TRAVEL TIMES THE
THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
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PUBLISHER • CECILIA WOO MANAGING EDITOR • BEN POON EDITOR • DEREK RODRIGUEZ
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contents of the magazine. directions eat BETTYS KITSCHEN, HONG KONG Famed for championing Cantonese cuisine in the UK with his Michelin-starred London restaurants, Hakkasan and Yauatcha, Hong Kong-born restaurateur Alan Yau has returned to his homeland and opened up an European brasserie. Bettys Kitschen, kitschen being a portmanteau of the word “kitsch” and “kitchen”, provides a retro experience, offering an all-day eclectic dining with culinary influences from the old world and new, bringing together an assortment of signature dishes from Europe and adding a quirky twist.
Regent Media Pte Ltd will not accept responsibility for unsolicited contributions.
Shop 2075, Podium Level two, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: 852/2979-2100; www.bettys.com.hk
SILKS, CROWN, MELBOURNE
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Crown’s premier Chinese restaurant, Silks, has re-opened, featuring additional private dining rooms, the introduction of a semi-private dining room in the restaurant’s iconic Mongolian silk tent. The new menu boasts a wider range of dishes from Northern China and Shanghai, including tossed jellyfish head with Chinese aged vinegar and garlic, sweet and sour short ribs marinated with herbs, braised sea cucumber with fresh leek in dark soy, wok-fried lamb fillets as well as an enhanced selection of teas.
For over three decades, Morton’s of Chicago, The Steakhouse has earned an unmatched reputation world-wide for fine quality dining, service and elegance. Apart from its award-winning steak, using USDA grain-fed Prime-aged beef no less, Morton’s also serves up some spectacular seafood. In fact, due to popular demand, Morton’s will be extending its Steak and Seafood set menu until 30 September 2011. Available in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, the menu’s
first course is a choice of either Caesar salad or Morton’s salad, followed by a Single Cut Filet Mignon and a choice from broiled sea scallops wrapped in bacon with apricot chutney, colossal Shrimp Alexander with Beurre Blanc sauce or jumbo lump crab cake with mustard mayonnaise. In Macau only, the menu also includes a dessert choice from Morton’s legendary hot chocolate cake, key lime pie or crème brulee. The menu is priced at HK$688 in Hong Kong, MOP688 in Macau and S$108 in Singapore.
Level 1, Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, Melbourne, Australia. Tel: 61-3/9292-5777; www. crownmelbourne.com.au/silks
Level 4 The Sheraton Hotel Hong Kong, 20 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: 852/2732-2343 Shop1016 The Grand Canal Shoppes, The Venetian MacaoResor-Hotel, Estrada da Baia de N. Senhora da Esperanca, s/n, The Cotai Strip, Taipa, Macao. Tel: 853/8117-5000 Level 4 Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore. Tel: 65/6339-3740 www.mortons.com
DIVINE, THANYAPURA, PHUKET For a full culinary experience like no other, head to the newly opened DiVine Resturant, Wine Cellar & Cooking School inside Thanyapura, Phuket, where you can dine on organic gourmet dishes like the roasted free-range chicken marinated with grilled vegetable tabouli in a coriander and mint dressing,
and homemade cake and ice cream; sip the world’s finest biodynamic wines; and then learn to make Thai and Western dishes using fresh organic produce from a nearby farm. 120/1 Moo 7 Thepkasattri Road, Thepkasattri, Thalang, Phuket, Thailand. Tel: 66-76/336-000; www.thanyapura.com
7/27/11 10:24 AM
3 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
Message from Ms Cecilia Woo Publisher, The Travel Times
The end of the year brings with it festive cheer, school holidays, and the opportunity to experience an unforgettable vacation overseas as a family. The NATAS Fair is the ideal arena for you to source for and plan that perfect December getaway you have been longing for! In this special issue of The Travel Times, we feature a selection of destinations that deserve a headline or two! Visit China, the home of many many UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Summer Palace and the Great Wall of China (p10); delve into the various facets of Mumbai, India’s megacity (p12); lose yourself in the beauty and sumptuous cuisine of Central Japan, where you can soak your worries away in a hot natural spring bath (p16); go skiing on the alpine slopes of the top class ski resorts in Turkey (p20). Can’t decide where to go yet? Navigate the aisles of the fair and experience the excitement first hand with our map (p22). To help you further, The Travel Times presents exclusive deals and promotions that you can find on our back page as well as insider information on special packages from our chosen partners inside our pages. Enjoy!
Cecilia Woo Publisher
4 • THE Travel Times • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
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6 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
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Special travel deals and privileges await MasterCard cardholders at NATAS Holidays 2011.
o satiate the travel bug, MasterCard is once again bringing special deals and privileges to MasterCard cardholders as the Official Card of NATAS Holidays 2011. Apart from MasterCard exclusive deals, MasterCard cardholders can enjoy additional privileges including double chances at the NATAS Grand Draw and the chance to win S$1,000 spending credits and other great prizes.
NAtAs HolidAys 2011 PriVileges Charge and win MasterCard cardholders stand a chance to win attractive prizes when they charge their travel purchases to their MasterCard cards at NATAS Holidays 2011. Prizes include iPod Shuffles, DVD players, shopping vouchers, LCD TVs and more. MasterCard cardholders can redeem their prizes at the MasterCard booth 6H13. Minimum spend applies. Prizes are randomly selected by the game system and while stocks last. Terms and conditions apply.
double chances and double win MasterCard cardholders get double chances at the NATAS Grand Draw when they charge their travel purchases to their MasterCard cards. Plus, the top three winners will win for themselves each a spending credit of S$1,000, in addition to the NATAS Grand Draw prize. NATAS Grand Draw terms and conditions apply. s$1 off admission fee and dedicated queues MasterCard cardholders receive S$1 off with purchase of two admission tickets with a MasterCard card. In addition, MasterCard PayPass™ cardholders enjoy priority access via dedicated MasterCard PayPass queues. Limited to a maximum discount of S$2 per MasterCard cardholder.
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Fly with better fares with MasterCard From Asia/Pacific to the Americas and Europe, MasterCard cardholders enjoy special air fares and perks with Hong Kong Airlines, SilkAir and Thai Airways. Here’s a highlight of the exclusive deals. Hong Kong Airlines: Hong Kong from S$260 (excluding taxes). Call 6535-2922 or email sales-sin@ hkairlines.com for reservations. silkAir: Kuala Lumpur/Langkawi from S$218 or Koh Samui from S$308 (inclusive of taxes). Visit www. mcshopathon.com/silkair for reservations from 25 August 2011. thai Airways: Bangkok from S$275 or Europe from S$1,228 (inclusive of taxes) plus receive up to S$100 worth of Resorts World Sentosa vouchers for selected destinations. Visit www.thaiairways.com.sg for reservations. MasterCard Magic happens on staycation at resorts World™ sentosa Experience the holiday wonder back home in sunny Singapore! Exclusive MasterCard 3D2N Tropical Package for 2 is available from S$598. Package includes two-night stay at Hotel Michael Deluxe Room/Hard Rock Hotel Deluxe Room/Festive Hotel Family Room, 2 one-day passes to Universal Studios Singapore® and 2 Category 5 tickets to Voyage de la Vie. Visit www.rwsentosa.com.sg for details. Privileges aplenty in thailand and Vietnam Hundreds of special discounts and deals exclusive to MasterCard cardholders await at Thailand and Vietnam! From beauty and spa, dining and entertainment, accommodation and adventure, shopping and shows to health and medical, an all-encompassing slew of discounts and benefits have been arranged to make your holiday respite that much more rewarding. Visit www.mastercard.com/sea for details.
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S A NAT IDAYS L O H 1 1 0 2 AUG O 8 XP E 26-2 E R O P A &6 SING 5 , 4B S L HAL
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China Welcomes You
Come visit China’s United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites!
Great Wall of China First built during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period, it was only named “The Great Wall of China” after Qin Shi Huang unified China, and connected different part of the walls. The Great Wall of China is the longest military defense in the world and one of the greatest construction projects in human history. In 1987, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Imperial Palace of Ming and Qing Dynasties Located at Beijing and Liaoning. The former was built in Ming Dynasty, during the reign of Yunglo (1406). Some 24 emperors ascended the throne in this seat of supreme power. It is currently the largest and best preserved wood structured palace in the world. The latter is the only remaining Chinese palace of the minority tribe. They are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and 2004 respectively.
of clouds. In 1990, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lushan National Park Lushan National Park, in Jiangxi, is one of the China’s spiritual centers and contains glaciers from the Quaternary Period. Buddhist and Taoist temples, along with landmarks of Neo-Confucianism, blend effortlessly into the beautiful landscape. In 1996, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Summer Palace Located at Beijing and built in 1750, it used to be a imperial botanical garden. The classical architecture is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design, and regarded as the Musuem of Garden Landscapes. In 1998, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System
Located at Anhui, Huangshan has 72 peaks, and is renowned for its magnificent scenery made up of many black granite peaks and rocks emerging out of a sea
Located at Sichuan, Mount Qingcheng is the birth place of Taoism. The world’s oldest irrigation system, Dujiangyan Irrigation System was build in 256 BC and
it is a major landmark in the development of water management and technology, and is still discharging its functions perfectly. In 2000, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mount Wutai Mount Wutai Mountain is one of China’s four Buddhism mountains, located at Shanxi Wutai County. In 2009 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural landscape.
