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ISSUE 57

Culture Issue

Nepal | Germany | Colombia

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The Yak Ru Annapurna Extreme MTB Challenge ‘14 © nepalsutra.com

MCI (P) 100/05/2014

MAY-JUN 2014

Includes Panasonichy Photograpl Specia


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PECIAL S A Y P H : P S PLU GRA PHOTO

For a list of our distribution outlets, visit www.sportsandtravelonline.com. Sports and Travel is a publication of Lennox & Ooi Media Pte Ltd (Singapore). All articles published are in good faith and based on bona fide information available to The Publisher at the time of press. The Publisher accepts no responsibility other than that stipulated by law. The Publisher also accepts no responsibilty for unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or other materials. All rights are reserved and no part of this publication may be reproduced in part or full without the previous written permission of The Publisher. Neither can any part be stored or recorded, by any means. The opinions expressed in The Publication are those of the contributors and not necessarily endorsed by The Publisher. This publication and the name are owned solely by Lennox and Ooi Media Pte Ltd, 242A River Valley Road, Singapore 238299. Email: enquiry@sportsandtravelonline.com. Sports + Travel Singapore is published bimonthly and distributed throughout Singapore. Trademarks and copyrights for all other products, logos and depictions contained herein are the properties of their respective trademark and copyright owners. All colour separation and printing by Stamford Press Pte Ltd. Singapore MCI (P) 100/05/2014


Cultured Soul

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One of the best bits about travel is seeing, tasting, touching and completely experiencing new cultures. And this issue we feature some of our favourites in the Culture Issue. We visit the historic medieval gems of Füssen and Bamberg, both in Bavaria. Home to legendary Neuschwanstein, picture-perfect cobbled streets, and not to mention beer, they're everything you'd expect (kitsch included) and more.

Closer to home, we've also got the cultural gem that is Penang, which will host the annual Penang Bridge Marathon on their new Second Bridge for the first time this year.

Our Team Editor-in-Chief May Lynn Writers Konrad Clapp Samantha Pereira Creative Director Lynn Ooi Designer Marilyn Wong General Manager Aaron Stewart

Media Rep Lennox & Ooi Media Pte Ltd 242A River Valley Road Singapore 238299 Tel 6732 0325 www.sportsandtravelonline.com enquiry@sportsandtravelonline.com

Further north, we feature Koh Samui for adventure and a touch of culture, along with the famous Ang Thong National Park. We've also got 2 special features this issue, beginning with our first-ever Coffee + Tea Special!

Sports and Travel Limited Rm. 1104 Crawford House 70 Queen’s Road Central Hong Kong Tel +852 2861 8746 Fax +852 2961 4800 enquiry@sportsandtravel.com.hk

While we're obviously celebrating two of ours (and probably your) favourite drinks, this feature's not just about the beverages, but the unique LOHAS, ecoand community tourism initiatives that are happening in these coffee and tea destinations, making them even more interesting to visit than ever before. We touch briefly on Colombia, Timor Leste, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Taiwan.

Advertising Sales Singapore Aaron Stewart, Lennox & Ooi Media aaron.stewart@sportsandtravelonline.com

And for anyone whose wondering, don't worry – watch out for our alcoholic (think wine trails) special soon!

Hong Kong Chris Ng cng@sportsandtravel.com.hk

Our other special is the 16-page S+TPanasonic Photography Special. Featuring photos from our good friend Gunther Deichmann, as well as renowned Hungarian photographer Bence Máté, we explore the potential of innovative, new mirror-less lenses with tips on how to shoot like a pro.

Contributors

Lastly, for runners don't forget last minute sign-ups for this year's Frost the Trail (23 August, 2014). And even bigger, don't miss the Penang Bridge International Marathon on 16 November, 2014 (see Pages 22-23 for more).

Gunther Deichmann, Ken Berg, Wilson Low

Special Thanks Bayern Tourismus Dawn Till Dusk Taiwan Tourism Bureau and many, many others!

Until then, Happy Trails!

