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58 MAY 2012

Heart of Sichuan












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JAKARTA 05 2012


CHECK-IN Contents May 2012 70



IT’S PLAY TIME! Shopping and Sporting Activities






ANGELS OF MERCY Red Cross and Red Cresent Societies







TRAVEL LOG Amidst the Mist


96 62 HIT LIST Eating Asia

134 KIDS SPACE Never Ending Fun




Bold and Beautiful

Like We Care


124 OFF THE RACK 126 VANITY FARE Nature’s Wonders

The Buzz from our Guests


12 RED FORT News from AirAsia




Khoo Swee Chiow

Mummy to the Stars

Puzzles & Games



20 SPOTLIGHT Stuff you’d Love to Know


Photos Taken by AirAsia Guests

140 GET COMFY Joy of Flying

26 HOT DATES May Events to Keep a Lookout for

30 COMPASS An Amazing World


38 PAGE TURNER Call of the CULT



42 MONEY MAKER Acquiring Acumen

44 PRESCRIPTION Health in your Hands

46 SCORE BOARD Mode of Modernisation

50 HYPER TECH Tech Trajectory

54 SLEEP INNS Lure of Langkawi




R. Rajendra Kan Seak Hong Beverly Rodrigues Chitra S Adam Lee Fazlina Bee Binti Abdul Rashid

Heart of Sichuan




Fadillah Kamarudin

Hit List

Adli Syahril Alice Yong, Captain Lim Khoy Hing, Efi Hamzah, Pete King, Maria Visconti, Shantini Suntharajah Indran Balavishnu (Malaysia) Senthuran Mohan (Malaysia) Mairianne Reardon (Singapore, UK and International Markets) Charuphan Pojchanart (Thailand) Vikhram Radhakishnan (Indonesia)






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05 2012


ON THE COVER It’s Play Time! Model Image: Corbis & Getty Images

Tel: +6 03 7962 5813 (Phar Partnerships Malaysia) E-mail: Travel 3Sixty° wishes to thank Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles, MPH, Pansing Marketing, Rowland Pinder Pty Ltd 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


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

05 12 CAPTAIN’S ADDRESS 2011 2012

LIKE WE CARE WE MOST CERTAINLY DO and go all out to make your travel experience with AirAsia a pleasant and memorable one. We care for your comfort, we care for your well-being and more importantly, we care enough to ensure your hard-earned money is well spent when you fly with the World’s Best Low Cost Airline! In the past, before AirAsia started blazing through the skies, air travel was an expensive affair that was way beyond the means of many. AirAsia changed that and to date has flown over 140 million guests. We weren’t kidding when we said “Now everyone can fly!” When you travel with us, we are committed to providing you a host of services that will ensure your travel experience is memorable right from the point you purchase the ticket to the point you exit the airport at your destination. And for many, flying can be an exciting, albeit, unfamiliar experience. But, you’ll always find a helpful Guest Services Agent (GSA) waiting to assist you with any uncertainty. Below are some of the services available for you when you fly with AirAsia:


CHECK-IN COUNTERS There are 3 types of specialised counters operating for your convenience when you check-in: a. Pre-Booked Baggage Drop Counter for guests who have already pre-booked and paid for their luggage through our website. b. Express Baggage Drop Counter (1 Bag Only) is an express lane for guests who have only one luggage to be checked in. c. Excess Baggage Payment Counter is mainly for guests who have not pre-booked their luggage and for those carrying excess weight where payment needs to be made before they can board the flight.

Located at the main entrance of the Departure Hall in LCC Terminal in Kuala Lumpur, the Care Counter staff will assist disabled guests and passengers in need of wheelchair assistance.



This counter is manned by senior officers from AirAsia who will attend to any of your queries

AirAsia Guest Service Staff also from time to time, take time away from their busy work


schedule to keep guests entertained at the terminal. Don’t be surprised to see our AllStar Ramp boys and girls, and other AirAsia staff put on music and dance performances for your entertainment pleasure. This is done on a volunteer basis and purely because the AllStars want you to have a pleasurable experience when you fly with AirAsia. We will be the first to agree that there is always room for improvement and are continuously working to make your travel smooth, worry-free and filled with only happy memories from the minute you walk into the terminal building. When you feel good having travelled with AirAsia, we feel great for having provided you with a service that is truly dedicated and renowned for its genuine warmth. With AirAsia, you do not have to be a millionaire to be treated like a million bucks!

RED CARPET Red Carpet Counter is an exclusive service for AirAsia guests who have purchased this service that provides them special assistance such as a dedicated counter for check-ins, use of Plaza Premium Lounge, dedicated Immigration and Security lanes, priority boarding and, escort service on a buggy when the aircraft is parked far away, amongst others.



with regards to AirAsia flights such as delays, missed flights and flight retiming etc.

Sudirman Kushairi Station Head LCCT Kuala Lumpur

05 INBOX 2012

My husband booked his ticket to Kota Kinabalu a year ago to climb Mt. Kinabalu. Back then, I didn’t buy my ticket as I had never climbed a mountain before. It was not until a month ago, that I finally mustered courage to give it a go. I packed my bags and followed my husband. On my AirAsia flight to Kota Kinabalu, still feeling nervous, I came across the article Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (March 2012). As I read Yvonne’s experiences as a novice mountaineer, I was inspired too. I saw this as a good sign that our mission to conquer Mt. Kinabalu was meant to be. True enough, we reached the top of the mountain and even returned in one piece. We now have plans to conquer the G7s and who knows maybe even Mt. Everest. Thank you AirAsia for not just firing up the engines, but our spirits too! ~ Siti Kamariah Ahmad Subki, via email.

Illustration: Nicco Mallcott

AA personnel are the best, not trying to disturb your quiet rest Luxury in an Airbus is out dated, now people want simplicity and not be waited!

AIRASIA FLYING IS FUN! *AirAsia Airline is the best; it outdoes other carriers and the rest KLIA is their port of depart, efficient and organized from the start! No air-cond terminal tubes it appear, just healthy walk to aircraft which is near If you have nothing better to do, use those others carriers to fly by air!

Food is simple in choice.... not pasta or fish like the rest – one now has a voice Arriving at destination without delay, then formalities, and one is on the way! Tony’s vision from the start was wise, now ‘Everyone can fly’ whatever their size See you next time at LCCT will be with modern AIRASIA on- line! ~ Nicco Mallcott – Aviation Poet/Pilot /Artist, Xiamen


I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article on AirAsia liveries (March 2012). Using the body of the aircraft as a canvas, it was indeed splendid art. At the back of my head, I was pretty certain that I’d never spot any of the aircraft featured in the article. Imagine my surprise recently when I spotted the Dato’ Pahamin aircraft parked at the Sandakan airport. I boarded the flight, flipped the pages of Travel 3Sixty to the said article and pointed it to the stranger seated beside me: “This! This is the aircraft we are riding right now!” ~ Dr Alexis Soo, Sandakan


* This poem is published ‘As Is’.

HERE’S THE BUZZ ON AIRASIA’S FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND WEIBO PAGES The pilot and co-pilot who flew the KL - Bangalore route on 13th Feb should be given ‘best employee’ award. They really enjoy their job to the maximum. Interaction with passengers was so funny, everybody was laughing. Damn good! Pankaj Kumar

I just returned to Kuala Lumpur from Hong Kong on a 5-day trip & a big thank you to AirAsia for the flight & the hotel bookings for the whole trip. The flight was awesome, wz friendly & pleasant staff & the hotel staff in Hong Kong were also helpful & friendly. Gonna visit Hong Kong again in the future. Thanks again AirAsia. Foong Weng Kin

@AirAsia might be the coolest airline. $31 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, and I even got to reserve a meal. @BIGJinLA

@AirAsia is one of the most on-time flights in Indonesia. No time wasted if you’re having another connecting flight or a business meeting. @Dennykosiady

@tonyfernandes flying to Nepal is expensive n long transit .I wish @AirAsia to open new route to #Kathmandu or Pokhara @maijakl

@KathleenTan. It feels really amazing whenever I’m flying with @AirAsia – the elegant flight stewardess, the gorgeous flight steward and the Hot Seat really cheer me throughout the journey. Yes, my awesome journey is starting very soon! XiaoBai

Even though I wasn’t able to get Macau-Chiang Mai inaugural flight ticket, I was still able to grab promo tickets to Chiang Mai! Thanks @ AirAsia. You make it possible for everyone to fly and gave me a chance to travel before my graduation! XiaoTuDou

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.



05 RED FORT 2012


SKYRIDER UNVEILED ABOVE: Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia (3rd from left), with Worawi Makudi (3rd from right), Secretary-General of the Football Association of Thailand and Major General Chinsen Thongkomol, Chairman of the Referee’s Committee (2nd from right) at the press conference to announce Thai AirAsia’s sponsorship of Thai Premier League referees.

Look out for AirAsia’s logo on the referees’ jerseys during Thai Premier League matches as AirAsia has teamed up with the Football Association of Thailand to become an official sponsor for Thai Premier League referees. The airline will offer financial sponsorship and fly the referees to matches within the AirAsia network throughout the 2012 season. This is in line with the airline’s commitment to social programmes, particularly the support of sports as seen through AirAsia’s sponsorship of Thailand’s leading football clubs both in the Thai Premier League and Division 1, the Queens Park Rangers of the English Premier League, as well as the Caterham F1 racing team.

“We will aid the development of Thai football and this year we are proud to be the official travel facilitators of the Thai Premier League’s 2012 season referees. Acknowledging their importance, AirAsia will provide the referees convenient, safe and comfortable air travel so that they can be at their best on the pitch, raising the standard of each match and giving fans a better game.” ~ Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia




Sign up for AirAsia’s Global Loyalty Programme – BIG – at www.tune2big. com to earn BIG Points every time you spend with AirAsia and other BIG partners worldwide. BIG Points can be redeemed for free flights!


In March, AirAsia launched SkyRider Club, which offers young guests (up to 14 years) a cool combo of rewards, benefits, activities and giveaways. With mascot, ACE, leading the way, SkyRider Club is all about making flying a fun, educational and rewarding experience. Under the SkyRider Young Flyer programme, young guests (7 to 10 years) are able to fly solo on exciting adventures, and enjoy AirAsia’s Red Carpet Service. Another cool feature for the young ‘uns is a special kids’ meal called Ace Meal, available on all AirAsia flights. The Ace Meal offers kid-friendly food, along with games and a complimentary merchandise item. Membership is at RM30 for a limited time only. The first 1,000 guests to sign up will receive a free pass to KidZania Kuala Lumpur worth RM55.

SKYRIDER PERKS! • A membership kit that includes a passport (activity book), badge, sticker, lanyard and co-branded SkyRider Tune Talk Sim Pack preloaded with RM2 airtime and 500 Tune Talk points to be redeemed against flights, concert tickets etc. • Priority boarding • Selected offers for AirAsiaGO travel packages and AirAsiaRedTix entertainment tickets. • Discounts on AirAsiamegastore. com merchandise.

CHIANG MAI TO MACAU IT SERVES YOU RIGHT! Beginning March, AirAsia has discontinued the Premium Line in Malaysia and Support Hotline in Singapore in an on-going mission to utilise ICT to practise cost efficiency and promote full automation and self service facilities. Having invested substantially to develop ICT facilities and cater to present demands, AirAsia is fully equipped to provide guests with immediate assistance. This innovative approach allows guests to retrieve flight information and perform amendments to bookings at the convenient click of a button.

“We are always at the forefront of innovation and embark on neverending efforts to provide further improvement and boost the quality of our services. By switching to full automation, guests are presented with options that are simple to manage, cost effective and will benefit both guests and AirAsia in terms of lower cost and enhanced customer service.” ~ Kathleen Tan, AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial.

SELF SERVICE OPTIONS One-stop help and information centre, AskAirAsia offers intelligent automated responses, and options for live chat, webmail and twitter. AirAsia e-Form allows guests to send in enquiries and requests online. Manage My Booking enables guests to make changes or additions to flight bookings. AirAsia X Premium Line is contactable from 7.00am to 7.00pm daily for help and enquiries. (MALAYSIA: 600-85-8888; SINGAPORE: 600-85-9999) AirAsia Travel & Service Centres (ATSC), Sales Offices and Airport Sales Counters offer a wide range of assistance. Full list available at

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: H.E. Dr. Zhu Weimin, Consul-General of China to Thailand (Chiang Mai); M.L. Panadda Diskul, Governor of Chiang Mai and Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia. Chiang Mai


Thai AirAsia has strengthened its connectivity by launching flights between Chiang Mai, Thailand and Macau. According to Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, this initiative underscores AirAsia’s commitment to engage the Chinese market – one of the most populous and rapidly growing markets in the world. The launch will offer affordable travel to more unique destinations and routes, while drawing travellers to Thailand and stimulating the local economy. For enquiries, visit or contact the Call Center at 02-515-9999. Visit for great travel packages starting from just THB2,699!

BIG DEAL! AirAsia brought back the Big Sale recently with all-in-fares from as low as RM25 to domestic destinations like Penang and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; RM55 to international hotspots like Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Hanoi, and Vientiane; and RM295 to holiday favourites like Tokyo, Taipei and Sydney. AirAsia X also offered comfy travels on Premium flatbeds from as low as RM999 to destinations in Australia, Korea and Taiwan. Follow AirAsia and AirAsia X on and for up-todate news on upcoming promotions, and tips to nab Big Sale seats.





Borobudur, Central Java

Save up to 50% when you book valueadded services like Baggage Supersize, Hot Seats, Pick-A-Seat and AirAsia Insure online. Now, you can even prebook more than one meal for in-flight dining, and prices have been reduced to offer greater affordability.

NEW NETWORK In a move to focus on core markets and improve operating cost efficiencies, AirAsia X has suspended its Kuala Lumpur – Christchurch route as of May 30. The airline will focus on core markets like Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Iran, and has already added more flights to Tokyo, Japan and opened up a new route: Sydney. In June, AirAsia X will be adding even more flights to Taipei, Taiwan and Perth, Australia.

“The high cost of fuel has compromised our ability to offer our renowned low fares. The decision to withdraw from Christchurch was a difficult one, but was made taking into account our strategic focus in consolidating our network on markets where we have built up stable, profitable routes. We have been very grateful for the huge support rendered by Christchurch Airport, Christchurch City Council and Tourism New Zealand, and would like to put on record our appreciation for all the cooperation that has been given to us.” ~ Azran OsmanRani, CEO of AirAsia X Follow us on and for updates on promotions, contests and activities.


Temple of the Tooth Relic, Sri Lanka

Around May 5 to 6 (depending on country), Buddhists world over celebrate Vesak, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha. Here’s a roundup of some of Buddhism’s holiest places. Lumbini in Nepal is famous as the place where Siddharta Gautama was born to Queen Mayadevi. Here, you’ll find the Mayadevi temple and the Puskarini or Holy Pond, where the Buddha had his first bath. Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India, is recognised as the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex here is a great pilgrimage site. Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh, India, is the deer park where the Buddha first taught the Dharma, giving rise to the formation of the Sangha or Buddhist monastic community. Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh is the site where the Buddha attained parinirvana or the final nirvana after death.

VENUES FOR VESAK Borobudur is a 9th century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Central Java, Indonesia and a brilliant example of a stupa as a mandala. This UNESCO World Heritage site is said to be the largest Buddhist monument in the world. (Fly AirAsia to Yogyakarta, Solo or Semarang to visit Borobudur) The Bayon in Angkor, Cambodia, was built in the 12th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist king, but has also accommodated Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings. The Khmer temple features 216 stone carvings of peaceful faces, said to depict the enlightenment-being of compassion – Avalokitesvara. (Fly AirAsia to Siem Reap to visit Angkor) In Kandy, Sri Lanka, the Temple of the Tooth or Dalda Maligawa is a sacred pilgrimage site that houses Buddha’s tooth. The relic was supposedly taken from his funeral pyre and smuggled into Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD by Princess Hemamali. During Vesak, gateways illustrating stories from the Jataka Katha are erected across Sri Lanka, and colourful lanterns are lit to symbolise the light of the Buddha. (Fly AirAsia to Colombo to visit Kandy)


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Manga Museum

EXPEDIA COMES TO THAILAND AirAsiaExpedia, a joint venture between AirAsia and Expedia Inc, has launched a one-stop onlinebooking service catering to Thai travellers. This simple and secure solution offers incredible flight and holiday packages at affordable prices backed by a ‘Best Price Guarantee’. This means that if a guest finds a better price online for the exact same trip, Expedia will match the lower rate, and award the guest a travel voucher worth THB1,250 for future use! The website also boasts a user-friendly interface, and value-added products including detailed property overviews, virtual hotel tours, as well as independent and verified traveller reviews.

ABOVE: Dan Lynn, CEO, AirAsiaExpedia with MTV Thailand VJ Nicky.

THE EXPEDIA EXPERIENCE Prices are inclusive of taxes and fees, and quoted in Thai Baht – no need for currency conversion! Flexible policy that doesn’t charge change or cancellation fees! Local customer service call centre operating seven days a week from 6.00am to 9.00pm! Great savings on flight and hotel packages!

“Travelling is fun and planning it shouldn’t be difficult. On Expedia., consumers can choose from a selection of over 145,000 hotels to create their best value dream holiday packages, for both domestic and international travel, enjoying instant savings.” ~ Dan Lynn, CEO, AirAsiaExpedia

The Sydney Tramway Museum

MUSEUM MADNESS Celebrating International Museum Day on May 8, we bring you some of the coolest museums in AirAsia’s network. THE PALACE MUSEUM or The Forbidden City in Beijing spans some 720,000 sq m, and its collections of art treasures reflect 5,000 years of Chinese history, with a special focus on artefacts from the Qing imperial court. THE CHINA SEX MUSEUM in Tongli, Jiang Su province covers some 9,000 years of Chinese sexual history with over 3,700 erotic exhibits including beds used by Ming-era prostitutes, antique brothel coins and sex-instruction scrolls – all presented in an academic context. THE KYOTO INTERNATIONAL MANGA MUSEUM in Japan showcases the history of manga, and houses over 300,000 titles including Meiji-period magazines, postwar rental books and 19th century volumes for serious scholars. BANGKOK’S MUSEUM OF COUNTERFEIT GOODS displays hoards of copycat items confiscated by law firm Tilleke and Gibbins in raids on behalf of their clients, alongside originals. Exhibits include leather goods, clothing, electronics and car parts, and allow visitors to play the guessing game, while learning about the effects of counterfeiting. THE SYDNEY TRAMWAY MUSEUM is an operating tramway museum with an extensive collection of trams from Sydney, other Australian cities and around the world.




EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY Maifest, a traditional German celebration to welcome spring will be held at Clarke Quay, Singapore this month. Savour a mug of Erdinger wheat beer, enjoy music performed by German band Ois Easy, and fill your tummy with sumptuous food at the two-day event. Admission is free and festival-goers will also stand to sample the specially brought in Erdinger Pikantus. Maifest will be celebrated at the Clarke Quay Central Fountain area from 6.00pm to 11.00pm on May 4 and 5, 2012.


Tong Tana: The Penan Territory by Tan Wei Kheng is an exhibition that captures the beauty of this nomadic Sarawakian tribe. Instead of merely depicting the people, these art pieces also echo the plight of the eco-system and the future of the rainforest, which is home to the Penan people. Tan, a self-taught artist uses oil, acrylic, pastels, pencil and watercolour to bring to life this elusive tribe in his art. The exhibition runs from March 24 to May 7, 2012 at Metro Fine Art, Gr Fl, Sunway Putra Hotel (former Legend Hotel), 100 Jalan Putra, Kuala Lumpur. 20


THE HILLS ARE ALIVE Billed as the longest-running Filipino production of a big-scale Broadway musical in Philippines, Resorts World Manila’s staging of The Sound of Music is truly a not-to-be-missed performance. Follow the adventures of the von Trapp children and their governess Maria in this inspiring and entertaining musical, at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. Catch the show before it bows out on May 27, 2012.

