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CHECK-IN Contents September 2012 68



QPR ASIA TOUR Queens Park Rangers



City by the Yangtze and Jiliang Rivers


HIGH ON LANGKAWI Island Paradise in Malaysia




BRUNEI, BARU-NAH Brunei Deep Sea Treasures


PILOT’S PERSPECTIVE Dead-Stick Glide Landing


TRAVEL LOG A Dream & A Little Determination





122 OFF THE RACK Fashion Savvy

126 VANITY FARE Anytime, Any Place

130 JETSETTER Naowarat Pongpaiboon

08 INBOX The Buzz from our Guests

10 RED FORT News from AirAsia


IN FLIGHT 136 PLANE FUN Puzzles & Games


Makin’ Merit

Photos Taken by AirAsia Guests





Stuff you’d Love to Know

22 HOT DATES September Events to Keep a Lookout for

28 COMPASS Trail Blazing Travels


Joy of Flying


30 QUICK BITES Life’s a Feast


34 PAGE TURNER Fodder for Foodies

38 MONEY MAKER People Power



Getting It Right

42 SCORE BOARD Gone Social with Sport

46 HYPER TECH Sounds Pretty Futuristic

50 SLEEP INNS Borneo Breeze

60 HIT LIST Dance is Life

134 KIDS SPACE Eat, Play, Laugh


Senthuran Mohan (Malaysia)









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Indran Balavishnu (Malaysia)

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Spencer Lee (AirAsia Berhad)



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Alice Yong, Captain Lim Khoy Hing, Carol West Efi Hamzah, Ellyse Ng, Lawrence Alex Wu Magda Biskup, Pete King, Shantini Suntharajah


Fadillah Kamarudin


Fazlina Bee Binti Abdul Rashid



Adam Lee



Beverly Rodrigues Chitra S



Kan Seak Hong



R. Rajendra









Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun




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Mairianne Reardon (Singapore, UK and International Markets)


Paragorn Petchnaree (Thailand)

AirAsia wins Skytrax World’s Best Low Cost Airline 2012


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


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

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

Percetakan Zanders Sdn. Bhd.

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

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


Matthew Mok, Ellyse Ng, Irvin Hanni, Haze Jalalludin, Vini Balan, Abby Yao, Ari Fajar Iyan Yudhiana Ong Chin Han, Jason Phoon, Mohd Sufian Angie Lew

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


Find us at

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

12 9 CAPTAIN’S ADDRESS 0 2012 2011

WORLD’S BEST FOUR TIMES! Of course, to earn your support, we are dedicated in ensuring that you continuously enjoy top notch products and services. Success will not make us complacent and our goal of offering you only the best with continued improvements in our services doesn’t stop with this award. The AirAsia family has worked diligently over the past 10 years to take AirAsia to the pinnacle of success. With our guests’ comfort and satisfaction in mind, we’ve embarked on the journey for aviation excellence guided by passion, creativity and commitment to provide you with a memorable ‘AirAsia Experience’. You are our inspiration; the energy that propels us to greater heights. To celebrate and reflect on our colourful, fun and friendly culture, we decided to add a special touch to our inflight magazine. Our September edition is available in four different coloured covers, signifying our quadruple award wins for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Unlike fast-food companies with the classic ‘collect all now’ catch line at the ending, we ask you not to remove this magazine from the aircraft. If you can’t get enough of it onboard, please visit to read it online or download a copy. For free! What’s next for AirAsia? We’ll continue working hard to provide enhanced services and products for your flying pleasure, and obviously, secure a fifth consecutive win! And I believe it would not be too ambitious for AirAsia – God willingly – to aim for the title of The Best Airline in the World too!

I still remember when AirAsia first won the Skytrax World’s Best Low Cost Airline award back in 2009. As a young airline, we were thrilled about the win and honoured to triumph over other more established airlines and, even Europe’s largest low-cost carrier! Fast forward to 2012. The air travellers of the world – 19 million of them – have once again chosen AirAsia as Skytrax’s World’s Best Low Cost Airline for the fourth consecutive year! The icing on the cake is the fact that the winner for the world’s best low cost carrier award is not selected by the industry or any self-interested committee but by travellers, making the award truly meaningful. This success would not have been possible without the support of you, our cherished guests. E







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9 INBOX 0 2012

I recently flew with AirAsia from Singapore to Bali and enjoyed reading the inflight magazine. I particularly enjoyed the article on Jaffna, Sri Lanka (July 2012). I had visited Colombo briefly about 12 years ago and have never forgotten the warmth of the people, in spite of the strife and struggle. Reading about the slow yet steady, painstaking yet positive pace of Jaffna’s re-emergence was very heart warming. I liked the description of the local artisans who were using their traditional talents ring but it seems like to beautify their city. This country has seen so much suffering, there is a new beginning and both tourists and locals alike are welcoming this emergence of faith, friendship and fortitude.~ Natasha Bhandari, via email

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

I’ve just finished reading the article Down the Irrawaddy (July 2012) in Travel 3Sixty°. It is a beautifully written article about the writer’s slow boat journey from Bhamo to Bagan along the Irrawaddy. Poignantly written, one can almost sense his excitement as he journeys downstream. I started reading this article thinking it would be a run-of-the-mill article on another destination. However, when I reached the end of the article, I too began to envision the inviting thought of journeying down the Irrawaddy for myself, to see, sense and experience the everyday life and culture of these gentle people. In conclusion, the article successfully stirs curiosity and intrigues us to discover for ourselves the subtle joys of experiencing this culturally enlightening journey. ~ Saw Yen Peng, via email


Reading Awesome All the Way (July, 2012) has helped me make up my mind to go to Boracay in Philippines next year. I have heard enough about the place from friends to want to go there, but had never taken the steps to plan for the trip. However, knowing now that the place has been listed as one of the top beach destinations in Asia and in the world by, my mind has more or less been made up. With descriptions like “grand dame of islands” and “crown jewel of Filipino tourism”, I do not think I need any more persuasion to visit Boracay. ~ David Khoo, Kajang, Malaysia

HERE’S THE BUZZ ON AIRASIA’S FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND WEIBO PAGES Thanks AA, bought tickets for 5 family members for super cheap price!!! Always happy with your service. Well Done!!! :) Dwi Lestari

Thank you AirAsia! I managed to get 2-way tickets to KT at only RM48! Will enjoy my Redang trip next year! Hurray!! Lina Sariff

AirAsia, though I know arriving late at the airport was my fault, your staff at the Langkawi airport handled it well. I’m truly impressed by how efficient and friendly your staff is. Keep it up! Nick Chia

Thank you @AirAsia for allowing me to purchase 40kgs of checked baggage. Now everyone in my family can get something.

AirAsia aircraft used to be in red, but today I saw one blue which I liked the most! South-lake


Pleasant experience flying budget carrier @AirAsia today BKK SIN. Clean planes, punctual, friendly staff, honest & transparent pricing. @MYSAVVYTRAVELER

Thanks @myBIGShots for 800pts redeemed last nite to stay in 2 double room connecting @TuneHotels, Legian Bali. Awesome trip by @AirAsia :) @pokeque

I flew with AirAsia throughout my Southeast Asia trip. 5 flights, none are delayed, safe & steady. Thank You AirAsia for your superb performance! Koala

Yesterday 2.20pm, I boarded my AirAsia, departed on-time. Thailand, I am finally coming again! *Love Flying-Freely

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



9 RED FORT 0 2012

AIRASIA ON TOP For the fourth consecutive year, AirAsia was voted World’s Best Low Cost Airline and Best Low Cost Airline – Asia in an annual global survey conducted by Londonbased aviation consultants, Skytrax. Almost 19 million air travellers worldwide had their say in this independent survey that measures airlines’ product and service standards. This was a huge honour for the airline that emerged number one in Aviation Week’s Top-Performing Airlines 2012 report just prior to this award, beating longer established airlines and even Europe’s largest low-cost carrier. The Top-Performing Airlines 2012 award was based on a statistical analysis of airlines’ financial and operational performance. AirAsia was also named KLIA’s ‘Airline of the Year’ and ‘Low Cost Airline of the Year’ at the recent KLIA Awards, while AirAsia Indonesia bagged ‘Foreign Airline of the Year’ and ‘Foreign Airline of the Year by Sector – South East Asia’. Winners were determined based on passenger movement, growth factor, international recognition and service performance for 2011.

“The aviation industry is a volatile one, but AirAsia has always risen above every challenge that came our way. We hope to continue our relationship with Malaysia Airports in providing improved services to all air travellers.” ~ Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Berhad

“We are truly honoured to receive two awards from Malaysia Airports. This underscores our dedication to service excellence, as well as our commitment to customer satisfaction.” ~ Dharmadi, President Director of AirAsia Indonesia




On July 26, AirAsia Berhad acquired PT Metro Batavia, which operates the Indonesian airline, Batavia Air, and the aviation training school, Aero Flyer Institute. This strategic purchase sees AirAsia Berhad holding a 49% stake, while the remaining 51% is (L-R) Sendjaja Widjaja, Commissioner of AirAsia Indonesia; Dato’ held by Indonesian Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Group CEO of AirAsia; Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia; Alice Tansari, Managing Director of partner, Fersindo, Batavia Air; Yudiawan Tansari, President Director of Batavia Air; Pin Harris, President Commissioner of AirAsia Indonesia; and Dharmadi, President which is the Director of AirAsia Indonesia. major shareholder of Indonesia AirAsia. The airline’s new acquisition will accelerate connectivity and growth plans in Indonesia with its extensive route network throughout the archipelago, huge fleet, experienced pilots and flight crew and, competitive slots at major Indonesian airports. When the acquisition is complete in the second quarter of 2013, Indonesia AirAsia and Batavia Air will fly more than 14 million guests, serving 42 Indonesian and 12 international destinations. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


To commemorate AirAsia Expedia’s first year in business and celebrate the synergy between AirAsia and the world’s largest online travel company, Expedia Inc., the airline unveiled a special livery dedicated to the joint venture in July 2012. The yellow Expedia plane is a symbol of a successful partnership that has rapidly grown from strength to strength. AirAsia Expedia has already launched two localised Expedia sites in Singapore ( and Thailand ( offering a selection of over 400 airlines, 150,000 hotels and build-your-own dynamic holiday packages.

“We knew that this joint venture between AirAsia and Expedia would definitely revolutionise the online travel agency industry when we started last year. Just as AirAsia is committed to growing the market in Asia, this joint venture also aims to focus and tap into the evolving travellers in Asia. Through this partnership and our future plans to invest in the Philippines’ market, I am confident that AirAsiaExpedia will only further spur and grow the tourism industry.”~ Kathleen Tan, Group Head of Commercial for AirAsia

REMINDER! Beginning October 1, 2012, Thai AirAsia will relocate its operations from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Int. Airport to Don Mueang Int. Airport. The airport code will change from SVB to DMK, and guests will receive updated travel itineraries. Guests who’ve already checked in will be required to check in again with the new airport code.

AIRASIA JAPAN TAKES FLIGHT On August 1, AirAsia Japan launched daily services to Sapporo and Fukuoka from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, marking the start of AirAsia Japan’s mission to develop the LCC market in Japan, and make quality travel available for everyone. To commemorate this occasion, the airline offered fares from as low as ¥100 one-way when booking online. For the latest promotions, follow AirAsia Japan on and

CONTINUED PARTNERSHIP In July, AirAsia and ST Aerospace inked a 10-year agreement worth US$80 million for component repair management Maintenance-By-theHour support for 75 of AirAsia’s Airbus A320 aircraft. The signing marks a decade of partnership; ST Aerospace has been supporting AirAsia on existing component repair management MBHTM programme for 100 A320 aircraft for the past 10 years.

INTRODUCING ASEANITA (L-R) Azran Osman-Rani, CEO AirAsia X; Kazuyuki Iwakata, CEO AirAsia Japan; Yuuichi Hata, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Kensaku Morita, Chiba Governor

“AirAsia and ANA entered into a joint venture only about a year ago and the response has been overwhelming. I am delighted to see our first flights take off to Fukuoka and Sapporo. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported and assisted us.” ~ Kazuyuki Iwakata, CEO of AirAsia Japan

SUPPORTING SPORTS In May, AirAsia’s Government and Middle East Business Development department received a special appreciation from YB. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education, for its generous support. AirAsia has been designated as official airline for the Sukan Institusi Pengajian Tinggi (SUKIPT) 2012.

AirAsia asean, the regional base of Asia’s largest low-cost airline, has created Aseanita, a virtual guide to the Asean region. This female caricature promotes the region via social media channels, fostering interest in Asean’s history, travel destinations, cultures, food and people. To support Aseanita and celebrate ASEAN Day on August 8, AirAsia asean launched a free-flights campaign called Share, Dream and Fly, offering Aseanita’s Facebook friends the opportunity to win free roundtrip plane tickets to any of AirAsia’s 55 Asean destinations. To support Aseanita, follow her on Facebook (facebook. com/Aseanita) and Twitter (@Aseanita).

“One of our major goals is to help promote and protect the Asean image and brand. Asean is our home, we have invested our resources here and we intend to grow here. There is a huge underserved market of 600 million people in Asean, and we intend to make true our promise of ‘Now everyone can fly’” ~ Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia. Shahrudin Kassim, Manager Government and Middle East Business Development (on the right) presenting a model of AirAsia aircraft to YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education



FABULOUS FLY-THRU In June, AirAsia X enhanced its Fly-Thru Service to select destinations in Malaysia allowing for a seamless transit process and connectivity between AirAsia X’s long-haul network and Malaysia’s domestic destinations via AirAsia’s hub in Kuala Lumpur. This means an exemption from transit visas, and bags will be transferred directly to guests’ final destination. Kuching



Kota Kinabalu


NEW FLY-THRU HOTSPOTS • PENANG is famous for its historic buildings, stunning architecture, and delicious hawker fare. • LANGKAWI is a legendary island that offers a wealth of scenic natural attractions, as well as duty free goods! • KOTA KINABALU is the gateway to Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Malaysia, as well as the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. • KUCHING is renowned for its cultural attractions like the Sarawak Cultural Village, as well as wildlife refuges like Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

Taking your in-flight entertainment experience to greater heights, AirAsia X is now offering guests the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with an all-enhanced high-resolution screen and premium sound system. This sophisticated in-flight entertainment system allows guests to watch pre-loaded movies and TV shows; enjoy over 150 music tracks; play games like Uno, Where’s Wally Now? and Shark Dash; and catch up on some reading with digital magazines like AirAsia’s Travel 3Sixty inflight magazine, Passions and International Business Review. The tablet is available for prebooking at just RM35 one-way or for rental onboard at RM45 one-way – available on all AirAsia X flights.

“The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be a great change to our previous portable e-Player as it offers one of the best high definition screens, sound system and a powerful processor all packed in a sleek yet lightweight tablet.” ~ CEO of AirAsia X, Azran Osman-Rani

GOVERNMENT WARRANT TRAVEL In April, representatives from AirAsia paid a courtesy visit to Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin, Chief Criminal Investigation Department (CID) PDRM to promote the AirAsia Government Warrant Travel Programme and its benefits. This programme is a special air travel service for government officers on business travel that allows for greater savings. Bookings and enquiries may be made through AirAsia’s appointed government travel agents, or via the Warrant Support Team at +603 8660 4016.

HONOURING PARENTS AirAsia’s flight attendants (FAs) love to entertain guests, and often go that extra mile whenever there’s a special occasion. To celebrate Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June, AirAsia FAs ran fun in-flight games, and gave away prizes sponsored by AirAsia Insure. 14


(From Left) Zulkeefli Mohd Idris, Head of GME; Dato’ Abdul Nasser Abu Kassim, Regional Head GME; Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin, Chief Criminal Investigation Department PDRM; Shahrudin Kassim, Manager GME ; and Shuhada Rifaad, Executive GME.

9 SPOTLIGHT 0 2012

POOL PARTY MAP IT OUT Unlike traditional maps that you have to fuss with, Crumpled City maps are made to be crumpled and can be simply crammed into your pocket or backpack after each use. These nifty Italian-made maps are 100% waterproof and do not tear easily. Each map comes with an index that lists the city’s monuments, museums, art galleries, parks, buildings and, SoulSights – 10 spots in the city you must visit for a soul-enriching experience. Guides for 31 cities including Hong Kong, Tokyo, Melbourne and Sydney are available at Actually+, Singapore.

MOVIE ZEN The Thus Have I Seen (THIS) Buddhist Film Festival returns this September with a line-up of 16 thought-provoking films that reflect on the cultural, social and religious aspects of Buddhism. The selection includes award-winning movies such as The Outrage and Headshot from Thailand and One Mile Above, which documents a man’s attempt to cycle from Lijiang, China to Lhasa in Tibet in a bid to fulfil his late brother’s dream. Catch it at Shaw Theatres Lido, Singapore, from Sept 22 to 29, 2012. Tickets available at


There’s no party like a pool party and to prove it The 101 Legian in Bali is throwing its Endless Summer Party on Sept 21, 2012. Party the night away at the hotel’s Rooftop Dine & Lounge, which offers bird’s eye views of downtown Legian. Whether you choose to cool off in the Sky Pool or hit the dance floor, this is one party you do not want to miss.



One Mile Above

VICTORIAN SPRING From gourmet picnics and alfresco dining to wine tastings and dinners inspired by multi-cultural traditions, Spring Graze features more than 50 food and wine events across Melbourne and Victoria. Think spring lamb at its most tender, freshly plucked vegetables and new-release wines. The month-long event is a celebration of the warm weather and bounty of spring brought to you by the organisers of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, happening across Victoria from Sept 1 to 30.


A collaborative effort between Maybank, Leica, Profoto and HP, the Maybank Photography Awards is a chance for avid photographers, both amateur and professional, to put their skills to the test in four categories: Street, Studio, Landscape and Press Photography. Themed ‘Being Human’, the competition, which runs from Sept 3 to Oct 31, 2012 aims to showcase imagery that captures the human spirit. Prizes include a Maybank Debit Card preloaded with RM10,000, a Leica X2 Set, a Profoto D1 Studio Kit and a HP Designjet Z2100 24”. A ‘Photographer of the Year’ award is also up for grabs.

SPROUTING TALENT An avenue for choreographers to showcase their talent, SPROUTS is jointly organised by the National Arts Council and Frontier Danceland, a Singaporean dance company. Since its inception in 2009, the competition has focused on the originality and creativity of choreographic concepts, and this year’s All Stars edition will pit finalists and winners from the past three years against each other. Watch them battle it out in the Final Showcase on Sept 15, 2012 happening at the School of the Arts, Drama Theatre, Singapore.




HELLO KITTY’S HERE The first Hello Kitty theme park outside of Japan is set to open at the Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park in Johor, Malaysia in October. Sanrio Hello Kitty Town will consist of walk-through attractions such as Kitty House and Wishful Studio where Hello Kitty fans can play dress-up and make their own jewelry among other fun activities. Take a spin on the tea cup ride in the Friendship Land or catch live performances by Hello Kitty and her friends Dear Daniel, Badtz-Maru and My Melody at the Purrfect stage.

