2011 ISSUE 51
51 TRAVEL 3SIXTY° OCTOBER THE AIRASIA MAGAZINE
Inle Lake, Myanmar
TRAVEL Osaka • Chiang Rai, Thailand FOOD Offerings to the Divine DESTINATION Danang, Vietnam SPECIAL FEATURE The Haka PLUS Markets of the World
E UR AS RS. E PL GE VE NG SEN EMO I AD AS R FT. RE R P NOT RA E H HE O IRC R TF OT SE D M A O F O EA O R PL F
contentsoctober NAVIGATOR Feature Stories
48 Hit List
To Market, To Market
54 Aquatic Shangri-La Inle Lake, Myanmar
60 Eat until you Drop Eating in Osaka
70 People of the Middle Kingdom Faces from China
78 Dying & Living
The Haka, New Zealand
86 Town of Temples Wats of Chiang Rai
98 Travel Log
54 BOARDING CALL
34 Health Matters
06 Captain’s Address
36 Hot Rods
38 Guts & Glory
News, Announcements, Mail
What our guests are saying about Travel 3Sixty°
10 Red Alert
Exciting News from AirAsia
Stuff you’d love to know
The H2O Factor
Cute & Compact
Wild & Wilder
Shot Thru the Heart
42 Sleep Inns
Lustre of the Pearl
94 Pilot’s Perspective
Travel 3Sixty°’s Super-cool Guide
October events to keep a lookout for
Offerings to the Divine
Exciting Reads to Pick Up
32 Biz Body Serve To Sell
The Magic Box
contentsoctober JET SET
Fashion, News, Celebs
100 Stamp your Mark
Fashion from Around the World
102 Hot Picks
Creating the Perfect Look
104 Jetsetter Show Aikawa
PORT OF CALL
110 Junior Jet Club
The Kidzania World
112 Plane Fun
120 Route Map
126 AirAsia Sales Ofﬁces & Stations
Puzzles & Games
Fab photos taken by AirAsia guests
5 tips for a more enjoyable ﬂight
128 The A Team
Inle Lake, Myanmar
TRAVEL Osaka • Chiang Rai, Thailand FOOD Offerings to the Divine DESTINATION Danang, Vietnam SPECIAL FEATURE The Haka PLUS Markets of the World
Publisher Managing Editor Art Director Writer Photojournalist Editorial Assistant Graphic Designer
Kathleen Tan R. Rajendra Kan Seak Hong Beverly Rodrigues
RE SU EA S. PL GER VE G O IN SEN EM AD AS R FT. RE R P OT RA HE THE DO N IRC T A R O E FO OF EAS OM R PL F
on the cover
Intha ﬁsherman at Inle Lake, Mynamar Cover image: Getty Images
PUBLISHED BY Travel 3Sixty° c/o AirAsia Berhad
Fazlina Bee Binti Abdul Rashid
LCC Terminal, Jalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia Tel: 603-8660 4333
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Life’s a Beach With over 7,107 islands, The Philippines is one of the best spots in the world for a beach holiday. Many of the islands in this country located in the western end of the Paciﬁc Ocean are blessed with white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, diverse marine and coral life, verdant tropical forests rich with ﬂora and fauna and, most importantly, a laidback island vibe that is so welcoming, you’ll never want to leave. With the year-end holidays just around the corner, here are some of the best beaches in The Philippines!
PUERTO GALERA BAY, MINDORO ISLAND BORACAY ISLAND
IMAGE : INMAGINE
VIRGIN ISLAND, OFF BOHOL ISLAND Even the world-famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol will not distract you from the beautiful beaches of Virgin Island. Lesser known but equally stunning, this island is also home to world-class diving sites situated closer to Panglao Island. Alona Beach and Doljo Beach are the main attractions. Above: Beach at Boracay Island
Located some 315kms south of Manila, this little island was only recently ‘discovered’ in the 70s. From a ﬁercely guarded secret to a backpacker’s hangout, the island has become one of The Philippines best island getaways, winning worldwide fame for its azure waters and powder white beaches. White Beach and Bulabog Beach are the two main seaside attractions on the island.
About two hours away from Manila by land and another 90 minutes by ferry from Batangas Port, Puerto Galera Bay has all the attractions of a perfect beach vacation. Island hopping and diving around the island are the main activities here, but if you prefer less arduous activities, the sandy beaches and glasslike calm waters offer lots of downtime. There are many great beaches for swimming and strolling such as White Beach and Tamaraw Beach.
HONDA BAY, PALAWAN ISLAND One of the last frontiers in the Philippines, Palawan Island is relatively untouched by development. With direct ﬂights available from Manila, the island has many seaside attractions with Honda Bay in the centre of the eastern side of the island being a crowd favourite for swimming and snorkelling. Most beaches are deserted and offer safe spots to swim, courtesy of the reefs that protect the shore from the surf. The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park here is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site and is host to an amazing diversity of marine life.
AirAsia ﬂies daily to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, The Philippines from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule and details.
Here’s the buzz on AirAsia’s Twitter, Facebook and Weibo pages
MUSEUM MANIA I travel almost once a month on AirAsia. Thus, I always look forward to reading Travel 3Sixty°, which empowers me with knowledge on travel and destinations. I enjoy visiting museums but was surprised at the existence of the Museum of Witchcraft and The Museum of Medical Oddities that were mentioned in Magic of Museums (Aug 2011). These peculiar museums sound amazing and I totally agree that “one way to learn about a country is to visit its museums.” Affordable air tickets on AirAsia is another way! ~Francis Lo, Singapore
MAKE MINE MUAY
Just found out AirAsia & Steve Appleton have partnered up! Steve totally needs to come to Malaysia! Release an album and play a show! Farah Amira Amir H. We won our amazing overseas trip to Paris compliments of AirAsia! It was probably the best 5 days of my life! Adam Cinemre
LETTER OF THE MONTH!
I read the article Battle Thai (Sept 2011) while ﬂying to Bangkok for a conference. Although I’d been to Thailand dozens of times, I’d never ever thought of checking out a Muay Thai match. But, after reading that really cool article on the Art of Eight limbs (I didn’t even know that you could use all e eight limbs!) I was itching to get to a sstadium and catch the action up close. I headed to Lumpini Stadium and ccaught a spectacular match with lots of adrenaline, sweat and blood. I was o at the edge of my seat! Thanks for this fun tip. ~ Lalithambigai S., via E-mail
WHAT’S BREWING BEHIND I read the interview with Anthony Padilla (Aug 2011), and was amazed to learn what takes place backstage, especially after watching The Lion King in Singapore. As a Chinese saying goes, a three-minute show onstage can easily require 10 years of hard work. Indeed, one can only imagine the logistics involved in creating the costumes, given the scale of the entire production. Kudos to this article for exposing readers to what happens backstage and the elements that go into the making of a successful musical. ~Charles F, via E-mail
LETTER OF THE MONTH WINS A RM918 VOUCHER TO BE REDEEMED AGAINST AN ATC 0906 28’’ LUGGAGE.* *T&C apply. *Luggage shown here for illustration purpose only. Colours may vary.
Malaysia is a beautiful country. I would recommend anyone to visit. I’m here in KL after ﬂying in from China on AirAsia Billy
Thanks to AirAsia for the superb hospitality during Hari Raya ﬂight.:D Mohd Idzaney Nur Iryani AirAsia has given me a great experience with low fare tickets. I think they should always allocate low fare tickets as many as possible so that other peoples can travel abroad too. Deepak Tayal Will you guys be coming out with an apps for iPad? I think it should not be a problem, right? ET Chew
80 days countdown. I’m going holiday with AirAsia! Would like to compliment Ms. Ku from Guangzhou Call Centre and Ask AirAsia Weibo for their service! MrJohnQ Thanks AirAsia for letting me ﬂy further with your low fares to enjoy the local delicacy and breathtaking scenery of my destination. My passport is ready and I’m waiting for low fares to start my simple journey. Let’s support LowCost Airlines! JM Chan We travelled from China to Bangkok then connected to Ho Chi Minh City and Yangon with AirAsia. We ﬁnd that clearing and entering Immigration again is a hassle. It will be good if AirAsia can set up a Transfer Counter at arrival halls so that we can connect our ﬂights easier. Ms. Future You have apps for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android, how about Symbian? Hope AirAsia will have one in future. C_yu27
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 three letters will receive a RM 50 e-gift voucher each. Email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Travel 3Sixty° reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length, and only letters regarding articles will stand to win a prize.
redalert Giving back to the community especially during festive seasons is a part of the AirAsia culture, and the airline took the opportunity to bring joy to the less fortunate recently. In Kuala Lumpur during the fasting month of Ramadhan in August, YB. Tan Sri Raﬁdah Aziz, Chairman of AirAsia X, AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes and Deputy Group CEO Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun broke fast with orphans from Rumah RABEKA, Good Samaritan Home and Promise Home. Children ranging from three to 17 years of age enjoyed festive dishes and were entertained by popular local artistes: Yassin, Amy Search and Al-Mawlid.
YB. Tan Sri Raﬁdah Aziz, Chairman of AirAsia X (left) and Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Group CEO of AirAsia at the special Ramadhan event.
Ramadhan Blessings In Jakarta, Indonesia AirAsia celebrated the breaking of fast with 52 orphans from the House of An-Nisiniyyah Wal-Muzainiyyah, and ﬂew two lucky quiz winners to Yogyakarta for an all-expense paid threeday holiday. The airline is always keen to work with the underprivileged, and AirAsia Indonesia will be soon launching a more comprehensive outreach programme to offer orphans there an English language course. Left: Allstars in Indonesia with orphans from the House of An-Nisiniyyah Wal-Muzainiyyah.
HERO Comes Home Malaysia’s Motorsport hero Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin of Team AirAsia Sepang International Circuit Ajo Motorsport roars into Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit this month. The 2011 MotoGP race from October 21 till 23, is the 16th of the season, and Fahmi is pumped. “I am absolutely thrilled to race at the Malaysian GP, especially since it is my home race. The pressure to perform is higher, as local fans will deﬁnitely expect me to deliver a great performance. With their continuous support, I hope to make the whole country proud.” To be part of the action, purchase seats at the main grandstand at www.airasiago.com or www.airasiaredtix.com
Popping the Question in Style Proposing and tying the knot 30,000 feet in the air has become quite popular of late, with AirAsia seeing a fair share of romance. When AirAsia Thailand received a request from guest Boon Jin Ong to help pull off a surprise proposal on a ﬂight from Bangkok to Singapore, the airline jumped on board, creating a special meal box and playing Cupid!
MUMS In August, ﬁve lucky Thai AirAsia Facebook and Twitter fans who took part in a special Thai Mother’s Day contest won a holiday with their mothers, courtesy of Thai AirAsia. The whirlwind four-day all expenses paid trip to Yangon took them to amazing attractions like the Shwedagon Pagoda, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Rohani Bo Bo Gyi, Yele Paya Pagoda and Shwethalyaung Buddha. If you too would like to win a holiday, follow AirAsia on www.facebook.com/ AirAsiaThailand and www.twitter.com/ AirAsiaThailand
Setting the Scene “When we boarded, I realised that our seats had been changed. The crew said there was a system error, and I was secretly happy that we’d been upgraded to Hot Seats. Suddenly, a ﬂight attendant delivered a pre-booked meal to me. I hadn’t purchased it, but my boyfriend kept asking me to open it. Looking inside, I saw a message: ‘Will you marry me?’ It was unbelievable; I never thought he’d propose in such a romantic way! When I nodded in agreement, the ﬂight attendant announced our good news to all the guests on board, and everyone applauded.”~ Jee San Tan, AirAsia guest & bride-to-be
HAPPY FLEET AirAsia Philippines’ ﬁrst aircraft lands in Clark.
Filipino pilot, Capt. Darren Nacorda, proudly holds the Filipino ﬂag upon disembarking AirAsia Philippines’ ﬁrst aircraft.
On August 15, AirAsia Philippines welcomed the ﬁrst if its Airbus ﬂeet, marking a tangible beginning for the airline. Flying from the Airbus plant in Toulouse, France, the Airbus A320 landed at Clark’s Diosdado Macapagal International Airport to a water cannon salute. AirAsia Philippines’ second Airbus is scheduled to arrive later this year, with the third and fourth in 2012. The airline is currently awaiting ofﬁcial approval to begin commercial ﬂights, and plans to launch ﬂights to Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Incheon, as well as Kalibo and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines.
“This is a proud moment for AirAsia Philippines as the arrival of the new aircraft signifies our first step in introducing ourselves to the nation. As an archipelagic country, air travel is necessary for Filipinos and we are here to serve and help them stay or be better connected with their families and friends.” ~ Marianne Hontiveros, CEO of AirAsia Philippines
Hello Gatwick! From October 24, AirAsia X will be moving its hub to UK’s Gatwick Airport, just 45kms south of London. For info on this new hub, visit www. gatwickairport.com
For ﬂight bookings made from September 21 onwards, a checkin fee of RM10 per guest will be charged for all ﬂights. To avoid this charge, guests are encouraged to use AirAsia’s easy self-check in options: • Web check-in via www.airasia.com • Mobile check-in via mobile.airasia. com and apps on Blackberry, iPhone & Android devices • Check-in kiosks
To celebrate ASEAN Day on August 8, AirAsia treated guests to special discounts on ﬂights across the Asean region with all-in fares from as low as RM89 to hotspots across Southeast Asia. This region is also home to party and entertainment hubs like Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, as well as some of the world’s most stunning historical, cultural and natural attractions: Angkor Wat, Borobudur, Wat Phra Kaeo, Halong Bay, Banaue Rice Terraces and Inle Lake. For more info and real time updates on AirAsia’s latest promotions, follow AirAsia on twitter.com/AirAsia and facebook.com/AirAsia.
Small Investment, Huge Relief! Purchasing travel insurance may seem like a waste to some people, but when the unexpected happens, it can make an unfortunate situation a lot easier. When AirAsia guest, Mdm Tan Wan Yok, met with an accident in Australia, AirAsia Insure really came through. “On a holiday in Melbourne, I decided to ride the Pufﬁng Billy steam train. Unfortunately, while visiting the restroom, I slipped, fell and broke my thigh bone. The pain was unbearable. Fortunately, I’d purchased AirAsia Insure’s travel insurance at RM29 for an international return trip. My daughter immediately contacted the emergency medical assistance hotline. They were very accommodating to our situation, and the process of getting our claims was simple and straightforward. Three weeks after my surgery, I ﬂew home, and experienced a smooth transition from Melbourne hospital to Damansara Specialist for continued treatment and therapy sessions. All expenses incurred during the surgery were settled, and my policy covered follow-up treatments, cost of ﬂights for compassionate visits and my ﬂight back to Malaysia, which required medical assistance and escort in the form of a doctor and nurse. After this experience, I only have one piece of advice for all jetsetters: Buy insurance! You never know what will happen, and it’s good to know that even in a foreign land, someone’s got your back!” ~ Mdm Tan Wan Yok Mdm Tan Wan Yoke and her husband.
How AirAsia Insure works • In an emergency, call the number listed on the Certiﬁcate of Insurance. (Be sure to print a copy of the Certiﬁcate of Insurance for easy reference). • The policy works via reimbursement; policy holders will be reimbursed within approximately 30 working days. • AirAsia Insure is available in 12 countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam & Macau. • Coverage starts from as low as USD2.40 for domestic ﬂights. • Coverage includes overseas medical expenses, follow-up medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation, ﬂight cancellation, missed ﬂight connection, baggage and personal effects, ﬂight delay, personal liability, as well as a personal accident beneﬁt.
Spicing It Up p With
LADY DADA Thai AirAsia has added two tasty, new dishes to its in-ﬂight menu: Dada’s Grilled Chicken and Sticky Rice for lovers of northeastern Thai cuisine and, oven-baked chicken lasagna for guests in need of delicious Italian comfort food. If you’re wondering who Dada is, she’s AirAsia’s popular ﬂight attendant Dada Jindarat, who’s known for her fun personality and humorous in-ﬂight announcements.
Thailand Best Package
Kickin’ It In Thailand
Tassapon Bijleveld (seventh from left) and Piyapong Pue-On with soccer players from nine Thai teams.
Thai AirAsia recently sponsored nine Thai football teams for the Thai Premier League and Division 1 Championships. Besides ﬂying players to matches throughout the season, the airline has also launched a ‘Fly to Your Dreams’ project headed by legendary footballer Piyapong Pue-On. This project will see players offering youth football clinics to encourage passionate, young athletes.
“In the last two to three years, AirAsia has put much focus on CSR activities and giving back to the community. We’ve also seen the increasing importance of sports marketing, which has enabled us to reach a wider audience. This is especially important for a low-cost airline that aims to stay true to our motto of Now Everyone Can Fly.”~ Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia “AirAsia’s football clinic is an excellent initiative that will offer new techniques and valuable experience to children who are passionate about the sport, and those who dream of becoming professional football players in the future.” ~ Piyapong Pue-On, Director of Fly to Your Dreams.
For amazing travel deals in exotic Thailand, check out AirAsiaGo’s Thailand Best Package Guarantee, which offers discounts of up to 50% when guests purchase a travel package inclusive of round-trip air ticket and hotel stay. With a wide range of superb spa resorts, boutique hotels and villas in Bangkok, Pattaya, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Koh Samui and Phuket, guests can enjoy an affordable stay at the luxurious Le Meridien Chiang Rai or stylish X2 Samui Villas By Design, Centara Boutique Collection. Visit www.airasiago. com to book your package.