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中国驻新加坡旅游办事处 CHINA NATIONAL TOURIST OFFICE IN SINGAPORE 7 Temasek Boulevard, #12-02A, Suntec Tower One, Singapore 038987. Tel: (65) 6337 2220. Fax: (65) 6338 0777 Website: www.cnta.gov.cn
12 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
Multiple Mumbai Like an Indian goddess, Mumbai has many faces. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff or just want to chill out, there’s one to suit you.
ndia’s most populous urban centre’, ‘The richest metropolis on the Subcontinent’, whichever way you look at it, Mumbai is a megacity. Yet compared with Delhi, whose history as a power centre stretches back over 2,000 years, Mumbai is a teenager. Just four centuries ago, its population consisted of a few fishermen living on seven separate islands. The following years, under British rule and Indian independence, saw this backwater become the country’s foremost port. The land between the islands was reclaimed so that Mumbai grew into its current shape: one, long, fat finger pointing into the Arabian Sea.
Sea & Be Seen Today the sea is banished to Mumbai’s physical outskirts, but it still plays a big part in Mumbaikars’ daily lives. Fish is an important staple; visitors to Mumbai should try out its excellent seafood restaurants and a stroll along Marine Drive is a must. This iconic twomile stretch, which arcs along Back Bay, has played a starring role in many a Bollywood movie. Head to the drive’s northern end to treat yourself to an ice cream from Bachelor’s (flavours include watermelon, roast almond, and green chilli) and while away an afternoon on the promenade. Mumbai may be a teenager but she is no awkward adolescent. She is a dazzling starlet and nowhere, other than buzzing Marine Drive, is this more evident than the trendy northern suburb of Bandra. Spend a day in the area’s fashion boutiques and you’ll bump into at least one Bollywood actor. To the south, Mumbai’s rule as India’s cultural capital is showcased by Kala Ghoda, the city’s art district, which is home to top galleries and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. Formerly known as the Prince of Wales, this is the city’s largest museum, housing over 30,000 historic objects in a beautiful building that blends British, Hindu and Mughal design.
a Rich hiStoRy Flanking Kala Ghoda on either side are some of the best-preserved heritage buildings from the British Raj. To the West lies the Oval Maidan, a half-mile-long green lawn where, any time of day, you find schoolboys, university students and officeworkers playing cricket in
an assortment of starched whites and less formal attire. Behind this sporting scene is the gothic silhouettes of the 19th-century High Court and Mumbai University. Look quickly, and you’d think you were in the grounds of Oxford University, that is until you notice the park’s palm trees. To the southwest of Kala Ghoda looms the Gateway of India, a towering archway built by the British to commemorate King George V’s visit in 1911. It stands monument both to the grandeur of the empire and its inevitable downfall. A trip here serves as a good prelude to Mani Bhavan, the house that Mahatma Gandhi lived in from 1917-34 and used as a base for his civil disobedience campaign. The three-storey structure is a David to the Goliath of the British Empire’s architecture. An awed silence hangs over visitors here as they reflect upon Gandhi’s simple existence. Particularly inspiring is his spinning wheel, which became such a powerful symbol of Indian self-sufficiency in the face of British economic domination that it featured on early versions of India’s flag.
the city at WoRk Today Mumbai’s cotton industry has all but died. Its mills, derelict by the 1980s, have been converted into nightclubs. Yet, perhaps uniquely for one of the world’s most economically important cities, Mumbai is still home to many trades not yet overtaken by modern technology. Arrive at Churchgate Station at lunchtime to marvel at the tiffinwallahs, who hand-deliver over 160,000 box lunches daily. They carry the tiffin baskets, which
can weigh over 90kg, on their head, work barefoot and without the aid of a computer or even a telephone booking system. Yet, amazingly, for every six million tiffins delivered, only one fails to arrive. Businesses around the world have studied these efficiency experts and Forbes magazine awarded them the coveted 6-sigma performance rating. Less renowned but equally interesting are the dhobiwallahs who work by Mahalaxmi railway station. These laundrymen work hard thrashing the city’s clothes clean on flogging stones. Above them rainbows of brightly-coloured uniforms, towels and t-shirts hang drying.
a holy calm Most of Mumbai is in a rush but there are pockets of calm. In the wealthy neighbourhood of Malabar Hill is Banganga holy lake, whose water is said to have been brought from the sacred River Ganges over 1,000 km away, by an arrow shot by Lord Rama’s bow. The tank housing the water was built in the 9th century, making this the city’s oldest holy Hindu site. Continue northwards to the Haji Ali Mosque, a white domed shrine to the Muslim saint Haji Ali, positioned on a pier out to sea, and enjoy another rare place of tranquillity. For a complete break from Mumbai’s urban noise, take a boat 9km northeast of the Gateway of India to Elephanta Island, one of ancient India’s sculptural wonders. In the island’s caves, temples dating back beyond the 8th century have been carved into the basalt rock. Time your return for sunset: while the sun shines its last-light-of-the-afternoon golden smile, watch the Arabian Sea retreat to reveal its low-tide rock pools and fishermen, whose ancestors inhabited Mumbai’s original seven islands, busy at their nets. From this viewpoint, you comprehend just how different is the megacity that Mumbai’s now become.
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See how one dance step can speak volumes. See how many dance forms can move one land.
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Built on a rock just offshore, Tanah Lot is one of the most famous temples in Bali
From misty mountain treks to bewitching temple ceremonies, Bali is a multifaceted enchantress with a lot more to offer than just sand and surf.
or years, Bali has mesmerised and beguiled travellers, who have bestowed upon her names such as “last paradise” and “island of the gods”. It could be the intoxicating scent of frangipanis carried subtly upon the breeze, the inspiring landscape of serene rice terraces juxtaposed against rugged surf, or the enchanting temple ceremonies and dedicated spirituality of the locals. Many have returned home waxing lyrical about her charms, and it’s not just the beach that they are besotted with. While Bali today remains a tourist haven best known for its golden beaches and vibrant nightlife, it is more than just a playground for sun and pleasure seekers. From mountain treks at dawn for nature enthusiasts to temple tours for culture vultures, the Indonesian island will have something to please, whichever your travel personality.
from Kedisan can be extremely steep, so ascend from Toya Bungkah for a breezier way up. Gunung Batur is also where you can see Bali’s biggest crater lake, which was formed about 30,000 years ago after a major eruption. Other nature expeditions include jungle trekking, white water rafting at the Ayung River and cycling trips through rice fields and villages. These can be easily booked at tourist information centres.
FrazzLed urBaNiTe Tourist magnet it may be, but stressed-out urbanites hoping to get away from it all can still find pockets of restful serenity in Bali. The general rule of thumb is to travel away from the developed areas in the south of the island.
NaTure Lover With wild jungles, volcanic mountains, serene lakes and safari parks, Bali certainly has myriad options for nature lovers. For a start, head to Bali Barat National Park, where you can spot animals like deer and wild boar as well as endangered species like the wild banteng and Bali Starling amidst its varied landscape. Trekking and climbing enthusiasts can scale Bali’s mountains, including the active volcanoes Gunung Agung and Gunung Batur. At 3,100 m, Mount Agung is the highest and holiest point in Bali, and all local temples are built to point in its direction. Climbs usually begin at 2am in order for climbers to reach the summit in time to see the gorgeous sunrise, so it is best to hire a local guide as the route can be dark and tricky. Climbing is not permitted when major festivals are held at Pura Besakih, a temple perched on the mountain slopes, so be sure to check ahead. At about 1,500 m, Gunung Batur presents a slightly easier and shorter climb (about two hours). The route up
Candi Dasa is a small fishing village nestled between mountains and the Lombok Strait. While it is one of the most developed areas in East Bali, many of its original day-trippers have moved on towards Amed, leaving plenty of accommodation options and fewer crowds. The calm waters and stretches of black volcanic sand at Lovina Beach in North Bali are also good for getting away from the crowds. Hire a boat to take you out to sea at dawn for a chance to spot wild dolphins. Apart from the quieter beaches, the lush paddies of Ubud also offer respite for the jaded. Put on your walking shoes and head for an invigorating walk through the rice fields and local villages. In a scene seemingly untouched by tourism, weathered rice farmers plough the fields as ducks waddle idly and children fashion ingenious tadpole traps from plastic bottles. Those looking for a wellness getaway will also find options ranging from day spas to yoga retreats. Succumb to a massage at Padma Spa by Mandara in Legian, perfect your asanas at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, or splash out on a stay at COMO Shambhala Estate, which offers Ayurvedic and hydrotherapy therapies along with yoga and Pilates retreats.
