2011 ISSUE 50
50 TRAVEL 3SIXTY° SEPTEMBER THE AIRASIA MAGAZINE
AirAsia @ F1 Roaring into Singapore!
TRAVEL New Norcia, Australia • Amsterdam, Holland FOOD Japanese Fusion DESTINATION Ho Chi Minh City SPECIAL FEATURE Muay Thai PLUS A World of Fiestas
RE SU . A S E PL GER VE NG SEN EMO I AD AS R FT. RE R P NOT RA E H HE O IRC R TF OT SE D M A O F O EA O R PL F
08 Captain’s Address
34 Biz Body
News, Announcements, Mail
What our guests are saying about Travel 3Sixty°
12 Red Alert
Exciting News from AirAsia
Stuff you’d love to know
Exciting Reads to Pick Up
Evolve & Get Involved
36 Health Matters Spot it Quick!
38 Hot Rods
The Hatchback Option
40 Guts & Glory
Travel 3Sixty°’s Super-cool Guide
September events to keep a lookout for
The Future is Here
42 Tech-Talk Only the Best
44 Sleep Inns
Hospitality from the Heart
94 Pilot’s Perspective Perils of Parachutes
NAVIGATOR Feature Stories
50 Hit List
A World of Fiestas
60 The Lion Rules the Night The Singapore Formula 1™
68 Battle Thai
The Art of Eight Limbs
74 A Load of Bull
Mekepung in Indonesia
80 The Benedictine Sanctuary New Norcia in Western Australia
88 Canal Cruising
Amsterdam’s Watery Ways
98 Travel Log Loving London
contentsseptember JET SET
Fashion, News, Celebs
100 Style Foremost
Fashion from Around the World
102 Sweet September! Creating the Perfect Look
IN FLIGHT 110 Junior Jet Club The Best Birthday Gift!
112 Plane Fun Puzzles & Games
Fab photos taken by AirAsia guests
5 tips for a more enjoyable ﬂight
PORT OF CALL 118 Destination
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
120 Route Map 126 AirAsia Sales Ofﬁces & Stations
128 Aviation Veteran
AirAsia @ F1
Roaring into Singapore!
TRAVEL New Norcia, Australia • Amsterdam, Holland FOOD Japanese Fusion DESTINATION Ho Chi Minh City SPECIAL FEATURE Muay Thai PLUS A World of Fiestas
Publisher Kathleen Tan Managing Editor R. Rajendra Art Director Kan Seak Hong Writers Beverly Rodrigues Editorial Assistant Fazlina Bee Binti Abdul Rashid Graphic Designer Fadillah Kamarudin Photojournalist Adam Lee Contributors Captain Lim Khoy Hing, Eﬁ Hamzah, Fara M. Sani, Daniel Fernandez, Daniel J.Allen, James Goyner, Putu Sayoga, Surani Ariff Advertising Enquiries Indran Balavishnu (Malaysia)
Mairianne Reardon (Singapore) firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Lockwood (UK and International Markets) email@example.com
Charuphan Pojchanart (Thailand) firstname.lastname@example.org
Hendra Lapusa (Indonesia) email@example.com
Tel: +6 03 7962 5813 (Phar Partnerships) E-mail: sales-T360@airasia.com Travel 3Sixty° Wishes to thank Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles, MPH, Pansing Marketing Editorial enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
RE SU EA S. PL GER VE G O IN SEN EM AD AS R FT. RE R P OT RA HE THE DO N IRC T A R O E FO OF EAS OM R PL F
on the cover
Team Lotus Racecar at the Pit Stop
PUBLISHED BY Travel 3Sixty° c/o AirAsia Berhad
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How a Pit Stop Works You see a frenzy of activity each time a racecar pulls into the pit stop as technicians scramble to ﬁx the car in record speed. Let’s get this issue of Travel 3Sixty rolling with an insider’s look at what happens in those few seconds, courtesy of Lotus Team manager Graham Watson. READY FOR ACTION
TOP SPEED ARRIVAL
Twenty seconds before the car arrives, the team gets a call from the engineer on the pit wall for the crew to come out. This brings out all the technicians except for the ones that carry the new wheel. Once the car is in the pit lane, the engineer will call out the guys with the new tyres. As the car reaches the pit stop, the full crew is ready to spring into action.
The car comes in at either 60kph or 100kph, depending on the circuit. As the car comes to a stop, the four wheel gun guys will release the nuts on the wheels before the car is even in the air.
TYRE CHANGES There are three people per corner of the car, each with their own speciﬁc role: One pulls the wheel off, one puts the new wheel on, and one operates the wheel gun. The person who puts the new wheel on is also the tyre picker, who brings the new tyre out just before the car arrives.
FIXING IT FAST The car is already going up on the jacks as the tyre remover takes off the wheel. Then the tyre ﬁtter gets the new one on, and the wheel gun operator fastens the nut. When he has tightened the nut, he signals that his corner of the car is ready for release by raising his hand. The front and rear jack operators drop the car when the two sides of their ends of the car are complete. When the lollipop operator sees all four hands raised, he releases the car.
JACK OPERATORS There are front and rear jack operators and one person operating the lollipop at the front. It’s his job to release the car as quickly, and also to ensure the safety of everyone during the pit stop by not releasing until it’s safe.
Team Lotus has clocked a 2.7-second stop at practice and our best time to date at a race is around 3.5 seconds! 8
inbox LETTER OF THE MONTH!
Here’s the buzz on AirAsia’s Twitter, Facebook and Weibo pages
While on an AirAsia ﬂight recently, I was mighty pleased to see the blurb Travel 3Sixty Goes Digital on the July 2011 cover. Well done AirAsia for taking the initiative to go digital with the magazine. Once again, AirAsia has proven that it is a truly progressive organisation. One of my laments had always been that I couldn’t take the magazine with me when I disembark. Thus, with you going digital, I can now enjoy each and every issue. Ahh, joy! Thank you Travel 3Sixty! ~ Joanna Leaf, Kuala Lumpur
DURIANS RULE! I was pleasantly surprised when I read the story on Balik Pulau durians in Feast on the King (July 2011). I personally think that these durians are the most representative taste of my beloved hometown. The promotion ran by AirAsia’s Penang Durian Tour would deﬁnitely introduce tourists to not only the exotic fruit, but also the beautiful scenery of Balik Pulau in Penang. ~Wong Yun Yun, via E-mail
LETTER OF THE MONTH WINS A RM918 VOUCHER TO BE REDEEMED AGAINST AN ATC 0906 28’’ LUGGAGE.* *T&C apply. *Luggage shown here for illustration purpose only. Colours may vary.
As I was browsing through Travel 3Sixty on a ﬂight to Johor Bahru, I came across the article Duly Delayed (July 2011). I must say the article was an eye opener as we, air travellers, normally blame the airline whenever there’s a delay. After reading the article, I realise that inconsiderate air travellers too can be the reason why ﬂights are delayed. With that, I hope people can be responsible air travellers, as this simple act can make the day a pleasant one for the hundreds on board. ~Terence, via E-mail
What I like... you might be a budget airline but you run things well. You get me from and to my destination safe and sound. Peter Mihaere Just bought tickets on @AirAsia! I searched so many airlines but AA still worked out much cheaper! Nice to be able to travel affordably. Baoni Thank you for replying to my complaint. U have a unique biz model which works! Congrats. Jeff Varghese
I’ve just returned to Australia from spending the last 3 months travelling Thailand, Malaysia and Guangzhou. I’d like to say Thank You for your great deals on ﬂights and, the fantastic staff. I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my budget if it wasn’t for your airline. So THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Bruce Birchall We’ve done 4 round trips from Bangkok to Bali over the past 2 years, and we always take our 4 children along. The ﬂight attendants have been awesome with our kids. On our return to Bangkok, one of the ﬂight attendants kept my girls occupied by doing hair styles with them. Lots of fun and thanks for being kid-friendly. Erin Rothe Kannon
Thailand AA has the best service! The Ground Staff is so polite, passionate and honest! The most touching experience with AirAsia was during my trip from Krabi to Bangkok, where I had left my wallet at Krabi Airport. AirAsia found it and returned it to me in perfect condition. ccc1891 I travelled with AirAsia to Thailand from Xiamen in 2006 and it was such a pleasant trip! But, I was sad to hear that Xiamen has been cancelled. Anyway, AirAsia is always my ﬁrst choice whenever I travel to cities that AirAsia ﬂies to. Kathleen Tan, please bring AirAsia back to Xiamen! wij1001
Like what you read in Travel 3Sixty°? Share your thoughts with us! To show you how much we appreciate your feedback, we’ll give the best letter of the month a fabulous prize and the other three letters will receive a RM 50 e-gift voucher each. Email your feedback to email@example.com. Travel 3Sixty° reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length, and only letters regarding articles will stand to win a prize.
AirAsia Berhad, AirAsia X and Malaysia Airline System Berhad (MAS) entered into a landmark alliance in the world aviation industry between a low-cost carrier and a full-service carrier. This Comprehensive Collaboration Framework enables a vast range of activities that strives to complement each other’s businesses in order to leverage on respective core competencies and optimise efﬁciency. The collaboration will see the airlines focusing on business segments in which they are capable of developing the most value. The airlines will also review their route networks to enhance services and customer experience. This means a potential realisation of savings and increased revenues in aircraft purchasing, engineering, ground support services, cargo services, catering and training. A Joint Collaboration Committee has been formed to implement the agreement, to be chaired by MAS board member Datuk Mohamed Azman Yahya with other members, including AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes and AirAsia Deputy Group CEO Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun.
“By focusing on core competencies, it will enable both parties to increase product offerings to our customers. AirAsia and AirAsia X see growth opportunities in new routes and destinations.” ~ AirAsia CEO & AirAsia X Director, Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes
“We see great value creation opportunities in the three companies for the beneﬁt of shareholders. This also augurs well with the Tune Group’s pursuit of providing comprehensive lifestyle products and experience, both affordable and premium, through our existing investments in sports and entertainment.” ~ AirAsia Deputy Group CEO Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun
THE RISE OF AIRASIA JAPAN AirAsia and All Nippon Airways (ANA) have teamed up to form a new low-cost carrier called AirAsia Japan. This airline will be the ﬁrst low-cost carrier to be based at Narita International Airport. Once it commences operations in August 2012, it will serve both domestic and international destinations.
“AirAsia Japan will not only boost economic growth between ASEAN and East Asia by providing better access to markets around the region, but also enhance links within travel, trade and tourism.” ~ Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia
“We believe AirAsia Japan represents a pioneering new airline for the region, beneﬁtting from economies of scale provided by AirAsia’s vast network and enabling ﬂexibility to meet various customer needs.” ~ Mr. Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA
Going to Gatwick
CHANGI OVER For the second year running, AirAsia has been named one of the top 10 airlines in the passenger carriage category by Singapore’s Changi Airport Group. On receiving the award, AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial, Kathleen Tan said:
Beginning October 24, 2011, AirAsia X will be moving its hub from the UK’s Stansted Airport to Gatwick Airport, in order to offer guests a wider network of domestic and international connections. By December 14, the airline will be operating six ﬂights weekly to Gatwick Airport.
“Our aim has always been to open up travel for all. With our new home base in Gatwick, guests can further beneﬁt from the airport’s destinations served, airline diversity, and beyond market connectivity potential with faster and cheaper rail links to the city.”
“We will continue our commitment to Singapore, constantly serving guests with high quality products and services, thus providing the total ‘AirAsia Experience’ to all.”
Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X CEO
TRAVEL 3SIXTY° GOES DIGITAL
Getting to Know Gatwick • Gatwick Airport (www.gatwickairport.com) is located just 45kms south of London, and boasts easy road connectivity, up to 12 trains an hour to central London and over 200 express coaches departing daily. • Over 60 airlines ﬂy into Gatwick Airport, offering connections to over 200 destinations that include Athens, Barcelona, Dublin, St. Petersburg and Zurich. • Baggage trolleys are available for rent using a coin deposit system. Prepare £1, €1 or US 25-cent coin, which will be refunded upon return.
s i a . c o m/tr
Miss the articles and travel tales tale from Travel 3Sixty°? Fret no not! The magazine is now available online for your av reading re pleasure at www. airasia.com/travel360. ai You Yo can read it as an E-zine or d download a pdf ﬁle of the iissue. Past issues too are avai available in the archives section!
LIVE F1™ GP ACTION With the 2011 Formula 1™ Singtel Singapore Grand Prix later this month, AirAsia launched ‘Are You AirAsia’s Über GP Fan?’ promo in July with fares to Singapore from as low as RM49, and an opportunity to win tickets to this world-class event. Winners were automatically put in the running for the ultimate prize: Exclusive passes to the ‘Uberfan Paddock Experience with AirAsia and Team Lotus’. AirAsia and AirAsia X ﬂy F1™ fans to the hottest Grand Prix around the world. For real-time updates on promos, contests and fun activities, be a fan on facebook.com/ AirAsia and follow AirAsia on twitter.com/AirAsia
Former Premier Flies Premium
Gold Coast, Australia
Dato’ Kamarudin Bin Meranun, Group Deputy CEO of AirAsia attending to Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tun Siti Hasmah.
HOLIDAY DEMANDS I J In July, l former f M Malaysian l i P Prime i Mi Minister i T Tun D Dr. M Mahathir h hi and his wife Tun Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali tried out AirAsia X’s Premium ﬂy ﬂatbed on a ﬂight from Kuala Lumpur to Stansted, United Kingdom. During his tenure as the PM, Tun Dr. Mahathir played an important part in promoting the country as a tourism hub. Tun Dr. Mahathir is fondly regarded as the father of modern Malaysia.
HILLS to SEA
In response to the holiday season’s travel demands, AirAsia X will increase ﬂight frequenciews to Perth, Melbourne and Gold Coast, Australia and, Taipei from December 1 till January 31. Commenting on this move, Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X CEO said:
“Guests who are looking forward to visit Australia during its summer season and Taipei during Chinese New Year, have more ﬂexibility in choosing their ﬂight times and date with the boost in our ﬂight frequencies during the peak period.”
Multi-Flight Travel With Fly-Thru
AirAsia recently collaborated with Thailand’s popular Surivipa TV programme to ﬂy hill tribe children from Chiang Mai to Phuket for an unforgettable holiday. It was the children’s maiden ﬂight and their ﬁrst trip to the sea. To make the experience even more exciting, AirAsia also transported 20 sharks from the Chiang Mai Aquarium to Phuket, and the children set these sharks free at Panwa Cape.
In January 2011, AirAsia launched its Fly-Thru service for selected destinations to simplify travel. This service allows guests to enjoy multiple-ﬂight travels with the convenience of a single check-in process. In July, the airline expanded this service to guests travelling from Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou and, transiting in Kuala Lumpur, before catching ﬂights to Christchurch, Melbourne, Paris and London. Why use Fly-Thru? No Transit Visa* - You don’t need to clear immigration or pay airport tax at your transit point. Quick Transit - Check-in at the transfer hall, and get a free ﬂight transfer if your ﬁrst ﬂight is delayed. Smooth Baggage Check-through – Your bag is automatically tagged to your ﬁnal destination. * Terms & conditions apply
Waxing Lyrical in
In July 2011, AirAsia celebrated the Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival by sponsoring a carved candle, participating in the candle procession and ﬂying in Tack Panranyu – one of Thailand’s hottest celebrities – to join the festivities. Featuring a parade of ornately carved beeswax candles, this festival draws in large uring this numbers of tourists. During time, AirAsia recorded full ﬂights to the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia was proud to show support for the local community:
“It is a way for us to show our respect for a beautiful tradition and culture, while doing our part in transporting many tourists and travellers to experience this event in Ubon Ratchathani.” AirAsia ﬂies to Ubon Ratchathani from Bangkok and Phuket. Visit www.airasia.com for the full ﬂight schedule.
Flash for Fun! AirAsia brings you more than just affordable ﬂights! Now, when you visit Resort World Sentosa in Singapore, simply present any AirAsia Boarding Pass to enjoy up to 15% off on Universal Studios entrance pass and 20% off on Voyage De La Vie, valid until October 2011. Don’t forget to bring your passports when purchasing the tickets! Visit www.rwsentosa.com for details and Terms & Conditions.
Cars 2 Merchandise
It Takes Only
The Maybankard 2 Cards offers an innovative feature, a ﬁrst in Malaysia, of providing two credit cards together to a cardmember with only one sign-up. Customers are issued an American Express and a MasterCard together and, have a choice of Gold and Platinum. Maybankard 2 Cards are also bundled with attractive beneﬁts. It is the only credit card that gives Cardmembers points, cash back and a preferred ﬁnance charge all in one signup. Cardmembers enjoy 5x TreatsPoints, 5% weekend Cash Back, 8.88% Finance Charge per annum, lifetime fee waiver and need pay only one Service Tax. www.maybank2u.com.my
If you enjoyed the adventures of race car Lightning McQueen and his tow truck buddy, Mater, in Cars 2, you’ll love these fun Cars 2 merchandise from AirAsia. All items are available at www. airasiamegastore.com , on board AirAsia and AirAsia X ﬂights, and at the AirAsiaMegastore kiosk at LCC Terminal. Enjoy 10% discount when you shop online and receive a free pair of Cars 2 sunshades with every RM100 purchase in a single transaction.
By George, She’s Back!
The Bangkok Community Theatre presents Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw at the The British Club in Bangkok on the September 15, 16, 17 and 22, 23, 24, 2011. Directed by Mark Sobels, Pygmalion is a classic comedy and tells the story of feisty cockney ﬂower girl Eliza Dolittle and her transformation into an elegant lady by the irascible Professor Higgins. The play is Shaw’s best-known and loved comedy and was the basis for the 1956 musical, My Fair Lady starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. Tickets are priced at 1,200 baht and seats are limited. Book by E-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bct-th.org for details .
East meetsWest Malaysian dancer and choreographer Ramli Ibrahim from Sutra Dance Theatre and Jonathan Hollander from Battery Dance Company in New York collaborate in producing Into The Center – a contemporary production of international dance that celebrates the timeless spirit of Eastern and Western dance traditions. The works to be presented include Into the Centre, which celebrates the universal art of dance, L’Apres Midi D’un Faune that was inspired by the sensuality of the Battery Dance Company’s Sean Scantlebury, Layapriya – an ode to the concept of time, and Karma – a contemporary work that explores the dialectics that explore Eastern and Western dance traditions. The production will be staged from September 22 to 25, 2011 at the DBKL Auditorium in Kuala Lumpur. www.sutrafoundation.org.my
RIVER SONG Life on the river is a unique way to explore a city and Anantara Cruises offers a wonderful way to see the real Bangkok on 100-year-old rice barges – Anantara Song and Anantara Dream. Guests in search of ancient wonders can join a 2N/3D day Ayutthaya Adventure on the Anantara Song that accommodates up to four couples (double occupancy: baht 69,000 net per cabin). Alternatively, guests can call Thailand’s most luxurious cruise, the Anantara Dream, their very own river residence by reserving this vessel entirely to themselves for a 2N/3D Ayutthaya Thousand Golden Temples tour or Ang Thong Mystic River Tour (for private charter only).
