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CHECK-IN Contents December 2012





NEPAL Land of the Living Goddess






ART UP HIGH Bandung, Indonesia


PILOT’S PERSPECTIVE Mother Nature’s Mood Swings


TRAVEL LOG The Travelling Happy Family








Holiday Glitz

The Homecoming

08 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 INBOX The Buzz from our Guests

12 RED FORT News from AirAsia

168 MY AIRASIA Super Pioneers

FLIGHT PLAN 18 SPOTLIGHT Stuff you’d Love to Know

24 HOT DATES December Events to Keep a Lookout for

28 Asean COMPASS Timeless Travels

32 QUICK BITES Season’s Feasting



130 OFF THE RACK 134 VANITY FARE Season for Giving

138 JETSETTER Farah Quinn

IN FLIGHT 144 PLANE FUN Puzzles & Games

146 PICTURE PERFECT Photos Taken by AirAsia Guests



Joy of Flying


Season on for Santa


40 MONEY ONEY MAKER Making ng it Count


44 SCORE CORE BOARD Ode to o Odd Balls


50 HYPER YPER TECH Wearable able Tech

56 SLEEP LEEP INNS Regional nal R&R

68 HIT IT LIST All About bout Eve

142 KIDS SPACE Ho! Ho! o! Ho!



Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun Al-Ishsal Ishak R. Rajendra Kan Seak Hong Beverly Rodrigues Chitra S Adam Lee Fazlina Bee Binti Abdul Rashid Fadillah Kamarudin Alice Yong, Captain Lim Khoy Hing, Efi Hamzah, Pete King, Shantini Suntharajah Spencer Lee (AirAsia Berhad) Indran Balavishnu (Malaysia) Senthuran Mohan (Malaysia) Mairianne Reardon (Singapore, UK and International Markets)


Paragorn Petchnaree (Thailand)

Joy to the World Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Vikhram Radhakishnan (Indonesia) Frances Barsana (Philippines) Tel: +6 03-7966 8655 (Phar Partnerships Malaysia) E-mail: Travel 3Sixty° wishes to thank Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles, MPH, Pansing Marketing, Advantage Quest Publications, Quikmark Media, Destination New South Wales EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES PUBLISHED BY


PRE-PRESS SERVICES Travel 3Sixty° c/o AirAsia Berhad

LCC Terminal, Jalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Tel: 603-8660 4333

Percetakan Zanders Sdn. Bhd.

No. 16, Jalan BK 1/11, Bandar Kinrara, 47180 Puchong, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.Tel: 603-5623 9393

No 1A Jalan SS25/34, Mayang Light Industrial Park, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia


Matthew Mok, Ellyse Ng, Irvin Hanni, Haze Jalalludin, Vini Balan, Abby Yao, Ari Fajar Iyan Yudhiana Mohd Sufian, Zulasyraf Razak Angie Lew

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


Find us at

FOR QUERIES, ASSISTANCE AND FEEDBACK, YOU CAN REACH US HERE: Have a question regarding travelling with AirAsia? Get your answers here at! We’ll help you out via chat, or E-mail if you need further assistance AirAsia on Twitter for information & assistance on simple requests: For exciting news, bytes and tweets from AirAsia: AirAsia on Facebook: www. For AirAsia promotional updates, travel stories & news: AirAsia blog to share travel experiences and stories: Find us on Weibo at Folow us on RenRen at

12 122 CAPTAIN’S ADDRESS 2011 201


It has been two months since I joined AirAsia, and I am writing this at our ASEAN headquarters overlooking the enchanting city of Jakarta. I’ve not had a weekend at home since coming onboard, but I’m not complaining. How could I ever? As a kid growing up in Kangar and Petaling Jaya in Malaysia, all I

wanted to be was a pilot. When corrective lenses became the order of the day in 1978, that dream shifted to an aircraft engineer. This was fuelled by Top Trumps® game cards, which was the rage at the time. Oh, how I pondered over those cards in my palms, and dreamt of a life in the air, seeing the world, meeting people, making new friends. Fast forward to 1991, a disillusioned youth submitted an essay to be vetted by Japan Airlines’ Summer Scholarship Program entitled Asia’s World Role Toward the 21st Century. Much to his delight, a seven-week study and stay in Tokyo was the reward. This was the real turning point, and studying at Sophia University’s Ichigaya campus with fellow scholarship recipients from over 40 countries brought purpose to my life. Naturally, witnessing Japan Airlines returning to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on September 19 this year brought a special, fuzzy feeling as it marked the pinnacle of their incredible business turnaround. The story of AirAsia is far more legendary. As a small time technopreneur in the mid 90s, AirAsia’s entrée really made a difference to my personal and business travels. Unheard of in the era, AirAsia pioneered the democratisation of travel in this part of the world. Today, in no small part owing to Kamarudin’s and Tony’s vision and tenacity, travelling around Asean, even Asia and Australasia, feels like a domestic journey with AirAsia X, Thailand AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, Philippines AirAsia and Japan AirAsia. Clearly, this amazing journey is far from over for AirAsia’s AllStars. Heading into our second decade, AirAsia’s brand is now synonymous with innovation, adventure and creativity that

delivers on the promise of best value for money in travel. Along with our newest baby, AirAsia Expedia, and a constellation of other brand associations like Caterham F1, AirAsia-SIC-Ajo Moto3, QPR, and ASEAN Basketball League, the AllStars credo of ‘Dream the Impossible’, ‘Believe the Unbelievable’ and ‘Never Take No for an Answer’ continue to inspire every business we start. Our ultimate goal is to open new possibilities for people to experience unchartered horizons. As amazing as our journey with you has been so far, believe it or not, we’re still striving to deliver an even better experience to you – our guests – across the world. Being a custodian to the group’s Brand and Ancillary Income at AirAsia, I urge you to share with me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Our raison d’être is to serve you better – unconditionally. If there is anything we can improve upon, or a nice touch to the journey that we can offer you, I’d appreciate your time to let me know at or clue me in on Twitter @ishsal. Memory fails me with age, though I’ve read somewhere, someone (smart) who said: “In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away”. AirAsia is the success story we are today because of our AllStars’ selfless and endearing passion to take your breath away. Thank you for letting us make your day!

Al-Ishsal Ishak Group Head, Brand & Ancillary Income

INSPIRED BY ASIA The designs on the baubles on the cover page are derived from artistic and cultural elements

found in the various countries that have become part of the AirAsia family. These designs and patterns, apart from showcasing the rich and diversified heritage of each country, also highlight the AirAsia destinations and our ever growing network.














° y t x i S 3 l Trave RY

MERMAS T S I R H C PPY NEW HA AR! YE wisohueas y

Beverly Rodrigues Senior Writer

Mohd Sufian Web Developer

Ellyse Ng Digital Content Editor

Vini Balan Digital Copywriter

& R. Rajendra Managing Editor

Kan Seak Hong Art Director

Irvin Hanni Digital Photojournalist

It is often a mad dash to the finishing line as we frantically tie lose ends, close the magazine, complete the eGuides and refresh the website so that everyone in the publication and the digital platform of Travel 3Sixty° can take a big, joyful sigh of relief and call it a year. The thing about this zany bunch is that the more harried they become, the more fun they seem to have (see pix of team as proof!). You must have heard that certain people work best under pressure but this team knows how to take the pressure out of stressful situations with their tomfoolery, joshing, banter, clowning around and sometimes downright weird sense of humour. It is always nice to come to work where laughter and big happy faces are the order of the day. AirAsia seems to have that effect on everyone! We had a grand 2012 and hope yours was dandy too! May your 2013 be bucketsful of fun, wheelbarrows-ful of joy and ocean-ful of laughter.


Fadillah Kamarudin Graphic Designer

Chitra S Writer

Matthew Mok Digital Content Manager

Fazlina Bee Editorial Assistant

Iyan Yudhiana Webmaster

Zulasyraf Razak Web Developer

Abby Yao Digital Content Exec.

Adam Lee Photojournalist

Haze Jalalludin Digital Copywriter

Ari Fajar Digital Content Exec.




It’s always a favourite pastime of mine to read Travel3Sixty° onboard AirAsia flights and recently on a trip from Macau to Bangkok, I chanced upon the article Water For Elephants (October 2012). My heart was so heavy reading the plight of these creatures and I so desperately wanted to do something for these gentle giants. It is high time human beings stopped destroying and started doing something for the elephants. Once I returned to my home country, I immediately became a standard member of ElefantAsia in Laos, one of the two NGOs working to save and rehabilitate the elephants. I am also the proud parent of an adopted elephant named Mae Xay. I’d like to thank AirAsia for bringing attention to the current situation of the e Laos elephants. I hope more people will read the story and start helping out. ~ Suzana Lin Rodrigues. Macau

LETTER OF THE MONTH WINS: Winter apparels worth RM947 by Universal Traveller 2ND & 3RD LETTER WIN: RM100 voucher each by Luggage Empire *T&C apply.


I recently flew with AirAsia X to Beijing for the very first time. Though the flight was long and I wasn’t feeling well, Travel3Sixty° kept me company. I enjoyed reading the article on Banks of Spirituality (Sept 2012). I was thrilled to learn that every day 60,000 pilgrims from all over India and the world flock here to conduct religious activities. What I found really eye opening was the observation that even though the river is polluted, the pilgrims feel that those who truly believe in the power of the gods would be protected from any sickness even though they consume the water. Indeed, the article has brought me to another part of the world to understand the local culture and religious beliefs. ~ Pauline Tan, via email

On a recent flight to Sri Lanka, my attention was drawn to the article on the new AirAsia website and easy steps to book tickets (October 2012). I recently checked out the new website and found it to be very convenient, user-friendly and hassle-free to book my tickets online. Also, I personally think the innovative 5-steps booking system is an easy-to-follow guide for busy people like me. I hope this new and improved website will not fail me when I go hunting for the best bargains during the special sales and low fare promotions. Thumbs up for the team that came up with this new website! ~ Ahmad Johan Sulaiman, via email.

HERE’S THE BUZZ ON AIRASIA’S FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND WEIBO PAGES You guys are really AWESOME. I was surprised when the crew greeted me with a “Happy Birthday” 35,000 feet in the air flying from Singapore to KL. That was OUTSTANDING Customer Relations. Keep up the good work! Dante B. Cruzposted

I just wanted to say that we just got back from a wonderful Southeast Asia Holiday. 6 Flights with AirAsia and they were all fantastic! No delays, no hassles, everything went smoothly and for a bargain price. Thank you AirAsia for enabling us to afford to travel so much. We will certainly use you again for sure. We are very happy AirAsia Customers! Nikki Hush

Flying in style, slurping Chatime while browsing the latest 3Sixty travel mag. Only at @AirAsia @AirAsiaId :) Vennie Melyani @venniem

Thank you @AirAsia for making me fly for the 1st time on Tuesday, 17th Oct, 2012, from Surabaya to Bandung. Great work! :) Kartika Paramita K @yukarti

Just did a live chat online with @ airasia to modify my flight booking. Very impressed with the short waiting time and efficient service.

First trip with AirAsia! Love the red colour especially the striking red fleet-body and also the red uniform. Flight attendants are pretty and they sell really cute AirAsia souvenir on board. Will definitely spend buying some with my spare cash. Purple Dream:

Oct 1 marks the first day of AirAsia operation in DMK airport. The environment is decorated nicely in red and I came early to check out the airport even though my flight was in the afternoon. MR. Silly

shannon toh @wander_run

Like what you read in Travel 3Sixty°? Share your thoughts with us in English! To show you how much we appreciate your feedback, we’ll give the best letter of the month winter apparels worth RM947 by Universal Traveller and the other two letters will receive a RM100 gift voucher each from Luggage Empire. Email your feedback to Travel 3Sixty° reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length, and only letters regarding articles published in Travel 3Sixty° will stand to win a prize.






AirAsia has made air travel affordable, thus enabling guests to visit and explore cities and countries with its ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’ motto. Paying attention to the tips and pointers listed on this page will ensure guests truly benefit from the facilities and services offered by AirAsia.

SELF CHECK-IN FACILITIES Guests flying with AirAsia can choose to check-in via any of these three facilities: Website, Mobile or, Kiosks at airports. Here is a quick graphic timeline on the facilities available.



before departure

before departure

Web check-in opens

Baggage drop off/ Document check


before departure

Web-check-in closes


before departure

Baggage drop closes


before departure

Boarding gate closes

Self Check-in (WEB/MOBILE/KIOSK) opens 14 Days before your departure date and closes up to 1 hour prior to your departure time.



before departure

before departure

Web check-in opens

Web-check-in closes


before departure

Baggage drop off/ Document check



before departure

before departure

Baggage drop closes

Boarding gate closes

AirAsia X (D7) Self Check-in closes 4 hours prior to your departure time.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING If you’re on time, we’re on time. AirAsia’s Baggage Drop and Check-in counters are open 2 (two) hours before flight and close 45 minutes before flight. We urge you not to be late because the Departure Gates shut 20 minutes before flight. So, be early and get ready to leave for your destination on time!



Most times, the airport tax has already been included in your airfare. However, if you are flying out of Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia and Indonesia, you will have to settle the tax before leaving the country. Please ensure you have enough local currency to settle the tax.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS Do ensure you have a valid passport and travel visa (where applicable) when you plan to travel. Check the documents early to ensure validity. At the airport, the AirAsia Guest Services Agents will check the documents but have the right to refuse carriage to any guests who have not complied with or, are holding documents that do not appear to comply with applicable laws, regulations, orders, demands or requirements.

SELF CHECK-IN Keep your travel experience easy and breezy by using the Self Check-in service. This way, you can reduce the time spent queuing up to check-in. AirAsia makes it easy for you with a variety of ways: X Online check in at*

X Mobile apps check in. Download the AirAsia mobile apps for iPhone and Android online.* X Self Check-in kiosks at the airport.* Once you have checked-in via any of the abovementioned, convenient and quick ways, proceed to the Baggage Drop. Baggage Drop counters close up to 45 minutes before flight. *These services are available up to 1 (one) hour before flight. If you are unable to check-in using these services, please proceed to the Check-in counters.



X Arrive at the airport early, at least 3 hours before your flight (do factor in the possibility of traffic jams along the way). X Check in online, at the kiosk or via the AirAsia mobile apps. X Drop your bags off early at the counters. X Clear Immigration and Security screening early. X Listen to the announcements made on the Public Announcement System. X Check your Departure Gate number against your Boarding Pass.

DON’Ts X Spend so much time at the Duty Free Shopping Areas or restaurants that you forget to get to your Departure Gate on time.



RED CARPET PERKS X DEDICATED CHECKIN COUNTER* – Skip the queues! X WAITING LOUNGE** – Relax comfortably while enjoying WiFi services, snacks and shower facilities.

In November, AirAsia rolled out the Red Carpet service for AirAsia X guests travelling out of Kuala Lumpur, enabling even more guests to enjoy VIP treatment. AirAsia’s Red Carpet service is currently available to Malaysia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia, Philippines AirAsia and AirAsia X guests travelling on flights departing from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in Malaysia; Bali and Jakarta in Indonesia; as well as Singapore. However, the availability of services may vary depending on the airport. The Red Carpet service is available for pre-booking online right up to four hours before departure time, and may be purchased at the airport counter up to one hour before your flight.

X PERSONALISED WALK THROUGH IMMIGRATION AND SECURITY** – Enjoy a quick and painless transition. Great for children travelling solo. X BUGGY SERVICE** – Enjoy doorstep delivery to your aircraft. X PRIORITY BOARDING* – Board first and avoid the crowd. X FAST BAGGAGE PICK UP ON ARRIVAL ** – Have your baggage waiting for you for a change! *All airports ** Select airports Terms and conditions apply. For more info, visit

X TURNS 5! On November 2, AirAsia X celebrated its fifth anniversary with a party at Malaysia’s LCC Terminal attended by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Chairperson; Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X CEO; Paul Donovan, Chairman of Gold Coast Tourism; as well as the AirAsia X Board of Directors and the management team of AirAsia and AirAsia X. The airline has come a long way since the launch of its very first route in 2007, and today boasts nine Airbus A330 aircraft plying 12 exciting destinations. To add to the festivities, AirAsia X launched ‘Fantastic 5’ campaign with offerings including a five hour sale with fares from as low as RM195 on Economy to all AirAsia X destinations (excluding Japan). The airline also welcomed the winner of its ‘Friendsy’ competition, which ran on AirAsia’s Australian Facebook page in April 2012. As part of the whopping AUD270,000 prize, the winner was offered an entire A330-300 aircraft to fly her friends and family members from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur. This is the first time a competition of this scale has been organised by any long-haul low fare carrier in Asia.

Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairwoman of AirAsia X (eight from left) and Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X (10th from left) surrounded by members of the Board of Directors, senior management team of AirAsia X and flight attendants celebrating the airline’s fifth birthday.



The AirAsia asean office, located near the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, was officially launched in August 2012 to great acclaim. “I love it!” That the immediate reaction from Group CEO Tony Fernandes when he first stepped into the AirAsia asean office earlier this year. Apparently, he’s not the only one who does! That view was echoed by the Malaysian Interior Design Awards last month where AirAsia’s regional base bagged gold for the Corporate Office category together with iPartnership, the interior design firm that designed the office. The AirAsia asean office is probably the most ASEAN-inspired office around. From the moment of conceptualisation, the idea was to showcase the ASEAN region, which AirAsia calls home and to whose 600 million people AirAsia is committed to. This ASEAN-inspired vision translated into a design that includes elements from all 10 ASEAN countries. The result of these is an office that exudes and helps instil the ASEAN ethos in AirAsia’s staff and visitors. The office’s open layout reflects AirAsia’s culture of openness. All the space is communal, and the furniture choices and layout encourage interaction. No one has a private room, not even the Group CEO and Deputy Group CEO, whose doors are really nothing more than quirky design pieces. While looking laidback and feeling more like a den for friends than a work place, the AirAsia asean office boasts of state-of-the-art telecommunications technology that seamlessly links the office to AirAsia’s other offices in ASEAN and beyond. It also has a hotdesking facility that caters to the office’s constant stream of guests. The office’s hi-tech sound system streams in melodies ranging from Filipino ballads to Indonesian dangdut songs and international R&B to Thai trance music.



In October, AirAsia, the world’s best low cost airline for four consecutive years (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012) was listed as one of Malaysia’s Most Valuable Brands (MMVB). The airline was ranked 12th among 30 local brands at the MMVB 2012 award ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur. The airline jumped seven places since the last MMVB study in 2009 and recorded a growth of 257.3%; the biggest increase among the 30 listed brands. The study of the brands was based on three primary components – Financial Performance, Role of Brand and Brand Strength. The brands studied must be consumer-facing, originate or first launched in Malaysia and, owned by companies listed in Bursa Malaysia. In addition, the brands must also be an economic asset and contribute to the overall financial well-being of the companies.

Exactly a month after AirAsia Japan launched its first direct flight to South Korea with connections between Narita and Seoul (Incheon), the airline added a second route on November 28 – this time to Busan! South Korea’s second largest metropolis after Seoul, Busan hosts many international events such as the Pusan International Film Festival, and offers great shopping options like Shinsegae Centum City, reputedly the world’s largest department store!

“In just 10 short years we have managed to grow and expand not only locally but also throughout the region and we will continue to strive and bring ‘Brand Malaysia’ to greater heights globally.” ~ Aireen Omar, AirAsia Berhad CEO

For the latest updates on promotions, follow AirAsia on social media via Facebook ( AirAsiaKorea) and Twitter (

(Second from left) Jyeong In Ha (Korea Airport Corporation, Deputy General Manager), Hee Chon Kang (Busan Metropolitan City, Manager), Kazuyuki Iwakata (AirAsia Japan, CEO), Byung Sun Lee (Korea Tourism Organisation, Executive Director), Kang Ho Park (Busan Metropolitan City, Director of Airport Policy Division), Tony Fernandes (AirAsia, Group CEO) and Kathleen Tan (AirAsia, Group Head of Commercial) flanked by AirAsia FAs.

BEST OF BUSAN X The Busan International Rock Festival showcases emerging

musical talents and indie bands. X Traditionally held in the port city of Daebyeonhang around April or

May, the Busan Gijang Anchovy Festival celebrates the anchovy harvest – the richest in South Korea! Sample popular delicacies like pickled anchovy with seaweed and catch the special fishermen parade. X The Haeundae Sand Festival in summer sees visitors visiting Haeundae Beach for the popular hot sand bath – being buried head to toe in sand is said to have beneficial health and beauty!

(From Left to Right) AirAsia Group Head of Brand & Ancillary Income, Ishsal Ishak; 4As President, Tony Savarimuthu; Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry, Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir; AirAsia Berhad CEO, Aireen Omar; MMVB 2012 Organising Chairman, Jennifer Chan and AirAsia Group Head of Customer Experience & Technology, Zaman Ahmad during the Malaysia Most Valuable Brand award ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

“It is great to open more doors for travellers to Busan, a city with its own charm and diverse offerings such as beautiful natural wonders, historical attractions and spa and gourmet indulgences.” ~ Kazuyuki Iwakata, AirAsia Japan CEO

MARKETING MAVEN In October, Kathleen Tan, AirAsia Group Head Of Commercial was named Web in Travel’s (WIT) ‘Marketer of the Year’ at the annual WITovation awards in Singapore. The ‘Marketer of the Year’ award is an editorial choice prize that was conferred as recognition of Tan’s extraordinary leadership in transforming the AirAsia brand into a powerful international brand that has won numerous global brand and digital marketing accolades.

“We are an innovative airline, and one of our ground-breaking approaches is adopting the use of social networking platforms in our business. By using social networking platforms, we are able to reach out to millions of people and acquire their feedback, which is essential to improve our services and products, plus establishing our brand further.” ~ Kathleen Tan, AirAsia Group Head Of Commercial 16


Siva Ganeshanandan, APAC Director, Online Mktg. Suite, Adobe presenting the award to Kathleen Tan.

Citadines Uplands Kuching Malaysia A new serviced residence in the city

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The Spring Shopping Mall

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Citadines Uplands

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To Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (20 mins)

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Jalan Wan Alwi

King Centre

To Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone (15 mins)

Citadines Uplands is your ideal home in the city, centrally located in what is set to be the hub for education and local government offices in Kuching. Stylish apartments feature a separate living room and a fully-equipped kitchen. With modern amenities such as a sleek home entertainment system and high speed internet access, your home can comfortably host a party or double up as a home office. Because life

is about living.

For further information and global reservations, please email or call (60-3) 2140 2220 * Terms and conditions This promotion is valid for stays from 19 Dec 2012 till 31 Mar 2013 and subject to 10% service charge and 6% government tax. Prior reservations are required and subject to availability. Other terms and conditions apply.

Citadines Apart’hotel is managed by The Ascott Limited, a member of CapitaLand. It is the largest global serviced residence owner-operator in Asia Pacific Europe and the Gulf region, managing the Ascott, Citadines and Somerset brands in over 70 cities across more than 20 countries.




JENNY TSENG LOVE SHOW ENCORE DEC 6 & 7, 2012 Macau-born singeractress Jenny Tseng known for her honeyed vocals and such hits as End of Tomorrow, Lovely Roses, Ocean Flower, Where is My Home? and May Flowers will be in Kuala Lumpur for a two-night concert. Get set for another memorable performance by this songstress at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands this month.

JLO DANCE AGAIN WORLD TOUR LIVE IN MALAYSIA 2012 DEC 2, 2012 Take note JLo fans! Singer/dancer/actress Jennifer Lopez will

be in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian leg of her Dance Again World Tour. Get ready for a night of sizzling entertainment as the Latina dance queen sets Stadium Merdeka on fire with her signature moves and music.


Be our fan on, follow us on and purchase your tickets for the abovementioned events at





DEC 14, 2012 Nicknamed the Prince of Love Ballads, Jeff Chang will be performing live in Genting Highlands this December bringing you hit songs like Forgiving and Don’t Tell Him. Be sure to get your tickets early as the Taiwanese star performed to a full house the last time he was here.

DEC 1 – 31, 2012 A beautiful girl falls in love with a grotesque beast in this popular tale of love against all odds. Don’t miss the magic as the tale as old as time comes to life on stage at Sunway Lagoon Amphitheatre this month.

