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Inbound Asia

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PUBLISHER Inbound Asia Limited

Editor’s Note

GROUP CEO Simon P. Wagstaff B.E.M. OPERATORS Daniel Lew EXECUTIVE EDITOR Nathawee Limpanilchart PR EXECUTIVE Jesada Limpanilchart PHOTOGRAPHER Vatcharin Tavornwong SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER Phanraphee Bunphalamlert SALES EXECUTIVE Michael Spike Panchanitkan Buakod Adirake Lakmuang Paarksriyanyong Sungroong GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chalit Masanglong GENERAL MANAGER (HONG KONG) Joe Wilson GENERAL MANAGER (THAILAND) Scott Stammers GENERAL MANAGER (CAMBODIA) Steve Morrish

Inbound Asia Volume 2: Issue 2 ISSN 1905 - 8616

Not for resale

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reetings to all our readers of Inbound Asia magazine. As usual, I’m Nath, still in charge as Editor in Chief for this little baby magazine. Many things have changed (in a positive way), from the past 2 years of Inbound Magazine (24 issues). Basically, we’ll be giving a complete new look to our magazine in terms of style and size. Besides, all content won’t only be focused exclusively inside Thailand, but we’ll compliment all editorials regarding the Asia region. The main purpose of Inbound Asia magazine, is to reveal Asia’s beauty and charm to the readers worldwide. We wish this magazine, will help you relieve even just for a few minutes whilst you’re waiting for the transit in any airport lounge, or at your precious leisure, while you’re sipping wine in Happy Hour on the big burgundy velvet sofa, in the executive floor of any luxurious hotel, that has widely opened up the bird’s eye view of Asia’s spectacular cityscape. Certainly, you won’t find this complimentary magazine on the shelves of regular bookstores, but many significant traveling spots. For our December issue in the cool breeze of winter, we’ve had the great opportunity to capture the spectacular moment in which the world’s greatest firework display for the opening celebration of Hotel Atlantis in Dubai (held at the end of last November). Moreover, other interesting editorials are included such as Red Sky, a new landmark of Bangkok; situated on the roof deck of Centara Grand at Central World, Uma Paro Resort, and Taktshang Monastery (Kingdom of Bhutan, where once in a lifetime, you shouldn’t miss to visit) and many more. Now, please flip through the inside pages and allow me to introduce Inbound Asia magazine to you. Last but not least, Happy New Year 2009! Nath L. nath@inboundmag.com

Inbound Asia Magazine is published monthly by Inbound Asia Limited;

under license from The ASA Group Company. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage or retrieval systems,without permission in writing from the Publisher.

Distributed in Cambodia by: ASA Cambodia Co. #40, Street 111, Sangkat Boeung Prolit Khan 7 Makara, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel.: +855 23 990 914 Fax: +855 23 990 915 Distributed in Dubai by: ASA Dubai Rep. Office #101, Al Muntazah Compound Jebel Ali DUBAI Tel.: +971 4884 5672 Mobile: +971 5038 96691 Career Opportunities We are looking for… Dynamic sales oriented people in the Asia region Asia contributors & photographers Asia distributors Send us your portfolio to “info@inboundmag.com” Printed by Acme Printing Co., Ltd. (+662 260 4972 – 3) Color Separation by Densutha Film Co., Ltd. (+662 294 9320)

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Contents

December 2008

5 In Focus: Opening Celebration of Atlantis and The Palm Jumeirah. 9 Traveling in Taste: Oenophiles Toast Asia’s Top New Wineries 12 Fine Dining:Red Sky, Centara Grand Hotel Bangkok 15 Essentials 16 Accommodation: Palm Hills Resort, Hua Hin - Thailand 18 Accommodation: Uma Paro, Bhutan 20 Destinations: Samed Island 23 Essentials 24 Accommodation: Lima Coco, Thailand 28 In Focus: Taipei 101, Taiwan 30 Destinations: Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan 33 Essentials 34 In Focus: PIMEX 2008, Phuket International Boat Show 2008 36 Essentials 38 Accommodation: Spa Village Cameron, Malaysia 40 Special Report: ASA Group Goes West to go East 42 Actively: Segway 44 Essentials 46 Culinary: Sichuan Cuisine 48 Art & Culture: Loykrathong 50 Feature: Travel with Medication

Subscription “Anywhere in the world, we are delighted to deliver INBOUND ASIA MAGAZINE right to your door.” Please subscribe now! E-mail us for P&P rates at info@inboundmag.com

Vol. 2 Issue 2 ISSN 1905 - 8616 Inbound Asia Magazine

On the cover:

Photo taken by Uma Paro, Bhutan “A place for perfect contemplation”

SPECIAL THANKS for distribution supporters and contributors: Tourism Malaysia, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Singapore Tourism Board, Korea Tourism Organization, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Republic of Maldives, Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation of Nepal, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Tourism Authority of Thailand: Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, New York and Los Angeles Exotissimo Travel: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar 7 Days Travels and Tours, Northern Travel & Tours Co., Ltd., Beijing Xinhua International Tours Co., Ltd., Asia Pacific International Travel Company, MEDEX Global Group, Air Routing International, SISHA Thai Airways International, Japan Airlines, China Airlines AsiaArts de Vivre branches worldwide: Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, UK and USA 44 Inbound Lotus


IN Focus

OPENING CELEBRATION OF

ATLANTIS AND THE PALM JUMEIRAH CREATE NEW LANDMARKS IN

DUBAI

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OPENING

CELEBRATION OF ATLANTIS AND THE PALM JUMEIRAH CREATE NEW LANDMARKS IN

DUBAI

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tlantis, The Palm is a 1,539 room, ocean-themed destination resort located at the centre of the crescent of the man-made Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. This US$1.5 billion joint venture project was developed with Dubai Government owned, Nakheel. Opened in September 2008, the resort utilises the 46 hectare site with 17 hectares of water park amusement, further marine and entertainment attractions and a collection of some of the most renowned world-class chefs including Nobu, Giorgio Locatelli, Santi Santamaria and Michel Rostang. Atlantis, The Palm offers an unprecedented entertainment centre, an impressive collection of luxury boutiques and shops and extensive meeting and convention facilities. It is home to one of the largest open-air marine habitats in the world, with some 65,000 marine animals in lagoons and displays including The Lost Chambers, a maze of underwater corridors and passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis. (Dubai, United Arab Emirates – November 21, 2008) – The entire Palm Jumeirah island and its flagship resort Atlantis, The Palm were lit up in a spectacular fireworks display tonight, marking the official launch of the iconic landmark and its flagship resort. Music legend, Kylie Minogue, made her debut Middle East performance, alongside Middle-Eastern pop sensation, Nawal and Bollywood star, Priyanka Chopra, at the exclusive event for over 2000 guests from across the globe including: Charlize Theron, Lindsay Lohan, Mary-Kate Olsen, Petra Nemcova, Agyness Deyn, Dame Shirley Bassey, Rani Mukherjee, John Abraham, Mischa Barton, Robert DeNiro, Janet Jackson, Preity Zinta, Gosha Kutsenko, The Duchess of York, Michael Jordan, Boris Becker, Bipasha Basu, the Dubai Royal Family and Lily Allen. The highly-anticipated party was hosted by international hotelier, Sol Kerzner, Chairman of Kerzner International and H.E Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Nakheel, the developers and operators of Atlantis, The Palm, to introduce Palm Jumeirah and the Atlantis brand to the world. The fireworks display designed and executed by Grucci, featured some shells bursting at an altitude of 274 metres and visible from space. The pyrotechnics production utilized 79 kilometres of cable, which had been stretched across the 520 kilometres of Palm Jumeirah by a team of 75 people, over 14 days prior to the event. Half of the fireworks utilized from 716 firing locations were custom-made palm tree-shaped bursts. The largest aerial shell rose 300 meters before its flowery burst spanned more than 200 meters in length and

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was equivalent in size to two football fields. In true Kerzner tradition, the lost city of Atlantis arose from the Arabian Gulf in a water and light spectacle. Illuminated water cascaded down the 103-metre-tall towers of Atlantis before it was extinguished by a fireworks wall set off from 400 balconies, starting at the top of the hotel and quickly spreading to all 22 floors. The night’s pyrotechnics, which also illuminated Atlantis and Palm Jumeirah in red, white and green in homage to Atlantis’ newest home, the United Arab Emirates, were shipped in from China, Spain, Italy, Taiwan and the United States. More than 100,000 specially-designed pyrotechnic devices were fired in less than nine minutes during the multi-luminous pageant.

