guests fast and convenient access to AirAsia’s amazing low fares, as well as products and services from AirAsia Insure, AirAsiaGo, AirAsia RedTix and Red Megastore. While run by independent operators, ATSCs are fully authorised and committed to provide high service standards set by AirAsia.

ABOVE: Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes launching the AirAsia Travel & Service Centre (ATSC)

COOL BENEFITS In November 2011, AirAsia signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang, offering special benefits to university staff carrying government warrants for official travel. These benefits include special Hot Meals, an assigned Hot Seat (depending on seat availability), baggage allowance of 20kgs, sporting equipment allowance of 20kgs and much more.



GAME CHANGER AirAsia’s Group CEO Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes has been named one of the ‘Top 100 Most Influential People for Japan’ by Nikkei Business magazine, making him the first and only Malaysian ever recognised in this list, as well as one of just three non-Japanese to be accorded this honour. The Top 100 are shortlisted by business leaders in Japan, reviewed, and then placed in six categories that make up the ‘100 People Creating the Japan of Tomorrow’: Game Changer, Creator, Hero, Leader, Thinker and Dreamer. Fernandes was dubbed Game Changer.

“Ten years have passed since I began my aviation journey and it gives me joy to know that the low-cost carrier impact started by the AirAsia brand is felt throughout the region. AirAsia Japan is set to be an industry changer when we start operating, and I am glad to be working with great people in ANA to make air travel affordable for all in Japan.” ~ AirAsia’s Group CEO Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes

JUST GO BIG On November 14, 2011, AirAsia launched BIG – a new and innovative global loyalty programme that allows BIG Shots (members) to earn BIGGIES (loyalty points) when travelling and shopping with programme partners worldwide. The BIGGIES can be redeemed for fabulous rewards, the best being free flights! Visit to sign up as a BIG Shot!

ABOVE: (L - R): Tune Money CEO Peter Miller, Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes and BIG CEO Johan Aris flanked by AirAsia flight attendants.

BIG IS BETTER • BIG membership is borderless and open to anyone aged two years and above! • There are 1,500 BIG partners with more than 3,000 retail outlets around the world where BIG Shots can shop and collect BIGGIES online and offline. BIG also has an online shopping mall at with over 1,000 cross-border global merchants! • BIG Shots can start redeeming rewards from as little as 500 BIGGIES; cash top ups are accepted. • In Malaysia, the BIG card doubles up as a BIG Visa Prepaid card! Testimonial

LOVIN’ BIG “Going on holiday around the region is something my family and I always try to do, but the sheer expense has always put me off. Then I heard about the BIG Card. I love the idea of the frequent air miles, but what really attracted me was the way we are rewarded by flying and, using the card for our everyday purchases with Visa merchants. I applied for a card for everyone in my family! It’s easy to reload the card via online banking, and the family can spend using the card at all Visa merchants worldwide and for online transactions. We can earn BIGGIES and redeem them for quick weekend breaks. Even our helper redeems flights home to Indonesia to see her family. That’s the beauty of BIG!” ~ Andy Buddel, BIG Shot

CARGO IN COLOUR Inspired by Mumbai’s dabbawallas whose colour-coding system is said to be so efficient, only one mistake occurs in every 16 million deliveries, AirAsia Cargo has created its very own colour-coding system to enhance its distribution and handling processes. Besides air waybills to identify shipment locations, each box is affixed with a colour-coded sticker; with each country having its own designated colour. This new and innovative system will significantly reduce misrouted and un-located shipments in an outsourced cargo warehouse.

ABOUT AIRASIA CARGO AirAsia Cargo handles approximately 8 million kgs of cargo monthly.

AirAsia Cargo bagged the ACW’s World Best Customer Care Award 2011.

AirAsia Cargo is the only major low-cost carrier to have a webbased cargo booking and tracking system.

TIME FOR 3 In November 2011, AirAsia Indonesia moved its international operations to the eco-friendly Terminal 3 at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, which incidentally, has been the airline’s main base for domestic operations since 2009. The integration of AirAsia Indonesia’s operations at Terminal 3 will enable a seamless transfer between domestic and international flights.

HOT IN TRANG Come January 15, 2012, AirAsia will bring you a hot, new destination: Trang in Southern Thailand. While quieter than nearby tourist hotspots like Phuket and Krabi, this province along the coast of the Andaman Sea is known for its stunning natural beauty. Here are some of its best attractions. • Ko Kradan is believed to be Trang’s most beautiful island with powdery white stretches of beach and crystal-clear water, perfect for snorkelling and diving. 14


• On Ko Muk, there’s a cave called Tham Morakot that’s famous for its beautiful lagoon accessible via an 80-metre limestone tunnel. • Hat Pak Meng is a 5km-long crescentshaped beach fringed by pine forest, and is popular for its seafood restaurants. • A popular local haunt, Namtok Ton Te is the tallest waterfall in Trang, cascading down some 320 metres. • Tham Le Khao Kop is an eco-tourism hotspot; visitors can take a boat ride through the cave to view its amazing stalactites and stalagmites. GETTING THERE AirAsia will commence flights to Trang from Bangkok on Jan 15, 2012. For flights details, go to

“We are very pleased to find a home that reflects our innovative spirit. We are excited to welcome guests to Terminal 3 where they can enjoy high quality amenities. Not only will this move boost operational efficiency, but more importantly, it will elevate our guests’ travel experience to the highest level of comfort.” ~ CEO AirAsia Indonesia, Dharmadi

MAKING DREAMS HAPPEN Mohammad Anas Sadiq and his mother, Siti Nazriah binti Diman, are all smiles during their flight to London courtesy of AirAsia X.

As a CSR initiative, AirAsia X collaborated with Mister Potato (official global partner of Manchester United) to make one special MU fan very happy. Muhammad Anas Sadiq, 16 years, suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which results in muscle degeneration, making it difficult to walk and breathe. To make Muhammad’s wishes come true, AirAsia X flew him and his parents to UK, where they watched a live MU match, dined in a hospitality suite, toured the stadium in Old Trafford, and even met the MU team at their training ground in Carrington.

“Our aim goes beyond running an airline commercially; it’s to help those in need where and when we can. We hope Muhammad Anas Sadiq’s dreams have been fulfi lled. Our association with sports, culture, and entertainment will always be an avenue to strengthen our brand image, provide an opportunity for world unity, foster stronger ties locally and internationally and of course provide the chance for everyone to fly the world.” ~ AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani

Anas, all geared up to watch a Manchester United game, with his parents and the Mister Potato mascot at Old Trafford.

Anas and his parents pose with players at the Manchester United training ground in Carrington.


AUSPICIOUS DRAGON Dragons crafted in pewter and gilded in 24K gold are the season’s offerings from Royal Selangor’s Dragon collection. It includes plates, tankards, bowls and tea caddies, as well as a limited edition plaque decorated with the image of a dragon against a backdrop of clouds. Design elements in the collection such as raised dots and rice grain pattern on plates and trays are inspired by sculptures from the Shang, Zhou and Han dynasties.

NUN-SENSICAL Grab your tickets for Dan Goggins’ hilarious musical comedy Nunsense, to be staged at the British Club in Bangkok in February by the Bangkok Community Theatre. In this comedy, the convent cook accidentally poisons 52 fellow sisters with a bad batch of vichyssoise and the musical follows the lives of five nuns desperately trying to raise money to bury the remaining sisters who are temporarily stowed in the freezer! The fast-paced hilarious musical comedy won four Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Musical during its 10-year run in New York. Tickets are priced at THB800 each and are available from Jan 20.



Ski the powdery white slopes of Niseko, one of Japan’s most popular ski resorts on the island of Hokkaido. Test your skills on the legendary tree runs like Strawberry Fields and Miharashi, or explore the powder fields off The Peak, just a 20-minute hike from the top lift. Even beginners can enjoy the powder by learning to ski on the beautifully groomed slopes at the base of the mountain. Visitors can take advantage of great deals offered by from now until March 2. The latest development here is the high speed gondola that carries up to eight skiers from Niseko Hirafu to the apex of the ski area. Also available are 31 lifts and more than 60 different ski and snowboard runs.




ABBA-CADABRA MAMMA MIA comes to Manila! The musical that has become a global smash hit is coming to Manila on Jan 24. The funny yet heart-warming tale unfolds when a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding brings together three men from her mother’s past. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs brings this tale to life and will have you dancing in the aisles! Great ticket deals for the show to be staged at the CCP Main Theater are available at

Create your very own modern-day Dickensian story based on the city you live in and stand a chance to win an SGD200 Kinokuniya book voucher and, have your work featured at The Arts House in Singapore and on dickens2012. Celebrating the bicentennial anniversary of Charles Dickens, the competition offers aspiring writers the opportunity to create a present-day character sketch inspired from the author’s works. The deadline for entries is Jan 15, 2012. Open to entries in English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil.

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Imagine basking in the sun and frolicking in the sea on your own private island. Enjoy all that nature has to offer with the complete privacy and freedom of having an entire island all to yourself. The Ariara, southwest of Manila, is an incredible white sand paradise exclusively for private hires. The island is perfect for a romantic getaway or a holiday with friends and family, with luxurious accommodation for up to 18 guests. All rooms have unobstructed views of the ocean. Rates include dining and transfers from Manila. 20


LADY OF THE LAKE The recently opened Angsana Hangzhou in China is an idyllic retreat from which to explore what Marco Polo once called one of the most splendid cities in the world. Located within the Westbrook Resort complex in the Xixi National Wetland Park, the property is only six kilometres away from Hangzhou’s bustling downtown district and near one of the city’s renowned attractions, West Lake. Angsana Hangzhou offers 59 king or twin rooms, all tastefully decorated to reflect China’s rich artistic heritage. Guests staying here can also take advantage of the rejuvenating spa treatments at the nearby Banyan Tree Spa.

ROCK THIS PLAN! Catch Canadian band Simple Plan in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 14 at KL LIVE, Jalan Sultan Ismail. The band will perform songs from their latest album Get Your Heart On!, packed with fun and catchy melodies with their signature modern rock sound. Tickets are priced from RM98 (free standing). 22


HOT DATES 01 2012


THE 40TH HONG KONG ARTS FESTIVAL 2012 JAN 28 – MARCH 8 Creative forces descend on Hong Kong to present an arts festival filled with ballet, opera, orchestral concerts, jazz performances, theatre and other treats. Not to be missed is the first ever overseas presentation of New Zealand’s World of Wearable Art™ (WOW) Show, which blends art, fashion and theatre.


WORLD BUSKERS FESTIVAL JAN 19 – 29 Don’t miss this vibrant showcase of some of Christchurch’s most talented buskers, including the comical Backup Dancers, sword-swallowing Miss Behave and burlesque artiste Lily Verlaine.




THOUSAND-HAND BODHISATTVA DANCE JAN 31 & FEB 1 Hearing impaired dancers of the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe present a spectacular show directed by famous Chinese choreographer Zhang Ji Gang at Kuala Lumpur’s Istana Budaya. 24




JAN 3 – 16 During this festival in honour of Santo Nino or the Child Jesus, Aklanons from the island of Panay cover their faces in soot, don ethnic dress and dance in the streets of Kalibo to the beat of traditional drums. Ati-Atihan actually began as a celebration of the friendship between the lowland Maraynon people and the mountain-dwelling Negritos called Ati.

JAN 23 Chinese all over the world usher in the Year of the Dragon with traditional reunion dinners, fireworks displays and the exchange of red packets filled with money. During this time, China experiences its largest human migration with workers travelling thousands of miles and, across oceans to be home for the holidays.


FRA ANGELICO AND THE MASTERS OF LIGHT JAN 1 – 16 Paris’ Jacquemart-André Museum pays tribute to the 15th century artist who initiated the Peintres de la Lumière (painters of light) artistic movement. Displayed alongside Angelico’s masterpieces are works by his contemporaries, including Masolino, Zanobi Strozzi and Paolo Uccello. http://



KATY PERRY – CALIFORNIA DREAMS TOUR JAN 19 The colourful pop queen entertains KatyCats with hits from her third studio album Teenage Dream at Jakarta’s Sentul International Convention Centre.

STRICTLY COME DANCING – THE LIVE TOUR 2012 JAN 28 & 29 Aussie singer Jason Donovan, Waterloo Road star Chelsee Healey and McFly drummer Harry Judd waltz into The O2 in London for a tour celebrating the sizzling dance TV show, Strictly Come Dancing.

ELSEWHERE… THAILAND The Naked and Famous Live in Bangkok JAN 17 www. HONG KONG Che Kung Festival JAN 24 AUSTRALIA Southbound Festival JAN 7 – 9 www. SINGAPORE Ivory Metal: An Evening of Piano & Gamelan Music JAN 6 & 7 THE PHILIPPINES Mamma Mia! JAN 24 – FEB 5 www.


THE ROYAL FLORA RATCHAPHRUEK JAN 1 – MARCH 14 It’s flower power time in Chiang Mai as the Thai city celebrates the birthday of HM King Bhumibol with fantastical flower parades and garden showcases. Highlights include a garden illuminated by solar cells, a Kids’ Eco Park and a 40 metre-high flora wheel.


2012 BIG DAY OUT Jan 29 Following sold out concerts in the Gold Coast and Sydney, 2012 Big Day Out comes to the Melbourne Flemington Racecourse with cool acts like the Amity Affliction and Art vs. Science.

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COMPASS 01 2012


Travel was once the domain of the well-heeled while the rest of us could only look on with envy. Now a range of low cost options are available for the budget conscious travellers to see the world.



Above: City Circle Tram infront of Flinders St. Station, Melbourne.

MUST-SEE MELBOURNE Melbourne is a city of culture, cosmopolitan food and a convenient tram system that operates like clockwork. Here are some of the top attractions in the city that was named the most liveable in the world in 2011. Queen Victoria Market. This is one of the largest and most charming open-air markets in the Southern Hemisphere. Melbourne Zoo Australia’s oldest zoo is an excellent space located deep within the leafy heart of Royal Park. The atmosphere gets spirited in the summer when you’ll hear live music drifting through the air. Crown Entertainment Centre This is one of the best places to absorb Melbourne’s nightlife. The centre houses a number of bars, nightclubs and a gaming area.


Federation Square Among Australia’s most ambitious architectural projects, and one of Melbourne’s top meeting spots, Federation Square features a number of great bars, restaurants and galleries.


City Circle Tram There’s no better way to see this captivating city than on the City Circle Tram, which will take you through the heart of Melbourne. The best part? It’s free! GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies daily to Melbourne from Kuala Lumpur. For flights details, go to


Finding the perfect suitcase is an art and a science. Keep these tips in mind before you shop for your ideal travel bag: • Hard shell luggage costs more and adds about four to five kilogrammes in weight but it lasts longer and is pretty much tear proof. Soft bags are easier to lug around and weigh a lot less but are prone to damage. • Always choose baggage, which features a handle rather than a strap or leash. Handles should pop up from the case and be long enough for comfortable towing. • Designer suitcases get stolen more than any other kind so, think twice before you part with your cash. • Good suitcases should last for 10 years or longer.

The Spa Resort Chiang Mai

THE SCOOP IN HONG KONG HEALING HOTELS More and more people journey to far off places to restore and improve their health, which is why ‘wellness travel’ is such a popular trend. You can now enjoy top of the line spa treatments and excellent, healthy cuisine in healing hotels like Ananda, a destination spa in the Himalayas. Similar health-inducing establishments can be found anywhere from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Rancha La Puerta, Mexico. Check out www. for a list of healing hotels.

The next time you touch down in Hong Kong, don’t miss having a scoop or two of Lobster Ice-Cream! You’ll find this one-of-a-kind dessert at Hong Kong’s Ice-Cream Gallery at Repulse Bay. If seafood ice-cream isn’t your thing, there are other unconventional flavours to try like egg & bacon ice-cream with an eggy and smoky bacon flavour. You can also opt for lemon ginger, foie gras or luxurious black truffle ice-creams. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Hong Kong from Kuala Lumpur. For flights details, go to

BIGGER BANG FOR YOUR BUCK When it comes to savvy travellers and the hotels they stay in, here’s the new rule of the game: Pay only for what you use. Tune Hotels, with properties all over Asia and the UK, is leading the way toward a future of cheap, chic accommodations at convenient, central locations. Tune Hotels is classified as limited service lodgings that allows travellers to avoid paying for unnecessary extras like spas, gyms and pools that they don’t use and shouldn’t have to pay for. Tune Hotels come with 5-star beds featuring spring mattresses and 250-thread count duvets, high-pressure power showers, a sparkling clean environment and 24-hour security.

YOGA ON THE GO Long flights can prove exhausting but this simple yoga stretch, known as the Cat Cow, will help you stay refreshed, calm and energised: 1. Sit at the edge of your seat and align your feet with your hips.

EASY, BREEZY CHECK-IN AirAsia’s self check-in system, which includes web and mobile check-ins, come with a host of benefits. These include the ability to order your meals, pick your seat, opt to supersize your baggage and personalise other flight details via Manage My Booking. You also get to avoid Counter Check-In fees. Up to 50 guests can check-in using the web system and up to nine guests are allowed for mobile check-ins. However, do bear in mind that travellers with reduced mobility or those with special needs should check-in at the counter. 28


BUDGET FRIENDLY: SAVING BIG WITH CHEAP EATS If you’re watching your wallet while on holiday, try dining at restaurants frequented by the locals instead. Look out for crowded, clean, no-frills eating establishments when you reach your destination. If you prefer planning ahead, check online for popular eateries before you leave. lists restaurants that serve up delicious, economical, local meals at various popular destinations around the world.

2. Keep your hands on your thighs. Now inhale and roll your shoulders back so your chest points up and out. 3. Look to the tip of your nose, exhale and roll your spine forward. Allow your body to follow the natural movement. 4. Repeat for 10 or 20 breaths.


SEASON OF SPRING While the dust has barely settled on a brand new Gregorian New Year, Chinese New Year (CNY) – the most important festival in the Chinese lunar calendar – will arrive with a bang on January 23. Known as chun che or Spring Festival, this lunar new year also heralds in the Year of the Dragon.Here’s a quick overview on the traditional delights that are customary for the CNY celebrations, and a plethora of tempting morsels from around the region.