2NE1 GLOBAL TOUR 2012 IN MALAYSIA – NEW EVOLUTION DEC 8, 2012 K-pop darlings 2NE1, one of the hottest groups from South Korea, will be making a stop in Kuala Lumpur during their New Evolution Global Tour. The all-girl group known for their edgy music, unique fashion and collaborations with The Black Eyed Peas and will be performing at Stadium Malawati, Kuala Lumpur for one night only!

DISNEY’S SPARKLING CHRISTMAS UNTIL JAN 1, 2013 Relive your favourite Disney memories and celebrate Christmas at Hong Kong Disneyland this year-end. Sip hot chocolate and sing along to carols while strolling along Christmas Town in Main Street U.S.A, or join Santa Mickey’s Toy-riffic Street Party and snap pictures with family and friends in front of the extravagantly lit Christmas tree. Whatever your pleasure, Disney’s Sparkling Christmas promises a magical vacation!

JERSEY BOYS ON UNTIL FEB 2013 This award-winning musical based on the true story of music group The Four Seasons chronicles the tale of how four kids born on the wrong side of the tracks became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. Sing along to the evergreen tunes that Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi made popular like Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Rag Doll and Oh, What a Night when the musical opens at Sands Theater, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.



THE AUSTRALIAN BEE GEES SHOW – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEE GEES LIVE IN GENTING DEC 25, 2012 Celebrate Christmas with the Australian Bee Gees and their repertoire of Bee Gees tunes that keep the music of the legendary Gibb brothers alive. This tribute band with their incredible vocal harmonies has been playing Bee Gees hits to capacity crowds throughout the world since 1997. Go down memory lane as the band relives hits like Staying Alive, Massachusetts, How Deep is Your Love and Tragedy at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands.




One entrance pass is all you need for a fun-filled day of exciting rides and activities at Singapore’s Sentosa. Choose from four available options – Day PLAY pass, Noon PLAY pass, Evening PLAY Pass and 2-Day PLAY Pass – that let you experience up to 19 attractions. The convenient, one-ticket system is cost efficient, cuts down queuing time at attractions and gives visitors greater flexibility to plan their itineraries at Singapore’s iconic playground and leisure destination.

DREAMING BY THE ROCKS Sydney’s The Rocks Dreaming tour gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the area’s original inhabitants and their spiritual connection to Sydney harbour and its surrounds and, how ancient indigenous beliefs still play a part in the city’s contemporary Aboriginal society. The 90-minute guided tour runs from Wednesday to Sunday and costs AUD42 per adult.

PANORAMA: Recent Art from Contemporary Asia is an exhibition of artworks drawn from the contemporary art collection of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM). The chosen pieces reflect and document the changes Asian societies have undergone in the last two decades, while providing visitors the opportunity to learn more about Singaporean and other Asian cultures through the eyes of the artists. The exhibition features the works of 41 artists from 10 Asian countries including Agnes Arellano, Agus Suwage, Louie Cordero, Nalini Malani, Sherman Ong and Sakarin Krue-On. The exhibition runs until December 25, 2012.

QUIRKY PREZZIES Looking for a quirky Christmas gift? Check out these über-cool tea bags and kitchen scrubbers by Donkey Products, a Hamburg-based design label that specialises in all things kitsch and cute. Have a cuppa with the Queen or have fun scrubbing those dishes with Jonny Bruch & Billy Clean as your aides! Available at Actually+, 118A Arab St, Singapore.

Yuvan Shankar Raja

GLOBAL INDIANS The Kuala Lumpur International Indian Music Festival (KLIMF) 2012 celebrates Indian music from across the globe with a line-up of international artistes including Singapore’s Shabir, Lady Kash and Krissy, Kadhal Virus from Germany, Suresh D Wun from Holland, the UK’s Charles & Arjun and MC Sai, Canada’s Ruby & Chickaadee and many more. The show starts at noon on December 15 and will go on until midnight at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. The highlight of the festival is a four-hour long concert by acclaimed singersongwriter and Tamil music youth icon Yuvan Shankar Raja. 22





KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN DEC 7 – 16 This Tony-award winning musical by Kander and Ebb, which revolves around the unlikely friendship between two cellmates in a South American jail, will be staged at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre.


ANDY WARHOL: 15 MINUTES ETERNAL DEC 16 – MAR 31 The Hong Kong Museum of Art celebrates one of the most influential icons of the pop art movement with a large exhibition featuring over 370 items including paintings, drawings, photographs and screen prints by the creative master.


STING: BACK TO BASS FALL TOUR DEC 12 The British musician and singer-




Top international artistes and DJs like Armin Van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Tiësto and David Guetta have been spinning sensational nights of house, tribal, techno, trance, electro, indie and hip-hop music at the iconic outdoor party in Siloso Beach, Sentosa for the past 12 years. This year, look out for names like Nina Kraviz, Sudha and Avicii.

songwriter, best known for hits like We’ll Be Together, Fields of Gold and If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, performs his greatest hits with a five-piece band at Bangkok’s Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani.

Nina Kraviz





DEC 15 Making only one stop in Southeast Asia, heavy metal rock band Guns N’ Roses will perform hits from its debut album Appetite for Destruction through to its latest album, Chinese Democracy, during its first ever concert in Jakarta, to be held at the Lapangan D, Senayan. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚



DEC 13 For the first time in almost 30 years,

the Jackson brothers come together for a spectacular reunion tour in memory of their late brother, the incomparable King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The concert will be held in Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur.




OYSTER DEC 5 The erratic and uncertain life of showbiz is reflected in this otherworldly dance theatre production that fuses opera, tango and throat singing with modern dance, classical ballet, vaudeville and acrobatics to create a dreamlike circus universe at the Macao Cultural Center. AUSTRALIA


take off from Western Australia’s Phillip Point on Rottnest Island, and travel over 19kms to finish in North Fremantle in the longest kite surfing race in the world.

DEC 14 – 20 During one of the most anticipated yuletide events in San Fernando, participating barangays (villages) unveil giant lanterns measuring up to 18 feet in diameter, and compete in a light and sound extravaganza. Each lantern is rigged with a complex arrangement of bulbs that dance to the rhythm of festive music.



Clark Night Market • JAPAN DEC 12

Renaissance of Light


HAGOITA-ICHI DEC 17 – 19 Shop for a pretty hagoita – rectangular board with a handle for playing a New Year game called hanetsuki – at the traditional battledore fair near Asakusa’s Senso-ji Temple. The fair dates back to the 16th century and the ornamental hagoita are sold as good luck charms. 26


Vodafone Boxing Day Test

DEC 6 Jennifer Lopez Dance Again Tour

12 Asean COMPASS 2012




From sun-drenched destinations that radiate plenty of Christmas cheer to protecting yourself from potential health issues, here’s a host of timeless travel ideas that guarantee a fun and memorable time on your next vacation.

MAKING THE MOST OF TRANSIT TIME The time spent waiting to board flights on long journeys are a part of a traveller’s life but even the most seasoned voyagers often find it hard to endure. Here are a few ideas that will help you get through those long hours.

GET FIT Airports all over the world are filled with stairways and nothing’s stopping you from using them as your personal Stair Master. If you’re not in the mood for a challenging workout, just stay at the base of the stairs and step up and down. If you want something more energetic, sprint up and down the stairs a few times but be prepared for some stares!

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME Here are three fantastic destinations in Asean that will get you in the Christmas mood in no time!


SINGAPORE literally lights up during Christmas time. You’ll be mesmerised by the dazzling lights covering every bit of space on buildings and boulevards. Shopping centres on Orchard Road conduct a competition of sorts to see which mall is able to outdo the other with its Yuletide decorations. Lights aside, Christmas in Singapore is also about taking in street performances, including musical interludes, acrobatics, carolling and parades. If shopping is your thing, then the island nation is your indisputable paradise because this is the season when shopping malls offer great


GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Singapore from various destinations. Go to for details.

PHILIPPINES Christmas is eagerly awaited in Philippines. Celebrations start from early December and continue all the way to the first week in January. This makes the Filipino Christmas the longest celebration in the world! Through the years, Filipinos have created a TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

wonderful combination of Western and local traditions. There are Christmas trees, cards and carols but you will also come across uniquely Filipino traditions like the parol, which are beautifully lit lanterns. A muchfavoured Christmas ornament, the parol represents the star that guided the Three Wise Men to the infant Jesus. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Clark (Manila) from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Macau and Hong Kong. AirAsia Philippines files daily to Kalibo, Davao and Puerto Princesa. Go to for details.

BANGKOK might seem like an unusual choice for a Christmas vacation but you won’t be disappointed. Coloured lights and decorations strung across almost every building in the city and themed shop windows add to the vibrant atmosphere. Make sure you take a walking tour down Rachadamri and Rachaprasong Roads and be prepared to be wowed by the festive light-up, especially around the Central World and Siam Paragon shopping malls. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok from various destinations. Go to for details.

SEE THE SIGHTS Don’t stay in the airport just because you’re in transit. Instead, use the time to experience the city you’re in. All you need is a little research and you’ll be able to plan an easy, affordable itinerary that will make time fly. Just make sure you’re back in plenty of time to catch your flight. PLAY A GAME Pack a few board games in your carry-on luggage and play them with your travelling companions or even a friendly stranger if you’re on a solo trip. Some great board games to have handy include Travel Scrabble and Taboo.



Travelling through tropical countries offers you breathtaking views, friendly smiles and year-long sunshine. However, without adequate health precautions, you can also be greeted by any number of common tropical diseases. Here are three diseases you should be aware of.

Tiananmen Square

BEAUTY OF BEIJING If there is any city that fuses the charm of an ancient culture with the modern trappings of 21st century living, it’s got to be Beijing. For centuries, this city has had the honour of being the capital of China and has earned the reputation of a must-see destination in Asia. Here are a few experiences you shouldn’t miss in Beijing:

COCKTAILS AT THE EMPEROR HOTEL A tour of the Forbidden City is a must but once you’re done with that, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a drink at the rooftop bar at the Emperor Hotel. Located near the east gate, you’ll be presented with stunning vistas of the royal grounds.

MAKE A DUMPLING Get acquainted with traditional Chinese cuisine by learning the art of dumpling making in the homes of the locals. Many tour operators offer this activity as part of their tour package. Not only will you get to sample delicious dumplings you made yourself, it’s also a great opportunity to get to know local culture through a rare look into the homes and lives of Beijing’s citizens.

GO EXOTIC Beijing is home to one of the world’s top foodie scenes but it’s also a place to try food that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. If you’re up for a gastronomic challenge, stop by the Donghuamen Night Market where you’ll be greeted by bamboo skewered silkworms, scorpions, seahorse and even sheep’s penis! Certainly not for the faint-hearted but brave souls will discover that lots of these strange foods are actually rather delicious! GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies to Beijing five times a week from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for details.

TRAVEL TERM: BABYMOON You may be familiar with the term ‘honeymoon’ but how about ‘babymoon’? A babymoon is essentially a trip a couple takes prior to the arrival of their first child. It’s a chance for new moms and dads to chill out together and enjoy each other’s company before the little one takes up all their time and attention for the next 20 years! 30


MALARIA This is a deadly disease that’s transmitted by mosquitoes. If you plan to visit countries that are known to have had such breakouts, visit your doctor between four to six weeks prior to your travel. Ensure you get a prescription for anti-malaria tablets that you can bring along to prevent contracting the disease. You should also be meticulous about using insect repellent, sleeping under a mosquito net and spraying insecticide in your bedroom once you arrive at your destination. TUBERCULOSIS This is a highly contagious disease that primarily affects the lungs when you’re in close contact with infected patients. Bacille-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is the vaccine that prevents tuberculosis so, ensure that you’ve been treated with it before you leave for your holiday. Do keep in mind that BCG vaccinations last for 10 years. If you’ve had one before but can’t remember when, consult your doctor on how you should proceed.

HEPATITIS A This is a liver disease that spreads easily in areas where there is poor hygiene and sanitation. A one-off vaccination jab lasts for a year, while repeated treatments can last for up to 25 years. Do some research and check if your destination city or town is a high-risk zone. Either way, it makes good sense to practise prevention. Hepatitis A Vaccines are available for both long-term and short-term prevention.

CUTTING COSTS ON FAMILY VACATIONS Going on a trip with the family is a great way to spend time together. The drawback? Family vacations can cost a bomb! The good news is you don’t have to cut back on fun just because you’re cutting back on the finances. Just look out for hidden expenses and you’ll save a tonne. For instance, choose your travel dates wisely. While it’s true that school holidays tend to coincide with expensive peak season, you can avoid hiked up costs with a little planning. If you can’t travel during off-peak or low season, opt for ‘shoulder season’. This is the period directly before and after peak season when prices for food, hotel and tickets to parks, museums and other must-see spots are usually half their normal price. Another great way to save big is to look out for kidfriendly deals. You’ll be surprised at the savings when you frequent restaurants with the ‘kids below 12 eat for free’ offer.




‘Tis the season to be jolly! Roll out the red carpet for year-end feasting ideas and updates on where and how to make merry.

EURASIAN ACCENTS First coined in British India in 1844, the word ‘Eurasian’ initially referred to people of mixed British and Indian descent but later was expanded to include other mixed ethnicities such as Dutch Burghers (those with Dutch or German surnames) and the Kristang people of Malaysia (those with Portuguese ancestry). For the Kristang community, Christmas is incomplete without their customary dishes drawn from their Portuguese intermingled with Malay, Indian, Chinese and Nyonya (Straits Chinese) culinary influences.

SEYBAK/SEBAK A Chinese-influenced dish of braised pork, pigs’ ears and sometimes intestines in soy-galangal sauce with cinnamon, cloves and star anise served on a salad of cucumber, lettuce and tomato topped with homemade chilli, garlic and vinegar dressing. CURRY DEBAL/DEVIL’S CURRY Traditionally cooked on Boxing Day (December 26) as an ingenious way to make use of leftover meats from Christmas Day, the dish is prepared with a fiery-hot blend of dried chillies, mustard, turmeric powder, candlenuts, vinegar and galangal. Similar Eurasian flavours can be savoured at Top Hat restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. Try the Bon Natal platter by Chef Richard Moreira, a celebratory platter that includes cashew nut and raisin butter rice, assam prawns, lamb prune curry, acar awak (mixed pickles), sebak and chicken curry with kaffir lime.

COLLECTIVE GOODNESS How does a hazelnut and chai yoghurt drink, luscious lemon gourmet yoghurt, or some rich haloumi sound? Now you can have it all from The Collective, a brand that specialises in epicurean flavoured yoghurts, yoghurt drinks and cheeses. Best of all, the handcrafted, probiotic and vegetarian range is completely gluten, gelatine and preservative -free!




Devil Curry


Originally known as the Chinese gooseberry, the kiwifruit was first planted in New Zealand in 1906 by Mary Isabel Fraser following her visit to China. Just a serving (150g) of this little fruit gives you over 150% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C (twice as much as a 100g orange). Vitamin C helps to reduce fatigue and, enhances the body’s absorption of important minerals such as iron and calcium. Eating more kiwifruit also helps regulate bowel movement and reduces stomach discomfort after a heavy meal. Its fibre-rich content promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and the protease enzyme (actinidin) spurs food protein digestion, enabling better nutrient absorption in our bodies. The fruit is also low in Glycemic index and serves as a natural source of folate that’s essential for formation of red blood cells, cell growth and nerve development.

ORGANIC PRODUCTS FOR LESS The Organic Trade Association offers five simple ways to buy organic products for less:

GO ORGANIC FOR FREQUENTLY USED PRODUCTS Get the most bang for your buck by buying organic products that you consume most often such as rice or milk.

SCOUR LOCAL SUPERMARKETS Check your local supermarkets or farmer’s market for a greater variety of affordable organic food choices instead of restricting it to health food and specialty stores.

WISE MOVES Executive chef Justin Wise pays homage to his classical French training and molecular gastronomy background to reinvigorate the food philosophy at The Point in Melbourne, Australia. Seasonable produce such as farmed Murray cod from Rutherglen, Queensland coral trout, crayfish from Port Campbell and Australia’s finest meat, seafood and other produce indicate both Wise’s and The Point’s commitment in bringing luxury back to dining. For the upcoming Christmas revelry, try the sumptuous four-course menu priced at AUD190 per person.



FEASTING IN PHILIPPINES In the Philippines, the Yuletide feast includes bibingka – a sweet Christmas dessert made with rice flour, coconut milk, salted egg, cheese and coconut; putò bumbóng – purple, sticky rice delicacy steamed in bamboo tubes, buttered and sprinkled with brown sugar and shredded dried coconut flesh; pandesal – bread rolls made of flour, eggs, yeast, sugar and salt, and hamón (Christmas ham). Drinks include coffee, salabát (a ginger tisane) and tsokoláte (thick Spanish-style hot chocolate). If you are not in Philippines during the Yuletide season, sample bibingka and other Christmassy treats at Delicious Café in Singapore and Malaysia throughout December.

DINING OUT OF THE BOX Game for some offbeat wining and dining options this festive season? Then join one of Deborah Cayetano’s pop-up dinners in Bali. Conceived to change the perception of where and how we dine out and as a method to push Bali’s best chefs to think out of the box, her surprising ‘pop-up’ dinners mean you’ll never know where you’ll be dining (it can be on land or at sea) and what specialities will appear on the menu. 34


Several brands of USDA Organic products such as pasta sauces can be affordable when you maximise the usage of the basic product. Use the same sauce for a pasta dinner, sandwich spread or as a marinade.

CHANGE AND CUT THE WASTE Small changes in your eating habits such as reducing fast food meals and premium coffee purchases could make more money available for organic food. Make a list before your supermarket shopping trips to avoid impulse buying and cook often at home.

CONSIDER LOYALTY PROGRAMMES Most retailers offer reward programmes for customer loyalty, allowing you to earn points based on your purchases. Redeem the loyalty points for cash vouchers for purchase of organic food products.

JUBILANT CELEBRATIONS A lavish international buffet with traditional roast turkey takes the centrestage at Chatuchak Café, Centara Grand, Central Plaza Ladprao in Bangkok on Christmas Eve (THB650++ to THB1,300++ per person) and Christmas Day (THB1,500++ to THB1,300++ per person). You can also enjoy a four-course set dinner at Don Giovanni Italian Restaurant (THB1,600++ with a glass of Italian wine) or the Blue Sky, Bar & Restaurant (THB2,000++). On New Year’s Eve, eat, drink and welcome the New Year with sumptuous festive menus priced between THB2,500++ and THB4,100++ per person at Chatuchak Café, Don Giovanni and Blue Sky, Bar & Restaurant.



SEASON FOR SANTA This Yuletide season, we bring you warm holiday reads that celebrate the wonder of Father Christmas, alongside an interview with Shanaka Fernando whose ‘pay-what-you-canafford’ community restaurants feed the hungry and inspire the masses.




If you’ve grown up believing in Santa and don’t want to lose the Christmas magic, here are some reads that’ll keep the Yuletide twinkle alive. ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS is possibly one of the most famous of all Christmas poems. Composed by Clement Clarke Moore and published in 1823, this poem recounts a visit from St. Nick and is credited for the merry image of rosy cheeked Santa with a belly that shook “like a bowlful of jelly” and a reindeer-drawn sleigh – “When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.” These reindeer are even named: “Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!” Even the author and humorist Mark Twain embraced the Christmas spirit and once wrote to his daughter, Susie Clemens, as Santa. In A LETTER FROM SANTA CLAUS crafted with Twain’s signature storytelling style, Twain hatched an elaborate plan to deliver Susie’s Christmas presents, and included instructions on what to do should his boots leave a stain on the marble: “Leave it there always in memory of my visit; and whenever you look at it or show it to anybody you must let it remind TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

you to be a good little girl.” But possibly the most beautiful of Christmas literature was inspired by a letter from eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon to the New York Sun in 1897. It read: “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?” Rather than dismiss the question, veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church responded with an unsigned editorial. His YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS article would become one of the most reprinted newspaper editorials ever, appearing in different languages and quoted in books and movies. Among the statements in the reply was: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.”


X ALWAYS LOOKING UP: THE ADVENTURES OF AN INCURABLE OPTIMIST by Michael J. Fox shows how challenges can be viewed as opportunities. Fox adopted a positive outlook to live with Parkinson’s disease.

X HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A LITTLE BOY’S ASTOUNDING STORY OF HIS TRIP TO HEAVEN AND BACK recounts the near death experience of four-year-old Colton Burpo, and what he saw in heaven.

X A KIDNAPPED SANTA CLAUS by L. Frank Baum, daemons kidnap Santa to spoil Christmas, but the day is saved by his magical helpers.

X THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein is told from the point of view of Enzo, the beloved family canine who takes stock of his life on the eve of his death.


GIVIN’ GOOD Travel 3Sixty° checks in with Australia’s local hero, Sri Lanka-born Shanaka Fernando, to unearth the inspiration behind Lentil As Anything.

L.O.L. James A parody of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, this ‘erotica for classy blokes’ follows entrepreneur Christina Grey as she attempts to use DIY jargon to seduce her clueless handyman who naively believes she’s really that into DIY activities!


THE PECULIAR Stefan Bachmann Changelings or Peculiars, siblings Bartholomew and Hettie Kettle, live under the radar, hoping to stay away from danger if they go unnoticed. But soon a strange event will force Bartholomew out of hiding.



Carol V. Aebersold, Chanda A. Bell & Coe Steinwart Start a fun Christmas tradition with this lovely gift set that includes a picture book and toy elf, which acts as a scout for Santa, reporting children who’ve been naughty or nice. Play hide-and-seek by hiding the elf in different spots each morning.

BEAUTIFUL REDEMPTION Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl Light and darkness, thorny situations and heartbreaking decisions come to climax in the finale of the fantasy series Beautiful Creatures, as Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes team up to rewrite their destinies.


Jai Pausch


For anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, here’s a moving read by the widow of the late Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture. Pausch talks about the struggle to care for her family alone and her journey towards healing. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

In a society divided by money, pay as you feel is a method of using money to unite people. It’s important to promote trust. The fundamentals of democracy are freedom and equality. A broad range of people are drawn to our dining table. Try a conservative Indian family next to men with tattoos – one of whom is having his last meal before submitting himself to a year’s imprisonment for drug possession. Some eat and donate when they can or contribute in numerous other ways. Fairness comes in all shapes and colours.

EARLY AWAKENING I grew up in a war torn country. The brutality inflicted in the name of race and ideology was horrific. Amidst this backdrop, the gentleness and generosity I experienced through the maids in our house, the families from the slum and the villagers, stood in stark contrast. When I was 12 years old, I witnessed a man staggering on the brink of collapse. He’d walked for more than 30kms in search of employment. I gave him all the pocket money I had: 100 rupees – enough to feed his family for a week. This is when the social inequalities hit home. I knew then that this society was deeply flawed. In the ensuing years, this man brought me gifts and sentiments of gratitude. A man ravaged by greed had nothing but kindness to offer in return.

MOST SATISFYING MEAL In a forest in Sri Lanka, I found a hut where an old man was bent over a steaming clay pot. He greeted me with warmth “In five minutes, this crab curry will be ready for us.” He regaled me with stories of hunting adventures whilst we both splattered ourselves with the most delicious crab sauce.

SUPPORTING LENTIL AS ANYTHING We need the uniqueness inherentt in everyone. We can incorporate anyy skill to enrich our diverse tapestry. y. Become a promoter of trust in your ur community by simply reaching out ut to your neighbour with kindness and generosity.




The pursuit of wealth is as old as life itself. No matter how you define it, the fact remains that having money – at least enough of it – is a convenience we cannot live without.

percent growth was tracked in the number of women-owned businesses in the past 15 years, generating revenue of up to USD1.3 trillion. American Express OPEN, March 2012


percent is the projected growth of Internet traffic in Latin America in 2015, with 35% growth in Asia Pacific, 32% in Western Europe and 26% in North America. Cisco’s Global IP Traffic Forecast 2010-2015







billion USD is the predicted value of the mobile gaming industry by 2015.

MAKE YOUR MOVE Here are a few of the latest business ideas that have earned great success, and may possibly spark ideas you can use to enter business yourself. LA CASQUERIA (MADRID, SPAIN) is a bookshop that sells second-hand books by weight rather than by title. At EUR10 per kilogramme, it’s a pretty cheap offer to recirculate books and promote reading.