The display followed an unprecedented high definition video illumination sequence introduced by Bollywood star, Priyanka Chopra, who rose from the stage as The Goddess of Atlantis. Designed by Marie-Jeanne Gauthé creative director for Jean Michel Jarre in Paris, the visual display used the 200 metre-wide Royal Towers as a canvas to visualise the story of Atlantis, making it the most ambitious HD video projection on a standing surface. Kylie Minogue opened her 60-minute performance with “On a Night Like This,” wearing a black and gold Jean-Paul Gaultier creation, designed specifically and exclusively for the occasion and closed with ‘Better, The Devil You Know.’ Guests dined on signature dishes prepared by Atlantis’ multi Michelin-starred chefs, Santi Santamaria, Michel Rostang, Giorgio Locatelli and celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, before heading to the exclusive Royal Afterglow party with top US DJ, Samantha Ronson. “From the beginning, I have been working with my team to create places where people can escape their everyday lives. Atlantis, The Palm is the realization of a vision we shared with our partners at Nakheel. Tonight was a landmark event for us both and I thank my worldwide guests for coming to be a part of this occasion,” said Sol Kerzner, Chairman and CEO, Kerzner International. “This is yet another proud moment for us at Nakheel and in Dubai, where our friends from the world over join us to celebrate the launch of this extra-ordinary resort on this iconic island. This partnership between Nakheel and Kerzner is testament to our belief in Dubai having become one of the world’s top destinations. World class destinations host the most spectacular developments and this is translated in what we are seeing and experiencing tonight. Atlantis has come to the right place, and we invite all of Dubai’s visitors to revel in the magnificent entertainment, service and hospitality it has to offer,” said H.E. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World and Executive Chairman of Nakheel. Guests for the three day series of events also engaged in the resort’s many activities including: Dolphin Bay, Aquaventure water park, The Lost Chambers, the Atlantis Spa and the resort’s Royal Pool. Atlantis hosted an exclusive cocktail party in the resort’s Royal Towers Lobby on Wednesday night, and closed the event with a culinary tour dinner on Friday the 21st in the resort’s restaurants followed by an after party at the resort’s private nightclub, Sanctuary. Visit Atlantis The Palm, Dubai today! For general enquiries, please call +971 4 426 0000 Email: info@atlantisthepalm.com

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hile the vineyards of France, Italy, Germany, Australia, California, and others are well known to wine lovers, the vines of Asia are much less known, and actually down right obscure in much of the world. Wine aficionados now have the opportunity to become acquainted with the winemaking of China, India, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. These countries shun the antiquated New/Old World label and have assumed their own banner – New Latitude Wines. Amongst an array of oenophilic experiences, guests will be able to participate in activities that include private vineyard tours, one-on-one visits and tutorials with winemakers, and exclusive dinners prepared by regional chefs and paired with wines chosen by local sommeliers.

Traveling in Taste

Oenophiles Toast Asia’s Top New Wineries

Bespoke Asian holidays offer wine enthusiasts elite access to undiscovered vineyards

One of the biggest new markets for wine is China so it follows that the country is home to one of the continent’s most respected vineyards, Grace Vineyard. Located 60 miles south of Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, Grace is home to the perfect terroir for a number of well-known varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Riesling. Through the vineyard’s five-tiered wine offerings – Chairman’s Reserve, Deep Blue, Tasay Reserve, Premium and Vineyard – wine connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike can find something to enjoy. Travelers embark on a threeday excursion that begins with a personal tour of the vineyard. An expert vintner navigates wine enthusiasts through the intricate stages of Asian winemaking and allows them to try their hand at the process. The following day, individuals explore the cool, cavernous passageways of the barrel rooms where they can sample wines from their casks, and have the chance to bottle a personalized vintage to satisfy their distinct palate. Rounding out the tour, a gourmet lunch of Chinese epicurean treats and a complimentary bottle of the award-winning Vineyard Series Merlot are presented to all guests. Other accolades Grace has won include an Honorable Mention at the 2007 Decanter World Wine Awards for their 2004 Chairman’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, another Honorable Mention for their 2005 Chardonnay and a Bronze Medal for their 2005 Deep Blue, a red blend. India’s leading premium wine brand, Sula Vineyards, is now home to four wineries, growing varietals such as Shiraz, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc on over 1500 acres. Guests travel through the state of Maharashtra from Mumbai to Nashik where they can spend a few nights at Beyond, Sula’s new villas, featuring breathtaking views of the vineyard and Gangapur Lake. Upon arrival, Sula founder Rajeev Samant and Chief Winemaker Ajoy Shaw personally greet visitors with a glass of their Dindori Reserve and take

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Oenophiles Toast Asia’s Top New Wineries

Bespoke Asian holidays offer wine enthusiasts elite access to undiscovered vineyards

them on a special tour of the property. Later that evening, visitors feast on a meal replete with local flavors and organic vegetables from Sula’s garden, prepared by Samant and Shaw’s in-house chef. The corner piece of the next day is a private tasting and tour of the 2,000 square-foot tasting room. While soaking up the picturesque landscape, oenophiles learn the proper steps to see, swirl, sniff and sip before making their way to the balcony to savor an assortment of cheeses and wine. On the final day, guests can roam the vineyard on bikes or cruise Gangapur Lake by kayak to unwind. Awards Sula wines has won include second and fifth place in Wine Asia report’s list of greatest quality wines in 2007 for its Cabernet Shiraz and Dindori Reserve Shiraz, and the 2005 Zinfandel made it on their list of the top ten most exciting finds.

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Sometimes mistaken with the limestone-rich, rolling hills of Tuscany, the vineyards of Aythaya are the first and only to inhabit Myanmar (Burma). A plethora of grapes including Dornfelder, Temparnillo, Moscato and Grappino – a very special distillate made in honor of its Italian inventors – are grown in Aythaya. Unique only to Aythaya, clients can visit Khaku, the spiritual center of the Pa-o people, on their second day. Upon return from Khaku, wine lovers can sleep peacefully as they prepare for the final day of wine tasting and lunch in the estate’s Winegarden, where a meeting with the vineyard’s prominent oenologists to educate guests on wine pairings can be arranged.


The oldest viticultural area in Thailand also boasts one of the country’s largest wineries. Siam Winery, famed for its “floating vineyards” where vines are separated by canals and harvested by boat, is dedicated to making wines that accompany and complement spicy Thai food. Over the years, Siam has launched three main brands: Monsoon Valley, Sabai and Spy, all of which visitors to the region will have the chance to enjoy. Guests journey from Bangkok to Siam where they begin their privately guided tour of the neighboring Pak Chong Hills Vineyard, and the Khork Chang Vineyard and Research Station. Visits include tastings distinct to each vineyard and exquisite meals prepared by the talented chefs of the Siam Winery. Exotic ingredients from across Thailand will be paired with specific vintages for an unparalleled culinary experience. Guests are also welcome to participate in a ceremonial wine-stomping event at one of the properties. Awards Siam wines have won include a bronze medal at the Los Angeles County Fair in 2004, Saveur magazine’s top 100 list in the same year, and a silver medal at the Wine Master Challenge in Portugal in 2003.

Remote Lands, the world’s leading luxury travel designer of bespoke journeys to Asia, offers the experiences outlined above and can arrange additional luxury bespoke wine experiences in other Asian countries and territories. For inquiries, please call +1 (646) 415-8092 or visit www.remotelands.com.

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Fine Dining Swimming the Seas… Grazing the Earth… and Reach to the Sky…

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inter, my favourite season has arrived again. The cool breeze seems to turn ordinary places in the city of Bangkok into the most wonderful and indulgent place everyone longs for, especially during the Christmas season and New Year’s celebrations. People everywhere will be filled with joy, happiness and hope for great things in the upcoming year. I did not notice the change in seasons because I was finishing up a pile of work, so I could enjoy a long weekend, something I have been looking forward to all year. Suddenly, the winter breeze on a Bangkok night has arrived! It gives me a wonderful opportunity to visit a place that will turn an ordinary night into an enchanted evening. I’m here at Red Sky, a new chic urban bistro dining establishment with a wine and martini bar that embraces the entire outdoor terrace on the 55th floor of the Centara Grand at Central World. It is not an exaggeration to say that this restaurant is a new landmark of Bangkok. As soon as the lift’s doors open at the 55th floor, the receptionists, elegantly dressed, gently greeted and bowed before leading me to the outdoor terrace to feel the cool and refreshing breeze. Large glass doors open onto the terrace, and upon passing through them I saw a magnificent view of Bangkok, as though I was sitting in a panoramic theatre. My table was near the martini bar, and offered a fantastic view of central Bangkok’s east side. With the cool winter breeze, I needed to keep myself warm with a glass of classy red wine. The long bar at Red Sky probably serves the most creative Martinis in the city, an international selection of over 20 wines by the glass, and a large selection of appetizing bar snacks. Red Sky is destined to be one of Bangkok’s most voguish meeting places for those who want to enjoy a little something special. While I was sipping my glass of wine and waiting for my appetizer to arrive, I was mesmerized by the cozy atmosphere. The thousands of small lights adorning the lath wall creates an illusion of a starry night, which creates a unique ambience. Opposite the star like lights, a wonderful view of the sparking and streaking lights from the buildings and bustling cars lies below. Being alone in such a romantic setting, I have begun to think of someone special, and the silky voice and smooth piano from resident performer Pierre Eugent makes the night even more special.