To create a value-for-money holiday package, mix and match tours and activities, and select from over 130,000 accommodation options at www. airasiago.com
FIT FOR A MAHARAJAH In conjunction with Deepavali or the Festivals of Lights, Maya Hotel in Kuala Lumpur is offering a ‘Seafood and Indian Flavours’ food promotion at Maya Brasserie. Guests will enjoy the succulent ﬂavours of Indian cuisine alongside fresh seafood delights with dishes such as prawn kurma, tomato rice, lamb varuval, mussel paratel and crab curry while seafood such as oysters, poached salmon with lemongrass, skewered prawns with chilli cream and pan-seared sea bass with pineapple mint salsa are on the menu. This promotion is priced at RM78 ++ per person and runs from Oct 17 to Oct 23 for lunch and dinner. There will also be a Deepavali High Tea on Oct 26 priced at RM55++. www.hotelmaya.com.my
Irish boy-band Westlife will perform some of its chartbusters such as Flying without Wings and Swear it Again, as well as songs from their latest album, Gravity at the Westlife Gravity Tour. Formed in 1998, Westlife is UK’s biggest selling band of the decade and has amassed 14 number one singles such as My Love, Uptown Girl and World of Our Own. The band performs at the Indoor Stadium on Oct 3 in Singapore before moving on to Kuala Lumpur where they’ll bring the house down at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Bulit Jalil on Oct 7, 2011. For tickets for the Kuala Lumpur gig, log on to www.airasiaredtix.com and www.westlife.com
ROCK & RACE The Armor All Gold Coast 600 celebrates its 21st birthday this year – in a celebration that includes 28 high proﬁle international drivers, the best local talent and a star-studded entertainment line-up. The event takes place from October 21 till 23 and includes world-class drivers teaming up with local V8s champions. Held on the streets of Surfers Paradise, the race will feature twice Gold Coast Indy winner Sebastian Bourdais, former Ferrari driver, Mika Salo, ex-Stewart GP ace Jan Magnussen, Austrian Christian Klien, journeyman Gianni Morbidelli and Stephane Sarrazin, amongst others. The ‘rock’ element comes in the form of world class acts such as home-grown talents such as Hoodoo Gurus, Eskimo Joe and Masters Apprentices, and international band Simple Minds. www.goldcoast600.com.au
IN YOUR HANDS Visitors to Singapore can now enjoy guided walking tours of the historic and cultural districts of Kampung Glam and Bugis via this latest iPhone apps. Each handy guide has all the important functions needed to enjoy the walking tour without having to pay data charges. Major points of interest are thoughtfully presented in this well designed and easy-to-use apps. There are clear route directions, with interesting and insightful trivia to enrich discovery and exploration. The apps, available for download at the iTunes App Store at US$1.99 each, is based on the book Discover Singapore on Foot, published by Select Books. To download the walking tour apps, go to: • Kampong Glam and Bugis Walking Tour http:// itunes.apple.com/sg/app/singapore---on---foot---kampong/ id447304728?mt=8 • Little India Walking Tour http://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/ singapore---on---foot---little---india/id432734960?mt=8 • Chinatown Walking Tour http://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/ singapore---on---foot---chinatown/id409804239?mt=8
VOICE OF ANGELS
The Secret Life of Nora is T a much m anticipated musical about abou b a Malaysian prima donna who unwittingly becomes a spy who ends up saving the lives of thousands of women. She falls in love with Roger, a dashing international agent who helps her in her transformation from stage queen to skilled undercover spy! Join Nora on her roller-coaster of a journey that is packed with high adventure, love, comedic moments, as well as tears, deception and ultimately, self-empowerment. Staged at Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur, the show runs from Sept 29 to Oct 16, 2011. Get your tickets priced at RM30, RM50, RM110, RM120, RM220, and RM240 from www.airasiaredtix.com
IMAGE: LUKAS BECK
World renowned Vienna Boys Choir will perform at charity concerts on Oct 20 and 30, 2011 at Dewan Chancellor, University Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu. This choir is based in Vienna and is a private non-proﬁt organisation that is made up of 100 choristers between the ages of 10 and 14 with members from all over the globe. The show is organised by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) in aid of its community projects. Tickets are on sale at Paciﬁc Sutera Hotel, Sabah Tourism Board, Tong Hing Supermarket and RCKK Rotarians, priced at RM250, RM100 and RM50 (for students). For details, call PDG Edward Sung Burongoh at +6 0198215557.
This October, Hard Rock International teams up with celebrities, cancer survivors and guests to support the ﬁght against breast cancer. For the 12th year, Hard Rock Cafés, Hotels and Casinos around the world raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research though Hard Rock’s PINKTOBER™ campaign. PINKTOBER offers guests a variety of ways to ‘rock pink’, including limited-edition merchandise and apparel, PINK drink and menu offerings, dedicated PINK hotel rooms and star-studded, live music events beneﬁting national and local breast cancer charities across the globe. For additional information on how PINK rocks a Hard Rock location near you, visit www.hardrock.com.
EAT HONG KONG This October, One World Hotel in Petaling Jaya is hosting the ‘I LOVE HONG KONG’ food promotion at its Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant. Inspired by the eclectic Cantonese cuisine found in this food paradise, Chef Michael Chew will prepare many crowd favourites such as Double Boiled Black Chicken Soup with Dried Scallop & Chong Cao Hua and Braised Chicken with King Soya Sauce Served in Clay Pot. The promotion is available during lunch and dinner.
You can scream, you can try to run but you cannot hide from your worst nightmare at Horrorwood Studios! Featuring some of the biggest characters from horror cinema, the newly opened Horrorwood Studios at Scream Park @ Sunway Lagoon will send shivers down your spine with creepy dolls, aliens, zombies and the most iconic slasher, Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th movie, Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street and a giant replica of the alien from Predator. The terror continues as an army of the undead strikes fear in Asia’s largest Zombie Apocalypse. Teamed up with a creepy short horror ﬁlm shot exclusively for Scream Park @ Sunway Lagoon, Horrorwood Studios is a super scream fest that will chill you to the bone! T: +603 5639 0000 or log on www.sunwaylagoon.com for details.
Bali • Biloxi • Chicago • Hollywood, FL Las Vegas • Macau • Orlando • Pattaya • Penang Punta Cana • San Diego • Singapore • Tampa
Biloxi • Hollywood, FL • Las Vegas Macau • Punta Cana • Tampa
Biloxi • Hollywood, FL Las Vegas: The Joint • Orlando
United States Atlanta Atlantic City Baltimore Biloxi Boston Chicago Cleveland Dallas Denver Destin Detroit Foxwoods Gatlinburg Hollywood, CA on Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA at Universal CityWalk Hollywood, FL Honolulu Houston Indianapolis Key West Lake Tahoe Las Vegas Las Vegas at Hard Rock Hotel Louisville Maui Memphis Miami Minneapolis Myrtle Beach Nashville New Orleans New York Niagara Falls Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Tampa Washington, DC Yankee Stadium Canada Niagara Falls Ottawa Toronto
show your support by purchasing these pinktober products exclusively at hard rock locations worldwide and help in the fight against breast cancer.
Pacific Rim Fiji Guam Saipan Surfers Paradise Sydney Europe Amsterdam Athens Barcelona Berlin Bucharest Cologne Copenhagen Dublin Florence Glyfada Gothenburg Hamburg Krakow Lisbon Madrid Mallorca Malta Marbella Moscow Munich Oslo Paris Prague Rome Stockholm Venice Warsaw UK Edinburgh London Manchester Middle East Africa Bahrain Beirut Hurghada Kuwait City Sharm El Sheikh Asia Bali Bangkok Beijing Bengaluru Fukuoka Ho Chi Minh City Hong Kong Hyderabad Jakarta Kuala Lumpur Makati Mumbai Narita New Delhi Osaka Osaka, Universal Pattaya Penang Phuket Pune Sentosa Singapore Singapore Changi Airport Tokyo Tokyo, Uyeno-Eki Yokohama
Mexico Central America Acapulco Cabo San Lucas Cancún Costa Maya Cozumel Mexico City Panama Puerto Vallarta Punta Langosta Caribbean Aruba Cayman Islands Nassau Punta Cana Santo Domingo St. Maarten South America Belo Horizonte Bogotá Buenos Aires Caracas Cartagena Margarita Island Medellin
hotels coming soon
Abu Dhabi • Dubai • Hungary • Panama Megapolis
casinos coming soon
cafes coming soon
Brussels • Budapest • Chennai • Colombo • Dubai Hanoi • Limassol • Macau • Melaka • Nabq Nicosia • San José • Santiago
Grape Harvest Festival
The Selﬁsh Crocodile
Oct 5 – 9
Oct 4 – 22
Montmartre celebrates its winegrowing history and the harvest of Clos Montmartre with wine tastings, regional wine auctions and lots of merriment.
To be staged at PJ Live Arts, talented puppeteers from UK’s Blunderbus Theatre Company use colourful papier-mâché puppets to bring to life a poignant tale of a selﬁsh croc and courageous mouse. www.gardnerandwife.com
Nagasaki Kunchi Festival Oct 7 – 9 The highlight of this 370-year-old autumn festival at Nagasaki’s Suwa Shrine is the Hono-Odori, where different towns take turns to perform traditional dances every year www.jnto.go.jp
NEW ZEALA ZEALAND
Rugby Wor World Cup 2011 Oct 1 - 23 Catch the legendary All Blacks and all your favourite rugb rugby teams in action at this premier interna international rugby event, which began in Sep September and runs till late October. www. www.rugbyworldcup.com
Hitman Returns: David Foster & Friends Live Oct 28 Illustrious music producer and songwriter David Foster performs in Jakarta with the pint-sized vocal powerhouse Charice, ever-smooth Michael Bolton, soulful Philip Bailey and award-winning British tenor, Russell Watson. www.rajakarcis.com
Diwali Oct 26 Hindus in India and around the world celebrate the victory of good over evil in this festival of lights known as Diwali or Deepavali. On the 15th day of Diwali, Hindus ﬂoat millions of earthen lamps along the ghats of Varanasi as a tribute to the holy River Ganges. www.incredibleindia.org
ROCKAWAY 2011 Oct 8
The Annual Tesselaar Tulip Festival Oct 1 – 12 Catch tulip mania at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, Victoria, where half a million tulips bloom amidst beautiful spring bulbs. There’ll be live entertainment, market stalls and a garden sculpture exhibition too. www.tulipfestival.com.au
Bangkok’s International Festival of Dance & Music Oct 1 - 16 Bangkok’s biggest performing arts fest serves up The Marriage of Figaro by Russia’s Ekaterinburg State Opera Theatre, Flamenco! by Spain’s Ballet Nacional España, and a choral concert by the Vienna Boys’ Choir. www.bangkokfestivals.com
STOMP Oct 18 – 23
In this dynamic and thoroughly unique percussive symphony, energetic performers beat out furious rhythms using garbage can lids, buckets, brooms, sticks and other everyday objects. www.indonesia.travel
Hot Dates! ■ THAILAND Chonburi Buffalo Race Oct 11 www.tourismthailand.org
■ JAPAN 24th Tokyo International Film Festival Oct 22 - 30 www.tiff-jp.net ■ PHILIPPINES Owl City Live in Manila Oct 26 www.ticketworld.com.ph
■ MACAU 25th Macau
International Music Festival Oct 7 – Nov 5 www.icm.gov. mo/ﬁmm ■ UK Katy Perry California Dreams Tour Oct 14 & 15 www.theo2.co.uk ■ INDIA 2011 Formula 1 Airtel Grand Prix of India Oct 28 - 30
All Time Low and Story Of The Year join hot home-grown bands like One Buck Short, Love Me Butch and Hujan for a 12-hour festival celebrating both established and emerging rockers.
KONSERT 2 RAKSASA Oct 1 After 27 years, legendary Malaysian rock bands Sweet Charity and Blues Gang perform together live at Stadium Merdeka for one night only.
WESTLIFE GRAVITY TOUR Oct 7 Irish boy band, Westlife, known for hits like Flying without Wings and Swear it Again performs all-time favourites as well as songs from its latest album, Gravity at Malaysia’s Putra Indoor Stadium Bukit Jalil.
MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX Oct 21 – 23 Sepang International Circuit heats up with some of the world’s hottest two-wheel action during the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix. Ticket holders can look forward to a free pit walk and autograph session with MotoGP riders.
Get ready for a whole lot of hip swinging and head banging when British hard rock band Whitesnake take the stage to promote their 11th studio album, Forevermore.
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october travel3sixty 25
WORDS & FOOD STYLING : LYRA DEANNA
PHOTOGRAPHY : ADAM LEE
As Hindus celebrate the nine-day festival of Navarathri and prepare for Deepavali this month, we take a look at sacred foods offered to the gods.
South Indians often offer savoury food like (left to right) vadai, spiced chickpeas and lemon rice for puja rituals.
In the Vedas – early Hindu sacred writings and religious books such as the Dharmasãtras – the subject of food is extensively explored. In the Taittiriya Upanishad, one of the philosophical texts considered a source of early Hinduism, it is written that “Food is life, therefore one should give food; eating is the supreme sacriﬁce.” This serves to underline the importance of food in the rituals of the Hindu religion, where food offered to the deities, who are the incarnations of God, becomes sanctiﬁed prasad – a Sanskrit word meaning ‘mercy’ or ‘offerings’. Making offerings to the deities in the Hindu pantheon is known as puja, often consisting of sacred food items, but can also include offerings like ﬂowers, leaves from the mango and banyan trees and herbs. Simple puja can be made on a daily basis, with more elaborate puja often taking place during festivals like the nine nights of Navarathri or Deepavali/Diwali. At Deepavali, offerings are particularly made to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, as well as Krishna, who is referred to as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In addition to the particular foods offered to the deities, ritual fasting and abstinence (the most common incarnation of which is vegetarianism) are also very important in the Hindu tradition, especially when one undertakes a holy vow (vrata). The vow is usually made at religious festivals, in conjunction with a pilgrimage or to help with the achievement of a personal goal. For culinary teacher Manju Saigal who hails from India, the preparation of prasad for puja is an inherent part of worship. “One of the things that we always offer is panchamrit or holy nectar. In Sanskrit, panch means ﬁve and amrit means nectar. As such, the offering is made from ﬁve ingredients – milk, yoghurt, honey, water from Manju Saigal the Ganges and a little ghee.” When offered in the temple, a little holy nectar is dropped into the open palms of the devotees by a priest. It is then discreetly drunk off the palms. Hindus believe that all living things contain a part of the divine spirit, and that all life is therefore sacred. This belief encourages a vegetarian lifestyle, with the most pious even foregoing eggs, as they are the beginnings of life. Even non-vegetarians often have speciﬁc days in which they only eat vegetarian food, whether that choice is one made in conjunction with a festival such as Deepavali or the taking of a vrata. Incidentally, while non-vegetarian Hindus do eat other meats, beef is off-limits as the cow is considered a sacred animal. In Hindu mythology, Brahma – the Creator – made the cow on the same day that he created the Brahmins, thereby giving the animal an especially revered status. Additionally, in the past, Hindus were predominantly an agrarian society and depended on the
cow to provide milk and to help till the land. Even the dung was precious as it was used as fuel. As such, the animal was too precious to be slaughtered for food. Hence, the food offered to the gods must always be vegetarian, with no meat or eggs used. Even the utensils used to cook the food need to be clean and separate from the ones used to cook non-vegetarian dishes. However, sacred food offerings transcend mere vegetarianism and take into consideration the inherent properties of the ingredients. For instance, garlic and onions are prohibited in the prasad; these ingredients are said to be impure as they arouse passion. “Food is divided into three categories – sattvic, rajasic and tamasic, as we believe that the kind of food you eat affects your moods and personality,” says Manju, referring to a classiﬁcation that has its origins rooted in ancient religious practices. Sattvic food is considered very pure, thought to contribute to serenity, enlightenment and longevity. These include rice, wheat, ghee and dairy products, except for cheese made with rennet (rennet comes from the stomach linings of an animal, and to obtain it, the animal must be slaughtered). Any food prepared as an offering of worship must come from the sattvic category. Foods from the second category, rajasic, are believed to excite passions and a love of power, and so were fed to ancient warriors! These include meats and eggs. The foods in the tamasic category include garlic, pickles and alcohol, and are believed to be impure and encourage unhealthy traits like sloth and malice when consumed in excess.
october travel3sixty 27
Spiced chickpeas Milk barďŹ
Born in the northern Indian town of Mussoorie, Manju says that Hindus from the north of India usually offer sweets to the gods. On Deepavali morning, Manju prepares a dish of halwa, a sweet dish with a rich, pudding-like consistency, made with semolina and ghee as an offering. South Indians also offer sweets, but incorporate savoury dishes into their sacred offerings, such as lemon rice or a dish of spiced channa (chickpeas). Temples with South Indian heritage, generally prepare three types of rice – a sweet rice made with milk and jaggery called shakarai ponggal, lemon or tamarind rice called puliyogare, and yoghurt rice as offerings. Deities are also believed to have a particular afﬁnity for certain foods. “For instance, Krishna is a cowherd and he likes milk in particular – although pretty much all the gods are very fond of milky sweets,” says Manju. She often offers up barﬁ (milk candy) or a dish of kheer – rice and milk pudding ﬂavoured with cardamom, to Krishna, studding it with nuts and decorating it with edible silver leaf. Rice spiced with black pepper and cumin, fried in ghee, is offered to Shiva, sweet laddoo (chickpea ﬂour balls) and modaka (rice ﬂour dumplings) are favoured by Ganesha and tamarind rice is offered to Vishnu. The preparation and serving of sacred food is tempered by strict guidelines. The worshiping aspect of sacred food begins before the dish is offered at the temple or home altar, when it is prepared with grace and in a contemplative, peaceful state of mind. Stringent cleanliness is observed at all times. Tasting your food while cooking is usually an inherent part of the culinary arts, but many believe that prasad should not be tasted before it is offered to God, as He should be the ﬁrst to partake of it. “A bit of animal bone is often used to clarify china, so we never serve offerings on china plates,” says Manju. “Offerings are made on silver, brass or earthenware, or at times on a banana leaf.” This container should only be used for puja. Once a small amount of the food is
is a nine-day celebration that venerates the feminine aspect of the divine in three forms – valour, prosperity and wisdom. The tenth day is Vijaya Dashami or Dussherra, which celebrates the Goddess or Sakthi slaying the demon Mahisa who represents evil, ignorance and all that’s impure. Navarathri is celebrated in a big way all over India, Malaysia and Singapore but the last few days are particularly grand in West Bengal and Nepal. This year, the festival runs from Sept 26 to Oct 6, 2011.*
Panchamrit or holy nectar
placed on a plate, it is offered at the altar, on which is placed a sacred image of the deity. An oil lamp or two is lit, along with incense. As the scented smoke rises, the devotee sits in contemplation and recites sacred mantras and prayers. When the ritual is complete, the prasad is considered sanctiﬁed by God’s grace and eating it completes the act of devotion. For puja conducted at home, the offering is often recombined with the original dish in the pot in which it was cooked, and then served to the whole family. In temples, it is distributed to the congregation.
or the Festival of Lights celebrates the occasion of Lord Rama – the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, having slain the demon king Ravana and returning to his kingdom of Ayodhya after 14 years in exile with his wife Seetha, brother Lakshman and the monkey god Hanuman. The celebration also marks the death of the demon Naraka at the hands of Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabama. Terrorising humankind, Naraka forbade lamps to be lit and upheld a reign of darkness. Repenting his evil ways, Naraka requested that his death be celebrated with light and illumination. Deepavali will be celebrated on Oct 26, 2011.*
*dates subject to change
october travel3sixty 29
WORDS: BEVERLY RODRIGUES
The prestigious Ubud Writers & Readers Festival held in Bali, is one of Southeast Asia’s most celebrated literary festivals. With the theme Nandurin Karang Awak (cultivate the land within) its eighth year is gearing up to be the festival’s biggest installation to date.
