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In this issue Regardless of your tastes and preferences, Shanghai is an endlessly exciting and interesting city, rich in discoveries and new opportunities. With a population estimated to be between 16 and 24 million, the city is growing and changing before your eyes. It has opportunities that attract a variety of interests. From expatriate running hotels and restaurants, to a fun nightlife that rivals most Western cities. As a result, Shanghai has plenty to keep you busy during your stay here. We have highlighted Shanghai's must-see spots from very modern skyscrapers to unique heritage-style buildings. All of our stories reflect unique lifestyle and fashion that are important and crucial in today's fast-changing but exciting world of travel. We also invite our readers to know some Shanghainese celebrities that can inspire your lifestyle ideas more or less.

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong Hotel

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CONTENTS

NEW SHANGH HAI AFTE ER TIME ME PA ASSED BY Shanghai’s cultural underpinnings transform the city into the downturn of Shanghainese spirit. It has now joined the list of places you must visit.

28 8 SHANGHAI ON THE BUND

The Bund is a symbol of Shanghai, featuring a number of historical and contemporary buildings lining the Huangpu River. See how much Shanghai has changed from the past 50 years.

32 2 PUDONG: ONE MORE STEP TO EXPLORE SHANGHAI

Pudong has so many luxury hotels, restaurants, bars, spas, and the like. Both leisure travelers and business people consider Pudong is another spot that is worth their while to hang around.

40 0 THE APPRECIATION OF ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE

There are the other attractions that you should not miss out in Shanghai. See how those places that represent architectural heritage of Shanghai.

45 5 A SAMPLE OF DESTINATION IDEAS FOR A CREATIVE LIFESTYLE

An interview with John O'shea, General Manager of The Langham Xintiandi Shanghai, expressing his wide visions on hospitality business and tourism industry in Shanghai.

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CONTENTS PEOPLE & LIFE 13 31 RATNESH VERMA

A person that delivers a new angle on hospitality service to Bangkok on behalf of Hyatt Place.

INSPIRED BY CELEBRITY 13 32 CHEF WONG MAN

A culinary expert that has been working for Conrad Macao for four decades.

13 34 CHOW YUN FAT

One of Asia's most famous actor of all time. He comes back with a new character in "The Last Tycoon".

LIFESTYLE 48 FASHION: SHANGHAI TANG SS13 COLLECTION

The newest outfit collection of Shanghai Tang, one of Asia’s most famous brands.

LUXURY CAR 54 LEXUS LS460L:

Privileged Luxury for Those Who Demand Excellence

LUXURY BRANDS 56 MIKIMOTO:

A Legacy of Luxury in Design

BEAUTY MESSAGE 58 MISTINE: I Am in Style

60 DINING IN STYLE: CHIANGMAI & PHUKET

An epic trip that we explored new places for eating out, hangout, shopping, and relaxation in the north and the south of Thailand.

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78 8 SHOPPING IN PHUKET: BANANA WALK

See the latest beachfront shopping venue of Phuket and prepare to spend your pocket money for that.

82 2 ASIATIQUE: THE RIVERFRONT DISTRICTS OF JOY

Our first visit to the first and the largest night lifestyle riverfront venue in Asia, under the name "ASIATIQUE The Riverfront".

TRAVEL 86 6 PHNOM PENH: ASIA'S CHARMING CITY

Explore Phnom Penh, one of the most interesting destinations in Asia. It is considered a model city that offers various options of luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants.

92 2 ANGKOR WAT: THE WORLD HERITAGE TREASURE

Visit Angkor Wat, an astonishing archaeological site of Cambodia and one of the most historic sites in the world.

98 8 EASTERN EXPOSURE: SUNSET VIENTIANE

It is likely that Vientiane becomes another hit destination of Southeast Asia that many travelers want to explore. See what is going on here.

10 04 ASIAN HERITAGE: CHARMING MELAKA

Experience a UNESCO World Heritage site that reflects the blend of Chinese-Malay culture and Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial architectural style.

12 20 EXPLORATION OF ASIA: MONGOLIA Though a great number of world populations have no idea what is going on in Mongolia, we got a chance to visit this country and experienced its great culture and people.

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OWNER

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All rights in this publication and the name are own by NOW Travel Asia Co.,Ltd. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of NOW Travel Asia Co.,Ltd. All right reserved. NOW Travel Asia magazine is published bimonthly and distributed throughout Thailand and the rest of Asia.

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NOTE Dear Beloved Readers,

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elcome to the 2013 and the 18th Edition of NOWTravelAsia Magazine. It is a time to celebrate the arrival of a new year and follow through on the changes we want to resolve. As for us, it is also a time for keeping our commitments to information reliability and your utmost satisfaction. For this issue, we looked at the contents, knocked a few things about, tinkered with some and added on a lot. We are feeling inspired by our inner wanderlust to gear up for weekend jaunts and big vacations. Our travel stories are more or less determined by the age bracket we belong to, and so, in addressing your travel issues, we have also divided our columns according to the difference of each holiday destination in Asia, including Shanghai, Melaka, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Mongolia, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Vientiane. Additionally, we have some great stories to inspire you to hit the road too. We aim to share our vacation ideas and travel inspirations with the readers in Japan and promote technology ease of use through networking media. We have developed NOWTravelAsia easy access website and E-magazine for current and prospect readers. Most importantly, our main focus is also on mobile application development as a personal digital assistant helping you find facilities and services for the most enjoyable trip. Lastly, we look forward to publishing the other various subjects in the upcoming issues, and sharing with you your most treasured travel and lifestyle lessons. If you are ready for the trip of a lifetime, let us discover the best kept secrets of Asia together. Kanapot Sitthiwong Editor-in-Chief editor@nowtravelasia.com

January/February 2013

Note: Needless to say, NOWTravelAsia really appreciate a kind permission of Shanghai Tang to let us present its The Dragon Plateau Campaign on the cover of the 2012 November-December Issue.

COVER: FAIRMONT PEACE HOTEL SHANGHAI

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TIME hanel premiered the new Chanel N°5 ad featuring Brad Pitt. This is the first fragrance ad campaign that features a man for a women’s fragrance. The ad is saying that whatever they are going through cannot be described as a journey, because journeys end, but their relationship does not end (wherever he goes, she will always be with him). Pitt as the new face of its signature fragrance helps people to get talking about Chanel while the fragrance remains classy in its own. Maureen Chiquet, C.E.O. of Chanel, No. 5 says it is the most iconic fragrance of all time, and Brad Pitt is also the most iconic actor of all time. Women in every culture love No 5. No matter where they are, No. 5 is there.

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SeaDream YACHT CLUB OPEN IN 2014 Bangkok, Thailand - SeaDream Yacht Club is expected to be open in 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. The advertisement is released for bookings coupled with glossy 80-page brochure. The maps, images and destination descriptions make this an easy to use tool for travel agents and guests alike. The impressive new brochure highlights SeaDream’s yachting lifestyle, provides destination information and pricing along with the comprehensive 2013 and 2014 voyage schedule. The expression ‘Yacht Club’ is not only sentiment about size; it is a statement about lifestyle aboard the small, ultra-deluxe mega-yachts. Notable in 2014 is an April 26 TransAtlantic voyage sailing from San Juan to London. It will mark SeaDream’s second visit to The Thames. Following SeaDream I’s dry dock in Bremerhaven, Germany in May, she will spend June, July and August in the Baltic and Norwegian Fjords. Sure to be sought-after is a unique 14-day roundtrip voyage sailing from Dover, England to ports in Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Germany and three days in St. Petersburg, Russia.

ADDIDAS NEO YOUNG GEN

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didas NEO Label has appointed Selena Gome z as its new global style icon and guest designer throug h a three-year partnership until the end of 2015. Selena will work with NEO to design and develop seasonal ranges that consumers and her fans will love, beginning Fall/Winter 2013. Selena Gomez said adidas NEO Label is a new brand for teens and their looks are fun and easy to wear, making it a perfect brand for her lifestyle. Selena will also be the face of four seaso nal collections throughout the year and will appear in print, digital, retail, and outdoor campaigns to debut in February 2013. She will identify her favorite pieces, the first of many opportunities for Selena to comm unicate her personal style with fans.

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TIME

THE FIRST

HYATT PLACE HOTEL IN THAILAND

FIRST S SPA CENVAREE IN MAURITIUS

Spa Cenvaree is a premier spa brand of Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand's leading operator of deluxe and firstclass hotels. The first Spa Cenvaree in Mauritius, located in the new Centara Poste Lafayette Resort & Spa Mauritius, has been opened since 10 December 2012.The spa delivers the use of natural herbs and Thailand's long tradition of healing, with an extensive menu of treatments offered by highly skilled therapists from Thailand. The spa also has the Mauritius Sea Sand & Senses Signature Massage works on all senses to harmonize and rejuvenate the body and mind.

introduces us to the first Hyatt Place in Bangkok, Thailand, HYATT featuring 220 guest rooms and 7 studio suites. As located on Sukhumvit Road Soi 24, Hyatt Place Bangkok is expected to open in 2017 and will be an ideal base for business and leisure travellers in the neighborhood of the Emporium shopping mall and the other business, entertainment and dining precincts. Guests will also enjoy a sky pool, a fitness center, a multi-cuisine restaurant and bar, and dedicated meeting facilities. Hyatt PlaceBangkok Sukhumvit will offer a tailored level of comfort and service.



GHM

PRESENTING THE AAYU MUMBAI Inspired by the Sanskrit word for ‘life’, GHM aims to make a bold new statement in India with the launch of The Aayu, a 42-suite luxury hotel on the top five floors of Kohinoor Square's Central Tower (the tallest commercial building of Mumbai). The property is scheduled to open in December 2013, coupled with setting for India's first restaurants by the world’s most decorated chef Joël Robuchon, and culinary star Hide Yamamoto. Apart from The Aayu Mumbai, the group is on target to debut two other properties by the end of 2013; The Chedi Club Suzhou in China and The Chedi Andermatt in Switzerland. 20

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SHOW TIME

FUNKY PARTY TRENDY LIFESTYLE

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his is the hit chic venue that you have to try after work - Flava Restaurant & Bar. NOWTravelAsia team just went to a stylish but flashy hotel called Dream Bangkok. Be ready for the funky style by dressing up as if you could get back to the 1970s and the early 1980s. This is because the whole interior design of Flava delivers a modern funky combination of Eastern and Western sensation. The first distinction we have remembered until now is Paul Smith like decorations, including striped walls and area rugs featuring eye-popping colors and patterns. Here we could not just sitting and sipping the festive cocktails and light snacks the friendly staff already served us. It seems a roaster of live DJs attracted us to keep following along with the beat in music and start dancing with new friends. Flava sets a full calendar of events to ensure that everybody will never get bored in the busy Bangkok. Please make sure that you have enough time to explore the other parts of the Dream Bangkok after the party, such as a rooftop pool and jacuzzi. There is a lot of fun that you should not miss in Dream Bangkok.

Stay updated and check out upcoming events at www.facebook.com/dreambkk

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TIME

INCREASED FLIGHT BETWEEN DOHA AND BANGKOK

WELCOME FEELING IN TRADITIONAL THAI STYLE HUA CHANG HERITAGE HOTEL Bangkok, Thailand – Baiyoke Group of Hotels, the developer of Thailand’s tallest hotel, is venturing into the small luxury design hotel market with the soft opening of the Hua Chang Heritage Hotel in the heart of Bangkok in January 2013. Featuring “New Thai Colonial Style”, blending western architecture and contemporary Thai style, Hua Chang Heritage Hotel offers a relaxed and cozy resort-like ambiance. All guestrooms present a unique mood, incorporating colors inspired by Thai flowers, such as pink and purple. Guest can enjoy a view of hotel’s free-form

swimming pool surrounded by tropical garden. The hotel is located next to Chalermla Bridge or “Hua Chang Bridge”, which is the origin of hotel name that meaning elephant head, the bridge was constructed on the occasion of the King Rama V’s 56th birthday celebration on Phayathai Road, Pathumwan district, across the road from Sra Pratum Palace. Many leading shopping complexes i.e. Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon, MBK and many tourist attractions are all located within walking distance with easy access by BTS.

SEASONS PROMOTIONS THE SENSES RESORT 203

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he Senses Resort offers Chinese New Year and Valentine Promotion Buffet plus Dinner Sets at Eat More Restaurant, which will be open on February 1st, 2013. For those planning to visit Phuket in 2013, you are most welcome to experience a special Chinese New Year event with a wide variety of Chinese delights and a selection of 3 romantic candlelit dinner sets on Valentine's Day, complemented with shuttle service within Patong area. It is better to make a reservation in advance.

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ATAR AIRWAYS IS TO INCREASE ITS NUMBER OF SCHEDULED FLIGHTS TO BANGKOK FROM THREE TO FOUR A DAY, EFFECTIVE 20 FEBRUARY 2013. THE ADDITIONAL DAILY SERVICE, TAKING FREQUENTLY UP TO 28 NON-STOP FLIGHTS A WEEK, MARKS A SIGNIFICANT RISE IN CAPACITY ON ONE OF THE AIRLINE’S BUSIEST ROUTES FROM ITS DOHA HUB. ALL FLIGHTS ON THE DOHA – BANGKOK ROUTE OFFER A BUSINESS AND ECONOMY CLASS CONFIGURATION WITH FULLY INTERACTIVE AUDIO AND VIDEO PERSONAL ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM PLUS OVER 1,000 PROGRAM OPTIONS.