BOTTLE MESSAGE (SINGAPORE) is a new technology that lets bashful patrons send notes to each other using beer bottles embellished with QR-enabled tags. STUDENT LOAN HERO (USA) is a web tool that helps graduates track, monitor and make payments on their government or private student loans more efficiently.

HUKKSTER (USA) is a web platform that allows users to register and bookmark products that they wish to purchase. The site notifies them when a fashion item drops below a certain price online, keeping users in the loop on great discounts and sales.

As the New Year approaches, it’s time to re-evaluate your financial status. Whether you’re working hard for your money, or already rolling in it, there is always room for improvement, as extolled by author, publisher and investor, Doug Casey, chairman of Casey Research that promotes ‘Personal Freedom through Financial Freedom’.




LIQUIDATE You will have plenty of things lying around the house that you may no longer need – books, clothes, furnishings, etc. It’s time to liquidate and cash in.

RECOGNISING YOUR WEALTH With money, you are blessed with a privileged environment and shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting more of it.


CONSOLIDATE You will have less junk by now, but some cash. The money alone is not an asset. It’s your skills, knowledge and contacts. Get cracking on calling your friends and see where you can put some of that cash to help you make more money.

PURPOSE OF YOUR WEALTH Whether you created your wealth or were born into it, discovering your purpose for having it is important. This will set the stage in developing your personal values and what you do with your wealth.


CREATE The essence of wealth is to produce more money than you use, and save the difference. While it’s hard to maximise value when you work for someone else, this is when you need to figure what you can create and offer to at least some of the seven billion people on this planet. Start with the Yellow Pages for ideas.

GOOD USE OF YOUR WEALTH When you’ve determined your values, it’d be easy to understand your purpose for having such wealth. It could be in advancing medical sciences or even supporting a green effort. Whatever it may be, when the cause is one you’re passionate about, you will have done more for mankind than merely accumulating material assets.


SPECULATE Rather than allow yourself to be the victim of circumstance, use it to your benefit. Continue with your efforts in providing the service you’ve created, but keep on adding value to it by reinventing offers that will secure a long-term stable side income.

DISPOSAL OF YOUR WEALTH This is a fairly sensitive topic, but you will have to review how you would want to leave your estate when you leave this world. It would make your life’s work more meaningful to have someone with the same values and concerns run your business when you’re gone to keep your legacy intact.







We all begin with good intentions and great resolutions but almost always falter within the first three months of the New Year. Are resolutions really that hard to keep? Here are some simple ways to start and stay steady on those resolutions for a better and healthier 2013.


precent of all asthma cases are triggered by exertion from exercise. Source:

A FAIR DEAL Start NOW! Whatever your new year’s resolutions on health may be, there is no better time to begin than the present. Why wait for a healthier tomorrow when you can have it now? Here are your basic steps to achieving robust health. BE KIND Don’t be too harsh on yourself. If you’ve broken past resolutions, don’t abandon the new ones you’ve set for 2013. Adjust the resolutions according to your age and lifestyle with the goal to get healthy; not to kill yourself!


THE REAL DEAL Be realistic. If you plan to quit all your bad habits i.e. smoking, fast foods and sedentary lifestyle all at one go, you are bound to fail. Start with one bad habit first and focus on overcoming it. When you succeed, the confidence of having achieved your target will motivate you to attempt yet another goal.


STAY WITHIN BOUNDARIES Try not to set health resolutions that rest on factors beyond your control. If you’ve suffered a serious ailment, a resolution to get cured by yourself is unrealistic, as medical intervention and support are required. But embarking on a healthy eating habit

or a fun workout to boost your immunity and health will help tremendously. CHART YOUR PROGRESS It’s good to have a progress chart. If you wish to lose weight, target your weight goal in three months, then six months and so forth. But, checking on it too often may lead to frustration, as you may not see a drastic difference. Likewise, if you don’t check at all, you won’t know the progress either. GET A MATE Use a buddy system. Get your friends acquainted with your health resolutions and invite them to provide support. The buddy system enables both parties to motivate and encourage each other. It’s also fun when you have someone to engage in the said activity together. DONE DEAL Reward yourself. Don’t underestimate the power of rewarding yourself when your resolutions are met. And make it count; the bigger the reward, the more self-motivated you’ll be. Perhaps you’d like to change your car or buy a new handbag when you’ve shed those 20 kilogrammes!

5 REASONS TO DRINK (SOME) COFFEE PAIN MANAGEMENT Two cups of medium strength coffee can lessen your post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%. FIBRE FILL One cup of brewed coffee can contain up to 1.8 grams of fibre, hence a cup in the morning gets the bowels to move and expel toxins accumulated. LIVER PROTECTION Coffee actually contains ingredients that protect against liver cirrhosis. AVOID ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Evidence that caffeine may protect against Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered through numerous medical studies worldwide over recent years. PROTECT FROM PARKINSON’S DISEASE Patients with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to be coffee drinkers than their healthy counterparts. Source:


minutes is the amount of sleep a woman needs more than a man nightly, so she may recover from the stress and pressures of multi-tasking, allowing for her brain and body to recover. Source: www.


percent higher in death risk has been determined by medical experts through studies on people who spend an extra hour a day doing nothing but watching television. This is equivalent to the reduction in life expectancy by 22 minutes. Source: www.daily


billion USD is spent yearly in the dieting industry worldwide. Source:








You have been regaled with bits and bytes from the big games in sports. Now, read all about the strange games that also fall under the same category as sporting events.


You may not take these events seriously but don’t ever mention that to the participants of these championships!

Retro running

Finger wrestling

RETRO RUNNING It’s all about running... backwards. You may argue that our bodies are not programmed to move backwards, let alone run backwards, but it’s apparently very beneficial. Ancient Chinese have prescribed walking and running backwards as a means to stay in shape and lessen injuries for years. It was only picked up as a sporting event in America in the 20th century. There are various Retro or Backward Running events happening yearly worldwide. FINGER WRESTLING History has it that Finger Wrestling, or fingerhakeln, was how Bavarian men settled disputes in the 17th century, where the two men would hook their middle fingers into a loop of a strong string, and tug as hard as they can. Whoever pulls the other to his side, wins. It remains a celebrated annual championship in the German region, although it never caught on in the outside world. Every year, over 150 strong men make their way to Schnaitsee, Chiemgau, in the heart of Bavaria for the chance of putting their middle finger to the test. URBAN GOLF Take a swing in the streets

Urban golf

for a change! This is Urban Golf, where the greens is the actual city landscape, the course hazards are street fittings, drains, potholes and lampposts. The first Urban Golf championship was organised by the Shoreditch Golf Club where the streets of London served as an 18 hole, par-72 open tournament landscape in 2004. The golf clubs used in Urban Golf is very much the same, but with specially designed balls.

million USD is the largest payout made in one particular sport; the amount given out at the UEFA European Football Championship 2012. The breakdowns of the payout included a staggering USD5.625 million awarded should the team lose in the finals. Source:

87,711 is the maximum seating capacity of the National Stadium Bukit Jalil in Malaysia, making it the largest stadium in Southeast Asia, the 25th largest in the world, and the 9th largest football stadium in the world. Source:


percent of respondents from an online survey felt that Freestyle Motorcross athletes are the toughest of all action sports athletes, compared to 26.1% for skateboarding, 18% for snowboarding, 11.8% for BMX, 7.7% for surfing and, only 4.4% for freeskiing. Source: www.krush. com/blog




Part-time model Tihana Nemcic was appointed to coach Croatia’s men’s football team in October 2012. The gorgeous 24-year-old finalist at the Miss Croatia Sport competition in 2008 insists that her appointment is not a publicity stunt.


Former world champion boxer, Amir Khan, and his brother fought off six gang members attempting to carjack his Range Rover in the wee hours of the morning in Birmingham, England, The robbers learnt the hard way to not mess with the champ’s wheels.

21-year-old Sri Lankan, Abdul Karim, was fined Sri Lankan Rupees 1,000 (approximately USD7.50) and handed a one-month suspended jail term for breaking and entering and, offering sex to Australian cricketers in their hotel rooms during the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.

Australia’s Red Bull race car driver, Mark Webber, was given a private dance lesson by Korean pop sensation PSY to his hit tune, Super Gangnam Style, while attending the Korean Formula One Grand Prix. Source: Sept and Oct 2012



F1 FUN FACTS Fahmi being congratulated by Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes (right) after his historical win.

“I am really glad! I knew that my pace was good enough to fight for the win but in the end I had a good battle AirAsia SIC AJO rider, Zulfahmi with Sandro. Now it´s time Khairuddin, created history by becoming to enjoy my win. I thank the first ever Malaysian to step foot on my team and all those the World Championship podium after who have supported finishing second at the Malaysian me for so long Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang in October. and of course, Fahmi made a great start from my fans.” pole and had a fighting chance for the victory


up to the very last lap when Sandro Cortese overtook him. Fahmi´s first victory seemed almost within reach but Cortese crossed the finish line only 28 thousandth of a second before him.




This year, the AirAsia Australian Grand Prix edition geared up to be the most thrilling race of the year, with Casey Stoner aiming for his sixth consecutive win at the Australian Grand Prix. Fans were not disappointed, as Stoner was in the lead within three laps and dominated until the chequered flag. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was crowned 2012 MotoGP World Champion, even though he came in second after Casey Stoner. The Spaniard wrapped up a season of domination at Australia to claim his second MotoGP World Championship title, becoming Spain’s firstever double premier-class Grand Prix Champion. Fans at the weekend MotoGP event also had the chance of a life time to win a one-of-a-kind AirAsia KTM 1190 RC8 worth $27,000 thanks to AirAsia and KTM. Participants were required to grab an AirAsia Passport at the AirAsia booth and have their passport stamped at checkpoints located around the Phillip Island circuit area. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Heikki Kovalainen & Vitaly Petrov of the Caterham F1 Team share with us some fun facts about themselves. Q: AS A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE, WHAT IS YOUR DAILY LUNCH DIET? Vitaly: Green Salad and chicken Heikki: Chicken and pasta Q: WHAT IS YOUR PRE-RACE MUSIC? Vitaly: Katy Perry’s Fireworks Heikki: Engine noise! Ha ha! Q: IF YOU COULD BE A FOOTBALLER, WHO WOULD YOU BE? Vitaly: Maradona Heikki: Lionel Messi Q: WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Vitaly: Actually it was a horse Heikki: The first I actually paid for was an infiniti Fs50S in black.

(L to R): Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Cal Crutchlow on the MotoGP podium.

Fahmi (third from left) celebrating his birthday with AirAsia flight attendants and a young fan.

FAHMI SCORES BIG ON HIS 21ST! On October 20, 2012, Zulfahmi Khairuddin became a true hero in front of his home crowd in the Sepang circuit in the season´s 15th qualifying practice of Moto3 class in Malaysia. It was a double celebration as he managed to clinch the first pole position of his career on the day he turned 21! Calling it the perfect birthday gift for himself, Fahmi rejoiced, “Incredible! I honestly couldn´t have wished for a better birthday present than this!”


“Finally! I finally won a race this season after the mechanical issues and ontrack incidents encountered throughout the year. I feel good that this race victory also led to the securing of the overall championship title, but at the same time it still hasn’t sunk in completely.”

DAIM WINS RMC ASIAN JUNIOR TITLE MotoGP fans in Japan were given a ‘red’ race weekend in Motegi, as AirAsia presented the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan from October 12 to 14, 2012. Throughout the weekend, the Twin Ring Motegi circuit was ablaze with the trademark red AirAsia brand, which was made even sexier with AirAsia flight attendants who worked their charm and magic, interacting and posing with fans. This race was the 15th edition on the MotoGP World Championship calendar for the 2012 season and the first of two races in Asia. Fans witnessed three exhilarating races with Danny Kent of Red Bull KTM AJO, scoring his maiden victory in the Moto3 category, followed by Maverick Vinales and Alessandro Tonucci. Racing for Team AirAsia-SIC-Ajo Motorsport was none other than Malaysia’s sole competitor Zulfahmi Khairuddin. Fahmi finished fifth in the race. 48


Finishing the 2012 Rotax Max Challenge Asia Series (RMC Asia) in top position, Daim Hishammudin of the BHPetrol Racing Team scored maximum championship points at the Sepang Kart Circuit over the weekend of October 13 and 14, 2012. This earned Daim a ticket to the Rotax Max Challenge (RMC) Grand Finals in Portugal at the end of November, where he will be the only Singaporean among the winners of the RMC championships from around the world. Daim is the first and only Singaporean in the AirAsia Caterham Driver Development Programme supported by the Caterham Formula 1 team, part of AirAsia’s youth development initiative.

02 12 HYPER TECH 2012 2012


Gone are the days when technology was cumbersome, big and bulky. Now, it is has evolved into gadgets and gizmos that you can even wear or beam onto your skin, making the user an integral part of the technology.



HANDS FREE CAMERA Now you can take photos without touching the camera or the shutter release button. Instead, simply hang the Autographer around your neck and let its five sensors and GPS decide when to automatically take photos or record videos based on the changes in lighting, colour, motion, direction and temperature.

WEARABLE MULTITOUCH PROJECTOR Microsoft is building a wearable projector called OmniTouch. Using a depth-sensing camera to translate the wearer’s gestures into commands, the OmniTouch can project images onto surfaces like your palms, arms, notepad and the wall. Right now this projector sits on the wearer’s shoulder but Microsoft hopes to miniaturise it in the future.

FREE FROM THE MOUSE AND TOUCHSCREEN With the Leap box plugged in to your computer, the mouse or touchscreen will not be needed again. Instead, you make gestures in the air with your fingers and the Leap’s motion sensing and control software will work out what your fingers are doing. This is then translated by the programme in the computer.



X When sending usernames, passwords or credit card numbers, make sure they are encrypted. X Never send passwords or credit card information in emails. X Because of phishing scams, never be tricked into giving away your account information. X Always use a strong password in a combination of characters and numbers. X Always store passwords and login information in a secure place, and never write them down on paper or in a text file. X Always look to see who is watching you in public places, like in Internet cafes, when you log on to certain websites like banking facilities. X Remember to update your browser plug-ins.

If teleconferencing is a popular way of communicating in your office, the 17” screen Beam is the way to go. Equipped with a Remote Presence Device that comes with a 180° viewing and zooming lens, the Beam comes with two wideangle HD cameras for full visual awareness and six-microphones with noise reduction and echo cancellation. The wireless connection is seamless with four antennas while the audio is 3D realistic using seven microphones.

FUTURE OF SUPER COMPUTERS Researchers at the University of Toronto applied superconductors onto a double-sided Scotch Tape and placed them close to a semiconductor, giving it superconducting properties. If proved to be workable in the future, this can be applied to today’s method of making chips to build a quantum computer.

INTERACTIVE VIDEO QUIZ YouTube is letting users beta-test a new interactive quiz feature called Video Questions Editor Beta. The user can upload a video and edit it by creating multiple questions with a list of answers and hints regarding the video, creating an interactive element to his show reels. http://techcrunch. com/2012/09/20/youtube-video-questions-editor/


“Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.” ~ Frederick P. Brooks, from his essay No Silver Bullet


INSTANT HEART RATE Simply touch the phone’s camera lens with your fingertips for the app to detect your heart’s pulse in just seconds. Additionally, the app can detect stress levels. You can share the information on Facebook and Twitter.

SOUND SURROUND Awesome headphones like these not only produce superior audio quality, they also look simply über cool!

SCUDERIA FERRARI R300 BY LOGIC3 Inspired by the Scuderia Ferrari GT car with aerodynamic air vents and grille, this headphone has metal arms and diamond shaped grilles. The 40mm driver in the back seals the very soft ear pads to prevent loss of music dynamics and reduce unwanted ambient noise.


OS: iOS & Android Price: USD0.99

This wireless range of Beats headphones by Dr Dre connects using Bluetooth. Users can easily control music by touching the ‘Play’ button on the ear cup, or answer calls from a smartphone. You can even stream music from the TV with this headphone.

TOCA BAND Children can create music using the 16 characters who play or sing in different sounds and rhythms depending on where they’re placed higher or lower on a stage. The app also comes with various background music, animation, sound effects and sound loops to play with. OS: iOS Price: USD1.99

BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 3 The Bose QuietComfort 3 cancels out noise with a mere flip of a switch. The technology here can process signals and reproduce life-like audio over a wide range of sounds. Additionally, apart from listening to music, it can also be worn to reduce engine noise onboard aircraft.

FOODIVIDE When dining out, divide a food bill among friends by dragging and dropping food items into their plate icons. If two people shared one dish, the app can split the costs for you by dragging and dropping into their plate icons. Foodivide even works out the tax and the tips for you! OS: iOS and Android Price: USD0.99



NOKIA PURITY PRO WIRELESS STEREO HEADSET BY MONSTER Pair this wireless Nokia headset to a Nokia Lumia smartphone by simply touching them together. To cancel noise and turn on the Bluetooth function, just unfold the headset. In red, yellow, white and black, this headset also uses Bluetooth to work with other handphone brands.

IT’S A BRAND NEW! Now you can book yourself a well-deserved flight + hotel holiday in just two minutes – anywhere, any device, anytime! offers you fantastic deals on thousands of flights and hotel deals in Asia, Australia, UK and the US. What’s more, the website has been simplified in helping you find the best deals swiftly. With just five simple steps, you are off on that dream vacation!

Here’s how to book a holiday with in just 2 minutes!

STEP 1 Enter the location and travel dates



STEP 2 Select flight time and hotel of your choice

STEP 3 Select room type

THE AIRASIAGO.COM PROMISE X Flexibility in payment options and currency! X Convenience, with fast and easy access to the offers on!

Enter contact and payment details

X Exclusive deals from AirAsia and partner hotels! X Responsive design that works across desktop, mobile and tablet! X Wide range of selections for you – over 100,000 hotels and over 5,000 activities! X Best price guarantee! X Great package savings! X Rich and localised content! X No credit card processing fee!

STEP 5 And Voila! Your booking is complete. Print the confirmation page and start packing!



What are you waiting for? Go to www. and have a blast choosing flights, hotel deals and fun activities now!




From seaside resorts that offer total rejuvenation to urban residences that will have you grooving to the pulse of the city, hotel accommodation in these destinations in Southeast Asia offer guests a great way to wind down after a long and productive year.


This resort, which opened in September 2011, has not just one, but two beautifullylandscaped pools that meander like shimmering lagoons amid a tropical garden – complete with a thundering waterfall and jet sprays for a soothing massage. On a sultry afternoon, there’s nothing more inviting! To take full advantage of the fantastical pools, opt for the Laguna Pool Access suites where guests can step off the deck right into the tempting blue. These suites come with all the modern trappings you’d expect from a four-star resort including a bathtub and LCD TV with international channels. Families should opt for the Superior Loft that sleeps three to four people in a duplex setting.


LAGOON-SIDE INDULGENCE We’ve all endured those sweltering days when all we can think of is diving into the nearest body of water (preferably full of slowlymelting ice cubes) to retreat from the blistering heat. But, I’ve never felt the pull as strongly as in Bali’s Swiss-Belhotel Segara in Nusa Dua, and it wasn’t even that hot! TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Lazy afternoons here are made even more special at the t-lounge, which celebrates tea mixology with an extensive range of Dilmah boutique teas like vanilla Ceylon and Mediterranean Mandarin; tea smoothies with lychee tea, fresh fruits and yoghurt and iced teas like Violet Chilled, a delicate blend of camomile flowers and violet syrup. Then, there are playful tea-infused cocktails like Green Sencha Mojito – a mix of Bacardi, green sencha tea, lime and mint leaves, and Strawberry and Rose Crush that calls for a blend of vodka, French vanilla tea and strawberries. Meanwhile, the casual dining Café Laguna offers delicious Indonesian a la carte dishes like Laguna Fried Rice served with smoky satay and grilled prawns, Sawangan Satay with a special peanut sauce, traditional oxtail soup with green chilli sambal, and nasi campur bebek betutu, a traditional slow-cooked duck dish served with corn rice. Buffets are usually a mix of international and local favourites. In keeping with the idyllic theme of the resort, I decided to try one of the Serene Spa’s signature packages: Chocolate Indulgence. As its sweet name suggests, this entails a pretty immersive experience specially designed for those who don’t mind whiling away a couple of decadent hours covered in chocolate. The treatment started off with a foot bath followed by a deep, stress-relieving oil massage that worked out all the kinks and made me as pliable as dough. By the time my masseuse began the

SAVE BIG WITH EXPEDIA! Looking for an easy and hassle free way to plan your vacation while enjoying great savings? There’s no better place to start than with Expedia. At Expedia, travellers get the freedom to choose from over 150,000 hotels and 400 airlines to design their own holiday in just minutes. And the best part? If travellers book their flight and hotel together, they save up to 20% of their total holiday price tag! Here’s how to book your dream vacation in four easy steps.


STEP 2 CHOOSE A HOLIDAY PACKAGE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU. Travellers can sort by popularity, price, guest rating and hotel class. Each search result will also show the price per person (inclusive of flight + hotel taxes and fees) and, the savings travellers can expect.

STEP 3 DESIGN OR CUSTOMISE YOUR HOLIDAY. chocolate scrub, the aroma alone was enough to make me feel as if I’d died and gone to Willy Wonka’s chocolate heaven. Next came a chocolate almond body mask, and finally, after a quick shower, a white chocolate body lotion to keep me enveloped in a haze of chocolatey goodness. As a finishing touch, a chocolate drink materialised. This could’ve been sweeter and richer, but since I’d already been rubbed head-to-toe in chocolate, I thought it would seem a tad greedy to expect more from this chocolatey dream treatment.


Travellers can upgrade their rooms, add tours, airport transfers and a range of activities to suit them.

STEP 4 CONFIRM YOUR BOOKING AND BE ON YOUR WAY! Travellers who use Expedia’s services will never need to worry as Expedia has a 24-hour Call Center that provides round the clock assistance. The icing on the cake? Expedia offers travellers attractive flight + hotel packages backed by a Best Price Guarantee!

With Expedia holidays, you are in total control and your dream holiday is only a few clicks away.

Jalan Pura Segara, Sawangan, Nusa Dua Selatan, Bali 80363 +62-361 8708888 TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


EXCLUSIVE & ENCHANTING From managing four-star properties to villas and seaside resorts, the Furama chain is a well-recognised brand in the hospitality industry in the Asia Pacific region. While its four-star category hotels are popular with business and leisure travellers in cities like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, the chain’s bespoke offering called FuramaXclusive is the new wave in hotel accommodation that personalises services and takes the experience to a more intimate level. Surprisingly affordable, the FuramaXclusive brand keeps it simple, homely and down to earth – exactly what most travellers want on their travels. The flagship offering of this brand, the FuramaXclusive Asoke in Sukhumvit Soi 21, is a chic little hotel smack in the thick of things while keeping the mayhem that’s Bangkok far, far way. Seriously, the busy thoroughfare is just outside the hotel but this former office block has been converted so efficiently into a hotel building that the noise, traffic, crowd and glare from a million neon lights do not intrude into your private moments of rest and rejuvenation. With just 102 rooms on 11 floors, the rooms here are spacious and well appointed. The rooms’ muted colour scheme in beiges, creams and light moss green intersect stylishly with the dark wooden tones and metallic accents. The headboard in my room was in a simple checkerboard pattern in white and soft metallic green flanked by two bed lights with iridescent lampshades, hanging from the ceiling. The bed too was a point of

interest as it had the firmest mattress I’d slept on in a long time. Trust me, after a day of gallivanting the whole of Bangkok, you’ll appreciate a super firm bed for a good night’s rest. Sukhumvit Street is an awfully long road with all kinds of entertainment, dining and shopping options. But if you need some quiet time, the hotel has a modest F&B outlet called M3 that serves breakfast that’s cooked to order and other a la carte offerings throughout the day. At night, the magic happens when the restaurant turns into a cosy wine bar with a large screen telecasting sports and entertainment programmes. The glass panelling also gives you lovely views of the twinkling city lights and the streaking beams of the traffic outside – both psychedelic and pretty at the same time. Another attraction at FuramaXclusive Asoke is the rooftop hydro pools, Jacuzzi and sundeck. The Bangkok sun can be merciless so,

you are better off in the shade but at night, this is a lovely spot to drink in the bird’s eye view of the city. It is a small hotel that’s big on service but above all, the hotel’s location is an attraction in itself. The Terminal 21 mall is located just behind the hotel while Emporium and Central Plaza Grand Rama 9 are mere minutes away. A three-minute walk from the hotel brings you to the Sukhumvit MRT and Asoke BTS stations – travel hubs that link you to just about anywhere in the city. Additionally, with AirAsia now having shifted to Don Mueang International Airport, travelling into the city is quick and hassle-free with the highway leading you directly into Soi 21 where the hotel is located. This simply means you get into the city quicker and start enjoying the hotel and the nearby attractions almost within two hours from having touched down in Bangkok. Sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy Bangkok! WORDS: R. RAJENDRA



133/2 Sukhumvit Soi 21, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand


ALLURING ALOFT Located in the heart of Bangkok, in the trendy Sukhumvit district, Aloft Bangkok – Sukhumvit 11, is the first Aloft brand hotel in Southeast Asia. Delivering stylish accommodation accented with wide, open spaces and an urban-influenced vibe, the hotel prides itself on its ‘no walls, no limits’ concept that has been creating a buzz in the hospitality industry. The property features 296 guestrooms, including 205 king guestrooms (32 sq m), 84 double guestrooms (35 sq m), and seven suite guestrooms (60 sq m). Guests can celebrate their personal style with friends and family over signature cocktails at wxyzSM bar or, grab a bite from the snack attack menu at re:fuel that’s open 24/7. Alternatively, head to re:mixSM lounge for a game of pool or lounge in style at Splash pool. For a workout, the re:charge fitness centre is a fully equipped gym that will help you burn off the calories. The hotel is also conveniently surrounded by a bright social scene, world-class shopping and numerous cultural attractions. The Nana BTS Skytrain Station is located within five minutes walking distance from Aloft, enabling easy travels around the city.