Ever faced problems getting a reliable taxi service in a foreign country? Fret not because when in Sydney, Australia, CarPilots will not only get you to your destination safely, they will also throw in a host of extras such as a trustworthy service with professional and knowledgeable chauffeurs, and choice of vehicle according to your needs. You can book their taxis via telephone, website and CarPilot apps. Fees are pre-calculated and include toll fares but do not change according to traffic conditions. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Sydney daily from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for flight details.




FLOATED, an exhibition featuring the works of respected contemporary Malaysian artists, Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Chong Siew Ying and Jalaini Abu Hassan, will be on at Kendra Gallery in Seminyak, Bali until May 14, 2012. Exhibits include Seorang Jawa by Bayu, Chong’s Me, Underwater, and Steaks by Jalaini.

UP, DOWN & AROUND NIGHT IN THE PARK The Singapore Repertory Theatre’s (SRT) thrills lovers of the Bard’s works with its fifth production titled Twelfth Night – Or What You Will – performed under a canopy of stars and sky. Directed by Bruce Guthrie, associate director of Kevin Spacey’s Richard III, and with Light and Sound designed by Laurence Olivier Award winners Rick Fisher (Billy Elliot) and Mike Walker (Jerry Springer), Twelfth Night promises a modern twist to the tale that is filled with music, pranks and farcical misunderstandings and love. The production takes place at Fort Canning Park and runs from April 26 to May 20, 2012.

Experience the concepts of forces, motion and energy and be inspired by the world of physics at Scitech’s latest exhibition – Up, Down and Around. Push, pull, press and play with exhibits like pendulums, pulleys and gyroscopes, and look out for the unique 360-degree bike – the star attraction of the show. The exhibition runs until June 1, 2012 at Scitech, Sunderland Street, West Perth, Australia.





LAND OF LEGENDS Indonesia is an amazing country rich in legends, folklore and myths! The city of Surabaya derives its name from the legendary brawl between a suro (‘shark’ in Javanese) and boyo (‘crocodile’ in Javanese); both creatures claiming to be the mightiest in the area. The Prambanan temple complex in Yogyakarta tells the tale of Loro Jonggrang, the daughter of a giant king who was forced to marry a nobleman named Bandung Bandawasa. The princess refused the union and tried to prove her suitor unworthy by setting him a task of having to complete 1,000 temples within one night. Bandung enlisted the help of genies and was almost successful but the wily princess got her servants to trick the genies by pounding rice and making cooking noises. Thinking morning had dawned, the genies fled, abandoning the task. Bandung was furious at this trickery and cursed the princess, imprisoning her into the 1,000th temple he finally built. The Tangkuban Perahu crater in Bandung looks like an upside down boat and chronicles the story of Sangkuriang who returns to his village and forces a village lady, Dayang Sumbi, to marry him without realising she is his own mother. Unable to refuse him, Dayang Sumbi insists that he build her a lake and a boat in one night. As Sangkuriang and his spirit friends were about to complete the task, Dayang Sumbi lit a fire in the east and duped them into thinking dawn had broken. The spirits fled the scene and, in anger, Sangkuriang kicked the boat where it turned into a rock formation. At a beach near the city of Padang, a rock formation in Air Manis is said to be the remains of the ship from the local tale of Malin Kundang who was cursed by his mother for being an ingrate. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Surabaya, Yoygakarta, Bandung and Padang from various destinations. Go to for flight details.



Adapted from the beloved books by P.L. Travers and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film, Mary Poppins will be staged at the Burswood Theatre in Perth, Australia until June 3, 2012. Don’t miss the chance to catch this endearing tale that has captured the hearts of theatregoers with its unforgettable songs and exciting choreography. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Perth daily from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Go to for flight details.

PRIVILEGED SHOPPING All you need is a Tourist Privilege Card to enjoy special offers at The Centrepoint in Singapore. Simply present your passport at the mall’s Customer Service Centre on Level One for a Tourist Privilege Card, which entitles you to special offers at participating outlets including Robinsons, Marks & Spencer and Harvey Norman, amongst others. The offer is valid until December 31, 2012.

05 HOT DATES 2012

MAY 2012


AOI MATSURI MAY 15 Re-enacting the ancient procession to deliver the emperor’s message, a messenger on horseback and performers in traditional garb decorated with hollyhock leaves (aoi), depart from Kyoto Imperial Palace, stopping by Shimogamo-jinja Shrine and Kamigamo-jinja Shrine. LAOS

BOUN BANG FAI ROCKET FESTIVAL MAY 12 - 13 To invoke rain and celebrate fertility, Lao people fire homemade rockets into the sky. Men even dress as women and perform vaudeville acts hoping to anger the gods, and trigger thunderstorms.







MAY 5 AMei, the charismatic Queen of Mandopop performs all-time favourites like Bad Boy, Sisters and Three Days Three Nights at Stadium Merdeka Kuala Lumpur.

MAY 25 – 27 Ningaloo Marine Park welcomes its biggest and most famous species of fish as they return following the mass spawning of coral. Marine enthusiasts can snorkel alongside whale sharks in Western Australia from May till July.




A CHORUS LINE MAY 4 – 27 Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands presents the award-winning Broadway production about the stories and struggles of 17 passionate dancers auditioning for stage roles in a musical.

MORRISSEY MAY 10 Morrissey, cult rock


BAAN TA KLANG NOVICE ORDINATION MAY 3 – 5 To make merit for their families, young boys join an elaborate, mass ordination ceremony on elephant back, and spend the Buddhist lent or Khao Pansa studying Buddha’s

icon and former frontman of The Smiths, shows off his unique baritone at Jakarta’s Tennis Indoor Senayan this May.

BORNEO JAZZ 2012 MAY 11 & 12 Cool jazz musicians from around the world converge on Miri’s ParkCity Everly Hotel for an amazing music fest.




MAY 30 & 31 The Kadazandusun people of Sabah celebrate e

MAY 30 American alternative

the harvest season and give thanks for bountiful blessings with merrymaking, dancing and a free-flow of homemade rice wine called tapai.

rockers ‘We The Kings’, and American pop punk band ‘We Are The In Crowd’ rock Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

Join us at twitter om/RedTix twitter.c

Join us at FacebookedTix


ELSEWHERE… MALAYSIA • MAY 26 Colours of Malaysia SINGAPORE • MAY 18 – JUNE 2 Singapore Arts Festival

THAILAND • MAY 25 Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball Live in Bangkok


LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO MAY 15 – 20 The multi-award winning, all-male ballet phenomenon, The Trocks, elicit giggles as they playfully perform excerpts from Swan Lake and Raymonda to hilarious effect at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. 28


MACAU • MAY 1 – JUNE 2 23rd Macau Arts Festival

AUSTRALIA • MAY 18 – 20 V8 Supercars Phillip Island

KOREA • MAY 20 – 27 Chuncheon International Mime Festival

05 COMPASS 2012



Really, the world out there is simply astounding! From stunning natural wonders and manmade marvels to quaint local habits and practices, there is so much to see, do, experience and enjoy. Poor is the man who’d rather coop himself up and refuse the joys of the earth.


Venice, Italy

SEE THEM NOW! They may have been around for centuries but these incredible sites are unlikely to last much longer as climate change and neglect contribute to their disappearance.

although it’s been around for 7,000 years. Scientists believe water pollution and global warming are to blame for its imminent demise.



The beautiful snow-capped peak of the tallest mountain in Africa may soon become a distant memory. Since the early part of the 20th century, the ice cap at Kilimanjaro has been vanishing and experts predict that it will completely disappear by 2033.

One of the most romantic cities in the world is in danger of sinking into oblivion due to rising sea levels and increased rainfall. Venetian buildings balance precariously on centuries-old wooden supports and stakes, as well as stones that have eroded over time. This means structures are likely to collapse and there’s a good chance the city will one day be totally swallowed up by the sea.



AUSTRALIA’S GREAT BARRIER REEF Home to more than 400 different kinds of coral, as well as dolphins, tropical fish and reptiles, this amazing 3,000-kilometre long reef is the only living structure that’s visible from space. Sadly, this incredible natural wonder may not survive past 2050 TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

ALSO SEE! • Taj Mahal in India • Great Wall of China • Borobudur, Indonesia • Taman Negara rainforest, Malaysia • Ayutthaya ruins, Thailand • Angkor Wat, Cambodia • Chocolate Hills, Bohol Island, Philippines.

May is a time to celebrate one of the most popular beverages in the world – beer! Festivals dedicated to the brew abound this month and all across the world beer lovers unite to make merry, test and taste hundreds of varieties of beer at fun-filled, free-flowing gatherings. Some of the most popular beer festivals include: • Copenhagen Beer Festival in Denmark. It offers more than 700 types of beer.

• Czech Beer Festival in Czech Republic. You’ll find one of the largest beer tents with a seating capacity of 10,000!

• Cambridge Beer Festival in England. A wildly popular event since its first edition back in 1974.www.

TRENDS IN TRAVEL: FLASHPACKING Flashpacking might sound like a madeup word but it’s actually a hip travel term. Flashpacking is essentially a mode of travel that involves technology. Flashpackers – the people who indulge in flashpacking – are techno travellers who never leave home without their iPad, iPhone, laptop and other technological wonders and, need WiFi or Internet facilities wherever they roam. Although flashpacking and flashpackers might sound suspiciously like backpacking and backpackers, they are not the same. The key element that sets them apart? Flashpackers, unlike backpackers, tend to have a more flexible budget that allows them to indulge in a meal at a good restaurant or a stay at a boutique hotel.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~ St. Augustine Here’s a budget-friendly tip that even the most experienced traveller might have missed: Follow international economic news and keep a lookout for countries experiencing an economic challenges. If a nation’s financial troubles show up on the radar (such as Greece or Egypt), chances are that the tourist industry there will take a nosedive too – your cue to book your flight! Everything from lodgings to restaurant meals and cab fare are guaranteed to be less expensive. If you feel bad about taking advantage of another’s misfortune, take comfort in the fact that your tourist dollars will go a long way in helping the local economy.


FOOD ETIQUETTE FROM AROUND THE WORLD FRANCE A rule that applies in France but nowhere else: Bread is placed directly on the table without a plate. This habit is not just the accepted method of serving bread, it is actually preferred! Another note to remember: Avoid eating bread in France as an appetizer. The French eat their bread during their meal or, as part of a cheese course after the meal. Eating bread as an appetizer is a faux pas. CHILE Using your fingers to eat fries might be OK elsewhere in the world but in Chile, it is instantly regarded as bad-manners! While South American countries are generally laid-back when it comes to food etiquette, things are a little more formal in Chile. So, stave off horrified glances from the locals and eat your fries with a fork and knife like everyone else. ITALY If you’re keen on blending in with the locals in Italy, avoid ordering a cappuccino in the afternoon after 3pm. The reason? Some believe cappuccinos can cause tummy aches, so drinking one late in the day or at night is a no-no. Others think the cappuccino is a replacement for a meal. They have one for breakfast and don’t eat or drink anything else. CHINA In China and countries with a Chinese population, don’t ever point at someone using your chopsticks. Worse still, never ever stick the chopsticks upright in food as this is a considered a serious taboo.

IMAGE: SABAH TOURISM BOARD ABOVE: A Sabahan girl in traditional outfit.



A recent survey conducted by LivingSocial, a popular international travel website that offers daily email and alerts on great travel deals, revealed that Sabah, Sarawak and Langkawi came out top as the hottest Malaysian holiday spots. Close to 60% of the 2,000 respondents voted these three destinations as ideal escapes. As for outside Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea and Japan proved to be Asian favourites, while Europe and Australia are the preferred international vacation destinations.



ABOVE: Indians enjoying a banana leaf meal with their hands.

INDIA Indians use their hands to eat food and no matter how difficult, do not use your left hand to pick or tear your food. The left hand is considered unclean as it is used to clean oneself after the lavatory. JAPAN Forget all that you have learnt about etiquette and slurp as loudly as you can when eating a noodle dish. The louder your slurp, the louder your appreciation of the food!



Mamma mia! Brace yourself for some culinary mayhem this May – from marvellous Mother’s Day treats to exotic cooking classes, we’ve rustled up a smorgasbord of delights from around the region.

CAFFEINE RUSH Just insert an illy Metodo Iperespresso capsule into the sleek and stylish Francis Francis X7.1 iperEspresso machine and you can enjoy a cup of freshly made illy espresso at a simple touch of a button! This advanced technology, featurerich model boasts a steel internal thermoblock, a panarello steam wand that froths milk for delicious cappuccinos and lattes, a cup-warming rail and an auto-off, power-saving switch.

FOOD OF THE GODS No visit to Bali is complete without a meal at the award-winning Bumbu Bali restaurant established by intrepid restaurateur cum cookbook author Heinz von Holzen in 1997. Highly acclaimed for its truly Balinese delights – roast duck in banana leaf, roast suckling pig, black rice pudding and Balinese cakes, Bumbu Bali also offers cookery classes on authentic Balinese GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Bali from various destinations. Go to for details.



Deepen your Thai cuisine cooking skills at the renowned Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok, Thailand under the guidance of Master Chef and Blue Elephant restaurant founder, Nooror Somany Steppe. Located in Sathorn Road (BTS: Surasak), students learn how to shop for ingredients at the local market before being taught how to prepare a four-course Thai meal. Then it’s time to sample the fruits of your labour over lunch. Upon completion of the class, participants will receive a Blue Elephant Cooking School Certificate, a souvenir apron and a gift set containing Blue Elephant herbs, spices and curry paste.


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


TOD MUN PLA One of the tastiest savoury snacks in Thailand is tod mun pla or Thai fishcakes. Made from minced fish, red curry paste and chopped long beans, these fritter-like cakes are deep-fried and eaten dipped in a tangy chilli sauce. A popular street fare, the fishcakes are easily available at most restaurants but the best ones are normally sold piping hot from food carts.

“In Koh Samui, Sabeinglae Restaurant (438/82 Moo 1. T Maret) serves a mean tod mun pla! Fiery but with an unusual touch of sweetness, the cakes sold here are springy and full of fish meat. Highly recommended!” ~ Alongkorn Soontornpot, AirAsia guest

MANGO MANIA Did you know there are over a thousand varieties of mango in the world? Rich in Vitamin C and E, calcium, iron, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium and flavonoids (substances that give fruits and vegetables their bright colours and help our bodies get rid of free radicals), mangoes contain enzymes that aid indigestion, and a high amount of fibre. Here are two useful tips using mangoes: • Apply mashed mango pulp to acne-prone skin for 10 minutes to unclog pores. • Steam unripe mango and juice with some cumin, rock sugar and salt. Drink concoction as remedy for heat stroke.

HERBAL HEROES An easy-to-use guide on natural healthcare, Guide to Herbal Remedies by Martha Schindler Connors with Larry Altshuler, Md (Advantage Quest Publications), is an excellent reference book for alternative and holistic healing methods. The book explains in great detail the use of herbal medicines and offers suggestions on how to use natural ingredients in easing or curing ailments. From treating prostate problems to taming asthma, the book is a treasury of knowledge on natural healing.

INGREDIENTS TO THE RESCUE MANGOES IN LOCAL CUISINE PHILIPPINES Green mangoes with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) THAILAND Mango with sticky rice MALAYSIA Spicy young mango salad INDIA Mango powder in curries INDONESIA Green mango sambal

CLOSE SHAVE Thanks to its high quality, supersharp and easy to clean stainless steel blade that comes in varying grades of coarseness, Microplane graters make grating citrus peel, chocolate, cheese, garlic and even nutmeg or cinnamon bark a complete breeze!



MUM’S THE WORD Cinnamon Coffee House at One World Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, is going all out to please the Queen of our Hearts for Mother’s Day on May 13 with a sumptuous hi-tea buffet. The talented chefs there will cook up a storm at their ‘show kitchens’, dishing up refreshing salads, hearty pasta and noodles, local, Western, Indian and Japanese specialities for mothers and the entire brood. Available from 12 noon to 4.30 pm at RM70++ per adult and RM35++ per child.

Repel ants by sprinkling pepper or cinnamon powder along ant trails. Cotton wool soaked in vinegar is just as effective. • Get rid of odours in your car with fresh pandan (screwpine) leaves placed under the car seat. • Instead of popping aspirin tablets to relief headache, eat 10 to 12 whole almonds. • A cotton ball soaked in lime juice diluted with a little water can soothe mosquito bites. • Feeling nauseous? Boil 1/2 cup of rice with 1 cup of water for about 15 minutes. Strain the water, cool and drink the water until symptoms subside.

DUMPLING GROUND Lauded by New York Times as one of the World’s Top 10 Restaurants, Din Tai Fung is home to the world-famous xiao long pau, dainty steamed porkfilled dumplings that have won thousands of fans not only in Taiwan but also across the globe. Other signature delicacies to savour include drunken chicken, pickled cucumber, hot and sour soup, pork chop fried rice and la mian (hand-pulled noodles topped with spicy minced pork). Make sure you order the latest xiao long pau variant that comes with a scrumptious minced meat and black truffle filling!



Cult classics are a perennial favourite and have withstood the test of time due to their mastery in telling a story, great plots and intriguing characters. This month, we look at cult classics and figures, and bring you great reads alongside an interview with Catherine Ryan Hyde, a novelist who’s inspired a movement of her own.

TOWEL TRIBUTE Since 2001, May 25 has been designated as Towel Day. If you’re thinking: ‘What on earth is Towel Day?’ then you’re probably not one who worships at the altar of the late Douglas Adams. Adams wrote the hugely popular and comedic science fiction series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which has spawned comic book adaptations, computer games and even a film. Since Adams’ passing in 2001, fans have proudly carried a towel on this day as a tribute to him and his books. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a towel is considered one of the most useful things an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Not only can you wrap it around your head for warmth, wet it for hand-to-hand combat, and rig it to sail a raft, but a hitchhiker who has traversed the galaxy and is still in possession of his towel is seen as a force to be reckoned with!




The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail hypothesises that Jesus had children with Mary Magdalene, and his descendants established the Merovingian dynasty, whose claim to the throne in France is supported by a secret society called the Priory of Sion. Despite being banned as blasphemy in several countries, and criticised for inaccuracies by historians and scholars, the novel is popular among conspiracy theory buffs. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger is a unique cult classic in that both its author and anti-hero, Holden Caulfield, have become cult figures. Salinger’s tale of teenage angst and rebellion is one of the most censored books in the US, owing to its perceived profanity and TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

SYDNEY WRITERS’ FESTIVAL MAY 14 – 20, 2012 Festival-goers can enjoy over 300 literary events and mingle with some of the world’s best contemporary fiction and non-fiction writers, leading public intellectuals, scientists and journalists.