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I was having a little difficulty choosing the appetizer between Crisp Pondicherry curried soft shell crab (green paw paw slaw with tomato-chili coulis) and Maguor Tuna Tartar (Chili infused sesame oil pine nuts and crunchy Kousui pear). Eventually, I went with the first one because it was the only contemporary Thai dish available at the bar. After appetizer, I tried the Pata Negra, pork loin potato-morel casserole (olive oil poached, flash grilled Iberico), which was delicious beyond description! The menu has all the best international dishes including: Whole roast Boston lobster, USDA prime dry-aged New York strip and charred aurora Lamb chops. I ended up with the Whisky ice cream with butter pudding, served with oven fresh Scottish bread for dessert. The experienced chef, Aaron Foster from Toronto, Canada has a wonderful kitchen staff that perfectly prepared all of my dishes. Red Sky is a perfect combination of stylish design, attentive service and magnificent food and win that will be at the top of my list every time I’m looking for hours of classy and stylish pleasure. For reservations please contact +66 2100 1234 ext. 11 (dining reservation) or Email: diningcgcw@chr.co.th www.centarahotelsresorts.com

Swimming the Seas… Grazing the Earth… and Reach to the Sky…

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Essentials December 08

Banyan Tree Lijiang, Yunnan Reinvent your 21st century romance with a travel back in time to the world of Chinese literature’s “Romance of Three Kingdoms”. Explore the architectural intricacies of an ethnic Naxi household in Yunnan. The mist-covered mountains and your own private jet pool make for a study in dreamy contemplation! Stay a minimum of 3 Nights on our BAR package and enjoy a complimentary 90-minute Spa massage session for one. Validity now until 31 Dec 2009 For more information, please call; +86 888 533 1111 or E-mail: lijiang@banyantree.com

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Situated in a secluded corner of the South Ari Atoll, the luxurious Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is surrounded by some of the world’s best dive sites. The resort’s Dive Centre, managed by internationally renowned specialists Sub Aqua, offers a variety of PADI courses and excursions for all levels, which allow you to fully experience the idyllic underwater paradise of the Indian Ocean. If you looking to take your first underwater steps, the resort’s numerous house reefs offer the perfect setting for a Discovery Dive. For keen divers, the world-famous Manta Point “Madivaru” is only minutes from the shore and just one of numerous world-class dive spots situated within 30 minutes of the resort. Due to its position within one of the most fragile eco-systems on the planet, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers a range of Green Speciality PADI Courses including Naturalist, Coral Awareness and Project Aware. The resort is also sponsoring a study on Whale Sharks to both enhance understanding of their behavior and learn how best to protect them. Regular participation in ‘Clean up’ missions For further information, please call: 960 – 6680629 or E-mail to maldivesinfo@conradhotels.com

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts

Now more than ever, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is saying “You’re More Than Welcome” to its guests around the globe. In honor of the launch of the company’s first global ad campaign, Hyatt announces a 21% off sale for stays in its hotels around the world. The sale provides travelers with 21% off at nearly 350 world-class Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites properties in key urban destinations, suburban locations and resort locales around the globe. Guests traveling to Park Hyatt hotels around the world and Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency hotels in 38 countries outside of the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean will secure the valuable 21% discount by making a reservation at least seven days in advance of arrival for stays through Feb. 1, 2009. To take advantage of this global offer, you may book your reservations with offer code LTP107 at www.hyatt.com or by calling 1-800-233-1234. For additional information, please contact Stacey Francisco, Hawkins; International PR at (212) 255-6541 or stacey@hawkpr.com

Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur

Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur offers luxurious packages to countdown the New Year, specially created for family, friends and loved ones. Usher in 2009 with a spectacular fireworks display from the comfort and warmth of the hotel and dance the night away at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpurs exclusive and stylish New Year’s Eve parties for an unforgettable New Year celebration. New Year Celebrations package includes: - Complimentary daily buffet breakfast for one or two persons at Biba’s Café for Deluxe Room - Complimentary daily buffet breakfast for one or two persons at Club Lounge for Club Room and Club Suite - Club guests are entitled to full Club Floor facilities. - Exclusive shopping benefits at selected shops through the Mandarin Oriental Lifestyle shopping programme with Suria KLCC, the city’s premier shopping centre For more information and reservation, please contact: +60 (3) 2380 8888 or E-mail to mokul-reservations@mohg.com

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Accommodation Hotel Resort - Spa

UMA PARO A MEMBER OF DESIGN HOTELS™

Perched on a tree-clad hill in one of the most untouched countries on earth is Uma Paro, a spectacularly unique resort enveloped by towering, snow-capped mountains, uninterrupted pine forests and an ancient mountain culture.

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he inland resort stands on a 38-acre site near the town of Paro, one of Bhutan’s main cultural centres, located amidst the Paro Valley’s rice paddies, wheat fields, scattered villages and snaking rivers. The Bhutanese king’s conscious policy of protecting the country from tourism has helped keep the landlocked Himalayan nation refreshingly pristine, and the designers of Uma Paro have embraced this unspoiled quality. The resort itself was designed by traditional Bhutanese artisans in collaboration with Singaporean architect Cheong Yew Kwan; the interiors by Kathryn Kng, also from Singapore, consistently pay homage to cultural context. Exteriors and interiors are simple, clean-lined and clutter-free. Stone, wood and tiles constitute the primary building materials, which are all handcrafted using ageold techniques. Spacious guestrooms in clean whites, beiges and browns provide dazzling views of the surrounding valleys, forests and mountains. All of the interiors are adorned with indigenous detailing such as carved windows and intricate doors; the white villa walls and shesham-wood furniture are even hand-painted by local artists with brightly coloured flower motifs. Bedcovers made of natural Indian cottons are hand-stitched with designs that reference Bhutan’s thriving Buddhist culture. And in further allusion to the geographic milieu, each villa comes equipped with a traditional bukhari wood-burning stove, whose smoke darkens the timber framing above, and around which friends, families and lovers can gather for cosy conversation or contemplation.

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revor Hillier’s understated landscaping gracefully blends with the dramatic surroundings, melting into the blue-pine forests. The design is reminiscent of local Bhutanese villages, with orchards, lawns and ramped pathways following the land’s contours. Glades are planted with azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and hydrangeas, and buildings are scattered on different levels, lending the resort a fluid feel. Below, plentiful fields provide red rice for Uma Paro’s Bukhari restaurant, which is housed in a circular pavilion with floor-toceiling windows that offer unobstructed views. There are twenty rooms and nine villas in all, six of which come with balconies and two of which include separate sitting, dining and study areas. The eight one-bedroom villas have luxurious private spa facilities, and the sole twobedroom villa includes an outdoor stone tub and open-air courtyard with a fire pit. Once the home of a Bhutanese nobleman, the resort’s main building serves as the property’s visual focus, with peach-flowering roses climbing its walls and plentiful magnolias adorning it inside and out. A yoga room on the grounds overlooks the Paro Valley, its doors opening to mountain breezes. Further into the forest, a 90-square-metre hot stone bathhouse is available for guests, as are an indoor pool with outdoor sundeck, multiple steam rooms, four treatment rooms and a gym. In these buildings, as in all of Uma Paro, clean, locally influenced design incorporates as much sunlight and visible nature as possible, providing visitors with profound access to the magical mountain kingdom that surrounds them.

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hutan’s sense of peace is one of the country’s most compelling characteristics. In recognition, Uma Paro has developed a substantial COMO Shambhala Retreat, designed for guests seeking greater health through yoga and Asian-inspired treatments. There is a yoga room overlooking the Paro Valley that can be opened up to catch mountain breezes, a Jacuzzi, an indoor pool with outdoor sundeck and gym. In the pine forest, find a 90 sq-metre hot stone bath house, which includes a private massage room for couples. Therapies range from specific body treatments to facials and sophisticated massages, including the COMO Shambhala signature massage, delivered by experienced practitioners who customise treatments according to individual needs. Guests can take part in daily complimentary morning Yoga classes, which sometimes incorporate a Yoga walk, taking in some of the beautiful scenery around Uma Paro and practising Yoga outdoors.

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s with every Uma property, English-speaking expert guides provide intelligent access to the region’s land and culture. Excursions include guided day walks, camping treks and mountain biking. Cultural activities include visits to key monasteries such as Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) and festivals as well as villages, markets and museums. In addition to day trips, Uma Paro also offers a range of packages, carefully designed to offer an authentic Bhutan experience, including camping adventures. The activities team is also very happy to arrange tailor-made itineraries. For a complete list of toll free numbers by country visit: www.designhotels.com/contact E-mail: res@designhotels.com Web: www.designhotels.com/umaparo