35 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Sukhumvit Road, Wattana, Bangkok

STYLISH SANTIKA Hotel Santika Premiere Jakarta is a four-star hotel and the flagship property of the biggest local hotel chain in Indonesia – Santika Indonesia Hotels and Resorts. Surrounded by shopping malls, quick access to the city’s CBD and just 30 minutes to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Hotel Santika Premiere Jakarta is well suited for business and leisure travellers seeking comfortable and luxurious accommodation. The property features 275 spacious guestrooms that range from Deluxe and Club Premiere to Suite and Presidential Suite – each decorated in a style that is decidedly unique. All rooms offer WiFi high-speed Internet access and a wide range of cable TV channels, amongst others. For F&B options, guests can dine at The Harmony Restaurant that offers a full buffet comprising authentic traditional Indonesian, Western and Asian cuisines, or enjoy authentic Chinese fare at Yan Palace Chinese Restaurant, which serves fine Chinese cuisine in a cosy setting.




Jl. AIPDA KS Tubun No7 – SLIPI, Jakarta

MARVELOUS MERCURE Mercure Convention Center, Ancol – Jakarta (MCCAJ) is the only International & MICE Business Hotel that offers travellers a tranquil beachfront setting with a restful holiday ambiance. Just 20 minutes from the international airport and 15 minutes from Jakarta CBD, the hotel has 434 rooms with a full list of amenities such as cable TV channels, in-room safety deposit box, minibar and broadband Internet access. Dining options at the hotel include international and Indonesian favourites at Sunda Kelapa, Japanese cuisine at Shiosai, coffee, tea with cakes and pastries at Nelayan Bar, and light meals and snacks to go with your karaoke session at the Music Lounge & Karaoke. The hotel is also renowned as a MICE venue for its extensive specialty function rooms, all equipped with audio-visual equipment to accommodate corporate meetings, product launches and incentive gatherings of all sizes. To top it all, MCCAJ is also located within the exciting Ancol Dreamland Park, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest recreation playgrounds with lots of attractions such as Fantasy World, Oceanarium, Gondola Cable Car and many more.


Jl. Pantai Indah, Ancol Jakarta Baycity, Jakarta Utara

MAGICAL MAYA Located mere steps from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur aims to make guests feel at home with its dedicated team that provides guests with personalised services. The rooms – 100 studios and 107 suites – most of which enjoy unobstructed views of either the Petronas Twin Towers or Kuala Lumpur Tower, are located within a naturally lit and ventilated atrium within the 22-storey building. The well-designed rooms are spacious and come complete with Medklinn Air Sterilizers that ensure clean and sterilised air. For food, guests can opt to dine at Maya Brasserie (international buffets and a la carte selections), Still Waters (modern Japanese cuisine) and Ramah Tamah (cakes and deli offerings). For lighter options, The Lobby Lounge provides a relaxing atmosphere for in-house and walk-in guests, while Sky Lounge boasts Kuala Lumpur’s most stunning night view. To escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, guests can rest, relax and rejuvenate at Anggun Spa, while the hotel’s indoor swimming pool is Kuala Lumpur’s only heated hydrotherapy pool with water jets to massage your body.




138 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur


With the holiday season just around the corner, people the world over are gearing up for the busiest shopping period of the year. But while you’re looking for that perfect holiday gift, remember that fraudsters are also looking for opportunities to fleece, cheat and trick you. Shoppers looking for bargains might go to websites they wouldn’t normally visit, or click on links whose business practices and origins cannot be verified. To prevent yourself from falling prey to these tricksters, here are 10 tips on how you can protect yourself against fraud – both at the mall or online – and shop with peace of mind during the holiday season.

LOOK FOR THE ‘VERIFIED BY VISA’ LOGO ON ECOMMERCE SITES ‘Verified by Visa’ is an added layer of authentication, protecting you from fraudulent and bogus merchants. Spotting this sign online guarantees you with an additional layer of security protecting your card information, and that the merchant who displays it is taking your security seriously.

SIGN UP FOR EMAIL/TEXT ‘TRANSACTION ALERTS’ FROM YOUR BANK Better yet, take advantage of Visa transaction alerts available from select issuers. Set

parameters for receiving an email or text alert when your Visa card is used and keep tabs on your account activity in near real-time. If you see something suspicious or an unauthorised charge, report it to your bank right away.

Make sure you let the cashier know that you are not comfortable with this practice.


Invest in a good anti-virus software programme and keep it up to date. Resist the urge to click ‘remind me later’.’ This helps protect against spyware that can steal your personal information.

Fraudsters may use ‘phishes’ or fraudulent emails to trick you into submitting sensitive personal information. Always review every email asking for personal data, and then check the legitimacy of the request by looking up the company’s phone number and calling to verify the request. Remember that Visa and banks do not solicit personal information via e-mail, unless the cardholder initiates contact.

GUARD YOUR PIN FROM ‘SHOULDER SURFING’ Carefully shield your PIN from prying eyes every time you use it. Keep your PIN number safe and don’t reveal it to anyone.

REPORT MISSING CARDS IMMEDIATELY Call the bank or the organisation that issued your card if you’ve lost your card. They will block your card immediately and organise a replacement. The sooner you report the loss, the sooner your card can be replaced.

STOP YOUR CASHIER FROM DOUBLE-SWIPING You’ve likely seen a cashier swiping your card twice when you pay, or once after your chip card has been inserted into the terminal. The additional swipe collects information from your card for the merchant’s records but your data is often stored on an unsecured terminal, w which can be easily breached.

* Terms & Conditions apply




CREATE STRONG PASSWORDS: Aim for eight or more characters with letters, numbers, symbols and punctuations. Use different passwords for different sites and change them regularly.

REVIEW RECEIPTS BEFORE YOU SIGN THEM AND BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS Some merchants make mistakes, some add additional charges. Make sure you review each receipt carefully and know what you are signing up for.

SEEK OUT SAFETY SYMBOLS These include the padlock icon in your browser’s status bar, ‘https’ in the URL, or the words ‘Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)’. These are security layers that are designed to protect your personal data and transactions. Visa works to ensure the protection and privacy of cardholders’ transactions worldwide, 24/7. For more tips and practical know-hows, on protecting your account information, avoiding payment card scams and resolving unauthorised card use, visit






Take your pick from our list of some of the best places in the world to usher in the New Year; and make it as wild, romantic or relaxing as you want it to be when you say Hello to 2013.



Similar to other party cities in the world, Edinburgh too offers a loud and noisy way to usher in the New Year. However, here, this also marks the start of a three-day, non-stop festival known as Hogmanay, which means ‘the last day of the year’ in Scottish. This is a freezing frenzy of a celebration that includes concerts, traditional music, dance and fireworks that explode high above the castle on Princes Street for 72 hours straight. The celebrations continue on Jan 1 with the Queensferry Loony Dook Annual Splash, where revellers jump into the icy River Forth to kick-start their New Year.






The main stage for Hong Kong’s New Year celebration has always been at Victoria Harbour. Massive crowds gather in various parts of the city, but Victoria Harbour is where the action takes place. Beginning with a countdown and a huge ball drop at the Times Square shopping mall, the celebrations are followed by fireworks in various parts of the waterfront from the Causeway Bay all the way across to Harbour Green in Kowloon. You can also opt to welcome the New Year on a cruise ship where cruise packages are offered with exclusive views of the pyrotechnic display. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Hong Kong from various destinations. Go to for details.





While the illuminated ball drops in New York’s Times Square at midnight on New Year’s eve, a 10-foot Gibson guitar is dropped at Niagara Falls’ Hard Rock Café. This tradition of dropping the guitar began in 2009 and has made the New Year’s Eve festivities at Niagara Falls one of the most famous, free-for-all celebrations in the world, with open air concerts at Queen Victoria Park. The mind-blowing fireworks display will also have you awestruck as you say ‘Bye-Bye to 2012.




Take part in the native tradition called Nochevieja where Spaniards eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s eve – one at a chime, where eating all 12 on time means you will be blessed with great fortune in the coming year. Be sure to make reservations early as tradition dictates that you spend the first half of the evening savouring fabulous set menus, which may start as early as 6pm. Then, head for the Plaça de Catalunya where the celebrants go for the Nochevieja. Once that is done, it’s time to party all night long. However, don’t go looking for fantastic fireworks. On the contrary, the Barcelonians prefer a simple but memorable celebration.









For those who like their parties hip and happening, Phi Phi is the place to be on New Year’s eve. The island rocks all year long, but on New Year’s eve, they up the ante with bonfire beach parties, bar and restaurant parties, muay Thai parties and live performances. Forget the fireworks, as you’ll be seeing stars from the endless excitement and exotic shows that are the staple of this island’s New Year’s do.

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Phuket, Thailand from various destinations. Go to for details.


The best of New Year’s eve festivities happen in Kuningan and Ancol Dreamland in South Jakarta, where most of the tourist attractions are located. Be warned! Jakarta is home to killer machet (traffic jams), so you need to get to these places early to beat the mad dash for choice spots to watch the people, the scene and the fireworks. The city is also brimming with a vibrant nightlife to help you usher in the New Year at specialty bars, restaurants, hotels and malls. For a taste of how the locals usher in the New Year, head to the National Monument Park (Monas) in Central Jakarta, and party the night away with the fun loving citizens of Jakarta. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Jakarta from various destinations. Go to for details.






Venice remains one of the best places on earth to usher in the New Year because when it comes to festivals, the Venetians really know how to celebrate with style, culture and artistic flair. The La Festa di San Silvestro (New Year’s eve) celebration offers the thrill of an open-air masquerade ball with music, dance and fireworks. Locals and tourists congregate at the Piazza San Marco for a community toast that culminates with the traditional communal New Year kiss at midnight. Should you arrive earlier, you’ll witness a local custom where Venetians throw things out the windows to symbolise their spring cleaning for the New Year. Do try their traditional lentil dish on New Year’s Eve, which is believed to bring good fortune for the coming year. Should you stay for the week, January 6 is when the locals hold the Befana Races, where men dressed as women race boats along the Grand Canal.





Ushering in the New Year in Kiribati Island means you’ll be the first in the world to welcome 2013. Located in the centre of the Pacific Ocean, this atoll straddles the equator and borders the International Date Line at its easternmost point, making it the first place in the world to celebrate the New Year. Kiribati is a tropical paradise that wakes up to sunrise 14 hours before London and 22 hours before Los Angeles. Every year, Kiribati spares no expense in ushering in the New Year with fireworks, music, dance, food and drinks, befitting its status and location as the first in the world to see the new sun of the New Year. Enjoy the festivities here and after the clock strikes midnight, then take a 2.5hour flight from nearby Christmas Islands’ Cassidy International Airport to Hawaii that’s on the other side of the International Date Line. 24 hours later and you can celebrate New Year’s all over again!


Celebrate your New Year’s eve with...

X HISTORY at the Great Wall of China.

X LOVE at Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

PECULIAR NEW YEAR PRACTICES IRELAND: Single women place mistletoe leaves under their pillows on New Year’s night so they may ‘catch’ their future husbands. MEXICO: Locals hold séances to call upon the spirits of loved ones on New Year’s eve to receive guidance in life for the coming year.



PHILIPPINES Wearing polka dots on New Year’s eve is said to attract wealth and fortune as the dots symbolise coins. DENMARK The Danes break plates on their neighbours’ or friends’ front doors. The ones with the greatest pile of broken crockery are considered to have a lucky year ahead as it means they have the most loyal friends. GERMANY Watching the British sketch Dinner For One is a New Year’s eve tradition that the Germans have observed since 1972,

making the show’s punch line “same procedure every year” quite apt. CHILE New Year is celebrated at the cemetery. This is practised in a town called Talca where the mayor sanctions the celebration with light classical music and dim fairy lights. BRAZIL, MEXICO, BOLIVIA The folks in these countries believe wearing brightly coloured underwear on New Year’s eve and well past midnight is a must to attract good fortune and a loving mate.

GERMANY & AUSTRIA Pouring hot molten lead into a bowl of cold water to see the shape it forms on New Year’s eve is a tradition that predicts the state of the coming year. A round or ball shape means luck, an anchor-like shape means always needing help from others, and a crosslike shape means death.

X ARCHAEOLOGY at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

PUERTO RICO Throwing water out the window symbolises ‘out with the old and in with the new’.

X NORTHERN LIGHTS and witness the Aurora Borealis in Northern Norway.


e m i Tless

t s i r h Cmas s n o i t Tradi



Loads of gifts, gorgeously-decorated trees, kissing your sweetheart under the mistletoe… it doesn’t matter if you’re in Canada or Kerala, traditions like these never fail to usher in the Christmas spirit! We explore endearing Yuletide customs that have endured through centuries. WORDS: SHANTINI SUNTHARAJAH IMAGES: INMAGINE

THE WREATH Wreaths are essentially an assortment of flowers, fruits, decorative baubles or other materials constructed into a ring. They were first designed in ancient Europe and popularly used as crowns by rulers and royalty. The Christmas Wreath or Advent Wreath is a 16th century Lutheran adaptation that symbolises the ‘coming of Christ’. Traditionally, Christmas wreaths are made from evergreens to represent the everlasting life that Jesus brought to his followers while the circular shape signifies God, with no beginning and no end.

THE NATIVITY SCENE The Nativity Scene became a part of Christmas celebrations when St. Francis of Assisi first introduced it nearly 800 years ago. St. Francis’ main concern was that the true meaning of Christmas was becoming lost in the commercialism of gift giving. He resolved to shift the focus back to the deeper meaning of Christmas by depicting the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. St. Francis’ first nativity scene in Italy was a living one and included real animals and people who portrayed Joseph, the Virgin Mary, baby Jesus and the Three Wise Men.

THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS The 12 days of Christmas, which are also known as Christmastide or Twelvetide, refer to the dozen days beginning from December 25. These 12 days are generally recognised as festive days of Yuletide celebrations. Over hundreds of years, different churches and Christian sects have created their own timelines and traditions of the 12 Days of Christmas.

For instance, Boxing Day, traditionally the day when employees and household staff receive their Christmas gifts, is celebrated on December 26 in the West and on December 27 in parts of the East such as the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Asia Minor.

THE TREE Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the ubiquitous fir tree. German evangelist Martin Luther is said to have decorated the very first Christmas tree back in 1510 with candles as a way to recapture the beautiful sparkling stars amidst the evergreens. The tree might have remained a German custom if not for a fortuitous marriage between England’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Germany. The Prince brought the German tradition of decorating fir trees to the United Kingdom in 1840 and the custom spread from there to other parts of the world. However, right up to the mid 1840s, people in America still considered celebrating Christmas with decorated fir trees a pagan practice. LEFT: The Nativity scene is a popular Christmas tradition that re-enacts the birth of Christ with statues and figurines. FAR LEFT: Perhaps the most popular symbol of the season, homes, offices and commercial outlets are often lavishly dressed with beautifully decorated Christmas trees.



kissing under the mistletoe emerged, although the exact origin seems to be lost in time. Some say this Christmas tradition comes from Greek festivals and marriage ceremonies while others believe it started in Scandinavia where the mistletoe represents true love.


Not all traditional Yuletide celebrations involve stuffed stockings and roast turkey. In Japan, Christmas means over-the-top decorations and an excuse to party while Christmas eve is about romance, much like Valentine’s Day in the West. Singapore is probably the only Asian destination that can possibly outshine Tokyo. The island nation literally lights up each December with thousands of twinkling lights adorning every possible space. In the Philippines, where Christmas is a major festival, the parol or lantern fixed to the end of a bamboo pole, is a favourite ornament. During the season, pretty parol processions are the norm and beautiful pastorellas or choir performances can be heard everywhere.

Having originated sometime during the 14th century in Britain, the original Christmas pudding was a porridge made of mutton, beef, currants, prunes, raisins and wine called frumenty. During the later part of the 16th century, eggs, breadcrumbs and dried fruits were added, creating a dessert that closely resembled the present-day pudding. During the mid 17th century, the pudding was banned by the Puritans who considered it a sinful dish, only to have it reinstated by King George 1 as part of a Christmas meal in 1714. There are many traditions and superstitions surrounding the Christmas Pudding, including the belief that placing a silver coin in the mixture will bestow the finder luck, a ring for a wedding in the family and a thimble for prosperity. The dish is also made with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His disciples. It is also believed that every member of the family should take turns to stir the pudding mixture from east to west to honour the Three Wise Men and their journey.



Ancient Druids believed that the mistletoe was a plant of many magical and mystical powers. It was also a symbol of sexuality. From these early beginnings, the tradition of

The original songs celebrating the birth of Christ are said to have been first written in Latin during the 4th and 5th centuries but became part of the Christmas


RIGHT: Carolling during Christmas is not only a joyful activity, it also brings together families and communities as it encourages peace and goodwill amongst men. FAR RIGHT: You’d often find either a Christmas pudding or a fruitcake served at the end of a Christmas dinner. OPPOSITE PAGE: Kissing your loved one under a mistletoe sprig is said to foster greater love.



tradition only around the 13th century. The practice of going from house to house singing joyful songs of good tidings is linked to historical accounts from feudal times when the poor would literally sing for their supper. Other accounts say that the poor had to sing at the homes of the well-heeled, as they were disallowed to perform in churches. The concept of ‘wassailing’ is said to have originated from the practice of being offered a drink of wassail – a thick, spicy and hot beverage, not dissimilar to the present-day eggnog, that kept the chill at bay when the travelling well-wishers went from door to door singing songs of good tidings.

THE JOLLY MAN IN RED Santa Claus was originally not a jolly, portly man dressed in red but a much-loved monk who lived centuries ago in an area that is now present-day Turkey. St. Nicholas was loved for his extremely generous nature and became known as a protector of children. The name Santa Claus developed from St. Nicholas’ Dutch nickname – Sinter Klaas. The now-familiar image of a Santa Claus who flies on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and showering gifts to children comes from the imagination of Clement Clarke Moore, an American biblical professor who wrote a Christmas poem for his three daughters entitled An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas, which later became famous as Twas the Night Before Christmas.

THE GIFTS Christmas tends to coexist with commercialism through the tradition of gift-giving but the origin of this ritual

could not be less superficial. The roots of giving gifts goes all the way back to the time when the Three Wise Men journeyed from East to West to welcome baby Jesus with gifts of myrrh, frankincense and gold. Exchanging presents at Christmas is meant to remind Christians of this significant event, as well as the gift of love.

THE TURKEY Today, the roast turkey may take pride of place on Christmas tables everywhere but this wasn’t always the case. Before the turkey, the most popular Christmas birds were goose and chicken. In fact, even peacocks and swans ended up in the kitchen during the festive season, although it was usually only the wealthy who could afford these beautiful birds. The turkey made its grand entrance as a yummy Yuletide dish around the 15th or 16th centuries when it was introduced into Europe from America. It quickly became more popular than previous birds of choice because it was inexpensive, quick to fatten and able to feed large numbers of guests.

LEFT: Exchanging gifts has become an integral part of the Yuletide celebrations, inspired by the Magi who came bearing gifts for the Infant Jesus. FAR LEFT: A great way to feed large groups, the turkey has since overtaken the chicken and goose as the centrepiece at the Christmas meal. OPPOSITE PAGE: Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St Nicholas... whatever his name maybe, children in particular, relish the idea of a visit by Santa Claus bearing gifts on Christmas day.



12 FEATURE • Nepal


NEPAL With lofty mountains as a backdrop and a Living Goddess to bless your visit, exotic Nepal offers an amazing sojourn into age-old culture, history, adventure and religion. WORDS: R.RAJENDRA PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM LEE

Nose pressed against the aircraft window, I tried to catch glimpses of the land below as the AirAsia X flight descended through a flurry of thick clouds, heading for the runway at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Nepal is as exotic as it gets and the fact that the clouds kept shrouding the country as the aircraft entered its airspace added to its mystery. Until recently, this landlocked nation at the foot of the Himalayan range was the last remaining kingdom in the modern world. It still worships a pre-pubescent girl as the living embodiment of the Hindu warrior Goddess Durga, and has seven groupings of buildings and monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the Kathmandu Valley alone! Rumours of the Abominable Snowman roaming the mountainous regions are rife, and this is also the birthplace of Sherpa Tenzig Norgay who, together with Edmund Hillary, scaled Mt Chomolunga (that’s Mt Everest to you and me) – the highest point on earth at 8,848 metres. So, you can’t fault me for being overly excited to lay eyes on this fabled land. Then, like a magician yanking the cloth off a table to reveal the treasures beneath, the clouds parted and glorious sunshine lit the Kathmandu Valley. Green vales streaked with fast rushing rivers, verdant paddy fields interspersed with boxy homes, temple rooftops and stupas and, in the distance, snow-capped mountains all came into view before the landing gear of the aircraft made contact with the tarmac. I had arrived in Nepal.

husbands. Groups of women sang and danced to infectious beats at shrines along the city roads, while the local TV channels continuously broadcasted married women making merry, all dressed in the prerequisite auspicious red. That night, we visited Pashupathinath temple, a UNESCO World heritage site just five kilometres outside the city. Bijay, the manager at Incentive Travels insisted that we start at this Hindu temple that dates back to 500 AD. The temple is a fascinating piece of history, culture, religion and even animal husbandry as monkeys, cows, pigeons, cats and dogs lazily ambled about. Perhaps the creatures feel safe here as the principal deity of the temple is Lord Shiva in the form of Pashupathinath – the Lord of Beasts. As we arrived at the temple complex, a small group of devotees were chanting, dancing and playing small drums as three young priests performed the Bagmathi Arathi. This special prayer is only performed in India for the Ganges. The holy Bagmathi is the only other river to have such prayers performed. We were doubly lucky to have witnessed this ancient tradition that not only celebrates the divine, but honours the river as a life-affirming source. But as life was being celebrated on one side, funeral pyres were being kindled on the other. The river bank is a sacred site for Hindus to cremate their dead. The duality of the Hindu tradition of life and death and, samsara (ever-changing life) continues to play out at this holy place as it has for centuries.