JOIN THE LITTLE BIG CLUB Help Bob the Builder build a house in Bobsville, sing along with Barney and Friends, or learn to dance with Angelina Ballerina in Angelina’s Dance Studio – all this and more at the Little Big Club in Puteri Harbour. The theme park offers interactive activities and rides featuring HIT Entertainment characters like Bob the Builder, Barney, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu and Thomas and Friends.

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and The Little Big Club opens at the Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park on October 26, 2012. Tickets are on sale now at 20


A WHOLE LOTTA BUBBLES Louis Pearl, the Amazing Bubble Man returns will an all-new show featuring his signature brand of spellbinding bubble tricks. This time, Pearl teams up with the UK’s top artistic director Tony Mercer to bring you an even more amazing show with new tricks that will have you gasping in amazement. Combining artistry, science and fun, Pearl has thrilled audiences worldwide with his bubbly repertoire. Catch him at Drama Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts from September 12 to 16.

9 HOT DATES 0 2012


INDONESIA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW SEPT 20 – 30 Indonesia’s annual motor show zips into the PT Jakarta International Expo with 300 different car brands showcasing new automobiles and high tech creations that are economically and environmentally friendly.


THE 6TH ANNUAL HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL SEPT 6 – OCT 6 40 comedians from all over the world take to the stage at Hong Kong’s TakeOut Comedy Club and other venues for Hong Kong’s biggest comedy festival. Treats include Paul Ogata, Andre King and Ruben Paul.


KINGS PARK FESTIVAL SEPT 1 – OCT 7 In spring, Western Australia’s Kings Park and Botanic Garden blooms with spectacular wildflowers like kangaroo paw, golden feathers and banskia, and hosts floral displays with over 3,000 plant species, gardening workshops, guided walks, live music and theatrical performances.



SEPT 22 Legendary


blues-rock guitarist, Joe Bonamassa, performs hits from his new solo album Driving Towards The Daylight at Bangkok’s Siam Pavalai Royal Grand Theater, Siam Paragon.




SEPT 25 – 30 Inspired by the Korean instrumental art of samul nori, acrobatic chefs transform knives and kitchen utensils into musical instruments in this non-verbal, musical performance at the Sands Theater, Marina Bay Sands.

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

flights com able on ALL


except from



Super IDD Rates:


5 sen/1MB

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


16 sen/min


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







SEPT 20 Considered an Important Intangible Cultural Property of Japan, this festival dedicated to the Kuma Kabuto shrine in Ishikawa sees towering poles with crimson banners and portable shrines paraded through Nanao City led by the Shinto deity, Sarutahiko Okami.

SEPT 7 – 30

New South Wales’ largest alternative arts event celebrates art in all its varied forms from visual arts, fi lm and theatre to music, dance and poetry with more than 250 events.


SIBU & KL TOWER BASE JUMP 2012 SEPT 20 - 30 BASE jumpers leap off Sibu’s Wisma Senayan from Sept 20 to 23, and Kuala Lumpur’s KL Tower from Sept 27 till 30, with adrenaline-pumping night jumps happening on Sept 28 and 29.



MAROON 5’S OVEREXPOSED TOUR SEPT 20 Front man Adam Levine and the crew of Maroon 5 bring their mesh of R&B, soul, funk and rock to the Shah Alam Stadium at their Overexposed tour to promote their fourth studio album of the same name.

24TH MACAU INTERNATIONAL FIREWORKS DISPLAY CONTEST SEPT 8 Celebrating its long history of firecracker-making, a cultural inheritance from Portugal, Macau hosts magnificent fireworks displays by international pyrotechnic teams on September 8, 15, 22 and 29 and October 1.

ELSEWHERE… MALAYSIA SEPT 28 – 30 Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge my • SEPT 14 – 16 Sarawak Regatta • THAILAND SEPT 24 – OCT 2 Tennis ATP Thailand Open 2012 – Nonthaburi www.thailandopen. org • JAPAN SEPT 2 – 8 Osaka Classic • AUSTRALIA SEPT 9 The Festival of the Winds www.waverley.nsw.

9 COMPASS 0 2012



From luxury tours to backpacking and roughing it out, there are enough travel options for just about anyone on the planet. How about scrimping and saving the first two days of your holiday and, ending your stay at a super, swanky hotel? Who says you can’t have it all!?

TOP OF THE WORLD Nepal is sometimes known as ‘heaven on earth’ for good reason. It is one of the most picturesque places on the planet with majestic mountains in the north and, long, stretches of graceful grasslands in the south. If you find yourself in this little piece of paradise, here are some special spots you must visit.

KATHMANDU The capital city of Nepal is located at an altitude of over 4,000 ft. and is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The city is home to, ancient royal palaces and buildings, and is resplendent with spirituality and old-world charm. Don’t miss Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, which offers a marvellous cluster of temples, palaces and courtyards.

POKHARA If you’re in the mood for a little romance, head straight to this city located in a serene valley in the Himalayas. Make sure you bring along your camera and travel to the nearby township of Tansen where you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Terai plains, as well as the Himalayan range.

Mask of Bhairava, Durbar Square, Kathmandu,


PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE In a land of holy sites and religious structures, this is probably the most magnificent of them all. Located along the beautiful waters of the Bagmati River, the temple of Lord Pashupatinath draws scores of devotees from all over the world and, is also on the list of UNESCO’s protected cultural monuments. GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies twice weekly and three times weekly effective Sept 15, 2012, from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu. Go to for details.


It’s official! The Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Da Nang, Vietnam is a favourite among travellers. The resort received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award, which recognises excellence in the hospitality industry. The award is given to outstanding establishments that consistently receive great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. General Manager Anthony Gain said that it was encouraging to know the hard work of the team at Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort and Spa has translated into positive traveller reviews on TripAdvisor.




Walking Street Market, Chiang Mai


If some of your favourite travel companions are your trusty techie gadgets, consider yourself a travel trendsetter. Here’s a list of handy tech accessories no digital nomad should leave home without.

SHOESTRING SHOPPING If you’re a shopper on a budget, you can’t go wrong at Thailand’s Chatuchak Weekend Market. A bargain-hunter’s paradise, Chatuchak offers thousands of stalls selling items that range from second-hand designer jeans to hill-tribe jewellery – all at affordable prices! Chatuchak is open only on Saturdays and Sundays. In Chiang Mai, visit the Sundays only Walking Street Market that is located within the walled city, starting from Thapae Gate.

FRIENDS OF MOTHER EARTH Eco-friendly travel doesn’t need to be complicated and these simple tips will go a long way toward protecting Mother Earth.

STAY ON THE TRAIL Going off the beaten path isn’t always a good thing when you travel. If you’re camping or hiking in remote areas, try to remain on the marked path. Stepping off the trail could mean trampling and destroying endangered plants and insects.

HOP ON A BUS Taking public transport is one of the best things you can do for the planet while you’re on holiday. Hopping on busses and taxis translates to fewer vehicles on the road and a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

DITCH PLASTIC POISON Plastic bags are like poison for the planet because they can take up to 500 years to biodegrade. Bring your own reusable shopping bag the next time you stop by a night market, bazaar or mall on your holiday. 28


FOOD POISONING Food poisoning can strike easily when you’re on holiday and even the most intrepid traveller isn’t safe. Exotic, spicy foods, water that’s not 100% clean and, delicious but bacteria-ridden street fare can turn your vacation into a nightmare. While it’s not possible to guarantee complete protection, a few simple rules can help safeguard your tummy. Here’s a simple list of things you can do prevent food poisoning.

RETRACTABLE ETHERNET CABLE An Ethernet cable connects your computer to wired Internet (as opposed to a wireless Internet). A practical retractable Ethernet cable will allow you to bypass the potential unreliability of many wireless networks at airports and hotels. Belkin offers some great options. LAPTOP LOCK Safeguard your laptop and the precious data within using a portable lock. Shop around for one that fits your needs but Kensington is one of the most reliable brands around.

LIGHTWEIGHT LAPTOP Purchase the lightest laptop for your travels — think MacBook Air, which was Steve Jobs’ idea of the perfect travel companion. You don’t want to be held back by a heavy, unwieldy portable computer that slows you down. LIGHTWEIGHT LAPTOP BAG Use only easy-to-carry bags that allow you to transport your gadgets with minimum added weight. Heavy bags add to your overall luggage load and can be a drag to carry around.

X Try to avoid seafood and raw dairy products. Shellfish or prawns that have not been cooked properly may contain contaminants from local waters. Raw dairy products that have not been stored at proper temperatures can do a number on your belly. X Stay away from ice cubes made from tap water, as many countries do not have proper water filtration systems in place. X When in doubt, stick to freshly cooked food and avoid everything but bottled water.

MANCATION World travellers have a language of their own and in recent years, plenty new travel terms have emerged and become part of mainstream travel conversation. One of the most current among these is Mancation, which is basically two or more guys holidaying away from their partners. Mancations often involve guycentric pursuits such as fishing, paintball or attending a sporting event and, tend to occur when someone in the group is celebrating (or commiserating!) his upcoming nuptials.

9 QUICK BITES 0 2012


Most of us no longer eat merely for survival but for a variety of reasons: To boost our mood, flaunt social status, connect with others, heal whatever ails us or simply enjoy new experiences. Life’s definitely one big feast! InterContinental Kuala Lumpur Hotel offers a delicious range of mooncakes.

WORLD’S HOTTEST! According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s hottest pepper is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, which racked up more than 2 million Scoville Units. Originating from a strain of chillies found in the Caribbean island of Trinidad, the fearsome Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is a plump chilli with a slightly bumpy surface and a tiny ‘tail’ shaped like a scorpion’s stinger.



The Scoville Scale used to measure the amount of capsaicin in peppers was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. He first soaked peppers in alcohol to extract the capsaicin before adding pre-sweetened water to dilute that extract, making it barely tangible on the tongue. The amount of water it took for the dilution process is known as Scoville Units.

Celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar (usually in September), the Mid-Autumn Festival is synonymous with mooncakes – round, sweet cakes comprising a thin layer of baked or chilled pastry filled with lotus or red bean paste, melon seeds and salted egg yolks. Both traditional and inventive variants are now available from major bakeries, hotels and Chinese restaurants in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. We like the variety available at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur.




A signature dish and a popular favourite on AirAsia’s inflight menu from day one, Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak is a fragrant coconut milk and pandan-infused rice, complemented by tender chicken rendang and a special sambal sauce with crispy fried anchovies and peanuts. Thousands of passengers have chosen this dish to warm their tummies on board, especially those who are returning to Malaysia, as it is a very famous comfort food for Malaysians. So, do remember to pre-order this tempting treat when booking your next AirAsia flight. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

HOT TIP! Douse the fiery hotness of chilli peppers on your tongue by consuming milk, yoghurt or ice cream. Dairy products contain a chemical called casein that combats the burning effects of chilli peppers. Sugar is another effective remedy to douse the heat. Water simply doesn’t do the trick.



The Guide to Nutrition is a handy primer on the whats, whys and whens of healthy eating. Packed with tips, guidelines and meal plans, registered dietician Nicole Cormier guides readers on a variety of topics such as making the transition from being a vegetarian to a vegan, choosing the right food with the most beneficial vitamins and, the disadvantages of processed food.

Awfully Chocolate’s decadent cold poached chocolate cake, super stacked chocolate cake and rich chocolate cupcake have captured the hearts of so many chocoholics that branches of the cake shop can now be found in Hong Kong, Taipei, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Simple yet irresistibly moist, its signature dark chocolate cake adorned with layers of chocolate fudge is to-die-for.


CHEESY DELIGHT “The best thing I’ve eaten in Bali is a sausage and cheese pancake at Flapjacks (Complex Kuta Sidewalk, Jl. Kartika Plaza, tel: (0361) 488838) in Kuta. If you’re a cheese lover, this dish is perfect for you thanks to its savoury combination of sausage and cheese in paper-thin pancake. This cosy restaurant also serves great pasta and home-made gelato.” ~ Cindy Chin, Sales Manager and AirAsia guest

HAIL THE KITCHEN KING Swiss-born Anton Mosimann is the youngest chef ever to be appointed Maitre Chef des Cuisines of The Dorchester in London when he was just 28 years old. The widely respected culinary maestro also helped the hotel earn two Michelin stars – the first ever unprecedented honour bestowed to a restaurant outside of France. Asian gourmands will have a chance to meet Chef Anton at The Club Saujana Resort from September 17 – 22 and The Datai Langkawi form September 24 – 27 to savour his Cuisine Naturelle – a healthy style of cooking that avoids the use of fat and alcohol. 32


ALFAJORES Move over macarons! The new trend in snacking at teatime is this delightful treat from Argentina: Alfajores! The cookie is said to have originated from Spain, with Moorish influences but is very big in Latin American countries, especially in Argentina. Two cookie rounds sandwiched with dulche de leche or jam, sprinkled with icing sugar and rolled in coconut, make a delightful treat served with hot tea for long, lazy afternoons. Try the recipe at

BUBBALICIOUS BRUNCH Showcasing a mix of popular Italianstyle breakfast and lunch items, the Prego Sunday Bubbalicious Brunch at The Westin Kuala Lumpur promises a mouth-watering adventure with new and innovative bubble-inspired dishes. Guests will be able to enjoy traditional Italian dishes and old Prego classics, as well as a modern take on Italian cuisine, inspired by bubbles and good times.

9 PAGE TURNER 0 2012


In this issue, we celebrate celebrity chefs and bring you delicious reads that’ll help spice up your kitchen skills, alongside an interview with bestselling author, Alyson Noel.

FOOD & FAME While cooking shows may have fuelled the celebrity chef craze with boyish Jamie Oliver whipping up simple but nutritious meals, and tantalising Nigella Lawson creating (and indulging in) decadent desserts, iconic chefs have existed even before the advent of TV. One of the earliest examples is the 16th century Italian chef, Bartolomeo Scappi, who served Pope Pius V and, rose to prominence with his epic cookbook Opera dell’arte del cucinare. It featured some 1,000 recipes for Renaissance cuisine, as well as the first known picture of a fork! Another kitchen legend is the ‘King of Chefs, and the Chef of Kings’, Marie Antoine Carême, famed for his haute cuisine – the high art of French cooking favoured by royalty and the wealthy. Abandoned by his parents in 1794 during the French Revolution, Carême worked his way up from a kitchen boy to an illustrious chef known for his pièces montées – decorative confectionery centerpieces that towered several feet high! Besides inventing the standard chef’s hat, Carême also created such delights as gros nougats and grosses meringues, and wrote the encyclopedic L’Art de la Cuisine Française featuring hundreds of recipes and plans for lavish table settings. In the 20th century, Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking introduced the American public to the art

of French cooking. She is said to have demystified the art of cuisine for home cooks, and inspired many contemporary celebrity chefs. And then of course, there’s the newer breed of celebrity chefs like the adventurous Anthony Bourdain whose risqué bestsellerr Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly launched d his globetrotting career as the host st of culinary TV shows like Anthonyy Bourdain: No Reservations; the charismatic World Café Asia host Bobby Chinn known for Vietnamese cuisine; and Andrew Zimmern whose hunger for authentic culinary experiences sees him consuming some of the world’s most shocking treats on his TV show, Bizarre Foods.

BOOKS BY CELEBRITY CHEFS X Bobby Chinn’s Wild, Wild East is a guide to authentic Vietnamese cuisine that includes wacky tales and some 100 mouthwatering recipes. X Poh’s Kitchen by Poh Ling Yeow, showcases creative interpretations of classic recipes from her childhood. X Adrian Richardson’s Meat is a carnivore’s delight, revealing the secret to selecting, cooking and seasoning every cut.


X Stirred But Not Shaken: the Autobiography chronicles the adventurous life of wine-swilling British chef Keith Floyd.


X Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World of Food: Brains, Bugs and Blood Sausage detail this daring diner’s exotic meals. X Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook is Anthony Bourdain’s funny journey and exploration of the changes in the restaurant business. X In September 2012, Domestic Goddess Nigella Lawson releases Nigellissima, a pleasurable guide to fuss free Italian cooking. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

BOOK FEAST AST X Isabel Allende’s Aphrodite revels in the pleasures of food and sex, offering tips on aphrodisiacs, as well as recipes, poems and stories from ancient literature. X In Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger, Nigel Slater transports readers to his kitchen with talk of minced pies and bourbon biscuits. X Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant celebrates the experience of cooking for one and dining alone. Here, 26 foodies and writers share their secret indulgences and comfort foods with humour. X Ntozake Shange’s If I Can Cook/You Know God Can celebrates Black cuisine, which originated on the slave ships of the Middle Passage. X Aussie food stylist and author Donna Hay’s cookbooks like Off the Shelf and Modern Classics inspire food fantasies with their delicious recipes and beautiful photography.

THE BOY WHO COULD SEE DEMONS Carolyn Jess-Cooke Alex Broccoli claims his best friend is a demon, but everyone thinks he’s projecting an imaginary friend – a result of psychiatric issues deriving from the violence of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. But, as psychiatrist Anya Molokova delves deeper into his case, READ strange events occur, which OF THE MONTH! make her question all that she believes in.

GROUPON’S BIGGEST DEAL EVER Frank Sennett Turning down Google’s buyout offer worth $6 billion, Groupon founder Andrew Mason transformed Groupon into a $16.7 billion coupon giant and sparked a consumer revolution.

SHAMAN’S BATTLE Alyson Noel talks about her latest series The Soul Seekers, which revolves around teenage Daire Santos, a Seeker (new generation shaman) who must harness her mystical powers to battle the evil threatening her town.

WRITING INSPIRATION If an experience doesn’t kill me, I’ll find a way to write about it. Seven years ago, I went through a time of deep grief after losing three loved ones, and nearly losing my husband to leukaemia. It was a very dark time that got me thinking about mortality, our life’s purpose, the souls journey and the enduring nature of love; I’ve been exploring these themes ever since.



I did a lot of research for my previous series, and kept coming across themes of shamanism, the spiritual elements of which are shared by many indigenous cultures. I wanted to explore those ideas in my next series. I read a lot of books on shamanism and Native American lore, took an ‘Introduction to Shamanism’ class, had a couple of private healing sessions with a shaman, and travelled to New Mexico to interview Native Americans about life on the reservation.

Jonathan Franzen


This is a collection of brilliantly provocative essays and speeches that examine contemporary issues, good literature and bad writing.

Cheyenne Enterprises has recently optioned the film rights to all four books in The Soul Seekers series. The producer has a really good grasp of the mythology and a lot of great ideas on how to adapt them for the screen.