Daily Bread Bread Street Kitchen, an exciting new restaurant and bar from the team at Gordon Ramsay Holdings, opens this months at One New Change, London. Bread Street Kitchen will be home to a relaxed dining experience, set in a large warehouse-style room that draws inspiration from the East London aesthetic that surrounds it. The all-day restaurant will offer an extensive wine and cocktail list alongside a seasonal menu. Diners can enjoy a lazy sit- down over a cider-braised pork collar and king crab cocktail or grab a quick ceviche of sea bass with grapefruit, chilli and lime at the more relaxed Raw Bar. Guests can also stop by the glass of ground ﬂoor bar for a cocktail, c se wine or to try a selection of small plates. www.go www.gordonramsay.com/ breadstreetkitchen breadstreetkit
Aranmula Snakeboat race Sept 14 Watch magniﬁcent snake boats glide across the Pamba River at the boat carnival held during the festival season of Onam in Kerala. www.keralatourism.org
AUSTRALIA ALIA HONG KONG
Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Celebrations Sept 3 – 13
Savour mooncakes, join lantern processions and catch a spectacular threeday ﬁre dragon dance in Tai Hang, Causeway Bay during the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated by Chinese communities worldwide. www.discoverhongkong.com
2011 Perth erth n Festival Fashion Sept 21 – 27 Western Australia’s stralia’s hottest fashion event nt includes a fashion lunch, ch, red-carpeted VIP launch, spectacular runway shows ws and international al model search. www.perthfashionfestival. ashionfestival. com.au
Paris Autumn Festival MACAU
Macau Int. Fireworks Display Contest Sept 10 Over 100 teams of pyrotechnic experts from around the world compete to light Macau’s sky with spectacular ﬁreworks displays on September 10, 12, 17, 24 and October 1. www.macautourism.gov.mo
Sept – Dec Don’t miss this four-month long festival highlighting undiscovered contemporary art ranging from plastic art and music to theatre and dance. www.festival-automne.com
Karapan Sapi Sept 11 Catch the adrenaline-pumping annual bull racing championship in the towns of Bangkalan and Sampang on Madura island, East Java. www.indonesia.travel
2011 FORMULA 1™ SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX Sept 23 – 25
Drum Tao – Art of Drum Sept 1 – 3
New contenders join ﬁve former champs on the grid at Formula 1™’s only night race held at Singapore’s challenging Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Japan’s ﬁery drummers combine ancient taiko drumming with martial arts mastery in an explosive event at Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre. www.sistic.com.sg
The Hidden Sessions Vol. 2 Sept 9 & 11
Mae Naak Sept 14 & 15
Check out Kuala Lumpur’s indie music scene in this showcase of unsigned bands featuring Nao, Man Under Zero Effort, I Am Rain, Free Deserters and Tenderﬁst at TAS @ Lot 10.
Opera Siam presents Somtow Sucharitkul’s Thai ghost opera based on the folktale of Thailand’s scariest she-ghost, Mae Naak, at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre.
2011 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament Sept 5 – 11
THE SECRET LIFE OF NORA Sept 29 – Oct 16 Istana Budaya serves up a plot thick with espionage, adventure and romance in a show revolving around a prima donna turned undercover spy.
Elephants go trunk-to-trunk in a game of elephant polo to raise funds for the National Elephant Institute, which provides medical care, sustenance and mahout training for Thailand’s elephants.
Hot Dates! ■ FRANCE Technoparade September 17 www.technoparade.fr Paris Autumn Festival Sept 15 – 31 www.festival-automne.com ■ MALAYSIA Merdeka Milennium Endurance Race Sept 15 – 17 www.malaysiangp.com.my Malaysian Open Sept 24 – Oct 2 www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com
■ INDONESIA Dugderan-Warak Ngendog Festival September 23 www.indonesia.travel
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Be our fan on FaceBook. com/AirAsiaRedTix, follow us on Twitter.com/RedTix and purchase your tickets for the abovementioned events at AirAsiaRedTix.com
GROOVE Japanese fusion cuisine combines the sensibilities and artistry of one of the world’s most renowned cuisines with ﬂavours and cooking techniques from around the world. WORDS: LYRA DEANNA PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM LEE
The shiromaguro is served with mashed potatoes.
I’ve always seen Japan as a land of stark contrasts. Alongside the traditional cultural beauty of Shinto shrines, geisha rituals, kabuki performances and expertly-cut sashimi exist the wild fashion sensibilities of Harajuku and vending machines, which dispense everything from toothbrushes to piping hot French fries! Modern Japanese fusion food seems to be a natural progression of this culture of contrasts. It retains a strong Japanese identity, but updates the gastronomic institution by drawing on other cultures… or even looking to its own, but using traditional ingredients or cooking methods in new combinations. A chef who wants to indulge in fusion of any kind needs to have a very good grounding in diverse ingredients and techniques before even attempting anything of the sort. For a great example of Japanese fusion food in Malaysia, look no further than the menu of Yuzu, in the Gardens Mall. In the kitchen helmed by local Chef Wai (with chef Masahiro Sato taking care of the sushi
The Teriyaki Foie Gras is the perfect example of Japanese fusion dish at its best.
and sashimi bar), a veritable cornucopia of Japanese-inspired culinary mixology is brewing. And the culture of contrasts is alive and well here too, as the fusion menu sits comfortably alongside authentic, traditional sushi and sashimi. The approach that Chef Wai takes to fusion food is to keep the focus on Japanese ﬂavours and ingredients, while combining them with eclectic ﬂavours and cooking techniques from around the world. Although much of the sushi remains traditional, Yuzu’s menu does have a few innovative sushi creations, such as the Yuzu volcano roll (RM45), one of the house specials, servedwith the chef’s special sauce. The sushi rice is wrapped around tempura prawns, liberally sprinkled with ebiko and tobiko. But aren’t those all Japanese ingredients, you say? Indeed. Then you notice the sprigs of rosemary, a herb common in Western cooking tradition, sticking out of the roll, enhancing that explosive feel and lending a subtle herbaceous ﬂavour to the sushi. There is a great tradition of enjoying raw ﬁsh and seafood in Japanese
september travel3sixty 29
culture. Yuzu’s twist on this is to sear its shiromaguro, with kurogoma salad (RM65) lightly. This is white tuna crusted with black sesame seeds and served with a miso-sesame sauce. It is unmistakably Japanese, but makes use of a more Western cooking technique; the centre of the ﬁsh remains raw however, in the best Japanese style. It also incorporates mashed potato, a Western offering. Chef Wai doesn’t just use foreign ingredients as accents. Sometimes, they are the stars of the dish too. Foie gras, the fatty liver of a duck or goose, is generally found in French cuisine, but in recent years, it’s been lending itself to the menu of upscale restaurants from other cultures as well. At Yuzu, the precious ingredient is gently-cooked, so as to preserve the melting, rich texture it is famed for. The Yuzu foie gras (RM120 per 100g) is however, coated with a thin layer of sweet teriyaki sauce. A combination of different cooking techniques can also be applied in fusion
Wagyu ishiyaki is wrapped in foil to concentrate the heat.
cuisine. The wagyu ishiyaki (RM55) is grilled on a hot stone – a traditional Japanese technique – but served wrapped in aluminum foil to concentrate the heat, a singularly modern touch! However, the best example of fusion by the combination of both ingredients and cooking techniques is Yuzu’s avocado gratin (RM24). Gratin is a technique also originating from French cuisine, in which a dish comes topped with a browned crust, usually grilled under a broiler. The avocado gratin is served in the avocado shell itself. Small pieces of chicken, prawns, mushrooms, crabstick and avocado are stir-fried (a Chinese cooking technique), then piled into the hollowed avocado skin, topped with spicy Japanese mayo and cheese, and gratinated under a grill. Japanese mayo has a distinctive taste and shouldn’t be mistaken with its generally sweeter Western counterpart. The use of Japanese soy sauce and ebiko makes this a distinctly Japanese dish. When it comes to presentation, Yuzu’s cuisine is quite elaborate, an approach, which Chef Wai feels is a proper reﬂection
Avocado gratin uses the distinctly French gratin cooking style.
of its fusion food. Yuzu’s volcano roll served on actual slabs of volcanic rock is one such example! He also has a penchant for stacking food on the plate, such as the foie gras teriyaki, in the style of contemporary Western plating. Chef Wai enjoys working with Japanese fusion to keep his customers’ palates piqued. Fusion food has its share of detractors, but with careful choices of ingredients and a strong sense of respect for traditional cuisine, it is an exciting gastronomic choice. Good fusion cuisine combines elements in a way that makes sense and provides a fresh perspective. It updates culinary traditions and helps them evolve, rather than remain static. And it is strong evidence that what contrasts also often complements.
Yuzu Japanese Restaurant A T236, 3rd Floor, The Gardens Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur T 03-2284 7663 / 7763
The Yuzu Fruit
Yuzu volcano roll is served on a slab of volcanic rock.
The yuzu fruit (Citrus junos (Rutaceae)) is neither an orange nor a lemon and is said to have a strong lemon ﬂavour but with a hint of tangerine, grapefruit and pine. Native to China and Tibet, this fruit is quite rare and is highly sought after in Japanese cuisine. The fruit has also been used for its medicinal properties in Korea, Japan and China as early as 914 A.D
september travel3sixty 31
ANGEL TALK WITH LAUREN KATE
The author of the bestseller Shame tells a gripping story about her journey to India. Despite being disowned by her family for running away from a forced marriage 30 years earlier, Sanghera is determined to see the place her parents called ‘home’
I didn’t know anything about angels, so I worked with a divinity scholar. We talked about readings in the Bible, apocryphal texts like the books of Enoch, critical research from scholars like Harold Bloom, and ﬁction like Paradise Lost.
ON THE EXISTENCE OF ANGELS
HOTEL TALES Hanley Chew
Even the most posh hotels have some crazy behind-the-scenes drama. Here, seasoned hoteliers share some of the most horrifying, humorous, inspiring an d eye-opening events in their and ho spitality career. hospitality
I believe in the power of their stories and I am open to the possibility that angels exist.This series raises a lot of questions for me and for the characters about faith and doubt.
DANIEL AND THE GRIGORI This character’s name comes from the Book of Daniel in the Bible, which features the ﬁrst instance of an angel appearing as his own entity, not an extension of the divine. The Grigori are ‘watchers’ and Daniel’s troubles begins with watching Lucinda.
FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE SERIES Passion has been the most challenging to write and, also the most rewarding. It’s structurally ambitious – 6000 years covered, with nearly each chapter taking place in a new country and a new century.
A STOLEN LIFE Jacee Lee Dugard
At age 11, Jaycee Lee Dugard gard was kidnapped, imprisoned ed and raped. Eighteen years later, er, Dugard shares her horrifying ordeal, eal, and what she had to do to survive. vive. At present, Dugard has set up p the JAYC Foundation to support ort families recovering from abduction and other traumatic experiences.
TIME TRAVEL In some ways this book is a manifestation of my fantasy to do just that. I picked places and eras that I have always been fascinated by. Of all of them, I think I most enjoyed the Helston chapters and the Egyptian tomb chapter.
WHAT RAPTURE HAS IN STORE
WORDS: BEVERLY RODRIGUES IMAGES: ADAM LEE
READ OF THE MONTH ONTH
More passion, romance and our favourite cha aracters like Cam and Arriane! Luce characters and Daniel have to work together with the other fallen angels to stop a force that threatens to erase their existence.
A PLEASURE TO BURN Ray Ra ay Bradbury
From Fr rom the award award-winning r -w win nni ning ng master of dystopian ﬁction comes a collection of 16 short works co commenting on ignorance, co censorship and brutal oppression, ce preﬁguring Bradbury’s most pr famous work: Fahrenheit 451. fa
EVOLVE & GET INVOLVED
Evolution is a basic requirement to grow and become better, while excellence in business is about changing with the times. The only way to embrace this philosophy is to get involved.
K Keeping in mind that t South Koreans are the most hardworking people in the world and spend most of their time commuting between work and home, Tesco Home Plus in South Korea came up with the idea of bringing shopping to people with a virtual grocery store at the subway. The subway platform walls are ﬁtted with billboards displaying images of items available. All shoppers need to do is register with Tesco with their smartphones, use the phone to scan the QR codes on the product, and it automatically goes into the virtual shopping cart, all while waiting for their train. By the time they reach home, the goods are delivered to their doorstep! Since its launch in June 2011, Tesco Home Plus sales increased by 130%.
The only place Success comes before Work is in the dictionary. ~ Vidal Sassoon, renowned British hair stylist.
WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH
By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work12 hours a day. ~ Robert Frost, American poet.
Beating Bad Times
The sluggish economy worldwide is seeing many industries suffering a slow death. But all is not lost, no matter how hard you’re hit. Tom Boles, an experienced accounting, audit, tax and business consultant with Nashville’s KraftCPAs has some strategic advice that’s worth taking on board:
• Stay in Contact with your Customers Identify your current customers’ needs by visiting them. Be proactive; don’t wait for them to call. When there are limited growth opportunities, competitors will try to gain market share by taking customers from you. Don’t be vulnerable by being absent.
• Reduce Operating Costs, but Don’t Cut Indiscriminately
OUT OF EVERY 8 MINUTES ONLINE is spent on Facebook.
(HubSpot Internet Marketing, 2011)
of global grocery sales are in organic products, with highest per capita consumption being Denmark, Switzerland and Austria. (World of
Organic Agriculture: Statistics & Emerging Trends 2011)
PERCENT growth in number of millionaires in Singapore and Malaysia as of June 11, 2011 signals a lead in recovery of global wealth. (Boston
Examine your costs such as Consulting Group, payroll, insurance, marketing, reported by Bloomberg) ofﬁce lease, utilities and supplies to determine what expenses can be reduced without hurting the company in the long-run. While marketing and advertising are often among the ﬁrst areas to get cut, DO NOT DO THIS, at least without investigating before deciding. Studies show that maintaining marketing and advertising investment levels during a recession allows for better performance in the long run.
• Talk to your Team Tell your team what’s going on in the marketplace and (within reason) with your company. Those with information from the top are more likely to contribute more and less likely to imagine the worst. Not talking or commenting on ‘tough times’ hurts morale, which has a direct impact on performance and production.
Quick! There are tell-tale signs on your body and even ven in the products you consume that not all is self hunky-dory. Spot them quick and save yourself the trouble early.
Itâ€™s In Your Hands
p people were saved by preventive ch chemotherapy for at least one disease in 2008
2.24 PERCENT overall case fatality rate reported for cholera in 2009, worldwide.
Red palms over a long period can indicate a condition called palmar erythema, which is a sign of liver disease. ncluding What to do Get checked for other symptoms of liver disease, including o and swollen legs and abdomen, prominent veins on the upper torso abdomen, and fatigue.
SWOLLEN FINGERS It could suggest an underactive thyroid condition called hypothyroidism. es the What to do Get a routine thyroid check. The blood test measures level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Ensure your doctorr is SH levels aware of new screening guidelines, which states that normal TSH should be between 0.3 and 3.0.
TINY RED STRIPES UNDER THE NAILS Also known as splinter haemorrhages, these could be minute areas of bleeding that signal infection in the heart or blood. What to do ial Take your temperature to see if you are running a fever. Bacterial endocarditis is typically accompanied by a low-grade fever. If youâ€™ve never had your heart checked and are concerned about these e a docto symptoms, quickly go see doctor.
o of cholera cases can actually ac be treated by using something as u ssimple as ORS (oral rehydration salts).
of 132 countries only have national o standards or recommended lists of medical devices for different types of healthcare facilities.
WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH
Banning the Bad DO NOT REUSE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES. Recycling is good but your health may suffer in the long run. When buying bottled water, look for bottles with #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or #5 PP (polypropylene) on the bottom of the bottles. These are among the safest. Others marked #1 PETE or #7 use BPA (Bisphenol A), a chemical known to increase the risk of reproductive health problems and possibly breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Source: World Health Organization (International Research)
BLOTCHY RED PALMS
the HATCHBACK OPTION
With the same seating conﬁguration of a sedan but with the added feature of an extended boot space, the practicality of the hatchback sets it above most other styles in the automobile industry. Range Rover Evoque
WORDS: DANIEL FERNANDEZ
The mighty hatchback has been part of the motoring landscape since the early 1970s. Japanese car manufacturers were the biggest fans of the hatchback and they ﬂooded the market with small, compact hatchback cars during the height of the fuel crisis. European manufacturers were quick to follow suit but the Americans left the hatchback design primarily for their sports cars. As the functionality and practicality of the hatchback caught on with car owners, the demand too started to rise and so, nearly every mainstream car brand started developing hatchbacks. By the early 1990s, the hatchback had become so popular globally, even luxury car brands started looking seriously at this segment, resulting in premium hatchbacks being produced along side their sedan siblings.
In the mid 1990s, a new segment emerged from the hatchback. This was the dawn of the compact SUV. Merging a simple 4-door hatchback with a 4-wheel drive chassis, the Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV was born, taking the world of motoring by storm. Soon, nearly every car manufacturer needed a SUV in their showrooms, as the world wanted a lifestyle vehicle that could only not tackle mud when needed, it would also drive like a sporty sedan. The SUV craze is still on today and premium brands like Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi and BMW have very sporty and exciting models for the picking. Japanese and Korean brands have the biggest market share in this segment and don’t seem to be slowing down their pace for newer and more interesting models. Cars like the Honda Jazz, Mazda2, Hyundai i30, Hyundai i10 and Toyota Yaris are just some of the hatchbacks that have become very popular in recent times. However, the ongoing battle with hikes in fuel prices has seen the trend returning to the simple hatchback. From the most basic of cars like the Perodua Viva and Myvi to the super luxury Audi A1 and VW Golf Gti, the hatchback has become the favourite ‘son’ once again. Even some SUV manufacturers are now moving their compact SUVs ‘downwards’ into the hatchback territory. The Range Rover Evoque SUV is already being rumored to be re-engineered into a hot hatchback.