Some say that a true cult classic has only a small but frenetic fandom. Others have argued that it is the extreme devotion among fan groups that makes a cult classic. Here are books that have a following worthy of cult status. J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings developed out of Tolkien’s interest in philology. Having invented several Elvish languages, Tolkien set about creating the world and mythologies in which these languages existed. Tolkien’s fantastical world has captured the minds of thousands of fans; some even learn to speak Elvish! During Tolkien’s lifetime, his fandom was so obsessive that the writer had to change his phone number to escape fans who’d call demanding to know if Frodo had succeeded in his quest.


u Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M Pirsig u The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson u To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee immorality. While Caulfield remains an icon of teenage rebellion, JD Salinger has become a cult figure due to his withdrawal from society in the 60s. Dragon Ball is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. The series revolves around a martial artist, Goku, who travels the world looking for seven mystical dragon balls, used to summon a wish-granting dragon. It has sparked anime series, feature films, TV specials, video games and even a collectible trading card game. The Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris have inspired the True Blood TV series, and a cult lingo of its own. For example, ‘v-juice’ for vampire blood; ‘fangbanger’ referring to a human who allows vampires to drink his or her blood, and enjoys sexual relations with them; and ‘meet the sun’, when a vampire ends his or her life by exposure to the sun.

u Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche u The Electric Kool-Ai d Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM Kyung-Sook Shin A perfect gift for Mother’s Day, this Man Asian Literary Prize-winning novel is a heart-rending exploration of what it means to be a mother. When a 69-year-old woman disappears at a Seoul subway station, her family launches a frantic search for her, and discovers secrets that reveal different sides to READ the woman they call ‘mom’.


THE HOLMES AFFAIR Graham Moore While tracking down the murderer of a leading Doylean scholar in New York, literary researcher and Sherlock Holmes mystery buff, Harold White stumbles upon the mystery of Doyle’s missing diary and a secret Sir Arthur Conan Doyle concealed 100 years earlier.

WISDOM FROM LAUGHTER Oh Teik Bin & Lee Kiang Wui A compilation of 500 amusing anecdotes and jokes that offer life lessons revolving around kindness, compassion, understanding, as well as opening up the mind to different possibilities.

Catherine Ryan Hyde’s famous novel, Pay It Forward is about a boy who ignites a social movement using good deeds. This novel later inspired the formation of the Pay It Forward Foundation, and was adapted for fi lm. Here, she talks about her many inspirations. INSPIRATION BEHIND ‘PAY IT FORWARD’ Decades ago, two strangers came to my aid when the engine of my car was on fire in a dangerous neighbourhood. They smothered the fire with a blanket and took off before I could even thank them. So, I began stopping for stranded motorists, since I could never repay their kindness.

SEEING BEAUTY Everything is a coin with two sides. The world is as beautiful as it is horrible. I’m not delusional. I see the world for what it is, but I choose to focus on the good. The more we look for good, the better we feel about the world, and the more that good expands and fills our experience. This is the one true choice we have in life: Where to place our attention.



I always post a ‘Daily Gratitude’ on my social networking sites. Good day or bad, I find something I’m grateful for. One day when I was worried about money, I ran into a local homeless man who put a positive spin on life, saying, “I live outdoors.” Money woes are quite relative. I’m not living in a tent with holes as the rainy season approaches. I felt grateful, and it readjusted my thinking.

Sandra Bardas


From the Macmillan Mini-Art Series comes a striking collection of photographs showcasing incredible graffiti and stencil art by anonymous artists in Australia and around the world.

When I was a child, there was Dr. Seuss. As I got older, I read a lot of Daniel Keyes, Ken Kesey and Kurt Vonnegut. A good example of influence would be John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. That’s when I knew I wanted to champion the character who tends to be short on champions. My favourite young adult book is probably The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The one thing I insist on is emotional honesty. I’m not big on existential angst; I like characters who understand what really matters in life, at least from my point of view.

INSIDE APPLE Adam Lashinsky Discover the secret systems, leadership strategies and magical touches Steve Jobs employed to transform Apple into one of the world’s most innovative powerhouses.








Not all great businesses are born through creative ideas. Many, in fact, simply fulfil the basic needs of consumers. The one thing that keeps these businesses going and new ones growing is simple – business acumen.


percent of the marketing budget in small and medium businesses will go into Digital Advertising.


percent of women who are active blog users say they have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blog or blogger.


ACE IN ACUMEN Insight, foresight, wisdom...they all translate to good business acumen. Having a good sales team alone doesn’t do it anymore because today’s decision makers expect a salesperson who understands the business of business. Here are five principles you can explore in developing better business acumen:

MAKE YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE KNOWLEDGE A REAL VALUE CLUE The current generation of consumers view the world as their catalogue. They know they have options and don’t settle for average.


ACUMEN Hasten the spread of information and monitor the response time from product knowledge to capturing a major market segment.


CLUE + ACUMEN Get on with the program and subscribe to texting your product/service.

KNOW THE INDUSTRY YOU’RE IN CLUE Consumers want shortcuts because they are pressed for time. ACUMEN If you’re a home remodelling contractor and are not TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

familiar with new appliances and fittings, get familiar with it.

everything in a matter of one key stroke – ‘Post’!

CLUE + ACUMEN Develop smart alliances and partnerships with companies that complement your product/service.

ACUMEN Understand new demands and desires. You may be selling to just one person at one given time, but that person knows at least 20 others.

UNDERSTAND YOUR CONSUMERS CLUE Consumers lack patience due to the fast-paced world they live in, and also because by the time you convince them of the ‘greatness’ of your product/service, they have moved on to your competitor. ACUMEN Move the conversation quickly through the problem and offer solutions backed by a quick testimonial of your product/service.

CLUE + ACUMEN Build real relationships with your customers. Put the sense and cents into your after-sales-service.

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WORLD TRENDS AND ECONOMIES, AND WHERE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE FITS IN CLUE Acumen is not an option. Hone it and own it for the sake of your product/service.

CLUE + ACUMEN Understand your target client and their lives. Only then can you understand the approach or language that resonates with them.

ACUMEN Create real value propositions for your product/ service that can withstand the test of bad economy and modernday challenges.


CLUE + ACUMEN The industry you work in may be flooded with competitors, but how you sell your product/service should inspire people to aspire to be a part of the community.

CLUE In the world of retail, your customer’s customers are their friends and family. In the Social Media world, everyone knows

percent of bloggers who posted multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog, a figure that decreased to 66% for monthly bloggers and 43% for those who posted less than monthly, as at February 2012.

CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT With the blaze of ‘deal sites’ offering consumers valuefor-money on products and services (think Groupon), in comes; a China-based site that empowers consumers by asking them to recommend products and services they want to buy, as well as the price tag! It works through users submitting their votes on the items they’d like to see on its virtual shelves and suggesting how much they would pay for them. The higher number of votes for a particular item increases discounts on it. This is consumer empowerment at its best, allowing the people to make stock decisions and pricing.





Medical breakthroughs in the age of technology have made tremendous leaps in saving lives through education and implementation. Nevertheless, the first step in preserving the quality of our lives lies in our own hands. Preventing is better than cure, and the best place to start is with mental and emotional health.


MOOD BOOSTERS The food that you eat has a significant impact on your moods. It can either make you feel sluggish, depressed, happy or energetic. But the food you eat can also help stabilise your mood – both short- and long-term. Here’s how you can avoid mood swings and stay smiling the whole day.

SHORT-TERM GOALS – DAY-TO-DAY Keep blood sugar regular as it ensures you don’t feel out of sorts. Keep gastrointestinal (GI) tract healthy and running smoothly, and you will feel more energetic as a healthy digestive system stabilises your metabolism rate.

GOOD MOOD GRUB Foods rich in Vitamin B12 and folic acid like beans, spinach, egg white, meat, fish and poultry. Fruits and vegetables, with at least three portions a day for good fibre intake. Selenium-high foods like beans and legumes, lean meats, low-fat dairy stuff, nuts and seafood. Fish for main meals especially those high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, herring, rainbow trout, sardines and tuna.

LONG-TERM GOALS OF WEEK-TO-WEEK, MONTH-TO-MONTH: Healthy eating habits helps maintain a healthy body and will also improve your moods.

Dark chocolate as it has an effect on the levels of our brain endorphins.

Nutritious foods can influence serotonin production (the feel-good hormone), making for good blood circulation.


Previously used by hospital administrators for patient data collection and health screen results, patients can get more involved in their own healthcare. With the Caring MR Suite, patients can alter the atmosphere of the room to reduce anxiety that may be caused by the hospital environment during MRI scans. The software reprogrammes iPads where patients can manipulate their surroundings with lighting, images, video and music.

Vitamin D but very few natural foods are high in this vitamin, thus you need to take supplements. Natural Vitamin D-rich foods include fatty fish as above, egg yolks, beef liver and cheese.



For the bedridden and wheelchair-bound, Smart e-Pants is truly heaven sent. This electric underwear helps prevent bed sores by sending a mild electrical current to the wearer’s bottom every 10 minutes. Developed by Canadian researchers, ulcers that occur due to lack of oxygen, muscle movement and blood flow can be avoided by simulating such movement artificially. The underwear is embedded with electrodes that deliver a painless current for 10 seconds at a time, essentially replicating miniscule movements able-bodied people make.


percent of women in the world with mental disorders in lower income countries do not receive treatment.


percent of deaths among women in low income countries (majority in Africa), are due to unsafe sex.


million women (approx) worldwide suffer a major depressive episode yearly.



What you see in sports nowadays is only a fraction of the original story. Innovations and improvements to the equipment not only make the sport exciting, even watching the game has become tremendously enjoyable.


Major League Baseball game, it de-slicks, but doesn’t soften the ball. THE ZAMBONI In 1949, Frank Zamboni put a squeegee, a blade and snow-gathering tanks on a chassis, clearing the way for faster ice hockey games. SOCCER CLEATS West Germany’s win at the 1954 World Cup was credited to the underdogs’ swappable, screw-in studs, which allowed players to adjust their boots according to pitch conditions.

GOLF BALL DIMPLES Golfers always knew that dinged-up balls travel farther as dents create turbulence, which reduces drag. In 1908, William Taylor patented dimples. THE FOOTBALL’S INTERNAL VALVE In the past, an inflation stem stowed under the laces kept

players from throwing the ball in a spiral. A new internal valve in 1924 allowed the modern game to evolve. TOE-RELEASE BINDINGS While laid up with a broken leg in 1937, ski champ Hjalmar Hvam had a brainstorm: Bindings that pop you free. His invention led to an 86% drop in tibia fractures!

AEROBARS At the 1989 Tour de France, Greg LeMond overcame a 50-second deficit to win. His secret: Narrow, more aerodynamic handlebars. Though nixed from mass start races, they’re now a staple in time trials and triathlons.

RUBBING MUD In 1938, a Philadelphia coach found the cure for slippery baseballs: Delaware River muck. Still used before every

THE SPEEDO LZR RACER Polyurethane panels cut drag by 24%, helping Olympic swimmers smash 23 records in Beijing in 2008.




Here’s our round up of some of the world’s hottest sportsmen today.


WHO Lewis Hamilton, 28 years, born in England WHAT Formula 1 WHY Hailed one of the fastest driving men on the planet and he’s ‘pulled’ Nicole Scherzinger.


WHO Rafael Nadal, 26 years, born in Spain

WHO Francesco Totti, 36 years, born in Italy

WHO David Beckham, 37 years, born in England

WHAT Tennis

WHAT Football

WHAT Football

WHY Winning the hearts of many with his tennis skills is one thing, but it’s also his six-pack that put him on the list.

WHY This AS Roma star has been the lucky charm of Rome for 20 years and is also a sought-after pin-up star in Italy.

WHY He’s always on some chart-topping list because of his soccer skills, enigmatic presence, looks, and of course, his body – enough to make him known as ‘Golden Balls’.

WHO Rati Tsiteladze, 25 years, born in Georgia WHAT Champion Fighter WHY He is a triplethreat at its best: Sportsman, model and actor.

If it’s a hassle to remove winter sports garb for a hot cuppa, the coffee can now be brought to you – if you’re skiing in Squaw Valley, California. Starbucks has set up midway on the snowy slopes where skiers can pull up to a small ‘drive-through window’ on the side of the coffee shop, buy a drink, and ski away, without having to take off their gear.


PING-PONG BALL Until 1900, rubber balls ricocheted around English drawing rooms. James Gibb’s celluloid (a material made by plasticising nitrocellulose with camphor) brought finesse to the game.

THE BREAKAWAY RIM After Darryl Dawkins broke two backboards in 22 days in 1979, the NBA adopted a new hoop from an Illinois man who grafted a tractor tiller spring to the rim.

THE AIRASIA WORLD OF SPORTS ASEAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE It’s past the mid-way point in the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League and the eight participating teams are now pulling out all the stops to grab their spot in the season 3 playoffs in June 2012. Season 1 champions, AirAsia Philippine Patriots, seem to have secured their spot, sitting at the top of the leaderboard, but compatriots San Miguel Beermen are breathing heavily down their necks. Third placed Westports Malaysia Dragons will also have to watch their backs, as just one win separates them from the currently fourth placed Indonesia Warriors. What will be interesting is the fight for the final spot. Only four points separate Indonesia Warriors and Bangkok Cobras, Singapore Slingers and Chang Thailand Slammers. With about two months left in the regular season, last placed Saigon Heat cannot be taken out of the running yet as they recently went on a three-game winning streak, which included a stunning win over defending champions Chang Thailand Slammers. Get the latest scores and updates on or join us on Facebook at or Twitter @ABLNews.


QPR RULES! DATE: Mar 22, 2012 VENUE: Loftus Road Stadium QPR 3 Liverpool 2 • F1 Super sub Jamie Mackie inspired QPR to a much needed win over Liverpool that took them out of the bottom.

AIRASIA GP ROADSHOW WITH CATERHAM F1 F1 fever reached new heights when the AirAsia GP Roadshow with Caterham F1 made an appearance at LCC Terminal in Malaysia in March 2012 in conjunction with the Malaysian Formula One GP. Fans had the opportunity to meet Alex Yoong and Daim Hishamuddin of AirAsia Caterham Driver Development programme, while Guedo Van Der Guard, Reserve Driver for Caterham F1, made a surprise visit. Lucky fans were also given the chance to drive the AirAsia GP Simulator placed at the terminal from March 19 to 26, 2012.

TAKING ON MOTO3 AirAsia-SIC-Ajo rider, Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin or Fahmi, who formerly competed in the 125cc category, has made the transition from two stroke to four stroke engine, joining the Moto3, and aims for an ambitious top 10 position by the end of the 2012 season. To give fans even greater access to this riding sensation, AirAsia and SIC are working with mobile engagement specialists scramboo, to run Fahmi’s new mobile services ( Fans can now follow Fahmi’s progress, challenge Fahmi in a series of mobile games, and experience Fahmi in a new dimension as scramboo and augmented reality platform, Aurasma, bring Fahmi’s photos to life. 48


• Former Reds striker Djibril Cisse levelled the scores with just four minutes remaining before Mackie notched the winner in added time, coolly slotting past Pepe Reina.

DATE: Mar 30, 2012 DATE: Loftus Road Stadium QPR 2 Arsenal 1 • The Rangers knew they needed a strong start and got that from Adel Taarabt’s 22nd minute opener. • The Gunners pulled level shortly before half-time, though. Theo Walcott latched on to a Robin van Persie pass and shot against the post before scoring from the rebound. • But Rangers dug deep and found the winner 24 minutes from time. Jamie Mackie broke into the rightside of the area, pulling back for Samba Diakite score his first goal for QPR.

02 HYPER TECH 05 2012


New technology in printing not only helps you save on paper and resources, it also finds alternative uses for paper. This and other exciting innovations in this month’s instalment of Travel 3Sixty.

PRINTS CHARMING The future of printing lies in alternative material other than paper. Wax, plastic and even wood can be used, and the print job can be done remotely from another location altogether. The paper saved will be put to good use in the form of innovative material for building computers.



If you wish to carve a wooden toy, you no longer need to use carving tools. A printer machine like the iModela from Roland can easily print, or carve out the 3-dimensional object for you with a series of rotating bits to punch holes, cut and mill. You can use wax, plastics, Styrofoam and even balsa wood.

With almost everyone opting for eBooks, a lot of paper is sitting around idly. Taiwanbased company PEGA D&E is recycling and mixing the paper with PP (polypropylene), creating a new material called Paper PP Alloy. The new ‘paper’ is then used to make casings and outer shells of computer bodies and other gadgets.

INTERACTIVE EBOOK PUBLISHING Inkling Habitat does print jobs but not on paper. While digital texts or eBooks are common, this company introduces extras like interactive material such as guided tours, 3D exhibits and quizzes, and audio and video features in the customer’s eBook.

USING SOCIAL MEDIA IN YOUR BLOG Here’s a quick guide to make your blog more visible on the Internet using Social Media sites.

X Position your Social Media icons or buttons where readers can easily see them – on top of your blog.

X To drive traffic, submit your posts to StumbleUpon.

your posts or images on their Pinterest boards. X Make sure your username is the same as your blog.

X Join Facebook blogger groups.

X Submit your blog’s RSS feed to your LinkedIn.

X Create a Facebook page for your blog and copy the links onto your blog.

X Put in a Pinterest plugin for your readers to share

X Lastly, promote other blogs so that they return the favour.



Some of the latest apps for your tablets and smartphones.





For amateur photographers who use their smartphones to take pictures but end up having unwanted objects moving into the shot, this app helps delete the intrusions by exposing the image for an extended time so that the phone can find the static background parts first and next, remove the non-static parts with a mere tap. OS: Android Price: NA

Besides shooting single shots, you can shoot in slow and fast bursts, in intervals or with a self timer. You can choose ‘Big Button’ to touch on any part of the frame to trigger the shutter release. Framing can be performed with composition overlays like Horizon, Thirds, Golden or Trisec, or you can apply preset effects. Finally, save the pix to your phone or tablet or share on Facebook and Twitter. OS:iOS Price : Free

Stumbleupon lets you pick a subject and helps you explore the Web by randomly searching for images, videos, pages, news, blogs and websites based on that subject. Some of the returned results could also be other users’ recommendations. If you think your friends should also see them, you can share them via Facebook and Twitter. OS: iOS Price : Free


! R E V T S E E B E H T T E G D ing in to LCCT

flights com able on ALL


except from



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.



NOT FOR THE HOI POLLOI The makers of HiBrow are calling their new arts platform on the Net ‘YouTube for the arts’. HiBrow has highprofile UK professionals involved in literature, film, dance, theatre, concerts, exhibitions and festivals curate its videos. Each month, visitors can relax with their iPads or computers to watch interviews with writers, artists, actors, directors and musicians, rehearsals and documentaries – all highbrow stuff, of course.

PRINT PERFECT The best of the lot, some eco-friendly and others ink-saving.

KODAK ESP 9250 The Kodak printer stands out from the rest by letting you print from your computer, tablet and smartphone using Google Cloud Print. Another app, the KODAK Pic Flick, prints photos from iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android device.

“The laws of science do not distinguish between the past and the future.” ~ Stephen Hawking, British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, in A Brief History of Time.

HP DESKJET 1000 These days, even printers are going green like the HP Deskjet 1000, which is made from 30% recycled plastic. It also uses less energy to print more than five pages a minute.

STASHING THE GOOD Its creator calls Mistash a social product catalogue that uses a bookmarklet to save or ‘stash’ users’ favourite products they own, desire or owned in the past. These ‘stashes’ form a path for friends to connect with each other socially, to comment, ‘like’ and add items to other’s ‘stashes’, and to follow each other.

CANON PIXMA MX870 The Canon Pixma MX870 can do just about everything – print, scan, fax and copy. It also saves paper with the Auto Duplex Printing feature to print both sides without manually flipping the paper.

SKIN DEEP MEDICATION Scientists predict that in four years time, you won’t be consuming medication. Instead, you’d have a microchip embedded in your skin to dispense it in programmed schedules and doses. The makers of the product, MicroCHIPS, have already conducted medical trials in Denmark, dispensing osteoporosis drug to female patients. These chips can also treat multiple sclerosis, cancer and chronic pain. Sensors in them can detect heart attacks, and have the chip release the needed drugs to the patient.