a rice farmer works the field in ubud
From calm shallow bays suitable for beginners to fierce currents teeming with manta rays and sharks, Bali’s tropical waters and diverse marine life present countless underwater pleasures for dive enthusiasts. While you can dive all year round in Bali, the best dive conditions are present during the dry season from May to October. This is also the best time to spot creatures like manta rays, sharks and sunfish. The most popular dive sites are in Amed and Tulamben, two small villages in northeastern Bali. The area is where the American World War II USS Liberty shipwreck is situated. Just a minute’s swim from the rocky shore, the wreck is approximately 120 m long and
15 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
De Neefe, who has been teaching Balinese cooking since 1987, runs Casa Luna Cooking School in Ubud, where classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays begin with a morning visit to the local markets. Another notable establishment is Bumbu Bali, which is conducted by Chef Holsen.
is home to schools of tame fishes like sweetlips and unicornfish. Surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, Menjangan Island is a sheltered reserve with several caves teeming with gorgeous sea fans, snappers and moray eels. It is also common to see shoals of tuna and angelfish, along with bigger Manta Point in Nusa Penida creatures like sharks and sea turtles in the waters, especially if you swim out towards the Anker Wreck. Those interested in underwater photography should head to Seraya Secret, a macro dive site teeming with harlequin shrimp, along with other critters like frogfish and pipefish. Experienced divers can also try Manta Point in Nusa Penida, an island located southeast of Bali. While the waters are characterized by temperamental swells, you will be well rewarded with a chance to swim with graceful mantas.
Sun Seeker If what you’re after is a beach vacation filled with days out at sea, nights out at clubs and a golden tan to flaunt at the end of it all, Bali’s famed Kuta strip is the place to go. A 15-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport will bring you into the heart of Bali’s famous beach enclave, where surf shops, restaurants and cheeky peddlers line its streets. Undeniably touristy and therefore extremely convenient and accessible, Kuta sees throngs of tourists ranging from thrifty backpackers to extended families. Look past the frenetic mayhem in the streets and head towards the 5-km stretch of beach where sunbathers and surfers congregate. The beach is ideal for peoplewatching as you work on your tan, but don’t expect to get much summer reading done as the roaming vendors can be very insistent when hawking souvenirs and services like massages and hair braiding.
the active volcano mt Batur and its surrounding lake make for a captivating view
If you’re hankering for some action out at sea, rent a board or sign up for a surfing lesson. A firm favourite is Odysseys Bali Surf School in the Mecure Hotel Kuta Arcade. Certified by the Academy of Surfing Instructors Australia, their instructors are equipped with lifesaving skills so you can be sure you are in good hands. Other established schools include Pro Surf School and Big Kahuna Surf School of Hawaii. Kuta beach is home to one of Bali’s most spectacular sunsets, so stay on after surfing to watch nature paint the sky in fiery hues of red and gold. When night falls, party animals will be right at home in Kuta, where small bars jostle for attention with bigger names like Hard Rock Café (gigs at Hard Rock begin at 11pm and continue until 3am on weekends). Or head a little beyond the main Kuta drag to M Bar Go at Jalan Legian to party with the bold and beautiful amidst hiphop tunes.
Bali’s luwak coffee is an exquisite brew containing flavours not found in other coffees
If pumping beats aren’t your scene, hop on a cab to the upmarket Seminyak area and nurse a cocktail at KU DE TA. Situated right on the beach, the sprawling restaurant-bar is equal parts trendy and chill-out, with excellent music and plenty of lounge seats overlooking the ocean.
Gourmet traveller From no-frills warungs (eateries) to fine dining restaurants, foodies will be spoilt for choice when presented with Bali’s plethora of dining options. While local meals revolve mostly around rice and simple dishes, Balinese ceremonial dishes like babi guling (roasted suckling pig) and bebek betutu (smoked duck) have piqued the interest of travellers and are now readily available on menus. Both locals and tourists flock to Ibu Oka at Ubud for the babi guling, which boasts a crispy crackling and is served with steamed rice, blood sausage and fried innards. Another place to taste the dish is at Gemah Ripah, an unassuming warung in Denpasar that also serves bebek betutu, but have your concierge call up a day in advance to make a pre-order. If you’re staying around Kuta, Ketupat Restaurant is the place to go for a Balinese menu featuring the duck, along with other authentic dishes like plecing pakis (fern tips in chilli-lime sauce) and be sampi (spicy beef casserole). Over the years, award-winning establishments by international chefs have also put Bali on the culinary map. Set up by Swiss chef Heinz von Holsen in 1997 to offer tourists a taste of home-style Balinese cuisine, Bumbu Bali is still the place to go for dishes like sate lilit (minced seafood on lemongrass stalks) and ayam betutu (a chicken variation of bebek betutu). Another restaurant worth a culinary detour is Mozaic, which serves up an innovative menu that marries local produce with chef-owner Chris Salan’s modern Western techniques. For full foodie immersion, why not sign up for one of the many cooking courses available? Author Janet
a traditional home in Bali
Temples are a must-visit on an island where spirituality is deep-seated in the locals and where it is rumoured there are more temples than homes. Major attractions include sea temples Pura Tanah Lot and Pura Uluwatu, both of which sit majestically at the edge of steep cliffs and make for excellent snapshots at sunset. Another noteworthy site is the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, a major water temple set on the serene shores of Lake Bratan near Bedugul. Dress modestly when visiting the temples — this means no miniskirts — or rent a sarong at the entrance. Art and culture are deeply embedded in the Balinese and Ubud is undoubtedly its artistic heart. Peppered with galleries, it is where you can view Spanish artist Antonio Blanco’s bizarre and Salvador Dali-esque paintings at the Blanco Renaissance Museum, learn more about Balinese life through the pieces inspired by nature and culture displayed at the internationally recognised Neka Art Museum, and hone your palette skills with private painting lessons at Pranoto’s Art Gallery. The town is also home to key cultural attractions such as the Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Royal Palace), a beautiful old palace with ornate inner courtyards, magnificent architecture and serene ponds that form a stunning backdrop for Balinese dance performances like the hypnotic legong and dramatic kecak. Get a copy of the performance schedule from the Ubud Tourist Information Centre. A few kilometres from town is the landmark elephant cave at Goa Gajah, an ancient temple with water springs, bathing pools and a cave housing a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh. Not too far from it is Yeh Pulu, a less touristy but no less magnificent complex of ancient rock carvings that is worth a visit. Ubud is also a convenient hub for easy trips to several craft-specific villages such as Mas Villlage, where you can watch masters carve lifelike sculptures out of wood, and Celuk Village, where artisans are trained to craft intricate gold and silver ornaments and accessories.
Visit the Indonesia booth NATAS Fair 2011 from 26 to 28 August at booth 4H33.
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Strangely enough, some people have compared Japan’s Chùbu region to Paradise. It’s a great place and all, but it just isn’t Chùbu.
he Chùbu region in the central part of Japan is like the quiet, unassuming class otaku, never quite attracting the same fanfare as big-league jocks Tokyo, Osaka or Hokkaido. But delve further and you’ll realise that this otaku can be tacitly endearing, affable, and (whisper it softly), steamy.
GettinG there The CHUBU (or central region) of Japan consists of nine prefectures and is best accessed via the city of Nagoya, Centrair Airport. Singapore Airlines operate daily flights to Centrair Airport. Our trip was organised by Follow Me Japan, an affiliate of Prime Travel & Tour that was formed 11 years ago. Follow Me Japan, as the name implies, specialises in organising holiday packages to Japan – the most popular being the Fly & Drive package which we joined.