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STORY

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NEW

SHANGHAI AFTER TIME PASSED BY

WHEN TIME PASSED BY, IT IS DIFFICULT FOR NEW GENERATIONS TO THINK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED DECADES AGO IN THE PLACE WE ARE VISITING. OFTEN, MANY PICTURES OF SUPER MODERN SKYSCRAPERS DISTRACT OUR ATTENTION FROM THE TRUTH THAT THE PLACE HAD FEATURED THE RICHNESS OF CULTURAL HERITAGE BEFORE THE REPLACEMENT OF WESTERN MODERNITY OVER ITS UNIQUE IDENTITY. LIKEWISE, SHANGHAI OFFERS A COSMOPOLITAN ATMOSPHERE ALONGSIDE CLASSICAL ARCHITECTURE AND ANCIENT PAGODAS. THIS BLEND OF OLD AND NEW IDENTITY OFFERS VISITORS A WIDE VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE THAT ARE SURE TO BE MEMORABLE.

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SHANGHAI

ON THE BUND THIS CITY IS SO BIG BUT YOU STILL CAN MAKE IT IN ONE DAY. FOLLOW US TO SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAKE THIS TRIP WORTH YOUR WHILE.

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hanghai features several parts that make it become one of world's heritage cities where many tourists want to visit because of its rapid integration into the world economy and culture. Particularly, The Bund is highly recommended to visit in case you would like to see the old Shanghai surrounding modern lifestyle of the new Shanghainese generations. Let us explore this area for your future trip then.

GALLERY OF WORLD ARCHITECTURE

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he Bund is a symbol of Shanghai, featuring a number of historical and contemporary buildings lining the Huangpu River. It is tough to imagine how people lived their lives right here a century ago. It maintains various architectural styles, such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, NeoClassical, Beaux-Arts, and Art Deco. Here is also a good photo-shooting spot because the buildings remain harmonious in color and style.

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BUND SIGHTSEEING TUNNEL

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ere you will see how much Shanghai has changed. The tunnel amazes everybody that its interior wall is creatively decorated with color-changing LED lights. The 646.7-meter long Sightseeing Tunnel runs from the Bund at the end of Nanjing Road to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong. It is the first of its kind for pedestrians in China, accompanying a 6-sound-band acoustic system. How can you say you visit Shanghai if you miss this place?

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PICTURED: WALDORF ASTORIA SHANGHAI ON THE BUND

WAIBAIDU BRIDGE

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uess where else in The Bund is very popular among tourists? You might have seen Shanghai's modern and industrial images featuring a long bridge. It is Waibaidu Bridge, the first all-steel bridged built in 1856. You do not have to go there but should know it is the city's landmark bridge. If coming here at night, you will have the city skyline as a fantastic background for photo-shooting.

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THINGS

NOT TO MISS

Follow these instructions to enhance more energy before night:

PICTURED: FAIRMONT PEACE HOTEL 30

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The number of spa destinations offers you the opportunity to enjoy the ultimate time in peaceful atmosphere with scented spa ingredients.

PICTURED: THE PENINSULA SHANGHAI

Champagne lounges are located around the Bund. Many of them feature warm interior and comfortable booths offer a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy anything from a bottle of champaign, a pot of beer to a superb cocktail. Just start the evening with a few sips.

PICTURED: WALKDORF ASTORIA HOTELS & RESORT

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PUDONG ONE MORE STEP

TO EXPLORE SHANGHAI IS THE NEWEST DISTRICT THAT HAS BEEN FULL OF GLEAMING SKYSCRAPERS AND BECOMES A VERY CROWDED ZONE IN SHANGHAI. SEE WHAT IS INTERESTING HERE.

ORIENTAL PEARL TV TOWER

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he first landmark of Shanghai that everybody can recognize is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. It is located at the tip of Lujiazui, by the side of Huangpu River, opposite The Bund of Shanghai. This is also a symbol of Chinese modern design based on a verse of the Tang Dynasty poem Pipa Song of Bai Juyi. He described the wonderful sprinkling sound of a pipa instrument, like pearls, big and small falling on a jade plate. You can also visit five observation decks and the highest revolving restaurant at the height of 267meters on the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. in Asia.

SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER

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he other observation spots are on Shanghai World Financial Center. A number of foreigners come here to see panoramic night views of the Shanghai Cityscape. Apart from three observation decks, the center consists of many venues that you can visit or use, including offices, conference rooms, and shopping malls (on the ground floors). On the 53rd to 87th floors, it is Park Hyatt Shanghai, a luxury hotel open to facilitate leisure and business travelers with several facilities.

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PICTURED: PUDONG SHANGRI-LA, EAST SHANGHAI

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PICTURED: THE RITZ-CARLTON SHANGHAI, PUDONG

LUJIAZUI CENTRAL GREEN BELT

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he other three observation spots are on Shanghai World Financial Center. Foreigners come here to see panoramic night views of the Shanghai Cityscape. There are also many places within this super tall skyscraper that you can visit or use, including offices, conference rooms, and shopping malls on the ground floors. On the 53rd to 87th floors, it is Park Hyatt Shanghai, a highly luxurious hotel open to facilitate travelers and businesspeople with all-inclusive facilities.

PUDONG RIVERSIDE PROMENADE

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ust take a walk Pudong Riverside Promenade at night like other Chinese people. They come here to see the Bund's buildings lit up and beacon lights overlooking the river. Here is one of the best views in Shanghai . Here are also the thrilling views of Pudong's skyscrapers, the Shanghai International Convention Center and its twin globes. In case you are not a big fan of massive skyscrapers, The Promenade allows you to enjoy manicured lawns and flower beds. Otherwise, you can just stop by street kiosks and get some food around here. Those preferring to have sweet appitizers may want Starbucks and HaagenDazs. They have staked out the best spots in the middle section around the Shangri-La Hotel.

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SHANGHAI SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MUSEUM

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his is a large museum in Pudong. It is close to Century Park, the largest park of the city. Please stop thinking about the previous boring museum you already visited. Here you will find science and technology much more interesting than before. There have been thirteen main exhibitions and four science theaters (including an IMAX theater) open to the public, "World of Robots", "Children's Rainbow Land", and "Spiders Exhibition". Although you are not kids anymore, the museum is still good for learning new scientific knowledge partly discovered in a new era.

PICTURED: THE KERRY HOTEL, SHANGHAI

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DELIGHTS AT SUNDOWN

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n Pudong, there are a lot of options to eat out and hang out. It may be good if you can give yourselves a present after oneday city tour. We recommend you a few places in the luxury hotels where foods and drinks are prepared and cooked with high-end standard.

THE COOK LOUNGE THE KERRY HOTEL, PUDONG

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ome might have suggested you to stop by here for afternoon tete-a-tete with fifty of the premium teas and french pastry in a very comfortable ambiance. A coffee lover may like taking a sip of specialty coffees available for the whole day. However, this place has more than afternoon drinks. The tea lounge we saw in the afternoon transformed into a sensual music place where we could enjoy evening cocktails and light Jazz entertainment. We recommend you to try Its cocktails that represent the tastes of spice and fruitinfused cocktails and samplers from The COOK's Cheese Vault & Wine Cellar. 36

THE MEET THE KERRY HOTEL, PUDONG

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hanghai has several steakhouses that offer the unique tastes of meat. The MEET is counted as one of the finest steakhouse in the city, owing to its largest selection of steak and beef. The MEET delivers the very idea that a steakhouse should revolve around the meat served. You do not have to worry about food quality because the preparing and cooking techniques are carefully used by a signature chef. Come and get your favourite cut at The MEET in contemporary casual atmospher. You can bring any special ones to join you in trying the 1.9kg Ningaloo tomahawk. If you want your own choice cut, please feel free to speak to the in-house butcher who

will listen to your every preference. In case you do not like meat so much, The MEET's specialty grill menu also consists of fresh seafood imported from Australia. The MEET absolutely allows you to taste, feel, and appreciate a variety of food coupled with the beer from its microbrewery. The best option for a beer

lover wanting to enjoy gastronomical experience is the Beer Degustation Dinner featuring an exquisite 6-course dinner and the amazing beer pairings.

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FOOK LAM MOON PUDONG SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, EAST SHANGHAI

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any people come here for a tea sip and big bites of Chinese dim sum available daily for lunch. Just think about what kind of dining out you would like in the big city full of skyscrapers. A special dinner with sweeping floor-toceiling views of the Bund across the river should be an option. Fook Lam Moon is hailed as one of the best venues in Shanghai for its delicate Cantonese food. Traditional Cantonese standards such as the shark's fin soup, roasted suckling pig, and the fried rice inside lotus leaf are included in the menu with ingredients from Hong Kong. Your appetite will be out of control as Fook Lam Moon will serve light seafood (delivered everyday from Shenzhen) and bottles of wine to match all types of food.

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YI CAFE PUDONG SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, EAST SHANGHAI

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n case you have no idea what to eat, you have an assistance for you. Yi CafĂŠ features 10 open-kitchens, so you can expect a wide variety of dishes from China, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Middle East as well as Europe and North America. The restaurant is set in lively cosmopolitan atmosphere with with a walk-through market design. Hence, you can view gourmet showcases and live cooking stations that present delicate international cuisines. Here is also perfect for people watching as the restaurant is always busy and popular among locals and foreign business people. If you are a big fan of buffets, this restaurant is top notch in terms of food quality, professional chefs, and food presentation. We swear you will never go hungry in Yi Cafe.

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JADE ON 36 BAR PUDONG SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, EAST SHANGHAI

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he last place is great to enrich your nightlife experience in Shanghai. Jade on 36 Bar is part of the hotel's signature restaurant and has probably the best views of the Bund and Pudong, especially at night. Currently, it is also regarded as one of Shanghai's newest hot spots with modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere. However, it still reflects a sense of Chinese/ Shanghai hospitality and vibrancy. Each corner of Jade on 36 Bar is stylish and hip for sipping its crafted drinks and wines. Try their Apple Mojito or the Jelly Freeze made of vodka and Chambord. Or listen to the sounds of live jazz and International music from DJ's performance. Check out the space-age toilets before leaving. The bar is open nightly from 5.30 PM to 1 AM (Fri-Sat to 2AM). It is better to drink responsibly if you do not stay in the hotel.

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THE APPRECIATION

OF ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE APART FROM THE BUND AND PUDONG MAIN'S ATTRACTIONS, WE WOULD ALSO LIKE YOU TO VISIT THE REST OF CHINESE CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME. AS WE HAVE KNOWN, CHINESE CULTURE IS ONE OF THE OLDEST WORLD'S CULTURES. AS SUCH, THERE ARE SO MANY IMPRESSIVE EXHIBITIONS WHERE YOU CAN VISIT.

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CHINA PAVILLION

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he China pavilion at Expo 2010 is known as the Oriental Crown. It was the largest national pavilion at the Shanghai Expo and the largest display in the history of the World Expo. The pavilion showcases Chinese civilization and modern achievements by combining traditional and modern elements in its architecture and landscaping. "The Crown of the East" (main structure of the pavilion) has a distinctive roof, which is made of traditional Dougong or brackets (aging 2,000 years old) fixed layer upon layer between the top of a column and a crossbeam. This unique structural component of interlocking wooden brackets is the most important elements in traditional Chinese architecture widely used in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-467 BC). Presently, the pavilion is converted into a museum of Chinese culture and history. If you missed the 2010 Expo, here comes a chance to see part of the China's grand exhibitions.

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MERCEDEZBENZ ARENA

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t is an indoor arena, located on EXPO Avenue in Pudong. Often, it hosts a number of exhibitions, including the Expo 2010 Shanghai China, when it was known as the Shanghai World Expo Cultural Center. That is why it can accommodate tons of people. Its facility seats 18,000 people and includes a smaller venue, The Muse Mixing Room. This is a live-music venue with raised tables and seats that overlook the main dance floor and stage. The Main Arena and The Muse Mixing Room always host concerts of Chinese and International musicians and singers. In November 2011, AKON the most famous hip hop king already performed his hit songs in the hot atmosphere full of Chinese fan. JAMES BLUNT also came here to impress his Chinese fans in the same year. So, if you want to join the memorable performances, you have to check exhibition schedules very often.

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TIANZIFANG

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et us show you Tian zi fang or Tian Zi Fang, a trendy spot Shanghai, Tian zi fang or Tian Zi Fang. It has developed from a renovated residential area in the French Concession area of Shanghai. It has also become a major tourist attraction that features more than 200 diverse small yet stylish cafes, resturants, art galleries, craft stores, well designed houses and studios, and also French bistros.

The historical Lane 248 is a main entrance that reflects its development. It is easy to walk through local residents' life, only 50 meters. Here you will see an example of preservation of local Shikumen ("stone gate") architecture, with some similarities to Xintiandi, another Shikumen redevelopment in the vicinity. However, Tianzifang is distinctly different from Xintiandi in that the former has managed to preserve its residential

feel, adding to its appeal. So, we dare to say that this district does not look beautiful due to the existence of electricity cables strung overhead, and air conditioning units on the outside of the buildings. Here is close to the largest shopping malls of Shanghai and less than 15 minutes walk from the 2010 Shanghai Expo site.

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YUYUAN GARDEN

WUKANG ROAD

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uyuan Garden or Yu Garden is a spacious Chinese classical garden located beside the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City of Shanghai. It is also called Garden of Contentment, as Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying. The garden was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) who built the garden for his parent's tranquil recreation in their old age. The Inner Garden was a separate garden built in 1709, but is presently a part of Yuyuan in the south. It is compact and exquisite. The hightlight of the garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock, a porous 3.3-meter, 5-ton boulder. Rumors about its origin include the story that it was meant for the Imperial Palace in Beijing but was salvaged after the boat sank off Shanghai. All the rocks, pavilions, ornamental ponds and flower walls offer some of the most attractive sceneries in Yuyuan.