LEXMARK GENESIS S815 This printer claims to print at great speed – 33 pages in black or 30 pages in colour in one minute, and 4x6 photos in 26 seconds. Scanning is fast with Flash Scan Technology and a 10-megapixel imaging sensor, while converting a document to digital takes just 3 seconds!



05 SLEEP INNS 2012


Frequently clinching a spot in the world’s ‘Top 10 Island Getaways’ list, Langkawi in Peninsula Malaysia, is a true island paradise with a million-year-old rainforest, sunny climate and stunning beaches. Here’s a sampling of some great accommodation available on the island.




The Danna in Langkawi is truly a decadent holiday destination. Located in the manmade cove of Telaga Harbour, the hotel is sandwiched between an impossibly green mountain range and the glimmering Andaman Sea. As you turn the corner, the harbour greets you with yachts and leisure boats bobbing away languidly. Behind, a five-storey nondescript building completes the landscape. To my surprise and delight, this building turned out to be The Danna, a gloriously beautiful



5-star accommodation that is one of the most elegant hotels I’ve been to, proving one simple point: Never judge a book by its cover. Stepping into its building, I was immediately whisked away to the Living Room. The Danna insists you be treated like a guest at a private home and thus, guests are not checked in at the lobby. This quiet corner done up in soothing beige with accents of dark wood and mellow reds exuded old world charm and would be the perfect place to entertain guests or to catch up on your reading on a rainy afternoon. At The Danna, this is where guests check in. Before I could sign in for my stay, a petite lass invited me to experience a relaxing 15-minute shoulder rub. This was a first for me as no other hotel I’ve ever been to addressed the fact that travellers often arrive weary and worn out at the hotel’s doorstep. The massage was an instant pick-me-up and put me in a chirpy mood. The building is in the shape of a rectangle with most rooms looking out to the ocean, mountain range or harbour. The inner section looks into a courtyard where a mini jungle is fast growing to challenge the forest around it. Walking through the long corridors heading to my room, passing quiet corners, dining and lounging areas, the neo-classical fusion of British colonial and Mediterranean architectural styles became evident. Without opting for over-the-top opulence, the decor was charming, inviting and assuring, setting the tone for the wonderful hospitality I was about to experience.

The rooms at The Danna echo the meaning of the hotel’s name. Meaning ‘gift’ in Sanskrit, you’ll be thanking the gift of gloriously huge rooms done up with British-Malayan decorative influences. Even the little walkway from the door to the room area is so wide, you could drive a compact car in! Warm timber flooring and furniture, four-poster beds, judicious accents of local arts and craftwork all came together in creating a deliciously joyful stay that would made any former viceroy happy. No amount of fawning is enough when it comes to The Danna’s pool. Housing the largest three-tiered infinity pool on the island, this is where you’re induced into a semi-comatose state as you spend lazy afternoons, basking in the sun. With blue and green tiles imitating the hues of the ocean, large covered deck chairs surround the pool with one section turned into an outdoor Jacuzzi. The ocean, around 10-feet away, is a gentle slope and safe enough for children to swim. Just nearby, is a replica of the Summer Palace in Chiang Mai for the movie Anna and the King that was shot in Langkawi in 1999. Although crumbling, the hotel is planning to acquire the set to transform it into a restaurant in the future. For F&B options, The Danna continues the colonial experience with outlets that echo a bygone era with regal furniture, high vaulted ceilings and dimly lit chandeliers that all make dining an intimate and pleasurable experience. The majestic Verandah Lobby Lounge is a stately spot for late afternoon drinks and before dinner aperitifs, with an adjacent humidor. Straits & Co is an informal setting for light meals, conjuring up nostalgia with old-world tile flooring and marble table tops. The main dining area is Planter’s, an elegant restaurant overlooking the pools that offers British Malayan and Mediterranean flavours, with an extensive list of world-class wines. The Danna is exquisite in every which way you look at it and I did wonder if all this elegance fits in with the concept of a beach resort. But it does and The Danna asserts quite eloquently that a beach resort need not feel or look like a boho hangout. And there are enough world celebs and personalities visiting this beautiful hotel to prove that fact. And no, I shall not drop names! Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok, 07000 Langkawi, Malaysia


Contest end 15 June, 2012!

wine list. Here at this restaurant, a nightly live band entertains guests with funky and fingersnapping tunes. Made up of local talents, the band really kept the party going right up to midnight the night I was there. It was the perfect place to chill out having filled up on a delicious dinner. I witnessed many hotel guests dancing and enjoying the music practically every night, proving that the sea, breeze, booze and music in the air combine to make a potent cocktail for mirth and all round happiness. There are a lot of recreational activities that can be had at Mutiara Burau Bay, as the resort can easily organise



Mutiara Burau Bay leaves you gobsmacked for many reasons. Firstly, it is a private beach that’s tucked away in the inner recesses of a sandy bay. Secondly, the resort’s setting amidst a lush garden, you’d half expect tigers and elephants to peek out from the forest. Thirdly, the area is part of the ancient Machinchang Cambrian geological formation that’s estimated to be some 550 million years old! The Anak Burau islet right opposite the resort is a remnant of recent geological processes that showcase the natural wonders of the island. So, you are not only lodging in a decidedly natural landscape, the setting itself is as old as time. With the legendary Mahsuri finally releasing the hold of her curse on the island after seven generations, Mutiara Burau Bay was one of the first resorts to have been established on the island. The look and feel of the resort may not be of luxury but what sets it apart from other cookiecutter beach hotels is the 150 cabanas that dot the resort grounds, some tucked deep between ancient rainforest trees, others right in front of the beach flanked by huge boulders and serenaded by the gentle waves. Surrounded by such natural beauty, your stay takes almost a primitive aspect harking back to a time when man communed with nature and, was part and parcel of the natural landscape. The cabanas are all spacious and come with the necessary creature comforts though you’d be hardly spending any time in them with the lovely sea literally at your doorstep. The square cabanas with their tent-like shape also reminded me of holiday camping I used to go as a child, adding nostalgia to my stay there. If lying by the beach the whole day, getting the perfect tan and spotting eagles swooping down from the mountainside are de rigueur here during daytime, late afternoons at Mutiara Buray Bay call for early ‘Happy Hours’ to kick in at Rocky Beach Bar. Situated across Anak Burau Islet, this is arguably the only rock bar by the beach in the whole of Langkawi. The bartenders at Rocky Beach Bar are always concocting interesting cocktails for guests and will whip up something exciting according to your tastes. Watching the sunset with drink in hand, the soft breeze in my face and mellow music in the background, I seriously considered leaving my city life and relocating to Langkawi for the perfect life. The other seaside attraction here is Seashell Beach Cafe located mere steps from the water. Serving a delightful array of Western and Asian meals, the restaurant also houses a well stocked cellar with an extensive 56


tours and activities for guests. The Spa at the resort is one such distraction. Located on a high, wood-stilted building with glass walls, an invigorating massage is further enhanced by the bird’s-eye view you get of swaying palms and the distant ocean. But really, with a stunning garden and an inviting beach, the only activity you want to do at this resort is sink into a deck chair, slap on more sun block and raise the glass to your lips. Teluk Burau, 07000 Langkawi, Malaysia


FIRM FAVOURITE Just recently opened, the favehotel Cenang Beach Langkawi is already garnering favourable reviews from frequent travellers and beach resort revellers. Labelled as a trendy budget stay, favehotel Cenang Beach is a simple yet stylish hotel that blends functionality with affordability, while offering guests pleasant and comfortable accommodation. Mostly targeted at families and young travellers, the hotel is well on its way to becoming a hot favourite with travellers to Langkawi. Located mere minutes from Cenang Beach, which is packed with restaurants, bars and night spots, the hotel offers 97 rooms that are all done up in pleasing neutral tones accented with bold cheerful colours. The beds at this hotel are nice and comfy, something you wouldn’t normally expect from a budget-style hotel. Basic amenities such as LCD TV, safe deposit boxes and complimentary WiFi provide for a simple but comfortable stay. The hotel is able to keep its prices low for its guests by removing a lot of unnecessary facilities that guests may not be using in the first place. The hotel offers good rates on rather spacious rooms, and pleasant and attentive service. Staff are well-trained to attend to every possible request and can put some high-end establishments to shame with their cheery disposition and consistently good service.

The rooftop sundeck is a clever attraction that offers lovely views of the mountainside and is a great spot to catch some rays away from the hustle and bustle of the beach. The hotel’s pool is another attraction here. Deep cobalt in shade, the pool is also a great place to grab a bite at the hotel’s coffee house as the dining area has been extended to include the periphery of the pool area. An in-house spa completes the facilities at favehotel Cenang Beach. The chic-but-cheap concept also extends to the F&B options. The hotel really does offer very affordably priced food and drinks that will be welcomed by families who are travelling with their large broods or young travellers on a tight budget. All in all, the favehotel Cenang Beach delivers a smart and stylish stay without the overpriced frills. That just leaves you with even more cash to go duty-free shopping in Langkawi!

Lot 119, Pantai Tengah, Mukim Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi, Malaysia




AQUA DELIGHT Why stay near the water when you can actually live on it! That’s the appeal of Berjaya Langkawi Resort that’s located at the very end of Burau Bay in Langkawi. With 350 charming Malaysian-style chalets and suites sprawled over 70 acres of lush greenery, the resort offers an amazing holiday experience unlike any other. The idyllic setting of the resort offers a wide variety of accommodations such as the Sea View Chalets, Rainforest Chalets and its famous accommodation on land and water – the Premier Chalet, Junior Chalet, Executive Suite and Presidential Suite. With most units offering stunning views of the Andaman Sea, the rooms are all furnished in the most elegant manner that artistically combines modern living with yesteryear charm. The resort is also hugely popular in Langkawi for its F&B options. For a romantic evening, nothing beats the Pahn-Thai Restaurant that is built over the water with the majestic Mat Chinchang mountain range in the background. Dayang Café serves local and international cuisine with all day dining service, while Oriental Pearl serves Canton and Sichuan cuisine. Western and Indian cuisine are available at the Beach Restaurant.

LAGOON LOVE Located just five minutes from the Langkawi Airport and Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre, Langkawi Lagoon Resort is a lovely holiday getaway that captures the essence of island living. Paired with Malay architectural design in the overall concept of the resort and its seaside frontage, the resort evokes a peaceful village atmosphere, albeit a lavish one that promises carefree days basking in the sun. The resort’s Beachfront Hotel consists of 86 units of spacious sea or hill-facing accommodations that come with full amenities and kitchenette. Although, traditional in design concept, the rooms are all well-appointed in pleasing tones and modern accents that echo the sunny climate of the island. For total indulgence, opt to stay in the dramatic Sea Village units that rise out from the sea. These units are built on stilts and come in Studio Suite, Executive Studio Suite, Deluxe Studio Suite, Family Sea Duplex Suite options. For a spot of total luxury, nothing beats Villa Sri Andaman, the epitome of fine living at Langkawi Lagoon Resort! All these units feature private balconies and unobstructed views of the Andaman Sea. The resort offers luxurious facilities such as a beachfront swimming pool with Jacuzzi and sunken bar. A well-equipped gym, complete with sauna and steam rooms will appeal to guests who need to keep fit during their stay. And when all the working out or lounging by the pool takes its toll, guests can head to Embun Spa for a spot of relaxation with a host of massage therapies and treatments. For dining and entertainment, the resort offers a choice of meal selections from local and international cuisines at the Anjung Brasserie, Layalie Al-Syam Restaurant (Arabic food) and Mentari Lounge. 78, Jalan Kuala Muda, Padang Matsirat, 07100, Langkawi, Kedah

LANGKAWI LAGOON RESORT BERJAYA LANGKAWI RESORT GETTING THERE Airasia flies daily to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore. Go to for details.



05 HIT LIST 2012


In Asia, food is a big thing. In many cultures people ask if you’ve eaten instead of greeting you with a ‘Hello’. Food is also sacred in many of these cultures and is often offered in prayer before the community partakes in the feast. Street fare is common and you’ll always find a stall offering hot food in the wee hours of the morning. Here are some of the best foods from Asia that have left an indelible mark on the ‘edible’ world! China, inadvertently turning the polite and staid tradition to a lively and often raucous event. Since the 10th century, more than 2,000 varieties of dim sum dishes have been created, with up to 100 types of savouries and sweets offered by bigger restaurants today, including steamed, boiled, fried, baked and chilled varieties.

DIM SUM MUST-TRYS • HAR KAU shrimp dumplings – steamed • SHAO MAII dumplings with prawn and *meat, topped with crab roe – steamed • LOH MAI GAII glutinous rice with *meat wrapped in lotus leaf – steamed • FU PEI GUEN *meat wrapped in crispy beancurd skin – fried • DAAN TAAT sweet egg tart – baked


• MAA TUAN sweet red bean paste wrapped in a crispy pancake – fried


The words dim and sum have gone through a variety of translations – ‘to touch your heart’, ‘a little bit of heart’ etc. as the literal translation in Mandarin of dim means ‘point’ and sum means ‘heart’.



Together, they evoke images of dainty deliciousness. In reality, it couldn’t be simpler as the words in Cantonese mean ‘small snack’ or ‘small dishes of food’. Dim sum has made its way to menus worldwide with ease because of its taste and simplicity. It began as a tradition that complements the yum cha (drink tea) tradition in olden day

* Meat used is usually pork, but chicken is used for the halal versions.

TRY IT HERE... HONG KONG Islamic Centre Canteen, Wan Chai (halal) +852 2834 8211 KUALA LUMPUR Maju Palace, Maju Junction, Kuala Lumpur (Pork-free) +603 2691 8822 SINGAPORE Asia Grand Restaurant, North Bridge Road, Odeon Towers +65 6887 0010 (non-halal) BANGKOK China Place, 114 Setsiri +02 619 87013 Road JAKARTA May Star (halal) LG Central Park Mall +62 21 5698 5422 GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Hong Kong from various destinations. Go to for details.

FUGU Origin: Tokyo Fugu, which means ‘river pig’ in Japanese refers to the puffer fish that has become one of the deadliest things you can put into your mouth. The liver of the puffer fish is considered a delicacy but was banned in Japan in 1984 due to a high number of accidental deaths. To be a fugu chef, junior cooks undergo rigorous training with their qualification strictly controlled by government authorities. Fugu has been a highly sought after delicacy in Japan for centuries, from the Jõmon period that date back more than 2,300 years ago. In the early 1600’s right up to 1868, the Tokugawa shogunate prohibited fugu consumption in Edo and other areas, but as the shogunate weakened, fugu became common again. Despite fugu being more common nowadays, be prepared to pay top dollar for the fish.


• FUGU NO SHIRAKO The soft roe (shirako) of the fish is a highly prized food item in Japan. One of the most popular kinds of soft roe, it is usually grilled and served with salt. • FUGU KARAAGE Deep fried fugu. • HIRE-ZAKE Fins of the fish are completely dried out, baked and served in hot sake.


• SASHIMI The most popular dish is fugu sashimi. Knives with exceptionally thin blades are used for cutting the fish into translucent slices, a technique known as usuzukuri

INTERESTING POINTS A fugu chef is given certification only if he samples what he serves, before handing it over to a customer.

• FUGU-CHIRI fugu stewed with vegetables, also called tetchiri.

Fugu is the only food that the Emperor of Japan is forbidden from eating for his own safety.

• YUBIKI The skin can be eaten too as long as the spikes are removed.

Some professional fugu chefs leave behind a tiny bit of poison (as allowed) in the meat; leaving

a prickly feeling and numbness on the tongue and lips. In Japan, lanterns can be made from preserved fugu, and hung outside restaurants. Its poison, tetrodotoxin, is 1,200 times more potent than cyanide.



+81 3 3541 7730

SINGAPORE: Nogawa Restaurant, Concorde Hotel Orchard Road +65 6732 2911 PENANG, MALAYSIA: Miraku Japanese Restaurant, G Hotel, +604 229 8702 Gurney Drive GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies to Tokyo and Osaka from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for details.

TOKYO, JAPAN: Tsukiji Yamamoto Restaurant, Chuo-ku; near the Tsukiji TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


Origin: Singapore / Malaysia – both countries claim to have created this dish

INTERESTING POINTS Chilli Crabs made it on CNN Go’s list in 2011 as ‘World’s 1,234 Most Delicious Foods’ ranked at number 1,234.

TRY IT HERE... SINGAPORE Roland Restaurant, Marine Parade Central +65 6440 8205 Jumbo Seafood, East Coast Seafood Centre +65 6442 3435 KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA Bako Seafood Restaurant, Bako +6 82 348 001 National Park PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR, MALAYSIA Fatty Crab Seafood Restaurant, Taman Megah, PJ +6 03 7804 5758 GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. from various destinations. Go to for details.


Crab dishes feature in many Asia Pacific menus, but none are quite as popular as Chilli Crabs. The most commonly used type of crab for this dish is the mud crab, which is stir-fried in a thick gravy of tomato and chilli sauces. Despite its name, the Chilli Crab is hardly spicy. Thickened with cornstarch and flavoured with rice vinegar and soy sauce, beaten eggs are added at the end of the cooking process to create egg-ribbons in the sauce. While many eat it with white rice, the preferred way to enjoy this dish is with steamed or fried man tou (Chinese buns),

or even French baguettes and toasted bread that help mop up the sauce.



NASI PADANG Origin: West Sumatra, Indonesia It’s a simple concept but makes for a gastronomic feast: Boiled rice (nasi), served with an extensive list of dishes that originates from the West Sumatran city called Padang. The plain rice is served with a variety of meats, chicken, fish, seafood and vegetables that are prepared with spices and chillies, making for rich flavours and aroma. It is served like a mini buffet, or brought to you in little plates and piled up in the centre of the dining table. Nasi Padang is usually eaten at lunch or dinner. One point to note: The dishes served at this feast are generally spicy, creamy and devilishly hot!

NASI PADANG MUST-TRYS • CUMI BAKAR grilled squid • KEROPOK KULIT SAPI cow rind crackers • AYAM KAMPUNG BUMBU BAKAR roasted free-range chicken • SAMBAL PETAI UDANG chilli prawns with stink beans



• TERUNG BALADO stir-fried eggplant with chillies and onions • DAGING DENDENG BALADO beef jerky in a spicy chilli paste

INTERESTING POINTS While Nasi Padang originates from Padang, West Sumatra, the idea of eating white rice with a selection of dishes is a very common practice throughout most countries in Asia. A similar food, nasi rames, was created in West Java during World War II by Eurasian cook Truus van der Capellen, who ran the Bandung soup kitchens during and after the Japanese occupation. She later opened a restaurant in the Netherlands and made the dish popular there.

TRY IT HERE... PADANG, INDONESIA: Pagi Sore, No. 143 Jl. Pondok, Padang +61 32490 MEDAN, INDONESIA: Garuda Nasi Padang, Jl. H.A. Malik +61 453 7353 KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Sari Ratu, Jalan Tun Ismail +603 2141 1811 SINGAPORE: Hajah Maimunah Restaurant, Joo Chiat Road +65 6348 5457 GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Padang, Pekan Baru, Palembang and Medan in Sumatra from various destenitions. Go to for details.

KIMCHI Origin: Korea A dash of chilli with a teensybit of sourness and a pleasant assault on the palate; that’s how many describe kimchi, Korea’s biggest food export. The 1998 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul pretty much put kimchi on the world map, as the food was introduced to hordes of foreigners with positive feedback. Kimchi is an acquired taste, and has a way of affecting the taste buds, creating a yearning for it. The earliest recorded account of kimchi is found in the Book of Si-Kyong (collection of Chinese poetry written between 2,600 and 3,000 years ago). There is a stanza referring to kimchi that reads: “A cucumber has grown on the banks of the fields; pickle it for worshipping ancestor.” At the time Si-Kyong was penned, many Koreans lived in the Manchurian region. It’s believed they made kimchi to preserve the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables for bitter, cold winters. The national dish has come a long way since and is now celebrated at Korea’s Annual Kimchi Festival held midOctober in Gwangju city in South Jeolla, South Korea; featuring kimchi, kimchi-making and, other famous fermented foods of Korea.


