Page 1

E E R F

The Travel Issue Ethical Adventures GREEN TRAVEL AROUND ASIA

ASIA’S HOT TEST NEW HOTELS

QUICK WEEKEND GETAWAYS YOUR SOURCE FOR THE LATEST TRAVEL TRENDS, HOTEL HOTSPOTS, FAMILY-FRIENDLY DESTINATIONS, AND MUCH MORE. SCAN THE QR CODE TO VISIT LOCALIIZ.COM NOW


YOUR PLACE, YOUR TIME. Samujana’s resort offers 25 individually unique villas available from 3 to 8 bedrooms, all with oversized private infinity pools, modern Thai architecture and breathtaking views. We pride ourselves on providing an unparalleled luxury experience, our motto being, “Your Place. Your Time.”


Samujana, 63/154 Moo 5, Baan Plai Laem, Koh Samui, Suratthani, Thailand, 84320 reservations@samujana.com | +66 (0) 77 423 465 | www.samujana.com


W H AT ’ S O N

FOOD AND DRINK

WELLNESS

F A M I L Y & E D U C AT I O N

CULTURE

STYLE

T R AV E L

PROPERTY

DIRECTORY

Produced by Nexus Digital part of Nexus Media Asia 15/F Chao’s Building, 143-145 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong www.nexusmediaasia.com (+852) 2905 3281

VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE Localiiz is the go-to website for everything you need to know about life in Hong Kong. Take a look for yourself.

Managing Director Tak Man tak.man@nexusmediaasia.com Director Barrie Goodridge bgood@nexusmediaasia.com Director of Content Mat Gallagher mat.gallagher@nexusmediaasia.com Editor in Chief Sophie Pettit sophie@localiiz.com Senior Editor Amanda Sheppard amanda@localiiz.com Editor Jenny Leung jenny@localiiz.com Art Editor Daisy Dudley Chief Financial Officer Fenny Chau fenny.chau@nexusmediaasia.com Accountant Patrick Tang patrick.tang@nexusmediaasia.com Sales Director Sharifa Carreon sharifa@localiiz.com Sales Coordinator Vivian Poon vivian@localiiz.com Business Development Manager Julie Magno

WE LCOM E

Copyright 2018 Localiiz.com (HK) Limited. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. To share content, please visit our website (www.localiiz.com) and find the original article, where visitors are welcome to share a link back to the original Localiiz article, with appropriate credit to Localiiz.com, on their own platform or social media channel. Thank you for sharing!

A

s much as we love life in our vibrant, bustling, and ever-changing city, there's no denying that a little downtime is good for the soul. Lucky then, that Hong Kong is only a short flight away from some gorgeous destinations. From quick getaways to relaxing staycations, and holidays with heart for the eco-conscious traveller, there's plenty to entice us.

Images: Shutterstock. Cover image: Shutterstock / muhd fuad abd rahim

So, alongside our new-look website, we bring you this brand new travel guide, which we hope will inspire some well-deserved adventures among our readers. We've even thrown in some handy travel tips to help make your journey run smoothly. So, what are you waiting for? Your next dream vacation is only pages away. Bon Voyage!

@MISTER

FN

Sophie Pettit, Editor in Chief sophie@localiiz.com

KEEP IN TOUCH WIT H LOCALIIZ.COM

Like our Facebook page to stay up to date on all our latest stories, and join our Expat Hong Kong community to get all the answers you need about life in the 852.

We have plenty to tweet about and we'd love you to join the conversation.

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter packed with our top stories.

facebook.com/localiiz facebook.com/groups/expathongkong

@localiiz #localiiz

www.bit.ly/ localiiz-subscribe

Visit the website

We publish fresh articles every day to help you make the most out of life in Hong Kong, so drop by and explore them for yourself.

1

Show Us Your City We love seeing Hong Kong through the eyes of our readers. Tag your best Instagram photos and we will feature our favourite on our social media.

@localiiz #localiiz

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

5


localiiz.com

Contents HOW TO FIGHT THE FLAG

26

Hotel Hype New hotels are a dime a dozen in Asia, but these top 10 openings tip the scales, in more ways than one

12

Short Hops: Dreamy Destinations for Weekend Getaways Make the most of a quick holiday at these exciting nearby destinations

15

A Family Affair The best places for child-friendly holidays, plus a healthy dose of Instagram inspiration

18

Seeing Green: The Best Ecoconscious Destinations in Asia Travel with a conscience at these eco-friendly hotspots around Asia

26

Jet Lag 101 Fight the flagging feeling with our helpful top tips

28

Going for Gold: Your Guide to Frequent Flyer Programmes Unable to reap the rewards from your mileage programme? Here's what you need to know

32

Staycations in the City How to holiday in style without leaving Hong Kong

34

Asia’s Airports, Decoded Time your travels wisely with our handy airport survival guide

24 HAND-Y LUGGAGE Tech accessories and gadgets to help you travel with ease

THE TRAVEL ISSUE 6

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

Images: Lumina / Stocksy, Shutterstock

8


A TENTED ENCLAVE AT THE SHINTA MANI WILD, CAMBODIA

HOTEL

The newest hotels in Asia, uncovered

WHETHER YOU’RE PLANNING a staycation or an exciting trip around Southeast Asia, there are new hotels opening up across the region, providing dreamy escapes for a well-deserved break. Here are some of the newest, plus a few to look forward to later this year. 8

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E


localiiz.com

CHINA

THAILAND

HONG KONG

Bulgari Hotel Beijing

Rosewood Phuket

The Murray

Building 2 Courtyard No. 8 Xinyuan South Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, bulgarihotels.com

Muen-Ngoen Rd, Tri-Trang Beach, Patong, Kathu District, Phuket, Thailand, rosewoodhotels.com

22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong, niccolohotels.com

Bulgari’s first property in China is conveniently placed within the east section of Beijing’s third ring road, within close proximity of the main business district and the popular Sanlitun shopping, restaurant, and bar area. The ‘urban resort’ features 119 rooms and suites, a 25-metre pool, spa, restaurant, and a ballroom.