According to Festival Director and Founder Janet de Neefe, the theme is all about redeﬁning the boundaries of consciousness, and a connection with the vast, rich and mysterious territory within. It offers a platform to discuss land-related issues from alienation and exile to marginalisation and identity. “Developing the self is in many ways similar to cultivating rice ﬁelds: Sowing the seeds of truths, cropping the stems of desires, and carefully reaping a bountiful harvest for the ﬁnest grain. This is a fundamental philosophical concept in the spiritual landscape of Bali”.
Alexander McCall Smith
The diverse 5-day programme packed with ticketed and free events takes place in cafés, hotels and temples around Ubud, and offers panel sessions, workshops, readings, literary lunches, performances, book launches, exhibitions, children’s events and poetry slams. Showcasing over 120 presenters from around the world, including an impressive coterie of up-and-coming Indonesian writers, the festival spans a multitude of genres and serves up humour, history and lots of inspiration. Besides rubbing shoulders with writers such as novelist Junot Diaz, Aussie musician and wordsmith Paul Kelly, proliﬁc ﬁction writer Alexander McCall Smith, Booker prize winner DBC Pierre and the legendary political activist and novelist Tariq Ali, participants will get to meet rising talents such as Aneesha Kapur and Daniyal Mueenuddin, whose debut novels have received critical acclaim. Stoked about 2011’s offerings, De Neefe says, “I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: There are books to fall in love with at this year’s festival, and October 6 – 9 we invite you to meet the writers behind Ubud, Bali the words.”
TIP FOR BOOKWORMS
BITS ON BOOKS
“Right across Notre Dame in Paris is one of the oldest bookstores in the world called Shakespeare and Co. It’s an old style bookstore stacked to the ceiling with books and ladders that move. A really great tip is to buy the Hunchback of Notre Dame and get their famous stamp. I take a picture of it right by the Notre Dame, and give it as a gift to someone who loves to read!” – Samantha Brown, TLC host
• Agatha Christie (1890–1976) is said to be the world’s best-selling ﬁction writer. She wrote 78 crime novels that sold more than 2 billion copies!
• Encyclopaedia Britannica, the ﬁrst English-language encyclopaedia, was published in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1771.
VERONICA ROTH GET SOME HEADSPACE Andy Puddicombe
Want to clear your mind but have no idea how to begin? Former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe explains the right approach to meditation and shares his own early frustrating experiences.
LONELY PLANET GUIDE DISCOVER CHINA
Damian Harper, Piera Chen et al. Learn about China’s amazing wildlife, über cool bars and not-to-be-missed spots. With inside knowledge from local experts and ideas for detours off the beaten track, you’ll discover the real China.
Veronica Roth’s ﬁrst book Divergent made New York Times bestseller list, and stayed there for 11 weeks! Here, she talks about the dystopian society she created where life revolves around one’s faction.
THE 5 FACTIONS: ABNEGATION, CANDOR, ERUDITE, AMITY AND DAUNTLESS. Abnegation is the selﬂess faction; their goal is to think of themselves as little as possible. Candor is the honest faction; members are usually blunt to the point of being offensive. The Erudite value learning and ingenuity, and are particularly important because all technological development and education come from them. Amity, the peaceful faction, emphasises kindness and forgiveness. The Dauntless, who are committed to bravery, believe in taking action against injustice.
CHOOSING A FACTION There’s a difference between ﬁguring out which faction you have aptitude for and choosing the one you’d like to be in. It’s about priorities. I’d choose Dauntless, because I believe in freedom and justice over comfort and safety.
CREATING BEATRICE’S CHARACTER
BLOOD RED D RO R ROAD AD Moira Young
The ﬁrst book in the post-Apocalyptic Dustlands trilogy, Blood Red Road follows Saba on an epic journey to rescue her twin brother. In her quest, she discovers a surprising inner strength that helps her change the course of civilisation.
THE GOOD MUSLIM
IMAGES: ADAM LEE
After the Bangladesh Liberation War, Maya’s brother transforms from freedom ﬁghter to a book-burning fundamentalist, creating a rift between them. Anam’s story examines ideas about faith, tolerance, identity and reconciliation.
READ OF THE MONTH
I just had this sense of her, like I knew her. I did set myself a rule that was hard to follow, though Beatrice is always the agent. She’s always choosing, acting and moving the plot.
BEST WRITING ADVICE Turn off the internal editor! That’s from Anne Lamott. You can’t perfect every little thing before you move on, or you’ll never ﬁnish the story.
LIFE-CHANGING BOOKS The Giver by Lois Lowry, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle, the Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate etc. Some have taught me about writing, but all inspired, challenged, encouraged and guided me in different ways. I don’t think books have ever solved my problems or made my decisions for me, but they bring me out of myself and make me ask myself questions.That’s lifealtering enough.
Serve rve To Sell 24
growth recorded in online worldwide reach in the Photos category in Southeast Asian Social Media platforms (such as Instagram) between 2009 to 2010.(www. onlinemarketingtrends.com)
Competition among service providers has ramped up in the current questionable state of economies worldwide. Here’s a peek at what translates into closing good deals, as opposed to old school tricks.
Tryvertising Tryvertising is the ultimate sales pitch in gaining trust and loyalty from customers. It’s as simple as allowing customers to sample the products and services you offer before making a purchase. The only investment customers need to make is to either complete an online survey on the products or services – the data is real-time valuable research for product development. The other option is to
avoid the survey, but ‘suggest’ that feedback is preferred through an honest review. Tryvertising is a platform currently available in Japan, Hungary and India. It is by far the most impactful method in generating wordof-mouth info on a product while producing genuinely useful feedback for brands. Check out: www.sample-central.com & www.sampleandtry.com
Online Purchase Trends
IS IN RATIO
of Foursquare users against Facebookers in Singapore in January 2011.
WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH
PERCENT of people on Twitter recommend companies and/ or products in their Tweets, with 48% of them stating their intention to buy the product
(ROI Research for Performance, June 2010)
CLOTHING, ACCESSORIES, SHOES
AIRLINE TICKETS & RESERVATIONS
TOURS & HOTEL RESERVATIONS
COSMETICS & NUTRITION SUPPLIES
44% 36% 32% 27% 26% 22%
Source: Nielsen Consumer Report (2010)
World’s Largest Family-Owned (Pvt.) Companies – 2009 FOUNDED BY
NETT WORTH/ REVENUE
BECHTEL (Run by 4th generation family members)
Warren A. Bechtel
Global engineering, construction and project management
MARS (Run by family members)
Frank C. Mars
Chocolate (Mars Bars), Petcare, Wrigley Gum & Confections, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience
SC JOHNSON & SON (Run by 5th generation family members)
Samuel Curtis Johnson Senior
Household cleaning, personal care and insect control.
PERCENT of all diseases are caused by unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
Water is such an important element in our daily lives but scant consideration is given to the conservation of this precious substance. Here’s a quick look at the wonders of water.
The Wond der off Watter
For those of us who are lucky enough to live in urban comfort, we take no notice of how much water is wasted daily. The average household, according to a research by the University of Oklahoma’s Water Center, uses about 100 gallons per day, whereas the average African household uses a mere ﬁve gallons. Considering these numbers, we should strive to save as much water through moderate daily use, so future generations may continue to enjoy the beneﬁts of safe and clean water. Given that 60% of our total body weight is water, clean and safe water helps protect tissues, eliminate waste and aid digestion, amongst others.
people around the world lack access to improved sanitation.
Source: University of Oklahoma Water Centre & World Health Organization (International Research 2011)
If water on its own is not so appealing, here are some creative ways for great tasting water: Ice Guise: Add chopped mint, fresh fruit or cucumber into the ice tray water and freeze it. Put a few in the glass and you’ll get a hint of the tasty ice as you sip. When it looks delicious, your palate will like it too. Fruit Fantastic: Add slivers of your favourite fruit or aromatics into a water jug and place it in the fridge. The cool air will draw out the taste of the fruit into the water. Cucumber, lemon, strawberries and screwpine leaf are particularly ﬂavourful. Certain fruits are loaded with water. So, if you don’t quite fancy drinking it, try eating it. Go for watermelons, grapefruit, apples and cantaloupes.
PERCENT of women with mental disorders in lower income countries do not receive treatment.
WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH
Flavouring your Water
among women in the world are caused by cardiovascular disease and/or stroke.
Source: World Health Organization (International Research)
urban residents still live in slum conditions worldwide.
Cute & Compact
SMART Passion Coupe
Small is here to stay! Larger cars may look cool but it is the small, compact model that is saving money and the earth.
WORDS: DANIEL FERNANDEZ
Some 25 years ago the small, compact car revolutionised the motoring landscape when fuel prices started to skyrocket at the height of the energy crisis. Car manufacturers who predicted its success were mostly Japanese brands like Honda and Toyota. Other brands like Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi were quick to adapt while American car brands were somewhat slow to cash in on this new segment. Of course, there were already compact cars in the global market at this point such as the original Mini Cooper, the Sunbeam Alpine and MG Midget from England. The Germans had the VW Golf and the Italians contributed their FIAT 500 to the cause. However, these cars were not popular in the United States where big engines and big power delivery was the mainstay. Americans preferred their rides big. Still, it was the Japanese car manufacturers who made fuel efﬁcient 4-door compact cars that also returned good reliability and offered large car features like air-conditioning, central locking and power steering. Their popularity grew
Fiat 500 in year 1969
Current model Fiat 500
just like their dimensions and engine capacity as the years went by. The ﬁrst generation Honda Civic in 1974 was about half the size of the eighth generation, current model Honda Civic. The cute 1968 Mini Cooper was half the size and weight of the latest Mini Cooper, which has become somewhat of an iconic automobile. The reason for the growth in size is due to consumer demands and market conditions. In the past 20 odd years, car buyers wanted more metal for their money and so, these compact cars have grown in size and features to accommodate market demands. Of course, this has also prompted car manufacturers to re-enter the small and compact car segment with new models. Honda now has the Brio as a compact car. Toyota has the Yaris and Nissan, the March. The Europeans are not far behind. FIAT has revived the popularity of the little 500 with huge success and for the ﬁrst time, the FIAT 500 is now on sale in the United States as Americans become more and more energy conscious. Ford’s
Volkswagen Golf GTI in year 1974
Current model Volkswagen Golf GTI
Fiesta has enjoyed worldwide success, while Mercedes’ SMART car project has seen success in most of Europe. Meanwhile in Asia, the Japanese and Koreans continue ruling this segment. Hyundai’s i10 and Suzuki’s Alto have done well and small car specialist Daihatsu has a few models to satisfy most needs. These small wonders now offer great fuel economy and big car features like power windows and power steering. Some even are equipped with new-age features such as Bluetooth connectivity and iPod-ready stereos. Navigational systems and advanced safety features too have been included in high quality compact cars like the VW Polo, Audi A1 and Alfa Mito. However, as pricing has also moved upwards, only the afﬂuent can enjoy these cars. The motoring world is starting to realise the beneﬁts of owning and driving high quality, compact cars over large, bulky sedans when most of the time there are only one or two persons in the car. Driving around alone in a large car has started to look a little like a waste of money and resources, as more fuel is consumed and more maintenance cost is incurred. As cities get more crowded and parking space becomes scarcer by the day, the best solution is to zip around in a cute little car that gets you to your destination in a jiffy, without burning a hole in your pocket or the ozone for that matter. Mini Cooper S
guts & glory
From getting a website to organise a teeoff to quirky sports customs, the world of sports is getting wilder by the minute.
EASY TO THE TEE In the past, a round of golf with friends involved racking up the phone bill and suffering the occasional no-shows. But there’s no excuse these days with the Teeboxer. www. teeboxer.com is linked to various social networks like Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn and Twitter and assists in tapping into games that are being planned. It’s free for participation in already planned games within the social networks it’s linked to, and for US$49, Teeboxer will create three free plans a year. It also offers special accounts and other discounts.
The service is available for golf courses worldwide. You just need to ‘share location’ and it will pick up on games planned within the social networks for you. If you want to plan your own, just register and invite your friends to connect with the site through the existing social networks. The system will gather everyone’s availability and preferences and choose the times and tee assignments best for each person. Once the schedule is set, Teeboxer compiles the information including when they’re teeing off, with whom, and provide a weather report and golf course directions too. www.teeboxer.com
Sports Celebs Steep Divorces NBA star Michael Jordan VS Juanita Jordan Estimated to exceed US$150 million (Forbes called it the most expensive celebrity divorce in history, as of April 2007)
WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH IMAGES: WWW.SXC.HU
Sports Customs BASEBALL Spitting into your hand before picking up the bat is said to bring good luck. ICE HOCKEY It is bad luck for hockey sticks to lie crossed. TENNIS Walk around the outside of the court when switching sides for good luck. AMERICAN FOOTBALL A mascot is an important good luck symbol. BASKETBALL Wipe the soles of your sneakers for good luck. BOWLING To continue a winning streak, wear the same clothes. FISHING Throw back your ﬁrst catch for good luck. GOLF Carry coins in your pockets for good luck. RODEO Always shave before a competition (for men only!). Source: http://www.factmonster.com
Golﬁng great Greg Norman VS Laura Andrassy Estimated US$103 million settlement.
Declining golﬁng great Tiger Woods VS Elin Nordegren Estimated US$100 million settlement.
It’s A Gamer’s World Technology keeps churning out amazing gaming platforms. The quality of the graphics and the realism have improved tremendously. Here are two of the latest in gaming to keep your ﬁngers tapping:
Play with reality through real tweets on Twitter i.e. you type in “I’ve just seen a meteor”, and someone on Twittersphere will suffer the consequences of a meteor landing in the gaming environment. It’s programmed to respond to tweets mentioning various objects and events. Confused? Visit http://tweetlandgame.com
Here’s a site that lets fans share tips and information and participate for free in fantasy sports contests with real cash prizes through points collected. Check out http://mojingo.com
Shot Thru The
Travellers revel in those special moments up on mountains, in a bustling city or, at a tranquil lake. Immortalise those moments with the latest collection of cameras from AirAsia Megastore.com. Slim’s the Word The world’s slimmest with a 10x optical zoom feature, the Canon IXUS 1000 HS also 10MP high-sensitivity sensor that snaps great images in low light conditions; RM1,299.
Light Years Ahead Billed as the ‘World’s Smallest & Lightest System Camera’, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3 camera produces 12.1 megapixel images and is equipped with Advanced Auto Focus System for speed and accuracy. The camera comes with a 14mm wide angle lens; RM1,799.
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PICTURE PERFECT Having found the perfect camera, you may want to tinker around with the pictures to produce even more creative images. Most of these software help you in a multitude of ways including editing, cloning, retouching, adjustting highlight and shadow, correcting lens distortion and designing borders. Here are some of the software currently available to make nice pictures even greater.
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Lustre of the Pearl
The Pearl of the Orient is set to bask in its former glory with the island having been accorded UNESCO World Heritage Site recently. Penang is a unique historical and cultural melting pot and the choice of accommodation here ranges from swanky city hotels, lush seaside resorts to quaint heritage inns.
The laidback island vibe of Penang has always been a great pull factor in attracting visitors to the island time and time again. In the same vein, Golden Sands Resort along Batu Feringgi keeps guests returning for its lush garden setting, the prime beach frontage, a cheerful ambiance, attention to details and most importantly, genuine hospitality of the staff who seem dead set on spoiling you rotten the moment you set foot in this calm oasis. I hadn’t been to Penang in over 12 years but arriving at the hotel after that awfully long time, I felt at home almost immediately. In fact, I was pretty sure some of the staff who learnt of my return after the hiatus, were a tad miffed.It was like facing a sweet aunt who was annoyed over your absence but was raring to treat you to the best hospitality ever.
Huge rain trees greeted me as I stepped into the bright lobby that used natural light to maximum effect. The garden was even lusher after the massive redevelopment programme that was completed in 2009. The ﬂowers were in full bloom and the gleeful shrieks of children frolicking in the wading pool ﬁlled the air. So popular is Golden Sands as a family- and children-friendly destination, it was awarded Asia’s Top 10 Family Resort by a leading Aussie publication. The resort even has a unique entertainment venue called Adventure Zone for kids and adults that is ﬁlled with fun slides, swings, ropes, arcade games and a toddler play area. You can check in your little tyke (above 4 years old) and run off for some sun worship amongst the adults or you could join in the fun and be a child all over. Really... I was tempted to be the playground bully, chase the kids away and claim the slide all for myself when I popped in to ﬁnd out what the squealing was all about. The resort’s garden with its swaying palm and ancient rainforest trees, two lagoon-shaped pools, a par-3 executive
golf course and water sports centre are all perfect for a beachside resort vacation but sitting in the balcony overlooking the sea with a cold one in hand is another way to enjoy the warm sea breeze. For a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience, a trip to Chi, the Spa at ShangriLa at neighbouring Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is a must where some amazingly therapeutic treatments await (try the Rasa Asmaradana treatment!). This calm sanctuary that offers treatments inspired by Asian healing properties is an attraction in itself! The resort offers 387 guestrooms with either sea view or hill view with the rooms done up in a cheerful style that beckons you to check your stress and mundane worries at the lobby. They’ve even created a ‘Cool Zone’ here – a dedicated check-in area for guests who arrive too early or are checking out late, which serves refreshments and offers a multitude of amenities such as a gym, locker and shower facilities, a lounge, mini library etc. Dining at the perennial favourite Sigi Bar & Grill on the Beach is a must when at Golden Sands. With its nautical themed decor, this diner features a patio, an air-conditioned hall and an upper deck dining area, and offers a nice selection of Western, local and BBQ dishes. And though their legendary 1.2-kilogramme Tomahawk steak (a vegetarian’s nightmare) is no longer available on the menu, the outlet offers other great, value-for-money meals. I opted for the unassuming Fish & Chips. I dare say, aided by the warm evening breeze, the crisp chunks of ﬁsh and ﬂoury potatoes pieces was one of the best chippies I’ve ever had! It was hard leaving this resort. The staff gave me the hurt look as I checked out and made me promise to return soon and not wait another 12 years. But even if it did take me that long to return, I departed knowing very well that the sparkling hospitality at this resort will be a tough act to follow.