SOUTHERN REGION KIMCHI Uses salt, chilli peppers and myeolchijeot (brined and fermented anchovies) or saeujeot (brined and fermented shrimps). This is the kimchi the world is familiar with.

INTERESTING POINTS NUTRITIONAL VALUE Nutritionists agree that kimchi is one of the top global health foods, as it’s prepared by fermenting vegetables seasoned with red


NORTHERN REGION KIMCHI Tends to be less salty and less piquant. It also seldom uses brined seafood for seasoning and is more watery in consistency.

pepper, garlic, green onion, ginger, and other ingredients rich in Vitamins C, A, B1 and B2, beta carotene, proteins and calcium. ANTI-SARS Health experts also report that kimchi may prevent SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and may also function as a potential guard against the Avian Bird Flu pandemic.

SPACE KIMCHI The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) signed an agreement with NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Centre to develop Space Kimchi because the still air in zero gravity affects the astronauts’ sense of smell and taste, making for weak appetites.

TRY IT HERE... SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: New Village Restaurant, Central Seoul +82 2 521 6294 JAKARTA, INDONESIA: Mr. Park, Level 3 Food Court, Grand Indonesia +62 1 9944 1752 Shopping Town SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Seoul Ria, Level 2, 605-609 George Street +61 2 9269 0222 GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies to Seoul daily from Kuala lumpur Go to for details.



This dish is the star attraction in any good Thai restaurant around the world and has become so popular that it’s easily recreated using tom yum paste found in supermarkets.

TOM YUM MUST-TRYS • TOM YUM KUNG most popular with tourists, made with prawns • TOM YUM KUNG MAPHRAO ON NAM KHON prawn tom yum made with the flesh of a young coconut and a dash of coconut milk • TOM YUM PLA clear fish soup traditionally eaten with rice; used to be the most widespread form of tom yum in the past • TOM YUM GAAI with chicken • TOM YUM THALE with mixed seafood like prawns, squid, clams and fish • TOM YAM NAM KHON a modern variation, made with prawns, a little coconut milk and balanced with toasted dried chillies • TOM YAM KHA MU made with pork knuckles, this dish requires a long and slow cooking time.

INTERESTING POINTS It’s listed at # 8 on CNN Go’s “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods” in 2011.


While there is no concrete proof, tom yum is considered an immune-boosting food because of its spiciness as chillies contain high amounts of Vitamins C, which helps prevent common colds and the flu.

TOM YUM Origin: Thailand It’s a little tedious to prepare but one slurp of this spicy soup and all the hard work becomes worthwhile. The word tom means hot (boiling), and yum means sour. That’s very much the basis



of this wonderful soup that is bursting with flavours and fragrance. Characteristically hot and spicy, a huge list of ingredients is used in the broth such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and chilli. Although widely available in most Southeast Asian

countries, nothing quite beats the real McCoy from Thailand with different regions producing different styles. Southern Thai versions are creamy and red due to the generous use of chilli paste, the central region is generally clear and subtle in flavour while the Northern ones are creamy but mild.

The 1997 Financial crisis in Asia, which started in Thailand, is sometimes referred to as the ‘Tom Yum Kung Crisis’.

TRY IT HERE... BANGKOK, THAILAND Baan Glom Gig, Ruamrudee Soi 1 +66 2254 4254 PHUKET, THAILAND Blue Elephant, Krabi Road, Phuket Town +66 76 354 355 GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Trang, Phuket, Hat Yai, Krabi from various destinations. Go to for details.


This crunchy, high protein snack is commonly found in the town of Skuon. Fried to a crisp, the best way to try this delicacy is by munching on the legs and working your way up – to the abdomen!


Philippines Not quite raw but raw enough. This is a boiled, partiallydeveloped duckling that is still in its shell. Locals consider it a nutritious aphrodisiac and say it tastes like warm chicken soup.


Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei


Dubbed the King of Fruits, this thorny fruit either elicits total love or utter disgust. The yellow, creamy pulp is often said to taste like heaven while smelling like a public toilet.

BIRYANI Origin: Persia, but popular in India, mainly Hyderabad The original biryani was first created in Iran (Persia) and was brought to the Indian subcontinent by Iranian travellers and merchants. The word biryani is derived from the Persian word beryãn, which means fried or roasted. In India, the biryani was further developed to its current form. It is said that the best biryani in the world hails from Hyderabad in India. The Hyderabadi biryani is a fragrant and mildly spicy concoction of basmati rice, meat, yogurt, onions, spices, lemon and saffron, with coriander and fried onions as garnish. The preferred meat is lamb, goat or chicken. 68


What sets the Hyderabadi biryani apart from the rest is the blend of Mughlai and Andhra Pradesh spices that were used in the kitchens of the Nizam, ruler of the historic Hyderabad State, giving it a distinctive savoury flavour.

INTERESTING POINTS There are 49 types of Hyderabadi biryani that were created in the Nizam’s kitchen. There are over 25 variants of biryani rice – Ambur Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Bhatkali Biryani, Kacchi Biryani, Awadhi Biryani, Calcutta Biryani, Sindhi Biryani, Bukhara Biryani (Arabic), Memoni Biryani, Tahari Biryani, Thalasseri Biryani, Danpauk biryani (Burmese) etc. There is a difference between biryani, pilaf and pulao.

Generally, it is agreed that in biryani, the meat is layered with the rice, in pulao the meat is stirred into the rice. Pilaf is the Indian version of Persian pulao.

TRY IT HERE... • HYDERABAD, INDIA Paradise Hotel, Mahatma Gandhi Road +91 40 2784 3115 • BANGALORE, INDIA Hyderabad House, Skylark Plaza, HAL Airport Road +91 80 3251 4612/13/14 • CHENNAI, INDIA Asif & Brothers, Butt Road, St Thomas Mount +91 93 8402 2244 • KOLKATA, INDIA Arsalan, Park Street +91 33 2284 8556 GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Kochi from various destinations. Go to for details.


Europe, Central Asia, Middle East Cheeses are made from milk fats of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep and produced by coagulation of the milk protein. Some cheeses have mould growing on them. Roquefort is on the ‘Top 10 of the World’s Smelliest Cheese’, and up till five years ago, was banned in countries like Australia and New Zealand. The all-round winner (as reported by BBC), goes to the most pungent Vieux Boulogne from France, made with beer in the fermentation process. Still, none beats the Casu Marzu from Sardinia, Italy – a Pecorino cheese that welcomes flies to lay their eggs in it, as maggots give added ‘body’ to the flavour!


Testament to the tastiness of testicles, while called oysters, these aren’t harvested from the ocean, but from buffaloes, bulls and boars in areas where ranching is prevalent. The testicles are peeled, boiled, rolled in dough and deep-fried.



TIME! Y A L P From retail therapy at the trendiest malls across Asia to some of the best sporting activities this side of the planet, AirAsia brings you the best of shopping and sports within its network of destinations. Here’s how you can indulge in some of the most exciting activities around while saving big on baggage and sporting equipment. WORDS: ADLI SYAHRIL

MONGKOK Experience the best of Hong Kong’s open-air street bazaar with hawkers selling almost everything from fashion to electronics. THE LANDMARK Home to prestigious international brands and designer labels with luxury being the catchphrase of the day! GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Hong Kong from various destinations. Go to for flight details.

BANGKOK From high end department stores to warehouse buys, Bangkok makes your hardearned cash work extra hard for you!

SHOP HERE! CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET Chatuchak Weekend Market is home to more than 8,000 booths in over 27 sections. It is one of the largest markets in the world selling almost everything from clothes to antiques and collectibles at ridiculously cheap prices. SIAM A sprawling shopping hub teeming with international brands with flagship stores, almost every designer label can be found at Central Chidlom, Siam Paragon, Gaysorn Plaza, Siam Square and Discovery Centre. The surrounding area houses wholesale and cheaper shopping options that are equally exciting like MBK and Platinum Mall. Pratunam Market here is also a major street market selling fashion goods and souvenirs at wholesale prices.

SHOPPING HONG KONG One of the leading shopping destinations in Asia, Hong Kong has taken the art of shopping to amazingly lofty heights.



SHOP HERE! CAUSEWAY BAY Great place to find independent retailers selling fashionable goods at low prices. Notable shopping malls here include Times Square and the 13-storey department store, SOGO.

SUKHUMVIT ROAD The longest street in Thailand with countless side lanes (soi), Sukhumvit is packed to the rafters with great shopping hotspots such as the Emporium, Terminal 21 and L’Arcadia. Stalls selling all kinds of things line the street at night. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Bangkok from various destinations. Go to for flight details.

SINGAPORE Singapore’s great claim to fame is arguably shopping. The best time to shop is during the annual Great Singapore Sale (mid-May till mid-July) where prices are slashed drastically to make way for the latest season. But all year round, shopping is simply superb in Singapore!

SHOP HERE! ORCHARD ROAD With over 22 malls and six department stores featuring about 2,000 brands on a 2.2-km stretch, Orchard is the main shopping district in Singapore that will not disappoint the avid shopper. THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS Part of the lifestyle complex that includes a hotel, convention centre, casino and museum, The Shoppes is a humongous mall with some of the most notable labels from around the world. MUSTAFA CENTRE & LITTLE INDIA Located in Little India / Serangoon Road, Mustafa Centre is a gigantic, 24-hour department store that sells literally everything under the sky. BUGIS STREET, ARAB STREET & KG GLAM From indie-labels to textiles to street-wear and ethnic jewellery, you get your money’s worth here. CHINATOWN Bordered by Eu Tong Sen St, New Bridge St and South Bridge St, this is the spot to get your fill of things Chinese – from authentic food to antiques and medicine. QUEENSWAY MALL One of Singapore’s best kept secrets, Queensway Mall is the place to go for cheap sportswear and last season’s leftover at bargain bin prices. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Singapore from various destinations. Go to for flight details.

HO CHI MINH CITY Ho Chi Minh City is one of the new shopping capitals of Southeast Asia and an exciting place to shop for bargains. Local craft and silks are popular but remember – you’ve got to bargain hard!

SHOP HERE! BEN THANH MARKET The largest and oldest in the city, Ben Thanh Market is a popular shopping spot, selling touristy goods apparel, local craft and souvenir items.

Shopping in Singapore’s street markets.

BINH TAY MARKET For great bargains on local and Chinese goods, Binh Tay is a great place to soak up the local vibes too. SAIGON SQUARE For local and Chineseimported sportswear, and budget fashion boutiques, the massive Saigon Square houses many contemporary products such as Crumpler bags, Columbia jackets and Nike shoes.

MID VALLEY CITY One of the largest malls in the country, this mall is packed with mid-range labels while the adjoining Mid Valley Gardens caters for well-heeled shoppers. 1 UTAMA A little outside the city area, this is another huge mall with major tenants such as AEON Jusco and Isetan from Japan, Tangs from Singapore and Parkson Grand.

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Ho Chi Minh City from Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Go to for flight details.

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Kuala Lumpur from various destinations. Go to for flight details.



Many shopping venues have sprouted over the years, vying for top spot while offering visitors the chance to shop for wide range of products for local and international brands.

With some of the biggest malls in Asia, shopping in Manila is a serious business that’s not to be taken lightly. From cavernous malls to fantastic street bazaars, your pesos will work super hard here!

SHOP HERE! CENTRAL MARKET & PETALING STREET A complex dedicated to local arts and crafts, Central Market (centralmarket. sells loads of colourful batik, cultural souvenirs and traditional Malaysian items. Nearby Petaling Street is the city’s Chinatown. BUKIT BINTANG The ultimate shopping area in the city with malls catering for all budgets. Notable shopping malls include Pavilion, Starhill Gallery, Lot 10, Fahrenheit 88 and Sungei Wang.

SHOP HERE! TIENDESITAS A market complex with over 450 shops that sells local products such as art, antiques, handicrafts and clothes. AYALA CENTRE Manila’s shopping district with renowned malls like Glorietta and Greenbelt that offer international brands at low prices. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Clark from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for flight details.



SPORTS GOLF Expert or amateur, you’ll find a stunning green just about anywhere in Asia. Set in beautifullylandscaped environment, golf allows its enthusiasts to enjoy the great outdoors as much as the game.

GOLFING GREATS BALI GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, BALI, INDONESIA Voted as “One of Asia’s 5 Best Golf Courses” by Fortune magazine, the 18hole course located in Nusa Dua is surrounded by tropical palms and coconut groves. CLEARWATER BAY GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, HONG KONG This club provides premier golf, yachting, recreation, and dining services. BLUE CANYON GOLF CLUB, PHUKET, THAILAND The course is championship-class and regarded as one of Asia’s best. SENTOSA GOLF CLUB, SINGAPORE Undisputedly, this is Singapore’s most exclusive and beautiful golf club. EMPIRE HOTEL & COUNTRY CLUB, BRUNEI Brunei’s most prestigious and luxurious golf resort.

Deep sea diving in Sipadan.

SURF In Southeast Asia, surfing is fast gaining popularity, as more and more tourists are visiting to ride spectacular waves. Surfing in these tropical countries promises warm waters and excellent weather all year long. One of the world’s most noteworthy surfing destinations in Asia is Indonesia due to its challenging surfs and relatively unknown locations. For hardcore surfers, Australia continues to be the spot to catch a wild ride.

SURFS UP PADANG PADANG, BALI, INDONESIA Well-known for waves of consistent quality and size. MENTAWAI ISLANDS, WEST SUMATERA, INDONESIA Indonesia’s very own surfer’s paradise with excellent waves all year round. NIAS, NORTH SUMATERA, INDONESIA Sorake Bay is a well-known surfing spot with peak swell season from May to September. SURFERS PARADISE, GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA A top holiday spot with renowned surfing schools. ARUGAM BAY, SRI LANKA One of the best surf points in the world situated on the Southeast side of Sri Lanka.

Surfing in Australia.

KALIM BEACH, PHUKET, THAILAND The best surf spot in Phuket with swells of up to three metres. CHERATING, PAHANG, MALAYSIA Malaysia’s own surf retreat. Great for beginners.

DIVING Fancy an underwater adventure? Go scuba diving or snorkelling to view beautiful corals and colourful marine life. Southeast Asia has many great diving spots due to the warm waters that enable marine life to thrive in profusion.

DIVE DIVAS SIPADAN ISLAND, SABAH, MALAYSIA World-renowned diving spot with extraordinary diving conditions and crystal clear waters. PHI PHI ISLAND, PHUKET, THAILAND One of the most stunning diving locations with lush, colourful corals. DERAWAN ISLAND, BALIKPAPAN, INDONESIA A fishing island that has been developed into an international-class diving spot in Indonesia. RAJA AMPAT ISLANDS, PAPUA, INDONESIA Known as the diving spot with the highest recorded marine life diversity on earth. 72


KARIMUNJAWA ISLANDS, SEMARANG, INDONESIA A chain of 27 islands with 21 of them designated as national marine parks. SAMAL ISLAND, DAVAO, PHILIPPINES An exotic diving spot with underwater caves, Japanese ship wrecks and marine biodiversity. NHA TRANG, VIETNAM A famous seaside resort-town and the scuba diving centre of Vietnam.

BIKING Biking is a great recreational activity that allows you to stay fit even when on a holiday. There are many biking-friendly destinations in Asia that enable you to visit and experience the heart and soul of the country.

PEDAL POWER BATUR, BALI, INDONESIA Explore the heart of Bali when you mountain bike through tranquil villages. AMPHAWA, BANGKOK, THAILAND Get in touch with the simple life while experiencing how the locals go about their daily lives in Amphawa. BEIJING, CHINA The capital of China may be a megalopolis but the city is also one of the friendliest biking cities in the world. Explore hutongs and quaint back lanes while enjoying the history of the imperial city.

Biking in Australia.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA With wide open spaces and a very relaxed lifestyle, Perth is Australia’s top biking-friendly city. HANOI, VIETNAM Cycling through Hanoi’s villages and terrain ranks amongst the best modes of adventure and recreation in Vietnam.

SKIING A ski vacation is the perfect way to chill and relax, while enjoying the winter wonderland. But don’t be misled into thinking you need to visit the French Alps to enjoy the best powder. Asia and Australia offer some unusually exciting winter holiday spots!

SLIDE ON SNOW JISAN FOREST RESORT, INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA A 40-minute drive from Seoul brings you to one of the very few resorts worldwide to offer midnight skiing. NANSHAN SKI VILLAGE, BEIJING, CHINA The largest skiing resort in North China. SNOW TOWN YETI, MOUNT FUJI, JAPAN A ski resort with an excellent view of Mount Fuji. THREADBO VILLAGE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA A welldeveloped downhill ski area in the heart of the Australian Alps.

Skiing in Xiling, China.

MOUNT HOTHAM, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA It has outstanding ski and snowboarding terrain for your winter holiday. XILING, CHENGDU, CHINA You’ll think you’ve landed in the most magical European snowscape!


SHOP TILL YOU DROP!! Save on baggage fees when you prebook! AirAsia has reduced baggage check-in fees for the 15 kgs and 20 kgs weight categories by RM5 on both domestic and international routes, while AirAsia X has reduced baggage fees for the 25 kgs and 35 kgs. Both airlines have also introduced new weight categories for domestic and international flights. All these means you can save up to 50% when you pre-book baggage check-in online. That can only mean one thing – more shopping!! For sports enthusiasts, you can now bring your own sporting equipment such as golf bags, mountain bikes or surf boards to your destination of choice with AirAsia’s reduced Sports Equipment pre-book options. You’ll no longer be charged flat rate fees and need pay only for what you take on board.



05 FEATURE • Thailand 2012

Given the name ‘Surat Thani’ by no less than King Rama VI himself, the natural beauty of this town and province is matched only by the genuine warmth and hospitality of the locals. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM LEE

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.

f Soul Sydney

I had knelt countless times before Buddhist shrines during my many, many visits to Thailand. ABOVE: The rock formation at the Rajjaprabha Lake that’s said to resemble Gui Lin in China. PRECEDING PAGE LEFT: The stunning ocean reveals itself through boulders at Koh Nang Yuan. PRECEDING PAGE RIGHT: A local Thai Muslim in his Friday prayer garbs.

The moon turned full the night I took a cruise along the Tapi River. Surat Thani, with its colourful fluorescent-lit waterfront, glimmered under the lunar light like a classic Thai city. Temples, canals, coconuts trees, houses on stilts and long-tailed boats created a peculiar silhouette as my boat meandered along southern Thailand’s longest river. The Tapi River is the main artery that connects the people of the province. By day, the locals travel along and across the river on long-tailed boats. Once the sun sets, the river becomes an eco-nightlife hotspot of sorts, where visitors come to watch fireflies put on a dazzling show in the mangrove forest. The tiny insects flitted, buzzed and flickered around groves of lampoo trees in the wetlands, lighting up the evening with fairy-like sparkle that instantly reminded me of Christmas. But this was in the middle of March, and the insects were a stunning sight. It was a rare opportunity to view them before they totally disappeared from the area.