Adam and I had reached Nepal on a very auspicious day as the locals were celebrating Teej in full swing. Married women dressed in their best red sarees, looking like young brides, made their way to temples to pray for their husbands’ well-being, while single women in equally colourful shalwar kameez tagged along to pray for good

There are enough temples, palaces and public spaces in these UNESCO World Heritage listed sites to offer a lifetime of wonderment. Amazingly, these places are buzzing with locals going about their daily activities as

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Tibetan Buddhist monks in deep prayer and meditation at Shree Karma Raj Mahavir monastery at Swayambhunath Temple; the stone idol of Kala Bhairav, a terrifying incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva in Kathmandu Durbar Square; boats tied to a jetty at Phewa Lake in Pokhara; travelling between Pokhara and Kathmandu can be both exhilarating and terrifying as vehicles negotiate sharp bends and steep inclines; elderly men wearing the traditional Nepali or Dhaka topi (hat) while their time away at Patan. PRECEDING PAGE, LEFT: The image of Lord Buddha’s lowered eyes is found mainly on stupas, temples and doorways, suggesting the ever-seeing and omnipresent nature of the divine. PRECEDING PAGE, RIGHT: A devotee feeds pigeons after a prayer ceremony at Swayambhunath Temple.



they have for hundreds of years. The only difference, which annoyed the daylights out of me, was the presence of motorised vehicles that intruded on the sanctity and serenity of Kathmandu Durbar Square. Mercifully, Bakthapur, and Pathan to a lesser extent, prohibit vehicles from entering the squares. Kathmandu Durbar Square is the most popular amongst the three as it is located in the city centre, comprising about 60 important temples, palaces and public spaces. This square with awe-inspiring structures steeped in history can be a little overwhelming as exotic attractions vie for your attention at every turn. Most awe-inspiring is the temple dedicated to Goddess Taleju Bhawani, the clan deity of the Malla kings who ruled Nepal between the 12th and 18th century. Built by King Mahendra Malla in 1564, the temple design is based on a holy geometrical design (yantra), said to emanate magical powers. Legend has it that the goddess herself appeared in the form of a bee to witness the consecration ceremony of the temple. Two other temples dedicated to this goddess are located in Patan and Bakthapur. Unfortunately, these temples are off limits to non-Hindus. Nonetheless, images of the goddess can be seen on the eaves above the main entrance to the temples and visitors can still enjoy them from the outside. The Kasthamandap Temple located at the southwest corner of the square was built in 1596 by King Laxmi Narasingh Malla, and is said to have been carved from a single sal tree (Shorea robusta). The name ‘Kathmandu’ is believed to originate from the name of this temple.

SWAYUMBHUNATH One of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal, Swayumbhunath is a peaceful piece of heaven just three kilometres outside Kathmandu. Historical accounts date this site to over 2,000 years ago, predating even the arrival of Buddhism. By around the 13th century,

the temple complex had already become an important centre of theology and learning for Buddhists. The site attracts both Buddhists and Hindus who come to pray, marvel and meditate on the gilded stupa that features the famous, lowered eyes of Lord Buddha looking out to all four directions. The squiggles that represent the nose also mimic the number #1, suggesting the omniscience of the Divine. A staircase with 365 steps, representing the days of the year lead up to the temple complex, passing by a huge vajra or thunderbolt, a ritual object that represents indestructibility and divine force. Filled with temples, shrines, carvings, mini stupas and shops selling religious paraphernalia and tangka drawings, the calm, spiritual energy that permeates this site is salve to any soul in need of a little tranquillity. As you leave Swayumbhunath, spend a few minutes at the Buddha Park at the foot of the hill that’s home to the gilded statues of the Three Buddhas. At the back, a huge prayer wheel is housed in a small room decorated with exquisite frescoes of Buddhist deities.

POKHARA AND SARANGKOT The second largest city in Nepal, Pokhara is about 200 kilometres from Kathmandu and is accessible by air and road. Although travelling by road will take anything between three to five hours, the journey offers stunning vistas of fast running rivers, deep gorges, small towns, lush paddies and steep mountainsides. Having arrived after dusk, the city was already covered in darkness. But above, stars sparkled so vividly, I could practically count them! Although the city is only 800 metres above sea level compared to the lofty mountain range you see elsewhere in the country, Mt Macchapuchre (fishtail) at 6,993 metres and Mt Annapurna at 8,091 metres seem close enough to touch. These holy summits are best viewed from the hill station of Sarangkot, about a 30-minute drive from Pokhara.

CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Carving of a celestial creature at the base of the Three Buddha statue in Buddha Park at Swayambhunath Temple; the much photographed image of Shiva and his consort Parvathy looking out of their temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square; a street scene by the side of Kashtamandap Temple; an elderly man fetching water from one of the many pools surrounding the main temples in Patan; carving of Hindu and Buddhist deities for sale at Thamel in Kathmandu; photographers and visitors drink in the beauty of the Mt Macchapuchre (left) in Sarangkot.



THE LIVING GODDESS The practice of deifying a prepubescent girl from a Buddhist Newari family as the living embodiment of the Hindu Goddess Durga is an age-old Nepalese tradition that is said to bring about prosperity, peace and good fortune. Young girls between the ages of four and seven are screened to ascertain if they possess 32 attributes of perfection that include horoscope, colour and shape of eyes and teeth, demeanour and even quality of voice. The selected girls are then herded into a darkened room where mysterious and often terrifying tantric rituals are performed to see who is able to stay focussed and collected throughout the ordeal. The lass who emerges unscathed is then proclaimed the Kumari and is worshipped as a Living Goddess, enjoying all the privileges of an anointed one till she reaches puberty. The Living Goddess resides in the Kumari Ghar in Kathmandu Durbar Square and can be visited, albeit from a respectful distance.

INCENTIVE TRAVEL & TOURS ABOVE: The three-tiered roof temple dedicated to Goddess Taleju Bhawani in Kathmandu Durbar Square was built by King Mahendra Malla in 1564. TOP: It can take anything between three weeks to three months to draw such tangka paintings.

Adam and I were the first to arrive at Sarangkot on a nippy morning at about 4.30am. Having set up camera, we waited for sunrise to cast its golden rays and light up the east-facing walls of the massifs. Within minutes, the viewing platform filled with over 100 tourists from all over the world. Then, as the first pink hues of sunlight streaked the horizon, both mountains began to reveal their shapes. Soon, the snow-covered tips emerged looking almost like a painting. It felt surreal. The mountains seemed less than 10 kms away and towered above us, with an almost perfectly blue sky in the background. The chatter quietened as cameras clicked furiously to snap that perfect moment when the mountains lit up majestically. Within minutes the full tableau was revealed and the whole valley came into view, including 88


Lake Phewa. Soon, the crowd dispersed little by little, leaving us to enjoy the hush that returned. Mountains are often said to be the abodes of gods and goddesses and it felt as if we’d just been given first row seats to a magnificent sight. As we left Sarangkot, the distinct shape of Macchapuchre’s fishtail trailed us until the clouds decided to end the show and dropped the curtains once again. And that was not even half of what I saw and experienced in Pokhara, Nagarkot and Kathmandu. Words often fail in describing the scenery, culture and people. Trying to squeeze all the experiences into one article is truly an exercise in futility. Perhaps that’s what you get when a living goddess bestows a country with charm, beauty and spirituality. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies twice weekly to Kathmandu from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for details.

Nepal is very appealing as an exotic destination for leisure, adventure, culture and pilgrimage travels. But, it can get a tad overwhelming, especially if you’ve never embarked on such a trip before. Luckily, Incentive Travel & Tours (P) LTD is well placed to serve all your needs according to budget and time constraints when you visit Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. A renowned travel and tour agent that holds the impressive record of having organised and operated a pilgrimage tour for over 500 pilgrims to the Holy Rakshas Taal, Lake Manasarovar and Mt Kailash (holy abode of the Hindu god Shiva), the agency can also arrange permits for trekking and mountaineering. Amongst others, the agency offers: X 4D/3N trip to Kathmandu, Pokhara and Sarangkot X 4D/3N trip to the holy site of Lumbhini (birthplace of lord Buddha) X 6D/5N Rafting & Jungle Safari at Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara X 8D/7N Himalayan Golf Tour

12 FEATURE • Australia




E D I GU CKIE IN I U Q A ere pots wh pping s t o h e sho thes xplore gs in life: Sun, e , e ib v cal s. t thin up the lovour the swee and fine wine k a o s o d a T ood foo siders s Sydney ar ty dose of g e D AMID/FN and a h I ABD. H AFFAND Y: TOGRAPH ES PHO RODRIGU LY ER EV B WORDS:





CLOCKWIS FROM RIGHT: Freshpops at the Everleigh Farmers’ Market – perfect for those hot summer days; Let’s Go Surfing instructor, Anna Normyle, has been surfing since she was 12 years old; Claudio’s Seafood has an extensive range of fresh seafood. PRECEDING PAGE: Robert Guadagnini, one of the winemakers at Piggs Peake, poses in a fox hat – a trademark of the winery and part of their creative marketing campaign: Wear the Fox Hat!

A visit to the Sydney Opera House may be on every first timer’s wish list, and that’s fine if you’d like to take in the usual suspects. But if you’re keen to explore the other Sydney that exists just beyond the flash of trigger-happy tourist cameras, here’s an epic mix of fun and affordable attractions to keep even seasoned travellers coming back for yet another tasty bite of the state capital.

FOODIE HEAVEN If you have your priorities straight, then plunging headfirst into Sydney’s food scene would be high on your list of experiences. As a starter, there’s no better place than the Sydney Fish Market (, the world’s second largest seafood market. Every morning, auctions are held here to trade over 65 tonnes of seafood 94


and visitors are welcome to observe the auctions and follow a ‘behind-thescenes’ tour. The real magic happens when you’ve handpicked the freshest Crystal Bay banana prawns, Atlantic salmon sashimi and St. Helen’s oysters from the market’s many vendors, and paid 20 percent less than you would elsewhere! At the prices you’re paying (AUD11.90 for a dozen Sydney rock oysters!), it really is a steal! You can choose to feast in the market or alfresco by the water with a view of the Anzac Bridge. For seriously out-of-this-world gelato, pop by Messina in Darlinghurst ( w w w. g e l a t o m e s s i n a . c o m ) , r u n b y t h e Palumbo family that hails from Sicily. Gelato here is churned fresh every day and there are 40 flavours available. Bestsellers include the salted caramel

with white chocolate chip and, anything with peanut butter. But save space for the coconut lychee and the irresistible Bounty gelato. What’s more, gelatoaficionados can even request special flavours via A scoop costs just AUD4.30. WE ! Pushing macaron appreciation to its limits with such stupendous flavours as vegemite, kimchi and duck pancake is Adriano Zumbo Patissier in Balmain ( . While we love being adventurous, it would be cruel not to issue a mild caveat against such exotic novelties as Japanese mayo, which tastes basically like a mouthful of mayo! However, do sample the meltin-your-mouth goodness of pineapple and ginger, malted milkshake, peach tea and salted butter caramel macarons or as they call them here – zumbarons!

You can’t leave Sydney without trying pastizzi at the Pastizzi Café in Newtown, where trays and trays of these divine pastries are baked fresh daily. With 17 flavours ranging from spinach and ricotta, chilli con carne and chicken and mushroom to cherry cheese, and chocolate and ricotta, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Grab a dozen for just AUD14.

BEST BREKKIE SPOTS! For a genuinely local experience, start your day at Speedo’s Café (www. in North Bondi where surfers chill after catching some wicked waves. This 25-year-old Sydney institution is too cool to make a big deal of it, but we were told that Hugh Jackman wolfs down a hearty brekkie

here whenever he’s in town. The Speedo’s Big Breakfast comprising a generous heaping of fried or scrambled eggs, bacon, beef sausages, chutney, roasted tomato, hash browns and Turkish toast is only AUD16.90, while Turkish Delight, a cinnamon-dusted Turkish bread filled with slivers of sweet banana and tangy ricotta, drizzled with honey is just AUD11.90. Then, there’s Three Blue Ducks ( in Bronte. Initially the brainchild of two local surfing mates from the F&B industry and a Tetsuya-trained chef they’d met on their travels, this funky café now has five owners, including the next door pizza chef who joined forces with them. Drawing on organicallygrown, sustainable local produce and ethically-grown meats, this kitchen with

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Darling Harbour in the late evening; Hemingway’s baked beans, chorizo and egg hot pot; besides allowing you to explore your beer preferences, the beer paddle at Bluetongue Brewery Café is a lot of frothy fun!



BIG BITES! EAT LOVE PIZZA Delicious pizzas and a perfect view of the Darling Harbour Fireworks every Saturday.

MS G’S To-die-for sea scallop toscada, kingfish sashimi with buttermilk and a wide range of creative cocktails

HUGO’S Slow-roasted lamb pizza and chocolate and hazelnut pizza with ricotta, banana and vanilla gelato.

MUST SEE! X View more than 12,000 riverine and marine creatures at the Sydney Sealife Aquarium. Opt for the Combo Passes for great deals. X Snap photos with wax statues of over 70 famous entertainers, politicians and sports stars at Madame Tussauds.

X Meet iconic Aussie animals at

Taronga Zoo. Check out Family Funday Sundays at www. and the Zoo Pass at

X Visit Sydney’s cool hidden bars with The Small Bar Tour.www.

X Walk on the dark side with The Rocks Ghost Tours.

a conscience serves up some of the most artistic breakfasts in town with prices ranging from AUD7 to AUD19. Order the scrambled eggs and black sausage served with dill cucumber yoghurt salad and red currant jam for a perfect balance of flavours. WE ! Manly too has its own unique brekkie spot. At Hemingways, books abound, menus come stapled in encyclopaedias, and there’s even a clever excerpt about tipping from Hemingway’s 1926 novel, Fiesta. Try the homemade baked beans, chorizo and egg hot pot, and roasted mushrooms with truffle oil, ricotta and pesto. Brekkie prices range from AUD10 to ASD12.



PLAYTIME When most people think of Sydney, they think of Bondi and its surfing culture. This quintessentially Aussie experience can be part of your holiday too with Let’s Go Surfing (www., which offers a one-onone, hour-long surfing lesson for just AUD140, inclusive of board and wetsuit rental. For group lessons, just topup an additional AUD75 per person. Pioneer, surfing champ Brenda Miley, established her school to encourage girls to take up surfing. To date, her school has trained thousands of young girls and made the sport accessible to travellers too. It’s really not that intimidating; many first timers stand up on their board within their first lesson! WE !

Manly, a scenic 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, is a beautiful beachside destination. One of the best ways to explore Manly is by cycling along its panoramic stretches and taking in the crashing waves along its jagged coast. Manly Bike Tours ( au) offer hybrid, cruiser, MTB off-road, tandem and kid bikes for hire, with rental ranging from AUD22 to AUD61 a day, and provides a map with recommended bike trails for different skill levels. An absolute must while in the Hunter Valley is a trip to the Hunter Valley Gardens ( Favourites among the 12 stunning gardens here are the Rose Garden blushing with over 8,000 roses from 56 different species, and the fantastical Storybook Garden with scenes from nursery rhymes and children’s novels in pretty flower-lined gardens.

SWILL & SWALLOW A n o u t i n g t o H u n t e r Va l l e y, j u s t 160kms north of Sydney, is a must for both novices and wine connoisseurs. Australia’s oldest wine region with over 150 wineries, Hunter Valley is known for its distinctive Shiraz and Semillon. As many of the wines here are cellar-door only, tastings are unique experiences not to be missed. For an intoxicating introduction, drop by the multi-award winning McGuigan Wines ( that just bagged the IWSC Trophy for its Semillon this October. Besides tasting the fresh and citrusy Bin Series Semillon, try beautiful reds like the Personal Reserve Shiraz, and finish off with the gorgeous 2010 late picked gewürztraminer and the Personal Reserve Tawny with hints of dark chocolate and maple syrup.

While at the McGuigan complex, sample Hunter Valley Cheese Company delights like the Riley’s fromage blanc marinated with semi-sundried tomatoes, Harrigan’s Irish Cheddar and HV Gold washed rind. Your wine tour should also include the Mistletoe Winery (www.mistletoewines. com), an award-winning, family-owned boutique winery that produces small quantities with premium quality. The sparkling Moscato is out of this world and retails for about AUD20 a bottle. For a quirky wine experience, few can match Piggs Peake (www.piggspeake. com) with its cute swine-inspired lables like Pinot Piggio, Rosed Pork, Wiggly Tail Marsanne and Pigscato! They’re known for their big reds, sweet wines, classic styles and unusual offerings, but the variety that seems to generate the most squeals is the fruity Suckling Pig Shiraz,

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Join the Mad Hatter’s tea party at Hunter Valley Gardens’ Storybook Garden; desserts at Three Blue Ducks, which opened to immediate success; Hunter Valley has also become popular for its medium to fullbodied Chardonnay and fruity, mediumbodied Verdelho. OPPOSITE PAGE, ABOVE: Chunky lamb pizza at Hugo’s in Manly. OPPOSITE PAGE, BELOW: Decadent zumbarons come in a variety of flavours.




(as rated in the Australian Wine Companion 2012)

X Brokenwood Wines is known for its Graveyard Shiraz and Cricket Pitch Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.

X Tyrrell’s Wines offers a Winemaker’s Selection with wines originating from the finest and oldest vineyards in the Hunter Valley. X Lake’s Folly specialises in just two wines: A Cabernet blend and a Chardonnay. Check out for a full list of guided tours.

TO MARKET X Everleigh Artisans’ Market supports indie artists and designers. Eveleigh-Artisans-Market

X Bondi Beach Market sells original designer clothing, handmade jewellery, crafts and retro furniture. www.bondimarkets.

X Paddington Market showcases

contemporary Aussie art, craft and fashion and collectibles.

a dessert wine that’s meant to be guzzled with dark chocolate melting in your mouth. This fun combo is reminiscent of Cherry Ripe – guaranteed to bring out the piggy in you. Prices range from AUD26 to AUD45 a bottle. WE ! For beer lovers, the Bluetongue Brewery Café ( serves up a beer tasting paddle with six beers: Alcoholic ginger beer, triplehopped premium lager, premium pale ale, premium light, malty traditional pilsner and premium black ale. This costs AUD15.

MARKET MADNESS If you’re searching for a value-for-money shopping experience, pop by the awardwinning Everleigh Farmers’ Market (www. that takes place every Saturday in Darlington’s heritage-listed 98


Blacksmith’s Workshop. Over 70 farmers and artisan food producers exhibit their products with lots of free samplings – you’ll be stuffed before you’ve tasted even half the offerings! Be sure to look out for artisanal sourdough breads by Sonoma ( and extra virgin olive oils infused with chilli, wasabi, truffle, lemon essences from Pukara Estates ( au). Then, there are delicious dips like hummus, beetroot relish and green tahini from Yalla ( and Pasta Emilia’s ( tortelli and ravioli made with organic flour and free-range organic eggs, sold alongside mouth-watering organic fresh sauces, including Arrabbiata and truffle cream. Favourite bites at this market include Billy Kwong’s ( aspx) refreshing mint and veggie-filled pancakes and Bird Cow Fish’s Crooked

Madam, a toasted sourdough sandwich layered with shaved ham, gruyere and a fried egg. To end the day, savour a chocolate wattle seed or orange blossom ice pop from Freshpops (www. WE ! For antique lovers and second hand collectibles, the Rozelle Markets (www., which began in 1991, is a favourite, while The Rocks Markets ( is the place to pick up trendy fashions, one-of-a-kind jewellery, original artworks and prints every weekend. To load up on souvenirs and all things Australiana, visit Paddy’s Markets ( in Haymarket. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies daily to Sydney, Australia from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for details. Visit for more info on Sydney.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Pastizzis are said to hail from Malta in Southern Europe; the Manly Market is the place to shop for funky fashions, arts and crafts, and farmers produce every weekend; a fishmonger at the Sydney Fish Market.

Comforting & Fulfilling E










Delightfully varied, from elegantly appointed to simple and efficient accommodation, each hotel is strategically located. Be it business, leisure or combination of both, the choice is endless.





F o r S u pe r Ho t D ea l s , l o g o n t o





w w w. c h m - h o t e l s . c o m

KUALA LUMPUR : Cititel Mid Valley, Boulevard Hotel, The Gardens Hotel & Residences, MiCasa All Suite Hotel, Cititel Express PENANG : Cititel Penang PANGKOR : Pangkor Island Beach Resort KOTA KINABALU : Cititel Express YANGON : MiCasa Hotel Apartments MANILA : St Giles Makati ASSOCIATES : LONDON NEW YORK -

12 FEATURE • China


Call Yellow Crane of the

Wuhan, in the heart of Central China, is at the crossroads of change. Confidently cosmopolitan, the city still preserves markers of its 3,500 years of civilisation and continues to inspire with scenic views admired by poets and leaders alike. WORDS: ABBY YAO PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM LEE



LEFT: The Yellow Crane Tower is Wuhan’s most famous landmark and is described as ‘the first tower under heaven’ in China. RIGHT: The Quqin Tai Lute Platform offers scenic views and is a peaceful spot away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


RIGHT, ABOVE: A Donghu pleasure boat docks at the foot of Moshan Hill.

The past and the future stand side-byside in this city of 12 million, formed by three towns – Hankou, Hanchang and Wuchang – at the junction where the Han and Yangtze rivers meet. Carts and trucks of fruit peddlers are parked on sidewalks, as electric scooters, bicycles, buses and luxury cars pass by. Under long bridges, men in lonely fishing boats cast their lines on the water, while the occasional billboard bearing the image of a Hong Kong actor or even George Clooney breaks the haze of the overcast sky. As the political, industrial and economic centre for Central China, and capital of Hubei province, Wuhan is literally the gateway to the heart of China. But it is more than just a stop enroute to the Three Gorges Dam or a point of connection to other cities. Its busy roads and commercial districts may be comparable to bigger cities, but one is never too far from a shaded quiet spot, a breezy pavilion or a lookout point over one of its many waterways.

ROMANCING THE RIVERS Anticipating a chilly autumn night cruise down the Yangtze River, I bundled up in layers and threw on a pashmina shawl for good measure. But it didn’t take long to realise that I could just as well have worn a T-shirt. The weather was unusually warm for autumn, a welcoming embrace from a city that famously knows heat as well as cold spells. As I sipped tea in silence, my eyes were drawn to the colourful lights along the riverbank. Some of the illumination came from the Hankou River Beach Park that’s popular day and night with couples who cycle down the paved three-kilometre stretch, or watch the barges and pleasure boats sail past. The next day, I joined a cruise down the tree-lined Donghu (East Lake), the largest city lake in China. I squinted to see the distant willows, causeways and moon bridges, successfully ignoring the TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


LEFT: Han Street is a shopper’s paradise and home to over 200 international brands. LEFT, ABOVE: A cook preparing local specialities at Hubu Xiang. RIGHT: Musicians performing on traditional instruments, including a replica of the Chime Bells from the Tomb of Marquis Yi at Hubei Provincial Museum.

temptation to daydream as the boat drifted past Wuhan University, said to be one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. An even better way to see the lake is from the top of Chutian Tower on Moshan Hill. Moshan is famous for its flora:The Botanical Garden has the most species in Central China, the Plum Garden is the largest of its kind in the country and the Cherry Flower Garden is the third largest in the world.

ODE TO THE CRANE No visit to Wuhan is complete without a visit to the iconic Yellow Crane Tower. As one of the Four Great Towers of China, Yellow Crane Tower has enjoyed the praise of writers for its beauty. Among those enamoured by the tower include Chairman Mao, whose verses are engraved in stone in a special pavilion there. Legends of the tower abound, including one that tells the tale of the immortal who flew 102


on a yellow crane and another of a dancing crane drawn by a Taoist priest as payment to a young man for wine. First built in 223 AD for military observation, the tower has been rebuilt over 20 times due to wars and fires, each time changing into a grander structure. Its latest incarnation of five storeys, with four levels underground, came into existence in 1981, when it was moved to its present Snake Mountain location. These days, there are still many yellow cranes around Wuhan, albeit metal ones that keep transforming the Wuhan skyline with skyscrapers and luxury high-rises. 2011 also marked the centennial celebrations that commemorated the events spurred by Sun Yat-Sen’s ideas that ended the Qing Dynasty and subsequently led to the creation of the Republic of China. To mark a century of growth, the city beautified itself with many new developments, including the imposing V-shaped Wuhan Xinhai Revolution Museum.