What to do, Chubu? Our first stop is prawn cracker factory Ebi Senbei, a must-see for all snack lovers. Visitors can help themselves to samples of over 30 different kinds of ebi (prawn), tako (octopus) and ika (squid) crackers. From black squid-ink flavour to good ol’ original, it’s just like keropok, but Japanese! Even in the lowly prawn cracker, Japan’s fascination with perfection and presentation is evident – crackers of the slightest imperfection will be ruthlessly discarded. We spent the night in Gifu prefecture and one of the must-do activities in Gifu is to watch Cormorant Fishing (May to October). A cormorant fishing master typically has 20 birds. Each bird can take up to 3 years to be trained and have a lifespan of around 20 years or so. The birds are kept hungry during the day so that when the sun sets, they’ll be hungry. A string is tied around the neck so that the bird cannot swallow the fish they catch – allowing the fisherman to simply tip the birds over and retrieve the fish. The birds will catch any fish but in practise, only Ayu fish is caught. Bright and early on Day 2, we headed to Gujo Hachiman, an ancient, sleepy castle town. Here, one can drink fresh mountain water from a stream and
pick up souvenirs before having lunch at one of the authentic soba restaurants. For ¥1000, you have only two choices – cold hand-made buckwheat noodles with horseradish or wasabi. Then it was off to the sample food factory, definitely a highlight of the trip. These ubiquitous bowls of artificial food are so uniquely Japan and going behind the scenes to see how they’re made was a real treat. After the sensei showed us how it easily was done, we got to try our hands at shaping the liquid wax into lettuce. Needless to say, our failure was nothing short of spectacular.
From the rugged mountain ranges, we then proceeded down to the UNESCO World Heritage Village of Shirakawago. This picture perfect village is famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. After a long day on one’s feet, enjoy some time in the steamy onsen (hot water bath). Most of the hotels in the area offer a public bath that one can experience a very ‘Japanese’ luxury – soaking in a hot, natural spring bath. Just don’t consume alcohol before and remember to scrub. Whilst we visited the Chùbu region at the height of summer, autumn/winter is also an ideal time to visit. During winter, remember to round off your itinerary with a lovely ski trip. Lynnette Poh a virgin visitor to Nagoya sums it up succinctly; “I’ve never been or wanted to travel outside the major cities – but it was surprisingly very enjoyable – the sights were authentic, the attractions fun and the food was really amazing.”
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Istanbul Invites You
Istanbul’s beauty lies in its ability to embrace its contradictions. Ancient and modern, religious and secular, Asia and Europe, mystical and earthly all co-exist here.
a hole ın one
The availability of large space suitable for golf, and the temperate climate of the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts create a great potential for Golf Tourism in Turkey. Check out some of the more interesting courses available at the Everlasting Capital:
Gloria Golf resort Situated in the pine forests at the foot of the Toros Mountain, this course was designed by French golf architect Michel Gayon. It is considered a Gayon classic with deep bunkers, green areas and seven ponds.
nobilis Golf otel Designed by internationally renowned architect Dave Thomas, this course is next to a natural pine forest around Belek Acisu River, and has been operating since 1998. It covers an area of 729,000m2 with 18 holes.
stanbul, once known as the capital of capital cities, has many unique features. It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the only one to have been a capital during two consecutive empires Christian and Islamic. Its variety is one of Istanbul’s greatest attractions: The ancient mosques, palaces, museums and bazaars reflect its diverse history. The thriving shopping area of Taksim buzzes with life and entertainment. And the serene beauty of the Bosphorus, Princes Islands and parks bring a touch of peace to the otherwise chaotic metropolis.
Topkapı palace One of the most astounding and popular places to visit in Istanbul is Topkapi Palace, the symbolic and political centre of the Ottoman Empire in between the 15th and 19th centuries. It stands on the tip of land where the Golden Horn, the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus come together, and is a maze of buildings centered around a series of courtyards, typical of Islamic tradition. Such is the complexity of each building, it will take many hours in order to be explored properly. Opening hours: Daily 09.00 – 17.00, winter closed Tuesday.
Dolmabahce palace Built in the reign of Sultan I Abdulmecit during the 19th century, this over-ornate palace lies along the European coast of the Bosphorus. Dolmabahce Palace was constructed in between 1843 and 1856, mixing different European artistic influences and built by Abdulmecit’s architect, Karabet Balya. It was built over three levels, and symmetrically planned, with 285 chambers and 43 halls. Opening hours: Daily 09.00 – 16.00, except Monday and Thursday. Telephone number to book guided tours: (0212) 23 69 600.
ÇıraGan palace The huge palace was constructed by architect Serkis Balyan in 1871, as appointed by Sultan Abdul Aziz, from the ruins of the old palace. It briefly housed the
Turkish Parliament from 1908, but was destroyed by a fire two years later, and was only rebuilt in 1991. Now, it is Istanbul’s premier luxury hotel, and has retained something of its former glory.
beylerbeyı palace Beylerbeyi, in which the Asian Tower of Bosphorus Bridge was constructed, is a beautiful district allotted for palaces since the Byzantium era. Sultan Abdulaziz built the Palace, to replace the older, wooden palace, between 1861 and 1865. Eastern and Turkish motifs are used with Western design elements, on the sides and for internal decoration, and the atmosphere is something resembling that of Dolmabahce Palace. Open daily except Monday and Thursday.
yılDız palace This vast park consists of mansions, gardens and lakes, the whole area surrounded by high walls, and all set in a superb hillside location. Popular at weekends and holidays with locals, it offers one of the few green areas within the city centre, and is a great place for walking, relaxing and eating. Park: Open daily 09.00 – 17.30 Sale Kosku: Open daily 09.30 – 17.00, except Monday and Thursday. Museum: Open daily 09.00 – 16.30, except Monday.
klassis Golf and country The course was designed by one of the world’s best golf players, Tony Jacklin, and has hosted the European Challenge Tour in 1997 and 1998, and the BEKO Seniors PGA Tour in 1999.
kemer Golf country club Catering not only to golfers, Kemer Golf Country Club is suitable for every member of the family. It has everything under the sun with a wide range of sports, entertainment, relaxation and dining facilities. A few of such conveniences include a cinema, open & indoor swimming pool, stables, mountain bike and recreation club, playground, casino and a gymnasium.
national Golf club The National Golf Club Antalya was opened in late 1994 and designed by Ryder Cup player David Feherty and Seniors Tour player David Jones. It was the first golf course in Turkey to be developed with the guidance of the European PGA and has been designed in accordance with their standards.
Tat Golf This course is built on an area of 13 acres by Hawtree of England, a Golf Course Architect. It has 18 holes, 9 hole academic course, a training field, bars, open-air swimming pool, maintenance facilities and even international telephone and satellite. Not enough golfing? There are still plenty of courses to play from. Come now and experience what it’s like to be a Champion at the PGA Tour. It’s all here at Extreme Turkey. Visit our website at www.goturkey.com for more info today!
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A White Dream Above The Clouds…
With its high mountains with constant snow cover during the winter months, its ski resorts and recent investments, Turkey is now a top candidate to become an important world centre of winter tourism.
hile Turkey’s sea, sand and sun give it a global reputation as a prime destination for summer tourism, its potential as a centre of winter tourism is also huge. Almost 60 percent of the country is covered with glorious mountains featuring spectacular vistas. Turkey boasts over a hundred peaks above 3000 m. The average altitude in Turkey is 1131 m, and in Eastern Anatolia that average reaches 1600 m. Turkey’s mountain regions, as a part of the AlpineHimalayan Mountain System, are extraordinarily diverse in their geologic features, with the mountain ranges of Northern Anatolia running parallel to the Black Sea and the Taurus Mountains running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea. The mountains with snow cover for four to six months receive snow fall during the whole winter season, and are home to comfortable accommodation facilities that offer a rich cuisine and lively entertainment to cater to your holiday and sporting needs. Pistes set amidst nature and having varying degrees of difficulty are ideal for alpine skiing cross-country skiing, snowboard and ski touring enthusiasts.
Ski CentreS in turkey BurSa, uludag Uludag, situated 36 km south of Bursa, is one of the highest mountains of Western Anatolia with a peak of 2543 m. The skiing area is at an altitude between 1750 and 2341 m. Uludag is a favourite of skiing enthusiasts on the merits of its fine pistes, ease of transportation, comfortable facilities and unique scenery. Uludag was declared a National Park in 1961 in recognition of its rich flora and fauna. www.bursaturizm.gov.tr
kaySeri, erCiyeS Mount Erciyes (3916 m) is the highest peak of Central Anatolia, rising from the plains 25 km south of Kayseri city. It is an extinct volcano and its peak is permanently covered with snow. The Winter Sports Centre is situated at Tekir Plateau on the northern slopes of the mountain, between 2100 and 2900 m above sea level. Besides
2011 Winter univerSiade being a ski centre, Erciyes is also one of the most important centres for mountaineering. www.kayserikulturturizm.gov.tr
erzurum, Palandoken Erzurum is located on the lower slopes of Mount Palandoken, and the Palandoken Winter Sports Centre above has one of the longest and steepest skiing pistes in the world. The centre hosted the 25th Winter Universiade in 2011. Around Erzurum there are many mountains, hill, high pastures and valleys that are suitable for nature trail walking, trekking and mountaineering. www.erzurumkulturturizm.gov.tr
The XXV Winter World University Games, took place in Erzurum, between 27 January to 6 February at Erzurum in Turkey. Erzurum is the city at the highest altitude in Turkey, at 1,850 m (6,070 ft), and has over 320 cultural landmarks. With 58 nations competing, it represented the largest amount of nations ever to compete, an increase of eight from the previous high at the 2005 games in Innsbruck. A total of 1,880 athletes and 849 officials participated in the Universiade. For more information, contact the website of the Turkish Ski Federation at www.kayak.org.tr
antalya, Saklikent The Taurus Mountains, which rise majestically just west of Antalya, get a white coat with the arrival of December. The Saklikent Winter Sports Centre perched atop a summit of the Taurus Mountains provides an experience unique in the Mediterranean and rare in the world; a top class facility for winter and outdoor sports in close proximity to both the urban centre and the coastline. www.antalyakulturturizm.gov.tr
M-W-2 Mezzanine Floor, West Wing, Rohas Perkasa No 9, Jalan P. Ramlee, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603 2164 4060 Fax: +603 2164 2030 Email: email@example.com Website: www.goturkey.com
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23 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 12-14 AUGUST 2011
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24 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
Discover the bewitching Kang Qing Long district within the city-slick Taipei and get a sense of what a real Taiwan is
ang Qing Long district has become one of the most cultural and educational areas in Taipei City after the Taiwan Restoration. From quaint coffee houses to independent bookstores, it offers both locals and tourists a cultural and academic atmosphere that one can hardly find elsewhere.