Deﬁnition of a Hatchback
Generally the hatchback model has a sloping back with a hinged third or ﬁfth door that opens upwards. It may also feature a fold-down rear seat that increases cargo space. Then, there is the Audi Q1, which will be launched soon. Japanese manufacturer Mazda has a CX5 releasing into the global market in the not too distant future and Nissan has successfully sold thousands of its JUKE hot-hatch that started life as a compact SUV. This vehicle now sits as a hatchback, giving the likes of the Mini Cooper and VW Polo GTi a serious run for their money. So, why has the hatchback become so popular and helped spawn a new segment of vehicle? To start, it carries the same seating conﬁguration as a sedan car. The availability of the high cargo space at the rear enables more goods to be ferried around, especially when you can fold down the rear seat for even greater space, almost tripling total boot space. Then there is the easy parking aspect as you do not have a boot sticking out in the rear. Add these features to a high-riding SUV and you get a versatile, go-anywhere vehicle that addresses the needs of the adventurous – all great points for owning a hatchback vehicle.
guts & glory
With advancement in technology being embraced in every aspect of our lives, sporting events too have joined in the race to bring you the best – both for players and viewers. We may no longer need to venture out of our living rooms to enjoy our favourite matches. The TV is doing pretty well in bringing the latest to the fans. But in the future, technology will take sports and gaming to a whole new virtual realm. HSBC has commissioned the Sports Technology Institute at Loughborough, UK to give us a glimpse of what the 150th Wimbledon Championships may look like in 2036. The Players The ability to monitor performance during a game through sensors i.e. muscular contractions, sweat levels, monitoring need for hydration and more. The Training Virtual environment set-ups will allow players to prepare like never before, adjusting to the grass at Wimbledon from anywhere they are located in the world. The Outﬁts Clothing will become a key element in maximising performance, with sensors built into the fabric to monitor players’ temperatures etc. The Racket While this would be the most obvious area for advancement, it is also the most regulated. So,
improvements will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary i.e. embedded wireless sensors in the racket frame to record racket speed for every shot, among others. The Viewing Experience Better spectator experience, both on the grounds and at home. All the sensors put together will provide a super highway of information to the spectators where they can use personal multimedia devices to enhance viewing experience and, watch replays or follow matches on other courts. Holographic projection technology will allow live game feeds to be projected in 3D environments, literally bringing Wimbledon’s Centre Court into our living rooms! Details at http://hsbc.wimbledon.com/futures.htm
Here are some of sport’s silliest injuries.
WORDS: EFI HAFIZAH HAMZAH IMAGES: WWW.SXC.HU
PAULO DIOGO Football midﬁelder When & Where? IN 2004 while playing for Servette FC, he assisted in a winning goal. Elated, he climbed the fence between the pitch and the fans, but his ring ﬁnger got caught. When he jumped over, most of his ﬁnger got ripped off his hand. The rest of the ﬁnger got amputated as it couldn’t be saved. GUS FREFOTTE American Football starting quarterback When & Where? In 1997 while playing for the Washington Redskins, he scored the game’s ﬁrst touchdown on a one-year run in the second quarter. He was so happy that he rammed his head into a padded cement wall, causing him to suffer a concussion and a strained neck, forcing him to leave the game. BOBBY CRUICKSHANK Golf legend When & Where? In 1934 at the US Open’s 11th hole, he made a mishit with his second shot and sent the ball towards the creek. Miracle of miracles, the ball bounced back onto the greens. Overjoyed, he yelled out “Thank you, God!” and threw his golf club in the air. Gravity took over and sent the club back onto his head. In pain, Cruickshank began bogeying his shots thereafter, leaving the championship tied for 3rd.
New Zealand tops Best performance at Women’s Rugby World Cup as three-time champions – 1998, 2002, 2006.
Ethiopia holds the gold for Best performance at World Cross Country Running Championships with 27 wins to date.
Cuba is the winner of most Volleyball World Cups for Women worldwide. Cuba won in 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1999, up till now.
Only the Best There are tonnes of gadgets and whatchamacallits to suit every taste, need and want. Here’s our wish list for the best in entertainment, communication and navigation – available at great prices at megastore.com www.airasiamegastore.com Play Hard
The Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play is a great Smartphone equipped with the best-in-class entertainment experiences, a 5-megapixel camera and a 4” multi-touch screen. Slide out the gaming control and get ready to experience unsurpassed gaming joy; RM1649.00.
Free AirAsia e-Gift Voucher worth RM100
The latest HTC Flyer tablet comes equipped with a 32GB storage space and Wi-Fi, including a 3G feature. This gadget is designed with a 7” touch screen that works with a stylus pen; RM2499.00.
It’s a Wrap
Watch your favourite 2D and 3D movies wherever you go with the Vuzix Video EyeWear Wrap 230. The unit connects to almost any video device for a virtual 46” display as seen from 10 feet; RM550.
Best in the Galaxy
Free AirAsia e-Gift Voucher worth RM50
The Samsung Galaxy S2 touch screen phone runs on Android version 2.3 (Gingerbread) and comes loaded with great features that include full HD video recording, an 8-megapixel camera and a secondary frontfacing camera; RM2099.
WORDS: NICOLETTE NG
With the Garmin Nuvi 1350t GPS, users get information on how fast they are travelling, the amount of miles covered, the cardinal direction one is heading in, anticipated time left for arrival at the selected destination, and a host of other features; RM550.
The Nikon D5100 DSLR camera with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm VR lens will produce professional-quality photographs even if you are a novice; RM2450.
Hospitality from the Heart From renowned hotel brands that religiously maintain high standards of service to beachside resorts that are oh so devilishly delicious, here’s this month’s top notch hotel stays.
Pearl of Bangkok
Almost every hotel in Thailand offers service that CHOICE! Station that’s just a 7-minute walk away from the hotel. The immediate area is also dotted with jewellery is seldom matched in other parts of the world. The and precious stones wholesalers and retailers, which Thais are, in fact, a graceful lot and place tremendous means that you can buy your diamond and ruby choker, emphasis on hospitality. That was the ﬁrst thing I noticed lock it up in the room safe before resuming your walkabouts, when i stepped into Holiday Inn Silom in downtown instead of nervously carrying it throughout Bangkok! Bangkok. Located at the other end of Silom Road that’s My room was done up in a pleasant green and brown closer to the Chao Phraya River, the genuine warmth of the colour scheme, which got me craving for chocolate chip welcome literally threw me off guard. It wasn’t the fawning, mint ice cream. Alternating ﬂoors are done up in blues and saccharine type and neither was it overwhelming. Everyone greens in the Crown Tower, while the Plaza tower was in seemed truly happy to welcome yet another customer. It subtle reds, sands and taupe. The rooms offer great views of was the hotel’s ‘Everyday Hero’ philosophy, I learnt, that’s the city below and if you look hard enough, you may catch applied to every single guest who walks through their doors. a glimpse of the Chao Phraya between the glass towers that The Holiday Inn brand has been around for some time dot its bank. now and perhaps that’s why the level of service is so wellPerhaps the best feature of the room is the oversized beds honed here. With 657 rooms and 27 suites in two towers that can accommodate a whole army! Even better were the – Crown and Plaza – guests can retire in true comfort from pillows. While the trend now is to offer guests a pillow menu massive shopping sprees and party-like-crazy sessions. The and force them to choose the level of ﬁrmness, Holiday Inn Silom area is renowned for its nightlife and most shopping Silom gave me both. No more settling for two hard ones or areas are easily accessible by the Surasak BTS Sky Train
two soft ones. I piled a soft one on top a ﬁrm one and settled down to surﬁng over 30 channels on the telly. Too much gallivanting earlier that day at Chatuchak Weekend Market forced me to stay put and truly enjoy the comforts of my room. In Bangkok, eating out is favourite pastime and Holiday Inn Silom doesn’t fail to impress. All-day dining can be had at The Brasserie where you can enjoy breakfast while watching the Bangkok crowd go by from the huge glass windows. A live band plays on most nights at Hari’s Bar where you can unwind with a cocktail. Orchid Lounge is a pretty little corner that serves light meals and drinks, while Tandoor serves authentic North Indian fare. A little surprising at ﬁrst but the hotel is popular with guests from India and certain Bollywood celebs have been spotted here. I wasn’t looking to spot any A-listers but was supremely happy nursing my masala tea and munching on vaday (Indian dough cake) dipped in coconut chutney that was served at the breakfast buffet. Leaving the hotel felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend. The bellboy cracked jokes with me while loading my bags into the cab, asking if I had used the toilet facilities, as I was bound to get stuck in the jam to the airport. He wasn’t getting familiar, just friendly. Later the cab driver told me that the area I had stayed in was called Bang Rak, which meant ‘Village of Cure’ or ‘Village of Love’. That made sense. The hotel most certainly cured me of the burnout I had faced at work and revived me with simple, loving gestures that was truly a Thai trademark. A 981 Silom Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok, 10500 Thailand T +66 2238 4300 W www.holidayinn.com
AirAsia ﬂies to Bangkok from various destinations. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
Time To Dream A 5-star deluxe hotel, the Dream Hotel in Kochi offers travellers a new vision of modern luxury. Just 25kms from the airport, DREAM boasts 150 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, ﬁve eclectic dining outlets with traditional and international cuisines, a hugely popular lounge-bar, a rooftop swimming pool, a health club and 15,000 square feet of banqueting space. The Spa at this ultra chic hotel offers traditional ayurvedic, as well as European therapies performed by trained masseurs. Additionally, the hotel is conveniently located to most popular shopping and tourist destinations in the city.
A S.A Road, Elamkulam Junction, Kadavantara, Kochi, Kerala, India T +91 484 4129999
Visit www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel. AirAsia ﬂies to Kochi, India daily from Kuala Lumpur. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
september travel3sixty 45
WORDS: BEVERLY RODRIGUES
Oasis of Delights If you’re looking for a swanky playpen, check out Z Through by The Zign in Pattaya. The seriously sexy villa setting is perfect for a decadent weekend. Imagine walking off your own private deck straight into a shimmering pool. You can do that here, as each ground ﬂoor villa boasts its own platform complete with deck chairs for lounging. Units located on the upper ﬂoor offer stunning views of the azure waters and are perfectly positioned to catch the evening breeze. All rooms showcase different themes based on the concept of L.O.V. E.: Light, Ozone, Viva and Emotion. Light is bright and cheerful, Ozone blends earthy tones with breezy colours, Viva is airy with a ﬂirty touch, while Emotion is deep, mysterious and full of passion. This selection of thematic rooms cater to the different personalities and lifestyles of the guests who check in here. For a playful weekend, we recommend Emotion. This spacious split-level room with its sexy black tassel curtains, splashes of ﬁery red, sunken tub and glass ﬂoor panel teasing with a glimpse of the pool, set the mood for a sensuous escape.
To complete your indulgent vacation, why not surrender to total luxury at Zphora Spa. The spa has an extensive menu of treatments that includes Royal Thai Massage, herbal compress to red wine and chocolate scrubs! As for dining options, Spazio serves elegant Italian fare, considered to be one of the best in Pattaya. The open-concept kitchen allows guests to see their food being prepared and wafting aromas will surely whet your appetite for what’s to come. But if you’d rather ditch the main and settle for something sweets instead, Kupcakz offers delightful cakes, pastries and homemade ice cream.
A 555/74 Moo.5, 12 Naklua Rd., Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 Thailand T +66 0 3822 5862-3 W www.zthroughhotel.com
AirAsia ﬂies to Bangkok from various destinations. Pattaya is about 150kms Southeast of Bangkok. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
City Escapade Towering over the skyline in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Berjaya Times Square Hotel is conveniently located in the middle of the commercial, entertainment and shopping districts of the capital. The rooms here come well appointed and reﬂect a clever mix of contemporary style that doesn’t compromise on comfort. Dining options too are aplenty with American favourites, local and International fare at the Big Apple Restaurant, and Western cuisine at Samplings on the Fourteen Restaurant. Over and above that, the location of the hotel in a mall enables guests to shop till they drop or, they can visit the Berjaya Times Square Indoor Theme Park. If fatigue sets in, the Jojoba Spa here offers an extensive list of treatments to help one relax and rejuvenate. Best of all, the hotel is easily accessible via the Monorail at the Imbi Station that leads you directly to all the major parts of the city, making this hotel a strategically located property.
A 1 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur T +603 2117 8000 Visit www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel. AirAsia ﬂies to Kuala Lumpur from various destinations. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
Heritage Hotspot For business or leisure, the Bayview Hotel is a contemporary hotel that’s nestled in the heart of Georgetown, Penang. Located in a city that was recently listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the hotel is mere minutes from historical sites and the island’s commercial hub. The hotel also boasts the only revolving restaurant on the 16th ﬂoor of the building that offers 360° views of bustling Georgetown. Other dining and entertainment options at this hotel include the relaxing Lobby Lounge and live music at the Carmen MY club. The hotel offers 320 rooms and comes complete with a host of amenities such as swimming pool, outdoor Jacuzzi and a gymnasium. A 25-A Farquhar Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia T +604 263 3161 Visit www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel. AirAsia ﬂies to Penang from various destinations. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule.
WORDS: SURANI ARIFF
Itâ€™s not just about art, food and culture when you intriguing ways of visit a country. Some of the fun, intrig participating in its festivals. discovering a country is by participatin These festivals can be mystical, whacky, charming or downright weird but you are assured of bragging rights for participating in a truly unique experience.
Holi, India Arguably, the most colourful festival in the world, Holi is a spring festival that also celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Steeped in religious mythology, the festival commemorates the death of Holika who tried to kill virtuous Prahaladha by coercing him to step into a ﬁre with her. She was invincible to ﬁre and deceived the boy by promising no harm from the ﬁre. By God’s grace, Prahaladha was saved but Holika was burnt to ashes. The festival is celebrated between late February to early March in many parts of India with celebrants throwing coloured powders and water at each other. www.holifestival.org
Ati Atihan, the Philippines
Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling, UK From the top of the hill a round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled, and competitors race down the hill after it on the last Monday of May. The ﬁrst person over the ﬁnish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. You may think this is easy, but spectators and racers have been knocked down senseless by the seven pound cheese during a race. There is no documentation of its origins but it is believed to be 200 years old (the event, not the cheese!).
Celebrated in the third week of January in Panay Island, this festival honours the infant Jesus, although the origins are pagan. In the 13th century, the Ati people who inhabited the island sold a piece of land to a ﬂeeing group of chieftains from Borneo. Later, the Ati people sought these newcomers for help as their own harvest had failed them. In gratitude, they sang and danced. A friendship was forged and the newcomers who had settled in Maraynon painted their faces black in honour of the Ati people. Nowadays, the festival is a mix of music, street dancing and amazingly creative masks, costumes and body painting. www.philippines.hvu.nl
september travel3sixty 51
Held in conjunction with Eid celebrations, Pukul Sapu is a bizarre festival that’s celebrated on the seventh day after the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. Men from the villages of Morella and Marmala strip down to their waists and ﬂagellate each other with brooms – with the aim of fostering brotherhood! The wounds are then dressed with medicated oil that is said to heal the cuts and welts, even broken bones within days!
Kanamara Matsuri; Japan
Songkran; Thailand The Songkran festival of Thailand celebrates life and the wealth water affords. Held in mid-April, Songkran is the Thai New Year celebrations and is believed to have originated from India. In the beginning, the ‘water throwing’ act was a ritualistic cleansing of statues of Buddha to mark the advent of the new year. Holy water was also lovingly sprinkled on elders as a sign of respect. Nowadays, it is a battle zone with foreigners joining the locals in ‘shooting’ each other with the biggest, baddest water guns! It’s actually a great way to cool off from the hot searing heat of summer in Thailand. www.tourismthailand.com
The Festival of the Steel Phallus is no place for the prudish, as the main attraction as this event is the parading of a giant phallus (that’s penis... for the squeamish) held at the Wakamiya Hachiman-gu shrine in Kawasaki in the ﬁrst week of April. Believed to have begun sometime around the Edo period (1603-1867), the festival started off as a ritual to pray for sexual safety by prostitutes. Another legend says that a demon once possessed a young girl and each time she married a man, she’d castrate him. A blacksmith decided to kill the demon by fashioning a metal phallus and when the evil creature tried to chomp down on another man, it broke its teeth on the metal appendage. The metal phallus was then enshrined in memory of the event. Nowadays the festival is used to raise money for HIV research but many still come to the shrine in the hope of being blessed with fertility.
Pukul Sapu; Bali, Indonesia
La Tomatina; Spain The Tomatina is the biggest food ﬁght in the world and, the messiest too! Held on the last Wednesday of August in the tiny town of Buñol in Spain, this festival draws a huge crowd. The history of the festival is obscure, but it may be that in 1945, when a parade of enormous ﬁgures with grotesque heads (gigantes y cabezudos) was passing through the streets of Buñol, some youngsters joined in the parade and accidentally knocked over one of the ‘giants’. The angry person wearing the giant outﬁt got to his feet and started swinging out at everyone around him. The youngters then grabbed some tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall and started pelting him with tomatoes until the police arrived to break things up. The following year, these young people returned to the town hall square and started another tomato ﬁght using their own tomatoes. www.tomatina.net
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Biloxi • Hollywood, FL • Las Vegas Macau • Punta Cana • Tampa
Biloxi • Hollywood, FL Las Vegas: The Joint • Orlando
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cafes coming soon
Brussels • Budapest • Chennai • Colombo • Dubai Hanoi • Limassol • Macau • Melaka • Nabq Nicosia • San Jose • Santiago
Bull Run of Pamplona, Spain
Exhilarating but dangerous, men gather on the streets of Pamplona from 6th to 14th July and try to outdo a rampaging herd of bulls. Also known as Fiesta de San Fermin, in honour of the patron saint of Navarra, the purpose of this event is to transport the bulls from the off-site corrals, where they had spent the night, to the bullring where they’d be vanquished by a matador the next day. No clear evidence of the origins of the run is available but it is believed to have started somewhere in the early 14th century and is an amalgamation of religious festivals and bullﬁghting.