On a secluded beachfront spot in Emerald Bay, Rosewood Phuket is the latest addition to Thailand’s largest island. Opened in November 2017, the resort boats 71 pool pavilions and villas, each with their own infinity-edged pool. It has three restaurants, a water-side bar, holistic wellness centre, function rooms, and can host destination weddings.

Housed in a former 1960s government building in the Central district, Foster + Partners has redesigned and rebuilt the entrance and interior to create a beautiful, contemporary hotel. Part of the Marco Polo and Niccolo Hotels group, The Murray Hong Kong features 336 rooms and suites as well as five restaurants and bars, including a rooftop location on the 25th floor.

Ritz Carlton Langkawi

Malaysia’s first Ritz Carlton resort opened in September 2017. Housed on one of the 99 islands that make up the archipelago of Langkawi, this five-star resort offers 90 rooms and suites, plus 29 villas each boasting a private pool. It also includes an ‘over-water spa’, three swimming pools, and a range of excursions and activities for kids and adults. PO Box 199, Jalan Pantai Kok, Teluk Nibong, Langkawi, KD, Malaysia, ritzcarlton.com

INDONESIA

Capella Ubud

This luxury tented resort is inspired by the early European settlers of the 1800s. Immersed in the rainforests and paddy fields of central Bali, the resort features just 22 ‘tents’, each with private plunge pools and decks, four-poster beds, and dark wooden furniture. There are also two restaurants on site, a library, and a spa. Now this is our type of glamping! Jl. Raya Dalem, Banjar Triwangsa, Desa Keliki, Kecamatan Tegallalang, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, capellaubud.com

MALAYSIA

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

9


localiiz.com

CHINA

Amanyangyun Shanghai

This jaw-dropping resort is the fourth Aman property to launch in China, and officially opened in January 2018. The resort is made up of former Ming and Qing dynasty houses and a forest of camphor that were relocated from an area of Jiangxi, where they were due to be destroyed. Situated on the outskirts of Shanghai, the resort also features a private garden and swimming pool, six dining venues, and a spa. 6161 Yuanjiang Road, Minhang District, Shanghai, China, aman.com

Tents with private plunge pools and decks, and fourposter beds – this is our type of glamping!

T H E MORP HEUS

SH IN TA MAN I W IL D

AYAN A KOMODO R ESOR T

This huge monolithic structure is the latest addition to the City of Dreams resort in Macau, and opened on June 15. Designed by the late Dame Zaha Hadid, the two towers are connected at both the podium and roof levels. The Morpheus features 780 rooms, suites, and villas, plus an infinity pool on the 40th floor. It also boasts a range of food and beverage outlets.

This luxury eco-tent experience in the Cambodian hinterland takes glamping to the absolute extreme. Situated among 400 acres of protected land, the Shinta Mani Wild boasts 16 fully equipped accommodation tents, as well as a number of expedition boats that lead guests out into the great unknown. Shinta Mani Wild is scheduled to open in November 2018.

Scheduled to open in September 2018, this luxury property is housed on the Indonesian island of Flores, famed for its tri-coloured volcanic lakes. Situated on Waecicu Beach, the 13-suite and 192-room property lies just a one-hour flight from Bali. The resort has commissioned the world’s largest Phinisi ship for guests to charter cruises around the Komodo Islands.

Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau, cityofdreamsmacau.com

Junction of Oum Khun and 14th Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia, shintamani.com/wild

Pantai Waecicu, Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Indonesia, ayanakomodo.com

GO TO LOCALIIZ.COM/TRAVEL FOR MORE GREAT TRAVEL STORIES

10

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

Words by: Mat Gallagher and Amanda Sheppard

COMING SOON


Still or Sparkling?

Our private villas in the Maldives spoil you for choice. What will it be: your private pool, the sparkling ocean or the soothing renewal of the Jiva Spa? To reserve, call (+960) 6642200 | Email: exotica.maldives@tajhotels.com | www.tajhotels.com/maldives


localiiz.com

SHORT HOPS Dreamy destinations for weekend getaways

W

EEK-LONG HOLIDAYS often require some serious forward planning and careful budgeting of annual leave. But if you’re looking for a whirlwind adventure on a whim, then you’re in luck, because these gorgeous destinations are only a short flight from Hong Kong and perfect for a quick weekend getaway.

WHEN TO GO:

WHEN TO GO:

FEB TO JUL

NOV TO JUN

WHEN TO GO:

NOV – APR

Phuket

On the southern tip of Thailand, Phuket is the perfect beach destination, offering a range of family-friendly hotels and resorts, water sports, and activities to keep even the most excitable of thrillseekers entertained. There are daily flights from Hong Kong, both direct and via Bangkok. And if you chance a booking at the beginning or end of the monsoon season, then you can have blue skies and perfect weather for a fraction of the price.

12

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

Hoi An

If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, then Hoi An delivers. The Old Town (a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site) is filled with historic sight-seeing, plus the opportunity to take a cooking class, sample local delicacies, or peoplewatch from artisan coffee shops and wine bars. Flights from Hong Kong arrive in Da Nang, which is well worth a stop-over if you’re looking to squeeze in some beach time.

Bangkok

When a city break is in order, there are few better destinations than Bangkok. A visit to the famed Chatuchak Market could help re-furnish your flat, while the city’s many rooftop bars offer the perfect place to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Monsoon season runs from July to October and can leave some serious flooding in its wake, but fear not, as there’s plenty to do indoors to occupy yourself all year round.


localiiz.com LONGTAIL BOATS ON THE BEACH IN PHUKET

WHEN TO GO:

WHEN TO GO:

YEAR-ROUND

M AY TO S E P

Singapore

Images: Shutterstock, Unsplash, and 123RF Words by: Amanda Sheppard

Known as the island Hong Kongers love to hate, Singapore holds a lot in store for a quick weekend trip. The island boasts a Universal Studios theme park, beachside fun on Sentosa Island, and an incredible array of food across its many hawker centres (Lau Pa Sat and Newton Circus are firm favourites). The equatorial island is hardly seasonal – think hot and wet or hot and less wet – so it’s a fairly safe bet for year-round travel. This is a great place for young families to visit, especially those with active tots in tow.