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ukang Road is only 1.17 km long. Each house and its detail reflects its stories and history. All of the buildings on the road are in European style. Hence, you may feel like you have arrived in Europe while walking on this road. As for Wukang Building, it is the most famous building on Wukang Road. The building, shaped like a giant vessel, was designed by was designed by Hudec, the well-know architect. It was also the most famous English-styled building in Shanghai back in the 1930s. Many Shanghainese people call Wukang Road "the mini Xintiandi" because it also consists of the special shops and restaurants along the road. Not only do Chinese people run businesses on Wukang Road, but also a lot of people from France, Russia, the Philippines, and Italy Wukang Road. Just spend half a day walking along the road for a different feeling in Shanghai.

XINTIANDI

H

ere comes the most popular place in Shanghai you cannot even miss. Xintiandi is considered one of the first lifestyle centers in China. Its location is in the site of the first congress of and the Communist Party of China. Presently, this place is preserved at the Museum of the First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Xintiandi is also nearby the site of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea when Korea was a Japanese colony. For young people, Xintiandi is interesting in that it is a crowed pedestrian-only shopping area, eating and entertainment district of Shanghai. Moreover, it features an area of reconstituted traditional Shikumen houses on narrow alleys. A scatter of Shanghainese is in many places of Xintiandi, including book stores, cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls. Most of the cafes and restaurants offer both indoor and outdoor seating. You may finish your Shanghai trip in Xintiandi at night instead. It has an active nightlife on both weekdays and weekends, though romantic settings are more common than loud music and dance places. NOW Travel Asia

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e come to the end of the trip in Shanghai. The city is too huge to bring its every attractions into one article or two. Lots of people come back here over and over due to the fact that they are still impressed with all Chinese culture, history, modernity, service, and hospitality. In case you desire only luxuries and comforts along the trip, please do not waste your time thinking about what to do in Shanghai. There is High Life Asia, the best luxury service provider arranging everything to complete your holidays in Shanghai and throughout Asia. Life is easier if you can spend time doing something else and let High Life Asia be your trip assistant.

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A SAMPLE

OF DESTINATION IDEAS FOR A CREATIVE LIFESTYLE

JOHN O’SHEA GENERAL MANAGER, THE LANGHAM XINTIANDI SHANGHAI

The Langham Xintiandi Shanghai presents the brand Langham, dates back to the original grand hotel - which opened in 1865. Until now, The hotel has been outstanding for its design concepts and lifestyle services among diverse travelers around the world. In beginning of 2013, we got an opportunity to share different visions of modern lifestyles with Mr. John O'Shea, General Manager of The Langham Xintiandi Shanghai.

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DESIGN CONCEPTS Some of guests who have ever visited The Langham Xintiandi might experience a sense of enchantment since the first step to its lobby. There is the scent of gingerflower fragrance that impresses us with smiley face of the hotel staff. Guests are welcomed by Service Stylists who are there to assist them throughout their stay. So many of design concepts and service standards originate from Britain. Here at The Langham Xintiandi, it is important that the hotel embraces some of the Chinese cultural elements through its every corner.

SHANGHAI IDENTITY

LIFESTYLE SERV RVIC CES

The location of The Langham Xintiandi is in the heart of Shanghai’s Xintiandi, home to Shikumen style houses representing what Shanghai has become today. The gateway to this vibrant hub is what makes the hotel stand out. Guests can experience the best of what Shanghai has to offer within a five minute walk of the hotel. Some of the little back streets around the hotel also offer a glimpse into the lives of local Shanghainese people with many street-side food stalls and antique markets. On the contrary, there are glitzy shopping malls showcasing luxury brand stores such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Tiffany within two minutes walking distance of the hotel on Huai Hai Road.

"We pay a lot of attention to recording the preferences of our guests, encourage our colleagues to interact with guests and ask them directly what they do and do not like". As customer mix is primarily business travetravelerslers during the week and leisure travelers on the weekend, the needs of business travelers are usually different in that they may for example require an earlier breakfast than leisure guests that have more time to sit and relax on weekends. As a result The Langham Xintiandi has a different selection of services and activities for different types of guest.

RESPON ONSIB BLE LIFESTYLE Mr. O'shea insisted that our guest comment cards are daily reviewed while the staff always look for patterns or trends as to what the guests need to make their stay more comfortable. Undeniably, technology is certainly one area that is evolving at a rapid pace in many aspects. Basic facilities are taken care and provided to meet the needs of guests. Particularly, health and fitness equipment is upgraded upon our guest feedback. As for the local community, it is important to give back to the community in a neighbourhood.

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SHANGHAI TANG SPRING/SUMMER 2013 PHOTOGRAPHED BY RICHARD BERNADIN

Shanghai Tang puts forward a highly exciting and strong collection this season. The Spring/ Summer 2013 Campaign reflects updated easy pieces for everyday life with delightful Oriental accent. The collection presents an encompassing range of ready-to-wear pieces featuring rich textures on silk, rich reds and black combinations to make statement on fitted dresses. 48

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Models: Lina Zhang & Hu Bing ‘Bamboo’ Print Silk Georgette Sleeveless Top, ‘Bamboo’ Print Cotton Blend Fitted Pants, ‘Kunlun’ Shoulder Bag, Lyocell -Linen-Cotton Suit Jacket, Lyocell -Linen-Cotton Suit Pants & Cotton Pique Shirt with Lock Embroidery

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MODEL: Hu Bing Printed Cotton Blazer, Lyocell-Linen-Cotton Suit Pants & Nato Automatic Watch

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MODELS: Lina Zhang & Hu Bing ‘Peony’ Embroidered Silk-Cotton Dress, ‘Himalayan Croc’ Clutch, Four Virtues Enamel Bangle - Bamboo, Four Virtues Enamel Bangle - Plum, Cotton Polyamide Non-Lined Blazer, Lyocell-Linen-Cotton Suit Pants & Printed Wool-Silk Scarf NOW NOW Travel Travel Asia T Asia

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MODEL: Lina zhang ‘Cloud’ Print Silk Blend Shirt with Jade Buttons, ‘Cloud’ Print Silk Blend Knot Skirt, Knot ‘Cloud‘ Silk Clutch, Lattice Patent Leather Belt & Jade Gold Cuff 52 NOW NOWTravel TravelAsia Asia

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CAR

LEXUS LS460L PRIVILEGED LUXURY FOR THOSE WHO DEMAND EXCELLENCE

IN 2013, LEXUS HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT STRIDES WITH ITS FLAGSHIP LS AND ALSO BECOMES ANOTHER EXECUTIVE LIMOUSINE. 54

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or the latest Lexus LS460L, most outstanding is the spindle grille that has been appearing on every new Lexus since the GS. It helps create a brand identity o f progressive styling.

The model boasts some new technology with a newer interior look of the most tasteful Ottoman leather seating package with Shiatsu Massage. However, it keeps all the same old features that made people in love with the last generation. At the same time, LS460L still feels more personable than the competition. To try high luxury of LS460L in Thailand, please contact LEXUS BANGKOK: www.lexusbangkok.co.th or tel. +662 716 8999

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BRAND

A LEGACY OF LUXURY IN DESIGN Mikimoto has become well recognized throughout the world, owing to the instinctive sense of beauty and the intense of dedication that Kokichi Mikimoto had transferred onto each Mikimoto product. Each impeccable collection has been selected to match the beauty, prestige and emotion of different style and personality of women. Consequently, Mikimoto is considered as the finest quality cultured pearls and world’s leading jewelry. Presently, many people choose pearls to be personal favorite ornaments, as they can soften a business suit or completely add more elegance to a dress. Pearls are thus a worthwhile investment. Turn the pearl in your hands to examine it from all angles. Quality differences can be seen with your own eyes. Nevertheless, you have to be very patient to find pearls that match and extend the length of an existing strand. Getting a good match is somehow difficult due to the fact that pearls become darken or yellow slightly with age and wear. Though a color change cannot be reversed, the durability of pearls is not likely to change. As a result, you need to be so selective that you can be confident your heirloom jewelry purchase is of the best quality.

"I would like to adorn the necks of all the women of the world with pearls" (Kokichi Mikimoto, the inventor of cultured pearls) 56

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MESSAGE

HERE E I AM AM AMBITION & FREEDOM: All we want to be the girl with the signature scent. The girl who commands the attention to the entire room due to your scent. Pick up COLOGNE SPRAY Y MISTINE I AM if you are highly conďŹ dent to let your scent linger subtly in the room every moment you walk in.

ARTISTIC BEAUTY Hathairaat Charroenchaichanaa or so-called O Futon is a young, chic musician and writer. She is also a creative aartist that loves drawing and paintting portraits of women. Her masteerpieces feature variously unique peersonality of the women having rou und black eyes and round head. It is liikely that theyy also reprep sent h her artistic identity.

F FACE MISTINE I AM OIL CONTROL L SPF 25 PA++ is pressed powder th hat offers the way to beef up the UV pro otection before lunch. It contains sunsc creens titanium dioxide and zinc oxide so you get long protection time. Mistin ne I AM Oil Control gives your face a beautiful matte ďŹ nish with natural lookin ng and gives a youthful glow.

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SEXY&MYTHICAL: Many women wear mascara to enhance the appearance of their eyes. Choose MASCARA MISTINE I AM WATERPROOF A that promises thick, deďŹ ned, mile-long lashes. It gets right in those lashes to apply a fair amount of mascara- also making your eyes look deeply sexy. FUN&SHEER: A good moisturizing Lip Balm helps make lips softer, rosier and healthier-looking, even after you take it off. MISTINE I AM PINK MAGIC LIP is a young and trendy lip moisturizer suitable for all occasions and lifestyles of women who want to have glow look.

IA AM M IN SY SYLE YYLE LE LE Acc cording g to Chine ese phy ysiogn nomy, a Tha ai artis st and de esignerr na amed d O Fu uton n con ns siid de ers the fa ac ce rre epr p esentts the energies, health and fo ortune e off a perso on. Partic cularly y, a woman sho ould make her fa ac ce e brriig gh ht as a diam mond with th stylis sh cosm mettics.

EYES EYELINER MISTINE I AM makes your eyes a sultry y and dramatic look. This long--lasting liquid eyeliner is complem mented with a soft pen tip that prrovides absolute application prec cision. For more dramatic impact ct, use the slanted side of the e tip to create a wider line bold dly extending beyond the eye e.

LIPS L IPS LIIP T L TINT NT MISTINE I AM helps h e p you o get a perfect bright brig gh ht rre red ed d lip with maximum coverage v e for or minimal effort. It shines like a gloss and moisturizes like a balm. You do not have to worry about having dry lips. This bright color turns surprisingly sheer when applied. It is a worthy makeup buy for any girl's on-the-go handbag. NOW Travel Asia

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DINING IN STYLE

&

CHIANG MAI PHUKET This is like an epic trip that we tried to find different places for eating out, hangout, shopping, and relaxation in Thailand. The final conclusion is to explore the north and the south where the fun never stops. We found that the number of local and expatriate venues is not widely explored yet. Let us pack your bags and then come with us to see how they are.

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CHIANG MAI

RISTR8TO COFFEE

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he first one is Ristr8to Coffee Estate Est. 2011 located on the corner of Nimman Soi 3. Over five years experience in learning all about brewed coffee from world’s prized chefs: Tong’s creation of coffee has been inspired by Italian espresso and macchiato. In 2011, he was ranked the 6th of World Barista Championship. He brought his knowledge back to creating a cool café in Chiang Mai afterwards. With the taste of modern minimalism, the café is designed to represent simplicity of the timeless black on the décor matching the wood of the furniture. Ristr8to is being recognized among tourists due to the complexity of coffee. One of the most popular coffee menus created by the Barista is “Flat White” which was known at first in New Zealand. Not only does Ristr8to allow every visitor to try high quality coffee beans from Australia, Brazil, Columbia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala, it also offers decaffeine for those loving the strong taste of coffee without irritation to their stomachs. Address Nimmanhaemin Road Phone: +66 (0)53215278

CHARCOA

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number of Chiang Mai locals are enjoying a variety of homemade bakeries made by a country style restaurant named Charcoa. This name is intentionally changed from an English term Charcoal meaning a dark grey color. The interior design of Charcoa features dark wood decor of a country style. At the same time, the overall ambiance is cozy for both locals and foreigners. Every bakery list represents sophisticated baking techniques and fresh materials used for the utmost satisfaction of guests. This coming Christmas will be special again with Charcoa's Christmas pudding, a classic homemade fruit cake of the English. Address Soi 1, Sripoom Road, Sripoom Phone: +66 (0)53212681

Special promotion 1 Christmas pudding served with a cup of tea, only 100 THB until January 31st, 2013

Da Maurizo Mau Mau auri rizo ri zo Bar Bar Ris R Ristrorante, istr is tror tr oran or ante an te,, Ph te Phuk Phuket uket uk et 62

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MARBLE ARCH

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f you would like to see London in Chiang Mai, we suggest you to visit Marble Arch on Nimman Soi 9. This caf�� features a mix of London Cosmopolitan and early modern English style. Since the first step to the front door, there are a model of Buckingham Palace Guard and English phone box standing right outside the café. Both of them allow visitors to capture pictures as if they were in London. We got a good impression on interior design with high ceiling that contributes to good ventilation and bright lighting. You may see students sitting with a few books and laptops. Please do not make noise because they are studying after school. The best time for tourists might be during the days when you can enjoy English music with a variety of menus, ranging from hot drinks, ice coffee, to bakery. Please walk to the order counter and check out the menu board on which English flag is placed. We recommend you to special cuisine of Marble Arch. Starting from very delicious appetizer “Deep Fried Shrimp Salad”, we were offered two homemade dressings, Black Sesame Sauce and Thousand Iceland. The main course came with Spaghetti Carbonara whose taste of Parmesan cheese, salt and

crispy bacon were so well mixed we did not find this menu cheesy. Another dish is Salmon Steak with white sour sauce from mustard and olive oil. There were concentrated hot chocolate and caramel macchiato served afterwards with Banoffee and Strawberry Choco cake. The service staff was not disruptive but very attentive and friendly. Your time with tasty food and drinks will be thus completed. Address Soi 9 Nimmanhaemin Road Phone: +66 (0)53212323