SEASONAL & ORGANIC Seasonal, organic ingredients are chef Clive Allan Pelser’s preferred choices when he rustles up his latest repertoire of salads, pan-Asian classics and international offerings at Sabeen Restaurant, The Haven in Seminyak, Bali.



THREADS OF LONGEVITY Voted as one of Singapore’s Best 50 Restaurants, Putien specialises in rustic Heng Hwa cuisine from the Fujianese city of Pu Tian in China. On the first day of the lunar new year, the Heng Hwa eat mee sua – delicate, silky smooth strands of fine wheat noodles for longevity and health. Sample this homely dish at Putien Singapore and Jakarta this month.

He who toils with pain will eat with pleasure. ~Chinese proverb 30


Want to try your hands at whipping up classic Malaysian favourites and popular street food in the comfort of your own kitchen? Now you can with The Best of Chef Wan – A Taste of Malaysia, the latest culinary tome from Chef Wan, Malaysia’s celebrity food ambassador. Available at major bookstores, you can also order the book online from

Savour Bella Rosa Italian Restaurant’s scrumptious Open Seafood Lasagna – a succulent dish of prawn, scallop, mussel, squid, tuna and salmon enhanced with Pernodlaced broth, egg yolk cream and herbs amidst a spectacular sunset at the five-star Padma Resort Legian Bali.

COME HOME TO MAMA Heartwarming noodle soups, an Asian charcuterie platter with classic French baguette, crispy pork hock on the bone, and lamb & pumpkin pot-sticker dumplings are but some of chefs Will Meyrick and Palm Amatawet’s signature specialities at the new Mama San kitchen, bar cum lounge in Bali. Housed in a purpose-built warehouse, its vintage interior features a 10 x 4 metre retro-inspired wallpaper mural, oversized Chesterfield leather sofas, mirror walls, Oriental side-lit screens and quirky art pieces. Mama San is located at Jalan Raya Kerobokan, No 134 - BR Taman, Bali.

DISHING UP PROSPERITY These festive dishes are sought-after by the Chinese for their auspicious names that symbolise prosperity, abundance, wealth and luck. YUE SANG – the word yue means abundance while sang means liveliness. This rainbow-coloured raw fish salad is a ‘must have’ speciality with the business communities and families in Malaysia and Singapore. A platter usually consists of finely shredded fresh vegetables and fruits, assorted pickles, flour crisps, crushed peanuts and sesame seeds served with slivers of raw fish, sweet plum sauce dressing, peanut or corn oil, white pepper and five-spice powder. NIEN GAO – a steamed sticky and sweet glutinous rice flour cake, the word gao (cake) means high or lofty and the word nien means year. The combined term means yearly advancement or upward progress. HOU SI FATT CHOI – braised dried oyster with black seamoss is another favourite staple. In Cantonese, the word hou si (dried oyster) means good tidings and fatt choi (black seamoss) means to prosper. The Taiwanese enjoy a similar, albeit richer version with the addition of fish maw, golden mushrooms and roast pork. Yue Sang and other festive delicacies are served throughout the CNY period at fine Chinese restaurants.

FESTIVE INGREDIENTS 101 Most Chinese households would stock up p on these items for the lunar new year: KUM – the Cantonese word for mandarin orange is homophonouss with the word ‘gold’ ONG LAI – the Hokkien wordfor pineapple means ‘prosperity arrives’ es’ SANG CHOI – the Cantonese word for lettuce means ‘growing fortune’ e’

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and, Golden Sands Resort in Penang deserve plaudits for serving sustainable, responsibly harvested seafood from the resorts’ cooperation with the Marine Fish Farmers Association of Malaysia and WWF-Malaysia.

FATT KOH – this steamed spongy and soft Chinese cake means ‘lofty prosperity’ HA – the Cantonese word for prawns is homophonous with the word ‘laughter’





Here’s a quick roundup of books to look forward to in 2012, as well as book fairs not to be missed.

SATIRE BY SEDARIS On January 14, satirist David Sedaris will delight audiences at Western Australia’s Astor Theatre in Mount Lawley with his signature wit. Described as the rock star of writers, Sedaris is known for his sharp and humorous observations on life, and perceptive social critiques.

GREAT READS FOR 2012 In Ayad Akhtar’s novel American Dervish, young Hayat Shah falls in love with the deeply spiritual Mina, and discovers the beauty of his Muslim faith. Only trouble is, Mina is his mother’s oldest friend. When Mina starts dating, Hayat’s confusion and sense of betrayal drive him to commit a shocking act that’ll affect their lives forever. Beat the competition with William Poundstone’s Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? Preparing you to face the most challenging interview questions and come up with creative solutions, this gem of a read will give you an advantage in today’s demanding job market.


In Pure, the first installment of Julianna Baggott’s dystopian trilogy, Pressia lives in a post-apocalyptic world of dust and damaged bodies, where people are either conscripted to the militia or used as live targets. When she meets Partridge, one of the Pures who escaped the apocalypse unmarked and has left the



safety of the Dome to find his mother, a dark adventure unfolds. Fox 2000 has acquired film rights to Pure. In Jodi Picoult’s new novel Lone Wolf, she explores medical science and moral choices, and weaves an impactful tale about family, love and letting go. When an accident renders Edward Warren’s estranged father comatose, he decides to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. But his sister is waiting for a miracle, and will do anything to stop him. Salman Rushdie’s much-awaited memoir will cover the enigmatic writer’s years in hiding following a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini calling for Rushdie’s execution after the publication of his controversial novel The Satanic Verses. Also to be released in 2012, the film adaptation of Rushdie’s 1981 novel, Midnight’s Children, directed by Deepa Mehta.

LITERARY TRIVIA The Greek poems The Illiad and The Odyssey are believed to have been written by Homer but the true identity of the writer is a mystery. The Observer Food Monthly Awards picked Plenty, a vegetarian cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, as the best cookbook for 2011. Not all of Shakespeare’s works are available at present. The play Cardenio, believed to have been crafted in the early 1600s, has no written record of its story.

New Delhi World Book Fair, India (Feb 25 – Mar 4) Paris Book Fair, France (Mar 16 – 19) Bangkok International Book Fair, Thailand (Mar 29 – April 8) London Book Fair, UK (Apr 16 – 18) Seoul International Book Fair, Korea (June 20 – 24) Tokyo International Book Fair, Japan (July 5 - 8) Beijing International Book Fair, China (Aug 29 Sept 2) Colombo International Book Fair, Sri Lanka (September 2012) Hong Kong Book Fair, Hong Kong (July 18 – 24)

QUEEN OF AMERICA Luis Alberto Urrea Lu In this sequel to Urrea’s hugely popular novel The Hummingbird’s Daughter, no Teresita Urrea – healer and ‘Saint of Te Cabora’ – flees to America where she is revered as the spiritual leader of the Mexican Revolution. READ There, she is besieged by OF THE pilgrims and assassins, and MONTH! beset by thoughts of romance and, her future role.



Andrew Matthews, author of many bestsellers including Stop the Bullying, speaks up for the little guy.

Craig Glenday et. al From a flying house lifted by helium balloons and a 4.4-tonne omelette to a 14-ft long moustache, this book of mind-blowing feats will shock and amaze. There’s also a special extended Olympics feature and restructured sports section.


Bullying has become a worldwide plague. Parents don’t know what to do and teachers can’t cope. Online bullying has now made bullying a 24-hour problem, and children as young as 10 are committing suicide to escape it. Stop the Bullying! offers help to bullied children, parents, teachers, bystanders and bullies.

Tee Lin Say


Combining the Chinese art of Face Reading (mian xiang) and keen observations honed over 10 years as a business journalist, Tee zooms in on the 20 tycoons to take note over the next decade, including AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes.

Allem Halkic’s story, which we tell in Stop the Bullying! deeply affected me. Halkic was a happy, popular, much-loved 17-year-old who had everything to live for. But after a falling-out with a friend, Halkic’s former friend began to bully him online and send text messages threatening to kill him. Within three months, Halkic received over 300 threatening messages. Unable to take the stress any longer, he jumped to his death from Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge.



Lauren Oliver Following her father’s death, Liesl’s stepmother imprisons her in an attic where she meets lonely Po, a ghost from the Other Side. When Will, an alchemist’s apprentice, accidentally delivers a box of magic to Liesl’s house, the three embark on an extraordinary adventure.

STEPHEN KING – 11/22/63 Stephen King



From the master of suspense comes a gripping new novel about an English school teacher who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. On his mission, Jake Epping enters the worlds of Elvis, a loner named Lee Harvey Oswald, and a librarian who becomes the love of his life.

Bullies are cowards. They pick on people who can’t fight back. Bullies are like lions that always attack the weakest zebra. A bully can tell if you lack confidence – it’s in the way you walk and talk. Bullying is not about anger, it’s about contempt.

PARENTS WHO CREATE BULLIES Children learn empathy from their parents. Parents who don’t care create children who don’t care. These children often bully others to feel important. When parents don’t set boundaries on a child’s aggressive behaviour – like shouting and hitting – the child believes he can do whatever he wants.

DEALING WITH A BULLY Bullies want a reaction. The best strategy is to react as little as possible. Leave the scene where possible. Ignore nasty texts and emails. If you’re being bullied, tell other people. Never believe that you deserve to be attacked. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚




Let’s do our bit in keeping our economy steady and relevant. Prices are rising but there are ways to promote sensible spending while improving savings. That can only happen by cutting down on expenses.

SPEND & SAVE Grocery Graph Make a weekly menu plan and draw out a grocery list. Stick to the list. Buy only what is necessary to curtail wastage. Work Lunch If you spend an average of USD15 per working day, per lunch; you’d be saving at least USD300 per month if you pack lunch from home; sandwiches or leftovers make for good savings. Beauty on a Budget Minimise salon visits. You can do your own facials, hair and nails daily. Keep the salon trips as a special monthly treat. This applies to the men with car, sound systems or other expensive beautifying habits too! Clever Connections Unless you own a business, cancel your landline and stick to your mobile phone plan. People hardly call landlines anymore.


Resist Impulse Buys Impulse purchases are never good. The dress may be cute, but do you really have nothing to wear?


Coin Collection Piggy banks ain’t just for kids. It’s a tried and tested savings method for centuries. So start a coin jar. Don’t break it till the end of the year and you’ll discover a few extra hundreds.




Percent of PC users in Central and Eastern Europe downloaded pirated software as at 2010 (, May 2011)

Compiling Errands Save on petrol or transport costs by making one run to cover your errands within one outing where possible.

Any good financial planner will tell you to first rid of your most expensive debt – your credit card balance. Its convenience may outweigh its hefty interest, but if you have a problem clearing your monthly balance at least by half, you have a real problem. You may want to consider a low interest loan. Shop around to see which banks offer the best rates. Do your math: Credit card debt with annual percentage rate (APR) of 15% on USD2,200 over three years will cost USD545 in interest; a loan at 6% interest per annum for the same amount over the same period of time will draw an interest of USD209 – immediate savings of USD336!



billion is the value of fitness clubs and the health store industry as at mid-2011; a USD1 billion jump from the year before – in a recession, no less. (, Oct 2011)


51.2 Percent of Facebook users worldwide are male (, 2011)

SOLAR ENERGY FOR HOME. Simpa Networks based in Bangalore, India, sells distributed energy solutions on a ‘progressive purchase’ basis. Customers make a small down payment for a high-quality solar photovoltaic system and then pre-pay for the service, topping up their systems in small user-defined increments using a mobile phone.


JOB HUNT MADE EASY. Where most employment websites focus on resumes and pages of job listings, Dubai-based Laimoon takes an innovative approach. Instead of putting the onus on job hunters to browse through endless openings, the site asks the candidates a few key questions and then offers a short, customised, and dynamically refined list of targeted results.

ONLINE FASHION PORTAL FOR SMALL BOUTIQUES. Danish company Meinto targets small boutiques without e-commerce efforts of their own, and offers an online shopping site that enables participating boutiques to sell to a global audience.




percent of eating disorder (anorexia nervosa) patients are men suggest a recent study. (Health.

New Year’s Resolutions... easy to make, even easier to break! you can’t stop time and you certainly can’t stop ageing. The only wise thing you can do is put into practice good healthcare habits by expanding your knowledge in ensuring a healthier lifestyle.

GUARDING YOUR GOALS Setting goals for a healthier you is certainly a good way to kick off the New Year, but sticking with them is the hardest. Here are some realistic tips that can help you get on the health track:

• Avoid touching your face all the time.

Plan for Obstacles Figure out how to rise above them. Don’t give up just because you’ve slipped.

• Drink at least eight 235ml glasses of water daily to flush out toxins.

Track your Progress A journal is a great tool for helping you stay focused and, recover from slip-ups.

• Exercise regularly to sweat out toxins.

Add Variety Keep things interesting by adding new activities or expanding your goals to make them more challenging. Treat Yourself Give yourself a healthy reward when you’ve achieved a small goal or milestone. The Future YOU Keep in your mind’s eye what you wish to see at the finishing line of your resolve. If it’s to lose weight, imagine a slimmer you; if it’s to quit smoking, envision a sweet-smelling and cough-free you.

• Eat lots of vegetables and fruits of various colours and types, • Eat low-fat yoghurt as the good bacteria in it strengthens your immune system, • Reduce alcohol intake and quit smoking as these weaken your immune system. • Manage stress.


percent of women say they would sacrifice the health of their feet for fashionable footwear. American Podiatric Medical Association (International Survey Statistics, 2010)


million people worldwide were diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) towards the end of 2011, due to tobacco use or second-hand smoke. It’s projected that a 30% increase in COPD deaths will occur worldwide over the next 10 years. (World Health Organization, International Research, 2011)

RICE ABOVE THE REST The staple diet for about 20% of the world’s population, there’s been much concern about rice, especially regarding its nutritional value. So, rice: To eat or not to eat? Everything when done in moderation is good. Here’s some important information on rice, so that you can make an informed decision on how much, how often and the type of rice that’s good for you.



• Wash hands often to avoid spreading germs, especially if you’ve been out.

Set Goals Write down the steps that will help you achieve them.

Get Help. Ask friends and family for support Consider enrolling in a class or programme with your loved ones.







80g carbs 1g fibre 0.6g fat 7g protein 0.07mg thiamin 1.6g niacin 0.8mg iron 25mg magnesium

77g carbs 3.5g fibre 3g fat 8g protein 0.4mg thiamin 5mg niacin 1.5mg iron 143mg magnesium 223mg potassium

81g carbs 2g fibre 1g fat 7.5g protein 0.224mg thiamin 5mg niacin 0.74mg iron 27mg magnesium

75g carbs 6g fibre 1g fat 15g protein 0.115mg thiamin 6.7mg niacin 2mg iron 177mg magnesium

Not many nutrients and high in starchy carbs. It doesn’t leech nutrients from you, but displaces them because white rice tends to act as a vehicle for negative foods, like oils and sugar. In moderation, it’s fine.

Healthier profile but most of its nutrients are held together by phytic acid, which is mostly useless to humans as we don’t produce phytase to release its nutrients. Nonetheless, it’s touted as a healthier choice.

Process: Partially boiling intact rice seed (husk, bran, et al) so the bran’s nutrients are absorbed into the rice seed. Parboiled rice is then dried and milled. Higher nutrients than white rice.

Like brown rice, most of its nutrients are bound by phytate. It’s not exactly rice but the seed of a long-grain marsh grass. Adds nutty flavour when cooked with brown or white rice.

*All specs above based on 100g in raw form. Source: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)




Commercialisation has dug deep into the world of sports, making team spirit a commodity rather than about sportsmanship. But branding is everywhere nowadays and the sports arena is a multi-billion dollar industry. Here are some insights on the industry of sports.


brand value USD15 billion

brand value USD11.5 billion

brand value USD5 billion

brand value USD3 billion



• 16,000 injuries were reported to have occurred from cheerleading stunts by; 52% of which were strains and sprains. The rest include concussions, fractures and other serious stuff.

MOST POPULAR SPORTS OF THE DECADE If you guessed football / soccer, you’re spot on! A poll on at the end of 2011 based on number of fans who follow the sport, with sample data from Alexa rankings (web traffic toolbar that tracks users of top 300 websites like,, nfl. com etc. in over 30 sports categories), pointed to football as the world’s favourite sport. Football is Emperor and here are the rest of the royalty:


• King of sports – Cricket • Queen of sports – Field Hockey • Prince of Sports – Tennis • Princess of Sports – Volleyball


“I don’t think the discus will ever attract any interest until they let us start throwing them at one another!” ~ The late Al Oerter, American athlete and four-time Olympic Champion on discus throwing. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

• Australian rugby player Ben Czislowski felt the need to get medical help when his four-month headache was not going away. The doctor found an opponent’s tooth in Czislowski’s forehead. • England’s Manchester United remains the world’s most expensive football team, valued at USD1.86 billion as at 2011 according to Forbes. • A 1751 pamphlet that featured an early mention of golf in a poem received 63 bids before it sold on eBay at a staggering USD50, 400 on January 19, 2011. The author, James Arbuckle, devoted a section of the poem to Glasgow Green, with observations on an idyllic gathering of golfers at play in the winter months.

brand value USD2.5 billion


Bugatti Veyron (French) base price USD2.4 million

McLaren F1 (English) base price USD970,000

SSC Ultimate Aero (American) base price USD654,400

Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo (American) base price USD555,000

Koenigsegg CCX (Swedish) base price USD545,568 Source:

01 HYPER TECH 2012

THE BIG SMALL Size matters but large is not always better. As technology progresses, component parts and processors get smaller and capacity keeps improving. Here’s a look at how mighty small has become.

ON & ON!


“Don’t check e-mails for too long, turn off your GPS, use only Wi-Fi to download, don’t leave so many apps opened at any one time....” If you had enough of hearing all these ‘don’ts’, perhaps it’s time you invested in an external battery to ensure adequate power supply in your battery. Alternatively, keep charging your iPhone at all times at home, office or even in the car, and not only when the reserve is running out.



Don’t eat it, just listen to it! A real cute piece of gadget, the Edifier Ear Candy allows you to listen to MP3 and WMA music from the speakers of the 200g Candy Plus or, through the headphones for up to five hours. You can also select music from any of the 24 FM channels using the LED screen; RRP AUD49.95.