Taipei

WHEN TO GO:

WHEN TO GO:

N O V TO M AY

M AY TO S E P

Less than a two-hour flight from Hong Kong, Taipei is a popular destination for weekend travellers, and for good reason. Known for its street food and night markets, you’d be forgiven if you never made it to a restaurant! Do heed our weather warnings though, as Taipei suffers from torrential downpours and is frequently hit by typhoons, so checking the forecast before you visit is always a good idea.

Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu promises tropical adventures for all who venture there. From leisurely island hopping to snorkelling and diving, to some serious trekking, there's plenty to keep you busy. Mount Kinabalu is the archipelago’s tallest mountain and a popular tourist destination, standing tall at over 4,000 metres. Direct flights from Hong Kong take just three hours and are available seven days a week.

Bali

This tropical Indonesian island paradise has been off the tourist radar for some months now, owing to the plumbing Mount Agung. But with its threat level lowered, it’s high time to head back. Bali’s seasons are the opposite to Phuket, which means you’re never short of an option for a quick beach holiday. Endless white sandy beaches, sprawling rice terraces, and the option to take part in (or steer clear of) a thriving nightlife scene – there's something to suit every type of traveller here.

Phuket offers a whole host of familyfriendly facilities, water sports, and activities to keep even the most excitable of thrillseekers entertained

GO TO LOCALIIZ.COM/TRAVEL FOR MORE GREAT TRAVEL TIPS

13


localiiz.com

TRAVEL INSTAGRAMMER @VOYAGEFAMILY

CLIMBING WALL AT THE GRAND HYATT, SANYA THE KIDZ CENTRE AT THE MULIA BALI

CAMP HYATT AT THE GRAND HYATT, SANYA

A FAMILY AFFAIR TRAVEL INSTAGRAMMER @MILESOFHAPPINES

The best resorts around the region for kids – and big kids at heart

BEACH HOLIDAYS THAT THE KIDS LOVE AS MUCH AS YOU DO

W TRAVEL INSTAGRAMMER @LIKEMILJIAN

HETHER YOU’RE A REGULAR nine-to-fiver or frequently find yourself working round the clock, when summer approaches, we’re all in need of a little R&R. Lazing on the beach with a cocktail in hand might not be the type of holiday your little one had in mind, but luckily there are a handful of hotels offering you the best of both worlds. These family-friendly resorts offer a wide range of activities and facilities to entertain the whole family, and even leave you with the odd evening off for some much-deserved quiet time. Here are our top picks from around the region.

FAMILY TIME AT CLUB MED KABIRA ISHIGAKI FATHER-SON SURFING TIME

T R AV E L HACK #1 Check your hotel's promotions before you book, as many offer family packages

INCREDIBLE SCENERY AT FOUR SEASONS, LANGKAWI

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

15


THAILAND

JAPAN

Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

Club Med Kabira Ishigaki

Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, Karon, Phuket, Thailand katathani.com

Club Med Kabira Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan clubmed.com/kabira-ishigaki

With six swimming pools, a shopping boutique, and a private night market, this is the perfect place for those looking to combine a lazy seaside holiday with adventures and activities. The Chang Noi Kid’s Club offers activities from kite making to Masterchef cooking classes.

Just a 90-minute flight from Hong Kong, followed by a 30-minute transfer, Club Med Kabira Ishigaki offers a whole host of outdoor and indoor activities, from scuba diving and kayaking to flying trapeze and archery. The all-inclusive resort caters to families with children of all ages.

CHINA

Grand Hyatt Sanya Haitang Bay Resort & Spa

Hainan takes family-friendly fun very seriously, and thanks to the open-visa system now in place for over one dozen nations, it's likely to see a boost in visitors. The Grand Hyatt’s Camp Hyatt spans nearly 6,000 square feet, with indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a kid’s swimming pool, a junior kitchen for budding chefs, and the newly-opened Play On 5 gaming floor. This is a great resort for little ones looking to make new friends. Grand Hyatt Sanya, Haitang Bay, Sanya, China sanya.grandhyatt.com GRAND HYATT SANYA (THIS IMAGE AND BELOW)

T O P 5 I N S TA G R A M A C C O U N T S

16

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

1

2

3

@VOYAGEFAMILY

@MILESOFHAPPINES

@CAREDW

Mum of two, Caroline, shares a fun assortment of outdoorsy and sunny destinations.

After six years exploring the world as a couple, a baby boy has joined the tribe! This is Wanderlust at its best!

The mountains and shorelines are magnetic to Michigan, Josh, Care, Remy, and Jade – and their shots are beautiful proof.


localiiz.com

INDONESIA

The Mulia Bali

This beachfront property occupies a prime spot on Nusa Dua Beach. With the sun in the sky and the sand between your toes, you’d be hard pressed to stifle a smile during a week spent here. The Mulia's KIDZ Centre (best equipped for children aged three to eight) is open daily from 9am to 8pm, with activities to keep your kids truly entertained. Back on the beach, activities include windsurfing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding. The Mulia Bali, Kawasan Sawangan, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia themulia.com

MALAYSIA

INDONESIA

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

Accommodation here is categorised by family needs, with some inclusive of private pools and outdoor patios. The All Seasons kid’s club is open to children aged four to 12 years old. Experiences for the whole family include safaris, sailing, kayaking, and a turn on Malaysia’s first X-Jetblades. Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Jalan Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, Malaysia fourseasons.com/Langkawi

Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali

This five-star property and its newly rolled out family programme lie just a fiveminute stroll from Jimbaran beach. Boasting a piratethemed play area, babysitting and family activities, and long opening hours, the chances of boredom are slim to none. Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia movenpick.com/ indonesia/imbaran

TO I N S P I R E FA M I L Y T R AV E L 5

@THEWALTONADVENTURE

@LIKEMILJIAN

They got out of debt, moved their businesses online, and sold everything they owned to travel the world as a family.