Formosa Vintage museum Surrounded by old-style billboards, banners and iron window frames, Formosa Vintage Museum is an atmospheric little shop along Xinyi Road, in which cultural and historical relics can be found. From Gaoshan people’s carvings and swords, advertising posters of the Japanese colonial period, to Tatung doll and pinball, it all reflects on the multiple faces of Taiwan’s history and culture. Founded by a doctor called Lin Yu-fang, he established Formosa Vintage Museum to commemorate his parents’ love for Taiwan, and to display his collection of ancient books and relics. It is an ideal place for history and antique lovers to spend an afternoon immersed in the trend of nostalgia.
Hui Liu Located next to Yongkang Park, Hui Liu is a teahouse that integrates modern and classic features without fancy décor. The name of this teahouse is translated to “return to nature and self reservation”, which aptly fits the ambience that portrays peace and tranquility. Basking in melodious music, one can enjoy exquisite and delicious dishes or simply sip a cup of traditional tea. Operated by Hu Hsiao-chen and her American husband, Evan Shaw, the couple insist on using vegetables and fruits in season that are grown using natural farming methods for their vegetarian menu, to pursue “not merely the health of the body but also the health of the entire nature”.
Formosa Vintage museum
Ye tang Cut off from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the quiet atmosphere of Ye Tang, a tea culture studio that serves quality tea and showcases tea sets, cultural relics, paintings and calligraphy. Opened by He Jian, this amicable owner often shares his tea knowledge with customers and never misses out a good opportunity to share his warmth and sincerity through stories and a cup of good tea.
Chang Yi Fang
CHang Yi Fang As the nation’s first classical puppet store, Chang Yi Fang is the preservation of Taiwan’s puppet show culture and has become the voice of traditional folk art. Established by Chen Yi-shi and his wife, they dedicate their time and effort into the production, development and restoration of traditional Taiwanese puppets for years. Other than puppets and figurines, this shop also carries a dazzling collection of creative handmade bags, bags, pencil cases and purses. Also catch fascinating puppet shows that have been carried down from generations.
WHite Wabbit reCords Famous among Taiwanese fans of independent music, White Wabbit Records imports non-mainstream music from all over the world, and at the same time releasing outstanding works of Taiwan’s independent bands. Located just next to National Taiwan Normal University, it is a convenient spot for music lovers to pop by. Customers are free to listen to most of the albums before purchasing, and interactions and discussions of music are common in this shop.
White Wabbit records
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Unique from other shops on the street, SIENNA is a small style shop that sells exclusive handmade leather products from purse, wallet, handmade suitcase to accessories. Hidden on lane 68 of Shida Road, this quaint little shop is furnished with creative planting, exquisite wood décor and bright light. Customers can request for customised leather products or even engrave their names on it.
CoFFee mania An interesting coffee shop with an attitude in a small alley on Shida Road, Coffee Mania serves coffee made personally by the owner himself, so as to deliver originality and supreme quality to customers. Opens at irregular hours, it is advisable to make an appointment before heading down. From making a cappuccino to designing the shop’s interior, the owner insists on having a personal touch to provide the best of warmth and hospitality to his customers.
saLt Peanuts Salt Peanuts is an inspiring coffee house that seems to emit creativity from every corner. Stylishly designed with British rock music as its background, this coffee house is popular among the young and old. Established by two girls who graduated from National Taiwan University, they continue their passion of design, music and art in this business. A designated area named “Salt Peanuts Factory” hosts artistic exhibitions such as oil painting, photography and fashion design. Enjoy a cup of coffee and bathe in the artistic and intellectual space where coffee, human and life interweave.
Jiu Xiang Ju books Better known as an antique bookstore, Jiu Xiang Ju Books (JXJ Books) carries a variety of books from Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and China. This second-
hand bookstore attracts bibliophiles from all walks of life including students, professors and even publishers. JXJ Books holds various seminars and regular exhibitions covering a wide range of subjects, benefitting academics, thinkers and those who enjoy an intellectual exchange. This bookstore strives to become a centurial second-hand bookstore that serves as a literary sanctuary for all book lovers.
oLdie goodie For those who fancy western classic songs, Oldie Goodie is a place not to be missed. This music bar is located on the second floor of an office building on Shida Road. A warm and bustling bar filled with music enthusiasts and occasional live performances, this place is perfect for an evening of reminiscence and nostalgia. oldie goodie
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Cool Stylings With Winter Time The correct type of cold weather wear is essential if you plan on going on that long awaited winter vacation. Winter Time helps you out with these golden tips on how to stay warm.
Keep your head warm Your head is never the first place to get cold. Many people neglect covering their heads for this reason. However, your head is the part of your body that loses the most heat. Your head, being the most important part of your body, is prioritised over the rest of it. Heat is sent to your head before your arms or legs so it is protected from the winter elements at all times. Therefore, if your hands or feet are getting cold, putting on a hat might help. More heat will be available to be distributed to your limbs if less heat is being loss off the top of your head.
Layer, Layer, Layer Don’t be afraid to pile on the layers. Layers help you to keep warm in many ways. Apart from providing more material between you and the harsh elements, they also allow heat to be trapped in between. Another advantage of layering is having the choice of removing or adding a layer or two according to changes in temperature and other weather conditions.
Favour naturaL materIaLs Coats and jackets made from natural materials like down and wool work best in the cold. They tend to breathe better as well, so if you work up a sweat, your perspiration will be evaporated faster and easier. Furthermore, synthetic materials put on some won’t be able to keep you warm when Long johns they get wet; wool on the other hand retains this ability, wet or dry. Long johns are a must if you want to keep warm. Long johns provide an extra layer of protection against the cold and are especially important if all you have to cover your legs are denim jeans. Different kinds of long johns made with different material are available, and are rated to suit different temperatures.
Keep dry When you get wet, you get cold! Watch out for weather reports and bring a raincoat or a waterproof jacket if the forecast is for a rainy day. Sweat will make you cold as well, so start stripping off the layers if you feel too warm.
Invest In good boots
Protecting your feet is vital as they are the parts or your body in contact with the cold ground. A good pair of walking boots with well-insulated soles is paramount to surviving winter. The boots should also be comfortable and provide enough grip so chances of losing your balance on the slippery ground will be minimised.
