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57 APRIL 2012











04 2012


CHECK-IN Contents April 2012 68



SOUL OF SYDNEY Hidden gems of Sydney, Australia


IN FULL BLOOM Sakura season in Japan


BIKING IN BALI Biking in the Island of the Gods


SHOE-VOLUTION Head over Heels




TRAVEL LOG Stepping Up to Surat Thani

58 88


50 HIT LIST Just Say Green!

110 KIDS SPACE It’s A Small, Small World!




Fun, Fresh, Fabulous!

Mabuhay Philippines!


102 OFF THE RACK 104 VANITY FARE It’s Time You Get Noticed

The Buzz from our Guests


12 RED FORT News from AirAsia




Kamini Ramachandran

SHOE-Struck Allstars

Puzzles & Games



20 SPOTLIGHT Stuff you’d Love to Know

Photos Taken by AirAsia Guests


116 GET COMFY Joy of Flying

24 HOT DATES April Events to Keep a Lookout for

26 COMPASS Green Travels

30 QUICK BITES Food Attack

32 PAGE TURNER Month of Mischief

34 MONEY MAKER Giving for Profits

36 PRESCRIPTION Natural Abilities

38 SCORE BOARD Recognition & Rewards

40 HYPER TECH Advanced Learning

44 SLEEP INNS Island Indulgence





Kathleen Tan


R. Rajendra Kan Seak Hong Beverly Rodrigues Chitra S Adam Lee Fazlina Bee Binti Abdul Rashid Fadillah Kamarudin Adli Syahril Alice Yong, Captain Lim Khoy Hing, Efi Hamzah, Pete King, Steve John Powell, Steve Thomas





Hit List





Indran Balavishnu (Malaysia) Mairianne Reardon (Singapore, UK and International Markets) Charuphan Pojchanart (Thailand) Vikhram Radhakishnan (Indonesia) Tel: +6 03 7962 5813 (Phar Partnerships Malaysia) E-mail:

04 2012


ON THE COVER Sakura & Sexy Sydney Cover Images: Getty Images (Geisha), Tourism Australia (Sydney Opera House)

Travel 3Sixty° wishes to thank Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles, MPH, Pansing Marketing EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES PUBLISHED BY


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

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

Percetakan Zanders Sdn. Bhd.

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

Digiscan Services Sdn. Bhd.

No. 3 Jalan 3A/2B Taman Desa Bakti, Off Jalan Ipoh, 68100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 603 6137 3933


Matthew Mok, Jayne Kam, Irvin Hanni, Haze Jalalludin, Vini Balan, Abby Yao, Ari Fajar Iyan Yudhiana Ong Chin Han, Jason Phoon, Mohd Sufian Charmaine Wong, Goh Wee Kee, Howard Choong

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


Find us at

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

04 12 CAPTAIN’S ADDRESS 2011 2012



We are the Philippines’ newest kid on the airline block and the latest addition to AirAsia’s growing family. Philippines’ AirAsia Inc., I believe, will succeed in building a truly great value airline that will serve the needs of the Filipino traveller and invigorate the tourism industry in Philippines. Our country has lagged so far behind our ASEAN neighbours in visitor arrivals. This is unfortunate when we have so much to offer. I have watched Tony Fernandes build AirAsia Malaysia from a two-aircraft operation 10 years ago to becoming ASEAN’s most successful low cost airline. AirAsia Indonesia and AirAsia Thailand have similar success stories and have contributed greatly to the phenomenal increase in air travel in their respective countries. AirAsia has truly democratised air travel, made it affordable and accessible to all, and lived up to Tony’s mantra: “Now Everyone Can Fly!” I want the same kind of success and growth in air travel and tourism for Philippines. No one can deny that the presence of alternative carriers in a once monopolised climate has greatly contributed to the development of the travel and tourism industries. We believe that the Philippine 8


market, particularly in northern and central Luzon where we have chosen to base our operations at Clark, has been under-served, with poor connectivity and high fares. The potential for growth is tremendous and we aim to play a bigger role in growing the market. We want to increase the number of first time travellers and create a new breed of frequent travellers with our new routes, affordable fares and exciting promotions. We intend to deliver the same level of great value service and earn the right to stand proud alongside the AirAsia family. In February this year, we started an ‘All-In Fare’ revolution in Philippines by offering low, all-inclusive fares for direct flights to Davao and Kalibo. Our first awesome promotion with the all-in fare of P275 one way was a first in the Philippines! The P275 seat sale was actually a zero-fare promo where 20,000 seats were totally free and our guests were actually only paying for fuel surcharge, processing fee and government mandated fees such as aviation security fee and VAT. Transparency is the hallmark of our brand of low-cost, high-value travel. We want to show you exactly what you pay for and we don’t want to disappoint guests with hidden charges

LEFT: Street dancers at Kadayawan festival in Davao City, Mindanao, which is an annual thanksgiving celebration.

or misleading promos. We believe we are currently the only local airline in Philippines to promote the ‘All-In Fare’ concept. I, along with our highly trained, experienced pilots, cabin crew, guest services staff and team are geared up to personally welcome you on our brand new Airbus A320 beginning March 28, 2012. Come and discover our beautiful country and our warm, hospitable and happy people! Safe, exciting, and fun travels ahead!

Maan Hontiveros CEO Philippines AirAsia Inc.

04 INBOX 2012

I was really touched by the article The Greatest Love Stories from Around the World (Feb 2012), as I was returning from Taipei having successfully proposed marriage to my girlfriend during my trip there. It reminded us how captivating these love stories of the past were and how they stood the test of time. My fiancée and I believe that with devotion and sacrifice, everlasting love does come true. ~ Paul Mun, via email.

On a flight from Bali to Jakarta, I read the Love Edition (Feb 2012), and was taken up by the real life love stories of Johnny Deep / Vanessa Paradise and Seal / Heidi Klum. But unfortunately, the two couples are separated now! How sad. But at least the attractions in Semarang (Heritage Hunt) are eternal. I’ve always wanted to visit Semarang, but never made the effort. But the info in the article, especially on the Chinese culture there, has reignited my desire to visit this fascinating city. ~ Novy Handoko, via email.

LETTER OF THE MONTH! I read with a smile the humourous Captain’s Address All You Need Is Love (Feb 2012). I couldn’t help but share with my wife the brief but wise sentiment to “go love” that someone who has made a difference in our lives – someone we may have taken for granted. Also, the quote he had used is one of my all-time favourites of the many poems of the Persian poet, Rumi. I deeply appreciate the wisdom of the message and here is my toast in appreciating the Travel 3Sixty˚ team for publishing such a wonderful read. ~ Tuck Loon, Malaysia


HERE’S THE BUZZ ON AIRASIA’S FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND WEIBO PAGES Just saw Managing Asia interview Azran CEO X AirAsia. Incredible! Clear minded CEO and so young! He’ll definitely steer AirAsia X to greater heights and make Malaysia extremely proud. Lim Khay Beng

I left my laptop in the seat pocket during a flight from Phuket to Bangkok. I realised this only the next day and rushed to the airport but with zero expectations of getting my laptop back. I checked with the AirAsia staff there and guess what? They had kept my laptop safely! I couldn’t believe it!!!! Thanks so much AirAsia and keep it up! Gabriel Marcolongo

BORACAY and DAVAO booked! Thanks @AirAsiaPH @AirAsia! Congrats on d expansion of flights to Kalibo and Davao! @iamsamgadiane

Congratulations for becoming Value Airline of the Year. It is no doubt that flying @AirAsia is real value for the pax. @shukryms

We love flying AirAsia! On our recent trip, we flew to Hong Kong from KL and visited Disneyland. Efficient, friendly and always on time. @docgelo

@KathleenTan. I went to Phuket with my boyfriend and both of us fell in love with Thailand! We are so excited that AirAsia has direct flights from Bangkok to Chongqing! We will fly to Bangkok to shop for furniture to decorate our house in Thai style! Potato

I am a photographer who loves travel. Because of this passion, I changed my career from a clerk to a full time photographer. With AirAsia, travelling to faraway places is no longer a dream. AirAsia has taken me to more countries, allowing me to see more of the world. Helen Wong

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



04 RED FORT 2012

PHILIPPINES’ AIRASIA TAKES OFF! Siargao Island, the Philippines

Beginning March 28, Philippines’ AirAsia, the newest member of the AirAsia family, commences services from Clark to two new destinations: Davao in Mindanao and Kalibo in the Western Visayas. Davao is the largest city on Mindanao and home to Mt. Apo, the country’s highest mountain. It is also known as the durian, mangosteen and even sashimi capital of Philippines. A famous dish here is a fish salad called kinilaw, which features vinegar-cured fresh fish slices tossed with calamansi juice, garlic, chili, onions and coconut cream. A delicious dish not to be missed! Kalibo in the northwest of Panay Island is best known as a gateway to Boracay, and is famous for its annual Ati-Atihan festival held in January. Kalibo also has a thriving pinacloth-weaving industry, which means wonderful souvenirs to take back home. Philippines’ AirAsia flies direct to Davao and Kalibo from Clark. Book your flights to these new destinations at, via and AirAsia apps for Blackberry, iPhone and Android phones.


Philippines’ AirAsia Call Centre can be reached at +632 588 9999 from Monday to Sunday, 8.00am to 9.00pm (GMT +8). The centre offers services in English and Tagalog.




In February, AirAsia inked a five-year contract with CAE – a global leader in modelling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defence – to train hundreds of new AirAsia A320 First Officers in a competency-based Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL) programme. Based on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines, the CAE MPL programme aims to deliver a best-inclass, competency-based training program that trains pilots to operate a modern multi-crew, multi-engine, turbine-powered Jeff Roberts, CAE Group President and Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO commercial transport aircraft safely and (right) at the signing ceremony. efficiently in all operational environments. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


AirAsia has appointed a new Group Chief Financial Officer from within the airline’s own ranks: Andrew Littledale, who’s been on board as AirAsia Group Financial Controller, and served as Chief Financial Officer for AirAsia X since its inception in 2007. Littledale will have leadership responsibilities across the group’s accounting and financial functions.

“We are pleased to promote a capable executive from within our company. He has been part of the AirAsia family for many years, and brings extensive experience in all aspects of finance including strategy, financial planning, technical accounting and business operations.” ~Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO and President of Group Finance, Treasury, Corporate Finance and Legal.

BIG SAVINGS WITH AIRASIA In February, AirAsia launched its first big sale for 2012 offering one million seats with all-in-fares from as low as RM19 one way to hotspots like Penang and Langkawi; RM49 to Bali, Phuket and Singapore, and RM139 to Hong Kong and Macau! To learn more about AirAsia’s upcoming sales, follow us on twitter. com/AirAsia and

ABOVE: Tassapon Bijleveld, Thai AirAsia CEO (3rd from left); Peter Miller, Tune Money CEO (2nd from left); and Johan Aris Ibrahim, CEO of BIG (2nd from right) flanked by Thai AirAsia flight attendants at the BIG launch.

BIG IN THAILAND “AirAsia has been having its Big Sale for nearly six years now with approximately one million promo seats each time. This means millions have enjoyed travelling with us to our extensive route network, which has now reached 152 routes, 23 countries and 13 hubs.” ~ Kathleen Tan, AirAsia’s Regional Head of Commercial

In February, BIG, AirAsia’s innovative global loyalty programme, arrived in Thailand offering members or BIG Shots the opportunity to earn BIG Points while travelling and shopping with BIG partners worldwide. Besides AirAsia and its related business like AirAsiaGo, AirAsiaRedTix, AirAsia Courier and AirAsia Megastore, BIG global partners include Tune Hotels that currently has 17 hotels globally, car rentals services Avis, Budget and Hertz, and Hilton’s loyalty programme Hilton HHonors. In Thailand, BIG partners include Dtac, The One Card, Black Canyon, SSP (restaurant at Suvarnabhumi Airport), KPI, Garmin and Vertec, among others. Follow BIG on or via Twitter @myBIGShots.

“The launch of the BIG card marks another milestone for us as we continue to offer more value and convenience as a token of appreciation and gratitude to our loyal passengers.” ~ Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia


8 TIMES THE LOVE To celebrate Thai AirAsia’s eighth anniversary, the airline teamed up with Thai bridal magazine, WE, to pick eight lucky couples for an all-expense paid wedding at AirAsia’s Garden, located at the Royal Flora Horticultural Exhibition in Chiang Mai. The couples were treated to a photo shoot at the Royal Flora, and exchanged rings on stage. To complete the romantic affair, Thai AirAsia flew the newlyweds to Ubon Ratchathani to catch the beautiful sunrise at the scenic Pha Chanadai, and later to Phuket to witness the amazing sunset from Laem Promthep.



AirAsia has opened up Fly-Thru options for even more destinations, connecting seamlessly from Indonesia to South China, and Chennai to Singapore. AirAsia’s Fly-Thru service allows guests to hop onto a connecting flight without the hassle of going through another round of immigration processing and baggage collection during transit. This service is applicable for flights that are at least 90 minutes apart, and offers guests the use of a special transfer hall.

UNDERSTANDING FLY-THRU For a flight from Tokyo to Bali (via Kuala Lumpur) Check-in at Tokyo with travel documents for both Kuala Lumpur and Bali. You will receive a checked-in baggage reclaim tag to be verified in Kuala Lumpur, but your baggage will be tagged through to your final destination: Bali. When you arrive in Kuala Lumpur, head to the Transfer Hall. Remember, you don’t need to clear immigration or collect your baggage. Check-in at the Transfer Hall and receive your boarding pass for Bali. Your checked-in baggage reclaim tag will be verified by an AirAsia staff. Proceed to the departure gate to board your flight to Bali.

MEALS AT RM9.90! Giving you even more value for money, AirAsia now offers a 30 percent discount when guests pre-book hot meals online. This means that all-time-favourites like Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak, Chicken Satay, Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice, Roast Chicken with BBQ Sauce and Green Curry Chicken are available for just RM 9.90! Guests can also prebook meals like Cheesy Extravaganza Pizza Wedge, Smoked Chicken Focaccia and Pancakes with Butter and Maple Syrup for just RM7.90! All meals come with a 100ml bottle of mineral water. AirAsia has also added three more offerings to the menu: Beef Stew, Tandoori Chicken Tortilla Wrap and Mat Kelapa (fresh coconut). Guests can earn one BIG Point for every RM2 spent when they sign up as a BIG SHOT at

A WIN FOR TRAVEL 3SIXTY° Travel 3Sixty° gained regional recognition when the article Follow the Star by Beverly Rodrigues was awarded Best ASEAN Travel Article at the 25th ASEANTA Awards for Excellence. The award presentation was held at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2012 in Manado, Indonesia. ASEANTA (ASEAN Tourism Association) is a non-profit tourism association comprising both public and private tourism sector organisations from ASEAN. The association plays a vital role in shaping tourism development growth and policies in the ASEAN region. To read the article, go to travel360 and click on the December 2011 issue.

“The new price range is even more affordable than fast-food meal sets, and we hope that our guests will enjoy the new price, as well as the new pre-book menu line-up,” ~Shireen Chia, Regional Head of Catering & In-Flight Service, AirAsia

REDUCED BAGGAGE FEES AirAsia has revised pre-booked check-in baggage fees providing guests with even more affordable options. Fees for 15 kgs and 20 kgs weight categories have been reduced by RM5 for both domestic and international flights. AirAsia X has also reduced fees for the 25 kgs and 30 kgs weight categories. Both airlines have introduced new weight tiers – 35 kgs and 40 kgs for domestic and international flights – offering guests greater benefits. Guests travelling with sports equipment need only pre-book the suitable weight category and top up RM20 for handling fees. So, be sure to pre-book your baggage allowance online and save up to 50 percent! Follow AirAsia on and for updates on the latest promotions, activities and contests.



GOOD MANAGEMENT In February, AirAsia was awarded Asiamoney’s ‘Best Managed Company in Malaysia (Medium Cap) Award 2011’ at a ceremony in Hong Kong. This award, a second consecutive win for AirAsia, recognises the airline’s profitability, market leadership and innovation. In just 10 years, AirAsia Berhad has become a leader in the aviation industry, and currently has a market capitalisation of RM10.01 billion!

THE ORIENT GATEWAY Chongqing in China is the latest addition to AirAsia’s route network with daily flights connecting to Bangkok from as low as THB 1490*! This being the first and only direct flight to Chongqing, guests can experience the splendour of this magnificent city that is also the gateway to renowned attractions such as the multileveled waterfall and snow-capped peaks in Jiuzhaigou, the historical city of Xi’an and the giant panda sanctuary in Chengdu. These exciting attractions are easily accessible via domestic flights and the bullet train from Chongqing. *Promo fares include airport taxes and fees

MUST-DO, MUST-SEE YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE Get on this amazing river cruise and enjoy the magnificent Yangtze. The river is also home to the only gorge in the world where tourists can experience a 5-star river cruise. The biggest dam in the world, the Three Gorges Dam, is also located here.

CI QI KOU (PORCELAIN VILLAGE) The ancient village of Ci Qi Kou is a protected cultural site and lies on the banks of the Jialing River. Lots of traditional craftwork shops and local teahouses can be visited here. NORTHERN HOT SPRINGS Located some 50 kms from Chongqing and situated at the foot of Jinyun Moutain, this park is full of hot springs, scenic temples and verdant forests. UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES See magnificent religious sculptures and carvings at Dazu Rock Carvings in Dazu County and Three Natural Bridges, a series of natural limestone bridges in Wulong County. THE COUNTRYSIDE Explore breathtaking country scenery of mountains, rivers, forests, springs, waterfalls, gorges and caves such as the Xiaonanhai Lake, Furong Cave, Furong River, Wulong National Geological Park and Dayou Cave.

FOOD Experience delicious but spicy cuisine in Chongqing. Although you can always find non-spicy food, the locals can’t live without their chillies. Sichuan cuisine, one of China’s eight major cuisines, is said to have originated from Chongqing. Cruising down the Yangtze River.

DISCOVER CHONGQING • Chongqing with a rough land area of 8.4 square kilometres has a population of 32 million people and is a municipality directly under the central government – the only one in west China. • Chongqing city is located between the sediment-rich Yangtze River and the clearer Jialing River. It has the biggest inland river port in Western China. It is also the economic centre of Southwest China. • Yangtze River is the world’s third longest river with a total length of 6,397 kms, after the Nile and the Amazon. It is one of China’s ‘mother rivers’, originating in the Tibetan Plateau. • Chongqing is covered by large mountainous areas. Cycling is a challenge but it is easy to find stunning viewpoints in Chongqing. • On average, Chongqing has about 100 foggy days from late autumn to early spring. The locals call it ‘fairy land on earth’. 18


TRIP SUGGESTION Here is a quick look at how you can travel to Chongqing and to the neighbouring cities and attractions. • Fly AirAsia to Chongqing from Bangkok. • Take the bullet train to Chengdu from Chongqing city. • Hop on a domestic flight to Jiuzhaigou from Chengdu (aprox. 1 hour) • Head back to Chongqing via domestic flight from Jiuzhaigou (aprox. 1 hour) • Fly AirAsia back to Bangkok.