THE BRAIN STRAIN BOOK Jake Olefsky For a little mind exercise, here are 400 puzzles, riddles and mindbenders to test your creative and analytical thinking, or simply, drive you crazy!


When Steph travels to Tokyo to work as a bar hostess in Roponggi, she’s expecting free drinks, fast money and loads of fun with her two friends, Annabel and Julia. But, things go awry when Annabel disappears, and Julia starts acting strange.



I keep to a strict routine of writing every day, and aim for around 10 pages a day. I begin writing with a cup of green tea and a scented candle. I don a crystal necklace a reader gave me, crank up the playlist I’ve made for the particular book that I’m working on, and go!

MOST IMPACTFUL BOOKS I read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret at age 12, and knew I wanted to be a writer. Judy Blume was one of the first to write about the adolescent experience in such a frank and authentic way. JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye bore the same effect, and confirmed my dream to be a writer.

9 MONEY MAKER 0 2012


You can have a great product or offer excellent service, but if the people in your business are wilfully trained, chances of success will be slim at best. Never underestimate the power of the people and how it can pave the way to success.


percent of Internet users worldwide are members of the daily deal site, Groupon.


TRAIN FOR THOUGHT Proper staff training is crucial for organisational development and success, and beneficial for both employers and employees. Here’s why:

MAIN MOTIVATIONS FOR TRAINING FOR NEW CANDIDATES Training new staff members provides familiarisation with the company’s mission, vision, rules, regulations and work environment.

IT ENHANCES STAFF TEAMWORK through understanding the company’s goals at each and every turn. IT OFFERS STAFF CAREER PATH CLARITY as they acquire or enhance skills and efficiency through training, making them more eligible to promotions and ultimately becoming an asset for the company.

FOR TECHNOLOGICAL PURPOSES Technology is everchanging and what was useful initially may become obsolete within months. Training provides confidence for staff members to cope with change.

IT INCREASES STAFF PRODUCTIVITY because welltrained staff show both quantity and quality in work performance, cutting unnecessary waste of time, money and resources. Source:


IT LESSENS NEED FOR STAFF SUPERVISION when everyone is well-trained, where staff utilise their time and efforts effectively by concentrating on their specific roles.

FOR EXISTING EMPLOYEES provides incentive and kills boredom in employees who have been in the company for a while, as they are trained to refresh and enhance knowledge.

FOR CAREER GROWTH AND PATH CLARITY It’s in training that employers can get a better sense of the dedication and commitment of their employees. Training serves as an overview in separating the leaders from the followers; leaders are generally prepared to share the responsibilities of higher level jobs.


IT LOWERS STAFF TURNOVER when employees feel united, happy and satisfied with a common goal.

IT BOOSTS STAFF MORALE by indirectly offering job security, as it’s easier to excel when staff know exactly what their company and/or bosses want and need. IT GIVES STAFF SATISFACTION to feel confident in what they do, making job execution and contribution to the company’s success more real.




percent of daily deals bought are from the F&B or restaurant sector.


million people worldwide used social media platforms in securing their jobs in 2011.

250 USD per day was spent by 27% of daily deal site members over the last one year.

The term ‘understanding your customers’ no longer applies to mere likes and dislikes based on an overview of their intrinsic and extrinsic values from market research. The internet has spawned a new breed of customers, who not only review your products and services openly, but who are also empowered to influence your prospective customers greatly. These customers can be called ‘Retail Politicians’. It has come down to the power of social network activity and keyboard typing speed. Best you get cracking on new methods to track and tackle this new form of marketing that has evolved from ‘word of mouth’ to ‘words on screen’, and seriously know who your customers are. Don’t know where to start? Here are some options: • •



percent of online purchases from daily deal sites are made only with sites they are familiar with.



Eat right, exercise regularly, manage your stress levels, drink lots of water, don’t smoke or consume alcohol excessively... these are the basic tenets of good health. Throw in some natural remedies to this list and you are on the right path to a healthy and happy life.








There is no running away from anxiety and increased stress levels in our daily lives. Apart from resorting to drugs and medicine, natural remedies may also assist in bringing calm back. These remedies, however, are not a substitute for proper medical care, but can be used as supplementary aids to help calm your nerves and improve stresscoping mechanisms.

The adage “You’re only as old as you think you are” is actually quite true. According to neurologists, memory and cognitive skills loss that come with age can be slowed down tremendously with a variety of activities. If you’re not a Sudoku fan, don’t fret, as there are a variety of fun activities that help keep your brain active and youthful.

CELERY & ONION Both are high in potassium and folic acid – deficiencies of which can contribute to nervousness. Simply dice two cups of this vegetable mix for a salad dish, or stir-fry in a cooked dish. Have it with at least one meal daily for a week. ROSEMARY Said to ‘ward off evil spirits’ in the TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Middle Ages, this herb offers a calming effect on the nerves. Add two teaspoons of the dried herb to a cup of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink. Alternatively, burning dried rosemary and inhaling the aroma can be relaxing too. CARDAMOM Used in Ayurvedic medicine to detoxify caffeine, aid digestion and, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.It has an uplifting aroma and gives a calming effect. Not only does this spice work as a breath freshener, it also busts stress. Put two to three pods in boiling water, steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink. Source:

MEMORISE A SONG Make it a point to ‘own’ songs you like but don’t quite know the lyrics. Listen to them as many times as it takes to write down the lyrics. Sing along, learn the words and memorise them. Once in a while, write them down to see how well you remember the lines. USE THE OTHER HAND This means that you’re

exercising the side of your brain that controls your less dominant hand. Whether you’re right- or left-handed, you generally perform your daily activities with your dominant hand. By using your other hand, you’re exercising your brain to learn new tricks. Start by using the other hand to brush your teeth and practices it until you master it. You’ll be igniting dormant neurons that will drive extra brain activity. PLAY BALL Remember how it used to be fun to play ball? Bring that fun back into your life by simply throwing a ball up and catching it. Better yet, try your hands at juggling. This improves your handeye coordination and exercises your brain to focus. Source:

billion times is the number of heart beats in a person’s life time at an average pulse rate of 72 beats per minute. (Source: Parramon’s Editorial Team. 2005. Essential Atlas of Physiology. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.)


trillion cells of the human body receive blood from one minute’s worth of heart beats. (Source: Daniels, Patricia, et. al. 2007. Body: The Complete Human. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.)


million gallons of blood is pumped by the heart in a person’s average life time. That’s equivalent to turning the kitchen tap on at full blast, non-stop for about 45 years (Source: Avraham, Regina. 2000. The Circulatory System. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers)

9 SCORE BOARD 0 2012

GONE SOCIAL WITH SPORTS The world of sports has hopped onto the Social Media bandwagon. From following Tweets of world famous athletes to being influenced on which team or player to root for, sports has gone social in a big, big way! The integration of social media in sports is at an all-time high. Some pro athletes in America have adopted printing their Twitter handle instead of their names on their jerseys now. Additionally, today’s fans are armed with smartphones and tablets, preferring to get their sports updates straight from the horse’s mouth via the likes of Twitter and Facebook. According to sporting support product company, Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape (KT Tape), which compiles data from The Wall Street Journal,, and other media sources, 83% of sports fans will check sports social media sites while watching the game on television, and 63% will even browse social media sites while they’re at an actual game. It looks like traditional media outlets need to embrace social media to up their game. Source:



Soccer player 12,263,844 followers

Soccer player 12,197,937 followers


percent of employees in China admitted to calling in sick at work to catch a sports game on television, or attend a sporting event while India comes in a close second with 48%, and Great Britain third with 24%.

*As at Aug 10, 2012

Shaquille O’Neal

Basketball player(ex) 6,088,783 followers

LeBron James

Basketball player 5,738,394 followers

Neymar Junior

Soccer player 5,018,673 followers

APTITUDE WITH ATTITUDE “I figure I’ll be champ for about 10 years and then I’ll let my brother take over – like the Kennedys down in Washington.” ~ Muhammad Ali, alltime favourite boxing champion


“Green and black go well together, don’t they?” ~ Tiger Woods, still striving golf champion


“I just try to concentrate on concentrating.” ~ Martina Navratilova, 1980’s tennis champion

NEXT ON NEXERCISE We’ve featured Nexercise before – a smartphone app that brings a dose of gamification to the world of fitness with medals, discounts and even free merchandise given away as rewards for physical activity. They have since stepped up their game as of July 2012 by working with Nike Mexico, with a bidding platform, called Subasta de Kilometros. Simply download the Running +App, and your exercise details like pace, distance and time are converted into currency for the Subasta de la Semana (Auction of the Week). Each auction of Nike merchandise such as Nike equipment and footwear has a suggested price tag in kilometres and bidding closing dates. Runners must achieve the minimum price tag to bid and, the bidder with the longest distance wins the product. Visit



percent would miss work for football (soccer), 11% for international competitions and 10% for basketball.


percent say they suffer some level of guilt from calling in sick at work to watch their favourite sports.


percent have actually called in sick at work – to play a sport.


Cristiano Ronaldo



Queens Park Rangers take to the sky in a special aircraft named in honour of the team’s former captain and assistant manager, Alan McDonald.

LEFT, ABOVE: The aircraft is named after the late Alan McDonald, former captain and assistant manager of QPR. LEFT: The aircraft’s tail is emblazoned with a livery that replicates the QPR jersey. BELOW: Already a favourite amongst AirAsia guests, the AirAsia QPR livery is being touted as one of the most attractive livery designs.



Having blazed the sky with the familiar red and white livery on its aircraft, AirAsia once again surprised its guests and fans by painting a special aircraft in white and blue instead! Already a hot favourite since its launch on July 18, the QPR AirAsia aircraft is a work of art and a true beauty to behold. The Airbus A320 is painted in the football club’s colours with a prominent tail that features QPR’s iconic hoops and the blue and white horizontal stripes just like the team’s home jersey. The interior of the aircraft carries fun facts on both QPR and Alan McDonald. This is the latest livery to join AirAsia’s family of airplanes, with its eyecatching designs. It not

only celebrates AirAsia partnership with Queens Park Rangers (QPR), but was also specially commissioned to honour the late Alan McDonald, a legend in his own right as captain and assistant manager. The official launch of the aircraft was held recently at LCC Terminal in Kuala Lumpur and was attended by Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO; Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO; senior officers from AirAsia and, the QPR team, which included, Philip Beard, CEO of QPR; Mark Hughes, team manager and other officials and players such as Ji-Sung Park, Jamie Mackie and Djibril

1. Kieron Dyer signing the bulkhead of the QPR aircraft. 2. (Second from Left) Philip Beard, CEO of QPR; Kathleen Tan, AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial; Mark Hughes, QPR Team Manager; Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO; Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO; Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Malaysia and Dato’ Fam Lee Ee, Independent Non-Executive Director of AirAsia Berhad with AirAsia FA at the official launch of the QPR aircraft at LCCT Malaysia. 3. Midfielder Alejandro Faurlin posing for pictures with an AirAsia FA in the aircraft. 4. A young fan with his face painted in QPR colours. 5. Adel Taarabt in the aircraft. 6. AirAsia staff putting up a performance at the press conference of the launch of the QPR livery. 7. Ji-Sung Park with Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO. 8. QPR team members boarding the aircraft for their Asia Tour.


Cisse. Tonia McDonald, widow of the late Alan, who was moved by the honour bestowed on her husband, said “On behalf of myself, Joshua and all the McDonald family I cannot thank Mr Fernandes enough for his overwhelming gesture of deciding to remember and honour Alan by naming

one of the planes after him. We know Alan would have been so proud and amazed at such a generous tribute. I’m only sorry that we couldn’t be in KL to witness the unveiling, but I feel immensely proud that Alan’s name and the QPR colours will become a legacy incorporated in such a wonderful aircraft.”

2 4






02 9 HYPER TECH 0 2012 2012


From sound wave and voice activated programmes to charging batteries sans pesky cables and wires, the future is already here in the world of technology.


REFLECTED SOUNDS Microsoft is working on a new technology called SoundWave, which uses an inaudible tone that gets ‘frequency-shifted’ when it bounces of moving objects such as a hand turning a page etc. The technology then measures the data and transforms the gesture into a computer action.

POWER OF THE WI Very soon, consumers can charge a phone’s battery without cables or wires. Instead, a new charging technology called WiPower will do the needful. Using inductive wireless energy transfer, WiPower can even wirelessly charge a few devices simultaneously, such as phones, tablets and laptops.

MATHS WITH SPRINGBIRD This educational app teaches children maths by using a fun game. To play, users must answer a math problem correctly before they can go to the next level – which is up a tree. The aim is to free all the birds from their cages, and hear them sing when all levels are finished. OS: iOS and Android Price: Free

TAGBRAND For fashionistas who only wear branded clothes, TagBrand enables them to trumpet their latest buys to others with this app. Users can also find new fashion trends, and browse or follow other members’ photos or ‘brandins’. If you can’t identify certain brands, simply post a photo and ask other users where to get it. OS: iOS Price: USD29.99




Unlike traditional publishers, digital publisher Hyperink looks for subjects that are in demand at the moment and focuses on the experts, such as bloggers. The publisher helps bloggers put together 30- to 50-page eBooks if they aren’t able to do so. For a small percent of the royalty, Hyperink also helps aspiring writers to write, design, edit and market eBooks on niche or obscure topics. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

This app remotely controls Facebook and Twitter video feeds on a social TV station called Stevie, by skipping, rewinding, pausing, liking and sharing the videos on your computer screen or smart TV. Friends’ updates flash below the videos as a Ticker Tape, and, a box on the right shows what’s next and provides information on your friends. OS: iOS and Android Price: Free

SUPER SMALL SIM Future smartphones will carry a new SIM card that is even smaller than the current micro SIM card. Said to be 40% smaller, the nano-SIM card will still function like the current SIM card, but will also be compatible with existing SIM card designs.

TIMELY LOMO LOVE TIPS MAKE YOUR IPHONE WORK SMARTER X Snap a photo by just pressing the volume up and down button on your headphone cord.

Lomography is a relatively new movement that focuses on the fun aspect of photography and wants you to be impulsive and spontaneous while taking` pictures. With the ‘10 Golden Rules’ that include taking the small gadget anywhere you go, shooting at any time of the day and not thinking about it too much, here’s a look at some of the nifty cameras that will make photography a fun activity.


X Tap on the ‘X’ in the pop up if you do not wish to accept iPhone’s auto suggested word while typing.

A pocket, analogue camera for close-ups, this puppy does multiple exposures by simply pressing on the shutter more than once. It also allows replacement of a colour cartridge to a black and white in the middle of the roll, losing only one photo in the process.

X Use the location base along with the voice command to Siri to remind you of something when you leave or arrive at a location.

ANDROID APPS ON MAC Mac users can run Android apps and games such as Paper Toss, Pulse, Seesmic, and Zebra Paint on their desktop after installing this Mac app player from Bluestacks. BlueStacks is promising over 400,000 of such Android apps for Mac very soon.

“The theory of our modern techniques shows that nothing is as practical as theory.” ~ Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904- 1967), U. S. Nuclear physicist

X See the definition of a word in your email or a website by pressing and highlighting the word. X Type the URL of the website in Safari browser without adding the ‘com’ to go to the said website.

LA SARDINIA Shaped like a sardine tin, this camera shoots 35mm film with a super-wide lens, which you can cover with four plastic filters for effects. More expensive models come with flash at three settings. All models use a dial to rewind the film.

X Use the camera’s LED flash to light up when a call comes in.

X Quickly go to the top of your Mail, Safari, Contacts and other apps by just tapping the status bar on top.


X Save images from websites by simply pressing on it until ‘Save Image’ menu appears.

The Sprocket Rocket is unique for using sprockets (or wheel and chain) for a film camera. Its super-wide angle lens takes panoramic photos, and users can also shoot multiple exposures on the film and rewind it when finished by simply turning the dual winding knobs. cameras/sprocket-rocket-superpop-teal

DIANA F+ Using only plastic lens, the Diana F+ produces dreamy, lo-fi soft-focus photos using day and night time shutter speeds. It can also shoot multiple exposures, panoramic shots and pinhole photography. This modern rework of the 60s Diana camera now also comes with flash.


9 SLEEP INNS 0 2012


The moniker ‘Land Below the Wind’ is an apt description for the state of Sabah in East Malaysia, located at the top of Borneo island. With stunning beaches, millionyear-old tropical rainforests and a rich cultural heritage, a trip to Kota Kinabalu (KK) and Sabah becomes truly special with a stay at any of these hotels.





Often when I see brochures promoting a hotel as the ideal getaway, the sceptic in me rears its head as I squint harder to see Photoshop doing its dastardly deed. That sceptic did a double spin when I saw the tagline ‘Some Say It’s Heaven...’ for Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai some 28kms from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, as I flipped through the hotel brochure on my journey from the airport to the resort. Mt Kinabalu played peek-a-boo through the rolling clouds blanketed by a golden sheen from the setting sun as we drove north of KK. The driver, while watchful of the traffic, simply couldn’t resist glancing sideways to the highest peak on Borneo each time the rocky outcrop at the summit made its shy appearance. The man was proud of his Sabahan heritage and the mountain perhaps summed up the natural majesty and grandeur of his state. As the taxi turned into the deserted link road that led us into the resort grounds, there were quite a few birds I’d never seen before returning to roost for the day. I had arrived late in the evening and the warm glow from the lobby chandeliers was a pleasant welcome. I checked-in, had my dinner and returned to my room for an early night. Somewhere in the distance, I heard the gentle murmurings of the ocean. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

The next morning, I was awakened by the combined racket of birds chattering and waves crashing against the shoreline. Drawing the drapes, I was greeted by a view that was postcard perfect. The resort lay in a curved bay where the waves raced playfully with each other. The shoreline here has a very gentle slope that enables children to frolic up to 30 metres into the sea without worrying about depth. Flanked by tall whispering casuarinas, hefty rainforest trees and mirrorlike ponds teeming with purple water lilies, I began to comprehend why guests at Nexus Karambunai may want to label the resort as heaven. The resort is cocooned in 3,335 acres of jungle-clad land, edged by a 6-km long sandy beach and surrounded by an 18-hole championship

golf course. Greenery is everywhere here and you’ll be transfixed by how startling the emerald green of the jungle is streaked carelessly by a profusion of colours; the scintillating crimson of the Flame-of-the-Forest tree flower, the brazen pinks and oranges of the bougainvillea and the royal violets of the water lilies. The jungle/garden theme extends right up to the edge of the beach and all 485 guestrooms, suites and luxury villas are surrounded by a plethora of tropical trees, water reeds and aquatic plants, and flowering shrubs. While the Borneo Villas and Ocean Panorama Deluxe and Premier rooms are lavishly appointed with delightful views of the ocean and the green, I can’t resist waxing lyrical over the newly opened Pool Villas and Spa Suites. Here, the South China Sea is literally one step away from your room. Guests can lay claim to this private piece of paradise and spend hours on end worshiping the sun by the pool or the beach. Really, this section of the resort begs to be experienced personally for one to understand the luxury of having a beach all to yourself. The resort is a very comprehensive holiday destination that aims to satisfy every possible need. Of course, staying at such a resort, food is always a main concern. The salty sea air and the hours spent frolicking in it or the pool is

bound to make one hungry. At Nexus, the options are endless. From all-day dining at Penyu, Malaysian cuisine at Kingfisher, Chinese cuisine at Noble House, Mediterranean specialties at Olives and other F&B outlets dotted throughout the resort, guests have a huge selection of places to eat, drink and be merry. However, nothing beats the ambience and food at Sunset Bar & Grill. Located closest to the ocean, guests can enjoy the balmy winds blowing off the South

China Sea while enjoying perennial favourites such as pizzas, seafood chowders and light salads. This is a fantastic spot to unwind after a ‘hard’ day of work at the resort and the perfect way to end the evening. And romantic too! But if you want something even more relaxing, head to Borneo Spa. The first thing you’ll notice about this spa is the inner courtyard, which has been designed as a relaxation pavilion with deck chairs facing a small pond. With the lulling sounds of trickling water and frescoes on the walls depicting scenes from daily life, guests can relax here or, have their foot reflexology treatment. It is also a wonderful spot to doze off, as I promptly did having emerged from a vigorous Bornean massage.