BLAZING 4G+ SPEED At present, if you are still calling from your hand phone using 3G, you are, in fact, two steps behind in connectivity speed and technology. American telecommunication services provider Competitive Companies Inc. has developed an even faster 4G technology called 4G+ Mobile Broadband. Currently, the 4G technology is not widely available in most countries. The latest news on 4G (not 4G+!) is that UK based O2 Telco has just started running 4G trials in London – 4G is the term used in describing LTE (Long Term Evolution Technology). The upload speed is as fast as 100Mb/s and the download speed up to 50Mb/s. But this speed comes nowhere near the connectivity speeds of the new 4G+ Mobile Broadband, with anticipated download speed twice or higher than 100Mb/s.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” ~ Steve Jobs, The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Most hand phone users are aware of the size of the SIM card in their handsets. iPad users, up till now, were happy boasting that their SIM cards were half the size of the former. Now comes a third variety – the nano SIM – which is one third the size of the others. This simply means that future gadgets and devices are going to get way slimmer and lighter.

MOVING MOMENTS Video cameras have come a long way from big, bulky dinosaurs to sleek and sexy gadgets to capture all your cherished memories in high definition, crystal clear audio, brilliant colours and even in 3D!


This camera takes portability and hands-free to the extremes! Recording can be activated either by the camera’s buttons, with VOX voice activated recording or from a distance via the included remote control device. The camera can also be dunked in water up to 65 feet and still continue shooting with images up to 8-megapixels HD videos with zoom, and built-in audio.

KODAK PLAYSPORT ZX3 This is the best camera for capturing images in up to 10 feet of water to shoot 480, 720 and 1080 pixel HD videos. Back on dry land, you can transfer your recordings from the SD card or stream it directly to a HD TV using HDMI.

SAMSUNG MV800 You can flip the 3-inch screen from 0 to 180 degrees and choose from three shutter speeds and, two-image stabilizers to use when shooting videos. You can also zoom up to five times to preview before shooting the videos up to 16.1-megapixels in HD.

GOPRO HERO 2 Perfect for athletes and extreme sports junkies, you simply strap on the GoPro Hero 2 to your head and start shooting 170 degree wide angle HD videos of up to 11-megapixels.

BLOGGIE 3D CANON EOS C300 PL A professional cinema video camera compacted into a small package, the EOS C300 has all the essential features you’d expect from a Canon camera, including the DIGIC DV iii image processor. Its 8.29 million effective pixels can shoot in Full HD cinema quality using interchangeable DSLR type Canon EF lenses.

The world’s first HD 3D pocket camera, Sony’s Bloggie 3D uses two lenses, two image sensors, a stereo microphone and a LED to shoot videos in 3D. And the best part? You don’t need 3D glasses to watch your recordings on the 2.4-inch LCD screen.



01 SLEEP INNS 2012


Be it an Ayurvedic resort that promises to reinstate your health or a city hotel that channels good vibes, our choice of accommodation this issue is exactly what the body, mind and soul require for some R&R.





THE JEWEL OF BANGKOK The Amari group of hotels is one of the most recognisable names in the hospitality industry in Thailand with properties in Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Chang, Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi and Hua Hin. Catering for a discerning audience that appreciates style, flair and Asian warmth in hospitality, the Amari Atrium Bangkok is not only centrally located in the city, with major retail areas and the Central Business District of Bangkok nearby, the hotel also has excellent links with major transport hubs in Bangkok. Situated on New Petchaburi Road, the hotel is about 30 minutes away from the international airport. Even better, the main rail

link to the airport at Makkasan Station is less than 10 minutes from the hotel with free shuttle bus service, while the subway (MRT) linking visitors to the rest of Bangkok is a mere hop and skip away at the Petchaburi Station. The main shopping and entertainment artery of Sukhumvit is literally at the back of the hotel on a short cab ride or one MRT station away. If location is everything, then Amari Atrium occupies a vantage spot in the city. Arriving at the hotel from Suvarnabhumi International Airport was a breeze. A female bell boy (bell girl?) greeted me in typical Thai style but she didn’t appear to be the retreating flower type. This was a robust girl who was confident with her welcome and assertive in her charm. A spacious 12-storey high atrium ensconced in a 23-storey tower in warm, earthy tones with an unusual,

new-age pyramidal structure next greeted me at the lobby. “To channel all the good and positive energy to our guests!” quipped the Guest Service Officer. The Amari Atrium offers 568 rooms with all the amenities that you expect in a stylish four-star facility in a metropolitan city like Bangkok. Rooms are all extra spacious and offer lovely views of the city and beyond, especially if you are on the higher floors. Done up in contemporary style with clever accents of traditional Thai, the accommodation is cozy as they are welcoming; the perfect way to unwind after a day of shopping, sightseeing or partying in nearby Sukhumvit. Most notable, however, is the greenery that greets you around the hotel. Although a city hotel, there are green patches everywhere around the Amari Atrium that are soothing to the eyes, even on the rooftop of a nearby building so that you don’t have to stare into ugly air-conditioning compressors. Just across the hotel, facing the highway is a gleaming Buddhist temple with its golden spire.

Although the food scene in Bangkok is so varied and cheap, sometimes you just want to stay in and enjoy the hotel’s offerings. Vivaldi offers excellent Italian fare in a rustic setting, Cascade allows you to dine any time of the day on Asian and international fare while Cascade Lobby Bar welcomes you with exciting drinks and tipples. My favourite was the Mingles Pub & Restaurant, a truly fun place to unwind with funky cocktails, savour Thai and international dishes and have a rip roaring time with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. But perhaps above all is the service. Like the rest of Thailand, the Amari Atrium is staffed by truly lovely people who treat you like god! Well, not on bent knees or in an overly fawning manner but just enough to make you feel welcomed without being in your face all the time. It’s a very pleasant experience when the waiting staff knows how strong or weak you prefer your tea despite having to serve a thousand other guests, or remembering your name and making it a point to pronounce it right even if it sounded like a science project gone wrong. Even the housekeeping staff, who in most other hotels are just too darn busy to look up from their scrubbing and cleaning, make it point to say hello to you as you stumble along the corridors inebriated. Perhaps the pyramidal structure does have the effect on everyone who walks into Amari Atrium Bangkok.

AMARI ATRIUM BANGKOK A 1880 New Petchaburi Road, Bangkok T +66 (0) 2718 2000 GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Bangkok from various destinations. For full flight details, go to








The popularity of alternative healing methods have gained quite a following recently, as more and more people turn to holistic forms of medication, wellness and relaxation. In this light, Ayurveda (Science of Life) from India has become immensely popular. In India, although prevalent throughout the country, Ayurvedic wellness resorts are found mostly in the South Indian state of Kerala. Now, the state of Tamil Nadu unveils its first ever, fully integrated Ayurvedic village in the equally historically resplendent city of Madurai – the AVN Swasthya Ayurveda Village. Located some 140kms from the city of Trichy, a modern highway leads directly into this city of more

than 3 million people, the second largest in Tamil Nadu after Chennai. Often regarded as the centre of linguistic and cultural excellence, Madurai is a city renowned for its temple architecture with the Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswar temple its main cultural, religious and tourist attraction. The village is a multi-purpose facility that houses an Ayurvedic spa resort and a hospital. The fragrance of ancient medicinal concoctions being prepared perfumed the resort, mixed with the equally exotic scent of jasmines that Madurai is renowned for. AVN Swasthya makes all their medicinal concoctions on site at a nearby facility where herbs, leaves, barks, minerals and medicated oils are prepared on a daily basis. Even the drinking water placed in my rooms was an herbal drink the colour of the prettiest blush, tasting of cardamoms, rose and other aromatics. This drink, I found out later as I got more and more addicted to it, was a wonderful way to dissipate body heat and keep the throat moist. Started some 80 years ago by the late Arya Vaidyan Shri N. Rama Varier, a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner who set up a small clinic to serve the local community, the centre has now grown to include the current resort and with clinics in Madurai, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Ernakulam in India. Treatments include outpatient facilities that cater for a wide range of ailments such as skin diseases, rheumatology and immunology health issues, and women’s health and fertility problems. For the first time too, the centre has set up the Centre for Developmental Neurology, catering for children with neuro-developmental disabilities, headed by a specially qualified paediatrician working together with the Ayurvedic doctors at the resort.

As I had three days in Madurai, a thorough check-up with the resident Ayurvedic doctors revealed my dosha (constituents). According to Ayurveda, the tri-dosha are vatta, pitta and kapha and all human beings are governed by these three doshas. Imbalances in the dosha can lead to health problems. When the dosha are in balance, the body functions at its optimum and health is resorted. The doctors at the resort couldn’t stress enough the importance of maintaining balance in everything that one does, including managing stress. The great thing about AVN Swasthya was that the treatments here work in tandem with modern medicine. Though the emphasis is on curative and preventative measures, the doctors readily admit that Ayurveda 46


cannot perform miracles on serious health problems. Instead, for pressing matters or chronic health issues, the practitioners work in tandem with modern medicine to arrest the problem quickly before supplementing the healing process with Ayurveda. The diagnosis for me revealed that I was a vatta / kapha type. Mercifully, my health was in relatively good condition. Adam, the photographer, however, had a stuffed nose with heavy phlegm, and faced difficulty in breathing, which required a nasyam treatment that included breathing in medicated vapour and facial massages. I was prescribed a relaxation massage and a shirodhara, where a continuous stream of medicated milk was poured onto the forehead to induce the body and mind into a deep sense of relaxation. While the cold milk was effective in sending me into a stupor, the long massage strokes administered simultaneously by two therapists were deliciously divine. After about 20 minutes of massage, the therapist then gently poured buckets and buckets of warmed medicated oil all over my body. The combined effects of long-stroke massage, cold milk and warm viscous oil on the body was an insanely relaxing experience. The resort is equipped with its own kitchen serving healthy, vegetarian fare and, has all the creature comforts one may need for relaxation. Guests can choose to stay in the Deluxe rooms or the Classic, Deluxe or Royal Villas for added privacy and luxury. Additionally, the campus is fully disable-friendly. The three-day stay at AVN Swasthya was an eye opener for me: How little I knew about my own physical wellbeing, how easy it was to get my health back on track if done early enough and, that going vegetarian is really not that difficult. Of course, the short stay simply wasn’t enough to totally heal me after years of abuse on the body, mind and soul. But it was a start and a good one at that. Health is, after all, the best gift you can give yourself and AVN Swasthya gets on the right path.

AVN SWASTHYA A 175 Vilachery Main Road, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India T +91-452-6066600-09 GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Trichy from Kuala Lumpur. For full flight details, go to

HIT LIST 01 2012





BRIDGING THE GAP Bridges are an engineering wonder. They are mostly functional but some are built with artistic accents, remain purposeful for centuries, and have inspired writers, painters and musicians since time immemorial. But these bridges are more than just a crossing; they take you on a journey through time and history.

TOWER BRIDGE, LONDON, ENGLAND The Tower Bridge is an interesting mix of both a drawbridge and a suspension bridge that spans the River Thames. At 244 metres long, it was completed in 1894 but construction started in 1886 due to ancient traffic jams. It was decided that the bridge had to be a bascule (draw) bridge, as well as a suspended construction. The design evolved with two towers built on piers so the structure would not interfere with the port facilities nearby. Most noteworthy is the bridge’s Victorian Gothic-design that mimics the Tower of London nearby. However, the choice of style was regarded as an obscene display of irrelevant opulence. When it opened, the public was shocked and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architect commented: “The Tower Bridge represents the vice of tawdriness and pretentiousness, and of falsification of the actual facts of the structure.” (Source: Waddell, J., Bridge Engineering, Google Books). Nonetheless, time healed all wounds and people warmed up to the extravagant Tower Bridge, making it one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Even its loudest critics, architectural critic Eric de Maré conceded: “The British people have grown fond of the old fraud … and we must admit that it has carried on its task with admirable regularity and efficiency.” (Source: Dupré, J., Bridges; 1997 Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers) GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies to London from Kuala Lumpur 3 times a week. For flights details, go to

The Pont du Gard was built by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (63–12 BC), the son-in-law of Caesar Augustus. The bridge’s stones, some weighing up to six tonnes, were cut to fit together without the use of mortar. Known as voussoirs, these wedge-shaped stones were arranged in three levels, the top-most being the water conduit. This bridge, spanning the Gard River, is a masterpiece of Roman engineering. It was created as part of a aqueduct system that carried water over 50 kilometres to the ancient Roman city of Nemausus (now known as Nîmes) from Uzès. In the past, it is said to have carried an estimated 200 million litres of water daily to fountains, baths and homes of the citizens of Nîmes. So extraordinary is the Pont du Gard that it was added to the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1985. Even though it no longer functions as an aqueduct due to lack of maintenance over many centuries, the Pont du Gard remains an amazing structure to behold and, is one of France’s most popular tourist attractions. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies to Paris from Kuala Lumpur 4 times a week. For flights details, go to






BRIDGE OF SIGHS, VENICE, ITALY While more than a dozen Bridge of Sighs exist around the world, mostly in England and America, the one that is most remembered is a small, arched limestone bridge across the Rio di Palazzo; locally known as Ponte dei Sospiri. According to folklore, those who crossed it would only do so once – it is a passage way between a prison and the interrogation room inside the Doge’s Palace. Its name was said to have come from a poem by Lord Byron; suggesting that the view from the bridge through the windows would have been the last the criminals saw before their imprisonment. In reality, the days of inquisitions and executions were long gone by the time the bridge was built, and the cells under the palace roof were mostly occupied by petty criminals. However, the poet did offer a romantic inspiration for lovers as well: If a couple kisses underneath the bridge at sunset, they will be granted everlasting love. Although the Bridge of Sighs function as a bridge is limited, it provides a setting that attracts lovers from all over the world.

Built in the 17th century by the Persian Safavid King, Shah Abbas II, this bridge is a highly pragmatic work of art. Located across the Zayandeh River, Khaju also acts as a dam that regulates the water levels of the river. The bridge is designed with sluice gates under the archways that when closed, forces the the raised river waters behind the dam to spill over as irrigation to the gardens along the Zayandeh River.   The Khaju Bridge is elegant in its simple design with 23 arches made of brick and stone that runs 105 metres across the river. There are two levels on the bridge – the upper level is for traffic, mainly horses and carriages while the lower level is for pedestrians. This bridge is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, not only because of its history and architectural excellence; it also offers great respite from the intense heat in Isfahan. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies to Tehran, Iran, from Kuala Lumpur. For flights details, go to







CHENGYANG BRIDGE, GUANGXI PROVINCE, CHINA Otherwise known as the Wind and Rain Bridge, this is one of the most beautiful covered bridges known to man. The bridge was built by the Dong people from the village of Maan, recognised for their excellent bridgebuilding skills. It is quite a feat that the bridge has lasted about 100 years since it was built, without the use of a single nail or rivet. The wood used to make the bridge were dovetailed to fit in like a puzzle, making it a perfect combination of art and functionality. It provides shelter for people crossing the Linxi River, and also features pagoda-tile roofing that keeps the elements at bay. The Chengyang Bridge spans 64.4 metres over the Linxi River, connecting two big villages in Sanjiang County. This brilliant structure has two platforms, three piers, five pavilions and 19 verandahs over three floors. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Chengdu, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Macau and Hong Kong from various destinations. For flights details, go to





It may be the youngest of all historical bridges but the Bosphorus continues to make history. This bridge connects two continents – Asia and Europe. Spanning the Bosphorus Strait, the Asian side is located in Beylerbeyi and the European side is in Ortaköy. The bridge is over 1,560 metres long and towers at 105 metres high, with sea level clearance at 64 metres. This construction was completed in 1973 during the 50th anniversary celebrations of the republic’s foundation, at a whopping cost of US$200 million, and is presently the world’s 16th longest suspension bridge. The bridge houses five lanes on each side with three traffic lanes, one emergency lane and one sidewalk. Certainly not a pedestrian bridge, the Bosphorus is strictly for automobiles with tolls imposed on one way, from Europe to Asia only.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia – Nicknamed ‘The Coathanger’ because of its arch-based design, the bridge connects the city’s central business district (CBD) and the North Shore, It carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic with a dramatic view of the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York, USA – This bridge connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spanning the East River. Completed in 1883, itwas built with a design and truss system six times stronger than the normal levels.

Langkawi Sky Bridge, Kedah, Malaysia – A curved pedestrian cablestayed bridge enabling 360-degree scenic views of the island and the Andaman Sea, this bridge is located 7,000 metres above sea level and runs 125 metres long. It is also one of the world’s highest single-support bridges.


Enterthe Dragon!

The dawn of Chinese New Year 2012 also marks the start of the auspicious Year of the Dragon. With a rich history that intertwines royalty, ritual and religion, the mythical dragons of Asia have long been revered as symbols of courage, power and wisdom. WORDS: SHANTINI SUNTHARAJAH






Myth. Mystery. Magic. The dragon embodies all these and more. While no one knows the exact point in history when stories and depictions of the dragon first appeared, archeologists all over the world have unearthed drawings, etchings, carvings and other physical representations of the dragon that stretch back thousands and thousands of years. In medieval times, dragons were reviled and feared across Europe and, quite a bit of this distrust has filtered through to the present day. In Western pop culture, dragons are regularly depicted as fire-breathing, villainous beasts from which damsels in distress must be saved. Interestingly enough, this is the exact opposite in the East. From ancient times to the present, dragons of Asia are seen as wise, noble creatures, representing good luck, fortune, intellect, potency, valour and auspicious power.

THE CHINESE LOONG Although the dragon makes an appearance in major Asian cultures, this mystical creature is most prominent 58


amongst the Chinese where it is known as loong. It is clear from the very beginning that the dragon was etched into the hearts and minds of all who lived across the vast, ancient Chinese empire; from the humble peasant to the venerated emperor. The Chinese believed that dragons were real, celestial beings and depictions of the creature have been found on everything from Chinese coins and pictures to flags, dating back more than 6,000 years. The Chinese dragon is usually portrayed as a combination of nine other animals. It had, among other things, the horns of a deer, the scales of a carp, the paws of a tiger and the claws of an eagle. Associated with the honourable traits of a mighty warrior such as power and courage, the dragon eventually emerged as a representation of the imperial supremacy of the Emperor of China. Interestingly, studies suggest that the prototype of the dragon may have emerged from the saltwater crocodile. In modern China, belief in the dragon as a living, breathing beast may have all but disappeared but the creature still symbolises leadership, success, fertility,

LEFT: Painting of a dragon head on a decorative Dragon Drum at the Imperial Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, South Korea.