OUR WEBSITE: www.sportsandtravelonline.com

YAK RU-ANNAPURNA CHALLENGE '14 NEWS: Read about Sports + Travel's rider Wilson Low and his very bumpy ride at the Yak Ru race which finished just the night before we went for print – see Page 10. Congratulations Wilson on your 7th place finish (18h 26m) in one of Asia's toughest races.

OUR FACEBOOK PAGE: fb.com/SportsandTravelSingapore

Wilson, far right


GEAR GUIDE

WATERPROOF NEWSBOY A hybrid messenger bag/dry pack, the Maelstrom Dry Bag is constructed with durable polyester and nylon fabrics with a TPU coating to provide complete waterproof protection. Its over-the-shoulder-style bag with flap closure gives easy access to the contents, while the VaporLock seal closure (which provides a fully submersible closure) is ideal for protection of documents, laptops and gear, even in a big downpour. Available at Outdoor Life at S$101 (5L), S$117 (10L) and S$134 (15L).

Outdoor Research Maelstrom Dry Bag

La Sportiva Raptor

TRAIL DEVIL La Sportiva’s Raptor is a good pick for all types of off-road terrain, with its FriXion XF ultra sticky sole and Impact Brake System. It also has a high performance lacing system and uppers in abrasion-resistant fabric with a protective coating and integrated elastic gaiter to block mud and stones. The TPU reinforced heel case gives added stability while running, and the Tacco Trail Bite Heel enables better stopping on descents. Available at Campers’ Corner in two linings: meshonly back or Gore-Tex Extended Comfort at SGD$280.


Campers’ Corner Bamboo Carbon-Fiber Trekking Pole

WOODEN WALKER Campers' Corner has developed its own Bamboo Carbon-Fiber Trekking Pole, made from lightweight bamboo sections integrated with a carbon-fiber shaft making it extrastrong, and extra-lightweight. The bamboo and carbon body has natural damping properties, meaning no mechanical/spring damper is needed. Utilising the "FAST LOCK" locking mechanism, it has a telescopic adjustment range of 95-125cm, and is easy to adjust on the fly, even with gloves on. Available at Campers' Corner at only S$135 per pair.

QUICK LACER Designed for peak baggers who cover plenty of miles in challenging conditions, the mid-cut The North Face Ultra Fastpack Mid GTX is part of the Ultra Protection Series which provides impact and element protection without the excess weight for use on any terrain. Waterproofing is courtesy of its Gore-Tex coating, while the lightweight Pebax plate delivers impact protection alongside a rigid Snake Plate to prevent stone bruising. Stride alignment is courtesy of its CRADLE technology, with Vibram soles aiding in superior grip on most terrains. Available at The North Face Westgate, at S$246.

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The North Face Ultra Fastpack Mid GTX


© Allgäu GmbH / Arthur F. Selbach

Füssen: view over the covered walkway high on the north wing of the Hohes Schloss (High Castle).

Neuschwanstein Palace near Füssen/Allgäu. © Füssen Tourismus und Marketing / BTV

BAVARIAN HERITAGE

Germany is dotted with plenty of UNESCO sites, attesting to the rich culture that has prevailed since the Middle Ages. The region of Bavaria is exceptionally rich in history, especially when it comes to World Heritage sites and plentiful fairytale castles. The UNESCO towns of Füssen and Bamberg – both on either ends of Bavaria – are some fine examples of what’s on offer.

FÜSSEN: OF CASTLES AND MOUNTAINS The colourful country town of Füssen is situated at the southern end of the Romantic Road. Its location on the edge of the Alps is framed by a landscape of idyllic lakes and imposing peaks rising up to 2,000m – making Bavaria’s highest town an ideal starting point for trips to the nearby royal castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, or the famous Wieskirche. The town’s 700 year history has left behind plenty of monuments and relics. Füssen's historical Old Town towers over the banks of the River Lech, where the High Castle, the Baroque abbey of St. Mang and myriad mosaic rooftops are set against the picturesque green countryside. In the winding streets and alleyways of the medieval Old Town, the Gothic gabled roofs of tall patrician houses rub shoulders with the remains of the old city walls and Baroque and Rococo churches. The High Castle overlooking the town was once the summer residence of the prince-bishops of Augsburg; their former residential chambers now house an excellent art gallery, a branch of the great Bavarian State Picture Collection.