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies direct to Chongqing daily from Bangkok. Go to for flight details.


CREATIVE IN BANDUNG After KL, Singapore and Astana in Kazakhstan, the 4th Marketplace of Creative Arts makes its way to Bandung in Indonesia for a showcase of music, dance, poetry, comedy, film and visual arts from the creative minds from participating countries. Among the exciting artists to watch are 13-year-old music prodigy Aziz Harun from Brunei, talented filmmaker Phan Xine from Vietnam and professional dancer Teerawat Mulvilai from Thailand. The event takes place on April 15 and 16, 2012 at CiWalk in Bandung, Indonesia.

With AirAsia X commencing service to Sydney beginning April 1, 2012, guests can look forward to experiencing a slice of Aussie lifestyle the moment they board the aircraft. For inflight dining on flights heading to and fro Sydney, guests can purchase fine Australian wines for consumption. The first two wines to be offered will be the McGuigan Black Label Shiraz and Black Label Chardonnay. The Shiraz is a well-rounded and fruity wine featuring rich flavours of ripe plum, blackberry jam and spices while the Chardonnay is a flavoursome wine with a soft, smooth, creamy palate, and offers sweet tropical fruit and melon flavours with a touch of caramel oak. The wines come from acclaimed and multi-award winning winemakers who received the International Winemaker of the Year and Australian Producer of the Year at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London in 2009 and 2011.


UNDERWATER TREASURES Shipwrecks@ETCi will feature artefacts recovered from nine ancient shipwrecks dating back some 1,000 years ago, discovered in the South China Sea parallel to the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The exhibition provides visitors with a visual experience of what a shipwreck looks like as it gradually disappears into the sands of time. A showpiece aquarium will display artefacts from these shipwrecks. There will also be ongoing video clips of actual recovery operations in the South China Sea since 1995. The exhibition runs from March 30 till April 29, 2012 at ETCi (former Dataran Merdeka) in Kuala Lumpur.

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



SPIRITUAL ART DIY DRIVE IN NZ The natural splendour of New Zealand can be experienced almost immediately as you disembark from your flight at Christchurch International Airport, with spectacular views of the Southern Alps and Canterbury plains. To explore the South Island, take a leisurely drive through quaint towns, ocean roads and mountainous regions. Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism has put together easy trips that offer the best the South Island has to offer, giving visitors a head start on where to go, what to expect and how to plan their visits. Check out for more self-drive itineraries in the South Island.

Here are some suggested itineraries. • Christchurch to Queenstown (via Lake Tekapo) • Christchurch to Nelson (via Kaikoura) • Nelson to Queenstown (via West Coast) • Queenstown to Milford Sound (via Te Anau) • Queenstown to Dunedin (via Invercargill) • Queenstown to Dunedin (via Central Otago) • Dunedin to Christchurch (via Oamaru) • Dunedin to Christchurch (via Lake Tekapo) GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Christchurch, New Zealand, four times a week from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for flight details.

Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic Arts, a travelling exhibition of objects and art from the Aga Khan Museum collections arrives at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. Among the notable artefacts on exhibit are a 16th century folio from the celebrated Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp, architectural elements like muqarnas and ornamented wood pieces from 15th century Spain, glazed turquoise earthenware elements from late 14th century Central Asia, tiled arches from 15th century Egypt, ornamental doors from 9th century Iran and 16th century Iznik tiles from Turkey. The exhibition runs until June 29, 2012.


Here’s a great reason to stay longer in Da Nang and visit all the UNESCO World Heritage sites nearby. The super swanky Nam Hai is making your stay sweeter by giving guests a free additional night stay for bookings of at least two nights. The stunning resort with a pristine beachfront is also throwing in a daily buffet breakfast, spa treatment and an upgrade to a beachfront villa (if available). This promotion is valid for both Hotel and Pool Villas and runs till the end of 2012. Find out more about this amazing deal at

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Da Nang, Vietnam, four times a week from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for flight details.



04 HOT DATES 2012

APR 2012


The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.


VAISAKHI APR 13 Northern communities in India and around the world observe Vaisakhi, a harvest festival that also marks a significant event in Sikh religious history: The initiation of five sainted soldiers into a newly-formed community of equals known as the Khalsa.


CREAMFIELDS 2012 APR 27 - MAY 6 Featuring DJ David Guetta alongside acts like Above & Beyond, Alesso, Dirty South and more, Creamfields tours major Australian cities starting with Adelaide and moving through Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and the Gold Coast.





APR 5 – 18 Live music, extreme action performances, gourmet food, fun rides and great shopping can be experienced at this iconic showcase of Australian agricultural heritage. 15,000 competitors display their best breeds and livestock, art, food, plants, fashions and produce at the Sydney Olympic Park to vie for the prestigious Sydney Royal Blue Ribbon. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Above & Beyond


Fuji Shibazakura Festival, Yamanashi.

SPRING BLOOMS APR – MAY View spring flowers during the Fuji Matsuri or Wisteria Festival in Tokyo, Shizuoka and Okazaki, and the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, which boasts carpets of mountain phlox flowers.


MALAYSIA ARCH ENEMY ‘LIVE & KHAOS’ IN KUALA LUMPUR APR 24 Swedish melodic death metal supergroup, Arch Enemy from Halmstad, takes Kuala Lumpur by storm when they perform at the Chin Woo Stadium.


SONGKRAN FESTIVAL APR 13 – 15 Get your buckets ready and join Thais in celebrating the New Year with this very wet tradition that originates from the spiritual act of bathing Buddha images in scented water, and using this blessed water for ritual cleansing.

Dash Berlin




APR 13 - 15 Catch Caterham Team AirAsia

APR 28 For its fourth instalment,

and other speed demons of Formula 1 as they roar into the Shanghai International Circuit!

Music Conference ASIA is planning an even bigger dance festival with musical super talents like Dash Berlin, Richard Durand, Jerome Isma-Ae and Julie Thompson.


CIRQUE MOTHER AFRICA APR 19 – 22 Dancers, percussionists, singers, acrobats and contortionists from across Africa present an exuberant celebration of the cultures of the African continent in Manila.



CHEUNG CHAU BUN FESTIVAL APR 22 - 28 This Taoist festival celebrated on Cheung Chau Island includes unique highlights such as scrambling up towers of stacked buns outside the Pak Tai Temple to snatch the bun on top for luck.

APR 28 - MAY 6 Follow Dorothy down the yellow brick road in this magical adventure e through Oz staged d at KLPac in Kuala Lumpur.

THE STANDARD CHARTERED EPL MASTERS FOOTBALL MALAYSIA CUP 2012 APR 22 Catch EPL legends from Manchester United and Liverpool, the EPL All-Stars and The Malaysian Legend teams battle it out at Malawati Stadium, S Shah Alam.

ZZOUK @ SEPANG APR 7 Party at the Sepang A International Circuit with a cool line-up of international and local a artistes including Goldfish + Blink, T Terence C and Bobby Burns.

Join us at twitter ix twitter.c om/RedT

Join us at FacebookedTix




04 COMPASS 2012



Travel can be truly fulfi lling if you do it with a conscience. From practising environmentally-conscious activities, visiting age-old rainforests to appreciating nature in all its might, Green is the new Black in tourism.

GO ECO-FRIENDLY If you love the earth and want to leave behind something worthwhile for future generations, here are some eco-friendly travel tips that are sure to please Mother Earth. GO LIGHT Pack only what you need. Every kilogramme counts when you travel by air. The more your plane weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. GO PUBLIC Public transport is by far the most environment-friendly choice when you’re moving from one place to another at your holiday destination. Plus, you’ll get richer travel memories when you hobnob with the locals. GO LOCAL Eat and drink local food. A meal made from local produce means you won’t be contributing to huge carbon emissions that arise from transporting food from far-off places.

BACKPACKING 101 Backpacking is one of the best ways to see the world when your budget is low but your thirst for travel is high. Keep these pointers in mind for a problem-free trip. STAY HYDRATED Drink lots and lots of fluids especially if you’ll be travelling in tropical climates. Long walks and hikes can take a tremendous toll on your body.


BE PREPARED Backpacking takes enormous amounts of physical energy. Begin an exercise regime that involves walking, jogging or biking at least three months before you set off on your trip. This will increase stamina and strength.


PACK WISELY One of the biggest favours you can do yourself on a backpacking trip is to pack well. The load in your backpack should be distributed evenly and make sure the things you need - like your water bottle are within easy reach.


PASSPORT TO ENTERTAINMENT is the coolest way to stay tuned to the hottest events around the region. The ultimate gateway to the latest music and entertainment gigs, artiste bios, interviews, videos, songs and hip downloads, the website has partnered with premier event organisers and promoters from all over the world, offering top-notch events! Go to to see what fantastic event is taking place in a city near you.


NIGHT IN THE RAINFOREST It’s not every day you get to spend the night in a 130 million-year-old rainforest. This is just one of the many reasons why you should visit Taman Negara, Malaysia’s national park, which is home to over 14,000 different plant species including the impressive 75-metre tall tualang trees. Aside from the mindboggling array of flora, a stay at Taman Negara will yield pleasantly close encounters with macaques, gibbons, leaf monkeys and tapir. If you’re lucky you just might spot a Malayan tiger or the Asiatic elephant. Consider treating yourself to a ranger-led night walk since many of the forest residents come out to play after nightfall. You could also opt to join a week long expedition up Gunung Tahan, which stands over 2,000 metres tall. Taman Negara is located about 250 kms from Kuala Lumpur.

Staying safe during your travels is a breeze when you have insider knowledge on safety tips practised by seasoned travellers.

The iFly Singapore centre

SUPER SAFE SKYDIVING If you love the exhilaration of skydiving but the idea of leaping out of a plane fills you with terror, try bodyflying instead. At a height of 17.2 metres and a diametre of just over 5 metres, iFly Singapore is the world’s largest themed wind tunnel for indoor skydiving. The experience is equal to that of falling through the air from about 3,600 metres but the good news is you won’t have to worry about ending up face down on the ground! The tunnel is designed based on the highest safety standards and is perfect for first-timers, as well as seasoned divers.

CALMING FURRY TRAVELLERS If your feline or canine companion is also your travel buddy, don’t forget to stock up on lavender oil before you hit the road. Dog behaviour specialist, Cesar Millan aka the Dog Whisperer, says rubbing lavender oil on paws will soothe a nervous pet. Lavender is known to have a calming effect on both humans and animals. Millan also suggests practice sessions so your furry friend will associate travel with tranquility. You can do this by getting your pet in the travel crate, placing it in your car and driving around for a while. Your pet will get familiar with the crate and the moving vehicle, resulting in a calm demeanour.

• Frequent fliers always leave jewellery at home. • They also never fail to clean their wallets of everything but the bare essentials so there’s minimum loss if they happen to be targeted by pickpockets. • Pick a hotel room on a floor that’s neither too low nor too high. A room on the ground floor means you’re susceptible to break-ins via the windows and a room that’s too high – anything on the 20th floor and above - means it’s unlikely you’ll be rescued in case of a fire. So, what are the safest floors? 2 through 8.

“Not all those who wander are lost” ~ J.R.R Tolkien

BEST IN BEIJING The best of Beijing’s independent designer labels and brand names come together in a delightful Spanish-style mall called Nali Patio in Sanlitun. You’ll find quirky boutiques like Dim-Sum of All Things Asian, which sells handbags, squeezed right next to international brands like American Apparel. The sunny Mediterranean atmosphere at the mall emanates a fun vibe and there are a number of restaurants and cafés to chill out after all that retail therapy. Nali Patio is at 81 Sanlitun Bei Lu, Chaoyang District.





Do you really need a time or season to enjoy wholesome, lip smacking fare that can be as lavish as a sit-down meal at a 5-star hotel or as humble as hawker offerings that only the locals would know? No, neither do we. So, here’s a roundup of what’s whetting appetites and getting gastric juices flowing.


INSIDER TIP – SYDNEY “When you’re in Sydney, the best dish to savour at Bar Cupola (Gallery Level, Angel Place Office Tower, 123 Pitt St.) is Twicecooked Duck with Poached Pear, Hazelnuts and Red Endives with Caramelised Red Wine Jus. The crispy skin and tender aromatic meat are just divine! Coffee connoisseurs will also enjoy Bar Cupola’s distinct blend of Colombian coffee.” ~ Suan Imm Lim, photographer and avid foodie. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Sydney from Kuala Lumpur daily from April 1, 2012.

FUN TAIWAN Popular TV personality, model and host of The LINK on Astro B.yond’s Life Inspired (Li) channel – Jason Godfrey – reveals his fave travel destination and how to be an intrepid traveller:

BEST HOLIDAY DESTINATION Taiwan! I recently had a shoot in Taiwan for The LINK and the trip was an absolute whirlwind. I enjoyed every bit of the shoot and the places we visited.

WHEN IN TAIWAN The W Hotel is a fantastic destination for luxury travellers. I also tried the world’s most expensive beef noodles at 688 Beef Bowl, which tasted totally delicious. For coffee, Gabee in Taipei is an interesting spot with some great brews.


• Stay somewhere out of your comfort zone. • Eat out somewhere unusual! Don’t keep looking for food you normally eat back home. • Bring money – I cannot stress this point enough!



REFINED ROAST Prime your palate for a Roast of the Day lunch on weekdays at the Lobby Lounge of the RitzCarlton Kuala Lumpur. Priced at RM95++ per person, inclusive of soup of the day, and a dessert trolley selection, the selection offers roast leg of lamb, salmon en croute, salt-crusted black cod fillet and Wagyu rump, amongst others.

GLUTTONS REJOICE! Penang is foodie heaven and you can literally eat yourself silly with the delicious, delectable offerings there. Here are some famous dishes from Penang and where to get them.

NASI KANDAR Curry and rice combo that has become a signature dish of Penang. In the past, sellers of nasi kandar used to carry pots of gravy and rice (nasi) balanced on wooden poles (kandar), hence the name. Sold mainly by Indian Muslim vendors, the meal is a quick, one-plate dish with rice, meats, seafood and vegetables.

SWEET EASTER GODIVA sweetens your Easter celebrations with its 2012 Spring Easter Collection. Give your family, friends and loved ones their first taste of spring and melt their hearts with this exquisitely decorated limited edition chocolate box-set filled with GODIVA’s premium chocolates.

JET LAG BE GONE! Overcome jet lag with these easy tips: • Maintain a high-fibre diet with adequate liquid intake for a few days prior to your departure. • Stay hydrated with lots of plain water during your flight. Reduce intake of alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee or chocolate drinks if possible. • Request for light, healthy meals on board. Good choices include fresh fruits or salad, bread and yoghurt.

DOUGH IT RIGHT Learn the art of making artisanal bread under the supervision of culinary instructor and cookbook author Jean Michel Fraisse of HTC in Asia – The French Culinary School Kuala Lumpur. The basic class commences on April 9 and 10 followed by the advanced class on April 11 to 13. Classes are conducted from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Merlin Nasi Kandar A Gr Fl, Old Merlin Hotel, 1A Lebuh Union T +604 264 2826

TOP TIPPLES New Zealand’s premier wine and food magazine Cuisine awarded five stars to Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2011 and Hawkshead Riesling 2011 in its annual wine tasting recently. Critics praised the Pinot Gris from Hawkshead’s single vineyard Lark Block at Gibbston, Central Otago as “all purity and youthful exuberance, splashing with the freshness of a mountain stream.” The Hawkshead Riesling 2011 from a single vineyard at Bendigo, described as “a wonderfully delicate, poised and individual expression of wind-blown orchard blossoms” was considered Cuisine’s Best Buy. The Hawkshead Pinot Gris retails between AUD24 to AUD26 and Hawkshead Riesling 2011 is sold between AUD18 to AUD22.

Mohd Sanusi, AirAsia Guest

ASSAM LAKSA Voted #7 in CNNGo’s International Food Survey, this noodle dish has a spicy, sourish broth made with flaked mackerel and topped with pineapple slices, torch ginger flower, onions and chillies. A dollop of prawn paste (heikou) provides the extra oomph! Assam Laksa at Kek Seng Coffeeshop A

384 Jalan Penang

Nor Shaadah Arshad, AirAsia Guest

CHEE CHEONG FUN Prawns wrapped in steamed rice sheets served with sweet soy sauce and crunchy fried shallots – Hong Kong Style. De Tai Tong Cafe A T

45 Cintra Street +604 263 6625

Kam Wan Fong, AirAsia Guest

SAMOSA Deep-fried Indian pasties with curried potato and pea filling.

Little India A Corner of King St. and Market St. junction, opposite Sri Ganga Store

Shaqyl White, AirAsia Guest






Inspired by April Fools’ Day, we celebrate some of literature’s looniest exploits and bring you great reads for the month, alongside an insightful interview with Malaysian political writer, Kee Thuan Chye.

TOMFOOLERY AT ITS BEST PRANK THE MONKEY: The ZUG Book of Pranks by Sir John Hargrave, who was incidentally born on April 1, features clever pranks on targets like WalMart, Starbucks, e-mail spammers and even the British Royal Family!

In William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon, King of the Faeries, in wanting to punish Titania for disobedience, squeezes the love juice of a magical flower on the eyelids of his sleeping wife, whispering, “Wake when some vile thing is near.” This enchanted juice makes a person fall in love with the first thing he or she sees. Oberon also instructs the mischievous sprite Puck to apply the same juice on a certain Athenian man too, to help a young lady win his heart. As luck would have it, Puck mistakenly applies the juice on the wrong man, creating a messy love triangle. Meanwhile, Titania falls in love with a stage performer whose head has been transformed into that of a donkey’s by none other than the trickster Puck.


In Peyo’s original comic series, The Smurfs, Jokey Smurf is known for playing practical jokes on his fellow Smurfs. Very often, he likes to play the exact prank of giving his friends a yellow package wrapped




with a ribbon, which explodes in a puff of black smoke! Funnily enough, the other Smurfs always seem delighted to receive Jokey’s ‘gifts’. In Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest, two friends masquerade at being a fictitious character named Ernest Worthing leading to madcap mayhem. John Worthing invents a black sheep of a brother named Ernest Worthing, who he supposedly visits in London. But while in the city, John assumes the name Ernest and courts Gwendolen Fairfax, the cousin of his best friend, Algernon Moncrieff. Strangely, Fairfax seems to love Worthing largely for his professed name, Ernest. When Moncrieff discovers Worthing’s double life, he wants in on the fun. At Worthing’s country house, Moncrieff meets Worthing’s young ward, Cecily Cardew, and pretends to be John Worthing’s brother, Ernest. The real trouble begins when Fairfax and Cardew meet and both profess to love the same man: Ernest Worthing!