RIGHT: A dancer wearing a dragon mask at a religious festival in Bhutan.

good fortune and immortality. Even today, Chinese around the world are known as the ‘descendants of the dragon’. The dragon also lives on through various traditions such as the Chinese Dragon Dance, usually performed during Chinese New Year and, the popular Dragon Boat Festival, when boats in the shape of dragons race on waterways all across China. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Chengdu, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Macau and Hong Kong, from various destinations. For flight details, go to

The dragon or rong in Vietnam has long symbolised life and growth. Like their Chinese counterparts, Vietnamese dragons are a combination of other animals such as the crocodile, snake, lizard and bird but, while the Chinese dragon descended from the skies, the rong ascended from water. The Vietnamese are traditionally rice farmers who depend upon the weather for their livelihood. In ancient times, dragons were believed to control








the weather, which explains the popularity of the creatures in Vietnamese folklore where they are widely represented in theatre, dance, folklore and literature. Many popular Vietnamese sayings feature dragons such as ‘dau rong duoi tom’, which translates to ‘dragon’s head, shrimp’s tail’. This proverb means ‘starting out well but ending badly.’ The Vietnamese dragons were also prominent in political circles in the past, representing prosperity and power. They are also connected to geographical locations. For instance, the mighty Mekong, which materialises from the foothills of Tibet, flows down and divides into nine tributaries. These nine tributaries are known as the Cuu Long or Nine Dragons. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang in Vietnam from various destinations. For flight details, go to

Ancient Korean art and mythology are richly peppered with the dragon or yong. The yong is often portrayed as having precisely 81 scales on its back and four claws on each paw, as well as an extra long beard. Like the Vietnamese dragon, the Korean yong was thought to be a benevolent creature, which ruled the waters and was capable of showering the land with rainfall. Korean dragons were believed to reside in the sea, rivers and lakes. Some of the earliest Korean texts mention dragons that were able to speak and understand human emotions such as devotion, kindness and gratitude. Koreans believe that all Asian dragons originate from their yong, which grows a claw when it travels to the West or South and loses a claw when it journeys to the East or North. That is why Chinese dragons have five claws but Japanese dragons have only three. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies daily from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul. For flight details, go to

THE BHUTANESE DRUK Nowhere is the dragon more widely represented in 21st century culture and politics than in Bhutan. In fact, the country’s national symbol is the dragon or druk as it is known in Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan. Bhutan is also called the Land of Druk. The druk is prominently featured on the country’s national flag, which shows a serpentine, white dragon holding jewels in its four paws. The gems represent the wealth and prosperity of Bhutan and the white of the dragon symbolises loyalty and patriotism of the people. The leader of the state is the Druk Gyalpo or Dragon King. Representation of the dragon even extends to the title of the national anthem – Druk Tsendhen – meaning Kingdom of the Dragon.

THE JAPANESE TATSU All ancient Asian societies believe dragons possess amazing powers such as control over natural



phenomena like the weather but the Japanese awarded their tatsu with truly mind-blowing capabilities. Japanese dragons are able to alter their size, become invisible, take on human form and, according to legend, even procreate with humans. In their original state, however, these dragons are portrayed as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. While many other Asian dragons are confined to the realms of legend and ritual, the dragons of Japan enjoy a slightly higher status – they are closely related to spirituality and religion. This connection is seen in many of the Zen Buddhist temples in Japan, which are decorated with intricate carvings of dragons on walls and columns. Historians say the origin of the Japanese dragon can be traced back to a belief in the creature as a guardian of the cosmos. The dragons of Japanese folklore have lived on as the insignia of the Japanese royal family and they symbolise all things good such as imperial power and spirituality.

ABOVE: An irezumi, or full-body tattoo, which features a water dragon motif once revered by 18th century Japanese. OPPOSITE PAGE: Dragon motifs richly decorate the eaves of the three-storied pagoda temple of Naritasan Shinshoji Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies from Kuala Lumpur to Osaka and Tokyo. For flight details, go to



DRAGONS IN POPULAR CULTURE BELOW: Statue of a five-headed naga guarding a Thai Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai.π

Dragons – both the image and the name – have permeated every aspect of art and culture. Dragons feature in movies, music, books and even popular sayings. Here’s a look at some of the most enduring and best-loved dragons of all time

PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON A popular 1960s song by Peter, Paul and Mary, the lyrics seem to be a tale about a little boy and his dragon. Some believe that it was actually a song about smoking marijuana or ‘puffing the magic dragon’!

DRAGONFLY Dragonflies are delicate, winged insects that seem to have nothing in common with the large, powerful dragon. However, it is believed that the humble dragonfly got its name because of a myth that dragonflies were once dragons.

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS This is a role-playing fantasy video game where characters embark on exciting adventures and collect points to become increasingly powerful, as they overcome obstacles. The game, which was first published in the 70s, is one of the most popular of all time.


DRAGON LEGENDS, LORE AND MORE No evidence has ever emerged to prove the existence of dragons as depicted in traditional Asian culture. However, the dragon continues to capture the imagination and captivate the masses thanks – in no small part – to the legends and beliefs that have been passed on through the centuries. IN JAPAN it is believed that Sui-Riu dragons are responsible for the rains in Japan, the Han-Riu dragon is the longest and stretches up to 12 meters, the Ri-Riu dragon has incredibly keen eyesight and the Fuku-Riu dragon brings luck. IN KOREA, there is a fable that tells of a poor fisherman who caught a giant carp but let it go free when it begged for it’s life. The carp turned out to be the Dragon King and the fisherman was handsomely rewarded for his compassion. IN INDIA, nagas are essentially serpents or snakes but the usage of the term has also extended to other parts of Asia like Burma where nagas are mythical creatures that are part serpent, part crocodile and part dragon. In Indonesian and Thai folklore, nagas are massive water snakes or sea dragons, which terrorise fishermen. IN CHINA the Legend of Emperor Huang Di is connected to the beginnings of the dragon as a symbol of imperial power. It is said that Huang Di rose up to heaven after he was immortalised into a dragon that resembled his emblem. Many Chinese consider themselves to be his direct descendants. 62


This is one of the most successful, recent works of literature that features a dragon. Written by the late Stieg Larsson, it is a story of mystery and intrigue that was captured on film in a 2011 movie starring Daniel Craig.

DRAGON LADY The origin of this phrase remains a mystery but its meaning is crystal clear and relates to the power of the mythical dragon. To call a woman a ‘dragon lady’ is to classify her as a strong, domineering female. Interestingly enough, there is no such thing as a ‘dragon man’!

DRAGON FRUIT The dragon fruit has a unique name and an equally unique appearance. Some say the greenish petals on the fruit’s pink bulb-like body resemble the scales of a dragon but the exact origin of the name is unknown.

NEW YEAR PREDICTIONS Joey Yap is a renowned Malaysian author of over 60 books on BaZi, Feng Shui, Chinese Astrology, Face Reading and Yi Jing. He is also known for his popular seminars and appears regularly on radio and TV shows. Here a quick look at Joey Yap’s predictions for the 12 animal signs in 2012.



It’s your year but you best tone things down a bit by taking on a focused approach on all major aspects of your life.

A tough year ahead but do your best to avoid being distracted from your objectives. Stay positive.

(Born in 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000)


(Born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001)

Be alert for wealth opportunities you can capitalise on if you act quickly. Romance is sizzling for singles.



(Born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002)


(Born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003)


Good fortune will come to you this year and you can expect to find many opportunities for wealth to crop up.

Based on the ancient Chinese zodiac of 12 animals, the rabbit of 2011 makes way for the magnificent dragon this Chinese New Year on Jan 23.


DRAGON BIRTH YEARS: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

BASIC DRAGON CHARACTERISTICS The dragon is undoubtedly the mightiest of the 12 animals, which feature in the Chinese zodiac. Those born under this sign are blessed with a long list of positive traits along with a generous dollop of luck. This is also why many parents are eager to have children born in the Year of the Dragon. Confident, fearless, flamboyant, vivacious and ambitious, Dragons captivate and enthrall everyone around them. A dragon’s boundless energy coupled with inner strength and courage almost always ensure success in every endeavour. On the flip side, lies the infamous dragon pride – one of the few negative traits attributed to this sign. A dragon is generally a proud soul with an unbending will, which sometimes leads to eternal dissatisfaction.


Focus on self-improvement this year so that you’ll be ready to seize future opportunities when they come.


(Born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004)

Be productive in achieving your goals. Remember to be mindful of others and don’t take things for granted.


(Born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005)

You’re lucky. Any obstructions you come across can be resolved with the right effort and assistance.

(Born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006)


(Born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007)

Expect good fortune in your career, if you approach it with the right strategy. Romance will blossom this year.


(Born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008)

Be bold and take the lead to bring your career to the next level. Love-wise, this is an ideal year to make your move.


(Born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009)

You may bump into a few roadblocks but worry not as there will be people to lend you a hand to overcome it.


(Born in 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010)

Consider your future and the actions needed to pursue your goals. It is an ideal year to expand your horizons.


(Born in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011)

Be patient in getting what you want in life. Expect opportunities to generate extra income this year. • Source:

• This is a general prediction for the 12 zodiac signs. For a full reading, consult a knowledgeable astrologer.

01 FEATURES • Queens Park Rangers 2012

Joey Barton of Queens Park Rangers in action with Scott Parker of Tottenham Hotspur.

RETURN OF QUEENS PARK RANGERS W London football team Queens Park Rangers (QPR) West has embarked on the most exciting chapter in its 125 h years of history – after gaining promotion back to the ye Premier League for the current season. P WORDS: TONY INCENZO IMAGES: BACK PAGE IMAGES WO



During the 70s, 80s and 90s, QPR regularly finished as top London club in English football. Indeed, they achieved fifth place in 1992/93, which was the very first year of the Premier League. However, relegation in 1996 saw QPR fall on hard times. They were relegated again to the third tier in 2001 and, had an unlucky spell in financial administration before winning promotion up to the Championship three years later. The club struggled along until the appointment of manager Neil Warnock in March 2010. It took Warnock just 14 months to turn a relegation haunted team into the npower Championship winners, and a glorious return to football’s top table. Rangers were boosted at the start of the current Premier League season with a takeover by Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia. This led to some frantic action at the end of the August ‘transfer window’ as Warnock was able to dramatically enhance his squad. He signed Premier League stars Joey Barton, Anton Ferdinand, Armand Traore, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Luke Young. That news was then quickly followed by the launch of a major deal with AirAsia, which will sponsor QPR’s away shirts and third choice jerseys for the next two seasons. On the pitch, Rangers have made a solid start to the campaign with encouraging away victories with Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City. But it was their pulsating 1-0 home win over Chelsea on October 23, 2011 that really cemented the return of QPR to the Premier League. With the future looking bright indeed, here’s a look at the club’s chequered past. QPR has its roots in the working class areas of West London and was formed in 1886. This came from an amalgamation of two boys’ teams – the Christ Church Rangers FC and St Jude’s Institute FC. These clubs were founded in 1882 and 1884 respectively, with St. Jude’s being mostly lads from Droop Street School. The name for this merged club reflected on the fact that members were based in the Queen’s Park district. Queens Park Rangers are in the record books for having played at more home grounds than any other professional club in the UK. QPR joined the Football League in 1920 and battled away quietly in the Third Division for many years. Promotion was gained for the first time in 1948, but the club only lasted four seasons at the second level before being relegated. Car dealer Jim Gregory joined the QPR board of directors in 1964 and became

chairman the following year. He outlined plans to develop Loftus Road stadium and improve the team on the field.

a disadvantage playing at Loftus Road. This controversial surface lasted seven years before being replaced by a grass pitch.

In 1967, QPR was Third Division champions and League Cup winners, coming from two goals down to beat First Division West Bromwich Albion 3 – 2 in the first Final to be staged at Wembley Stadium. Rodney Marsh hit 44 League and Cup goals during that season; a QPR club record.

1982, QPR reached the FA Cup Final under manager Terry Venables. It lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in a pulsating replay after the first game ended 1-1.

Twelve months later, QPR won promotion to the First Division (now the Premier League) for the first time in the club’s history. However, this tenure lasted only 12 months.

QPR was promoted back to the top flight in 1983 and qualified for the UEFA Cup again the following year. In 1992/93, QPR finished fifth and was the top London club in the first season of the newly-branded Premier League, inspired by centre-forward Les Ferdinand’s goals.

Young QPR supporters with AirAsia flight attendants in front of Loftus Road Stadium.

QPR was promoted back to the top flight in 1973 and this led to the club’s heyday in the mid-1970’s under manager Dave Sexton, who introduced a flamboyant Continental style of ‘total football’ to Loftus Road. This involved his team building up flowing attack moves from the back. In 1975/76, QPR was runners-up to Liverpool by a point in a thrilling First Division title race. The following year, QPR reached the UEFA Cup Quarter Finals, but lost in a penalty shoot-out to AEK Athens of Greece. After their greatest ever team broke up, QPR was relegated from the top flight in 1979. In1981, QPR became the first professional club in the world to lay a plastic pitch. Opposing teams complained that they were at

In1996, QPR was relegated from the Premier League a year after Les Ferdinand was sold to Newcastle United for a transfer record of £6 million. In 2001, relegation to the third tier of English football and severe financial matters led to further problems for QPR. In 2004, the team was promoted back to the Championship under manager Ian Holloway. 2011 saw QPR enjoying a title winning season and getting promoted up to the Premier League after 15 years away. In August 2011, the Tony Fernandes takeover signals a new era for QPR with a host of new signings.



QUEENS PARK RANGERS PLAYER PROFILES PADDY KENNY – GOALKEEPER Kenny enjoyed an incredible inaugural season at Loftus Road in 2010/11, keeping 24 clean sheets as Rangers clinched the npower Championship title. He played in all but two matches in QPR’s promotion-winning campaign, justifying his decision to leave Sheffield United. Kenny also cleaned up at the club’s annual ‘Player of the Year’ awards, claiming both the ‘Players’ Player’ and Supporters’ ‘Player of the Year’ gongs. 

BRADLEY ORR – DEFENDER Orr joined from Bristol City in 2010, and is a nippy rightback who loves to get forward and join the attack at every opportunity. Orr’s excellent delivery alongside his defensive qualities make him a coveted player. 

CLINT HILL – DEFENDER A mainstay of QPR’s watertight defence last term, this left-back played in all but two of the 46 npower Championship fixtures. His no-nonsense style was a major factor as Warnock’s troops amassed 25 league clean sheets. Hill joined QPR from Crystal Palace on a free transfer in July 2010. 68




Tough-tackling midfield man Derry was another player who moved across London in 2010. He featured in over 40 matches for QPR’s last season. Derry has become a big hit with the Loftus Road faithfuls who often chant “Shaun Derry, My Lord” at matches.

A West London boy and self-confessed QPR fan, Campbell enjoyed an outstanding Premier League campaign with Blackpool last term before signing with Rangers at the start of this season. Campbell, brought up just a stone’s throw away from Loftus Road, scored 13 times in 30 league starts for Blackpool.

FITZ HALL – DEFENDER A fast central-stopper who is also good in the air, this Walthamstow-born defender signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Rangers at the start of the 2008 January transfer window. He was brought in from the cold by Neil Warnock after spending the end of the 2009/10 season on loan to Newcastle United.

DANNY GABBIDON – DEFENDER A talented defender with undoubted ability, Gabbidon moved to QPR from West Ham at the start of this season. Gabbidon has suffered cruel luck with injuries in recent years. However, he is one of the finest defenders around and is approaching 50 international caps for Wales.

ADEL TAARABT – MIDFIELDER QPR clinched the permanent transfer of Moroccan Adel Taarabt from Tottenham on the eve of the 2010/11 campaign. His 19 goals and immeasurable displays helped Rangers secure the npower Championship title. Taarabt himself won The Football League’s ‘Player of the Year’ crown.

KIERON DYER – MIDFIELDER Capped more than 30 times by England, Dyer is considered one of English football’s most gifted and exciting attacking midfielders. He was signed for QPR from West Ham at the start of the season but was stretchered off after just six minutes into his debut against Bolton Wanderers in August 2011 with a foot injury.

JAY BOTHROYD – STRIKER Bothroyd is an England international who moved to QPR from Cardiff City at the start of this season after finding the net 45 times in 136 appearances for the Welsh side in all competitions. Dominant in the air and skilful on the ground, centreforward Bothroyd scored his first goal for Rangers in the away fixture at Tottenham Hotspur with a close range header.

ALEJANDRO FAURLIN – MIDFIELDER One of the most technicallygifted players in the squad, Faurlin’s fine defensive midfield play has shone in the Premier League this season. He originally joined QPR from Instituto de Cordoba in his native Argentina on a three year contract.

JAMIE MACKIE – MIDFIELDER When joining QPR from Plymouth Argyle in 2010, Mackie arrived at Loftus Road somewhat of an unknown talent. However, he is now a fan favourite! Mackie has returned to the first team recently after recovering from a double leg break and, he is a current Scottish international.

ARMAND TRAORE – DEFENDER An overlapping left-back, Traore has added quality to the Rangers rearguard following his switch from Arsenal in August. He has also played on the left hand side of midfield for QPR in recent weeks. Originally signed by Arsenal from Monaco in 2006, Traore has represented France at Under-17, Under-18, Under-19 and Under-21 levels.



A knee injury put paid to Buzsaky featuring in much of the Championship-clinching campaign for QPR last term. However, the Hungarian international has battled back to play his part in this season’s Premier League assault. Buzsaky’s outstanding individual ability in midfield makes him another fan favourite.

Consistency personified, there is no doubt that Smith has what it takes to be the very best in the top flight this season. He scored the only goal in QPR’s first away Premier League victory of the campaign at Everton. Smith’s versatility makes him a prized asset – he functions across the entirety of the frontline, as well as out wide in midfield.



Brazilian Perone joined QPR in August 2011 in a one year deal. He was originally on trial at the club in preseason, where he featured in several matches. The centre-back made his Rangers debut away to Wigan Athletic in an early season Premier League fixture.