GLORIOUS FOOD ‘Surat Thani’ means ‘City of Good People’ and wherever there are good people, there are bound to be good food. Picture mouth-watering local staples such as tom yum (spicy soup), fried fishcake, som tam (green papaya 78


salad), mango sticky rice and incredibly fresh seafood such as grilled tiger prawns, deep-fried white snapper, squid salad and green curry crab. The beauty of this great food is the big smile that accompanies them when being served. From the humblest hawker fare to highend dining, the locals are genuinely happy to see you stuff your face to glory with their lip smacking food. Seafood is available in abundance and relatively inexpensive thanks to the province’s natural landscape and long coastlines. Surat Thani boasts 14 river basins, all of which flow east to the Gulf of Thailand. Here, you’ll also find the famed island gems of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao – holiday destinations that rival Phuket and Bali for their powder white beaches and azure waters.

WATERY WORLD Water is aplenty in Khao Sok National Park too. The Rajjaprabha Dam here was built to manage the area’s water catchment efficiently. This created a huge manmade reservoir named Chiao Lan Lake. What’s unusual about this body of water is that visitors are immediately reminded of Guilin in Southern China where towering limestone islets rise dramatically from the lake’s emerald waters.

Getting so close to history and being enveloped by the spiritual serenity was overwhelming. “Rajjaprabha means the light of our King,” my guide explained. The hydroelectric facility at the dam produces up to 30,000 kW per day and is distributed to Surat Thani and Phang Nga provinces, providing the basis for much of the province’s economic growth. The name of the lake – Chiao Lan, however, comes from the village that is now submerged some 300 feet below when the valley was flooded to build the dam. Some of the villagers who were relocated prior to the flooding have now returned to operate tours around the lake, thus continuing their link to the area. The lake itself is an amazing place to lose oneself in its natural splendour, tranquil waters and majestic mountains. Accommodations at the National Park are in the form of wooden, raft houses on the lake, bringing guests extremely close to the water that is the source of energy, food and livelihood for the locals. Most lodgings here, though basic, are clean and come with three meals a day costing around THB600.

DECIDEDLY DEVOUT Next, I headed to the Chaiya district in Surat Thani for some culture and history. At the Suan Mokkhaphalaram, an exceptionally beautiful Buddhist temple welcomes devotees and visitors any time of the day. Built by the

late Buddhist monk and master, Phutthathat Phikkhu, or simply Buddhadasa, this temple is nestled in a forested area at the foot of Phutta Thong Hill. Buddhadasa built the temple as a retreat for meditation, spiritual activities and studying of the Dharma (Buddhist tenets). At the heart of the temple’s compound is a hall that houses paintings, poems, doctrines and teachings from different Buddhist sects. Buddhadasa’s final resting place is also located within the temple vicinity, and a figure of the much revered monk is displayed in a glass case. From afar, I thought it was the real monk in profoundly deep meditation until I saw my fellow travellers press their faces against the glass to examine the waxwork. It really looked that life-like! The temple receives visitors wishing to participate in a 10-day retreat focusing on spiritual teachings and meditation for a nominal fee of THB2000. No reservation is required. Just turn up ready and begin your spiritual journey.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Giant lily pads at the Hot Springs Pond at Suan Mokkkh temple compund; a young novice catching up on some reading; gilded images of Buddha at Wat Phra That Chaiya.

SURAT THANI OF THE PAST Where Buddhism is concerned, particularly the Mahayana sect, Wat Phra That Chaiya in Surat Thani is a monument of paramount importance. Historical TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


View of Koh Nang Yuan islands from the Twin Rocks Viewpoint.



I stood transfixed for a few minutes only to have my reverie broken CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: A local boatman at Chiao Lan Lake; clear tom yum soup. OPPOSITE PAGE TOP: Over-sized parasols line the sand bar linking the islands of Koh Nang Yuan. OPPOSITE PAGE BELOW: Seafood is widely available at affordable prices along Chaweng Beach.

evidence suggests that the ancient city of Surat Thani merged with the Kingdom of Srivijaya, which was an important centre for Buddhist expansion during the 7th century until its decline in the 13th century. Srivijayan architecture can be clearly seen in the style of building and ornamentation of the pagodas. The main pagoda is surrounded by smaller pagodas placed in the four cardinal directions and guarded by statues of Buddha at all four walls of the perimetre. On the other side of the courtyard, three larger Buddha statues sit silently in the open air. Across the pagoda, the Chaiya National Museum showcases archeological and historical finds from Chaiya to pre-historic artifacts from the Dvravati, Srivijaya, Lop Buri, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods.

A CALM OUTCOME Just like other parts of Thailand, Buddhism plays an important role in the local milieu. Being surrounded by these ancient monuments, I too experienced an inexplicable stirring. I had knelt countless times before Buddhist shrines during my many, many visits to Thailand. However, getting so close to history and being totally enveloped by the spiritual serenity was almost



overwhelming – a call to believe, to surrender and to accept a larger, greater force at action. Peace and calm descended on me that day.

ISLAND GETAWAY Having been spiritually reenergised, the next day, I took a ferry across the gulf to Koh Samui, certain that I was entering a realm that was dedicated to pure physical pleasure. Koh Samui is a far cry from the laidback atmosphere of Surat Thani, but a remarkable destination nonetheless. A couple I know visited the island once, fell deeply in love there and soon after got married. Though years have rolled past, they still fondly reminisce about the island and how it nudged them in the right direction towards matrimony. Koh Samui is all that you see in travel brochures and then some. As diverse as the visiting population itself, the options for accommodations alone range from simple beach huts to super luxury hideaways. I stayed at the Bandara Resort & Spa on Bo Phut beach. Flanked by two wings of well-appointed suites and rooms, the resort’s pools stretched all the way to the beach, lined by swaying coconut trees with occasional bursts of violet and mandarin bougainvilleas.

by my driver announcing it was time to go.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Bamboo raft houses set against towering limestone mountains at Chiao Lan Lake; flower offerings at a local temple; ferry boat to Koh Phangan from Tapi River.

RETREAT AT INTERNATIONAL DHARMA HERITAGE, SUAN MOKKH Devote yourself to a 10-day retreat to explore and discover your spiritual side. Participants are required to observe strict rules such as keeping complete silence, refrain from destroying all forms of life and foregoing creature comforts.



HOW MANY BLUE? Another popular activity around the islands is snorkeling and Koh Nang Yuan is legendary for its crystal clear waters. By speedboat, a trip to Koh Nang Yuan takes about 90 minutes from Koh Samui. I set out early and aimed to see this group of islands before lunch so I’d have time for some snorkeling later at Koh Tao. Upon reaching the island, I hiked up to the Twin Rocks for an aerial view of the islands. I wasn’t disappointed, as I had to squint repeatedly to take in the amazing blue of the water and the sky that seemed to conjure up every shade of blue. From azure to aquamarine to cerulean cobalt blue, the landscape presented shades of blue I had never seen in my life. Only the green of the flora dared break this stunning display of what I’d imagined paradise to be.

TURTLE TALES The much hyped about diving haven that is Koh Tao (Turtle Island) was located just next to Koh Nang Yuan. As the smallest and probably the prettiest of the islands in the Samui archipelago, Koh Tao boasts superb diving with excellent visibility and diverse marine life. Snorkelling is good at Mango Bay although I preferred the quieter Lighthouse Bay where I swam with schools of tiger fish. Later, at the award-winning Melati Spa, I experienced true bliss with its traditional Thai massage, an ancient

form of bodywork that involves stretching and deep tissue massage, delivered by a therapist without any use of massage oil at all. Later that night, I visited Chaweng on Koh Samui. Popular for shopping and abuzz with nightlife spots, Chaweng is a peculiar blend of island charm and commercialism. Chic restaurants, boutiques and art galleries operate side by side other worldly offerings.

A NAUGHTY ROCK I dropped by Lamai Beach on my last day. The famed Hin Ta Hin Yai rock formations tickled my funny bone and set my camera clicking. The natural formation had an uncanny resemblance to the male and female genitalia. Someone loudly proclaimed behind me: “That’s a very short wee-wee!” Just before leaving the island, I made one final stop at Lad Koh viewpoint. The inviting sweep of Chaweng Beach, bordered by coconut trees and washed by the ocean, stretched far out into the horizon. I stood transfixed for a few minutes only to have my reverie broken by my driver announcing it was time to go. I took one last gaze and a deep breath before turning my back on this land that was big on smiles, genuine in warmth and stunningly beautiful with natural attractions. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies twice daily to Surat Thani from Bangkok and three times a week from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for flight details.

05 FEATURE • China 2012



eart ichuan


China is a vast land and there remains pockets of the country that are largely unexplored and cut off from the rest of the world. Dege in Sichuan Province, Southwest China, is one such outpost and reflects the true, untouched heart of the country.


Our 4x4 vehicle negotiates the scary switchback bends fairly reasonably. The Northern SichuanTibet Highway is the highest and one of the most dangerous roads in the world. I am chasing a promising story: A photographer friend from Kuala Lumpur is keen to trace a pilgrim he photographed going around Mount Kailash in Tibet. The portrait made it to his coffee-table book The Path Less Travelled and he is keen to give the man a copy. He only has ‘Dege’ for an address. “Where is that?” I ask. “In the wilds of Sichuan,” he replies.

We are on our way to Ganzi (Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture within the Sichuan province) and I can’t avoid grizzling about the roadblocks, cold, altitude and bumps. The starting point is Kunming. The challenges are many but the highlights on the way are worth it, for instance, the mind-boggling town of Danba is a real treat as it contains mysterious 8th-century stone towers. To date, archaeologists haven’t agreed on why they were built.

INCH BY INCH On a quiet road, we suddenly spot something odd. Two men are inching their way over the gravelly road, prostrating full length every two steps. Ahead of them, there is a sprightly older woman leading two donkeys hitched to miniature carts decked with prayer flags. We approach her. Through my Mandarin speaking friend, we learn one of the two prostrating men is her 41-year-old son, the other, a 27-year-old student. The three are making their way to Lhasa on a pilgrimage.

Mother is 72 years old and will be walking all the way. All their worldly possessions are in the little carts. If all goes well, it will take them approximately 18 months to reach Lhasa! We rush back to the car and gather all the snacks we have and hand them to mother. She humbly accepts them but when we want to add a money donation, she declines with a smile. Within minutes the two prostrating pilgrims reach us with beaming smiles, rosy cheeks and just slightly out of breath although we are at about 4,000 metre altitude. They wear thick aprons to protect their clothes from the ground and have wooden paddles attached

to their hands to keep the flesh from getting shredded. They wear headbands to protect their foreheads, which they press to the gravelly road every time they are down on the ground. I fall to my knees to be on the same level with the sitting men and tell them how moved we are by their devotion and strength. Just meeting them makes us feel blessed.

LIFE IS GOOD We drive away, deeply moved. Within minutes the road starts climbing to the next pass. Icicles hang from the retaining walls and

LEFT: A local woman strings prayer flags at the summit of the highest pass (5,050m) in Sichuan on the way to Dege. RIGHT: The prostrating pilgrim on his way to Lhasa. His journey will last approximately 18 months. PRECEDING PAGE: The internal courtyard at a monastery in Dege.

jagged, menacing peaks loom behind grey clouds. At the first pass into Kham territory, we get out of the car to admire the panorama. I gasp for air and wonder how anybody can walk, let alone prostrate at this altitude. The encounter with the pilgrims was a reality check. ‘Life’s good!’ I shout into the howling wind and over the flapping praying flags. The wind threatens to blow us away but I no longer feel the cold. At Ganzi we encounter a bustling town of 880,000 people with Tibetans making up 78% of the population. We go for breakfast early in the morning to down steaming cups of soy

milk and devour freshly made breads; some flat, others in the shape of sticks. We meet groups of young nuns wearing fur-lined caps, and Khampa men riding powerful motorbikes with long hair to their waist and cowboy hats. I see a young man buying a bag of oranges, which he puts inside his leather bomberjacket just as his elders would inside the opening of their chubas. These Tibetan long coats are multipurpose and are worn mainly with one sleeve off the arm.



KHAMPA CULTURE Our aim is to reach Dege (or Derge) taking in the spectacular landscape and local colour. At Maniganga, I am taken up by a saddle with silverwork on the back of a horse tethered to a post. As I take pictures, I attract the attention of a group of local men who surround me to see the photos. We carry on an animated conversation even when we really don’t share a word in common. Suddenly, I hear a voice saying in perfect English: “Miss, I don’t think

you should be here in the middle of the street”. A young Chinese policeman tells me that my safety is compromised and that some locals bear arms hidden in the folds of their chubas. The policeman is courteous and seems genuinely concerned. I remonstrate that nobody has threatened me but he insists. I follow him to the Police Station, where I register as a visitor to the area. I knew that living in some of the harshest conditions in the world, the traditional long-sleeved coats of the Khampa are tied

LEFT: Nuns washing their feet after a 200km trek to reach Dege. RIGHT: Woodblock printing at the oldest printing house in the world in Dege.

up with a belt, which sometimes conceal a knife but never once did I feel my safety was compromised. Life expectancy for the Khampa people living on the plateau averages only about 45 years. They are easily identifiable by the red and black tassels braided into their long plaits, which they wear like a turban. When I ask, they tell me they do that to protect their scalps during knife fights. Marco Polo, who travelled through this very region, wrote that women wore all their wealth

woven into their hairstyles. He reported that when caravans transporting tea from China to Tibet stopped in these towns, villagers offered their unmarried daughters to the merchants to remain with them during their stay. When it was time to leave, the merchants would give the women who cohabited with them a token of their appreciation in the form of precious stones, which the girls would promptly weave into their hair. The more the ornaments, the more desirable they’d become to prospective

local suitors. Whether a true observation, or mere speculation, I don’t know, but the truth is that women in Eastern Tibet wear precious stones as part of their coiffure.

DEGE’S THAT WAY MA’AM For centuries, the Khampa operated mule caravans on arduous journeys to Lhasa and beyond, crossing the Himalayas to Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and India. These caravan



routes became vital arteries for cultural, economic and religious exchange between Tibet and South and Central Asia. The landscape around this area is so wild I am stunned to see a cyclist making his way up the road. He is from England and travels alone. His luggage sits in the pannier (basket) of his mountain bike. I later meet another man in his 60s who says he is on the adventure of his life. He is travelling alone and using public transport exclusively. It dawns on me that the policeman earlier was just overly cautious. Dege is about 100 kms from Maniganga but the high passes and frequent stops make the journey a long one. When we finally get to Dege, we find a town carved into the side of a ravine, rising from the Zi Qu River. I promptly dive into a shop, and as I am bent over a glass display-case, mesmerised by its contents, I feel hands on my back, adjusting the Tibetan dress I’m wearing. When I turn, I am face to face with my ‘wardrobe assistant’, a solid Tibetan woman with multiple, waist-long plaits cascading down her back and, a giant brassmounted turquoise fastened to the front of her head. She smiles with satisfaction and signals my Tibetan tunic is now properly adjusted. I thank her and she pats my shoulder.

MOUNTAIN-HIGH MONASTERY The main attraction here is the Gengchen Monastery of the Sakyapa sect, which is not only magnificent, but significant too as it has has produced hand-printed Buddhist texts since antiquity. At the printing house, we see men at work producing ancient texts by hand the way it has been done for centuries. Outside the monastery a crowd of pilgrims is doing the kora, a ceremonial clockwise walk around the building. A group of young Buddhist nuns, who’ve walked over 200 kms to get there, call me over for a chat. When I return to the main walk around the monastery, I feel hands on my back again. My dress must have slipped again I imagine and I laugh heartily with the women folk who inquisitively surround me. We chat as we do the kora. Suddenly, someone else takes hold of my hand and urges me on. I complete a lap hand-in-hand with two elderly monks who express their delight at my just being there. We decide against seeking the pilgrim we had come to see. We say a prayer instead and give thanks for the opportunity to visit this glorious country and its friendly people. GETTING THERE Regular bus services or self-drive options are available from Chengdu and Chongqing. AirAsia X flies 4 times a week to Chengdu from Kuala Lumpur, and AirAsia flies daily to Chongqing from Bangkok. Go to for flight details.



ABOVE: A Khampa woman visiting a Dege monastery with her worldly possessions woven into her hair.

WHERE TO STAY Accommodation is mostly state run and modestly priced. Hotels are comfortable though spartan and all have good heating and electric blankets.

THINGS TO DO • All small villages and towns have monasteries with ancient frescoes on their walls with typical Tibetan architecture. All are open to visitors. • Ganzi and Bamei have big markets where you can have hearty meals. • Dege is the second most sacred pilgrimage site for Tibetans. The Gengchen Monastery is the highlight of the trip. Visiting the old printing house is a must. There is a constant stream of pilgrims passing by and a steady population providing interesting shopping including traditional Tibetan jewellery and gems.

ABOVE: View from the rooftop of Dege monastery. TOP: Pilgrims can be spotted along the roads, making their way up to the monasteries in Dege or Manigange, like this father and his little girl.



• Danba is a spectacular town surrounded by centuries old houses with ‘horns’ as described by Marco Polo. The architecture here is unique and the mountainous landscape is dotted with hundreds of stone towers. Their purpose is buried in legend. Some say they were watch towers to spot Mongol invaders, others claim that they were used to lure and entrap eagles that were trained to help hunt game. Some say that the towers were built to mark the birth of the first son.

05 FEATURE • Vietnam 2012


omancingthe meraude E

The Emeraude was an elegant paddle wheeler that doubled as cargo and cruise vessel in early 1900s. Owned by one Paul Roque, the Emeraude plied the Ha Long Bay area and was one of the very few ships there that had electricity, ventilation and even refrigeration. In 1937, the Emeraude collided with a submerged rock and sank into the ocean, never to be found again. Old photographs of the original Emeraude in its heyday capture the romance of a bygone era and provide an insight into the era and an understanding of the port and how its dwellers lived in the past. Years later, a replica of the Emeraude plies the same waterways of Ha Long Bay, bringing travellers up close and personal with the renowned karst formations of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Jacques Le Fur, the current captain of the new Emeraude, talks about the history of the place and the steamer in this pictorial based on a set of images taken by Rene Masse.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Emeraude leaving the dock in Hai Phong; Bank of Indochina counter in Hai Phong; coolies pull rickshaws toward Hai Phong dock, with the Emeraude in the background.



ABOVE: A boatload of French tourists on excursion in Ha Long Bay. TOP: One of many piers in Hai Phong Harbour. OPPOSITE: Paddleboat returning to the Saphir on Ha Long Bay.

“Every now and then in my job as captain of the Emeraude, I come across a passenger carrying some link to our vessel’s history. When I met one Stephane Masse, who had called us about a set of photographs he’d just inherited from his grandfather, I expected to find one or two new things we could add to the Emeraude’s story. As it turned out, Stephane had enough links to form a chain of memories that went back a whole century.  The photos Stephane showed us were taken by his grandfather, Rene Masse, who was one of four children born into the Masse family in Hai Phong in the early 1900s. At the age of 16, Rene took a job with the local electric company.  From the images and what his grandson told us, we figured out that as a young man, Rene’s hobbies included hunting deer, joining the city’s social dances, and apparently, photography. Rene’s camera captured the Hai Phong of another era, just as the town hit its stride as an international port. There were images of local daily life with coolies waiting on docks and villagers pulling rickshaws down the city’s newly-paved streets. Scattered between these



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

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: French tourists sail into the secret passage of Hai Tac (pirates) Bay; Rene Masse’s sister, Andree Masse, relaxing on board the Emeraude just after its launch in 1926; the Emeraude and its sister steamer, the Saphir, moored at Hai Phong port.