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Destinations S

Samed island Story by Jenisa Quigley

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amed Island is located on the east coas t of Thailand, about 220 kilometers from Bangkok. It lies in the gulf of Thailand whic h is about 380 kilometers north of Samui Island, the most famous island in the south. Samed Island is about 6.5 Kilometers from the mainland. The appr oximate length of Samed Island from north to south is 6.5 Km. and the width is roughly 2.5 Km. The islan d itself is a big hit with tourists as an interesting destination and the exciting activities provided on the Island. Most of the beaches are on the east side opposite from Ao Prao which is located on the west. In 1981 the Royal forest department designat ed the entire territory of Samed Island, A cape of Khao Leam Ya, and 11 km. of Mae Rampeung beac h a national park. The national park consists of several islands, Koh Kudi, Koh Kruai, Koh Ma Kham, and Koh Thalu. Samed Island contains 18 hidd en bays, which offer crystal clear water year-round. There are five piers which provide transportation to Samed Island. There are many boats departures ever y hour from 8 am to 6 pm to Na Daan pier. The dura tion of these trips are about 30 to 35 minutes. There are taxis available which are called SongThew. They usually have specific rout es running to every part of the island. I have mentioned about how beautiful Samed Island is in previous issues, but the islan d itself has many enticing activities for you to spend during your time on the Island. This small paradise may possibly fulfill your needs, either on your short business trip, or just a short stop to get a golden tan before heading toward a more involved experience in southern Thailand. Whichever the case, I have some personal experiences I would like to share. Our trip started from getting off the limousine at the pier where we decided to find out ourselves the best way to spend time on the islan d, being of an adventurous nature. It can be fun to manage your own trip, bargaining with different businesses for transportation, accommodations, or where the best spot to dine on the beach side resta urant. Negotiation is key in all instances. A Speed boat is the best transportation on this island. It’s muc h faster, and no other mode of transportation can compare to its convenience unless you can bring a private yacht with you! The day began with simple meal on the beach to energize us for the first item on the agenda, a fishing trip. After getting ready, preparing the necessary equipment, rods, bait, and the oblig atory beer and a bottle of wine, we left the island to the endless horizon of the ocean. We combined two trips into one as we tended to stay floating in the ocean nearly half a day. We made it a sight seein g trip around the island as well. Samed Island has a unique shape


although it is unlike some others with more bizarre shape or consist many smaller islands surrounding them. The speed boat driver and the escort took us to a few snorkeling spots, which include similar fish you can see in other waters around Thailand but it’s always a thrill. We stopped by a floating fish farm where the locals raise many species of fish including turtles for learning. You can feed them as well but you’ll need courage because some are large enough to remove limbs, or at least a finger or two. However, feeding giant Green Sea Turtle and baby Whale Sharks is a special experience. They are so majestic. After sight seeing for awhile we arrived at the fishing point. The boat driver said that spot should have plenty of fish feeding due to the tide. We casted the anchor and started fishing till sunset, the time we witnessed how creative the nature is. Red color cut with blue and purple over the horizon before night time creeps in and us floating alone in the ocean, it is just simply a fantastically romantic atmosphere. But eventually it was time to leave the darkness of the ocean. We headed back to the shore for the finest seafood the locals could serve to us. A Fire show at the beachside restaurant completed our dinner perfectly. The next day we rented an ATV rode across hills to see other beaches. The route was tough and there was nothing much to see, but that’s called an adventure. As time passed and turned in to an evening, we had an appointment with the same speed boat and the same driver to go fishing for squid. For this option, you can choose to fish for squid and make them a dinner right away on the boat. But you will have to contact a big boat with full equipment for this type of experience. Or if you are looking for just the experience, a speed boat is just fine. Imagine you are nowhere in the ocean with small lights from other boats in the distance, the silence of the ocean, green fluorescent lamp to persuade squid, and a handmade rod. This scene is serene, and unique. However, you should beware of squids since they will spit water around when they get caught. Koh Samed is a place that offers a true Island experience just a short trip from Bangkok. The array of facilities and activities offered are exhaustive. It’s the perfect getaway for the city dweller or the travelling tourist.

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Essentials December 08

Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, Siem Reap Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh

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The Peninsula Tokyo

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his winter The Peninsula Tokyo introduces a customized selection of Winter Escape options, offering you the opportunity to personalize your stay and indulge according to your own preferences and style. From November 1st until March 31st enjoy special room rates and benefits when reserving the Winter Escape room package. Benefits include: • Daily breakfast for two persons • Complimentary wired and wireless broadband Internet access • Complimentary use of Fitness Center and Swimming Pool • Daily local newspaper Select one of the following value-added benefits: • JPY 10,000 hotel credit per room, per stay • Upgrade to next room category • Late check-out until 6:00 pm\ Room Type Rate Superior Room JPY 56,000 Deluxe Room JPY 61,000 Deluxe Park View Room JPY 66,000 Grand Deluxe Room JPY 69,000 (November 1st to January 3rd) Grand Deluxe Room JPY 73,000 (January 4th to March 31st) Deluxe Corner Room JPY 76,000 Executive Suite JPY 96,000 For further information about the Winter Escape room package, please visit www.peninsula.com or contact the Reservations Department at The Peninsula Tokyo at (81-3) 6270 2288 or email reservationptk@peninsula.com.

his holiday season, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor and Raffles Hotel Le Royal present a sensational array of festive delights, culminating in a New Year’s Eve Gala celebration at each destination. The New Year’s gala dinner on 31st December will be served by Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor’s unique pool designed in the style of the Royal baths, which will be lit by 4000 candles floating on lotus leaves. Residents can enjoy a six-course gourmet dinner with a free flow of wine, beer and soft drinks while entertainment will be provided by a full scale Khmer cultural show. At midnight, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor will light up the skies with a dazzling display of fireworks to herald in the New Year with a complimentary glass of Champagne. In celebration of the festive season, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is introducing the Grand Odyssey Package, offering special rates and benefits to residents who wish to spend the festive season in Siem Reap. Rates begin at USD$460 and includes breakfast and dinner for two. Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh, will host an extravagant seafood barbeque buffet at its Pool & Gardens, where guests can trip tirelessly to tremendous toe tapping tunes to the strains of the Royal Band. To add to the exuberance, a seafood extravaganza featuring freshly shucked oysters and lobsters will be served. After dinner, residents will be invited to the hotel’s lobby where the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve will culminate in a festive balloon drop in the lobby. For more information, please contact: Raffles Grand Hotel d’ Angkor; +855 63 963 888 or E-mail to siemreap@raffles.com Raffles Hotel Le Royal; +855 23 981 888 or E-mail to phnompenh@raffles.com

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Accommodation - esort - pa Hotel R

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Lima

Coco Resort

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When speaking about Samet Island,

one of the most popular high-end resorts is indisputably the Lima Coco Resort, a wonderful tropical resort located in the centre of Aro Prao. Lima Coco Resort is the place to enjoy the sight of a beautiful sunset while sipping an exotic cocktail, to experience the pleasures of nature: sea breezes, blue skies, and the crystal clear, warm sea. Only two hours from Bangkok, you can leave behind the busy, hectic city life and absorb yourself in the natural beauty of Khao Laem Ya, Mu Koh Samet National Park, and the simply luxurious beach lifestyle of Lima Coco Resort. A wide variety of room types have been elegantly decorated to fit your individual needs.


Andaman Beach Front Enjoy personal entertainment in the privacy of your room. Your rooms are ideally situated just in ten steps from the beautiful private beach, with a large balcony to relax and read if you want to get out of the sun for a while. In the morning, you’ll wake enjoying the nice, cool sea breeze and a beautiful sea view. Similan Beachfront You can indulge your soul privately and peacefully with your own garden and balcony, without any disturbance from the other guests or staff. Deluxe Sea View The Deluxe Sea View rooms are situated on the hill footage and are decorated in the Thai Mediterranean style. They offer the perfect opportunity for a romantic holiday with someone special, with dimly lit suites overlooking a magical panoramic view. Deluxe Balcony With interiors that compliment rather than compete with the beautiful island setting, each suite in this new building has a spacious sitting area and bedroom, French style doors, and a Mediterranean-style balcony offering views of the gulf of Thailand. Deluxe Garden Side and Standard Room These rooms are tastefully furnished with fine facilities and absolute comfort in mind. Integral to every great holiday is a fine culinary experience, and the Bagus Café is decorated in a hip, yet easy and comfortable style. It was recently named one of the best restaurants on Samet Island, serving an excellent seafood menu. Fresh fish and seafood are combined with exotic herbs, roots and spices, creating the distinctive flavor of Thai cuisine. Both indoor and open-air tables are available, all in a casually trendy oriental tropical atmosphere, enhanced by chilled-out music. Situated right on Ao Prao Beach, you can anticipate simply the best place to enjoy an amazing sunset, relaxing on a comfortable sofa with an exotic cocktail in your hand, or from the beach, only ten steps away. The café offers a cool, quiet place to read or, in the evening, select from a delightful menu and an excellent wine list at a candle-lit table. Plenty of activities await you at Lima Coco Resort. Snorkeling, kayaking, and island hopping by speed boat are all available at your request, as well as nature hikes for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground. Lazy days can be spent enjoyably spent on the beach, at Bagus café, or with a soothing massage. You’d better experience this for yourself. Enquire or make a reservation at +66 2 938 1811, or email: info@limacoco.com

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Lotus Arts de Vivre

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Your distinctive luxurious lifestyle always comes along with the best travel destinations, finest cuisines, and unbeatable super cars. Jewelries seem to be on top of the list remarkably for ladies. One of the best and unique jewelry products reflecting an Asian art style are available in this place, Lotus Arts de Vivre. Lotus Arts de Vivre specializes in exclusively designed, handcrafted luxury jewelry, accessories and Home Decoration products, blending Far East Asian art with modernized function and sensibility. The synergy of the skills of gifted Asian artisans with the inspiration of Rolf von Bueren, a German aesthete and his artistic Thai wife, Helen, together with the help of their sons Sri and Nicklas have brought the company’s continued success over the past 25 years. Principally, Lotus Arts de Vivre products are not massproduced, they are individual, distinctive and unique, they are instantly recognizable and of course collectible. The von Bueren family personally travels far and wide to explore, discover and commission the most dedicated and loyal craftsmen whose skills have been passed down through the generations in order to work on their collections. Eventually, the combination between the old and the new as one the intricate and obscure production work is carried out, each piece will be finished and undergo a strict quality control check at Lotus Arts de Vivre‘s hightech Bangkok workshop. It is this process that makes each Lotus Arts de Vivre object d’art totally original, unique and a joy to own. Lotus Arts de Vivre has signature stores in Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, and a representative based in Hong Kong, Japan, UK and USA. Hence, exhibitions are held in Asia, USA, UK and across Europe. Consequently, LAdV pieces have become a regular addition to local and international serious collectors of luxury and unique art objects, thus, the company has grown far beyond from an Asian jewelry design to an international luxury brand offering a wide range of exclusive jewelry, accessories and home decoration items from around the world. For more information about products or contact details in each shop, please call 66 2 683 0022 or visit www.lotusartsdevivre.com

1. Bird Earrings

These lovely earrings are made from non-nucleated feather pearls in bird design, decorated with rose-cut diamonds in black rhodium sterling silver. All gold used is 18K. Diamonds : 1.080 cts. Pearls : 25.130 gms.