Hungry Ghost Festival, Hong Kong
The Hungry Ghost Festival is a month-long occasion that’s celebrated to appease wandering spirits. The Chinese believe that the doors of Hades are ﬂung open and spirits return to Earth during this period that may fall any time between August and September. Food and prayer offerings are presented to these spirits to remember the dearly departed and, to appease any malevolent ones up to no good. This is also a great time to catch Chinese Opera performances that are staged to entertain the spirits. Don’t be surprised to see empty chairs reserved for these unearthly visitors at the staging area. www.discoverhongkong.com
El Colacho, Spain The Baby Jumping Festival, or El Colacho, is a nerve wrecking event that sees grown men jumping over newborn babies to cleanse the babes of original sin. Part of the annual Catholic celebration of Corpus Christi in the month of June, this nail-biting event can be witnessed at Castillo de Murcia near Burgos. Dating back to the 1620s, men dressed as the devil jump over newborns that are laid down on a mattress. Grownups who had not been jumped over during their infancy may still redeem themselves by taking part in a ﬁre jumping ceremony called Hogueras held in December. www.spanish-ﬁestas.com
The Lion Rules The Night
The Singapore Formula 1â„˘ race has revved up more than just the decibel level as the combination of street circuit and nighttime racing makes it an event ďŹ rmly entrenched in the Grand Prix calendar. WORDS: FARA M SANI
Sometime in March 2007, Singapore was abuzz with speculation that F1™ was coming. Bernie Ecclestone was being courted by Malaysian-born hotel and property magnate Ong Beng Seng and his partners to add Singapore to the yearly calendar of 14 races. But how did the race actually get to Singapore? The answer: Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had grumbled out aloud in 2005 that he wished he had built a circuit capable of making Singapore an F1™ venue. He lamented that this failure to do so had cost Singapore plenty of lost opportunity at generating a lot of money for the local economy. For Singapore, the idea of a street race was the best solution, as it could easily shut down the required roads for at least ﬁve days over a race weekend to come up with a stunning venue. All they had to do was to put up temporary grandstands, erect barriers and re-surface the tarmac and voila! a road circuit in an instant! Transport did not pose too much of a problem as every spot around the circuit would be accessible by the excellent mass rapid transit system. Din by the decibels? Hey, this is THE ultimate in motor racing, and if octogenarian Lee does not mind the noise, everyone else should just invest in good quality earplugs!
So, it came to pass in May 2007 that the deal was signed and it promised something more – a night race! This was a major consideration as most F1™ diehard viewers resided in the European time zones between six and seven hours behind Asia. Racing at night in Asia would enable viewers in Europe to tune in at around lunch time – prime time viewing for sports crazy fans in Munich, London or Madrid. For Bernie, viewing ﬁgures are the be all and end all as he sought to extend F1™’s footprint to Asia.
Cost to Host Hosting the F1™ comes at a price; a huge one! Firstly there’s the premium to be paid to the owners of the F1™. Then, there is the cost of holding the event itself, which adds another US$100 to US$150 million. F1™ is a travelling troupe that comes as a package.The teams and their equipment come in a ﬂeet of Jumbos.They come in at the start of the race week, set up, get to work and move out the following Monday.Their caterers tag along, as do the attendant paraphernalia of merchandising stands and hospitality facilities. Every pint of beer, every slice of cheese and every dollop of sauce come from the F1™ family of caterers or their approved partners. Any prospective host also has to convince Bernie that they would build
IMAGE: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD
IMAGE: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD
Singapore is all set for the fourth installment of the Formula 1™ (F1) Grand Prix (GP). Since the inaugural race in 2008, interest in the event has grown bigger, as the glitz and glamour continue to grow. After having had to put up with the neighbours hosting the F1™ race in Kuala Lumpur for well over a decade, Singapore is well and truly ensconced in the bosom of the GP family. The GP fraternity has reciprocated by embracing all that its night race has to offer. From the Thursday right up to the Sunday of a typical F1™ weekend, there will be no escape for the tiny island, as it is blanketed with wall-to-wall coverage and the ear-splitting roar of the F1™ engines.
F1™ In Singapore
Right: An exciting moment as the cars negotiate a corner during the 2010 Formula 1™ Singapore Grand Prix.
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a circuit to host the race. In the case of Malaysia, it spent up to US$100 million just to build the Sepang Circuit. Dubai, Turkey and Shanghai followed suit, as each gained a foothold into the F1™ family by building facilities bigger and better than the previous suitor.
The Circuit The F1 Fiesta ™
• Grammy-winning rock band LINKIN PARK at the Padang main stage on Sept 25, 2011 • British pop sensation Rick Astley at the Outdoor Theatre (Sept 24) and Village Stage (Sept 25) • Multiple platinum winner Shaggy at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre (Sept 24) and Village stage (Sept 25) • Glee starlet and YouTube sensation CHARICE at the Padang stage (Sept 23) and Village stage (Sept 24) • Bollywood Express, a specially commissioned show for the Singapore Grand Prix that offers a pulsating journey through Indian folk music and dance at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre (Sept 23), Village Stage (Sept 24) and Paddock Club Lifestyle Stage (Sept 25) • Two specially commissioned acts by Studio Festi, Ocean Symphony (Sept 23 & 24) and Venetian Festival (Sept 23 & 25) Log on to www.singaporegp.sg for the full list of events, venues and ticketing details.
The iconic Marina Bay area, complete with the Singapore Eye giant ferris wheel and Merlion fountain in the background, was chosen for the location of the 5.073-km street circuit. It comes with 23 turns and runs in an anti-clockwise direction. On race week, temporary seating is put up for 110,000 spectators who can almost touch the cars as they whiz by crazily quickly. The only available plot of land was suitably located on which the permanent feature of this track was built – the all-important pit complex. This is where the 22 teams have their garages on the ground level and the Paddock club hospitality area on the upper ﬂoor. It is also the centre of the action, as all the pit lane activities like tyre change and refueling is carried out in full frenetic frenzy. Innovative lighting techniques were installed to ensure near-daylight visibility for the drivers but enough darkness to give spectators the nighttime spectacle.
Why do fans come to watch a race? For the action, of course, and deep in their hearts, incidents, which inevitably mean crashes. The 2008 race had two safety car periods. Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr slammed his car into the wall that brought the safety car out. Ferrari had a disastrous outing when ﬁrst Filippe Massa drove away from the pit with the refueling hose still stuck to his tank and a little later, his teammate Kimmi Raikonen crashed into a wall. In 2009, the ﬁrst three turns were modiﬁed to allow more overtaking and the high kerbs in turn 10 were also modiﬁed to prevent accidents of the previous year.
Lighting Up Running a car race at night is not without precedent. The 24-hour Le Mans in France has been going on for well over 80 years with certain wooded stretches completely unlit as the cars come with headlamps.
Below: Jarno Trulli from Team Lotus at the pit stop at the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
IMAGE: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD
Above: The races put tremendous pressure on the drivers, with many losing up to 2 – 3 litres of water during a race. Right, above: Overview of the night circuit in Singapore.
For the Singapore circuit, it was estimated that 3,180,000 watts of power was needed per race, requiring up to 100 miles of cabling. Each lamp sheds 3,000 lux. What is one ‘Lux’? It’s the brightness of a full moon when it reﬂects the rays of the sun. A ﬁgure of 130,000 Lux is how hot the noon day Singapore sun is!
Glitz & Glamour The glare of the spotlight and concentrated publicity is an opportunity not to be missed by the host nation in attracting visitors to stay for more than just the raceday on Sunday. Singapore through its tourism promotion board has from the inaugural race, laid out a meticulous plan to organise complementary activities to enhance the F1™ experience. From the outset, the programmes arranged were designed to reﬂect the ‘Uniquely Singapore’ tagline. These ‘Lifestyle Entertainment Events’ were held over three weekends, conveniently coinciding with the
raceday weekend since 2008. In 2010, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot, Daughtry and Adam Lambert performed in various venues round the track. Post-race entertainment starts with a grand exclusive party at the Amber Lounge, where drivers, team principals, sponsors, models and celebrities congregate to party. This is strictly by invitation, so don’t expect to get in without an invite! Its vibrant arts and entertainment scene came to the fore with worldclass events and exhibitions. The Singapore River Festival in 2008 for instance, was a week-long celebration focusing on three elements – water, heritage and entertainment. This was complemented by the Master’s Formula – The Artistic Drive, which showcased monumental sculptures of contemporary masters including Fernando Botero, Arman Fernandez and Robert Combas, amongst others.
The Future There are some issues of cost and whether the race beneﬁts the island city in the long run being raised from time to time. However, Singapore has, time and time again, proven that it is more than ready to accept challenges and rise to the occasion in making the Singapore F1™ a truly amazing race. Bernie’s desire to want Singapore to remain on the calendar for 20 years for what he terms as F1™’s Crown Jewel is certainly set to become a reality and given the chance, the lion deﬁnitely will continue to roar!
Amber Lounge So what do you do after a Formula 1™ Grand Prix race? Partygoers and F1™ lovers alike ﬂock to this pop-up event that is so exclusive, it only runs at select destinations around the world. Created especially for the Grand Prix series, Amber Lounge wins the hearts of everyone from F1™ drivers, celebrities, royalty and VIPs thanks to its party atmosphere and relaxed vibe. Only for invited guests, this event sees the champagne ﬂow endlessly while the hip crowd make merry and dance to the fabulous music spun by internationally- acclaimed DJs. For 2011, Amber Lounge will host its Grand Prix After Parties only in Monaco, Singapore, New Delhi and Abu Dhabi. For more information on reserving tables, contact email@example.com or call 0033 680868350.
The birth, growth, challenges and successes of a F1™ team that is taking the world by storm.
Origins Team Lotus has come a very long way since the early days in September 2009 when there were just four people at the factory in Hingham, Norfolk, on the day the FIA ofﬁcially granted the Anglo-Malaysian squad entry into the Formula One World Championship. Within six months, the team had grown to over 100 employees, had designed, built and launched its ﬁrst car, the T127. Exactly six months to the day since its application was granted – March 12, 2010 – the team recorded Below: Heikki Kovalainen getting ready at the grid at the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul. Right, below: Team Lotus engineers conducting thorough checks on the car at the 2011 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the UK.
a two-car ﬁnish at the ﬁrst race of the 2010 season; the Bahrain Grand Prix. This was an astonishing achievement. In Formula 1™ terms they had not only built a race car in less than one third of the normal time teams take to map out, design and build their cars, but they had also created an entire race and factory team from scratch.
Early Races The team’s race drivers, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, set about attacking the established midﬁeld teams from the ﬁrst time the lights went out at the Bahrain Grand Prix. They quickly helped establish Team Lotus as the best of the new teams; the primary goal of the 2010 season. In Malaysia at their ﬁrst home race, Heikki recorded the team’s ﬁrst appearance in Q2, an incredible achievement given the fact they were still only seven months into the Team Lotus story. Despite a number of mechanical issues, there were many highlights throughout the grueling calendar, particularly at the Japanese race where they recorded their highest ever placing of 12th, but one of the stand-
out moments of the season was at the Singapore Grand Prix in September 2010, where Heikki Kovalainen’s car was engulfed in ﬂames, earning Team Lotus the accolade of ‘LG Moment Of The Year’, a prize voted for by F1™ fans as the most memorable moment of the 2010 season. After the ﬁery spectacle of Singapore, Team Lotus got back to the task in hand – securing 10th place and the title of Best New Team, a goal they duly achieved at the season ﬁnale in Abu Dhabi.
The 2011 Season The likes of Williams, Toro Rosso, Force India and Sauber were the targets and as the new cars were ﬁrst rolled out in Spain for the 2011 pre-season testing, it was clear that Team Lotus had made a big leap forward. Due to regulation changes in 2011 all the teams on the grid had lost speed compared to their 2010 lap times, but Team Lotus was unique in being the only squad to have
The FireMan Speaketh
actually increased its speed. From being almost three seconds behind the midﬁeld in 2010 to being just under one second away in 2011 is another huge step forward. Team Lotus has been focusing on using clever tyre strategies and taking advantage of changeable weather conditions to ﬁght with the cars ahead. The 2011 rules state that the cars must use both a soft and a hard tyre in the races and this has played into the team’s hands. The other teams are now being forced to compromise their own strategies and use up the quicker soft tyres in order to stay ahead of Team Lotus. For the rest of the season the cars will receive incremental updates such as amendments to the wings and bodywork that are being tested in wind tunnels and on computers at the factory in the UK; all designed to keep pushing ahead on track and increasing the gap to the cars behind. With an amazing story already behind
them in such a short space of time, it is deﬁnitely worth keeping an eye on how Team Lotus progresses in the coming months and years. Whatever happens, this is the team to watch! Above: Heiki Kovalainen (left) and Jarno Trulli (right). Below: Heikki Kovalainen from Team Lotus in action at the 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Heikki Kovalainen on the Singapore ﬁre. “I was having a really strong run and then the ﬁre! I had a ‘coming together’ with Buemi towards the end of the race. I spun the car to get back onto the track, which I think cracked the fuel tank pressure release valve and that may have caused an ‘air box ﬁre’. I didn’t realise how big the ﬁre was until I was in the pit lane entry. I almost wanted to enter the pit but decided not to as the ﬁre was pretty big. It deﬁnitely wasn’t safe to go into an area with so many people. I thought about crossing to the right hand side of the track, but decided my speed was too high to cross with such ﬂames. So, I tried crawling around the corner and was desperately trying to ﬁnd a marshal with a ﬁre extinguisher. I eventually chose to stop on the start and ﬁnish straight opposite the pits, coming to a screeching halt in front of the Williams boys, who quickly tossed me an extinguisher. I had to put the ﬁre out myself otherwise my car would have been totally destroyed. It did look a bit dramatic, with me jumping out of the car, grabbing the extinguisher and dousing the ﬂames. But I knew I was in control at all times.”
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AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Program (AATLDDP) AirAsia and Team Lotus pair up in grooming the next wave of new speedsters for future Formula 1™ races. The AATLDDP started off as The AirAsia ASEAN Driver Development Program in 2010 and in the initial stages had only two drivers. The main goal of the programme is to harness the expertise of Team Lotus to help grow the best young driving talent from across the globe. Once the drivers are selected, they will be surrounded by an organisation that nurtures and supports them through career guidance, coaching and sponsorship procurement. The seven drivers are Alexander Rossi (age 19) from the USA, Tanart Sathienthirakul (age 18) from Thailand, Matt Parry (age 17) from the UK, Max Klinkby-Silver (age 16) from Denmark, Weiron Tan (age 16) from Malaysia, Senna Iriawan (age 14) from Indonesia and Daim Hishamuddin (age 13) from Singapore. These seven drivers are part of the Team Lotus family and are taught not only how to race, but also given indepth insights into the inner workings of the F1™ team.
Tanart Sathienthirakul (age 18), Thailand “The programme is something I am proud to be part of. As I push forward to improve my driving, I am sure AirAsia and Team Lotus will continue to support and show me the way to achieve my full potential.”
Senna Iriawan (age 14), Indonesia “I am very excited to be in this programme and this has greatly impacted my attitude towards racing at professionals levels. It has shown me how to prepare for the races, with increased focus on the mental and physical aspects.”
Daim Hishammudin (age 13), Singapore “I am happy because the DDP enables me and my parents to get a better understanding of what it takes to excel in motorsports. It also gives me a clearer path to achieve my goals in becoming a F1™ driver and win the championship.”
Weiron Tan (age 16), Malaysia “The DDP has shown me the commitment needed to get to F1™ and the steps needed, especially after I progress from Go-Karts to racing cars. With competitions being tough, it is important that I have an early association with a F1™ team to put me in the F1™ seat.”
Charting the Progress Alex Yoong, Malaysia’s ﬁrst Formula 1™ driver was appointed as Head of AATLDDP. As teacher, mentor, conﬁdante and friend to these young racers, Alex’s duties are to groom the boys to eventually take on the world at the F1™ races. “2011 has been a good year for the DDP with the expansion of the programme. Our most senior driver in the DDP, Alexander Rossi, tested the F1™ car earlier in the year and has been a constant podium ﬁnisher and race winner in the World Series by Renault. It’s also been a good year with all our ASEAN drivers racing in Europe. Tanart has been racing in Europe for a number of years and has ﬁnished on the podium against the best karters in the world. For Weiron, Daim and Senna, it’s been a big year as it’s the ﬁrst time they have raced in Europe. Last year, they all won championships in Asia to prove that they were the best in the region. Now it’s time to pit themselves against the best in the world by racing in Europe. Weiron and Senna have certainly exceeded our expectations with regular top 10 ﬁnishes in huge ﬁelds of over 70 karters, in what is supposed to be a learning year. Weiron’s 6th place ﬁnish at the WSK Euro KF2 race in the Portimao circuit (Portugal) in April, was especially impressive, as he was taking his O Level exams at the same time. Daim has not yet ﬁnished in the top 10 in Europe this year. This is because it is not only his ﬁrst year in Europe, but also his ﬁrst time racing in the Junior category (age 13 to 16), after making the step up from Cadets (age 8 to 12). Despite this, Daim has also kept racing in Asia and currently leads the Rotax Asia championship in the Junior category. Its hard balancing school and work for our drivers as they race in Europe, when their homes are here in Asia. Let alone the fact that their families are so far away. But they have shown ﬁerce determination and discipline, as they all work hard towards their eventual goal of Formula 1™.
F1â„˘ Fever! The whole world gets swept up by the excitement and fervour of the race. From aspiring racers and gorgeous girls at the grid lines to celebrities popping by to up the glamour quotient, a day at the races is second to none in thrills, spills and to drink in the sheer brilliance of some of the fastest cars on earth.
A young ﬁghter wearing a mongkhon, gown and a garland of ﬂowers mentally prepares himself to enter the ring.
The ‘Science of the Eight Limbs’ may sound like an erudite study of body parts but in fact refers to Muay Thai, a legendary kickboxing martial art that has taken the world by storm. WORDS: JAMES GOYNER PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL GALVIN
Beautiful beaches and the legendary hospitality of the locals have been luring tourists to Thailand for decades but an increasing number are also choosing to travel to the Land of Smiles to study the sport of Muay Thai. Also known as the Science of the Eight Limbs because combatants are allowed to use their shins, knees, ﬁsts and elbows, Muay Thai is one of Thailand’s most successful exports. There are Muay Thai schools all over the world where students learn to ﬁght like a Thai but the best ﬁghters and trainers are still to be found in the sport’s spiritual home in Thailand.
Legendary Beginnings Muay Thai is not only the national sport of Thailand, it is also a source of great pride to the Thai people. In 1774, the Burmese army took the city of Ayutthaya and the King of Burma decided to pit his best ﬁghters against a Thai by the name of Nai Khanomtom. According to legend, Khanomtom easily defeated his opponent but the match was declared null and void because the Burmese ﬁghter was put off by Khanomtom’s performance of the Wai Kru, an elaborate pre ﬁght dance.