The spa, however, is also the venue for the Borneo Health & Wellness Retreat. Headed by doctors and industry professionals, guests can try not only holistic treatments such as Ayurvedic and aqua therapies, they can also opt for surgical and non-surgical aesthetic treatments, preventive cardiology, diet, nutrition and weight management, amongst others. The resort is the perfect place to convalesce after any of these treatments as it offers you an environment that aids healing from a holistic angle, speeding up the recovery process. I don’t quite know how heaven looks like but if it looked anything like Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai, I’d gladly take my leave from this earthly plain and secure a spot at this piece of paradise.

NEXUS RESORT & SPA KARAMBUNAI Off Jalan Sepanggar Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah



ECO EDEN As my speedboat approached Gayana Eco Resort on Gaya Island, just 10 minutes from Kota Kinabalu’s Jesselton Pier, I spotted beautiful villas hovering over the stunning turquoise waters of Malohom Bay. While the mangrove, jungle and lagoon-facing villas each offer their own stunning vistas, I was given a key to a large Palm Villa complete with a super cool plunge pool looking out to sea. These villas are a relatively new addition to the property, which was rebranded about five years ago as a luxury eco resort. One of its best features is the glass viewing pane in the middle of the living room floor that enables guests to observe colourful marine life even while indoors! At this eco resort on the doorstep of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, spoiling guests comes second only to the outstanding conservation work they do through the on-site Marine Ecology Research Centre or MERC. MERC is actively involved in the restoration of coral reefs and the propagation of endangered giant clams, as well as spreading awareness on protecting the sensitive marine ecosystem. This is a treat for nature lovers who want to make a difference. MERC’s A Day as a Marine Biologist programme welcomes

aquaculture, ensuring that all seafood comes from its organic fish farms. This means that guests enjoy the freshest seafood without worrying about depleting fish stock. Bestsellers include king lobster sashimi served with lemon and wasabi, oysters oven baked with cheese, and deep fried salmon with curry mayo sauce and mixed fruit. Guilt-free decadence! Driven by a powerful mission, Gayana offers eco luxury at its best!



visitors to collect and replant broken coral fragments, learn about reef monitoring, conduct water quality tests and culture phytoplankton for giant clams. For a fee, visitors get to adopt a coral, and will receive periodic updates on their adoptee’s progress. A tour through MERC’s aquarium section led by a marine biologist reveals fascinating details about marine creatures and the threats they face. The PADI dive and recreation centre here also organises snorkelling and diving excursions to Gaya’s reefs, as well as guided kayaking trips through the surrounding mangrove. Gayana’s pledge to protect marine life extends to its dining options. The Alu Alu Seafood Restaurant here is committed to sustainable


Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, Jalan Haji Saman, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

BEST WESTERN SANDAKAN HOTEL & RESIDENCES Located between Sandakan town and the airport, in Bandar Letat Jaya, the 110-room Best Western Sandakan Hotel & Residences is ideally situated in Sandakan’s new commercial and entertainment development area, which makes this a convenient address for both leisure and business travellers. For F&B options, guests can opt for grilled specialties at LJ’s, or enjoy drinks at Cowie’s, a pub named after William Clarke Cowie – a pioneer of Sandakan in the 1870s. Guests can also dine at The Olive Garden, which offers Mediterranean cuisine.

BANGKOK BOUND Bangkok beckons travellers from all over the world. While there, experience top notch luxury with these exclusive boutique hotels in the legendary Land of Smiles.

SOFITEL SO BANGKOK Overlooking the verdant green of Lumpini Park is Bangkok’s first truly urban design hotel: Sofitel So Bangkok. Modern and distinctly chic, the 238 rooms and suites feature floor-toceiling windows and, offers four styles of design inspired by Water, Wood, Earth and Metal.


Lot E-1-G, Lrg Letat 3, Bandar Letat Jaya, 4th Mile, Sandakan, Sabah

THE KLAGAN HOTEL Situated at the junction of several thoroughfares in Kota Kinabalu, The Klagan Hotel is ideally located in the heart of the city with shopping and entertainment opportunities right at the hotel’s doorsteps. The bustling KK Waterfront Esplanade is a mere 100-metre walk from the hotel. This spot is a popular tourist attraction in KK as it is packed with F&B outlets, music lounges and bars, and the must-visit Filipino and Central markets. The Klagan Hotel underwent refurbishment recently where all its guestrooms, restaurant, lobby and lounge were given a total makeover. With 280 well-appointed rooms and suites that offer great views of the South China Sea, guests will find this hotel suited for all their travel needs, be it leisure or business.

Hansar Bangkok Hotel is modern in design but timeless in elegance. The 62-suite boutique hotel feels miles away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and is the perfect place to revive and unwind from the city’s chaotic charm. Guests can also enjoy an array of holistic spa treatments and body rituals at Hansar’s LUXSA SPA that offers signature treatments and therapies.

THE METROPOLITAN BANGKOK Indulge in bespoke luxury at the grand dame of boutique hotels in Bangkok at The Metropolitan Hotel, tucked away off Sathorn Road. All 171 rooms at The Metropolitan exude minimalistic sophistication with spacious rooms that come dressed in soothing earth tones, modern oriental accents and natural light. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in its signature COMO Shambala Spa or, dine at the hotel’s award winning Nahm restaurant, Thailand’s first ever restaurant to make the top 50 in the coveted San Pellegrino top 100 restaurants list.



Unit 25 – 28 Ground Floor, 8th – 10th Floor, Block D, Warisan Square, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Travellers can book on Expedia with confidence because prices are backed by a ‘Best Price Guarantee’ – the most comprehensive customer guarantee in online travel, covering everything from packages to standalone hotel deals booked on the website. If a customer finds a better price online for the exact same trip, Expedia will match the lower rate and, will also give that customer a travel voucher for future bookings!



ISLAND LUXURY Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa, named after the 48 varieties of hibiscus blooming in its tropical gardens, is Gayana’s equally (if not more) lavish sister property. This plush eco resort strikes the perfect balance between nature and comfort. Here, guests can relax in the outdoor Jacuzzi of their treehouse villa perched on a hillside terrace, or escape, as I did, to a beachfront villa with a private plunge pool. This retreat on Gaya Island offers a stretch of powdery white sand, crystal clear waters ideal for snorkelling and, breezy pavilions for a break between dips. The PADI dive centre here also coordinates dives to surrounding reefs, while the recreation centre organises leisurely canoe trips along the property, and adrenaline-pumping jet ski rides. Guests also have access to MERC and all the fun activities the centre organises. Taking advantage of its lush, green location, Bunga Raya offers a variety of informative nature walks led by naturalist guides. I opted for a refreshing 15-minute hike to the canopy walk, where bridges suspended from ironwood trees proffered fabulous views.

To indulge my palate, I visited The Wine Cave. Designed to look like a cave, this sophisticated watering hole stocks some 4,000 bottles in its impressive wine cellar, and is an atmospheric place to dine. Guests can choose grilled delights from Pantai Grill, or The Koi’s modern European fare like plump pan seared scallops with foie gras and divine chocolate fondant with coffee ice cream.



After an action-packed day, I dropped by the Solace Spa, accessible via a short suspension bridge – a dramatic entrance to a realm of relaxation. The Signature Journey treatment I selected was a rather unusual experience. It entailed moving between sauna and ice room three times to boost my blood circulation, and involved an organic black soap scrub and aromatic wildflower rinse. The bubble massage – a massage with a minty cold thermal mineral gel followed by a soothingly warm rinse – offered an unusual combination of hot and cold sensations that was oddly reviving.

BUNGA RAYA ISLAND RESORT & SPA Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, Jalan Haji Saman, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah


GLAD AT THE GARDEN Kota Kinabalu is a rapidly growing city with lots of new development. The influx of wealth and business into the city and Sabah in general has also brought in a large number of tourists and business travellers. Specially catering for these communities in KK is the brand new Ming Garden Hotel & Residences situated in the heart of the city. This 11-storey hotel comprising 600 rooms is well placed to handle all the needs of the discerning traveller. One of the most appealing aspects of the hotel is its location, close to the city’s CBD and yet only 10 minutes away from the airport. The hotel is also just a five-minute drive away from the CBD area with easy access to banks, government offices and private companies. A brand new, mixed development project with offices, shops and entertainment outlets is beginning to take shape just opposite the hotel and the KK Waterfront lifestyle attraction is a hop, skip and jump away. Additionally, free, regular shuttle service from the hotel to key locations in the city takes away the hassle of finding transport to the malls and offices in the city. The hotel houses 600 rooms with a variety of categories that include Superior, Deluxe, Onebedroom Superior, One-bedroom Deluxe, Premier, Executive Suite, Two-bedroom Suite and the swanky Ming Suite. Moreover, guests can stay at either the rooms or the residences there

according to their needs. Done up in clean, contemporary lines and pleasant shades, the rooms here are comfortable and come with all the modern amenities you’d expect from a premium property. I had the opportunity to stay at one of the six Junior Suites there and particularly loved the bathroom facilities. The super deep bath tub set in a glass enclosed bath area was chic and inviting. The rain shower head and strong water pressure were a pleasant and rejuvenating experience while the bed had nice firm pillows. Another attraction was the large glass windows that offered great views of the city and the South China Sea from the higher floors. Really, it is a wonderful feeling to wake up to view a shimmering ocean in the distance. For F&B options, Ming Garden Hotel & Residences offers a few good options. Golden Dew Bistro offers all-day dining with a fine selection of Sabahan, Asian and Western dishes. Right beside the lobby is the Rosewood Lounge, a great place for a cuppa or a quick tête-à-tête.


Sparks is the hotel’s bar-cum-lounge with live music on most nights while adjacent Rainforest Atrium is a sunny spot for guests to chill out with coffee, tea, cakes and cookies. On the fourth floor, guests can enjoy drinks and snacks at the Pool Bar.


MING GARDEN HOTEL & RESIDENCES LRG Ming Garden, Jalan Coastal, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.


9 HIT LIST 0 2012


Dance transcends race, religion, culture and creed. More than just physical movements set to music, dance fuses action, space, time and energy into a beautiful expression of emotions and feelings, cultures and traditions. Here are some of the most elegant, enduring and inspiring dances from around the world.



This indigenous dance dates as far back as the 16th century, and is practised by the Iban tribe in Sarawak. Although its true origins are unclear, it is believed to have been performed by warriors upon their return from battle. Now, ngajat is performed during the harvest festival of Gawai, and in welcoming guests to longhouses. The dance is choreographed with graceful sways and turns to the rhythmic music made by ethnic instruments like the enkeromong, bendai, canang and dumbak or ketebong. Though graceful and languorous, the dance is also a powerful expression of nobility and bravery.



GETTING THERE AirAsia ies to various cities in Sarawak, East Malaysia, from various destinations. Go to for details.


Ancient Buddhist drawings in grottoes found between the 4th and 14th centuries in the city of Dunhuang, Gansu province, inspired the Dunhuang dance. This city was often frequented by traders and monks, and hence the Dunhuang dance was influenced by both Indian and Middle Eastern cultures. While Oriental in overall performance, the Dunhuang tend to employ swaying hip movements that are characteristic of Middle Eastern cultures while the hand gestures mimic Indian dance forms. This dance is famous for its depiction of poses based on the frescoes found in the caves, and the thousand-hand Boddhisattva dance is a contemporary offshoot from the original Dunhuang dance.



GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to various cities in China from various destinations. Go to for details.




Originally performed by devadasis (maidens who dedicate their lives to serving as dancers and musicians in temples), this Indian classical dance has evolved into a highly complex mainstream dance form and is often described as the most exacting of dances from India due to the precision required and angular movements. Bharatanatyam was traditionally reserved for elaborate temple and court rituals in Tamil Nadu, India. However, its elementary forms and movements underwent reconstructions through four dance gurus: Chinnayya, Ponnayya, Vadivelu and Sivanandam in the early 19th century. What we see today is a composition of these developments. The dance itself can be a dedication to the gods, a tale or, pure dance that simply celebrates movement and music, further accentuated by the lilting sounds of the salangai (brass bell anklets) in rhythmic precision.



GETTING THERE AirAsia ies to Chennai and Trichy in Tamil Nadu from various destinations. Go to for details.




Korea is well-known for its drum dance – mugo; mu means ‘dance’, and go means ‘drum’. It is a highly respected dance that combines drumming strength with martial arts techniques. The more popular ones include the samgomu (threedrum dance) performed by a women displaying dynamic drumming and dancing; gyeongju (from the province it originated), which was originally a court dance with more refined movements performed by highly trained female dancers; and the pungmul (folk dance) performed by a cast of hundreds at times that combines drumming, dancing and singing. Pungmul is also used as an expressive art form in political protests.



GETTING THERE AirAsia X flies daily to Seoul, South Korea, from Kuala Lumpur. Go to for details.


Asyik is a royal court dance from the state of Kelantan in the northeastern part of Peninsula Malaysia (known as Patani in the 15th century). Historically, as stated in Hikayat Patani in 1644, the king, Raja Kuning kept 12 palace dancers called asyik. It is said that the king was broken hearted at the loss of his pet bird that escaped its cage. He then asked that the palace dancers create a dance to mimic the delicate movements of the birds in remembrance of his beloved pet bird. The gentle sways and elegant poses in the dance are surpassed only by the fact that almost all aspects of the dance have remained intact since its inception some 400 years ago.


GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Kota Bahru, Kelantan, and other Malaysian cities from various destinations. Go to for details.





The origins of flamenco are deeply rooted in the gypsy community of Spain, often called the ‘Fathers of Flamenco’. To be precise, this intense dance originates from southern Spain, heavily influenced by the Andalusians. Flamenco is delivered in perfection when all three of its elements come to life – cante (the song), guitarra (the guitar-playing), and baile (the dance). Over the years, the flamenco in Spain evolved through interpretations by diverse cultures and civilisations that settled in the country. The seven centuries of Muslim occupation in Spain certainly didn’t pass without leaving traces of Moorish influence on the dance. The true beauty of flamenco is its permutation of fluidity within staccato and firm movements, one that depicts strength, courage and bravado.






The barongan is a mythological dance drama that began in Blora, Central Java, but continues to thrive especially in Bali as a popular art form. Barongan or barong means ‘the mane of a lion’ and is generally performed as a dance drama that depicts the battle between barong (the lion) and Rangda (the demon queen), portraying the struggle between dharma (virtue) and adharma (evil). According to history, the dance was created by village headman, Ki Ageng Ketut Suryongalam, as a political statement in the 1470s during the rule of Majapahit. In most stage performances, the barong appears like a large, gangly lion, and subdues Rangda but never quite slays it. This unique characteristic of the lion is said to reflect the ever benign and forgiving nature of God. Nonetheless, the performance is a full display of power, majesty and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.



GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Bali and various cities in Indonesia. Go to for details.


Apsara is a Khmer classical dance that portrays the union of a celestial dancer, Mera, with a wise man, Kambu. It is a love story told through dance. As with many classical dances today, newer interpretations began in the mid 20th century, following the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, which had literally wiped out all forms of classical dances in Cambodia. Traditional dance gurus studied the figurines carved on the walls of Angkor Wat and other monuments and eventually created the apsara dance that can be witnessed today. The apsara (celestial nymph) is the basis for the graceful dance that relies on very fine hand gestures to convey subtle emotions and feelings, making it an amazingly technical yet refined dance.


GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia from various destinations. Go to for details.


GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hanoi from various destinations. Go to for details.





While this is not quite a dance per se, mua roi nuoc or Vietnamese water puppetry is an age-old art that is closely tied to the rural culture of rice farmers in the Red River delta. The puppets are made of wood and decorated in bright colours with moveable heads and arms. They are mounted on a base rudder that acts as a fulcrum for the strings to control the upper body. Each puppet can be as tall as 18 to 36 inches and weighs anywhere between 10 to 14 kilogrammes. These puppets portray humans, animals and inanimate objects in the performances that depict the life and times of rural folk. Originally performed in ponds and paddy fields, now a shallow pond serves as its stage. Audience will be totally gobsmacked as to how the puppets perform with seemingly no help from any human or mechanical aid!




Note: The research on these dances is derived from various studies published online, and is presented as is while studies on them continue. Travel 3Sixty is not liable for any misrepresentations or misunderstandings on the history of any of the above stated dances.


The khon dance-drama is essentially a stage performance that uses acting, dancing, martial arts and chorussinging in the telling of much beloved epics in Thailand. With roots as a form of entertainment for royalty, the khon is similar to normal acting or lakhon but is distinguished by the elaborate masks worn by some of the characters. The most famous of Khon performance is the Ramakien, Thailand’s version of the Indian epic Ramayana. Up until the 19th century, khon was solely performed by men who also played women’s roles. But by the mid 1800s, men and women both took to the stage with masks that denote virtuous and evil characters. Colours too are important as each hue represents a virtue: Phra Ram (the hero) would be in green, Phra Lak (Ram’s brother) wears gold, and the monkey god Hanuman wears white.


GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Bangkok and other cities in Thailand from various destinations. Go to for details.

9 FEATURE • QPR 0 2012


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9 FEATURE • China 0 2012



hong C iver R

by the

From concrete jungles to geological wonders, Chongqing mirrors China’s rich history and inevitable modernisation.