STEPPING BACK INTO TIME Despite the city’s eagerness to embrace modernity, Wuhan is also a portal into the country’s past. The Hubei Provincial Museum is a wonderful example of this and houses one of the most celebrated treasures in China: The Chime Bells from the Tomb of Marquis Yi. The bronze set of 65 bianzhong bells is considered one of China’s priceless artifacts. At the hall near the museum’s main building, musicians in period costume played a replica of the bells in a brief performance. The music they played demonstrated the two tones of each bell, allowing the instrument to span five octaves. The show ended with the Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a universally recognisable finale. I wondered if the mainly foreign audience also observed the difference from the usual orchestral arrangement. Perhaps a genius and an instrument ahead of its time don’t always make sweet music together. Of the 15,000 artefacts unearthed from the 2,400-year-old tomb, 400 are on display at the museum. Bronze craftsmanship was at its peak during the period, evidenced by intricately cast wine vessels that even today are almost impossible to reproduce. Another important treasure here is the largest wine vessel ever discovered in China.

LIVING OUT LOUD The people of Hubei certainly knew how to live large in the past and they still do today. In Wuhan’s opulent dining halls, the rooms sport velvet couches, crystal chandeliers and plenty of gold finishing, which reminded me of a European costume drama set. The food, however, is anything but Western. Instead, it is a mix of specialties spanning provinces north and south, including Hunan, Guangdong and notably Szechuan, aside from the expected Hubei cuisine.



More down-to-earth is a restaurant not far from Moshan, called the Land of GoodSmelling Liquor, according to the tourist guide’s translation. The busy restaurant on stilts rises above a large pond decked with water wheels. It is worth dropping by for the hundreds of red lanterns and colourful lights that give the place a festive atmosphere. At this restaurant, eating is an entertaining experience, with singers and musicians regaling you with local songs. Nearby Jiqing Street also has musicians and performers scrambling for your attention and your yuan. For a leisurely stroll in the city, the 1.5-kilometre Chu River Han Street, said to be the longest pedestrianised commercial street in China, provides a picturesque stroll down European-style arcades housing major international brands. While walking from one square to the next on Han Street, I passed by sculptures of important figures in Hubei’s history and even stepped on bronze reliefs in the middle of the road. However, the statues and reliefs blended into the surroundings so well, even though they were grand historical personalities, no one quite noticed their presence until tourists posed beside them for photos.


(March-April) and autumn (September-October) are most comfortable, as winters are cold and summers are sweltering in Wuhan.

DON’T MISS Plum Blossom Festival in February, Cherry Blossom Festival in March, Dragon Boat Festival in May/ June, Wuhan International Tourist Festival and Wuhan International Acrobatic Art Festival in September/October.



LEFT: Colourful paper parasols line the storefronts at Yellow Crane Tower Complex RIGHT: Chairman Mao’s poem entitled Yellow Crane Tower inscribed in stone at the tower complex. RIGHT, ABOVE: The Square of Tai Chi Master and Yanxia Bridge at the western end of Han Street.

General construction on this street is still in full swing. The second Madame Tussauds in China recently opened here and on the street’s eastern end, the Han Show Theater will be home to a new water show by Franco Dragone of Cirque du Soleil fame in 2014.

ANCIENT MUSIC, FUTURES FORETOLD Along Moon Lake, the majestic Qintai Grand Theatre and its neighbour Qintai Concert Hall loom large, hosting world-class musicians and performers, and cementing Wuhan’s status as a cultural centre. Across the lake, ancient music is performed at the Guqin Tai Lute Platform (Heptachord Terrace), named after the guqin, a seven-stringed zither. The terrace was built in honour of the friendship of the lutist Yu Boya and the woodcutter Zhong

Ziqi. Having formed a deep bond over music, Boya smashed his lute upon hearing of Ziqi’s death. The origin of the term zhi yin, literally ‘to know music’ and meaning ‘bosom friends’ was borne out of this story. Having realised that the concept of bromance was much older than I thought it was, I moved on to find out more about my future at the Guiyuan Temple. The Buddhist temple complex is 350 years old and continues to expand with new sections being added yearly. Devotees pray to conceive children at the Mahasattva Pavilion and rub coins on an incense urn to ensure successful endeavours. On Chinese New Year, hundreds of thousands come to burn incense and pray to Cai Shen, the God of Wealth, for an auspicious year. The temple is best known for its 500 gold arhats or Buddha disciples, including those of the father and son who sculpted them. I



RIGHT: Handcrafted clay souvenirs at Han Street. RIGHT, BELOW: The golden arhat statues that reveal your fortune at Guiyuan Temple.

was told to choose an arhat and from there, count the arhats based on my age. The one I end up with would reveal my fortune – for a fee. I wanted to try this out of curiosity, but after going around in circles trying to find the one arhat that had some kind of appeal to me, I couldn’t find any that was interesting enough, or had any kind of pull. The arhats seemed to tell me that I had to return someday, when I am more open and ready to accept my fate on a piece of paper filled with characters I couldn’t even decipher. Perhaps one day I will be back to heed the call of the yellow cranes.


Steamed or sizzling, Wuhan cuisine features fresh seafood and plenty of mushrooms and vegetables. Wuhan’s signature dishes include hot and dry noodles, stuffed fresh bean skin, and delicate soups. Mianyang three steamed dishes (pork, fish and meatballs) and Wuchang fish made of steamed freshwater bream are typical; crispy roast duck and lotus root soup are favourites. Street food includes grilled seafood and mianwo (doughnuts). Duck neck is a delicacy here. For vegetarian options, head over to the Aehan Monastic Dining Hall adjacent to GuiYuan Temple. GETTING THERE Thai AirAsia flies daily to Wuhan from Bangkok. Go to for details.



12 FEATURE • Indonesia


art up

Bandung, the provincial capital of West Java and once famously known as the Paris of Java, is forging ahead in the new millennium and making a name for itself as a centre for Indonesia’s contemporary artists, and a haven for highland retreats. And you thought shopping was its only attraction! WORDS: CHITRA S PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM LEE

It is less than an hour’s drive from downtown Bandung, but the scene changes quickly from bustling city to serene highland retreat as the cab winds its way up the Dago hills. The daytime temperature dips into the low 20s and picturesque hillside properties, local craft stores and quaint, hole-in-thewall eateries replace the ubiquitous factory outlets that the city has become famous for. I’m on my way to meet Elaine Kustedja, the programme manager at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space or SSAS for short ( No 100, Jl Bukit Pakar Timur +62 22-2507939 An artist with a deep appreciation of art and culture, Kustedja’s boss Sunaryo had a simple plan. He wanted to make fine art accessible to the masses instead of being only available to a privileged few. Putting his plan into action, Pak Sunaryo, as he is respectfully referred to, set up SSAS in 1998 as a public art space where Indonesians and foreigners of all social strata are welcome to enjoy and appreciate his and other artists’ works for free.

ART FOR ALL Having only read about Bandung’s propensity for the arts, the gallery tour was an eyeopener for me. This was not just any old gallery, but one set against an amazing natural backdrop with the cool highland air greeting you as you visited the different exhibition halls. Kustedja led me from room to room, letting me take in the exhibited works before explaining its origins. The exhibits were abstract and contemporary, the kind of thing you’d expect to see in big city galleries. The most striking work at SSAS was the Melting Frame, a stark but arresting resin piece created by Sunaryo to celebrate the art space’s 10th anniversary. I stood in front of it transfixed for a good five minutes, trying to ponder the meaning of its uncommon beauty. Reading my mind, Kustedja explained the symbolism of the piece. “It reflects Pak Sunaryo’s ideal of making art accessible to everyone. The out-dated opinion that art is only for a specific class of people is represented by the ‘melting frame’, which has a gap in it to allow ‘art’ to reach every segment of society,” she enthused.

CITY OF ARTS AND ARTISTS Bandung, however, is no stranger to the arts. Although appreciation of the arts may not have been the priority or the privilege of the working class, the city has been promoting artistic ideals for more than half a century. After all, it is home to the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology, otherwise known as the ITB, and its highly respected Faculty of Art & Design, which regularly

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: This steel sculpture entitled Nightmare by renowned Indonesian sculptor and artist Nyoman Nuarta takes pride of place at the NuArt Sculpture Park; a craftsman working on a larger-than-life sculpture of a man’s face at NuArt; this mixed media piece created by Haryadi Suadi and Radi Arwinda greets visitors to SSAS. OPPOSITE PAGE: Pak Sunaryo’s Melting Frame symbolises art for everyone.



Greater awareness and appreciation of the arts and, a new generation of young artists eager to experiment and push boundaries are changing the landscape of this city further. Sensing the need for accessibility and to support the city’s art community, Sunaryo and several of his artist friends have come up with the Bandung Visual Art Directory – a guide to help people, especially visitors to Bandung, find their way around the city’s galleries. Whether you are a novice to the art scene or a serious collector, this guide will point you in the right direction. The carefully planned guide lists 29 places of interest to art lovers in Bandung, including galleries, alternative and community based art spaces, foreign cultural centres and even nearby attractions just so you don’t miss out on the city while perusing the art! “The creative culture has long been a part of our history. It gives us our distinctive character,” Kustedja summed up her take on the city’s artistic legacy.


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Miss Wooly, composed of coils of steel wire on display at NuArt; the European facade of the Warenhuis de Vries reflects the city’s colonial heritage. OPPOSITE PAGE: SSAS is not merely a gallery - the art space is also a place for discussion and study for artists and art enthusiasts.



churns out batch after batch of talented artists and designers – Sunaryo included. Back in the 1950s, Mazhab Bandung (Bandung School) was a force to be reckoned with, an artistic school of thought that grew from the teachings of Dutchman Ries Mulder, the school’s champion of abstract and modern art. Contemporary art has always been a part of the Bandung scene but it’s only in recent years that it has truly found its footing and begun to be more accessible to common folk.

Dutch colonialists loved Bandung for its cooler climate and natural fortress of volcanic mountains. It is said that the ruling Europeans had even considered moving Indonesia’s capital from Batavia (present-day Jakarta) to this hilly retreat. The colonialists have long gone but the impressive buildings they commissioned still stand proud. Perhaps the modernist influence in Bandung’s Art Deco heritage buildings was early evidence of the city’s artistic proclivities. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, as more wealth was generated from the archipelago’s cash crops like tea, coffee and quinine, infrastructure in Indonesia’s larger cities like Batavia, Semarang, Surabaya and Bandung was greatly improved. In Bandung, a city beloved by the colonialists, notable architects such as A.F. Aalbers, C.P.W. Schoemaker and Henri Maclaine Pont designed churches, villas, hotels, schools and government buildings that have withstood the ravages of time. Walking around the downtown area today, with its wide tree-lined boulevards and sprinkling of quirky yet chic Art Deco buildings, it is little wonder how Bandung earned the moniker ‘Parijs of Java’ or ‘Paris of Java’.

EUROPE IN THE TROPICS In its heyday, Bandung would have been almost like any other quaint little European city, with its architecture and cool climate.



The architects influenced by the Art Deco movement conceived buildings that were not only practical for the tropics, but imbued with character too. Several of these illustrious buildings can be seen along Jl Asia-Afrika in central Bandung. Gedung Merdeka (formerly Gedung Societeit Concordia), once a gathering place for Bandung’s European community was first renovated by Schoemaker in 1921 and then added to by Aalbers two decades later. The building is now home to the Museum of the Asian-African Conference, in honour of the intercontinental meeting of heads of state in 1955. Across the road, is the Warenhuis de Vries, the city’s first department store. Just a short walk from this iconic building is the Savoy Homann, a still-functioning Art Deco hotel built by the Homann family from Germany in the late 1800s. The building served as a guesthouse for wealthy plantation owners for whom Bandung was a leisure and shopping destination. In 1939, the building was re-designed by Aalbers to reflect the tastes of the period. During the Dutch East Indies era, famous guests at the Savoy Homann included silver screen idols Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. Other buildings of architectural note include Gedung Sate and Museum Geologi (both along Jl Diponegoro), De Javasche Bank building (Bank of Indonesia) on Jl Braga, St Pieters Church on Jl Merdeka and Villa Isola that was designed by Schoemaker for media tycoon Dominique Beretty.

SHOP TILL YOU DROP The creative streak continues into Bandung’s main shopping districts, especially along Jl Cihampelas (Jeans Street). Nowhere else outside of Universal Studios and theme parks will you find Superman, Spiderman, Ultraman, Catwoman and a host of other superheroes, villains and even Disney characters vying for your attention atop stores that line the streets. A little tacky, yes, but that doesn’t stop the throngs of shoppers who patronise these outlets, hunting for the best bargains on factory run-off denim and footwear.

FACTORY FAB Factory Outlets or FOs as they are known are big in Bandung, and these huge, warehouse-like stores carry mostly exportquality products – stock overruns and goods 112


that didn’t make the grade – from big-name fashion houses. A label-loving shopaholic’s dream-come-true, these factory outlets are well worth a visit, if only to browse through the seemingly never-ending selection of branded clothing, bags, footwear and accessories. Bring your credit cards though. Places to check out include Rumah Mode ( 41F, Jl Setiabudi), Heritage ( No 63, Jl Riau), The Secret ( No 47, Jl Riau). In recent years though, those in the know

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE, LEFT: Trendy clothes, bags, accessories and footwear - Bandung has it all; distro stores like this one on Jl Sultan Agung are a favourite with young adults and carry local labels with quirky designs; handbags galore at a factory outlet in the city.

BANDUNG EATS  Paskal Food Market ( Jl Pasirkaliki) is a great place to go to sample bakso, sate, serabi (sweet pancake) and other Indonesian delicacies served in a clean and orderly setting.  Sajian Sunda Sambara ( No 64, Jl Trunojoyo) is a cosy restaurant that is famous for its spread of Sundanese dishes with its range of mouth-watering appetisers, mains and desserts.  Kampung Daun Culture

Gallery & Café ( No 88, Jl Sersan Bajuri) Nestled in the hills north of Bandung within a village-like setting, this restaurant serves topnotch Sundanese cuisine.

the distro movement is UNKL347 ( No 4, Jl Trunojoyo +62 22-4200515 www., a trendy store founded in the late 90s by a group of self-proclaimed art and music junkies who wanted to make their own clothes. Other outlets that specialise in this genre of skater/surfer/punk/rock clothing include Invictus ( No 6, Jl Trunojoyo +62 22-2501023 and Surf Inc ( No 8, Jl Trunojoyo).

JUST GOOD FOOD CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE, LEFT: Sample Sundanese specialities like grilled chicken served with fried tempeh and corn fritters at Sajian Sunda Sambara; Spanish-themed Soleluna along Jl Sumatera is among the city’s new breed of chic eateries and watering holes; bakso is a must-have in Bandung.



have been heading to the city’s distro (distribution) outlets. These stores mostly stock fashionable outfits and accessories for the young and hip created by local designers. A steady stream of customers, courtesy of the city’s many colleges and universities, help fuel these businesses and their passion for creativity. While foreigners make a beeline for the huge factory outlets selling branded goods, Bandung’s youth prefer to shop at the distro outlets. Among the pioneers of

All that shopping can sure make you hungry but you won’t have to go far to satisfy your appetite. The shopping districts are also where you will find carts of Bandung delicacies like bakso (meatball and noodle soup), siomay (dumplings), batagor (fried meatball and tofu) and es durian (durian and shaved ice dessert). The younger generation prefer eating out at the malls or at the many stylish cafés and bistros that are now a common sight in the trendier districts of the city.

FOR NATURE LOVERS  Tangkuban Prahu is a

stratovolcano shaped like an upturned boat located approximately 30kms from Bandung. Hike up the mountain for an amazing view of the surrounds but come prepared with the right gear. The mountain is 2,076m above sea-level and temperatures can get a bit chilly.

 Kawah Putih is a scenic crater lake at the base of Mt Patuha, located about 50kms south of the city. The changing colours of the lake make for a pretty picture if you can brave the strong sulphuric smell that wafts up from its waters!

CULTURAL With only two and a half days in the city, and with just enough hours to fit in one last item on my itinerary, I visited Saung Angklung Udjo ( 118 Jl Padasuka +62 22-7101736 in the eastern reaches of the city. Founded by Udjo Ngalagena, this performing arts centre is dedicated to the preservation of Sundanese culture, particularly its traditional music and dance. The angklung, a musical instrument made of bamboo, is the star of the show here. Look out for the daily angklung orchestra performance, followed by a wayang golek (puppet) show and Sundanese dances. The centre caters to tourists and includes an angklung workshop where you can watch craftsmen expertly turn tubes of bamboo into a musical instrument! It is interesting to note that this centre gives back to the community – local kids from as young as two years perform in the orchestra and dance troupes. During my visit, I watched the children, just after school, rehearse for the evening concert. Even the little ones exhibited a professionalism that stems from a passion for their culture. From art to architecture, fashion to food, Indonesia’s third largest city has a lot to offer and is best explored at a leisurely pace.

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Bandung from Medan, Bali, Surabaya, Singapore, Pekanbaru and Kuala Lumpur. Go to www. for details.



CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Children performing a dance that celebrates a boy’s circumcision ceremony at Saung Angklung Udjo; Kawah Putih crater lake shrouded in vapour; superheroes like Ultraman are all the rage along Jl Cihampelas.




The Beechjet 400A, now known as the Hawker 400XP, flies over the crater and steaming lava dome of Mount St. Helens, Oregon, USA.


This month, Capt. Lim Khoy Hing discusses how the airline industry prepares for and deals with both the predictable and unpredictable moods of Mother Nature. From the winter season and ensuing problems the cold weather brings to volcanic eruptions that spew ash into the air, the airline industry requires thorough and meticulous preparations to reduce and prevent potential problems. As the year-end approaches, whilst Santa Claus is busy preparing for his ‘annual flight’ around the world, pilots from tropical regions too get ready to face the snow as they fly towards the Northern Hemisphere. 120


Preparation is half the battle won. Safety is so important that airlines proactively prepare their pilots by including a wintry scenario into their Check Flight syllabus. This is to ensure that all air crew members are reminded of

and trained to handle the hazards of winter operations should they encounter any unpredictable cold weather events. For a start, during training in wintry conditions, the runway surface can be simulated to

be slippery, thus making the braking action less effective. This is to highlight that a longer landing distance would be required in such conditions. Pilots under Check have to precisely calculate such details in ensuring that safety performance is met. Otherwise, the landing would be aborted. In January 23, 1982, a World Airways DC-10 skidded off an icy runway at Boston International Airport in the US when it touched down about 800 metres off the landing point. The runway was covered in ice and the braking action was poor. The pilot was not able to stop in time. As a result, the plane ended in the icy waters of the Boston Harbour with two fatalities out of the 210 passengers.

accumulated on the wings, was another ill-calculated decision. In fact, this non-standard procedure actually aggravated the situation as the ice, instead of falling off the plane, refroze later. Today, the airline industry practices EBT (Evidential Base Training) and learns from past mistakes, simulating similar adverse conditions during training and ensuring that pilots are aware of the pitfalls.

An aircraft going through heavy snow fall.



Mother Nature’s increasingly frequent outbursts mean that pilots may have to deal with volcanic ash that spews from eruptions. To begin with, the financial impact of Iceland’s volcanic eruptions in 2010 cost the airline industry around USD5 to 10 billion a week! AirAsia X’s operations into London Stansted too were badly affected. Similarly, ash plumes from volcanic eruptions in Chile


Two days before Christmas in 2009, a UK Ryanair Boeing 737-800 skidded off the runway at Prestwick Airport, Scotland after hitting a patch of ice after landing. Pilots are constantly reminded to move (taxi) very slowly on contaminated runways or taxiways. Once an aircraft starts to skid, a pilot can lose control of the plane easily. As such, when it snows, runways are cleared by ploughs regularly to ensure that braking actions are effective and safe, not only on the runways but also on the taxiways as well. Besides the dangers of skidding, the captain must also ensure that any ice or snow accumulated on the aircraft be removed (de-iced) before the plane departs an airport.

informed of this procedure. The purpose of the spray is not only to remove snow or ice but also to prevent further build-up on the plane’s wings. This is crucial for a safe take-off. Ice accumulation on the wings may change its shape and impair the lifting efficiency of the plane during the take-off. The effectiveness of this procedure depends on the prevailing temperature. Thus, the pilot must take off as soon as possible before the efficacy time (hold-overtime) expires.



Do not be alarmed if you see vehicles circling the aircraft, spraying liquids on your plane on a wintry day. Normally the captain keeps passengers

A classic tragedy happened on January 13, 1982 when a Boeing 737 taking off from Washington National Airport USA in a snow storm crashed after take-off due


“Preparation is half the battle won. Safety is so important that airlines proactively prepare their pilots by including a wintry scenario into their Check Flight syllabus.” to ice accumulation on its wings. There were only five survivors out of 79 people on board. Investigation determined that the cause of the accident was pilot error. The pilots committed the following mistakes: Failed to switch on the ice protection system, induced more ice accumulation on the wings by using reverse thrust to move the plane and, did not reject the take-off after sensing trouble. Due to the delay in the departure, the effectiveness of the de-icing liquid was reduced but the captain decided not to return for further re-application of deicing liquid for fear of delaying the departure even more. The pilots’ action of staying closely behind another jet in a mistaken belief that the heat from the engines ahead would melt the snow and ice that had

were blown as far west as New Zealand and Australia. Both these recent events grounded many international flights. Why does the airline industry need to take such costly precautions in the face of such calamity? Well, safety is paramount in view of what volcanic ash can do to planes as it did to a British Airways Boeing 747 on June 24, 1982. The plane was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Perth but unwittingly went into a cloud of volcanic ash caused by an eruption southeast of Jakarta, causing its four engines to fail. The plane was cruising at 37,000 feet and, as stated in my article on Dead-Stick Glide Landing (Sept 2012), the plane didn’t drop like a stone after the engine failure but, was able to glide and exit the ash


An aircraft being de-iced at an airport in Hanover, Germany.

cloud. Once away from the ash clouds, the captain tried to restart the engines. In fact, the crew calculated that without the engines they could glide for about 23 minutes or about 91 nautical miles (169 kms) from 37,000 feet. Fortunately, they were able to restart all four engines at a lower altitude although one failed soon after. Additionally, visibility was severely limited as the cockpit windscreens were badly sandblasted by the volcanic ash. Fortunately, the captain landed at Jakarta with just three engines! Seven years later on December 15, 1989, a KLM Boeing 747 en route to Narita, Tokyo from Amsterdam also suffered a similar fate. All four engines of the 6-month old plane failed but were restarted at 14,000 feet. It landed safely at Anchorage International Airport in Alaska. The plane had encountered the so-called ‘The Jakarta Effect’. It was from past experiences and incidences that the airline industry took such drastic steps in preventing the re-occurrence of such potential mishaps by shutting down a massive part of the European airspace in 2010. This was also when the public felt the impact of how a week’s loss of 124


air transportation could disrupt lives and businesses so drastically.

A PILOT PREPARES Part of a pilot’s pre-flight preparation is to be notified by the flight dispatch centre whether his route for the day would be affected by any volcanic activity. If yes, the flight would be rerouted to avoid these dangerous areas. Nevertheless, there are drills pilots follow in the unlikely event that they come into contact with volcanic plumes that linger high in the sky. Unfortunately, attempting to detect these plumes visually can be quite difficult as some are not easily visible and the only way to identify its presence is the existence of an acrid odour that can smell like electrical smoke, burned dust, or sulphur. However, if this situation is detected, the first action when confronted by such an encounter is to do a 180° turn and avoid the possibility of engine failures. Yes! Be a chicken, turn around and run for your life!

CONCLUSION The increasing unpredictability of the world’s weather requires the airline industry to step up its game, and ensure passenger safety is of paramount importance through regular training. As always, when you travel

to your destination, be assured that your captain has taken the precautions to ensure that your flight is as safe as possible – regardless of what Mother Nature throws at us. With that, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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




CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The travellers at Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto; eating fish at Tsukiji Market; the lolitas at Harajuku.

The family that travels together discovers the world together! Olenka and her family find great joy in visiting various cities and countries with a little help from AirAsia.