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5 2. Japanese Lacquer Necklace Lacquer the traditional Asian Arts for as far back. The best lacquer is from Japan, by all mean Lotus Arts de Vivre has picked the lacquer in good omen and add-in Lotus signature to compliment to the original lacquer design. This lacquer necklace is setting full-cut diamonds in 18K gold, black rhodium sterling silver bands and silk. Lock is made from 18K gold. Diamonds : 7.340 cts.

3. New design of Snake Ring by Lotus Arts de Vivre Lotus Arts de Vivre proudly to present about snake collection, 18K gold with fully of paved white rose-cut diamonds and fancy-cut rubellite on top. Rubellite : 2.910 cts. Diamonds : 7.340 cts.

4. Rattan Handbag “The LOTUS rattan clutch bag, has been a signature piece of Lotus Arts de Vivre for over 20 years. For this new version a prominent Balinese artist was engaged to paint the art-work. The quality of each painting speaks for itself. The conversation piece of the Vivien bag is that, when it is closed, there is a complete painted picture; when opening the bag by sliding the top half off, the painting still reveals one complete picture. There is no separation which on might expect to see. As the paintings are individually designed, the bags are not replicated. Diamonds : 0.210 ct.

5. Wooden Bangle with diamonds and blue topaz Lotus has designed once again a wooden bangle of utter beauty. The centerpiece is decorated with blue topaz, framed by rose cut diamonds, mounted in sterling silver. Diamonds : 2.490 cts. Blue topaz: 115.950 cts.

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In Focus

Don’t go home without it!

Taipei 101 Above Everything but Fireworks! Photo taken by Sean H. Yu

Story by Nath

New Year’s Eve is almost upon us again, and the top tourist destination for this year’s celebrations will be the Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan. This attractive destination will draw tourists from around the world to celebrate this great festival. The Taipei tower is the world’s tallest completed skyscraper and has a shape that resembles a bamboo tree. In 2006, Newsweek magazine hailed it as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and since the formal opening on New Year’s Eve 2004 I have been waiting to celebrate New Year’s here. The number 101 represents the number of floors in the tower, and the height measures 508 meters from the ground floor to the highest point. Apart from the tower’s incredible height, the building houses the world fastest ascending elevator, with speeds of 16.83 m/s (55.22 ft/s) (60.6 km/h, 37.7 mph). Every day of the week, the tower’s lights spectacularly display one of seven colours from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, which coincides with the day of the week. As a new year rapidly approaches, I plan to be in Taipei, no matter what it takes. Even on ordinary days, the Taipei 101 Tower is one of the most popular sights in Taiwan that no traveler should miss. The tower exhibits a number of technologically advanced features while providing a comfortable center for business and recreation. The multi-story retail mall adjoining the tower is home to hundreds of fashionable stores, restaurants, clubs and other attractions. The mall's interior is modern in design that compares to New York’s Fifth Avenue, Paris’ Champs-Elysées, or my favorite: Rome’s Via Condotti. What makes Taipei 101 Tower so special for the New Year’s Eve is the display of fireworks that light up the giant tower contrasting against the deep blue night sky. It is truly a spectacular moment to witness! Last year, over 600,000 people around the world streets in -from House, content, car,gathered health in& the travel insurances front of Taipei City Hall to celebrate New Year’s from companies respected worldwide Eve. The party began in the late evening and continued towards dawn. According to a news report, the impressive fireworks display featured a three minute segment detonating thousands of fireworks.

Stay Covered observer insurance service OBSERVER MAGAZINE 86

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info@observergroup.net www.observergroup.net

27/59 Bo Fai, Petchkasem Rd, Hua Hin, Prachuab 77110, Thailand Tel. 032-547 450 Fax: 032-547 451 Email: info@observergroup.net


Don’t go home without it!

5…4…3… 2…1… Happy New Year! ,is on the way. The impressive fireworks show and the spectacular celebration of the coming year has convinced me to go, but according to a recent announcement, the New Year’s Eve fireworks my not continue much longer! I just hope it won’t be this year, so that I can see the brilliant display of fireworks with my own eyes!

Stay Covered observer insurance service

- House, content, car, health & travel insurances from companies respected worldwide

OBSERVER MAGAZINE 86

info@observergroup.net www.observergroup.net

27/59 Bo Fai, Petchkasem Rd, Hua Hin, Prachuab 77110, Thailand Tel. 032-547 450 Fax: 032-547 451 Email: info@observergroup.net Inbound Asia

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Destinations

Tiger's Nest Monastery,

One of the Top 10 Amazing temples of the world; Taktshang Photo taken by Douglas J. McLaughlin Story by Botan L.

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The Kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern region of the great

Himalaya Mountains, or the land of the Thunder Dragon as is sometimes called, is a beautiful and peaceful city with wonderfully fresh air, and a noticeable absence of bustling noise or a frantic pace. The region’s only international airport is in the city of Paro, and the relaxed pace of life is immediately evident upon stepping off the plane. The geography surrounding Paro makes it an ideal center of aviation for the region. It is close to the city of Thimpu, which is the capital of Bhutan and may be the most unusual capital one might visit. The city does not have any traffic lights because there are hardly any vehicles, or even many roads. Unlike rivers flowing through many other cities, the Thimpu River is clear and unpolluted, and flows quietly through town. My colleague and I are heading to one of the most famous and fascinating landmarks in the country of Nepal, Taktshang Monastery, or the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Some of you may have already heard of this fabulous temple that overlooks a cliff, and is in the list of Top 10 most amazing Temples in the world. The monastery, perched precariously on the edge of a 3,000-feet-high cliff in Paro Valley, is one of the holiest places in Bhutan and is embraced with light and cold weather. The path up to the monastery is difficult, and you need to be fit to cope with the steep climb and the dizzying vertical drops. The path to the monastery takes three to four hours on horse or by foot. As the path nears the monastery it becomes very dangerous, with narrow paths winding over steep cliffs, and requires complete the concentration and alertness of the traveler. The name Taktshang means “Tiger’s nest” and is from a legend where Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew onto the cliff on the back of a tigress, and then meditated in a cave. The monastery is built around this cave, and is visible through a gap in the door from the altar room. The monastery, formally called Taktshang Goemba, was built in 1692 and reconstructed in 1998 after a fire, which included 13 of the temples. Now, the monastery is restricted to practicing Buddhists on religious retreats and is off-limits to ordinary tourists. Being up here myself, I must admit that I have been so fascinated by the beauty and sacredness of Taktshang monastery. It is quite a heavenly place, perhaps the most heavenly on earth, and I recommend you come to see it for yourself. Important Note The Kingdom of Bhutan welcomes visitors from all over the world but has a limit of 10,000 visitors each year. All visitors must pay a daily tax of $200 per person in the peak season from March to November, and $165 per person from December to February. The rate does not include any other costs of accommodation, food, domestic travel, guides and entrance fees for other sights.