Directly beneath the castle stands the magnificent Baroque buildings of the former Benedictine abbey of St. Mang. Here are splendid Baroque halls and a museum with an interesting collection of historic violins. During the Baroque era, Füssen was one of the leading centres of Germany’s violin making industry; in the 18th century, it had 80 violin makers whose instruments were sought after all over Europe. Today, the town has workshops making top-quality violins, and also stages an annual programme of live music including the “Kaisersaalkonzerte” held each summer in St. Mang.

BEYOND FÜSSEN Füssen’s biggest attractions are probably its castles: Neuschwanstein – King Ludwig II’s personal refuge that’s now recognised as the mother of all castles in Europe – and his childhood palace, Hohenschwangau, famous for its extraordinary murals. Füssen is also a meeting point for some of the most famous long-distance hiking trails in southern Germany, including the King Ludwig Trail from Starnberg to Füssen, the

Romantic Road Hiking Trail, the new longdistance Wandertrilogie Allgäu (opening in July this year), and the Lechweg, the region's newest trail. Following the route of one of the last riverine wilderness regions in Western Europe, the Lechweg is an easy, long-distance ramble over 125km of alpine terrain which can be broken into 6-8 stages. Starting in Austria's Vorarlberg Province, the route runs over the Lech Valley-Reutte before reaching Füssen. Highlights include Holzgau’s Baroque houses, as well as a soaring 200m suspension bridge over the spectacular Hoehenbachschlucht gorge. Along the way, you’ll see classic meadows of mountain flowers, and marmots. Crossing into Germany, there are views of both Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles, and finally Lech Falls and Füssen.

SPAS After a long day's hike, you can head to a Kneipp (hydrotherapy) spa which is famous in Bavaria for a recuperating bathing cure. Füssen is a recognised Kneipp spa.


Germany

BAYERN TOURISMUS Marketing GmbH

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Hikers on Mount Breitenberg near Füssen/Allgäu. © Füssen Tourismus und Marketing / www.guenterstandl.de

Bamberg: View from the tower of the Geyerswörth castle

Bamberg town hall

GETTING THERE BAYERN TOURISMUS Marketing GmbH

The closest major city to Füssen and Bamberg is Munich, from where there are regular direct buses and trains.

BAMBERG: THE BEER TRAIL Situated in northern Bavaria just off the junction of the Regnitz and Main rivers is Bamberg – a town inundated in vibrant history in its medieval streets and rich architecture, spread over a series of seven hills each crowned with a church. Named a UNESCO heritage site in 1993 for its excellently preserved Baroque architecture, compared to most German cities, Bamberg was left largely untouched during WWII. Thus it still retains its charming medieval atmosphere including Byzantinestyle domes, cathedrals and ancient streets. The town is partitioned into three distinctive zones: the hills of old Bergstadt, with churches on every cobblestone street and historic residences like the Old Court (home of the town’s former ruler, the Prince-Bishop); the island of Inselstadt which sits in the heart of town and is known for its market

street vibe; and Theuerstadt in Gärtnerstadt with its medieval setting of market gardens, old houses and vineyards. Laid out according to traditions of the time in the shape of a cross, the town’s original 4 corners were marked by its historic churches (St. Gangolf, St. Jacob, St. Michael and St. Stephen), with their beautifully adorned interiors, while Bamberg’s most famous ecclesiastical monument is the imperial cathedral of St. Peter and St. George, which houses the tombs of Pope Clemence II (the only papal grave in Germany), and Emperor Henry II, along with the famous Bamberger Reiter, a statue of a mysterious medieval horseman. Within this dramatically cultural landscape also lies other scenic attractions like the enchanting Rose Garden and the Old Town Hall, which sits in the centre of River Regnitz.

