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AIRASIA INFLIGHT MAGAZINE TRAVEL 3SIXTY°

67 FEBRUA RY 2013 AIRASIA INFLIGHT MAGAZINE PP15075/07/2013(032403)

Happy Chinese New Year

www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

SMUGGLING ME IS SOOO 2012! IT’S 2013, PEEPS. READ ME ONLINE. www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

2 0 2013


CHECK-IN Contents February 2013

NAVIGATOR

70

BIRTH OF A BRAND NEW YEAR Welcoming the Chinese New Year

78

IN THE ARMS OF ANNAPURNA

92

THE HEART OF MYANMAR Mandalay

100

EAT, DRINK, MAN, WOMAN Food for Love

Trekking in Nepal

108

86

Woman on Top

WILD, WILD, WEST The Western Australian Natural Landscape

PILOT’S PERSPECTIVE

114

TRAVEL LOG Cambodia’s Greatest Asset

100

20

86

52


BOARDING CALL 06 CAPTAIN’S ADDRESS

STYLE FILE 118 OFF THE RACK Love Your Style

122 VANITY FARE

Your Dreams, Our Destination!

Ready for Love

08 INBOX

Virgina Willcock

The Buzz from our Guests

IN FLIGHT

12 RED FORT

132 PLANE FUN

News from AirAsia

Puzzles & Games

160 MY AIRASIA

134 PICTURE PERFECT

Love for All

Photos Taken by AirAsia Guests

FLIGHT PLAN

126 JETSETTER

136 GET COMFY

20 SPOTLIGHT

Joy of Flying

Stuff you’d Love to Know

PORT OF CALL

26 HOT DATES February Events to Keep a Lookout for

30 ASEAN COMPASS Celebrating Romance

34 QUICK BITES Welcome the Lunar New Year

64 56

138 ROUTE MAP 146 DESTINATIONS 156 AIRASIA SALES OFFICES & STATIONS 158 TOUCHDOWN Shanghai, China

38 PAGE TURNER Enter the Serpent

42 MONEY MAKER

126

Going Global

44 PRESCRIPTION Colour Me Healthy

46 SCORE BOARD Practically Perfect

52 HYPER TECH Flights of Fancy

56 SLEEP INNS Island Romance

64 HIT LIST Just Add Water

130 KIDS SPACE It Only Takes Love

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PUBLISHER GROUP HEAD, BRAND & ANCILLARY INCOME MANAGING EDITOR ART DIRECTOR WRITERS PHOTOJOURNALIST EDITORIAL ASSISTANT GRAPHIC DESIGNER CONTRIBUTORS ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES

Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun

AIRASIA INFLIGHT MAGAZINE

Al-Ishsal Ishak R. Rajendra Kan Seak Hong Beverly Rodrigues Chitra S Adam Lee Fazlina Bee Binti Abdul Rashid Fadillah Kamarudin Captain Lim Khoy Hing, Cheng Yik Hoong, Efi Hamzah, Ira de Reuver, Magda Biskup, Pete King, Shantini Suntharajah Spencer Lee (AirAsia Berhad) spencerlee@airasia.com Indran Balavishnu (Malaysia) indran.balavishnu@pharpartnerships.com

Happy H Chinese New Year

Senthuran Mohan (Malaysia) sen.mohan@pharpartnerships.com Mairianne Reardon (Singapore, UK and International Markets) m.reardon@pharpartnerships.com Paragorn Petchnaree (Thailand) paragorn.p@pharpartnerships.com Vikhram Radhakishnan (Indonesia) vikhram.r@pharpartnerships.com

SMUGGLING ME IS SOOO 2012! IT’S 2013, PEEPS. READ ME ONLINE. www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

2 0 2013

ON THE COVER Musicians from the Han Dynasty by Zhang Ziqi Cover image: Corbis

Marully Gultom (Indonesia) marully.gultom@pharpartnerships.com Frances Barsana (Philippines) frances.barsana@pharpartnerships.com Tel: +6 03-7966 8655 (Phar Partnerships Malaysia) E-mail: sales-T360@airasia.com Travel 3Sixty° wishes to thank Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles, MPH, Pansing Marketing, Advantage Quest Publications, Panographs Publishing EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES PUBLISHED BY

PRINTING

PRE-PRESS SERVICES

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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.

PP15075/07/2013(032403)

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2 CAPTAIN’S ADDRESS 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

! N O I T A N I T S E D R U O , S M A E R D R U YO Ever since a child, I’ve always been fascinated with the thought of exploring faraway lands. The idea of simply – on a whim – packing my essentials and heading towards an unfamiliar destination has always been an exciting one for me. Fuelled by the stories I read wide-eyed from an endless supply of books during my childhood, I’ve always treated life as one big adventure, going from one exotic place to the next. So, it was with much excitement that I stepped off an AirAsia flight recently to a place not many know. I had arrived at the beautiful, pristine and untouched island of Lombok, a place many consider to be off the beaten track. Described as a piece of heaven on earth, Lombok is a land of mystique, maybe even more so than its famous neighbour, Bali. A tropical island renowned for its deserted, sandy beaches, scenic coastline and beautiful underwater vistas, this lush paradise is also known for its majestic mountains, verdant forests and stunning waterfalls, with the volcanic Mount Rinjani watching over the island like a fiercely protective guardian. 6

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Lombok is also well-known for a peculiar tradition, which is really more hearsay than truth, where the men of the island, supposedly, kidnap the women they wish to marry! Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), no local male made any attempt at grabbing me when I was walking along a beach. I love waking up to nature’s symphony of waves gently crashing on the shore and birds chirping happily. Seeing the early morning rays reflected on the gentle ocean is the best way to greet the day, something I cherish very much after a long and tiring day at work. There is nothing more soothing than enjoying the beauty of the sunrise, or sunset, while walking barefoot in the sand, watching the crystal clear water rush up to my feet, encircle them and quickly retreat to their depths before the next wave races to my feet. I thought leading a big multinational company like AirAsia would mean only attending endless, corporate events, meetings and interviews. But never did I imagine it also meant that I’d be able to enjoy life’s hidden treasures. I savoured the best biryani ever in Yangon, Myanmar; learnt that one of the oldest and richest rainforests in the world is

the Danum Valley (older than the Amazon!) that’s waiting to be explored and within easy reach in Sabah, and that I could pretend to be Lara Croft in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap. I also discovered that I could purchase exquisite traditional textiles from every destination within the AirAsia network, and turn them into unique baju Kedah (Malaysian attire for women) that I adore. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my job would enable me to realise my childhood dreams. What makes me really happy is that AirAsia has made travel to these destinations possible. Travelling to Lombok, Bandung, Medan, Semarang, Kunming, Nanning and Phuket, or even Sabah and Sarawak used to be wishful thinking for many until AirAsia came along. Our dedication and focus to our core strength – making travel affordable for everyone – have made dreams come true for over 30 million guests in 2012! Including me. Have a pleasant flight, Happy Chinese New Year and have a lovely Valentine’s Day. Aireen Omar, CEO, AirAsia Malaysia

Connect with Aireen on Twitter @aireenomar


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www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

On Dec 18, I received the Multicultural Award for Excellence from Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu at Governor House in Melbourne. But I only got wind of the news on Dec 8! I didn’t know what to do but AirAsia came to my rescue. Not only did I manage to join my family for a holiday I had booked earlier, I also flew to Melbourne on time to receive the awards. I wouldn’t have been able to receive the award and spend time with my family if it wasn’t for you AirAsia! This ties in very well with what I read in the Dec issue of Travel 3Sixty°. Beginning with the Captain’s Address by Al-Ishsal Ishak and My AirAsia that featured the Super Pioneers of the company, I understood clearly that the secret behind the staff’s dedication and commitment in providing world-class LETTER service. I also loved Ishsal’s statement: “In the end it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took but how many OF THE moments took your breath away”. Yes, I agree 100 percent MONTH! with him. And I admit, AirAsia took my breath away. ~ Rathika Mahadeva, via email

I had planned to fly AirAsia to Phuket to celebrate the New Year when I chanced upon the article ALL ABOUT EVE (Dec 2012). I thoroughly enjoyed the listing of places to usher in the New Year and I found it interesting to see which contender would interest me the most. All the suggested places were such great choices but I finally opted for Hong Kong to host my New Year’s Eve celebration. I wanted to experience a celebration that involved huge crowds, dazzling fireworks and a romantic cruise with my beloved. Hong Kong was the obvious choice. Thank you to Travel 3Sixty°! ~ Azlina A. Hassan, Malaysia

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 am glad to have spotted the 2D code in Travel 3Sixty° (Jan 2013) that enabled me to download the Awesome Islands & Beaches Guide. For me, nothing beats having a beach holiday and I found the guide easy to use and filled with useful info. I’ve visited quite a few beach destinations around the region and just when I was running out of ideas where to go next, this guide solved my ‘dilemma’. Thanks Travel 3Sixty°! ~ Arnold Reyes, San Pablo City, Philippines.

HERE’S THE BUZZ ON AIRASIA’S SOCIAL MEDIA I recently travelled around SE Asia and took 5 flights with AirAsia, through 5 different airports. I just want to say that the experience was better than expected! Keep up the good work AirAsia. I look forward to flying with you again in the future. Luqman Moideen

I started flying with AirAsia in May 2012. I travelled on 10 flights of which 8 were medium haul routes. Not a single delay and most of these flights arrived ahead of schedule. Indeed, AirAsia has revolutionised civil aviation! Rebecca Skinner

It’s my first time flying with AirAsia and I just love everything about the airline. Thanks for my pleasant flight AA! ♥ Sarah Hamzah @sarahhmz

Gonna have my first AirAsia flight to Bali! Despite being an Indonesian, I’ve never been to Bali! Thx to @ airasia @tonyfernandes Catur Wahyudi @chesswahyudi

Now experiencing my first AirAsia trip bound for Clark and Davao! Malaysia truly Asia! Wooo woot! KAT DE CASTRO @itskatdecastro

Congrats AirAsia on your KUL –Nanning inaugural flight! The seats are much better than other local airlines in China! The onboard shopping is also pleasant and not pushy! The price is far more reasonable too! MiaoFei:

My Dutch friend, a frequent business class traveller, took AirAsia to fly KL-Singapore. He purchased the ‘Red Carpet’ service and told me: “Red Carpet is perfect and value for money. Fast checkin, friendly service, comfortable waiting lounge with food, and most importantly I was taken straight to the boarding gate!” MaggieMa:

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 travel3sixty@airasia.com. 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.

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2 RED FORT 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

WORRY-FREE, FUSS-FREE

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

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

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 www.airasia.com*

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.

AIRPORT 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, 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.

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.

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!

DOs 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.

CHECK-IN BAGGAGE Don’t get caught having to pay excess baggage fees at the airport counter. Avoid the hassle by purchasing your check-in baggage allowance online and stand to save up to 66% in savings! Moreover, AirAsia’s online baggage upgrade feature is available up to 4 (four) hours before scheduled time of departure. 12

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DON’Ts

HOT SEATS Hot seats are for guests who pre-book their seats and select seats at Row 1-5, Row 12 and 14. Row 1-5 are for guests who want to board and disembark first while rows 12 and 14 have extra legroom. These seats cost RM30 per seat currently.

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


1MALAYSIA FLYING HIGH

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP (main picture): YAB Dato’ Sri Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak with senior management of AirAsia Group and Malaysia Airports (MAHB); Dato’ Sri Najib officiating the 1Malaysia A320 aircraft; the 1Malaysia aircraft livery; Dato’ Sri Najib and his wife, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, with Dato’ Aziz Bakar,(left) AirAsia Berhad Chairman.

In January, AirAsia launched a specially-designed 1Malaysia aircraft livery to celebrate the Unity through Diversity drive, commemorate the 1Malaysia Integration Programme and, thank the Malaysian government for its support over the years. On hand to officially launch the livery at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal was the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak,

accompanied by his wife, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, and senior management teams of Malaysia AirAsia and AirAsia X. The 1Malaysia aircraft livery featured on an Airbus A320 required 600 litres of paint and 20 painters working over 12 days to complete. Taking the message of unity to the skies, this special aircraft will fly AirAsia routes, which span over 70 destinations across 20 countries.

“I am very proud to be Malaysian and I am sure my extended family of AirAsia Allstars, whether Malaysian or not, are also proud to embrace the concept of 1Malaysia, which personifies the true identity of our country. The success of AirAsia is also attributed to Dato’ Sri Najib’s decision to open up our skies before 2015, when the Open Skies policy will be implemented throughout the Asean region and I would like to applaud him for that move. We not only wear our hearts on our sleeves, we proclaim our passions to the Asean skies through the livery of our aircraft. Be it the Jalur Gemilang livery of 10 years ago, the Visit Malaysia livery, Tourism Malaysia’s ‘Zoom’ campaign, the Lat livery of 2009 - we have dedicated a gallery in the skies to Malaysia’s unique diversity and heritage.”~ Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia & Cofounder and Executive Chairman of Tune Group 14

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“The 1Malaysia aircraft livery truly represents what we are as a country – Unity through Diversity. We are honoured to be the airline to bear the 1Malaysia logo, both literally and figuratively. AirAsia has taken a home grown, Malaysian airline to the whole of Asean, with affi liates in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and even Japan – making us a truly Asian company.”~ Aireen Omar, CEO of Malaysia AirAsia


MOVIN’ ON UP

Aireen Omar, (extreme right) celebrating the festive season with AllStars from the ICT department.

CHRISTMAS AT LCCT Siegtraund Teh

In early January, AirAsia announced the promotion of Group Marketing Manager, Siegtraund Teh to Group Chief Commercial Officer, succeeding Kathleen Tan, former Group Head of Commercial, who has moved on to assume the position of CEO at AirAsia Expedia. Teh first came on board in 2007, and quickly proved her mettle in playing a vital role in AirAsia’s foray into North Asia, particularly China, as well as building its vast network and launching new routes. Besides aligning regional campaigns, this commercial whiz was responsible for developing comprehensive plans to advance multi-channel marketing initiatives. In 2012, she was seconded to AirAsia Japan to help build the commercial and marketing start-up

Kathleen Tan

of the new entity. As Group Chief Commercial Officer, Teh will manage the commercial team and deliver performance improvements across the AirAsia group. Tan has been a dynamic force within the AirAsia Group. With her strategic vision and bold leadership, revenue soared to over RM10 billion in 2012, and the airline’s brand equity is now valued at a whopping USD428 million by Brand Finance Plc. A savvy marketer, Tan is credited for spotting the potential of the China market, and spearheading AirAsia’s social media strategy. This marketing maven has over 200,000 fans on Sina Weibo, and was named one of the ‘Top 10 Most Influential Woman Leader in Travel’ by WebInTravel.

ART OF SIMPLYSITI AirAsiaMegaStore.com has revamped its offerings to provide shoppers with a more personalised experience, and announced a special partnership with SimplySiti, a cosmetics brand founded by Malaysian songstress Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. This new alliance offers shoppers an wider array of SimplySiti products on AirAsiaMegastore. The revamp includes the addition of enhanced features to enable shoppers to save items on a wish list as a useful hint for friends and family! Among products on offer at AirAsiaMegastore.com are cosmetics, perfumes, watches and electronic gadgets, as well as cool AirAsia merchandise. 16

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During the Yuletide season, AirAsia AllStars from the ICT department took a break from writing code and enhancing the AirAsia website to spread a little Christmas cheer with the inaugural ICT Christmas Challenge. This involved getting into teams and competing to decorate tables, chairs, ceilings and every conceivable surface with festive Christmas items like lights, glitter, home-made reindeer and recycled gingerbread houses! Decked out in Santa outfits, the teams also entertained fellow AllStars with Christmas carols. To judge the ICT Christmas Challenge, the AllStars called upon Aireen Omar, CEO of Malaysia AirAsia; Lau Kin Choy, Regional ICT Head; Chia Yong Wei, ICT Head of Malaysia AirAsia; Terri Chin, Regional Quality & Risk Assurance Head; and James Rhee, the new North Asia Region CEO.

“Most people think that the typical IT department is boring; we’re just like everyone else at AirAsia, and we’re bringing sexy back to IT! The winner and runner-up teams walked away with cash prizes, and the two tied losing teams performed Gangnam Style at the annual ICT dinner in January 2013.” ~ Lau Kin Choy, Regional ICT Head

PEACEFUL EASY FEELING

Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, SimplySiti President and Aireen Omar, AirAsia Berhad CEO at the relaunch of the AirAsiaMegastore.com

AirAsia Indonesia has introduced AirAsia INSURE to offer travellers peace of mind. Integrating safety and comfort, the AirAsia INSURE travel protection plan offers benefits such as Personal Accident Benefit, On Time Guarantee (OTG), and Travel Inconvenience Benefits, which covers flight cancellations, as well as lost or damaged baggage. OTG is applicable for delays of more than two hours from the scheduled departure time, caused solely by the airline, and guarantees cash compensation of IDR600,000. AirAsia INSURE offers both one-way and return plans that cover travel within a specific destination for up to 30 days! www.airasiainsure.com


BIG ORDER On December 13, AirAsia secured an additional 100 Airbus A320, bringing its total number of narrow bodied Airbus aircraft orders to 475! This move is part of the AirAsia Group’s regional strategy to remain the most profitable low cost carrier in Asia, and maintain the airline’s leading position in the region via new routes and added frequencies. The signing of the purchase contract by Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia and Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO of Airbus was witnessed by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister. The additional orders of 36 A320s with the Current Engine Option (CEO) and 64 A320s with the New Engine Option (NEO), brings the current total of AirAsia’s orders to 211 A320ceo and 264 A320neo aircraft. This latest procurement strengthens AirAsia’s status as the largest A320 family customer in the world. A week later at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France, AirAsia took delivery of its very first Airbus A320 aircraft installed with the sharklet wing tips, becoming the first operator of the new fuel-saving, large wing tip devices. This innovative device reduces fuel burn and emissions dramatically by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft. This cuts fuel costs by approximately four percent, and offers the flexibility of adding 100 nautical miles in terms of range, or allowing increased payload capability of up to 450 kilogrammes.

AIRASIA ASEAN REEF CHECK TEAM

In late 2012, AirAsia AllStars from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines joined a Reef Conservation Training programme in Batangas, Philippines organised by Maan Hontiveros, CEO of Philippines AirAsia – an avid diver and passionate conservationist who’s actively involved with Reef Check International. Part of Reef Check’s mission is to create a global network of trained volunteer divers who regularly report on reef status for conservation purposes. The AirAsia Asean Reef Check team learnt to conduct substrate surveys and identify different types of marine life. Data collected was submitted to the Reef Check International headquarters in San Francisco.

“I’m delighted that AirAsia now has a trained and certified Reef Check team of scuba divers. Our AllStars are ready to assist environmentalists to monitor and assess the health of coral reefs throughout the Asean region.” ~ Maan Hontiveros, CEO of Philippines AirAsia “From now on, I’ll appreciate the underwater world much more on my dives. I look forward to more conservation programmes with the team!” ~ Evelyn Ang, Senior Business Analyst, Malaysia AirAsia  “It was an experience that transformed us into eco divers! AirAsia’s dive community will help spread awareness on reef conservation.” ~ Josephine Listiani Sutjipta, Solo Station Head, AirAsia Indonesia “This experience has given me knowledge and new friendships. I’m grateful to AirAsia for supporting coral reef conservation activities.”~ Pirun Hemsanit, Guest Service Assistant, Thai AirAsia

Seated left to right: Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia and Fabrice Brégier, CEO of Airbus CEO Standing left to right: Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Group CEO of AirAsia; David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK; David Jones, State Secretary of Wales; and John Leahy, COO – Customer, Airbus.

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“Our team aims to work with Reef Check organisations in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia to conduct more surveys all across the Asean region.” ~ Safina Alfian Yusof, Recruitment & Career Development Exec., Malaysia AirAsia


2 SPOTLIGHT 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

THE BEST IN MUSIC, SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY AIRASIA REDTIX. Get your tickets at redtix.airasia.com

ONE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP™: RETURN OF WARRIORS FEB 2, 2013 After its last sellout tour across Asia, ONE Fighting Championship™, the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) event in Asia, will be back in Kuala Lumpur. Get your tickets before they sell out and watch homegrown champions Adam ‘Shogun’ Kayoom and Peter Davis take on international martial art exponents in a battle of skill and strength at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil.

GOLDEN CHINESE NEW YEAR AT HONG KONG DISNEYLAND FEB 1-24 Don’t miss your chance to catch Mickey, Minnie and all your

favourite Disney characters in traditional Chinese garb this Lunar New Year at Hong Kong Disneyland. The park’s Golden Chinese New Year celebrations to welcome the Year of the Snake begin on February 1 with an exciting line-up of activities. Snap a photo with Mickey and friends in Town Square, take home a commemorative golden Mickey coin for good luck and let the lion dance troupes entertain you during your visit.

Be our fan on FaceBook.com/AirAsiaRedTix, follow us on Twitter.com/RedTix and purchase your tickets for the abovementioned events at AirAsiaRedTix.com

COMPILED BY: CHITRA S

BANJO IN YOUR PALM

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Banjo is a free travel app that allows users to post pictures and videos of their holiday experiences in real time and, view instant feeds shared by friends and other users across social networks. Described by TechCrunch as ‘Awesome’, the app has cool features like ‘Personalised Places’, which enables users to search for activities that interest them at their destination. For example, a search for quad biking in Bali will reveal a real time feed of the latest posts including pictures and videos from users who are participating in the said activity. Available for iPhone and Android. www.ban.jo TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


WEDDING GLAMOUR Unveiled: 200 years of Wedding Glamour, an exhibition featuring glamorous and extravagant wedding dresses from the 1800s to the present day showcases more than 40 wedding gowns from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and, the WA Museum’s own collection. The exhibition includes gowns designed by Christian Lacroix, Vera Wang and Vivienne Westwood, and provides fascinating insights into the history of wedding fashion. On at the WA Museum in Perth, Australia from now until March 24, 2013. www.museum.wa.gov.au/unveiled

AUSPICIOUS SNAKES Royal Selangor’s 2013 Chinese zodiac collection comprises three unique offerings: A limited edition Year of the Snake plaque, a figurine of entwined snakes and, a pair of chopsticks and matching rests. According to Chinese mythology, the snake is an incarnation of the mighty dragon and is associated with longevity and wealth. This collection celebrates the snake’s charms with designs that incorporate auspicious design like snakes coiling around bamboo plants – a symbol of progress. www.royalselangor.com 22

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Embroidered silk satin wedding dress designed by Norman Hartnell, London, 1933. The dress was commissioned by Margaret Whigham for her marriage to Charles Sweeny on 21 February 1933.