Helguson has been in fine form this season and scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in QPR’s famous victory over Chelsea in October, 2011. An Icelandic international with the ability to bring others into the game, plus phenomenal aerial prowess and tireless work-rate, he originally signed for Rangers from Bolton Wanderers in January 2009.

MATT CONNOLLY – DEFENDER Connolly is a valuable member of the squad with superb composure on the ball being a key part of his game. He featured on 37 occasions in all competitions for QPR last season. Connolly originally joined the club from Arsenal in January 2008, when he signed a three and a half year deal.

JOEY BARTON – MIDFIELDER (CAPTAIN) There is no questioning QPR captain’s outstanding individual ability. He is a tireless midfielder who earned his sole England cap to date against Spain in 2007. Barton transferred to Rangers from Newcastle United earlier this season and made his Loftus Road debut against his previous club.

LUKE YOUNG – DEFENDER Versatile right-back Young brings a vast amount of experience to QPR, following his permanent move from Aston Villa in August. He recently scored for Rangers in successive away games at Stoke City and Norwich City. The Essex-born defender has represented England at Under-18, Under-21 and senior levels where he has won seven full caps.

RADEK CERNY – GOALKEEPER The ever-reliable Cerny joined QPR from Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer in 2008. He has featured in the Rangers team in recent weeks following an injury to first choice keeper Paddy Kenny. Cerny signed a new one-year contract extension in June 2011, keeping him at QPR until the end of the current campaign.

BRIAN MURPHY – GOALKEEPER This Waterford-born goalkeeper joined Rangers from Ipswich Town in 2011. Capped by the Republic of Ireland at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 levels, Murphy has also been included in the Irish senior international squad.



A speedy winger who has commanded combined transfer fees of £30 million in his career whilst winning 36 England caps, Wright-Phillips moved from Manchester City to QPR at the end of the August transfer window. He had an outstanding debut against

Newcastle United at Loftus Road. He is the adopted son of former England international Ian Wright.

ANTON FERDINAND – DEFENDER Defender Anton Ferdinand is the younger brother of Manchester United’s Rio. He signed from Sunderland in August and has been in superb form since then. Anton has spent his entire professional career in the Premier League and is now into his ninth season in the top flight.

MICHAEL HARRIMAN – DEFENDER Right-back Michael Harriman is a product of the club’s thriving Centre of Excellence. This tireless defender signed his first professional contract with QPR in March 2011. Harriman’s Premier League debut for Rangers came in this season’s clash at Wigan Athletic in August, 2011.

JASON PUNCHEON – MIDFIELDER Puncheon moved to Loftus Road on loan from Southampton in August, 2011 on the back of a fruitful loan spell in the Barclays Premier League with Blackpool. A player with plenty of pace, power and enthusiasm, Puncheon has mainly been featured as a substitute for QPR this season.

NEIL WARNOCK – MANAGER, QUEENS PARK RANGERS FC Born in Sheffield on December 1, 1948, Warnock spent most of his playing days in the lower divisions with Chesterfield, Rotherham, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Aldershot, Barnsley, York City and Crewe Alexandra. He subsequently managed Gainsborough Trinity, Burton Albion, Scarborough, Notts County, Huddersfield Town, Plymouth Argyle, Oldham Athletic, Bury, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace. Warnock joined QPR in March 2010. In the space of just over a year, he steered Rangers away from the second tier drop zone at the end of 2009/10 before clinching the npower Championship title the following season. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


LEFT: Anton Ferdinand and QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny discussing tactics on the pitch during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and QPR on October 30, 2011.

Q: HAS THE ARRIVAL OF TONY HELPED YOU AS A MANAGER? A: With some Premier League clubs, you see

QPR MANAGER NEIL WARNOCK Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TONY FERNANDES’ TAKEOVER OF QPR? A: It was a momentous day! To get Tony on board and listen to his ideas and plans for the future have been very exciting, not just for the first team but the whole club.

QPR needs the stability and expertise that Tony has to take us to the next step. We won promotion to the Premier League in 2011 and now we want to stay there. That will not happen overnight. There are plans from a sensible group of people who want to take the club forward. They’re not just talking about the first team. Yes, the priority is to bring one or two more players in during the January transfer window to ensure we stay up in the Premier League. Tony is already talking about a new training ground and a new stadium too.

the managers, directors and fans not pulling in the right direction together. We’re not like that at all at QPR. Everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet because they know how quickly and how far we have come.

Q: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR QPR NOW? A: The amount of work we have put in to get the club where it is in the Premier League has been a fantastic achievement. Next, bringing in the players we recruited in August was equally fantastic. We are going to have a go in every match – even when we are playing the top four teams in the Premier League. If we get beaten, we are still going to try and enjoy ourselves. We can cause a few upsets along the way. We have got a great spirit and we can play a bit as well.

STAN BOWLES – QPR’S GREATEST EVER PLAYER Born in 1948 in Manchester, Stan Bowles is arguably the greatest player in the history of QPR FC. He was a supremely skilful striker who moved originally to Loftus Road for £112,000 from Carlisle United in September 1972. Bowles wore the number 10 shirt with distinction and made 315 appearances for Rangers, scoring 96 times. His tally of 11 goals in the 1976/77 UEFA Cup run was a record for any British player in a European competition. He also won five full England caps during his time with QPR. 70




A: The atmosphere was always electric as the

A: It is lovely to see Rangers back in the big

crowd were so close to the pitch. They could almost reach out and touch the players.

time. I am sure that Neil Warnock will firmly re-establish the club and, Tony Fernandes has made a great impact since taking over.

Q: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT IN A QPR SHIRT? A: When I scored against FC Cologne in the UEFA Cup to beat Dennis Law’s record for goals by a British player in European competition in one season. Dennis was my idol as a kid so it was a special moment for me.

Q: WHAT ARE YOU UP TO NOWADAYS? A: I am a regular at Loftus Road. The atmosphere against Chelsea was the best for a home game since we nearly won the League title in 1975/76. The Rangers fans never stopped singing and it was fantastic!


ABOVE: QPR supporters at Loftus Road Stadium.


BELOW: The pitch at Loftus Road Stadium.

LOFTUS ROAD is located in the multicultural suburb of Shepherd’s Bush, just five miles from the centre of London. The stadium itself is renowned for its atmosphere due to the grandstands being located very close to the pitch. This lends itself to the noise generated by the passionate QPR supporters. Loftus Road was first used in 1904 by Shepherd’s Bush FC. They were an amateur team that disbanded during the First World War. Then, QPR moved to Loftus Road in 1917. At this time, Loftus Road had very basic facilities. It was just an open field with a pavilion. A major improvement came when one grandstand from Park Royal was dismantled, transported and re-erected to form the Ellerslie Road Stand in 1919. It had a capacity of 2,950 and remained as the only covered seating in the ground until 1968.


In 1938, a new covered terrace for 6,000 spectators was constructed behind the goal at the Loftus Road End. This took the capacity of the stadium up to 30,000 with open terraces on the other two sides of the pitch. In April 1948, QPR bought the freehold of the stadium plus 39 houses in Loftus Road and Ellerslie Road for £26,250. Floodlights were erected in October 1953 and they were officially switched on for a friendly game against Arsenal. In 1966, the original floodlights were replaced by much taller pylons. Then in 1981, these in turn were replaced with the current floodlights. In 1968, the South Africa Road Stand was constructed at a cost of £150,000 to replace the old uncovered terracing. It included changing rooms and offices. Four years later, a new stand was completed in Ellerslie Road, replacing the old tin-roofed structure. The stadium’s highest recorded attendance of 35,353 was for a First Division game against Leeds United on Saturday, April 27,1974. A year later, the lower paddock of the South Africa Road Stand was converted from terracing with the installation of 4,600 seats. New seated stands were opened at the School End in 980 and one year later, at the Loftus Road End. In 1981, an artificial Omniturf pitch was installed at Loftus Road, the first such surface to be used in world professional football. It was removed in April 1988 because of new football legislation and, was replaced with grass. In 1994, the arena became all-seater with the installation of seating in the lower Loftus Road Stand. The stadium has changed very little since then. With a capacity of just over 18,000, there is no room for expansion.

01 FEATURES • United Buddy Bears 2012


PEACE For the first time in Southeast Asia, 147 United Buddy Bears stand together, paw-in-paw for peace and tolerance. WORDS: BEVERLY RODRIGUES IMAGES: UNITED BUDDY BEARS

The Malaysian United Buddy Bear.



LEFT: United Buddy Bears in Berlin, Germany.

The United Buddy Bears have arrived in Malaysia! If you’re familiar with the popular 80s TV series Care Bears, you might be expecting cutesy creatures. But, while the United Buddy Bears share a similar mission of goodwill and even sport cool tummy art, they look nothing like the cloud-hopping, rainbow-sliding citizens of Care-A-Lot.

CIRCLE OF PEACE Standing two metres high each, with their paws stretched upwards, the United Buddy Bears have a commanding presence, especially when seen forming a circle of solidarity. Emissaries of peace, the United Buddy Bears travel the world bringing a message of tolerance and mutual understanding. The artworks on their bodies were

Seychelles Buddy Bear.

Germany Buddy Bear.

designed by artists from 143 countries acknowledged by the United Nations. So spectacular are these designs, the bears bring in revenue through the sale of United Buddy Bear merchandise, and are also auctioned off for charity. At last count, the Bears generated an impressive €1.8 million in aid of children in need worldwide. So far, 22 million people have visited the United Buddy Bears at exhibitions held in all five continents. Marking their very first journey to Southeast Asia, in December 2011, the United Buddy Bears World Tour arrived in Malaysia under the patronage of the Sultan of Selangor, HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Shah Al-Haj. With the theme, Art of Tolerance, the United Buddy Bears stand paw-in-paw at the foyer of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, and will remain there till February 15.

Indonesia Buddy Bear.

Poland Buddy Bear.



points of interest. Seeing the United Buddy Bears is like having a little tour of the world. There are interpretations written by artists, so you can learn about each country. The more you know about a country, the more you understand its people.

EQUALITY Here, all countries have the same space to show themselves off. This is very important, so that whether poor, rich, big or small, everyone meets at the same level. We want all countries to stand together: India and Pakistan, Turkey and Greece, Israel and Palestine.


ABOVE: Pupils collecting money at a United Buddy Bear exhibition to build a school in Angola in partnership with UNICEF. RIGHT, ABOVE: Eva Herlitz with students of the new preschool in Tepa Tepa; most of these children are orphans whose parents have died of AIDS.

PEACE TALK Eva Herlitz, humanitarian and founder of the United Buddy Bears speaks about her work.

IN THE BEGINNING... In 2001, we displayed the bears in the streets of Berlin, and were going to auction them off for children’s organisations. But the bears were very successful, and the leaders of the city wanted to keep them there for longer. So, I started to think that if people liked the bears so much, maybe it would be possible to use the bears to spread a message that comes from my heart. So, I formed the United Buddy Bears.

STANDING TOGETHER It was my idea to have every bear represent a specific country, and all these countries standing hand-in-hand. Every bear is painted by an artist originally from the country his bear represents. The artists do the artwork because they want to showcase their culture and special 76


The bear is a heraldic figure of Berlin. For me it was important not to have a cute teddy bear or a very abstract bear. You can see there’s a lot of space for artists to do their artwork. Seeing the United Buddy Bears in a circle, this is a work of art – one big piece of art involving 143 artists from all over the world!

MESSAGE We don’t think we can change the world with this exhibition. We’re just one piece in a mosaic. The most important thing is education. You have to start with the children, and instil in them that everyone has the same rights, and teach them tolerance of other cultures. Children need to know how to stand hand-in-hand.

BUDDY BEAR HELP I support poor children in developing countries through the organisation; Buddy Bear Help. I’m involved with children in Sierra Leone at the moment. We’ve built schools in Malawi, paid for heart surgery in Bolivia, and done various things where we see we are needed. Through our artists, we’ve met people from around the world, and become involved in their problems. The income we get from Buddy Bear Help goes 100 percent to these projects.

RIGHT: Imuda and his Malaysian Buddy Bear.


Democratic Republic of Congo Buddy Bear.

A new Malaysian United Buddy Bear was designed especially for this exhibition. The artist responsible is none other than Imuda, a popular local cartoonist who’s also an actor and comedian. The bright and colourful new addition to the United Buddy Bear family pays tribute to Malaysia’s multicultural citizens and even sports a giant Rafflesia, rhinoceros hornbill and the traditional Malay kite called wau. At the end of the exhibition, the Malaysian bear will be auctioned off to raise funds for various children’s aid organisations in Malaysia.

UNITED BUDDY BEARS TOUR WHERE? Pavilion KL, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. WHEN? Till February 15, 2012 DONATE? Look for donation boxes at the concierge desk and merchandise area during shopping hours from 10am till 10pm daily. Official receipts will be issued only at the merchandise area. MORE INFO? GETTING THERE AirAsia and AirAsia X fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from various destinations. For flight details, go to



01 FEATURES • Philippines 2012



Paradise Found Touted as one of the best islands in the world, Palawan Island in the Philippines is an untouched paradise teeming with natural wonders, rugged landscapes and deserted shorelines. El Nido on the northern tip of this pencil-thin island is a great point to start your exploration of this amazing piece of paradise.


El Nido Bay and Cadlao Island.



ABOVE: Deserted beaches on Palawan Island offer a world of peace and tranquility. OPPOSITE PAGE: An outrigger boat berthed at Seven Commandos Beach in Buena Suerte village.



“Slow and steady,” I muttered to myself, drawing perseverance from a small, brown snail inching its way up the precipice beside me. What my friends and I expected to be a manageable ‘hike’ up the citadels of marble and limestone guarding El Nido in northern Palawan turned out to be an unnerving climb up bladed boulders and gaping sinkholes. Above us, a troop of long-tailed macaques slipped into the overhanging foliage. “We’re almost there,” our tour guide Mahie Ermino lied again. Looking ahead, we were no more than halfway up the 230-metre high taraw or limestone cliff. “I once accompanied a 72-year-old Australian lady to the top,” he assured us in Tagalog, “If she can do it, you can too.” Thankfully, Ermino’s step-by-step supervision and bagful of encouraging half-truths delivered us unscathed to the mountain’s jagged crown where our determination rewarded us with an incredible vista that intrepid travellers risk life and limb to see. Before us, a seaside village awoke to the sunshine pouring onto a crescent of

sand, lapped up by azure waters. “A view to die for,” a friend described it. Distracted by the morning view, we managed to remain oblivious to the 40-storey sheer drop while posing for proof of our audacity; flashing cheesy smiles at our cameras. On the left side of the cove, Cadlao Island – the largest of the offshore islands in the Bacuit Archipelago – hugged the white outrigger boats scattered across the bay, one of which we later hired to continue our adventures offshore.

BIRDY BOUNTY Besides presenting such beautiful views, fearless locals called busyadores have been climbing these karsts for centuries for a lucrative reason. Chinese traders began visiting the Philippines during the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279 AD) to trade for edible bird’s nest or nido in Spanish, a strange delicacy that eventually gave the settlement its name. The so-called ‘white gold’ consists of solidified saliva from black swiftlets residing in the craggy



RIGHT: Craggy cliffs overlook the aquamarine waters at Matinloc Island, overlooking the Tapiutan Strait.

skyscrapers that characterise much of Palawan’s northern coastlines. Drinking gourmet nido soup is traditionally believed to provide many health benefits such as aiding digestion, increasing the libido and improving the immune system. “Today, the finest grade of bird’s nest can fetch up to USD4,500 a kilogramme,” revealed tourism officer Bong Sabenacio, whose family once owned the largest concession of swiftlet caves in town. However, most residents have now turned to more environmentally friendly industries such as sustainable tourism to earn a living. For decades, El Nido remained far removed from the rest of the world until three decades ago, explains resort owner Henri Fernandez of Entalula Beach Cottages. In 1979, a fishing line disabled the propeller of a Japanese dive boat, forcing the crew to spend a night in an inlet. The next day, the divers awoke to the surreal seascape of jade forests and astonishing cliffs rising out of sparkling lagoons. “They had to slap their faces to make sure they weren’t dreaming!” Fernandez chuckled.

PARADISE ON EARTH After the incident, word of paradise spread quickly. In the following years, a gravel airstrip was built to fly in luxury travellers to the high-end resorts put up by Filipino and Japanese investors on a few offshore islands. Later, backpackers began arriving in the main town, where affordable guesthouses, restaurants and dive shops had sprouted, mostly along the beachfront. More recently, El Nido appeared in The Amazing Race 5 and, Koh-Lanta; the French franchise of Survivor. Remarkably, despite earning global attention, the place has retained its laid-back appeal. “To minimise the impact of tourism on the environment,” explained Fernandez, “we advocate a ‘low density, high value’ policy.” Unlike the touristy beaches of Puerto Galera or Boracay Island, this destination is fortunately free of aggressive touts, with friendly locals complementing the relaxed and almost deserted atmosphere. Surprisingly, electricity is only available at night, while the most happening spots in town are limited to a few beachside drinking holes serenaded by acoustic guitar and percussion.





couldn’t agree more. “El Nido really transports you away from all the stress of the city,” she added, “It’s the perfect place to get lost.” Indeed, organised island-hopping tours are the most convenient way to explore the isles, but you can kayak to discover a beach hideaway all to yourself, or, for a Robinson Crusoe experience, camp overnight at one of the islands.


ABOVE: A local artist paiting the tropical colours of El Nido. TOP: Marine life in rich colour and variety can be found at Shimizu Island and other parts of El Nido.