BEER TOWN Bamberg’s other pull lies in the fact that it has 9 famous breweries, which makes it a paradise for any beer lover. Called Rauchbier in German, Bamberg’s famous “smoked” beer is the town’s speciality. Not surprisingly, most of the local beer in the region is traditionally brewed, meaning Bamberg has more than 50 types of artisanal beers like lager, smoke beer and many others; all of these can be enjoyed in the dozens of historic beer gardens, beer halls and gasthofs across town. There’s a variety of brewery tours available; there’s the option of taking a bicycle tour that will have you weaving through the medieval landscape as you visit breweries; or take a cultural tour that also visits some of Bamberg’s ecclesiastical gems before hitting the many local breweries.


Wilson Low tackling the lush hills

TEXT BY Wilson Low PHOTOS BY Nepalsutra

Envisioned as a means of promoting and reinvigorating tourism around the remote village of Ghya Ru, the 8-day Yak Ru Annapurna Challenge mountain bike stage race is an endurance competition unlike any other. Participants race through amazingly diverse landscapes over the course of 5 stages plus 2 non-racing 'group rides' in Nepal’s iconic Annapurna Range. As race organisers Dawn to Dusk warn participants, "Yak Ru is not an extreme race; it’s a super-extreme race".

THE YAK RU ANNAPURNA EXTREME MTB CHALLENGE ‘14 STAGE 1: Besisahar-Bahundanda, 20km The flag-off to this short opening stage is low-key, but it marks the start of what will be an eventful week. The 12 riders quickly spread out as the route passes through riverside villages and steep singletracks, not all of which is rideable. Stone steps and jumbles of rocks – or 'rock gardens' in MTB parlance – make the decision to get off and portage an easy one rather than risk a crash or fall. Thick, grey mud cakes bikes and riders alike on the trail after the village of Bulbule, where the once-narrow village roads have been breached to accommodate heavy vehicles for the construction of a nearby hydroelectric dam – the cause of the cement-like paste that coats us. Leaving this scarred landscape behind, the

race climbs steadily once more on bikes heavy with dried mud. The penultimate climb of the day delivers us to Bahundanda, where the aptly-named Hotel Superb View marks our finish.

STAGE 2: Bahundanda to Chame, 46km Today’s long ride opens with a steep descent down a walking path. The Nepali riders are adept at portaging their bikes and even more daring as mountain-conditioned runners – as they bolt downhill the field spreads out fast. Passing groups of schoolchildren and village-folk carrying crops or tending livestock, the slippery rock steps give way to singletrack. After a suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi River, the real work begins. It's a 40km slog up a rock-strewn jeep trail snaking along the valley. In sections, the sheer gradient

forces riders to dismount and push, while the downhills are welcome, save for the occasional dusty erosion ruts. The road rises though the valley, and before long we enter a spectacular gorge with treacherous cliffs, and numerous cascading waterfalls bisecting the trail. Several times, the jeep trail traverses cuttings in the barren cliff face, with dramatic overhanging rocks providing some welcome shade. Leaving the fertile valley behind, it’s a relentless ascent up forested pine slopes, heralding the race's entry into the sub-alpine region as we continue pedaling doggedly past villages and guesthouses. Finally, the day’s grueling stage ends at a signboard reading "Chame, Manang" – the finish line.


Stage 3 is a mix of more hike-a-bike, but with some of the best singletracks so far, leaving 4WD access behind; from here on porters haul gear from point to point with a combination of hiking and motorcycling. The Nepali riders, accustomed to highaltitude and portaging heavy loads, make short work of the unrideable climb to the scenic village of Ghya Ru (or 'yak horn'), from which the race gets its name. They move fast uphill, carrying their bikes over their shoulders or atop their heads.