DIVINE DANCE Hong Kong Dance Company’s first major production of the year – Feng Shui – is inspired by the traditional folk dance culture of the Han Chinese. Feng Shui incorporates elements of Shandong’s rice sprout song – yangge, which is rooted in rituals to invoke blessings for rain and bumper harvests. The contemporary dance performance employs yangge props such as drums, fans and dance movements associated with the tradition. Catch the show at the Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium, Hong Kong from Feb 22-24, 2013. www.hkdance.com/web/fengshui/


Paotere Harbour

Losari Beach

Tana Toraja

EXPLORE MAKASSAR With new twice daily connections to Makassar from Jakarta and Balikpapan on AirAsia Indonesia, travelling to the vibrant hub of Sulawesi is now even more convenient. Discover the charms of Makassar – the provincial capital of South Sulawesi and the gateway to Indonesia’s East.

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PAOTERE HARBOUR

TANA TORAJA

LOSARI BEACH

A visit to this harbour north of the city centre is a must for a taste of the shipbuilding and seafaring heritage of the Makassar people. The docks are usually a hive of activity and the harbour is the best place to see traditional sailing vessels and fishing boats like the Bugis phinisi, pantorani and lepa-lepa.

The Land of Heavenly Kings has unique culture and traditions that include elaborate funeral ceremonies, unique cave graves called tau-tau and the boat-like upward sloping roofs of traditional Torajan homes. The 300kms drive to Tana Toraja winds through the Kandora and Gandang mountains, which hold importance in ancient Toraja mythology.

After a busy day traipsing around the city, wind down and watch the sunset at this waterfront promenade – Indonesia’s longest. Losari Beach is also a jump-off point to the islands off Makassar, which offer great dive spots. www.indonesia.travel/en/destination /481/makassar GETTING THERE AirAsia Indonesia flies twice daily to Makassar from Jakarta and Balikpapan. Go to www.airasia.com for details.


2 HOT DATES 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

FEBRUARY 2013

Balance by Nick Selenitsch

AUSTRALIA

INSIDE RUNNING: THE SPORT OF ART FEB 2 – APR 7 Celebrating the

Aussie love for sports, this exhibition features videos, sculptures and large-scale installations by nine artists whose passion for sports like surfing, scuba diving and boxing is reflected in their art. Part of the Perth International Arts Festival, the exhibition will be held at the Fremantle Arts Centre in Western Australia.

THAILAND

LOVE ASIA FESTIVAL 2013 FEB 16 & 17 Top Korean and Thai artistes like 4-Minute, T-Ara, ZE:A, Davichi, Slot Machine, Singular and Sugar Eye come together for a mega festival at Impact Lakeside Muangthong Thani. www.thaiticketmajor.com

www.fac.org.au

INDONESIA

THE STONE ROSES FEB 23 The legendary UK band that pioneered the Madchester movement in the 80s and 90s, and revived Britpop, performs live at Lapangan D Senayan in Jakarta with the classic band line-up of Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani (aka Gary Mounfield) and Reni (aka Alan Wren). www.kiostix.com

Slot Machine

SINGAPORE

HONG KONG

CHINGAY PARADE SINGAPORE 2013

2013 LUNAR NEW YEAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY

FEB 22 & 23 With the theme ‘Fire in Snow’, Chingay 2013 celebrates the triumphant strength of the human spirit even when faced with the harsh challenges of cold reality. The dazzling itinerary includes a grand opening ceremony featuring 1,000 fire pots, as well as multicultural performances. www.chingay.org.sg

FEB 11 Hong Kong ushers in the Year of the Snake with a spectacular pyrotechnic display along Victoria Harbour on the eve of Chinese New Year. www.lcsd.gov.hk/eo

PHILIPPINES

COMPILED BY: BEVERLY RODRIGUES

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

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FEB 15-17 Ballet Philippines and The Cultural Center of the Philippines present Shakespeare’s romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream choreographed by award-winning choreographer Carlo Pacis at the CCP Main Theatre, Manila. www.ballet.ph TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


MALAYSIA

ONE MIC STAND FEB 5 ONWARDS Get your laughs every Tuesday at PJ Live Arts where funny men Kavin Jay and Rizal Van Geyzel have kick-started an open mic night for comedians. Acts range from established local and international comedians to emerging artists intent on honing their craft.

MACAU

www.pjlivearts.my

OPEN BOX 2013 FEB 1 – MAR 2 Catch the pop opera, City Inside a Broken Sky II; a mime entitled Who am I? and theatrical productions like The Elevator Key and Fairyland at Centro Cultural Macau P.A. www.macauticket.com

AUSTRALIA

PAKO FESTA

JAPAN

THE 64TH SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL

FEB 23 Australia’s largest free celebration of cultural diversity, which brings together professional performers, community groups, street traders and artists, takes place at the Geelong West Town Hall in Victoria. www.pakofest.com.au

THAILAND

FEB 5 - 11 Stunning snow statues and ice sculptures line Odori Park, the grounds of the Community Dome Tsudome, and Susukino’s main street in Sapporo, Hokkaido during one of Japan’s biggest winter events. www.snowfes.com/english

Paramore

ELSEWHERE…

PARAMORE LIVE IN BANGKOK

• MALAYSIA Le Tour de

FEB 12 American

Langkawi 2013 FEB 21 – MAR 2 www.ltdl.com.my

alternative rock band, Paramore known for albums like All We Know is Falling, Riot! and Brand New Eyes will be performing at Bangkok’s Centerpoint Studio, Thailand Sukhumvit 105. www.thaiticketmajor.com

• THAILAND Khaokho

Music Festival 2013 FEB 9 www.thaiticketmajor.com • INDONESIA Delisha –

Speechless Tour FEB 15 www.ancol.com • SINGAPORE The Crucible FEB 7 – 23 www.sistic.com.sg • AUSTRALIA Blue Mountains

Ukulele Festival FEB 8 & 9 www.bluemuc.ning.com • HONG KONG Chapman To

Stand up Comedy FEB 22 – 24 www.hkticketing.com

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2 ASEAN COMPASS 0 2013

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

CELEBRATING ROMANCE IMAGE: INMAGINE

Love is in the air! Visit some of the world’s most romantic island getaways that will guarantee a memorable Valentine’s Day and arm yourself with smart strategies to help you sidestep holiday blunders and experience only the best during your vacation.

BAGGING THE BEST BARGAINS IN BAZAARS If bargain hunting is your thing, then you can’t go wrong at an Asian bazaar! You’ll find there’s plenty of bang for your buck, no matter which Asian country you visit with virtually limitless opportunities to pile up on the souvenirs and, save big at the same time.

THE EARLY BIRD There’s a dearly held belief among Asian shop owners that the first sale of the day is the one that counts. This is the sale that opens the gates to a flood of cash for the rest of the day and it must take place as soon as possible! What does this mean for a tourist like you? Well, the seller is most likely to let you have your way when it comes to bargaining because he’s eager to close that all-important first sale. So go ahead and set that alarm early!

TOP 3 ROMANTIC ISLAND GETAWAYS BREATHTAKING BALI Beautiful beaches, verdant landscapes, cultural gems – Bali has them all! If you’re looking to snuggle up together and leave the world behind, this gorgeous tropical island should be your pick. Bali, which appears on various ‘World’s Most Romantic Destination’ lists, offers countless dreamy villas and boutique hotels to suit every price point. Neighbouring Lombok has some great offerings too, minus the crowd!

WORDS: SHANTINI SUNTHARAJAH

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Bali and Lombok from various destinations. Go to www.airasia.com for details.

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CAREFREE KRABI At Krabi in Thailand, you’ll find dazzling sunsets, pristine coastlines, beautiful limestone mountains and gorgeous, crystal-clear waters teeming with fish and other marine life. This destination is perfect for lovebirds looking to add a dash of passion during their vacation. Choose from a host of adventure packages that include TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

rock-climbing and deep sea diving, as well as snorkeling. Alternatively, head to either Phuket, Koh Samui or Trang for a host of island getaways! GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Krabi, Phuket, Koh Samui (Surat Thani) and Trang from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Go to www. airasia.com for details.

SHOPPING IN LANGKAWI Langkawi in Malaysia is the top spot for couples who share a passion for shopping. While this celebrated island off the northwest coast of Peninsula Malaysia is renowned for its powder-fine beaches, aquamarine waters and captivating legends and myths, Langkawi is also known as a great place to head to if you love shopping. The island enjoys a duty-free status with high quality liquor, perfume, chocolates and lots more at very low prices. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore. Go to www.airasia.com for details.

BUTTER THEM UP Some vendors may appear to be hardened hagglers out to separate you from your last dollar but remember: Bazaar vendors are people too! It pays to be nice even in the ‘take no prisoners’ bargaining environment. Being polite and respectful will take you a long way toward landing the best price for that special something. So say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ and watch the toughest vendors soften. A word of caution: Start bargaining only if you are keen on buying. And for heaven’s sake, be reasonable with the price you offer. SHOP HOP One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you’re at a bazaar is to buy from the very first stall. It doesn’t matter what you have your heart set on – a fun T-shirt, cool sunglasses or trendy bag – chances are high that the exact product will be available at other stalls. So, do a little ‘market research’ strolling through the bazaar before you reach for your wallet. You’re likely to find what you want at a cheaper price at another stall.


IMAGE: KYOTO.TRAVEL

EATING WITH ETIQUETTE If there’s one thing that characterises the Japanese, it’s the impeccable manners and nowhere is this trait more pronounced than at the dinner table. When you’re in Japan, you really want to be careful with your etiquette and general behaviour during meal times. For instance, try saying itadakimasu, which means “I gratefully receive this food, before indulging”. If you’re truly out to impress your hosts, say gochiso sama deshita after you finish eating, which means: “it was quite a feast.”

DESTINATIONS ON THE RISE Jakarta has topped the list of Asian destinations on the rise based on TripAdvisor™’s 2012 Travellers’ Choice® Destinations on the Rise list. The awards recognise destinations that have seen the greatest increase in positive traveller feedback and traveller interest. “Interestingly, Jakarta has topped the list of Asian destinations,” says TripAdvisor spokesperson Jean Ow-Yeong, Below are the top 10 Destinations on the Rise in the World as well as in Asia.

Travellers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise in Asia 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Jakarta, Indonesia Kathmandu, Nepal Kolkata, India Manila, Philippines Bangalore, India

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Luang Prabang, Laos Phnom Penh, Cambodia Chiang Mai, Thailand Kobe, Japan Osaka, Japan

Mask dance performance in Jakarta. Orchard Road, Singapore.

WHEN IN SINGAPORE SHOP LIKE A SINGAPOREAN Shopping is practically a national pastime in Singapore. So, act like a local and head straight for crowded shopping complexes. Singaporeans love bargains and sales to the point of obsession and wouldn’t think twice about requesting discounts or freebies from sales assistants. The unofficial shopping mantra is “Never pay retail when you can get a discount.”

EAT LIKE A SINGAPOREAN When you hit the hawker centres in Singapore, there’s one thing you should never leave home without — a packet of tissues. Yes, it comes in handy when you need to wipe the sweat off your brow in the hot, humid weather but in Singapore, a humble packet of tissues also wields additional power. Singaporeans use 32

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tissue packets to ‘reserve’ their seats or tables at hawker centres, while they go to get their food. This is an unspoken rule that everyone follows. Go ahead and whip out that packet of tissues when you want to reserve an empty seat at a crowded hawker centre.

SPEAK LIKE A SINGAPOREAN While English is one of the official languages of Singapore, you aren’t a true Singaporean until you speak Singlish. Singlish is a unique form of English mixed with a smorgasbord of other languages like Mandarin, Malay, Tamil or, it could be a mix of English words that you wouldn’t ordinarily come across. For instance, in Singlish to “act blur” means to act innocent while “Aiyah!” roughly translates to “Oh no!” or “Oh dear!” So, if you’re keen on visiting Singaporean, try Singlish! www.singlishdictionary.com

TRENDY TRAVEL TERM: GEOTOURISM If you love Mother Earth, you might want to look into sustainable tourism or geotourism options on your next holiday. Geotourism dictates that destinations must remain unspoiled for future generations and focuses on protecting the character of the destination. It essentially builds on the geographical character of a destination, and enhances the uniqueness of its locale. This adds on to the principles of sustainability, as the concept promotes conservation using revenue from tourist dollars and extends to culture and history, as well as the local community while protecting all distinctive attributes of a particular place. Some top geotourism spots include Borneo, Nepal and the Galapagos Islands.


2 QUICK BITES 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

WELCOME THE LUNAR NEW YEAR

CNY WITH THE STARWOOD GROUP IN KUALA LUMPUR X Enjoy a sumptuous menu at Five Sen5es Restaurant at The Westin Hotel Kuala Lumpur! With prices starting from MYR880++ and MYR1388++ per table of 10, the festive menus reflect good times with family and friends, and can be enjoyed over a 7- or 8-course Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner meal on February 9, 2013. +6 03 27318333 or visit www.thewestinkualalumpur.com

Chinese New Year is a time for great feasting but did you know that some countries claim sole right to certain festive dishes? Read on to see how food too can become a hotly contested topic! This and other interesting foodie titbits in this issue.

X The winner of the Best Chinese Restaurant at the 2012 TimeOut KL Food Awards, Celestial Court at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur welcomes guests to a royal dining affair with evergreen Cantonese favourites, reinterpreted with a modern twist. From January 7 to February 24, 2013, Chef Ho Boon will dish up traditional Chinese cuisine through various mouth-watering lunar set menus. Ranging from MYR1488++ to MYR1988++ per table of 10, the menus invite you to indulge in signature dishes such as Double Boiled Soup with Baby Abalone, Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin Cubes and other exciting dishes. +6 03 27179900 or visit www.sheraton.com/imperialkualalumpur X Toss for greater prosperity with options that feature Salmon Yee Sang priced at MYR100++ a platter or Abalone Yee Sang priced at MYR120++ a platter. Alternatively, enjoy a complimentary plate of Salmon Yee Sang for every group of 10 pax dining at Latest Recipe at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur. +6 03 22637434 or visit

IMAGE: INMAGINE

www.discoverlemeridien.com

WORDS: WILSON NG

FESTIVE FOOD

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Chinese New Year is celebrated in many countries around Asia and one of the most important rituals of this festival is the reunion dinner. Family members make it a point to return home to be with their parents and partake in a massive feast that often showcases the culinary skills of the matriarch of the family, aided by her daughters and daughters-in-law. The festival continues for 15 days, ending on Yuan Xiao Jie / Chap Goh Meh, also known as Lantern Festival and the Chinese Valentine’s Day in certain parts of Asia. In Malaysia, Singapore, and now slowly gaining foothold in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the new year is celebrated with a raw fish salad named yee sang. The salad of shredded vegetables with crunchy flour chips topped with thin slices of raw fish and tossed with lime juice, peanut oil and plum sauce is a compulsory dish at the reunion and dinners throughout the festive period. Celebrants utter loh sang! (Welcome Prosperity!) as they mix and toss the salad. It is said, the higher the toss, the greater the wealth in that year. The origin of the dish is a contentious issue between Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore claims it’s theirs based on the fact that it has been served at Lai Wah Restaurant since 1964 while Malaysia dates its findings to 1947 to a restaurant named Loke Ching Kee in Seremban. The jury is still out on this issue. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


MALAYSIAN BAGELS Bagels are handmade, doughnut shaped bread that are all the rage in the US and other Western countries. The popular bread has arrived in Malaysia too, courtesy of Gambian bread maker, Sulayman Cham. Located in SS15, Subang Jaya, Cham has established, probably the country’s first bagel shop. The 44-year-old with his vast experience in the US, uses no oil, butter or lard in the bagels, making them a healthy alternative to white breads and buns. Cham Bagel Bakery 41 JLN SS 15/8A, 47500 Selangor, Malaysia. +6 017 888 6339

THE MOST EXPENSIVE COFFEE IN THE WORLD FLAVOUR PARADE Italian food is all about texture and flavour. For a pasta dish the whole family will love, try Leggo’s Chunky Bibingka Pasta Sauces. Made with wholesome ingredients such as red tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs, Leggo’s Traditional Pasta Sauces are an easy way to enjoy a classic pasta meal. Choose your personal favourite from classic Bolognese to creamy Carbonara.

HALAL IN HONG KONG Unlike the usual goulash, the veal goulash served by Islam Food in Kowloon since 1950 looks more like a Chinese dumpling. The texture of these dumplings is similar to the gouza but the skin is thicker. The combination of the crisp skin and the moist veal filling offers an explosion of taste and texture quite unlike any other, making it addictive. The dish has garnered lots of praise from the local media and is endorsed by famous Hong Kong food critics such as Choy Lan and Dou. Islam Food restaurant is located at No 1, Lung Kong Road, Kowloon City. www.islamfood.biz.com.hk

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Fancy tasting the most expensive coffee in the world? This peculiar brew comes from Indonesia and is called Kopi Luwak. Luwak refers to the Asian palm civet in the Indonesian language and the coffee is mainly produced in Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi. Unlike ordinary coffee, luwak coffee is made from coffee berries that have been consumed and digested by the civet cat. Surprisingly, when the cat eats the berries, only the outer husk gets digested while the beans are defecated in their original shape. These beans then, go through cleaning, drying, roasting and grinding to produce a brew that is said to be the most exquisite coffee in the world.

TRAMCAR DINING Why just visit Melbourne when you can take in the sights and sounds of the city while enjoying dinner as well! Hop onboard the 1948 Melbourne Tram Restaurant that’s painted a glossy burgundy and appointed handsomely like luxurious European trains of the past. As guests enjoy the sights of the city, they can choose from a selection of lunch and dinner menus with meals freshly prepared on board the tram. An extensive list of beverages completes the F&B options. The tramcar is air conditioned and heated in winter, and is a wonderful way to get acquainted with the city while enjoying a lovely dinner or lunch. www.tramrestaurant.com.au


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ENTER THE SERPENT As the year of the snake slithers in this Chinese New w Year, we take a look at the serpent in literature and check out books to look forward to in 2013.

LITERARY SERPENTS Snakes or serpents have been depicted throughout the ages, and cast in varying roles, both evil and benign. They also appear in creation stories, prompting one to consider the symbolism of this powerful coiled creature. In the Hindu tradition, Aadishesha is the king of all nagas (cobras), and one of the primal beings of creation. Aadishesha is often depicted as a massive serpent with thousands of heads, and acts as a bed for Vishnu. According to the BHAGAVATA PURANA – a Puranic text of Sanskrit literature that focuses on religious devotion to the incarnations of Vishnu – Aadishesha holds all the planets of the universe on his hoods, and sings the glories of Vishnu with his thousands of mouths. It is said that when he uncoils, time moves forward, and creation occurs. In Australia, Aboriginal Dreamtime stories talk about the Rainbow Serpent that is believed to have come from beneath the ground to create mountains and gorges, and the entire landscape. Closely associated with land, water, life and fertility, the Rainbow Serpent is a benevolent protector of its people that punishes those who break the law.

In the book of GENESIS (the first book of the Hebrew w Bible and the Christian Old Testament), the snake is linked ked with temptation as it is this creature that persuades Eve to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil,, and give this fruit to Adam too. For this violation, both Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden. This story relates the fall of man, and in the book of REVELATIONS, the snake nake is identified as Satan. In the Rabbinical bbi i l ttradition, diti the serpent represents sexual passion. Snakes also appear in Greek mythology with Medusa described as having living, venomous snakes for hair, meanwhile, the Egyptian funerary text titled ENIGMATIC BOOK OF THE NETHERWORLD mentions the ouroboros, an ancient symbol consisting of one black serpent and one white, both with their tails in their mouths. This represents infinity and the perpetual cycle of renewal.

In Edgar Allen Poe’s short story THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, the Montressor family coatof-arms features a snake biting the heel of the foot that crushes it – a symbol of vengeance. To delve further into the lore of the snake, read THE SERPENT’S TALE: SNAKES IN FOLKLORE AND LITERATURE, a compilation of 50 accounts of serpents across time and culture.

NEW RELEASES FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2013 WORDS: BEVERLY RODRIGUES

In FUSE, the second book of Julianna Baggott’s dystopian trilogy, Pure, Partridge and Pressia risk their lives to save humanity.

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Tash Aw’s FIVE STAR BILLIONAIRE chronicles the lives of migrant Malaysian workers forging their destinies in Shanghai.

Paulo Coelho’s MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA set in Jerusalem during the Crusades, is a philosophical reflection that is revealed in a sequence of parables on love, faith, loyalty and sex.

Like all delicious moral dilemma-ridden Jodi Picoult novels, THE STORYTELLER delves into punishment, justice, forgiveness and mercy, and explores how far people will go to keep their past from determining the future.


REACHER’S RULES Lee Child Want to know how to live like Lee Child’s stoic hero, the former US Army Military Police Major Jack Reacher? Check out Reacher’s moral code and guide to everything from hitchhiking to hand-to-hand combat.

RAFFLES AND THE BRITISH INVASION OF JAVA Tim Hannigan Was Stamford Raffles a liberal and a visionary, or an avaricious leader who incited massacres to fulfil his voracious appetite for power? Drawing on British and Javanese archival sources, Hannigan presents a shocking history -cum-biography of Singapore’s ‘founder’.