If it wasn’t for AirAsia, I, Olenka Priyadarsani, would not have travelled to so many countries. I’ve been a loyal guest of AirAsia from even before I got married. I used to go on solo travels then, but now that I’ve found my life partner, I go travelling with my husband instead. I even travelled during my pregnancy. Now that my bundle of joy is here, the whole family goes travelling together. The first overseas trip we had with our baby was to Australia in January 2012. Oliq, who was six months old at that time, enjoyed the trip so much that we immediately decided to book tickets from Jakarta to Haneda, Tokyo during the AirAsia Big Sale period. I knew it would be a lovely autumn in Japan and wanted very much to experience it with my husband Puput and my baby Oliq. Although our flight was bound for Haneda, we decided to make Kyoto our starting point. Having arrived at midnight in Haneda Airport, we spent the night at a hotel nearby. The next morning, we caught a bullet train to Kyoto. Kyoto is as lovely as everybody says. It is a laidback city where tradition and modernity complements each other well. Cycling seems 126


like a popular mode of transportation here. School children in their uniforms, well-dressed gentlemen, old ladies and even foreigners were in favour of using bicycles to get around the city. Having only two days in Kyoto, we knew we would not be able to fit everything into our itinerary. So, we first visited Kyoto Tower with its observatory deck 100 meters above sea level. Going up the tower proved to be useful as it

helped us get our bearings of the city. Next, we made our way to Kiyomizu-dera, a beautiful temple on a hill, built in the 8th century. We also visited another smaller temple that was equally beautiful. Named Kinkakuji, this temple is well-known for its main building on the banks of a lake. We returned Tokyo and rented a small apartment near Nishi-Ogikubo Station. Our main destination was Mt. Fuji. My husband is

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Golden Pavilion in Kinkakuji Temple Kyoto; at the Fifth Station of Mt Fuji; a wedding procession at Meijijingu Tokyo.

an experienced mountain climber and wanted very much to scale the mountain. But with baby in tow, we decided to climb only up to the Fifth Station, at around 2,305 metres. In the beginning, we were a little disappointed because Fuji-san was covered in clouds. This was expected as the mountain is well-known for its ‘shyness’. But just as we were about to make a U-turn and head back home, the wind swept away the clouds and revealed the magnificent peak. Although just for a few seconds, we managed to take pictures of the summit. The long journey to the fabled mountain was well worth the trip! We next decided to explore Tokyo. Famous for its skyscrapers, we wanted to visit the newly-opened Skytree Tower. It took us a few hours of waiting to get to the 350-metre high observatory deck, but we were glad to have visited it. You could practically see everything from that height! Harajuku is another spot in Tokyo one shouldn’t miss – especially on Sundays. Teenagers wearing bizarre costumes is a common sight along Takeshita Street and Harajuku Street. We took pictures of them and even posed with them. It looked like Halloween had come real early! Amidst the hustle and bustle of Harajuku, we still managed to sneak out to the peaceful Yoyogi Park where Oliq ran around happily. We were also very lucky to have witnessed traditional wedding rituals being held in the shrine. Our last afternoon in Tokyo Bay was amazing. The Liberty statue, Rainbow Bridge, spectacular views of Tokyo Bay, a cup of hot matcha and a cool autumn breeze – these beautiful memories with my lovely family will stay with me forever. 128


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

Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel proudly unveils its latest facility in meeting spaces – the R-Studios, a new LifeStyle venue in the heart of the city. Located on Level 2 @West Wing of the hotel, the R-Studios provide a new way to connect, making it ideal for inspirational business meetings or grand social get-togethers. The facility comprises R-Studio 1 and R-Studio 2, and boasts an Open-Air Terrace. R-Studio 1 can accommodate 250 persons in a theatre-style seating or 150 persons for a banquet or reception. It can also be set for classroom, U-shape or boardroom style seating. When combined, the two facilities become a Grand Studio accommodating up to 300 persons for a cocktail reception or, 250 for a banquet. The Open-Air Terrace provides a relaxed ambience where guests can chat over cigars while enjoying the evening cityscape. In addition to the R-Studios, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel also features more than 32,000 square feet of total event and exhibition space comprising an extravagant pillar-less Grand Ballroom and more than 20 other additional meeting rooms.




End the year with a bang, and sparkle from head to toe with our easy partydressing tips and sexy holiday picks.

JUST FOR YOU Morgan de Toi transforms the season’s hottest trends into readyto-wear pieces for the young and hip. The brand’s Fall/Winter range combines autumnal hues with top trends like brocade prints, quilted leather jackets and lace dresses for sumptuous style this season.





This Christmas or anytime of the year, let your gifting ideas be of products that are both ethically sourced and sustainably produced. Nucleus Underwear and Basics for men and women fits the bill perfectly as it uses organic cotton that’s not only kind to consumers, it is also ‘friendly’ to the farmers. Grown without using pesticides, the cotton is sourced from India’s Morarka Organic, which is backed by the Morarka Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of Indian farmers through sustainable and organic agriculture. Embrace the true spirit of giving with gifts from Nukleus where the products are made from the finest eco-friendly materials and all core components are certified Oeko-Tex Standard 100 for skin-friendly goodness. Nukleus is also a co-brand partner of WWFMalaysia, and part proceeds from the sales will be channelled to support WWF-Malaysia’s conservation work. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Putting a stylish spin on winter essentials, the latest collection from menswear brand Celio helps you look sharp even when temperatures drop. The range includes woollen coats, fur-trimmed jackets, cashmere sweaters, leather boots and suede shoes that will keep you toasty from head to toe.

GRACEFUL BEAUTY Valentino’s pre-collection Fall range showcases beautiful silhouettes that accentuate a woman’s curves with an emphasis on cinched-in waists. Star picks include the line’s floor-length evening gowns and chiffon dresses in near-black hues, chalk, powder and splashes of geranium red.

WINTER STYLE Knee-high boots, funky platforms, ankle booties and oversized totes are just some of the highlights from Charles and Keith’s latest collection of footwear, bags and accessories. The brand’s winter range features a colour palette of tangerines, mustards, cognacs and classic patterns like tweed, tartan and houndstooth.

TOAST OF THE PARTY A little shine and sparkle is great for the holidays but too much can leave you looking like a Christmas ornament. Avoid this common holiday fashion faux pax and other style no-no’s with our party dressing tips. Michael chael Kors

Aldo A



dresses in Christmassy colours of dresse forestforest-green, red or deep purples with sparkly clutch or bejewelled shoes a spar for a ttouch of understated glamour. Men ccan dress up their outfits with a watch of shiny cufflinks. fine wa

FRENCH FLAIR Add a touch of Parisian flair to your ur wardrobe and jazz up your look with ith luxury handbags from Lancel. The e French brand stocks a range of bags ags in sumptuous materials and colours. urs. Star pieces include its iconic bucket ket bags in faux-crocodile leather. The e brand also recently launched its store tore at The Gardens at MidValley Megamall amall in Kuala Lumpur. 132


RIGHT EXPOSURE A little skin RIGH goes a long way. A halter top or dress lets you yo show off toned arms while a long skirt with a medium high slit will reveal re your endless legs without exposing exposi too much. Always go for sexy elegance and avoid all things e too short sh or too tight. KEEP IT SIMPLE Leave that head-to-toe head-t sequinned dress in the closet! clo Do not even attempt to coordinate coo your outfit with that Christ Christmas gift you’re carrying. A touch of silver and gold is fine in outfits and jewellery but put on too much and you’d risk blending in with the th Christmas decor.



BEDROOM EYES S Revlon’s ColorStay™ Crème Gel Liner is not only easy to apply, the innovative formula nd delivers bold colours and will not smudge for up to 24 hours. Just dip the brush into the pot, and simply glide it across the he lash line for beautifully dramatic eyes. Available e in black and brown.

SEASON FOR GIVING Put a smile on that special someone’s face with a gift from this list of holiday goodies. Haven’t you heard? It’s better to give than to receive.

ENGLISH ROSE The ultimate pampering experience, the Evelyn Rose® collection from Crabtree & Evelyn includes an EDP, shower gel and a body lotion that contains rose extracts, shea butter and moisturising oils for skin. The products in this range feature the updated Evelyn Rose fragrance from a bloom specially created for the brand.




Guilty Passions by M.A.C offers lip gloss and eye shadow holiday gift sets in shades that are simply irresistible. Each mini eye kit comes with four stackable jars of metallic colours that range from beige to browned teal frost. Lip colours feature gloss in three shade sets – Nicely Nude, Cocktail Coral and Lavish Rose. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

SCENTED JOY For Him Dolce&Gabbana Pour Homme is a classic fragrance for the sexy and sophisticated man. Inspired by the Mediterranean, the scent combines bold tobacco base notes with neroli, lavender, sage and pepper. This masculine scent is rounded off with citrus hints of mandarin and bergamot.

For Her Michael Kors Gold Rose Edition EDP is an undeniably feminine scent with its base of tuberose, rose centifolia, muguet, peony and gardenia. Pink pepper, waterlily, raspberry and michelia add to its sensual notes.

LUCKY LIPS A balm that protects lips with a natural hint of colour, Maybelline’s Baby Lips Loves Color comes in five shades – Pink Lolita, Cherry Kiss, Berry Crush, Rose Addict and Coral Flush. This lip balm combines moisturising ingredients like Vitamin E and Jojoba oil with invigorating menthol.

LUXURY BATH For a truly decadent bath experience, stock up on delicately fragranced body care products from Penhaligon’s. To celebrate the holidays, the brand has launched travel sets that comprise shower gels and body lotions in three of its most popular scents – Malabah, Ellenisia and Bluebell. 136


CROWNING GLORY Aveda’s Invati range utilises Ayurvedic herbs and plants to combat thinning hair and, restore locks. The hair care system contains an exfoliating shampoo that gently cleanses scalp, a thickening conditioner with amino acids and soy protein to strengthen hair and, a scalp revitaliser with turmeric and ginseng to energise the scalp.




Bubbly, vivacious and with a penchant for whipping up great eats, this celebrity chef is a one-woman ambassador for Indonesian cuisine. The petite host of the Asian Food Channel’s Ala Chef and The Big Break, dishes on her passion for good food and recent collaboration with AirAsia as an in-flight meal ambassador.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A CHEF? Even as a child, I was interested in cooking but it wasn’t until I was in college that I heard the words ‘pastry chef’. That’s when I knew what I wanted to be. After graduating with a degree in finance, I decided to pursue my passion and enrolled in pastry school and the rest, as they say, is history.

YOU HAVE WORKED WITH RENOWNED CHEFS INCLUDING MASTER CONFECTIONER EWALD NOTTER EARLY ON IN YOUR CAREER. WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON YOU LEARNED WHILE TRAINING WITH THEM? It was very inspiring to learn and watch Notter, who is an award-winning confectioner, at work. I took courses at his pastry school in Orlando, Florida and one of the skills I learned was to construct elaborate showpieces with sugar. I also learnt to pay attention to detail and use my imagination and creativity. There wasn’t a single most valuable lesson but the sum of all the lessons I picked up from a professional chef like Notter serves me well till today and truly gave me an understanding of the art of cooking.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GUILTY PLEASURE WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD? It has to be durian. I grew up in Sumatra and the durians there are the best. I lived in the US for 13 years and when I first moved back to Indonesia four years ago, I used to go crazy whenever I came across durian. I never miss an opportunity to eat durian and even my American husband who used to dislike the fruit is now a convert!


Butter, because butter makes everything taste better. I work with pastry a lot and butter is definitely an essential ingredient, especially in cakes and cookies.



still manageable. Even when I was part of the team that cooked for heads of state at a G8 Summit, it was manageable.

YOUR GOOD LOOKS AND ON-SCREEN PERSONA HAVE EARNED YOU THE MONIKER ‘THE SEXY CHEF’. ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THAT TITLE? I think I would be more uncomfortable when they stop calling me that. I never intentionally try to be sexy. I take care of myself and pay attention to my appearance. I work out every morning if I can and I eat healthy to stay in good shape. I’m on TV and appearance does matter. It takes hard work to stay in shape and I certainly do not mind when people appreciate that.

YOU ARE AN ADVOCATE OF GETTING CHILDREN INTO THE KITCHEN. WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT TEACHING KIDS TO COOK? My world changed completely when I had my son. As a mother, I know how important good food and nutrition are for children. I’m passionate about teaching kids to cook because it’s important for them to learn about what they are putting into their bodies. By learning to cook, kids will understand what It improves the flavour and texture of baked goods and as long as you use it in moderation, I think it’s perfectly fine.

WHICH FAMOUS PERSON WOULD YOU LIKE TO COOK FOR AND WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE? I’m a fan of US president Barack Obama. I’d make him fish dabudabu, which is grilled fish served with a sambal that consists of green tomatoes, chillies, shallots and lime juice. The dish originates from Makassar, Indonesia and is fresh, healthy and tropical. The flavour combination is just wonderful, something I’m certain President Obama would appreciate, considering his Indonesian connection. 140


it’s a simple dish and is a great introduction to our cuisine. Also, you must try gado-gado – a vegetable salad with peanut sauce dressing.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL INDONESIAN DISH? For me, it has to be beef rendang. It’s a spicy and delicious dish that is made with coconut milk, chillies and different spices, and loved all over Indonesia. You can get it everywhere in Indonesia – from Jakarta to Papua.

WHAT IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE FOOD ITEM YOU’VE EVER PUT IN YOUR MOUTH? That’s a toss-up between white truffles and caviar. I enjoy both and they cost roughly the same, about USD3,600 for one pound. It’s definitely an indulgence but well worth the price.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RECENT TIE-UP WITH AIRASIA AND WHAT YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE FROM THIS COLLABORATION. I’m a huge fan of AirAsia. It’s a cool, young, hip and fun airline. When they approached me with the idea of working together for the creation of inflight meals, I was truly excited. This is an opportunity for me to come up

Farah’s signature dishes, with new additions every quarter, are now available for purchase onboard all AirAsia Indonesia flights, as well as for pre-booking online. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING MEAL YOU’VE PREPARED SO FAR? Food is only as challenging as you make it. If you have the right equipment and the necessary knowledge, no one dish is particularly challenging. There have been occasions where I was requested to create elaborate pastries. Such work requires careful attention to detail and can be time-consuming, and somewhat challenging but it is

goes into their food and what is good for them. If we want to create a healthier nation, we have to start them young.


with dishes that celebrate my style of cooking and showcase the best of Indonesian cuisine. There will be a total of four different dishes, which will be served over the course of a year on all AirAsia Indonesia flights. To start off, I’ve picked Nasi Minyak Palembang, a dish that is usually served during special occasions in south Sumatra where I grew up. It’s a personal favourite and something I hope all our guests on AirAsia Indonesia will enjoy.

a a _ De c _ T 3 6 0 _ r 1 . p d f

Pa ge


1 / 1 1 / 1 2 ,

2 : 1 8 : 3 3


G MT + 0 8 : 0 0





Hey kids! Don’t miss out on your favourite Ace Meal by SkyRider Kids Club when you fly with AirAsia. This month, all Ace Meals come with a free origami set, which promises endless fun on board. Get mummy or daddy to pre-book your Ace Meal today at


Christmas is here! Get into the holiday spirit with our Xmasthemed jokes, learn about popular Christmas traditions and tales and, check out what we have in store for junior flyers.

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS Christmas is not just celebrated in English speaking countries. Wish your friends a merry Christmas in these different languages. JAPANESE: Kurisumasu Omedeto BAHASA MALAYSIA/ INDONESIA: Selamat Hari Natal TAGALOG: Maligayang Pasko SPANISH: Felice Navidad KOREAN: Sung Tan Chuk Ha




Why do people hang stockings in their living rooms on Christmas Eve? According to legend, there lived a kind man with three daughters. Unfortunately, the man did not have enough money to get his daughters married. Hearing his plight, St Nicholas (modernday Santa Claus) decided to help the family out. Wanting to remain anonymous, St Nick went to the man’s house and dropped gold coins down the chimney, where some got caught in stockings hung out to dry by the fireplace. Today, children the world over hang up socks on Christmas Eve hoping that Santa will drop by and leave gifts for them. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

A VERY SHINY NOSE Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer began life as a character in a children’s short story written in the 1930s. Little Rudolph didn’t have many friends and stuck out like a sore thumb because of his bright, red nose. In the story, Santa was out delivering gifts in Rudolph’s neighbourhood when a fog rolled in, making it difficult to see. Not wanting to disappoint children expecting his visit, Santa spotted Rudolph with his bright, red nose and asked him to lead the sleigh, thus saving the day and making children the world over happy.

SNACK ON THIS A popular Christmas treat, gingerbread cookies were created in Central Europe hundreds of years ago during the Middle Ages. Crusaders brought back spices including ginger from the Middle East, which was used to make these snacks. Over time, the cookies were shaped into figures and gingerbread men became an instant hit. However, it was not until Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) that these snacks were turned into Christmas treats. Today, gingerbread cookies come in all shapes and sizes, including gingerbread houses.

LAUGH OUT LOUD Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? A: Frostbite. Q: What do snowmen eat for breakfast? A: Snowflakes. Santa Claus: What’s that terrible racket outside? Mrs. Claus: It’s rein... deer.



RIDDLES 1. Can you work out what proverb is described here? A feline creature is permitted to check out a male hereditary title holder who wears a crown. 2. Can you match up the clues to the correct answers? i. Best toys AIR ii. Promotes loans ADVANCES iii. Broadcast melody APES iv. Copies monkeys TOPS v. Party punch BASH 3. Maggie’s daughter is my daughter’s mother. Who am I to Maggie?


Which country was the first to allow women to vote?


What is the English equivalent of the French petit dejeuner?


Which facial feature appears to be missing from da Vinci’s Mona Lisa?


What type of food is a quandong?


Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are characters in which book?


Who is third in line to the British throne?


If you were on the island of Molokai, in which country would you be?


In the solar system, what is the only planet NOT named after a Greek or Roman god?


Who was listed by Forbes magazine as the first person to achieve billionaire status solely from writing?

10 Timbuktu is located in which West African nation?





4. If 5 F on your H equals Five fingers on your hand what are these? i. 15 P in a RT ii. 29 D in F in a LY ii. 64 S on a CB 5. Which word can follow all of the ones listed? BROAD, HEAD, NECK, SWEAT, BRASS

SUDOKU 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 5 2 3 8 6 5 1 4 8 2

• QUICK QUIZ 1 New Zealand 2 Breakfast 3 Eyebrows 4 Fruit 5 The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy 6 Prince Harry 7 United States 8 Earth 9 JK Rowling 10 Mali • RIDDLES 1 A cat may look at a king 2 i.Best toys TOPS ii.Promotes loans – ADVANCES iii.Broadcast melody – AIR iv.Copies monkeys - APES v. Party punch – BASH 3 I am Maggie’s daughter 4 i.15 players in a rugby team ii. 29 days in February in a leap year iii. 64 squares on a chessboard 5 Band • PLAY ON WORDS 1 Hit the sack 2 Weigh the odds 3 Paint the town red 4 Like water off a duck’s back



6 3

8 1

4 3 6 2 7 4 1 8 3 5 4 6 3 2 9 5 5





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

SECOND PRIZE WINS A 3D/2N stay in a Deluxe Room for two in Le Apple Boutique Hotel Bukit Bintang worth RM760 nett!* Done up in purple accents, Le Apple Boutique Hotel offers various room categories ranging from Deluxe Single to Deluxe Zen with Jacuzzis, and even Japanese tatami-style rooms. These rooms feature unique layouts with frosted glass-door bathrooms and extra large mirrors. Each room comes equipped with flat-screen TVs and complimentary tea and coffee making facility. The hotel is also fully Wi-Fi enabled and guests get to enjoy the service for free! * room only


My Parachute, Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia Koh Choon Wern, Johor, Malaysia

BEST PICTURE WINS A 3D/2N stay in a Standard room at Novotel Kota Kinabalu 1Borneo inclusive of buffet breakfast at Square Restaurant for two worth RM924 nett! Novotel Kota Kinabalu 1Borneo, a 4-star international chain hotel, is an integral part of 1Borneo Hypermall – the largest mall in Borneo with 1.5 million square feet of shopping, leisure and dining choices. Just 25 minutes from the airport, the hotel is only 10 minutes from Kota Kinabalu city centre and is located adjacent to University Malaysia Sabah and, within close proximity to the State and Federal Administration Government offices and Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP). All 263 rooms of the hotel are uniquely designed with comfort in mind where spacious rooms done up in contemporary décor guarantee guests the best in comfort.


Temples at sunset, Bagan, Myanmar Jon Sharp, Yangon, Myanmar

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





Joy of flying

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

h2o To The rescue

shoulDer lifTs

Knee lifTs

fooT pumps

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

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

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

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

beaT The lag

compiled by: chiTra s illustrations: Tim lai

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


Deep Vein Thrombosis

To preVenT DVT

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

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

travel 3sixty˚

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

12 Route Map • AirAsia Malaysia



ChennaiChennai Bangalore Bangalore Tiruchirappalli Tiruchirappalli Kochi Kochi


airasia malaysia DomesTic rouTes Langkawi

Alor Setar


Kota Kinabalu

Kota Bharu Kuala Terengganu




Kuala Lumpur

Bintulu Sibu Johor Bahru


travel 3sixty˚




Beijing Beijing Seoul Seoul


Tokyo Tokyo Osaka Osaka

Shanghai Shanghai Hangzhou Hangzhou

Chengdu Chengdu



Kathmandu Kathmandu


Taipei Taipei KunmingKunming Guilin Guilin Guangzhou Guangzhou TAIWAN TAIWAN NanningNanning Shenzhen Shenzhen Macau Macau Hong Kong Hong Kong Hanoi Hanoi


Chiang Chiang Mai Mai Vientiane Vientiane Yangon Yangon THAILAND THAILAND Da NangDa Nang

sKyTrax WorlD’s besT loW-cosT airline 2009, 2010, 2011& 2012

Clark (Manila) Clark (Manila)

Siem Reap BangkokBangkok Siem Reap


Phnom Phnom Penh Penh Ho Chi Minh Ho ChiCity Minh City


Krabi Krabi Phuket Phuket Hat Yai Hat Yai Langkawi Langkawi Kota Kinabalu Kota Kinabalu Banda Banda PenangPenang Aceh Aceh BRUNEI BRUNEI Kuala MALAYSIA Medan Medan Kuala MALAYSIA Miri Miri LumpurLumpur Johor Bharu Johor Bharu Kuching Kuching Pekanbaru Pekanbaru SINGAPORE SINGAPORE PadangPadang Balikpapan Balikpapan


Palembang Palembang

INDONESIA INDONESIA Makassar Makassar JakartaJakarta Semarang Semarang Bandung Bandung Surabaya Surabaya Solo Solo Yogyakarta Yogyakarta LombokLombok Bali Bali



airasia hubs in malaysia Kuala Lumpur International Airport Kota Kinabalu International Airport Penang International Airport Johor Bharu International Airport Kuching International Airport AirAsia Malaysia Route AirAsia X Route

Gold Coast Gold Coast Perth Perth Sydney Sydney


Melbourne Melbourne

travel 3sixty˚


12 Route Map • AirAsia Thailand



CHINA Chongqing





Guangzhou Macau


Shenzhen Hong Kong

Hanoi Chiang Rai Chiang Mai Yangon

Udon Thani Nakhon Phanom



Ubon Ratchathani



Phnom Penh Ho Chi Minh City Surat Thani Nakhon Si Thammarat Krabi Phuket Trang Hat Yai Narathiwat Penang Medan

Kuala Lumpur





Surabaya Bali

airasia hubs in ThailanD Don Mueang Int. Airport, Bangkok Phuket Int. Airport Chiang Mai Int. Airport International Route Domestic Route


travel 3sixty˚

12 Route Map • AirAsia Indonesia




VIETNAM Ho Chi Minh City Phuket Banda Aceh Medan

Kota Kinabalu

Penang Kuala Lumpur

Johor Bharu Pekanbaru






Jakarta Semarang Solo Surabaya Yogyakarta Bali



airasia hubs in inDonesia Soekarno Hatta Int. Airport, Jakarta Ngurah Rai Int. Airport, Bali Husein Sastranegara Int. Airport, Bandung Juanda Int. Airport, Surabaya Polonia Int. Airport, Medan International Route Domestic Route


travel 3sixty˚


12 ROuTE Map






Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Tokyo



ROuTE Map AirAsia Japan International Route Domestic Route

Kuala Lumpur




ROuTE Map AirAsia Philippines


Hong Kong

Clark International Airport International Route Domestic Route

Clark (Manila)



Kuala Lumpur



travel 3sixtyËš

Kota Kinabalu






Kuala Lumpur skyline


KUCHING, SARAWAK Indigenous woman


• Capital city of Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia • Kuching means ‘cat’ in the local language • Around 980 kms from Kuala Lumpur by air • Home to the longest river in Malaysia – the Rajang River (563 kms) that originates from the interiors of Borneo • The local ethnic groups are made up of Dayak and many other smaller tribes • Kuching has fantastic museums that showcase its historical and tribal past along the Waterfront area. Sultan Abdul Samad Building

AirAsia flies to various from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu, Johor Bahru, Penang and Singapore.