The reward for the punishing ascent: spectacular views of the Annapurna range. Even better, the descent from Ghya Ru is fast and challenging – making a narrow, rocky traverse of the mountainside. The amazing views pose a constant distraction to the task of making it down the trail safely. The exhilaration goes up a few notches as we hit several high-speed natural rollers (gentle jumps) and switchbacks going down to the valley floor. The trail traces the Marsyangdi River up-

stream – not the roaring, gorgecutting torrent of the previous two days; instead, here it’s a rocky stream flanked by scree slopes and towering peaks. The pristine singletrack eventually crosses fields of buckwheat en route to the day’s finish at Manang. The next day is a rest day, to acclimatise before the last two arduous racing stages.

Nepal

STAGE 3: Chame to Manang, 32km

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Wilson Low took part in this year’s Yak Ru Challenge, representing Sports+Travel Singapore.

STAGE 4: Manang to Thorung Pedi, 17km There’s relentless altitude gain from the very start of this short stage, and air is let out of the tires to prevent them exploding due to steep pressure drops. The big climb out of Manang narrows to a busy singletrack, with racers encountering bell-adorned mule caravans, porters hauling duffel bags and wooden beams, and trekkers. Weaving through this traffic is a challenge as the gravel-strewn trail is precariously exposed along scree slopes and canyon cuttings. On the steepest grades – and under serious fatigue in thinning air – instead of pedaling, it paid to get off and walk in order to recover one's composure. A loss of concentration or wheel-skid could send rider

and bike into an uncontrolled tumble dozens of metres downhill. As riders battle skywards, the snow-capped Annapurna Range looms in the background, with majestic cliffs and gushing waterfalls closing in on the trail. Traversing scree becomes a game of Russian Roulette as riders and trekkers alike take cover behind rock faces, then dash across the exposed slopes quickly to avoid being hit by falling pebbles (which can reach bullet-like velocities). While Thorung Pedi (4,450m) is a welcome finish, there’s no respite as riders must quickly re-organise and recover for the sub-zero, pre-dawn assault of Thorung La Pass – the Yak Ru's penultimate racing stage.


STAGE 5: Thorung Pedi - Thorung La Pass Kagbeni, 28km A tough morning is taking a mountain bike up a 1,000m vertical ascent – over mostly unrideable, high-altitude terrain. The 4am flag-off probably favoured the psychologically unprepared, as the inky darkness masked the true extent of the abominably steep climb from Thorung Pedi to Thorung High Camp. Racers complete this first segment using headlamps, and from High Camp onward, there’s snow to compound the effort of each footstep – the melted snow that’s now ice is especially treacherous. The rising sun illuminated the vast white landscape, with the blue-white ice cornices of nearby Thorung Peak particularly stark against the cloudless dawn sky. Numerous false knolls along the way make this ascent as much a mental game as a physical one. Step by step, breath by laboured breath, eventually the route hits

With Yak Ru’s competitive stages over, riders switched from 'race mode' for two days of non-competitive group riding through Mustang Valley and down towards Pokhara. More than just a multi-day endurance test, Yak Ru transcends a typical MTB race. Because of its remote nature and arduous logistics, there’s a close-knit fellowship between racers, officials, and support staff – on and off the trail. And through the extreme elements and harsh terrain, the fiercest competition was not against other participants, but against oneself, in body, mind, and spirit. Not simply a race for endurance junkies, Yak Ru demands more than just cycling fitness and skill. It demands the physical knack to pick up and run or hike while portaging a bike. The mental ability to cope with the thin air and altitude, and fortitude to simply keep going. Yak Ru is that kind of race – an ode to Nepal's wild, daunting, yet spiritually uplifting mountain environment. For more on Yak Ru, visit www.yakru.com.

Thorung La pass (5,416m), marked by waving Buddhist prayer flags. There’s a few short minutes here to take photos, eat, re-hydrate, or to simply catch one's breath – and then the downhill.

giant 'enduro' descent – steep, technical, and long – it’s a true test of technical riding skill and stamina, especially on the shorttravel cross-country bikes the riders prefer. Sweeping views of the Mustang Valley – a wind-blown, ochre-hued landscape of semiarid desert – greets riders as they negotiate the downhill. Once off the mountain, the route descends a sun-baked dirt road all the way to the finish at Kagbeni. At the race hotel, several of the exhausted racers are nursing headaches brought on by a combination of a relatively sleepless night, dehydration, and heavy exercise at high altitude.