ASTRAY Emma Donoghue  Donoghue weaves a tale that spans four centuries and delves into the lives of emigrants, gold miners, lovers and slaves from puritan Massachusetts to 20th century Ontario.

READ OF THE MONTH!

MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN Salman Rushdie This multi-award winning 1980 novel, which falls into the genre of magical realism, chronicles India’s transition from British colonial days to independence and the partition of British India, as told by Saleem Sinai, a telepath born at the exact moment that India achieved independence.

THE FORGOTTEN IMAGES: ADAM LEE

David Baldacci

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While investigating the murder of his aunt in the sleepy town of Paradise, Florida, military criminal investigator John Puller discovers strange and mysterious incidents with far-reaching consequences. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

RE-HUMANISING THE OTHER Imran Ahmad’s thought-provoking debut novel The Perfect erfect Gentleman – a Muslim boy meets the West has been listed by major newspapers ers and magazines as one e of the best reads of the year.

ROOTS OF RACISM Racism sm is a subset of tribalism, and it’s something we e all do, however inadvertently. We feel a need to belong, so w we p wit align ourselves with a ‘tribal’ group with which we feel affinity. We develop a sense of ‘the other’ who is different, and we make assumptions. Some might be reasonable, but once we stray into judgements about a stranger’s attitudes, motivations, integrity and so on, we’re definitely in the realm of racism. The best way to deal with racism is not to be racist ourselves, and to see every human being as a fellow soul who happens to be inhabiting a different body.

INSPIRATION I’m a Muslim who spent his entire life in ‘the West’. I know there’s no such thing as ‘the West’ as a collective entity, just as there’s no such thing as ‘Islam’ as a homogenous identity. Both exist across a broad spectrum of races, cultures, politics, beliefs and attitudes. But in the post-9/11 world, too many people on both ‘sides’ were reacting hysterically to ‘the other’ as if it was a singular entity with deliberately hostile intent. I was tired of seeing the predominantly negative images of Muslims in the media. The viewer would assume that all Muslims are terrorists, pirates and hijackers who oppress women and have bombs in their underpants! I don’t have a bomb in my underpants, and I don’t oppress women – they walk all over me! I knew that I could write a book that ‘re-humanised’ both Muslims and the West, to each other. MISCONCEPTION OF MUSLIMS The greatest misunderstanding is that we’re a homogenous entity and have a singularity of purpose. The idea that we’re collectively trying to take over the world by stealth is ridiculous. If you know any Muslims, yyou know that we couldn’t collectively organise a b birthday party in McDonalds, let alone cunningly take over America! The vast majority of Muslims ta ar are just living their lives, worrying about providing for their families. Global jihad against infidels and the forces of imperialism isn’t really that high on our list of priorities.


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% of over 40 million Google+ users worldwide are male, from the middle income bracket (annual income of USD30,000 to USD59,999), and only 17% of them are active. (bluewheelmedia.com, Oct 2012)

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GOING GLOBAL

We can’t ignore the numbers. Going Global has now become imperative in every business to ensure steady growth and staying power.

billion USD is the entire amount of the Walton family fortune, thanks to Walmart, which almost surpasses Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffet’s fortunes combined. (KPMG Times, Apr 2012)

WISE UP TO THE WORLD

FAMILY FINANCE FEAT

If anything, we have learnt that e-Commerce is a vital sales platform that just keeps growing, asserting business presence and branding, and driving sales. If you wish to keep abreast with the expansion rate, you certainly need to go global and not limit yourself to domestic markets only. Here’s why.

We could all use some purse-string tightening strategies with the current economic climate. Doing so can prove challenging, but not if you spend time and effort in planning your budget properly.

X B2C e-Commerce (transactions over the Internet between a business and its consumers) worldwide is heading for a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 94.2% in China, 34.2% in India, 25.8% in Argentina, and 23.3% in Italy, between 2010 and 2015.

WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH

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Learn more from www.hubspot.com/ecommerce/

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trillion USD is the total revenue generated by mobile operators worldwide in 2012 (Wireless Intelligence)

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X Online retailers’ revenue has grown massively through global marketing. eBay clocked in a growth of 62% and amazon.com a growth of 44.5% between 2010 and 2012, through sales outside the USA. Here are some tips on how to globalise your business: • Provide product or service descriptions in different languages. • Provide easy access to a currency converter. • Provide clear and transparent privacy policies pertaining to personal details collected. • Minimise delivery time by providing online order tracking. • Minimise shipping costs by simplifying purchase and check-out processes. • Provide reasonable foreign return policies for products or, money-back guarantee for services. • Accept domestic credit cards native to the buyer.

1.1

DON’T IGNORE BILLS Keep them filed according to due dates so you don’t incur overdue charges. You can save hundreds a year by being diligent. PICK ONE BILL A MONTH TO RESEARCH Choose your health insurance, car insurance or even a mobile phone bill and look into it carefully. Make a call or go online to find out the latest offers to ensure what you have is cost effective. You can potentially save loads on yearly fees.

% of corporate organisations worldwide from 29 countries are not transparent about what they do with personal information collected from consumers (Edelman Privacy Risk Index, powered by Ponemon Institute, published Nov 2012

ADOPT CASH PAYMENT HABITS Paying cash is really the best way to save because you see the actual money going out, and would be more inclined to avoid ‘want’ purchases and stick to only the ‘needs’. Avoid using credit cards for monthly expenses like groceries, petrol and utility bills.


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COLOUR ME HEALTHY

million is the estimated number of people worldwide who are visually impaired.

The yellow sun offers a natural way for your body to soak up Vitamin D, the blue ocean is known to heal skin problems with its salt while green vegetation and colourful flowers calm and soothe. More than just beautifying Earth, these colours are potent energies in supporting health.

(Source: UniteForSight.org)

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CHROMOTHERAPY Chromotherapy or colour light therapy has been used to help with healing since ancient Egypt, China and India. For centuries, it has been used as a supportive treatment for diseases, along with proper diet, rest, exercise and tinctures. While critics call it pseudoscientific, modern chromotherapy has evolved into a popular complementary therapy where coloured lights are applied directly on specific parts of the body that correspond with the complaint based on the concept of the seven chakras in Ayurveda. It is also known to help restore balance in the human body. A study at the New England State Hospital in America where 25 staff members with normal blood pressure were bathed in blue light for half an hour revealed a fall in blood pressure, while those exposed to red light had elevated blood pressure.

RED (ROOT CHAKRA) This is an energising colour used to stimulate arterial blood and bring warmth to cool extremities. It’s used in the complementary treatment of low blood pressure, rheumatism, paralysis, anaemia and advanced cases of tuberculosis. ORANGE (SACRAL CHAKRA) This colour is used to stimulate blood supply and invigorate nerves. It’s used in the complementary treatment of kidney and gall stones, hernia and appendicitis. VIOLET (CROWN CHAKRA) A colour that is related to emotional health, it is used in the complementary treatment of nervous and emotional disturbances, arthritis and insomnia. YELLOW (SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA) Generally used in the complementary treatment related to the brain, liver spleen, and treatment of diabetes,

WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH

JUICED UP HYPE Juice fasting is one of the most practised,

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rapid weight loss methods used in the world today, but beware of the hype. While it may help reduce weight staggeringly quick, it can also deplete the body of essential nutrients and minerals. Many weightloss practitioners advocate blending a ‘rainbow of colours of fruits and vegetables, so you get a good mix of vitamins and minerals. This, however, should never be attempted without the strict supervision of a medical expert because the almost immediate detoxifying effects may put a strain on the organs. So, if you’re looking to lose weight, be sure to eat right and exercise because nothing beats this method.

www.symptomfind.com/healthy-living/juice-fasting-for-weight-loss/

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indigestion, kidney and liver disorders, eye and throat infections and, impotence. PURPLE (BROW CHAKRA) This shade is used in the complementary treatment of constipation, disorders of the stomach and womb, cataracts, migraine, skin disorders, and calms the nervous system. GREEN (HEART CHAKRA) The colour’s calming vibes are used in the complementary treatment of nervous conditions, ulcers, influenza, malaria, colds, inflammatory conditions, sexual disorders and cancer. BLUE (THROAT CHAKRA) This colour of calmness is used in the complementary treatment of alleviating pain, reducing bleeding, healing burns, asthma, respiratory disorders, high blood pressure and skin aberrations. http://health.learninginfo. org/chromotherapy.htm

(Source: WHO Global Research)

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billion USD was the total global sales on diabetes pharmaceuticals in 2010, and it’s expected to go up to USD48 billion by 2015 (Source: www. ahdbonline.com)

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health workers per 10,000 people in a country is considered a critical shortage in health employees according to the World Health Organisation, yet developed nations such as the US have only 27 per 10,000 people and the UK has a mere 21 per 10,000 people. (Source: www.guardian. co.uk)

MIRACLE OF MASSAGE Massage

is actually a form of passive exercise that’s beneficial for the body. The strokes delivered by a professional masseur assist in blood circulation, influence respiration, help eliminate toxins faster and speed up metabolism, while easing stiffness in joints and muscles. It’s not just about getting pampered, but should be looked upon as a means to recover from daily work and personal life pressures. For more on benefits of massage, visit www.massagetherapy.com/learnmore/benefits.php

NOTE: ALWAYS CONSULT A DOCTOR BEFORE YOU EMBARK ON ANY ALTERNATIVE THERAPY OR EXERCISE REGIME.

IMAGE: INMAGINE

% of the world’s deaths yearly are due to cancer, amounting to 7.6 million deaths annually.


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million Facebook users worldwide declared themselves fans of basketball, while 19.6 million like American football, 7.2 million are baseball fans and 2.5 million are ice hockey fans. Source:fb.com/activ8social

IMAGE: INMAGINE

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PRACTICALLY PERFECT

Source: www.hockeyfights. com/stats/

Your get-healthy game plan need not burn a hole in your pockets. Here’s how.

FUN & FREE

simple exercise practically anywhere at no cost at all.

If you’d like to get fit this year whilst saving money at the same time, skipping the gym membership may be inevitable. Fret not, for there are ways you can get into shape without having to spend a bomb. Some things in life are (kind of) free.

PUSH-UPS This is probably the most unpopular workout for many, but is really effective in building strength in the arm and the chest area. Opt for a simpler version and do them on bent knees touching the ground if your strength level is still low.

WALKING If the weather is fine, go for a brisk walk. If rain clouds gather, walk up and down the stairs for your day’s cardio workout.

CRUNCHES Sit-ups help build and strengthen abdominal muscles, but it may not necessarily be good for those with back problems. Do half crunches instead by lifting your upper torso half way instead of going all the way up. Make sure you do

WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH

JUMPING JACKS In the bedroom, living room, kitchen, out on the porch... you can do this fun and

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FACTS FOR THOUGHT

X Major League Baseball umpires are required to wear black underwear while on the job in case they split their pants. X At 120 miles per hour, a Formula One car

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it slow and deliberate and without straining your back and neck. LEG LIFTS Great for strengthening the hip and legs. Try doing them gently with your legs bent at the knees instead of having them straight. JOGGING IN PLACE Do this while watching TV or listening to music and get a good cardio workout. Invest in a good pair of shoes and land lightly on your feet. LIGHT WEIGHT LIFTING Skip the dumbbells and grab a pair of cans instead that you’ll find in the pantry. This provides lightweight

generates so much down force that it can drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel. X Table tennis balls can travel off the paddle at 105.6 miles per hour.

ice hockey players get into some kind of fighting altercations on average each National Hockey League season in the USA.

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workouts and you can upgrade to heavier items as you go along like laundry detergent bottles. SQUATS This is still the best and simplest exercise for your legs and buttocks. If you have a back problem, you can even do this simply by sitting and getting up from a chair. DANCING Put on your favourite number and dance away. It is fun, free, and a fabulous exercise that will leave you feeling happy. STEP EXERCISE Use the stairs in your home for step exercises to tone your leg muscles.

X Golf was banned in England in 1457 because it was considered a distraction from the serious pursuit of archery. X About 42,000 tennis balls are used in the

% of the most common sports injuries are suffered by runners, often involving their knees; while 20% suffer shoulder injuries. Source: www.medicalinsurance.org

4.36

billion USD is the total market worth of private health and fitness clubs in the world in 2012, up by 17% in the last five years. Source: Mintel, TGI Surveys

650-odd matches of the Wimbledon championship annually. X The very first Olympic race, held in 776 BC, was won by Corubus, a chef. Source: bleacherreport.com


AIRASIA WORLD OF SPORTS THE HARIMAU MALAYA AIRASIA AIRCRAFT On December 10 2012, AirAsia showed its support for Malaysia’s national football team (Harimau Malaya) by sponsoring an entire flight for the team to play in the second leg of the semi-final round of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 in Bangkok. The national team boarded flight AK 9632, making the most of AirAsia’s hospitality and enjoying the special yellow and black Semangat Harimau Muda aircraft livery, which was emblazoned with a roaring Malayan Tiger that has long been the symbol of the country’s football team. The team now holds the distinction of being among the few football teams in the world to have

travelled in a special aircraft designed with their brand and emblem. Dignitaries present at the Harimau Malaya send-off included YB Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, the Minister of Youth and Sports of Malaysia; Dato’ Kamaruddin Meranun, AirAsia Group Deputy CEO and Aireen Omar, CEO of Malaysia AirAsia. Commenting on the event, Aireen Omar said, “When given the opportunity to support the national football team, we seized it immediately, as we believe we can positively contribute to the development of the sport and provide a platform for the Malaysian team to shine. The team has great potential, and has always unified the nation, garnering support from Malaysians from all walks of life.”

ONE-ON-ONE WITH RYAN NELSEN AirAsia: If you could play alongside any defender, past or present, who’d it be? Nelsen: That’d be Ronald Koeman. He is the best passer from the back that I’ve ever seen and could handle a great free-kick. He always stood out as an amazing player. AirAsia: What do you do to relax when not playing? Nelsen: Lots of stuff. I’ve got lots of interests apart from football. I read a lot too. To be honest, there aren’t enough hours in the day! AirAsia: Are there any jokers at the club? Nelsen: Yeah, plenty! In fact, there are far too many. It’s difficult to pick out who is the biggest one. AirAsia: Any advice for young aspiring players? Nelsen: Listen and learn. No matter who you are, always come to training ready to learn. AirAsia: What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received from a coach? Nelsen: You can always do better. No matter how well you play or how good you are, there’s always room for improvement. And remember, football never stands still.

WORDS: CHENG YIK HOONG

HARIMAU SUPPORTERS ONBOARD AIRASIA

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AirAsia in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Malaysia, flew 170 Harimau Malaya fans to Bangkok to support the ‘Tigers’, as they took on the Thai national football team at the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 semi-finals. All seats on the special chartered flight were snapped up by fans in just two days after they were made available. Fans enjoyed the special discounted price of RM500 each for a package, which included airfare and airport tax, bus service to and fro the airport to the stadium, as well as one hot meal on their return flight to Kuala Lumpur. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

QPR Defender, New Zealander Ryan Nelsen celebrating his 1st goal for Rangers against Wigan Athletic on Dec 8, 2012.


CYCLING DOWN UNDER WITH AIRASIA X On November 23, 2012, AirAsia X flew nine young national athletes to Melbourne for an intensive six-week training and subsequent participation in competitions. This was a valuable experience for the young cyclists as the foreign training ground provided them with new challenges to overcome in bettering their skills and craft. During the training, Malaysia national track cyclist and three-time Olympian, Josiah Ng, made a special appearance on the track side, giving the cyclists guidance and sharing his experience. Melbourne-based, Malaysia’s national cycling coach, John Beasley, remarked that he was impressed with their performance, stating that they may have an opportunity to remain in Melbourne with the track sprint team for further training.

THE R’S FANS IN ACTION Fans are often the backbone of any sporting team, cheering players on to greater glory. The R’s fans are no different. Here they are celebrating the wins and despairing the losses but, unwavering in support.

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FLIGHTS OF FANCY

From fluttering your fingers to play music to locking doors using only your handphone, as fancy as they may sound, these new-age gadgets are already here to serve mankind.

FUN WITH FLUTTER Just like this app’s name, users merely need to ‘flutter’ their fingers or wave their palm in front of the webcam of their PC or MAC. The webcam captures the motion, sends it to the Flutter application, which is then translated into a meaningful instruction to either run a programme, play videos or music on iTunes and Spotify. https://flutterapp.com

PHONE TO OPEN LOCKS You won’t need keys to unlock doors with the Lockitron keyless system in your phone that allows you to do this via the Internet or SMS. The system can also unlock doors when it senses you approaching via Bluetooth. Additionally, when you are away and someone knocks on the door, the system notifies you. https://lockitron.com

SEE-THROUGH SOLAR PANELS

INTELLIGENT PAPER The Intellipaper USB drive is made of paper and you use it to transfer files. Simply tear off the USB portion, fold according to instructions and insert into the USB port of a computer. www.intellipaper.info

Mirrored solar panels could be a thing of the past as Sharp of Japan has created see-through solar panels made of laminated glass infused with photovoltaic cells. Best for balcony railings and skyscraper windows, besides converting power from solar energy or sunlight, they also act as heat shields, preventing rooms from heating up. www.sharp.co.jp

BREWING IN 2013 IBM’S CARBON NANOTUBES

WORDS: PETE KING

NETWORKED SOCIETY PROJECT

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In the future, connectivity will be greater with information on roads, buildings and even cars made accessible to city authorities. Called the Networked Society Project, Ericsson is using fast and free broadband to send and receive information that can be used to make decisions regarding what’s happening in any given city. Source: www.ericsson.com TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Today’s silicon chips used by most computer makers may be replaced by better chips in the future. IBM is researching such a chip that is made of more than 10,000 carbon nanotubes. Phones, tablets and laptops would be made even lighter and smaller. Source: www.03.ibm.com

DRIVE SAFE WITH GOOGLE California has passed a new bill on standards for safety and performance for cars that do not require a driver. Google, which invented this technology assured Americans of lesser car accidents because of a safer and more accurate automated driving system. Source: www.technewsworld.com


PLANET OF THE APPS Work smart with a tablet or smartphone using these apps. Who needs PCs and laptops anyway?

LIFE, UNCOMPLICATED These gadgets take the toil out of your life and put the fun back in. It doesn’t get any better!

CLOUDON If only your tablet is available, you can still retrieve and edit Word documents stored in Cloud storage programmes such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. Additionally, the layout on Cloudon looks and functions exactly like what you get on a computer’s Microsoft Word programme. OS: iOS & Android Price: Free

PINNACLE Pinnacle Studio edits videos straight from a user’s tablet, just as it arranges clips using storyboard and timeline. It also does transitional moves from one shot to another, provides special effects like ‘picturein-picture’, and layers soundtrack from your music collection. The end product can be saved in HD and uploaded to YouTube or Facebook OS: iOS Price: Free

STUDIOUS This app can help remind students which class to attend, when to hand in their homework, and when to sit for their exam papers, among others. During classes, they can also use the app to take notes and even snap images of what’s written on the board. OS: Android Price: Free

TIMELY TIPS USING IPHONE’S VOICE ASSISTANT SIRI TO CHECK, REPLY AND FORWARD EMAILS.

• Press the Home button to summon Siri, and state the email address you wish to send the email to. • Next, add the Subject and dictate your message clearly. • Say “Yes” when Siri asks if you want to send your email. • To check for any emails, tell Siri: “Check email”. • To check email from a particular person, ask Siri: “Any new e-mail from Peter today?” Or say: “Show the email from Peter yesterday”. • To find an email based on subject, instruct Siri: “Show new email about taxes”. • When you are reading an email, you can hold down the Home button and say to Siri: “Dear Peter, I’m replying your email.” • To forward an email, hold the Home button and say to Siri:“Forward email to Peter.” 54

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DOXIE PORTABLE SCANNER Portable scanner Doxie One doesn’t need to be connected to a computer to scan. Simply turn it on, feed it with paper and the gadget makes digital copies within seconds. You can connect it to a computer or an iPad only when you want to sync and organise your scanned material, which can then be converted to .pdf files to be shared and uploaded to Cloud programmes. www.getdoxie.com

WII MINI This mini Nintendo Wii, motioncontrolled games console plays Wii games without Internet connectivity, and works with the bundled Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controller, and with most other Wii accessories. Adults can also enable the parental control feature to manage the over 1,400 discbased Wii games accessible to their children. www.nintendo.com

SAMSUNG GALAXY CAMERA This smart camera runs on the latest Android operating system and can zoom in up to 21 times without the image losing clarity. It also ‘obeys’ voice commands, which is a first in the camera industry. Users can save pictures and videos in either microSD or in Dropbox via WiFi or 3G. www.samsung.com

COCOROBO VACUUM Sharp’s Cocorobo vacuum not only cleans dust from corners with its rotating ‘whiskers’, it can also send ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos to your smartphone for you to review and sketch cleaning patterns. When attached to a remote control, it can even control your TV and other appliances! www.sharp.co.jp


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ISLAND ROMANCE

Bali, Island of the gods and thousands of temples, is also renowned for its elegant villas and resorts that are the perfect playground for lovebirds. This Valentine’s Day, head to this island paradise and discover love all over again at these elegant accommodations.