The Northam All Suites Hotel Penang A perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city while being extremely close to the centre of the action in Georgetown, The Northam All Suites Hotel offers a unique blend of business and resort settings. Surrounded by the convenience of urban living, the hotel provides a calming waterfront environment that’s ﬁt for both business and leisure travellers, enabling guests to complete work quickly before seamlessly entering into a world of relaxation. A Batu Feringgi Beach T +604 886 1911 Visit www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel.
A 55, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town, T +604 370 1111 Visit www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel.
october travel3sixty 43
Historical Magnificence The Penaga Hotel in Georgetown is a gem of a ﬁnd that transports you to the heyday of the island as a trading port along the Straits of Malacca. Located off the bustling Jalan Penang and a short walking distance to many of Georgetown’s historical and commercial areas, this heritage hotel is a wonderful study on heritage building restoration and how the past can still be relevant to the present and the future. The owners of the property, renowned architect Hijjas Kasturi and his environmentalist wife Angela, purchased 15 derelict pre-war shoplots and terrace units in 2008. Thereon, a massive restoration and re-building process began in restoring the buildings’ former glory and, in transforming them into a stylish heritage boutique hotel. Above that, the hotel would also act as a repository for the appreciation of the architectural and artistic sensibilities of the island’s forebears. The amount of restoration and renovation that have gone into Hotel Penaga are impressive and had me wondering if I
had stepped onto a movie set. In re-building the lots, the heritage pedigree of the building had to be respected at all times, while introducing modern amenities such as air-conditioners, modern plumbing and such. The owners have painstakingly sourced for alternative building material wherever possible to retain the charm of the building. Old corrugate asbestos roof were replaced with second hand ‘Indian’ tiles. Damaged Straits Chinese decorative tiles were replaced with similar tiles from China and the granite slabs in the garden are ballasts from old Chinese trading vessels. The rooms, suites and residences are decorated in a pleasing mix of old world Chinoiserie that is carefully accented with modern art pieces sourced from artists from around the region; artists regularly take up residence at the hotel to create artworks. This was a pleasant surprise as the clever and organic blend of modernity with the past allowed the rooms to exude a warm and inviting feel. Most of my brushes with heritage hotels were akin to staying in museums, where the heavy and ancient décor, dark and brooding ﬁnishes and equally weary workforce always spooked me out, forcing me to frequently look over my shoulder for apparitions of dead pioneers. Hotel Penaga, which gets its name from Tanjong Penaga or the Cape of Penaga Trees (the original Malay name for the ﬁrst settlement on Penang), houses 45 rooms, a restaurant, a bar and surprisingly a lush garden with indigenous plants, shrubs and ﬂowering plants. The clever use of this space has transformed what was essentially the back lane of the three rows of shoplots into an inviting green oasis. As a guest her, I was wowed by the history that was told through the architecture, the antique furniture, the historical
Paradise Sandy Beach Resort, Penang Located in Tanjung Bungah, Paradise Sandy Beach Resort offers 310 spacious standard and deluxe suites with balconies that provide sweeping vistas of the sea along the famous Tanjung Bungah seaside stretch. From cosy studio suites to one or two bedroom suites, all rooms are tastefully decorated and fully equipped with modern amenities. The resort is also well-equipped to host events that can accommodate up to 800 guests at its Grand Laguna Ballroom.
prints and wall hangings and of course, the priceless collection of artwork. From decorative tiles, railway sleepers to a mix of colonial and Oriental architectural styles, you just can’t help falling in love with the charming past in this hotel. But it gets better! The hotel also champions environmentally sound practices and work ethics, which has earned it a Green Building status. Recycled parts were used wherever possible, new material and ﬁnishing were mostly handmade, water for the garden and some for the toilet ﬂushing comes from roof runoff, the hot water is produced using solar power and environmental heating methods, and the lap pool uses salt water instead. You really don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate the work that has gone into turning a row of shoplots on the brink of its last breath into a stunning hotel that is a proud symbol of the past. Together with the warmth of the service that echoes the hospitality of a bygone era, the Penaga Hotel is a true gem of a ﬁnd in Penang that well deserves a visit. A Corner of Jalan Hutton & Lebuh Clarke T +604 261 1891 Visit www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel.
A 527, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, T +604 899 9999 Visit www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel.
october travel3sixty 45
G Marks the Spot With a stylish modern décor that has consistently won the hotel many awards, the g Hotel in Gurney Drive is a rarity in Penang that is better known for seaside resorts and quaint guesthouses. Located along Penang’s iconic sea facing promenade – Gurney Drive – and a hop away from the island’s hawker food paradise, G Hotel offers 304 guestrooms, all done up in a hyper mod design concept that is an unusual welcome. Opened in 2007, the hotel has already chalked up a number of awards including ﬁve wins at the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards (HAPA) in 2008. The hotel was also recognised by FIABCI as the best 2008 Hotel Development at the Malaysia Property Awards. Another recent feather in the cap was the win at the World Luxury Hotels Awards 2010 that earned G Hotel the award of Best Luxury City Hotel in Malaysia. The contemporary and innovative approach in hotel design is the main attraction here. The G Lounge in the main lobby is a vast space that is airy, hip and reverberating with chill-out tunes that’s just perfect to unwind with a glass in hand. G Spot is a trendy bar and lounge that serves great drinks
amidst a vibrant ambiance. The hotel’s Pan Asian & Chinese restaurant, Sesame + Soy, features bamboo dividers and clam shell chairs that add a visual appeal to the space, balancing tradition and contemporary chic. Do keep a lookout for the eye-catching furniture in the lobby area such as the Spoon Chair, the Capellini Felt Chair and the Shell Chair -- all designed by iconic designers from around the world. The aesthetics of the rooms come mostly from the clean, uncluttered space that is a prominent feature at G Hotel. This modern approach adds airiness to the already large rooms and features just a touch of colour for accents. Modern amenities in the room include iPod docks, free Wi-Fi and a complimentary mini bar. A stylish pool with Dedon pool furniture, a fully equipped gym and ample dining and chill-out options complete the experience at G Hotel. And if you still need a little something extra, Gurney Plaza is mere steps from the hotel for added dining and shopping options. A 168A Persiaran Gurney T +604 238 0000 Visit www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel.
AirAsia ﬂies to Penang from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Langkawi, Medan, Singapore & Surabaya. Visit www.airasia.com for the full ﬂight schedule.
To Market, o Market!
Whether ﬂea, fresh produce or fashion hotspot (or a combo of all three), markets are the soul of the city. The ultimate experience, however, is when you purchase at least one item of desire through your innate or, newly developed bargaining skills. So, hang on to your wallets and get ready to put those bargaining skills to test at some of the best markets in the world. Once a wholesalers and traders market, the Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached tourist must-see status, drawing in as many as 200,000 visitors every weekend. Its sheer size and the variety of merchandise offered wows even the most experienced shoppers – 35 acres of land with more than 8,000 stalls! Everything here is cheap and bargain-friendly; from light ﬁxtures, fashion accessories, to pots and plates, shoes and sweats... the whole lot! There are some simple restaurants and cafés on the east of the market where you can take a break with a paad thai noodle dish and a refreshing coconut water. [opens Sat and Sun BANGKOK 9.00am - 6.00pm] http://chatuchak.org
Located in the north of the city, Queen Victoria Market was ofﬁcially AUSTRALIA opened in 1878. There are more than 1,000 stalls here most of which are outdoors, quaintly set up with tin roofs and iron gables. Delicatessens renowned for Greek, Italian and Polish foods are a feast for the eyes and palate, and most stall owners offer taste-test morsels. There is a wine market on Sundays featuring an extensive array of Australia’s best. It can be a bit daunting to ﬁgure out where everything is, so make your way to the Market Ofﬁce in Elizabeth Street for a brochure or join in one of the daily tours that covers the market’s history. Check out www.qvm.com.au for opening times.
AirAsia ﬂies to Bangkok from various destination. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH
AirAsia ﬂies six times a week to Melbourne from Kuala Lumpur.
Tokyo is not cheap and bargaining may not be allowed but you can’t miss out on TOKYO visiting LaLaport Tokyo Bay on the eastern JAPAN outskirts of the city. This is an invigorating experience in fashion, electronics, food, health, and pretty much anything you’d want in a shopping mall. It boasts one of the biggest Zara fashion stores in the world (1,000 sq. metres), among other international high-end and mid-range brands. This is no market but a high-end mall; nonetheless one you have to experience to see where the pulse of Tokyo meets, greets and shops when they’re not working. [opens daily from 10.00am 9.00pm] http://tokyobay.lalaport.net AirAsia ﬂies three times to Tokyo from Kuala Lumpur.
One of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, no trip to ISTANBUL Istanbul will be complete without a visit to the Grand Bazaar. With over TURKEY 5,000 shops in a warren-like complex, the bazaar ﬁrst started off as an important trading port around 1461. Subsequent rulers of Istanbul renovated and kept adding to the structure. The bazaar houses two mosques, four fountains, two hamams (Turkish bath) and several cafés and restaurants. This bazaar is famous for antiques, furniture, copperware, prayer beads, inlaid weapons, mother-of-pearl mirrors, watches and clocks, candlesticks, and silver and gold jewellery. The many cafés here offer the perfect spot to recharge with a cup of strong spiced coffee while watching the world go by. The criss-crossing lanes in the bazaar can be a tad confusing and it’s easy to get lost so, do pay attention to which gate you entered from. [opens Mon to Sat 9.00am - 7.00pm] http://grandbazaaristanbul.org
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
Colaba Causeway Market in South Mumbai is a daily carnival. Built in 1838, it has become MUMBAI a landmark offering a shopping experience INDIA like no other in Mumbai. You’ll need to steel yourself and walk on as persistent balloon and map sellers bug you, but it’ll be well worth your time as “sab kuch millega” (you’ll get everything) here – handicrafts, bed linens, jewellery, crystals, books, brass items, incense, trinkets, watches, clothes and various unique, quirky things. Take a break at Mumbai’s famous hangouts, Leopold Cafe & Bar (since 1871) – their sandwiches, pastas and breads are great; or the Cafe Mondegar with yummy Indian versions of western foods and local offerings. [opens daily, with no real closing hours] www.famous-india.com
AirAsia ﬂies six times to London from Kuala Lumpur.
AirAsia ﬂies four times to Mumbai from Kuala Lumpur.
Camden High Street is a busy thoroughfare of shops, pubs, restaurants and a market selling everything from kinky outﬁts to hats and trinkets. While the street itself is no more than a mile long, it’s a pleasant assault on the sight and senses with some of the most interesting sales-pitches you’ll ever come across. Camden High Street is also home to London’s alternative fashion, which includes Goth, 50s’ Rockabilly, Hippy, Punk and even futuristic suits called Cyber fashion. You’ll also be able to observe groups of these fashion followers there. [opens daily from 10.00am - 6.00pm] www.londontown.com
Marché aux Puces de Paris-Saint-Ouen de Clignacourt, or famously known as Les Puces (which means ‘The Fleas’, although literally it means ‘chips’) is located on the outskirts of Paris, near the Porte de Clignancourt métro stop. This is one of the world’s largest ﬂea markets with almost 3,000 stalls featuring mostly antiques, clothes, accessories, home goods, foods and much, much more. Les Puces offers seven hectares worth of treasures for you to hunt and bargain. Get there early and park yourself at the Café Crème for breakfast and watch the world of antiques come to life just outside the cafe. [opens Saturdays & Sundays 9.00am - 6.00pm, and Mondays from 9.00am PARIS 5.00pm] www.marchesauxpuces.fr
AirAsia ﬂies four times to Paris from Kuala Lumpur.
SINGAPORE Serangoon Road or Little India offers the best of all things Indian in this island city. Walking through the streets here is akin to being in one of Chennai’s (South India) markets – colourful, bustling and fevered with Indian music. There are two famous spots that are a must-stop for any visitor – Teka where you can buy lots of Indian merchandise and delicious food at the foodcourt, and the Komala Villa’s Vegetarian restaurant. Nearby Mustafa Centre is a departmental store that sells just about everything from perfumes, clothes, cosmetics, watches and its open 24 hours daily! Some of the best restaurants are a mere walking distance from Serangoon Road like Muthu’s Curry House with its ﬁsh head and crab curries. www.yoursingapore.com
Where else but Stanley Market around Stanley New Street when in Hong Kong! Silks, sportswear, art, Chinese jewellery (real and fake), souvenirs, beddings... the list goes on at this Oriental fair that is famous with bargain hunters. It is a tourist spot too, so most traders here are adept at customer relations, with the odd rudeness amidst the hectic shopping environment. If that happens, just walk away as you’ll certainly be able to ﬁnd another shop that offers the exact same thing. And when in Stanley, having a meal at Murray House is a must. Located beside Blake Pier, it’s dining in the breezy winds of the waterfront that helps rest those aching shopping feet. [opens daily from 10.30am - 6.00pm] www.hk-stanleymarket.com
One of the best spots to shop in Jakarta is the Ambassador Mall JAKARTA on Jalan Prof. Satrio. Perpetually INDONESIA rife with activity, this mall offers mobile phones, computers, clothes, cosmetics, jewellery, shoes, batiks, home furniture, beauty salons, art shops and foodstuff. Bargaining is acceptable here but not all vendors are friendly enough for a good bargain – trust your instincts. [opens daily 10.00am - 9.00pm] AirAsia ﬂies to Jakarta from various destination. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
IMAGE: HONG KONG TOURISM
AirAsia ﬂies to Singapore from various destination. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
AirAsia ﬂies to Hong Kong from various destination. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES
Aquatic Shangri-La Located in the Shan Plateau, around 660 kilometres from Yangon, the Inle Lake is renowned for its ‘sons of the lake’ – the Intha ﬁshermen who row ﬁshing boats with their legs. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: EDGAR ALAN ZETA-YAP
Mrs. Soe, the motherly owner of Queen Inn, sent us off on a day tour – as with most Burmese we encountered in our journey – with the warmest congeniality matched with a warm smile at the wooden dock along the river canal that led away from the township of Nyaung Shwe. My friends and I were on a week-long backpacking trip, racing around Myanmar’s socalled ‘Big Four: The tourist hotspots of Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and, our last leg, the watery world of Inle Lake, located 880 metres above sea level at one of the few areas in the insurgent Shan State open to tourists.
One-Leg Paddlers Early morning, past the busy villages with men loading goods and produce onto canoes, the motorised longboat slid through a ﬁeld of water hyacinths. This waterway soon yielded to a large inland body of water – stretching 22kms long and 10kms at its widest – a lake vast enough that one could easily mistake it for the ocean. At that moment, the black-and-white photograph on the cover of my copy of George Orwell’s Burmese Days sprung to life. Not far away, I could make out silhouettes of the lake’s famous Intha ﬁshermen who row with their paddles using one leg, while keeping the other planted at one end of their slender wooden canoes. A unique rowing style practised only by Intha men, this gravity-defying yet graceful stance keeps both their hands free to cast their ﬁshing nets over the water while they deftly manoeuvre the boat and hit the water’s surface to scare ﬁsh into their traps. Also known as ‘sons of the lake’, the Intha people are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group who have adapted skillfully to living in the lake region. Numbering around 70,000, they are the ethnic majority, and live in simple stilted houses made from hardwood and bamboo. More fascinatingly, they are masters of hydroponic farming,
tending to scenic ﬂoating gardens of tomatoes, gourds and other vegetables grown on large patches of compost and water hyacinth anchored to the lakebed by bamboo poles.
Feline Fun While there are over a hundred Buddhist monasteries and shrines in and around the lake, a particular one, our ﬁrst stop on the tour, draws the most visitors with charming stunts. Challenging the leg-rowers of Inle Lake are the furry tenants of Nga Phe Kyaung, a stilted, teak Buddhist structure more popularly known as the Jumping Cat Monastery. The resident monks and caretakers have taught their feline pets with gentle coaxing and some ‘cat whispering’ to jump through looped arms and wire hoops. Donations of any amount from amused tourists help in the upkeep of the monastery and their little performers.
people have sought refuge in more peaceful areas in Myanmar to as far as northern Thailand due to decades of ethno-political conﬂict.
She Dragons Looking forward to a change of scenery, I asked boatman, “Where are we going next? To Indein?” He replied with nothing more than a nod paired with a betel-stained smile, apparently having little command of English. Our boat swiftly detoured into a stream that shrank into a creek leading to the village of Indein, where we encountered yet another ethnic group, the Pa-O tribe, loading a motorboat with their harvest of vegetables. According to the Pa-O creation story, their people were born from a dragon mother, and Pa-O women are distinguished by their red-and-orange turbans fashioned like a dragon’s head.
“WHETHER BY BOAT OR BICYCLE, INLE LAKE IS THE IDEAL SETTING TO IMMERSE ONESELF IN THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY, RICH TRADITIONS AND NATURAL BEAUTY OF MYANMAR...”