THE COFFEE BAR

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t was another time we saw unmixed stuff were in a mixed state, owing to the combining of additive color. In The Coffee Bar on Nimman Soi 7, very different styles and designs can be somewhat in the same place. The main interior decors feature brightly orange couches, decorative pillows, and Indian painted pillars, whereas the outside decorations consist of an old gas plump and secondhand wooden table and chairs. The Coffee Bar is a quiet spot for students to study and for adults to have after-work coffee or tea in laid-back atmosphere. Address Soi 7 Nimmanhaemin Road Phone: +66 (0)848858972

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SAENKHAM TERRACE

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aenkham Terrace ensures us the quality of dinning menu, with 17 years welcoming experience with international elites and celebrities. All furniture is made of woven rattan that contributes to special warmness on the Lanna terrace. We came here on a Friday night when the weather was so chilly. The restaurant offers a few culinary options, ranging from organic food to Thai Lanna cuisine. If you want to come here before sunset, we will see panoramic views of rice paddy fields. As black rice and Jasmin rice are planted by the restaurant, we were assured of organic farming methods before ordering the rice. Specialty show on Friday and Saturday night is live classical music from professional Thai musician. Also, here guests are most welcome to set up a special event and/ or attend any annual events held in the restaurant. Recommended menu: Deep Fried Seaweed and Shrimp Spring Rolls, Burmese Style Pork Curry, Northen Hors' Doeuvres, and White Curcuma with Shrimp Salad. Address Clubhouse Ban Nai Fan, 199/163, T.Maehia Phone: +66 (0)53838990 www.saenkhamterrace.com

HUAN BO RAN

Antique House

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he restaurant is located on the Ping River Bank. A tradition Lanna house is transformed into a nostalgic restaurant that offers wonderful folk music and exquisite river views, and Central and Northern cuisines in particular. Signature dishes that we tried were Pad Med Ma Moung (fried cashew nuts with meat option, ranging from pork, beef, or chicken), Fried Rice (with fresh pineapple), and Green Curry In The Coconut. Here we were brought to the old world charm of Chiang Mai in the very cozy ambiance. There is also a private party area for any guests that want to intimately enjoy a special celebration with a selection of 1,000 wine lists. Just let the friendly staff know what you want, they will serve your every need. Address 154/1 Chiangmai-Lamphun Road, Wat Ket Phone: +66 (0)53240270

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Address Nimmanhaemin Road soi 15 Phone: +66 (0)823898633

HOUSE OF WINE

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e believe that some of you may be looking for a simple place to wine with a casual environment in Chiangmai. House of Wine is one of the options we would like to recommend due to its wide selection of international wine and friendliness of the owner. The first branch is located in the middle of Nimman Street where many of locals like to hang out. In case you have never tried any wines before, the owner can helps you find your kind of wine. Here we started off with a simple Australian wine, which was not too bitter for the beginners like us. It was served with snacks, such as smoked almonds, salami, cheese from New Zealand and Australia, biscuit, and dried figs. The ambiance is warm and cozy; feel free to stop by though you are there alone. The second House of Wine is located on the Ping River Bank. This area gets crowded so many tourists due to a lot of bars and restaurants around. For a romantic night out, we recommend this branch to those loving a panorama of natural river views and warm, friendly atmosphere. A wide selection of wines and interior designs are the same as House of Wine in Nimman. Consequently, guests will surely have the same satisfaction and comfort at both places. Particularly, there is the other attentive owner helping you choose a taste of wine that suits your preference. Guests are most welcome to order food from the restaurant next door in order to end up with absolute happiness. Address 15 Charoenrat Road Phone: +66(0)816686044

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CHEZ MARCO

W Chez Marco presents handsome chefs and beautiful staff.

e visited a French-inspired restaurant in the city center of Chiangmai. The reputation and food quality of Chez Marco is guaranteed by its 5-year experience. If you come here, you may see some regular customers sitting next to you. The tasty flavors of food always impress both locals and foreigners to try its authentic French cuisines. Moreover, the relaxed yet cozy ambiance is well mixed with dark wood furniture and colorful pillows. Chez Marco's signature dishes that we tried were all superb: Imported Fresh Mozzarella Salad is the first dish that delivers the refreshing taste of tomatoes. Secondly, Marinated Grilled Rib Eye with Provencale Herbs, Garlic, Salt was really tender and perfect with a special sauce. The last one is Carr茅 d'agneau (rack of lamb), Marchand de Vin sauce (Rosemarry wine sauce), and 4 C么telettes (4 ribs) that reflect the chefs' cooking skills so that the lamb does not become strong in smell. All dishes were well paired with a selection of international wines that were recommended by knowledgeable and attractive chefs and staff. Address 15/7 Loi Kroh Road T.Chang Klan A.Muang Phone: +66 (0)53207032

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GREEN TABLE

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ue tto th the ffactt th thatt raw materials and fresh ingredients have been carefully selected, every food of Green Table is expectedly superb. We talked to the owners that would love to see guests experience only a real sense of joy, playfulness, and vibrancy in a semi-formal, but relaxed atmosphere. The interior reflects design concepts of Green Table; featuring green decor and dark wood furnishing. Here we saw a serious dedication of the owners to all in the restaurant. Every staff was welltrained so that he/ she could serve our need at anytime. We started off with a fresh salad called Seared Tuna; medium-rare tuna is rolled in sesame and black pepper and mixed with vegetables, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Secondly, we had two signature soups: New England Clam Chowder and Seafood Bisque,

THAT’S WINE BY PENPAK

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ur recommendation for those loving intimate sip is That’s Wine By Penpak on Nimman Soi 9. Here is a Thai celebrity’s creation to facilitate her personal desire in a small venue where she could spend time chatting and drinking with her friends. At the moment, That’s Wine By Penpak becomes a romantic spot for sweet couples and a chilling spot on the outside terrace for small groups of friends. If you are wine lovers, please do not miss a wide selection of imported wine and champagne from Europe at reasonable prices. We got Paseo Vinho Regional Lisboa 2011, a white wine made in Portugal. It is generally the right choice for fish menus, including Smoked Salmon Salad with Chilli Paste. You do not have to worry about food because That’s Wine By Penpak offers a variety of food, ranging from Thai/ European fusion to authentic European cuisine such as lamb chops. The most unique fusion that everybody likes to try is Spaghetti with Sai Aua (spicy northern sausage). We warn you if you are not a big fan of spicy Thai food, this is not the right match for your romantic dining experience. Address Soi 9 Nimmanhaemin Road Phone: +66 (0)53218823

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which were both thick and authentically tasty. The main course we got is Rack of Lamb, the medium rare meat with two additional sauces from mint and rosemary. The rest of the menus should not be missed, including Baked Stuffed Clams (with white wine sauce tasting excellent). Before leaving, we tried a glass of international wine and festive cocktails such as Sex On The Table. Recommendation: Do not worry about being here alone as another concept of the restaurant is to remove your loneliness with enjoyment of the staff's company for the whole night. Address Soi 12 Nimmanhaemin Road Phone: +66 (0)53223529

What To Know 1.

The traffic situation is awkward in rush hour around 7.30-8.00 AM and 6.00-8.00 PM. However, it is still worth spending a day or night with your friends here.

2.

If you do not have a care or bike, it is better to come here by red taxi that runs throughout the city center of Chiang Mai. Also, we are sure it is just a short walk from the center. Every Chiang Mai people knows Nimman Road, they are thus willing to tell you the direction to get here.

3.

Surprisingly, many staff of each shop speak English well although Nimman is a popular spot among locals. So, you do not have to worry about communication with locals when you want to buy anything here. NOW Travel Asia

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PHUKET

(Brussel mussels scalded in their shells), Fines de Claire (fresh oysters) with Special Gillardeau, and Salmon Toast (smoked salmon with goat cheese). The best cuisine that we could not miss is Wagyu Beef. The meat was very tender yet medium –rare due to the complicated preparing techniques before cooking.

BRASSERIE

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his evening was rushing due to huge traffic in the center. Finally we got to a Belgium restaurant called “Brasserie”. The main specialty of this restaurant is the combination of Belgian and French cuisine. Mr. Alain Tabryun, the owner, would like to present authentic Belgian flavors from imported yet fresh raw materials he carefully chooses to achieve the utmost satisfaction of the customers. The atmosphere is divided into a few areas that suit different purposes of the customers. There are warm lighting zones for romantic couples and small group of friends, a private outdoor dining area, and two festive bars for informal chat and sip. The dishes recommended by Mr. Alain are Vol-Au-Vent (very soft chicken with mushroom and white sauce), White Wine Garlic 68

For a beer lover, Brasserie offers many types of Belgian and the other international beers and wines, including Premium Kriek (cherry beer), Kwak Beer on the wooden stand, and Hoegaarden Rose Draught. Overall, the atmosphere is semi-formal, you do not have to worry about how you should carry yourselves. It is also a place for laid back visitors. So, all is most welcome. Address 18 Rassada Road, Talandnua Phone: +66 (0)76210511 www.brasseriephuket.com

So many Belgian beers to try every time you are here.

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Z BAR & MY GRILL

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he best option to visit these two restaurants is to stay in The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket. We took a golf cart around the resort, passing by spacious residence area situated amid the scent of Pandanus plants. We finally ended up at two out of three signature restaurants. Both are beachside restaurants but offer different types of food. The first one, Z Bar, delivered sunset cocktails and fusion flavors of Asian-inspired tapas available in small or large portions. There were contemporary daybeds to facilitating our great time with the breathtaking seascape.

Then Then, we visited My Grill, which serves a variety of seafood menus. The restaurant features natural wood décor expressing the indigenous style of the island, complemented with panoramic views of the infinite seascape. Like Z Bar, My Grill delivers freshness of all ingredients cultivated in resort gardens, such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs. We were ensured by the chefs that seafoods and vegetables are carefully selected as they intend to make simple but healthy cuisines for those loving a sense of the real nature. Address The Naka Island Resort & Spa, Naka Yai Island Phone: +66 (0)76371400 www.luxurycollection.com/naka

RE KÁ TA

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he next afternoon we drove around another part of Phuket and stopped by a few restaurants in Kata. The first one is RE KÁ TA. It is a part of RE KÁ TA Beach Club at Boathouse, the first beach club of Kata. The name has its own reference to the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta – Asia’s biggest and most popular regatta held annually for one week. Here you may see the diverse customers from Europe, East Asia, and Arab because its culinary menus are also varied. The restaurant offers fresh seafood and healthy cuisine, including tuna salad and Snow fish with spicy sauce. We highly suggest you to visit Rekáta whenever you would like to spend a short relaxing away from crowds of Patong. Address Re Ka Ta Club On The Beach, Koktanode Road, Kata Beach Phone: +66 (0)76330421 www.rekataphuket.com

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RICE

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he third day of this trip was started at Rice, a part of Baan Yin Dee Boutique Resort. The restaurant presents Thai interior design and a fusion of Thai and International food. We had an opportunity to talk to the chef about one of special recipes she created – Spicy Beef Salad. The food intentionally delivers authentic Thai flavor while guests can choose a level of spiciness. The meat is mostly imported from Australia and New Zealand.

Guests still have a variety of culinary options, ranging from Duck Breast with Tamarind Sauce and Beef Steak (served with salsa) to Pad Thai and Soft Crab (fried with garlic). The best time to come here is around 7 PM – 10.30 PM because a professional musician plays live piano music to completing your lovely, warm dinner. Address Baan Yin Dee Boutique Resort, Muean Ngen Road, Patong Beach, Kathu Phone: +66 (0)76294104/7 www.mozaichotels.com/#/en/hotels /baanYinDee/dining/rice

RATRI ITALIAN BAR & GRILL

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he first impression we got from here is the unique ceiling lanterns made of dark wood. The interior features warm color tone that contributes to a good appetite. There is also a second floor where you can have an absolutely private dinner or party with closed friends. Tonight the chef presented us with Baked Oyster, Cold Cuts Tenderloin with Mash Potato, and Chocolate Cake. Most of raw materials are truly imported from Italy in order to allow visitors to experience an authentic taste of Italian dining cuisine. You can just come up the hill to see a wonderful panorama of Phuket City. A professional bartender will give you a good suggestion of what to drink for your intimate evening. There are so many cocktails you should try, including Italian Mojito, Sunflower of Andaman and Minti Matini Cocktail. Address Patak Road, Karon Phone: +66 (0)76333538 www.ratrijazztaurant.com

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TRISARA BAR

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e experienced a very warm welcome from Trisara during our visit for its Sunday Jazz Brunch between 11.30 AM and 3.30 PM. The price is reasonable due to a high quality of fresh ingredients. While sitting at the beachfront bar, we also picked up a variety of tapas and orderd Tatar cuisine, including imported fresh seafood like lobsters and oysters, and basic Italian pasta at the live cooking stations. The perfect taste of imported white wines and champagnes was delivered besides the food. You might be jealous of us as here we could listen to the wonderful jazz band and went down to swim on this sunny day afterwards. At the end, you found that every element surrounded by Trisara Bar also encouraged us to have bon appetite, complemented with very attentive and excellent service of its every staff. Address Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay Phone: +66 (0)76310100 www.trisara.com