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31 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
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APPLE VACATIONS SINGAPORE (AVS) Travelling to Japan Seasonal Japan has always been everyone’s dream destination. After all this while, don’t you find yourself yearning to immerse in Japan’s exceptional scenery, culture and cuisine? Honshu Tour
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pple Vacations was founded in 1996 by Dato Desmond Lee-San JP and his partner Managing Director Mr.Koh Yock Heng(Koh-San). It first started as an inbound, outbound, ticketing and MICE travel agency, and later on developed into a prominent icon as “Japan Tour Expert”. Once Japan tours are mentioned, one would think of Apple Vacations ~ The No.1 Japan Tour Operator. After conducting numerous market surveys and internal studies, our management had decided to extend our travel services from Malaysia to Singapore. The newly established Apple Vacations Singapore PTE.LTD (AVS) has officially kicked off it’s operation on July 2011. Apple Vacations Singapore (AVS) is positioned to be one of the major travel service providers and Japan Travel specialists for Singapore market. With vast experiences, AVS will continue to provide “In-depth” or “tailor made” itineraries for our customers. And the Japan package tours namely “One-stop Travel Concept” is a new concept, which commited to provide Singapore travellers a new experience in tour packages to Japan. Despite of being the professional of Japan Tour, AVS also intends to provide creative itineraries that offer enjoyable experience in greater value around the world . And let’s not forget to mention that we’ve also established a branch in Jakarta 2 years ago, which is to serve and to share our experience of Japan tour with the locals.
tour operator, handling over 12,000 Malaysian travellers to the country annually. Some customers have booked Apple’s Hokkaido summer tours for five years in a row as their annual holiday. “I had learned alot from my Japanese friends during my time in Japan. The co-operation of the Japanese left a deep impression on me. I have worked with many Japanese and this is one aspect of their culture that I believe is the basis for their success” explains Dato Desmond Lee-San JP. “The Japanese also like to engage you to share with them. For example, when you enter a supermarket, they’d ask you to sample their food before you buy. These impressions gave me ideas.” To Dato Desmond Lee, travelling is an experience he is sharing. We cannot just sell a package to a customer. It makes a difference if you get them to participate and experience the local life. “I personally leads the sakura tours every April to places where we can best enjoy the splendour of this beautiful season. And we do as the locals do; we buy lunch boxes and enjoy them under the cherry trees!” “We love to place our customers at ryokans, small family-owned Japanese inns, so that they can really experience local life. For our winter trips to Hokkaido, you can go skiing and experience the snow on the slopes, or soak in an onsen, a natural hot spring.” Japan is like Dato Desmond Lee’s second home. “I have learned many things about life from my experience there. I have faith in the resilience of the Japanese.”
Gassho Village, Central Alps
APPLE VACATION’S JAPAN SEASONAL TOUR PACKAGES INCLUDES: • Spring sakura cherry blossom festival • Summer Hokkaido Lavender Temptation • Autumn blaze maple tree • Winter Romance ~ Hokkaido Winter Ski Fun + Ice Breaker Cruise
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33 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
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Touch Taiwan (TW8TOU)
Amazing Korea (KOR6)
Everland, Lotte World, Mt. Sorak, DIY Kimchi Making & Hanbok Experience, Shopping at Dongdaemun & Myeongdong, Sinchon Ladies Street, DIY Cheese Making, Danyang Aqua World Dep: Sep 3,7,12,16,19,24,27 / Oct 1,4,7,11,16,21,25,29 From $988
Exclusive Korea + Jeju (KOR8)
Everland, Lotte World, Mt. Sorak, DIY Kimchi Making & Hanbok Experience, Shopping at Dongdaemun & Myeongdong, Sinchon Ladies Street, DIY Cheese Making, Teddy Bear Museum, Jeongbang Waterfall, Jeju Folk Village, Exciting ATV Ride, NANTA Show, DIY Ice Carving Dep: Sep 2,3,4,7,11,17,23,27 / Oct 1,5,9,15,16,21,22,25,28,30 From $1,388
Korea Skiing Experience (KOR6W)
Everland, Lotte World, DIY Kimchi Making & Hanbok Experience, Shopping at Dongdaemun, Fruits Picking, Full day Ski + Gondola Ride, Four Season SPA Dep: Nov 23,25,26,27,28,30 / Dec 1,4,5,9,12,13,14,20,25,28,30 / Jan 4,7,9,13,15,18,21,23,24,27,29 From $1,218
Korea Skiing + Jeju (KOR8W)
Everland, Lotte World, DIY Kimchi Making & Hanbok Experience, Shopping at Myeongdong, Fruits Picking, Full day Ski + Gondola Ride, Four Season SPA, Buckchon Hanok Village, Teddy Bear Museum, Seungsan Sunrise Peak, Exciting ATV Ride, NANTA Show Dep: Nov 23,25,26,27,28,30 / Dec 1,4,5,9,12,13,14,19,21,24,28,31 / Jan 4,7,9,13,15,18,21,23,24,27,29 From $1,648
Ice Breaking Cruise + Ice Village & Festival!
Hokkaido Ice Wonders (JPH75I)
Ice Breaking Cruise, Tomamu Ice Village, Crane National Park, Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, Mt. Io, Kita Fox Farm, Otaru Canal, Sapporo Station, Ginga & Ryusei Falls, Akan Ainu Village, Ishiya Chocolate Factory Dep: Jan 20,21 From $2,188
Hokkaido Autumn Special (JPH75A)
Sapporo Station, Otaru Canal, Mt. Showa, Bear Ranch, Shiraoi Ainu Village, Edo Wonderland, Hell Valley, Mt. Hakodate & Cable Car, Seaweed Museum, Kiroro Floral Farm Dep: Sep 10,11,14,16,17,18,21,23,24,25,28 ,30 / Oct 1,2,5,7,8,9,12,14,15,16,19,21,22, 23,26,28,29,30 / Nov 2,4,5,6,9,11,12,13,16 ,18,19,20,23,25,26,27 From $1,598
Hokkaido Winter Fun (JPH75K/ N/W/85/86/87)
Sapporo Station, Nijio Morning Market, Mt. Tengu + Cable Car, Otaru Canal, Snow Tubing & Ski at Rusutsu Resort, Mt. Showa, Bear Ranch, Edo Wonderland, Hell Valley, Shiraoi Ainu Village, Ishiya Chocolate Factory, Factory Outlet Mall, Choice of Tour at Tokyo Akihabara OR Tokyo Disney Resort
Dep: Dec 2,3,4,59,10,11,12,14,15,1 6,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25 / Jan 7,8,13,14,15,27,28,29 / Feb 3,4,5,10,11,12, 17,18,19,24,25,26 / Mar 2,3,4,9,10,11,16,1 7,18,23,24,25,30,31 From $2,088
Honshu – The Golden Route (JPG75)
Kiyomizu Temple, Nara Deer Park, Todaiji Temple, Oshino Hakkai Village, Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Owakudani Boiling Valley, Gotemba Premium Outlet, Hello Kitty Puroland, Tokyo Disneyland/Sea, Choice of Kobe City Tour OR Universal Studios Japan Dep: Sep 13,15,17,20,22,24,27,29 / Oct 4,6,8,11,13,15,18,20,22,25,27,29 / Nov 1,3,5,8,12,15,17,19,22,24,26,29 / Dec 1,3,8 ,10,11,15,16,17,18,20,21,22,24,25 From $1,588
Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Disney Resort & Hello Kitty Puroland (JPT64)
Hello Kitty Puroland, Tokyo Disneyland/ Sea, Asakusa Temple, Ameyoko, Experience Bullet Train Ride, Oshino Hakkai Village, Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Owakudani Boiling Valley, Tokyo Metropolitan Observatory, Lake Kawaguchi, Gotemba Premium Outlet Dep: Sep 13,15,20,22,27,29 / Oct 4,6,11,13,18,20,25,27 / Nov 1,3,8,10,15,17,22,24,29 / Dec 6,9,13,16 From $1,238
Eat, Play & Tour with MediaCorp Artiste!