WORDS: CHITRA S

WOWED BY THE W

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The W Bali Seminyak Retreat & Spa cast its spell on us the minute we arrived at the hotel’s bamboo-hedged gravel driveway. My other half and I were instantly sold on the idea of a romantic retreat located in the middle of Seminyak. W hotels are renowned for the luxe experience they offer and their hip and trendy design. Upon arrival, my eyes were immediately drawn to the luxury of the lobby’s wide expanse, an open-concept space that looks out to the Indian Ocean. Guests are welcome to recharge and relax at the central W Lounge while waiting to be checked in. It is such a welcoming space that we lingered on in the lobby even after we were given our room keycard, drinking in the spectacular views of the ocean with the afternoon breeze caressing our faces. As far as first impressions go, the W had us at ‘Hello’ before we had even set eyes on our room. Our Spectacular Ocean Facing Retreat, as standard rooms are referred to here, is a 64 square metre space that lives up to its moniker and offers uninterrupted views of the ocean. The staff had already put on easy-listening music on the BOSE® sound system before we arrived and had set out specially-concocted passion fruit martinis – devised to TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

ignite passion – and, rich chocolate cupcakes just for us. Needless to say, we devoured the treats while lounging on the signature W bed with 350-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and a goose down comforter. The doorless ensuite – itself the size of a small room – comes with separate His and Hers vanities, a bathtub built for two and a rain shower. The bath experience is designed to stoke your fantasies: The Sip, Play and Flirt bath menu features treats including a vanilla bean and brown sugar bubble bath, edible body paint, a loaded whipped cream gun and flavoured massage oil. All 152 retreats at the W provide different experiences depending on your needs. The Wonderful Garden View Retreat fronts the lush, landscaped W gardens; the Spectacular Ocean Glimpse Retreat offers the best of both worlds – views of the ocean and gardens; while the Spectacular Ocean Facing Retreat lets guests enjoy a panoramic views of the ocean. All retreats are also equipped with iPod docking stations, cleverly concealed flat screen LED TVs (which, trust me, you won’t go looking for with rooms this beautiful) and high-speed wireless Internet access. Guests can also opt to stay at their suites: the Marvelous Suite measures 127 square metres and includes a living area, the WOW Suite is a two-bedroom unit with living area and dining space, and the Extreme WOW suite is an indulgent two-bedroom ocean view duplex that boasts a sprawling living room, lounge, dining area and kitchen. But that’s not all: The W Bali also houses 79 villa retreats – private sanctuaries with their very own pools, BBQ facilities and access to a separate Welcome area. Talk about luxury!


Eager to explore the rest of the hotel, we promptly headed down for dinner at Fire. The focal point of this restaurant inspired by the Kecak fire dance is a huge, spiny chandelier meant to evoke a ball of fire. Fire, is known for its grilled meats, and the sticky ribs I had for dinner there is among the best I’ve ever eaten. Another dining option at the W is the Miele-guide nominated Starfish Bloo restaurant. The mere mention of its Raw, Rare & Naked appetiser menu featuring freshly shucked oysters and other delights like Pacific scallop ceviche had me salivating.

LOVIN’ EVERY MINUTE

Looking for a romantic holiday this Valentine’s Day but not quite sure where to go? Look no further because Expedia offers you over 150,000 hotel properties to find a holiday package that’s right for you. Whether a ‘staycation’ or weekend getaway, whisk your partner away to the following hotels to enjoy intimate one-on-one time with your beloved this month. The best part? You won’t break the bank because Expedia’s prices are backed by a ‘Best Price Guarantee’ policy. So let your passion set the night on fire!

WANGZ HOTEL, SINGAPORE Located in a charming area that is renowned for its eclectic blend of Art Deco and Straits Settlement architecture, Wangz Hotel offers its guests a sophisticated setting that celebrates its unique style. After spending a day exploring the town, relax and unwind at the hotel’s famous rooftop lounge, Halo. End the evening sipping signature cocktails here while admiring Singapore’s stunning skyline.

After a light dinner, be sure to visit the spa at the W. The first 24-hour spa on the island, the hotel’s AWAY Spa® elevates the spa experience to a whole new level. With seven massage rooms including two suites, cold plunge pools and a bar (where healthy smoothies and alcoholic drinks sit side-by-side), the spa is designed for the ultimate pampering. Our session in one of the enormous suites began with a brief tantric meditation session – a prelude to the Light My Fire treatment tailor made for couples. The treatment includes a soothing hour-long tantric massage, gentle body scrub and leisurely soak in a tub with strawberries and champagne served on the side! What better way to end a perfect day? If you’re on a romantic getaway, be sure to try the W’s signature Whatever/Whenever® service. Whether you choose to dine alfresco on a secluded beach, have your room scattered with rose petals or propose to your beloved on a helicopter ride, the Whatever/Whenever® team will try their best to grant your wishes. Just like a sip of your favourite champagne, the W Bali is truly a decadent experience to be savoured slowly and, with that special someone at your side. Believe me, the only thing you’d wish for after experiencing the W Bali and its stellar service is much, more time to explore all its pleasures.

ANGGUN BOUTIQUE HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR The four-star deluxe Anggun Boutique Hotel is a small boutique hotel located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, and if you are one who appreciates elegant touches, style and character, look no further. Anggun Boutique Hotel is housed in two fully refurbished shophouses built in the 1920s. Its rooftop restaurant, Bubu Rooftop Restolounge, is famous for its rendang (spicy meat dish) and medley of Malay, Indian and other international cuisines.

W RETREAT & SPA BALI – SEMINYAK Jl Petitenget, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Bali

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WORDS: R. RAJENDRA

ONE NOTCH HIGHER

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When an appointed agent whisked me away from the millions of tourists descending onto Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, clearing Immigration and Customs within mere minutes from touchdown, I knew my stay at One Eleven was going to be more than memorable. The property offers this service for a small fee but one which is truly worth your money. Bali gets terribly crowded during peak season. Having an agent extricate you from the mayhem and safely deposit you into the hands of the villas’ butler – waiting in an air-conditioned vehicle with cold towel and chilled mineral water – is literally a godsend in the island of the gods. This

the gong, this resort was rather austere and looked more like a museum of contemporary arts. The main building’s facade was clad with wooden lattice strips, while wispy reeds lined the sides. “Very new-age, almost industrial,” I thought to myself as I walked into the tiny reception that hid a gem of a resort behind its high walls. Each villa at One Eleven – there are only nine – comes with its own butler, a concept I needed some time getting used to as I found it strange being waited on hand and foot. Although the butlers are rotated daily, the idea of someone taking care of my every need was a little strange at first but one that I got used to quickly! But when three appeared the first evening with a picnic basket and started preparing my evening cocktail

service, labelled as ‘One Eleven Magic’, delivers service par excellence not merely at the property’s doorstep but the moment you touchdown in Bali. One Eleven is located in the Seminyak enclave, renowned for its villas, luxury guesthouses, boutiques, lounges and restaurants. The beauty of One Eleven and many in that area is that you never quite see the property until you turn into a quiet alley and lo and behold... a stunning villa accommodation greets you. Unlike other such properties in Bali that are flanked by frangipani trees, and with local maidens dressed in traditional outfits heralding your arrival with an ear-shattering whack on

right in my villa, I understood the true meaning of personalised service. The villas at One Eleven are all identical and offer the same specifications. Each villa is 350 sqm in size and comes equipped with a 14 metre long lap pool and 35 sqm private spa gazebo. Within that space, an ultra chic unit that’s almost minimalist in design boasts a bedroom and a lounge, which contains the dining and kitchen areas. No quantum physics needed here but this means you simply have all your needs taken care of within the villa. There is no need to step out at all, and if you are a couple who needs to be left alone to do things that er... couples do... this is beyond perfect. The high walls and solid wooden door offer total privacy, and perhaps only birds flying above you will witness your antics within the walls. What happens in One Eleven, certainly stays in One Eleven. The bedroom and bathroom areas are sleek, sexy and employ lots of glass, wood and stone that effortlessly bring the outdoors inside with the floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The blue of the pool, the green of the lawn, the wood tones of the bedroom and the beige of the bath area make the

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villas a total study in minimalist design but one that is equally luxurious. It is difficult to leave the villa once you are ensconced in it, something I found out early. With my iPhone plugged into the amplifier and regular dips in the pool, I paid scant attention to the exciting environment that Seminyak offered. In the evenings, with turndown services, the butler brought me a different type of local fruit (The first day was buah salak, or snakeskin fruit. The appearance of the fruit can be a little scary for the uninitiated ones, I’d imagine!) and cakes – on the house! But even fishes need to break the surface for air and so, I visited One Eleven’s only dining outlet, the bespoke Shiro, arguably one of Bali’s best Japanese restaurants. Managed by Chef Shiro-wan, the very

RAMAYANA RESORT AND SPA Conveniently located in the heart of Kuta, Ramayana Resort & Spa is often described as a hidden paradise in a tropical garden, while being within quick reach to Kuta’s shopping centres, entertainment venues and restaurants. The resort features 214 beautifully designed guestrooms and cottages that cater for the needs of couples, families and singles on holiday. The rooms at the resort are furnished in contemporary Balinese décor and come complete with modern amenities. Guests can relax and enjoy the true meaning of Balinese hospitality at this lovely resort that’s renowned for service and hospitality.

intimate dining area designed by Shigemasa Noi, had wood blocks in various sizes artfully arranged on the wall behind the sushi counter. This beautiful zen-like atmosphere is matched only by the freshness and attention to details in the sushi, sashimi and other Japanese dishes served up by the chef. The restaurant offers set menus that are changed regularly, so expect something exciting every time you visit. The night I was there, for a very affordable price, the menu offered a huge list of Japanese favourites that included fresh fugu, salmon and tuna belly sashimi, sea urchin roe, grilled crab and eel. Handpicked sake selection is also offered daily. Yes, you may want to visit nearby Seminyak for quick look-see but trust me, you will be aching to return to the comforts of your private villa and the warm welcoming smiles of the butler and fellow staff. Perfection is often marked by 10 but they sure know how to up the ante to an 11 at this property!

ONE ELEVEN Pangkung Sari, Seminyak 80361, Bali

HOLIDAY INN RESORT BARUNA BALI Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali is a beachfront, contemporary, Balinese-inspired resort located just 10 minutes from Bali International Airport. Guests can enjoy their cocktails at the pool’s swim-up bar or dine by the beach at Envy Restaurant that presents nightly entertainment. Alternatively, a stroll along the water’s edge to Kuta’s shops and entertainment district is also a fun way to wind down in the evenings. Children too can have loads of fun at the 12-18 Zone teens’ room and at Rascals kids’ club, allowing parents some R&R with massage therapies in the ocean view Tea Tree Spa. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

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WORDS: R. RAJENDRA

BREATHTAKING BEAUTY

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The Villas in Seminyak has that effect on you when you step into its sylvan surroundings. Located a mere three minutes’ walk from the Seminyak stretch, the property is hidden away from the general public with high walls and lush greenery giving but a hint of the luxury that awaits you in this tranquil sanctuary. One of the first properties in Bali to offer the villa accommodation concept in the late 90s, The Villas has had the luxury of time to truly mature over the years. Step into the property and fragrant flowering trees scent the lush gardens. You don’t see the villas either, as they are well ensconced in the compound, surrounded by tall palm trees,

The Villas, something that you attain quickly as you start de-stressing instantaneously at the property. The one-bedroom villa that I stayed in was built in the traditional Balinese style with high roofs covered in alang-alang reeds that kept the unit cool. The units here are all air-conditioned and adorned with original art prints but I doubt guests stay in their rooms to enjoy them when they have a private pool and a sundeck. Mine had a yellow frangipani tree with low hanging boughs literally touching the water, dropping the occasional bloom into the water. Bliss. No, beyond bliss if there is such a thing. The property boasts one-, two- and three-bedroom villas that measure 200, 400 and 600 sq metres respectively. The three-bedroom

shrubs and shockingly colourful bursts of bougainvilleas. A rather small reception is the only ‘exposed’ building that you see as you enter the property, passing by a rather incongruous terracotta and gold coloured building that looks more like a Rajput palace than a Balinese structure. As I was ushered to my accommodation, I strained my neck like a meerkat to grab a look at the interior of the villas I walked past, getting fleeting glimpses of the hidden luxury inside. Soon, I arrived at a wooden door that opened to reveal a gorgeously manicured compound that featured a private pool with the ubiquitous yin-yang symbol embedded at the bottom. This symbol of perfect harmony and balance is the presiding theme that guests are invited to experience at

unit is perfect for families and makes a fantastic venues for private functions such as weddings. The villas all come with modern amenities like audio-video equipment and ensuite baths that are half indoors and half out. For those who are still a little squeamish about having to shower au naturel in the open, this is a good training ground! At night, the king-size bed is draped with a mosquito net, adding a whimsical touch to the already romantic setting that is soft lit with mood lighting and, accented with the gentle babbling of the pool. No prizes for guessing what comes next in such a sexy setting. As the villas offer so much privacy that enable you to lock yourself in and never emerge until check-out, you can even opt to have your meals sent to your room. But as much as the in-villa dining was inviting, I simply had to visit the scarlet, red and gold building I had seen earlier. This is the Villas’ Prana Restaurant. The double storey building has a covered portion but I strongly recommend having your meals in its courtyard that is inlaid with star-shaped floor panels, surrounded by a fortress-like structure with a statue of Lord Ganesha, presiding from his lofty perch. Serving

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breakfast, lunch and dinner, Prana Restaurant has chalked up a string of awards as one of the best Indonesian restaurants for service and food in Bali. Do ask for the healthier options and the restaurant will try their best to accommodate. Also, make it a point to order the fruits juices that are 100 percent natural, thick and almost smoothie-like in consistency. That’s lots of fibre and vitamins in every glass! Which brings me to the gilded lamps, Moorish alcoves, stained glass windows in Arabic pattern and the Hindu Aum character in brass embedded in the walls – located above the restaurant. This is the famed Prana Spa at the Villas. Entering this quarters transports you to the combined fairyland of a Moroccan and Rajasthan palace. An opulent decor in royal purple, burnished orange, cobalt blue and accented with

RAMA BEACH RESORT AND VILLAS Located in secluded Tuban area in South Kuta, the Rama Beach Resort & Villas is a hidden sanctuary set within a peaceful tropical landscape. The resort features a perfect combination of 101 tastefully appointed guestrooms, cottages and villas set amidst a beautifully landscaped garden. Rama Beach Resort & Villas is just five minutes away from the airport and walking distance to various shopping centres, entertainment venues and dining spots in Kuta.

gold finishing, rich tapestries and plush carpets welcomes you into a world so magnificent, you forget the outside world, as you marvel at the spa designed by owner and artist Jim Elliot. Each room, from treatment areas, hamam and the changing room, to the Private Suite are such a delight to the senses, the therapist had to keep calling me to get ready for the treatment, as I gleefully ran around exploring this magical land fit for kings and queens! The treatments ranging from Ayurvedic to Turkish therapies are too extensive to list here but rest assured your biggest battle while on the massage table is to either enjoy the treatment and wander off to the land of Scheherazade and 1001 Nights or, to steadfastly stay awake to enjoy the exotic carvings and embellishment on the walls and ceiling while gentle strumming of Arabic/Indian inspired music drifts through the corridors of the spa. The Villas also offers a pared down, contemporary take on reflexology services provided in the nearby Chill at the Villas. In a single word: Breathtaking!

THE VILLAS Jl Kunti, 118X Seminyak, Bali

SUDAMALA SUITES AND VILLAS Sudamala Suites & Villas is a luxurious 4.5-Star hotel located in the peaceful settings of Sanur, a few minutes’ drive away from Kuta and the airport. The property offers the perfect sanctuary for your Bali getaway where great care has been taken in ensuring the artistic and traditional values of Bali are showcased in the design of the resort. The concept of taksu or ‘cultural soul’ has also been carefully nurtured here and is a signature element in providing guests with a cultural experience that befits the splendour of the property. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

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JUST ADD WATER

Whether near a lake, by the beach, on a river or a houseboat through canals, adding aqua to the equation elevates the holiday to brand new heights. VIETNAM

HA LONG BAY With its impressive natural wonders of hundreds of limestone pillars, karsts and islets, Ha Long Bay, located about 3.5 hours northeast of Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, is certainly a perfect spot for a tranquil boating holiday. The best time to visit is between March and June, as the weather can get a bit unpredictable in other months due to its geographical location. Ha Long Bay offers you a moment in history when you travel through coves, tunnels and grottoes that took thousands of years to form. Stopping by Van Gia Fishing Village, about 20 kilometres from the Ha Long Bay tourist boat wharf, will certainly be worth your while. It is one of the four UNESCO World Heritage fishing villages in Vietnam, where fishing traditions from a by gone era remain strong. The locals there live in houseboats where almost every activity takes place on the boats, including schooling the children. This is a houseboat community in every sense of the word. www.vietnamtourism.com, www.cruisehalong.com

WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Hanoi, Vietnam from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Go to www.airasia.com for details.


IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES


IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES

The Netherlands

ARK ARTISTRY OF AMSTERDAM The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, is a houseboat holiday haven, because not only are the boats equipped with modern comforts like Jacuzzis and hot tubs, most of them are upgraded barges and boats that are rich in history and traditions. Many of these boats are docked in Amstel where visitors get to view the historic Skinny Bridge, buildings and ships. Unlike other houseboat rentals in some parts of the world, the guides are usually the boat owners themselves. Houseboat living is becoming a sought-after lifestyle in Europe, especially among the young. If you do plan on a houseboat vacation in Amsterdam, be sure to put the houseboat museum in Prinsengracht on your itinerary, which offers a glimpse of house boating life in Netherlands. Do also visit the famous ‘cat boats’ on the Singel that’s docked near house #40. This boat is a sanctuary and refuge for abandoned and stray cats, a quaint sight on the canal belt that has become a tourist attraction. www.houseboathotel.nl

Queensland

Besides the sunny weather in Queensland, Australia, there are a host of activities to be had here that includes taking a cruise, boating and yachting. This part of Australia is popular amongst the young and young-atheart, attracting travellers who crave both sedate and high-octane activities. There are many areas from which you can begin your ‘watery’ holiday – the Gold Coast, Fraser Coast, Gympie or Whitsunday areas. Short-term charters are available in practically every port in this state, and each stop at any of the coastal harbours offers a huge list of things to do. While the beaches offer powdery white sand and azure waters to frolic in, the towns and cities along the coast attract visitors with arts and culture offerings, entertainment and shopping. This state of endless natural beauty is also home to six World Heritage listed preservation sites that include the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites at Riversleigh in the Gulf Country, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, Fraser Island, the famous Great Barrier Reef, Lamington National Park and the Wet Tropics of Queensland. www.tq.com.au

FANTA-SEA FULFILLED

GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies five times a week to Gold Coast, Queensland in Australia from Kuala Lumpur. Go to www.airasia.com for details.

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Langkawi, Malaysia

This island in Peninsula Malaysia’s northwest corner is part of an archipelago of 99 islands that straddles the point where the Andaman Sea meets the Straits of Malacca. Rich in myths and legends, Langkawi is also renowned for its natural beauty, being part of the ancient Machinchang Cambrian geological formation that’s said to be over 550 million years old. The island offers magnificent diving and boating spots located around the many, uninhabited islands. One of the best ways to experience this would be to hop onto a cruise charter and experience the beauty of the islands up close. Guests can either charter a boat with a guide to explain the natural formations and, flora and fauna or book customised cruises that allow them to enjoy the natural beauty of these islands. They can also experience fun activities such as swimming, diving, snorkelling, jungle walks and barbeques by the beach, amongst others. Tropical Charters is one such operator that offers many options to enjoy the lush and legendary Langkawi islands onboard their vessels. Guests can choose from the standard and private packages to customised cruises to celebrate honeymoons and other special occasions. The most popular cruise is the Day Cruise that takes guests to secluded beaches for some quiet time swimming and dining alfresco by the beach. www.tropicalcharters.com.my, www.tourismlangkawi.com

ISLAND OF LEGENDS

IMAGE: www.tropicalcharters.com.my

IMAGE: CORBIS

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to daily to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore. Go to www.airasia.com for details.


Thailand, specifically Bangkok, is a paradise for shopping, food and entertainment but you can make it even more exciting by embarking on a ‘floating’ vacation. There are many breathtaking lakes like Lake Khao Laem (Northwest sector of central Thailand) where you can hire a houseboat for a relaxing holiday with activities like visiting quaint little villages around the area, shopping or even go elephant trekking. Of course, there is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi, where tourists from all over the world flock to take a cruise on a traditional long-tailed boat to shop and enjoy their meals, as they meander along narrow river canals that were dug by King Rama IV’s army for transportation and trade purposes. Today, it remains as active as ever with local farmers, fishermen and craftsmen selling their goods from boat to boat. Alternatively, hop onto one of the converted rice barges that travel the Chao Phraya to see Bangkok from a totally new angle. But if you just want a quick introduction to life on the river, join the locals on one of the many boats that criss cross the river daily, taking city folks from one bank to another. This would cost you about THB20 only and there are lots of shopping and sightseeing options along Phra Arthit Road that runs parallel to the river! www.tourismthailand.org

Thailand

VENICE OF THE EAST

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Don Mueang Int. Airport in Bangkok from various destinations. Go to www.airasia.com for details.

HONG KONG

The picturesque terrain of Wong Chuk Hang in the southern district of Hong Kong, near the fishing industry community of Aberdeen Floating Village, is an amazing place to embark on a houseboat holiday. Most of the shortterm, boat room rentals are docked here. The Aberdeen Harbour has been a famous fishing port in Hong Kong since the 19th century, although its population has decreased sizeably in the last two decades due to high operational costs. However, this quaint little village remains one of the best tourist attractions that include floating seafood restaurants and sight-seeing tours. For a more luxurious houseboat experience in Hong Kong, you can opt to get a room on the elegant boats at the Saffron Marina, which runs the gamut from small yachts to cruise-liners and spruced up Chinese junks. While houseboat holidays in Hong Kong may set you back a pretty penny, if you can afford it, it certainly is worth the money because experiencing the congested city from the coast is a whole different encounter.

IMAGE: INMAGINE

HARBOUR HAVEN

www.discoverhongkong.com, www.saffron-cruises.com GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Hong Kong from various destinations. Go to www.airasia.com for details.