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Essentials December 08

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, India

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mbark on a journey to explore ‘India in Luxury’. One that takes you through the colourful state of Rajasthan, replete with palaces, forts and temples and the famous tiger reserve of Ranthambhore. And then to Agra to experience the timeless magic of the Taj Mahal. Thereafter to the majestic Himalayas. Choose from itineraries carefully crafted to ensure that your passage through India is luxurious, memorable and at a leisurely pace. Our experienced team will take care of every small detail from managing your travel within India to sightseeing to spa experiences and shopping. To ensure that you carry back memories to last a lifetime. Offer includes; • Business class domestic airfare wherever available (Udaipur/ Jaipur, Jaipur/Delhi) • Economy class airfare from New Delhi to Shimla, Mumbai to Udaipur, Jaipur to Agra, Agra to Delhi and Delhi to Agra • All meals at the resort and outside as specified in the itinerary (excluding alcoholic beverages) • All road transfers between cities, airports and hotels • Spa treatments as specified in the itinerary. • All road transfers within and between cities based on the itinerary using air-conditioned cars and much more. From now to 30th April 2009 To make a Reservation, Request or Enquiry, please call: +91-11-2389 0505 or E-mail us at india.luxury@oberoigroup.com

Banyan Tree, Bangkok

Savour the last moments of 2008 under the stars at Bangkok’s most dramatic outdoor location, Vertigo. End the year on a high note with a seven course gourmand experience, at the restaurant which Condé Nast Traveller labeled as “just the place to launch a heavenly evening”. And, as the champagne corks pop to welcome in 2009, you’ll be literally on top of the world with the ultimate bird’s eye view of Bangkok’s fantastic firework displays. 7 course New Year’s Eve dinner, with half bottle of champagne, Baht 14,900++, 8:00 pm to 2:00 am 5 courses New Year’s Day set dinner, Baht 3,600++, 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm For more information, or to make a booking call 0-2679-1200 or email hostesses-bangkok@banyantree.com

Uma Ubud, Bali

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t is not uncommon to see penjor (traditional decorative bamboo poles), Christmas trees and homes decorated with banana leaves. Join us as we celebrate with a Christmas Eve dinner at Kemiri restaurant. On Christmas Day, visit COMO Shambhala Estate, our sister property, for a special lunch at Glow restaurant. We say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new with a special New Years Eve Balinese-inspired meal at Uma Ubud. Dinner is followed by a DJ-led party with cocktails, canapés and revelry at the pool bar. Days can be as busy or as relaxed as you wish, with holistic treatments at the resort’s COMO Shambhala Retreat. Alternatively, head out on foot, bike, river raft or vehicle to discover Bali’s hinterland. Inclusions: eight nights accommodation and daily à la carte breakfast, Private return airport transfer, a 60-minute COMO Shambhala or Indonesian Massage per person, a Christmas Eve dinner (24th December) at Uma’s Kemiri restaurant, a Christmas Day lunch (25th December) at COMO Shambhala Estate’s Glow restaurant, a New Year’s Eve dinner (31st December) and entry to NYE Party at Uma Ubud (including welcome cocktail, canapés and a glass of sparkling wine at midnight) To book now or for more information please call; +62 361 972 448 or E-mail to info.ubud@uma.como.bz

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In Focus

PIMEX 2008 6th Phuket International Marine Expo

at Royal Phuket Marina, 4th-7th December 2008

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PIMEX 2008, The 6th Phuket International Marine Expo is being held in Asia’s maritime capital of Phuket 4th-7th December at a new and prestigious location, the five Gold Anchor Award winning Royal Phuket Marina in the new Exhibition and Conference centre. The four day international event organized by Andaman Marine Consultants attracts exhibitors worldwide to the tropical island and has already expanded its capacity to accommodate more places on the water allowing a total of 40 yachts in Phuket’s stunning yacht basin, together with an impressive number of additional boats in the onland display. Filling two thousand five hundred square metres of air conditioned space, the exhibition hall will be buzzing with regular and also first time exhibitors from marine suppliers, yacht brands, the yachting press and the important brokers and dealers within the maritime and yachting industry. Historically the show attracts over 5,000 visitors every year, making the beautiful island of Phuket a lively hub for sailing and cruising, and confirming its position as one of the first destinations of choice for marine leisure. With plenty of facilities close by such as sufficient parking, restaurants, clubs and a sports bar all directly within the show area, the Royal Phuket Marina’s Town Square and Boardwalk will be a plentiful and sociable setting for the region’s best marine expo. Andaman Marine Consultants Show Director Andy Dowden says: “There is every indication that this year’s PIMEX will be the most successful yet, we are all looking forward to the activities pro-

grammed for this spectacular show in this fantastic location which solidifies its position as Thailand’s premier boating and lifestyle event.” PIMEX 2008 is supported by the Tourist Authority of Thailand and the Press Conference will take place at their headquarters in Bangkok on 12th November. The Thailand Conference and Exhibition Bureau are also fully behind the event for the second year running and will assist the organisers in monitoring the numbers of visitors, particularly from overseas. The Sports Authority of Thailand once again will bring the six major regattas in the Kingdom to the exhibition including of course the largest regatta in Asia, the Phuket Kings Cup which takes place in the same week on the west coat of the island. Phuket’s Kings Cup Regatta is an integral part of Phuket’s annual marine showcase and was voted the ‘Yachting Event of the Year’ for the second year running at the last Christophle Awards. The Board of Investment and the Thai Marine Business Association will host seminars during the show to outline the business opportunities for investors in the fast growing Marine Leisure sector.

For more information, please visit : www.phuketboatshow.com Or contact: Andaman Marine Consultants Co., Ltd. 111/405 Moo 8, Paklok, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand Tel.: +66 81 892 7670 Fax: +66 76 379604 Andy Dowden Tel.: +66 81 892 7670 Email: info@phuketboatshow.com Piyawan Songsawas Tel. +66 86 470 7172, +66 89 890 9423 Email: piyawan@phuketboatshow.com

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Essentials December 08

Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah

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xperience Burj Al Arab for 10 nights in one of our lavish and spacious One Bedroom Deluxe Suite and celebrate New Year’s Eve in style by joining in our world famous celebrations. Starting with a sumptuous cocktail, you will enjoy a refined dinner in one of our renowned restaurants before watching our fabulous fireworks at midnight. You will then dance through the night to the sounds of both live and DJ music. Rates start at AED 139,000, based on double occupancy in a one bedroom Deluxe Suite, inclusive of breakfast, Pre-Dinner Cocktail, New Year’s Eve Dinner and After Dinner Party with complimentary selected beverages. For more information and reservation, please call; +971 4 3017777 or E-mail to BAAreservations@jumeirah.com

Amari Hotels and Resorts

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elebrate the festive season in high spirits and elegant surrounds, for an exclusive and joyous holiday season at Amari Hotels and Resorts around Thailand. The choice is yours - Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Koh Chang, Samui, Phuket, Krabi, Doi Angkhang and Loei... Enjoy the luxury of fine dining, wonderful surroundings and refined hospitality, with special offers, such as FREE room upgrade, up to 30% discounts on food & beverages and Sivara Spa treatments, delectable festive Gala dinners, complimentary airport transfer, a bottle of wine and much more. For more detailed information and online bookings, go to www.amari.com or contact Central Reservations Department Tel. +66 (0)2 255 3960

Anantara Golden Triangle

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lephant bar is known for its classy and cozy ambience, will host a splendid celebration of Christmas; a merriment everyone is looking for. Come and celebrate a magical Christmas Eve at a five star resort, Anantara Golden Triangle, located in the very unique part of Northern Thailand’s hill tribe. A warm welcome, an atmosphere of anticipation and merriment will surely make the Christmas Eve perfect for everyone. It’s Christmas Eve on December 24th 2008 and the special atmosphere of excitement and anticipation is growing by the minute. A warm welcome cocktail will be given at the reception; sets in the elegant surroundings and the festive atmosphere assemble with the live Jazz band, The New City Guru, at the Elephant Bar. Guests will be served with the delightful dinner consisting of roasted turkey, honey ham, Northern Thai dishes, and most certainly, the classic Christmas pudding and desserts at the poolside and many more. The resort will make sure that every guest enjoy their festivity celebration by having the live entertainment of local Hill Tribe performances and live Jazz Band from The New City Guru all night long. Call for reservations and further information at +66 (0) 5378-4084

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Accommodation Hotel -Resort - Spa

Tungku Batu Tradition Revived at

Spa Village

Cameron Highlands T

Story and Photo taken by Spa Village Cameron Highlands

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ue to the announcement of The SpaAsia Crystal Awards, held at The Golden Horses, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on October 2008; This issue; Inbound Asia would like to introduce one of the Top Ten Spas in Asia that provides the most impressive and complete relaxation services for your leisure. The Spa Village concept has always been to celebrate the healing culture of the region in which it resides. Set in an emerald landscape of lush farmland and verdant jungle, the Spa Village at Cameron Highlands Resort houses its healing therapies based on produce from the surrounding jungle and ancient tea rituals. The Tunku Batu treatment is but one example.. An ancient but effective formulation, the Tungku Batu is known for its power to restore strength and vitality. Tungku Batu is widely practiced for women in confinement after birth. It helps improve the blood circulation and the functioning of the uterus, resulting in recharged energy and desire. Tungku Batu is particularly effective for overcoming an enlarged abdomen after birth, quickly restoring women’s shape, resulting in a firmer and better-looking figure. It also helps to relieve muscular pain, varicose veins, and superficial vascular disorder. Tungku Batu is a highly recommended method to relieve pressure on the spinal cord, and has proven effective in helping to correct and overcome chronic backache. Tungku Batu is a treatment of stones (river stones or clay) wrapped with selected spices and herbs which include fenugreek, black seed, and leaves such as betel and morinda leaves. They are then tied together into a pouch using cotton cloth. Medicated ointment is applied onto the affected area before the hot pouch is used as a pressure massage to loosen tense muscle, alleviate pain, and reduce inflammation, and break excess fat and cellulite or simply for sheer relaxation. In Spa Village Cameron Highlands, a warm, spicy and medicated ointment known as Minyak Lumur Sakti - consisting of coconut oil, cloves, nutmeg, galangal and lemon grass, is applied on the body using vigorous rubbing (employing the effleurage massage) to allow the herbal oil to penetrate deep into the skin before the heated stone treatment begins. For better effect, Tungku Batu uses a medicated stone made from seven layers of clay soil which are moulded and baked together. The stones are heated on a hot plate, then placed on betel and morinda leaves before being tied into a pouch using cotton cloth. The treatment includes a 50-minute heated stone therapy and a 50-minute Malay massage treatment concluding with herbal tea drink of betel leaves, ginger and Centella asiatica to help with body cleansing and detoxifying. The authentic blending of culture and product is what makes Spa Village Cameron Highlands such a unique and therapeutic healing retreat. The tranquil ambiance of the Spa Village in the lush surroundings of the highlands will enhance the restorative treatments provided. The Spa Village features 6 Treatment Rooms, 4 Tea Bath Rooms, 2 Outdoor Cabanas and a fully equipped Gymnasium.