Our earlier climb whetted our appetite for more adventures. We boarded a motorised bangka (outrigger canoe) to explore Bacuit Bay, which encompasses some 45 islands and islets. These coralline formations were born 250 million years ago – long before dinosaurs roamed – in a shallow sea covering the area that North Vietnam and South China now occupy. Sculpted by nature’s whim and wrath, this limestone labyrinth now spells one word: Idyllic. As the stone sentries of Miniloc Island welcomed our boat into the turquoise embrace of Small Lagoon, we gaped at the unbelievable scenery – not unlike those stranded divers in 1979. “There’s something magical about this place,” remarked Hugo Herrera, a Panamanian who joined the trip. His sister Jessica

With over 50 powder-white beaches and 30 dive spots, you are definitely spoilt for choice. For sun-worshippers, there are broad stretches of soft sand at Seven Commandos Beach and Helicopter Island, to name the most popular. Shimizu Island and Tapiutan Strait, on the other hand, are great places to snorkel and drink in the underwater marvel. As part of the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area – the largest marine sanctuary in the Philippines – the Bacuit Archipelago is refuge to over 100 species of corals, 800 species of fishes, six species of marine mammals (including the native dugong) and, four species of endangered sea turtles, which are frequently sighted in the area. In Matinloc Island, an intriguing terrain is Secret Beach, an enclosed tidal pool accessible only by swimming through an underwater passage. Apparently, this very spot provided inspiration for British novelist Alex Garland to write the 1996 bestseller-turned-movie, The Beach. While set in Thailand, the novel was largely influenced by the author’s experience in the Philippines, where he lived for six months. Secret Beach was attractive, but we were more impressed by its grander sibling; Hidden Beach, a glassy cove surrounded by jagged outcrops. During our visit, we chanced upon a juvenile blue-spotted stingray in the shin-deep waters. At Seven Commandos Beach, an explosion of tangerine streaked the sky, signaling our departure. “Can you see the face?” Ermino asked, pointing at Cadlao Island as our boat returned to the mainland. “When the sunlight hits that mountain just right, you can see a smiling face on its peak” he enthused. Through the glow of dusk, I could barely make out the fabled smile on Cadlao’s face. Nonetheless, as I daydreamed about getting stranded on this tropical bliss, I couldn’t deny the one on my face. WHERE TO STAY

El Nido town offers several budget resorts such as El Nido Cliffside Cottages (+63 9197856625) and Entalula Beach Cottages ( For upscale options, check out El Nido Resorts (


Philippine currency is called peso (PHP) and is subdivided into 100 centavos. 1 USD gets you around PHP 43. It is advised that you bring enough cash for your entire stay, since there are no ATMs in town. Only a few establishments accept credit cards. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia to Clark, Philippines. For flight details, go to

01 FEATURES • India 2012

ABOVE: From dawn to dusk, people of all ages fly kites during Makarsakranti, rejoicing in the festivities of the day. OPPOSITE PAGE: A kite-maker carrying hundres of kites as he makes his way through the streets.




to the

Come Jan 14 every year, the occasion of the sun moving to the Indian zodiac sign of Makar is celebrated by flying kites in many parts of northern India. But far from child play, battles are fought and won in the skies as the celebrants honour the Sun god Surya. WORDS: FARHEEN ALI PHOTOGRAPHY: ADEEL HALIM



BELOW: People gather on terraces and roofs to fly kites, hoping to get the best vantage spots in vanquishing their opponents. OPPOSITE PAGE: A boy carrying kites on his head to avoid them getting damaged or torn at a kite market.



The Makarsakranti festival is quite literally a high flying event in India, celebrated in many parts of the Sub-continent. Essentially, a harvest cum thanksgiving festival, the celebration takes place during the official transition of winter to spring, marking the beginning of a gradual increase in the length of daylight after a long winter. It’s also the time of the year when farmers begin harvesting their crops. Farmers rejoice over a bountiful harvest and use this special day to thank the gods for the season’s bounty.

Makarsakranti is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over India. In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the festival is called Ponggal, which literally translates as ‘boiling or spilling over’, referring to a bountiful harvest and abundance in life. Most other states in India mark this joyous occasion as Makarsakranti; makar being the Sanskrit equivalent of the Capricorn sign in the zodiac while sakranti refers to the transition of the sun from one rashi (zodiac sign) to another.

Makarsakranti is an auspicious day in India and each state has its own unique way of celebrating it; be it religious activities, ritual baths, consumption of sacred foods and acts of charity. Makarsakranti is also unique as it is arguably the only Indian festival that is celebrated on the same day each year, as it is based on the movement of the sun, unlike other festivals which follow the lunar calendar. The festival can be traced all the way back to ancient times and is mentioned in religious texts such as the Purana and Mahabharata. According to the Purana, on this day, Surya (Sun) visits his son Shani’s (Saturn) house. Shani is the presiding lord of Makar / Capricorn. In Hindu mythology, father and son are at serious loggerheads but in spite of that, the dutiful Surya will traverse the skies annually to visit his son for a full month before moving on to the next sign in the zodiac. This period also marks the end of negativity and heralds in the beginning of peace and righteous living. Lord Vishnu, one third of the Holy Trinity in Hinduism, is said to have vanquished the reign of terror of the asura (demon) during this time.

FLYING HIGH Makarsakranti is known as Uttran in the state of Gujarat and is a two-day kite-flying celebration. January 14 is known as Uttarayan and January 15 is known as Vasi-Uttarayan. While the celebrations predominantly focus on harvesting and offering thanks to God, the people of Gujarat add a certain gaiety to their festivities by flying kites or patang. The flying of kites is a symbolic act of making offerings to Surya, and both kite-flying and kite-making are regarded as an art in these parts of India. This festival draws people from all over the country, as well as international kite fliers who come to pit their skills and talents in keeping the kites flying high. The kites are typically rhombus in shape and are made using ultra lightweight paper held together by bamboo sticks. Bamboo is the material of choice due to its flexibility that gives the kite’s spine a slightly curved bow. One peculiar feature of the kites here is the glass-laced strings (manja). A paste made of glue and ground glass shards are smeared onto the strings. The manja is then dried and TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


ABOVE: A local man perparing the manja, strings that are coated with a mixture of glue and ground glass. OPPOSITE PAGE: The festival is also a time for the locals to have fun dressing up in masks and making lots of noise with their whistles.

rolled onto reels known as firkee. This glasscoated manja is a lethal weapon in the sky, as it is used to slice of the strings of opponents’ kites. Looking quite harmless, when handled carelessly the manja is sharp enough to cause serious laceration on one’s hands.

FIERCER IN AIR People of all walks of life, age and religion actively participate in the festivities. Many flock to city areas, as this is where the kite fliers congregate to show off their skills. On a good day, the sky is dotted with kites soaring 92


high in the air. Terraces and rooftops become grandstands for viewers as the airborne battles explode in the sky. Some watch with hands shielding their eyes from the sun, others run helter-skelter to catch vanquished kites, while a few others sit in corners mending ripped kites. The focus, however, is on the kite fliers who steadfastly manipulate the kite strings to catch an air current or to sever the manja of an opponent’s kite. Most shops are closed during the festival, bar the ones selling kites or kite-flying accessories. The streets turn into a merry bazaar with hordes of people selling kites,

glazing the manja or rolling firkee. There is also a huge selection of kites for sale in various shapes, sizes and colours. Apart from the traditional ones, the popularity of Bollywood across India has prompted many star struck fans to paste pictures of their favourite matinee stars on the kites. Nothing lifts the spirits more than to see a Shah Rukh Khan or a Akshay Kumar kite flying majestically in the sky. Quite expectedly, the battles too are worthy of cinematic epics.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN Kites and the manja are prepared well in advance. There is a lot of discussion and debate on which craftsman to buy the kites from and what type to choose. The aim of

the festival is not only to fly one’s own kite successfully, but also to defeat as many other kites as possible. In the past, the festival was celebrated from as early as October or November, right after the festival of Diwali. Nowadays, the kites are flown only during the two days of the festival. The day starts by kite-fliers tying the manja to their kites. Known as kinne bandhna, this is a decisive factor in determining how high the kite will fly. In reality, kite-flying is an art, which involves physics and an understanding of air movement. Flying the kite high is also only half the fun, as most fliers are out to cut their opponents’ strings. The bigger the kite you bring down, the bigger one’s status as a kite-flier celebrity.



ABOVE: Kites are hung out of balconies for interested parties to inspect the wares before settling on a prized winner.

To cut your opponents manja, the flier needs to have a good understanding of the angle, pressure and direction of the manja. This is a skill that is honed over several years. So engrossed are the fliers in this need to win, many end up dangerously jumping off terraces, prolonging the battle or desperately averting an attack by a merciless opponent’s kite. Each time someone’s manja is cut, there is an eruption of cheering and shouting of kaati! (cut it) and lappet! (reel in the string).

BACK ON THE GROUND The task of collecting fallen kites is given to the children. Armed with long sticks, the children go looking for kites stuck in trees, electricity poles and other hard places to reach. Minna, a Gujarati girl from Baroda recalls that as kids they only got to watch their elders fly kites. If the kites flew well, a kind soul may offer the children to hold onto the firkee and experience the thrill of flying a kite high in the skies. As children, they were almost never allowed to fly kites on their own, in fear that an experienced opponent would pull theirs down. There are many Uttran enthusiasts who make it a point to visit Gujarat every year 94


to partake in the festivities. For two days, strangers become friends and sometimes, friends turn foes. Entire neighbourhoods transform into a big mela (festival grounds). While physically exhausting, the sport is an extremely enjoyable way to spend the day with friends and families. Even those not flying kites are fascinated, looking out of their balconies and taking in the excitement. As Surya gives way to night, the kites are reeled in but the celebrations are far from over. It is time for the illuminated boxed kites to be launched. Known as tukkal, these kites add to the festivity and light up the night sky. Fireworks are also let off, enlivening the occasion with colour, light and sound. When the two days of fun and sky-high frolic is over, the fliers pack their kites up and return home with soaring tales of how magnificent their kites were, how it vanquished the opponents and how it ruled the skies. Life goes back to normal but the fond memories of seeing their kites soar towards heavens remain etched in the fliers’ minds as they start preparing for the next Uttran.

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Trichy and Kochi from various destinations. For flight details, go to

12 01 PILOT’S PERSPECTIVE 2011 2012


Flying from Point A to Point B, passengers undergo various experiences from the moment they get into the aircraft right up to disembarkation. Captain Lim Khoy Hing guides us through a typical flight and explains some of the more interesting aspects of the flying experience.

Over the years, I have received many questions about flying in general. In this month’s article, I’d like to focus on some of the queries based on a typical flight from one airport to another. In this instance, LCC Terminal in Kuala Lumpur to Orly Airport in Paris. This flight covers a distance of 5,800 nautical miles or around 10,800 kilometres. If the plane could fly a straight line (not always possible due to airspace restrictions), it would shorten the flight by 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres).

GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES Does the captain use a key to start the jet engines? The answer is an obvious ‘No’. Keys are generally used to start light, piston-powered planes, and not commercial jet aircraft. Jet engines are ignited by powerful compressed air from an internal or external ground power source. In a car, you turn the key that fires up the starter motor, turning the crankshaft, which then, turns the pistons. Eventually the engine reaches a speed that disconnects the starter motor and the engine roars to life. With a jet engine, the pilot selects the ‘ON’ switch. This turns the engine turbines using high pressure air. At a particular speed, the igniters (similar to car sparkplugs) will be activated. When the engine reaches a certain speed, the starter will disconnect but the engine will keep on accelerating until it reaches the target RPM (or what is commonly called the idle RPM – revolutions per minute), with the aircraft ready to move when the parking brake is released. 96


ABOVE: AirAsia X’s Premium fly flatbed seats are the best seats that enable guests to lie down to sleep on longhaul flights



TAXIING ON THE TARMAC Taxiing refers to the movement of an aircraft on the ground using its own power. To stay on the centre of the taxiway, the pilot follows the centre line with the embedded ‘cat eyes’ lights that are usually switched on to green at night. Aircraft are not installed with reverse gears to move backward, although a hybrid electricallydriven nose gear mechanism is currently being developed to allow this function on smaller aircraft. Once the control tower gives clearance to the pilot to start the engines, the plane is then pushed back by a tow truck, so the pilot can taxi it to the runway for the takeoff. Steering is generally achieved by turning a control on either sides of the cockpit that acts as a steering wheel, allowing the nose

wheel to be turned. Braking is controlled by toe brakes. On moving out, passengers might feel a slight jerk on the brakes as the captain checks to ensure they are working properly. From here on, taxiing should be smooth. But this is not guaranteed, as some airports may not have smooth taxiways.

BEST SEATS IN THE HOUSE Personally, I consider AirAsia X’s Premium fly flatbed seat as the best seat that enables me to lie down to sleep on long-haul flights. Others say the best and safest seats are at the back of the aircraft. However, if you are prone to airsickness during turbulence, you are advised to sit as close as possible to the wings or, at least in the area in front of the wings.

The reason for this is that you are closer to the centre of gravity (CG). Imagine yourself on a seesaw. The closer you are to the fulcrum of a see-saw, the more stable your position. The further you are from it, the more you are going to experience turbulence. Seats near the rear of the aircraft tend to be a little noisier because you are at the back of the engine. Additionally, the effects of turbulence are more pronounced at the rear. Moreover, an added disadvantage with seats at the back is that you end up being the last to exit the plane. If you are in a hurry, you are in danger of missing a connecting flight!

FINDING THE DESTINATION Today, pilots use a combination of beacons and onboard navigation equipment to fly around the world.

The principal navigation system is the GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) that uses orbiting satellites to track the position of moving objects. In the past, the less accurate Inertial Navigation System was used by most airliners until Korean Airlines Boeing 747 was accidentally shot down in 1983 over Russia. This prompted the US government to make GPS available for civilian use. The GPS is linked to the Flight Management Computer where pilots input all flight data. To get to Orly Airport in Paris for instance, the pilot meticulously keys in the entire route and arrival information, including the runway in use, into the computer. In theory, the aircraft is capable of flying itself without any human intervention all the way from Kuala Lumpur until touchdown at Orly. However, in reality, the pilot exercises his skills and expertise in managing the computer systems, while intervening occasionally when necessary – such as to cater for delays and air traffic.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY The air traffic controller communicates with the pilot and transfers information regarding the position of the aircraft after the plane is airborne. This process is repeated in about 20 different countries as the aircraft flies across them before reaching the final destination in Paris.

FROM SUBSONIC TO SUPERSONIC A plane from Kuala Lumpur to Paris would typically cruise at around 30,000 to 38,000 feet depending on passengers and freight carried on board. Passengers have asked me if the aircraft encounters a strong tail wind in a jet stream, can it break the sound barrier.

The answer is ‘No’. Airbus and Boeing planes flying currently are all subsonic planes. It means they are designed to fly below the speed of sound. Even if there is a strong tail wind pushing the plane forward, and the ground speed has exceeded the theoretical speed of sound, in reality, the plane has not gone supersonic. The confusion arises from misunderstanding of ground speed and the plane’s speed. Ground speed is the speed at which an object travels relative to a fixed point on the Earth’s surface. The difference between ground speed and airspeed is caused by the influence of winds on the overall speed of the aircraft. For example, if you were walking at a speed of 2mph on a moving walkway (walkalator or travelator), which is also moving at 2mph, your actual speed as observed by a person NOT on the moving walkway would be fairly speedy – 4mph (2 + 2). However, as far as you are concerned, you are still walking at 2mph!

LANDING DURING BAD WEATHER One of the most common questions asked is what happens in bad weather? Will the pilot still attempt to land the plane? ‘Bad’ can mean poor visibility due to fog, rain, snow and strong gusty crosswinds. Whatever the conditions, there is a limitation not to be exceeded by the pilot. For instance, if the crosswind at Orly runway is more than 40 knots, the captain would not land the plane but will opt to divert to another airport where the wind is more favourable. Obviously, this translates as an inconvenience to passengers and increases operating cost to the airline. However, strict guidelines are in place to ensure passenger safety that supercedes commercial gains at all times.

BRAKING IN TIME Some passengers are also curious to know if the brakes on the wheels are sturdy enough to stop the plane during landing. The answer is ‘Yes’ but in addition to using brakes to stop the plane on touchdown, reverse thrusts are often used to reduce the stopping distance. Reverse thrust is the temporary diversion of an aircraft engine’s exhaust so that the thrust produced is directed forward rather than to the back. This is the reason for the increase in engine noise during landing as the captain applies the reverse thrust. Due to noise restriction over and around some cities, pilots are only allowed to apply minimum reverse power at night.

FINDING A PARKING SPOT Having landed safely, the aircraft will now taxi along the tarmac towards a predetermined parking spot.

Pilots are informed as to the correct parking gate before landing. After touchdown, the control tower will direct the pilot to the correct taxi routing, usually following the green taxi line at night. The plane is then guided to the parking bay either by the automatic marker board with stopping distance readouts or, by a ground marshal with his ‘magic wands’. He is the guy with the two, big red-lit sticks, forming signals by raising or lowering his arms. Once safely docked, rubber chocks would be placed on the wheels to prevent the plane from moving before the parking brakes are released. Either steps or an aerobridge will be linked to the aircraft before the doors are opened. Once the doors are opened, passengers can safely disembark and head to the terminal building in Orly. I hope this article provides you with insight as to what you may experience if you were flying from Kuala Lumpur to Orly in Paris.

Captain Lim Khoy Hing is a former AirAsia Airbus A320 and AirAsia X A330/A340 pilot who also used to fly the Boeing 777. He has logged a of more than 25,500 total flying hours and is now a Flight Simulator Instructor with Air Asia X. In his spare time, he shares his opinion on aviation issues with others. For more air travel and aviation stories, check out his website, ‘Just About Flying’ at

01 TRAVEL LOG 2012

SOUTH KOREAN SOJOURN Michelle Tan enjoyed her trip to South Korea so much that she has penned down a quick guide for other travellers to benefit from her experiences.

The beautiful grounds of Changdeokgong Palace. In the past, only royalty and top government officials were allowed to enter the palace grounds.

follow the signs to the train station at the airport until you see a ‘Family Mart’ convenience store. Here, you can purchase a T-money card for 2,500 Won. Go to the station and load the card with the desired amount at the counter or self-serve kiosks. You might want to bring along a subway map in English with you. This will help you navigate the different rail lines.

SHOPPING In popular shopping areas such as Myeongdong and Insadong, promoters stand outside shops to lure customers in by offering freebies such as face masks, loofahs and product samples. These freebies are yours to keep even if you decide not to buy anything. Here is a list of my favourite places to shop: • Ewha Women’s University area – lots of trendy stores with affordably priced products. Some shops offer any bag or shoes for 10,000 Won!