“Knee How. Neee Hao. Ni Hao.” I practised fervently as my Converse shoes hit the paved walkway of Chongqing’s premier shopping district, Jiafangbei. My tongue struggled with unfamiliar vowels yet my Chinese pride would not allow me to be a tourist in the land of my ancestors. The little arrow on my phone screen blinked in the unfamiliar region located between the Yangtze and Jialing River, Chongqing – the largest and most densely populated municipality under the Chinese Central Government. A major city in Southwest China, Chongqing is one of the four municipalities under the direct control of the People’s Republic of China, the others being Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. With a

harmonious blend of the old and modern, it’s a city known for its rich history and culture, amidst tall skyscrapers, magnificent bridges, booming industrial areas and swanky streets.

HEART OF THE CITY The megalopolis glowed brighter than Times Square on New Year’s Day as the cool May air softly caressed my cheeks. Standing in the middle of the city’s Times Square, Chongqing threw me a curveball when I arrived expecting a countryside with mountainous terrain. Instead, I was greeted by perfectly paved streets, taller-than-tall architecture, designer shops and lanes filled with posh cars, vans,

limousines, trucks and lorries. Thinking that China was famous only for its bicycle-filled streets, Chongqing proved me wrong. A great way to see the city is by hopping onto one of the three-storey riverboats that ply the twin rivers. You’ll be treated to Chongqing’s glistening night view, as you enjoy a two-hour cruise that comes with a full dinner and even some Chinese karaoke in a private room on the upper deck. These riverboats are a bite-sized introduction for tourists and locals alike compared to the famous three-day long Yangtze River Cruise. Although a fraction of what you’d see when you travel down the mighty Yangtze, this cruise still offered me a quick glimpse of life as it unfolded along the LEFT: The hot and spicy dandan noodles with peanut sauce leaves a stinging but pleasurable burn in the mouth. LEFT, BELOW: Although a modern city, traditional trishaws still ply the streets, catering mainly for tourists. RIGHT: Stone tableaus at Dazu depict the various punishments and torture that await human beings in hell. PRECEDING PAGES: The city of Chongqing at the confluence of the mighty Yangtze and Jialing Rivers.



riverbanks. That and fresh air, exquisite local cuisine and a quick look at the amazing city.

FOOD FOR THE BRAVE The trick for one to brave the Chongqing food scene is a dash of fierce determination and a relentless tongue of steel. The Chinese are renowned for their cuisine but Chongqing cuisine is a different kettle of fish altogether. Don’t come expecting mild and subtle flavours. Instead, expect your taste buds to go on overdrive with fiery hot food that doesn’t simply burn, but numbs your mouth, tongue, lips and throat! Sichuan pepper is present in almost every dish, and ambitious

foodies may find the initial spoonful mindblowingly spicy. But, the heat does settle as you quickly get used to the perverse pleasure of setting your mouth on fire. The local specialty – the Chongqing Hot Pot – has a reputation that precedes the dish. The bubbling red hot concoction cooked with beef, pork, lotus roots, an assortment of vegetables and dubious looking animal parts such as offal, kidney, intestines and tripe permeates the air with a spicy, tongue numbing aroma that makes for a memorable culinary experience. The city also offers another specialty courtesy of the Jialing River. Often served steamed or baked, the Jiangtuan Fish, or ‘big-headed fish’, presented

a flavourful experience of pink meat steamed to perfection. Lightly oiled and with very few bones, Chongqing’s famous freshwater fish is definitely a winner and a must-try for those who make a trip to this city. Noodles are also big in Chongqing and none can match the pungent dandan noodles. “It’s like cold soba, just spicier,” quipped the foreigner seated next to me as she dove into her noodles with glee. Mainly served for brunch, this noodle dish got its name from poles known as dandan. In the past, noodle peddlers used to carry their wares on their shoulders with baskets hanging from dandan poles, hence the name. The rather simple looking dish is in fact, a culinary contradiction.



The Sichuan pepper, dried shrimp, sesame seeds, vinegar, garlic and chilli oil combine to make a thick, red and hot broth, yet the noodles are served extremely cold. It is best to keep a glass of water nearby.

BRIDGING THE GAP Chongqing is also a land of many natural wonders with spectacular gorges, bridges, caves, underground streams, towering vistas and eroded dolines (depressions in the earth like sinkholes). Nature designed the blueprint for the world’s most amazing bridges, and this is nowhere more evident that the three karst



stone arch bridges of Tianlong, Qinglong and Heilong bridges. An elevator built in the natural landscape takes visitors down to the open cave chamber that leads straight to the Tianlong Bridge. Standing 235 metres high, the ‘Heavenly Dragon’ has the most vivid shape amongst the Three Natural Bridges. The nearby Tianfu Posthouse was also the site for the only outdoor scene in Zhang Yimou’s movie The Curse of the Golden Flower. This beautiful building is surrounded by towering limestone karsts with spring water cascading down the hills, creating an ethereal landscape that seems to have come to life from a Chinese ink painting

The road connecting the bridges is one of nature’s richest repositories, as the stone paths lead visitors on a trail of lush greenery, babbling streams, hilly landscape and cascading waterfalls. The most impressive natural bridge was, for me, the Qinglong Bridge (Cyan Dragon). Towering at a whopping 281 metres, the arch of this structure looms tall above the rest, making it the largest natural bridge in the world. The view of the Qinglong Bridge after a rain is an extraordinary one, often with a rainbow creating an arch over the bridge, made magical with a thin film of vapour from the nearby waterfall. One could almost imagine dragons frolicking here.

IN THE ABYSS Tweeting, as I stood in front of a cascading waterfall in the middle of China’s most magnificent gorges, I exprienced the most amazing feeling ever. As I struggled to keep my phone dry whilst exercising my need to be connected via technology, the thunderous sound of the river flowing through the middle of the 200-metre deep canyon obliterated all allusions of modern superiority. Here, man becomes insignificant amidst the primitive forests, grand mountains, tranquil pools and many other natural wonders. If nature had a soul, here it reigned supreme.

Amongst these wonders, the Longshui Karst Fissure Gorge took centre stage. This is a huge unroofed cave system that’s located downstream the Yangshui He Gorge. The steep and vertical walls range from 80 to 210 metres high, though the gorge floor is only about 15 metres across. The many sharp bends and steep gradients, coupled with breathtaking waterfalls and endless pools add to the gorge’s magical appeal. But do come armed with an umbrella or a raincoat and be prepared to get wet as you trek through steep staircases, slippery pathways and physically challenging roads.

CARVED FOR ETERNITY The Dazu Rock Carvings in Chongqing is a treasured symbol of artistic expression, and one that continues to amaze locals and foreigners with a series of carvings that amounts to more than 50,000 statues and sculptures. This pinnacle of stone art brings together a multifarious mix of Tantric Buddhism from India, Chinese Taoism and Confucian influences that has endured the test of time, and stands as testament to the highly evolved aesthetics of the local sculptors. Each sculpture tells a story that proudly highlights the rich Chinese culture,

LEFT: Chongqing city centre is a bustling metropolis that can rival any city in the West. RIGHT: The magnificent Qinglong, or Green Dragon Bridge.



CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Sculpture of the monk Zhao Zhifeng who dedicated 70 years of his life to the Dazu Rock Carvings: a local street pedlar selling knitted products along a city subway station; Liberation Monument in the middle of Times Square in Chongqing; silk being spooled the traditional way in an artisan weaver’s home near Chongqing; the location of the only outdoor scene from the movie Curse of the Golden Flower near the Three Natural Bridges; a local girl in front of a portrait of a traditional girl at Eling Park.

traditions and history, and reflects the religious and moral aspects of the local norms and belief systems. For instance, one of the most visited carvings here is traced back to the Song Dynasty, where a Buddhist monk named Zhao Zifeng promoted Tantric Buddhism with the creation of the only large, stone ritual site for this school of belief. The monk is said to have dedicated 70 years of his life to creating elaborate sculptures and carvings on Mount Baoding. These well-preserved sculptures in vivid colours were a sight to behold even from a distance. The seven-metre high niche of Gautama Buddha entering nirvana is one of the most remarkable of the lot in the grotto, where the sheer size of the reclining Buddha serves as a teaser on how impressive the sculptures were. The spectacular Guanyin or Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with Thousand Hands niche is another stunning devotional relief that depicts the revered Bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas, said to be the largest Avalokitesvara statue in the world. Visitors to this attraction also gasped in horror at the niche of the Nether World, where all 18 stories of hell are depicted through vivid storytelling.

PARK PERFECT Back in the city, I stood at the edge of Eling Park as I stared at Chongqing’s skyline. The beauty of Eling Park has been the subject of many Chinese poems. I switched off my hand phone, and for the first time, disconnected from the world, I drank in the beauty of Chongqing. As the concrete pulse of the city throbbed simultaneously with the waves of change, I listened attentively to the rhythm of the old and the new collide, creating a symphony that surprisingly wasn’t discordant at all. The past and the present, the archaic and the avant-garde, and even the hot and cold in food serve only to write yet another chapter on this city that is as remarkable as the rivers that feed its shores. GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Chongqing from Bangkok. Go to for details.





igh H On


With over 100 islands, the Langkawi archipelago is a treasure trove of powder white beaches, million-year-old rainforests and mysterious legends of warring giants and lake water that can get you pregnant! WORDS: CAROL WEST PHOTOGRAPHY: ROBERT MUIR

LEFT: An installation of one of the legendary pots hurled by giants at Air Hangat hot springs. BELOW: Natural ingredients for a wellness treatment at one of the island’s many spas. OPPOSITE PAGE: A couple enjoying tandem paragliding at Pantai Cenang. PRECEDING PAGE: The viewing platform at the Langkawi Geopark Sky Bridge.

It’s a steep ascent to the top of Mount Mat Chinchang and a light breeze brushes against my face as I turn to admire the views of Langkawi’s archipelago. Looming out of a glassy sea, this string of exquisite gems reminds me of narcissistic sea sculptures admiring their reflections. Poised at more than 650 metres above the Andaman Sea, I don’t have to worry about crampons or possessing nerves of steel just to enjoy the gondola ride, a marvel of Swiss engineering dangling from a steel cable. Continuing the sedate ride to the summit viewing platform, the thickly forested Kilim Geo-Forest Park rolls away endlessly. The finely granulated, quartz-rich sandstone is amongst Southeast Asia’s most ancient land forms and from this vantage point, I look for hidden hornbills as eagles ride the thermals below. In the distance, Tanjung Rhu beach is a fine, golden necklace of sand and on a clear day, you can see all the way to Thailand. 86


Elegantly suspended from a single pylon reaching more than 80 metres from the forest floor, a suspension bridge walk wraps around the mountain. As it curves out over a spectacular geological chasm and virgin jungle, perspectives change dramatically and rising mists conjure a romantic atmosphere that’s not lost on honeymooners pausing for photos.

LAND OF LEGENDS Straddling the border between Thailand and Malaysia and mere 45-minute flight north of Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi is one of over 100 forested islands adrift in the Andaman Sea’s sultry stillness that attracts an international coterie of ‘fly and flop’ vacationers. These jetsetting castaways like nothing more than lolling on its talcum-fine beaches, but even they can be lured away from poolside lounges to explore the island’s legendary attractions. I resolve to

hire a car and chase a few myths of my own. On the island’s southeast corner, Kuah is the main commercial hub and from Jetty Point, I head out on an island-hopping adventure. Kites and kingfishers soar above our long tail boat as we thread through narrow channels between limestone sea stacks, some little more than punctuation points, before stopping by secluded coves and beaches to snorkel in sun-splashed water gleaming like polished emeralds. I disembark at popular Dayang Bunting Island, where legend has it that following the tragic death of a fairy princess’s child, the sprite blessed the waters so that childless maidens bathing in the fresh water lake would conceive. Framed by lush jungle, the cool water is irresistible and I plunge into the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden and enjoy the solitude of swimming in its rainforest reflection.

MYTHS AND MORE MAGIC On the return trip, a sea eagle keeps a watchful eye while gliding effortlessly overhead. At the top of the feathered food chain, these magnificent birds are a common sight across the archipelago and closely associated with the island, helang meaning eagle and kawi being the Sanskrit word for brown. Back at Kuah, I head for Lang Square, a promontory where an immense carving of a 24-metre sea eagle gazes fixedly over the fabled Straits of Malacca. At nearby Legend Park, Langkawi mines its potent blend of water, mythology and romance. Built on 20 hectares of Kuah’s reclaimed waterfront, gigantic sculptural tableaux depict loosely woven folkloric tales that span pre-history to modern times. There’s a fraction too much fiction for me and over a restorative drink at the Yacht Club’s scenically located Charlie’s Place, I decide to drive to Telaga Air Hangat or Hot Water Village. An elaborately carved wall tells the tale and three modest pools that mark the spot where the feuding families of two mythical giants began hurling insults at each other. Not content with the insulting remarks, hostilities soon escalated with cauldrons of boiling water being hurled, which broke spilling the contents on the ground. This is said to be the origins of the names of towns and villages on the island. However, it’s the hot water bubbling from an underground spring that attracts the locals. Joining the queue, my feet soon enjoy a blissful bath in a coloured bucket followed by a vigorous foot massage.

NATURE’S NURSERY Reaching a fork in the road, I follow the sign to Tanjung Rhu beach where a river flows into the sea. Placid waters lick the broad vanilla sand and off the coast, mystical islands float like a shrouded mirage in the heat. Friendly locals run stalls serving simple, cheap food and deliciously fresh coconut drinks. Tanjung Rhu marks the entrance to 400 hectares of mangrove swamps and, local fishermen happily hire out their boats to visitors wanting to explore the mangrove riverine. Passing floating fish farms, the deep silence and beauty of nature’s nursery is breathtaking. On the road out, and taking care to navigate three unexpectedly large speed bumps, I travel through quiet villages that host small night markets where locals come to haggle and shop for daily needs and special treats. Motoring west, this densely forested island is easy to navigate. Away from the coastline, the rural heartland quickly reveals its beauty and fragility. Water buffalo graze TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


LEFT: Langkawi’s mountainous interior rises dramatically at the harbour. BELOW: Visitors can observe how handpainted batik is produced at one of the many cottage industries in Langkawi.

in paddy fields, cows amble along the road, sliding docile glances my way and purple bougainvillea cascades over corrugated roofs of village houses. There are fruit orchards and straggly avenues of rubber trees, little cups strung around their girths, the slashed bark releasing a trickle of latex sap. Even though Malaysia is no longer the world’s biggest rubber producer, rubber still provides the local kampongs with an income. Suddenly, it begins to rain – a big, tropical downpour that momentarily turns verdant hillsides white and roads into fast-flowing streams before the sun reclaims the day once more.

FAIRY FROLIC Seven Wells or Telaga Tujuh is one of the island’s most popular picnic spots. Legend has it that fairies used to come and frolic in its sun-dappled waterfall and seven natural bathing pools. Obviously, they took a short cut rather than climb 638 steps to bathe 88


in the refreshing highland waters! Peering over the drop as a cascading ribbon of water disappears into the rainforest far below, I can almost visualise blithe spirits fluttering their wings amongst the frothy spray. On the south-west coast, Pantai Cenang is a busy public beach with a variety of water sports and one of the island’s best sunset views. It’s also where romance is literally taking flight. Couples queue to tandem paraglide and I spend an entertaining hour watching them race over the sand before heading skywards silhouetted against a fiery sunset. From the beach, there are plenty of hand signals, whistle blowing and general directions to the skipper, as couples flying high on love wobble over the sea before landing in a flurry of coloured parachutes and much laughter. As night descends, neon transforms the main street into a lively strip selling a variety of kerbside cuisine including steamboat, nasi campur (rice and dishes) and barbecued

fish. Food halls are frequented by Malaysian families and I’m told that Sunday night at Padang Matsirat is one of the best dine-in night markets on the island. With its influx of international visitors, it’s inevitable that a clutch of trendy cafes and restaurants have also sprung up, adding a light Asian touch to Western food sensibilities. Top among these are Nam Restaurant at Bon Ton Resort where rural scenes untouched by time make unforgettable memories, Casa Del Mar for sensational sunsets and steaks, for oriental seafood at the cavernous Putumayo and, the charming garden bar restaurant, Champor-Champor.

HISTORY AND NATURAL HISTORY Fish is also on the menu at Underwater World, one of the largest marine and freshwater aquaria in Asia with a mesmerising collection of over 5,000 fish. In one of the display tanks, a rotund catfish rests on its whiskers.

THE LEGEND OF LANGKAWI Legend has it that two giants – Mat Chinchang and Mat Raya – once inhabited the island. The children of these warring parties fell in love and wanted to get married, much to the displeasure of their fathers. At the wedding, a quarrel broke out where both parties started hurling pots and pans at each other. The place where the pot of gravy (kuah) fell is present day Kuah town. Where the engagement ring was flung came to be known as Tanjung Cincin (Cape of the Ring). Where the pot broke was named Belanga Pecah (broken pot) and where the boiling water poured was named Hangat (hot water). Mat Sawar (another mythical creature) tried to mediate but, God transformed Mat Chinchang and Mat Raya into the two mountains while Mat Sawar became the hill that separates them.

10 THINGS TO DO IN LANGKAWI X Enjoy cocktails and tapas, as you watch birds take flight over wetlands at The Sunset Deck of Bon Ton Resort & Restaurant, Pantai Cenang. www.bontonresort.

X Stop at roadside stalls for banana fritters (10 pieces for RM1.00), and a delicious snack of local cashew nuts. X Bring binoculars and go jungle walking, kayaking, +6012 mangrove and bird watching with Irshad. 584 6184

ABOVE: A dusky leaf monkey enjoying lunch at one of the forested areas.

X Join the cool dudes at retro late night spot SunBa in Pantai Cenang. X Spa and stay at The Danna Langkawi, an exquisite +604 959 3288 rainforest and beachfront resort.

In another tank, a giant fish with skin glistening like tin foil glides past and a gigantic grouper with a face like a prize fighter lurks in the gloom. In an underwater viewing tunnel, African penguins are fleetingly captured on home video cameras flying through the water. Another tank houses giant trevally – the Ferraris of the sea, keeping company with leopard sharks and sting rays. Book-sized tanks hold tiny Naso Tang, all seductively made-up with kohl eyes and orange lips, while a deadly stone fish looks positively pre-historic. Local ‘Jungle Walla’ Irshad Mobarak knows a thing or two about the island’s prehistory and loves unlocking the mysteries of the rainforest. His morning or evening treks offer rich commentary on Langkawi’s geology, flora and fauna. He points to evidence of Malaysia’s geological history played out on an island that was originally part of the ancient continent Gondwanaland and, reveals a rainforest laden with nature’s pharmacopoeia. But it’s the dry season between November and April when the natural world is stressed that he finds the most fascinating. Triggering a major flowering process and as animals instinctively follow courtship rituals, on Langkawi, this is when love is really in the air! GETTING THERE AirAsia flies daily to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore. Got to for details.