• April 1 is also Edible Book Day, and since 2000, the International Edible Book Festival has been held annually all over the world. During this quirky event, ‘edible books’ are displayed and then eaten. • UNESCO has designated April 23 as World Book Day. Holding a special significance in the literary world, April 23 marks the birth of prominent writers like Maurice Druon and Halldór Kiljan Laxness, and celebrates the immortal legacy of literary geniuses like Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, who passed away on this date.

CUBICLE WARFARE: 101 Office Traps and Pranks by John Austin offers fun ideas to combat the Monday blues by playing jokes on your co-workers.

IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, INVOLVE A COW: The Book of College Pranks by Neil Steinberg is a wickedly funny collection of college pranks by Harvard students.

A PATRIOT SPEAKS THE MAGIC Rhonda Byrne From the author of the hugely popular books The Secret and The Power, comes another life-changing book that imparts 28 profound practices designed to harness the power of gratitude to improve health, relationships and READ financial situations, and even OF THE make dreams come true. MONTH!

JEFFREY ARCHER - THE NEW COLLECTED SHORT STORIES Jeffrey Archer This compilation of 14 short stories from three of Archer’s collections – To Cut a Long Story Short, Cat O’ Nine Tales and And Thereby Hangs a Tale – showcases his skills as a master storyteller.

THE LANGUAGEE OF FLOWERS Vanessa Diffenbaugh Victoria Jones knows all about the symbolism of flowers and helps others convey their feelings using the right blooms. But can she find her own happiness and confront her painful past?

Kee Thuan Chye, known for his provocative writings in pursuit of true democracy and justice, doesn’t mince words in his new book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians – a candid take on Malaysian politics. MY MESSAGE What I hope to convey through this book is the need to speak up, without fear, against wrongdoing of any kind, and to have a say in the running of our country. As citizens, we must accept that responsibility. It’s not enough to cast our votes once every five years. In a democracy, citizens have to be involved in the areas of governance and monitoring every day.

THE ROLE OF WRITERS Writers can help the formation of a truly inclusive, respectful nation by creating awareness among the citizenry through writing – positive and negative things with the aim of agitating for improvement. A true writer must be prepared to write about contentious issues. As Howard Zinn says, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Writers must lead the way by openly discussing issues, even those said to be ‘sensitive’. It’s only when we can debate with others that we can understand where they’re coming from, and begin to respect feelings, biases, customs and cultures of others.

BEING MALAYSIAN It’s about feeling a sense of belonging in this land that our forefathers helped develop and whose growth we continue to contribute to. Being able to engage freely in what we want to engage in and believe in, and to realise our true potential.


THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO COCO CHANEL Karen Karbo For tips on fashion, passion, success, femininity and living the life you want, read Karbo’s fascinating study of Coco Chanel, one of the world’s most elegant women and successful fashion designers.


Jessica Thompson Sienna Walker has a random encounter with a handsome stranger on a train, who turns out to be her workmate. As the two become best buds, the attraction mounts but can they risk their friendship?

The late K. Das and M.G.G. Pillai, and Gobind Rudra, who have contributed to the journalistic ideal that the public must know the truth, and been brave in their pursuit of providing th the truth – at great sacrifice to themselves. They’ve also themsel upheld the belief that the media t must be free to be the watchdogs of society. I also greatly grea respect Steven Gan and Premesh Chandran, who set up the online news website, n Malaysiakini, m more than 12 years ago. ago They changed the coverage of political cov news in Malaysia and gave Malaysians an alternative insight into alter what wha goes on in the corridors of power. cor




Great ideas remain empty promises without the heart and the proper tools for implementation. When doing business, integrity is just as important as creativity. Here are some samples of how giving can reel in the receiving.

CLOTHING FOR CORRESPONDENCE is an Australian letterwriting service that asks only for an item of clothing in


percent of top 100 brands in the world have Google+ pages. Starbucks hit a high by quadrupling its number of followers to 38,000 as at end 2011, but Britney Spears reigns with over one million followers!

BrightEdge’s Social Share Report


That’s what you get when you marry sympathy with advertising. While the strategy has been around for some time, the concept is becoming increasingly popular among service providers and retailers. It’s about marketing with sympathy that is highly appreciated by consumers in these tough economic times. Consumers receive a service or product in exchange for anything other than money. Here are some ‘sympvertising’ campaigns done to date that will inspire business owners.

ChannelAdvisor ‘Consumer Shopping Habits Survey’

return for its written work. The company focuses on letters, but they also wrote a song recently. Users need only email them on what letter-writing they want, and later send an item of clothing as payment. The campaign started in November 2011. ROOMS FOR SWAP Settimana del Baratto (Barter Week) took place from November 15 to 21, 2011. Run by the Italian Bed and Breakfast Association, it gave cash-strapped visitors a break without breaking their bank accounts. It was wildly successful with over 12,000 registrations made on Facebook. In fact, some of the B&B’s are continuing their swap offers. Among the payments made for rooms were live music performances and website translations.


percent of all holiday shoppers are influenced by customer reviews

FREE DANCE LESSONS Aeroports de Paris implemented an unconventional plan: Free dance lessons for passengers in the summer of 2008. Passengers could do something fun and relaxing while waiting to catch their flights by learning any one of 15 dances offered by the airport’s resident trainers from L’Ecole des Vacances – Afro Jazz, Disco, Hip Hop, Mambo, Modern Jazz, Rock & Roll, Salsa, Samba, Tango, Cha-Cha and more. The campaign has ceased since, but rumour has it that many have requested a re-run.


percent of total retail sales will be affected by the web by 2014 as consumers increasingly use the Internet to research products before purchasing. Forrester Research Inc.


years worth of video is uploaded on YouTube every 10 days. That’s 24 hours of video every 24 seconds, 60 hours every minute, 9 months every 2 hours and a decade’s worth every single day!




Social media marketing can be perplexing for mainstream startups. The good news is that there are experts providing social media marketing management tools, platforms and services to help you find your cyberspace footing. Here are some online outfits worth checking out for various types of businesses.


SHOUTLET ( uses a single platform to build, engage and measure social media marketing communications with multiple account and platform support, including social CRM and e-commerce for Facebook, email marketing and mobile features. DIRECT MESSAGE LAB (www. helps maximise

your social presence through their consultation and advice using centralised management platform for social media promotions, advertising and measurement. SPREDFAST ( offers social media management that allows organisations to manage, measure its presence across multiple social media channels.

JANRAIN ( This web-based platform makes it easy to connect your company’s website with social networks. It helps facilitate navigation across multiple web properties and partner sites with a single log in. It currently supports 16 networks. Source:



Herbs, spices and fruits have been used over centuries for their medicinal properties. With the advent of modern research and technology, the healing properties of these substances are being constantly discovered. In this issue, we take a look at some of these natural wonders that should play a starring role in your daily menu.


million people die from harmful use of alcohol each year. Source: World Health Organization, 2012

7,543 deaths due to cholera were reported globally in 2010, representing a 52% increase in just one year from 2009. Source: World Health Organization, 2012


calories can be burnt daily just by fidgeting.







GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS Antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS Digestive aid, painkiller, anti-inflammatory Proven effective in treating ovarian cancer (ginger powder induces death of malignant cells when applied to ovarian cancer cells) Source: University of Michigan May prevent colon cancer (slowing down colorectal cancer cell growth) Source: University of Minnesota Aids in serious pain management (fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis) Source: Prevents diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage from diabetic complications) Source: http://entomology.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS Antioxidant, high in vitamins and enzymes Lowers risk of heart disease (keeps bad cholesterol from hardening the arteries; the seeds act like aspirin preventing dangerous blood clots) Source: Journal

Combined with cauliflower, it may prevent prostate cancer and inhibit the growth of existing cancerous cells. It can prevent breast cancer from spreading to the lungs (studies done on mice), and metastases from occurring in other forms of cancer. May prevent melanoma (skin cancer), causing existing melanoma cells to destroy itself. Reduces the risk of leukaemia in children, with studies underway on use for pancreatic cancer. Slows down and prevents the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain Shows promise in slowing progression of multiple sclerosis in mice studies. Source:,

GENERAL BENEFITS A natural painkiller and anti-depressant, aids in fat metabolism and helps in weight management, natural liver detoxifier, speeds up healing of damaged skin, helps in psoriasis treatments. CONTRAINDICATIONS Turmeric should be avoided if you have gallstones or bile obstruction. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Increases oxygen levels in the body to help blood circulation and combat erectile dysfunction (its enzymes breaks down cell cartilage formation to ease blood flow)



May prevent breast and prostate cancer. Source: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

Combats morning and motion sicknesses and is a natural remedy for heartburn. May provide relief for migraine.

Highly effective in reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) Source: The Journal of

CONTRAINDICATIONS Avoid if you have Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, stomach ulcers.

Source: www

of Cardiovascular Pharmacology

GENERAL BENEFITS High in Vitamin B6 that is useful to treat morning sickness in pregnant women, prevents motion sickness, colds and flu, relieves menstrual cramps, heartburn, migraines, headaches, nasal congestion and chesty coughs.


percent is the average brain shrinkage for relatively healthy humans, every year of their lives after the age of 60.

Nutritional Biochemistry

Effectively fights cell damage (through regular consumption) Source: Toxicology * Copyrights of Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

GENERAL BENEFITS Natural occurring enzymes aid in lessening symptoms of diarrhoea, used for weight control, beauty and skin treatments for its antioxidant properties CONTRAINDICATIONS May have reaction if taking with other medications. * Always consult your doctor first when considering natural remedies, especially if you are pregnant.

Patients of Boston Hospital are taking robots home with them for post-operative consultations and care. Created by VGo Communications, the 1.4 metre tall, 7.7 kilogramme, two-wheel robot, functions primarily for video conferencing, giving family members constant connection to the doctors and nurses in between post-surgical appointments within the pilot project.



Sports – minus the medals and benefits – bring little gratification to the individual, be it player or spectator. Fortunately, interactive innovations have sorted that out, upping the recognition stakes for the super sporty and the super sexy! IMAGE: INMAGINE


SEXY SPORTSWOMEN These ladies lead the pack in their respective sports, but solidified their sexy sporty status by gracing the pages of Playboy magazine.




Keeping fit is a challenge unto itself, what with long work hours and social activities to juggle. Here’s a nudge that will motivate you to keep to your fitness schedules – Nexercise! This iPhone app gives a dose of gamification to your real world activities, and rewards with medals, discounts and free merchandise too. Available at iTunes, Nexercise awards recognition for simple tasks like walking and gardening, aerobics, running, dancing or working out at the gym – as long as you do it for at least 15 minutes. Here’s how it works: Tell Nexercise the activity you’re about to do, place your phone somewhere on your body and begin your activity. Once done, hit the button to notify Nexercise. The app is able to verify the activity you’ve done through the motion of the device. You’ll start earning points and medals (with bonus points if exercising with a friend), and get discounts on a variety of products and services. The more points you collect, the better your deals. There’s also a grand prize winner at the end of every month.


MARIA BUTYRSKAYA, RUSSIAN FIGURE SKATER. She graced the covers of Playboy magazine in November 1998, shortly after placing 4th at the 1998 Winter Olympics. She later won the 1999 World Championship, three more European Championship and six more times the Russian National Figure Skating Championship. She finished sixth at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

ANITA MARKS, PROFESSIONAL AMERICAN FOOTBALL PLAYER. Anita was the Playboy Centrefold of the 2002 September edition. She quarterbacked two women’s professional football teams: Florida Stingrays and Miami Fury. Her purpose was to demonstrate that you can play football and still look attractive and sensual. AMY ACUFF, AMERICAN HIGH-JUMPER. She appeared on the cover of Playboy in September 2004 in a 12-page pictorial of Women of the Olympics. She competed in four Summer Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) as a member of the USA Track & Field, finishing as high as 4th during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.

Bahrain’s National Motor Company (NMC), which represents Honda, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac and Hummer, has taken customer service to a whole new level with its new facility in Sehla: Free WiFi, free shuttle service to local destinations and a state-of-the-art gymnasium on four floors! According to Gulf Daily News, this facility caters to the needs of NMC’s fitness-minded customers until their cars are ready.

SPORT QUICKIES Cheetahs were raced at the Romford Greyhound Stadium, UK, in 1937. It would take 3,000 cows to supply the American NFL with enough leather for one year’s supply of footballs. At 193 kilometres per hour, a Formula One car generates so much downforce that it can drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel. Source:

02 HYPER TECH 04 2012

ADVANCED LEARNING Gone are the days when learning meant lugging heavy books and turning dusty pages. In the future, thousands of books may all be contained in one simple gadget.




The first ever such book, Between Page and Screen doesn’t contain any word at all, just black and white geometric patterns, that, when coupled with a webcam, produce the written word. Reflected on a screen, the reader sees himself with an open book in hand, language coming to life and shape-shifting with each turn of the page.

Based on a monthly subscription, users can download an endless supply of audio books from the website with more than 11,000 titles made available. Industry experts predict that this is the future for digital reading.

Just as what Apple did with iTunes, the company is planning to revolutionise education by persuading students to replace paper textbooks with digital ones on iPads. With iBooks textbooks, students can work with 3D and interactive images, galleries and study cards, turn pages, highlight text and take notes by just touching the screen.



Here’s a roundup of some popular apps for Smartphones.

Passwords are a must for almost anything you do on the Internet. Here are some quick tips to keep your password foolproof. • Do not use birthdays, your partner’s name or any obvious personal information. • Never write down the password anywhere. • Make up a long password, of at least 6 to 8 characters.


• Combine more than one word.


• Use parts of a phrase or lyrics of a song.


CHROME BROWSER Google’s Chrome browser is now available for Android phones and tablets. This mobile version is just as fast loading, scrolling and zooming pages even though it is still in beta testing.It can also sync and view bookmarks from your computer. OS: Android Price: Free

KINOPTIC This iPhone app uses 4 seconds of a video to make a gif file. The makers call such gif files kinos or cinemagraphs where minor and repeated movements occur, like a repeated starburst. OS: iOS Price: Free

VIDDY If you like snapping pictures with Instagram, you’d be happy to know that the app Viddy does moving Instagrams. You simply record a precious moment, give it an exciting cinematic feel and then share your viddy on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare or Tumblr. OS: iOS Price: Free

DROPBOX FOR ANDROID Dropbox is the most popular online storage for saving all types of files With the new Dropbox Folder Sync add-on for Windows, you can sync files by dropping them into the Dropbox folder in your PC. Then, see them appear on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet and the Dropbox website. OS: Android Price: Free for 2GB but fee applicable for higher storage sizes.

Available on

! R E V T S E E B E H T T GE D

ming in ALL flights co


pt from Sing

to LCCT exce


Super IDD Rates:


5 sen/1MB

Australia RM0.16 China RM0.15 India RM0.14


16 sen/min


5 sen/sms Ask that nice looking flight attendant that you have been ‘admiring’ about our SIM cards. Definitely a valid reason (if you don’t already have one) to break the ice. Go ahead. Could be your lucky day. And if it is, you’d already have a mobile prepaid service you could use. Cheap rates to make those calls too. Best deal? Definitely. Also available at our kiosk at the International Arrival, LCCT.




With laptops getting thinner and lighter, consumers are already seeing the industry embracing ‘slim’ in a big way. Bulk is so blasé.

FLIPPIN’ FABULOUS The first ever multi-mode notebook with four usage modes – notebook, tablet, stand and tent – the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga can do a 360° flip and fold with its 360° dual-hinge. One fold turns it into a 13.1-inch HD+ (1600 x 900) touchscreen tablet, while another flip changes it into an ultrabook with a stand or a tent. It runs on Windows 8 and can power for up to eight hours.

LET THERE BE LIGHT Made of a magnesium alloy, at 2.22 kgs, the Dell XPS 13 may not be the lightest ultrabook around, but another type of ‘light’ brings attention to it – the type that backlights the keyboard. It is also very secure even without a password to get in. Simply scan your face!

BUILT TO THE NINES Another contender for the title of thinnest ultrabook, the Samsung’s Series 9 is 0.64” thick and uses Duralumin, which is tougher than aluminium, for its enclosure, weighing in at just 1.13 kgs. The 13.3-inch HD+ SuperBright Plus screen is 180 percent brighter while the 128/256GB solid state drive (SSD) provides plenty of storage, and reduces energy consumption by 86 percent.

SECOND TO NONE LG’s Super Ultrabook Z330/Z430 has a second generation Intel CoreTM i7 processor that boots in less than 10 seconds and, two seconds from standby. The bigger 14-inch Z430 model boots up two seconds longer. The chassis, however, is 19.9 mm against the 14.7 mm of the 13.3inch Z330 model.



SPECTRE SPELL The 14-inch HP Envy 14 Spectre is a little heavier at 1.7 kgs and thicker at 20 mm. Uncommonly, it has Near Field Communication (NFC) to transfer links and maps to a phone by waving or tapping it on the Spectre. The storage is expansive with a 256 GB solid-state drive while the battery life lasts up to nine hours.

HIGHER ASPIRATIONS Acer claims the Aspire S5 to be the world’s thinnest ultrabook. A MagicFlip I/O port panel beneath the hinge helps make the thinnest point on the machine at only 15 mm. With a magnesium-aluminium alloy cover and a 13.3inch LCD, at 1.35 kgs, it is pretty light too.

04 SLEEP INNS 2012

ISLAND INDULGENCE From palatial resorts that are resplendent with local mythology to modern, minimalist chic, Indonesia offers visitors to the archipelago almost every possible type and style in accommodation. Here, we look at some stellar stays from Java and Bali islands.


It’s amazing how a gulp of fresh highland air and a green setting can make all the difference in the world. MesaStila, located within the Losari Coffee Plantation and approximately 900 metres above sea level, is the only wellness retreat in Java that focusses on Javanese and new age healing. Since opening in November 2011, this sanctuary is well on track to becoming a destination spa.




JAVANESE ABODES There are 22 villas here, all reconstructed from original Javanese antique houses. The villas offer modern facilities and boast large living areas with magnificent views of the surrounding coffee plantation and volcanoes. Choices range from lavish one-bedroom to twobedroom villas with rich Javanese-style decor and TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

antiques, and bathrooms with marble or copper tubs. Then, there’s the Bella Vista – a compound of three adjoining villas and two freestanding units that’s perfect for groups and large families. Once the residence of a Javanese prince, The Bella Vista comes with its own butler service and private pool. My lovely two-room villa had a high ceiling, exposed wooden beams and beautiful teak finishing. The centrepiece was an oversized four-poster bed with whimsical curtains. Just across was a huge day-bed and dining area. The mustard-tiled bathroom was so huge I could’ve thrown a party in it! Its best asset was a large sunken copper tub that looked out to a veranda with deckchairs and even an outdoor loo. While the resort does not encourage tuning into such worldly distractions as TV and the Internet, they do offer in-room Wi-Fi and TV upon request. Channels include one for yoga and meditation!