i-Weekly Rejuvenate @ Taiwan (TW6MCR)
Taipei 101, Hsuehshan Tunnel, Yilan, Lanyang Museum, Jiaosi, Sankeng Tofu Street, Feng Jia Night Market, A-Liang Mushroom Farm, Sun Moon Lake, Experience High-speed Train Ride, Ximenting, Jin Mountain, Shihlin Night MarketLocal Delicacies: Xiao Long Bao, Mushroom Hotpot, Exquisite Fruits Feast, Jiaosi Nutrition Meal Dep: Oct 23 From $988
Enchanting Taiwan (TW7ENC/TW7EEE)
Taroko Gorge, Chi Shing Lake, Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village, Feng Jia Night Market, Wufenpu, Train Ride to Hualien, Chihpen Hotspring, Wulai, Dream Mall Dep: Sep 1,2,5,9,12,16,19,26,30 / Oct 3,7,10,14,17,21,24,28,31 / Maximise the Nov 3,4,7,10,11,14,17,18,2 time spent in 1,24,25,26,28 / Dec 2,3,5,7, Taiwan with China Airlines’ 8,9,10,12,15,16,17,19,22,2 Extra Flights! 3,24,26,30 From $1,099
Taiwan Unbeatable Fun (TW7UBF) Stay in
5-Stars Hotel Yangmingshan, Northeast throughout! Coast Scenic Area, Chiufen, Yilan Shangrila Farm, Train Ride to Hualien, Kenting, Mei Nung Hakka Village, Cruise along Sun Moon Lake, Leohe Night Market, Taipei 101 Dep: Sep 6,13,20,27 / Oct 4,11,18,25 / Nov 1,7,8,14,15,19,22,27,29 / Dec 3,4,6,10,11,1 3,17,18,20,24,25,27 From $1,198
Unwind @ Taiwan (TW7WIN)
Ximenting, E-da Theme Park, Anping Old
E-da Theme Park, Lugang Tien
Hou Temple, Jin Yon DIY Leisure Farm, Master Bear Resort, King Car Orchard Garden, Jin Yong Quan Spa & Hotspring, Ximenting, Chiufen Dep: Sep 6,20,27 / Oct 4,11,18 / Nov 1,4,8,9,15,21,22,23,29,30 / Dec 6,13,14,20,21,27 From $1,188
Charming Jiangnan (CNPVG5/7)
Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing Dep: Daily Departure From $498
Beijing / Tianjin / Chengde (CNPEK5/7)
Blurb: Stay in 5-Stars Hotel throughout! Dep: Daily Departure From $598
Guangdong Prosperous Gourmet Tour (CNCAN6)
Shenzhen, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Shunde, Zhaoqing, Panyu, Guangzhou Dep: Daily Departure From $598
Guangxi Cultural Tour (CNNNG8)
1N stay at 5-Star Merry Land Resort, Impression Liu San Jie Show, Longsheng Terraced Fields Dep: Oct 19,22,26,29 / Nov 2,5,9,12,16,19,23,26,30 / Dec 3,7,10,14,17,21,24,28 From $498
“Eastern Hawaii” Hainan / Xinglong / Sanya Tour (CNHAK5) Red Lady Army Sculpture, Xing Long Tropical Botanical Garden, Miao Cultural Village, Yalong Bay & Beach Dep: Daily Departure From $398
Beautiful Cambodia (CM5)
Angkor Wat, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Tonle Sap Lake, Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda Dep: Nov 25, Dec 9, 16 From $788
Macau / Zhuhai / Zhongshan (MZ4D)
Dep: Daily Departure From $188 (Land Only)
Hong Kong Value Pack (HKG)
Dep: Daily Departure From $399
Hong Kong / Macau (HMH)
Dep: Daily Departure From $558
Hong Kong / Shenzhen / Macau (HSMH)
Dep: Daily Departure From $598
Hong Kong Funtasia (NH203)
Hong Kong Disneyland , Ocean Park, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Seafood Lunch at Lamma Island Dep: Sep 1,2,9,16,23,30 / Oct 7,14,21,28 / Nov 4,11,18,25 / Dec 2,9,16,23,30 From $1,099
Magnificent Melbourne Discovery (6MMD)
1N stay Philip Island, Penguin Parade, Underground Mine, Eureka Tower, Captain Cook Cottage, Queen Victoria Market Dep: Nov 25 / Dec 7 / Jan 20 From $1,448
Sydney Scenic Explorer (6SSE)
1N stay at Blue Mountain, Jenolan Caves, Captain Cook Cruise, Sydney Fish Market + Oz Trek, Flyway Cable Car Dep: Dec 8,14 / Jan 21 From $1,468
Great Fun @ Gold Coast (6GFG)
SOUTHEAST ASIA + HONG KONG / MACAU
1N stay at Tangalooma, 4WD Desert Safari, Sand Tobogganing, Wild Dolphin Feeding, Dreamworld, Catch-a-Crab Cruise Dep: Nov 18,23 / Dec 2,8,15 From $1,718
Dep: Nov 23,30 / Dec 7,21,28 From $678
Chiangmai / Chiangrai + Long Neck Women (NH88A/B)
Bangkok / Pattaya (NH77)
Dep: Nov 20,27 / Dec 7,14,21,26,28 From $528
Bangkok / Hua Hin (NH33A)
Dep: Nov 23,30 / Dec 2,9,16,22,24 From $528
Bali Quicksilver Cruise (NH62B)
Dep: Daily Departure From $568
Perth Pinnacles / Mandurah & Farmstay (5PPF/5PMF)
Swan Bells Tower, Fremantle Perth, Swan Valley, Lancelin 4WD Sand Dunes & Sand Boarding, Pinnacles Dessert, Bindoon Windmill Farm, Fremantle Market, Bouvard Cruise Dep: Nov 19 / Dec 15 From $1,358
Grand Bazaar, Underground City of Kaymakli, Cotton Castle, Blue Mosque, Troy, Topkapi Palace, Ephesus, Goreme Open Air Museum Dep: Nov 18, 25 / Dec 2, 9, 16, 23 From $1,788
Mystery of Egypt (CAI10)
Khan El Kahlili Bazaar, Pyramid of Giza, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, Great Temple
of Ramses II, Kom Ombo Temple, Temple of Horus, Luxor Old Market, Temple of Horus Dep: Nov 19 / Dec 10,17 From $2,788
Beautiful of Nepal (NEP7NB)
Kathmandu / Pokhara / Nagarkot Monkey Temple, Patan Durbar Square, Carpet Factory, Fewa Lake, Davis Fall, Chobhar Gorge Dep: Dec 07 From $1,488
Nepal Explorer (NEP8NE) Kathmandu / Chitwan / Pokhara / Nagarkot Monkey Temple, Patan Durbar Square, Carpet Factory, Fewa Lake, Davis Fall, Chobhar Gorge, Jungle Activities @ Chitwan National Park, Gupteshwor Cave Dep: Dec 4, 11, 13, 18 From $1,588
Nepal & Bhutan Delight (NEPBHU)
Kathmandu / Nagarkot / Paro / Punakha / Thimphu Monkey Temple, Carpet Factory, Boudhanath Stupa, Ruins of Drugyel Dzong, Himalayas, Dzong See 2 CultureChu, Handicrafts Emporium, rich Countries at 1 Go! Memorial Chorten Dep: Dec 4, 11, 13, 18 From $2,988
South Africa Special (SAF1)
Table Mountain, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Peninsula, Seal Island, Stellenbosch, Spier Wine Estate, Mineral World Dep: Dec 1 From $3,888
India Golden Triangle + Kashmir (IN8GT)
Delhi / Srinagar / Gulmarg / Agra / Jaipur Mughal Gardens, Dal Lake, Taj Mahal, Amber Fort, Silk Carpet Factory, Hawa Mahal, Jamma Mosque Dep: Oct 14 / Nov 11 2N Unique (From $1,418) Houseboat Stay! Dep: Nov 18 / Dec 16, 23 / Jan 23 (From $1,398) à Fun Snow Ski
2nd Adult Stays FREE Bintan Island, Bali, Cherating Beach, Kani (Maldives) & Phuket Travel Period: 01 Nov 2011 to 31 Mar 2012 Minimum 4N Stay / Maximum 7N Stay
34 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
AOMORI NEBUTA FESTIVAL
BANGKOK INT’L FESTIVAL OF DANCE & MUSIC
nd to 7th
Aomori: One of the three major festivals in Tohoku region, Japan, Aomori Nebuta Festival is held mainly in Aomori prefecture and attracts millions of visitors each year. See nebuta floats clad with colourful lanterns and historical figures painted on paper, all carried by its accompanying dancers and children.
th to 16th
th to 18th
Bangkok: Performers from the UK, Brazil, Netherlands, Taiwan and many more will be gathering at the Thailand Cultural Centre for an array of spectacular performances during the Bangkok International Festival of Dance & Music. Expect contemporary ballet performances, gymnastic dances, operas and symphony concerts.
Sarawak: Bringing the world’s best and brightest boats to the waters of Kuching Waterfront on the Sarawak River, Sarawak Regatta is a world-class premier water-sport event with distinct historical and cultural significance. The programme includes traditional longboat and dragon boat races, as well as trade & food fair, cultural show and Malaysian craft exhibition.
images ACT3 International; JNTO; International Cultural Promotions Ltd
35 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
B o o th N o .
Your Special Memories with Neway ...
TAIWAN 8 D SEOUL
7 /8 D FR
Deluxe Accommodation 5* Evergreen Resort Hotel 5* Luminous Resort Hotel **Enjoy hot spring facilities in room 5* Chateau de Chine 5* Fullon Hotel 5* Eda Crowne Plaza 5* Shinkansen 5* Eda Skylard
5* Chateau de Chine 5* Fullon Hotel 5* Orchard Park 5* Golden Hotel Taipei Korea Deluxe Class Hotel 5* Evergreen Resort Hotel
Special Highlights includes all expensive entrance fees Eda World Theme Park Sun Moon Lake Scenic Cruise Hotspring, Muzha Zoo ”Ba Jia Zi” Cuisine Sun Moon Lake Five Cent Driftwood Restaurant Sun Moon Lake “Shao Zu” Cuisine Special Theme Cuisines Hai Ba Wang, Chinese Cuisine Hualien “Ahmei” Aboriginal Delights ** Special arrangement for local supper delights in hotel
3D Bangkok F&E*~
5D Hainan Sanya Tour*~
3D Ho Chi Minh F&E*~
6D Cambodia Deluxe*
Leofu Village Theme Park “TANG SPARTY” Hot Spring Theme Park Miniature Museum of Taiwan Ta Shee Blooming Oasis Hai Ba Wang, Taiwanese Buffet Mushroom Steamboat, Bibimbap Korean BBQ Pork, Ginseng Chicken Five Cent Driftwood Restaurant ** Special arrangement for local supper delights in hotel
3D Hong Kong F&E + 1N Free*~
7D Korea Fun Snow Ski*
旅遊 HOTLINE:6438 7478
1 Park Road, People’s Park Complex #02-29
11 0 8
* Terms & Conditions Apply ~ Land Tour Ondy
36 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
POWERCO TARANAKI GARDEN SPECTACULAR
MILDURA JAZZ FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
NEW YORK’S VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARADE
India: Diwali, otherwise known as Festival of Lights, is an important Hindu festival celebrated throughout India. See the lighting of small clay lamps in millions of households, rangoli decoration made from colourful powder, celebrants wearing bright and multicoloured new clothes and savour sweet dishes like badam phirni and lip-smacking gulab jamun.