IMAGE: INMAGINE

Houseboat stays are a wonderful way to experience the treasures of India. It is in the backwaters of quaint and diverse towns that you get to experience the culture and history, and most importantly, an intimate glimpse of how the locals go about their daily lives. Cruising through beautiful lagoons, lakes and canals fringed by lush vegetation in southern India is an experience quite unlike others. The views of local life slowly unfolding in the morning and finally coming to a sleepy end in the late evening is an amazing mix of hustle and bustle, and tranquillity. Not just for families, the backwater trips are also popular amongst couples looking for some quiet time together, gently lulled by the waves of the rivers and coastal areas. Guests can enjoy backwater tours in India at the popular coastal towns of Alleppey, Kumarakom and Munnar in Kerala. If you plan to visit in August or September, there is certainly more to experience, as it coincides with the famous Kerala Boat Races, an event with a 400-year-old history. www.keralahouseboat.org

Kerala, India

IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES

GOD’S OWN COUNTRY

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Kochi in Kerala, India from Kuala Lumpur. Go to www.airasia.com for details.

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2 FEATURE 0 2013

www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

CHINESE NEW YEAR COUPLETS Chun lian ⟩剔 couplets are essentially greetings that express happiness and desire for prosperity or a good life in the coming year. Meaningful words formed into a poetic couplet are written on vertical strips of red paper in elegant calligraphic stokes and are hung on both sides of the main door to welcome the New Year. Known as chun lian, these couplets appear only during the new year while the rest of the year, dui lian ᜹剔 couplets are hung at the threshold. The couplet is often broken into two sections where the first line is hung on the right hand side of the door while the second line goes to the left. A third horizontal line may be included and pasted across the top part of the door. Not any old line is eligible to be called a chun lian as the lines need to be brief, succinct in the point it is making, lyrical and grammatically correct. Scholars train for years in this art and their creations are highly prized.

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Birth of a Brand New Year For the C Chinese, the lunar New Year is the biggest festival of the year that’s celebrated with great pomp and pageantry. From reunion dinners that see celebrat children and relatives returning from all corners of the country to partake family meal together to letting off noisy fireworks to herald the birth in a fami brand new year, the celebration is also deeply steeped in culture and of a bran customs that have stood the test of time. IMAGES: INMAGINE

CHINESE ZODIAC 2013 marks the arrival of the year of the water snake. The 12 animals that make up the Chinese zodiac take turn presiding over each year in a 60-year cycle, with each animal zodiac being further broken down to one of the five elements: Earth, wood, water, fire and metal. There are many legends attached to the origins of the zodiac animals but the popular ones include Lord Buddha inviting all animals to a grand feast (a race in another version). The sequence of the animals in the zodiac indicates the order of their appearance from first to twelfth at the feast. Yet another tale says the Jade King, out of boredom in his heavenly abode, summoned all creatures of the earth to

his palace. Although the mightiest creatures occupy top spots due to strength and brawn, the rat used its cunning and earned first position by jumping over the ox’s horns, catapulting itself into first place. The remaining 11 in sequence are the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, dog, rooster and pig. In Vietnam, the cat replaces the rabbit, while some northern Thai communities replace the pig with the elephant. People born under each animal sign are said to exhibit both positive and negative qualities of their signs. Monkey-born can be both imaginative and curious while being nosy and sneaky too. The Pig-born is hardworking and compassionate but obstinate and gullible as well.

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THE REUNION DINNER The new year celebration not only marks the beginning of a new year, it is also to time to bid farewell to the old year. As such, the point where the year is about to end is also celebrated grandly with a huge reunion dinner. Ancestor worship is an integral part of Chinese culture and the eve of the new year is the time when the family prepares a huge feast in thanking the gods and family deities, and honouring their ancestors. Apart from instilling filial piety, kinship and loyalty in children and family members, ancestor worship also ensures the family receives full blessings and protection in the new year from elders who’ve since departed the earthly realm. The food is then enjoyed by family members who make it a point to return to their parents’ home to partake in the feast. Interestingly, there is a reason why certain foods are served at the reunion dinner. Not only must the food look delicious, the name of the dishes must sound auspicious and prosperous. Fish, pronounced yu 聥 in Mandarin and Cantonese, sounds like ‘never ending abundance’. Lettuce, pronounced sheng cai

㽒埮 , sounds like ‘growing prosperity’. In Cantonese, prawns are called har 屖 and sounds like laughter. Certain ingredients like fa cai ঵埮 , a type of black moss, which sounds like ‘striking it rich’ and pineapples ong lai 菃⮈ , which sounds like ‘luck is on its way’ are always included in the food. However, as there are many Buddhist Chinese who typically observe vegetarianism on the first and 15th day of the month, New Year’s Day gives many living creatures a much deserved respite from the chopping block.

CAI SHEN / GOD OF WEALTH From greeting cards, hong bao packets, wall decorations and even appearances at shopping malls and private functions, Cai Shen 柮䘷 is a jovial god with portly figure dressed in long flowing robes, dishing out abundance and prosperity to everyone. Seeing him and better still, receiving his blessings, albeit sweets and chocolates in these times, is considered very auspicious during the celebrations. Cai Shen, or sometimes referred to as Cai Bo Xing Jun, has his origins in ancient China, where Fengshen Yanyi, a novel from the Ming Dynasty recounts a tale of a hermit named Zhao Gongming who was accused of using magic to bring about the collapse of the Shang Dynasty. Zhao was later killed by Jiang Ziya but Jiang was rebuked by the gods for having killed such a virtuous person. Jiang repented for his deed and canonised Zhao as the god of wealth and, the Minister of Wealth in god’s kingdom. There are many tales and myths regarding Cai Shen but all agree that spotting this benevolent figure during Chinese New Year will certainly bring about a windfall in the coming year.

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HONG BAO/ RED PACKETS Having wished each other Gong Xi Fa Cai or Kong Hei Fatt Choy, it is common to see elders handing out little red packets containing a small cash gift or hong bao

侰ࡰ . This custom of giving out money has historical significance, as in the past, parents used to give their children a gift of 100 coins or ya sui qian ॊ᠍琼 in the hope that the children would live and prosper for up to 100 years. Later, during the Song Dynasty, money pouches made of cloth called li shi ‫ ⟶ܟ‬was given away to family and friends. This later evolved into the red packet called hong bao made of paper. Apart from literally giving money (prosperity) to recipients, the gift is also an auspicious one due to the red colour of the packets. Generally, the elders and married members of the family give out the hong bao as a form of blessing and well wishes. The hong bao packet too has undergone tremendous modernisation and amazingly beautiful packets in red and gold, and emblazoned with auspicious sayings have become the norm. Commercial businesses such as banks and retailers make it a point leading to the new year to thank their customers by giving stacks of the empty packets to be filled in with cash and given out to celebrants.

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MANDARIN N ORANGES Most visible during the he celebration, not only on dining tables but in decorations and as gifts, is e. Pronounced kam ⊗ , the Mandarin orange. which is a homophone ne to gold in Cantonese, the bright orange colour also suggests prosperity and rin oranges start ooding the abundance. Mandarin market leading up to o the new year celebration and are often given away to friends and family as he hong bao. Keeping with a gift together with the commercialisation, mandarin orange gift hampers ophisticated in recent years and have become very sophisticated rporate gift. Additionally, homes are the preferred corporate are also decorated with potted citrus plants such as erines. kumquats and tangerines.

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LION AND DRAGON DANCES Lions are not endemic to China and the dance is said to have come about after the beast was gifted to Chinese emperors of the past by visiting traders from India and Sri Lanka with the spread of Buddhism. A majestic animal that was often regarded as a symbol of valour, divinity and royalty, the lions was quickly adopted into their cultural milieu. Historical records suggest the dance started in the Han Dynasty and subsequent dynasties such as the Tang, Sung, Yuen and Ming included the lion dance as an important element in royal spiritual rites. Two distinct dance forms evolved in the process. The northern variety has a furry lion that resembles the Peking dog and wears coloured ribbons in its mane to identify the gender of the animal. The southern lion, however, looks more like a mythical version of the actual beast and has many versions based on the clan that’s performing. Overall the dance is divided into two styles: Wen shi

⛢㮶 or a civil lion that’s docile and funny and, wu shi

。㮶 , a powerful and acrobatic lion. Additionally, the dragon, being a revered mythological creature, also found its movement being imitated by man in dance form with records dating back to the Han Dynasty. Performed by dancers well hidden in the costume, the lion dance is very popular during Chinese New Year with businesses and homes welcoming the creature to usher in prosperity by dancing and performing acrobatic acts accompanied by loud clanging of cymbals and drums.

TONG YUEN This sweet soup called tong yuen

㆐ຈ with little coloured glutinous rice balls is normally eaten on the 15th day of Chinese New Year in conjunction with Lantern Festival or Chap Goh Mei. The 15th day marks the end of the new year festivities and smaller celebrations are held to commemorate the occasion. Similar to the marking of the winter solstice in December, this dish calls for the whole family to participate in rolling the small balls. The round balls symbolise completeness, the starchy skin suggests togetherness and the sweet soup represents the good times the family will enjoy. Chap Goh Mei celebrations, which is Hokkien in origins, apart from bringing the new year festivities to an end, is also a time for young people to look for potential life partners. In the past, women would write their names on oranges and throw them into rivers and lakes. The man who picks up the fruit would then endeavour to locate and marry the girl whose name is written on it. In other parts of China, the last day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival with grand parades and firework displays. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

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FIREWORKS Historical accounts suggest that fireworks wwre created by the Chinese as early as 200 BC, during the Han Dynasty. The loud noise the explosion made frightened people and animals and soon, the early Chinese imagined it would scare the daylights out of spirits too. In the past, a nasty creature called Nian ᮖ was said to have terrorised the Chinese, gobbling up livestock and killing human beings. To avoid getting killed, they tried to please the creature by putting out food for it to eat. One day, someone spotted the creature reacting aversely to the colour red and loud noises. Hence, they learnt what scared Nian and started setting of fireworks to chase it out of their villages. Nowadays, although firecrackers are banned in most countries due to the dangers it poses, large and spectacular displays of fireworks light up the sky during the celebrations. Hong Kong Harbour is one such place to catch amazing displays yearly. 76

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NIAN GAO A mixture of glutinous rice flour and sugar is steamed slowly for a long period to produce a thick and viscous cake that further hardens like vintage cheese when cooled. To serve, nian gao ᮖ䯿 needs to be sliced thinly and steamed, before being rolled in coconut, or deepfried between two slivers of sweet potato and yam. Associated with prosperity, this cake is famous for its ability to seal shut a very important person’s mouth: The Kitchen God

㟭䘷 ! The deity is said to return to heaven a week before the new year to report to the Jade King 㲫䇆ᆼ ᬌ the merits and misdeeds of each family. To literally shut his mouth, each household will serve him the delicacy before the send off as nian gao turns into a delicious but terribly sticky cake when prepared in the aforementioned styles – perfect for sweetening his words and if that fails, to totally shut him up when he meets his Big Boss.


2 FEATURE • Nepal 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

In the Arms of ANNAPURNA Although accessible to everyone, even for those without any mountaineering experience, conquering the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas is still a tough endeavour that requires determination and preseverance. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: MAGDA BISKUP

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ABOVE: The views closer to Thorong La are dominated by bare mountain peaks. ABOVE, LEFT: Local people lead a very simple life and are very friendly.

210kms. That was how far I was supposed to walk. At first it sounded overwhelming but, after splitting the distance into 16 days, I realised that I’d need to trek for just about 15kms a day, which was absolutely doable. I packed my backpack really light, taking just what was essential, bought a map, arranged for all the required permits and boarded a bus from Pokhara to Besisahar, where Annapurna Circuit trek officially starts. Annapurna Circuit is considered one of world’s best and most classic treks. It passes through the four regions – Lamjung, Manang, Mustang and Myagdi – and its highest point is

Thorong La Pass half way into the trek, taking hikers all the way to 5,416m above sea level. The route goes past many high mountains, including the Annapurna massif, Manaslu, Langtang Himal, Gangapurna and Dhaulagiri.

HOT WALK UP A COOL MOUNT The first check point (there are a few along the route, their purpose to provide safety for trekkers) was located in Besisahar, at the official start of the trek. I got my permit verified and was officially on my way to conquer the Annapurna Circuit. The initial TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION X The full length of Annapurna Circuit is 230kms, but some parts of the trek can be traversed by bus or car. There is a controversial road (still under construction) that goes all the way to Chame and is planned to extend to Manang. X Annapurna Circuit is a ‘teahouse trek’, meaning there are teahouses along the way, located every two or three hours’ walk. Here, it’s possible to find accommodation and warm food. No bookings are required as there are more rooms available than trekkers. Accommodation is very cheap and sometimes offered for free in exchange for the promise of ordering food from the teahouse owner.

20kms of the route passed along a dusty and rather uneventful road, so I decided to preserve my energy for later and caught a bus to Bhulbhule, the next village on the way to Thorong La Pass. It was hot. Very hot. End of March, when I decided to trek, is considered the second best time to do this walk, but the lower sections can be unbearably hot during that time of the year. So, after just a couple of hours of walking, I found a teahouse, checked into a room and decided to call it a day. A noisy rooster woke me up at around 6.00am the next morning and after a quick breakfast of eggs, I hit the road again. The 80

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plan was to cover as much distance as possible before the sun got high up in the sky. The sun was going to be the main hurdle for the following two days during which the route passed through the lower sections of the trek, full of greenness, dust and heat.

THE TREK ALL TO MYSELF The Annapurna Circuit is one of the most popular treks in Nepal, but the walking trail was surprisingly empty. The only time I met other trekkers was in the teahouses and at checkpoints. Occasionally, I would pass by

X Main trekking season falls in October/ November. Second best time to trek is between March and May. X Permits are required to trek around Annapurna and they can be arranged in Pokhara and Kathmandu through any travel agency or directly in Annapurna’s Conservation Areas Offices. X Guides are not necessary as the route is very easy to follow. A good map will suffice. X Guides and porters (optional) can be arranged in Pokhara and Kathmandu. X Trekking the Annapurna Circuit does not require any special equipment or training. Anyone who’s moderately fit will be able to finish the trek in 16-20 days. It’s recommended to carry warm clothing, even in the warmer months. Altitude sickness can affect some people. To prevent it, it is often recommended to do a rest day in Manang before climbing Thorong La pass.


ABOVE: Tharong La pass is clearly marked with prayer flags. OPPOSITE PAGE: A typical teahouse on the Annapurna Circuit route.

groups of trekkers hiking the circuit from the opposite direction. Apart from that, I had all the amazing views to myself. I did, however, meet many porters, delivering goods to the villages and teahouses along the way to Thorong La. Their loads were shockingly huge and heavy and included anything from live chickens, eggs and soft drinks to rice, clothes and cosmetics. I couldn’t feel anything else but respect for these hardworking men.

RISING WITH EACH STEP The fourth day of the trek offered the first glimpses of the snow covered Himalayan

peaks and a decrease in temperature, which I welcomed gratefully. I continued walking towards Manang, which I reached a day later. It turned out to be absolutely stunning. Manang sits at the bottom of a valley at 3,519 metres above sea level and it felt like the most remote place on the planet. Lots of trekkers use it as a base for their rest day with the main purpose of taking a day off from trekking to acclimatise to the increasing weather and thinning air. Manang is perfectly suited for this with lots of trekkers resting and catching their breath. I felt fine and didn’t think I needed a full day to break my trek and continued my TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

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SANSUI TREKS & EXPEDITION PVT. LTD. One of the most experienced trekking and expedition organisers in Nepal, Sansui Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd. offers various packages for both novices and experienced trekkers to the Annapurna circuit and other trekking expeditions in the country.

me here, no one would know. Then, in the distance, the reassuring flapping of prayer flags in the strong wind washed me over with a sense of relief. I knew that Thorong La was really close. It took me a week of hard work, but I had finally gotten there all by myself.

TOP OF THE WORLD Standing atop Thorong La pass was an exhilarating experience, but the day was far from over. I had to get to Muktinath that was located 1,600m below the pass. It was a very long and steep descent. I quickly forgot about the difficulties of climbing Thorong La, and all my efforts were now focused on 84

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getting down safely. The path felt endless and I couldn’t see my destination. It wasn’t until another four hours of slow walking down the steep hill that I saw my first glimpse of Muktinath. The next couple of days were relatively easy, as the terrain was rather flat and the temperature pleasant. I imagined if this were to continue, my trekking adventure would end on a rather anti-climactic note. However, I was heading towards Poon Hills, another incredibly exciting highlight along the trek. After another day of walking, I reached Ghorepani, a busy village at the bottom of Poon Hill. I got myself a room on the top

The agency offers the classic Annapurna Circuit route that can range from 17 to 21 days, along the Marshyangdi, over the Thorong La (5,416m) and a final descent to the Kali Gandaki Valley. On this circuit, the peaks visible from close quarters include the Annapurna (8,091m), Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Machhapuchhre (6,993m), Manaslu (8,156m), Gangapurna (7,455m) and Tilicho Peak (7,134m). The trek begins with a seven-hour drive from Kathmandu to the starting point at Besi Sahar in the Marshyangdi river valley. The trek concludes at Kali Gandaki river valley. En route, travellers pass paddy fields and subtropical forests, with amazing views of beautiful mountain scenery, waterfalls and gigantic cliffs. Apart from the Annapurna Circuit, travellers can also do the Annapurna Base Camp trek or the shorter Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek and Royal Trek, amongst others. SANSUI TREKS & EXPEDITION PVT. LTD. Adventure Trek Operation Department Lazimpat Kathmandu, Nepal E-MAIL: info@sansuitrek.com  www.sansuitrek.com 


ABOVE: Some of the highest mountains in the Himalayas can be seen from Poon Hill. OPPOSITE PAGE, ABOVE: Paddy fields can be seen in the lower sections of the trek. OPPOSITE PAGE, BELOW: Carved boulders carved in the village of Manang.

floor of one of the teahouses with three out of its four walls covered with windows. The peaks of Annapurna, Annapurna South and Dhaulagiri were right there in front of me to enjoy from the comfort of my room. But I simply couldn’t be cooped up in my room and had to run out to the viewing deck to witness the scenery. The view took my breath away. It was simply magnificent. There were a few people there, admiring the snow covered peaks of some of the highest mountains on earth, but most of them left as soon as the sun rose, leaving the place all to myself. All four Annapurna peaks, Machhapuchre, Nilgiri South and Dhaulagiri were right there in front

of me. I stood there transfixed. I didn’t want to leave but had to, as there was just one more day of walking ahead of me before I reached Birethani that lay at the end of the trek. I got there the same day in the afternoon, bringing me to the end of my trekking adventure along the Annapurna Circuit, perhaps the best adventure I had ever embarked on. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies three times a week to Kathmandu from Kuala Lumpur. Go to www.airasia.com for details.

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2 FEATURE • Australia 0 2013

WILD WILD www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

From the sandstone gorges of The Kimberley and golden fields of the Wheatbelt to the lush wine-growing region of Margaret River and the red plains of the GoldfieldsEsperance region ablaze with wildflowers, Western Australia offers fiery, rugged landscapes and quiet, untouched beauty. COMPILED BY: BEVERLY RODRIGUES PHOTOGRAPHY: KEN DUNCAN & STEVE FRASER

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LD WEST

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PRECEDING PAGE (left), CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Montgomery Reef, off the Kimberley coast, is Australia’s largest inshore reef; the rugged 650km-long Gibb River Road is an old drover’s track that connects remote Kimberley cattle stations to Derby and Kununurra. It offers 4WD adventures with natural attractions and the opportunity to meet friendly locals on horseback; a breeding population of the Australian Sea Lion can be found on Abrolhos Islands, a chain of 122 islands and coral reefs in the Indian Ocean; the stunning four-tiered Mitchell Falls in the Kimberley region; King Sound is a large gulf in northern Western Australia that extends from the mouth of the Fitzroy River to the Indian Ocean.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: A stunning waterfall and banded ironstone formations at the Hamersley Gorge within the Karijini National Park; despite the bustle of the city – Perth – the picturesque capital of Western Australia, has many spots that retain a quiet beauty; colourful flora surrounding the remote Overlander Roadhouse along the North West Coastal Highway; a dramatic gorge at the Karijini National Park; boab trees are only found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia; though known for its wineries, Margaret River serves up intoxicating scenery too.

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CLOCKWISE FROM BELOW: Joffre Falls, a seasonal waterfall at the Karjini National Park; dubbed ‘Rotto’ by Western Australians, Rottnest Island is a favourite diving and snorkelling destination; the scenic and remote Overlander area between Geraldton and Carnavon offers the only roadaccess point to the Shark Bay World Heritage area; geological wonders in the heart of Karijini National Park; visitors can enjoy scenic sunrise or sunset camel safaris along Cable Beach, The Kimberley; Lake Lefroy in Kalgoorlie, is a large salt lake that’s often used for land sailing.

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GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies from Kuala Lumpur, and AirAsia Indonesia flies from Bali to Perth, Western Australia. Go to www.airasia.com for details.

THE WILD FRONTIER – WESTERN AUSTRALIA For more images of this dramatically diverse state, check out The Wild Frontier – Western Australia, a coffee table book that features the stunning works of panoramic photographer Ken Duncan (www. kenduncan.com) and Western Australian landscape photographer Steve Fraser (www.stevefraser.co). Photography enthusiasts will benefit from the useful details and technical notes on equipment that illustrate how these photographers captured the images.

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2 FEATURE • Myanmar 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

The

Heart of Myanmar The romance of Mandalay lies in its ancient traditions, customs and charming locals. Revel in its beauty and take home memories of a city standing still in time. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: IRA DE REUVER

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LEFT: The big stupa at Mingun in Mandalay. ABOVE: Statues along the stairtcase at the temple in Mingun. PRECEDING PAGE, LEFT: The Myatheindan or Hsinphyumae pagoda. PRECEDING PAGE, RIGHT: Novice Buddhist monk.