TURKISH DELIGHTS The main attraction here is the spa, which offers an amazing Turkish hammam experience. I was expecting a rough scrub by a burly masseuse, but MesaStila has given the hammam experience a gentler touch. The ritual was quite elaborate. After a steam bath in a domed room, my masseuse gave me a firm scrub using a soapy mitt, followed by sea salt to exfoliate dead skin, stimulate blood circulation and expel toxins. Then it was back to the steam room for a soothing oil massage using a special blend of olive, geranium, vetiver and orange oil. After a quick dip in a cool tub, the treatment ended with a head massage and hair wash, followed by ginger tea, dates and cookies. There’s something deliciously luxurious about being bathed. Sure, it’s a little intimate, and for some people, downright strange, but once you put yourself into that ‘I’m royalty and therefore shall not lift a finger’ mode, you can easily convince yourself to let someone else scrub your armpits. For a relaxing massage, try out the Plantation Massage akin to what plantation workers would’ve received after a hard day at work. This soft massage helps relieve sore muscles. All treatments here are aimed at striking the right balance and triggering the body’s natural healing abilities.

GOOD LIVING In keeping with the retreat’s commitment to healthy living, MesaStila offers a variety of fun activities throughout the day, including an informative coffee plantation tour, yoga and Indonesian martial art classes in a breezy sala, and opportunities to join the local community for Javanese dance classes in a beautifully carved wooden pavilion. A variety of jamu (Indonesian health tonics) is available for sampling every morning, while a personal consultation with a tabib or traditional healer is also possible. To help increase my metabolic rate, the tabib

concocted a personalised potion of cardamoms, galangal, turmeric, nutmeg, and numerous other ingredients, sweetened slightly by honey and lime. Later, the tabib applied pressure on selected points on my back and feet to clear blockages and improve blood circulation. Guests looking for more focused health programmes can check out MesaStila’s range of fitness and weight management, cleansing, and de-stressing retreats.



A Magelang, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia T

+62-298 596 333 GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Semarang, Indonesia daily from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Go to for flight details.

Meals at MesaStila are whipped up from organicallyproduced ingredients, and are absolutely delish. The menu includes such delights as spinach and mozzarella galette with fried quail eggs and sweet onion chutney, and baked white snapper in miso broth, and local delicacies like soto ayam, a chicken broth with glass noodles. For dessert, the warm chocolate lava cake is a must. This flourless cake made with low fat chocolate and served with vanilla sorbet and raspberry sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Two days just wasn’t enough to savour all that MesaStila had to offer, but it certainly was an inspiration to embrace a healthier lifestyle. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


Words: R. RajEndrA

Leisurely in Legian


Although just recently opened, The 101 Legian is already fast gaining popularity as a choice stay in this very hip and happening street in Bali. Of course, anyone heading to the Island of Gods thinks Kuta is the axis of excitement but locals will tell you that Kuta is just too touristy. Seminyak on the other end can be a bit too pricey for the average traveller. Legian, sandwiched between these two areas, has become the definitive spot to eat, drink, party and stay. Here, The 101 Legian is perfectly located to take care of all your holiday needs without tearing a hole in your wallet. Right smack in Legian Street, the hotel is a 3-star accommodation that prides itself in offering something more to its guests. Even though located in a busy street flanked by pubs, clubs, restaurants, boutiques and enough shopping to fill a container truck, the hotel has a resort vibe that’s very appealing. Staff dressed in resort wear welcome you to the lobby area that’s bright, fresh and cheery. Green, blue and wood feature prominently and echo the hotel’s design concept, which draws inspiration from water. This ‘Smart, Stylish Experience’ that guests get is a straightforward, fussfree hospitality that’s also the perfect blend of comfort and affordability. Having arrived on a rainy day, I checked into one of the compact rooms that are located facing huge air wells for maximum ventilation and natural light. The rooms, which come in Superior, Deluxe Balcony, Deluxe Pool Access, Deluxe Family and Suite categories, are all done up in soft tones with splashes of crimson, yellow, green and blue. The rooms were cute and comfortable although a tad small, but that was perfectly fine with me because when in Bali, being cooped up in a room was the last thing on my mind when the whole island was at my beck and call! The bed was firm, the pillows plush, the in-room WiFi working and the TV beaming enough cable channels. I couldn’t ask for more! But something more exciting awaited me as I baptised the room quickly and raced to the rooftop. Here lies The 101 Legian’s Rooftop Lounge & Restaurant. Fast turning into an attraction in itself, the rooftop houses the Pool Bar and The Restaurant where travel 3sixty˚

you get stunning views of the city, the mountains and the ocean in the distance. But wait! The icing on the cake here is the rooftop pool that allows guests to enjoy views of the island and the bustling street scene below without ever stepping out of the hotel. With the infinity glass pool, shaded deck chairs and a full bar nearby, this will certainly be the best memory of your holiday in Bali. This compact but comfortable concept of The 101 Legian offers great value for money without compromising on service or warmth. The hotel even manages to squeeze in a mini gym and spa within the premises. The Atma Spa offers affordably priced treatments and employs trained local therapists. Of course, the Balinese Massage is a must to ease away the aches and pains. One added piece of information that cannot be glossed over is the security at the hotel. The 101 Legian has won an award for stringent security measures. Not only do you need an approved access card to activate the elevator, main doors need to be unlocked before you can enter your floor. Suffice to say, the hotel places utmost importance on security and is fiercely dedicated in providing you with a safe and sound stay. All in all, The 101 Legian is a chic hotel right smack in the thick of things in Bali, offering guests a lovely stay, gracious hospitality, enhanced security and rooftop views at seriously affordable prices.

The 101 Legian A

Jalan Raya Legian

No.117 Badung, Bali, Indonesia T

+62 361 3001 101

Getting There AirAsia flies daily to Bali from various destinations. Go to for details.

Visit for attractive room deals at this hotel.



The Ayodya Resort in the beach and resort enclave of Nusa Dua is undoubtedly a spectacular holiday destination but in Bali, most hotels aim for the ‘wow’ factor and pull out all the stops in offering service par excellence. What sets Ayodya apart from the rest is the fact that the hotel fuses mythology with local hospitality amidst a garden setting that’s truly regal. The resort’s name is a throwback to the legendary kingdom of Sri Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Designed like a palace that draws its architectural influence from local regencies, the grand entrance and lobby are magnificent open spaces, rich with wooden finishing, sumptuous gold, red and green accents, and adorned with stone tableaus of scenes from the Ramayana. Do ask the staff at the lobby for a quick introduction to the Ramayana based on these frescoes. What blew me away at this resort were the gardens. Lush, verdant and fully mature, the 11.5 hectares are beautifully landscaped with tropical blooms, swaying palms and ancient rainforest trees that dot the garden with the ubiquitous frangipani scenting the air. The ‘rainforest in the resort’ theme is further explored in courtyard spaces between sections of the rooms. Here, mini forests with creepers, jungle palms and ferns compete upwards for sunlight with gurgling water features at the base of the jungle floor. Adding to the charm are the ponds at the resort that have attracted egrets, kingfishers and other riverine birds, while lazy monitor lizards bask in the warm morning sun on earth mounds in the ponds. At breakfast time at the Waterfall Café, these creatures dutifully hang out near the deck hoping for scraps. Guests, I noticed, were simply enthralled by this mini zoo every morning. The rooms at Ayodya Resort are done up in a style that’s best described as traditionally elegant. Dark timber features prominently with marble providing the airiness. Rooms either look out to the stunning ponds and lagoon pools or, the soothing gardens. The pièce de resistance at the resort however is the Ayodya Palace – a 79-room private residence that offers total privacy and luxury for those who wish to be treated like royalty. Befitting its status as a ‘palace’, guests check-in at a private reception area and are whisked away to suites named after characters from the Ramayana such as the Kausalya, Mandavi, Dasaratha and Bharata Suites. For couples, the Honeymoon Suites offer accommodation



with all the creature comforts designed to bring romance to your life. Guest at this private haven enjoy additional benefits such as a dedicated concierge and reception services, complimentary breakfasts, snacks and evening cocktails, free Internet access and a well stocked library. F&B options at the Ayodya are a plenty with diverse choices such as Japanese at Genji, casual 24-hour dining at Waterfall, Octopus Restaurant and Sports Bar, sea-facing Lagoona for continental inspired meals, and Rama Terrace and Rama Lounge for drinks and cocktails. The main attraction amongst these outlets is the Balinese Theatre dinner, where your buffet dinner is served with a dose of cultural performances. A Rijsttafelstyle dinner is also served during Full Moon party nights. Oh yes, let’s not forget the beach! With a blindingly white 350-metre stretch of powder at your disposal, the Ayodya Resort seafront is the perfect spot to chill under oversized brollies. The ocean here is quite gentle, allowing both adults and children to enjoy the warm water and the benevolent waves. Sitting under one of the frangipani tress with a gentle breeze blowing, the waves whispering noisily and the occasional flower falling off its branch, I drifted away into a pleasant slumber only to be awakened by one of the beach staff adjusting my umbrella and offering me a cold bottle of water. It was a grand experience, to be cocooned in old world charm and served like royalty. Even the gods would approve!

AYODYA RESORT BALI A Jl. Pantai Mengiat, Nusa Dua, 80363 - Indonesia T

+66 5325 3666

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

Visit for attractive room deals at this hotel.

04 HIT LIST 2012



Earth Day 1970 capitalised on the emerging consciousness surrounding environmental issues and channelled the anti-war movement toward environmental concerns. Decades later, the battle for conservation continues. Here is a list that shows how the smallest contributions can make a big difference.



Earth Day was first celebrated 42 years ago, the same year Jimi Hendrix died and the last Beatles album produced – 1970. That year also saw Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, calling for an environmental campaign, known today as Earth Day, to be held on April 22. Today, Earth Day is observed by more than 500 million people worldwide in 175 countries under the auspices of the United Nations. The fight for sustainable living continues, especially with the drastic changes in our current climate. We invite you to be a part of Earth Day and help carve out successes in mankind’s history by implementing these very simple practices in your daily lives.

Low-flow showerheads can help increase water pressure while saving water at the same time.

SAVE ENERGY u Set the thermostat on your airconditioning at 25°C (78°F) , and no lower than that in hot climates. You save 3% in energy cost for every degree up on these units. u Unplug appliances when you’re done using them or use ‘smart’ power strips that sense when the appliances are switched off to cut off ‘phantom’ energy use. u Use normal temperature water to wash your clothes because 85% of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water. u Drip-dry clothes whenever possible on the clothesline instead of using a dryer. u Switch off lights when not in use but leave fluorescent tubes on instead of switching them off and on each time you enter a room fitted with such lights. u Shut the refrigerator as soon as you take the goods out. Do not stand in front of the fridge wondering what to eat or cook with the door open.

SKIP BOTTLED WATER u Bottled water is convenient but really isn’t necessary as most countries (not all!) have tap

water that is safe for drinking. It isn’t the water which is the main culprit but the huge amount of plastic bottles that end up in landfills and waterways. u Use a water filter or boil tap water to purify your drinking water instead of buying bottled water. u Carry around your own water in a reusable container, but be sure to check the safety of reusing such containers. Do ensure they don’t leach DEHP or Bisphenol A.

u The best options are still old-fashioned stainless steel or earthen jar water containers.

SAVE WATER u Limit your shower time and if you’re soaping, turn off the tap. u Install low-flow showerheads where water pressure is increased, but without the energy consumption of traditional water pressure boosters (check out

u Fix faucet aerators on the taps as these little gadgets conserve water while keeping the water pressure high. u When shaving, do not keep the tap running. Instead, have a glass full of warm water to cleanse the blades as you shave. u Fetch a pail of water to wash you car instead of hosing it down. Apply same method when you wash windows and glass doors.



Buying locally sourced produce can help reduce carbon emission that’s caused by transportation and refrigeration.

than veggies and the damage to the environment and health is equally high. u Support your local economy and buy locally raised, humane, organic meat, fish, eggs and dairy whenever you can. The further your food comes from, the higher the environmental impact as it requires transportation, refrigeration etc. u Buy only what is necessary. This also helps keep your monthly spending low be it food or other goods. u Learn to recycle organic waste to make compost for your garden.

CREATE OWN CLEANING SUPPLIES It’s no big secret, but our grandmothers used many homemade cleaning supplies that were easily available around the house. These will help preserve indoor air quality with less harmful and toxic emissions from store-bought supplies. u Use simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice for general cleaning. u Tamarind juice can be used to clean metal objects.


u Having a garden is great, but if it means excessive use of water to keep it pretty, think again. You could opt for drought-tolerant native plants that need minimal watering. uCollect rainwater to water plants, wash car, porch, drains etc. u Install toilet flush systems that have both half and full 52


flush capacities. Better yet, use rainwater to flush toilets.


pretty. Most of these goods get thrown away creating loads of refuse. Here are some pointers on how we can buy goods while helping preserving the environment.

Consumers often get sucked into impulsive buying and buy goods that they don’t really need especially if the packaging is

u If meat is a must in your meals, replace at least one meal a week with a meatless one. Consuming meat is certainly more expensive

Opt for public transport to work or appointments whenever possible. Alternatively, you could walk or bike to work if it’s close enough. You’ll also improve your cardiovascular health while saving money on petrol and parking. u Car pool to work or to send your children to school. u Exercise your rights as a citizen – petition to the local council to make better sidewalks and bike lanes for more green living options.

u Opt for a hybrid car that is more efficient in fuel consumption and less polluting too. u Remove unnecessary weight in the car by periodically cleaning out the boot and back seat. The heavier the car, the more fuel it consumes. u Turn off the engine when not in use. u Drive within speed limits as driving your vehicle faster burns more fuel.

u Ensure your engine, tyres, oil and filters are checked and maintained regularly.

RECYCLE ELECTRONICS Resist the temptation to buy every imaginable new product or gadget in the market. You may look trendy but you also become a direct contributor to the damage done to the environment in the long run.

u Use your mobile phones, computers and other electronics for as long as possible to lessen electronic waste. Batteries in these gadgets may contain a lot of dangerous substances that may leach out in landfills and waterways. u Repair appliances when it breaks down. Don’t be too eager to chuck them out!


u If you must upgrade, donate or recycle your electronics if you no longer need them to cut down ‘e-waste’.

Driving is convenient but cycling is fun and makes you a healthier person.

WATERPEBBLE The Waterpebble is a device you place near the drain in your bathroom that monitors water usage. With inbuilt memory, it uses your first ‘waterpebble shower’ as a benchmark for the amount of water used. It raises your awareness of water consumption by blinking coloured lights –green when you start your shower, amber as you’re halfway through and red when it’s time to wrap up. Gradually, the waterpebble shortens your shower time and motivates you to reduce water consumption. About USD12.50 per unit.

ECO BUTTON This is a computer powersaving device that aims to reduce PC power usage. Press the ecobutton when you are away from your computer and it automatically puts your computer into the most efficient energy saving mode available called ‘ecomode’. It then records the carbon units, power and money you have saved and flashes the info on your computer. About USD16 per unit.




Instead of buying books, opt for secondhand stores or borrow from the library and friends.

• The waste water at car wash centres are sent to the sewer and will eventually undergo some treatment before being released in rivers, lakes or the ocean; whereas the waste water that you create in your backyard will seep into the ground with all the residue and detergent. • There are 74 different kinds of pesticides found in groundwater, which may end up as potential drinking water. • China emits more CO2 than the US and Canada put together – up by 171% since the year 2000. • Power plants that generate electricity may also emit substances that cause lung cancer and heart attacks. • The average person produces an estimated 390 kgs of waste per year. Source:www.environment-green. com;; www.

DO YOU OR DON’T YOU • 1 in 50 adults traded in their vehicle for a more fuel-efficient hybrid, electric or alternative fuel vehicle in the last year, whereas 1.02 adults do not.

SOLID SECONDHANDS BORROW! DON’T BUY This applies to practically anything you have within reason, and it’s the best form of recycling! u Hunt online for good quality second hand products such as gadgets, tools or furniture, even used clothes (now cleverly renamed as ‘vintage’ or ‘pre-loved’). You’ll be amazed at how cheap these things can be, but still in mint condition. u Shop at garage sales, thrift stores and consignment shops for clothes and everyday items.



It sounds a bit strange but borrowing instead of buying can help minimise production waste, not to mention saving heaps of money in the long run. u Borrow movies, books and CDs from libraries or friends instead of buying them. Or share the cost of buying these goods. This saves energy needed to reprint the goods in their respective industries. u Download legal, online versions of the said material from the

Internet and store them in your computers, iPads, Kindle etc. u Share tools and appliances amongst family members, or even neighbours if you’re close enough.

Is recycling hip? Do you know of businesses that are putting a new twist to recycling? Share your stories with us at

• 1 in 2.17 adults claim they always turn the lights off when leaving a room, whereas 1 in 50 adults do not. • 1 in 2.38 adults claim they always recycle, whereas 1 in 20 do not. • 1 in 3.7 adults claim they always reuse things instead of throwing them away or buying new items, whereas 1 in 25 do not. • 1 in 3.85 adults claim they always make an effort to use less water, whereas 1 in 16.67 do not. • 1 in 6.25 adults claim they always make an effort to unplug electrical appliances when not using them, whereas 1 in 6.67 do not. Source:

04 FEATURE • Australia 2012

Sydney doesn’t need any introductions but dig a little deeper and you’ll discover a whole new world waiting to be explored and experienced. Here’s our little Insider Guide to the city that often makes it to the World’s Top 10 Most Desirable Cities to Live in.






When the First Fleet arrived on January 26, 1788 at the shores of what is now known as Sydney Harbour, none of the 1,030 passengers – and Sydney’s first residents – could envision what this city would become. What started as a small settlement located around present-day The Rocks, has quickly become one of the world’s most stylish cities. This is a place where the ocean, sun, sand and people cohabit harmoniously, creating the most exciting place in Australia. It is home to over 4 million people made up of close to two hundred nations, houses one of the world’s most iconic landmarks and boasts some of Australia’s finest beaches. This is Sydney! To those who are visiting Sydney for the first time, it may seem that the action centres on Circular Quay by which the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are located. But Sydney is much more than that. Those who take time to go beyond the typical guide book recommendations will soon discover that Sydney is a city of many faces and facets. Foodies will be in gourmet



heaven, where cuisines from all over the world crash and collide. Shoppers will be in paradise browsing through the colourful weekend markets, malls and boutiques. Nature lovers will be impressed by how easy it is to escape the busy city to find themselves in the bush or a quiet cove. Culture vultures will never tire of the endless museums, galleries and the various festivals held throughout the year. And for those who want nothing more than a relaxing holiday, the sandy beaches around the city are just too precious to miss. It really is a spectacular place, and Sydney knows exactly how to cater for every taste and temperament. One often wonders why this stunning city is not the country’s capital, but Sydneysiders are pleased that politicians reside faraway in Canberra instead of Sydney. In that way, Sydney can retain its never-ending-holiday, fun and frolicking character. But don’t limit yourself to the surface offerings of the city. There really is a whole new world waiting to be discovered.