X Visit Ibrahim Hussein Museum & Cultural Foundation to learn about one of Malaysia’s best known artists. X Stay in houses that Penang’s wealthy traders once called home but now make up Temple Tree’s colourful enclave of pre-loved accommodation. +604 955 3643 X Soar like an eagle on the award-winning Langkawi Cable Car as it scales Langkawi’s second highest peak. Operates daily from the Oriental Village, Burau Bay. +604 959 4225 X Hire a boat and lose yourself cruising the archipelago’s mystical islands. X When flying out, sit on left of aircraft for spectacular views of the 390 million year old archipelago.

9 FEATURE • India 0 2012

BANKS of SPIRITUALITY Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges is one of the holiest cities for Hindus and thousands throng it for spiritual enlightenment or, to get a deeper understanding of religion. But for some, this is also where you go to depart the worldly realm. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: MAGDA BISKUP



Would you like a boat, madam? It was only 6.30 in the morning, but I had heard this question about 20 times by then. It was the middle of an unusually hot summer in Varanasi and well outside the tourist season, so the boat business was not at its best. I had to reject the offer for the 20th time that day, because

I already had taken the famous boat ride the day before. I simply wanted to continue my slow stroll along the banks of Ganges River. Varanasi is a vast city with almost four million people, but the focus of my stay was the Ganges River and the ghats, which are the stairs leading to the water. I’ve wanted to see this

place for many years now and was more than pleased when the opportunity arrived to visit the famed city of Varanasi or Benares as it is often referred to. Varanasi is known for bringing about the most extreme of emotions among travellers – from raging hate to absolute love – and I wanted to understand these extremes in

ABOVE: The Ganges water is considered very holy for Hindus and pilgrims gather it for rituals, including taking it back to family members who are unable to travel to Varanasi. RIGHT: The Ganga arathi is performed daily to honour the goddess Ganga on the banks of the river. The ritual includes prayers, chanting and waving of oil lamps.



reaction. The city is famous for being chaotic and overwhelming, but for the devotees who throng this place, Varanasi is paradise or at least the portal to heaven. Additionally, it is one of the seven Hindu holy cities along the holiest of rivers – the Ganges – which symbolises life, purity, and a goddess to the people of India.

BIRTH OF VARANASI According to legend, Varanasi was created by Lord Shiva (one third of the Hindu Trinity) thousands of years ago, making it one of the oldest (if not the oldest) inhabited cities in the world. Excavations on ancient ruins that lie on the Rajghat plateau on the northeastern

section of the present city have unearthed pottery and other artefacts that date back to 1,000 BC and, broken masonry from as late as 1,500 AD. These findings confirm that the city has been continuously inhabited for over 2,500 years! Today it is a place of life and hope, where 60,000 pilgrims from all over India and the rest of the world come each

LEFT: Mendicants and beggars flock to Varanasi in hope of collecting alms from devotees and travellers to the city. ABOVE: Varanasi has a large Moslem population that co-exists peacefully with the majority Hindus.



day to conduct ritual baths and other religious activities. Varanasi is also a place of death, where the old and frail come to wait to exhale their last breath, hoping to have their ashes scattered onto the Ganges. For a Hindu, there is no better place better to die than Varanasi, as the soul will achieve moksha (liberation) and be freed from the cycle of birth and death.

A MAGICAL MUDDLE A few days earlier, I got my first taste of Varanasi that I had heard so much about. I was on the way from the train station to the old part of the city, where I was going to stay. The traffic was manic and the narrow streets were quite a challenge, even for my experienced moto-rickshaw driver. But after what felt like the most stressful ride, I somehow managed to reach my destination.

As we got to the old town, I entered a maze of narrow lanes in search of a place to stay. The lanes were no more than two metres wide and occupied mostly by pedestrians, the occasional motorbike rider and, of course, cows. In some places, half of the width was taken by shops, cafés or restaurants. The place was filled with smells (both nice and not so nice) and at times dirty, but I found it magical in a strange away. After

somehow finding my way in this extraordinary system of lanes, I found a place to stay. I dropped off my bags and set out for the ghats. The water steps turned out to be such a fascinating place that I didn’t leave them for five days, taking breaks only for meals and to sleep at night. My days started early in Varanasi not because of the unbearable heat that didn’t allow me to sleep much, but mostly because Ganges is most TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚


“Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” ~ Mark Twain, American author and humourist.

magical at dusk. I was up by 5.00am on most days, and armed with a bottle of cold water to beat the heat, I’d head to one of the smaller ghats near my hotel, where yoga classes were conducted daily. I didn’t participate, but observed the slow and graceful movements of the people concentrating on their exercises. Only 50 metres away, a couple of sadhus (renunciates) were conducting morning pujas (prayers) on an elevated 96


platform. The chanting from sadhus, the smooth movements of the yoga and the rising sun created the most magical of scenes that stirred deep emotions in me.

PATH OF THE PILGRIMS As I continued walking along the river, I came across a small group of pilgrims. They looked very serious and were visibly moved by

the experience of finally arriving in Varanasi. I noticed how slowly they entered the river, splashing the water all over their bodies, until they were completely wet. To my surprise, some of them started rinsing their mouths with the Ganges water. This river may be holy, but it is also extremely polluted with sewage, garbage and half burnt bodies all ending up in the waterways. Coming from a Western background, I was aghast at seeing this but a

teenage Indian boy who I met a little later explained that the water may be polluted but it didn’t matter to a true believer. He further enthused that those who truly believed in the power of the gods would never suffer from any ailment having drunk the water. In fact, it was the opposite, the boy beamed. The faithful and true believers will be rewarded with blessings, health and happiness! The filth in the river meant nothing!

WHERE OPPOSITES THRIVE This theme of opposing ideas kept recurring in the most surprising manner throughout my stay there, like the woman who was washing a pile of dirty laundry in the holiest of rivers, or the bunch of boys irreverently enjoying a game of cricket on the river steps.

There were also countless groups of beggars coming to the river every morning to wash the grime of the previous day with cheap soap and, old t-shirts playing the role of a towel. After my earlier conversation with the young boy, I wasn’t too shocked to see them brushing their teeth using the river water. Even more interesting was to see them use twigs to

brush with instead of toothbrush and toothpaste. But if one section attracted beggars doing their morning ablutions, another section saw groups from swimming academies and local families clearly having fun in the river. It was a pleasant sight to see them having fun in the water, albeit a little strange, considering the fact

ABOVE: At sunrise and sunset, boatmen criss-cross the river, ferrying devotees and visitors just as they have been doing for thousands of years. RIGHT: A devotee offering prayers to the sun god by the banks of the river.



ABOVE: Pilgrims get dressed and fix their hair after a dip in the Ganges.

that Varanasi is still the holiest of holy places but could still be so regular and normal to the locals – just part of everyday life. But as I continued exploring, I came across another sight that was rather unsettling.

THE FINAL RITES Manikarnika, the larger of the two burning ghats in Varanasi, is probably the most famous spot in the whole city. This is where every Hindu wants to have his or her body cremated. Those who can afford it bring the bodies of their dead family members to Manikarnika and watch them cremated, before the remains are thrown into the river. But there are also many other old and frail who come to Varanasi 98


to pass their remaining days in the holy city, so they too can be cremated by the river when it’s their time to leave this world. Manikarnika is not a place for everyone. The acrid smell of burning flesh can be unbearable and the fact that the ceremonies are conducted very quickly somehow strips them of their spiritual significance. Yet, it is an extraordinary scene that sheds light on the Hindu view of life and death. It will certainly make you question the meaning of life and start examining death as a very integral part of living.

where spirituality is at every corner, and where everything is influenced by the holy Ganges. People come here to live, hope and be blessed, but this is also where people come to take their leave from life. It can be overwhelming and drag out the worst emotions out of you but it will also make you stop and evaluate your life, spirituality and where you stand in the larger scheme of things. But Varanasi is also real, magical, colourful and spiritual and will leave an indelible mark on anyone who visits this historical city.


GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Kolkata three times a week from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Go to for details.

Varanasi is a mixture of life and death, seriousness and fun, religion and routine. It is a place

Varanasi is some 740 kilometres from Kolkata and can be reached by train or domestic flights.

CENTRE FOR SPIRITUALISM & LEARNING Although Varanasi is a spiritual centre and pilgrimage city for Hindus, it is also popular amongst Buddhists and Jains. Sarnath, the place where Gautama Buddha preached his first sermon is just 10kms away, while the city also attracts Jains as it is said to be the birthplace for Parsvanath, the 23rd thirthankara (spiritual leader and enlightened one of the Jain religion).

9 FEATURE • Brunei Darussalam 0 2012

BRUNEI BARU-NAH! Rich in natural resources and one of the wealthiest kingdoms in the world, Brunei Darussalam reveals yet another treasure, which is perhaps more valuable than all its petroleum put together: Its untouched coral reefs and marine biodiversity. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: LAWRENCE ALEX WU

ABOVE: A lone goby making a stalk of whip coral its home. OPPOSITE PAGE: Fast paced fish action at the top of the cement wreck. PRECEDING PAGE, LEFT: The USS Salute’s instrument continues to survive underwater, beneath a school of barracudas. PRECEDING PAGE, RIGHT: Spindle cowries on a Gorgonian coral on the hull of the Labuan wreck.

I knew that His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei is one of the richest monarchs in the world but I was stunned when I started to photograph another treasure his country owns that doesn’t relate to petroleum; one that very few knew even existed.  As an underwater photojournalist who has gone diving in almost every Southeast Asian country, the reefs I visited in Brunei in 2012 revealed a secret that has been shared with only a select few. The waters off the coast of this country include shallow reefs that stretch for miles, several sunken World War II ships and, over two dozen other wrecks. I could safely surmise that Brunei’s waters harbour more wrecks than any other Southeast Asian country that I had been to. Even more surprisingly, diving and exploring the watery world along the coast of Brunei has begun to take off only recently. I consider myself very privileged to be part of the Poni Dive Team that was recently invited by the local authorities to explore the waters of Brunei to document and marvel at the magical underwater world.

THAT SINKING FEELING Half a dozen World War II ships lie in Bruneian waters as shallow as 11 metres from the surface, shallow enough even for snorkelers. Two of them, the American 102


and Australian wrecks sank during the last two years of the war. Travelling to the wreck site, I noticed that the ships were very close to the shore while a 30-minute boat ride took me directly above them. Descending into the depths always fascinates me although I have done it so many times before. Apart from the beauty and mystery of the underwater world, the history of the wrecks too becomes a point of interest. For instance, the 60-metre long American made USS Salute that I visited had received five Battle Star commendations for her war efforts as a minesweeper before finally encountering a Japanese mine that split her hull in two. In fact, several of the war ships here suffered the same fate with enemy mines. Most of these metal wreckages still wear their war wounds such as the Australian wreck, SS De Klerk, that has a gaping hole four metres wide from the bomb blast on the starboard side. While not all the wrecks are war casualties, they all have one thing in common: They are a rich trove of nursery grounds to hordes of juvenile fish creating an amazing ecosystem with a clear hierarchy of predators and prey.  Being preyed on here is part of the life cycle. This was beautifully, if not brutally, demonstrated by the

BELOW: Soft coral branches cover the wheelhouse roof on the Labuan wreck.

barracudas that darted in and out of the wreckage lavishly adorned with coral and other organisms. Elsewhere, scorpion and lionfish waited patiently amongst the grass and rocks for a chance of a tasty morsel, while an octopus sneakily plied the foredecks in search of its next meal.

BUILT ON WRECKS Being submerged 30 metres underwater is common practice in scuba diving but hovering next to a 100-metre wreck with a 12-metre mast and booms stretching several metres in all directions was quite

exhilarating. The Hong Kong built MV Tung Huang sank in 1980 after it hit the Semarang Banks. While making a run to port, this freighter sank with the cement cargo it was carrying. Thye, my local dive guide, promptly directed me to the 30-year-old cargo that was meant for the construction of a palace on land. As I followed Thye deeper, branches of coloured black coral appeared, some of which were larger than a grown man. Looking like gigantic underwater ferns in neon strands of greens and yellows, they lit up the walls and chimneys of the wreck. On beams that were too precarious for the black coral, bushy short soft coral in warm reds to purples lined the remaining patches. Like a dense rainforest, every inch of the vessel was fertile ground for the underwater flora to flourish.

LOST AND FOUND The dive team couldn’t locate one of the reefs during our excursion. With only vague coordinates, the only means of finding the reef was by sonar depth sounding the number of metres from the boat, except on that day, the depth-sounding device was broken! So we opted to be towed by the speedboat while wearing our masks in the water hoping to spot the reef while adrift in the open sea, not knowing how far off we were from our ‘loose coordinates’. Suddenly, through the muffled cries of Thye’s snorkel, I heard “Baru nah!” As his snorkel came off, he exclaimed: “Stop, there’s an underwater drop off here!”  The current was sweeping us away swiftly so, with my camera in hand, I descended quickly, followed by Thye and another fellow diver, Dave. Within seconds, we reached the top of the reef at seven metres. Another two metres down revealed a five-foot ledge roofing over a carved out wall. The walls extended to both sides and the water was almost still. “Where were we?” we wondered collectively.  


*Baru nah is the old Malay expression for “We have found it”. Local legends say that it was what Awang Alak Betatar (or Alka Betara as recorded in Hindu accounts) uttered when he arrived at Brunei’s river estuary in search of a new capital. The name ‘Brunei’ is said to have been derived from these words. Other accounts say that ‘Brunei’ was derived from the Sanskrit word varuna or barunah, the deity who governs water and the oceans. 104


9 FEATURE 0 2012


Marta Garcia and Gerard Valls go on a fantastic tour of discovery, travelling to some of the most amazing destinations in Asia. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: MARTA GARCIA AND GERARD VALLS

We are a Spanish couple travelling around the world. We took a break from our daily routine living in Barcelona to discover a whole new world out there: New cultures, new food, new ways of travelling etc. It was a good experience and a great opportunity to open up our minds while visiting some exotic countries. In the beginning, it was not easy making the decision to leave our lives in Barcelona and visit the world, but we can conďŹ dently say now that it was one of the best things that we have ever done in our lives!

THE SOUTH CONTINENT We started our journey last summer with India. This is a country of contrasts that often cannot be adequately described with words. The only thing we both agreed was that every traveller needs to live and experience the wonder that is India. The second stop in our adventure was Nepal where we enjoyed a fantastic trip into the wild at Chitwan Park and later, mountain trekking in the Himalayas. Nepal is not a big country but it has many different landscapes that make it a very diverse country for adventure seekers. One of the moments we will never forget was the sunrise at Annapurna Base Camp. Seeing the peaks up close, contemplating their beauty and the challenge they posed for climbers, we understood why some people would risk their lives to climb them.

LEFT: Marta and Gerard at the Bayon temple grounds near Siem Reap. OPPOSITE PAGE, ABOVE: Fisherman at Inle Lake in Myanmar. OPPOSITE PAGE, BELOW: Local women who live along Inle Lake in Myanmar.



RIGHT: Having some fun in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A lone passenger onboard a train to Myitkyina in Myanmar; street scene in Nepal; the U-Bein Bridge in Amarapura, Myanmar; an elderly woman from Mynamar.

SOUTHEAST ASIA After a nine-day trek through the Himalayas, we decided to hop over to Thailand and chill out in one of its many islands. Having suitably recovered, we took an AirAsia flight to Yangon in Myanmar, a relatively undiscovered country with loads of opportunity for adventure. If you want to visit Myanmar and have more than two weeks to spare, we strongly recommend visiting the northern part and, taking an incredible boat trip from Mytkyina to Mandalay, which takes around five days. During the trip, you will truly experience the real Myanmar, away from most touristic areas. November and December were dedicated to countries that the Mekong River runs through. In Cambodia, we visited the famous temples of Angkor, a spectacular symbiosis of culture and nature that really impressed us. But the Angkor Wat alone doesn’t make up Cambodia. We also truly enjoyed the gorgeous and deserted sandy beaches on the south coast of the country. At times, we both felt that we should have spent more time in this country, not only for its amazing landscape but also for the country’s greatest treasure – its people. Next, we headed to Vietnam, where we spent a few weeks visiting major attractions of this country such as Hanoi, Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta. This is what we did on the first leg of our trip. But our adventure doesn’t end there. After crossing over to Laos, we hope to head over to the country with 7,107

“This is a country of contrasts that often cannot be adequately described with words. The only thing we both agreed was that every traveller needs to live and experience the wonder that is India.”

islands – Philippines – with AirAsia. So many of our friends and fellow travellers have recommended amazing destinations in Philippines and we are both so excited to personally visit and experience these places. We know it is going to be a fantastic journey, especially with the easy connectivity made available with AirAsia. What next? Well, although we don’t have a fixed route, we also plan to visit Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia before leaving Asia and starting the second part of our adventure in Australia and South America. We know visiting these countries for short periods doesn’t really give insights or a full understanding of the country and the people, but it does allow us to take back a thousand memories and life altering experiences that will last forever. For those who are thinking of embarking on such adventures, all we have to say is, “Go for it!”






Can a plane still fly and land safely should it lose both its engines? This is a question that is frequently asked and needs to be answered to dispel doubts. Capt. Lim Khoy Hing explains what a Dead-Stick glide is and why, despite engine failures, it is possible for any trained pilots to safely land an aircraft on any flat open ground.


A Dead-Stick landing is when all the engines of a plane are lost and the pilot is forced to land on any flat open ground ahead. This term was coined a long time ago and refers to the old wooden propellers (stick) of planes. The description, when used, is often misunderstood as the flight controls in most planes are either fully or partially functional even with no engine power. The plane is still controllable in such situations. This reminds me of when I won the Dead-Stick spot landing competition in a flying club (Royal Selangor Flying Club) many years back. In this competition, the TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

pilots flew single engine planes and the object of the game was to touchdown nearest to the threshold (beginning) of the runway. If a pilot landed short of the threshold, it’d get him disqualified. Those were the good old days when flying was cheaper (petrol was less than USD30 per barrel) and pilots not only had loads of fun flying but were also able to sharpen their skills.

LANDING IN DIRE STRAITS The Dead-Stick landing comes in handy if one has to cope with a

glide landing. This was precisely what happened to a Canadian pilot in 1983. He managed to glide-land a Boeing 767 safely on a disused runway when it ran out of fuel due to an error in the refuelling process. In my 45 years of flying, I’ve practised for and been tested many times on how to cope with either one- or two-engine failure (in a 4-engined plane). However, I have never had the misfortune of encountering any such incidents in real life. Thus, it comes as no surprise when safety experts say that the odds of an engine failure is one in 800,000

and two engine failure is even more remote – one in 8 million! In fact, you’d have a better chance of winning a state lottery.