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ACQUA RESTAURANT PHUKET

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here is another Italian restaurant in Phuket that Italian food lovers should not miss. Acqua Restaurant has been delivering classic italian cuisine with a modern twist created the Chef's artistic inspiration, keeping Italian regional recipes fabulous for guests. Alessandro Frau, Executive Chef and Owner, revealed that his inspirations are also from Sardinia, his native region well known for a beautiful sea and a wide variety of particular ingredients for the best cuisines. As a result, Acqua chefs use only the best ingredients they have been seeking in Italy, France, USA, Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Spain, and Greece all year long. Its signature dishes Mr. Frau would like to recommend for 2013 include Black Angus(beef tartar with Stracchino cheese and Taggiasche olives), Low Temperature Diavola Style (octopus with potato, rosemary and aged balsamic), Yellow Fin Tuna Carpaccio (marinated with extra virgin olive oil, Sicilian lemons, fresh artichokes and Bottarga). With high quality of products and its excellence, Acqua has still received several awards. Since 2010, Acqua Restaurant has received the Award for Excellence form Wine Spectator, due to the fact that it features one of the best wine list in the World. Its wine list includes over 430 labels mostly from Italy. Moreover, it has been part of the Miele Guide Asian Best Restaurants and the Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants since the same year. In 2012, Acqua is voted as the Best Italian Cuisine in Thailand while it has been been the only Italian restaurant in Phuket and Thailand, getting cuisine score 10 out of 10. Also, Acqua was awarded as Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year from the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards in 2011 and 2012. Address Prabaramee Road, Kalim Bay Phone: +66 (0)76618127 www.acquarestaurantphuket.com

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ROCKFISH RESTAURANT

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o you think what factor contributes to a good impression from the first time you meet someone? In our opinion, a warm smile is the universal language of kindness and welcome. Richard Anthony, the owner of Rockfish restaurant got that impression from us. We are welcome with very nice but not intrusive greetings. The menus he presented with us were Spiced White Prawns (on crisp wonton with chunky guacamole), Rock Lobster and Pommello Salad (with peanuts, fried shallots and lime dressing), and Marinated Tuna (with spiced coconut milk, white prawn, Thai herbs, coconut juice and Tzatziki sauce), complemented with light white wine. The restaurant settings look simple but very cozy. Wooden furniture matches white painted ceiling and blue table sheets and pillows very well. As the restaurant is located on the hill facing the sea, we chose to sit outside and listened to the sea to cure ringing in ears. Today the sea waves were not disturbances, so they caused small fishing boats to bob up and down on the sea very little.

ituated above large rocks overlooking Kata Noi Beach, Mom Tri’s Kitchen at Villa Royale was once the private summer villa of Mom Luang Tri Devakul. Presently it is one of Phuket’s best restaurants and enjoys stunning sunset views from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, and is open for lunch and dinner. The ambiance reflects the desire of Mom Tri to create a special dining experience, complete with wooden Thai decor matching the Thai-styled villa. We fell in love with the food we sampled, both from the Thai and western menu.

We enjoyed the Kung Rad Prik Gaeng (shrimps with red curry sauce), Siam Tapas (combination of spring rolls, tuna, shrimp, calamari and seafood cake), Barramundi fillet (with wasabi mashed potatoes, sauté pumpkin spring onion and tomato fricassee) and the Villa Cocktail Trio (rock lobster and blue crab with apple and a mustard dressing). In case you have a memorable celebration, we suggest trying one of the 750 wine labels including an extensive organic wine list and 18 wines by the glass. Here every night can be a special occasion. Address Villa Royale, 12 Kata Noi Road, Kata Phone: +66 (0)76333569 www.momtriphuket.com/

MOM’ S TRI KITCHEN

Address Kamala Beach Road Phone: +66 (0)76 279732 www.rockfishrestaurant.com

SUAY

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uay means beautiful b or wonderful in Thai. It seems this name suits the ambiance of the restaurant very well. Every part of it is simple but perfectly beautiful. If you look for a place to meet up with your closed friends for dinner, this is the best spot in Phuket. The white furnishings in the informal atmosphere encouraged us and the others to absolutely enjoy comtemporary Thai cuisine.

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Address 50/2 Takuapa Road, Talat Nuea Phone: +66 (0)878886990

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SALA BUA RESTAURANT

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n this early evening, we vistied the restaurant of Impiana Hotels Phuket. Sala Bua is situated on a long, busy beach. It was a time that many people were walking, jogging, and sitting for sea breeze. We preferred sitting outside near by the beach to appreciate sunset views. There were a few families enjoying the exclusive dinner created by Hans Engerer, Executive Chef of Sala Bua, that transfers his culinary knowledge and sophistication to special Western cuisine menu with a modern Asian twist. He introduced us to Oriental Styled Breast made from tender cherry duck with with saffron and cinnamon cousous. There are some new items, including Hokkaido scallops and Balinese Tuna. Sala Bua also has indoor area that accommodates up 30 guests for a small party or celebration. Address Impiana Resort Patong www.sala-bua.com Phone: +66 (0)76340138

IMPIANA PRIVATE VILLAS RESTAURANT

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ost of us have known Impiana Private Villas due to its absolutely luxurious and perfect for those looking forward to getting relaxed and peaceful. It will definitely complete your private holiday. Apart from that, we came here for another reason - the restaurant facing the sea and sunset views. The restaurant is divided into indoors and outdoors. The indoor area offers live piano performances accompanying your meals. Here we saw fully-stocked wine cellar ensuring that our dining out would be fun. To achieve a romantic moment, it was better for us to sit outside on the garden terrace in this chilly evening. We started off with a signature appetizers, Tuna Carpaccio - sliced tuna topped with herbs and red on-

ion coupled with Reggiano Salad. Secondly, the main course was superb. Please try Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb - roasted rack of lamb with mashed taro, poached mixed mushroom, asparagus, and lamb jus. The lamb did not become strong in smell. If you are not a meat lover, you still can enjoy it. Finally, the dark night had arrived, we ended up with a romantic candlelit dessert, Strawberry Zabaglione consisting of fresh strawberry with creamed egg yolks, whisked sugar, and vanilla ice-cream.

Address Impiana Private Villas Kata Noi 10 Kata Noi Road, Karon Phone: +66 (0)76340138

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BAAN RIM PA PIANO BAR AND RESTAURANT

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et us guide you through this highly awarded restaurant group. Three unique restaurants located next to each other on a rocky outcrop at the north end of Patong with panoramic sea views across the beach at Patong to the bay of Kalim. Joe’s Downstairs offers New World western style cuisine, while Da Maurizio Bar Ristorante has some of the finest contemporary Italian food available in Phuket. Baan Rim Pa, where we dined offers authentic Royal Thai cuisine.

We were surprised to see many dishes we totally forgot existed, such as Chormuang (steamed Thai dumplings), Kuay-tiaw Lui Suan (fried minced chicken served in noodle pad) and Hormok Pla (steamed curried mousse with fish meat ). The food was not only delicious but the presentation with vegetable carving made the meal even more delightful. Reservations are recommended. Address 223 Prabaramee Road, Patong Beach Phone: +66 (0)76340789 www.baanrimpa.com

Bliss Beach Club

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ere is one of Phuket's most enjoyable beach clubs with Dj's night performance on weekends. All staff are ready to service families with kids and pets. We saw a few guests were swimming in a pool facing the sea while we were just sipping Tomyum Icetea and Blissjito. They also served a simply tasty sea bass. The club allows guests to set up any bliss parties upon request, including wedding and private party. Address 202/88 Moo 2, Cherngtalay, Thalang Phone: +66 (0)76510150 http://www.blissbeachclub.com

The taste and smell of fresh ginger in Blissjito is superb.

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Diamond Beach Club Surin Beach

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elcome a new year full of fresh energy at Diamond Beach Club. It is the latest beach club open with a pleasure of all staff that want to bring you the most luxurious design and furnishings in its every corner. Everybody can just come to enjoy a selection of wines and fine Mediterranean cuisine at more affordable prices.

Diamond Beach Club features over 130 luxury sun beds and 8 private double beach cabanas right on the Surin Beach. For the absolute recreation, Diamond is divided into two venues. Firstly, the outdoor area allows guests to occupy 22 plush sofa sets with seating capacity 6 per set, 30 tables with 132 seats and a full-service bar with 36 bar stools and 24 bar stools with private cocktail tables. If it is still not enough to facilitate your fun holiday parties, Diamond also offers the indoor restaurant and bar that is just steps away with private wine tasting / dining room, floor-to-ceiling walkin wine cellar and fresh roasted coffee bar. The overall ambiance of Diamond Beach Club completely encourage locals and visitors to enjoy the days and nights of Phuket beyond any expectations. Address Surin Beach Road, Surin Phone: +66 (0)76386550 http://www.diamondbeachclub.com

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FAMOUS

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amous offers all visitors absolute entertainment with festive cocktails and international DJs' performance that truly features state of the art sound. At the same time the overall atmosphere decorated in Thai-Chinese modern style also contributes to a fun mood. You are free to enjoy a nightlife on an open-air terrace. Here every cool staff ensures that the fun never stops. Please raise your hands to the rooftop's seethrough pool and start dancing as freely as you desire. The fully-serviced smoking areas and gardens are always open in case you want to have an intimate chat with new friends. Address Jungceylon Shopping Complex, Unit 2306, 3rd Floor, 193, Kathu Phone: +66 (0)76366717 www.baanrimpa.com

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SHOPPING IN PHUKET

The Newest%($&+)5217

6+233,1*9(18(2)3+8.(7 Easy Go Easy Shop

Banana Walk is situated next to Banana Disco right across Patong Beach, one of Thailand's busiest tourist streets with an average of 5,000 visitors walking past a day. This area is buzzing with day and night life attracting more visitors to enrich their beach holiday. As such, Banana Walk intends to deliver all convenience, comfort and entertainment to satisfy those who want to stay in the shade. It features a mix of entertainment venues in the same

property, ranging from multiple restaurants, varied desserts at Bites on the beach, lifestyle zone and private party rooftop garden. This new shopping and restaurant complex is open from 11 am morning to 1 am in order to accommodate both local residents and tourists. The main design concept

is natural, with stone, wood, bamboo giving a sense of Thai shopping environment. The visitors will surely appreciate its sustainable design yet authentic and eco-looking.

HIGHLIGHTS There are several enjoyable and vibrant spots, including Wine Connection Bistro and iBeat and Life by Copperwired. Wine Connection Bistro - offering a full selection of Bistro Menu in French Bistro atmosphere. iBeat and Life by Copperwired - the store that shows all models of Mac such as MacBook, Mac mini, iMac, Mac Pro or iPod, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone with a breathtaking panorama of beachfront views. 78

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ADVERTORIAL

ASIA ATIQ QUE THE RIV VER R F R ON T DIST TRIC CTS OF JOY From the pier signaled the beginning of international trade between the Kingdom of Siam and European nations to the first and the largest night lifestyle venue riverfront in Asia located on the Chao Phraya River under the name "ASIATIQUE The Riverfront".

CHAROENKRUNG DISTRICT features more than 1,000 boutique items, the Joe Louis Thai Puppet Theater, Calypso Bangkok, and an assortment of eateries.

TOWN SQUARE DISTRICT offers the blend of Eastern and Western culture with a wide selection of beverages and international gastronomical delights, and the spacious outdoor activity space.

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FACTORY DISTRICT presents the refurbishment and modernization of 100 year-old buildings that transform into over 500 stylish boutique shops.

WATERFRONT DISTRICT has an array of international restaurants and wine bars that offers a thrilling panorama of river views and the longest riverfront pathway in Thailand.

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WHAT TO SEE CALYPSO BANGKOK Enjoy this extravaganza of Calypso girls, amazing costumes and special effects, guaranteed to be sold out for almost every show. This show minimizes choreographic ambitions and creates choreographies, which highlight the specific talents and abilities of actors and actresses. Moreover, it constantly strips down decorations and costumes to the bare necessities. Daily training of physical stamina, daily rehearsal of the current show and new productions, also reflects the motivation not to copy, not to reproduce the traded cliches and stereotypes.

RIVERFRONT PATHWAY The scenery along the Chao Phraya River lends a romantic atmosphere to this waterfront pathway that allows you to savor enduring memories of blissful happiness.

RIVERFRONT EVENT VENUE It has been dedicated to over 12,000 square meters of an open space for outdoor activities such as concerts and product launches to be held throughout the year.

IN OLD TIMES ANCIENT TRAM TRACK The century-long tram track is evidence of the tram that ran on the East Asiatic Pier and was a charming and popular feature in the past.

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THE OLD SAWMILL In spite of the renovation into fashionable boutiques, the old sawmill still stands. It is managed to retain the original structure and the old roof frame.

THE SAWMILL CRANE This crane has suffered the wear and tear of time but it is still in perfect shape and allow us to imagine the working atmosphere of the people of yesteryear.

100-YEAR-OLD WAREHOUSE ARCH The solid structure of the arched roof of this warehouse is still in perfect condition and has been renovated to cover trendy restaurants and other entertainment spots.

HISTORY PIER The only pier where both technology and civilization had to dock before entering Thailand is presently the pier of ASIATIQUE The Riverfront.

HISTORICAL WATERFRONT CRANE This crane is still in pristine condition and is a reminder of the glorious days of trade on this pier.

WORLD WAR II BUNKER Evidence of the ravages of World War II is the shelter that provided refuge to people in the area and which today remains intact and awaits visitors.

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UPDATED

PHNOM PENH CITY A NEW TOUCH EXPERIENCE ON MEMORABLE CAMBODIA Being as one of the most interesting countries in South East Asia, Kingdom of Cambodia outstandingly presents visitors from all over the world with its beautiful landscape, long history, fascinating culture and also unique arts. Phnom Penh, the capital and the largest city of Cambodia, offers a great number of accommodations, eateries and services enhanced to fulfilling individual lifestyle. On the other hand, Siem Reap is world’s reputed city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that always impresses all the travelers. NOW Travel Asia is

bringing our readers to explore Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, where a variety of luxurious hotels and fine dining restaurants are awaiting.