COCKATOO ISLAND Located just a short ferry ride from Sydney, Cockatoo Island is the biggest and without a doubt the most interesting island in Sydney Harbour. Formerly a prison, an industrial school and finally a shipyard, now, it acts as a huge outdoor museum and in 2010, was added to the World Heritage List. This unusual island is a great place to get lost among massive industrial buildings and learn about the lesser known side of Sydney. Visitors are encouraged to take a self-guided audio tour, which explains the history of the place. The highlight of the island is its camping ground that provides amazing views of the harbour! GETTING THERE: At Circular Quay Wharf, catch any ferry heading to Parramatta or Balmain. OPENING TIMES: All Day. The Visitor Centre is open from 10am to 4pm daily. ADMISSION: Access to the island is free. Camping starts at AUD35 per night.

LEFT: Queen Victoria Building was designed by George McRae and was completed in 1898. The Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the building so the then-government could employ out-of-work craftsmen. Originally, the building housed a concert hall, coffee shops, offices, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of traders such as tailors, mercers, hairdressers and florists. RIGHT: The Sydney Tower welcomes visitors to experience the Skywalk, and view the city below them from a height of 268 metres on a glass floor viewing platform! The height of the tower from base to top of the spire is 309 metres and the structure was built to withstand earthquakes and extreme wind conditions. PRECEEDING PAGE: Cockatoo Island is a former imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory, gaol and one of Australia’s biggest shipyards during the 20th century. The first of its two dry docks was built by convicts and was completed in 1857.



MANLY TO SPIT BRIDGE WALK Manly to Spit Bridge Scenic Walk is one of Sydney’s best outdoor attractions. But it is hard to decide which is more exciting – the walk itself or the ferry ride from Sydney’s city centre to Manly. On the way, the ferry passes through the entire harbour, providing breathtaking views of the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and exclusive harbour suburbs. The Scenic Walk starts near the ferry terminal in Manly, just 15 kms from Sydney’s central business district, but the place feels miles away. The 10-km walk takes about three hours to complete and the path meanders through Australian bush grounds and some spectacular coves and beaches, combined with stunning views of the harbour. GETTING THERE: At Circular Quay catch a ferry heading to Manly (30 mins). Once in Manly follow the Scenic Walk signs. OPENING TIMES: All day. ADMISSION: Free.


BELOW: Newtown is renowned for its carefree lifestyle and expressive graffiti art. This town is filled with all kinds of cafés, restaurants, watering holes and small performing arts venues that showcase the diverse and multicultural nature of its residents.



The biggest market of its kind in the southern hemisphere, Sydney Fish Market is a place for seafood shopping and tasting. The selection, colours and the freshness of the marine life in the retail section are overwhelming. Most of the market’s activity happens behind closed doors. Every morning, a massive seafood auction takes place here. Hundreds of restaurateurs and shop owners from all over Australia

come here in search of the best seafood in the country. Good news is that it is possible to observe the exciting process of bidding. Famous ‘Behind the Scenes at the Market’ tour offers visitors a chance to learn about where all that seafood comes from, how it is sold and which famous chefs come here to buy supplies. GETTING THERE: Catch the Metro Light Trail from Central Station, Haymarket or Darling Harbour and get off at the Fish Market stop. OPENING TIMES: Market opens daily from 7am to 4pm. Tours at 6.40am on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Bookings are essential. ADMISSION: Market – Free, Tours – AUD20.

NEWTOWN The suburb of Newtown, located a short train ride west of the city, is considered Sydney’s most trendy and funky district. Life in Newtown revolves around King Street. Its entire length is occupied by restaurants, bars, cafés, pubs, bookstores, second hand shops and boutiques. If you are into food, this is the place to be. Whether it is Chinese, Peruvian, Japanese or Spanish cuisine – Newtown has it all. But it is worth going beyond King Street, the restaurants and the shops. Newtown is famous for street art, mostly colourful graffiti. It is worth getting lost among the side streets and alleys to marvel at these very exciting expressions of art. GETTING THERE: Newtown can be reached by a train from Central Station or Town Hall. OPENING TIMES: All day ADMISSION: Free

ABOVE: The Sydney Opera House’s instantly recognisable roof is made of sets of interlocking vaulted ‘shells’. The roof was designed by Danish Jørn Utzon and initially attracted immense criticism and public disdain when being constructed. It was completed and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.

MILSONS POINT Milsons Point, located at the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, provides one of the most spectacular vantage points in Sydney. But surprisingly few tourists make it here. The view is jaw-dropping, especially at sunset, but no matter what time of the day, you will not be disappointed. It really is a postcard-perfect location with spectacular views of Sydney’s Central Business District, the Opera House and of course, the Bridge. Check out nearby Luna Park for mind-blowing vistas of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks, and the best place to watch them is from the top of Luna Park’s Ferris wheel. GETTING THERE: Walk across the bridge or catch a train from Central Station, Town Hall or Wynyard to Milsons Point OPENING TIMES: All day, best late afternoon and after dusk ADMISSION: Free

CABRAMATTA Cabramatta, located 30 kms west of Sydney’s CBD, is home to the largest Vietnamese community in Australia. Over a third of its residents are of Vietnamese origin, but Chinese, Thai, Laotian and Khmer form a large part of the local community as well. Cabramatta has it all – Buddhist temples, Asian shops and markets, 64


posh restaurants and cheap eateries offering delicious Asian food. Monks frequent the neighbourhood, old Asian women wearing traditional dresses go about their daily chores, while Mandarin and Vietnamese is much spoken here. It is also the best place in Sydney to try pho, the famous Vietnamese noodle soup. GETTING THERE: Catch Bankstown or Inner West line train from Central Station or Town Hall, about 1 hour away. OPENING TIMES: Day time ADMISSION: Free

TARONGA ZOO This almost 100-year-old zoo is much loved by the locals. Housing over 26,000 animals, both native to Australia like koalas and kangaroos, and from all over the world, it is a must-see for animal and nature lovers. The zoo is located a short ferry-ride from Sydney’s centre and is another spot offering breathtaking views of the city. The most famous residents of the zoo – the giraffes – live here with a million dollar view of the harbour. The zoo is huge, so take your time to explore it. GETTING THERE: Catch a Taronga Zoo ferry from Circular Quay OPENING TIMES: 9am to 5pm ADMISSION: Adults AUD44, children AUD22

SYDNEY STAPLES You can’t quite visit Sydney without seeing these Old Faithfuls.

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE One of the most recognisable buildings in the world, Sydney Opera House has been the symbol of the city since its opening in 1973. Its shape doesn’t cease to amaze visitors to Australia, and remains the most photographed and visited attraction in Sydney. Performances are held throughout the year and attending one of them is the best way to experience the Opera House.

SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE The only landmark in Sydney that rivals the Opera House! It is known affectionately as ‘The Coathanger’ and remains the most important bridge in the city, connecting the city’s south and north. Those wanting to experience the bridge to its fullest should try the Bridge Climb – an experience that allows visitors to climb and stand atop this amazing structure.

BONDI BEACH Bondi Beach is an institution in itself. This famous beach lures hundreds of people every day. Backpackers can’t resist it, surfers adore it, Sydneysiders love visiting it on weekends and local residents think it is the best place in the world to live in. The best way to experience the buzz is to spend a day by the beach, catch some sun, take a dip in the warm water and ogle at the bronzed gods and goddesses at the beach.

ABOVE: Passengers on a ferry to Manly. Manly has a collection of over 30 water and land-based attractions, 18 beaches and over 50 scenic spots.


WATSONS BAY AND SOUTH HEAD South Head is one of two stone formations forming the entrance of the Pacific Ocean to the Sydney Harbour. A short costal walk on the South Head Heritage Trail starts at Watsons Bay wharf and offers great views of the city, North Head and the Pacific Ocean. Camp Cove beach here is beautiful with its calm waters – perfect for children. This is also where Hornby Lighthouse is located. The walk ends at the Gap, a high cliff which incidentally is an infamous suicide spot with spectacular ocean views. There are a few great eateries in the area, with the Doyles seafood restaurant topping them all. GETTING THERE: From Circular Quay catch a Watsons Bay ferry OPENING TIMES: All day ADMISSION: Free

All prices and times are correct at time of print. GETTING THERE AirAsia commences its inaugural flight to Sydney daily from Kuala Lumpur beginning April 1, 2012. Go to



The most elegant and the oldest of Sydney’s shopping centres, QVB as it is known among Sydneysiders, is one of the most impressive examples of colonial architecture in Sydney. The interiors are impressive and even those who are not keen on shopping will find the building interesting. It is worth going up to the quieter top floors to enjoy a cup of coffee and the piano music played there daily.

SYDNEY TOWER At 309 metres, the tower is the highest structure in Sydney and the observatory deck located at a height of 250 metres provides great 360° views of the city. Be it the early morning, middle of the day or sunset, views of the city and the surrounding areas are simply awe inspiring.

ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS There is no better place than the Gardens for a picnic, a stroll or a rest after a day of sightseeing. This massive park acts as the green lung for Sydney’s city centre. The location, just by the bay, is spectacular. Trees and plants are not the only attraction here. The Gardens is also home to thousands of bats and hundreds or cockatoo parrots.


04 FEATURE • Japan 2012

In Full Bloom

Heralding the arrival of spring, cherry blossoms put on a dazzling display that not only celebrates the glory of nature, but in true Japanese fashion, represent also the transient nature of all living things.


ABOVE: Sakura trees in full bloom around Hiroshima Castle, Hiroshima City.

Spring is the perfect time to visit Japan. Not only has the winter cold finally given way to mild, pleasant days, it’s also the cherry blossom season. The gorgeous pink blossoms or sakura make the landscape look like a page out of a fairy tale, turning every tree-lined street a pretty pink with soft petals gently falling off branches. It seems the perfect way to bid old man Winter goodbye and welcome Spring with such a dazzling display of nature’s brilliant shades. The locals just adore the arrival of the cherry blossoms as it puts everyone in a happy mood with hanami or blossom-viewing parties taking place under virtually every tree.

NATIONAL PRIDE There is perhaps no more readily identifiable symbol of Japan than the cherry blossom, making it Japan’s de facto national flower although the yellow chrysanthemum is often regarded as the national flower as it has been an imperial emblem since 1868. So popular is the sakura in Japan, the approach of cherry blossom season triggers a nationwide fervour only seen in other countries at royal weddings or the World Cup. Each year, as soon as the winter chill starts to fade and 70


the days lengthen, the anticipation starts building in the air for the buds to appear.

HAPPY HANAMI Hanami is invariably translated as ‘flower-viewing’, but this term is totally inadequate for conveying the true spirit of the word. The English language just isn’t equipped with a word for ‘getting together under a tree with friends to share good food and drink while contemplating the transient beauty of the cherry blossom’. The activity spans all ages and social positions, with the young and old, families, friends and co-workers all partaking in it with equal gusto. No one is unmoved or unaffected. Many companies close for an afternoon so workers can attend the official hanami party. The practice of hanami goes back over a 1,000 years to the Heian Period (794 – 1185). During that time, plum trees, which blossom slightly earlier than the cherry in February, were the focus of the celebrations. Only later did the sakura supersede the plum in popularity. At first, hanami parties were only for the aristocracy and court nobility, who enjoyed looking at the beautiful blossoms that inspired them

to compose poems and haiku. The cherry blossoms, however, reached the height of popularity towards the end of the 16th century. The stunning beauty of the blooms was so irresistible that even the great warlord and unifier of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537 – 1598), was a fervent fan. His extravagant hanami parties at Daigoji Temple in Kyoto are legendary.

CHEERY CHERRY During the Edo period (1600 -1868) cherry trees were collected from all over Japan and cultivated at the mansions of the feudal lords in Tokyo. As horticultural techniques developed, lots of cherry trees were planted in public parks, temple gardens and along river banks. This enabled the population at large to enjoy their own hanami, characterised by lots of drinking, eating and dancing. Today, in addition to its 10 native species of cherry tree, Japan has around 300 ornamental varieties, the result of 1,000 years of horticulture. Of these, one of the most spectacular varieties is the weeping cherry, or shidarezakura.

However, as with all good bacchanalia, a spiritual element underlies all this merry-making. Until the 20th century, Japan was still mainly an agricultural country with over 70 percent of the population living in scattered village communities. In spring, collective pilgrimages were made to the surrounding mountains to hold gatherings under the cherry trees to welcome nature’s rebirth. This event brought communities together, and was an eagerly awaited part of the pastoral calendar.

ETERNAL BEAUTY After these outings it was customary to bring back a branch of sakura and stand it in the rice fields as an invitation to the mountain gods to protect the harvest. It was believed that the gods would be attracted by the beauty of the flowering branch. With such divine origins, it is small wonder that the Japanese people’s reverence for the blossom is so deep-rooted. These days, while hanami is basically a great excuse to let your hair down and enjoy a good picnic,

BELOW: A family enjoying a walk in the park in the late afternoon at Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

ABOVE: Cherry blossom trees line a mountain road on Mt. Noro, near Kure City, eastern Japan.

the deeper cultural significance remains firmly in the hearts and minds of the Japanese people. The communion with nature is still a vital aspect in the Japanese psyche. The English poet Keats wrote that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.” But for the Japanese, the beauty lies in the fleeting moment, in the transitory joy of the blossom. “We don’t just admire cherry blossoms because they are beautiful and fragile, that’s the same for everyone the world over,” Miyuki Hotta, a 50-year-old school teacher, told me. “It’s also because they die without lingering on, which is how people traditionally felt a good samurai should die too.”

BLOSSOM MANIA To this day, even before the blossoms are fully open, the air buzzes with the imminent approach of sakura season. By mid-February many shops are already decorated with sakura displays reflecting the festive mood, just as Western shops put up trees and tinsel at Christmas time. Supermarkets stock lavish o-bento lunch boxes containing as many as 20 different 72


delicacies, including rice balls, tempura vegetables, prawns, grilled salmon, and burdock root – all neatly set out in separate compartments. Electronics stores even sell cherry blossom screen-savers! The excitement reaches fever pitch once the first buds start blooming. TV, radio and press feed their audience daily updates on the blossoms’ progress. The degree of ‘openness’ of the flower is expressed as a percentage. Train stations display blossom charts, so people can find out where the trees are at their best. People discuss the statistics as avidly as British people discuss the weather. You’ll hear passionate discussion such as: “This weekend they are going to be 80% open!” or “They reckon it’ll be 100% by Wednesday.”

DRESSED BY NATURE Paper lanterns with light bulbs are hung on cherry trees along river banks and parks. People start making plans for securing the best spot under their favourite trees. Sakura no meisho or party spots, are reserved days in advance, by simply placing a large blue tarp on the ground with a note bearing the owner’s name. In this

polite and gracious country, no one would dream of stealing someone else’s space once it has been reserved in this manner. When the season begins, popular areas get as crowded as a rock festival. Once open, the blossoms transform the landscape into an ephemeral wonderland. They brighten riverbanks and public parks, burst out of pine-clad hills like puffs of pink smoke, form luminescent tunnels on mountain roads and soften the harsh edges of the city’s concrete structures. At night, the effect of the lanterns glowing on the tree creates a surreal cottoncandy grotto that becomes quite magical after a glass or two of sake.

TIME TO REJOICE At the main viewing areas, stalls spring up selling all manner of food and drinks, from whole squid on a stick to grilled fish or chicken, hearty noodle dishes or takoyaki octopus dumplings. Some people prefer to bring shop-bought o-bento boxes, and plenty of snacks: Edamame, dried fish or squid and rice crackers. Others bring portable hotplates, barbecues and grills and cook

ABOVE: Office workers attend their company’s hanami party along Honkawa River, Hiroshima City.

up their own feasts. The air becomes rich with the sweet-smelling smoke billowing from so many grills. Hanami usually begin around lunchtime and can go on till late evening. The celebrations start off fairly sedate and become increasingly boisterous as night falls. Salarymen sit cross-legged in their suits and ties, red-faced from all the beer and sake. Even elderly ladies join in with cans in hand. Some people bring kerosene stoves to keep away the night chill, and it’s not unusual for revellers to bring portable karaoke machines. Who doesn’t enjoy a good sing-song after a few drinks? Despite the alcohol, the atmosphere remains goodnatured, almost beatific. The beauty of the blossoms seems to evoke an awe-inspired respect, as if the revellers were in some sacred place. Which, in a way, we were. Last year, a total stranger handed my wife and me an unopened 2-litre bottle of sake. “Please take it and enjoy the sakura,” he smiled. And this being Japan, once the party is over, people are admirably conscientious about disposing of their trash in the containers provided, or even taking it home with them.

BEST SPOTS FOR BLOSSOMS Blossoms will be bursting in parks, riverbanks and temple gardens nationwide, so you won’t have any trouble finding them. Some of the most famous places are: TOKYO, UENO PARK One of the capital’s most popular spots. Over 1,000 trees! OSAKA, OSAKA CASTLE 4,000 trees. KYOTO, MARUYAMA PARK Next to Yasaka Shrine. Look out for the large Weeping Cherry. MIYAJIMA ISLAND, HIROSHIMA Famous for its vermillion torii gate rising from the sea. Over 1,300 cherry trees around the shrine area.

HOW TO HANAMI Hanami can be as simple as a stroll in the park or as elaborate as a large-scale picnic for 20 or more people. Just get yourself an o-bento and something to drink from any supermarket or convenience store, head to a park or riverbank, and join in the fun!


ABOVE: A young woman sits under a Weeping Cherry tree next to a canal in Central Park, Hiroshima City. TOP: Groups of young men and women enjoying a hanami party under sakura trees hung with colourful lanterns along Kyobashi River, Hiroshima.

FLEETING JOY The sakura flowers are only at their best for a week to 10 days, depending on the weather, so timing is crucial. One heavy rainstorm or one windy day will bring them all fluttering down in a blizzard of blossom. After 14 years in Japan, I’ve learned to make the most of this brief viewing window, knowing that all too soon the spell will be over, the city will lose its pink mantle for another year and harsh reality will return. But I find comfort in the knowledge that next winter, just as the cold weather starts to feel like it’s never going to end, little buds will start appearing on the cherry trees’ bare branches, and hanami days will soon be here again. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies to Haneda, Tokyo 6 times a week and 4 times a week to Osaka from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for details.