Mandalay. There is certainly a romantic ring to it. It was Rudyard Kipling who wrote the poem Mandalay, later used by musician Oley Speaks to compose the very popular song On the Road to Mandalay in 1907. But, as I make my way to this city, it’s the Robbie Williams’ song The Road to Mandalay that rings in my mind. I hope this city will live up to its reputation.  Mandalay is the economic hub of upper Myanmar and has long held great importance 94

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as a cultural centre. Established in 1857, the nation’s second largest city was once the royal capital of the last independent Burmese kingdom before the British took over. In 1885, the conquering British forced King Thibaw and his Queen Supayalat into exile. Ratanapunja was the ancient name of the city, and its current name derives from Mandalay Hill, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.  

GOLDEN SANCTUARY Hypnotic Buddhist chanting from the loudspeakers of the monasteries awakens me early in the morning. Outside, as I watch the city come to life, I catch sight of monks and nuns traversing barefoot the streets from house to house. They carry alms bowls, while families and shop owners


admission is free at this monastery. U Suzaya tells me that there are many monasteries in Mandalay. “As Mandalay is the centre of Buddhist learning, monasteries located in the city are the most important in the whole country,” he explains.

STUPA AND PAGODAS

“King Bodawpaya commissioned the stupa in 1790, but sadly, it was never completed after an astrologer claimed the king would die if the stupa were finished.”

The next morning a trishaw driver named Kyaw Kyaw is waiting for me in front of my hotel, greeting me with a big smile and Mingalarbar – the Myanmarese version for ‘Hello’. He pedals me to the river jetty for a visit to Mingun. Mingun is one of the four old towns surrounding Mandalay. The 45-minute trip by a special tourist boat is pleasant and comfortable, insists Kyaw Kyaw. I sit down on the boat and I completely agree with him. As I sink into a comfortable bamboo chair, I gaze at life along the Ayeyarwaddy River while enjoying the breeze and warming sun. The massive stupa, Mingun Pahtodawgyi, comes in sight. It is the first landmark I see when the boat approaches Mingun. After getting off the boat, a dirt road leads the way to Mingun’s tourist sites. King Bodawpaya commissioned the stupa in 1790, but sadly, it was never completed after an astrologer claimed the king would die if the stupa were finished. In 1838 it was severely damaged by an earthquake and huge cracks remain as silent reminders of that disaster. You can climb to the top of the stupa to enjoy superb views across the river. Further up along the road is the largest functioning and undamaged bell in the world, weighing as much as 90 tonnes. Continuing along the dirt road lined with tea and souvenir shops, the beautiful white Myatheindan Pagoda suddenly appears. This pagoda was built in 1816 by Bodawpaya’s grandson Bagyidaw and he dedicated this pagoda to Princess Hsinbyume.

PAINTED FACES graciously donate rice, food or money for merit-making. Mandalay is a mosaic of Buddhist monasteries where crimson robed monks and pink robed nuns paint the streets with colour.  A friendly monk tells me about the quiet beauty of Shwe in Bin Kyaung (translated as ‘golden monastery’), a small monastery housing only a few monks. Meandering through the maze of streets, I locate the compound of the monastery, where the scent of ripening mangoes welcomes me. A peaceful haven tucked away from the bustling street, a young monk by the name of U Suzaya offers to show me around. He explains, “Shwe in Bin Kyaung monastery was founded in 1895, when two wealthy Chinese merchants commissioned talented craftsmen to build this monastery, made completely of teakwood. Myanmar is renowned for its woodcarving and this monastery is a great place to appreciate the exquisite quality of this art. Seldom crowded,

In the afternoon, I take the boat back to Mandalay. In the city I meet Daw Khin Yee, a housewife who is mixing thanaka bark with a sprinkle of water on a stone slab. When the paste is ready she calls out for her children, who have just finished bathing, to come stand in front of her. With loving movements, she applies the watery mixture sparingly from head to toe. Then, on each cheek, she smears much thicker layers in the shape of leaves and circles. The kids are now ready for school. Thanaka is a yellowishwhite cosmetic paste made from the ground TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

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bark and wood of the thanaka tree. It is a distinctive feature of Myanmar. For over 2000 years, this traditional cosmetic has been used by Burmese women and, to a lesser extent, by men and boys.  For many visitors the sight and smells of the exotic, yellow-painted faces of the beautiful Myanmarese people is an unforgettable part of their experience in this country. The creamy paste has a fragrance similar to sandalwood and it is applied to the cheeks, foreheads and sometimes arms. The paste is applied to the face in attractive designs, the most common form being a circular patch on each cheek. Sometimes stripes are made with the fingers or patterned in the shape of a leaf, often also highlighting the bridge of the nose.  Thanaka’s use goes beyond beauty and aesthetics. It also has practical benefits like protecting the skin against the harsh sun whilst helping to moisturise the skin. It produces a cooling sensation on the skin and is said to prevent aging and acne too. The most prized thanaka comes from the region around Mandalay, though some argue that other regions like Sagaing and Shwepo produce the best logs for thanaka paste. There is a great rivalry between these regions as to who produces the best thanaka. Teacher Thantar Moe uses thanaka for its protective qualities. “Thanaka is my favorite cosmetic because it is inexpensive and protects my skin from the sun’s heat, which I like because my skin tans really easily. When I return from school I usually apply thanaka paste to my face and hands as it makes me feel really cool and fresh”, she says.

BRIDGING THE GAP Easily one of Myanmar’s most photographed sights is U Bein Bridge. It is located 10 kms south of Mandalay. Built by U Bein in the mid-19th century, it is the world’s longest teakwood bridge, stretching close to 1,200 metres across the Taungthaman Lake. Here, I soak in the view made up of scores of fishermen in their boats, their nets floating gently on the still waters, monks crossing silently from one end of the bridge to the other, and locals cycling home from work. Later, I disappear into the bustle of people on the bridge to watch the sun sink across the water.

PUPPET PARADE Back in the city, I head to the Mandalay Marionette Theatre, where an entertaining 96

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“The spirit and charm of old Mandalay is alive in most parts of the city. Ancient sites all over the city have changed little over the years, and the genuine and helpful locals make it a mustsee destination for those wishing to experience a piece of Myanmar.”

spectacle takes place each evening. These performances incorporate as many as 28 puppets, each with 60 strings for the puppeteer to handle. This art brings together the talents of singers, puppeteers, musicians, woodcarvers, embroiderers and set designers. Ko Thein Lwin is a puppet maker here. His family runs the theatre, where many a tourist has enjoyed the show in the sultry Mandalay evenings. “We began in 1989 with just one puppeteer and two puppets, but today we work with 11 puppeteers and six musicians,” Ko proudly explains. In days long gone, marionettes were used to not only entertain, they also played the important role of educating the people in literature, history, religion and customs, in addition to creating awareness on current events. The art continues to grow in the hands of Ko and his family, some of the last remaining puppeteers in Myanmar.


ABOVE: Traditional puppets for sale in Mandalay. RIGHT: A covered stairway to the Myatheindan Pagoda.

EAT YOUR TEA The next day whilst strolling about in the city, a local family invites me into their home. They offer me not only tea to drink, but surprisingly to eat as well. Tea leaf salad (called laphet in Mandalay) is fermented or pickled tea leaves. Myanmar is one of the few countries in the world where tea is eaten as well as drunk, and tea leaf salad is not only regarded as a national delicacy, it also has a significant role in Myanmarese culture. Lahpet was an ancient symbolic peace offering between warring kingdoms and was exchanged and consumed after settling a dispute. In pre-colonial and colonial times, laphet was served after a civil court judge announced his verdict, and if the arbitrators ate the laphet, this

signified formal acceptance of the verdict. Nowadays, it is an essential part of social and religious events where laphet is offered during Buddhist ceremonies, weddings and, to guardian spirits and nature.   The best tea leaves are selected for fermenting and the rest for drying. Burmese tea leaf salad is served in two main forms, in ceremonies and with meals. Laphet is traditionally served in a shallow lacquerware TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

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ABOVE: Locals singing and dancing at a religous festival in Mandalay. RIGHT: Thanaka blocks and paste for sale at a market.

dish, divided into small compartments. The pickled tea is served with crisp fried garlic, peas and peanuts, toasted sesame, preserved shredded ginger and fried shredded coconut.   The steamed leaves are heaped together in a mass and thrown into a basket and left to dry for 24 hours. The baskets are then put into pits in the ground and covered with heavy weights to allow the leaves to ferment. Tea is native to Myanmar and 20 percent of the country’s harvest is turned into pickled tea. As I sample the tea leaf salad, the family watches me intently. I mix the ingredients together, take a spoonful and smile. I like its special pungent and spicy taste. The family’s eldest daughter, Aye Sandar, tells me it is a favourite dish among students while doing their homework. “While studying for an exam, I always eat tea leaf salad to keep me clear headed and awake,” she says.

REMINISCING MANDALAY It is my last day in Mandalay and I take a bicycle ride to the moat encircling the Royal Palace. Pedaling towards the setting sun, I reminisce on my visit to Mandalay. Some might say that with the increase of migrants, who now make up 40 percent of the population, the city has inevitably changed and the romance of old Mandalay is long gone. Furthermore, with political and economic changes on the horizon, the city

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is bound to change dramatically in coming years. However, this trip has proven to me that the traditional cultural roots of the Myanmarese people remain strong. The spirit and charm of old Mandalay is alive in most parts of the city. Ancient sites all over the city have changed little over the years, and the genuine and helpful locals make it a must-see destination for those wishing to experience a piece of Myanmar. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Mandalay from Bangkok. Go to www.airasia.com for details.


2 FEATURE 0 2013

IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES

www.airasia.com/travel3sixty


STIMULATING CAVIAR Henry Kissinger is said to have declared: “I’ll do anything for caviar and probably did.” Rasputin, Dostoevsky and yes, Casanova, are believed to have considered caviar their ‘drug of choice’. One of the most expensive foods in the world, caviar or fish roe is an undeniable luxury. This salty sweet, succulent treat is prized for its flavour, as well as its aphrodisiacal powers. Like oysters, caviar is also high in zinc, which heightens libido and promotes blood flow to all the right places! Caviar also stimulates the creation of testosterone in men, which positively impacts virility. This indulgent food is essentially an egg, which means it is a symbol of fertility – a trait that adds to its status as the food of love.

SPIRITED CHAMPAGNE Picture a candlelit dinner table for Valetine’s Day. Does your mental image include a bottle of champagne chilling in a bucket of ice? If you said ‘Yes’, it’s probably because almost every romantic dinner (both real and reel) features a bottle of bubbly and this has led to the popularity of champagne as an aphrodisiac. The truth is it’s not just champagne but any kind of alcohol that can turn up the heat. Alcohol increases romantic desire not so much for its effects on the body as on the mind. It lowers inhibitions and encourages out-of-the-ordinary behavior, relaxes you and loosens the tongue. All good news if you are aiming for third base but drinking responsibly will actually see you waking up beside your loved one the next morning. Not in a lock-up with drug addicts, thieves They may not be enchanted love potions but some and prostitutes. swear by these foods and their ‘magical’ ability

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman to put you in the mood for love! So, if you’ve been struck by Cupid’s arrow and plan to ignite passion this Valentine’s Day, make sure your candlelit dinner includes these luxuries. WORDS: SHANTINI SUNTHARAJAH

TITILLATING TRUFFLES Napoleon is said to have eaten truffles, believing this fungus would increase his masculinity. Eighteenth century French gastronome, Savarin, painted a vivid picture with his words when he said, “Truffle. As soon as the word is spoken, it awakens lustful and erotic memories among the skirt-wearing sex and erotic and lustful memories among the beard-wearing sex.” One of the most luxurious and costly culinary ingredients, truffles were a legendary aphrodisiac in Rome. Science is yet to back the ancient Romans’ claims but many believe that this fungi’s earthy, musky aroma is reminiscent of the male pheromone androstenone – a scent that is believed to inspire passion and desire among the ladies. Have some and you both can burrow under the sheets looking for your own ‘truffles’!

A FOR AVOCADO OPPOSITE PAGE: The rarest and most expensive caviar comes from the Caspian Sea. Caviar connoisseurs believe this delicacy is best savoured with well-chilled vodka.

The Aztecs certainly seem to know their aphrodisiacs! Linguists have translated avocado tree to mean ‘testicle tree’ in the Aztec language! In fact, avocados were believed to have been so potent that Aztec mothers forbade their virginal daughters to set foot outside their homes when the fruit was being gathered by villagers. Even the early Catholics seemed to harbour a lively caution against the avocado with priests forbidding their parishioners from savouring its delicious succulence. Over TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

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time, the avocado lost its ‘forbidden fruit’ reputation but retained its status as a potent aphrodisiac. Chock-full of folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E and potassium, avocados increase the immune function and are great for improving stamina and energy. Mashed avocadoes make great facials and you may want to slather each other’s face with it for some foreplay action.

BELOW: Champagne is playful and celebratory; German actress Marlena Dietrich once said of champagne: “It gives you the impression that every day is Sunday.”

DARK PASSION

BELOW, LEFT: The truffle is often called the ‘diamond of cookery’, ‘gem of poor lands’ and ‘black pearl’. OPPOSITE PAGE: Some researchers believe eating avocados, which are rich in monounsaturated fat, can increase fertility in women.

IMAGE: INMAGINE

Chocolate has been riding high on the list of powerful aphrodisiacs since 600 BC. Aztec emperor, Montezuma, is said to have downed goblets of melted chocolate each day to increase his virility before visiting his harem of 600 women! It wasn’t just Montezuma who benefitted from the potent qualities in chocolate because his Aztec subjects too were known to join in the fun by celebrating harvest festivals with wild ‘merry-making’. Since it isn’t socially correct to test the intoxicating effects of chocolate on the human libido the way the Aztecs did, we’ll just have to settle for a more scientific explanation. Chocolate has been discovered to have the power to increase phenyl-ethyalamine (PEA) levels in the brain. PEA or the ‘love chemical’ can inspire deep passion and the feeling of falling in love as it increases dopamine levels that stimulate

‘pleasure centres’ in the brain. Chocolate also increases tryotophan that produces serotonin, the hormone that helps you sleep and create feelings of elation. It also contains anandamide and theobromine that produce romantic and sexual stimuli. Oh just ignore all this scientific talk and enjoy some deep, dark chocolate with your loved one. And did we tell you that melted chocolate makes wonderful body paint?

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HONEY, I’M IN THE MOOD!

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When ancient Greeks suffered from physical ailments, they visited the physician Hippocrates, also known as the Father of Western Medicine. When male patients complained of a distinct lack of sexual vigor, Hippocrates is believed to have prescribed just one solution – honey. It appears that this sweet elixir has been resolving problems in the bedroom since 400 BC! To this day, wedding customs in some parts of the world involve offering the bridegroom honey to drink. The term ‘honeymoon’ is believed to have arisen from an ancient tradition of newlyweds downing a special honey drink (meade) every night until the first new moon of their marriage. Scientifically speaking, honey is rich in vitamin B and amino acid. The two elements are powerful


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energy and stamina boosters, both vital traits for long, passionate nights. In Middle Eastern countries, nuts soaked in honey are the local Viagra. Who needs the blue pill when this sweet, viscous offering is a far better tasting and ‘performing’ alternative?

NUTS FOR YOU For thousands of years nuts have been used in potions and concoctions that promised to reintroduce oomph back into the bedroom. In ancient Rome, walnuts were considered fertility boosters while pine nuts had a similar function across the Mediterranean for over 2000 years. While there is no solid scientific proof to support the claim that nuts work as aphrodisiacs, it’s interesting to note that they are rich in zinc – a mineral that is used to treat impotence. The one type of nut that does withstand scientific scrutiny, however, is the modest gingko nut, which is a powerful antioxidant and great at stimulating blood circulation. Gingko nuts are often used in Chinese herbal medicines to increase erotic desires. Eating nuts may lead you to a horizontal tango but dating one will only have you pulling at your hair.

BELOW: According to an ancient Persian legend, lovers who hear pistachios cracking open while meeting under a pistachio tree on a moonlit night, will have good fortune. BELOW, LEFT: Kept in the right conditions, honey can last for a long time; some even claim it never spoils. OPPOSITE PAGE: Dark chocolate may be decadent, but it makes for a nutritious indulgence; its main ingredient, cocoa beans, are rich in flavanols, which are antioxidants.

SWEET, SULTRY STRAWBERRIES

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It’s hard to believe that this innocentlooking fruit, with its dimpled, reddishpink exterior and adorable crown of leaves belongs in this list of love foods. Historically, strawberries appear to have gained their racy reputation due to their large number of seeds, which symbolise

fertility in many cultures. In fact, in certain works of art and literature strawberries are portrayed as a powerful symbol of sexuality and have even been described as ‘fruit nipples’! Scientifically, strawberries are known to contain a whole lot of vitamin C and large amounts of potassium, folic acid and some iron, which are all vitamins and minerals that can boost the libido. This means one thing: Biting into a plump, scarlet strawberry oozing with juice dipped in cream or chocolate can be the precursor to a night of passion so hot, the fire brigade may need to be on standby.

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SEXY SHELLFISH To the uninitiated, the slimy oyster isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when talking about love and romance, but try telling that to Casanova – one of history’s most prolific and renowned lovers. He apparently dined on 50 oysters daily and had a frisky libido, prowess and stamina to prove their efficacy! Casanova aside and the fact that dining on expensive oysters always seems sexy, scientific research has shown that oysters are loaded

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with zinc – a mineral that has a positive effect on libido. Researchers also found two amino acids – D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) – in oysters that significantly increased the production of testosterone in males and progesterone in females. Increased levels of these hormones increased sex drive. Seems like Casanova might have had it right after all but just make sure the oysters are super fresh! A serious bout of food poisoning is not sexy. Seriouly.

BELOW: The Greek God of love, Aphrodite, is said to have sprung from the sea in an oyster shell. BELOW, LEFT: Associated with love and flirtation, strawberries were served in a soup of sour cream, sugar and a herb called borage, as a wedding breakfast in provincial France.

HOT AND SPICY CHILLIES

OPPOSITE PAGE: In the 19th century, some Spanish priests were said to have preached against chilli peppers, which they believed ignited passion.

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Red-hot chillies don’t just add to the heat in your food, they are believed to add heat between the sheets too! According to records, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of Kellogg’s Cornflakes fame) advised nymphomaniacs to stay clear of chillies, as it would only make their addiction worse. Capsaicin in chillies is believed to stimulate nerve endings and help release chemicals that increase the heart rate, triggering a natural high that can set the mood. Chillies also get the face flushed and the palms sweaty – standard physical responses to anything from a romantic kiss to a night of unbridled passion. Word of caution: Just don’t rub chillies on each other for immediate gratification. That isn’t how it works folks!

THE A TO Z OF LOVE FOOD

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Some are common, some hard to find and others you might have never heard of, but the foods on this list have been recognised for their sensual shape, aroma, taste, feel or psychological effect. While not all of them have been scientifically proven to increase libido, popular culture and ancient wisdom say otherwise. Try them and decide for yourself!

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A for… Asparagus, abalone and avocado B for… Banana, bacon and basil C for… Celery, cheese and cinnamon D for… Doughnuts and Damiana (wild, Central American yam) E for… Eggs F for… Figs, fennel and fugu (blowfish) G for… Ginseng, goji berry and garlic H for… Hemp and honey I for… Ice-cream

J for… Jasmine oil and juices (pure fruit and vegetable) K for… Kava (root of the pepper plant) L for… Lavender, licorice and lobster M for… Mango, mint and mushrooms N for… Nutmeg O for… Oats P for… Peach, pineapple and pomegranate Q for… Quince (a type of fruit) and quai (or dong quai - root of a Chinese plant)

R for… Raspberry, red wine and rosemary S for… Shrimp, salmon and saffron T for… Tomato, turkey and tuna U for… Uni (sea urchin) V for… Vanilla W for… Watermelon X for… Xanthium spinosum (a Southern European flowering plant) Y for… Yarashumba (a type of edible fungus) Z for… Zinc (the supplement! Not sheets!)


IMAGE: CORBIS


2 PILOT’S PERSPECTIVE 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

WOMEN

Captain Norashikin Onn

ON TOP

IMAGES: ADAM LEE

From doctors to engineers, teachers to truck drivers, women are everywhere and in AirAsia, women work side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts in flying you to your destination. Capt. Lim Khoy Hing speaks to some of AirAsia’s female pilots about their struggles, achievements and, the advice they have for female pilot aspirants.

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A doctor friend of mine recently asked if AirAsia employs female pilots and if they are capable of flying an aircraft. I, of course, found this to be a strange question as women are employed literally in every profession men are. History documents Amelia Earhart as the first aviatrix as early as in 1922. Thus, women have been traversing the sky in aircraft for close to 100 years now. I replied, “Of course, AirAsia does and of course they are capable!” I have operated flights and flown with many female pilots to some of the busiest airports in the world such as London and Paris. AirAsia and AirAsia X are highly progressive and are amongst the few airlines in the region with the highest number of female pilots on their payrolls. That said, not any Mary, Jane or Sally is hired to fly you to your destination. Like in any profession that demands the best, only the brightest candidates are called in for interviews. The airline applies the same rigorous screening process on the female pilots and, it takes them years on the job to reach the higher echelons in their career. Only recently AirAsia X promoted its first female pilot, Captain Norashikin Onn, who is in her mid-forties, onto the wide-body Airbus A330. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

IN FULL CONTROL To be promoted to the highly demanding and responsible position of a commander, regardless of gender, all pilots are thoroughly tested for their performance in safety and decision-making skills. There are no special considerations given to women just because they are of the female persuasion! As such, guests who fly with AirAsia are assured that only the best are piloting the aircraft. The same applies to Captain Norashikin, as not only have her skills and qualifications served her well in attaining the position, the mere fact that she has excelled in a traditionally male-dominated profession is an impressive feat in itself. It is also interesting to note that besides technical knowledge, Captain Norashikin has a degree in music (Performance Arts) from Boston University in the US. She is a trained pianist, plays the drums, saxophone and flute. She also has a Masters in Management and, is the first woman in Malaysia to obtain the Airline Transport Pilot License – a qualification necessary in order to become a captain of a commercial airliner. I asked Captain Norashikin a few questions about her experience as a female pilot.