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FINE DINING IN PHNOM PENH We pick up four distinctive restaurants that offer both delicious cuisine and nice atmosphere in the middle of Phnom Penh.

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1. Van’s Restaurant The restaurant is a consequence of the restoration of the former Indochina Bank building. It offers a gracefully historical ambiance. The landmark building had been closed since the civil erupted, but the Van family started re-settling the building to be another French signature restaurant of Phnom Penh in 2007. Apparently, the restaurant concept is intended to display luxury French influenced design through red chairs and elegant white tablecloths in the main dining hall. You can also escape to a more casual zone in the serene garden or go up to a rooftop terrace for romantic drinks.

Recommendation: Try Mekong Lobster Hotpot or Chinese-French fusion cuisine like smoked duck breast with fresh peppercorn and pineapple chutney. Both of them consist of the bestimported ingredients and fresh local materials, complimented with a glass of excellent international wine.

No.5, Street 102, Place de la Poste Phone: +855 23 722 067

2. Malis Restaurant The restaurant becomes famous due to its special culinary preparation from one of Cambodia’s most renowned chef, Luu Meng. As he would like to promote his Cambodian food in the world stage, his creation is carefully selected from original Cambodian recipe of two idol chefs, his mother and granny. The restaurant offers authentic Cambodian dishes with a little modern twist, such as Prohok Ktis - Malis’ signature dish made from Cambodian fermented river fish. Although he successfully runs several restaurants in Phnom Penh, Malis Restaurant remains the masterpiece of his culinary empire. Recommendation: The most romantic spot of the restaurant is in the water garden dimly lit among beautiful tropical floras.

No.136 Norodom Blvd Phone: +855 23 221 022

Nicolas Malherbe

– A young chef originally from Languedoc Rousillon, France. Nicolas Malherbe chooses to fast track his career and showcases his French culinary art in Cambodia.

Luu meng

is the main driving force in promoting Cambodian food to the outside world.

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4. Restaurant Le Royal Being situated at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Restaurant Le Royal offers a comfortable ambiance matching the hotel’s design. The restaurant features elegant decorations under tall ceilings, which are painted by an Asasax painter. Every menu represents a great blend of modern French and Royal Khmer cuisines. Guests can also enjoy a wide selection of old and new international wines to enriching their wonderful dining experience.

Recommendations: Restaurant Le Royal’s signature Amok – a traditional Cambodian curry made from coconut milk and fish mousse that allows guests to appreciate very soft texture with desirable Oriental flavors.

Raffles Hotel Le Royal, 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Sangkat Wat Phnom Phone: +855 23 981 888

LUXURY RESTAURAN NT

IN Phnom m Penh

3. Do Forni Do Forni is located at Sofitel Phnom Penh Pokheethra. It offers Italian authentic cuisine among the cozy atmosphere of natural light, wooden ceiling, and water ponds. Please try a range of baked pizzas in stone ovens, wines, and rich Italian desserts. In June 2012, the restaurant has already invited a renowned Michelin star chef, Jérôme Brochot to share his sophisticated passion for a bite of Burgundy. Certainly, the quality of food is sustained in Western standards.

Recommendation: There are also some more options for different culinary tastes of guests, such as a selection of local seafood prepared in Italian style, Fiorentina T-bone steak, or melt-in-your-mouth Grilled Wagyu Sirloin Steak.

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, 26 Old August Site Sothearos Boulevard, Sangkat Tonle Bassac Phone: +855 23 999 200

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A LUXURY HOTEL IN PHNOM PENH Take an adventure through time in Siem Reap, see the thriving art and culture, and learn the inspiring history of Khmer civilization. At the same time, try to stay pampered in one of the excellent hotels in the city as to creating an unforgettable journey!

LUXURY Y HOTLES S IN Phnom m Penh

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THE OASIS OF PHNOM PENH SOFITEL PHNOM PENH PHOKEETHRA Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, had been slowly developing since the dramatic Khmer Rouge genocide. As home to more than 1.5 million people, Phnom Penh was once called the ‘Pearl of Asia’ coupled with beautiful French influenced architectures. It might not be a favourable travel destination, but this unpolished gem of South East Asia still has more to offer than you can imagine.

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eing located in the old French quarter of Phnom Penh. The hotel is surrounded by many historical attractions, such as the Independent Monument, National Museum, and Central Market. Interior design of the hotel features colonial style decorations. We took for granted the beautiful ambiance around the hotel. Overlooking views of Mekong River in the East and that of Phnom Penh’s cityscape in the West. The hotel consists of 121 Superior Rooms and one Opera Suite. It is crowded with tour groups and business people in particular. However, the Opera Suite should be the first option you take. It offers a private living room plus a spacious bathroom and an additional kitchen. We really appreciated Hermes amenities in the suite. Well, life still treats you so well in this hotel. It might be difficult for you to decide what to eat in Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. There are three different style restaurants that also offer various kinds of food. First of all, it is unavoidable to see

French inspired food in Cambodia. La Coupole offers an expansive space accommodating up to 160 guests plus authentic French cuisines, including homemade foie gras, roasted salmon, and morsels of fish baked in banana leaves. There are also many more culinary options, ranging from Chinese food at Fu Lu Zu, Italian gourmet at Do Forni, to Japanese Robatayaki and Sushi bar at Haichi. We completed our nightlife at Club Millesime, located on the 12th floor at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. It is a bar-business like. From here, we could see panoramic view of Mekong River while drinking tasty wine with friends. Another venue for those loving festive cocktails is Aqua Bar situated by the 45-meter swimming pool coupled with ample pool decks. Otherwise, check out Phokeethra Sport Bar if you would like some healthy food and after-work beverages. Sofitel Phnom Penh Pokheethra, 26 Old August Site Sothearos Boulevard, Sangkat Tonle Bassac Phone: +855 23 999 200

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SIEM REAP THE CITY OF CIVILIZATION Siem Reap becomes another famous destination among worldwide tourists. The city alone is very vibrant and crowded with a lot of restaurants, bars, and clubs although it is surrounded by the grandeur of the rice paddies. The city brings you back to the ancient Khmer Empire ruined for centuries inside of the World Heritage Site, so-called Angkor Wat (meaning temple). It was a significant landmark of the Empire and now is the most popular spot that nobody wants to miss.

ANG KOR WAT THE WORLD HERITAGE TREASURE

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ngkor was a holy capital of the Khmer Kingdom that existed from the 9th to 15th centuries. It features a lot of spectacular monuments and statues but the most renowned spot is Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. Many Asians also considered Angkor Wat as one of the most astonishing archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Here is a home of the gods and other spectacular axial galleries and ancient decorative elements left after the destruction of Khmer Empire several centuries ago. Until

now, we still believe that Khmer Construction wisdoms still amaze a number of people how they built up the gigantic temple with sandstone blocks that standstill for eight centuries while engineering technology at the time was not as advanced as the modern day.

The exterior walls of Angkor Wat are covered with bas-reliefs displaying sacred beliefs of Khmers. There we saw gigantic Gopurams (meaning monumental towers) ornate at the entrance of the temple. It reminded us of many temples in Southern India that form a feature of Hindu temple architecture. We passed through the entrance and followed the sandstone passageway to the inner parts. Here are galleries of famous bas-reliefs displaying mythological scriptures (religious texts) and stories regarding Churning of the Ocean of Milk, Ramayana, Army of Suryavarman II, Victory of Vishnu over the Demons, and Khmer Devata. It was likely that we were hypnotized to walk further to the pillars of Preah Poan, the “Hall of a Thousand Gods�. Although pilgrims came to Angkor Wat and left Buddha images behind for centuries, the cloister is presently emptied due to the degeneracy of ancient handcrafts.

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ANG KOR NATIONAL MUSEUM LEGENDARY KHMER Angkor National Museum was on our plan, as we thought it might help us understand the history of Angkor Wat much better than viewing all architecture by ourselves. After buying a ticket, we decided to take an audio tour guide from the ticket booth with seven languages offered. Some might think learning history was boring, but exploring eight galleries of several stories in chronic order, ranging from Khmer Civilization, the great Khmer King, to the Khmer Ancient Costumes – the fascination of Apsara.

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allery A displays 1,000 old Buddha images made to represent a big influence of Buddhism on the Khmers. According to Gallery B, we were gradually brought back to the beginning of the Khmer Kingdom where civilization had been developed through arts, sculptures and architectures. It shows the Kings that left many impacts to the next Khmer generations, such as King Jayavarman II - the first king establishing the empire by uniting two kingdoms, or King Soryavarman II – the creator of Angkor Wat. There are also Gallery D, E, and F dedicated to illustrate the gigantic structure of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. They feature artworks, sculptures, and construction technologies that are emblematic to their civilization. We finished our history class in last gallery that allows every visitor to appreciate the beauty of female sculptures named Apsara and ancient clothing. It is really interesting for us to see the general ups and downs of Angkor civilization. We also think about what is going on in the other parts of the world while Khmer people were

dedicating their time to express their strong beliefs on the sandstone buildings and sculptures. If you look back to many other ancient civilizations, many of which also suffered collapses of their own, including the Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala. Though it is difficult to see direct correlation between cultural histories of each civilization, at least we understand the heritage of the old civilization that transfers to humankind from century to century. It is undeniable that we the people are to some extent a produce of some previous civilization.

The Fascinattion OF APSARA

Recommendations: - Many travellers get to Angkor Archaeological Park by car, motorbike, or Tuk Tuk, but the best way for us to get around is by bicycle. If you are not in a rush, rent a bike to pass through the scenic sylvan path from each attraction. - Bring your own water for your road trip, at least a bottle. The weather is really hot during the days, so you will be dehydrated very quickly. If you are still thirsty, it is very easy to find water or soda from local street vendors at many spots of Angkor.

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LUXURY Y HOTLES S IN Siem Reap

THE ULTIMATE ANG KOR EXPERIENCE SOFITEL ANGKOR PHOKEETHRA GOLF & SPA RESORT The combination of traditional Khmer architecture and French colonial style brought us back to a few periods of time since the 14th century. Needles to mention the Opera Suite, we stayed in a spacious room fitted with luxurious furnishing and hard wood flooring. In fact, the resort features 239 guestrooms overlooking a tranquil garden, pool, or lake. Though it is a large property that accommodates many large tour groups, we never felt overcrowded here. 94 NOW Travel Asia

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who have been starving from a lot of activities during the days. Make sure that you get here early between 6 PM and 9 PM. At the time we preferred Khmer-French cuisines in a high-ceiling dining hall at Mouhot’s Dream. Of course, it was a romantic spot of a few sweet couples but we still enjoyed a romantic art deco setting coupled with a fantastic lagoon view at night. As the weather was really chilling so we spent more than an hour having some light menus before going to the Bar Rouge, a poolside bar that serves a selection of festive cocktails in a stylish yet easy going atmosphere. A more casual dining venue includes Citadel that offers Western and Asian delicacies all day long. Here guests have two options for dining - indoor table or open-air terrace.

ometimes we thought there might be only a few concierges and us here. Hence, we think Sofitel Angkor is a good place to stay if you do not like noisy atmosphere.

What differentiates Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra from the others is a variety of activities and relaxations facilitating different types of guests. Particularly, the Phokeethra Country Club features an 18 holes golf course ranking among Asia’s Five Best New Courses by the Asian Golf Monthly Magazine. Unfortunately, we are not big fans of golf. Sofitel’s So Spa seems to be more interesting after our long day of actionpacked activities. We wish we could nap here for a while. The revitalizing and rejuvenating treatments from head to toe were unforgettable plus the scent of aromatic ingredients. We did not forget to unwind at the poolside bar called Bar Rouge where a selection of festive cocktails is served in a stylish atmosphere. We were offered a presidential dinner at the Royal Court. The highlight of this restaurant might be Khmer buffet and traditional Apsara Dance. The quantity of food is good for those

Moreover, we could buy some local products as the hotel cooperates with Agrisud, a nongovernmental organization, in supporting fresh seasonal produces and ingredients. This is the way guests can help strengthen local community more or less. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Goft & Spa Resort Vithei Charles De Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Siem Reap Tel. +855 63 964 600

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HISTORY MEETS LUXURY AMANSARA Siem Reap would probably not ring a bell for tourists, but it is home to the worldrenown World Heritage Site, the Angkor Wat. Ancient Khmer empire built the impressive landmark more than 8 centuries ago, and the ruins today still stands above time for us to dive into the history of the great civilization.

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en minutes from the wondrous Angkor entrance in Siem Reap, Cambodia’s cultural center, sits the luxurious Amansara Resort. Amansara is transformed from the word ‘Aman’, meaning ‘peace’ in Sanskrit, and ‘Apsara’ or Hindu mystical nymphs. Formerly a guest villa of King Narodom Srihanouk, the Amansara now welcomes guests who seek tranquility and history from around the world to 24 of its exclusive suites finished with terrazzo and timber, as well as outdoor courtyards, or go up a level to one of its 12 Pool Suite with your own private 6 x 5 plunge pool.

Amansara features a spectacular circular dining room with 7 meters high ceiling and open terrace, offering both traditional Khmer and international cuisines with seasonal ingredients. Guests can also enjoy superb selection of wine and cheese in the walk-in cellar or indulge in selections of home-baked cakes at the casual lounge. Amansara also provides full relaxation and activities through its 5 stars facilities, including a library, gallery, roof terrace, and of course a spa. The highlight of Amansara activity is the Angkor tour in your personal remork and guide. The remork is ‘custom fitted’ to every suite for guests to go on an historic expedition and get to know the true beauty of Khmer civilization. Amansara is truly a heavenly home for travelers seeking to explore history and culture.

Location: Road to Angkor, Siem Reap Tel: +855 63 760 333

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GATEWAY TO THE PAST LE MÉRIDIEN ANGKOR It is truly close to Angkor Wat and Pub Street, only a few minutes away. It is very convenient to find eating out and lively bars in the neighborhood.