The cherry blossom front moves from south to north at about 30 kms a day. On the main island of Honshu, blossoms peak from late March to early April. Exact dates vary from year to year depending on the weather, so keep your eyes on the TV for regional updates. Weather forecasts usually include blossom-viewing maps, showing the best viewing areas.

What is the national flower of your country and what does it symbolise? Share your stories with us at www. travel3sixty

04 FEATURE • Indonesia 2012

BIKING IN BALI Bali as a holiday destination is legendary but the same island doesn’t spring to mind when you think of biking. The Island of Gods is home to some of Southeast Asia’s best biking trails and there’s simply no better way to experience the heart and soul of the place than on two wheels. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: STEVE THOMAS

Being an avid and lifelong travelling cyclist, any first trip to a new destination can be a bit of mixed bag: A blend of intrigue, excitement, fear, elation, and sometimes frustration or disappointment. Or a mix of all of the aforementioned, as I experienced on my first mountain biking venture to Bali. Despite a lifetime on the road, somehow I’d never quite made it to Bali. Not being a cycling destination of repute meant that it had somehow slipped through my net. When you hear Bali mentioned, so many conflicting images spring to mind. Often, images of endless touristic stretches overcrowded with sun seekers, bustling beach resorts and nightclubs flashing lurid neon lights are the first to come by. For first timers to this island, the promise of tranquil sandy escapes, serene spas, cultural exploration and holy retreats still offer some of the mystique of the old Bali.

LEFT: Remote village temples are found all over Bali. ABOVE: Villagers outside a small temple watching bikers ride pass. PRECEEDING PAGE, LEFT: Riding through a lava field close to the Batur crater. PRECEEDING PAGE, RIGHT: The long climb through the rice terraces on Mt. Agung.



Within a couple of days in Bali you’ll find it’s all of these things, and so much more too. The beauty of Bali is that it’s cunningly designed so that you can take whichever slice of it you desire and leave the rest aside. Not being much of a beach bum, my reasons for heading to Bali were to get in some decent mountain biking and, to see the cultural and natural sides of the island, and of course, to sample the local culinary delights along the way.

THE HOLY GRAIL OF TRAILS It’s always tough trying to find fruitful, off-road trails and information when travelling to ‘un-mapped’ destinations. With this in mind, I’d done plenty of pre trip research to ensure there were no dead ends, and that my time would be fully blessed with great riding. I teamed up with local mountain bike tour company Bali Trailblazers, which knows just about every paddy field and volcano trail there is in this neck of the woods. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


Having pored over various maps of the island I figured that the land was more or less like a great wedge, with towering volcanoes at the top end, which seemed to fade out towards the densely populated southern region. I wasn’t far wrong, which can mean some tough riding if you make wrong decisions. Most of the island’s top trails are located on the sparsely populated northern and eastern flanks, around the two major volcanoes of Batur and Agung – both impressive conical mountains that dominate the island on a clear day.



Having just a few days in Bali, cherry picking the prime rides was key, which meant hopping on a truck to get to the trails. It doesn’t take long on the road to get a feel for what Bali is all about. This place has more temples than you could shake your handlebar at. Every few seconds you’ll run into stone statues or amazing temples, and typical picture postcard images of graceful women carrying temple offerings on their heads. Lush green terraced hillsides and smiley faces abound. It is truly captivating if you can manage to keep your eyes on the road while enjoying the scenery.

BEGINNING AT BATUR My first ride was a circular route based around the impressive crater of Batur. I began the journey around the caldera (rim), and the scenery was simply stunning. A great lake spanned the crater base, dotted with fishing villages and a patchwork of agricultural land. As I began to descend steeply into the crater, these initially distant sights rapidly became full size. The trail wound around the lake shore before climbing up to a near perfect, single-track ridgeline. These trails are used only by

LEFT: Offerings to the gods on a bridge beneath Mt. Agung. ABOVE: A Balinese Hindu man praying.



BELOW: A local villager fascinated by passing bikers. RIGHT: An old bike sits besides the road.

locals and mountain bikers are a rarity here. So, you get that pioneering sense, which is often lost in modern biking. The lake is shadowed by the dormant and smouldering volcano, and my route took me right through a lunar-like lava field beneath it. It was an amazing ride but the best thing about it was getting into the heart of the island, seeing small villages and stopping to chew the fat with the locals as they prepared for Galungan, a religious festival. These are seriously friendly people who are fascinated by the concept of mountain biking. Things were not too physically demanding, although it was quite a climb up to the ridge. It was largely a winding single track, which was fast but not technically difficult. However, some off-road experience and reasonable fitness are required to conquer Batur. Batur was a great introduction to Bali’s trails, and I have to admit they were far better from a pure biking point of view than I’d ever imagined. Most of the riding is high up in the mountains, making for crisp and clear air, which is always welcomed when sweating it out on a bike. But it was the riding that followed the next few days that really struck a chord with me.

ALMIGHTY AGUNG After following the coastal road to the eastern slopes of the Agung volcano, I wove my way up an amazing hillside, which was a mass of drenched paddy fields, all neatly stitched together to make use of every patch of land. The trail wound its way up through the paddy fields and, as I climbed higher the stronger the visual impact became. On the lower slopes the paddy fields were all lush and verdant green, but as I gained altitude 84


the vegetation thinned out and the terraces became volcanic grey and brown in colour. It became evident to me that I was biking up a large mound that was a slumbering giant and had the potential of massive destruction if awakened. Still, every few minutes, I passed small groups of locals walking between the villages on the lower slopes and the paddy fields on the sides of the mountain, all brightly clad and carrying baskets on their heads.

Despite the hardship and the real danger of living in the shadows of an active volcano, the Balinese always manage a cheerful smile, it not a bemused one to see a foreigner huffing and puffing up their sacred mountains. The trails at Agung were definitely more physical than Batur, so you do need to be quite fit to tackle them. However, the riding took me through well-worn dirt trails that allowed greater appreciation of the scenery – both verdant and unforgiving. I was also less focussed on conquering the trail and was granted with the

opportunity to drink in the beauty of nature. As for the descent from there, it was pure exhilaration! Bali really is a great place for every kind of mountain biking. But the real reward is that you get to go completely ‘off-piste’ and see the Bali of yesteryear, as it was half a century ago – idyllic, pristine and untouched by the grubby hands of commercialism GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Bali from various destinations. Go to for details.



ABOVE: Locals walking from the rice fields on Mt. Agung to their village.



• The best riding in Bali is to be found around Batur and Agung, but in order to find the trails you will need a guide.

• A regular cross-country mountain bike with front suspension is the ideal choice for riding in Bali.

• If you’re looking for full-on downhill thrills, the ride from Abang to Tangkup (from Batur heading to the lowlands) is a good choice and has some great views along the way.

• Most organised mountain bike tours include bike hire and helmet, but you will need your own hot weather riding kit.

• There are lots of shorter and less demanding rides directly to the north of Ubud. You can spend hours winding through back roads and farm trails here. • The hilly roads up to the Batur crater make for a challenging road ride, and are best tackled early in the morning. The descent from Batur to Ubud is a thrilling ride for any level of rider. • A popular cycle touring route is the 400-km island perimeter road. However, you will need to carry your own gear for this and accommodation is fairly sparse. • The heavy traffic around the south of the island makes riding there very uncomfortable, so best to avoid it. To the north, the rides are smoother although it’s best to steer away from main roads. • On the mountain roads, there are numerous blind spots and traffic moves fast. Keep your ears open and pull off the road if in doubt over safety.



• Bike hire is readily available at travel agents in Ubud and other resort towns, although you may need to shop around to get something up to standard for serious mountain bike ventures. • Taking your bike on a flight is easy. Just get hold of a bike bag or box from your local bike shop, take off the pedals, turn the bars, deflate tyres, remove wheels and pack (or better still ask your local bike shop to do it for you).

BEST TIME FOR BIKING IN BALI The drier months (between late April and September) are definitely the prime times for cycling in Bali, especially off-road. Outside this period is still fine for cycling, but humidity makes the going tougher and the afternoon rains are best avoided.


I rode with Bali Trailblazers, which can arrange just about anything you wish to do – be it a day trip with bike hire included, or a two-week long guided tour of the island’s finest.

Fully inclusive day tours cost from USD75 upwards, depending on the group size.

There are several other biking tour operators in Bali. Check out and www.

SPOKE TALES Drop by our Facebook page and share with us your favourite biking trails from your country. Submit stories at www.facebook. com/travel3sixty

04 FEATURE 2012

SHOEVOLUTION What is it about shoes that make the most stoic of women go glassy eyed at the mere mention of a Jimmy Choo, a Manolo Blahnik or a Louboutin? Travel 3Sixty째 celebrates footwear by exploring the history, the allure and the naughty sub-culture that has developed out of footwear.



LEFT: An arrray of platforms, stilettoes and wedges from Malaysian designer, Alex Yap’s Amori designs. BELOW: The Armadillo by Alexander McQueen features an impossibly high shoe that has become an iconic symbol of fashion popularised by Lady GaGa.


According to fashion historian R. Turner Wilcox, the shoes of the elite were works of art. In Tutankhamen’s tomb, archeologists unearthed a pair of 3,000-year-old papyrus and leather sandals with motifs representing a scene along the Nile. Tutankhamen’s mummy sported

nder M cQuee

Its invention is often attributed to the Egyptians whose frescoes in ancient Thebes depict cobblers at work. Back then, sandals were fashioned using wet footprints in sand as a guide, braided papyrus for soles and palm fibre for thongs. Later, animal hides were used.


Years ago, I read Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and nearly passed out from the shocking descriptions of ancient Chinese foot binding. See wrote: “Seven centimetres – about the length of a thumb – is the ideal,” and explained that the toes and arch of the foot must be broken and bent under to meet the heel to achieve the much-desired lotus bud shape, popularised in the 10th century as a mark of beauty and status. Perception of beauty differs from one culture to another and indeed from one era to the next. Today, squeezing one’s feet into ornately-embroidered lotus shoes may no longer be a trend, but many women continue to sacrifice their feet at the altar of fashion. Just think of those killer high heels we swear we’ll never cram our feet into but always end up wearing. From the first pair of sandals ever crafted thousands of years ago, shoes have evolved into bizarre works, arty fashions and amazing engineering feats. One has but to consider the phallic stilettos by Void of Course popularised by Lady Gaga; the clever and arty bubblegum shoes of Kobi Levi; and ‘intelligent’ soccer shoes developed by Adidas to see how far shoes have come.

BABY STEPS According to archaeologist K. Kris Hirst, the oldest shoes ever discovered were sandals found in the American southwest, dating back 6,500 to 12,000 years. But, Kris estimates that sandals probably walked the earth as early as 40,000 years ago. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


sandals of embossed sheet gold with pointed toes that curved up in the front – believed to be a privilege accorded only to rulers.

TEETERING FASHIONS Over the centuries, footwear in Egypt evolved with influences from the Persians, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. Another tomb painting in Thebes shows a butcher wearing heels to elevate his feet above the bloodied floor. Chopines, shoes with high platform soles, were also worn by the Egyptians, as evidenced by findings in various tombs. These shoes would travel through Turkey, and become all the rage in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, where their precarious height denoted social standing. Initially favoured by Venetian courtesans, the outrageously-high chopines later found popularity among the moneyed and the fashionable of the 16th century. These Chopines had pedestals of cork or wood as high as two feet, and Venetian ladies required assistance to walk in them. Fortunately, the emergence of the functional high heel in the 16th century, struck a sensible compromise. Initially, heels were worn by men as they were developed to ensure horse riders’ feet did not slip out of the stirrups. These heels, however, kept getting higher and higher and started losing their practicality for riding. Interestingly, women took a fancy to these heels and adopted them into their wardrobe.



ABOVE: Portrait of Louis XIV, King of France (1638-1715) in royal costume. Note the fashionable shoes of that time reserved for royalty. RIGHT: Christian Louboutin Loubi Zeppa Black wedges with red leather and, fabric letters embroidered in different colours.



Some say that the modern high heel for ladies traces its roots to the diminutive Catherine de Medici, who in 1533, instructed a cobbler to design shoes that would lend height, in order to compete with her husband’s much taller mistress. De Medici’s heels set a new trend in the fashion-savvy French court. In the 1660s, Louis XIV’s heels rose as high as five inches, and were often decorated with lace, silk, satin and brocade with buckles and rosettes, and depicted battle scenes.

LEFT: An artistic creation by Kheng Yu. BELOW: A platform shoe with batik fabric designed by Rhea Benson.

The Sun King also had a thing for red soles and heels. Comparing the colour to that of blood, historian Philip Mansel says the heels suggested a readiness to crush enemies underfoot. While only nobles were allowed to wear red, no one was permitted to sport heels higher than Louis XIV’s. Three centuries later, in a modern battle of power, French shoemaker Christian Louboutin would resurrect the red soled-heel and fight Yves Saint Laurent for the exclusive right to this coveted colour.

designed the first stiletto. These sumptuous heels would gain attention in the 1950s, when Roger Vivier staged a revival. Named after the stiletto dagger, heels created an optical illusion. In the book The Body Language of Love by Allan and Barbara Pease, high heels are said to enhance a woman’s sexual shape by lengthening her legs, arching her back, forcing her buttocks to protrude and thrusting her pelvis forward. “That is why the shoe with the highest heel –

the stiletto – with its bondage straps, is by far the most efficient sex aid on the market.”

SHOES IN POPULAR CULTURE Many shoes that have been featured in media throughout the years form part of our collective culture. Who can forget the ruby slippers Dorothy clicked together while reciting “There’s no place like home” in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz? Or, the glass slippers

FALL OF THE HEEL The association of high heels with opulence, aristocracy and privilege saw its downfall during the French Revolution. In 1791, Napoleon Bonaparte banned the high heel in favour of equality. Defiant right up to the end, Marie Antoinette, wore two-inch heels for her appointment with the guillotine two years later. High heels would reemerge with panache in the 20th century, and what an explosive time that was.

STEPPING INTO THE 20TH CENTURY In America, the Roaring 20s saw the end of WWI, and was infused with an exuberant vibe. Fashion designers introduced straps to keep shoes on when the liberated women of the time kicked up their heels. In the 40s, Parisian actress, Mistinguett, was photographed in thin high heels by Andre Perugia, but it was Kristin S. Wagner who TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Christian Louboutin Bollywood turquoise plaform; Ocean Mix leather, red metallic strap sandal from Jimmy Choo SS 11; Jayden Gan’s Violin shoe, designed for the recent Malaysia International Shoe Festival 2012. BELOW: Manolo Blahnik, Misticak Red.

Charles Perrault imagined for Cinderella? The Grimm Brothers’ version had the ugly stepsisters hacking their heels and toes off to fit in the dainty thing. But of all the shoes to have captured the imaginations of the 20th century, the stiletto remains the most ravishing. In the late 90s TV series Sex and the City shoes were as much the stars of the show. Carrie Bradshaw’s obsession with high-end footwear celebrated the sexy stiletto, and shone the limelight on designers like Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik, whose Needle heels brought the stiletto back in the 1970s. Fashionistas all over the world anticipated Bradshaw’s next splurge. Bradshaw donned Manolo Blahnik’s sky-high blue stilettos, Christian Dior’s Extreme Dior Gladiator Platforms, Jimmy Choo’s Atlas patent sandals, Balenciaga’s platform pumps and Christian Louboutin’s ruffle heels, and looked absolutely fabulous.

HEEL, BOY! As desirable as stilettos are to women, the seductive power they have over many men, especially foot fetishists, goes beyond the way a woman looks in heels. Freud theorised that the shoe symbolises the female genital.



Foot fetishism is an erotic interest in the foot, and is the most common form of sexual fetishism involving a non-sexual body part. In a study at Italy’s University of Bologna involving some 5,000 fetishists, it was ascertained that 64 per cent of fetishists aroused by objects related to body parts, fancied footwear. While some shoe fetishists are just obsessive collectors, others engage in sexual acts involving the shoes. In the 1998 film There’s Something about Mary, an old boyfriend with a shoe fetish tries to steal Mary Jensen’s shoes, while in an episode of Sex and the City, a shoe salesman is turned on while helping Charlotte York try on shoes. Some notable foot fetishists include Andy Warhol, whose fetish collection included the shoes of Clark Gable and a mummified human foot from Egypt, and Quentin Tarantino, whose foot fetish is manifested in his films time and again. The stiletto heel has also featured prominently in the image of the femme fatale and the Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism arena, as part of the Dominatrix getup. Taking this fetish to an extreme, in the 60s there was a serial killer nicknamed the ‘Shoe Fetish Slayer’, who strutted around in stolen heels and masturbated after killing his victims. He even kept a victim’s foot to model shoes he’d nicked.

MALAYSIAN SHOEMAKERS Get to know some of Malaysia’s up-and-coming shoe designers.





Independent designer, Jayden Gan, believes in the 1.5 philosophy where his shoes offer more than one creative detail. One of Gan’s funkiest designs is the violin shoe created using parts of his old violin and real pony hair!

Alex Yap, designer for Amori and Santa Barbara, specialises in heels. His idol is Alexander McQueen, a man he calls a creative genius, visionary and inspiration to the fashion world.

After suffering debilitating pains that baffled doctors for three years, Kheng Yu combined her knowledge of foot anatomy, footwear technology and design to create comfortable shoes – including heels!

Rhea Tan and Benson Chen launched their own label, Rhea Benson, in June 2011. While Tan favours an edgier, punk image, Chen goes for elegance and loves the texture of real animal skins.

SHOES TO KILL FOR: I love the futuristic designs of Anastasia Radevish and the brilliant designs of Kei Kagami. MY DREAM CUSTOMER: Lady Gaga! I’d design something dramatic, edgy and revolutionary. FIND MY DESIGNS AT: My Bag Spa, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

SHOES TO KILL FOR: Anything by Victoria Spruce. She designs some of the most interesting footwear I’ve ever seen. MY DREAM CUSTOMER: Hebe, from the Taiwanese Mandopop girl band S.H.E. I’ve loved her since I was 13. She’s pretty short, so I’d give her diamondencrusted sandals with 6” heels! FIND MY DESIGNS AT: Parkson stores throughout Malaysia.

SHOES TO KILL FOR: Designs by Alexander McQueen. I’m inspired by the beauty of his work. MY DREAM CUSTOMER: Angelina Jolie. She’s a strong, sexy and independent woman. I’d design ladylike but functional boots for her humanitarian missions. FIND MY DESIGNS AT: KL City Walk, Kuala Lumpur.