As soon as I had my AirAsia X tickets booked for my trip to Seoul, I began researching the food, local attractions, hotels and tours. I visited online communities and even went to the Korea Tourism Organisation’s office in Kuala Lumpur. Here are some of my tips for those of you planning to visit this megacity.


Michelle Tan enjoying lunch at Sadong Myeonok.



The quickest way into the city is on the AREX (Airport Railroad Express). However, you’ll not be able to catch the AREX if you take the afternoon flight from Kuala Lumpur, as the last train leaves Incheon International Airport at 9:30pm. Luckily, you can catch a commuter train. Just

• Doota Mall at Dongdaemun – like a departmental store but consisting of many small shops run by independent owners. The only problem here is that most shops do not have Fitting Rooms for you to try on your purchases. On the plus side, any receipt from this mall above 30,000 Won qualifies for a tax refund. The prices here are fixed, so no haggling is required. • At the airport – I was initially skeptical when I heard that shopping at the airport is cheaper than in the city. I looked around and bought a jar of night cream for a song. Show them your boarding pass for additional discounts!

LANGUAGE BARRIERS The locals are friendly and I had no trouble asking for directions. Even if they don’t speak English fluently, the locals will make an effort to point you in the right way. Some of them speak Mandarin or Japanese.

CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: A seed bomb consisting of a variety of seeds rolled within a ball of clay thrown into barren habitats to rehabilitate the area. Teok – a rice cake made with glutinous flour. The Cheonggyecheon River guided tour is organised by Korea Tourism and gives visitors an insight into how rivers can be cleaned up.

FOOD Follow your nose and lookout for places the locals go to eat. Food is priced quite reasonably; you’ll be able to find a decent meal for 10,000 Won. I found some interesting shops selling delicious food just by wandering around.

SIGHTSEEING Go to and www. for free tours conducted by local volunteers. Bring them a souvenir from home to thank them for their trouble.

QUICKIES If you’re short on time, make sure you visit: • Bukchon Hanok Village – a traditional Korean village located on a hilly terrain. You can even take a 30-minute class on embroidery or traditional knot tying there. • Changdeokgong Secret Garden Tour – a beautiful garden filled with history and culture.

GOING BACK HOME I discovered that there was a shuttle bus service (misleadingly called ‘Airport limousine’) running from the street outside my hotel directly to the airport costing only 10,000 Won. It was definitely a blessing as I didn’t have to carry my suitcases down the staircase in the subway station. Once you get to the airport, don’t forget to inform the staff at the check-in counter if you have purchases that qualify for tax refunds stored in your check-in luggage. Completely exhausted, I slept through the flight and before I knew it, the plane was descending to LCCT. Confused, I glanced back and forth at my watch which was still set to Seoul time, trying to figure out the local time. Then a second announcement mentioned that the flight would touchdown one hour and five minutes ahead of schedule. Good job AAX!

Got an interesting tale to share from your travels with AirAsia? Email it to us at along with your story (around 800 words) and images (high res minimum1MB in size and fully captioned). Published submissions will receive a RM250++ voucher courtesy from Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel. Travel 3Sixty˚ reserves the right to edit the article for clarity, length or change the value of the prize to another gift of similar value. Prize voucher cannot be exchanged for cash and the Editorial’s decision is final. Entries must include name, address, e-mail address and telephone number.

Take time out to treat your loved ones to a memorable dining experience at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel, renowned for its delicious, value-for-money dining experience that is made even more special with true Malaysian hospitality. Savour Asian fusion buffets with a touch of Malaysian flavours at Temptations, dine on the freshest sashimi and sushi in town at Sagano, or enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine with the most succulent Peking Duck and BBQ dishes at Dynasty. After a scrumptious meal, simply book yourself into our modern contemporary LifeStyle rooms to enjoy the pleasures of life. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


01 OFF THE RACK 2012


It’s a brand new beginning! Let the good times roll with our selection of fun and funky fashion – be it clothes, shoes or accessories.

BOLD & BEAUTIFUL BE Sh Showcase your individual style in clothes by sty Ph Philosophy Men. Take you your pick from a range of rreversible shorts and T-s T-shirts, shirts with clever de detailing, and stylish sar sarong-inspired pants. Th The brand is known for its fearless, forward and fun apparel that is de designed to make you stand out from the crowd. www




Zebra prints, polka dots and sequins take centre stage in the Michael Kors Holiday 2012 line. Make a statement in a black felt military trench paired with metallic skinny jeans or, strike a pose in a chic silver zebra sequinned tank dress. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

TIME TO SET TRENDS Flaunt your curves in clothes by Flow, in daring colours and bold patterns! Slip into a gorgeous dress that shows off your voluptuous figure or, flatter your curves in perfectly cut pants and tops. The brand carries a range of contemporary, casual, career and evening wear ranging from US sizes eight to 16.

SOCK IT Stockinged feet never looked sexier! Have some cheeky fun and show off your playful nature in Happy Socks, which offer a range of designs from classic argyles to animal prints. The Swedish brand uses high quality material for its socks and tights that come in a variety of colours. Available in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur at ActuallyActually.

BE-JEWELLED! Add sparkle to your look with elegant jewellery and accessories from Coach’s Poppy Collection. Star pieces include the line’s pretty heart stacked ring, linked triple pavé necklace, and sequinned pouches in rose gold and midnight.

WRIST CANDY The Truly Dramatic collection from GUESS Watches is both glamorous and glitzy, transforming basic timepieces into statement accessories. Choose from Q&A, that’s been designed for the girl-on-the-go, fun and flirty Candy Pop and ultra glam Pixie Dust.


NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! Get a head start on the competition with our New Year picks to keep you looking sharp and feeling your best.

METALLIC MAGIC Metal-X cream eye shadows from M.A.C. uses a cutting edge formula that makes colours appear like liquid metal on your skin. Use it on eyes, brow bones or décolletage for that sexy edge. Available in Virgin Silver, Fusion Gold, Rusty, Red Hot Copper, Venetian Tarnish, and Gold Carbon, amongst others.

STAY COOL Get perspiration under control with L’Oréal Paris Men Expert deodorants that come in four formulas – Cool Extreme, Dry Power, Comfort Max and White Activ – all designed to keep you feeling fresh for up to 48 hours. SWEAT CAPTORS™ technology absorbs excess sweat leaving skin clean and dry.

SUMMER MEMORIES Fresh and citrusy, Eau du Sud for men is a fragrance that conjures up carefree summer days. This light but invigorating scent hints at notes of Persian lime, bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, verbena, peppermint, basil and a touch of jasmine.



L’Occitane’s Limited Edition Shea Butter hand cream, body cream and lip balm come in three new scents – Moroccan Desert Rose, Egyptian Hibiscus and Ivory Coast Cocoa Flower. Packed with the moisturising goodness of shea butter from the African Karite nut, these products are made to protect, nourish and soften skin and lips.




LUSCIOUS LASHES Revlon’s Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara instantly plumps lashes leaving them more voluminous with each use. With phyto-peptides that condition and strengthen eyelashes, the precision tapered brush helps coat each lash individually to prevent smudging, flaking or clumping.

Show off silky smooth complexion with Kanebo’s Face-Up Powder from the Milano Collection 2012. With moisturising royal jelly and lily extract, this compact powder comes with SPF14/ PA++ UV protection.

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH The Serum Supreme Maintenance by Dr Sebagh Advanced Anti-Ageing Skincare is an all-in-one product to protect, rejuvenate and hydrate skin. The serum contains resveratrol and hyaluronic acid to improve skin elasticity and tone, and antioxidants to prevent damage by free radicals.

12 01 JETSETTER 2011 2012


Growing up, Dan Lynn, CEO of AirAsiaExpedia blew out candles on his birthday cake, wishing he could be James Bond. Lynn, 30 years old, who helms the development and operation of the first global tie-up between a Low Cost Carrier (AirAsia) and an online travel agency (Expedia), may not have the secret agent powers of 007, but nonetheless exhibits the same magnetism and boyish charm of his idol. He talks to Travel 3Sixty˚ about AirAsiaExpedia and what he’s really like.



AirAsia is the world’s best Low Cost Carrier (LCC) and Expedia is the largest online travel agency there is. AirAsiaExpedia is a collaboration between these two pedigree parent companies that aims to make travel more accessible and affordable. It’s a one-stop online shop where travellers are offered great deals on flights, rooms and tour packages.


HOW MANY HOTELS AND, IN HOW MANY COUNTRIES ARE AIRASIAEXPEDIA SERVICES AVAILABLE? AirAsiaExpedia has 150,000 hotels and counting in almost every country in the world.


WHY WAS SINGAPORE CHOSEN AS THE BASE FOR THE OPERATIONS OF AIRASIAEXPEDIA? We have offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Tokyo, Delhi, Jakarta, Bangkok and Seoul. I’m based in Singapore because there is such a great market for web developers here, and that helps us build a unique business for the Asian market.

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE AIRASIAEXPEDIA TEAM. We have a fantastic team, made up of intelligent and passionate people who are self-motivated. It’s a pretty young team who inherently want to make travel cheaper and more accessible for people.

WHAT IS THE REAL DAN LYNN LIKE? I’m a regular guy who loves travelling and meeting different people. I think the more you meet people from different cultures and backgrounds, the more you realise how fundamentally similar we are as humans. I love working in different parts of the world and I’m very enthusiastic about my job. People assume that a CEO is completely buttoned-down but I’m relaxed and informal.

YOU ARE TERRIBLY YOUNG FOR A CEO. ANY CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED THUS FAR? I haven’t encountered many problems because this (e-commerce) is a relatively

wanted to do something that was more collaborative. Architecture, I soon learnt, is more of a solitary profession. I prefer the ‘backand-forth’ you get in the business environment.

TELL US ONE THING THAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU. I’m an absolute James Bond nut. When I was a kid, I used to sign off my name at the back of my art work as Daniel Mark James Bond Lynn. I was so obsessed with James Bond that I blew out the candles on my birthday cake wishing to be just like him.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS FOR... R&R Japan because I like to go to places where it’s a little more than sitting on a beach. When you live in this part of the world, it’s more about soaking up the culture. Nightlife New York. You can do everything – go clubbing, dine at high-end restaurants, drink at sophisticated wine bars and go to a dive bar after that – all in one night. In Asia, Bangkok would be my pick. Adventure I grew up by the ocean in Cornwall, England and I enjoy water sports. I would love to go kayaking in Thailand. Queenstown in New Zealand is another phenomenal place for adventure sports.

ABOVE: The young and fun team of AirAsiaExpedia at their Singapore HQ. TOP: Lynn (right) discussing work with Darren Goh (left) AirAsiaExpedia General Manager and one of their colleagues.

young industry. When I go to more hierarchical countries, I have to be conscious that I’m young and have to be more respectful. Sometimes people are taken aback not only by me, but by the youth of the team as well. We just have to be sensitive about it and show people that we are really listening.



OF BUSINESS BY BECOMING SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS SO EARLY IN LIFE. DID YOU WANT TO BE ANYTHING ELSE AS A KID? When I was young, I wanted to be an architect. I used to love drawing and, houses. My designs were of these 37-bedroom mansions that I was going to live in. I love architecture; I love the idea of creating emotion through space. As I grew older, I realised I

WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO WISH TO SEE THE WORLD MORE? Just go out and do it! You don’t have to wait for promotions; there are always great deals out there, particularly if you’re flexible about your destination and have the time to travel. You’re going to get to an age when you’d say, ‘Shoot, I can’t travel as easily’. So do it now when you have the chance. Visit or Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, for great deals on flights, hotel rooms and tour packages.

01 KIDS SPACE 2012


Hey kids! It’s time to go on new adventures and learn something different. Here are some fun ideas to keep you entertained as we kick off a brand new year!

FAMILY FUN Disney’s Family Fun is a website that will keep children entertained for hours on end. Play matching and word games online or print out quizzes and brain teasers for endless fun when you travel. Plan your next party with cool party ideas offered on the website or read about the travel experiences of other children in the ‘Getaways’ section.

BIRDS OF PLAY Have a splashing good time at Jurong Bird Park’s new bird-themed funland for children. The Birdz of Play is decorated with bird motifs and includes wet and dry zones for children to explore. Cool off under the water sprays, get splashed by a Flamdingo or have a roaring good time on the slides. Kids who like adventure can try the Flying Fox or the Disc Challenge at the dry zone. Jurong Bird Park is the world’s largest park of its kind and is home to over 5,000 birds from 380 species.

ACTIVITY CORNER Log on to Kidspot Australia and learn how to make your own modelling clay or design a beautiful eggshell collage. The website is packed with activities for kids including fun games, science experiments and, arts and crafts ideas. Here is how to make your own Magic Ink.

What you need:

SLEEP WITH SHARKS Discover the nocturnal habits of marine creatures like the Tawny Nurse shark and Moray Eel at Aquaria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur this month. The one-and-ahalf-day ‘Sleep with Sharks’ programme includes a Nocturnal Walk and Discovery Hunt in the Aquarium, and other interactive activities throughout the day. Spend the night at the Aquatheatre and make new friends while learning about marine creatures. Open to children aged between six and 13 years. 110


GET YOUR PASSES Grab your LEGOLAND Malaysia PreOpening Annual Passes, available for a limited time only! The theme park, which is slated to open by the end of 2012, is offering discounted passes at RM150 for children and RM195 for adults. The Annual Pass allows guests to visit the park throughout 2013. Among the attractions of the theme park are LEGO City, where kids can drive their own LEGOLAND cars, and the LEGO TECHNIC Test Track – a thrilling rollercoaster ride.

Lemon, water, a small plate, toothpick, a sheet of white paper, a lamp

Instructions: • Squeeze lemon juice onto the plate, add a few drops of water and mix it together. • Dip the toothpick into the mixture and write your ‘secret’ message on the sheet of paper. • When the magic ink dries, it will be invisible. • To decode the message, heat the paper by holding it over a lamp with the writing side down. • The invisible ink will slowly turn brown and appear on the page!

01 PLANE FUN 2012

RIDDLES 1. What am I? I am not a number, but if I lose one I have eight to spare. 2. What am I? Spelt the same but pronounced differently, I was used by Robin Hood, I decorate hair or colour the sky and as a verb, I occur every day in Japan, or in front of the Queen. 3. How many? There is a mix of red, white and yellow sweets in a bag, totalling 60 in all. If there are four times as many red as white and 6 more yellow than white, how many of each colour sweet are there?


Which Michael Jackson album is the best-selling album of all time with 110 million copies having been sold worldwide?


Is the whale shark a whale or a shark?


Bösendorfer, Steinway and Mason & Hamlin are all famous as makers of what instrument?


Which country has the longest coastline?


What does the name of the famous entertainment company Cirque du Soleil translate to in English?


Which part of a duck or goose is the delicacy foie gras made from?


What does the acronym SETI stand for?


Which semi-aquatic mammal is said to kill more humans in Africa than any other?


Cobalt is a shade of what colour?

10. The Sicilian mechanic Jo Calderone is the alter ego of which eccentric pop star?


4. Riddle How much dirt is there in a hole that is three metres round and half a metre deep? 5. Riddle If there are 10 oranges and you take two how many oranges will you have?


To solve a Sudoku puzzle, every number from 1 to 9 must appear in: • Each of the nine vertical columns • Each of the nine horizontal rows • Each of the nine 3 x 3 boxes Remember no number can occur more than once in any row, column or box.


8 5

3 5 8 2 6 1 7 9 4

1 4 2 9 3 7 6 5 8

9 7 6 4 5 8 3 2 1

2 3 4 8 9 6 5 1 7

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• QUICK QUIZ 1 Thriller, 2 Shark, 3 Piano, 4 Canada, 5 Circus of the Sun, 6 Liver, 7 Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, 8 Hippopotamus, 9 Blue, 10 Lady Gaga • RIDDLES007 1 Cat’s lives, 2 Bow, 3 Red = 36, White = 9, Yellow = 15, 4 None – it is a hole, 5 Two – you took two • PLAY ON WORDS 1 Bury the hatchet, 2 Have stars in one’s eyes, 3 Spin doctor, 4 A feather in one’s cap


3 1 7 7 6 9 5 8

3 4 5 9 4 8 3 6 5 2 5 2 8 4 9

5 9 2 7 3 1 6 8




PIX OF THE MONTH Just snapped a cool picture? Send it to with Snapshot in the subject line.

SECOND PRIZE WINS A 3D/2N stay in a Standard room at Pulai Springs Resort & Spa for 2, inclusive of breakfast worth RM940 nett! Pulai Desaru Beach Resort & Spa lies in the heart of Desaru, Johor, one of the most beautiful unspoiled beaches in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. With a 22km stretch of uninterrupted beach, Desaru combines the captivating panoramic views of the South China Sea with the lush tropical rainforests, where visitors can have their choice of fun and adventure or simple rest and relaxation. Visit for attractive room deals at this hotel.


Water War in Bali, Indonesia Khairel Anuar Che Ani, Selangor, Malaysia

BEST PICTURE WINS a 3D/2N stay in a Superior room at The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur for 2, inclusive of breakfast at Suria Café worth RM1,040++! Nestled amidst 160 hectares of lush tropical gardens, The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur is an idyllic 210room retreat. The hotel is adjoined to the Saujana Golf & Country Club that boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses. Located 30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur and 35 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), the hotel is just 5 minutes away from Skypark (former Subang Airport), and a private jet aviation hub. Facilities here include extensive dining choices, function areas, numerous meeting room options and a host of delightful recreational activities to suit every traveller’s needs. Visit for attractive room deals at this hotel.


Boat on tranquil waters, Aceh, Indonesia Van Alvin, Indonesia

TERMS & CONDITIONS: Readers may submit images that are 300dpi and 1MB in size (minimum half A4 paper size) • Each entry must include name, address, phone number and caption • Readers must own the rights to the picture submitted • Judges’ decision is final • Entries are automatically disqualified if they do not meet our criteria. • Winner will be notified via e-mail when the prize is ready to be sent out. • Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash.



01 GET COMFY 2012


Whether on a short or long-haul journey, flying can be a pleasant experience if you are well-prepared. Here are some steps to ensure you have a safe, smooth and comfortable flight.





Gently lift your right shoulder and lower the left one simultaneously. Repeat the movement five times by alternating both shoulders.