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he hotel’s appearance reflects the influence of soft European architecture and strong Oriental decorations, including traditional Khmer motifs with modern amenities appealing to give guests utmost comfort. We got very good facilities in the Grand Suites. This room is spacious with private living room, kitchen, and marble bathroom. The distinctive spot of the hotel is a sun-drenched pool terrace with Khmer tropical gardens that reminded us of the Ancient Khmer Empire. . Here we were bizarrely relaxed as if we were Apsara playing and taking with lotuses in the pool. Other guests were leaning back on teak deck chairs at the pool bar. In case you would like

LUXURY Y HOTLES S IN Siem Reap

to explore Khmer civilization, the knowledgeable concierges can give you some useful advices regarding the tours in Tonle Sap, Siem Reap’s silk farms, local markets, and Koulen Mountain. With in-depth knowledge, the concierge desk offers advices about the great Khmer civilization, such as Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm. The service also includes travel arrangements to the real local life at Tonel Sap lake, Siem Reap’s silk farms, local markets, and Koulen Mountain. Le Méridien Angkor is also the perfect destination for contemporary travelers enjoying highly luxurious and comfortable sanctuary after a long day of outdoor activities.

Le Meridien Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Siem Reap Tel. +855 63 963 900

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ASIA’S CITY LIFE

SUNSET

VIENTIANE It is likely that Vientiane has recently changed a lot, as the number of new buildings is rapidly settled around the city. It is ready to serve massive tourism.

THE MIX RESTAURANT & BAR

The Mix Restaurant & Bar has recently become the newest food and beverage venue in Vientiane. Being located at the heart of tourism center, it is one of the first spots that Laotians and foreigners can think of.

3 ZONES FOR FUN: * 1st zone - two indoor venues with different designs from modern to Lanna style. * 2nd zone - a rooftop restaurant and bar, coupled with the enjoyment of Vientiane's cityscape. * 3rd zone - music performance, live football on a digital projector, and beverage and snack bars located around the colorful fountains.

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TO DOS IN VIENTIANE

SEE

STAY

HANG OUT

SHOP

MEKONG PROMENADE

LUXURY HOTELS

CENTER POINT

NIGHT MARKET

Take a stroll along the Mekong river in Vientiane. Get BBQ and Beerlao that are being sold on the river's edge where you can begin people watching as well. At least the central Vientiane has a little something for everyone to enjoy at the end of the day.

Vientiane is a small yet transquil capital of Laos. Hence, the street are still dominated b the quiet temples and old residential areas. Do not worry about where to stay. The city offers a wide selection of accommodations, whether affordable or luxurious. Most of them are located nearby sightseeing and shopping spots of Vientiane.

There is a street venue that becomes popular with the young and sociable. The name ‘Centre Point’ is rapidly recognized among Vientiane teenagers who want to see and be seen, dress stylishly and gossip.

List the Night Market as a must to visit for one of the cheapest shopping spots in Vientiane. The market is located along the Mekong Promenade (riverfront) and open every night. There are around 30 shops selling a variety of local products. Do not forget to bargain the price down. This is so much fun.

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THE DHAVARA BOUTIQUE HOTEL The hotel features 26 guest rooms within a relatively modern building, which reflects the blend of French colonial design and traditional Laotian style. The white interiors are beautiful and graceful, whereas the furnishings are dedicated to vintage style. Guests do not have to worry about overnight stay in summer, as every room is set with air conditioning plus bathtub with hot and cold shower. The Presidential Suite is recommended because it delivers the utmost luxury and comfort to guests within a charming Laotian and colonial atmosphere. Try the Dhavara Restaurant that offers traditional Lao and international cuisines. Every staff is friendly and attentive, standing by to bring you to their culinary heaven. Moreover, Dhavara is in a neighborhood of Center Point and Night Market. It is thus very convenient to do a variety of activities that Vientiane has to offer.

LUXURY HOTEL IN VIENTIANE

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HERITAGE

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HARMING

Melaka THE CULTURAL HERITAGE CITY OF MALAYSIA

Meleka (or Malacca) was once an important trading port in Malay Peninsula. It is located near the Southern tip of Malaysia. This enchanting city is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, owing to its blend of ChineseMalay cultural heritage left by Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonists during the 14th-19th century. Presently, Melaka has cultural diversity that any visitors can see while they are just walking on the street. It is ready to represent a vibrant city of Malasia under the slogan “Visiting Melaka Means Visiting Malaysia�.

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Jonker Street

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utting through the center of UNESCO World Heritage Site of Melaka to a popular Jonker Street (officially known as Jalan Hang Jebat), we started our exploration here to see the charming historical area of Melaka. The 500-meter street is pretty narrow and bustles with people and traffic moving at a snail’s pace. Actually before entering this street, we were seduced by the aroma of Kopi-O, Malaysian traditional coffee at the Aik Cheong Coffee Roaster. It has been on Jonker Street for more than 50 years. Strolling through the lively atmosphere with a cup of aromatic coffee, we just forgot what to do afterwards.

Boutique & antique shops, and the best local eateries are all around. Although many buildings have undergone a metamorphosis over the last 10 years, the architecture created under Portuguese influence remains existed with Chinese-Malay combination. Shortly, our camera said memory card full. We blamed Melaka on its vibrantly colorful buildings and tons of people that hanging around and waiting in a never-ending queue for yummy foods and desserts. If you happen to be here on Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening, prepare yourselves for something different. The street becomes even more lively and colorful in red. It is quickly transformed into a crowded walking street. So, no matter day or night, Jonker Street is always shining. So, this is a chance to to interactively experience Melaka and get into its diverse cultures.

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Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

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nly a block away from the corner of Jonker Street and Second Cross Street, we found Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum, displaying unique culture from the noble Chinese that migrated to the British Straits Settlements of Melaka. They adopted Malay culture through a marriage with Malay women. Baba and Nyonya refers to Peranakan.The word Baba means male Peranakans, while Nyonya is thus female Peranakans. Here we started understanding some exceptional tradition of the people through the story of Baba Chan family. Surprisingly, the Peranakans no longer speak their original dialect but have used the Baba Malay dialect instead. The first thing we noticed was the way the museum exhibits historical architecture and furniture. We were allowed to inspect many items so closely. All the stories we got from the museum is all about the way the Peranakans lived in the end of the 19th century when the Eastern and the Western influence were blended. The interior of the sample house is complemented with a number of priceless antique furniture made in Italy, Britain, and also Netherlands. There are also carved furniture, featuring classic Chinese artwork. The old-fashioned wedding costumes and accessories are awesome. Nyonya jewelry, beaded shoes, and porcelain are included here. Although Baba Nyonya have their own unique culture, but the wedding custom was practically more Chinese at the time. Filial piety was very important. The ancestral worship was a culture core, as there is allegedly an altar of the worship and a remembrance of ancestors. Today the city tour ended up with a traditional Baba Nyonya meal – the combination of Malay, Chinese and European flavors. NOW Travel Asia 107

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Dutch Square

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on the second day, we took an overdressed trishaw and hung around First Cross Street. Then we crossed Sungai Melaka River to another famous attraction called the Dutch Square. The Victoria Fountain is right next to the picturesque Christ Church and adjacent to the Stadthuys. Then, we headed to the summit of St. Paul’s Hill where the ruins of St. Paul’s Church still stands facing the Straits of Melaka. Both Portuguese and Dutch tombstones are placed around the church in order to remind people of the old members in this community while the sound of harmonicas was playing. Descending from the bustling hill to Porta De Santiago or The Old Gateway, the only remaining part of the mighty Portuguese fortress built approximately 500 years ago is located here. While looking closely, we could see the Dutch VOC crest and the inscription ‘ANNO 1670’ above the arch gate built by the Dutch when they overthrew the Portuguese. From the Porta De Santiago, we slowly walked back to the Dutch Square, but the trishaw ride was suddenly a more tempting choice. The ride took us past the Stamp Museum and the iconic Architecture Museum to our next destination, the Ship Museum, which is not too far from where we started.

The Ship Museum It stands in front of us, next to the Melaka River. The museum is a gigantic replica of the Portuguese galley called Flora De La Mar, which serves as an impressive Maritime Museum. The Flora De La Mar was delivering a lot of priceless treasures of Melaka to Portugal before sinking off the coast of Melaka. It costs only 3 RM per adult, so we began our adventure with the history of Malacca Sultanate era, Portuguese, Dutch to British era. Although you are not a history fan, we believe that the story of Melaka’s golden era as the Emporium of the East will probably attract your attention more or less. Some of us were eager to know more about political control over Melaka at that time. So, we knew what we wanted here as well. It kept us excited and looked forward to seeing the next room.

The Historical City Chocolate

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fter a long day exploration, it was time to take a break and enjoy the sweet taste of handmade chocolate at The Historical City Chocolate. Many people have talked about this place. We could not help visiting it. As only a block away from the center of Jonker Street, it is easy to find this place eventhough you get lost. Just ask the people around you. Here they have a variety of handmade chocolate, ranging from Dodol Truffle, Dark Passion Fruit Praline, to the diabetes-friendly Diabetic No Sugar Praline. The boutique chocolate shop is intended to introduce handmade chocolate to the locals and foreigners. As the chocolate is made from different but excellent ingredients, it is difficult for us to explain how to make it. Every bite was just so good we could feel the finest Belgian chocolate inside. This is our last stop and hten we decided to go back to the hotel. We were absolutely exhausted, you know that!

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LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN MALACCA

The Sterling Hotel

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e stayed her because it is just a short walk away from the Dutch Square and Jonker Street. So, the hotel is located in Melaka’s heritage zone. Our room was in a modernized heritage building with elegant furniture. There are the different sizes of the rooms for both small and big groups of guests. Our room was The Brighton, a signature room that offers a private outdoor Jacuzzi. In the evening we were feeling really tired, at least we could just be in the hotel and enjoyed street lights of Melaka through our windows. Location: Lot 232, KB XXI, Jalan Temenggong, 75100 Melaka Tel: +606 283 1188

Essentials: Language - Bahasa Malaysian is a national language but English is widely spoken. Other main languages are Chinese and Tamil. Currency - Ringgit Malaysian (RM), USD 1 ≈ RM 3.08 Population - Melaka has a population of over 800,000 as of 2008, consisting of 57%Malay, 32% Chinese (including the Nyonya Baba community), and the rest are Indians and Kristang. Religion - The official religion is Islam. Others religions like Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Christianity are practiced freely. Climate - Generally warm throughout the year with temperature ranging from 21 ºC to 32 ºC. Humidity is high all year round. Lightweight clothing is advisable. However, it is better to dress properly when visiting the places of worship. VISA Requirements: Commonwealth citizens (with exceptions) do not need a visa to enter Malaysia. Nationals of ASEAN countries do not need a visa for a social and business visit up to one month.

Casa Del Rio

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itting by the idyllic Malacca River near the entrance to the historic straits, Casa del Rio is designed to capture curious landmarks and unforgettable view. The Mediterranean-inspired boutique hotel is a stone's throw away from the heart of Malacca. The architectural design pays tribute to the Portuguese heritage of Malacca as well as the unique Malacca Sultanate. The uncomplicated and direct approach combines local stone, stucco, wood, and the warm Mediterranean colors of magenta, yellow and ochre over terra cotta go well with the old wrought iron railings and ornamental lighting and provide a touch of the Mediterranean to Casa del Rio. While it blends with the historical surroundings and echoes of the past, the hotel caters for the modern 21st century guests' needs and facilities.

Getting Around: Taxi - Metered Taxis are about everywhere. Taxi drivers are quite friendly though some of them do not speak English. Trishaw - Overdressed trishaws, complete with blaring pop music and fake flowers are available for a short trip around tourist spots. The drivers are very cheerful and friendly. The rate is around RM 40 per hour, but please use your bargaining skill first. Special Thanks to:

Bangkok Office Tel: +66 (0)2636 3380

Bangkok Office Tel: +66 (0)2250 6560-7

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CHECK IN

RAWEE WAREE LUXURY HOTEL CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

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awee Waree is the exclusive Lanna boutique hotel aimed to reflect the Thai Luei Lanna heritage within a total of 32 luxurious rooms and suites. The Executive Suites are fully equipped with double comfortable bed and private terrace with outdoor day bed. It is perfect for honeymooners, families, friends, and even business travelers that desire privacy and serenity in a large living room with a private terrace nearby the pool. The hotel is located on the right side of Chiang Mai city nearby the Ping River but guest will also benefit from Doi a wonderful panorama of Doi Suthep Mountain views. The synergy of Lanna Modern Style and spacious villa are blended to preserve the environmental sensitivity and local communities in the neighborhood.

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Chiangmai, Thailand

GREEN HEAVEN

Apart from the accommodation, the Huern Kum restaurant, decorated in contemporary Lanna style, offers a fusion of Thai, French and other western delicacies derived from the best quality of ingredients. The restaurant features an outstanding menu of mouth-watering dishes. Every dish will be served to guests in relaxing atmosphere coupled with attentive waitstaff. Guests have also several venue options for their every occasion. Moreover, Rawee Waree is proudly present Private Dining for those wanting to have a special private dinner or a cocktail party with intimate persons. Every venue of Rawee Waree can be tailored by a professional event team to meet your requirements as such. www.raweewareehotel.com NOW Travel Asia 113

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RAWEE WAREE RESORT & SPA

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uests have also several venue options for their every occasion and grander affairs. Moreover, Rawee Waree is proudly present Private Dining for those wanting to have a special private dinner or a cocktail party with intimate persons. Every venue of Rawee Waree can be tailored by a professional event team to meet your requirements as such. The other property of Rawee Waree is Rawee Waree Resort & Spa, which offers a sensational view of the lush greenery in Chiang Mai. A highlight is the Executive Residence for those desiring a luxury bedroom and a private terrace nearby the pool. Guests will also experience a sense of heaven on earth so far beyond any expectations at Pang Spa and Pont Cafe. The former offers sensationally aromatic spa treatments to produce a deep state of relaxation, while the latter offers fusion of Eastern and Western culinary delights whenever you get hungry.