The Beautiful Boxer Muay Thai went mainstream in 2003 with the release of the award winning ﬁlm Beautiful Boxer. It was based around the real life story of Nong Toom, a successful male Muay Thai ﬁghter who underwent gender reassignment in order to become a woman. Nong Toom is probably Thailand’s most famous transsexual, or katoey, to use the local terminology. The country is famously tolerant of transgendered people but for a successful Muay Thai ﬁghter who had already made a name for himself ﬁghting in the main stadiums, to decide to become a woman was still major news. In typical Thai style, the nation took Nong Toom to its heart and she is one of Thailand’s most iconic ﬁgures. Although she rarely ﬁghts, she trains regularly and recently opened her own Muay Thai camp in Pranburi. For more information visit: www. parinyamuaythai.com.
The Burmese King insisted that Khanomtom face another nine opponents, who he defeated one after the other, forcing the king to grant him freedom. The victorious Thai ﬁghter was given a choice between money or two Burmese wives. He chose the latter because: ‘money is easy to come by but a wife is difﬁcult to ﬁnd.’ Had Khanomtom been told that one day the sight of a foreigner performing the sacred Wai Kru would become
Above: Two ﬁghters stand and slug it out in the ring at Ratchadamnern Stadium. Below: A full house at Ratchadamnern Stadium for one of the biggest Muay Thai cards of the year.
commonplace in the Kingdom of Thailand he would probably have laughed. However, it is no longer rare to see Westerners stepping inside the ring as Muay Thai has well and truly opened its doors to the world.
Pride of a Nation Much has changed since 1774 but age old traditions associated with this martial arts remain. The Wai Kru is still performed before Muay Thai bouts to this day to the accompaniment of woodwind instruments and a gentle drum beat. This music is played
throughout the entire ﬁve rounds and, as the action inside the ring intensiﬁes, the pace of the musicians increases accordingly. Muay Thai has also been modernised over the years with the introduction of padded gloves and timed rounds. However, the sport is steeped in history and several ancient traditions are still observed which may seem peculiar to the uninitiated. For instance, ﬁghters enter the ring wearing a mongkhon, a sort of sacred headwear that is removed with great ceremony before the start of a ﬁght.
Kick, Punch and Then Some More Experienced Muay Thai practitioners will normally take a couple of rounds to assess their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses before launching an all out attack in rounds three and four. If a ﬁghter already has an unassailable lead on the scorecards in round ﬁve, he will often go into defensive mode. Hence, if you see an action packed ﬁnal round, it normally indicates that the ﬁght is extremely close. A variety of techniques are allowed in Muay Thai but some of them score more heavily than others and are consequentially more popular. Straight knees, kicks to the body and throws or sweeps that put an opponent on the ground are all techniques, which impress the watching judges, who more often than not, decide the outcome of a bout. Although punching is an important aspect of Muay Thai, the emphasis is more on landing knees and kicks. A ﬁghter who relies solely on his hands to do damage will struggle to win a decision. Elbows can be devastatingly effective and a short, sharp elbow
can render an opponent instantly unconscious, whereas a punch would need to travel a much greater distance to gain the necessary velocity. Muay Thai stadiums, along with horse racing tracks, are the only places in Thailand where gambling is legal. There are no ofﬁcial bookmakers, so people in the crowd will constantly be betting with one another using a complicated system of hand signals to indicate the odds, which ﬂuctuates throughout the ﬁght.
In For the Kicks At the start of the century there were only a handful of foreigners, or farangs as they are known in Thailand, competing in Muay Thai. Today, thousands of people travel to Thailand to train in the sport, ranging from beginners wanting to learn a new martial art to experienced world class ﬁghters looking to ﬁne tune their techniques. Many Muay Thai camps have stateof-the-art websites and the competition to entice tourist trade can be intense. In tourist hotspots such as Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui, no ﬁght card is complete without a couple of foreigners on it. Teresa Wintermyr from Sweden left her friends and family three years ago and moved to Thailand in order to fulﬁl her dream of becoming a Muay Thai champion. “I read an article in a martial arts magazine about a Swedish girl who had trained at a Muay Thai camp and I wanted to try it. I travelled to Thailand to train at Rawai Muay Thai and I immediately fell in love with the sport, the lifestyle, the country, the people... everything.”
Hero Worship For Thai people Muay Thai offers a route out of poverty with children ﬁghting at a very early age, often to help supplement their family income. In a country where a signiﬁcant percentage of the population still
Watch Muay Thai Here LUMPINI STADIUM Thanon Rama IV, Pathumwan, Bangkok • Tuesday, Friday, Saturday (subject to change) • Average ticket cost 1,500 – 2,000 Baht
RATCHADAMNERN STADIUM Ratchadamnern Nok Road, Wat Sommanat. • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday (subject to change) • Average ticket cost 1,500 – 2,000 Baht
CHANNEL 7 STADIUM Chatuchak Park, opposite Mo Chit Bus Terminal • Every Sunday lunchtime, starts 1.45pm • Entrance is free. For the latest information on upcoming ﬁghts, visit: www.muaythai2000.com
Left: Action from the televised ﬁghts at the Siam Omnoi Stadium in Samut Sakon Opposite page: Final ﬁght preparations as a trainer wraps his ﬁghter’s hands in order to protect him from damaging them during the ﬁght.
subsists on less than 200 baht a day, the possibility of earning tens and potentially even hundreds of thousands of baht ﬁghting in the stadiums of Bangkok is extremely enticing. Jitti Damriram is one of many elite Muay Thai practitioners to have emerged from Buriram, an impoverished rural area of Northeast of Thailand. In his prime, he was one of the top ﬁghters in Thailand but today he is better known as the owner of Jitti Gym, one of the ﬁrst camps in the country to open its doors to foreigners. Jitti Gym has produced champions from as far aﬁeld as England, Japan and Australia. However Jitti might never have chosen to pursue this particular path had he not been insulted by a peer at the age of 12. “One of my friends accused me of being weak and so, I went to train in Muay Thai to prove him wrong. A
couple of weeks later I had my ﬁrst ﬁght and it ended in a draw. I got paid 30 baht for it, which at the time seemed like a lot of money.” After winning a regional title at the age of 17, Jitti moved to Bangkok where he rose as high as number ﬁve in the rankings at Ratchadamnern Stadium. By this stage, he was able to command up to 50,000 baht for a ﬁght, the equivalent of several months’ salary in Thailand. Today the top ﬁghters in Thailand such as Saenchai Sor Kingstar, Nong-O Gaiyanghaadao and Kongsak Sitbonmee are able to earn in excess of 100,000 baht per ﬁght. The real money for nak muay, as Muay Thai ﬁghters are known locally, is to be made overseas competing in big international shows. Buakaw Por
Pramuk achieved worldwide recognition for winning the K-1 Max competition in Japan twice. Although the rules in K-1 differ slightly from Muay Thai, Buakaw was still able to win this prestigious tournament at ﬁrst attempt. At present, the real superstar of Muay Thai is Saenchai who has fought in Australia, the US and England. He is a ﬂamboyant ﬁghter with some innovative and crowd pleasing techniques.
Nothing Quite Like It Muay Thai is an acquired taste and it takes a while to get accustomed to some of the more unique aspects of the sport. Once you understand Muay Thai, the chances are that you will learn to love it like a local. The atmosphere at the stadiums is intense, the ﬁghts competitive and the standard high. It is easy to see why the sport, which so impressed a Burmese king in the 18th century.
AirAsia ﬂies to Bangkok from various destinations. Visit www.airasia.com for the full ﬂight schedule.
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LOAD A OF BULL Marauding bulls, jockeys in trance and a rule that’s so befuddling, even the bulls wonder what’s going on….this is the enigmatic yet exhilarating sport of Mekepung in Bali. WORDS: PUTU SAYOGA & TRAVEL 3SIXTY PHOTOGRAPHY: PUTU SAYOGA
The island of Bali is a fascinating destination that has been wooing visitors with its mysticism, age-old practices, quaint customs, exotic festivals, magniﬁcent beaches and laidback lifestyle. It’s hardly surprising why visitors to this ‘Island of the Gods’ are so enamoured by its charms. Many choose to stay on, while others leave the island with profound, life changing experiences. Bali does that to you. You either stay on or itch to catch the next ﬂight back to the island. The locals say ‘Bali’ is just a shortened
form of the word kembali which means ‘to return’ in Malay. But while some tourists may be too engrossed in ﬁnding themselves or joining the sun worshippers on Kuta Beach, there lies another side of Bali that’s authentic, untouched and at times, befuddling to the casual observer.
One of a Kind The small village of Jembrana in the western part of Bali is one such area. The district itself is a well-known
gateway to Java Island with Gilimanuk Port linking the two islands. I, however, wasn’t there to cross over to East Java. I had come to witness mekepung in the small village of Delod Berawah, about a three-hour drive form Denpasar. Mekepung is a very popular sport in these parts of the island and is said to have made its appearance in the 1930s. Originally, the sport was created by idle farmers who wanted to kill time between paddy planting seasons. But as the years passed, the game evolved into a serious competition between two rival teams. september travel3sixty 75
The division of the groups competing at the event was originally created based on the location of the Ijo Gading River. The Ijo Gading Barat team was from the west side of the river and were identiﬁed by its red ﬂag while the eastern side of the river gave birth to the Ijo Gading Timur team with its green ﬂag.
Bullish Heroes The men of each team are ﬁerce rivals, but the real heroes of this sport are the buffaloes. You see, mekepung is essentially a bullock cart race but don’t ever whisper bullock cart to the locals and reduce the stature of the race.
This is a very prestigious race and one that is ardently followed by the Jembrana residents. So special is this race, that the Jembrana district ofﬁcials recognise the event as a competitive sport. And it is not any old bullock cart race but one that is treated with great respect and conducted on a seasonal basis like a Moto GP or a Formula 1 race. There are many tournaments, each consisting of several series, but one of the prominent ones is found at the Delod Berawah circuit.
Going Green I arrived early at the circuit and the place was already teeming with
hundreds of locals. There was a crackle in the air with laughter and cheering, and young men play-roughing up each other. Something grand was about to happen and the audience were all charged up with excitement. I couldn’t help but be swept up by the energy, and scurried around with the masses to see teams getting ready and buffaloes prepped. A sudden squashing sound, however, stopped me in my tracks. The ground was littered with steaming hot piles of dung and I had stepped right into a fresh one. The ensuing action of lifting my foot to see what was clinging to my shoes elicited laughter and soon enough, I had made friends with the locals who offered me water and shreds of paper to wipe off the green glob.
Dressed to the Tee As the battle lines were being drawn by the fans all over the grounds, the actual teams were quietly unloading their prized bulls from lorries and trucks. The buffaloes were huge and had obviously enjoyed a pampered existence, some weighing up to one tonne each. They were also well dressed, decked in their Sunday best with all kinds of adornments. To match the beasts, the cikar or carts, which would be attached to the bulls, were equally painted in bright, ﬂashy colours. I walked up to one hefty fellow who lazily turned his head away on my approach. The buffalo continued chewing cud nonchalantly as I admired its muscular build. Actually, it looked more like a Balinese dancer than a bull. A gelungan (head cover) and badong (neck cover) adorned its head, giving it a cultured look, while the horns were encased in colourful stockings; to keep the bull from goring passersby I presumed. Completing the ensemble were long spikes of frangipani on the sides of its head and
two incense sticks in the centre. I was half expecting the bull to start dancing a classical Balinese piece.
Off to the Race The jockeys soon arrived, afﬁxed the cikar to the bulls with a lampit (yoke) carved with dragon motifs and, led the plodding bulls to the starting line. Watching the disinterested creatures, I really couldn’t see how this was going to be a pulse-racing event. However, all that was about to change soon. Out of nowhere, an umpire appeared and waved a red ﬂag to signal the start of the race and the sluggish bulls suddenly charged furiously onto the circuit. The jockeys yelled loudly, egging their rides to race faster while holding onto the reins as the cikar careened left and right. The drama was further elevated with the crowd going wild, cheering at the top of their lungs. Dust rose thick in the air and through it, splotches of colour, heavy hoofs, snorting nostrils and shiny adornments ﬂashed past, turning the event into one blurry
Above: The bulls are taken to the ocean for a wash before the race. Right: Cikar or carts are painted in bright and ﬂashy colours. Far right: Complete with headgear, ﬂowers and adornments, the beasts look more like traditional dancers than prized bulls.
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Right: Villagers jump in to calm the wayward bull and pull it back onto the course. Below right: Bull owners pack up and get ready to leave the grounds at the end of the race day.
mess. The crowd went ballistic as the bulls manoeuvred the U-shaped track. The hard ground lay ripped with each stomp, sending dirt, gravel and dust ﬂying into the air. At that precise moment, I understood why this was an obsession with the locals. The energy, excitement and fervour were simply amazing.
towards us. The jockey had lost control of his steed and was screaming at the top of his lungs, telling us to get out of the way. The once joyful spectators now turned into a frenzied crowd, running helter-skelter and out of harm’s way. Mercifully, able-bodied men jumped into the chaos and steadied the marauding bulls.
Say ‘Charge It’
That morning, four teams were taking part and as they were racing, I noticed one set of bulls behaving erratically. It kept going off track and I was wondering if it would totally lose direction and come charging at me and my fellow spectators. Before I could even ﬁnish that unnerving thought, the bulls came stampeding directly
To watch without getting gored, I located a safe spot and bumped into a plump and cheerful gentleman by the name of Wijaya who was more than happy to explain the intricacies of this sport. Wijaya explained that the race wasn’t as simple as reaching the end
line ﬁrst. Apart from being the fastest racer, the distance between each team is equally important in determining the winner. Before the race begins, teams are positioned on the start line with a 10-metre distance from each other. To win, the cart has to cross the ﬁnishing line while maintaining the 10-metre distance. If the frontrunner fails to maintain the stipulated distance, the participant who comes in second wins. I blinked back a few times, trying to make sense of this rule. Wijaya simply laughed and told me to ignore the rule and enjoy the show. But even before I managed to digest what he was saying, a huge commotion broke out again. “Oh No! Not another charging bull,” I freaked out. But it wasn’t a bull but a jockey who had gone into trance. The man was running amok in the centre of the circuit while others jumped in to calm him. Even before I could turn for an explanation, Wijaya told me that sometimes the jockeys resorted to sneaky ways to win the race, like invoking the supernatural to assist them by way of carrying amulets. Apparently the amulet hadn’t helped and had put the jockey into a trance instead. At the end of the race day, the crowd slowly dwindled while the bulls were loaded into the trucks for their ride back home. People continued chatting excitedly about the charging bull and the disqualiﬁed jockey, hoping not to see such travesties during next year’s tournament. This was such a prestigious event and the Jembrana Regent’s Cup was at stake. Only the best bulls and honest, hardworking jockeys would do. Anything less would be just a load of bull. The best time to witness Mekepung in Jembrana is between early June until October, to coincide with the end of harvest season.
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New Norcia is Australia’s only monastic town – a little piece of Spain spilling with history, colonial architecture, sacred art and divine Benedictine delights. WORDS: BEVERLY RODRIGUES PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM LEE
Left: In the chapel of St. Ildephonsus, two Aboriginal angels have been painted in as a remembrance of young and promising Yuat boys who died of White man’s diseases.
When I heard of this 165-year-old Spanish monastic town in Western Australia that welcomes visitors with warm Benedictine hospitality and, produces its own breads and olive oil in the Australian bush, I knew I had to visit. Lured by the thought of New Norcia’s aromatic nutcake and vintage port aged in barrels under the monastery, I never imagined the amazing tales behind its doors or the people who continue to write its story. I was admiring the stunning oil paintings in New Norcia’s orphanageturned-art gallery, when curator and monk Dom Christopher Power arrived in a swirl of black robes. I immediately fell in love. His enthusiasm was infectious as he whisked me around to see paintings restored after a great art theft and, the oil painting Our Lady of Good Counsel. This painting of the Virgin and Child is said to have miraculously quelled a raging bushﬁre in 1847 when it was placed in front of an approaching ﬁre, a signiﬁcant event in New Norcia’s history. “She’s sweeter looking than the original,” Power joked as he divulged fascinating anecdotes of art history and revealed that the painting was in fact a Mediterranean copy of the artwork in Genazzano, Italy. At present, New Norcia has amassed an impressive religious art collection of European and contemporary Australian works, including a Pro Hart and Brent Harris. Power, however, was honest about their worth. “Very few artworks here would fetch huge prices at Christie’s auctions. Their primary importance lies in what they say about this community.”
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Above: Dom Christopher Power with his favourite painting The Holy Family, which was damaged during a 1986 art theft in which robbers made off with 26 post-Renaissance religious artworks. Today, these paintings are part of the Robbed and Restored collection. Above, right: St. Ildephonsus served as a boarding school for boys for 75 years, and closed in 1991.
Monk on a Mission Founded by a Spanish monk named Dom Rosendo Salvado just 17 years after the establishment of the Swan River Colony, New Norcia is one of Western Australia’s oldest settlements. In 1846, Salvado ventured into the harsh, unfamiliar territory of the Victoria Plains to ﬁnd a suitable location for an Aboriginal mission, and formed a lifelong bond with the indigenous Yuat Noongar people. He learnt their native tongue, studied their music, ate their food, and described it all in 15 diaries, which are now stored in the town library’s temperature-controlled vaults. A compassionate man, Salvado was saddened by how European contact was drastically disrupting Aboriginal life. Knowing their world would change forever, Salvado decided to prepare the Yuat by offering European education and teaching them useful trades. Combining spirituality with agriculture, he worked alongside the
Yuat to tame the bush, plant olive groves, set up farms and build his monastic community near the Moore River. Work was tough, and in one of his diaries, Salvado writes “Indeed, I can say that I have watered the Australian soil with the sweat of my brow and the blood of my lacerated feet.”
Benedictine Banquet The schools have closed but Salvado’s legacy endures in the Benedictine spirit of hospitality. Living by the Rule of St. Benedict, which calls for order and stability in daily life, monks here lead a peaceful existence grounded in prayer and work. Besides seeking God, their role includes acting as guardians of this heritage site, and sharing it with anyone who loves history, sacred art, architecture and gastronomy. The Benedictine diet of breads, olive oil and wine is still popular today, and New Norcia has elevated their production to an art. New Norcia’s greatest gastro offering is its multi-award
winning organic, extra virgin olive oil. Out in the 150-year-old olive grove, I met the enigmatic olive oil maker, Gordon Smyth, who learnt the science from the late Dom Paulino Gutierrez, New Norcia’s last Spanish monk. Reminiscing about his mentor, who passed away in the very year his blend won ‘Best Olive Oil’ at the 2010 Perth Royal Show, Smyth raved about doing everything the old way. “A machine can’t tell me what I need to know. The trees tell me.” Before every harvest, Smyth crushes olives to test aroma and viscosity. For the perfect blend, he follows Gutierrez’ secret formula of antioxidant-rich green olives and ﬂavourful black ones mixed with those on the turn for fullness. I am no connoisseur of olive oil, but New Norcia’s smooth, peppery blend was the best I’d ever tasted!