ENSURING CONTINUED SAFETY The airline industry continues to promote engine failure training and takes no chances in their efforts to ensure the safety of air travellers. When I attended the pilot selection process before becoming one, one of the ways to check our flying potential was to test our psychomotor skills (mental

and muscular ability) using an archaic mechanical bench. Fast forward to the present, the pilot selection is more advanced and stringent using the ADAPT system – a computerised pilot selection and assessment process that is also used in selecting F1 drivers, ensuring the newer pilots become even more adept in their skills. Regardless of how remote the chances of the Dead-Stick emergency becoming a reality, pilots are still subjected to many, many rigorous check flights so that they’ll always be prepared for engine failures at all take-offs. It is something that has been ingrained into the pilots’ consciousness, so that they know instinctively what needs to be done should this event ever occur.

HANDLING A DEADSTICK LANDING Unlike a normal powered landing, a Dead-Stick landing requires skills and good judgement. An error in selecting the flaps or 114


landing gears prior to touchdown is generally irrecoverable and the plane will land short of the runway. A plane with two failed engines would glide at almost twice the rate of descent of a powered aircraft. The trick is to stay high.

For the technically minded readers, let me elaborate (unofficially). For instance, on a Boeing 737, the pilot should position the plane on the centre line of a runway at a minimum height of 6,000 feet when 15

nautical miles out. When assured of a safe touchdown, the pilot would lower the landing gears at around 1,000 to 500 feet and very close to the runway (a very crucial action).

Even if all the engines were to fail, a plane does not fall out of the sky like a stone. Instead, it will glide down and a trained pilot will be able to land it safely on any flat open ground.

Air travel is considered one of the safest forms of transport, safer than travelling in a car.

without any problems. It gave them tremendous confidence knowing they may do just as good as Captain Sully of the Hudson River water landing fame!


However, on an Airbus plane, when both the engines are lost, only limited electrical powers are available with the aid of the RAT (Ram Air Turbine) – an emergency generator that automatically extends when it senses two engine failures. The RAT has a mini fan and is powered by airflow when the plane glides down for a landing. To lower the landing gears in this scenario, the system makes use of gravity. This is achieved by releasing a mechanical lock. To stop the plane, it has the emergency brake (accumulator) to supply about seven applications – enough to bring the plane to a complete stop.

managed to make a successful Dead-Stick landing at an abandoned airfield at Gimli where a car rally was in progress. In August 2001, an Airbus A330 near the Azores Islands in the Atlantic Ocean lost both engines as a result of fuel starvation. The crew was able to glide the plane for 20 minutes (about 115 miles) to an airfield and averted a water landing. None of the 13 crew members or 293 passengers were seriously injured. In January 2009, an US Airways Airbus A320 made a successful Dead-Stick water landing at the Hudson River, New York with no loss of lives amongst the 155 people on board.



There have been several instances of commercial planes successfully carrying out DeadStick landings. In July 1983, an Air Canada Boeing 767 ran out of fuel en-route from Montreal to Edmonton. However, the crew



A dead-stick landing is often quite challenging. Recently, at the end of the training course for my two hardworking Japanese students, both requested that

I set up a scenario in the flight simulator to enable them to practise the exercise. I am quite happy to report that they successfully landed the plane

All airliners have the capability to glide when all the engines are lost. They do not drop down like a stone but would continue to glide horizontally while descending. The success rate of this very rare incident shows that not all is lost when a plane loses all the propulsive powers in flight. Lest the thought of engine failure worries you, let me reassure you that airplane engines are generally very reliable and flying is one of the safest forms of travel. It is safer than you going to the supermarket in your car. A US National Safety Council study showed flying to be many times safer than traveling by car and that more people die on the road in the US in a 6-month period than all the commercial air travel fatalities WORLDWIDE in 40 years!

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

9 TRAVEL LOG 0 2012


Joanna Frackowiak makes her own ‘new discoveries’ on a trip to Cambodia, aided by determination and a long standing dream to visit this amazing country. LEFT: Young monks at Bantey Srei temple. BELOW: Angkor Wat

Phnom Penh is the capital city with the Royal Palace, National Museum, several temples worth visiting, and nice hotels and restaurants. It was both an enriching experience and a pleasant holiday. At the same time, it was also the scene of the oppressive rule of the Khmer Rouge regime. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is not a typical attraction for visitors on holiday, but definitely a must if one wants to understand Cambodia, its people and history. Shocking and depressing, it is a former school turned into a security office that was used to torture and kill countless innocent citizens for no apparent reason. When you digest the fact that the regime eliminated almost all educated people, often judging them based purely on the fact that someone was wearing glasses as proof of time spent reading books instead of growing rice, you look differently at Cambodia’s current challenges. Sometimes, the things that happen can be misleading, bad or disappointing... at first sight. However, it can be surprisingly rewarding at the end of it. I felt nothing but sadness and frustration when a series of hardto-believe events stopped me from my long awaited trip to Thailand late last year. True, I had to be patient, but the outcome was worth it. I tried my luck again and this time around, I was able to board the AirAsia flight to Phnom Penh. I finally arrived in Cambodia. Unlike Europe, where people are in a hurry all the time and even suspicious when you smile at them, Cambodians smile back immediately when your eyes meet theirs. Despite the tragic history of the Khmer Rouge regime, which is in fact quite a recent event and one that has left a huge impact on the nation, the people are very optimistic and positive with great reverence for the past. 118


RIGHT: Joanna Frackowiak in one of the temples of Angkor. RIGHT, BELOW: Faces of Bayon Temple.

One of these challenges is the lack of a medical care system in the country. Although it still remains an important social issue, especially for the poor in rural areas, the good work of Kantha Bopha Foundation and Dr. Beat Richner cannot be praised enough. Dr. Richner is an extraordinary person, whose charisma and dedication are driving forces behind the project. Kantha Bopha Foundation has managed to establish four children hospitals so far, providing treatment for over nine million outpatients and 900 in-patients since 1993. He is also a cellist, performing for tourists in Cambodia in order to collect donations for the Foundation. I was one of the tourists who attended his performance. I went there curious, but left deeply touched. I felt the same emotions, but for a different reason when I entered Angkor Archeological Park. Cambodia’s grand treasure is undoubtedly the Angkor Wat. Its majestic beauty changes from dawn to dusk, so it is better to plan at least two visits at different times of the day. However, there are many other temples in Angkor. My favourite was Preah Khan. Not only beautiful, but also hidden from the main tourist route, this temple allows real communion with the surrounding place. I really appreciated the peaceful atmosphere of Preah Khan. Everyone can have such an experience there. It takes only a smart tuk tuk driver who knows where and when to take you to this hidden gem. There is of course so much that Cambodia has to offer. Everyone can find something that fits their needs and expectations. Having visited Burma, Laos and Thailand during my previous trips to Southeast Asia, I made my own new discoveries in Cambodia – people, places and flavours. I encourage everyone to make their own discoveries – in Cambodia or elsewhere. Now, since the world has become so much ‘smaller’ with accessible air travel, such as provided by AirAsia, it takes only a dream and a bit of determination. 120


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

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

9 OFF THE RACK 0 2012


Clueless about what to wear? Take a cue from our list of fashion savvy bloggers or check out the latest designer collections for what’s hot, hip and happening in the world of fashion.

NIGHT OUT FOR FASHION If there’s one thing Michael Kors is rarely seen without, it’s his aviators. So it’s hardly surprising that the designer’s limited edition collection for Fashion’s Night Out is inspired by these fashionable frames. Highlights include gold aviators with flash lenses, Jet Set Monogram large cosmetic cases and super-soft, cotton T-shirts imprinted with an image of the company’s iconic green and gold aviators.







The Perth Fashion Festival featuring some of Western Australia’s most talented designers will be staged at Fashion Paramount from Sept 19-25. The WA Designer Collections highlight emerging home-grown talent while the Designer Capsules feature the Spring Summer 2012/13 collections of Daniella Caputi, Zsadar, Lisa Marjanovich, The Butcher and the Crow, Kim Barton, Steph Audino and Garth Cook. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Lauren Jasmine

A unique collaboration between designers in Malaysia and Singapore, 20 By Two – Fashion Beyond Borders showcases the latest collections of 20 brands in twin exhibition and retail events held in both countries. Participating designers include Singapore-based Al&Alicia, By Invite Only and Lauren Jasmine while KLutched, Yadotsa and Thirtyfour represent Malaysia. Catch it at the Red Dot Design Museum, Singapore from Sept 6 to 8, and Publika, Kuala Lumpur from Sept 14 to 16.

FASHION IN A BLOG Take a page from these bloggers who let you in on their style secrets.


VERY BEARY MOSCHINO If you love teddy bears and own an iPhone, you must get your paws on these Gennarino Bear iPhone covers by Moschino. These cute teddy-inspired iPhone covers come in three colours – brown with a red bow, yellow with a blue bow or pink with a green bow. Available from mid-September mid September at the Moschino boutique in Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur.

Blogger-photographer Scott Schuman captures the essence of style with artistic shots of fashionable people on the streets of NYC to Paris and Milan. Extremely popular, Schuman’s photographs have been featured in GQ, Vogue Italia and Vogue Paris. An anthology of his images published in 2009 has sold over 100,000 copies to date.

BRYANBOY A former web developer, Filipino Bryan Grey Yambao started blogging out of his parents’ Manila home. Currently based in the US, Bryanboy is a favourite with fashionistas who love his witty and tonguein-cheek commentaries. His blog reportedly averages 1.4 million millio page views per month and is such a hit that he h was invited to join America’s Next Top Model Cycle Cy 19 as a social media correspondent. ww


TARTAN TALES S Autumn Winter at Alexander er McQueen is inspired by ions and quintessential British traditions outdoor pursuits with a collection lection that includes fur-trimmed military style parkas, blazers with badges that evoke memories of school uniforms and, riding trousers that rollll up to reveal the classic McQueen n tartan. The collection is complemented ented by accessories like weekend bags in British Millerain waxed cotton ton or m tartan. 124


journalist Kjeld Duits was so inspired by the explosion of street fashion in Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990s, he began documenting cap the styles that captured his eye in a blog. Ten Ja years on, Duits’ Japanese Streets is the go-to site trend in Tokyo’s Harajuku district for the latest trends Japanes cities. and other Japanese

COLOURS OF FALL CO M Misso Missoni celebrates the changin changing seasons with its Fall Winter collection that features richly d detailed patterns, gorgeous textures and sumptuous colours from ras raspberry to gold. To look like a m million bucks, pair a printed dress or knit jersey with patterned tights and accessorise patterne with a fe felt handbag.

9 VANITY FARE 0 2012


Whether you’re heading to Japan for autumn or Down Under for spring, our top picks in fragrance, hair and skin care will have you looking poised and polished when you arrive at your destination.

LIP SERVICE Crayon for your lips? Unleash your inner child and grab these cool lip balms from Clinique. Fragrance-free, allergy-tested and infused with shea butter, mango seed butter and jojoba seed oil, the Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm comes in lip-smacking shades like Voluptuous Violet and Two Ton Tomato.

SHAMPOO SAVVY Shampoo your hair anywhere, anytime with the Silk Classic Collection Hair Perfume by Shaire London. Especially useful for travellers, this dry shampoo gently cleanses and nourishes hair and scalp. A fragrance-free formula is also available.





Add length, volume, texture and a bit of curl to your lashes with just a swipe of Lash Architect 4D by L’Oréal Paris. This innovative waterproof mascara uses sculpting fibre technology that gives lashes a 4D effect while its patented angled Architect Brush ensures easy application. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

Top notes of lime and grapefruit, heart notes of verbena, peppermint and spearmint and, a base of white woods and musk make up L’Occitane’s invigorating Sorbet Verbena EDT. Perfect for sunny days in tropical climes, the icy cool sensation of this unisex fragrance will leave you feeling fresh all-day.

LITTLE DARLING A truly lady-like scent with a vanilla base complemented by fruity and floral notes, Petite Chérie from Annick Goutal celebrates youth and femininity. Each bottle comes with a celadon green ribbon and a charming gold medal that can be worn as a pendant or bracelet.

DESERT DREAM Bobbi Brown’s Desert Twilight Collection combines soft hues of rose, plum and bronze with bright colours for a make-up collection that is playfully cheeky yet elegant. Highlights include lip gloss and eye colour in shimmery shades.

ITALIAN DREAM Inspired by the dramatic landscape of the island of Stromboli on the Italian Riviera, Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue Living Stromboli fuses freshness with sensuality. Its masculine woodiness is tempered by top notes of citrus and pink pepper for a refreshing scent.

BRIGHT EYES Get rid of panda eyes with Dr. Brandt’s Dark Circles Away™ eye serum – a collagen infusion that stimulates microcirculation to decrease the appearance of dark circles. Ingredients like Lumisphere™ and Hydra APS instantly brighten and hydrate the under-eye area.

FOR GUYS The men’s skincare range from Neal’s Yard is perfect for guys who care about their grooming. Favourites include the Purifying Face Wash with calendula and rooibos that strengthens and protects skin from free radical damage and the antioxidant-rich Close Shave Soap with wheat germ and lavender oil for a smoother shave. 128


9 JETSETTER 0 2012


It was his father’s passion for poetry that inspired Naowarat Pongpaiboon to become a poet. A Thai National Artist and past winner of the SEA Write Award (Southeast Asian Writers Award), 72-year-old Naowarat is now the artistic consultant for Bangkok Bank and the president of the Artists Network in Thailand. A much respected poet in the region and a national treasure whose work is prescribed reading for youth in Thailand, Naowarat opens up to Travel 3Sixty° about his love for poetry and the arts. WHEN DID YOU START WRITING POETRY? I used to recite poetry for my father even as a child. He taught me to appreciate poetry at an early age and I began writing poems in high school, when I was about 13 years old.

WHERE DO DRAW INSPIRATION FROM? My inspiration has always come from reading my father’s many books. It is the love of poetry that he instilled in me, which prompted me to start writing my own poems.

DO YOU USE THE COMPUTER TO WRITE? No. Technology has come far but I still prefer to write every letter by hand. I enjoy expressing myself through pen and paper and, creating my art by hand.

CAN ANYONE APPRECIATE POETRY? To appreciate poetry, one should have a love for books, and enjoy reflecting on culture and life. I believe the reading of books is the reading of life.


The poem Kun Chang Kun Pan, a Thai epic is an example of a good poem. This poem embodies the Thai way of life, in the ideas and perspectives



it presents while being technically proficient, making it a complete work of poetry.



BY NAOWARAT PONGPAIBOON TRANSLATED BY MICHAEL WRIGHT (This poem is about the October 1976 uprising that toppled the Thanom Prapass Government in Thailand.)

Through the tall weeds runs a path Lonely and unvisited; There the little snail paints his silver path A shining road Waiting for the day When the blazing sun Will lash out in anger with its rays And consume the weeds’ domain. Then the lovely silver, Will be caught by the rays And in a blaze like diamonds Be consumed, the snail’s track. And the little snail will offer up its flesh To become a creator From its own dissolution As it has always been. So there lies the way Leading to the ideal. As long as weeds rule There will be hearts to struggle. There’s always pain in creation Agony and stress Like the lightning in the rain Like gold in dull rock. Come then, come bear it, This suffering with friends Don’t hope that without it Your life will shine. The first steps that we take Will paint a path And there’s much land untrod Where we may go. POEM FROM THE SEA WRITE ANTHOLOGY OF THAI SHORT STORIES AND POEMS, EDITED BY NITAYA MASAVISUT & MATTHEW GROSE, PUBLISHED IN 1996 BY SILKWORM BOOKS, CHIANG MAI, PP 119-20.

I don’t have a personal favourite – I’m proud of all my poems. I’ve worked hard and dedicated my life to writing poetry.

WHAT ARE YOUR POEMS ABOUT? My poems mirror society, reflecting images of the problems we face and issues we encounter. For example, Pieng Kwam Kluan Wai (which won the SEA Write award in 1980) was inspired by people power and the events that unfolded when Thais demonstrated for democracy. The poem was a reflection of two eras and through it, I tried to express the spirit of Thais before they became aware of democracy and thereafter.

WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD TAKE AN INTEREST IN POETRY? Poetry is not a matter of words but a matter of the heart. It is a total expression of emotions and, not at all easy to write. Therefore, I think it should be appreciated and enjoyed.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST TREASURED EXPERIENCE AS A POET THUS FAR? For me, it has to be writing my poem Paen Din (Land). It’s about the importance of one’s homeland, history and culture. I wrote it on location in the places it was inspired by, in 10 different countries.

BESIDES POETRY, WHAT OTHER PURSUITS DO YOU ENJOY? I enjoy music and play the Thai flute in my own band, Kannayao. I also like travelling as it allows me to meet people and experience different cultures.



9 KIDS SPACE 0 2012

EAT, PLAY, LAUGH This month, fi ll up on nutritious snacks, learn to cook like a chef and entertain your friends with some rib-tickling fruit and vegetable jokes.

Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Lettuce. Lettuce who? Lettuce in and you’ll find out!

SNACK SMART Hey kids, the next time you get hungry in between meal times, snack on these super foods that are both good to eat and taste great too!

YOGHURT A good source of calcium and protein that helps build strong bones and a healthy body, yoghurt is super yummy. It also contains probiotics, which are living microorganisms that help replenish the good bacteria in your body. Kids who can’t digest cow’s milk can try goat’s or soy milk varieties. For a tasty and healthy snack, simply ask mum to add your favourite fruit or nuts to a tub of plain yoghurt.

STRAWBERRIES It’s no wonder these berries are good

Q: What’s a vampire’s favourite fruit? A: Neck-tarines.

for you – just one serving (about six to eight strawberries depending on size) has more Vitamin C than an orange! A delicious treat that can be enjoyed on its own, in juices, smoothies and desserts, strawberries are packed with nutrition.

Q: What do you call a retired vegetable? A: A has-bean.

ALMONDS If you want to ace a test, try eating a few almonds

Q: What fruit do navy officers like best? A: Navel oranges.

every day as this super nut is good for memory and brain function. Not only do they taste good and provide instant energy, almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity. Almonds are also high in Vitamin E, which is good for a healthy heart.

Q: What did the father tomato say to his son while they were out walking? A: Ketch-up!

Get an adult to help you whip up this delicious recipe, which combines the goodness of strawberries and yoghurt for a tasty treat packed with nutrients.




INGREDIENTS: f 2 small ripe bananas


f 170g frozen strawberries or 1 cup frozen blueberries f 2 cups non-fat plain yoghurt f 2 tablespoons honey METHOD: f Peel and slice bananas. Put them into a food processor or blender and add strawberries, yoghurt and honey. Whiz on a low setting until smooth.


f Divide the mixture between 6 paper cups or plastic moulds.


The Cooking House in Kuala Lumpur offers lessons and, hands-on cooking and baking parties where kids get to play with their food.

The Mini Chef! programme at AFC Studio in Singapore lets kids explore their culinary skills with guidance from resident chefs.

f Place the pops in the freezer for about 10 minutes, and then gently poke a popsicle stick into the centre of each. Put the pops back into the freezer for at least another 3 hours, or until frozen solid. f Take it out of the freezer and enjoy!