SHOES TO KILL FOR: Footwear by Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen and Jimmy Choo. OUR DREAM CUSTOMER: Audrey Hepburn, the epitome of timeless beauty. Perhaps, a pair of black satin heels, with single deep sea black pearl set in the front, surrounded by a ring of pale yellow Swarovski crystals. FIND OUR DESIGNS AT: The ZEN Department Store, CentralWorld, Bangkok.

LEFT: Kobi Levi’s Coffee porcelain shoe.

Travel 3Sixty˚ thanks the Malaysian Footwear Manufacturers’ Association (MFMA) for their invaluable assistance.


• Platforms existed in the Orient centuries ago. The Japanese had geta, a clog and flip-flop combo with an elevated wooden base. • Malaysian shoe designer Jimmy Choo, who has designed for icons such as the late Princess Diana, made his first pair at the age of 11. • Former First Lady of Philippines, Imelda Marcos, had a collection of some 2,700 pairs of shoes. These



are now in a shoe museum in Marikina, the shoe capital of the Philippines. • UK shoemakers, Afterheels, sells compact ballet pumps that fit in your clutch and are available from vending machines. • In the 17th century, Puritans in the Massachusetts Colony banned high heels, viewing them as seductive tools to ensnare men.


SAFE IN THE SKY Added security checks and all kinds of restrictions may be a real annoyance when you are in a hurry to catch a flight, but are necessary to ensure you arrive at your destination in one piece – literally. Capt Lim Khoy Hing discusses why safety measures are mandatory while travelling.

lives and are widely considered a foolproof way to detect potentially dangerous situations.



On one of my recent flights, a passenger became very upset when he was not allowed to visit the cockpit even though he claimed it was allowed in his country. However, he was politely told that after the September 11 incident, such practices have been totally banned. In fact, airline security is more stringent than it has ever been in the past. To illustrate this point, on a flight operating out of Dubai some time ago, I was subjected to an incredibly thorough security check; more so than many of my passengers. I had to go through the screening machine, my laptop checked twice (computer switched on and off), a pat-down, and my jackets and shoes removed for 96


inspection. Imagine that! Many would think that as a captain flying a Boeing 777 to New York, what harm could I inflict? However, airport authorities refused to take any chances and were merely doing their job in ensuring all procedures were adhered to before the crew and passengers were let onboard. Where air security is concerned, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

NOW SCREENING In this issue of Travel 3Sixty°, I’d like to explain the rationale behind the inconvenience passengers have to endure in what otherwise would be a pleasant journey. It is true that frequent travellers are incensed

by the security screening at major international airports. They complain of having to go through full-body scanning machines or other more intrusive pat-downs. Some disapprove of thorough pat-downs whilst others are totally against the full-body scan machines, as it is considered an invasion of privacy and an outrage of modesty. Security authorities state that only a small percentage of air travellers undergo the physical pat-down or the full-body scanning. They claim that the said procedures can effectively detect hidden weapons and explosives. These few additional safety procedures, no matter how inconvenient to the passengers, can save

Full body scanning is achieved by the use of advanced imaging technology. One concern about the imaging technology is whether it has any harmful effects, especially on an unborn child. Passengers, however, need not worry about this process as it is safe for all, including children, pregnant women and even individuals with medical implants. In fact, the screening process is safe and meets all health and safety standards. Health authorities have confirmed that the radiation projected on the individuals screened were far below that of normal standard dosage limits. The energy projected is many thousand times lesser than that transmitted by a cell phone.

SHOES & UNDERWEAR Why was I made to take off my shoes for inspection before proceeding to my plane and then to New York? Well, this stringent measure had to be put in place after a passenger by the name of Richard Reid made an attempt to cause damage to a Boeing 767 flying from Paris to Miami on December 21, 2001.

rules as he is merely making sure everyone flies safely.

CONCLUSION Stringent procedures of screening and, checks on LAGs and its prohibition are admittedly a hassle for travellers. However, I believe that this inconvenience is worth your time and trouble if it offers you peace of mind and enables passengers to reach their destinations safely. A word of caution. The security officers at airports have no sense of humour when the safety of people and planes are at stake. Do not even think of cracking jokes about weapons, bombs or terrorist threats in the airport or the plane. This is a serious matter and you can

potentially be jailed even for a seemingly harmless joke. In September 2011, a woman thought it funny to play a joke by sticking a drawing of a bomb with the word ‘boom’ on her friend’s suitcase. This led to the entire terminal being shut down for nearly two hours, forcing several planes to be re-routed to other airports until the bomb squad and sniffer dogs swept the building for explosives. So, if you think of a really funny joke about bombs just as you are about to board an airplane, for your own safety, keep it to yourself until you have landed and are safely outside the airport! And no matter what, do not say “Hi Jack!” to your fellow passenger in the flight – even if that is his name!



According to security reports, Reid was wearing shoes that had been remodelled to hide plastic explosives in the hollowed out soles. If detonated, the explosives could have easily blown out a gaping hole in the fuselage of the aircraft. In fact, Reid did attempt to detonate the explosive but was foiled in his efforts due to the quick thinking and action of the crew and passengers. In another incident as recent as 2009, a passenger onboard flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit was found to have explosives sewn onto his underwear. The explosives failed to detonate properly and the accused was badly burnt in the process. If it had exploded as planned, one can only imagine the number of fatalities, which could have been averted if the screening process was thorough and mandatory. 98


On one flight, a passenger told a security officer that he knew he was going to set the metal detector off because he had a metal pin in his hip. He hoped the officer would be less strict and let him through without any additional screening. Luckily, the security officer followed the standard guidelines and patted him down. Guess what turned up? A gun strapped to the passenger’s leg!

LOCKING UP LAGS Travellers are also often annoyed with the ban on carrying onboard liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGS) exceeding 100 ml. Security officials have discovered devious plots to cause severe damage to aircraft and loss of life by using liquid explosives. This particular plot involves carrying liquid explosives disguised as beverages or other common objects such as toiletries and even baby’s formula in carry-on luggage. Binary explosives, or those created by combining two volatile liquids together is a major cause for concern for security officials. They may look fairly harmless but can potentially cause catastrophic damage when mixed together. So, if a security personnel tells you to bin the water bottle or the hand cream that exceeds 100 ml, don’t argue and simply follow the

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 Flight Simulator Instructor with Air Asia X. In his spare time, he shares his opinion on aviation issues with others. For more air travel and aviation stories, check out his website, ‘Just About Flying’ at

04 TRAVEL LOG 2012


Often treated as jump off point to nearby islands, Surat Thani is full of equally exciting attractions, as Donnie Sinongco discovers on a recent trip.

There are two things I am certain of. One: Not everyone has heard of Surat Thani. Two: For those who’ve visited Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui, Surat Thani is nothing but a transit point to the said islands. I haven’t backpacked for the longest time and so, my buddy and I decided to revisit our then-pastime. Luckily, AirAsia introduced Surat Thani as its latest destination recently. However, the flight commencement date didn’t coincide with our intended date of travel.

Hence, we decided to take a train there but chose to return with AirAsia. We took the train from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth in Penang. Then, we hopped onto a Thai train that took us to Surat Thani. After a total of 18 hours by railway, we arrived at this small town in South Thailand. Instead of heading straight to the town, we decided to visit the outskirts first. Our first destination was Khao Sok National Park, a sprawling rainforest with a rich ecosystem. The park is roughly a two-hour drive from Surat Thani train station. We took an air-conditioned bus heading to Phuket to get to the park. Getting to the resort was equally exciting as it was located quite deep in the forest. There is a good selection of resorts to One of the many rivers running throughout the spend a night or two in the park. Our choice town of Surat Thani. was Our Jungle Tree House. The resort was aptly named as the accommodation was designed to look like tree houses. Sitting almost 10 metres high, the units offered breathtaking views of the forest. Flanked by a towering limestone cliff on one side, the stay in this tree house was pure bliss, as we were serenaded by the sounds coming from a nearby stream and various species of birds frolicking in the cool forest breeze.  Having enjoyed the stay in the forest and in a tree house, we returned to Surat Thani late in the afternoon a few days later. Timing

BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT: One of the tree houses inside Our Jungle House Resort, Khao Sok National Park; traffic during a typical day in the town; the elaborately designed roof of the Phra Borom That Chaiya Wat.



A spectacular display of colors during sunset viewed from the banks of Tapee River, Surat Thani

was perfect as we arrived to witness the battle of the setting sun against the rising moon. If Bangkok has the Chao Praya River, Surat Thani has the Tapee River, where you can view the sunset, or walk along its banks and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The streets of this town come alive in the evening with night markets selling all sorts of stuff. There are also some small shopping malls but the entire stretch of Namuang Road is enough to satisfy even the most ardent shopaholic. It is also very easy get about in this town to visit its attractions. The must-see landmark in the central district is the Phra Borom That Chaiya. The intricate roof and elaborate design on this temple building is testament to the deeply religious outlook of the Thai people. There are several other wats and Chinese temples around, a sign that this place has a good mix of Chinese and Thai who live in harmony. A primary reason why travellers may miss the chance of exploring this southern province is that the town and its surrounding attractions have not been well publicised in the recent past. Before coming to Surat Thani, I too was ignorant of the place. Thankfully, with the arrival of AirAsia to this region, Surat Thani is finally opening up its treasures to the world and will no longer be a mere stopover. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies three times a week to Surat Thani, Thailand from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for details. Got an interesting tale to share from your travels with AirAsia? Email it to us at along with your story (around 800 words) and images (high res minimum1MB in size and fully captioned). Published submissions will receive a RM250 voucher courtesy of Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel. Travel 3Sixty˚ reserves the right to edit the article for clarity and length or change the value of the prize to another gift of similar value. Prize voucher cannot be exchanged for cash and the Editorial’s decision is final. Entries must include name, address, e-mail address and telephone number.

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

04 OFF THE RACK 2012

FUN, FRESH, FABULOUS! Spring clean your wardrobe and update your look with these funky clothes, footwear and cool travel accessories.

EDGY CHIC Dare to be different with Daniel Palillo’s latest collection that features the Finnish designer’s trademark over-sized tops and signature prints. Inspired by soccer matches and Sunday morning cartoons, the Spring Summer 2012 Never Mind line makes streetwear look über chic.





Bohemian blouses, flowy skirts and perfectly-cut pants define the Women’s Collection at Dr Denim. The colour palette of ochre, plum, sharp green and orange, together with floral and leopard prints add charm to the collection. Available at Actually KL. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Step out in style in leather sandals with hand-stitched tacking or, eye-catching jelly sandals with floral bead ornaments – both from Coach’s women’s footwear collection. Mini Coach turnlocks, 14k gold plated buckles and Italian phythonembossed leather add a touch of luxe to this collection.


CUBIST THEORY Ditch boring luggage and switch to Cubelite™, a new line of premium business travel luggage by Samsonite Black Label. Sleek and durable, its exterior is crafted with innovative CURV® material and comes with a double tube handle and four wheels for easy manoeuvrability.

Korean based label, Dressmonster, is known for its trendy style, which artfully combines comfy fabrics with fun detailing. Fashion forward with vibrant designs, the brand’s cheeky flavour is just the thing to perk up your wardrobe.

ECO FRIENDLY UNDER Do your bit for the environment and slip into Nukleus undergarments that are both comfortable and environment-friendly. For men and women, the collection is hip and sexy, and part of the sales of Nukleus wear will assist conservation work carried out by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Malaysia and Hong Kong.



Whether making a lasting impression on a special night out or pampering yourself, here are our picks in skincare, makeup and fragrance that will help you stay on top of your game.

BURST OF COLOUR For baby soft lips, try Revlon ColorBurst™ Lip Butter – a combination of mango, shea and coconut butters, which naturally soothe and hydrate. The lipstick is available in eight mouth-watering colours including brown sugar, peach parfait and strawberry shortcake.

SPRING FLAVOUR Celebrate spring with Les Soliflores from Annick Goutal, a collection of four floral fragrances inspired by the 70s. Take your pick: Rose Splendide combines magnolia and pear scents, La Violette is inspired by violet candy, Le Muguet comes in hues of rose and, Le Mimosa – a combination of musky peach, anise and Florentine iris.



A spritz of Boss Bottled Sport by Hugo Boss is just what you need to score with the ladies. This masculine fragrance has top notes of grapefruit, yuzu zest and pink peppercorn, heart notes of lavender and cardamom, with a vetiver, tonka bean and patchouli base.


Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Relaxing Cream with the addition of a new biopeptide promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles with just one application. The formulation also includes niacinamide, pro-vitamin B5 and Allantoin, which renews skin at the cellular level for a younger-looking complexion.


BAT THOSE LASHES Get glamourous lashes at your fingertips with Maybelline New York’s Volum’ Express The Falsies™. One swipe with its unique ‘spoon curler’ brush is all that’s needed for voluminous lashes. This waterproof formula contains pro keratin fibres, ceramides and panthenol.


SPARKLING CLEAN Not your normal cleanser, Perfect Clean from L’Oréal Paris comes with a little brush – the Scrublet, which helps rid skin of dead cells and keeps blackheads at bay. The range includes a foaming gentle scrub, foaming gel wash with salicylic acid and, a foaming cream wash.

Say good bye to dark eye circles with Garnier’s BB Eye Roll-On! This oil- and fragrance-free product is not just easy to apply, but also makes skin appear even toned and radiant. Enriched with caffeine, it dramatically reduces signs of fatigue.



One of the very few performing artistes left who performs using the oral tradition, Kamini Ramachandran extols the beauty and magic of storytelling and shows how the art is not merely for entertainment. keep these stories alive. I found myself telling my children stories right from the time they were babies. I also observed that in pre-school, the children were exposed to mainly folktales from the Western genre but hardly anything with Asian content. I speak Malay fluently and understand Malayalam and Tamil. I knew I had to share tales from these languages, and at the same time, revive the art as well.

WHAT ARE YOUR EARLIEST MEMORIES OF THIS ORAL TRADITION? This would go back to when I was perhaps 3 years old! My maternal grandfather would tell me chapters of the various Indian epics before he fell asleep in the afternoons. The repetition of these stories, each time told with more embellishments or with an added twist and a link previously unknown, helped me internalise the tales. I was mesmerised by his riveting telling!




WHEN WAS MOONSHADOW STORIES FORMED AND WHAT WERE THE OBJECTIVES? I formed MoonShadow Stories sometime in late 2004 with Verena Tay. We wanted to raise awareness of storytelling as an art form, revive the oral tradition and TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

keep oral stories alive as many were not written down and told only in dialects or languages other than English, thus becoming inaccessible. We were also drawn to telling stories to an adult audience because, in order to reach out to children, we had to first appeal to the adults.

WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN STORYTELLING AS AN ART FORM YOU WISH TO PERPETUATE? I grew up having grandparents who were natural storytellers. When I had my sons, I realised there was nobody in the family to

Storytelling is a spontaneous and intimate artform with just the power of the story itself, relying only on the skills of the teller to tell it. I work in schools, community centres, corporate settings, and public venues with adults and children. The fact that my audience are engrossed in my stories is a testament to the art’s everlasting appeal. This is what keeps me telling stories!

WHERE DO YOU SOURCE FOR YOUR STORIES? DO YOU ALSO WRITE/CREATE THEM? A lot of my repertoire is Asian with a special focus on Southeast Asia and India. Malay traditional tales or cerita rakyat that I retell are from my years spent schooling in different states of Malaysia. The Indian epics, the Panchantantra and Jataka were culled from my grandparents’ storytelling. Over the years, I have amassed a huge collection of anthologies on folktales, mythology, legends, amounting to about 3,000 books! I scour the Internet for out-of-print and obscure books and publications related to oral literature. When I travel, I hook up with local storytellers and exchange stories. I also create stories for clients and situations that require tales on a specific theme or topic. I write stories in a way that allows for it to be told, as opposed to being read only.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE STORIES TO TELL AND DOSE YOUR AUDIENCE HAVE FIRM FAVOURITES? These would be the Karak Highway Incident – a story based on the infamous urban legend of a car that stalls during

a thunderstorm and the spinechilling end that awaits. I also love to share the Punjabi tale of Bopoluchi, the poor orphan girl who outwitted the bandit who kidnapped her and forced her into marriage. The Boy With No Name comes from the Middle East and reminds us that no matter what our circumstances are, we will always have our dreams. The audience absolutely love the supernatural genre! When I tell Mallika & Vikas, a tale about lovers torn apart by society, there is an audible intake of breath when I get to the part where Malikka is forced to look inside a newly dug-up grave.

SHARE WITH US HOW YOU CONDUCT A STORYTELLING SESSION. Storytelling as a performance art is not reading aloud from a book and neither is it recitation of a memorised script. It takes time to craft and prepare a story suitable for oral telling. For young kids, I limit each session to 30 mins due to their attention span. I incorporate props (puppets, masks, visuals) and audience participation. Riddle tales, paper-cutting stories and draw-n-tell tales work for younger audiences. As there is nothing but me and

my voice, it is vital I maintain eyecontact with my audience. As such, I encourage them to be seated as close as possible to me and I make the sessions more intimate to give them an authentic experience.

YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS ADULTS. HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN THUS FAR? Most say that they have not merely been entertained but are somehow touched by the stories. Stories have the ability to heal, transform and connect on many

different levels. The corporate people in my audience feel they have discovered a new mode of communicating effectively. Parents find accessible ways to bond with children. Educators feel they are able to incorporate stories in their curriculum. Many of my repeat audience come purely for the wonder of the spoken word without the frills of costume, lights, staging etc.

APART FROM ENTERTAINING, WHAT ELSE CAN STORYTELLING ACHIEVE? Storytelling plays a huge role in communicating and is used widely in counselling, therapy and healing. In education, it facilitates language learning and creative writing. For public speaking, storytelling is a fundamental skill that empowers. For those working in the media and design, the principles of oral storytelling is necessary in order to flesh it out with packaging, colour, sound and motion. It is also a very intimate act that connects and bonds the teller and listener. And most importantly, storytelling preserves folklores, cultures, traditions, and the values and wisdom that are inherent in them.



04 KIDS SPACE 2012


KidZania comes to Kuala Lumpur, bringing with it fun and edutainment that will surely keep kids entertained for hours on end. That and a quick roundup of what’s happening in the region.


KIDZANIA IN KL! The long-awaited launch of KidZania Kuala Lumpur finally took place in February this year, much to the delight of children who’ve been waiting patiently ever since the cockpit of an AirAsia aircraft was spotted jutting out of the sides of the building at Curve NX, opposite the Curve shopping mall in Mutiara Damansara. This indoor family edutainment centre offers interactive learning and entertainment experiences targeted at kids aged 4 to 14. Here, children can combine role-play with real life,

from arriving at an airport, to visiting a city to exploring city streets. As in the real world, kids can also choose activities such as being a police officer, doctor, journalist or a customer – and earn KidZos, which they can then spend or save. The facilities here are designed to educate through experience and fostering the development of life skills, but from a kid’s perspective. For more information, go to my or call the KidZania CareLine at 1300 88 KIDZ(5439). You can also get connected with KidZania at its Facebook page at www.facebook.