ABOVE: A coolie waits on the dock at the Hai Phong Harbour.



black and white snapshots was the familiar bow of our vessel’s namesake, the original Emeraude. I remember being struck by how, even then, the Emeraude appeared pristine and elegant in each photo. Whether in the dingiest surroundings, or floating serenely on the bay, she looks every bit as romantic and inspirational as the replica I steer today.  Rene Masse’s photographs interested me on many levels. For me as a sailor, they brought to life what seafaring life must have been like in Vietnam of the 1920s. As captain of the Emeraude, they gave me a fuller understanding of the vessel’s story.  These pictures show beyond a doubt what the original Emeraude represented to the people of Hai

Phong and Ha Long Bay. An excursion on the Emeraude was, very simply, the epitome of luxury travel in the colony. The Emeraude that operates now is a replica of the original steamer. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Hanoi from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Go to for details.

Do you have photographs of yourself with old heritage buildings from your town/city in the background? Share with us what the building is and why it is special. Send your photos to

05 FEATURE 2012

ANGELS OF MERCY As disturbing as it may sound, disasters, be it natural or manmade, strike on a daily basis causing much grief, disrupting lives and bringing economies to their knees. In these hours of need, voluntary humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent are ever ready to help rebuild communities and help them out of their predicaments. Patrick Fuller from the International Federation of Red Cross Asia Pacific explains how these organisations have always been at the forefront of voluntary service to mankind.




Each year from June to November, the Asia-Pacific headquarters of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Kuala Lumpur is on high-alert as the monsoon season hits, bringing floods that can destroy homes and livelihoods and, displace millions of people. It may come as a surprise for many to learn that 42% of the world’s natural disasters take place in the Asia-Pacific region and over half of these are water and weather related. In 2011 the IFRC’s Disaster Management Unit responded to 136 emergencies across the Asia-Pacific region and according to Jagan Chapagain, the IFRC’s Asia-Pacific director, the severity and impact of disasters in Asia is on the rise. “We’re seeing an increase in localised small-scale disasters and every couple of 106


years there is usually some kind of major event.” The most recent mega-disaster was the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which destroyed fishing towns along 500 square kilometres of Japan’s north-eastern coastline. Last year, countries such as India, Bangladesh and Thailand had to cope with the impact of torrential monsoon rains. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to hear reports about ‘the worst floods in living memory’ but is it simply that disasters are becoming worse or are there other factors at play? “Talk to any farmer about the erratic weather patterns and it’s clear that climate change is playing a role,” says Chapagain. “But our concern is reducing the impact of the growing number of people who are in harm’s way.” Poverty, high food prices, poor nutrition

LEFT: In Palawan, Philippines, children are taught by local teachers and the Philippine National Red Cross to crouch beneath their desks as part of an earthquake preparedness programme. BELOW: A young boy in Aceh Besar enjoying piped water facility constructed by Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) and its partners. Clean, safe water can – both in the immediate aftermath and throughout the recovery phase of operations – can save many, many lives.



PRECEDING PAGE: Indian Red Cross set up distribution points to provide pre-stocked relief supplies in the Krishna and Karnataka districts of Andhra Pradesh, India, when more than half a million people were displaced from their homes after monsoon flooding in 2009.


BELOW: Abdollah Bin Ibrahim is from Johor Bahru, twelve hours drive from Kedah, where the Malaysian Red Crescent Society hosted a major disaster drill. This 73-year-old has been an MRCS volunteer since 1985 and says, “Emergency exercises like these help to build teamwork among colleagues from across Malaysia.”


RIGHT: Village children playing by a Red Cross boat. The Solomon Islands Red Cross delivers mosquito nets to villages on remote islands in preparation for the malaria season, which affects children in particular.

and the lack of access to basic services such as healthcare, increase people’s vulnerability, particularly if they live in areas that are prone to floods or landslides every time a storm passes through. If you’ve grown up in Asia, you most likely associate the Red Cross or Red Crescent (as it is known in most Islamic countries) with volunteering during your school days or with blood donation drives and first aid training. But the scope of what the world’s largest volunteer organisation actually does is much broader. One of the IFRC’s main functions is to guide and support the work of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to respond to and reduce the risks posed by disasters. “When disaster strikes, whether it’s an earthquake, cyclone or flood, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are always among the first responders”, explains Chapagain.

The initial focus is on saving lives, which usually means search and rescue, providing food, shelter, clean water and medical care. But long after the TV cameras have stopped rolling, the Red Cross stays on, helping communities in their long-term recovery. “After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, we spent five years helping to rebuild 53,000 homes in four countries. We also put a lot of effort into working with local communities on practical projects that reduce the risks they face from regular natural hazards,” says Chapagain. Arnel, a fisherman who has lived all his life on the island community of Salapingao in Philippines knows a thing or two about disasters. Luzon Island bears the brunt of most of the 20 or so annual typhoons that sweep through the region en route to Japan or coastal China. Philippines is also located directly over a fault line and sees regular volcanic activity. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


“I have learnt about panic. In 2009, we had a storm surge from the sea that covered most of this town,” recounts Arnel, who is one of 10 members of the local Philippine Red Cross Disaster Action Team, which not only responds in disaster situations but also works in non-disaster times to prepare the local community for the worst nature has to offer. Under a disaster-preparedness programme supported by Australian Red Cross, Arnel and his team are planting mangrove seedlings along the shoreline of Dupo, an island of 59 households, to lessen the impact of storm surges coming in from the sea. “We also run earthquake drills and teach communities what to do in a disaster. The most important advice I can give is be prepared”, adds Arnel. 110


Emergency drills are a regular activity for many National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and not just limited to natural disasters. In the small Malaysian village of Kampung Tra Desa Lembah Keriang in the northern state of Kedah, more than 100 trained Malaysian Red Crescent Society volunteers gathered to test their readiness to respond to a large-scale disaster. Make-up artists spent hours creating extremely realistic looking injuries on local children and adults while the local police, the Malaysian fire and rescue department and other public officials worked alongside the Red Crescent volunteers preparing a scenario that would challenge the participants.


LEFT: Children at Baichao Primary School in Guangyuan Prefecture. Their school was reconstructed with support from the Red Cross Society of China after being damaged in an earthquake and now they are living in a brand new dormitory building. In a remote and mountainous area such as this, the process of rebuilding has naturally taken longer. Some of their families live in a nearby village where an American Red Cross-supported water project is being built to pipe clean and safe drinking water into the village.


BELOW: Clemente Japones from Philippine Red Cross plants mangroves to help lessen storm surges – through a disaster preparedness programme, part of Australian Red Cross support to the Philippine Red Cross.


At exactly 4.00pm, a loud explosion followed by a billowing plume of smoke rose from beyond a row of village homes. Villagers with mock injuries rushed out from behind the homes and collapsed on the grass. Amidst the cries for help, tents went up within minutes and, the Red Crescent volunteers set about treating the injured. “We focus on four critical roles”, explains Harun Hashim, the Red Crescent’s deputy chairman, “coordination with the emergency services, triage, first aid and the transportation of the injured to hospital.” Tackling vulnerability means supporting communities in different ways. It could mean helping nomadic herders in Mongolia who have lost their livestock and are now living as urban migrants dependent on social welfare support. Or, it could mean reducing the incidence of disease in a village in rural Nepal by building latrines in schools and teaching children about good hygiene. “Our overall aim is to increase community resilience and this is only possible through our volunteers. They are the backbone of the organisation”, says Chapagain.

IMAGE: ROB FEW/IFRC ABOVE: At the Red Cross Hospital in Narita, Japan, volunteers like Tanagaki Tomoharu maintain emergency stocks of medical supplies, tents and blankets to ensure prompt and effective response to major disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. OPPOSITE: Just knowing that someone is trying to help can make a huge difference in the lives of those suffering following a disaster. Here, a volunteer of the Red Cross in Odisha, India, is greeted by one of those affected by the flooding.

BE A VOLUNTEER! You too can be a volunteer with the Red Cross and the Red Crescent societies, and help in various capacities within these organisations. Go to and check out how you can be of use to your community.

Are you part of a voluntary organisation in your community? Share the good work with us and tell the world how you are making a difference in your society. Post your stories at TRAVEL 3SIXTYËš




You may be familiar with safety procedures demonstrated by the Flight Attendants who explain what to do in the event of a water landing. Now, read on to find out why a water landing takes place, and how safe you are in the hands of a skilled pilot who knows exactly what to do to.

How long can a plane stay afloat after a successful water landing or ‘ditching’, as it is known amongst the pilot community? I was asked this question recently. Well, it depends on how well the ditching was executed. A perfect landing would enable the plane to stay afloat like a boat for quite a while. A badly executed one would lead to tragic consequences. Let’s get to the bottom of this scenario so that, as aircraft passengers, you will be truly educated on the procedures in the event of a ditching.

WHAT IS DITCHING? Ditching is the intentional and controlled water landing of an aircraft and the survival rate during this procedure is actually very high. However, ditching needs to be distinguished from water crashes. Where ditching is intentional, water crashes usually involve an uncontrolled aircraft at extremely high speeds. Ditching survival rates would depend on the size of the aircraft, the condition of the water surface and, the speed the pilot eases the plane onto the water.






On January 15, 2009, Flight 1549, an Airbus A320 operated by US Airways, ditched into the Hudson River in New York City after reports of multiple bird (flying geese) strikes. In this incident, the pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger (Sully) made a perfect water landing and all 155 lives were saved.

LEFT: Paying attention to the safety procedures explained by the Flight Attendants goes a long way in saving lives in the event of an emergency.

which it nearly hit as it came down on the water. The tug rushed to the aircraft and towed it to shore. All the 52 passengers on board escaped without injuries. In 1956, a Pan Am Flight ditched into the Pacific after losing two of its four engines. All 31 on board survived.


The Airbus A320 was able to stay afloat because the plane was not damaged above the waterline. However, below the floating wing, there was slight damage at the cargo compartment; the left engine was detached and sank about 65 feet into the river. Most commercial airliners are well equipped to float for a reasonable length of time, enabling passengers and crew to exit safely. The evacuation slides around the exit doors are also designed to double up as flotation devices and life rafts. When Flight 1549 landed on water, it remained on the surface for quite some time before slowly sinking, as it drifted down the river. This was because the cabin of the plane is designed to act like the hull of a boat and will stay afloat as long as there are no leaks. 116


Unfortunately, the impact with the water had ripped open a hole in the underside of the airplane and twisted the fuselage, causing the cargo door to pop open and slowly filling the plane with water from the rear. Pilots are also able to shut off all intake and outlet valves on the entire plane (if the ‘Ditching’ switch is activated), thereby making the cabin fully water tight and more buoyant. The duration can easily last more than an hour. However, in the Hudson River case, it was aggravated by the damage in the rear cargo compartment. Nevertheless, the plane stayed afloat long enough for everyone to get out safely. Fortunately, all passengers were rescued by a small armada of police boats, fireboats, tugboats and the Coast Guard. Some of these boats were

even seen supporting the plane on its side to keep the jetliner afloat.

DITCHING OF COMMERCIAL AIRLINERS Besides the success of the Hudson case, there have been at least three other safe ditching incidents in recent times. In 2002, a Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737 successfully ditched onto a river near Yogyakarta, Indonesia, after experiencing a twin engine failure during heavy rain. The pilots tried to restart the engines several times before making the decision to ditch the aircraft. In 1963, a Russian plane, Aeroflot Tupolev 124, ditched onto a river as it ran out of fuel. The aircraft floated and was towed to shore by a tugboat,

Bird strike is a risk that is potentially disastrous to any airplane taking off. The pilot’s skills in handling a ‘strike’ is the last bastion to such a disaster and Captain Sully performed an incredible job of saving the lives of all on board the Airbus A320. Boeing 777 engines can withstand bird strikes well because all modern jet engines are subjected to the ‘chicken gun’ test before certification. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stipulates that planes must be able to withstand a strike from at least an 8-pound (3.6 kgs) bird. As such, large passenger jets can safely withstand being hit by at least a 4-pound (1.8 kgs) bird but problems can arise with flocks of birds. Planes are often struck by flying birds but they are not frequently reported because airplanes are designed to take such impacts. It only becomes dangerous should a large bird strike at a critical moment. For example, according to experts, a 12-pound goose struck by an aircraft at lift-off stage would generate a force equivalent to a 1,000-pound object being dropped from a height of 10 feet (3 metres)!

GLIDING AFTER TAKE-OFF Many have questioned how the Airbus A320, Flight 1549 was able to glide despite the damage?

To answer that, it is good to note that most planes are designed to glide with their engines switched off. The success of the glide would depend on the altitude of the planes – the higher the better. For instance, at 40,000 feet, a plane can glide about 100 nautical miles with all the engines switched off. Unfortunately, US Airways Flight 1549 was in the worst situation when the engines were completely lost at around 3,000 feet, where a successful glide was considered difficult.

TURNING BACK AS AN OPTION The National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) ran a series of tests using Airbus simulators in France to see if Flight 1549 could have returned safely to LaGuardia Airport. The simulation started immediately following the bird strike and “knowing in advance that they were going to suffer a bird strike and that the engines could not be restarted, four out of four pilots were able to turn the A320 back to LaGuardia and land on Runway 13.” (Source: Wikipedia)

When the NTSB later imposed a 30-second delay before they could respond, in recognition that it wasn’t reasonable to expect a pilot to assess the situation and react instantly, all four pilots crashed. This proved that Captain Sully had made the best decision to ditch the plane.

CONCLUSION The question of how long a plane stays afloat after a successful water landing depends on the skills of the pilot. Just like everything in life, human skills and experience will always be needed as tools to be used in dire circumstances, and sometimes, even exceed it. Captain Scully has indeed saved the day – and lives – when he ditched the A320 onto the Hudson River, and it wasn’t just down to the capability of the aircraft to stay afloat until all the crew and passengers were evacuated. It was also because he was an amazingly skilful pilot who knew exactly what to do and how to manoeuvre the aircraft onto water.

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

05 TRAVEL LOG 2012


Munir Winkel exchanges the hustle and bustle of Jakarta for a soothing, soul awakening journey through the hinterland of Bali on his trusted motorbike.

ABOVE: Designed to protect the temples, the dvarapala (doorway guardian deities) can be found all around Bali. RIGHT: Munir snaps a self-portrait in the vicinity of Papuan, Bali.



When I woke up at 4.40am on the island of Bali, I was so very grateful. No mosquito bites, no lizards in my bed and no worries. After splashing water on my face and getting dressed hurriedly, I sprang outside. The crisp mountain air and sparkling stars greeted me as I pushed my motorcycle onto a narrow path heading towards the traffic-free streets of Ubud. Just a few days earlier, I never imagined I could snag one of AirAsia’s unbelievable promotional prices and wind up flying out of the macet (congestion) of Jakarta and over to one of Indonesia’s legendary islands: Bali. There is something remarkable about riding up a narrow mountain road before sunrise with your headlight alone tearing the darkness blanketing the land. The nippy morning air sent the occasional shiver down my spine and I could see my own breath each time I exhaled. The mornings are not only serene here, the freedom of being the only person on the road so early in the day made it almost a spiritual experience. Being the only one on the road has one key disadvantage though – a disadvantage that manifests itself clearer as you continue to journey uphill: Motorised vehicles require fuel. Looking above my fogged up glasses, I saw a few trucks zoom past me with blue and green lights, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t locate a single shopkeeper selling petrol out of hazy glass bottles on the streets. Mathematically, there’s an inversely proportional relationship between fuel levels and anxiety. As my fuel indicator neared ‘E’, my anxiety neared ‘F’! But a woman with her three-year-old son came to my rescue by opening her shop early in the day. She may not have understood my deep gratitude, but I told her anyway, “I’m so glad you opened your shop before 6.00am. You saved my day. I was almost out of gas.” Three hours into my morning journey, I approached an unfamiliar T-junction and parked my motorcycle along the road. Alien-like with my big black helmet securely fastened to my bobbing head, I wandered to the edge of a stone ledge. As I stood silently, my arms resting on the mossy stone ledge, the curtain of fog parted, revealing a scene that literally took my breath away. Little pillows of clouds hugged the extremities of the giant conically-shaped mountain in front of me: Mount Batur. A crown of clouds covered its summit with glorious

LEFT: Perched upon a narrow mountain top, this Balinese village combines modern and traditional lifestyles. BELOW: Balinese men meditate as the sunrises off the coast of Sanur.

shards of red and orange streaking the sky in the background. But soon after, the clouds quickly regrouped and drew the curtains on the magnificent sight, hiding the majestic mountain from my sight. I stood transfixed, wondering whether the grandiose 1,717-metre spectacle was just a figment of my imagination. I moved away from the show that seemed to have been put on just for me and wandered to a nearby food stall. A kind woman manning the stall sold me a meal for a measly IDR5,000. I didn’t expect much for that kind of money, but soon after, the warmest meal I’ve ever had in Indonesia appeared before me. Rice, green vegetables, meat and a sprinkle of peanuts appeared in an elegant bowl and was placed in front of me. “Today is such an incredible day,” I whispered out loud. For the next hour or so, I drove across ledges overlooking valleys warmed by the rising sun, the light diffused by the morning mist. I saw school children running down the side of the road, laughing and playing. I passed villages in the sky, precariously perched on narrow steep hills. I slowed down around narrow mountain roads, devoid of railings, chevron indicators, or shoulders, drinking in the beauty of the stunning landscape and the simple, honest people who call Bali home. They say it’s the journey, not the destination that stays etched in your memory forever. As I made my way to Singaraja, I didn’t want my journey to ever end. I wanted this memory and my journey to last a lifetime. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Bali from various destinations. 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-for-money dining experience that is made even more special with true Malaysian hospitality. Savour Asian fusion buffets with a touch of Malaysian flavours at Temptations, dine on the freshest sashimi and sushi in town at Sagano, or enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine with the most succulent Peking Duck and BBQ dishes at Dynasty. After a scrumptious meal, simply book yourself into a modern LifeStyle room to enjoy the pleasures of life.

05 OFF THE RACK 2012

BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL This season, go bodacious with bright, in-your-face colours, vibrant prints and cool designs in apparel, footwear and travel accessories.

SUMMER HOLIDAY Graphic and abstract prints inspired by the 70s in hues of aquamarine, coral and emerald green are the highlight of Flow’s Spring/ Summer 2012 collection. Embrace your curves in a trendy diagonal stripe print dress or an embroidered tunic.




Arm yourself with Charles & Keith’s Neo Ethnic Collection of structured handbags, satchels and totes in earthy tones of brown, grey and maroon this season. Detailing includes weaves, braids and beaded embellishments. Pair your bag of choice with the collection’s skinny, low and mid-waist belts.


STYLISH TRAVEL Travel in style with the Tumi Vapor™ collection, a range of ultra-modern lightweight suitcases perfect for your travelling needs. Choose from the International Carry-On for short trips, or the Medium and Extended Trip Packing Cases for long journeys. In clay, navy and a crosscut print.

CLUTTER FREE DIVINE INSPIRATION Influenced by the Goddesses of Olympus, this season’s evening wear line of silk chiffon and taffeta gowns by Eric Choong Kuala Lumpur is simply ethereal with a red colour palette that symbolises passion and courage. Gowns are made unique with ruffles and flounces in lace, organza and tulle.

Say goodbye to messy handbags with Double-Up Abbi, a bag organiser by Gin & Jacquie that is roomy enough to fit your mobile phone, makeup and even your iPad. This convenient nylon bag is expendable and also doubles up as a travel pouch. Available in grey, orange, red and pink.

RELAXED VIBE Suits at Canali take on a relaxed vibe this season, with bright shades and light fabrics that are perfect for warmer weather. Jackets cut shorter to hug the waist are the epitome of cool when paired with narrow trousers in hot colours like fuchsia and cornflower blue.