And it is a truly remarkable downhill – a big pay-off for the brutal uphill. Dropping more than two thousand metres, the route crosses bumpy snow patches, loose scree, rockstrewn switchbacks, jagged rock gardens, and high-speed singletrack. Essentially a

Outside, the wind is building speed and a rainstorm hits, while up at Thorung La it’s snowing. By then, all racers have safely completed this 28km final stage – thus capping off one of the world's hardest endurance MTB races.


COFFEE & TEA SPECIAL Coffee and tea wake us up, calm us down and bring us together every day. What most people never realise is just how long the journey is before their favourite beverage makes it into their cup. In most cases, the journey starts off simply by hand with real people individually picking the beans and leaves. While this means millions of jobs are created, without policies like

MEXICO

The world's seventh biggest coffee producer, Mexico's strength lies in its thousands of smallholding growers, especially among its indigenous Maya communities in the far south. The Coffee Route in Chiapas takes you through historic coffee haciendas where ecotourism (birding, hiking, etc) is offered.

Fairtrade pricing, it can mean very little of the cost of your cuppa makes it back into the actual hands of farmers. Both are huge global commodities, but they all start somewhere, on the ground in local communities from Peru to Papua. Outlined here are a number of tea/coffee growing countries, highlighting the tourism potential – some benefiting local communities – in those regions.

TURKEY

SOUTH KOREA

Often associated with "Turkish Coffee", Turkey's actually the world's fifth biggest tea producer. Grown on the country's warm, wet Black Sea coast, "Turkish Tea" spread during Ottoman times across the Balkans and into Central Asia. Tea is grown in the mountains of Rize, where you can visit a tea plantation (picking is from May to October).

NEW GUINEA

Like its neighbours, Korea has a millennia-old tea culture, with a huge range of local types include green teas, insam (ginseng), saenggang (ginger) as well as barley and corn-based teas, with the main green tea growing areas in Boseong County. Here, you can explore the scenic trails amidst well-manicured tea plantations and cedar forests.

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The world's second biggest island is home to rugged mountains on both sides of the border (both Indonesian Papua and Papua New Guinea), which make it ideal for gourmet varieties like Blue Mountain, brought from its native Jamaica in the 1930s. Remote coffee farms are the draw here, in addition to visiting villages of colourful indigenous tribes.

TAIWAN

See page 19

COLOMBIA

SRI LANKA

See page 18

See page 15

RWANDA

See page 16

TIMOR LESTE See page 14

COFFEE

HAWAI’I

TEA

ARGENTINA The only place in the USA where coffee is grown commercially, Kona's one of the world's most expensive types, grown only where the microclimates and volcanic soil are ideal. Here you can sample coffee at plantations and explore Hualalai Craters on several hiking trails.

S. AFRICA

See page 17

Argentina's a big producer of yerba mate (an indigenous herbal tea), which is grown in the Posadas province where organic Fairtrade teas are produced. Eco lodges are dotted in the wilderness between mate plantations, giving easy access to several attractions like the ruins of San Ignacio Miní (a UNESCO site) and the famous Iguazu Falls.

ETHIOPIA

Known as the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia is focused on high-quality, high-altitude beans – they're Africa's biggest Arabica grower and its most avid drinkers. Coffee plantations dot the country’s mountainous terrain like at Mirzan Tefari and Yirga Cheffe, where you can visit (and stay at) villages of indigenous tribes.

MAURITIUS & SEYCHELLES

Relatively tiny players in the global tea market, they combine their islands' famous vanilla with tea grown in their mountainous interiors, with the best-known varieties including Bois Cheri (Mauritius) and Sey Te (Seychelles). The islands are popular for their beaches, and in the case of Seychelles, its wildlife, especially seabirds and giant tortoises.