Up to their Necks
From Nga Phe Kyaung, we traversed further down the elongated lake to Ywama, a ﬂoating village with workshops selling hand-woven textiles, silver jewellery, woodwork and other indigenous handicrafts. Local women peddled their goods in small canoes alongside our motorboat. In one workshop, we came across three young weavers from another ethnic group, the Kayan Lahwi. The female members of this tribal group wear stacks of body-altering brass neck coils primarily as an expression of aesthetic preference and cultural identity. Although originally from the neighboring Kayah State, many tribes
Historical ediﬁces are the main draw of Indein. An ancient 700-metre long pillared walkway lined with souvenir stalls guided my group as we made our way to the Shwe Inn Dein pagoda complex. Crowding around the main pagoda were hundreds of centuriesold brick stupas in various states of disrepair and restoration, some of them shining bright with fresh coats of white and gold paint, while others crumbling down the verdurous hillside like a dilapidated giant chess set. What the Indein ruins lack in vastness compared to the worldfamous temples of Bagan, it makes up uniquely with its historic charm.
Above: Villagers traverse a wooden footbridge at Maing Thauk village. Below: Cruising through the ďŹ‚oating villages of Ywama.
Above: The former Royal Shan Palace at Nyaung Shwe. Below: The centuries-old stupas of the Shwe Inn Thein Pagoda Complex.
Above: A Pa-O woman chewing betel leaves while carrying ﬁrewood on her turban. Right: A brass-necked Kayan Lahwi weaver at Ywama ﬂoating market.
Village Life Hiring a motorboat for a day is the only way to reach most of the lake attractions, but an independent, nontouristy option to explore the lake and its surrounding villages is on two wheels. On our second day, some of us decided to rent bicycles from our guesthouse for a morning spin around the lakeside communities of Kaung Daing and Maing Thauk. On the western lakeshore south of Nyaung Shwe, we pedaled to the village of Kaung Daing. Wandering around on foot, it was fascinating to watch villagers prepare and cook various delicacies like rice cakes, peanuts and salted beans, which the hospitable residents invited us to sample. To cross the lake, we hired a motorboat to carry our bikes to the village of Maing Thauk on the opposite bank. There, we docked at a long wooden footbridge that reminded us of U Bein, the longest teak bridge
in the world located in Amarapura in Mandalay. Biking back to Nyaung Shwe, we stopped by to admire the beautiful pagoda architecture of the former Royal Shan Palace, which has been converted into a nondescript Buddha Museum by the military. Whether by boat or bicycle, Inle Lake is the ideal setting to immerse oneself in the cultural diversity, rich traditions and natural beauty of Myanmar as it brings together tribal folks, unique village life and rustic religious sites set in the majestic topography of a ‘sea’ wedged between the cool climate midlands of Myanmar’s mysterious north. At the end of our boat tour, we moored at the centre of the lake and watched the sun retreat behind the forbidden Shan hills. At that magical moment when the sun disappeared, the lake was bathed in omnipresent light coalescing with heaven and earth, just as man, myth and nature have for centuries in this awe-inspiring aquatic Shangri-la.
GETTING THERE AirAsia ﬂies to Yangon daily from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
• The nearest airport to Inle Lake is in Heho, some 35kms from the Nyaung Shwe town. • Hire a car or guided tour and do the circuit of Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Bagan and back to Yangon. Check with a reputable tour agent in Yangon for details. • Best time to visit is between November and February, during the cooler months. • WHERE TO STAY: Inle Lake is in a rural part of Myanmar and mostly offers small inns and guest houses. • CURRENCY: The Myanmar currency is called Kyat (MMK – pronounced ‘chat’) and is sub-divided into 100 pyas. 1USD gets around MMK6.4 (rates ﬂuctuate). It is advised that you change money at hotels, travel agents and shops for the best rates. • Myanmar has no ATMs.
october travel3sixty 59
Citizens of Osaka have a word to describe their attitude to eating: Kuidaore! which means ‘eat until you drop’. With a mix of proud food traditions, food theme parks, plastic food replicas and instant ramen noodles, visiting Osaka will certainly pile on the pounds. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: CEDRIC ARNOLD/TCS
Osakans are unashamed gourmands. The local maxim Kiudaore! (Eat until you drop!) says it all. And the best way to see how this is done is to arrive here on a Friday. Once the ofﬁces close, Osaka’s streets, restaurants and bars ﬁll up quick, and some customers literally do drop at the end of the evening, although in those cases one suspects the culprit might be copious amounts of sake or umeshu rather than bowls of udon.
Food Everywhere It was still morning and there was plenty of time to discover the city before my ﬁrst evening of indulgence. I decided not to take the underground and instead walked the equivalent of three or four stops through one of
Asia’s longest shopping arcades to Kuromon Market. The walk took longer than planned due to the frequent stops I made at food stands in Dotonbori, Osaka’s version of Times Square. This is the best place to sample local snacks eaten on the run such as takoyaki, which translates as ‘octopus balls’ but probably better described as dumplings made from batter, diced octopus and all kinds of other goodies. Be warned though: Osakans love their mayonnaise and they certainly don’t hold back on the stuff at most takoyaki stands. Luckily, I saw how much went on the previous customer’s order and opted for a brown Worcestershire sauce-like topping instead. This, I later found out, is the sauce for another Osaka speciality: Okonomiyaki, a pancake that some call Japizza.
Chef Masatsugu Kusaba serving up kobe beef teppanyaki in his restaurant in Osaka.
Clockwise from left: Smoked sisamo ﬁsh; Osaka style ‘boxed’ sushi at Yoshino Sushi restaurant; cold soba noodles and tempura entrée at Mimiu Honten restaurant; fresh clams at Osaka Kuromon wholesale market; Mimiu Honten’s famed undon suki platter; fresh octopus.
Something Fishy Kuromon market is over 170 years old and is a testament to the abundant supply of quality produce in Osaka. A walk through the market took me past a plethora of vegetables, fruit, spices, pickles, seaweed, fresh ﬁsh and other seafood, including an Osakan favourite, the deadly fugu (blowﬁsh). I stared in admiration at a huge piece of tuna at a ﬁshmonger and clumsily uttered one of the few Japanese words I knew: Oki (big). The kimono-clad trader laughed and gestured to ask if I wanted to taste some.“Oishi, arigato gozaimasu,” I replied. That left me with about three words in my repertoire, but in that one bite I knew eating sashimi back home would never be the same again.
Oodles of Noodles Next, I went in search of a bowl of udon. A favourite variety of this wheat ﬂour noodle soup in Osaka is kitsune udon, or ‘fox udon’. It comes with aburaage (sweetened deep-fried tofu pockets) and the best place to sample the real thing is at Matsubaya Udon, where the dish was invented. With its 100-year history, the restaurant is one of the most respected in Osaka. Third generation owner, Usami Masahiro prides himself on using only the best quality ingredients to make sure he keeps to the original recipe, invented by his grandfather.
Japanese Pizza By early afternoon I seemed to have turned into a bottomless pit. Walking through the neon wonderland of Dotonbori was entertainment in itself. There were people everywhere and big queues at certain popular places, like the Alaska crab restaurant with
the giant moving crab attached to its wall. I decided to try okonomiyaki. Fearful of making a mess, I avoided the grill-it-yourself establishment but instead, opted for a street stall and ordered away – not entirely sure what I was getting. I watched the young man fry things, and sprinkle squid, spring onions and a few other mysterious objects on my Japizza. Dried bonito ﬁsh ﬂakes were heaped onto the okonomiyaki and did lend a delicious ﬁnish to it.
License to Grill Without wanting to patronise any ritzy restaurants, my plan was to go with the ﬂow and follow the locals into small hole-in-the-wall restaurants and sake bars. This is how I stumbled upon Genpachi Mittera-ten. This tiny restaurant has just 12 seats and a great atmosphere. Chefs and owners Hirata Hiroshi aka Sanzo, and Fukumoto Shinichi stock 200 kinds of shochu and some very good sake.
Above: A typical Osakan restaurant frontage.
On the food front, their fare is yakitori (grilled skewered meats). Their spicy fried chicken and grilled octopus were perfect partners with a few cups of hot sake. Sanzo explained that the unique taste of their meat comes from yuki-jio or ‘snow salt’. After several sticks and sakes, it was time to call it a night before I did a kuidaore and dropped like a ﬂy.
Tuna Tales I slept for a ludicrously short time in order to get to Osaka’s central wholesale market on time. Arriving at 4.00am, there was barely enough time to look around before things got under way. The blowﬁsh auction had just ended and the tuna auction was about to start. All the bidders carried small knives and cut little pieces off the tuna
to taste before and during the auction. From the most experienced chefs to sushi enthusiasts, everyone depends on their discerning palates to spot the tastiest ﬁsh. The tunas were lined up in different sections of the room, separated in batches of frozen and fresh ﬁsh. A bell was rung and they were off, with the auctioneer screaming at the top of his lungs. If you closed your eyes, you could be excused for thinking you had just stumbled upon a gang of angry yakuza taking revenge on an unlucky victim. In contrast to the gesticulating, screaming auctioneer, the bidders remained incredibly calm. They held up little slates with a number relating to the ﬁsh they were bidding for. If two bidders ended up with the same ﬁsh, a quick hand of Scissors-Paper-Stone soon sorted things out.
There was an auction for each batch of ﬁsh lasting ﬁve minutes each. Strong, stony-faced men then carted the tuna off to be cut. Mitsuo Ota, a third-generation market trader, is one of these men who can cut a whole fresh tuna into huge, neat ﬁllets in just minutes. The speed and precision of his work was simply dumbfounding. An incredible 2,900 tonnes of food changes hands at this market daily and by 7.00am, it was all over. By then, the fresh produce was on its way to restaurants and smaller markets, such as Kuromon Market. If sushi for breakfast sounds appealing, there is a great place to sample some of the freshest ﬁsh around in order to start your day. Endo Sushi, a
tiny restaurant just outside the market lays its hands on the freshest of ﬁsh even before they get a chance to venture out to other parts of the city.
Keeping Alive Osakan Traditions Tucked away in a back street in Osaka’s Hommashi business district is Mimiu Honten, one of the city’s oldest restaurants. Owner, 82-year-old Satsuma U Itchi greeted me with a
bow and a gigantic grin. This family business has been thriving for over 200 years and Satsuma keeps the tradition going. He started cooking at the age of 12 under his father’s guidance and it was his father who came up with the idea of udon suki, the restaurant’s speciality and a registered trademark of Mimiu. Although Satsuma still keeps a close eye on the business at the restaurant, food preparation is now taken care of by head chef Katsuo U. After a visit to their mill nearby, where fresh udon and soba noodles are made fresh daily, the time ﬁnally came to sample udon suki. A waitress soon arrived with a mouth watering platter. The udon goes into the broth ﬁrst to take on the ﬂavours of the broth. Then in go cabbage, chicken, shitake mushrooms and eel, followed by moshi (rice cake), yuba (bean curd skin), hirosu (a bean curd cake with gingko nuts and vegetables), and sato imo (a glutinous root). The platter also comes with clams and two live tiger prawns. The ingredients change depending on the season, and sometimes sake too goes into the broth.
Sushi – Osaka Style I had heard about the uniqueness of Osakan sushi and was told to taste the dish at Yoshino Sushi. Before walking through the curtains I was told that Oyama U Itchi, head chef and manager at the restaurant was a ‘very serious’ man. I imagined a razor-sharp knife-ﬂaunting 71-year-old with a bad temper. But as it turned out Oyama, the most celebrated Osaka-style sushi chef, was a real pleasure to be with and good fun too.
Left: Fresh tuna auction in Osaka’s central wholesale market. Opposite page: Lanterns in Osaka’s Hozenji area.
Left: Locals queuing at a takoyaki stand. Below, left: A market worker holding a whole frozen ﬁsh at Osaka’s Central Wholesale market.
Osaka’s hakozushi (boxed sushi) is a traditional form unique to the region. Unlike Tokyo’s nigiri (handpressed sushi), all the ingredients are either cooked or cured. Oyama is one of the last sushi chefs still keeping this art alive. He demonstrated the process for me in his kitchen. The four main ingredients were sea bream, conga eel, shrimp and egg. The rice, which came studded with mushroom and vegetables, was ﬂavoured with vinegar. Cooked rice was pressed into a small, open wooden box and pieces of marinated ﬁsh were placed on top. A ﬂat piece of wood was then used to press it down lightly. This all of course happened at lightning speed. The square slab of pressed sushi was then cut into neat rectangular pieces before being served with the eel that was glazed with soy sauce. The original owners of Yoshino Sushi came up with their idea of boxed sushi about 160 years ago and later created the mixed box now known as Osaka sushi. But according to Oyama, out of about 5,000 sushi bars in the Kansai region, only 10 still make it Osaka-style. He attributes this to changing tastes and the strong inﬂuence of the nigiri sushi. Food culture in Osaka is a mix of proud traditions kept alive by chefs like Oyama, and modern inﬂuences like instant ramen, which was invented here by the way. But it is the quality of the produce and the funloving people who serve that make this a memorable culinary adventure like no other. AirAsia will commence service four times a week to Osaka, Japan beginning 30 Nov, 2011. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule and details.
China is a land that is so diverse, it is downright impossible to capture the essence and true heartbeat of this country in one large sweep. Renowned photographer James P. Nelson / TCS attempts to capture the variety, depth, charm and beauty of this land in this pictorial that takes an intimate look at the individuals and communities that make up the over one billion population of China. This collection of images was taken during Nelsonâ€™s travels to six of the countryâ€™s provinces over a period of nine months.
People of theMiddle Kingdom
Right: A young boy paddles a vessel with the help of an oar inscribed with the words ‘Go with the wind in your back and break the waves’ in Hunan province. Below: Two women ﬁlling yak butter lamps at the Tashilhunpo monastery in Shigatse, Tibet. Opposite page, above: An elderly couple in the courtyard of their house in Yangshuo in Guangxi province, famous for its karsts hills and the Li River. Opposite page, below: An old woman in Chadong, a traditional Chinese town in Hunan, Central China. Preceding page, left: The weathered face of an elderly Imam (worship leader in a mosque) from the predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang. This remote mountainous north-western province is an arid land, and hasn’t changed much since the days of the Silk Route traders. Preceding page, right: A Mongolian boy in traditional outﬁt with his mother at a wedding. All of Mongolia was incorporated into China in 1644, at the start of the Qing Dynasty.
Left: Bian Lian or ‘Face Changing’ opera is said to have originated from the greater Sichuan area in south-western China. Above: A father and son negotiate patches of frozen ice with their camels as they ply the ancient Silk Road in Tashkurgan, Xinjiang. Opposite page, above: With long cold months, the city of Harbin in the Heilongjiang province attracts workers from neighbouring areas to work at its locomotive yards. Demand for these workers increases in winter to help keep ice off the tracks. Opposite page, below: A mother and child in the doorway of a traditional yurt in Hailar, Inner Mongolia. Due to the isolation of the average Mongolian peasant family, family bonds tend to be very close.
The Middle Kingdom In Mandarin, China is referred to as Zhõngguó. The concept of this word originates from the belief that the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BCE, the longest ruling dynasty in China) was the ‘centre of civilisation’ or the ‘centre of the earth’.
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Home to a variety of ethnic groups such as Uyghur, Han. Kazakh, Hui, Kyrgyz and Mongol, the locals ﬁnd ways to eke a living in the Xinjiang province. Here, a trader works on the inner tubes of tyres at a local bazaar.
AirAsia ﬂies to Chengdu, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Tianjin in China from various destinations. Visit AirAsia.com for full ﬂight schedule and details.
Even if you can’t differentiate a try from a scrum, the haka that the New Zealand All Blacks team perform each time they battle it out on the ﬁeld would be ﬁrmly etched in your minds. But more than just a show of machismo, the haka is a study in heritage that deﬁnes the Maori people and their traditions. WORDS: JOLEEN LUNJEW
The Origins of Haka According to Maori legend, the haka is attributed to Tanerore, the child of the sun god Ra and his summer wife Hine-raumati. As Tanerore danced for his parents during hot summer days, a trembling shimmer was seen in the air.
This shimmer is today represented by the quivering of the performer’s hands during the haka. It is said that the haka was ﬁrst used in the human world by chief Tinirau when he sent a party of women to capture an old priest called Kae, who had killed Tinirau’s pet whale. The only description the women had of Kae was that he had ugly, uneven and overlapping teeth.
Left: A Maori warrior with facial tattoo.
Heart of the Haka
IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES
Contrary to popular belief, the haka is not necessarily a war dance restricted to men. Haka simply means ‘dance’ in Maori and can be performed by both men and women although the dance is predominantly performed by men with the women folk providing vocals in the background. Alan Armstrong gives a good explanation of what the haka is in his book Maori Games and Haka . “The Haka is a composition played by many instruments. Hands, feet, legs, body, voice, tongue and eyes all play their part in blending together to convey in their fullness the challenge, welcome, exultation, deﬁance or contempt of the words.” The haka can contain facts or tell of events or reﬂect current issues and concerns. Maoris perform this ritual for various reasons such as celebrating achievements, as a form of mourning at funerals, welcoming and entertaining distinguished guests, in deﬁance, in protest or as a pre-battle challenge. A tribe’s reputation usually rises and falls with their ability to perform the haka. Before the Europeans came, the haka was used as a ceremonial process when two parties came together. A challenge was put out by the tribe of an area and the visiting party would respond with their own haka. The haka contained messages informing of the visitors’ intentions. When the host was satisﬁed that the visitors have come in peace, the two parties will move towards each other for the hongi, the traditional Maori greeting of pressing noses. War haka was performed to prepare warring parties for battle, either on the battleﬁeld prior to engaging with the enemy or just before the group left its village to go to battle. The ferocious nature of the war haka involves ﬁerce facial
When they arrived at Kae’s village, the women devised a cunning plan to identify Kae. They sang and danced, using vigorous arm and leg movements and, comical facial expressions to make the villagers laugh. By the end of the performance, everyone was laughing so hard that Kae was easily identiﬁed and captured.