Julien, Miki, Teo, and Lia sure know how to share their emotions — they look so happy all the time!

By Marie Pottiez A French illustrator living in Hong Kong for the past four years, Marie shares her love for travels in her blog Miles of Happiness. She travels with her husband and their little milk-drinking machine Noah, who is six months old and already a globe-trotter.

GO TO LOCALIIZ.COM/FAMILY FOR MORE GREAT STORIES

Words by: Amanda Sheppard

4

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

17


G

SEEING

R

E

E

N

The eco-conscious destinations that will leave your friends green with envy

T

HERE ARE FEW BETTER ways to enjoy a holiday than branching out and exploring some of nature’s greatest wonders, but ethical travel is a growing concern for holiday-goers. In recent months, major tourist sites Boracay and Maya Bay have closed in a bid to enable the land and its wildlife to recover. This is proof that green travel is on the horizon. We check out some of the most stunning eco-friendly destinations around Asia.

18

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E


JIUZHA IGOU N ATURE RESERV E, CHIN A

localiiz.com

Environment

BODGAYA ISLAND, SABAH BORNEO, MALAYSIA

No architectural feat is more impressive than the world’s stunning landscapes, dramatic clifftops, and picture-perfect postcard moments.

CHINA

Through the Looking Glass

In Jiuzhaigou Nature Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992, fallen trees lie encased in the crystal clear turquoise pool of Five Flower Lake, as if lost in time. Almost prehistoric in appearance, Jiuzhaigou is one of the most picturesque sites in the Tibetan plateau, a valley spreads across more than 700 kilometres. The name translates as ‘Valley of the Nine Fortified Villages’, with seven of these villages remaining populated to date, though local farms have ceased operation in order to comply with the area’s status as a protected site. TRAVELLERS TIP: Travellers have been known to experience symptoms of altitude sickness, so consider consulting your doctor before your trip.

Community While eco-travel brings to mind long treks, picture-perfect scenery, and encounters with rare wildlife, some of the best experiences can be had engaging with people.

MALAYSIA

PHILIPPINES

Seas the Day

Chocolate Hills, Forever

The legends behind the Chocolate Hills are almost as striking as the marvels themselves. Over 1,700 symmetrical structures that turn a rich brown hue when the monsoon months depart. From the rocks flung as giants duelled, to the tears shed by a lovesick giant (the third tale is more, ahem, physiological), the limestone mounds are remnants of the seabed combined with centuries of erosion and rainfall. TRAVELLERS TIP: November to March is dry season, when you’ll see the hills at their most striking.

The Bajau people are a nomadic community that reside in east Sabah, Malaysia. Known as the ‘sea gypsies’, the communities live off the land (or in this case, sea) and are famed for their freediving abilities. They have been known to hold their breath underwater for up to twice the length of the average human! For a glimpse of life uninterrupted by modern technologies, book a day trip from Semporna to Tuk Sakaran Marine Park (accommodation is available on the mainland and on nearby Pom Pom Island). It’s a great place for snorkelling and scuba diving, too. Be sure to opt for a licensed tour operator and ask for your experience to include a tour of the water village off Bodgaya Island. TRAVELLERS TIP: Don’t take any plastics or nonbiodegradables with you, as there are no recycling facilities.

INDIA

Happy Glampers

THE CHOCOLATE HILLS, BOHOL, PHILIPPINES

In the far-reaching corner of north-eastern India, Nagaland is home to a community of more than 16 tribes, each of which maintains a rich cultural heritage to this day. To experience this diversity in its full extent, book a trip to coincide with the Hornbill Festival, held in November every year. This 10-day festival showcases a rich tapestry of art, culture, sport, and

19


religious celebrations. The Kohima Camp is a glamping experience unlike any other, offering guests luxurious accommodation and a personalised butler service among the unique Nagaland surroundings. We’d advise booking ahead as the seasonal operation fills fast.

3

TRAVELLERS TIP: Leave a day to visit the Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary, home to an array of rare wildlife including bison, boars, barking deer, and panthers.

Wildlife There’s something magical about watching wild animals roam free in the great outdoors, just the way nature intended, and these top destinations help make this dream come true.

1& 2

THAILAND

1

Walking with Elephants

A HERD OF ELEPHANTS AT ELEPHANT NATURE PARK, CHIANG MAI

There’s a reason that the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand is number one on the ethical list of places to visit and so highly rated across the globe. Established in the 1990s by Lek Chailert, the granddaughter of a shaman healer, the park is home to 75 rescued elephants from all over Thailand, which

3 TRIBESMEN IN NAGALAND, INDIA PERFORMING THEIR TRADITIONAL DANCE 4 A YOUNG ORANGUTAN IN SEMENGGOH WILDLIFE REHABILITATION CENTRE, BORNEO

2

T R AV E L HACK #2 Use flight comparison sites to get the best possible price for your journey.

1

20

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

Clean, green travelling with a conscience opens up a whole new world of possibilities


localiiz.com

have suffered unimaginable pain at the hands of humans. In this peaceful sanctuary, which covers an impressive 250 acres of open land, these majestic giants are given the chance to rehabilitate and live harmoniously among the herds, free of exploitation. Working hard to improve the lives and conditions of elephants, and educate visitors about the cruel implications of riding them, the park has a strict ‘saddle off’ policy. Instead, it invites guests to feed, bathe, and walk alongside the herd in order to observe their natural behaviour and learn about their individual stories. If that isn’t enough to lure the eco-conscious travellers into the hills of northern Thailand, then perhaps the fact that the park also homes hundreds of affectionate rescue dogs and cats is. Visitors can choose from three packages at the park: a short visit, day visit, or an overnight stay, ranging from around HK$600 to HK$1,400. Definitely one for the travel bucket list!