Q: WERE YOU EVER IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU FOUND A MALE COUNTERPART DIFFICULT TO WORK WITH AND, HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT? A: Initially I did experience some resistance from the men but today, when my male peers acknowledge me and ask me how it’s going, I know it was worth it and that I’ve made it.

Q: DO YOU FIND YOUR CAREER SATISFYING AND CHALLENGING? A: I get great satisfaction from being a pilot and a female at that too! I get a First Class window seat each time I report to duty and get to see the world every time I fly. But it’s still a challenge for women to be respected in society. The biggest challenge is to gain the trust of our male counterparts and prove our capabilities to the rest of the world.

Q: HOW IS IT WORKING IN A MALEDOMINATED PROFESSION? A: There are lots of challenges working in a male-dominated profession but I am handling them well. Also, I have developed a strong competitive spirit in all that I do, as not only do I want to be on par with my male colleagues, I want to be better than them.


Q: DO YOU EXPERIENCE ANY DISCRIMINATION AT WORK? A: During the initial stages of having entered the aviation industry (20 years ago), I faced some difficulties, mainly with hazing and teasing, sexual discrimination, inappropriate jokes and language, and difficulty being accepted by fellow colleagues and management. The misconceived notion that muscular strength was a necessity to fly an airplane has long been dispelled. Nowadays, the said discrimination is very much reduced as most superiors and colleagues from the opposite sex are able to accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Q: ANY ADVICE FOR POTENTIAL FEMALE PILOTS? A: Be absolutely GREAT at what you do and let the powers that be know your worth by your actions. Show them that you are sincere, honest, trustworthy and confident. Be totally professional and a team player. Also, always

realise your self worth. Your colleagues and superiors will treat you with respect once you learn to respect yourself.

MORE FEMALE PILOTS PLEASE The stereotypical view is that airline pilots need to be fearless, physically fit with great spatial awareness and be good at Physics and Mathematics. This is true to a certain extent but it also always suggests that only men embody such traits. However, with time, views on gender roles in society have evolved. The glass ceiling is being smashed on a daily basis, enabling women to move up the corporate ladder, heading multinational companies and excelling in what was once the bastion of male dominated careers. The airline industry is no different and is slowly attracting more and more members of the fairer sex.

One lady pilot aspirant asked me why most airlines appear to hire only male candidates. I believe some must have argued that women pilots are less suited to flying commercial airplanes than men, and hence, why the aspirant was made to think that only men get to become pilots. This myth, fortunately, is being busted especially with the AirAsia Group. Not only do we have a pilot who is also an accomplished musician, we also have a former beauty pageant queen piloting flights with AirAsia. The lady in concern is none other than Thai AirAsia’s First Officer Chanaporn Rosjan, a graduate of the Thammasat University in Bangkok. She once commented that there was a lot of stereotyping that she’d be overly feminine or act in a certain way because she was a former beauty queen. However, once she joined the airline, she was trained to be assertive, take full charge of her responsibilities as a pilot and, ensure air safety for all under her care. This once selfconfessed tomboy now knows that one can still be feminine and yet firm when it comes to becoming a pilot.

THE NEW GENERATION I caught up with four lady Senior First Officers in their mid 20s in AirAsia X who provided us with further insights into their profession. Read on to see how they continue to excel in their chosen career as pilots.

ZEPHINA KHANAM JASBIR KHAN

“I love flying. It’s satisfying to be able to do what I love. People wake up every day to go to work while I get paid to do what I love most. I also get to inspire young who flies the A330/A340 women who want to be pilots when they grow up, and that makes my day. It does get challenging when things happen that are out of the ordinary. For example, when the weather gets too foggy for take-off or landing, the temperature starts to drop and icing begins to develop. Other complicated situations include having problems with passengers on board or when there are technical defects with the aircraft. However, throughout my flying career, I have been trained well as all pilots undergo Base Checks every six months. The Base Checks test skills and proficiency. If we fail to meet the required standards, we would be grounded and retested until we are proficient before being allowed to fly again.” My advice to aspiring female pilots: Follow your dreams. No matter how hard it gets, just keep going and never give up. I was an Arts student and everyone doubted me for wanting to become a pilot, especially since being female. However, it was mind over matter for me, and I kept trying. Every little obstacle made me stronger. Be consistent and optimistic.” 110

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MELISSA NATHAN who flies the A330.

NUR MOANA ISHAK

who flies the A330/340. “First of all, I believe any female who wants to be a pilot must know her goals and how they are going to play out in the future. I have observed that female pilots handle challenges with great gusto and they go all out to overcome them. This is not implying that the boys don’t deal with challenges in the same manner but women are well known for their immense patience and adaptability.”

“I definitely feel very proud of myself, not because I‘m a male-dominated profession but because of the respect and honour for the profession itself. Any pilot for that matter, regardless of gender, is responsible for millions of dollars of hardware rdware and the many y lives entrusted in his/ her hands. Today, oday, I believe there re isn’t any particular ticular industry thatt is gender specifi cific.”

S SHARA A AZLIN JALIL

who flies the A330/340. w “My advice to “ potential female pilots p is i to always believe in yourself. You must not y let l detractors bring you y down. Your future is i in your hands. Their words may affect you w but b only for a while. It’s I one of the best careers! I promise, c you y will never regret being strong and b having the courage to h follow your dreams.” f

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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 www.askcaptainlim.com.


2 TRAVEL LOG 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Sunrise at Angkor Wat; typical village house raised on stilts; the temple of Ta Prohm.

CAMBODIA’S GREATEST ASSET

Temples, monuments and shopping aside, Hon Vai Yee finds the warmth, sincerity and genuine hospitality of the Cambodian people to be the country’s biggest attraction. Having a few days away from work, low travel season at the destination of my choice and more importantly, incredibly low air fares with AirAsia, my trip to Siem Reap in early December 2012 quickly became a reality. The best thing, however, I discovered was that Siem Reap doesn’t just offer ancient temples for tourists to visit, it actually is a wonderful city to visit with so many other attractions. And above all, the people of Cambodia, I dare say are the best asset of the country.

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Upon arrival, I was impressed looking at the meticulously-landscaped garden, water features and blooming water lilies at the airport. “I think I like Siem Reap already!” I exclaimed. After checking into my hotel, my husband and I quickly set about exploring the city. A popular way of seeing Siem Reap is by hiring a tour guide and a tuktuk driver for the day. The daily itinerary was quite standard and easy to manage, which saved us a lot of hassle planning

for the sightseeing there. The price was very reasonable too. We visited numerous temples, my favourite being the Ta Prohm temple, widely known as the location where Tomb Raider was filmed. The trees growing out of the ruins were a sight to behold. The following day, we started our tour early at 5.00am to witness the sunrise at Angkor Wat. In retrospect, I preferred the night view of Angkor Wat with countless stars in the sky compared to the sunrise, which had hundreds of tourists fighting for the best spot to snap pictures. I learnt that the fall of the Angkor civilization was due to a combination of religion, social-economics and insufficient defence against attacking armies. However, what struck me most was the fact that the empire suffered decline due to greed and corruption. Consumption of natural resources to quench our never-ending needs was another reason for the decline. I secretly hoped people would learn from history and spare mankind the same fall. Our destination on the third day was the Great Lake of Cambodia, Tonle Sap Lake, and the Kompong Phluk floating village located by the lake. Along the long journey there, we passed villages with people living in houses on stilts. Underneath the raised wooden houses, it was common to see work areas that comprised a kitchen or workshop, with hammocks tied to the stilts. Children ran around the house compounds, with cattle and house dogs roaming freely. The village folks seemed poor but not unhappy, yet another lesson that I took to heart. You don’t need to be rich to be happy.


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Morning glory growing around Kompong Phluk floating village; Siem Reap International Airport; travelling around Siem Reap in aWe love our tuk-tuk.

Upon arriving at Kompong Phluk floating village, I noticed the village resembled the set from the movie Waterworld, a 1995 film starring Kevin Costner. The houses here are built on top of wooden poles and stilts approximately eight metres high. Morning glory grows in patches around the lake, while livestock are raised in floating cages, and the main source of income of the village is fishing. The only concrete building in the village is a Buddhist temple. There is even a school within the village, where tourists can purchase 10 notebooks at USD3 and donate them to the pupils. Life is definitely harsh here, but the children do not seem to be bothered by it. Back in the city, hanging out at Pub Street is a great way to unwind as the street is full of restaurants, cafés and lounges. Whenever visitors walk towards the roads around Pub Street, tuk-tuk drivers will pester visitors to get into their tuk-tuk, asking if they need to get to a hotel, or hire them for day trips the following day. Though a little annoying, I realised that a kind ‘No’ is sufficient. In return, they will smile at you and respond with a simple ‘Thank you’. They keep pestering you only when they do not get a response. It made me realise how rude many of us have become, that we have developed the habit of ignoring taxi drivers, street vendors, sales agents etc. On our last encounter at the airport, during check-in, I overheard a conversation amongst a family of nine: “The taxi driver has been waiting outside for an hour for us. He found the spectacle case in his taxi.” “An hour? Just for a case?” “Yes, a boy saw him and just related this to me!” “Pity him. An hour?!” The locals are that genuine and the greatest asset of Cambodia. 116

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Got an interesting tale about your travels with AirAsia? Email your story (around 800 words) and images (high res min 1MB in size and clearly captioned) to us at travel3sixty@airasia.com. Published submissions will receive a 1N/2D stay at the Grand Premier Room for 2 inclusive of breakfast valued at RM1,200++, and a RM100 voucher redeemable at any of F&B outlets at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur.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.

INTERCONTINENTAL KUALA LUMPUR, located in the heart of Malaysia’s bustling capital, is the ideal urban retreat for discerning business and leisure travellers with a taste for style and substance. Providing guests with an impressive view of the city’s skyline just steps away from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the hotel is also within walking distance to countless other shopping and entertainment activities. With the convenience of shuttle services and a nearby LRT (Light Railway Transit) station, guests looking to dive into Kuala Lumpur’s bustling shopping options such as Central Market and Chinatown will find the hotel’s strategic location the main draw. The 31-storey hotel has spared no expense in upgrading its facilities and services for a refreshingly luxurious feel in ensuring top-of-the-line amenities and comfortable stays for all its guests. The hotel boasts 473 elegantly designed rooms and eight meeting rooms with multifunctional capabilities along with two ballrooms. Recreation facilities include a swimming pool, Fitness Centre and the Sompoton Spa. Offering guests only its best, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur is a true jewel in the heart of Malaysia. www.intercontinental-kl.com.my


2 OFF THE RACK 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

LOVE YOUR STYLE Unleash your inner fashionista, embrace seasonal trends and dress to impress! Good taste never goes out of style.

EYE ON STYLE Berlin-based eyewear company Mykita celebrates the centennial of precision eyeglass lenses, which were first created by the Carl Zeiss company in 1912 with limited edition sunglasses that sport white frames and blue Zeiss nylon sunlenses. Only 100 pairs of the Mykita for Zeiss special edition sunglasses are available, so grab them before they sell out. www.mykita.com

ORIENTAL GLAM

WORDS: CHITRA S

WHEN THE SHOE FITS

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Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/producer and actress Alicia Keys teams up with Reebok and puts her own spin on the brand’s Classics range with a signature limited edition collection. Highlights include the brand’s Freestyle Hi hi-tops with a design featuring the NYC skyline and piano keys and, Princess sneakers with cool metallic studs. www.reebok.com TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Inspired by Shanghainese calendar girls of the 20s, 30s and 40s, the Chinese New Year womenswear collection by Mayfair Designs showcases an eclectic mix of textures, shapes and patterns. Think large floral bouquets splashed onto bright backgrounds, flexible knits that flatter the figure and fine trims reminiscent of vintage cheongsam. Find it at Mayfair Designs, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Kuala Lumpur. www.mayfairdesignskl.com


MAO IN FASHION Philosophy-Men’s lunar New Year campaign, Comrade Cheers!, incorporates elements of the Mao era into a collection of funky styles that are true to the brand’s tagline – fearless, forward and fun. Tees are emblazoned with Chinese newspaper prints, the Mao jacket and mandarin collar are given a fresh twist with contemporary styling and, coolie pants are transformed into hip trousers. www.philosophy-men.com

DRESSING FOR A HOT DATE Hey guys! Listen up. If you’re hoping to score a date with that special someone this Valentine’s, be sure to get your act together and dress to impress with our sure-fire tips. Levi’s

GREAT PAIR OF BOTTOMS Make all the time spent in the gym count and show off your gluteus maximus in a pair of well-cut jeans. Your favourite faded denims may be great when chilling with the guys but the same will send the girls running iin the opposite direction! Indigo and b black denim are easy to pair with tees, sshirts and even blazers. And do wear a cclean pair before going on that date!

Celio

GIFT OF LOVE GUESS Watches celebrates Valentine’s with heart-inspired watches adorned with crystals and patentt leather straps – guaranteed to put a smile on your sweetheart’s face. ce. Available in shimmering silver orr lustful red at GUESS Watches Kiosks,, GUESS Jeans ries Stores and Stores, GUESS Accessories all authorised retailers. www.guess.com

SUIT SMART S Y Your date insists on dressing up for yyour big night out but you cringe at tthe idea of donning a suit. All hope is n not lost. Yet. Take the middle route, m make her happy without compromising oon your own personal style. Get a light b blazer that’s comfortable and throw it oover a tee, and dark-wash jeans and yyou’re good to go! This way, you can sstill wear that grungy Nirvana t-shirt aand look good enough for the girl to go w weak in her knees.

Celio

CHINOISERIE CHIC C Salabianca pays tribute to old China with a collection that kets, features mandarin-collared jackets, dresses and tops with floral and d bamboo prints and, detailing that includes es handoidery and knotted buttons, delicate embroidery hand-sewn embellishments. Oriental riental motifs, designs and silhouettes are given en a modern spin and transformed into chic and contemporary tops and dresses. www.salabianca.com.my com.my 120

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IIT’S A SHOE-IN S Sneakers are fine, so long as they’re C CLEAN and go with what you’re wearing. However, while it’s alright to w kkeep the rest of your date attire casual, iit’s best to put on a pair of dress shoes iif you want to impress your date. A decent pair in black or dark brown leather will go with just about anything. Don’t forget to give your shoes a good brush before the big night.


2 VANITY FARE 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

READY FOR LOVE

Treat your loved one or just treat yourself this month, with our handpicked selection of makeup, fragrances and skincare.

CHERRY CHEER L’O L’Occitane’s limited edition Spring Cherry collection features a range of products perfumed with the sweet fragrance of bl blossoming cherry trees. The collection includes the lightaas-air Iridiscent Shower Gel, Velvet Moisturizing Gel and So Soft Hand Cream – all concocted to moisturise and keep skin satin smooth. www.loccitane.com

SCENT OF A ROSE A Drop of Rose, the latest in the pureDKNY range, is a sensuous fragrance derived from the essential oils of the pink rose harvested in Turkey’s Isparta valley. This floral fragrance is light enough for everyday wear and makes the ideal gift for your lady love this V-Day. www.dkny.com

LUMINOUS SKINEW

WORDS: CHITRA S

Flawless skin is just a step away with Lucent Magique Skin Illuminating BB Cream by L’oréal Paris. This handy, cover-all cream minimises pores, and smoothes and hydrates skin. It also adapts to your skin colour thanks to the formula’s skin-colour matching BB capsules and, comes with SPF20PA+++. www.lorealparis.com.my

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SHIMMER AND SHINE Crabtree & Evelyn’s hydrating shimmer lip glosses formulated with botanical oils and shea butter conditions while adding colour and shine to your puckers. What’s more, these shimmery lip glosses come in three, preservative-free flavours of Honey Glace, Apricot Orange and Raspberry for truly kissable lips. www.crabtree-evelyn.com.my

GIVING HANDS A HAND Keep your hands looking youthful with Bobbi bi Brown’s Extra Hand Cream formulated with shea butter, avocado oil, and the brand’s exclusive Extra Repair Complex that helps diminish signs of aging while providing intensive, long-lasting moisture to skin. This luxurious formula is scented with a blend of essential oils – geranium, grapefruit, rosemary, chamomile and bitter orange. www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

FREE MAN Inspired by the sea, Freedom Tommy Hilfiger is created for the gentleman who lives life big and dreams even bigger. The fragrance’s sexy wood base of vetiver and creamy sandalwood exudes confidence and sensuality while top notes of basil leaf and violet spiked with juniper and clary sage give this fresh scent a crisp edge. global.tommy.com

SNAKE CHARM CHARMER Embrace the year o of the snake with M.A.C’s serpent-ins serpent-inspired makeup collection that features a palette of vibrant shades and shimmering finishes. Highlights include frosted eye shadows in copper and purple, an illuminating beauty powder of pale peach and gold pearl, and luxurious lipsticks embossed with a serpentine design. www.maccosmetics.com 124

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2 JETSETTER 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

VIRGINIA WILLCOCK

An idyllic childhood spent in her parents’ vineyard piqued Virginia Willcock’s interest in wines and prompted her to pursue winemaking as a career. The Chief Winemaker at Margaret River winery Vasse Felix, who was named Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Winemaker of the Year 2012, shares her passion for viticulture with Travel 3Sixty° HOW DID YOU GET INTO WINEMAKING? My parents had a small hobby vineyard where they made wine for every day drinking and I had great fun tending to the vines in the beautiful countryside. I saw how much happiness wine brought to the dinner table after working hard in the vineyard all day.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? Creating something new and beautiful every year. While we have such wonderful and consistent vintages (harvests) here in Margaret River, we still find slight variation in the nuances of fruit character. It is like giving birth each year. While the genes are the same, the newborns are never exactly alike.

WHAT DOES A DAY ON THE JOB ENTAIL? During vintage, a lot of time is spent tasting fruit and deciding when to harvest each little plot. I work six to seven days a week during vintage and no less than 12 hours per day, as the fruit and fermenting wines need to be looked after all the time. Outside vintage, we spend a lot of time tasting the batches of wine and making decisions about how we manage each batch, and then later determining how the wine will come together before bottling.

IS WINEMAKING AN ART, SCIENCE OR LABOUR OF LOVE?

COMPILED BY: CHITRA S

It’s all three. The art is in creating the balance of fruit and fermentation to make something distinct and unique. The science is in the method and understanding how to manipulate these nuances of character for the

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Willcock with Gourmet Traveller WINE editor Judy Sarris (left) and James Gosper from Wine Australia after winning the ‘Winemaker of the Year Award 2012’.

PERFECT MATCH If you’re fortunate enough to get your hands on some Vasse Felix wines, try these awesome food and wine pairings recommended by Virginia Willcock. Heytesbury Chardonnay

X Sautéed Chinese mushrooms and spring onion in a light oyster sauce with Vasse Felix Chardonnay. X Gnocchi in sage butter with Heytesbury Chardonnay. X Roast lamb cooked with rosemary and garlic with roasted root vegetables and Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon. For wine tours, holiday packages or to learn more about the region, visit www.australiassouthwest.com.

Vasse Felix building

Find out more about Vasse Felix, the first vineyard and winery established in Southwest Australia’s Margaret River Region at www.vassefelix.com.au right balance. And, the labour of love is in the hours of sampling the fruit and making sure it all comes together as envisioned.

THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF WINEMAKING IS… Visualising the end-result and understanding how to handle the wine to obtain a consistent, perfect outcome. I cannot work alone and those who work with me must feel the same way about what we are trying to achieve, in growing the fruit and handling the wine.

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AS AN AWARD-WINNING WINEMAKER, CAN YOU TELL WHEN YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING SPECIAL ON YOUR HANDS? Absolutely! There is nothing more exciting than wonderful perfume and the perfect texture to match.

WHAT ATTRIBUTE SHOULD A SUCCESSFUL WINEMAKER POSSESS? The ability to create a wine in your mind after understanding your fruit resource and then, being able to clearly communicate and execute the

pathway to make that wine a reality with your team.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD AND GREAT BOTTLE OF WINE? I’d have to say the depth and savoury complexities that speak of the soil and environment of growing that fruit.

ANY ADVICE FOR NOVICE WINE-TASTERS? Don’t be afraid to say you like something even when the person next to you doesn’t. Everyone’s tastebuds are different.

Willcock sampling red wine from the basket press at the winery.

RECOMMEND US A BOTTLE OF WINE FROM YOUR WINERY FOR A ROMANTIC NIGHT. Heytesbury Chardonnay. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t get excited drinking it.

HOW DO YOU RELAX ON YOUR DAYS OFF? By swimming in the ocean, pottering around the garden, enjoying a long lunch or catching a movie. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies to Perth daily from Kuala Lumpur. Go to www.airasia.com for details.


2 KIDS SPACE 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

IT ONLY TAKES LOVE

Valentine’s Day is celebrated February 14 worldwide. Find out what the fuss is all about, learn how to make your own Valentine’s Day cards and, share our Valentine jokes with your friends and family.

I Love You

CELEBRATING LOVE Now that you know what Valentine’s Day is all about, show someone you love how much you care with our easy-peasy Valentine’s Day ideas. Heart in Hand Valentine’s Day Card

STEP 1 Trace your hand on coloured construction paper. Be sure to pick a bright colour like red. Then, carefully cut the traced handprint out.

IMAGE: INMAGINE

STEP 2

WORDS: CHITRA S

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LAUGH OUT LOUD What do you call two birds in love? Tweethearts! What did the stamp say to the envelope on Valentine’s Day? I’m stuck on you! What kind of flowers do you never give on Valentine’s Day? Cauliflowers!

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STEP 3 Glue the little heart onto the hand and then write a message to your Valentine on it.