OTHER FACILITIES: Swimming pool and Jacuzzi - relaxing spots for honeymooner, friends, or family. Fitness - modern exercise equipments abounding by the tropical garden and natural air. Business Center - featuring both small and large conference rooms held in a calm atmosphere. Every venue accommodates up to 120 people, complemented by equipment and Internet accesses.

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Phuket, Thailand

HOLIDAY INN RESORT PHUKET MAI KHAO BEACH

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fter the first step into Holiday Inn Mai Khao, we could feel sincere and friendly service of every staff. This place is highly recommended for those looking for privacy and intimacy with their special persons or families. The entire atmosphere brings you to a state of real relaxation and tranquility in front of the quiet Mai Khao Beach. Here everything was ready to facilitate our peaceful holiday without disturbance. Whenever we needed help; however, the wait staff were around at anytime. Guest rooms are categorized by several options, ranged from garden view, ocean facing view, terrace and pool access catering to everybody's need. We also would like to recommend the Family suite, which allows a family to enjoy all-inclusive amenities in the Deluxe Room connected with another designed room for kids. Not only are adults happy, so are the children. 116 NOW Travel Asia

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www. holidayinnresortphuketmaikhaobeach.com

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Luang Prabang, Laos

LIVING AMIDST THE MYTH OF HERITAGE

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urasari Heritage presents an elegant, traditional Laotian house surrounded by all the delights of Luang Prabang.Taking its reverence from period architecture, Burasari Heritage is a true reflection of what life was like during the 19th century French Indochina. The uniqueness of the hotel is derived from its Laotian decoration, complemented by benevolent religious art in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

www.burasariheritage.com

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OF ASIA

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MONGOLIA It is undeniable that a great number of world populations have no idea what Mongolia looks like. Apart from Genghis Khan on the warhorses, we bet very few people have seen the beauty of this country, Mongolia.

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number of people are probably confused whether or not Mongolia and Inner Mongolia are the same. In fact, they are different. The former is an independent country while the latter is an autonomous region of China that shares an international border with Mongolia and Russia. MONGOLIA is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia, so it seems there are not so many regular flights from Europe, North America, South Asia, South East Asia, and Africa. Accordingly, our trip to Mongolia was such an exotic exploration though we had had very little knowledge about it before getting here.

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e arrived in Mongolia last August. Fortunately it was still summer, the best time to rest in a warm climate with panoramic views of mountainous landscape. As you might have seen several photos of horses grazing on the steppe in Mongolia, the real steppes are so large and endlessly expansive in much of eastern Mongolia. They are not empty but full of a population of sheep, goats, cows and camels overgrazing threatens the natural environment in many areas. We also saw clear streams of water flowing down from almost every mountain and hill. Some of you may have the same questions as us before we went to Mongolia - what do Mongolian people look like? Do they look like the Chinese? Actually, it is pretty difficult to explain or distinguish them from East and Central Asians. Mongols share many physical characteristics: slanted eyes, high cheekbones, heart-shaped face, and honey-colored skin. Mongols do not come from a single ethnic group but several dozen tribes from over centuries ago. We saw many of them look like Kazakhs. Back to our trip again, the first place we visited is, indubitably, the capital named Ulan Bator. As we got here in summer, it was thus hard to be-

lieve that here is the world’s coldest city in winter (around -38°C in January 2011). At the time we were really surprised to see movement of the city. Ulan Bator becomes a modern city with skyscrapers, cars, shopping malls, restaurants, entertainment venues, and schools. Unexpectedly, Mongolian youths are very fashionable on Western and Korean outfits, including skinny jeans and high heels. It is likely that the country is ready to be a part of the modern world and its young generations represent the change very well. This is the same as many developing countries that are open for foreign investments, tourists, cultures.

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Nevertheless, Mongolia’s cultural identity is still conserved by many older generations that occasionally wear national costumes looking pretty similar to Tibetan ones. The kind of dress, the costumes they wear depend on the conditions of climate. This summer we saw many of old Mongols wore a light coat or frock, the "Terleg" - summer coat.

The first day we went to see the Gandan Monastery, the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia with over 400 monks. Most Buddhist Monasteries in Mongolia lasted until 1990 before getting destroyed during the communist regime, which lasted until 1990. The Gandan Monastery is the only one that lasts until now and being used as a showcase for visitors. Inside is a 25-meter statue of Magjid Janraisig (the lord who looks in every direction). There are also Zanabazar University and Buddhist colleges inside of the monastery complex, unfortunately we had to leave for other attractions.

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ot far from Gandan Monastery is Sükhbaatar Square, located right in front of the parliament. Sükhbaatar Square is a Sovietlike square with an equestrian statue of the 1921 revolution hero, Damdin Sükhbaatar. The square becomes a big open space in the city center where the crowds come to capture the photos, whether local or foreign. Genghis Khan has also claimed his

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thrown again on this square coupled with his 9 heroes or Urlugs. His seated statue is accompanied with Ogedei Khan (his third son) on the west side and Kublai Khan (his niece) on the east side. These men took over Genghis Khan to spread Mongo Empire across Eurasia. There is also a huge white marble building founded for 800 anniversaries of Genghis (2006). This spot is also popular among tourists. The next spot is Zaisan Memorial, a huge communist-era monument located on a hill nearby the city. It represents the Russian and Mongolian heroes who fought together during WWI and WWII. It is a hit venue where you can see growth of the city dispersing to the hillside. Here we saw the Tuul River twining through the city.

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equipment, gifts from domestic and foreign guests, and items purchased by the king for his own diversion.

Another place you should visit to prove that you are finally in Ulan Bator is Bogd Khan’s Palace Museum. Presently, this place consists of seven Summer Prayer temples and the winter palace built up between

1893-1903. The collections of the museum include unique and valuable objects related to Mongolia’s political, religious, and artistic history from the 17 to early 20-th centuries, including royal clothing and

There are a lot more stories that we cannot put in this article but the next one in the future. Our point is that sometimes what is unexpected may be amazing and memorable. As we accepted, Mongolia had not been in our minds until we got there. We learned more about people, culture, and the country. All of them make Mongolia become an untouched spot that very few tourists pay attention. As for us, we experience so many good things of Mongolia, especially people’s astounding smile. Moreover, we would never complete this trip without local hospitality and generosity offered every time we got certain troubles. You should experience Mongolia and Ulan Bator by yourself, as they say - do not knock it till you try it.

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& LIFE

RATNESH VERMA CHEF WONG MAN CHOW YUN FAT

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RATNESH VERMA A PERSON THAT DELIVERS A NEW ANGLE ON HOSPITALITY SERVICE TO BANGKOK “Today we would like to introduce you to a person that is in charge of Hyatt Place, the newest five star hotel in Bangkok�.

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atnesh Verma has been working as senior vice president of real estate and development for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts since 2008. In fact, he has continued to hold several management roles in finance, operations, and development. Given his over 20 years of experience, across functions and geographies during his time with the company, Mr. Verma holds a wealth of expertise, commitment, and passion for hospitality industry. Currently, Mr. Verma becomes senior vice president of real estate and development in Asia and the Pacific coupled with a main responsibility for Hyatt Place in Bangkok. In his opinion, Bangkok is an important city and a hub of Thailand in terms

of economy and tourism. It is thus a great opportunity for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts to introduce Hyatt Place to this region. It is a preeminent hotel chain commonly recognized in the US due to its world-class service given consistently to customers. The opening of Hyatt Place in Bangkok reflects its commitment to achieve the brand extension to a variety of travelers, including families and businesspeople. To do so, Mr. Verma is one of the most important people that present brand-new hotel standards regarding reception, facilities, amenities, and other services to all visitors. The hotel intends to profoundly understand the customers in order to meet every need of them. This is the main marketing strategy that Mr. Verma recommends to us. NOW Travel Asia 131

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BY CELEBRITY

CHEF WONG MAN “I HAVE A SIMPLE LIFE.”

MANY OF US ALWAYS THINK BEING A CHEF IS ADORABLE AS THIS PROFESSION REQUIRES PERSONAL SOPHISTICATED CREATIVITY AND DEDICATION. SO, WE BRING YOU TO GET TO KNOW THE EXECUTIVE CHINESE CHEF OF CONRAD MACAO, COTAI CENTRAL. WONG MAN IS A CULINARY MASTERMIND BEHIND THE SENSORY AND INNOVATIVE DINING MENU. HE BRINGS HIS FOUR DECADES OF PROFESSIONAL CULINARY EXPERIENCE TO CONRAD MACAO, COTAI CENTRAL’S SIGNATURE RESTAURANT CALLED DYNASTY 8. THE RESTAURANT IS INTENDED BY WONG MAN TO DELIVER THE OLD WORLD CHARM INTO AUTHENTIC HIGH-END CHINESE CUISINE.

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W

e got up close and personal with Wong Man to talk about his career and lifestyle and see what he thinks about his life.

Wong Man, you are currently a signature chef of Conrad Macao, Cotai Central do you think what inspired you to be a chef? Do you have any secret to be a successful chef? I was first inspired to start cooking because one of my family member is a chef. I also once met a famous chef, and his cooking skills and personality really impressed me. I always keep trying to create new dishes that reflect the essence of Chinese food. I try to add some western cooking techniques while making the food, but also keep it simple. A signature dish I like the most is Steamed Egg White with Cristal Prawn and Bird’s Nest.

Can you please describe your personality and lifestyle? Do you think how the food you have created can represent your personality and lifestyle?

I have a simple life and love to spend time with my family. I also bring the same idea to Dynasty 8 – so I try to deliver original home cooking.

So, how do you relax after work? Do you think whether or not relaxation is important to your life? In what ways? I like to stay home, read a book, or watch TV food programs. I would love to see food presentation of the others; The plates are varied by number and mixing of colors and ingredients. This activity helps me develop my own cooking techniques. Well, relaxing is important for me, and normally I also spend some time meeting friends for ‘yum cha’ (a Chines style morning or afternoon tea that involves eating dim sum dishes).

Apart from cooking, do you like traveling? What sort of traveling do you like the most, luxury, adventure, or summer leisure? Mostly I go to different provinces of China to try various foods. It always inspires me to create new recipes for the restaurant.

Do you have any specific place you always love to visit? Is there any destination you have dreamt about for so long but never been yet? I always love to go back to visit Singapore, as I still have a lot of friends there. It seems lots of them happen to be great chefs. Singapore is really international. It represents a mix of East and West that I like. I have also dreamt about visiting Egypt though, just want to see the pyramids one day.

Can you give us and our readers certain suggestions about how to keep a balance between work and relaxation? I think reading, eating and sleeping is the best relaxing activity for everybody. However, we still have to be determined to succeed. As for me, I would live to become part of executive Chinese chef for one of Sands China Ltd.’s properties!

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CHOW YUN FAT

“I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM ALL ACTORS AND ACTRESS, WHETHER YOUNG OR OLD. THIS IS BECAUSE EACH OF THEM HAS DIFFERENT ACTING TECHNIQUES AND STYLES”.

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he Last Tycoon is a 2012 romantic gangster movie by Hong Kong director, Wang Jing. For anyone who remembers the iconic 1980s TVB series The Bund, The Last Tycoon will do more than reminding you of old Shang-

hai in 1930s, chronicling the power struggle between influential local figures. It tells the story of Shanghai's last gang leader before the founding of the People's Republic of China. Everyone's favorite big superstar, Chow Yun Fat is returning to play the

older Cheng an infamous mob boss in turn-of-the-century China. Still, it is Chow's steadfast performance, polished with undying charisma and undiminished screen presence that sets this film apart from the pretenders, further cementing why he is still an Asia's go-to marquee star, elevating the performances of co-stars like Huang to an entirely different level.

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Let us see what he thinks about His character in The Last Tycoon:

How is your character as Cheng? "Cheng was an innocent young man working in a grocery store without ambition. However, a fateful night had changed his life forever. He began to climb up the underworld ladder step by step and became one of most powerful mob bosses in Shanghai in the late 1930s�.

It seems Cheng's love triangle with two women is the complex romance unpredictable yet largely believable throughout. What do you think about his love? "The women behind the mafia are very important to the film. In addition to the explosions, and the mafia scenes, we have beautiful actresses to make it a little softer. It suits me well."

Is this character similar to your real character in everyday life? "Not at all. I do not think I will be able to leave the one you love for my future life path. Cheng might be as same as me in that I am also protective of my friends".

What is the most sensational scene in this movie? "Nanjing was one of the greatest scenes. There were a lot of explosions and gunfighting. It was the first confrontation between the mafia gangs. The other scene was when Cheng met the woman that he loved the most and had never stopped thinking of though he left her behind for long. I was crying so much because I deeply felt like this character is really lonely".

How was the work with the other actors?

As you usually live in Hong Kong, we have also heard that you like to go shopping local markets. Do you also do the same when you visit your wife in Singapore? "In Hong Kong, I am a citizen. In Singapore, I am a husband of my wife, and a son-on laws of her family. So, it is important to stay with the family. I spend most of my time in the hotel. That is why Singaporeans rarely even see me strolling around". For those who always appreciate quality of Chon Yun Fat's performance, The Last Tycoon still guarantees his fantastic acting and dedication on a character-driven drama that will surely cause tears in the cinema. (Source: Sahamongkolfilm)

"They are democratic and openminded, so am I. That is why we got along well and had a great time together. As for my part, I did my best on this character in order to impress the audience as much as I could". NOW Travel Asia 135

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NOW Travel Asia Jan/Feb 2013 issue