4

TRAVELLERS TIP: Opt for the overnight stay at the park, where you get to sleep in incredible rustic huts next to the elephant ‘bedrooms’, and enjoy extended time with them during the morning walk before the day-trippers arrive.

BORNEO

Images: Shutterstock, Unsplash, Creative_Hat and starline / Freepik Words by: Amanda Sheppard and Sophie Pettit

Swing High, Sweet Orangutan

is a good chance of spotting the semi-wild orangutans returning to the centre for a free meal. However, if they don’t make an appearance, this is a good sign, as it means the rangers have done a great job reintroducing them into the wild where they are able to fend for themselves. Costing just 20 Ringgit to enter, and located only a 30-minute bus ride from Kuching, this is one animal-lover’s paradise that is not to be missed.

Nothing beats an encounter with a wild orangutan during a jungle trek in Borneo, and thankfully, a thriving population of healthy adolescents and young adults can be found swinging freely in the trees of Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Kuching. For the last 20 years, rangers have been training orphaned orangutans and those rescued from human captivity, how to survive in the wild. The programme has reached surrounding wildlife centres and helped the species breed naturally in the 750-hectare forest. The best time to visit is during the morning and afternoon feeding sessions when there

TRAVELLERS TIP: Try to visit during the feeding sessions to avoid the disappointment of not seeing the orangutans swinging in the trees above.

F I V E T I P S F O R G R E E N E R T R AV E L The best ways to stay eco-concious wherever you're heading to on holiday

1

2

3

4

5

N O S TO P S

S TAY ECO

SH OP L OCAL

N O PAPER TR AIL S

BOTTL E IT

Fly direct to your destination, when possible, as it can make a huge impact on your carbon footprint.

Look out for hotels with recycling and sustainability programmes. Check their websites in advance.

Whenever possible, eat and shop at local markets and restaurants, and support local artisans.

Save the trees and yourself the hassle of printing and opt for e-bookings, boarding passes, and receipts.

Pack a reusable water bottle. Bottles with built-in filters like Bobble make tap water safe for drinking.

GO TO LOCALIIZ.COM/TRAVEL FOR MORE GREAT TRAVEL TIPS

21


EMBARK ON THRILLING C E L E B R AT I N G T H E ‘ J O Y O F L I V I N G ’ W I T H E X Q U I S I T E C R A F T S M A N S H I P, A R T I S T R Y A N D S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y AT I T S V E RY C O R E .


Joy of living

joali.com


M O S T WA N T E D

HAND-Y LUGGAGE From tech talk to pillow talk, these are the travel accessories you’ll want this year

C

LONED CARDS, LEFT BEHIND PASSPORTS, and pickpocketed phones – the world of international travel, while thrilling, can be fraught with misfortune. But that’s not to say you can’t prepare yourself. Forewarned is forearmed. These essential travel accessories will leave you safe, secure, and looking like a true traveller in the know.

24

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E


localiiz.com

1

AngelCard

Pre-paid credit cards are a great alternative to carrying large wads of foreign currency around on your travels. The AngelCard is one such card. It’s available in HKD and RMB versions, and can be used at any outlet that accepts Mastercard. The AngelCard app enables users to reload their cards anytime, anywhere, and keep track of their spending in real time. Card holders can choose to limit their funds or add up to HK$100,000 value, keeping only what they require on their person. cardangel.com

Tile Style

Don’t bury your head in the sand – for long stints with a limited-recline, comfort is key

3

Image: Stocksy. Words by: Amanda Sheppard

Lost luggage, misplaced passports, that sinking feeling that you’ve left your phone on the plane – worst-case scenarios for many a traveller. Enter the advent of Bluetooth tracking devices like the Tile Style, a pocket-sized device that pairs with your smartphone from up to 100 feet away. When you’ve lost an item, simply open the app and your Tile will make a loud, beeping noise, alerting you to its whereabouts. Available from amazon.com

Ostrich Pillow

If you’re looking for a sleek, sophisticated travel accessory, the Ostrich Pillow might not be for you. But don’t bury your head in the sand – for long stints with a limited-recline, comfort is key. While the brand now has several products, its original napping pillow boasts an ergonomic design that lets you plunge into darkness while protecting your head and neck, no matter where you are, making it the ideal companion for trains, planes, and automobiles. world.ostrichpillow.com

2

TripIt

Gone are the days of crumpled boarding passes, paper printouts, and rummaging in your bag for reservations. TripIt keeps your travel itineraries, boarding passes, confirmation emails and the like in one place, saving you time and energy. It is accessible both on and offline, with an app for smartphones and tablets. And if you’re a frequent traveller, you may consider paying for their premium services, which notifies you of any changes, when a better seat becomes available, and suggests alternative travel arrangements when required. tripit.com

4

Sport 25 Solar Kit

5

Try as we might to deny it, we’re all glued to our smartphones, and when travelling, a little added jolt of power can really come in handy. The twopart Sport 25 Solar Kit combines the lightweight power pack with a solar panel. Its lightweight design works for 5V appliances and the durable, waterproof casing makes it ideal for travellers planning on venturing off the beaten track. Available from amazon.co.uk

GO TO LOCALIIZ.COM/STYLE FOR MORE SHOPPING FEATURES

25


H OW T O : TR AVEL TIP S

localiiz.com

JET LAG 101 TOP TIPS TO FIGHT JET LAG AND GUARANTEE PLANE SAILING ON YOUR NEXT FLIGHT

W

E ALL KNOW THE drill; you set off for the airport with a spring in your step. Twelve hours later, the excitement is gone and with it, your former sense of purpose, as you struggle with jet lag. But if you play your cards right, you can minimise the effects.