For reservations and enquiries, please contact YTL Travel Centre at (603) 2783 1000 or email travelcentre@ytlhotels.com.my

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Special Report

Report by Joe Wilson

ASA Group Goes West to Go East

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ecently ASA Group’s CEO Simon Wagstaff and General Manager Joe Wilson attended the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) Expo held in Dubai over 16th to 18th November. Joe Wilson provides this report on his experience there: Being the first time that we had attended this particular expo and having attended the NBAA in the US for the last few years, expectations for what we would discover at MEBA were varied. Factor in the current global economic downturn and we were almost expecting to come face to face with a series of dour faced service providers interlaced with over eager (read desperate) sales staff dragging passers by into their booths and not releasing them until they’ve signed on the bottom line.

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The actuality was very different however with the show proving that the executive aviation industry is still a vibrant, thriving industry that has much to offer and that it has definite plans for expansion, especially with a view towards the Middle East and Asian markets.

only towards the Middle Eastern and Asian markets but also the long term realistic view people were adopting regarding the US and European markets, with million dollar deals brokered hourly that would take companies beyond the current troubles and positively into the future.

With over 300 exhibitors within the Airport Expo Centre and a static display that showed off a wide range of craft from luxury BBJ’s through to executive helicopters to ultra light commuter aircraft, the show certainly had something for everyone within the aviation world.

After three hectic days of shaking hands, explaining business models and with Simon in his element of identifying every business opportunity and adapting this model on the hoof to fit, we were very pleased with the results.

Having pre selected a series of companies that we wanted to meet with, we took a deep breath and set about the stands to check out for ourselves the possibilities for developing new business and cementing existing relationships. Once again, when on the floor of the show we were impressed by the optimism shown, not

We came away from the show with pockets full of business cards, a much better, and very impressive, understanding of the Middle East aviation operation and a very positive outlook for the future development of business between ASA Group and Middle Eastern operators. We were also very pleased we utilized the show in order to expand and enhance ASA Group’s range by sealing a deal for the opening of ASA’s fifth of-


fice and are very pleased to welcome to the team Andrea Eden and announce that the ASA Dubai office will be officially opened in early 2009. This will operate as a representative office for us and while we do not anticipate providing operational support or services within the Middle East at this point, this office provides a unique and very necessary link to the rapidly expanding Asia market that ASA currently operate so effectively throughout supported by the offices in Hong Kong, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. The Dubai office also provides a good geographical and time line link to ASA’s office in London and will help with the seamless service for European and US based clients. The final two and lasting impressions from Dubai that I took away with me and reflected upon during the long flight home were firstly that Dubai has a lot of traffic and, secondly that I would be much more comfortable right now if I was on that nice, new, shiny Global Express XRS! We’ll certainly be back to Dubai for next year’s shows and hope that the spirit and optimism we found there this year continues.

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Actively

Segway Tour A Fantastic Way to Discover Thailand Photo by Segway Tour Thailand

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he City of Bangkok is full of many remarkable places for visitors to observe the history, culture and beautiful people’s lifestyles. However, sightseeing from place to place might take some time, so it is impossible to see everything in one day. I have found the most enjoyable and unique way to see the city sights, with Segway Tours – a fantastic way to discover Thailand. Many of you may wonder what a Segway is. The Segway Personal Transporter (PT) is a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric personal transportation device. They are very easy to use and operate, as the Segway automatically responds to rider's body movements, sensing where the driver wants to go. To move forward or backward on the Segway PT, the rider must lean slightly forward or backward and to turn left or right, the rider simply moves the LeanSteer frame left or right. The Segway PT is ideal for short and long journeys alike, traveling at speeds of 20km/h with a maximum range of 38km, depending on the terrain, payload and riding style. Therefore, the Segway Tour is a perfect way of combining the marvelous culture and sights of Thailand while experiencing travel on one of the most impressive developments in transportation technology. With the Segway PT you can see twice as much in half the time! Now, you can choose to ride a Segway PT as you enjoy the history, culture and people of Bangkok and beyond without breaking a sweat and fighting traffic. The local Segway Tour Thailand Shop is located at the 1st Floor of Maharaj Pier Building in Bangkok and currently provides four magnificent Segway tour routes including: Rattanakosin Island, Ayutthaya Historical Park, Bangkrachao Community, and Ancient City in Samutprakarn province. The tour duration and price varies depending on the route, and all tours have a skillful guide that provides an experience that can’t compare with any traditional guided tour or all day walking tour. The tour provides a rich cultural experience, wonderful city sights, culinary delights and truly unique photo opportunities! Every Segway Tour starts with a 30 minute orientation session on how to operate a Segway PT safely, so inexperienced riders need not worry as every Once you feel comfortable riding the Segway PT, your journey will be begin. Riding on the Segway PT will provide an unforgettable experience - fun, culture, adventure and the glamour of a super star when everyone turns round to look and smile to you.


Now that you know what the Segway PT can offer, why not book a tour for your next vacation? It is great fun to ride down the pathway experiencing all Thailand has to offer along the way. In the hands of exceptional guides, a Segway Tour will be a highlight of your vacation, and is ideal for everyone including the individual adventurer, couples or the whole family. For more information and tour reservations, please contact:Segway Tour Thailand Shop 1st Floor, Maharaj Pier Building, Maharaj Road, Phra Barom Maha Rat Chawang, Phra Nakorn Bangkok 10200 Tel: +66 (0) 2221 4525 (0)8 5476 7917 Fax: +66 (0) 2221 4526 E-mail: contact@segwaytourthailand.com Website: www.segwaytourthailand.com

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Essentials December 08

La Résidence Phou Vao, Laos

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mmerse yourself in the ancient traditions of the people of Lao, with our Lao cultural experience package. On arrival you will be welcomed with a Baci ceremony, a traditional Lao ceremony that gives blessings for health and prosperity. This authentic experience concludes with special food and drinks prepared by the family of the local Shaman. Furthermore, you will be taken to a waterfall during your stay at the Residence Phou Vao and enjoy a picnic lunch for two in a local village. In the early morning witness the morning monk’s alms round which is a living Buddhist tradition for the people of Luang Prabang and after learn how to cook Lao dishes yourself with our experienced Lao Chef. Package Includes; • 2 nights accommodation in Deluxe Room • Daily seasonal fruit in the room • Traditional Baci ceremony • Lao cooking class followed by dinner/lunch for two • Private Luxury transfer to Waterfall and village with picnic lunch for two • Buddhist alms giving • Daily breakfast for two • Welcome drink • Roundtrip airport transfer For more information, please call: (+856 – 71) 212194 or E-mail to reservations@residencephouvao.com

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Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa

ake your Christmas extra special this year by celebrating amid the exotic splendor of lush tropical gardens and stunning riverside views at Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa – the capital’s only true resort. A range of exquisite dining options are available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that are perfect whether you want to celebrate in style with family and friends or enjoy an intimate meal with the special person in your life. Enjoy the exotic taste of Pacific Rim-style cuisine at Trader Vic’s, experience the Italian Way of Life at Brio, savor a superb International Buffet at the Market or celebrate afloat with a Manohra Luxury Cruise – whichever you choose, you’ll be left with picture-perfect moments of festive happiness. For more information and reservations, please contact Restaurant Reservation Desk at (66) 2 476 0022 Ext. 1416.

Grand Millennium Sukhumvit Come and celebrate Christmas like no others with the grand stay in the heart of Bangkok. Grand Millennium Sukhumvit offers “Christmas Package” starting from Baht 5,250++ per room per night for a single occupancy and Baht 6,500++ for double occupancy. The package includes: • Accommodation in a Deluxe Room • Daily American Buffet Breakfast at Atelier • Christmas buffet dinner at Atelier including selected drinks or a 4-course dinner at Terra Roku with a glass of Prosecco upon arrival • 20% discount on food at the hotel’s restaurants • 30% discount on spa a la carte treatment at The Antidote Spa • Complimentary use of Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre • Complimentary broadband Internet access • Late check-out till 15.00 hrs. For more privilege experience, we are offering an upgrade to Executive Room with Baht 1,200++ extra or to Executive Suite with Baht 2,000++ extra. For more reservation, please call 66 (0) 204 4000 or email rsvn@grandmillenniumskv.com.