Daily Bread In the old bakehouse attached to the monastery, I found Terry Nuske, the jolly
Above: Portraits of New Norcia’s Spanish monks. The second portrait from the left shows Dom Paulino Guttierez, who served as New Norcia’s olive oil maker, baker and cobbler.
baker of New Norcia who’s responsible for the town’s bread needs. This means baking anywhere between 30 to 300 loaves a day! Aside from mixing the dough, he does everything by hand, just like the monks before him. Beginning at 2.00am, Nuske churns out olive, rosemary and sundried tomato bread and rich multi-grain fruit bread studded with sultanas, currants and dried apricots. He also double bakes cinnamon-ﬂavoured biscotti and turns out pan chocolati ﬁlled with roasted macadamias and pistachios, Jarrah honey and dark chocolate. Luckily for me, I arrived just in time to sample New Norcia’s most famous indulgence: Nutcake. Using a 12-foot long oven peel, Nuske removed a batch from the deep, wood-ﬁred oven installed in 1885. The spicy, fruity and nutty aroma was gorgeous, and the nutcake tasted just like Christmas. These goodies can be found at the museum gift shop alongside New Norcia’s crisp, peachy chardonnay, plum-scented shiraz and intense
muscat liqueur. New Norcia’s awardwinning Abbey Ale made from pale malted barley and Belgian sugar brewed with hops is available on tap exclusively at the New Norcia Hotel. Come December, New Norcia will have its very ﬁrst Benedictine bubbly, fermented champagne-style.
Old World Architecture Curious about New Norcia’s fabulous architecture, I joined a two-hour walking tour that opened doors to the town’s heritage sites. Paying homage to New Norcia’s pioneer, we stopped by the Spanish-style Abbey Church where Salvado’s body is interred. Salvador died on a trip to Rome in 1900, and legend has it that even before the Benedictine monks received word of his death, the Yuat mysteriously took to the bush and began wailing in despair. Due to this outpouring of grief, Salvador’s body was returned to New Norcia.
Entering the church, I was immediately struck by its unusual murals. It may be the oldest Catholic church in Western Australia, but it boasts modern-looking illustrations done in a rare form of engraving called sgrafﬁto. Distinctly Aussie adaptations have been added to the nativity scene with a kangaroo, emu and kookaburra surrounding baby Jesus! The early 20th century colleges of St Gertrude’s and St. Ildephonsus revealed Gothic and Byzantine architecture. Both buildings showcase splendid murals, carved jarrah and cedar wood altars, and exquisite stenciling, false marbling and pressed tin work – an Aussie invention! I even visited the very spot where New Norcia’s famous bushﬁre miracle occurred in 1847. But my favourite stop was the old Spanish chapel designed with a Moorish feel. Adorned with the crests of past abbots and decorative woodwork, patriarchal cross and ﬂeursde-lis, this little chapel is a deﬁnite must-see!
Clockwise from above: Salvado’s homeopathic remedies at the museum; a pipe organ commissioned at a time when ivory was scarce; New Norcia’s famous Abbey Ale; Aboriginal artwork by Sheila Humphries; the baker of New Norcia; intense and fruity muscat liqueur; New Norcia’s award-winning olive oil made from WA Mission olives.
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DRIVING TIPS Redspot Car Rentals offers pointers on self-drive tours. • Bring along a valid driver’s license in English, a translation or an international driver’s license. • To avoid hidden fees, check out RedSpot’s ‘Drive Away, No More Pay’ rate, which includes airport taxes & registration recovery fees, full coverage & insurance etc. • For better savings, ﬁll petrol in the city instead of country areas. • If travelling with children, look into proper child restraints. www.redspotcars.com.au For comprehensive info on driving in Australia, visit www.aaa.asn.au
Above and above right: New Norcia’s famed Nut Cake and biscotti. Right: The miraculous painting Our Lady of Good Counsel can be seen at the art gallery.
Stolen Generation Perhaps New Norcia’s most progressive offering is its acknowledgement of the Yuat and the Stolen Generation: Aboriginal children who were removed from their homes by government agencies and placed in missions from the late 1860s and right up till the 1970s. Separated from their families, many lost their Aboriginal heritage. The chapel used by the Aboriginal girls is now an interpretive room showcasing their life through photos, written memories, embroidery, artwork and other artifacts put together by past pupils and the Benedictine community. At the education centre, the monks and New Norcia Aboriginal Corporation have collaborated on an exhibition of Yuat culture prior to European contact. For the past 15 years, they’ve been delivering an Aboriginal Studies programme for schoolchildren, touted as one of the country’s best.
To learn about the Stolen Generation, meet Aboriginal elder and artist Sheila Humphries, who lived at the New Norcia mission. Today, Humphries uses art to tell her story. Visit www.urbanindigenoustours. com to take Humphries’ art class and discover other unique indigenous experiences.
GETTING THERE As evening settled, I headed to the monastery chapel for Vespers. Under the gentle gaze of the Black Madonna, monks chanted in Latin in a tradition dating back to ancient times. Despite the modern spin on hospitality that brings tourists to this self-sustaining monastic town, the Benedictines are still a spiritual community, and observing this sacred ritual was a peaceful end to my day.
New Norcia is an easy 132km-drive north of Perth, Western Australia. AirAsia X and Indonesia AirAsia ﬂy to Perth from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Bali, Indonesia. Visit www.airasia.com for the full ﬂight schedule.
Travel 3Sixty’s tour or New Norcia was made possible by Tourism Western Australia and The Benedictine Community of New Norcia. Visit www.westernaustralia.com and www.newnorcia. wa.edu.au for more information.
Aquatic Amsterdam is literally a city built on water. But instead of ‘draining’ its past, the canals and waterways have become part of, if not the main, charm of the capital city of Holland. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: DANIEL J. ALLEN
As dusk falls over Amsterdam, the beautifully illuminated Magere Bridge throws a shimmering reﬂection onto the River Amstel. On the deck of his moored barge – recently converted into a ﬂoating home – local resident Stephen van Dorp takes in the nocturnal scenery with coffee in hand. “Amsterdam is all about water,” he says. “Pretty much every one of the city’s signature panoramas is viewed from a river or canal. Living on a boat in Amsterdam is like ﬂoating through a never-ending succession of postcards.” Renowned for its enchanting mix of Old World culture, Bohemian atmosphere and open-minded hospitality, Amsterdam remains a perennial favourite with visitors from all over the globe. Explored via its extensive and iconic network of picturesque canals, the Dutch capital is a place where it’s easy to get lost. With so many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, that’s not always such a bad thing.
VENICE OF NORTHERN EUROPE Fondly regarded by residents as the Venice of northern Europe, Amsterdam’s history and economic development is inextricably linked to water. Over the years, many of the canals have been ﬁlled in, but today the remainder make the perfect way to view most of the city’s premiere attractions. Cleaner today than it’s ever been, the 100 kilometre-long canal system has become a haven for ﬁshermen and a sanctuary for wildlife, lined with attractive architecture and spanned by countless bridges. Amsterdam’s waterways once carried far more than passengers. “The city’s ﬁrst canals were dug in the Middle
Above: Crown jewels at Amsterdam’s Diamond Museum. Below: Dutch beer delivered the old-fashioned way on the streets of Amsterdam. Opposite page: Amsterdam’s Mint Tower reﬂected in one of the city’s waterways.
Ages for water management and defence,” explains local historian Erik Kusters. “As Amsterdam expanded, moats once outside the city walls became canals inside the city. During the 17th century – a period known as Amsterdam’s ‘Golden Age’ – the Dutch economy and international trade prospered, and the city’s canals became essential for transporting goods.”
CHARM OF THREE It was in the Golden Age that Amsterdam’s three main canals – the Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht – were dug, taking half a century to complete. Forming concentric belts around the centre, they radically increased the size of the city and were lined with numerous buildings and warehouses. These canals gave Amsterdam an efﬁcient and intricate system of waterways, september travel3sixty 89
Close to the Houseboat Museum is the recently opened Canal House (Grachtenhuis). Located in one of the most striking mansions on the Herengracht, this interactive museum is the perfect way to discover the cultural, historical and architectural heritage of Amsterdam’s canals.
CITY ON WATER With so much water around, the centre of Amsterdam is essentially divided into an urban archipelago of approximately 90 islands, connected by hundreds of bridges. Today, the city boasts a total of 1,612 bridges, including eight historic draw bridges, which are best viewed from the deck of a tour boat. The bridge on the corner of Reguliersgracht and Herengracht actually has a unique view over an astounding 15 other bridges!
BRIDGES CLOSE & FAR “Probably the most famous bridge in Amsterdam is the Magere Brug or ‘Skinny Bridge’,” says Erik Kusters. “This picturesque drawbridge was built across the River Amstel in 1672. According to local folklore, the bridge was named after two sisters named Mager (‘mager’ means ‘skinny’ in Dutch), who apparently lived on opposite banks of the Amstel. They are said to have had the bridge built so that they could visit each other more easily.”
Above: Amsterdam’s traditional gable architecture. Right: Gouda cheese outside a shop on the Singel Canal.
bringing merchandise from all over the globe to the doorstep of canalside merchants. Regardless of season, a canal cruise is a must-do for anyone visiting Amsterdam. A diverse ﬂeet of around 200 tour boats carries more than three million passengers every year, providing a wide variety of waterborne entertainment – everything from guided tours and intimate candlelit dinners to theatre cruises and parties with DJs and other live music are on offer. Those who prefer to do things their own way may opt to take a pedal-boat, although Amsterdam’s capricious weather is a deciding factor. Those walking or boating Amsterdam’s canals will witness a diverse assortment of waterborne accommodation. In times of old, when canals were still used to transport merchandise, living on the water was a sign of poverty. Nowadays, however, as industrial areas become upmarket residential neighbourhoods, many barges have been converted into houseboats. Stop by the Houseboat Museum on Prinsengracht for a fascinating close-up of a converted interior.
ARCHITECTURAL ARCHIVE Unsurprisingly for a city with almost 7,000 ofﬁcially recognised historical buildings and monuments, there seems to be a treasured ediﬁce on just about every street corner. Such a rich architectural heritage contributes heavily to the storybook appearance of the city. From a distance all of Amsterdam’s canal houses may look similar, but a closer examination reveals a wonderful mix of architectural detail, ranging from classical and Renaissance through to Art Deco and Modern. Most houses have gables, which help to hide their pitched roofs, and also add architectural ﬂair to the often pencil-thin buildings. The ‘Golden Bend’ – the canal from Leidsestraat to Vijzelstraat – has the most magniﬁcent stretch of canal houses in Amsterdam.
Despite the legend, it is more likely that the Magere Brug got its name from being so narrow. For many years it was so narrow, it was hard for two pedestrians to pass each other. In 1871, as trafﬁc along the River Amstel increased, the bridge was replaced with a wider one. The current bridge, dating back to 1969, is made of African wood, and is controlled by a bridge master who raises it to let boats through. At night it is especially picturesque, and remains popular with both couples and photographers. Another beautiful bridge across the Amstel is the Blauwbrug (Blue Bridge). While the Blue Bridge is currently grey, in the 17th century this was actually the location of a blue wooden bridge that was decorated with blue lanterns. The current bridge dates back to 1883, and also features numerous ornate and beautiful sculptures and, the imperial crown of Amsterdam.
IMAGE: AMSTERDAM/AMSTERDAM TOURISM BOARD
Above: Close-up of the Sloten Windmill on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Below right: Summer evenings on an Amsterdam canal.
Another of Amsterdam’s aquatic attractions is the city’s Flower Market or Bloemenmarkt, ﬁrst held in 1862. Billed as the world’s only ﬂoating ﬂower market, most of the Bloemenmarkt is actually located on houseboats moored on the Singel canal. It’s open all year round, and since it also caters to the needs of local residents, prices are reasonable. Buyers can get several tulip bulbs for just 1€, and even better prices for bags of 30 or more. Beautiful, stylish and laid back, Amsterdam is undoubtedly one of Europe’s coolest cities. Whether you’re in town for the cosy coffee shops, fresh tulips, or Van Gogh’s sunﬂowers, the vibrant Dutch capital has more than enough to captivate every visitor.
AirAsia ﬂies 6 times weekly to London and 4 times weekly to Paris. There are many modes of transport that links Amsterdam to these cities. Visit www.airasia.com for full ﬂight schedule and details.
Perils of Parachutes It may sound like a quick solution to saving one’s life but jumping out of a plane in a parachute may be more dangerous than one can imagine. Capt. Lim Khoy Hing elaborates on the perils.
Ian*, a young ﬂyer from Scotland once wrote to me with many questions, as he had some very scary experiences when he ﬁrst started ﬂying. On one of his ﬂights to London Heathrow airport, he experienced severe turbulence. Ian heard a loud bang and the plane seemed to drop. He thought he was going to die. The rough ride stopped after two minutes and the aircraft stabilized. Then, without warning, it seemed to drop again. Ian turned around and saw the other passengers holding onto their seats. Some were screaming. There had been an announcement earlier, warning passengers of the turbulence but Ian had no idea it would be that bad. Thankfully, the plane landed without any incidents. Most of Ian’s questions have been addressed before in Travel 3Sixty or in my website (www.askcaptainlim.com), such as how planes stay in the air and, cope with turbulence and emergencies such as failed engines, onboard ﬁre and lightning strikes. One very interesting question he asked was why planes were not equipped with parachutes so passengers can jump out in the event of a crash landing. I will address this question in this month’s article.
Planes minus the Parachutes First of all, equipping every passenger with a parachute on commercial planes is not very practical. It will also be fraught with many difﬁculties. Very simply, commercial planes are not designed for easy exits at high altitudes and speeds. For starters, the doors cannot be opened in midair unless the plane is depressurised below 10,000 feet.
Impracticality of Parachutes
the problem and attempt a safe landing. He simply would have no time for any other matters.
Even if it was possible to jump out of the plane in a parachute, due to the high speed and turbulent air ﬂow, a passenger who attempts this will get hurt during the exit, including hitting the plane or even getting sucked into the engines. Furthermore, it is not easy to operate a parachute and land safely without basic training. The outside temperature at 40,000 feet is extremely cold (– 55° Celsius). Lack of oxygen may also cause the jumper to become unconscious very quickly.
When to Jump Most of the time, one wouldn’t know if the plane is deﬁnitely going to crash. By the time the crash is ascertained to be imminent, the passengers will not have time for parachutes anyway. Due to this huge uncertainty, who would decide on the right time for all passengers to strap on their parachutes and commence an orderly jump out of the plane? If there is an emergency, the captain’s main responsibility is to immediately solve
Successful Emergency Landings There have been three occasions where planes have successfully crash landed. In 1983, one Air Canada Boeing 757 ran out of fuel and landed safely on a disused runway where go-kart races were being held. All on board that plane survived. In 2001, a chartered Transat Air A330 landed on an Atlantic Ocean island when both its engines failed because of a fuel leak. 306 lives were saved from this longest ever glidelanding of a commercial airliner. The latest event happened in 2009 when an US Airways Airbus A320 ditched into the Hudson River in New York. The plane had to make a controlled water landing onto the river after losing thrust on both engines due to bird strikes at about 3,000 feet. This happened just three minutes into the ﬂight after a normal take-off from LaGuardia Airport. Miraculously, all 155 passengers and crew survived the mishap. Within those three minutes, it would not have been possible for all on board to jump out in time even if there were parachutes available.
There are more reasons why the parachute is an impractical device on board. They are expensive and having one for every passenger would increase the cost of air travel. Its additional weight too would affect the payload. Furthermore, stringently regulated safety maintenance and packing measures would incur extra cost and hinder the rationale for its installation. Most aircraft accidents occur either immediately after take-off or just before landing. There is usually no time (like the Hudson River ditching) to get all passengers, including the old and young ones, to put on their parachutes orderly. It would also be an exercise in futility as very few people have ever experienced sky diving with parachutes. Additionally, for the parachute to open safely, there must be sufﬁcient altitude for it to deploy. Another problem is the exit speed of the jumper. A commercial airplane cruises at about 400 - 500 knots (740926 kph). Standard parachutes are made to open at speeds around 110 knots (203 kph). Jumping out at this high speed would rip the fabric of the canopy to shreds unless the plane is ﬂying at a much slower speed.
Much Safer Without As George Bernard Shaw said, “The optimist invented the airplane, the pessimist, the parachute.” Statistics allow me to say with conﬁdence that you are much safer ﬂying on a plane than travelling in a car. Here’s an old parachute joke that might raise a chuckle or two. ‘A pilot and four passengers were in a plane travelling through stormy weather.
Suddenly, the pilot came running back to the passengers and announced that lightning had struck the plane and that they were going to crash in a matter of minutes. “There are only enough parachutes for the four of us,” he announced. “Since I’m the pilot, I get one!” After saying this, the pilot grabbed a parachute and jumped out of the plane. “I’m the world’s greatest athlete,” proclaimed Michael. “This world needs great athletes, so I must live.” Michael then grabbed a parachute and leapt out of the plane. “I’m the smartest man in the world,” bragged Bob. “The world needs smart men, so I must also live!” Bob grabbed a parachute and jumped out too. At this point, an elderly man began to speak. “I have lived a long life compared to you. You may take the last parachute. I will go down with the plane.” The ﬁfth passenger strangely held up two parachutes and handed one to the old man. “You don’t have to stay here! The world’s smartest man just jumped out of the plane with my backpack.”’ * Name changed to protect person’s identity
Captain Lim Khoy Hing is a former AirAsia Airbus A320 and AirAsia X A330/ A340 pilot who also used to ﬂy the Boeing 777. He has logged more than 25,500 total ﬂying hours and is now a Simulator Flight Instructor with AirAsia X. In his spare time, he shares his opinion on aviation issues with others. For more air travel and aviation stories, check out his website, ‘Just About Flying’ at www.askcaptainlim.com.