It’s time for some meal talk

Unless you’re seated at the sharp end of the plane, aeroplane food is hardly a treat. To make matters worse, it’s not very good for you either. Your taste buds are much less sensitive at higher altitudes, which means in-flight meals have likely been packed with salt and seasoning. Some research shows that avoiding food while you travel could help leave your body clock in limbo, letting it start from zero in the right time zone.

Forego the morning brew

Some say that coffee makes them genuinely better people, and we think there’s a case to be had here. But caffeine disrupts your body’s production of sleep regulating melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. If you’re willing to forego your morning cuppa, you could save yourself a restless night.

Walk this way (and that)

Mellow-tonin

Shy away from chemical sleeping tablets; not only are they dangerous, but they leave you with a whopping sleep-hangover – trust us. The naturally occurring melatonin hormone can be taken in tablets, gummies, and over-the-counter herbal remedies. Some suggest taking it for a few days before and after you fly, too.

Scrap the suit

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that dressing to impress improves your chances of an upgrade. It’s likely more to do with your frequent flyer status and, quite frankly, luck of the draw. But we’re not here to judge. Once you’re on board, however, a set of comfy clothes is key, and can help set off a good night’s sleep.

Window or aisle?

Try as we might to come up with a definitive answer, this one boils down to a matter of personal preference. If you’re planning to get some serious shut-eye, the window brings with it obvious benefits. But if you’re likely to be up and about at all hours, easy aisle access becomes much more important – especially for the person you're sat next to.

Bar the booze

Cabin pressure can lower oxygen levels in your blood, so while you may not be physically drunker, your drink certainly feels more potent at 36,000 feet. Hangovers are hard at the best of times; don’t make things worse when you’re short on sleep.

GO TO LOCALIIZ.COM/HOW-TO FOR MORE GREAT ADVICE

26

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

Images: Shutterstock Words by: Amanda Sheppard

Some say coffee makes them better people, and there’s a case to be had here

DVT (deep-vein thrombosis) is a serious condition, and frequent flyers are known to be at risk. It can be avoided by stretching your legs every few hours on a long-haul flight. A little goes a long way here – many airlines provide tips on staying healthy on board, with suggested stretches and movements you can do in your seat.


explore

book online*

and ge t

an ex tr a

$20 vouche r

Enjoy up to 30% discount on your next stay with our Summer Sunrise promotion With 363 rooms, including 113 villas and 30 residences, seven restaurants and bars, four swimming pools, a rejuvenating Spa, fitness center and one of Phuket‘s largest kids clubs, MĂśvenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket is located a few steps away from the pristine Karon Beach, while being only 10-minute away from the bustling Patong Beach. Visit our website to find out more about our unique offers and contact us today to book the holidays you truly deserve. E. resort.phuket@movenpick.com | P. +66 76 396 139

movenpick.com


H OW TO : TR AVEL TIP S

localiiz.com

Make the Most of Your

AIR MILES

READY TO GO FOR GOLD? HERE’S HOW

A

IR TRAVEL, FOR THOSE BASED in Hong Kong, is a given. Whether you're seasoned local or a fresh transplant, you’re likely to be doing your fair share. From short-haul trips to lengthy, trans-Atlantic flights, those frequent flyer miles will be racking up. Flight redemptions might sound like the stuff of urban legend, but if you play your points right, you could transform your tier points into a trip on the house.

KrisFlyer Miles AIRLINE: Singapore Airlines CAN BE EARNED/SPENT: Star Alliance partners, select hotels and car rentals HONG KONG TO SINGAPORE = 15,000 KrisFlyer Miles in Economy 27,500 KrisFlyer Miles in Business T R AV E L HACK #3

Asia Miles

Avios

AIRLINE: Cathay Pacific EARNED/SPENT: Oneworld partners, select retailers and credit cards, Airport Express $2 = 1 Asia Mile on food and drink HONG KONG TO LONDON HEATHROW = 60,000 Asia Miles in Economy 120,000 Asia Miles in Business

AIRLINE: British Airways EARNED/SPENT: Oneworld partners, Avis, Marriott Hotels, select credit cards HONG KONG TO LONDON HEATHROW = 19,500 to 30,000 Avios in Economy 75,000 to 90,000 Avios in Business

Delta SkyMiles

Emirates Skywards

AIRLINE: Delta Air Lines EARNED/SPENT: SkyTeam partners HONG KONG TO SEATTLE = 115,000 SkyMiles in Economy 280,000 SkyMiles in Business

AIRLINE: Emirates EARNED/SPENT: Emirates, select hotels, car rentals and credit cards HONG KONG TO LONDON HEATHROW = 75,000 to 130,000 in Economy 150,000 to 207,500 in Business

STAR ALLIANCE Air Canada, Air China, ANA, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and Thai Airways ONEWORLD British Airways, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Qantas, Qatar, Malaysia Airlines, and Finnair SKYTEAM Air France, Delta, KLM, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, China Southern

GO TO LOCALIIZ.COM/TRAVEL FOR MORE GREAT TRAVEL TIPS

28

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

Images: Shutterstock. Words by: Mat Gallagher

Opt for a second rewards programme which services different destinations


Valued at $6000


PROMOTION

Flight of Fancy Taking the pain out of business travel

B

RAD EMERY is a recent co-worker at theDesk. He shares his pet peeves about business travel, and how he’s trying to make it a more pleasant experience for everyone. Seasoned business travellers have learnt the hard way. Constant travel for work is a pain. A recent study shows travellers everywhere

30

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

have similar pain points. From the inconvenience of connecting flights to long and frequent delays and cancellations, our gripes have one thing in common: they waste precious time. Countless business travellers have spent hours – sometimes days – at Shanghai Pudong alone, due to delays and cancellations.