Melbourne-based Gourmet Kids provides fun and educational cooking classes for budding chefs aged between two and 15, as well as school holiday and party packages.


9 PLANE FUN 0 2012

RIDDLES 1. What is higher when it’s upside down? 2. What am I? I live in a little house on my own. It has no doors or windows and to get out I have to break the walls. 3. Can you work out this proverb? Amid Old Nick and the unfathomable, primary-coloured expanse of water.


Billionaire Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani has reportedly agreed to buy a $100 million apartment in New York. Of which country is he Prime Minister?


Arctic caribou are better known by what name?


Porthos and Aramis were two of the Three Musketeers. Who was the third?


The De Beers company is famously associated with which product?


When talking about the paranormal, what does the acronym ESP stand for?


What is to be renamed Elizabeth Tower to mark the queen’s Diamond Jubilee?


The llama is native to which continent?


What is the main ingredient of hummus?


The Oscar-winning film, The Last King Of Scotland, is centred around which African dictator?

5. What am I? The more you take the more you leave behind.

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

10 A score plus a dozen totals how many?


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


7 8 4 2 3 1 9 5 6

6 3 9 8 5 7 2 4 1

1 5 2 9 6 4 8 7 3

8 2 1 5 7 6 4 3 9

3 9 7 4 8 2 1 6 5

4 6 5 3 1 9 7 8 2

9 4 8 6 2 3 5 1 7

2 7 6 1 4 5 3 9 8

5 1 3 7 9 8 6 2 4






• QUICK QUIZ 1 Qatar 2 Reindeer 3 Athos 4 Diamonds Clock Tower 7 South America 8 Chickpeas 9 Idi Amin

4. What can hold water yet it is full of holes?

5 10

7 5 3 3 7 1 2 3 5 8 5 3 6 8 1

Extra Sensory Perception 6 Big Ben Thirty-two • RIDDLES 1 The number 6

2 A chick in an egg 3 Between the devil and the deep blue sea 4 A sponge 5 Footsteps • PLAY ON WORDS 1 Drink like a fish 2 Black sheep of the family 3 Head in the clouds 4 Snake in the grass




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

SECOND PRIZE WINS A 3D/2N stay in a two-bedroom suite at One-Stop Serviced Residence & Office, Kuala Lumpur worth RM900 nett (room only)!


Situated in Fraser Business Park, OneStop Serviced Residence & Office offers guests a choice of 175 apartment units that include two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, office and kitchen space in each unit. In addition to these apartment units, the property also has 14 one-bedroom SOHO units that are fully furnished with modern amenities. Catering for working professionals, expatriates and families on holiday, the property is within easy reach of the city centre with daily shuttle services to Bukit Bintang shopping area, Pavilion and KLCC.

Casting net, Inle Lake, Myanmar. Lee Mun Keat, Selangor, Malaysia

BEST PICTURE WINS A 3D/2N stay in a Deluxe room at Hotel Capitol Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur for two inclusive of breakfast worth RM1,253 nett! Winner of numerous travel and hospitality awards, Hotel Capitol is a smart and chic hotel located in the centre of Kuala Lumpur’s shopping, dining and entertainment hub. The hotel offers a choice of 235 comfortable guestrooms with modern conveniences including spacious, corner rooms that offer dazzling views of the city’s skyline. For added luxury, opt for the 10Rooms that occupy the 19th and 20th floors of the hotel. The hotel also offers great dining options at Be Be’s Kitchen & Bar and Café Rasa. Be Be’s Kitchen & Bar offers local and innovative cuisine for breakfast, weekend Hi-Tea and dinner. Alternatively, Café Rasa, is the spot to enjoy a glass of wine, sip a cup of cappuccino or latte, enjoy a delightful Executive Express lunch or savour a delicious BBQ buffet dinner.


Shy boy from Sumbawa, Indonesia Marja Hautala, Perkionmaki, Finland

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



8 GET COMFY 0 2012

Joy of flying

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

h2o To The rescue

shoulDer lifTs

Knee lifTs

fooT pumps

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

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

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

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

beaT The lag

compiled by: chiTra s illustrations: Tim lai

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


Deep Vein Thrombosis

To preVenT DVT

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

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

travel 3sixty˚

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

9 Route Map • AirAsia Malaysia 0 2012

Tehran Tehran



ChennaiChennai Bangalore Bangalore Tiruchirappalli Tiruchirappalli Kochi Kochi


airasia malaysia DomesTic rouTes Langkawi

Alor Setar


Kota Kinabalu

Kota Bharu Kuala Terengganu




Kuala Lumpur

Bintulu Sibu Johor Bahru


travel 3sixty˚




Beijing Beijing Seoul Seoul


Tokyo Tokyo Osaka Osaka

Shanghai Shanghai Hangzhou Hangzhou

Chengdu Chengdu



Kathmandu Kathmandu

Guilin Guilin Taipei Taipei Guangzhou Guangzhou TAIWAN TAIWAN Shenzhen Shenzhen KolkataKolkata Macau Macau Hong Kong Hong Kong Hanoi Hanoi MYANMAR MYANMAR Haikou Haikou LAOSLAOS Chiang Chiang Mai Mai Vientiane Vientiane Yangon Yangon THAILAND THAILAND Da NangDa Nang Clark Clark Siem Reap BangkokBangkok Siem Reap


Phnom Phnom Penh Penh Ho Chi Minh Ho ChiCity Minh City

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


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


Palembang Palembang

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



airasia hubs in malaysia Kuala Lumpur International Airport Kota Kinabalu International Airport Penang International Airport Johor Bharu International Airport Kuching International Airport

Gold Coast Gold Coast Perth Perth Sydney Sydney


Melbourne Melbourne

travel 3sixty˚


9 Route Map • AirAsia Thailand 0 2012

CHINA Chongqing


Guangzhou Macau



Shenzhen Hong Kong


Chiang Rai Chiang Mai Yangon

Udon Thani Nakhon Phanom



Ubon Ratchathani



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



Kuala Lumpur





Surabaya Bali

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


travel 3sixty˚

9 Route Map • AirAsia Indonesia 0 2012



VIETNAM Ho Chi Minh City Phuket Banda Aceh Medan

Kota Kinabalu

Penang Kuala Lumpur








Jakarta Semarang Bandung Surabaya Solo Yogyakarta Bali



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


travel 3sixty˚


9 ROuTE Map 0 2012



Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Tokyo



ROuTE Map AirAsia Japan International Route Domestic Route

Kuala Lumpur


ROuTE Map AirAsia Philippines Clark International Airport International Route Domestic Route


Kalibo Puerto Princesa


Kota Kinabalu Kuala Lumpur


travel 3sixtyËš






Kuala Lumpur skyline


KUCHING, SARAWAK Indigenous woman


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

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



Mt. Kinabalu

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



Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang

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

JOHOR BHARU, JOHOR Legoland will be opening soon in Johor Bahru.




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

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

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

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





Reclining Buddha statue in Bangkok.

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


PHUKET Stunning islands in Phuket.


Manila Cathedral

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


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



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





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

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

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

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

Mulberry paper parasols


Mt. Fuji on Honshu Island.



Jakarta skyline

MEDAN Traditional custom of Nias island.



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

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



Bullrace in Surabaya.

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



Island of the Gods

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



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

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

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

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

Tangkuban Perahu crater



9 salEs OFFiCEs & sTaTiOns 0 2012

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Minangkabau International Airport, Padang, West Sumatra

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

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


PALEMBANG Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport Palembang, South Sumatra

No 7, Jalan Bestari 1/5, Taman Nusa Bestari, 79100, Bandar Nusajaya, Johor. No 75, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, 80150, Johor Bharu, Johor No 20, Jalan Raya, 81000, Kulaijaya, Johor.

GK 01, Ground Floor, Kluang Mall, Jalan Rambutan, Bandar Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor.

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

No 21,Jalan Dedap 21, Taman Johor Jaya, 81100, Johor Bharu

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

KEDAH Lot 20, Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Halim, 06200 Kepala Batas, Alor Star Langkawi International Airport 07100 Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi No. 68-B Ground Floor, Jalan Ibrahim, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman KUALA LUMPUR

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

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

Komplek Pertokoan Simpang Lima, Blok C No. 1 SOLO Adi Soemarmo International Airport, Solo, Central Java SURABAYA Lobby International Terminal Juanda International Airport Jalan Raya Juanda Surabaya Jawa Timur

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


Carrefour DP (Duta Pertiwi) MALL, Jl. Pemuda No. 150, 1st Floor, Semarang 50132

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

No 97, Jalan Rahmat, 83000, Batu Pahat, Johor

Lot 4, Level 2, Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur, 50470


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

No 71 Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 1 Taman Usahawan Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur No. 4 Jalan 3/116B, Kuchai Lama Entrepreneur Park, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 582000 Kuala Lumpur. No. 1, Jalan PJS 3/48, Taman Sri Manja, 46000 Petaling Jaya. KELANTAN Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra, 16100 Pengkalan Chepa Kota Bharu 3183G, Jalan Sultan Ibrahim (Opp. KB Mall), 15050 Kota Bharu. PERAK

Lot G24, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah, Jln. Tun Razak, 88000, Kota Kinabalu TGround Floor, Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Int. Airport, Old Airport Road,Tanjung Aru 88100, Kota Kinabalu SARAWAK GL02, Ground Floor, Bintulu Airport, 97000 Bintulu Ground Floor, Miri Airport, 98000 Miri Lot 946, Jalan Parry, 98000 Miri Departure Level, Kuching International Airport, 93756 Kuching GFLO1, Departure Area, Ground Floor, Sibu Airport, 96000 Sibu Ground Floor, No. 36 Jalan Keranji, 96000 Sibu Grd Flr, Lot 4034, Jln Tun Ahmad Zaidi, Parkcity Commercial Sq, Phase 5, 97000 Bintulu Ground Floor, 192H Al-Idrus Commercial Centre, Jalan Satok, 93400 Kuching SL11 Ground Floor, Lot 2541 Lee Ling Heights Phase 2, Mile 6.5 Jalan Penrissen, P.O. Box 2044, 93250 Kuching

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

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



Adisutjipto International Airport Jln. Solo km.9, Yogyakarta, 55282

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

Ground Floor, Terminal 3, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport 47200 Subang, Selangor

Melia Purosani Hotel, Jl Suryotomo No.31, Yogyakarta


Jalan KLIA S3, Southern Support Zone, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 64000 Sepang, Selangor

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

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

Level 1, Labuan Airport Terminal 87008 Wilayah Persekutuan MELAKA No 32, Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka PENANG

Lot-35 Mydin Mall USJ 1 B-G-3A, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya 47170 Puchong Selangor

GL 13 Senai International Airport 81250 Johor Bahru

Penang International Airport 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang

Lot S141, 2nd Floor, Plaza Metro Kajang, Section 7, Jalan Tun Abdul Aziz, 43000 Kajang

No. 26 Jalan Meriam, 84000 Muar, Johor

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

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

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


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

127 Tanao Road, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok 10200

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

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

singapore Row: 13 & 14, Departure level 2 Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, Singapore 111 North Bridge Road #0136/37, Peninsula Plaza 179098,

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



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

133 Moo 5 Petchkasem Road, Tambol Nuakrong, Amphur Nuakrong, Krabi 81130 NARATHIWAT Narathiwat Airport 330 Moo 5 , Tambol Kok-Kian, Amphur Muang, Narathiwat 96000 PHUKET

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tesco Lotus - Sukhumvit 50, 1st floor, 1710, Sukhumvit Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok, 10110 Tesco Lotus - Lad Prao, 2nd Floor, 1190, Phahonyothin Road, Jompol, Jatujak, Bangkok, 1090 CHIANG MAI Chiangmai International Airport 60, 1st Floor, Tambol Sutep, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 416 Thaphae Road, Chiang Mai Tesco Lotus - Chiang Mai Kamtieng, 2nd Floor, 19, Kamtieng Road, Patan Sub District, Muang District, Chiang Mai, 50340   CHIANG RAI

SURAT THANI Surat Thani International Airport 73 Moo 3 Tambol Huatuey, Amphur Punpin, Suratthani UBON RATCHATHANI Ubon Ratchathani Airport 297 Ubon Ratchathani Airport, Thepyotee Road, Amphur Nai Muang, Ubon Ratchathani 34000 UDON THANI Udon Thani International Airport 224 Moo 1, Tambol Makkhang, Amphur Muang, Udon Thani 41000


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



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

Hat Yai International Airport 125 Hadyai International Airport, Moo 3 Klongla, Klonghoikong, Songkhla 90115 Tesco Lotus - Hat Yai, 1st Floor, 1142, Kanchanawit Road, Hat Yai, Songkla, 90115

Noibai International Airport Lobby A, 3rd Floor, Hanoi

No. 9, Hang Manh Str., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi 16, Nguyen Van Linh, Hai Chau District, Da Nang

Call Centre Numbers ausTralia china france inDia

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

inDonesia Japan hong Kong

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

(calling from Mumbai and New Delhi only)

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

0800912 0800 45 25 66 +33170480722 +63 2 588 9999 00798 1420 69940 008 0185 3031 +66 2 515 9999 +84 8 3838 9811/ 9812 0845 605 3333

9 TOUCHDOWN 0 2012


DAKSHINESWAR TEMPLE One of the most important temples in Kolkata, this temple complex located on the banks of the River Ganges houses an idol of the goddess Kali, as well as other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Kolkata charms and surprises in equal measure but allow this city to get under your skin and you’ll understand what she lacks in glitz and glam is more than made up for in soul.

DURGA PUJA The largest festival in Bengal held in honour of the Hindu goddess Durga, this 10-day fest begins in the month of Aswin (around September or October). Throughout the festival, streets are lined with beautifully decorated pandaal (tents) housing idols of the goddess where prayers are chanted and offerings made. The festival culminates in a colourful procession by worshippers that ends with the idols being immersed in nearby rivers, lakes or the sea. HOWRAH BRIDGE A cantilever bridge that spans the Hooghly, this iconic bridge was renamed Rabindra Setu in 1965 after the late Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. A muchphotographed symbol of the city, the bridge was built to connect Kolkata to its twin city, Howrah. KOLKATA MAIDAN Literally meaning an open field, the maidan is to Kolkatans what Central Park is to New Yorkers. The green lungs of Kolkata, the park’s wide expanse stretches from the Hooghly in the west to Victoria Memorial in the east.


FLURYS A Kolkata institution, Flurys on Park Street was founded in 1926 by Mr and Mrs J.Flury. This European-style tea-room excels in pastries, cakes and puddings and offers a selection of beverages.


The idol of goddess Durga at Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata.


Long known as the cultural heart of India, having given birth to countless poets, writers, film makers and Nobel Prize winners, including the revered Rabindranath Tagore who was the first Asian to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, Kolkata is a sprawling city along the eastern banks of the Hooghly River. Kolkata’s modern history is rooted in humble beginnings. In 1690, the East India Company obtained a trading license from the then Nawab of Bengal to do business there, transforming an area that consisted of several villages into a mercantile base from which the city grew. The city subsequently became the capital of British India. Although the Imperials have long since gone, traces of the past abound in Kolkata’s magnificent heritage architecture that reigns proud alongside modern buildings. TRAVEL 3SIXTY˚

MUST-SEE, MUST-DO BRITISH ERA BUILDINGS Lasting legacies of the British Raj, notable buildings include Victoria Memorial – a majestic marble palace located within Kolkata Maidan, the Neo-Gothic styled Calcutta High Court designed by Walter Granville and, St. Paul’s Cathedral that is decorated with mosaic panels, stained glass windows, carved wooden pews and Florentine frescoes. CHINATOWN Located in Tangra in the east of the city, this is the only Chinatown in India. Once home to about 20,000 ethnic Chinese whose numbers have since dwindled, this section of the city is still worth a visit especially during Chinese New Year. Visit one of the Chinese-operated eateries here for a taste of Indian-Chinese fusion food.

EAT Seafood, particularly freshwater fish, is a staple of the Kolkatan diet and local favourites like rohu (carp), hilsa (ilish), koi (perch) and pabda (butter fish) cooked in subtly-spiced curries or fried are often eaten with rice. Bengali cooks also have a knack of turning even bland vegetables into flavoursome dishes, often with the addition of their favourite five-spice mix, paanch phoron.

SLEEP THE CORPORATE 4 Royd Street, Kolkata THE PARK KOLKATA 17 Park Street, Kolkata HYATT REGENCY KOLKATA JA 1, Sector 3, Kolkata For more hotel options, visit GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Kolkata from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Go to for details.

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In July, AllStars from Thai AirAsia represented the airline during the Vassa Candle Procession. Here, they shine light on Ubon Ratchathani’s most important annual merit-making tradition.

SIRINTHIP MEECHAI Station Head, Ubon Ratchathani

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I’m from Muang district of Ubon Ratchathani. The Vassa Candle Procession is the largest annual merit event in my province. Everyone returns home to make merit with their families. The candle festival is a joining of the clergy and community to express their Buddhist faith. Historically, the Vassa Candle was offered to help monks study the written teachings of the Buddha when there was no light. Everyone who attends the ceremony fasts and prays for three months. 160



RATTHAWIT THONGDA Guest Service Assistant


I’m originally from Si Sa Ket province, but I’ve been working in Ubon Ratchathani for the past four years. I love it here because the people lead simple lives, and continue to practise ancient traditions. Celebrating the candle festival preserves the art and culture, and serves to unite the people who come together to offer Vassa candles to the monks. The people of Ubon Rathchathani have been practising this tradition for 111 years.

Home for me is Ubon Ratchathani’s Muang district. The candle festival is an expression of our faith, and a reflection of Ubon Ratchathani’s longstanding cultural art, as seen in the carvings on the Vassa candle. I am always dazzled by how beautiful the candles are. This festival is an important reminder for Thais to return to the Buddhist way of life, and it’s a wonderful way to share our traditions with visitors.


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I was born in Muang district of Ubon Ratchathani – the first province in Thailand to celebrate the Vassa Candle Festival, which has been celebrated for 111 years. Everyone donates money and comes together to organise the candle procession. The candles, parade and traditional dances are absolutely stunning.

I was born in Muang district of Ubon Ratchathani and have worked in the province for more than seven years now. I’ve always been fascinated by the way the community comes together and shares in this age-old festival. The people of Ubon Ratchathani carve their own Vassa Candles, which is something the province can be proud of.


In July, Thai AirAsia was honoured to transport the Vassa Candle bestowed by H.M.King Bhumibol Adulyadej for Ubon Ratchathani’s Vassa Candle Procession 2012, and sponsor the festival’s beauty pageant. To add to the festivities, 30 AllStars from across Thailand took part in the festival as traditional dancers. A keen supporter of art and cultural heritage, the airline also flew in nine international master sculptors to carve their own Vassa candles, and exhibited the largest wax A320 aircraft in the world!