14 | COFFEE: TIMOR LESTE

Timor Leste and its coffee have certainly come a long way recently. When colonial power Portugal left overnight in 1975, Timor briefly declared independence before neighbouring Indonesia invaded. The ensuing 24 years of occupation ended with Indonesian militias rampaging across the county during an UN-sponsored independence referendum in 1999. One of the biggest casualties of the chaos was the country’s coffee industry. Having been forced to sell to Indonesia at low prices during the occupation, and then largely destroyed by retreating militias, Timor’s centuries-old coffee industry (which supports 25% of the country’s families) was in tatters.

MAUBISSE: COFFEE CO-OPS Just 70km from Dili, it’s a winding 3-hour drive to the bustling mountain village of Maubisse – the beating heart of Timor’s coffee country, where hundreds of smallholding farmers converge on its weekly market. While there are no cappuccinos here (locals take their kafé black with sugar), it’s eye-opening to see how they pick, wash, husk and roast beans before trading at the market. CCT supports over 500 co-ops and small-scale farming groups across Timor, with Maubisse growers marketing their coffee internationally under labels like "Mahalia Coffee". Meanwhile, other smaller local co-ops, like the 125 families of COCAMAU have found success exporting boutique coffee to Japan.

Thus getting coffee back on its feet was critical for the fledgling nation. With help from international aid, local pilot projects like Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) were launched; the result today is more than half of Timor’s coffee farmers are plugged into co-ops, much of its coffee is certified Fair Trade, and Timor’s quality Arabica is becoming a high-end commodity thus improving the lives of countless Timorese. Obviously, coffee is critical to Timor, but it isn’t the entire story. Another area the fledgling nation’s developed is its grassroots tourism – which often goes hand-in-hand with coffee, giving much needed bumper employment to seasonal coffee communities.

Visit www.tradewinds.org.au for more on Timorese coffee. The famous Pousada de Maubisse is a colonial-era landmark in town. The inn has sweeping views of the valley – and while time hasn't been kind, it's a destination in itself, and a jumping-off point for any highland trip.

Atauro

DILI • Maubisse Mt. Ramelau

TIMOR LESTE

MT. RAMELAU (2,986m) From Hato Bulico, it’s a moderate 3-hour climb up Timor’s tallest mountain, which has a camping area just below the peak next to the bishop’s hut. Considered sacred by Timorese, the Blessed Virgin statue on Ramelau’s summit is the focus of a major annual pilgrimage. The summit has an unobstructed view of a sea of clouds most evenings, while herds of feral ponies are often seen (or heard) running free on the lower slopes; locals also hire out ponies for the ascent/descent (around US$20). They also earn much-needed extra income as porters on Ramelau.

GETTING THERE Air Timor flies direct from Singapore to Dili 3 times weekly, with a flight time of just under 4 hours. For promotions and schedules, visit www.air-timor.com.

ATAURO ISLAND Atauro is just 30km from Dili by boat, but feels a world away with its mix of beaches, savannah and palm trees. While it’s “untouched”, it’s home to 9,500 islanders and is largely underdeveloped in areas like education, healthcare and water. While many locals survive on fishing, tourism has emerged as a key industry, with pioneering eco-projects like Tua Koin resort and a fledgling coffee coop that empowers locals.


TEA: Sri Lanka | 15

Separated from India by the Bay of Bengal, Sri Lanka has welcomed many new arrivals for over 2,200 years, including Arab merchants, the Chinese and Europeans. Prior to the British arrival, cinnamon was king in Sri Lanka for centuries, but given the island’s hilly terrain and wet weather, early colonists quickly realised it would be ideal for tea cultivation, with credit going to James Taylor and Sir Thomas Lipton for launching the island’s tea cultivation.

TEA COUNTRY: NUWARA ELIYA Tea is grown in three altitudes in Sri Lanka: high, mid and low, with high-grown (over 2,100m) regarded as the best. Tea plantations are situated in the mountainous regions like Nuwara Eliya (and most of the southern portion of the island), where every morning, local women expertly pick up to 40kg each. For anyone looking to combine tea, trekking (and trains), the historic hill station of Nuwara Eliya – Sri Lanka’s bestpreserved colonial-era region – offers plenty of options.