LOVING LONDON A world-class city that never fails to impress with its diverse attractions, London offers Muhamad Helmi Yahya a slice of an urban landscape that’s bustling yet charming. It was after midnight when I checked into our hotel at Lancaster Gate, a stone’s throw away from Hyde Park in London. After a tiring 13-hour journey on AirAsia X ﬂight D7 2008, my friends and I couldn’t wait to get to our rooms and call it a night. We hadn’t much of a plan for the trip, as we had travelled all the way to the UK for the AirAsia British MotoGP 2011. Come morning, we ventured into town in no time. From Lancaster Gate, we walked down Victorian arcades and busy streets, across Hyde Park and along cobbled streets to arrive at the chaotic Oxford Street – a major thoroughfare in the
heart of the city; bursting with life and gleaming in the early summer air. Striking window displays and stylish Londoners in colourful silhouettes dominated Oxford Street. Flanked by over 500 shops, Oxford Street stretches for about 2.5 kilometres with popular retail stores commanding the most attention. Colour-blocking was in season and the fashionloving Londoners took the cue from fashion magazines at newsstands. Cobalt blue, bright green and hot pink were the sartorial choices of the moment. Armed with a city map in one hand and a camera in the other, we pulled through the endless stream of people along Oxford Street. We ate lunch at Pret, (a sandwich retail chain), weaved in and out of Oxford Circus, through the busy intersection of Regent Street and Oxford Street and then, left for the South Bank by the Thames. Our South Bank river walk began at the Westminster tube, where we walked around the Houses of Parliament, checked out the Big Ben, crossed the Westminster Bridge and back – all under a cloudy yet dramatic sky. The dial of the Great Clock of Westminster struck six when we ﬁnally left and headed up north along Whitehall Road to Trafalgar Square. Here, men and women in dark suits packed cosy neighbourhood bars and pubs; chatting, laughing, smoking and drinking. The present architecture of the Trafalgar Square was completed in 1845, making the historic site over 150 years
Got an interesting travel tale to share? Then email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org along with your images and personal details. Published submissions will receive a RM250 e-gift voucher from us. Travel 3Sixty° reserves the right to edit the article for length and clarity. To ﬁnd out how else AirAsia can enhance your travels, visit www.haveyouﬂownairasia.com.
old. I gaped not at how the ancient attraction was so well-preserved but at the amount of teenagers thronging the square, loitering around the fountains, climbing onto the lions at Nelson’s Column and clicking away with their iPhone cameras. Away from the pandemonium, we marveled at stately Victorian townhouses lining the roads in Notting Hill. A cosmopolitan district in London, Notting Hill is home to the annual Notting Hill Carnival and the famous Portobello Road Market. Portobello Road itself meanders from the north to south of Notting Hill, ﬂanked by shops, restaurants and pubs tightly built together. Most of the shops were closed by evening, leaving us to window shop to our hearts’ content. The main Portobello Road Market that sells antiques opens only on Saturday, though the grocery portion of the market trades throughout the week. Soon it began to drizzle, forcing us to dash for Piccadilly Circus. Famous for its nightlife, Piccadilly Circus didn’t fail to impress with its sights and sounds: Startling neon lights and video displays, cabs and cars zooming pass, crowds in the background – all adding to the charm of London’s Theatreland. With countless shows to watch, we were spoilt for choice. In the end, however, we decided to have dinner instead. Once we were done exploring Piccadilly Circus, after soaking up to the vibrant atmosphere, pangs of hunger struck again. With the neighbouring Soho just nearby (our dinner destination) we knew it was time to go.
From elegantly subtle style statements to in-yourours in face fashion assertions, you alone call the shots s after all determining how you wish to step forward. It is n. your world and only you dictate how you reign.
Perfection to thee Core
American designer Michael el Cors ﬁnally opens his store in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur! Often described ribed as rstands a a designer who truly understands he Michael woman’s sartorial needs, the Cors store will carry ready-to-wear -to-wear and accessories. He kicks off his entry into Malaysia and Singapore ngapore with the Fall 2011 collection n ring that celebrates sharp tailoring d juxtaposed against languid draping. www.michaelkors.com .com
Big, bold and in-your-face, the Haemmer wristwatch is certainly not for the weak. This Germanmade watch from WWII comes with great features such as 100 metres waterproof, luminescent hands and dials and quartz chronographs. The Haemmer is also the ofﬁcial timepiece for Paintball World Cup Asia 2011 to be held in November 2011 in Langkawi. www.ww2.com.my
Best for Baby
Created especially for travelling, JumpSac carriers and slings are made from a sturdy fabric that can carry up to 15kgs. These adjustable carriers ﬁt snugly onto most adult body sizes and keep the precious one close to the body. They can be adjusted to six carrying positions and come padded at the shoulder for extra comfort. http://jumpsacbaby.com
Givee ‘em the Creeps
Underground Creepers from the UK is an edgy footwear that would impress even rock stars and purveyors of punk. The chunky shoes come in Single Toe and Double Round Creeper, and Pointed Toe Creepers. Prices range from SGD180 to SGD250. Available exclusively at ACTUALLY..., ActuallyActually and VERYwooonderland in Singapore. www.actually.com.sg
In a Blink
Alter your appearance with different shades with Blinconâ€™s disposable colour contact lenses! These lenses replicate the natural depth and dimensions of your own eyes and come in 35 fun colours. So what will it be? Sexy grey, Ocean Blue or Jasmine Green, or even BB Pink for those who dare. www.blincon.com.my
All Day, All Week
Following the success of Choo 24:7 Perfect Shoe Collection, an assortment of beautiful but practical bags join the line that is inspired by the jet setting woman. From roomy totes to an extensive luggage collection, these bags will be your smartest travel companion. We like the Rosalie, a day bag in soft grainy leather. www.jimmychoo.com
Sweet September The mood mellows as Fall sends out its gentle chill this month. Here’s our hot favourite for the sweet month of September.
With colours like Cherry Kiss, Treat Me Sweet, Freshly Sliced, Berry Bella, Sparkling Grape, Crazy for Caramel and Mad about Melon, Maybelline New York’s latest Fruity Jelly Delicious Lip Gloss, make lips look yummy and luscious too! www.maybelline.com
Built around sweet ﬂoral notes and green Florentine iris and anise with a peachy heart note and white musk base notes, the Le Mimosa Eau de Toilette from Annick Goutal is a silky and seductive scent. www.
Whispers of Wisteria
The Acca Kappa Wisteria Eau de Cologne is a sweet, feminine bouquet that evokes soft, tender emotions. The ﬂower also symbolises tenderness and friendship. http://accakappa.com
Gone All Curvy
It’s waterproof, clump-proof and uses the longwearing lash-building technology that Rimmel is renowned for. But with the added curved brush, the Extra Super Lash Mascara creates a spectacular look for lashes. www.
Zap body odour and excessive perspiration with this range of deodorant from Garnier Mineral. Made with mineralite, an active volcanic ingredient, this compound absorbs sweat while its anti-bacterial properties keep odour at bay. www.garnier.com
Colour me MAC
With eight daring parings, COLOURIZATIONS Double Feature Shadow Compacts from M.A.C. team up with Technakohl Liners for a helping of delicious shades. The eye shadow pots come in dual colours and the liners deﬁne eyes in deep and mysterious colours.
Too many all nighters can give men too tired and puffy eyes. The new Clinique Skin Supplies For Men Anti-Fatigue Cooling Eye Gel addresses this problem with its roller-ball pen that deposits a liquid gel-serum to instantly cool and refresh puffy eyes. www.clinique.com
Eyes of the Beholder
SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream is formulated with Oli-Vityl, Signaline™ and nd d SK-II’s unique ingredient, Pitera™, while e the addition of concentrated levels of Niacinamide, delivers superior anti-aging ng beneﬁts. These ingredients improve the e ﬁrmness, radiance and smoothness of the skin around the eyes. www.sk-ii.com
Samantha Brown, the bubbly host of TLC’s popular Girl Meets Hawaii, Passport to China and Great Vacation Homes, has just shot two more exciting travel shows: Samantha Brown’s Asia, which premiered in July and Samantha Brown’s Great Weekends 3, which airs in October. Beverly Rodrigues caught up with this globetrotter to ﬁnd out about the new shows and her unique travel experiences over the past 11 years.
What can we look forward to in Great Weekends 3?
day, the kids who grow up at the circus get to eat all the popcorn and cotton candy that’s not sold!
We shot it in the US and played with the idea of being someone else for two days. On a weekend, you can go to the city and be more elegant than your natural self, more adventurous or playful. The US is often seen as homogenous, but now, you get to see what makes each city unique. In Nashville, Tennessee, I put on cowboys boots on and crooned along with the band. It’s about ﬁnding out what the soul of the city is and then, being that! I also joined a circus for a weekend. They put up the net and trapeze, and I trained with them. At the end of the
What has been your most bizarre experience shooting in Asia?
I helped make bamboo-pressed noodles the old way in Hong Kong. Only one man still does it, and we went into his tiny apartment. There was a bamboo pole and dough. I had to sit on it and bounce. The man looked at me and kept laughing. I was thinking, “This is not going to play well on camera.” I kept making sure the camera angle was somewhat respectable!
Describe your ideal holiday It’s spending time where everyday people live. You don’t necessarily have to take my advice or Andrew Zimmern’s. Do your own thing. Take time to have your own discovery of a place. That’s really an important element in my vacations. Seeing amazing sights is another. I also like doing things that bring me out of my comfort zone, whether it’s physically or culturally challenging, like eating ant larvae!
Any tips for single female travellers?
One thing I love to do is go to supermarkets. It’s fascinating to me that no matter where you are in the world, a supermarket looks like a supermarket with ﬂuorescent lighting and bad linoleum ﬂoors. Then, I’ll go to a park or a café. Even though you are alone, you see a family and feel part of it. Even a smile or a hello makes me feel like I’ve had a conversation.
Is it true you travel with a jar of peanut butter?
Even though I travel with a crew, I’m actually alone a lot. When the cameras are off, I walk around and get a sense of the place. So, my safety and how people regard me are always a concern. The best thing to do is understand the attitudes before you head over to a place. I like going for jogs, so I always talk to the front ofﬁce staff, and say, “This is where I’m going,” and ask “Is this okay?” I even text people to tell them where I am, just in case. But, I do recommend single female travel because when you are alone, more people look out for your welfare than not. People want to protect you.
Back when I started 11 years ago, you couldn’t ﬁnd peanut butter everywhere. It’s an American thing. You can always ﬁnd things to go with peanut butter, or you can just stick your ﬁnger in it! One thing I do when there is a need to ‘break the ice’ is to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everyone. I’ll say, “We are brought up on it from the time we can eat, and we eat it our entire lives until we die. It is the most important sandwich to an American and I’m giving it to you.” Most think it’s pretty disgusting, but when they try it, they love it and start telling me what they grew up on as kids.
What are the biggest challenges of your job?
What are your travel essentials?
One of the biggest challenges is loneliness. You’re alone, waking up in a hotel room. It really can take its toll. That’s when I head over to less touristy areas. Everyone who’s a tourist is either with one other person or a huge group. Hanging out with the boys on chopper bikes at Jersey Shore in Great Weekends 3.
I travel with rubber balls called ‘pinkie balls’. They’re the size of tennis balls. When I get off a long ﬂight or if I’ve been on my feet all day, I put them on the ﬂoor and place them against the back of my neck. I push up my knees so all the weight of my body goes into the balls and into my back, and then I roll them down my back, buttocks and legs. They really work out the kinks.
Which destination should people visit at least once? The Great Wall of China just knocked my socks off. It literally brought me to tears. You’re taking in the fact that man made this. It moves through the landscape like it’s alive. I thought it had a soul, and it just made me want to walk the wall and meet the villagers along the way. It’s an immense monument to Samantha trying out local customs in Bali. what humans can do. It used to keep people out, and now it welcomes people from around the world.
What do you hope viewers will get from your travel shows? I see myself as the ‘known element’ and I go to the unknown, and that makes me bridge these two places. The unknown shouldn’t be feared. Even though I’ve travelled for 11 years, I do not consider myself a travel expert. If I can do it, you can do it. Also, you know with texting, Facebooking and twittering, we’re really losing our ability to communicate with one another face-to-face. To me, this so important when you travel, even if there’s no language you have in common. Even saying hello or smiling is so imperative to who we are. Exploring the green valleys planted with tea bushes at the Boh Tea Plantation in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.
junior jet club
The Best Birthday Gift! A passion for planes turns into a wonderful birthday gift, as little Rushyaandhran gets the opportunity of a lifetime to travel with AirAsia and even pilot a plane!
Rushyaandhran sitting in the Captain’s seat.
Recently, on my ﬁfth birthday, my parents said they had a surprise gift for me. I kept asking dad to tell me what it was but he simply said, “I will tell you once it’s conﬁrmed.” One day before my birthday, my dad received a call from a Ms. Yati to conﬁrm a surprise gift. When the call ended, my dad turned to me and announced, “You’re going to Penang. AirAsia is giving you a birthday gift. This was the surprise gift that I told you about.” I was both shocked and happy to hear the news and kept asking my dad how I got the chance. My dad revealed that he had written to Tan Sri Tony Fernandes about me and my passion for ﬂying and soon after, Uncle Tony decided to treat me to a ﬂight to Penang.
My family and I received a warm welcome from Uncle Marriapan and Miss Aemi of AirAsia, when we arrived at LCC Terminal in Kuala Lumpur. At around 9.10am, we were checked in and ushered into the Departure Lounge. Seeing a plane nearby, I asked, “Why is the plane very big here, but so tiny when it goes up?” Miss Aemi burst out laughing when she heard this question. Gate P5 soon opened for us to board ﬂight AK5354 to Penang. Capt. Omar, Capt. Haﬁz, Miss Erin and the other crew members welcomed me. I was a little nervous since it was my ﬁrst time on a plane. Capt. Omar showed me around the cockpit and explained how the pilots ﬂew the plane. It was all
very exciting. Soon, I was seated and the plane took off. After 40 minutes, we reached our destination. Before leaving the plane, Capt. Omar wished me “Happy Birthday”. In Penang, I received a wonderful welcome by the ground staff, led by Uncle Kah Leong and the RAMP staff. They played games and kept me entertained. It was very kind of them. Soon, it was time to return to Kuala Lumpur. I boarded ﬂight AK5363 and was greeted by Capt. Kapila. Miss Fatin, the ﬂight attendant, took me to visit the cockpit again. They even let me sit in the pilot’s chair. It was a wonderful experience to be inside the cockpit and ‘take charge’ of the ﬂight for almost 10 minutes at the height of 24,000 kms. Uncle Mariappan was waiting for me when we arrived at LCC Terminal. “How was the trip?” he asked. “Very nice,” I replied. “Would you like to go again”? “Yes” I jumped with joy. I hugged him Rushyaandhran with daddy.
and whispered a big Thank You to him and to all AirAsia staff who made my birthday the best ever. And super big Thank You to Uncle Tony, though I didn’t get to meet him. Rushyaandhran Saravanan, 5, Klang, Malaysia
To solve a Sudoku puzzle, every number from 1 to 9 must appear in: • Each of the nine vertical columns • Each of the nine horizontal rows • Each of the nine 3 x 3 boxes Remember no number can occur more than once in any row, column or box.
1. Sun moved position, 2. Window missing, 3. Extra bird, 4. Snake has extra spots, 5. ‘MAIL’ missing, 6. Man’s tongue missing, 7. Extra ﬂowers, 8. Pattern on tie.
Puzzles are courtesy of Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles
Fill all the words listed into the grid. We have given you a word to get started.
Pix of the
Best picture wins a 3D/2N stay in a Deluxe Golf-view Room* at The Paciﬁc Sutera Hotel in Kota Kinabalu for two worth
RM2000++! *Room only
Father and sons in Lumbini Village, Nepal Francisco de Souza, Australia
WINNER OF THE MONTH
The Paciﬁc Sutera Hotel exudes subtle elegance with its grand entrance, high ceiling lobby lounge, panoramic views of the sea and 500 immaculately appointed rooms and suites. Guests at the Paciﬁc Club enjoy a wide range of facilities, as well as complimentary continental breakfast and evening cocktails at the Paciﬁc Club Lounge, which offers spectacular views of the South China Sea and the ﬁve islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Logon to www.airasiago. com for attractive room deals on this hotel.
A 3D/2N stay in a Deluxe Room at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu inclusive of breakfast for two worth
Located in downtown Kota K Kinabalu, Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu lies within walking K distance to many local d attractions, a while offering superb views v of the city and South China S Sea. Beyond the hotel’s 306 spacious, i well-appointed ll i t d rooms and suites, three unique restaurants and bars serve ﬁne food for the discerning guests. From international cuisine in a casual setting to an oasis for refreshments, Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu is the ideal place in the perfect locale to discover Sabah, East Malaysia. Logon to www.airasiago.com for attractive room deals on this hotel.
Kecak & Fire Dance, Bali, Indonesia Tan Kain Hwa, Sarawak, Malaysia
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Terms & conditions: Readers may submit images that are 300dpi and 1MB in size (minimum half a A4 paper size) • Each entry must be accompanied with name, address, phone number and caption • Readers must own the rights to the picture submitted • Judges’ decision is ﬁnal • Entries are automatically disqualiﬁed if they do not meet our criteria. • Winner will be notiﬁed when the prize is ready to be sent out. • Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash.
comfort Deep Vein Thrombosis
Knee Curls • Sit straight and gently lean forward and raise one knee. • Grasp the knee with both arms and gently pull the leg towards your chest as you lean back. • Hold for 15 seconds, then release and gently lower the leg. • Repeat with other leg.
DVT can occur when a blood clot forms in the large veins in the legs or the arms, leading to an either partially or completely blocked blood circulation. Sitting and moving very little during long flights may lead to the occurrence of DVT. If you are flying long distance, please ensure you perform onboard exercises such as the Knee Curls exercise to get the blood flowing to your leg. Or walk from your seat to the end of the aircraft (where permissible and when safe) and back to your seat to stretch your legs.
Have a Pleasant Flight Flying can be a drag when others are not considerate. It can also be physically demanding, especially if you are on a long-haul flight. Here are some simple steps to help make your journey more enjoyable.
Be Kind, Be Considerate Rest Assured To counter jetlag, sleep as much as you can onboard when you are flying west to east. The AirAsia Comfort Kit comes complete with eye shade, neck pillow and blanket to get some shut eye. When flying east to west, stay awake as much as possible. The neck pillow in Comfort Kit allows you to get comfy while reading a book or watching the clouds zoom by.
• Do not kick or rock the seat in front of you. • Try not to talk loudly, especially if there are other passengers asleep. • Use a handkerchief to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze. • Be careful when you open the overhead cabins. • Do not switch seats without checking with the flight attendant.