IN THE STARS Get your hands on a pair of Limited Edition peep-toe pumps in orange suede inspired by the 12 signs of the zodiac, exclusively created for the Giuseppe Zanotti Design boutique in Kuala Lumpur. Multicoloured crystal star signs add charm to the clean, simple lines of these pumps. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚



NATURE’S WONDERS With ingredients like argan oil and neroli, scents of bergamot and rosemary, and colours of cherry blossoms, our selection of beauty products and fragrances this month is inspired by Mother Nature.

PURE HAIRCARE EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System™ from L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise™ is formulated with botanical oils and allnatural active ingredients like rosemary and juniper to protect and restore the beauty of colour-treated hair. The range includes creamgel shampoos and rich moisturisers in two customised formulas – Moisture and Smooth.



Perfect for all skin types, Seven Wonders Moroccan Argan Oil Skin Serum is high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants that smoothes wrinkles and delays signs of premature ageing. Free from harsh chemicals like parabens, this serum also contains rose and Vitamin E oils.



Z FOR ZEGNA Z Zegna by Ermenegildo Zegna is a discreet yet masculine scent for the modern man, with heart notes of iris and nutmeg, a sensual base of cashmere wood and patchouli, and head notes of white pepper, bergamot, and rosemary.

HAPPY FEET Give feet a treat with Actizen’s Foot Mask, an exfoliating mask that promises to smoothen cracked heels, and remove corns and calluses. The new and improved formula with aloe vera is salicylic-acid free.


SMOOTH SHAVE For a smoother shave minus the irritation, check out Aesop’s Moroccan Neroli Shaving Duet. The Shaving Serum with aloe vera, sandalwood and neroli blossom allows for a close shave while the Post-Shave Lotion with panthenol calms and hydrates skin.


Kissable lips are just one step away with the latest collection of Sheen Supreme Lipglass and Lipstick by MAC. The range celebrates East Asian chic with Lipglass in juicy colours like Cherry Fest and Dress Kimono, and equally succulent shades of lipstick in Tea Ceremony and Korean Candy.

Protect skin from the sun’s harsh rays with Melvita Sun Cream, a formulation with natural mineral sun filters. This medium protection SPF15 cream contains mango butter, sesame and Jojoba oils, and is recommended for darker skin tones.

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS Sothy’s Essential Travelling Kit contains a milk cleanser, deep pore cleanser, toner and light cream in handy travelsize bottles. It also includes the Normalizing Beauty Milk enriched with grapefruit extracts to keep skin clean and fresh, and the Hydrating Light Cream, which restores skin hydration. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚




From Scotland’s Ben Nevis to Mt. Cook in New Zealand, Mt Damavand in Iran to the spectacular Mt. Everest, no mountain proved high enough for adventurer Khoo Swee Chiow, who scaled eight peaks in just as many months as part of the AirAsia Altitude-X Expedition. The father of two speaks to us about his love for majestic peaks and what sparked his passion for mountaineering.


ABOVE: Khoo on the summit of Mt. Cook, New Zeland.





While chatting online with Azran (Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X CEO), he asked me what I planned to do next. I suggested climbing mountains within or near AirAsia X destinations. Azran liked the idea and was all for it. Less than a month from that day, I was off to conquer Mt. Everest and seven other peaks in Asia, Oceania and Europe.

Growing up in Port Dickson, a coastal town in Malaysia, I was exposed to the outdoors at an early age. The sea was right opposite my house and all the neighbourhood kids knew how to swim. That carefree lifestyle inspired my love for the outdoors.


The turning point was in 1989, when I was 25. I had travelled to Nepal on holiday and the sight of Mt. Everest was spellbinding, I knew I had to scale its peak. I attended mountaineering courses and trained hard. It took me nine years but I finally achieved my dream in 1998, as part of the first Singapore National team to scale Mt. Everest. After that life-changing moment, I couldn’t get enough and quit my job to become a full-time adventure consultant.

grown into an adventurer and motivational speaker.

ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING CLIMBERS? I often get e-mails from aspiring climbers asking for tips to scale Mt. Everest. I always tell them, ‘Dream big, but start small’. You’ve got to have a plan before you can scale Mt. Everest, but you gain invaluable experience from every mountain you climb. And if you don’t succeed the first time, try again. The mountain will still be there.

THREE THINGS YOU MUST HAVE ON YOUR MOUNTAINCLIMBING EXPEDITIONS. I always carry a GPS, a penknife and a satellite phone – all mainly for safety.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE DURING THE AIRASIA ALTITUDE-X EXPEDITION? The expedition itself is something I’ll treasure forever. Though challenging, I’m glad to have delivered as Azran had put total faith in me. When it comes to my favourite journey, it is still Mt. Everest. AirAsia X flew me to Chengdu in China and I climbed the North Face of Everest via Tibet. The terrain was rough and challenging, and the surrounds still in pristine condition. It’s all the more special, as this was the same route taken by the British climbers in the 1920s to ascend Mt. Everest.

WHICH WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PEAK YOU SCALED DURING THE EXPEDITION? The first, Mt. Everest, and the last peak, Mt. Cook, were equally challenging. My vision started to blur several hours before reaching the summit of Mt. Everest. When I reached the peak, I was cold and tired and could hardly see anything. As for Mt. Cook, which I had unsuccessfully attempted more than a decade ago, it took two 130


tries before I finally made it to the top. This was mainly due to the changing weather conditions; it was snowing up there and visibility was almost zero. I had to abandon my first climb. By the time I reached the foot of the climb, I was totally exhausted, having climbed for more than 16 hours.

IS THERE A MOUNTAIN YOU’D LIKE TO CONQUER? My list is too long. If I had to pick just one mountain, it would be K2, the second highest peak in the world, which I’d have to ascend from Pakistan. K2 in the Karakoram Range is called the Killer or Savage Mountain because it’s much more difficult. It’s very steep and dangerous for climbers. On record, only about 200 people have made it to the summit.

HOW HAS CLIMBING ENRICHED YOUR LIFE? My outlook on life has changed. We humans are so small compared to these massive mountains and through my experiences, I’ve gained a greater appreciation of everything around me. I’m a very different person now than I was 20 years ago. From an introverted IT guy, I’ve

CLOCK WISE FROM TOP LEFT: Khoo on the summit of Yushan (Jade Mountain) in Taiwan; climbers making their way up Mt. Fuji in Japan; scaling the North Face of Mt. Everest.

KHOO SWEE CHIOW’S JOURNEY WITH AIRASIA ALTITUDE-X APR-MAY 2011 • Mt. Everest (8,848m) JULY 2011 • Ben Nevis, Scotland (1,344m) • Mont Blanc (4,807m) AUG 2011 • Mt. Fuji (3,776m) SEPT 2011 • Mt. Damavand, Iran (5,671m) OCT 2011 • Hallasan, South Korea (1,950m) • Yushan, Taiwan (3,997m) DEC 2011 • Mt. Cook, New Zealand (3,754m) ABOVE: Khoo enroute to the summit of Mt. Everest via the North Face in Tibet.

For more information, visit

05 KIDS SPACE 2012

NEVER ENDING FUN Get ready kids as SkyRider Club launches its brand new children’s meal and awesome exclusive merchandise to make your flying experience with AirAsia truly delightful!

ACE MEAL ON BOARD! AirAsia and SkyRider Club have joined hands in offering awesome meal deals specially prepared for our young guests. Called the ACE Meal, kids can enjoy these yummy sets and have fun with the jigsaw game that comes free with every meal purchased! Here’s what kids can look forward to on AirAsia flights: MALAYSIA AIRASIA (AK FLIGHTS): Cheesy Pasta and Chicken Pops With Spritzer Pop (lemon) for RM13, or Mini Chipsmore (original) and Milo for RM10 INDONESIA AIRASIA (QZ FLIGHTS): Cheesy Pasta and Chicken Pops with Nutrisari Orange Juice for IDR39,000, or Nissin Wafer Strawberry with Milo for IDR30,000. THAILAND AIRASIA (FD FLIGHTS): Cheesy Pasta and Chicken Pops with Tipco Orange Juice for THB130, or Oreo with Milo for THB100. PHILIPPINES AIRASIA (PQ FLIGHTS): Quaker Oats Oaties with Chocolate Chips with Nestlé Chocolate Chuckie Drink for PHP140, or Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milo for PHP140. AIRASIA X (D7 FLIGHTS): Hot Dog Meal with 3 pieces of Oreo Chocolate Cookies, Nestle Shark Chocolate Wafer, Jelly Fruit Cubes, Raisins and Ribena for RM13 (only for pre-book).

KIDZRANGER TOUR Singapore Zoo gives animal lovers aged between 5 to 12 years the chance to learn about their animal friends on the Kidzranger Tour. Highlights include getting up close with a falabella – the smallest breed of horse in the world and, learning how to groom it. Kids will also get the chance to experience the responsibilities of a zookeeper. Kidzranger Tour takes place every weekend at Rainforest Kidzworld, Singapore Zoo.




For console gaming lovers, the highly anticipated concert series – Video Games Live – comes to Malaysia. Headed by the famous video game music composer, Tommy Tallarico, fans will be treated to a fantastical event that showcases the best video games of all times with the likes of Super Mario, Warcraft and Final Fantasy in a theatrical presentation on May 26 and 27 May at Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur.


GEAR UP, RIDERS! SkyRider merchandise is also available for purchase now! Priced from RM4 onwards, kids will be spoilt for choice with cool stuff like caps, key chains, stationery sets, stickers and comfort kits. Keep a look out for more exciting SkyRider merchandise coming your way soon! Register as a SkyRider Club member today at to get the latest updates, or follow SkyRider Club on Facebook at www. and Twitter at

05 PLANE FUN 2012

RIDDLES 1. What always ends every day? 2. Add the necessary punctuation marks to make a correct sentence out of this phrase. There are nine letters in a sentence 3. What do these phrases have in common? i. Never odd or even ii. Step on no pets iii. Live not on evil iv. Rise to vote, sir


Which celebrity chef released the Ministry Of Food cookbook?


Under which monument is the French ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ situated?


Is feldspar a mineral, a type of grass or a Scandinavian winter sport?


The hamstring muscles are located in which part of the body?


How many people are present in Leonardo DaVinci’s painting The Last Supper?


In what year did Apple release the first iPad?


The people of which ancient civilization built Machu Picchu?


Name the Benedictine monk who is historically linked with champagne.


Which British singer took home six awards at the 2012 Grammy Awards including Album, Record and Song of the Year?

10 What powers an eolic plant?





4. Start with the word ‘stringy’ and remove one letter at a time till you are left with ‘i’. Each step must make a real word. 5. What happens once in a minute, once in a year but twice in a week?


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

• QUICK QUIZ 1 Jamie Oliver 2 Arc de Triomphe 3 Mineral 4 Legs 5 13 6 2010 7 Incan 8 Dom Pérignon 9 Adele 10 Wind • RIDDLES 1 The letter Y 2 There are nine letters in “a sentence” 3 They are palindromes (they read the same backwards) 4 Stringy, stingy, sting, sing, sin, in, I; Stringy, string, sting, sing, sin, in 5 i. The letter E • PLAY ON WORDS 1 To kick the bucket 2 Catch twenty-two 3 The early bird catches the worm 4 Got a devil on your shoulder






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 Bukit Bintang worth RM800 nett!


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Monsoon season, New Delhi, India. Donald Yip, Melbourne, Australia

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The award-winning Grand Millenium Kuala Lumpur has 468 wellappointed guestrooms and four exceptional F&B options. Located in Bukit Bintang, in the CBD area of Kuala Lumpur, all guestrooms come equipped with modern facilities, deluxe amenities and 21 MBPS high-speed fibre-optic Internet connection. The exclusive Executive Floors welcome guests to the top floors of the hotel, offering complimentary breakfast and beverage services at the Club Lounge, local and international newspapers and more. For the health conscious, the hotel’s health club offers the latest in exercise equipment and a resort-style outdoor swimming pool.


Sunset at Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia Poh Kuan Hwa, Penang, Malaysia

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



05 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.

05 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 Johor Bharu 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 MALAYSIA Kuala Medan Miri Lumpur Johor Bharu Kuching Pekanbaru SINGAPORE Padang Balikpapan Palembang


Jakarta Semarang Bandung Surabaya Yogyakarta Solo Bali



Gold Coast


Sydney Melbourne


travel 3sixty˚


05 Route Map • AirAsia Thailand 2012

CHINA Chongqing


Guangzhou Macau



Shenzhen Hong Kong


Chiang Rai Chiang Mai Yangon

Udon Thani Nakhon Phanom




Ubon Ratchathani



Phnom Pehnh Ho Chi Minh

Puerto PHILIPPINES Princesa

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˚

05 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˚


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



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

Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport Palembang, South Sumatra

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

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

Langkawi International Airport 07100 Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi

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

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 71 Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 1 Taman Usahawan Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur No. 4 Jalan 3/116B, Kuchai Lama Entrepreneur Park, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 582000 Kuala Lumpur. No. 1, Jalan PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya.

Lot G24, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah, Jln. Tun Razak, 88000, Kota Kinabalu TGround Floor, Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Int. Airport, Old Airport Road,Tanjung Aru 88100, Kota Kinabalu SARAWAK GL02, Ground Floor, Bintulu Airport, 97000 Bintulu Ground Floor, Miri Airport, 98000 Miri Lot 946, Jalan Parry, 98000 Miri Departure Level, Kuching International Airport, 93756 Kuching


GFLO1, Departure Area, Ground Floor, Sibu Airport, 96000 Sibu

Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, 16100 Pengkalan Chepa Kota Bharu

Ground Floor, No. 36 Jalan Keranji, 96000 Sibu

3183G, Jalan Sultan Ibrahim (Opp. KB Mall), 15050 Kota Bharu. PERAK Tune Hotel, No.2, Ground Floor, The Host, Jalan Veerasamy, 30000 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan.

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

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


Lot 6813, Ground Floor Synergy Square, (Matang Jaya Commercial Centre), Jalan Matang Jaya, 93050 Kuching



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,


SELANGOR Ground Floor, Terminal 3, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor Jalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor Lot-35 Mydin Mall USJ 1 B-G-3A, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya 47170 Puchong Selangor Lot S141, 2nd Floor, Plaza Metro Kajang, Section 7, Jalan Tun Abdul Aziz, 43000 Kajang No 1, Jln PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya No 10, Jalan Bandar Rawang 11, Bandar Baru Rawang, 48000 Rawang, Selangor. Ground Floor, Curve NX, 18 Jalan PJU 7/5, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

myanmar YANGON

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

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 416 Thaphae Road, Chiang Mai

Yangon International Airport

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

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

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

(calling from Mumbai and New Delhi only)

macau neW ZealanD paris philippines souTh Korea TaiWan ThailanD VieTnam The uK

0800912 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



The capital of Indonesia is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities from all over the archipelago. Despite its frenzied reputation, The Big Durian has loads of exciting attractions befitting its status as one of Asia’s mega cities. as Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia and Senayan City. Party hard at Jakarta’s nightclubs at venues such as Stadium, X2, Dragonfly, Blowfish and Immigrant. Attend the best annual music festivals in the region such as Java Jazz Festival, Java Soul Nation, Java Rockin’ Land and Djakarta Warehouse Project. Visit colonial buildings and historical architecture in Kota Tua (formerly known as Batavia). Places of interest include the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum, the Maritime Museum, and Fatahillah Square. You can also catch shadow puppetry presentation at Wayang Museum.

Jakarta’s popular landmark, the National Monument (Monas)

Jakarta is a city of contrasts, hence the moniker ‘The Big Durian’ of Asia – thorny on the outside but tasty inside. With a population of close to 10 million, Jakarta is a thriving modern city but somehow has still managed to retain its traditional side with loads of arts and cultural activities. Visitors can savour the best of local cuisines, catch world-class music festivals and cultural performances, and party at the hottest night spots. This city never sleeps. For those who are on the lookout for a city break, Jakarta is the place for you to let your hair down.




You can find various types of cuisines from Manado, Padang and Sunda as the city attracts citizens from all over the archipelago. Some famous dishes include ayam penyet (flattened chicken), bakso (meatball soup) and gado gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce). Jalan Sabang is a notable area to find street stalls, which offer hawker-style fare such as seafood with dabu-dabu (hot and spicy sauce) and pempek (fishcake with sour sauce). Try also Kemang Food Fest in South Jakarta for scrumptious street food and fusion cuisine at over 50 stalls. Jakarta also offers an urban dining experience at modern TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

restaurants such as The Goods Cafe, Loewy, Social House, Lucy in the Sky and Union. These restaurants are famous hangout spots for the young and hip set looking for good music, great food and drinks.

MUST DO Capture the best view of the city from the observation deck at Jakarta’s popular landmark, the National Monument (Monas). Shop for textiles and fashion apparel at super low prices in Mangga Dua and Tanah Abang. Luxury and high-street fashion goods are available at upscale shopping malls such

See various aspects of local culture and miniatures ethnic homes Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. The park has a sky-car tour, an IMAX theatre, and cultural events and performances. Get an adrenaline boost at Jakarta’s most popular recreational spot – Dunia Fantasi in Ancol Dreamland. Other attractions here include Seaworld, Atlantis Water Adventure and Ocean Dream Samudra.

SLEEP InterContinental MidPlaza Jakarta, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Jakarta 10220. Pullman Jakarta Central Park, Podomoro City, Jl. Let. Jend S. Parman Kav. 28, Jakarta 11470. Amaris Hotel Mangga Dua Square, JJl. Gunung Sahari No.1, Jakarta 14420. For attractive room rates at these hotels, log on to

Ayam penyet GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Jakarta from various destinations. Go to for flight details.

Mangga Dua Mall

05 MY AIRASIA 2012

MUMMY TO THE STARS Celebrating Mother’s Day this month, AirAsia AllStars take on the role of ‘mummy’ to some of the world’s most popular celebrities. TRUDY AU Commercial, Malaysia AirAsia

YOHANNES HERALDO Commercial, Indonesia AirAsia

If I were Gordon Ramsay’s mummy, I’d tell him that his real daddy’s name is Mr. Cowell, and that he has an evil twin named Simon.

If I were Malikka Sherawat’s mummy, I’d send her to save the sinking Titanic with her buoyant boobs.

FELIX WIMONO PUTERA Social Media, Indonesia AirAsia

If I were Ariel of Peter Pan’s mummy, I’d teach him the dangers of recording anything in the nude. I’m definitely awed by his skills in wooing so many women of different backgrounds. You rule, Ariel!

KUHAN KANDIAH Operations Management, Malaysia AirAsia

If I were Justin Bieber’s mom, I’d tell him that even though I love him, singing “Baby, baby” like a broken record is not very creative. Stop repeating your lyrics!

MELI AGUSTIN FITRIANINGRUM Distribution, Indonesia AirAsia

If I were Edison Chen’s mummy, I’d tell him all about this wonderful girl named Meli, who lives in Semarang. I’d also build him a super secure safe to store all his ‘creative’ photographs!

ELAINE LIM CRM, Malaysia AirAsia

If I were Winona Ryder’s mummy, I’d send her to the Tower of London to ‘check out’ the Crown Jewels!

ELLYSE NG Commercial, Malaysia AirAsia

If I were Tiger Woods’ mummy, I’d teach him that more doesn’t necessarily mean better! One woman is enough!




Commercial, Malaysia AirAsia

If I were Paris Hilton’s mummy, I‘d tell the world that she is not a dumb blonde at all! It’s all an act in her quest for world domination. She’s paid to be a bimbo! TeamParis!! TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Show the world how your ‘Queen of Hearts’ looked like when she was a young lady. Send photos of your mum with a special message to make this Mother’s Day truly meaningful to