Mt. Kinabalu

QUICK FACTS • Capital of Malaysia • Popularly known as KL • Home to the Petronas Twin Towers • Local currency is Ringgit (MYR) • English is widely spoken with Bahasa Malaysia being the official language • Mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese ethnic groups • Food paradise for cheap and delicious meals especially hawker fare • Climate is hot and humid with temperatures around 32° Celcius on average. AirAsia flies to various destinations from Kuala Lumpur. Refer to route map on page 142 for more info.



Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang

QUICK FACTS • Capital city of Sabah in East Malaysia on Borneo island • Popularly known as KK • Around 1623 kms from Kuala Lumpur by air • Local indigenous people include the Kadazandusun people apart from local Malay, Chinese and other ethnic groups • Jumping off point to many of Sabah’s attractions such as Mount Kinabalu, Sipadan Island and Danum Valley • Tuanku Abdul Rahman marine park is located just opposite the city in the South China Sea. AirAsia flies from KK to from Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Miri, Tawau, Sandakan, Johor Bahru, Penang, Singapore, Jakarta, Clark (Manila), Taipei, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

JOHOR BHARU, JOHOR Legoland in Johor Bahru.




QUICK FACTS • Penang island is located up north on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia • Around 369 kms from KL • Popularly known as ‘Pearl of the Orient’ • Its capital, George Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage City • Great beaches along Feringgi and Tanjung Bungah • Also known as the food paradise of Malaysia for cheap and delicious eats.

• Gateway to the south part of Peninsula Malaysia with easy access to Singapore via the Causeway • around 368 kms from KL • Lots of city shopping with Legoland slated to open in late 2012 • Danga Bay in the city area is filled with lifestyle and leisure attractions • Nearby beaches on the east coast such as Desaru are good for surfing and seaside activities.

AirAsia flies from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Johor Bahru, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Medan, Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya.

AirAsia flies from Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri, Sibu and Penang.





Reclining Buddha statue in Bangkok.

QUICK FACTS • Capital city of Thailand • Locally know as ‘Krung Thep’ • Shopping paradise with hundreds of malls and streets markets • Local currency is baht (THB) • Great dining, clubbing and shopping options at Sukhumvit and Silom streets • Chatuchak Weekend market 18 kms outside the city is a must visit for a great shopping experience • Take a riverboat ride down the Chao Phraya River • Travel in the city is easy with the BTS and MRT • Thai food is cheap and delicious in Bangkok! AirAsia flies to various destinations from Bangkok. Refer to route map on page 144 for more info.


PHUKET Stunning islands in Phuket.


Manila Cathedral

QUICK FACTS • About the size of Singapore, Clark is located in the Philippines’ Luzon island • Clark is one of the fastest growing commercial centres in Philippines and is well connected by air and road to many parts of the country • AirAsia Philippines connects to Davao, Kalibo and Puerto Princesa from Clark’s Diosdado Macapagal International Airport • Visit The Salakot, a structure that resembles a farmer’s hat, symbolising Philippine sovereignty • Go for horse rides at El Kabayo Riding Stables • Nayong Pilipino is a theme park that showcases replicas of Ifugao and Muslim houses, Aeta village and other attractions • Puning Hot Springs has 13 hot springs for your swimming pleasure • There are many army base attractions as Clark used to be an American army air base. AirAsia flies from Clark (Manila) to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. AirAsia Philippines flies to Kalibo, Davao and Puerto Princesa from Clark.


• Island paradise on the south-western part of Thailand • Sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and sunny tropical climate makes the island the perfect beach destination • Many beaches on Phuket are literally deserted • Patong Beach is the most popular but Karon, Bang Tao, Kamala, Kata and Surin are good alternatives • The Andaman Sea off Phuket can be rough, so pay attention to warnings.



AirAsia flies from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Hong Kong, Bali and Jakarta.





• The second largest city up north in Thailand • Popularly known as the ‘Rose of the North’ • Climate is cool and very pleasant • Local culture is called ‘Lanna’ and is unique to the northern region of Thailand • The ‘Walking Market’ on Sundays in the Walled City is a wonderful market to explore and buy local goods • ‘Khantoke’ meals are popular in this city • City is very popular for spas and wellness centres.

QUICK FACTS • Megalopolis of over 13mil people • Local currency is Yen ( ¥ ) • Home to the world’s largest fish market – Tsukiji Fish Market • Temperatures average 27.5° C in summer and 6° C in winter • Has the most extensive urban railway network in the world • Tokyo has around 88,000 restaurants and more Michelin stars than any other city in the world. • Vending machines all over the city offer everything from soups to umbrellas.• Check out the hip crowd at Harajuku’s Takeshita-Dori.

AirAsia flies from Chiang Mai to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani, Phuket, Hat Yai and Macau.

AirAsia X flies from Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia Japan flies to Fukuoka, Okinawa and Sapporo from Tokyo.

Mulberry paper parasols


Mt. Fuji on Honshu Island.



Jakarta skyline

MEDAN Traditional custom of Nias island.



• The fourth largest city in Indonesia, Medan is located on the east coast of Sumatra Island • The city is a lively place and the jumping off point to Lake Toba and Bukit Tinggi – 2 of Sumatra’s natural attractions • Nias and Mentawai Islands are accessible from Medan and are great surfing spots • “kek lapis’ or layered cake is a very popular food item from Medan. AirAsia flies from Medan to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Surabaya and Bandung.

QUICK FACTS • The capital city of Jakarta is a huge metropolis with a population of around 10 million people • Local currency is Ruppiah (IDR) • Stay in the city centre to avoid the notorious Jakarta traffic • Shopping and leisure activities abound at Kuningan and Kemang area • Great shopping is available at Plaza Senayan and Plaza Indonesia • Visit historical sites and museums at Kota Tua • Ancol is a water theme park north of the city • Pulau Seribu is another attraction with literally untouched islands just 45 kms away from Jakarta.



Bullrace in Surabaya.

AirAsia flies to various destinations from Jakarta. Refer to route map on page 146 for more info.



Island of the Gods

QUICK FACTS • Dubbed the ‘City of Heroes’ for the role the people of Surabaya played in the struggle for independence • Surabaya means ‘shark and crocodile’, derived from a legend about a battle between a shark and crocodile • It is the second largest city in Indonesia • Mount Bromo is a stunning volcanic mountain and a place for many ritual practices AirAsia flies from Surabaya to Kuala Lumpur, Medan, Bandung and Bali.

BANDUNG numerous temples and shrines on the island • Bali is predominantly Hindu while the rest of Indonesia is predominantly Muslim • Bali is famous for its beautiful beaches and highland retreats • Kuta is famous for its beach culture • Seminyak and Legian are hip leisure activity enclaves with great dining, clubbing and hotel options • Go further inland to Ubud for cooler climate or to less visited areas like Padang Padang for great surfing opportunities • You may spot dolphins at Lovina • Make sure you visit Tanah Lot and Mount Besakih temples to experience the spiritual side of Bali.

QUICK FACTS • Located in West Java, Bandung is the third largest city in Indonesia and about 146 kms from Jakarta • Bandung is known as the Paris of Java • Bandung is famous for its shopping with numerous factory outlets all around the city • Enjoy the distinctively Dutch colonial architecture here • Visit the areas with volcanic activity such as the Tangkuban Perahu area • The mountainous landscape offers a cool and wet climate, enabling some of the best tea and coffee to be grown in Bandung.

AirAsia flies from Bali to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Phuket, Bangkok, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Bandung and Perth.

AirAsia flies from Bandung to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Medan, Pekanbaru, Surabaya and Bali.

QUICK FACTS • Known as the ‘Island of Gods’ for the




Tangkuban Perahu crater



camboDia PHNOM PENH Phnom Penh Airport Office, 17 Mezzanine Floor of Arrival Domestic Terminal, Phnom Penh Airport, Phnom Penh

Sarinah Plaza Jl. Mh Thamrin, No. 11 (LG level) Jakarta Pusat MAKASSAR Departure Terminal, Sultan Hasanuddin, International Airport, Makassar, South Sulawesi

179, Street Sisowath, Sangkat Phsar Kandal 1, Khan Daun Penh, 12204 Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.

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



MACAU Office 20, Mezzanine Level Passenger Terminal, Macau International Airport Taipa, Macau GUANG DONG

Sam Ratulangi International Airport Jalan A.A. Maramis, Manado 95374 MEDAN Bandara PoloniaTerminal Keberangkatan Internasional, Medan 20157 Sumatra

Century Holiday International Travel Service (Shenzhen) Co.Ltd., XY-10 Junting Hotel, 3085 Eastern Road, Luo Hu, Shenzhen

Garuda Plaza Hotel, Jl. Sisingamangaraja, No.18 Medan-20213

Century Holiday International Travel Service (Guang Zhou) Co Ltd., First Floor, No 8 Zhong Shan 3 Road, Guang Zhou

Minangkabau International Airport, Padang, West Sumatra

Zhuhai Sun Star International Travel Agency Co Ltd., 1151, South of Yingbin Road, Zhuhai BEijiNG Century Holiday International Travel Service (Beijing) Co Ltd.,No 163A Floor Of Yi No 6, Chaowai Street Of Chao Yang District Beijing China, 100022 Beijing CHENGDU Century Holiday International Travel (ChengDu) CO.LTD, No. 172 Binjang East Road, Jinjang District, Chengdu

inDonesia BANDA ACEH Bandara Sultan Iskandar Muda, Blang Bintang, Aceh DENPASAR, BALi Bandara I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Terminal Keberangkatan International Bali 80361 Jl. Legian Kaja no. 455 Kuta, Bali BANDUNG Ruangan Nombor 34 Bandara Husein Sastranegara Jalan Pajajaran No 156 Bandung Jawa Barat Lobby Grand Serela Hotel Jl. L.L. R.E Martadinata (Riau) No 56 Telp. (022) 426 1636 jAKARTA Terminal 3, Departure Hall Airlines Offices, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Cengkareng Jl. Boulevard Raya, Blok LA 4, No. 10 Kelapa Gading, Jakarta Utara Komp Rukan Dharmawangsa, Jl. Dharmawangsa VI No.43, Jakarta Selatan


PALEMBANG Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport Palembang, South Sumatra PEKANBARU

FL4, 1st Floor, Tawau Airport Building, Jalan Apas-Balung, 91100 Tawau

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

TB228, Lot 5, Ground Floor, Istana Monaco, Jalan Bunga, Fajar Complex 91000 Tawau

GK 01, Ground Floor, Kluang Mall, Jalan Rambutan, Bandar Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor. KEDAH Lot 20, Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, 06200 Kepala Batas, Alor Star Langkawi International Airport 07100 Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi No. 68-B Ground Floor, Jalan Ibrahim, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman KUALA LUMPUR Lot 4, Level 2, Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, 50470 Lot G027B, Ground Floor, Podium Block, Plaza Berjaya,12 Jalan Imbi,55100 Kuala Lumpur No 71 Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 1 Taman Usahawan Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur

Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport, Jalan Perhubungan Udara Simpang Tiga, Pekanbaru, Sumatra

No. 4 Jalan 3/116B, Kuchai Lama Entrepreneur Park, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 582000 Kuala Lumpur.


Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, 16100 Pengkalan Chepa Kota Bharu

Carrefour DP (Duta Pertiwi) MALL, Jl. Pemuda No. 150, 1st Floor, Semarang 50132 Komplek Pertokoan Simpang Lima, Blok C No. 1 SOLO


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

Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo, Central Java

Tune Hotel, No.2, Ground Floor, The Host, Jalan Veerasamy, 30000 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan.



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

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

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

Level 1, Labuan Airport Terminal 87008 Wilayah Persekutuan

YOGYAKARTA Adisutjipto International Airport Jln. Solo km.9, Yogyakarta, 55282 Melia Purosani Hotel, Jl Suryotomo No.31, Yogyakarta


MELAKA No 32, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka PENANG Penang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang

Lot G24, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah, Jln. Tun Razak, 88000, Kota Kinabalu TGround Floor, Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Int. Airport, Old Airport Road,Tanjung Aru 88100, Kota Kinabalu SARAWAK GL02, Ground Floor, Bintulu Airport, 97000 Bintulu Ground Floor, Miri Airport, 98000 Miri Lot 946, Jalan Parry, 98000 Miri Departure Level, Kuching International Airport, 93756 Kuching GFLO1, Departure Area, Ground Floor, Sibu Airport, 96000 Sibu Ground Floor, No. 36 Jalan Keranji, 96000 Sibu Grd Flr, Lot 4034, Jln Tun Ahmad Zaidi, Parkcity Commercial Sq, Phase 5, 97000 Bintulu Ground Floor, 192H Al-Idrus Commercial Centre, Jalan Satok, 93400 Kuching SL11 Ground Floor, Lot 2541 Lee Ling Heights Phase 2, Mile 6.5 Jalan Penrissen, P.O. Box 2044, 93250 Kuching Lot 6813, Ground Floor Synergy Square, (Matang Jaya Commercial Centre), Jalan Matang Jaya, 93050 Kuching SELANGOR Ground Floor, Terminal 3, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor Jalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor Lot-35 Mydin Mall USJ 1 B-G-3A, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya 47170 Puchong Selangor Lot S141, 2nd Floor, Plaza Metro Kajang, Section 7, Jalan Tun Abdul Aziz, 43000 Kajang No 1, Jln PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya


Ground Floor, Kim Mansion 332, Chulia Street, 10200 Penang


No 723 L-G, Jln Sungai Dua 11700 Pulau Pinang

No 10, Jalan Bandar Rawang 11, Bandar Baru Rawang, 48000 Rawang, Selangor.

A-G-07, Jalan Todak 4, Sunway Business Park, 13700 Seberang Perai Penang.

Ground Floor, Curve NX, 18 Jalan PJU 7/5, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor


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

Tune Danga Bay, Lot PTB 22819, Jalan Skudai, Mukim Bandar, 80200 Johor Bahru GL 13 Senai International Airport 81250 Johor Bahru No. 26 Jalan Meriam, 84000 Muar, Johor

You can now fly flat for less with

Melbourne Gold Coast Perth

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

Sydney Seoul Taipei

Lot 1 & 2, 1st Floor, Terminal Building, Sandakan Airport, 90719 Sandakan

to these following destinations:

Chengdu Hangzhou Beijing

Osaka Tokyo Kathmandu

myanmar YANGON Yangon International Airport Office Unit# 01-L, Parkroyal Yangon, Myanmar

philippines CLARK Diosdado Macapagal International Airport Clark Civil Aviation Complex Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines 2023 MANiLA Wintrex Travel Corporation, Unit 108 SM City North Edsa – The Block SM City Complex, North Edsa, Pag-Asa 1, Quezon City, Manila Wintrex Travel Corporation, Unit 126 South Parking Building, SM Mall of Asia Complex, J.W Diokno Boulevard, Pasay City DAvAO 4th Level, Gaisano Mall of Davao, J.P Laurel Avenue, Bajada Davao City, Philippines.

singapore Row: 13 & 14, Departure level 2 Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, Singapore

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

ThailanD BANGKOK 127 Tanao Road, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok 10200

Suvarnabhumi International Airport Room A1-062 Ground Floor, Concourse A, Bangna-Trad Road, Racha Teva, Bang Pli, Samutprakarn 10540 Tesco Lotus – Bangkapi, 2nd Floor, 3109 Ladpro Road, Bangkapi, Bangkok, 10240 Tesco Lotus – Rama1, 3rd Floor, 831 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok,10330 Tesco Lotus – Rangsit, 2nd Floor, 392/4, Moo2, Phaholyothin Road, Thanyaburi, Pathumthani, 12130 Tesco Lotus - Sukhumvit 50, 1st  floor, 1710, Sukhumvit Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok, 10110

KRABi 133 Moo 5 Petchkasem Road, Tambol Nuakrong, Amphur Nuakrong, Krabi 81130 NARATHiWAT Narathiwat Airport 330 Moo 5 , Tambol Kok-Kian, Amphur Muang, Narathiwat 96000 PHUKET Phuket International Airport 312, 3rd Floor, Tumbol Maikao, Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110 Unit 9, Laflora Patong Area, No. 39, 39/1, Thaveewong Rd., Patong, Kratoo, Phuket

Tesco Lotus - Lad Prao, 2nd Floor, 1190, Phahonyothin Road, Jompol, Jatujak, Bangkok, 1090

Tesco Lotus – Phuket, 2nd Floor, 104, Chalermprakiat Road, Rasada Sub District, Muang District, Phuket, 83000



Chiangmai International Airport 60, 1st Floor, Tambol Sutep, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50200

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

416 Thaphae Road, Chiang Mai



Tesco Lotus - Chiang Mai Kamtieng, 2nd Floor, 19, Kamtieng Road, Patan Sub District, Muang District, Chiang Mai, 50340

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



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

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



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


Tesco Lotus - Hat Yai, 1st Floor, 1142, Kanchanawit Road, Hat Yai, Songkla, 90115


Lobby A,3rd floor, Noi Bai International Airport. Room # 1.4.19,Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Call Centre Numbers ausTralia

1300 760 330




+86 20 2281 7666

neW ZealanD

0800 45 25 66


+33(0)1 7048 0722




1860 500 8000


+63 2 588 9999

+91 44 4294 8300

souTh Korea

00798 1420 69940

(calling from Mumbai and New Delhi only)


008 0185 3031


+66 2 515 9999

The uK

0845 605 3333


+62 21 2927 0999


0120 963 516

hong Kong

+852 3112 3222

Experience our you fly with • Comfortable flatbed seat • Free flight change without penalty • Free 25kg baggage allowance • Pillow and duvet to be used onboard

and enjoy these benefits when • Complimentary meal and drink • Priority boarding & baggage retrieval • Dedicated check-in counter • Personal universal power port

9 9 7







Haeundae Beach

and, second-hand items. Steeped in history, this downtown market was established during the Korean War in 1950 as a means for war refugees to earn a living. SHINSEGAE CENTUM CITY One of the world’s largest department stores, with a listing in the Guinness Book of Records, this mall is a shopaholic’s dream-come-true. Besides housing a skating rink and multiplex theatre, Centum City is famous for its Spa Land – 22 spas fed with natural hot spring water from two underground springs, offering everything from a Finnish sauna to a Turkish hamam.


BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA Bustling Busan is South Korea’s second-largest city and largest seaport, famed for its white sandy beaches, lush parks, healing hot springs and fresh seafood.

DONG-NAE PAJEON Pajeon is a cheap and delicious snack made with green onions in a batter of flour and eggs. A variety of fillings is used in these pancake-like appetisers and in Busan, the seafood version – dong-nae pajeon – made with shellfish is popular. DAEGU TANG Seafood is fresh and plentiful in Busan and one of the most famous dishes here is this lip-smacking cod fish stew with vegetables. Spicy or mild, daegu tang is a hearty, belly-warming soup with some claiming it to be a hangover cure.

Strategically located at the southern end of the Korean peninsula, Busan is a dynamic city with an international appeal thanks to its harbour side location. The city, with a population of approximately four million people, has long been a favourite with holiday-makers who enjoy its many beautiful beaches and mountain trails. Modern yet laidback, this city is also home to the Busan International Film Festival – the first international film fest in South Korea.



HAEUNDAE BEACH A favourite with locals and tourists, Haeundae is among South Korea’s most visited beach retreats. Rent a deckchair or parasol on the beach, lie back and enjoy the picturesque scenery or visit nearby Dongbaekseom (Dongbaek Island) for a leisurely walk. Note that the beach gets very crowded from late July to early August as it is a popular summer haunt.


BUSAN AQUARIUM Situated near Haeundae Beach, this world-class aquarium is home to over 250 species of marine life including penguins, otters and piranha. Check out the main fish tank and the underwater viewing tunnel that provides spectacular sights of these magnificent creatures. Visitors can also get close-up with the marine life at the Touch Pool or learn about sea creatures at the exhibition halls. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Jagalchi Fish Market

JAGALCHI FISH MARKET The country’s largest fish market famed for its fresh produce, Jagalchi comprises an outdoor market area and an indoor complex. Go early and watch the fishermen bring in the day’s catch while customers haggle with Jagalchi ajuma (women traders of Jagalchi) for the best bargains. No visit is complete without sampling the freshest seafood at the eateries housed in the market’s Shindonga building. GUKJE MARKET Commonly referred to as Dottaegi (everything) Market in the local lingo, this large market offers practically everything under the sun at wholesale prices. Gukje Market is the place to go to for the best bargains on Korean-made and imported goods

Bronze statue at Nampodong

BOKGUK The star ingredient in bokguk soup is the puffer fish, a poisonous fish that’s a much sought after delicacy among Koreans and Japanese. This dish is only prepared by chefs licensed to handle puffer fish.

SLEEP NOVOTEL AMBASSADOR BUSAN 1405 16 Chung-dong, Busan 612-010 BUSAN LOTTE HOTEL Busanjin-gu, Busan 614-030 IBIS AMBASSADOR BUSAN CITY CENTRE 573-7 Bujeon-dong, Busan 614-030 For more hotel options, visit GETTING THERE AirAsia Japan flies daily to Busan from Tokyo (Narita). Go to for details.



SUPER PIONEERS As 2012 draws to a close, Travel 3Sixty° pays tribute to pioneers of the edgling airline and, continue being the faithful rocks of the company.

I joined AirAsia as a Cargo Service Assistant in 1999. From m day one, I’ve been inspired by how AirAsia overcomes obstacles. es. es The airline is evolving rapidly and winning lots of accolades, and is now a profitable company. AirAsia also gives staff opportunities to showcase their talents and that is how I’vee climbed the ladder to become station head of Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia’s main and biggest hub..



In 2003, just a few months ahead of TAA’s first commercial flight, ground operations, and served as Bangkok station head working in the ‘living room’. Five years later,

took on the role of Operations Manager of In-flight Services overseeing in-flight food. After three years, x things, when I became Performance love learning new things and taking on new challenges.


I graduated with a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering in 2004, and soon joined PT Indonesia AirAsia’s Call Center. I was armed with knowledge that wasn’t related to my job. Over time, I learnt a lot about AirAsia, the airline industry and customer behaviour. Today, I am a Group Desk Team Leader and Trainer. I love my work and the energy at AirAsia. New challenges and opportunities arise every day, and it is a privilege to be part of the AirAsia team. 168


HABSAH OTHMAN Malaysia AirAsia


I joined this company in 1997 when it was DRB Hicom. Back then, I was a Guest Service Agent based in Langkawi, and now I am a manager with the Customer Experience Department. The company has changed drastically over the years from two Boeing 737 aircraft with just four destinations to 54 aircraft with an expansive network. My fondest memory so far is handling our first wide body aircraft, the A330, when it touched down in Langkawi 2007. during LIMA 2


I started working with Thai AirAsia in October 2003 as an IT supervisor. That was even before Thai AirAsia launched its first commercial flight. Working alongside colleagues from Thailand and Malaysia in a fun multicultural environment, I set up the IT infrastructure of the Phuket station. The day Thai AirAsia’s first commercial flight departed from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport was one of the most exciting experiences in my life. It was the start of a new era. I am currently the ICT Manager.

I joined AirAsia under DRB Hicom in 1996, and served as a Senior Officer in Flight Operations. I joined before the company even had planes! Today, AirAsia is a brand that everyone in the aviation industry talks about. I’ve stayed with AirAsia because I was there when we started the business. I feel responsible for it. It’s like taking care of a little baby that has come of age. This is where I started and this is where I belong till I retire. I am currently the Operations Manager for India.

I am one of the pioneers of AirAsia Indonesia, and served as secretary to the Director of Flight Operations when I joined in September 2004. Initially, my job entailed not just addressing the needs of pilots but also seeing to company administration. We struggled dline for to meet the tight deadline our first commercial flight on December 8, 2004. When I ndonesia saw the first AirAsia Indonesia no Hatta, plane land at Soekarno I felt immeasurable pride. The nt at dynamic environment AirAsia that requires staff nd to work smart, fast and efficiently, pushes me e to be tougher. I am currently the secretary ry to the CEO. MADE ELLEN ARY UJENI AirAsia Indonesia


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