Larger companies will often join frequent flyer schemes, with perks like express check-in services and lounge access. But for many smaller companies, loyalty schemes aren’t attractive. For SMEs, the cheaper option is often more of a priority. Business travellers want to save time, be productive, and have a pleasant experience.


localiiz.com

A 2017 survey by the GBTA Foundation, in partnership with Did You Know? Sabre Corporation, Boeing, Deloitte, and proves that business IBM are the biggest travel is far from corporate travel hassle-free. According to spenders in the world the research, ‘changing flights while travelling’ is the main gripe for 55 percent of Hong Kong travellers. Brad Emery is your archetypal business traveller. After 25 years in finance and 17 years working with life insurance companies across Asia, he understands that travel can be painful if your needs are not met. Rather than accepting the status quo, Emery took matters into his own hands and set up AimViva in 2016, in a bid to make travel a more pleasant experience for all. “There are more than 10.5 million travellers in The Protection Gap Hong Kong each year; more than the population”, explains Emery. People buy around 2.2 million travel insurance policies per year, but the vast Phone Woes majority of us don’t bother. “A lot of Frequent flyers know the burden all too people think they’re covered by their well. Switching SIM cards in airports credit card,” says Brad. “That is true if and hotel rooms is a cumbersome task. you book the trip with the same card”. And when you don’t, you run the risk “Another issue is whether you're of consuming more data than you’re covered by company insurance. You are covered for the time that you’re working in the country, but if you THERE ARE MORE stay for a weekend, or you’re not on company business, you’re not covered. THAN 10.5 MILLION When insurance is one of a range of TRAVELLERS IN HONG benefits, you never need to question KONG EACH YEAR if you’re covered or not”. aware of. “It’s the little things that add to your phone bill. A single Skype call can use hundreds of MB of data. It’s no wonder so many switch off”. The solution, for Emery, takes the form of an elegant sticker you place over your own SIM. “It’s made by a Malaysian company with over one million users around the world,” he explains. “We add 300MB of data, and topping up is easy”.

Benefiting the Underserviced Large companies and less frequent travellers have their needs met by existing services. But those outside these categories can fall between the cracks. As a result, their needs remain unfulfilled. Companies like AimViva look to fill this gap. “AimViva is not a travel agent – we work with Flight Centre for that,” says

FREQUENT BUSINESS TRAVELLERS ARE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL

80%

Emery. “Think of us like AAA for travel, combined The number of people who travel without with Groupon. Aimed any insurance mainly at SMEs, AimViva brings together a range of core benefits to take the pain out of travel. “If you travel three or four times a year, it pays for itself.”

Making Travel a More Pleasant Experience The GBTA survey lists the typical additional purchases that business travellers make. They spend money on things like hotel high-speed internet, airport lounges, Wi-Fi on trains and planes, and seat upgrades. These are the things travellers say often help to improve productivity on the road. “Personally, I’ve always stopped short of paying for many extras. Making an expense claim puts me off”, says Emery. “I tend to just make the most of it, even when another flight out of Shanghai is cancelled for no apparent reason. But wouldn’t it be a nice thing, once in a while, to relax in a fancy lounge and be delayed in style”.

GO TO THE DESK.COM.HK FOR MORE INFORMATION Looking for a flexible co-working space to grow your business? Visit theDesk's private offices, meeting rooms, hotdesks and event spaces.

31


localiiz.com

S TAY C AT I O N S IN THE CITY

BEST FOR A NIGHT

How to holiday without leaving the 852

ON THE TOWN

W

HETHER YOU’RE A NEW ARRIVAL or a seasoned local, you’ve likely realised that the regular nine-tofive is a pipe dream for most Hong Kongers. If you’re high on hope but short on annual leave, even the briefest of breaks might seem out of reach. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to opt out entirely. Hong Kong’s hotels offer great staycation deals just for residents – afternoons by the pool, finedining, and award-winning spa treatments, all just a taxi ride from home. Sound like a Saturday well spent? We think so, too…

THE VIEW FROM THE GRAND HYATT HONG KONG

32

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

Landmark Mandarin Oriental

In the heart of the Central district, this five-star facility offers staycation packages to those hankering for some serious downtime. A complimentary bottle of champagne awaits, as does $1,000 of credit to be used at any of the hotel’s restaurants or in the awardwinning spa. The best part? They offer a late checkout, so you can make the most of your home away from home until 4pm. 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, mandarinoriental.com/hong-kong/thelandmark. Staycation Package available until August 31.

Grand Hyatt

This harbourfront hotel is well-known for its decadent brunch, but if you’re looking for more than just a splash out meal, consider an extended visit. The Escape 24 Package offers guests a luxurious day and night, over (you guessed it) 24 hours. With access to the club floor and $1,000 spending credit at the hotel’s restaurants or spa, you’ll be spoiled for choice over how to while the night away. 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, hongkong.grand.hyatt.com Escape 24 Staycation Package is priced at $2,800 per room per night, plus 10% service charge. Promotion runs until December 30.


localiiz.com

BEST FOR GETTING OUT OF THE CITY

The Upper House

The Kerry Hotel

Tai O Heritage Hotel

Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, upperhouse.com. A Weekend That You Deserve package is available from Fridays to Sundays and public holidays. Prices start from $5,000 per room per night.

38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Kowloon, shangri-la.com/hongkong/kerry. Suite Retreat Package benefits from 30% discount on the best available rate.

14 Shek Tsai Po Street, Tai O, Lantau Island, taioheritagehotel.com. The Glamping Experience Package is available until December 31, with prices starting from $2,888 per night.

The Upper House offers guests a top-of-the-line staycation experience. The ‘A Weekend That You Deserve’ staycation package includes $800 worth of food and drink spending, unlimited in-room movies, and complimentary yoga classes. Its standard rooms are some of the largest in Hong Kong, and late checkouts can be provided subject to availability.