Keep Hydrated The air in the aircraft is pretty dry and will leave you feeling sluggish. To counter this, drinks lots of water, avoid alcoholic drinks and reduce consumption of caffeinated & carbonated drinks!
Ho Chi Minh City
WORDS & IMAGE: ADAM LEE
Uncle Ho’s city is a teeming capital that also charms its visitors with grand, French-style buildings, verdant parks and a laidback style that is unique to the Vietnamese people.
Ho Chi Minh City is a city of wheels. Its nine million citizens go about their daily lives mainly on motorbikes, each owning at least one unit, criss-crossing across and around the former French colony in an endless stream of trafﬁc. It can overwhelm you, but even if you close your eyes and take a leap of faith, you won’t get hit. The bikers will endeavour to avoid you mainly. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, the city was renamed after the revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, although the old moniker is still very much a staple in daily speech. As the former capital of the French Colony of Cochin-China, Ho Chi Minh City’s architectural heritage boasts attractive neo-classical buildings that lend to its French ﬂair but not without an Oriental ﬂavour. The city is divided into districts: 16 urban and ﬁve rural. To know Saigon is to know District 1, which is the bustling central area that contains elements of historical and cultural importance: The Reuniﬁcation Palace, the heart-wrenching War Remnants Museum, Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, the Municipal Theatre and the touristic but charming Ben Thanh Market. This sprawling metropolis rolls out in all directions with boulevards and back alleys teeming with shops, cafés, street vendors, hidden pagodas and museums. Lush trees line the streets while its public parks – the green lungs within the city – provide recreational areas for leisurely pursuits. To experience Ho Chi Minh City is to also sample the city’s food-ﬁlled streets. Try a bowl of pho, bo tung xeo (grilled beef) and other Vietnamese delicacies at the 50-odd stalls of Ben Than Market. And no matter what you try, don’t miss out on the super thick Vietnamese coffee that is drunk with screamingly sweet condensed milk.
STAY HERE** Empress Ho Chi Minh A 136 Bui Thi Xuan St., Dist. 1 Saigon Cantho Hotel A 55 Phan Dinh Phung St., Nink Kieu Dist. Elios Hotel A 233, Pham Ngu Lao Street, Dist. 1 Dong Khanh Hotel A 2 Tran Hung Dao B Street, Ward 07, Dist. 5 New World Saigon A 6 Le Lai St., Dist 1 GETTING THERE AirAsia ﬂies to Ho Chi Minh City daily from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, and four times a week from Jakarta. For details and ﬂight schedule, visit www.airasia.com ** These and other hotels are available at great prices at www.airasiago.com
CITY OF DELIGHTS “I truly enjoyed the city and its old world charm. It is very European! The people too are very graceful and I love looking at the local women dressed in their traditional aodais.” ~ Cheah Hsu Jen, Malaysia via e-mail.
route map Uzbekistan Afghanistan
China Shanghai Hangzhou
New Delhi Nepal
Mumbai Yangon Bangalore Tiruchirappalli
Macau Hong Kong
Vientiane Chiang Mai Philippines
Phnom Penh Ho Chi Minh
Kochi Sri Lanka
Krabi Phuket Hat Yai Narathiwat Langkawi Alor Setar Kota Bharu Banda Aceh Penang K.Terengganu Medan Kuala Malaysia Lumpur
Pekanbaru Padang Palembang Kuala Lumpur International Airport Kota Kinabalu International Airport Penang International Airport Kuching International Airport International Route Domestic Route
Johor Bahru Singapore
Sandakan Labuan Miri Brunei Bintulu Tawau Sibu Kuching
Jakarta Bandung Yogyakarta
Surabaya Bali Solo
AirAsia Hubs in Malaysia From Kuala Lumpur, you can fly direct to:
World’s Best Low-Cost Airline 2009, 2010 & 2011
Alor Star, Bali, Balikpapan, Banda Aceh, Bandung, Bangalore, Bangkok, Bintulu, Brunei, Chengdu, Chennai, Chiang Mai, Christchurch, Clark, Colombo, Gold Coast, Guangzhou, Guilin, Had Yai, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Kochi, Kolkata, Kota Bharu, Kota Kinabalu, Krabi, Kuala Terengganu, Kuching, Labuan, Langkawi, London, Macau, Makassar, Medan, Melbourne, Miri, Mumbai, New Delhi, Osaka, Padang, Palembang, Paris, Pekanbaru, Penang, Perth, Phuket, Phnom Penh, Sandakan, Seoul, Shenzhen, Sibu, Siem Reap, Singapore, Solo, Surabaya, Taipei, Tawau, Tehran, Tianjin, Tiruchirappalli, Tokyo, Vientiane, Yangon,Yogyakarta.
From Penang, you can fly direct to: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Langkawi, Medan, Singapore, Surabaya.
From Kota Kinabalu, you can fly direct to: Clark, Jarkata, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Hong Kong, Miri, Penang, Sandakan, Shenzhen, Singapore, Taipei, Tawau.
From Kuching, you can fly direct to: Bintulu, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Miri, Penang, Sibu, Singapore
From these destinations, you can fly direct to:
Bintulu Kuching Johor Bahru Kuching, Medan, Miri, Sibu Kuching Bintulu, Johor Bahru, Miri,
Australia Gold Coast Perth Melbourne
Christchruch Christch urch
Langkawi Singapore Miri Johor Bahru, Kuching, Singapore Sibu Johor Bahru, Kuching
Taiwan Hong Kong
Chiang Rai Chiang Mai
Ubon Ratchathani Vietnam Cambodia
Ho Chi Minh
Surat Thani Nakhon Si Thammarat
Hat Yai Penang
Narathiwat Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Singapore
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok Phuket Int. Airport Chiang Mai Int. Airport
Indonesia Jakarta Bali
International Route Domestic Route
AirAsia Hubs in Thailand From Bangkok, you can fly direct to:
Bali, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Hat Yai, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kolkata, Kota Kinabalu, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Medan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, New Delhi, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Shenzhen, Singapore, Surabaya, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Yangon
From Phuket, you can fly direct to:
Bali, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ubon Ratchatani, Udon Thani
From Chiang Mai, you can fly direct to: Bangkok, Hat Yai, Kuala
Lumpur, Phuket, Singapore
From these destinations, you can fly direct to: Chiang Mai Kuala Lumpur Hat Yai Kuala Lumpur Krabi Kuala Lumpur
It's never too late to cover yourself You can still purchase your AirAsia INSURE even after you’ve bought your tickets via Manage My Booking and Web Check-In at AirAsia.com Terms and Conditions apply.
Ho Chi Minh
Indian Ocean Soekarno Hatta Int. Airport, Jakarta Ngurah Rai Int. Airport, Bali Husein Sastranegara Int. Airport, Bandung Juanda Int. Airport, Surabaya Polonia Int. Airport, Medan
Balikpapan Palembang Makassar Jakarta Bandung
International Route Domestic Route
AirAsia Hubs in Indonesia From Jakarta, you can fly direct to:
From Medan, you can fly direct to:
From Bali, you can fly direct to:
From these destinations, you can fly direct to:
Bali, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Penang, Medan, Singapore, Yogyakarta Bandung, Bangkok, Darwin, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, Singapore
From Surabaya, you can fly direct to:
Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Medan, Penang, Singapore
From Bandung, you can fly direct to:
Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Medan, Singapore
Bandung, Bangkok, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Surabaya
Yogyakarta Kuala Lumpur, Singapore Solo Kuala Lumpur Makassar Kuala Lumpur Padang Kuala Lumpur Pekanbaru Kuala Lumpur Banda Aceh Kuala Lumpur Palembang Kuala Lumpur Balikpapan Kuala Lumpur
Assured Get yourself covered from as low as USD2.30* Terms and Conditions apply.
AIRASIA SALES OFFICES AND STATIONS CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH
vPhnom Penh Airport Office, 17 Mezzanine Floor of Arrival Domestic Terminal, Phnom Penh Airport, Phnom Penh v179, Street Sisowath, Sangkat Phsar Kandal 1, Khan Daun Penh, 12204 Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.
vDeparture Terminal, Sultan Hasanuddin, International Airport, Makassar, South Sulawesi vMall Panakukang, Carrefour
Panakukang, 3rd Floor, Jl. Adyaksa Baru No.1, Makassar, South Sulawesi MANADO
vSam Ratulangi International
vGL 13 Sultan Ismail Airport 81250 Johor Bahru vNo. 26 Jalan Meriam, 84000
vNo 7, Jalan Bestari 1/5,
Taman Nusa Bestari, 79100, Bandar Nusajaya, Johor.
vNo 75, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, 80150, Johor Bharu, Johor vNo 20, Jalan Raya, 81000, Kulaijaya, Johor.
Airport Jalan A.A. Maramis, Manado 95374
83000, Batu Pahat, Johor
vOffice 20, Mezzanine Level
vGK 01, Ground Floor, Kluang Mall, Jalan Rambutan, Bandar Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor.
Passenger Terminal, Macau International Airport Taipa, Macau GUANG DONG
vCentury Holiday International
Travel Service (Shenzhen) Co.Ltd., XY-10 Junting Hotel, 3085 Eastern Road, Luo Hu, Shenzhen
vZhuhai Sun Star International
Travel Agency Co Ltd., 1151, South of Yingbin Road, Zhuhai
INDONESIA BANDA ACEH
vBandara Sultan Iskandar Muda, Blang Bintang, Aceh DENPASAR, BALI
vBandara I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Terminal Keberangkatan International Bali 80361 vJl. Legian Kaja no. 455 Kuta, Bali BANDUNG
vRuangan Nombor 34 Bandara Husein Sastranegara Jalan Pajajaran No 156 Bandung Jawa Barat
Keberangkatan Internasional, Medan 20157 Sumatra
vGaruda Plaza Hotel, Jl. Sisingamangaraja No.18 Medan-20213
vNo 97, Jalan Rahmat,
vNo 21,Jalan Dedap 21, Taman
Johor Jaya, 81100, Johor Bharu KEDAH
vGround Floor, Kim Mansion 332, Chulia Street, 10200 Penang vNo 723 L-G, Jln Sungai Dua 11700 Pulau Pinang SABAH
vLot 1 & 2, 1st Floor, Terminal Building, Sandakan Airport, 90719 Sandakan
vLangkawi International Airport
vTB228, Lot 5, Ground Floor, Istana Monaco, Jalan Bunga, Fajar Complex 91000 Tawau
vNo. 68-B Ground Floor, Jalan Ibrahim, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman
vLot G24, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah, Jln. Tun Razak, 88000, Kota Kinabalu
vSultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport Palembang, South Sumatra PEKANBARU
vSultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport, Jalan Perhubungan Udara Simpang Tiga, Pekanbaru, Sumatra SOLO
vAdi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo, Central Java SURABAYA
vLobby International Terminal Juanda International Airport Jalan Raya Juanda Surabaya Jawa Timur vGrand Circle Tunjungan Plaza
07100 Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi
vLot 4, Level 2, Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur, 50470 vLot G027B, Ground Floor, Podium Block, Plaza Berjaya,12 Jalan Imbi,55100 Kuala Lumpur vNo. 63, Ground Floor, Medan Bunus Off Jalan Masjid India, 50100 Kuala Lumpur. vNo 71 Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 1 Taman Usahawan Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur vNo. 4 Jalan 3/116B, Kuchai Lama
vTerminal 3 & Terminal 2D
vAdisutjipto International Airport
Jl. Hayam Wuruk No.127, Lantai GF2 Blok RA 49, Jakarta Pusat
vPenang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
vLindeteves Trade Center Building,
Sultan Abdul Halim, 06200 Kepala Batas, Alor Star
vNo. 1, Jalan PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya.
No. 105B Blok M, Jakarta Selatan
vNo 32, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka
vHotel Hangtuah, Jl. Pemuda no. 1 Padang, Sumatra Barat, 25117
Entrepreneur Park, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 582000 Kuala Lumpur.
vJln. Panglima Polim,
vFL4, 1st Floor, Tawau Airport Building, Jalan Apas-Balung, 91100 Tawau
3 Lantai 1, (Lobby Condominium Regency), Jln. Basuki Rahmat 8-12, Surabaya
vJl. Boulevard Raya, Blok LA 4, No. 10 Kelapa Gading, Jakarta Utara
vLevel 1, Labuan Airport Terminal 87008 Wilayah Persekutuan
vLot 20, Lapangan Terbang
vLobby Grand Serela Hotel Jl. L.L. R.E Martadinata (Riau) No 56 Telp. (022) 426 1636
Departure Hall Airlines Offices Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Cengkareng,
Jln. Solo km.9, Yogyakarta, 55282
vTGround Floor, Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Int. Airport, Old Airport Road,Tanjung Aru 88100, Kota Kinabalu SARAWAK
vLot GL.14, Public Concourse Terminal Building, Bintulu Airport 97000 Bintulu vGround Floor, Miri Airport, 98000 Miri vLot 946, Jalan Parry, 98000 Miri vHo Ho Lim, Ground Floor, 291 Sublot 4, Jalan Abell, 93100 Kuching vDeparture Level, Kuching International Airport, 93756 Kuching vWisma Ho Ho Lim, Ground Floor No. 291, Sub Lot 4, Jalan Abell 93100 Kuching
vMelia Purosani Hotel, Jl Suryotomo No.31, Yogyakarta
vLapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, 16100 Pengkalan Chepa Kota Bharu
v1st Floor, Main Terminal Building, Sibu Airport, 96000 Sibu
v3183G, Jalan Sultan Ibrahim (Opp. KB Mall), 15050 Kota Bharu.
vGround Floor, No. 36 Jalan Keranji, 96000 Sibu
vTune Hotels.com Danga Bay,
Lot PTB 22819, Jalan Skudai, Mukim Bandar, 80200 Johor Bahru
vLevel 1, Terminal Building, Sultan Mahmud Airport, 21300 Kuala Terengganu
vGrd Flr, Lot 4034, Jln Tun Ahmad Zaidi, Parkcity Commercial Sq, Phase 5, 97000 Bintulu vGround Floor, 192H Al-Idrus Commercial Centre, Jalan Satok, 93400 Kuching
vSL11 Ground Floor, Lot 2541 Lee Ling Heights Phase 2, Mile 6.5 Jalan Penrissen, P.O. Box 2044, 93250 Kuching vLot 6813, Ground Floor Synergy Square, (Matang Jaya Commercial Centre), Jalan Matang Jaya, 93050 Kuching SELANGOR
vGround Floor, Terminal 3, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor vJalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor
vRow No:11, Departure level 2 Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, Singapore v111 North Bridge Road #01-36/37, Peninsula Plaza 179098,
v133 Moo 5 Petchkasem Road, Tambol Nuakrong, Amphur Nuakrong, Krabi 81130 NARATHIWAT
330 Moo 5 , Tambol Kok-Kian, Amphur Muang, Narathiwat 96000
vSetmil Aviation (Pvt) Ltd., Ground Floor, Setmil Maritime Centre, 256, Srimath Ramanathan Mawatha, Colombo 15, Sri Lanka
vPhuket International Airport 312, 3rd Floor, Tumbol Maikao, Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110
vUnit 9, Laflora Patong Area, No. 39, 39/1, Thaveewong Rd., Patong, Kratoo, Phuket
vLot-35 Mydin Mall USJ 1
vB-G-3A, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya 47170 Puchong Selangor
vSuvarnabhumi International Airport Room A1-062 Ground Floor, Concourse A, BangnaTrad Road, Racha Teva, Bang Pli, Samutprakarn 10540
vSuratThani International Airport
v127 Tanao Road, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok 10200
vUbon Ratchathani Airport 297 Ubon Ratchathani Airport, Thepyotee Road, Amphur Nai Muang, Ubon Ratchathani 34000
vLot S141, 2nd Floor, Plaza Metro Kajang, Section 7, Jalan Tun Abdul Aziz, 43000 Kajang vNo 1 (667-C), Wisma Y S Tan
Lorong Kepayang, 41300 Klang
CHIANG MAI SALES OFFICE
vNo 1, Jln PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya
vChiangmai International Airport 60, 1st Floor, Tambol Sutep, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50200
v416 Thaphae Road, Chiang Mai
vYangon International Airport
vChiang Rai International Airport
vOffice Unit# 01-L, Parkroyal Yangon, Myanmar
2305/2 404 Moo 10, Tambol Bandu, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai 57100
vHat Yai International Airport
International Airport Clark Civil Aviation Complex Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines 2023
125 Hadyai International Airport, Moo 3 Klongla, Klonghoikong, Songkhla 90115
73 Moo 3 Tambol Huatuey, Amphur Punpin, Suratthani UBON RATCHATHANI
vUdon Thani International Airport 224 Moo 1, Tambol Makkhang, Amphur Muang, Udon Thani 41000
vNoibai International Airport Lobby A, 3rd Floor, Hanoi vNo.30 Le Thai To Str., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi City v223, De Tham Pham Ngu Lao Ward District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
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With over 45 years of experience in the aviation industry, Pak Soeratman Doerachman is a true veteran and has been an indispensable advisor to the CEO EO of Indonesia AirAsia for the past six years.
My Role I think it’s supposed to be Aeronautical Advisor. In the beginning, I thought it was a very strange job title. But I soon understood that my function is to advise AirAsia on all things related to aviation. So, I guess it’s apt.
Biggest Challenges During my time here at AirAsia, I’ve had two major challenges. The ﬁrst was getting the route concessions for Indonesia AirAsia to be able to ﬂy to over 100 destinations domestically and internationally. The second involved changing the former name of the airline to Indonesia AirAsia. We had many parties opposing the name change. Thank God, we were successful.
My Big Boss I work closely with the CEO of Indonesia AirAsia, Pak Dharmadi, whom I’ve known since 1990; long before our time in AirAsia. Pak Dharmadi is a professional pilot who can operate the Fokker 28,
DC 9, Airbus 300B4 and d Boeing 747, and was also an instructor ctor for these aircraft. Although he comes omes from a legacy carrier background, und, he lives the AirAsia culture.
My Passion I may be a veteran in this his line but I always feel young. I think nk it’s important to keep busy, and at AirAsia, rAsia, there’s always something happening. pening. When not at work, I love ve to read and play golf.
Being an Allstar star We always say “Believe e the unbelievable, dream the e impossible and never take ‘no’ for an answer”. That’s the story of AirAsia. sia. Being an Allstar means understanding rstanding and living this motto. When we come together as Allstars, ars, we are unstoppable!
Best Advice Received Sometimes, experience can an become your enemy. Do not rely too o much on your experiences alone. Be bold and take chances.