Lift knee up toward your chest and hold the position for 10 seconds. Gently lower knee and repeat with the other leg. Repeat the exercise as desired.

Keeping both heels on the floor, point feet upwards as high as you can. Return feet to earlier position. Then, lift heels while keeping the balls of your feet on the floor. Repeat the exercise as desired.

Keep yourself hydrated during your flight. Airplane cabins are extremely dry and dehydration can occur easily. Drink lots of water and continue drinking water once you reach your destination. Try to minimise consumption of alcohol or caffeine onboard; both are diuretics, which can further dehydrate.



To counter the effects of jetlag, get as much sleep as possible when flying west to east. When flying in the reverse direction, try and stay awake as much as you can. The AirAsia Comfort Kit comes complete with eye shade, neck pillow and blanket to help you sleep. If you need to stay awake, the neck pillow allows you to get comfy while reading a book or listening to music.




DVT can occur when a blood clot forms in the large veins of the legs or arms, partially or completely blocking blood circulation. Sitting still and moving very little during long flights may lead to the occurrence of DVT. If you are flying long-distance, ensure you perform in-flight exercises such as those listed here as a precaution against developing DVT. When possible and permissible, stretch your legs and walk along the aisle. Be aware of early symptoms such as pain or swelling in the legs, which can happen even after you disembark. Seek medical treatment immediately if this occurs.

Anti-DVT socks are on sale on board all AirAsia and AirAsia X flights. Also called compression socks, they help blood circulation. The socks come in Small (USA 3-6/Europe 35-39), Medium (USA 6-9/Europe 39-43) and Large (USA 9-12/Europe 43-47).


POPPING EARS Changes in air pressure or altitude cause our ears to ‘pop’ and sometimes ache during take-offs and landings. For a comfortable flying experience, suck on sweets or mimic the act of chewing and swallowing if you do not have any with you. This will relieve the discomfort and help stabilise the pressure in the ear canals. Pacifiers will work just as well for toddlers and, if you have a cold, use a nasal decongestant to clear your nasal passage and alleviate the ache.

12 ROUTE MAP • AirAsia Malaysia 2011




World’s Best Low-Cost Airline 2009, 2010 & 2011 Tehran




Alor Setar


Kota Kinabalu

Kota Bharu


Kuala Terengganu



Miri Bintulu

Kuala Lumpur Sibu Johor Bahru





Beijing Tianjin Seoul


Shanghai Hangzhou


Chengdu New Delhi







Chiang Mai




Guangzhou Shenzhen Hong Kong Macau Haikou

Vientiane Yangon




Da Nang Clark

Siem Reap


Phnom Penh

Tiruchirappalli Kochi



Krabi Hat Yai Langkawi Penang


Colombo Bandar Aceh

Kota Kinabalu

Kuala Lumpur



Johor Bharu Pekanbaru



Ho Chi Minh






Balikpapan Palembang




Solo Surabaya Yogyakarta Bali





Kuala Lumpur International Airport Kota Kinabalu International Airport Penang International Airport Kuching International Airport


NEW ZEALAND Christchurch



12 ROUTE MAP • AirAsia Thailand 2011

New Delhi



Guangzhou Kolkata



Shenzhen Hong Kong



Ching Rai Chiang Mai Yangon

Udon Thani


Ubon Ratchathani




Phnom Pehnh Ho Chi Minh Surat Thani Krabi Phuket

Nakhon Si Thammarat Hat Yai


Narathiwat Penang Medan

Kuala Lumpur



Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok Phuket Int. Airport Chiang Mai Int. Airport International Route Domestic Route



Available at leading department stores in: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

12 Route Map • AirAsia Indonesia 2011



VIETNAM Ho Chi Minh Phuket Bandar Aceh Medan

Kota Kinabalu

Penang Kuala Lumpur








Jakarta Bandung

Surabaya Solo Yogyakarta Bali





Soekarno Hatta Int. Airport, Jakarta Ngurah Rai Int. Airport, Bali Husein Sastranegara Int. Airport, Bandung Juanda Int. Airport, Surabaya Polonia Int. Airport, Medan

Sales Offices & Stations

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH Phnom Penh Airport Office, 17 Mezzanine Floor of Arrival Domestic Terminal, Phnom Penh Airport, Phnom Penh 179, Street Sisowath, Sangkat Phsar Kandal 1, Khan Daun Penh, 12204 Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.

CHINA MACAU Office 20, Mezzanine Level Passenger Terminal, Macau International Airport Taipa, Macau Guang Dong Century Holiday International Travel Service (Shenzhen) Co.Ltd., XY-10 Junting Hotel, 3085 Eastern Road, Luo Hu, Shenzhen Century Holiday International Travel Service (Guang Zhou) Co Ltd., First Floor, No 8 Zhong Shan 3 Road, Guang Zhou Zhuhai Sun Star International Travel Agency Co Ltd., 1151, South of Yingbin Road, Zhuhai


Lindeteves Trade Center Building, Jl. Hayam Wuruk No.127, Lantai GF2 Blok RA 49, Jakarta Pusat Makassar

No. 26 Jalan Meriam, 84000 Muar, Johor

Departure Terminal, Sultan Hasanuddin, International Airport, Makassar, South Sulawesi

No 7, Jalan Bestari 1/5, Taman Nusa Bestari, 79100, Bandar Nusajaya, Johor.

Mall Panakukang, Carrefour Panakukang, 3rd Floor, Jl. Adyaksa Baru No.1, Makassar, South Sulawesi

No 75, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, 80150, Johor Bharu, Johor


No 20, Jalan Raya, 81000, Kulaijaya, Johor.

Sam Ratulangi International Airport Jalan A.A. Maramis, Manado 95374

No 97, Jalan Rahmat, 83000, Batu Pahat, Johor


GK 01, Ground Floor, Kluang Mall, Jalan Rambutan, Bandar Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor.

Bandara PoloniaTerminal Keberangkatan Internasional, Medan 20157 Sumatra Garuda Plaza Hotel, Jl. Sisingamangaraja, No.18 Medan-20213 PADANG Hotel Hangtuah, Jl. Pemuda no. 1 Padang, Sumatra Barat, 25117 Palembang Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport Palembang, South Sumatra Pekanbaru Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport, Jalan Perhubungan Udara Simpang Tiga, Pekanbaru, Sumatra

Bandara Sultan Iskandar Muda, Blang Bintang, Aceh



Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo, Central Java

Bandara I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Terminal Keberangkatan International Bali 80361 Jl. Legian Kaja no. 455 Kuta, Bali BANDUNG

Langkawi International Airport 07100 Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi No. 68-B Ground Floor, Jalan Ibrahim, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman KUALA LUMPUR Lot 4, Level 2, Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur, 50470 Lot G027B, Ground Floor, Podium Block, Plaza Berjaya,12 Jalan Imbi,55100 Kuala Lumpur

No 71 Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 1 Taman Usahawan Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur


Komp Rukan Dharmawangsa, Jl. Dharmawangsa VI No.43, Jakarta Selatan

Lot 20, Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, 06200 Kepala Batas, Alor Star

Lobby International Terminal Juanda International Airport Jalan Raya Juanda Surabaya Jawa Timur

Lobby Grand Serela Hotel Jl. L.L. R.E Martadinata (Riau) No 56 Telp. (022) 426 1636

Jl. Boulevard Raya, Blok LA 4, No. 10 Kelapa Gading, Jakarta Utara


No. 63, Ground Floor, Medan Bunus Off Jalan Masjid India, 50100 Kuala Lumpur.

Grand Circle Tunjungan Plaza 3 Lantai 1, (Lobby Condominium Regency), Jln. Basuki Rahmat 8-12, Surabaya

Terminal 3 & Terminal 2D Departure Hall Airlines Offices Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Cengkareng,

No 21,Jalan Dedap 21, Taman Johor Jaya, 81100, Johor Bharu


Ruangan Nombor 34 Bandara Husein Sastranegara Jalan Pajajaran No 156 Bandung Jawa Barat


GL 13 Sultan Ismail Airport 81250 Johor Bahru

Adisutjipto International Airport Jln. Solo km.9, Yogyakarta, 55282

No. 4 Jalan 3/116B, Kuchai Lama Entrepreneur Park, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 582000 Kuala Lumpur. No. 1, Jalan PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya. KELANTAN

Melia Purosani Hotel, Jl Suryotomo No.31, Yogyakarta

Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, 16100 Pengkalan Chepa Kota Bharu


3183G, Jalan Sultan Ibrahim (Opp. KB Mall), 15050 Kota Bharu.



Tune Danga Bay, Lot PTB 22819, Jalan Skudai, Mukim Bandar, 80200 Johor Bahru

Level 1, Terminal Building, Sultan Mahmud Airport, 21300 Kuala Terengganu

Labuan Level 1, Labuan Airport Terminal 87008 Wilayah Persekutuan Melaka No 32, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka PENANG Penang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang Ground Floor, Kim Mansion 332, Chulia Street, 10200 Penang No 723 L-G, Jln Sungai Dua 11700 Pulau Pinang SABAH Lot 1 & 2, 1st Floor, Terminal Building, Sandakan Airport, 90719 Sandakan FL4, 1st Floor, Tawau Airport Building, Jalan Apas-Balung, 91100 Tawau TB228, Lot 5, Ground Floor, Istana Monaco, Jalan Bunga, Fajar Complex 91000 Tawau Lot G24, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah, Jln. Tun Razak, 88000, Kota Kinabalu TGround Floor, Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Int. Airport, Old Airport Road,Tanjung Aru 88100, Kota Kinabalu SARAWAK Lot GL.14, Public Concourse Terminal Building, Bintulu Airport 97000 Bintulu Ground Floor, Miri Airport, 98000 Miri Lot 946, Jalan Parry, 98000 Miri Ho Ho Lim, Ground Floor, 291 Sublot 4, Jalan Abell, 93100 Kuching Departure Level, Kuching International Airport, 93756 Kuching Wisma Ho Ho Lim, Ground Floor No. 291, Sub Lot 4, Jalan Abell 93100 Kuching 1st Floor, Main Terminal Building, Sibu Airport, 96000 Sibu Ground Floor, No. 36 Jalan Keranji, 96000 Sibu Grd Flr, Lot 4034, Jln Tun Ahmad Zaidi, Parkcity Commercial Sq, Phase 5, 97000 Bintulu Ground Floor, 192H Al-Idrus Commercial Centre, Jalan Satok, 93400 Kuching

SL11 Ground Floor, Lot 2541 Lee Ling Heights Phase 2, Mile 6.5 Jalan Penrissen, P.O. Box 2044, 93250 Kuching Lot 6813, Ground Floor Synergy Square, (Matang Jaya Commercial Centre), Jalan Matang Jaya, 93050 Kuching SELANGOR Ground Floor, Terminal 3, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor Jalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor Lot-35 Mydin Mall USJ 1 B-G-3A, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya 47170 Puchong Selangor Lot S141, 2nd Floor, Plaza Metro Kajang, Section 7, Jalan Tun Abdul Aziz, 43000 Kajang No 1 (667-C), Wisma Y S Tan Lorong Kepayang, 41300 Klang

111 North Bridge Road #0136/37, Peninsula Plaza 179098,

SRI LANKA Colombo Setmil Aviation (Pvt) Ltd., Ground Floor, Setmil Maritime Centre, 256, Srimath Ramanathan Mawatha, Colombo 15, Sri Lanka


Suvarnabhumi International Airport Room A1-062 Ground Floor, Concourse A, Bangna-Trad Road, Racha Teva, Bang Pli, Samutprakarn 10540

Ubon Ratchathani Airport 297 Ubon Ratchathani Airport, Thepyotee Road, Amphur Nai Muang, Ubon Ratchathani 34000

127 Tanao Road, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok 10200 CHIANG MAI SALES OFFICE Chiangmai International Airport 60, 1st Floor, Tambol Sutep, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 416 Thaphae Road, Chiang Mai

Chiang Rai International Airport 2305/2 404 Moo 10, Tambol Bandu, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai 57100

PHILIPPINES Diosdado Macapagal International Airport Clark Civil Aviation Complex Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines 2023




Office Unit# 01-L, Parkroyal Yangon, Myanmar

Unit 9, Laflora Patong Area, No. 39, 39/1, Thaveewong Rd., Patong, Kratoo, Phuket



Yangon International Airport

Phuket International Airport 312, 3rd Floor, Tumbol Maikao, Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110

Surat Thani International Airport 73 Moo 3 Tambol Huatuey, Amphur Punpin, Suratthani

No 1, Jln PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya



HAT YAI Hat Yai International Airport 125 Hadyai International Airport, Moo 3 Klongla, Klonghoikong, Songkhla 90115 KRABI

UDON THANI Udon Thani International Airport 224 Moo 1, Tambol Makkhang, Amphur Muang, Udon Thani 41000

VIETNAM HANOI Noibai International Airport Lobby A, 3rd Floor, Hanoi No.30 Le Thai To Str., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi City 223, De Tham Pham Ngu Lao Ward District 1, Ho Chi Minh City No. 9, Hang Manh Str., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi 16, Nguyen Van Linh, Hai Chau District, Da Nang

133 Moo 5 Petchkasem Road, Tambol Nuakrong, Amphur Nuakrong, Krabi 81130 NARATHIWAT

SINGAPORE Row No:11, Departure level 2 Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, Singapore

Narathiwat Airport 330 Moo 5 , Tambol Kok-Kian, Amphur Muang, Narathiwat 96000

Call Centre Numbers Australia 1300 760 330 China +86 20 2281 7666 France +33(0)1 7048 0722 India 1860 500 8000 Indonesia +62 21 2927 0999 Japan 0120 963 516 Hong Kong +852 3112 3222 Macau 0800912 Malaysia 600 85 9999 (Premium Customer Service line, chargeable at RM1.95 per minute.)

Myanmar New Zealand Paris Singapore South Korea Taiwan Thailand Vietnam The UK

+95 1 25 1885/1886 0800 45 25 66 +33170480722 +65 6307 7688 00798 1420 69940 008 0185 3031 +66 2 515 9999 +84 8 3838 9811/ 9812 0845 605 3333



CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Snorkelling at Karimunjawa Islands, tahu gimbal, yoga at Losari Resort, candi Gedong Songo- Bandungan.



Located on the island of Java’s northern coast, Semarang is a bustling port city and the gateway to the Karimunjawa islands, a renowned dive site.

Semarang, the capital of Central Java was once a major port during the Dutch colonial era and attracted traders from all over the world that resulted in a melting pot of cultures. This is still evident today in the city’s architectural and cultural heritage.It is said the city was built on a delta dotted with tamarind trees locally known as asam arang, hence its name Semarang. Today, it is one of Indonesia’s most populous cities and continues to be a regional centre for trade and industry.

Eat Semarang is a food haven for the adventurous eater. There are delicacies unique to Semarang that should not be missed such as the bandeng presto (pressure cooked milkfish) usually accompanied by a fiery sambal and tahu gimbal (deep-fried tofu topped or sandwiched with fillings including fried egg, vegetables and shrimp). Other delights worth sampling include lumpia (springrolls), tahu petis (tofu with chillies and soy sauce) and wingko babat (sticky rice TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

cake). Chinese food is also readily available as the city has a sizeable Chinese population.

Must Do EXPLORE HERITAGE BUILDINGS Take a walk around Kota Lama Semarang and get a glimpse of what the city looked like in its heyday. Dutch colonial buildings are a sight to behold and have been well preserved here. The oldest church in Central Java, the Blenduk Church with its baroque style organ and classical portico, is located here. Another prominent landmark is the Lawang Sewu or ‘Building with a Thousand Doors’ that was built by the Dutch as the railway headquarters. The building served as a Japanese army base during the Second World War and is rumoured to be haunted. The building itself, however, is a wonder with its arched doorways and beautiful stained glass windows. VISIT SEMAWIS NIGHT MARKET Eat like the locals and enjoy hawker-style fare at the night market while browsing for souvenirs.

The market, located in Chinatown, is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and is often livelier just before Chinese New Year. DISCOVER THE KARIMUNJAWA ISLANDS Just north of Semarang, is a national marine park consisting of many small islands. Hop on a ferry from Semarang and head to the islands for a spot of R&R. The islands are home to coral reefs and, are popular with divers and beach-goers alike.

Sleep • Grand Candi, Jalan Sisingamangaraja No 16 • Santikka Premiere, Jalan Pandanaran No 116-120 • Hotel Pandanaran Semarang, Jalan Pandanaran 58 FOR ATTRACTIVE ROOM RATES AT THESE HOTELS, VISIT

GETTING THERE AirAsia will commence flights to Semarang from Kuala Lumpur on Feb 6, 2012. Visit for details and flight schedule.

01 MY AIRASIA 2012

WHO’S THE BOSS? Bosses aren’t always scary, power-crazy, teeth-gnashing superiors. Well, at least not at AirAsia. Here, AirAsia Allstars share stories about their bosses and mentors. AIREEN OMAR, HEAD OF CORPORATE FINANCE

My first thought upon meeting Aireen was: “Wow! I’ve met a genius!” Her ‘world domination’ mentality drives me to be better at what I do. Outside of work, she’s lots of fun. She regularly updates us on gossip from magazines like Hello! and OK! ~ Benyamin bin Ismail, Manager, Corporate Finance, MAA


My boss is very thoughtful and remembers even the smallest of details. One day, he asked me if I had changed my perfume. I confidently replied Yes!’ with a huge grin. But then he gave me a friendly smile and said, “You should go back to using your old perfume!”~ Boonniga Supamart, Marketing Executive, TAA


For me, he’s not just ‘my boss’ but also a father figure. He’s taught me many life lessons, and his trust is invaluable motivation for me. ~ Novianto Suherman, Strategy Airport & Planning Executive, IAA


I admire my boss’ patience. I’ve never seen him get angry. He gently rebukes if I make a mistake. I’ve tried to make him angry, but he merely sighs. He just can’t get angry! ~ Sugiharto, AMO Manager, IAA


He really understands and respects his co-workers and subordinates. He has a very thick moustache and every time he speaks, we only see his moustache move. So sexy! ~ Mediana Rossalie, Flight Attendant Manager, IAA




My boss is serious and hardworking, but he’s also a friendly guy who likes to joke around. ~ Aven Lip, Scheduler, Schedule & Operational Planning, MAA