The Sun-Herald Sydney Family Show presents a family-friendly show with many exciting events, rides and attractions this month. Major attractions include the Easter Bunny, carnival rides, animal nursery, roving entertainers, duck fashion parade and reptile displays. Sydney Family Show takes place at EQ Moore Park, Sydney from April 5 till 22, 2012.






The Little Big Club Live in Concert is returning to Hong Kong with a cast of 14 from a number of kids’ favourite shows. Catch Barney and his dinosaur buddies BJ, Baby Bop and cousin Riff alongside much loved characters such as Bob the Builder, Wendy and Spud, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam and his sidekick Naughty Norman and Thomas the Tank Engine in this 90-minute fun musical. The show opens at Star Hall, Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong from April 6 to 9, 2012. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Spend your Sunday mornings with your family at Wheelie Sundays at Publika in Kuala Lumpur. Offering a fun alternative to getting fit and staying healthy, the shopping gallery closes its roads to vehicles from 7.15am to 10am on Sundays to allow goers to cycle, jog, run, stroll or whizz on push bikes and scooters around the 1.2-kilometre loop. If you don’t have a bicycle, you can loan it for free from the mall.

04 PLANE FUN 2012

RIDDLES 1. What is it that if you have it you want to share it, but if you share it you no longer have it? 2. Where in the world? Unravel the anagrams to find the landmarks (use the places to help) i. ii. iii. iv.

Ten at hog pen (Virginia) Rainfall saga (Ontario) Helmet rink (Russia) Serve nut to me (Nepal)

3. How can a cowboy ride into town on Sunday, stay two days and leave on Sunday?


What type of humorous verse might start with the line ‘There once was a man from Nantucket’?


From which animal does mutton meat come from?


Name the award-winning 2011 silent film starring French actor Jean Dujardin.


Which of the seven dwarfs comes first alphabetically?


How many points does a Star of David contain?


Over which two months are the 2012 London Olympic Games being held?


What are cottonmouths, moccasins and copperheads?


Jimmy Wales is well-known as the creator of which website?


A car, thimble, ship, top hat, iron & dog are all playing pieces associated with what popular game?

10. Mario Monti is the new prime minister of which country?




5 2 4 3 7 8 9 6 1

7 1 9 6 2 5 3 4 8

9 5 2 8 6 4 1 7 3

4 7 1 2 9 3 5 8 6

6 8 3 1 5 7 4 9 2

2 4 7 5 3 6 8 1 9

1 3 5 7 8 9 6 2 4

8 9 6 4 1 2 7 3 5


5. If ‘7D of the W’ is 7 days of the week can you work these out? i. 4W on a C ii. 8 N in an O iii. 5C in a PH iv. 10T on 2F


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

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

• QUICK QUIZ 1 Limerick 2 Sheep 3 The Artist 4 Bashful 5 Six 6 July & August 7 Snakes 8 Wikipedia 9 Monopoly 10 Italy • RIDDLES 1 A secret 2 i. The Pentagon ii. Niagara Falls iii. The Kremlin iv. Mount Everest 3 His horse is called Sunday 4 Crossword 5 i. 4 wheels on a car ii. 8 notes in an octave iii. 5 cards in a poker hand iv. 10 toes on two feet • PLAY ON WORDS 1 Skeletons in the closet 2 Heavy heart 3 As blind as a bat 4 On cloud nine

3 6 8 9 4 1 2 5 7



4. What am I? My first part sounds grumpy, my second is spoken or written.






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

SECOND PRIZE WINS A 3D/2N stay in a Standard room* at Sky Hotel Selayang worth RM300 nett! Sky Hotel Selayang is a modern boutique hotel located within a shopping complex and enjoys close proximity to the famous Batu Caves. Major highways nearby provide easy access to Kuala Lumpur city centre, Petaling Jaya and other districts of Kuala Lumpur, making Sky Hotel Selayang an ideal place for leisure stop-overs, overnight stays and long term stays.


Masjid Agung Semarang

* Room only

Imam Fauzi, East Java, Indonesia

BEST PICTURE WINS A 3D/2N stay in a 1-bedroom apartment at Bintang Fairlane Residences inclusive of Continental breakfast for 2 worth RM1,200 nett!

Visit for attractive room deals at this hotel.

A lavish boutique entrance welcomes you to a world of excitement at Bintang Fairlane Residences. Located in the heart of the entertainment, shopping and business district in Kuala Lumpur, the hotel’s suites and apartments are well appointed to cocoon you in modern elegance and luxury. A rooftop swimming pool and garden take fine living to greater heights, allowing guests to totally immerse themselves in a modern and much coveted lifestyle. The hotel is also equipped with a spa, gym and children’s play area. Visit for attractive room deals at this hotel.


Hmong Hill tribe kids - Chiang Mai, Thailand Sinsee Ho, Shah Alam, Selangor

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.



04 GET COMFY 2012

Joy of flying

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

h2o To The rescue

shoulDer lifTs

Knee lifTs

fooT pumps

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

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

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

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

beaT The lag

compiled by: chiTra s illustrations: Tim lai

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


Deep Vein Thrombosis

To preVenT DVT

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

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

travel 3sixty˚

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

04 Route Map • AirAsia Malaysia 2012




Chennai Bangalore Tiruchirappalli Kochi


AirAsiA MAlAysiA DoMestic routes Langkawi

Alor Setar


Kota Kinabalu

Kota Bharu Kuala Terengganu



Kuala Lumpur

Bintulu Sibu Johor Bahru

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


travel 3sixty˚






Beijing Tianjin Seoul





Chiang Mai Yangon

Shanghai Hangzhou





Guilin Guangzhou Shenzhen Macau Hong Kong


WorlD’s Best loW-cost Airline 2009, 2010 & 2011






Da Nang



Siem Reap


Phnom Penh



Ho Chi Minh


Phuket Krabi Hat Yai Langkawi Kota Kinabalu Bandar Penang Aceh BRUNEI Kuala MALAYSIA Medan Miri Lumpur Johor Bharu Kuching Pekanbaru SINGAPORE Padang Balikpapan




Jakarta Bandung Surabaya Yogyakarta Solo Bali



Gold Coast


Sydney Melbourne


travel 3sixty˚


04 Route Map • AirAsia Thailand 2012

CHINA Chongqing


Guangzhou Macau



Shenzhen Hong Kong


Ching Rai Chiang Mai Yangon

Udon Thani Nakhon Phanom



Ubon Ratchathani



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



Kuala Lumpur





Surabaya Bali

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


travel 3sixty˚

04 Route Map • AirAsia Indonesia 2012



VIETNAM Ho Chi Minh Phuket Bandar Aceh Medan

Kota Kinabalu

Penang Kuala Lumpur








Jakarta Semarang Bandung Surabaya Solo Yogyakarta Bali



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


travel 3sixty˚


04 SaleS OfficeS & StatiOnS 2012

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

inDonesiA BANDA ACEH Bandara Sultan Iskandar Muda, Blang Bintang, Aceh DENPASAR, BALI Bandara I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Terminal Keberangkatan International Bali 80361 Jl. Legian Kaja no. 455 Kuta, Bali

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



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

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

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

Garuda Plaza Hotel, Jl. Sisingamangaraja, No.18 Medan-20213 PADANG Astria Padang Wisata, Jl. Veteran No. 75 B Purus (Purus Baru), Padang Barat – Kota Padang, Sumatera Barat

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

No 97, Jalan Rahmat, 83000, Batu Pahat, Johor GK 01, Ground Floor, Kluang Mall, Jalan Rambutan, Bandar Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor. No 21,Jalan Dedap 21, Taman Johor Jaya, 81100, Johor Bharu

Level 1, Terminal Building, Sultan Mahmud Airport, 21300 Kuala Terengganu LABUAN Level 1, Labuan Airport Terminal 87008 Wilayah Persekutuan MELAKA No 32, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka PENANG Penang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang Ground Floor, Kim Mansion 332, Chulia Street, 10200 Penang No 723 L-G, Jln Sungai Dua 11700 Pulau Pinang SABAH Lot 1 & 2, 1st Floor, Terminal Building, Sandakan Airport, 90719 Sandakan



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

Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport Palembang, South Sumatra

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

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

Langkawi International Airport 07100 Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi

Lot G24, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah, Jln. Tun Razak, 88000, Kota Kinabalu

PEKANBARU Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport, Jalan Perhubungan Udara Simpang Tiga, Pekanbaru, Sumatra SEMARANG Carrefour DP (Duta Pertiwi) MALL, Jl. Pemuda No. 150, 1st Floor, Semarang 50132 Komplek Pertokoan Simpang Lima, Blok C No. 1

Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo, Central Java

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

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

Bandara PoloniaTerminal Keberangkatan Internasional, Medan 20157 Sumatra

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

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

No. 26 Jalan Meriam, 84000 Muar, Johor

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



GL 13 Senai International Airport 81250 Johor Bahru



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



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 Melia Purosani Hotel, Jl Suryotomo No.31, Yogyakarta

No. 68-B Ground Floor, Jalan Ibrahim, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman KUALA LUMPUR Lot 4, Level 2, Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur, 50470 Lot G027B, Ground Floor, Podium Block, Plaza Berjaya,12 Jalan Imbi,55100 Kuala Lumpur No. 63, Ground Floor, Medan Bunus Off Jalan Masjid India, 50100 Kuala Lumpur.

TGround Floor, Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Int. Airport, Old Airport Road,Tanjung Aru 88100, Kota Kinabalu SARAWAK Lot GL.14, Public Concourse Terminal Building, Bintulu Airport 97000 Bintulu Ground Floor, Miri Airport, 98000 Miri Lot 946, Jalan Parry, 98000 Miri

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

Ho Ho Lim, Ground Floor, 291 Sublot 4, Jalan Abell, 93100 Kuching

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

Departure Level, Kuching International Airport, 93756 Kuching

No. 1, Jalan PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya. KELANTAN Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, 16100 Pengkalan Chepa Kota Bharu 3183G, Jalan Sultan Ibrahim (Opp. KB Mall), 15050 Kota Bharu.

Wisma Ho Ho Lim, Ground Floor No. 291, Sub Lot 4, Jalan Abell 93100 Kuching 1st Floor, Main Terminal Building, Sibu Airport, 96000 Sibu Ground Floor, No. 36 Jalan Keranji, 96000 Sibu Grd Flr, Lot 4034, Jln Tun Ahmad Zaidi, Parkcity Commercial Sq, Phase 5, 97000 Bintulu

Ground Floor, 192H Al-Idrus Commercial Centre, Jalan Satok, 93400 Kuching SL11 Ground Floor, Lot 2541 Lee Ling Heights Phase 2, Mile 6.5 Jalan Penrissen, P.O. Box 2044, 93250 Kuching Lot 6813, Ground Floor Synergy Square, (Matang Jaya Commercial Centre), Jalan Matang Jaya, 93050 Kuching SELANGOR Ground Floor, Terminal 3, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor Jalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor Lot-35 Mydin Mall USJ 1 B-G-3A, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya 47170 Puchong Selangor Lot S141, 2nd Floor, Plaza Metro Kajang, Section 7, Jalan Tun Abdul Aziz, 43000 Kajang No 1 (667-C), Wisma Y S Tan Lorong Kepayang, 41300 Klang No 1, Jln PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya

Wintrex Travel Corporation, Unit 108 SM City North Edsa – The Block SM City Complex, North Edsa, Pag-Asa 1, Quezon City, Manila




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

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

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


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

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

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

Phuket International Airport 312, 3rd Floor, Tumbol Maikao, Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110 Unit 9, Laflora Patong Area, No. 39, 39/1, Thaveewong Rd., Patong, Kratoo, Phuket SURAT THANI


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



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

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

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


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

416 Thaphae Road, Chiang Mai

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



Noibai International Airport Lobby A, 3rd Floor, Hanoi

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

223, De Tham Pham Ngu Lao Ward District 1, Ho Chi Minh City


No. 9, Hang Manh Str., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi

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

16, Nguyen Van Linh, Hai Chau District, Da Nang

Call Centre Numbers AustrAliA cHinA FrAnce inDiA

1300 760 330 +86 20 2281 7666 +33(0)1 7048 0722 1860 500 8000 +91 44 4294 8300

inDonesiA JAPAn HonG KonG MAcAu

+62 21 2927 0999 0120 963 516 +852 3112 3222 0800912

(calling from Mumbai and New Delhi only)

MyAnMAr neW ZeAlAnD PAris PHiliPPines soutH KoreA tAiWAn tHAilAnD VietnAM tHe uK

+95 1 25 1885/1886 0800 45 25 66 +33170480722 +63 2 588 9999 00798 1420 69940 008 0185 3031 +66 2 515 9999 +84 8 3838 9811/ 9812 0845 605 3333


COLOMBO, SRI LANKA From delectable food, ancient traditions, religious and World Heritage Sites, this city on the west coast of Sri Lanka is truly the gateway to the island that was once called Serendip (‘serendipity’, meaning ‘a fortunate discovery’) by the Arabs. • Learn the history of Sri Lanka at the National Museum of Colombo. Precious exhibits such as crown jewels and the throne of the last king of Kandy are displayed here.

EXPLORE SRI LANKA EXPLORE WORLD HERITAGE SITES Hop on a train or bus from Colombo and explore World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. Start with Anuradhapura where you can visit the ruins of ancient Lanka and the oldest surviving tree in the world, – the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi. Next, head over to Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. Known as Senkadagalapura, Kandy is the last capital of the Sinhala Kings and also the location of a pilgrimage site: Temple of the Tooth Relic Colombo is a bustling metropolis and Sri Lanka’s commercial and financial centre. The city got its name in the 15th century, during the Portuguese era, a name derived from the Sinhalese word Kolon thota, which means ‘port on the river Kelani’. A vibrant and diverse city, Colombo is a lovely blend of colonial architecture, ancient ruins, stunning stretches of beaches and, the starting point to many natural and historical sites the island has to offer.




For the locals, rice is a staple and usually accompanied by spicy curries. When in town, try Sri Lankan hawker-style favourites. Enjoy hoppers (a pancake made with fermented batter of rice flour, coconut milk and palm toddy) accompanied with lunu miris (a mix of red onions and spices). Also, the Dutchmeets-Sri Lankan dish, lamprais, (rice with curry and meatballs wrapped in banana leaf) is a lovely introduction to cross cultural cuisine. Must-try dishes such as kothu roti (a mix of unleavened bread, vegetables, eggs, meat and spices) and briyani are crowd favourites here. European influence is particularly obvious in pastries, Chinese rolls, seeni sambal buns, chocolate éclairs and crème buns. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

MUST DO • Shop at Pettah Bazaar. Each street has its own specialty merchandise such as fruits, spices, herbs, clothes and electronics. Sample the best street food here since the bazaar is known for its eateries as well. • Go for a stroll at Viharamahadevi Park, the oldest and largest park situated in front of the Town Hall building. The park has a large Buddha statue and a series of pretty fountains. • Enjoy the evening breeze and catch the sunset at Galle Face Green, a promenade facing the Indian Ocean. • Sunbathe on powdery white sands and swim at Mount Lavinia beach, Colombo’s popular R&R spot.

(the sacred tooth of the Buddha). Another major attraction is the Sigiriya rock fortress. It has a magnificent complex of geometrically laid gardens, pools and fountains, as well as the oldest surviving murals. CLIMB SRI PADA MOUNTAIN Sri Pada Mountain is a sacred mountain to many world religions. It is also known as Adam’s Peak due to the belief that Adam set his foot on the mountain after he was exiled from the Garden of Eden. The stairway to the top is pretty challenging but once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the plains and hills below. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Colombo daily from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Go to for flight details.


SHOE-STRUCK ALLSTARS Having read the article on footwear on page 88, now read on how our own AllStars wax lyrical about their passion for shoes. Noraime Binti Suhaimi, Commercial, Malaysia AirAsia When I was a teenager, I wore flat shoes like Converse shoes, sandals or slippers. But when I started working, I began wearing heels. The first heels I wore were from Vincci. I felt so awkward. Today, I love wearing heels. I feel so feminine.

CAPT. STAPORN PATTARAGOMOL, Flight Operations, Thai AirAsia

Wayan Toni Gunawan, Engineering, Indonesia AirAsia

Some of my shoes change ‘duty’ or retire. I say “WOW!” because my shoes stay with me for a long time. They’re my best friends.

Bali-based artist named I Made Dodit Artawan held an art exhibition with shoes as a theme for his paintings. His work is really cool!

EUGENA GOH SIEW LI, Corporate Quality, Malaysia AirAsia

ZAIRUL AZMIR, Guest Services, Malaysia AirAsia I’m obsessed with the brand ‘Macbeth’, which is pretty new in Malaysia. It belongs to Blink 182 band vocalist, Tom DeLonge, who uses his experience in the music scene to design punk rock shoes. They’re not too bulky and great for skaters.

I love buying shoes and quality is top priority! Wearing high heels is not easy, but I love them – women and contradictions! I hate sports shoes. Believe it or not, I’ve had less than five pairs in all my 30 years. In fact, my personal trainer cautioned me for not wearing sport shoes to the gym.


Desiree Bandal, CEO’s Office, Malaysia AirAsia


CECILLE F. SANCHEZ, People Dept., Philippines’ AirAsia I’m a shoe-aholic! I have a total of 120 pairs and particularly love wedges and stilettos. I recently bought a hot pink wedge made by a Filipino shoemaker. It’s very light because the heel is made of improved Styrofoam. Besides being unique, the material is also environment-friendly as it recycles waste products. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

In Philippines, we call shoes sapatos, which is also the Spanish word for footgear. The shoe capital of the Philippines is Marikina City in Metro Manila. It has a shoe museum and holds a shoe parade every year. Sturdy shoes are very important in the Philippines; we do a lot of walking! Some shoes are so sturdy that, as long as you don’t outgrow them, you can wear them for years. Some kids intentionally damage their shoes to get new pairs from their parents!

VINI BALAN, Digital Services, Malaysia AirAsia I’ve been snapping photos of my feet in different shoes and with different backgrounds since 2005. In 2009, I bought my first iPhone and shared my photos on Facebook, and later, Instagram. I even recorded my journey from Malaysia to Germany, Ireland and France, and TinPix invited me to be part of Malaysia’s first ever Mobile Photography exhibition in 2010. The greatest highlight of my foot-feed on Instagram was meeting my followers in Berlin, and getting travel tips! Check out the photos at


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