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The Haka in the Modern World Haka performances by New Zealand sports teams, particularly the All Blacks rugby team, have brought international fame to the dance. Besides the All Blacks, The Kiwis (rugby league), The Falcons (Australian rules football), Tall Blacks (basketball), Wheel Blacks (wheelchair rugby) and Ice Blacks (ice hockey) also perform the haka before commencing a match to physically and mentally prepare them for the game, much like how their ancestors performed the ritual to prepare for battle. Fans all over the world look forward to a ﬁerce and passionate haka performance portraying the power, invincibility and ruthlessness of the team. This traditional art form has come to be known as a truly unique symbol of New Zealand identity and national expression. Most Kiwi schools have adopted their own designated haka. The New Zealand Army too has a haka composed speciﬁcally for them that is led and ended by female soldiers. Even for trade and tourism, New Zealand ofﬁcials have been using the haka to welcome and entertain guests to the country. It is also not uncommon to have haka groups accompanying New Zealand delegations overseas. Although the haka is world renowned as a New Zealand icon, schools and sports teams from other countries, mainly America and Australia, have adopted the haka to show courage, unity and desire to succeed. In Malaysia, The Victoria Institution has its own version of the Maori haka, which is performed during interschool matches and at the end of the annual Sports Day.
expressions and grimaces, lolling out of the tongue, bulging of the eyes, grunts, cries and the waving of war weapons. This is said to invoke Tumatauenga, the god of war. The haka unites the war party by mentally and physically preparing them for the impending battle. It also proclaims their strength and prowess to intimidate the opposition. If the haka was not performed in total unity, this was interpreted as a omen of impending disaster in the battle.
Left: The All Black rugby team performing the haka during the IRB Rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Portugal in France in 2007.
IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES IMAGE: CORBIS
“IT IS DISCIPLINED, YET EMOTIONAL. MORE THAN ANY OTHER ASPECT OF MAORI CULTURE, THIS COMPLEX DANCE IS AN EXPRESSION OF THE PASSION, VIGOUR AND IDENTITY OF THE RACE. IT IS AT ITS BEST, TRULY A MESSAGE OF THE SOUL EXPRESSED BY WORDS AND POSTURE.” ~ Alan Armstrong
The Best Known Haka No other haka is better known than Ka Mate, the ceremonial haka performed by the All Blacks before a match. According to Massey University’s Malcolm Mulholland, author of Beneath the Maori Moon: An Illustrated History of Maori Rugby, the ﬁrst time Ka Mate was performed in a rugby environment was when the New Zealand Native Team introduced it to British crowds in 1888. Ka Mate next appeared on the world stage in 1901 to receive the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in Rotorua. Mulholland says that it was from that time that Ka Mate received much recognition from the media. The haka was then performed at important occasions such as celebrating Dominion Day and welcoming the Maori Battalion home after World War II. The 1905 Original All Blacks Tour of Great Britain was the ﬁrst All Blacks team to perform Ka Mate. This has also been the predominant haka performed by the team for nearly a century. In 2005, the All Blacks introduced Kapa o Pango, a second haka speciﬁcally developed for them. The decision on who leads the haka and which haka is performed is made
by the team before the game. It also depends on how the All Blacks are feeling and who their opponents are. Ka Mate is thought to have been composed in the early 1800s by warrior chief of the Ngati Toa tribe, Te Rauparaha. Pursued by his enemies, Te Rauparaha had to seek help from another Maori chief Te Wharerangi. Te Wharerangi told him to hide in a sweet potato pit and ordered his wife to sit over the entrance. According to Maori customs, no man would ever place himself beneath the genitals of a woman. So, his enemies would unlikely go searching for him in this hiding place. Te Rauparaha was willing to forgo customs in order to survive. Furthermore, it is also believed that the woman’s genitals have a shielding effect from spells cast by enemies. “Ka mate! Ka mate!” (I die! I die!), he muttered under his breath as his enemies arrived. When Te Wharerangi told the party that he saw Te Rauparaha heading in another direction, Te Rauparaha rejoiced with “Ka ora! Ka ora!” (I live! I live!). His enemies doubted Te Wharerangi’s words and started to chant some spells to locate Te Rauparaha’s whereabouts. Te Rauparaha gloomily said “Ka mate! Ka mate!” once again. Te Rauparaha began to relax when he sensed that his
Left: Performers participating in the Kapa Haka Te Matatini Festival in Gisbone, New Zealand. Below: In Maori society, facial tattoos represent the wearer’s ancestral and tribal afﬁliations. Preceding page, above: The hongi or Maori greeting of pressing noses together. Preceding page, below: The dancers at a haka use aggresive expressions and body language to state their intentions .
KA MATE LYRICS KA MATE! KA MATE! KA ORA! KA ORA! (I DIE! I DIE! I LIVE! I LIVE!)
KA MATE! KA MATE! KA ORA! KA ORA! (I DIE! I DIE! I LIVE! I LIVE!)
TENEI TE TANGATA PUHURU HURU (THIS IS THE HAIRY MAN)
NANA NEI I TIKI MAI
(WHO FETCHED THE SUN)
WHAKAWHITI TE RA
(AND CAUSED IT TO SHINE AGAIN)
enemies’ magic was not effective because Te Wharerangi’s wife offered some protection from the spell. Te Wharerangi continued to convince the pursuers until the party ﬁnally left. “Ka ora! Ka ora! Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru nana nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!” (I live! I live! For this is the hairy man who has fetched the sun and caused it to shine again!) cheered Te Rauparaha when his enemies left. That line was in appreciation of the noticeably hairy Te Wharerangi who allowed Te Rauparaha to see the sun again. “A upa ne! ka upa ne! (One upward step! Another upward step!), he exclaimed as he climbed the steps of the dark pit. “A upane kaupane whiti te ra! Hi!” (An upward step, another... the sun shines!), summed up the feeling of joy and gratitude when he saw the light of day. After he emerged, Te Rauparaha performed this haka again in front of Te Wharerangi and his people. This famous haka has been carried throughout the years and is now performed by various groups to symbolise perseverance and aspirations of success. AirAsia ﬂies four times a week to Christchurch from Kuala Lumpur. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
(ONE UPWARD STEP! ANOTHER UPWARD STEP!)
A UPANE KAUPANE WHITI TE RA! HI!
(AN UPWARD STEP, ANOTHER … THE SUN SHINES!)
IMAGE: TOURISM NEW ZEALAND
A UPA … NE! KA UPA … NE!
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Chiang Rai province, in the far north of Thailand, is a magical and holy place, which also happens to be home to some of the countryâ€™s most amazing wat. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: STEVE THOMAS
At times the ancient Lanna lands around Chiang Rai get somewhat overshadowed by nearby Chiang Mai, the second largest city in Thailand. Relatively this can be considered a setback for Chiang Rai’s tourist industry, but it’s actually a boon for the adventurous travellers who wish to see the real deal – Northern Thailand as it was several decades ago – with all the hospitality that has made the region famous. This is a varied and intriguing cultural melting pot of a place, which is home to numerous ethnic groups, cultures and religions. It’s hard to throw a stone anywhere in Thailand without it landing on a wat (temple), and in Chiang Rai province, chances are that every temple that you come across will be diverse and steeped in myths, legends and history. The city in itself is small and manageable. On foot you could spend days just stumbling upon fantastic and varied temples, but venture a little further out and you’ll ﬁnd some of the most amazing places of worship in all of Southeast Asia. Every village, every settlement and every hill has an amazing historic and unique wat, chedi or Buddha, each with its own distinct style and story to tell. You don’t have to go out of your way to ﬁnd these gems; they’re everywhere in this region. Here are ﬁve of the most diverse and interesting wat from the Chiang Rai area.
Wat Rong Khun No matter how many temples you may have visited, Wat Rong Khun (aka the White Temple) will take your breath away. Located in rural surroundings to the south of Chiang Rai, this gleaming white oddity is unlike any other temple in Thailand. Construction started some 14 years ago, and is scheduled to ﬁnish in another 75 years! Its visionary
creator is local boy and visual artist Chalemchai Kositpipat, one of the countries leading and most controversial artists. The all white temple sits in a small and pristine lake garden, and is decorated with ornate characters and tiny pieces of mirror. Inside are some of the most surreal works of art from Chalemchai, where Buddha and Superman can be found alongside mythical spacecraft. If you only visit one temple in Thailand, make it this place. Location: 12kms south of Chiang Rai city, just off the Highway 1.
Above: The White Temple appears like a fairytale palace, and ranks as of one of the most unusual temples in Southeast Asia. Opposite page: The murals at Wat Hua Khun are vivid and haunting with gods and mythical beasts.
Wat Phra That Doi Tung Sitting on top of Doi Tung Mountain is Wat Phra Doi Tung, considered to be one of the holiest temples in northern Thailand. Constructed during the 11th century and renovated several times since, the temple and its twin chedi are traditional Lanna-style constructions. The temple in itself is humble and october travel3sixty 87
Left: Women wearing white clothes take offerings for monks at a local temple in Chiang Rai. Opposite page: Horseback monks from the Temple of the Golden Horse return from collecting morning alms.
tranquil, although the complex spreads throughout the surrounding wooded hillside, making this a place to be discovered rather than simply visited. The journey to the wat involves a 40-km mountain road ascent, which offers some fantastic views and makes the whole visit an adventure. Location: 40kms off the main Chiang Rai – Mai Sai Highway 1, about 90 minutes drive from the city.
Wat Tham Pa Are Cha Tong
Morning Alms The giving of alms as a religious offering is common in many societies and religions, but is part of daily life for many Thai Buddhists. No visit to Thailand is complete without witnessing the daily ceremony, and anyone can offer alms. • Rituals, timing and methods differ from temple to temple, but monks usually rise before dawn and leave their temples at
around 7.00am in small groups. They will walk barefoot around the local area to collect alms in small pots. • The locals come out, crouch down and offer prayers before giving the offering to the monks (usually sticky rice). • In some areas the monks then chant a blessing and continue to the next stop, returning to the temple about an hour later. These offerings provide food for the monks, who must eat before 11.00am.
A living slice of modern folklore is perhaps the best way to describe the ‘Temple of the Golden Horse’, which sits on a limestone cliff in the countryside north of Chiang Rai. There had long been a shrine perched above these cliffs, which is believed to date back to the time of Buddha. The present-day monastery and temple, however, came to being only about 20 years ago. The son of a Chiang Rai farmer had joined the army and became one of the countries most successful Muay Thai boxers. He was in training for a world championship bout when he suddenly sought enlightenment. After retreating to meditate in remote caves he followed his visions, which led him to the site of what is now the temple, situated along the once notorious drug trading routes of the Golden Triangle. Samerchai, the newly interned monk, set up the monastery and began preaching to local hill tribe villagers to
Left: Colourful and mythical naga water serpents are found on entrances and walls to many temples, but Wat Hua Khun has some of the most decorative. Left, below: A sea of hands reaching out for alms at the White Temple: One of visual artist Chalemchai Kositpipat’s art installations. Opposite page: Rows of Buddhas in saffron robes at Wat Hua Khun.
Temple Etiquette Although Thai temples welcome all visitors, there is a code of conduct and etiquette that needs to be observed when visiting these places of worship. • As with Thai homes, visitors must remove shoes when entering a temple. • Avoid wearing very short trousers, short skirts and skimpy clothes. If in doubt carry a sarong with you. • It’s disrespectful to touch any Buddha images or statues. • Do not point feet towards people or religious artefacts. • Do not touch other people’s heads. • Maintain decorum with ﬂash photography, noise and while approaching people during prayer. • Sit down end enjoy the tranquillity of these places but check ﬁrst where you may or may not sit. • A little donation for the upkeep of the temple is always welcomed.
stop the drug trade. He did this from horseback and singlehandedly took on and defeated the local drug lords. As leader of the temple Samerchai now teaches his followers Muay Thai and horsemanship. Each morning they take alms from local villages on horseback, an act unique to this temple. His ﬁght against the drug trade continues, and has surpassed most ofﬁcial efforts.
Location: The temple is high above a valley, about 10kms west from the main Highway 1 at Mae Kham, an hour north of Chiang Rai.
Wat Hua Kuan Very few people ever get to see Wat Hua Kuan, as it’s slightly away from the well beaten temple and tourist track. Perched high above the Mekong at
Hua Kuan, this huge blue and orange coloured temple has some of the most amazing naga (serpents) art of any temple in the area. It is bright and bold, and has a mixture of ancient stupas and modern structures. The artwork adorning the walls inside the wat is fascinating, and the riverside location makes for a great place to stop and ponder over the meaning of life. Location: On the northern edge of Hua Kuan, 12kms south of Chiang Saen.
Left: The huge and ancient chedi at Chiang Saen has stood for centuries, but its top tier was damaged in an earth tremor recently.
Religious retreats are not a regular offering in the Chiang Rai area, but there are small and privately run meditation establishments. Most temples welcome foreigners with open arms (males generally) for any length of time, but you must discus directly with the abbot and adhere to temple study and work schedules.
Wat Phra That Chedi Luang The small town of Chiang Saen is nestled on the banks of the Mekong River, just a few kilometres south of the Golden Triangle. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this town was once the capital of the ancient Lanna kingdom. The entire town and its surrounds are dotted with ruins and temples
dating back to the 13th century. The huge 58-metre tall chedi and temple complex around Wat Phra That Chedi Luang are without doubt the historical highlights of the town, seamlessly blending the ancient with the modern. Location: Chiang Saen is a 90-minute drive northeast of Chiang Rai. The wat and chedi can be found by the old city walls.
• Transportion is required to visit the temples listed here. All are around a 90-minute drive from the city. They can be covered within two to three days. • Public busses run regularly from Chiang Rai to Chiang Saen, or you can take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the White Temple. • You can also book a day tour with a local agent. But, by far the easiest way is by renting a motorbike / car. There are numerous travel agents in the city, and driving here is comparatively safe and easy (Cars cost from 1,000THB a day and motorbikes from 150THB a day).
AirAsia ﬂies daily to Chiang Rai from Bangkok and daily to Chiang Mai from Kuala Lumpur. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule and details.
Equipping pilots with the necessary practical skills to ﬂy an actual aircraft, ﬂight simulators play an integral part in honing their skills to ﬂy passengers safely. Capt. Lim Khoy Hing explains the importance of training with this ‘magic box’. I remember the ﬁrst time I ﬂew with a young female pilot. I learnt she had just graduated from a ﬂying academy and showed some apprehension at being assigned to handle one of the most sophisticated cockpits – the Airbus A320. She told me, “Captain, I am not sure if I can handle a plane with 180 passengers behind when I become a commander one day!” I told her not to underestimate her own capability but to think positively and learn as much as she can. Several years down the line, I met her again. She was beaming with conﬁdence, equipped with good technical knowledge and ﬂying experience. About to become a commander, she was fully prepared to ﬂy hundreds of passengers without any apprehension.
Makings of a Captain What are the makings of a potential captain? Extensive training in the ﬂight simulator is one of the steps to that goal. Through rigorous training and checks inside this ‘box’, pilots are continuously honing and improving their handling skills to cope with all kinds of emergencies that can arise in the course of their ﬂying. Advancements in technology mean that planes are continuously being improved and are becoming safer. Nevertheless, though the hardware is getting better, humans are unable to keep on par with the progress achieved by the machines. As such, trainers have been doing their utmost in inculcating the CRM (Crew Resource Management) mentality in aircrew to improve the human factor aspect, whilst they undergo all sorts of challenging exercises in the simulators.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir trying the ﬂight simulator at AirAsia Academy on a recent visit to LCCT.
The Flight Simulator Good ﬂying skills are developed by extensive use of ﬂight simulators that can ‘create’ a myriad of scenarios, some of which a pilot will never encounter in his or her career. This, however, is necessary because misfortune can strike at anytime and comes without warning. A ﬂight simulator creates artiﬁcial scenarios of an aircraft in different phases of a ﬂight or on the ground and, can be used to simulate any number of crises for the pilot to deal with. When I started ﬂying many years ago, there were no ﬂight simulators, and simulating engine failures were done on real planes. It was a highly dangerous environment and as a result, more accidents were attributed to training than actual failures. Today, such practices are prohibited but are ‘created’ in ﬂight simulators. Training in a ﬂight simulator also saves costs, time and reduces risks signiﬁcantly. For example, conducting various instrument approaches with different emergencies may require signiﬁcant time spent repositioning the plane. However, in a simulator, as soon as one exercise is completed, the instructor can immediately reposition the plane to begin the next exercise with just a touch on the screen.
A Typical Check Flight A Check Flight is a kind of assessment where an airline monitors the proﬁciency of its pilots. A typical Check Flight comprises some of these critical exercises. It usually begins with a rejected take-off. This is to hone a pilot’s skill in making split second decisions in a ‘Go or No Go’ situation. If a malfunction occurs below the decision speed (this varies with the weight of the plane), it means the pilot must abort the take-off. If a failure happens after this speed, the plane
must continue or else it may end up crashing at the end of the runway. Next, the examiner would simulate an engine failure either by a collision with a ﬂock of birds or, an engine ﬁre after the take-off. This requires the pilot to correctly handle the failure, climb away and return for a safe landing or, divert to a more suitable airport. On the return to land with the crippled plane, a further challenge would normally be introduced such as the need for an aborted landing to be carried out. This scenario can arise due to a blocked runway, instability suffered by the aircraft due to wind shear or, when the pilot cannot see the runway due to low clouds.
“THROUGH RIGOROUS TRAINING AND CHECKS INSIDE THIS ‘BOX’, PILOTS ARE CONTINUOUSLY HONING AND IMPROVING THEIR HANDLING SKILLS...” The next sequence of the exercise involves putting the plane on a collision course with another plane. The examiner can vary the difﬁculty of the avoidance exercises with either one or two planes coming head-on. Additionally, other major emergencies can include a ‘pilot incapacitation’ exercise when the captain suffers a heart attack just before landing. The ﬁrst ofﬁcer would then immediately take over to abort or continue with the landing. The ﬂight simulator is a very versatile machine that can create all types of unique scenarios. Thunderstorms, patchy fog, slippery runway, blowing snow and all kinds of failures can be created through the ‘magic panel’ at the back of the cockpit. So, at the end of a 4-hour training and check session (carried out once in every six months), the pilot would have given his best to ensure he continues to maintain his proﬁciency in ﬂying passengers safely. If such an exercise is imposed on a driver every six months, I am sure roads will be far safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.