ORIGIN OF VALENTINE’S DAY The legend surrounding Valentine’s Day tells the story of a priest in ancient Rome by the name of Valentine. At that time, Emperor Claudius II, was on a mission to build a stronger army and forbade single men from getting married because he believed bachelors made better soldiers. According to legend, Valentine decided the ruling was unfair and he married couples in secret. When the emperor heard about this, Valentine was sentenced to death. Valentine’s Day was first observed by early Christians as a feast day in honour of this priest who was later made a saint. Nowadays, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by people across the globe regardless of religion. It is a day when people exchange greetings, cards and gifts with loved ones.

Now, draw a little heart on different coloured paper and cut it out too. Make sure the heart is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.

SAYING ‘I LOVE YOU’ Don’t worry if you don’t have time to make a card for mum and dad. Make up for it by giving them hugs and telling them how much you love them. You can also volunteer to help out with chores as a Valentine’s Day gift for your parents!


2 PLANE FUN 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

RIDDLES 1. What phrases are represented here? i. 4 x give & 4 x get ii. Worl iii. Jobs in jobs 2. If 5 F on an H = 5 fingers on a hand, what do these mean? i. 12 N on a C ii. 90 D in a RA iii. 1 H on a U 3. How many words can you make using the letters E M N A, using all letters each time?

QUICK QUIZ 1.

A controversial glass pyramid entrance was opened in 1989 by which European museum?

6.

What sort of food is tagliatelle?

7.

Jane Goodall has been honoured throughout the world for her research work with which primates?

2.

Who wrote the successful cookbook, How To Be A Domestic Goddess?

8

3.

Which dance was popularised by Chubby Checker in 1960?

What does the fashion brand DKNY stand for?

9.

4.

The psychological response in which a hostage shows signs of loyalty to a captor is called what syndrome?

Which of Shakespeare’s tragedies is called ‘the Scottish play’ by superstitious actors?

5.

On which island was the Dodo bird last sighted?

10. What is a seismologist’s area of expertise?

PLAY ON WORDS 1

2

3

4

4. Can you work out what saying is described here? It’s invariably gloomiest preceding the first crack of daylight. 5. Which word can precede all of these? Ball, currant, hole, mail.

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.

• QUICK QUIZ 1 The Louvre 2 Nigella Lawson 3 The Twist 4 Stockholm 5 Mauritius 6 Pasta 7 Chimpanzees 8 Donna Karan New York 9 Macbeth 10 Earthquakes • RIDDLES 1 i.Forgive and forget ii.World without end iii.In between jobs 2 i. 12 numbers on a clock ii.90 degrees in a right angle iii. 1 horn on a unicorn 3 Four Mane, Mean, Amen, Name 4 It is always darkest before dawn 5 Black • PLAY ON WORDS 1 Close encounters 2 World’s apart 3 Cross roads 4 Fishing for compliments

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PUZZLES ARE COURTESY OF LOVATTS CROSSWORDS & PUZZLES


2 PICTURE PERFECT 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

PIX OF THE MONTH

Just snapped a cool picture? Send it to travel3sixty@ airasia.com with Snapshot in the subject line.

SECOND PRIZE WINS A 3D/2N stay in Deluxe room at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, inclusive of daily breakfast and one dinner at Gastro Sentral for two valued at RM2,362 nett!

WINNER

Accordion player at Centre Place, Melbourne, Australia. Jeremy Foo Kee Keong, Labuan, Malaysia

BEST PICTURE WINS

A 3D/2N stay in a Deluxe Room, at Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort inclusive of breakfast for two valued at RM3,430.12 nett! The brand new Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort is located in the heart of Kuta Beach with quick access to the stunning Indian Ocean. Situated above Beachwalk, a luxurious shopping destination, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort offers 203 guestrooms and suites, each featuring the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® Bed and a spacious balcony with views of Kuta Beach or the resort’s courtyard. The resort also houses three dining venues where travellers can enjoy Sheraton’s signature restaurants – the all-day dining Feast® with its vibrant open-kitchen, Bene, a casual Italian trattoria with views of the beautiful Bali Strait, and The Lounge, which offers locally inspired cocktails savoured in an open-air setting facing the Indian Ocean. Other signature highlights include the Sheraton Fitness by Core Performance™, Shine Spa for Sheraton, Color Your Plate™ and the exclusive Link@Sheraton® experienced with Microsoft® that provides a connectivity hub with complimentary Wi-Fi and Personal Computer stations.

SHERATON BALI KUTA RESORT

Jalan Raya Pantai Kuta, Bali +62 361 846 5555 www.sheraton.com/balikuta

Gastro Sentral is the latest addition to Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, offering an informal venue for well-travelled individuals. The concept of Gastro Sentral revolves around three important operating philosophies – a Gathering Point for guests who need to kick back and relax, the Destination of Choice, which spares no expense in ensuring every element is handpicked in creating the best experience, and the design, lighting and colours that Set the Tone of the atmosphere where modern classics intersperse with heritage. Gastro Sentral starts off each day with classic breakfast favourites. The all-day-menu here consists of an array of Continental and Asian delights, finger food and tapas for those who enjoy a light meal, as well as ‘Meals to Go’. Specialising in boutique beverage and beers, the beverage list here showcases Starwood’s ‘Wines of the World” programme, enabling guests to sample an extensive collection at the Wine Corner. Located at Lobby Level of Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, it operates daily from 11.00am onwards.

LE MÉRIDIEN KUALA LUMPUR

RUNNER-UP

Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia +603 2263 7888 www.discoverlemeridien.com

Monks releasing lanterns in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Lawrence Siow, Malaysia

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.

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2 GET COMFY 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

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.

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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.


2 Route Map • AirAsia Malaysia 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

SAUDISAUDI ARABIA ARABIA INDIAINDIA

Jeddah Jeddah

ChennaiChennai Bangalore Bangalore Tiruchirappalli Tiruchirappalli Kochi Kochi

SRI LANKA SRI LANKA ColomboColombo

airasia malaysia DomesTic rouTes Langkawi

Alor Setar

Penang

Kota Kinabalu

Kota Bharu Kuala Terengganu

Labuan

MALAYSIA

Miri

Kuala Lumpur

Bintulu Sibu Johor Bahru

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Sandakan

Kuching

Tawau


Beijing Beijing Seoul Seoul

SOUTH SOUTH KOREA KOREA JAPAN JAPAN

Tokyo Tokyo Osaka Osaka

Chengdu Chengdu

NEPALNEPAL

Shanghai Shanghai Hangzhou Hangzhou

CHINACHINA

Kathmandu Kathmandu

KolkataKolkata

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

MYANMAR MYANMAR LAOSLAOS

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

CAMBODIA CAMBODIA VIETNAM VIETNAM

Phnom Phnom Penh Penh Ho Chi Minh Ho ChiCity Minh City

PHILIPPINES PHILIPPINES

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

PACIFIC PACIFIC OCEAN OCEAN

Palembang Palembang

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

INDIAN INDIAN OCEAN OCEAN

AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA

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

SOUTHERN SOUTHERN OCEAN OCEAN

Melbourne Melbourne

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Xi’an

CHINA Chongqing

INDIA

Kolkata

MYANMAR

Wuhan

Guangzhou Macau

Mandalay

Shenzhen Hong Kong

Hanoi Chiang Rai Chiang Mai Yangon

Udon Thani Nakhon Phanom

THAILAND Bangkok

Chennai

Ubon Ratchathani

CAMBODIA

VIETNAM

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

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA

SINGAPORE

INDIAN OCEAN

INDONESIA Jakarta

Surabaya Bali

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

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2 Route Map • AirAsia Indonesia 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

PACIFIC OCEAN

THAILAND Bangkok

VIETNAM Ho Chi Minh City Phuket Banda Aceh Medan

Kota Kinabalu

Penang Kuala Lumpur

Johor Bharu Pekanbaru

MALAYSIA SINGAPORE

Padang

Balikpapan

Palembang

INDONESIA Jakarta Semarang Bandung Surabaya Yogyakarta Solo Bali

Makassar

INDIAN OCEAN

AUSTRALIA

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

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Perth


2 ROuTE Map 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

Sapporo

JAPAN Seoul

SOUTH KOREA Busan

Osaka

Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Tokyo

Fukuoka

Okinawa

ROuTE Map AirAsia Japan International Route Domestic Route

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA

CHINA

Taipei

ROuTE Map AirAsia Philippines

TAIWAN

Hong Kong

Clark International Airport International Route Domestic Route

Clark (Manila)

Kalibo

PHILIPPINES Davao Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA SINGAPORE

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lccT, Kuala lumpur

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur skyline

Malaysia

Kuching, saraWaK Indigenous woman

QuicK facTs

• 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.

KoTa Kinabalu, sabah

Malaysia

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.

penang

Malaysia

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.

146

Malaysia

QuicK facTs

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.

travel 3sixty˚


Thailand

bangKoK

clarK (manila)

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.

Thailand

phuKeT Stunning islands in Phuket.

Phillipines

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.

QuicK facTs

• 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.

ToKyo

Japan

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

Thailand

chiang mai

148

QuicK facTs

• 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

travel 3sixty˚

Mt. Fuji on Honshu Island.


JaKarTa

Indonesia

Jakarta skyline

meDan Traditional custom of Nias island.

Indonesia

QuicK facTs

• 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.

surabaya

Indonesia

Bullrace in Surabaya.

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

bali

Indonesia

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

Indonesia

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.

Tangkuban Perahu crater

QuicK facTs • Known as the ‘Island of Gods’ for the numerous

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2 salEs OFFiCEs & sTaTiOns 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

brunei Darussalam BAnDAR SeRI BegAwAn Unit No.110 Ground Floor, Bangunan Kambang Pasang, Jln Gadong BSB, BE4119 Brunei Darussalam

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

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

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 Sarinah Plaza Jl. Mh Thamrin, No. 11 (LG level) Jakarta Pusat MAKASSAR Departure Terminal, Sultan Hasanuddin, International Airport, Makassar, South Sulawesi Mall Panakukang, Carrefour Panakukang, 3rd Floor, Jl. Adyaksa Baru No.1, Makassar, South Sulawesi MAnADO Sam Ratulangi International Airport Jalan A.A. Maramis, Manado 95374

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

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

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

KeLAnTAn

PADAng Minangkabau International Airport, Padang, West Sumatra PALeMBAng Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport Palembang, South Sumatra PeKAnBARU Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport, Jalan Perhubungan Udara Simpang Tiga, Pekanbaru, Sumatra

SURABAYA Lobby International Terminal Juanda International Airport Jalan Raya Juanda Surabaya Jawa Timur Grand Circle Tunjungan Plaza 3 Lantai 1, (Lobby Condominium Regency), Jln. Basuki Rahmat 8-12, Surabaya YOgYAKARTA Adisutjipto International Airport Jln. Solo km.9, Yogyakarta, 55282

Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, 16100 Pengkalan Chepa Kota Bharu 3183G, Jalan Sultan Ibrahim (Opp. KB Mall), 15050 Kota Bharu. PeRAK Tune Hotel, No.2, Ground Floor, The Host, Jalan Veerasamy, 30000 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan. TeRenggAnU Level 1, Terminal Building, Sultan Mahmud Airport, 21300 Kuala Terengganu LABUAn Level 1, Labuan Airport Terminal 87008 Wilayah Persekutuan MeLAKA No 32, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka PenAng Penang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang Ground Floor, Kim Mansion 332, Chulia Street, 10200 Penang No 723 L-G, Jln Sungai Dua 11700 Pulau Pinang

Melia Purosani Hotel, Jl Suryotomo No.31, Yogyakarta

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

malaysia

SABAH

JOHOR

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

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

You can now fly flat for less with

Melbourne Gold Coast Perth

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

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

Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo, Central Java

DenPASAR, BALI

KeDAH

Bandara PoloniaTerminal Keberangkatan Internasional, Medan 20157 Sumatra

Century Holiday International Travel (ChengDu) CO.LTD, No. 172 Binjang East Road, Jinjang District, Chengdu

Bandara Sultan Iskandar Muda, Blang Bintang, Aceh

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

MeDAn

SOLO

BAnDA ACeH

No. 26 Jalan Meriam, 84000 Muar, Johor

Lot G027B, Ground Floor, Podium Block, Plaza Berjaya,12 Jalan Imbi,55100 Kuala Lumpur

CHengDU

inDonesia

GL 13 Senai International Airport 81250 Johor Bahru

Sydney Seoul Taipei

FL4, 1st Floor, Tawau Airport Building, Jalan Apas-Balung, 91100 Tawau TB228, Lot 5, Ground Floor, Istana Monaco, Jalan Bunga, Fajar Complex 91000 Tawau Lot G24, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah, Jln. Tun Razak, 88000, Kota Kinabalu Ground Floor, Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Int. Airport, Old Airport Road,Tanjung Aru 88100, Kota Kinabalu Lot G67, Ground Floor, Oneplace Mall, Putatan, 88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 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 Wisma Ho Ho Lim, 291 Sub Lot 4,Ground Floor, Jalan Abell, 93100 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 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 No 10, Jalan Bandar Rawang 11, Bandar Baru Rawang, 48000 Rawang, Selangor.

to these following destinations:

Chengdu Hangzhou Beijing

Osaka Tokyo Kathmandu


No 2, Jalan Dagang SB 4/2, Taman Sungai Besi Indah, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

ThailanD

myanmar

127 Tanao Road, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok 10200

YAngOn

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

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

philippines

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

BAngKOK

Tesco Lotus – Bangkapi, 2nd Floor, 3109 Ladpro Road, Bangkapi, Bangkok, 10240

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

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

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

Tesco Lotus – Rama1, 3rd  Floor, 831 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok,10330

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

Tesco Lotus – Rangsit, 2nd Floor, 392/4, Moo2, Phaholyothin Road, Thanyaburi, Pathumthani, 12130

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

Tesco Lotus - Sukhumvit 50, 1st  floor, 1710, Sukhumvit Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok, 10110

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

Tesco Lotus - Lad Prao, 2nd Floor, 1190, Phahonyothin Road, Jompol, Jatujak, Bangkok, 1090 CHIAng MAI Chiangmai International Airport 60, 1st Floor, Tambol Sutep, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 416 Thaphae Road, Chiang Mai Tesco Lotus - Chiang Mai Kamtieng, 2nd Floor, 19, Kamtieng Road, Patan Sub District, Muang District, Chiang Mai, 50340   CHIAng RAI

sri lanKa

KRABI

E M O C D E B TO US H T I W

SURAT THAnI Surat Thani International Airport 73 Moo 3 Tambol Huatuey, Amphur Punpin, Suratthani UBOn RATCHATHAnI Ubon Ratchathani Airport 297 Ubon Ratchathani Airport, Thepyotee Road, Amphur Nai Muang, Ubon Ratchathani 34000 UDOn THAnI Udon Thani International Airport 224 Moo 1, Tambol Makkhang, Amphur Muang, Udon Thani 41000

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

VieTnam

HAT YAI

HAnOI

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

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

Call Centre numbers ausTralia

1300 760 330

malaysia

china

+86 20 2281 7666

inDia

1860 500 8000

philippines

inDonesia

+62 21 2927 0999

singpore

Japan

0120 963 516

hong Kong

+852 3112 3222

macau

0800912

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

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2 TOUCHDOWN 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

XIN TIAN DI The glamour of old Shanghai comes alive in this two-block pedestrian mall in the heart of the city’s southern district. The modern complex comprises cafés, bars, restaurants and boutiques with antique walls, tiles and exteriors that echo the shikumen architectural style of 1920s Shanghai. www.xintiandi.com

NANJING ROAD Located in the city centre stretching from the Bund in the East to People’s Square in the West, the city’s main shopping street once dubbed ‘Park Lane’ is definitely a must-visit especially at night when neon signs on stores and buildings light up the 6-km stretch. Many iconic buildings including the illustrious Peace Hotel are situated along Nanjing Road. www.travelchinaguide.com

EAT Pudong

SHANGHAI, CHINA

Hip and happening Shanghai maintains an aura of nostalgia with old world glamour that adds to its super developed status. One of Asia’s, if not the world’s most dynamic cities, China’s largest city (by population) has humble beginnings as a sleepy fishing village. During the Qing Dynasty, the city’s fortunes changed when it became one of the most important sea ports in the Yangtze Delta region. After discovering Shanghai’s economic and trade potential, foreigners came knocking. British forces occupied the city during the First Opium War (1839-1842) and the Treaty of Nanjing threw open the doors for international trade. Foreign powers created concessions and settled outside the walled city, slowly transforming Shanghai into the eastern capital of glitz and glamour. In 1932, the Japanese attacked the city and occupied the International Settlement until the end of WWII. The People’s Liberation Army seized control soon after and the city scaled down on its excesses and abided by the austerity measures of the Cultural Revolution. Today, the city is back in the fast lane, hurtling at break-neck speeds into the 21st century. Hip and happening and, with a heritage of glitz and glamour, Shanghai is definitely one of Asia’s better than best cities!

WORDS: CHITRA S

MUST SEE/DO

158

FRENCH CONCESSION A French settlement established in 1849, the Concession in the Xuhui and Luwan districts, was once the city’s premier residential and retail address. Think avenues lined with Plane trees, TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

XIAOLONGBAO These fluffy steamed buns conceal a filling of minced meat or seafood and, soup. Eat it like the Shanghainese: Bite the top off, slurp up the soup, dip the bun in black vinegar and enjoy. LION’S HEAD MEATBALLS Whether its name is derived from its shape or its cabbage leaf wraps that resemble a lion’s mane, these

Xiaolongbao

stately mansions, Art Deco apartments and cosy little cafés. In recent years, concerted efforts have been made to preserve the Concession’s colonial buildings, and some have been converted into retail outlets, and fine dining restaurants that have lent the area a fashionable air. www.thefrenchconcession.com THE BUND The city’s iconic waterfront embankment on the west of the Huangpu River is without a doubt its grandest landmark and most recognisable feature. While impressive skyscrapers continue to spiral upwards around the Bund, neoclassical colonial buildings still stand proud here.www.chinahighlights.com PUDONG If the Bund exudes colonial glamour, Pudong on the east of the Huangpu and across the Bund channels a futuristic vibe. Skyscrapers abound here and buildings like the Oriental Pearl Tower seem inspired by science-fiction. Be sure to visit the 88-storey Jinmao Tower while you’re here.

Xin Tian Di

stewed meatballs measuring 7-10cms in diameter, are a succulent treat and Shanghainese staple. CHAO NIAN GAO Literally meaning fried sticky cake, chao nian gao is a savoury dish made by stir-frying slices of glutinous rice cake with scallions and meat. The Shanghainese version is distinct because nian gao is usually enjoyed as a sweet treat.

SLEEP 88 XINTIANDI BOUTIQUE HOTEL SHANGHAI 380 Huangpi Road South, Shanghai 200021 SWISSOTEL GRAND SHANGHAI 1 Yu Yuan Road, Shanghai 200040 SHANGHAI FISH INN BUND No. 639 Middle Henan Road, Shanghai 200001 For more hotel options, visit www.airasiago.com. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies direct to Shanghai from Kuala Lumpur six times weekly. Go to www.airasia.com for details.


2 MY AIRASIA 0 2013 www.airasia.com/travel3sixty

LOVE FOR ALL!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, AirAsia AllStars celebrate love for all living beings. Here, they talk about the causes they believe in.

AIRASIA GIVES BACK AIR YAP MUN CHING, AIRASIA (L) FOUNDATION “AirAsia Foundation is our way to give back to the “Ai communities that have been so much a part of AirAsia’s com success. We’ll be giving out grants to nurture social suc entrepreneurship and protect Asean’s heritage sites, ent and taking on an advocacy role through our stand against people-trafficking and by continuing to support aga humanitarian relief missions. Visit our Facebook page hum (www.facebook.com/AirAsiaFoundation) for information about our first (www project with Cambodian Living Arts to revive interest in pro Cambodia’s rich performing arts tradition. Follow us in 2013 Cam as we w kick-start projects on indigenous enterprise, old city conservation and anti-human trafficking initiatives.” con co

HUIYOONG YONG, ICT STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE, MALAYSIA AIRASIA “There are over 15,000 young children working or living on the streets of Cambodia. Transform Cambodia partners with individual sponsors around the world to set up shelters and food centres, and pay for these kids to attend school.”

AHMAD FAIZUL AHMAD RUSLI, SOCIAL AL MEDIA ASSISTANT, AIRASIA Asean “Cheshire Selangor in Malaysia a is a residential care home for the he permanently disabled with little le resources. It runs an employment ent empowerment programme too.. The residents always make me feel like family. They long for company; it breaks my heart each time I have to leave.”

NG YAH TYNG, BUSINESS ANALYST, MALAYSIA AIRASIA Check out Chow Kit Kita www. chowkitkita.com, a programme that empowers the underprivileged community by equipping the youth with life skills, and working to change the image of Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur.”

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NORAESYAH YVONNE BINTI FO AIRASIA X ABDULLAH, CFO “The Campss Internationall Foundation helps marginalised d communitiess in Asia and Africa break reak the cycle of poverty by providing g employmentt and income generation eration opportunities es through eco-tourism and k.” project work.”

KIRK PATRICK E. ALIMAZA, RESOURCING & TALENT MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVE, PEOPLE DEPARTMENT, PHILIPPINES AIRASIA “I volunteer with Gawad Kalinga, a povertyalleviation and nation building movement that works to provide land for the landless, homes for the homeless, and food for the hungry, and serves Filipinos whenever calamities strike.”

ARUN VERMA, GROUP HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION, AIRASIA ASEAN onate “I always donate Wish. to Make-A-Wish. ids For many kids who don’t get the y to chase opportunity ms, the their dreams, sh Make-A-Wish foundation brings theirr ser dreams closer to them.”

CHARLIE HOARE, CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROJECT MANAGER (QUALITY & ASSURANCE), MALAYSIA AIRASIA “The Ol Malo Trust, Kenya, is a charitable trust that supports the Samburu people of northern Kenya, who lost 80 percent of their cattle during a drought that ravaged the country between 1999 and 2001.”



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