Taranaki: Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular, New Zealand’s premier spring festival, welcomes the advent spring with a spectacular range of garden displays and events. It includes the International Landscape Design Project, Music & Wine in Gardens, as well as garden tours where one will get to see colourful flower blossoms and artistic garden designs.
Mildura: Taking place during Australia’s spring time, the Mildura Jazz Food & Wine Festival brings together round the clock jazz entertainment in popular clubs, bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as street sides and riverside venues. This festival has attracted many tourists and locals to Mildura for its showcase of regional gourmet food and locally produced wine.
New York: There is no better way to spend Halloween than in New York City. Get dressed in a costume and join hundreds in the parade, which consists of bands, dancers, artists and other New Yorkers for a wild party on the street. Also check out local bars and their swanky clubs for an experience of New York’s nightlife.
th to 6th Nov
st to 31st
BEIJING MARATHON 2011 Beijing: One of the top marathons in the world, Beijing Marathon 2011 is held during the serene, dry and cool season in fall, and the running route starts from Tian’anmen Square to the Celebration Square of the Central Zone of Beijing Olympic Park. Take in the beautiful scenery of Beijing along with other 30,000 marathon runners. www.beijing-marathon.com
images sxc.hu; Perry DeCoveny; sxc.hu; Mildura Jazz Food & Wine Festival
37 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
38 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
th to 13th
NEW YORK CHOCOLATE SHOW New York: Chocolate lovers are in for a treat this month as New York holds the 14th Annual New York Chocolate Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion, bringing together more than 65 chocolate companies and an array of chocolate-inspired products. www.chocolateshow.com
MACAU GRAND PRIX
ANGKOR PHOTO FESTIVAL
Japan: Literally meaning seven-fivethree in Japanese, Shichi-Go-San is a traditional rite of passage for children all over Japan. Many of these children – three and seven year old girls; three and five year old boys – would experience their first visit to shrines, accompanied by their parents to offer gratitude for their healthy growth.
Macau: One of the most exciting motorracing events in the world, Macau Grand Prix is a competition of international drivers and riders in different categories from single-seaters, touring cars to motorbikes. Root for Spanish sensation Roberto Merhi or catch a glimpse of other international racers during this spectacular racing event.
Siem Reap: Set in the beautiful Siem Reap, Cambodia, Angkor Photo Festival will showcase the works of ermerging photographers in the region. As the first photo festival created in Southeast Asia, it is a great opportunity for talented photographers to displays their photos taken from around the world.
HONG KONG CRICKET FESTIVAL 2011
th to 20th
th to 26th
th to 27th
Hong Kong: Head down to Hong Kong, also known as Pearl of the Orient, for the Hong Kong Cricket Festival 2011. This event draws cricketers from UK, Australia, Shanghai, and Thailand to compete against the Hong Kong club sides. Don’t miss out the chance to be part of the game as a player, team, spectator or even official! www.hkcricketfestival.com
images sxc.hu; Jessica Hilltout; JNTO; Macau Grand Prix; Hong Kong Cricket Festival
39 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
40 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
ANGKOR WAT INT’L HALF MARATHON
CHRISTMAS BEER FESTIVAL
THE FALLS MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL
Siem Reap: Run for a good cause at the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon as the marathon entrance fee goes towards helping Cambodian land-mine victims. The route begins at Angkor Wat, encircling historical temples, the main area of Angkor ruins, and ends at the point where it started.
Singapore: Attend ZoukOut, Singapore’s biggest beach party of the year at Siloso Beach, Sentosa. This 10th anniversary celebration will see some of the favourite artists performing on stage like Dutch trance music king Tiesto and French house & electro music jock David Guatte. Catch an elaborated fireworks display from the three islets off Siloso Beach and party the night away.
Belgium: For two days visitors will get to taste more than 150 Belgian Christmas and winter beers during the Christmas Beer Festival at Essen, Belgium. This merry festival will intrigue beer enthusiasts as limited editions of Belgian brews are served. Also check out some of the delectable snacks such as beef stew and Christmas beer soup, which will be available during the festival.
Victoria/Tasmania: The combination of music, camping and art programs in The Falls Music & Arts Festival will see thousands of visitors flocking to Lorne (Victoria) and Marion Bay (Tasmania), Australia. Catch performances by Australian and international bands and comedians or join the parade of the Falls Fiesta.
th to 18th
th to 1st Jan
nd to 3rd
images JNTO; The Falls Music & Arts Festival
Saitama Prefecture: See elaborated floats that are shaped like small houses parade through the city streets, which will transform into stages where traditional Kabuki plays are performed. The highlight of this Japanese festival takes place on the 3rd, when the floats get lit up with countless lanterns, with accompanying music of drums and flutes. Expect fireworks that will illuminate the clear winter evening skies.
NATAS 26-28AUG Calender.indd 29
8/15/11 2:53 PM
41 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
YOU AND A FRIEND COULD EACH
WIN HOLIDAY CREDIT!
$5000 Where will you go with $5000? Join the Wego FAST:DEALS Facebook Contest before 9th September and stand a chance to win S$5,000 holiday credit. Invite friends to register and increase your chances of winning. If your friend wins, BOTH of you receive S$5,000 holiday credit each! You can invite as many friends as you like
Join Contest: www.wego.com/5000
This contest is only open to Singapore Residents. Participants should be 18 years and above. www.wego.com | Terms and Conditions Apply
42 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
43 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
MINI GUIDE Jul/Aug 2011
LP INHOUSE TTSize Jul/Aug2011.indd 2
UIDE Ju l/Aug
7/27/11 10:13 AM
44 • THE TRAVEL TIMES • 26-28 AUGUST 2011
The Travel Times
when you LIKE escape! facebook page during NATAS Fair. * While stocks last * ONLY applicable to original coupon * ONE gift per coupon * Strictly for visitors only
Enjoy $20 Rebate per Cabin booked, with payment made by HSBC MasterCard Credit Card Terms & Conditions • Limited to 1 coupon per cabin • For booking made on 26 to 28 August 2011 at NATAS Holidays 2011
7/8 Days Taiwan Deluxe: $100 discount per couple* * Terms & Conditions apply * Valid for adults only, based on first come first serve basis. * Valid for departure dates as follows: 7 Days: 26 Sep, 17, 24 Oct, 15 Nov, 12, 15 Dec 8 Days: 24 Sep, 08, 15 Oct, 30 Nov, 03 , 10, 17 Dec
While stocks last. Terms and Conditions apply.
FREE mystery gift * * While stocks last. * Apply for Apple Tours Member only. * Terms & conditions apply.
Free 20’’ luggage
for family booking of 4 pax.
Free Armani travel bag for all package tour booking.
For booking & more information, please call: Dean: 9179 5444 or email to tour@getm,sg SiSi: 9179 6444 or email to
• Limited edition foldable travel bag with a minimum charge of $800 • 20”Amercian Tourister trolley luggage with a minimum charge of $2,500 • 28”American Tourister trolley luggage with a minimum charge of $4,500
FREE handphone strap for bookings to Central Japan
*Terms & Conditions Apply
MasterCard Banner ad 2.pdf
When you charge to your Citibank Card:
$30/person off Selected Cabins on Royal Caribbean Cruise
Log on to www.wego.com/5000 to enter competition and stand a chance to WIN $5000 HOLIDAY CREDIT. Invite your friends and should any of them win, you’ll win $5000 as well! * Terms and conditions apply * This contest is only open to Singapore Residents. * Participants should be 18 years and above.
Charge 2 admission tickets to MasterCard® and enjoy S$1 off. Plus enjoy dedicated queue with MasterCard Paypass™ card. Terms & condition apply. Log on to www.natastravelfair.travel
Published in conjunction with the largest consumer travel fairs in Singapore, the Free travel newspaper aimed at providing editorially stron...