Reenacting Past Accidents When aviation accidents happen, simulators can be used to reenact the ﬂight conditions that led to the crashes based on the information found in the black box. This helps to
identify what happened and enables pilots to learn how to overcome similar incidences in the future. For example, there were speculations that the Air France A330 accident in the Atlantic may have encountered some kind of disturbances that created a ‘jet upset’ condition. Hence, the airline industry has been looking into this phenomenon to reduce future catastrophes.
Slaying Fear For aviophobics or anxious ﬂyers, some ‘fear of ﬂying’ clinics are using simulators as part of their ‘recovery from ﬂying fear’ programme. This is called ‘systematic desensitization’. They gradually expose participants to their fear so that they can learn to evaluate their situation logically rather than emotionally. However, the success of the programme depends on the participants and their willingness to overcome their fear of ﬂying.
Training at AirAsia All pilots with AirAsia and AirAsia X have to undergo the same rigorous training and checking process in order to gain the level of proﬁciency and competence required to safely transport passengers to their destinations. All pilots practice the same kind of emergency manoeuvres many, many times. If the real thing were to happen, it would not come as a shock at all, as they have all been there and done that in the ﬂight simulators.
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 more than 25,500 total ﬂying hours and is now a Simulator Flight Instructor with AirAsia 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 www.askcaptainlim.com.
Train Ride in Kanchanaburi.
Honeymooners Phuket and Bangkok offer two vastly differing experiences for newly-weds Jade and her husband.
One of the ﬁrst things I did after my boyfriend proposed to me in October 2010 was to log on to www.airasia.com to book our honeymoon trip! Even though we live in Bali, we wanted to explore another part of the world and had our sights set on Phuket. The day I checked for ﬂights from Bali to Phuket, the new direct route had just been introduced and there was a Big Sale! We decided on one week in Phuket and another in Bangkok. My husband-to-be loves travelling and I knew that he’d love exploring these new places. Flying into Phuket was like ﬂying into paradise. Islands littered the sparkling green water and we couldn’t contain our excitement for what lay ahead! We picked up the tourist map at the airport and hired a scooter for $5/day and off we went exploring Phuket. The drive down the coast was breathtaking! We eventually came across Yanui Beach. There was a small bay where we lay in the sun, swam and slept until we witnessed our ﬁrst Phuket sunset. It was beautiful. The rest of our days were spent going on tours. The ﬁrst took us to Phuket Fantasea, a mini theme park with the main attraction being a colourful show ﬁlled with Thai culture, ﬂying trapeze artists, magic, elephants and much more. The second was the Phi tour. Our ﬁrst stop was Maya Bay, a dream setting where tourists visit daily because this is where The Beach was ﬁlmed. Next, we headed to Phi Phi Island where we went snorkelling in crystal clear water with beautiful corals and hundreds of ﬁsh. Lastly, we lazed around on the white sand of Khai Island before returning to the mainland.
The ﬁnal tour took us to Phang Nga, about 90 minutes north of Phuket where we visited the Buddha Cave and went bamboo rafting in a pitch black cave. Later, we visited James
Got an interesting travel tale to share? Then email it to us at email@example.com along with your images and personal details. Published submissions will receive a RM250 e-gift voucher from us. Travel 3Sixty° reserves the right to edit the article for length and clarity. To ﬁnd out how else AirAsia can enhance your travels, visit www.haveyouﬂownairasia.com.
Bamboo Rafting in Kanchanaburi.
Bond Island and a Muslim ﬁshing village built on the water – both worth seeing! Our next destination was Bangkok; the complete opposite to everything we had known the week before in Phuket! We were now in a bustling city of trafﬁc jams, high rises and exotic smells. I had told my husband that we could go elephant riding in Bangkok. However, I had neglected to tell him it was a two-hour drive from Bangkok! We are beach lovers so we enjoyed Bangkok a lot less than Phuket. However, we loved the shopping there, especially Chatuchak! The market is HUGE! You could spend all weekend there and still not see it all! Every stall had something different to offer. We also visited the reclining Buddha and Grand Palace. It was interesting to see how people in other parts of the world live, pray and eat. Culture is an amazing, complex thing. The rest of our week saw ‘sunbaking’, swimming and, more shopping at Khaosan Rd, the backpackers’ paradise. Here, we booked our day trip to Kanchanaburi. My husband was ﬁnally able to go elephant riding, which he enjoyed tremendously. We also checked out the World War II Museum and bridge that was built by POWs from WW II. All of that brings me back to where I’m sitting right now, on a plane on the way home to Bali, as I write this story. And I can only say one thing: We can’t wait until our next adventure!!
Stamp your Mark It isn’t that hard when you have the right tools to make your mark. Here’s a list of desirables that will help you stand shoulders above the hoi polloi.
Making a Mesh
Khoon Hooi’s Autumn/Winter 2011 collection moves to newer heights with bold blues, oranges, golds and nudes, while maintaining an edgy yet feminine style. In this collection, woven leather is used as part of the design to create the mesh look that is combined with detailed embellishment. www.khoonhooi.com
Dare to be Diﬀerent
Finland-based designer Daniel Palillo brings humour and originality to unisex clothing that is daring, fun and funky, while exhibiting a sense of style that can best be described as macabre with a comical touch. Available in Singapore at ActuallyActually. www.actually.com.sg
Inspired by unique prints from 20th century European Art Deco, the Flow Fall Holiday collection is bold and blends geometrical lines and organic forms in creating a sophisticated line. Catering for women with full ﬁgures, this collection uses lightweight fabrics to enhance the ﬂowy look. www.ﬂow.com
The Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition 2010 IWC-manufactured movement with Pellaton winding system will continue to show time accurately till 2499 bar a slight adjustment in the year 2100! This special rose gold edition is limited to 100 pieces worldwide. Available at the IWC Boutique at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
Aussie brand, Souls Massage Thongs uses therapeutic massage ‘bubbles’ to apply pressure on soles to massage feet and promote blood ﬂow. The 10th anniversary collection features a brand new range of styles, patterns and colours – all using EVA foam and natural rubber combination – both non-toxic and environment-friendly materials. www.soulsthongs.com
Started by sisters Lisa O’Keefe and Stacey Clayton, Koolaman Designs specialises in creating personalised jewellery pieces in silver and gold. The pieces are hand stamped at Koolaman station, a property in rural NSW, as well as by a team of rural mums in New South Wales and Victoria. Pieces range from pendants, bangles, earrings, cufﬂinks and chains. www.koolamandesigns.com.au
Carry On Smart
The Delsey Inbox luggage is a new generation rigid suitcase that comes with major technological innovations. Most noteworthy is the ZIP SECURI TECH, a zip closure system that effectively combats the risk of luggage intrusion. Solid and yet light, the brushed metallic exterior adds to its stylish ﬁnish. www.delsey.com
Hot Picks Look good, feel good with these must-have products that aim to take care of you from top to toe.
Revlon’s Age Defying with DNA Advantage™ SPF 20 Cream Makeup combines science and beauty to help ﬁght the signs of aging. The formula includes Vitamins B3 and E and, West Indian Cherry extract, plus effective humectants to retain water balance in skin. www.revlon.com
Natrulift Refreshing Eye Roll-On from The Body Shop softens the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes. With organic pomegranate seed oil, peel and pulp, plus Community Fair Trade organic aloe vera from Guatemala, you simply apply this product morning and night before moisturising.
The phytomalt in Sothys Homme After Shaving Balm is derived from malt extracts that work as an anti-inﬂammatory agent, while birch sap tones and re-mineralises the skin to keep it at a healthy pH level. The astringent properties help disinfect the surface of the skin. www.sothys.com
Smoothly Does It
Cooling and refreshing, the Ubermen Hydrating Mist soothes and revitalises tired skin after a stressful day by restoring the skin’s natural moisture balance with lasting hydration. www.tohtonku.com.my
The Repairing Smoothing Gloss from L’Occitane strengthens hair for long lasting control, while protecting against breakage and over drying. Made using ﬁve essential oils – angelica, lavender, geranium, ylangylang and sweet orange – hair is tamed, smooth and glossy. www.loccitane.com
The SK-II Wrinkle Specialist uses Pitera™ and Kal-AD, an active new ingredient that boosts elaﬁn – a biomarker that promotes involcurin production, which is critical for maintaining a healthy cell envelope for softer skin. Together, these ingredients work to soften the skin’s surface layers and ﬁrm up the inner layers to build resilience against wrinkles around the eyes. www. sk-ii.com
Here’s our pick of fragrances for men and women this season.
Empress from Sean John Fruity, ﬂoral top notes, mid notes of raspberries, passionﬂower, peony and cardamom, and dry downs of vanilla, sandalwood and carmel.
A*Men Pure Havane from Thierry Mugler The ﬁrst layer opens with notes of fresh tobacco leaves followed by mid notes of honeyed tobacco chord of vanilla and ends with a patchouli and bitter cacao base.
Legacy from Coach Top notes of bergamot, mandarin zest and freesia, heart notes of exotic ﬂower petals and, base notes of creamy benzoin and cedar wood.
wa w Aika y o h S untr X ﬂew irAsia sia Cross Co ks on A d n a a A a AirAsi team to the he driver spe me of o s T i s . h y l s ros ent and 011 rec cing ac Rally 2 llenges of ra in Asia. s a the ch ghest terrain u o t the
W O SH KAWA AI
How did you get involved in this rally? Tell us a little bit about the Asia Cross Rally or AXCR. The Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR), is an FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) certiﬁed event, in compliance with the Standard Regulations for Cross Country Rallies. It began in 1996 and is now in its 15th year. The race is designed to cover many types of terrain like jungles, swamps rivercrossings and deserts. Over the past years, the AXCR has included almost every kind of challenge that nature has to offer in these parts of the world, where the man and machine have to work in tandem to battle the elements. This year, the rally ran from August 6 to 10 and covered a distance of approximately 1,800kms. It started from Pattaya in Thailand and ended at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
I already owned a rally team when I learnt about the AXCR. My team is called Show Aikawa World Rally Team. The team members too heard about the AXCR and wanted to hone their rally skills by taking on new challenges. We wanted to improve on our techniques and better our skills. For this to happen, we trained in two new TOYOTA FJ Cruisers. The team was also lucky to have co-driver and coach Fumio Nutahara, the multiple Japanese Rally and Asia Paciﬁc Rally champion.
How many AXCR have you participated in and what were they like? This was our ﬁrst year in the rally and the experience was amazing. It wasn’t easy though, and at many instances, I wondered if we were going to make any headway in the race. But this experience got us all excited and now we are looking forward to next year’s rally.
Right: From left to right – Nutahara, Show Aikawa, Yamamoto and Tsujimoto. Below: The Toyota FJ Cruiser braving a river in the course of the rally.
How do you normally prepare for such a race? Actually, I don’t really start preparing for the races in any unusual manner. However, I go into all the races determined to win and wanting to stand on the champion’s podium. My personal goal in motorsports is to stand on the podium until I reach 60. I still have another 10 years to go.
What 4WD do you use in the races?
What has been the most challenging race so far? The most challenging race I have ever experienced was the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This is an annual automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado, a distance of 19.99kms over 156 turns, climbing 1,439 metres from the start at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway at 2,862 metres on grades averaging 7% over both gravel and paved sections.
Give us some insights into the AXCR 2011 from Pattaya to Angkor Wat. This rally is very different from what I have done in Japan. From the quality of soil and the gasoline used to the trafﬁc regulations, it was a series of challenges. In addition, I also found the food new and difﬁcult to digest.
My 4WD is a Toyota FJ Cruiser. Originally, the Toyota FJ Cruiser was developed as a vehicle for North America only, but its appearance, which imitated the ﬁrst Land Cruiser, and the number of deep-rooted fans in Japan were reason enough for it to be released for regular sales in Japan in December 2010. Show Aikawa World Rally Team was the ﬁrst in the world to participate in this competition with an FJ Cruiser. My team is engaged in a joint vehicle development programme with Toyota and TRD (Toyota Technocraft), which is the sport arm of Toyota. We managed to reap great advantages from this joint venture as my team was involved right from the development phase. The vehicle was also equipped with a tuned-up automatic transmission and air-conditioning, which was specially designed for good drivability in heat and high humidity conditions of the AXCR.
Tell us about your teammates and what they do. My co-driver is Fumio Nutahara, one of the top rally drivers in the world. He is an eight-times winner of the Japanese Rally Championship title. He became my coach and co-driver in 2009. My support car driver and co driver are Nohiriro Yamamoto and Takashi Tsujimoto. They have many years experience as cross country rally drivers.
Have you taken part in other car races? What was your ranking in these events? Although it was my ďŹ rst participation in WRC Rally Japan in 2008, I emerged as champion in the N3 class. In 2009, I participated in my ďŹ rst overseas expedition and in 2010, the WRC Rally Japan for the second time. Despite the extremely bad road, I completed the rally and accomplished two consecutive wins in the class.
You are not only an actor and singer, you are also a director, a producer and a writer? Which is your favourite vocation? My main work is an actor and singer. In the movie SS (2008), I acted as a rally driver, and that was how I became interested in motorsports. My work relates to my hobby and vice versa.
The team at Angkor Wat.
junior jet club
The Kidzania World Kidzania is a wonderful place that kids can truly enjoy while learning about the real world. 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. www.kidzania.co.id
Miss KidZania pageant
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.
1. Sun in sky, 2. Walrus tooth, 3. Polar bear’s tattoo, 4. Penguin’s beanie, 5. Penguin’s scarf, 6. Snowman’s eye, 7. Polar bear’s tail, 8. Mouse’s nose.
Puzzles are courtesy of Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles
Fill all the words listed into the grid. We have given you a word to get started.
Pix of the
Best picture wins
a 3D/2N stay in the Deluxe Seaview room at Thistle Port Dickson Resort, for 2 inclusive of breakfast worth
Fishermen at Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia. Anak Agung Alit Apriyana, Singapore
WINNER OF THE MONTH
Set upon 90 acres of green resort space, Thistle Port Dickson Resort (about 100kms from Kuala Lumpur) is an ideal retreat for business and leisure travellers alike with two fully ﬂoodlit tennis courts, three restaurants and two bars, as well as an expansive outdoor swimming pool. Also popular amongst golf enthusiasts, the resort’s newly upgraded 9-hole golf course is a popular tee-off destination. The 4552 metres par 35 course here offers golfers a challenging green with its signature Hole 8, a par 3 course with the tee set at 15 meters above sea level! www.thistle.com/asia. *Valid between December 2011 – February 2012, T&C apply.
A 3D/2N stay in the Deluxe Room with Jacuzzi and rain
shower at Bayview Hotel Melaka, inclusive of breakfast for 2 worth
F business, leisure or sheer For exploration of its cultural e heritage, Bayview Hotel in h Melaka is ideally located in M the heart of the city, a stroll th away from commercial a centres, historical landmarks, ce shopping bargains and sh entertainment hotspots. hotspots The Th hotel’s luxurious deluxe rooms are stylishly appointed with Canadian maple wood that exudes warmth and sheer cosiness, complemented with a Jacuzzi and an invigorating rain shower. www.bayviewhotels.com/melaka.
Monkeying around in Lop Buri, Thailand Forest Gagnon, Canada
Just snapped a cool picture? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with Snapshot in the subject line.
Terms & conditions: Readers may submit images that are 300dpi and 1MB in size (minimum half a A4 paper size) • Each entry must be accompanied with 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 when the prize is ready to be sent out. • Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash.
comfort Deep Vein Thrombosis
Knee Curls • Sit straight and gently lean forward and raise one knee. • Grasp the knee with both arms and gently pull the leg towards your chest as you lean back. • Hold for 15 seconds, then release and gently lower the leg. • Repeat with other leg.
DVT can occur when a blood clot forms in the large veins in the legs or the arms, leading to an either partially or completely blocked blood circulation. Sitting and moving very little during long flights may lead to the occurrence of DVT. If you are flying long distance, please ensure you perform onboard exercises such as the Knee Curls exercise to get the blood flowing to your leg. Or walk from your seat to the end of the aircraft (where permissible and when safe) and back to your seat to stretch your legs.
Have a Pleasant Flight Flying can be a drag when others are not considerate. It can also be physically demanding, especially if you are on a long-haul flight. Here are some simple steps to help make your journey more enjoyable.
Be Kind, Be Considerate Rest Assured To counter jetlag, sleep as much as you can onboard when you are flying west to east. The AirAsia Comfort Kit comes complete with eye shade, neck pillow and blanket to get some shut eye. When flying east to west, stay awake as much as possible. The neck pillow in Comfort Kit allows you to get comfy while reading a book or watching the clouds zoom by.
• Do not kick or rock the seat in front of you. • Try not to talk loudly, especially if there are other passengers asleep. • Use a handkerchief to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze. • Be careful when you open the overhead cabins. • Do not switch seats without checking with the flight attendant.
Keep Hydrated The air in the aircraft is pretty dry and will leave you feeling sluggish. To counter this, drinks lots of water, avoid alcoholic drinks and reduce consumption of caffeinated & carbonated drinks!
destination If Hanoi paints a traditional image of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City the commercial hub, Danang is the hidden gem that is also the perfect jump-off point to neighbouring towns of Hoi An, Hue and My Son.
WORDS: ADAM LEE IMAGE: CORBIS
A ﬁsherman in a basket boat ﬁghts through the surf at China Beach south of Danang, Vietnam.
Located on the western bank of the Han River, Danang sits in the centre of Vietnam’s Great Ocean Road – a classic route along the thin peninsula that connects Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Abuzz with the trappings of a rapidly-growing city, Danang is renowned for its pristine beaches, ﬁne resort living and easy accessibility to many attractions nearby. Visitors may often move on to Hue and Hoi An but that doesn’t mean Danang isn’t blessed with its own share of attractions. For one, the locals are some of the friendliest people in Vietnam and, historically, Danang was a popular R&R destination for American soldiers – thanks to its many beaches. Coupled with Nam O Beach (a ﬁne sandy convex by the Bay of Danang) and China Beach (a long stretch of white sand that curves its way from Monkey Mountain to Hoi An), Danang is paradise to sun worshippers.
Visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture here to learn about historical Danang when the Cham civilisation practised Hinduism. The museum boasts some of the ﬁnest collections of artefacts dating back to the 7th century. Candy-pink Danang Cathedral is another site to visit apart from the Cao Dai temple and the Phap Lam Pagoda. If you enjoy shopping, an evening stroll at the Han Market will land you some interesting bargains. More magniﬁcent pagodas abound in Hue (north of Danang), such as the Thien Mu Pagoda, which is perched on a hillock. This 21-metre high octagonal tower is an iconic structure in Vietnam. Elsewhere, the resting places of the royal families can be found here, complete with lavish mausoleums. Down south, Hoi An is an alluring tourist town made prosperous by its many artisanal trades. This town is famous for its arts and craft, with many
tourists popping over to have outﬁts made by the town’s tailors. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Hoi An Old Town is rich in history and impress even the most jaded visitors with its culture, traditional food and silk lanterns. Not far from Hoi An, the enigmatic ruins of My Son (pronounced ‘me sun’) is another UNESCO site from the ancient Champa kingdom.
AirAsia will commence service to Danang from Kuala Lumpur in mid December, 2011 with four ﬂights weekly. Visit www.airasia. com for schedule and full ﬂight details.
route map Uzbekistan Afghanistan
China Shanghai Hangzhou
New Delhi Nepal
Mumbai Yangon Bangalore Tiruchirappalli
Macau Hong Kong
Vientiane Chiang Mai Philippines
Phnom Penh Ho Chi Minh
Kochi Sri Lanka
Krabi Phuket Hat Yai Narathiwat Langkawi Alor Setar Kota Bharu Banda Aceh Penang K.Terengganu Medan Kuala Malaysia Lumpur
Pekanbaru Padang Palembang Kuala Lumpur International Airport Kota Kinabalu International Airport Penang International Airport Kuching International Airport International Route Domestic Route
Johor Bahru Singapore
Sandakan Labuan Miri Brunei Bintulu Tawau Sibu Kuching
Jakarta Bandung Yogyakarta
Surabaya Bali Solo
AirAsia Hubs in Malaysia From Kuala Lumpur, you can fly direct to:
World’s Best Low-Cost Airline 2009, 2010 & 2011
Alor Star, Bali, Balikpapan, Banda Aceh, Bandung, Bangalore, Bangkok, Bintulu, Brunei, Chengdu, Chennai, Chiang Mai, Christchurch, Clark, Colombo, Gold Coast, Guangzhou, Guilin, Had Yai, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Kochi, Kolkata, Kota Bharu, Kota Kinabalu, Krabi, Kuala Terengganu, Kuching, Labuan, Langkawi, London, Macau, Makassar, Medan, Melbourne, Miri, Mumbai, New Delhi, Osaka, Padang, Palembang, Paris, Pekanbaru, Penang, Perth, Phuket, Phnom Penh, Sandakan, Seoul, Shenzhen, Sibu, Siem Reap, Singapore, Solo, Surabaya, Taipei, Tawau, Tehran, Tianjin, Tiruchirappalli, Tokyo, Vientiane, Yangon,Yogyakarta.
From Penang, you can fly direct to: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Langkawi, Medan, Singapore, Surabaya.
From Kota Kinabalu, you can fly direct to: Clark, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Hong Kong, Miri, Penang, Sandakan, Shenzhen, Singapore, Taipei, Tawau.
From Kuching, you can fly direct to: Bintulu, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Miri, Penang, Sibu, Singapore
From these destinations, you can fly direct to:
Bintulu Kuching Johor Bahru Kuching, Miri, Sibu Kuching Bintulu, Johor Bahru, Miri,
Australia Gold Coast Perth Melbourne
Langkawi Singapore Miri Johor Bahru, Kuching, Singapore Sibu Johor Bahru, Kuching
Taiwan Hong Kong
Chiang Rai Chiang Mai
Ubon Ratchathani Vietnam Cambodia
Ho Chi Minh
Surat Thani Nakhon Si Thammarat
Hat Yai Penang
Narathiwat Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Singapore
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok Phuket Int. Airport Chiang Mai Int. Airport
Indonesia Jakarta Bali
International Route Domestic Route
AirAsia Hubs in Thailand From Bangkok, you can fly direct to:
Bali, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Hat Yai, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kolkata, Kota Kinabalu, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Medan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, New Delhi, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Shenzhen, Singapore, Surabaya, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Yangon
From Phuket, you can fly direct to:
Bali, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ubon Ratchatani, Udon Thani
From Chiang Mai, you can fly direct to: Bangkok, Hat Yai, Kuala
Lumpur, Phuket, Singapore
From these destinations, you can fly direct to: Chiang Mai Kuala Lumpur Hat Yai Kuala Lumpur Krabi Kuala Lumpur
It's never too late to cover yourself You can still purchase your AirAsia INSURE even after you’ve bought your tickets via Manage My Booking and Web Check-In at AirAsia.com Terms and Conditions apply.
Ho Chi Minh
Indian Ocean Soekarno Hatta Int. Airport, Jakarta Ngurah Rai Int. Airport, Bali Husein Sastranegara Int. Airport, Bandung Juanda Int. Airport, Surabaya Polonia Int. Airport, Medan
Balikpapan Palembang Makassar Jakarta Bandung
International Route Domestic Route
AirAsia Hubs in Indonesia From Jakarta, you can fly direct to:
From Medan, you can fly direct to:
From Bali, you can fly direct to:
From these destinations, you can fly direct to:
Bali, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Penang, Singapore, Yogyakarta Bandung, Bangkok, Darwin, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, Singapore
From Surabaya, you can fly direct to:
Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Medan, Penang
From Bandung, you can fly direct to:
Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Medan, Singapore
Bandung, Bangkok, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Surabaya
Yogyakarta Kuala Lumpur, Singapore Solo Kuala Lumpur Makassar Kuala Lumpur Padang Kuala Lumpur Pekanbaru Kuala Lumpur Banda Aceh Kuala Lumpur Palembang Kuala Lumpur Balikpapan Kuala Lumpur
Assured Get yourself covered from as low as USD2.30* Terms and Conditions apply.
AIRASIA SALES OFFICES AND STATIONS CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH
vPhnom Penh Airport Office, 17 Mezzanine Floor of Arrival Domestic Terminal, Phnom Penh Airport, Phnom Penh v179, Street Sisowath, Sangkat Phsar Kandal 1, Khan Daun Penh, 12204 Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.
vDeparture Terminal, Sultan Hasanuddin, International Airport, Makassar, South Sulawesi vMall Panakukang, Carrefour
Panakukang, 3rd Floor, Jl. Adyaksa Baru No.1, Makassar, South Sulawesi MANADO
vSam Ratulangi International
vGL 13 Sultan Ismail Airport 81250 Johor Bahru vNo. 26 Jalan Meriam, 84000
vNo 7, Jalan Bestari 1/5,
Taman Nusa Bestari, 79100, Bandar Nusajaya, Johor.
vNo 75, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, 80150, Johor Bharu, Johor vNo 20, Jalan Raya, 81000, Kulaijaya, Johor.
Airport Jalan A.A. Maramis, Manado 95374
83000, Batu Pahat, Johor
vOffice 20, Mezzanine Level
vGK 01, Ground Floor, Kluang Mall, Jalan Rambutan, Bandar Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor.
Passenger Terminal, Macau International Airport Taipa, Macau GUANG DONG
vCentury Holiday International
Travel Service (Shenzhen) Co.Ltd., XY-10 Junting Hotel, 3085 Eastern Road, Luo Hu, Shenzhen
vZhuhai Sun Star International
Travel Agency Co Ltd., 1151, South of Yingbin Road, Zhuhai
INDONESIA BANDA ACEH
vBandara Sultan Iskandar Muda, Blang Bintang, Aceh DENPASAR, BALI
vBandara I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Terminal Keberangkatan International Bali 80361 vJl. Legian Kaja no. 455 Kuta, Bali BANDUNG
vRuangan Nombor 34 Bandara Husein Sastranegara Jalan Pajajaran No 156 Bandung Jawa Barat
Keberangkatan Internasional, Medan 20157 Sumatra
vGaruda Plaza Hotel, Jl. Sisingamangaraja No.18 Medan-20213
vNo 97, Jalan Rahmat,
vNo 21,Jalan Dedap 21, Taman
Johor Jaya, 81100, Johor Bharu KEDAH
vGround Floor, Kim Mansion 332, Chulia Street, 10200 Penang vNo 723 L-G, Jln Sungai Dua 11700 Pulau Pinang SABAH
vLot 1 & 2, 1st Floor, Terminal Building, Sandakan Airport, 90719 Sandakan
vLangkawi International Airport
vTB228, Lot 5, Ground Floor, Istana Monaco, Jalan Bunga, Fajar Complex 91000 Tawau
vNo. 68-B Ground Floor, Jalan Ibrahim, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman
vLot G24, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah, Jln. Tun Razak, 88000, Kota Kinabalu
vSultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport Palembang, South Sumatra PEKANBARU
vSultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport, Jalan Perhubungan Udara Simpang Tiga, Pekanbaru, Sumatra SOLO
vAdi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo, Central Java SURABAYA
vLobby International Terminal Juanda International Airport Jalan Raya Juanda Surabaya Jawa Timur vGrand Circle Tunjungan Plaza
07100 Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi
vLot 4, Level 2, Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur, 50470 vLot G027B, Ground Floor, Podium Block, Plaza Berjaya,12 Jalan Imbi,55100 Kuala Lumpur vNo. 63, Ground Floor, Medan Bunus Off Jalan Masjid India, 50100 Kuala Lumpur. vNo 71 Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 1 Taman Usahawan Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur vNo. 4 Jalan 3/116B, Kuchai Lama
vTerminal 3 & Terminal 2D
vAdisutjipto International Airport
Jl. Hayam Wuruk No.127, Lantai GF2 Blok RA 49, Jakarta Pusat
vPenang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
vLindeteves Trade Center Building,
Sultan Abdul Halim, 06200 Kepala Batas, Alor Star
vNo. 1, Jalan PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya.
No. 105B Blok M, Jakarta Selatan
vNo 32, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka
vHotel Hangtuah, Jl. Pemuda no. 1 Padang, Sumatra Barat, 25117
Entrepreneur Park, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 582000 Kuala Lumpur.
vJln. Panglima Polim,
vFL4, 1st Floor, Tawau Airport Building, Jalan Apas-Balung, 91100 Tawau
3 Lantai 1, (Lobby Condominium Regency), Jln. Basuki Rahmat 8-12, Surabaya
vJl. Boulevard Raya, Blok LA 4, No. 10 Kelapa Gading, Jakarta Utara
vLevel 1, Labuan Airport Terminal 87008 Wilayah Persekutuan
vLot 20, Lapangan Terbang
vLobby Grand Serela Hotel Jl. L.L. R.E Martadinata (Riau) No 56 Telp. (022) 426 1636
Departure Hall Airlines Offices Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Cengkareng,
Jln. Solo km.9, Yogyakarta, 55282
vTGround Floor, Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Int. Airport, Old Airport Road,Tanjung Aru 88100, Kota Kinabalu SARAWAK
vLot GL.14, Public Concourse Terminal Building, Bintulu Airport 97000 Bintulu vGround Floor, Miri Airport, 98000 Miri vLot 946, Jalan Parry, 98000 Miri vHo Ho Lim, Ground Floor, 291 Sublot 4, Jalan Abell, 93100 Kuching vDeparture Level, Kuching International Airport, 93756 Kuching vWisma Ho Ho Lim, Ground Floor No. 291, Sub Lot 4, Jalan Abell 93100 Kuching
vMelia Purosani Hotel, Jl Suryotomo No.31, Yogyakarta
vLapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, 16100 Pengkalan Chepa Kota Bharu
v1st Floor, Main Terminal Building, Sibu Airport, 96000 Sibu
v3183G, Jalan Sultan Ibrahim (Opp. KB Mall), 15050 Kota Bharu.
vGround Floor, No. 36 Jalan Keranji, 96000 Sibu
vTune Hotels.com Danga Bay,
Lot PTB 22819, Jalan Skudai, Mukim Bandar, 80200 Johor Bahru
vLevel 1, Terminal Building, Sultan Mahmud Airport, 21300 Kuala Terengganu
vGrd Flr, Lot 4034, Jln Tun Ahmad Zaidi, Parkcity Commercial Sq, Phase 5, 97000 Bintulu vGround Floor, 192H Al-Idrus Commercial Centre, Jalan Satok, 93400 Kuching
vSL11 Ground Floor, Lot 2541 Lee Ling Heights Phase 2, Mile 6.5 Jalan Penrissen, P.O. Box 2044, 93250 Kuching vLot 6813, Ground Floor Synergy Square, (Matang Jaya Commercial Centre), Jalan Matang Jaya, 93050 Kuching SELANGOR
vGround Floor, Terminal 3, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor vJalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor
vRow No:11, Departure level 2 Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, Singapore v111 North Bridge Road #01-36/37, Peninsula Plaza 179098,
v133 Moo 5 Petchkasem Road, Tambol Nuakrong, Amphur Nuakrong, Krabi 81130 NARATHIWAT
330 Moo 5 , Tambol Kok-Kian, Amphur Muang, Narathiwat 96000
vSetmil Aviation (Pvt) Ltd., Ground Floor, Setmil Maritime Centre, 256, Srimath Ramanathan Mawatha, Colombo 15, Sri Lanka
vPhuket International Airport 312, 3rd Floor, Tumbol Maikao, Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110
vUnit 9, Laflora Patong Area, No. 39, 39/1, Thaveewong Rd., Patong, Kratoo, Phuket
vLot-35 Mydin Mall USJ 1
vB-G-3A, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya 47170 Puchong Selangor
vSuvarnabhumi International Airport Room A1-062 Ground Floor, Concourse A, BangnaTrad Road, Racha Teva, Bang Pli, Samutprakarn 10540
vSuratThani International Airport
v127 Tanao Road, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok 10200
vUbon Ratchathani Airport 297 Ubon Ratchathani Airport, Thepyotee Road, Amphur Nai Muang, Ubon Ratchathani 34000
vLot S141, 2nd Floor, Plaza Metro Kajang, Section 7, Jalan Tun Abdul Aziz, 43000 Kajang vNo 1 (667-C), Wisma Y S Tan
Lorong Kepayang, 41300 Klang
CHIANG MAI SALES OFFICE
vNo 1, Jln PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya
vChiangmai International Airport 60, 1st Floor, Tambol Sutep, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50200
v416 Thaphae Road, Chiang Mai
vYangon International Airport
vChiang Rai International Airport
vOffice Unit# 01-L, Parkroyal Yangon, Myanmar
2305/2 404 Moo 10, Tambol Bandu, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai 57100
vHat Yai International Airport
International Airport Clark Civil Aviation Complex Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines 2023
125 Hadyai International Airport, Moo 3 Klongla, Klonghoikong, Songkhla 90115
73 Moo 3 Tambol Huatuey, Amphur Punpin, Suratthani UBON RATCHATHANI
vUdon Thani International Airport 224 Moo 1, Tambol Makkhang, Amphur Muang, Udon Thani 41000
vNoibai International Airport Lobby A, 3rd Floor, Hanoi vNo.30 Le Thai To Str., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi City v223, De Tham Pham Ngu Lao Ward District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
CALL CENTRE NUMBERS Australia China France India Indonesia Japan Hong Kong Macau Malaysia
1300 760 330 +86 20 2281 7666 +33(0)1 7048 0722 1860 500 8000 +62 21 2927 0999 0120 963 516 +852 3112 3222 0800912 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
The AirAsia Guest Services Business & Process Improvement Team is made up of staff from four ASEAN countries. Formed to ensure a synergistic effort towards serving AirAsia guests, the unit is also responsible for examining ideas and innovations. The team works to enhance processes that are beneﬁcial to AirAsia ground staff in equipping them with the necessary knowledge and assets to serve our guests the world over. KHAISAENG YONGSAWAT, THAILAND Having started as a Guest Services Assistant, the ride to where I am right now has been very satisfying. I have grown with the airline, having witnessed massive changes – from two aircraft to more than 200 at present. My job requires me to communicate and reﬁne the AirAsia network to ensure standard procedures and experiences for our guests. My job also includes fun stuff like visiting the Departure Hall to WoW or guests with a birthday song on their special day. This has made me a proud member of the AirAsia family. No matter where I am stationed, Malaysia or Thailand, one thing is for sure, AirAsia is a wonderful, fun and friendly place to work.
JOANNE CHIN, MALAYSIA As a student, I loved AirAsia for its rock-bottom fares that enabled me to backpack the whole of Southeast Asia on my own. When I joined the airline, the initial stages were difﬁcult as I had no industry experience. Fortunately, I’m blessed with helpful colleagues who’ve guided me along the way. Being the ‘numbers’ person in the team, my task is to perform cost analysis on projects and prepare budgets for the Guest Services, Flight Attendants and Ramp departments. I’m required to be cost conscious in my job as AirAsia operates on a low-cost module, thus cutting down on unnecessary expenses, which translates into lower fares for our guests. It’s a pleasure working with my counterparts from different countries, as each of us possess different skills that make the team work so well together.
FAEZAH HAMID, SINGAPORE As a Business & Process Analyst, one of my core responsibilities is to ensure that the quality and standards of our Guest Services Ambassadors are standardised throughout our network. A recent initiative was to have an AirAsia Care counter at every station we ﬂy to. This AirAsia Care counter will tailor to our special guests – i.e. the physically challenged, pregnant mothers and elderly guests. The implementation has been positive and feedback encouraging. Consistency is imperative in this business and a part of our responsibility in ensuring AirAsia is always on par with the development across the aviation industry. These could be anything related to software, hardware or even ‘heart ware’.
TANTU AGUNG, INDONESIA I love to travel to other countries and experience the world out there. This is one of the reasons why I joined AirAsia. I ﬁrst applied to join AirAsia in 2004, together with 1,000 other applicants. I didn’t get it that time but when I tried again in 2006, I was appointed as a Guest Service Assistant in Jakarta. It felt really good to be able to serve AirAsia guests. Now that I am a Business and Process Analyst, I am involved in ﬁnding new and innovative ways to keep our guests happy by enhancing their travelling experience with AirAsia. Together with my colleagues who hail from different countries, cultures and backgrounds, our common goal of enhancing, reﬁning and innovating guests’ experience has become a passion for all of us here at AirAsia.