Situated across the harbour in Hung Hom, The Kerry is a new addition to Hong Kong’s luxury hotel circuit, and has already developed a legion of loyal followers. With its stunning views of the Hong Kong skyline, a top terrace bar for evening cocktails and canapes, and a breakfast of champions served at the hotel’s club lounge, it’s easy to see why.

Staycation-ing with kids in tow? Over the sea but thankfully not too far away, the Tai O Heritage Hotel offers a glamping experience perfect for the whole family. The package includes breakfast for two, a BBQ dinner at the Tai O Lookout restaurant, accommodation in a ground floor suite, the use of indoor and outdoor tent facilities, and the hotel’s telescope!

Ovolo Southside

Ovolo fits right in with its surroundings – quirky cafes and art galleries line the streets of the up-and-coming Wong Chuk Hang area. The converted industrial building promises guests who book directly with them a complimentary breakfast and inclusive happy hour. Though there’s no pool on-site, Ocean Park is just a short walk away, and the hotel’s snooker area and rooftop terrace are on hand to keep you entertained after a day on the log flumes.

Peninsula Hotel

Words by: Amanda Sheppard

If there’s a seriously special occasion coming up and you need to impress, then look no further than the iconic Peninsula Hotel. The aptly named Flying High room package includes luxury accommodation, daily breakfast, and one 15-minute helicopter tour of Hong Kong. Need we say any more? Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, hongkong.peninsula.com. Flying High Package is available until September 9. Prices start from $6,880 per room per night (a minimum twonight stay is required).

64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, ovolohotels.com.hk/ovolosouthside The best things in life are FREE package is inclusive of breakfast, happy hour, an in-room minibar, all-day snacks, and self-service laundry facilities. Available only when you book directly.

GO TO LOCALIIZ.COM/TRAVEL FOR MORE GREAT TRAVEL AND HOTEL T IPS

33


localiiz.com

AS I A’S A I RP ORTS:

Tropical paradises and concrete jungles lie no more than a handful of hours away from Hong Kong. But to get there, you’ll have to navigate the region’s airports. We’ve put together a list of the best (plus the rest), and what to expect from each.

BKK

PEK

Bangkok's largest airport is just 30km from the city centre, and serves as the main hub for Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and Thai Smile.

The aptly named airport boasts three terminals which are easily navigable and well sign-posted in English as well as Simplified Chinese.

AIRPORT: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport OPENED: 2006 FROM CITY CENTRE: 30km TRANSPORT: Taxi, Train TERMINALS: 1 FAST TRACK: Yes Free drinking water

Expect long walks between gates

MNL Manila airport's four terminals are quite a distance apart and can feel like separate entities. There are multiple security checks through the departure process, so keep your luggage organised. AIRPORT: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila, Philippines) OPENED: 1998 FROM CITY CENTRE: 8km TRANSPORT: Taxi

34

TERMINALS: 4 FAST TRACK: No Terminal 3 boasts a spa Tourists have been known to fall prey to petty-theft scams

T H E T R AV E L I S S U E

AIRPORT: Beijing Capital International Airport OPENED:

1959

FROM CITY CENTRE: 32km TRANSPORT: Train, Taxi, Bus TERMINALS: 3 FAST TRACK: No Well signposted in English Lengthy immigration and transit queues

HKG

KUL

Designed by Sir Norman Foster, this airport is the pride and joy of many a Hong Konger. Though efficient, there is little entertainment air-side.

Malaysia’s busiest airport serves as the main hub for Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia, and has a reputation for being efficient and clean.

AIRPORT: Hong Kong International Airport OPENED: 1998 FROM CITY CENTRE: 40km TRANSPORT: Train, Bus, Taxi TERMINALS: 2 FAST TRACK: No

IMAX

cinema land-side Little air-side leisure and entertainment

SIN Long-hailed the crème-de-la-crème of international airports, Changi lives up to its reputation. This is one of few airports you’ll want to stay in and can be well worth factoring in some time to explore before your flight. AIRPORT: Singapore Changi Airport OPENED: 1981 FROM CITY CENTRE: 17km TRANSPORT: TAXI, TRAIN, Bus TERMINALS: 3 FAST TRACK: No

Rooftop swimming pool, cinema, butterfly garden with over

Tropical butterflies Patchy WiFi

AIRPORT: Kuala Lumpur International Airport OPENED: 1998 FROM CITY CENTRE: 28km TRANSPORT: Taxi TERMINALS: 2 FAST TRACK: Yes Known for cleanliness and efficiency Allow time for additional security at departure gates

PVG Shanghai welcomes international travellers in abundance. The result, however, has been the notoriously congested air traffic. AIRPORT: Shanghai Pudong International Airport OPENED: 1999 FROM CITY CENTRE: 30km TRANSPORT: Taxi, Train, Bus TERMINALS: 2 FAST TRACK: Yes Easy to navigate Frequent flight delays in and out of Shanghai Pudong

Images: Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com Words by: Amanda Sheppard

DECODED


The Menjangan

West Bali National Park

IZE Seminyak

The Amala

Seminyak - Bali

Seminyak - Bali

The Samata Sanur - Bali


LUXURY IN HARMONY The Legian Bali is the only beachfront luxury resort in Seminyak offering all its Suites absolute ocean views. Graced with legendary Balinese sunsets, the resort features 67 suites that are among the most spacious in Bali, and one luxurious 3 bedroom ocean view villa with private pool and direct access to the sandy stretch of Seminyak Beach: The Beach House. For guests looking for exclusive privileges, a sanctuary of 14 private pool villas are located at The Club at The Legian.

The Legian Bali Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak Beach Bali 80361 - Indonesia T +62-361730622 reservation@thelegianbali.com www.LHM-hotels.com

Localiiz Travel Guide 2018  

Stories, round-ups and advice on travelling around the region from Localiiz, your essential guide to Hong Kong

Localiiz Travel Guide 2018  

Stories, round-ups and advice on travelling around the region from Localiiz, your essential guide to Hong Kong