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SEO & WEB DESIGN Marketing Solutions

Search Engine Optimization Website Development Internet Marketing Programming

101 Ways to Get More Traffic 1.Write and submit articles. It is a classic, but it works. This will be indefinite traffic stuck in the search engines for you. Write quality unique articles, not articles that are rehashed or provide no insight to readers, which is a huge problem these days. 2.Write and submit press releases, think prweb after you do one. 3.Write and ping blog entries. Always make sure to link back to your website with your blog posts. Try making multiple blogs and have them all link back to one main site. 4.Make sure your website is listed in a Quality Business Directory of your County or Region for example ThailandSearch.com. That way you get quality links from appropriate categories aswell as targeted traffic 5.Advertise your website and let Pay4Advertising.com get you the right advertisers you are looking for. 6.If a niche related forum that you frequently visit allows signatures, then make sure to add your website url in there. 7.Submit your website to the major search engines including google, yahoo and msn and also add your sites url in eSearchings.com 8.Review websites in your niche on Alexa to try to take some of their traffic by including a reference back to your site. 9.Build an effective internal and external link structure within your site. 10.If you purchase a product that you actually like, then feel free to give an individual respect when respect is due and leave a testimonial. You should be able to get some traffic from that website if your testimonial is left with a url. 11.Whenever you send an email to someone, always add your website url as a signature. 12.Keep updating content on your websites/blogs‌ try at least once per week. 13.Tag blog posts at social bookmarking sites, especially at http://del.icio.us/. 14.Research and follow the structure of a true google search engine optimization website through mind map. 15.Tag blog photos at Flickr. 16.Politely ask your readers to subscribe to your rss feeds. 17.Try coining your own term. Might want to trademark it if you smell that it will become popular. 18.Encourage readers to comment on your blogs. 19.Include translation for your websites/blogs, especially in Chinese. 20.Do not be boring, write about something that a wide select of people would want to know about. To find the other 81 ways please visit - http://www.danlew.com/101-ways-to-get-more-traffic/

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Culinary

Sichuan Cuisine

Photo taken by Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok Tel.: +66 2 2541 1234

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A World of Spicy Cuisine

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great tradition in cooking, particularly known for its liberal use of chilli, originated in Sichuan province in south-western China. The cooking of Sichuan has developed over two thousand years into a cuisine notable in China for its spiciness. This is no accident. The region is very humid, and its people believe that the chilli transfuses the moisture from their bodies. Children as young as eight are encouraged to eat this way. Within this tradition of cooking, many variations exist. Four particular styles are particularly well known; Those of Chengdu, Zigong, Chongqing (part of Sichuan until 1997), and the Buddhist vegetarian style. Pickling, salting, drying, and smoking are techniques often used to preserve food, and besides chilli, peppercorns and broad bean chilli paste are used to enhance flavour. The region’s peppercorns are especially celebrated for their fragrance and numbing, citrusy flavour. Ginger and other spicy herbs, roots, and vegetables are also used. The spices known as yuxiang and mala in China developed from this tradition of cooking as well. Stir-frying, steaming, and braising are the methods most commonly used for cooking in Sichuan cuisine, though a complete list of distinct techniques would number more than twenty. Unlike in other parts of China, beef is often used for meat, perhaps because of its availability – oxen are widely used here. The

meat can be stir-fried until chewy, or coated in rice flour and steamed, producing a rich gravy. Other types of meat are also used, including several famous dishes like Kung Pao chicken, Mapo Dofu, Dan Dan Noodles, Twice Cooked Pork among others. And though Sichuan cooking often deserves its spicy reputation, not to be ignored are dishes like Tea Smoked Duck, which uses little or no hot spices. It you are dreaming of visiting Sichuan province, it has much to offer besides great food. The Yangtze River is acclaimed for its natural beauty and fascinating history, and the Jiuzhaigou Valley is known as ‘the Beautiful World.’ If you prefer to stay at home, however, don’t worry. Sichuan cuisine has grown so popular that restaurants serving it can be found around the world.


Chef Bing Liu : Sichuan Dou Hua Restaurant @ Hotel Plaza managed by Parkroyal

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Art & Culture

LoyTheKrathong river way of Asian Heritage

Photographed : By Mr.Artit Chaantes (TAT)

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the full moon of the 12th month of the traditional Thai calendar, which usually falls in November in the west and rivers and canals are full of water, a wonderful celebration of great significance to Thai culture is held; the “Loy Krathong” festival. "Loy" means "to float". "Krathong" is a raft approximately one hand span in diameter and traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk, decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, and incense sticks, etc. Modern day Krathong however, use specially made bread flowers or Styrofoam. During the night of the full moon, many people will release small rafts like this on a river. The festival probably originated in India as a Hindu festival similar to Deepavali, which gives thanks to the deity of the Ganges by floating lanterns down the river for giving life throughout the year. According to the writings of his majesty, King Rama IV in 1863, the original Brahmanical festival was adapted by Buddhists in Thailand as a ceremony to honor the original Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama. Besides venerating the Buddha with light (the candle on the raft), the act of floating away the candle raft is symbolises letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements, so that one can start life afresh on a better foot. People will also cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of themselves. Many Thai believe that floating a krathong will bring good luck, and they do it to honor and thank the Goddess of Water, named “Phra Mae Khongkha”. Fireworks and beauty contests also take place during festival to make this great celebration lively and energetic. Typically, the beauty contests that accompany the festival are known as "Miss Noppamas Contests" and according to legend, Noppamas was a consort of the Sukhothai king Loethai (14th century) and was the first to float decorated krathongs. The beauty pagent is typical in most places holding the Krathong festival, and is usually the highlight. The Thai tradition of Loy Kratong started off in the Sukhothai region, but is now celebrated throughout Thailand, with the festivities in Chiang Mai, Tak and Ayutthaya being particularly well known.

In Chiang Mai, Loi Kratong is also known as "Yi Peng" in the local dialect and every year thousands of people assemble to float the banana-leaf krathong onto the waterways of the city, honoring the Goddess of Water. A multitude of Lanna-style hot-air lanterns (khom fai) are also launched into the air where they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish, which float gracefully through the sky. These are believed to help rid the locals of troubles and are also taken to decorate houses and streets. In the city of Tak, Loi Krathong Sai is an ancient tradition passed down from generation to generation and differs slightly from the traditional Krathong festival in some respects. Instead of banana leaf, the Krathong’s body is the cup of coconut shell. The people of Tak love Miang, a local snack made of coconut flesh called Miang, and are an important local product; a lot of coconut shells are left. During the Loi Krathong Festival, the people clean and polish the coconut shells for making Krathong Sai. Prepared fuel is put in the coconut cups and then lit before floating them away in a line along the Ping River to provide an attractive scene on the Ping River at night. During this event, there is a competition of releasing the Krathong called “Krathong Sai Lai Prathip Phan Duang” to win His Majesty the King’s Cup, cultural performances, a beauty contest entitled “Thida Krathong Sai”. Loy Krathong Festival displays the significant tradition and culture of Thai history which has been passed along from generation to. Such charm attracts local and foreign tourists likely to visit specific city and province to observe the magnificent of the river way and great Asian Heritage.

Nong PAR, Miss Noppamas Queen @ Nontaburi

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Feature

Traveling with Medication E veryone remembers their airplane tickets, passports, travel visas, and ho-

tel reservations when planning their trip. But when it comes to smaller details, we often don’t pay attention or make certain assumptions that can cause a lot of problems. For example, your prescription medications can easily fall through the cracks and need to be carefully considered before embarking on any international travel. Something as simple as the climate of your travel locale can adversely affect your medication. “We had a case of a teenager in South America whose diabetes began to decompensate after a few weeks and he became too ill to even travel home,” explains Mauren Livak, MD, Medical Case Manager at the MEDEX Emergency Response Center. “His insulin had lost its effect because of the change of temperature and simply by replacing it we were able to get him back to normal.” Many other medications can be adversely affected by climate. “Diuretics are a very common prescription drug for high blood pressure that require appropriate instructions before traveling,” says Livak. “This is especially true for the elderly.” To avoid issues with any prescribed medications a pre-travel visit to your doctor is always recommended. “Travelers who take any type of regular medications should consider consulting their primary care physician before any journey,” advises Livak. “Your doctor should be advised of the itinerary and activities of your trip.” Researching your location thoroughly before leaving can also help. “Climate, altitude and local disease risks combined with any underlying medical conditions can affect prescription medications,” explains Livak. “For up-to-date information, travel assistance companies such as MEDEX Global Group, provide an excellent source for destination specific medical reports.” How you pack for your journey can also adversely affect your health. “You should always take prescription medications in your carry-on luggage,” says Livak. “We have had several cases of travelers who needed emergency prescriptions because of delay, loss or theft of checked luggage.” Travelers should also pack a medical kit in case of emergencies. MEDEX offers a Developed Country Kit that includes the most common over-the-counter medications and all of the supplies you need for basic self-treatment. Livak advises, “Traveler’s medical kits are essential and should be optimized according to the traveler’s personal needs.”

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Inbound Asia Magazine Issue2