Fast forward to today and as the world’s largest exporter, tea has remained the mainstay of the economy, as the name “Ceylon” has become synonymous with not just black, but green and the highly prized white tea (also known as the Silver Tip). With the decades long conflict now over, it’s easier than ever to travel FIT in Sri Lanka’s tea country, giving you an opportunity to connect with the friendly locals, from the omnipresent roadside fruit stalls serving the local specialty – freshly sliced pineapple doused with chili powder – to Buddhist monks who will happily explain artifacts or carvings at remote stupas and shrines.

Situated on the green slopes of the island’s upland tea region between 1,800-2,000m, you can hike along its cool, misty slopes and stop by tea factories like the Blue Fields Tea Garden or Labookellie, both of which offer tours (where you learn about tea varieties) and tastings.

SRI LANKA

Hikers can head to the highland plateau of Horton Plains National Park (famous for its misty views) to tackle its numerous hiking trails and perhaps catch a glimpse of wildlife like langurs and sambar deer. Alternatively, you can head up to Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) via a trail up the country’s sacred mountain (2,200m). Accommodation can be had in the many quaint, colonial bungalow B&Bs situated in the tea gardens themselves, or in a tea factory-turned-hotel. • Sigiriya

GETTING THERE Nuwara Eliya

COLOMBO

SIGIRIYA SRI LANKAN RAILWAY With its slow, winding mountain roads, one of the best ways to really explore Sri Lanka’s lush, mountainous interior is by train. And one of the best is from Nanu Oya to Badulla (4 hours). While it’s a local train, there’s a tourist-class observation carriage with excellent views, as the route passes numerous waterfalls, mountain summits, tea gardens and villages, along Sri Lanka’s highest rail line at Pattipola (1,895m). You'll see not just the tea plantations, but gorgeous scenery unchanged from the British era.

Towering 200m over the surrounding plain, the aptly named Sigiriya (“Lion Rock”) is the commanding site of a mountain top fortress built over 1,500 years ago. The upper section is actually carved into a gigantic stone lion’s form, up which it’s a steep climb on the 1,198 narrow stairs to the top. Originally a citadel, then a monastery, then abandoned and now one of the island’s greatest attractions, climbing Sigiriya is well worth the sweat and aching muscles, both for the views and the ancient ruins of pools and reservoirs on the summit; most impressive are its thousand years of intricate (functional) waterworks in this seemingly inaccessible spot.

Numerous carriers fly Singapore-Colombo direct, including Sri Lankan and Singapore Airlines, with visas on arrival for many nationalities including Singaporeans.


16 | COFFEE: Rwanda © The World We Want Foundation

Situated in central Africa, it's easy to miss tiny Rwanda on a map. While those dark days of the genocide in 1994 have left an indelible mark on the country, Rwanda has undergone such dramatic changes that today, it's a global symbol of reconciliation and development. Lying along the Great Rift Valley, its diverse landscape ranges from rolling savannah to soaring 4,000m+ summits that are home to the legendary mountain gorillas. It’s between these extremes that you'll find some of Africa's best coffee (and tea) growing on the lush, green slopes of the country's mille collines, or "Thousand Hills".

MARABA: COFFEE FOR A CAUSE One of Rwanda's brightest success stories in coffee has been Maraba, located in the southern coffee region on the edge of the Nyungwe forest.

As the country's biggest export, Rwandan coffee has played a big part in not just helping get the nation back on its feet, but in bringing about the type of dramatic changes that would have been unimaginable 20 years ago.

Originally founded in 1999 by 70 struggling members, today it has 1,700 members, and is focused on an ethos of empowerment – especially for disadvantaged women, with over 40% of its membership being women widowed in 1994 with young children. Maraba’s profits help fund healthcare and education for these farmers’ children.

In the wake of 1994’s events, growers struggled for several years, but in the process, began organising micro-financing and co-operatives. Over time, technology improved and coffee quality and yields rose exponentially. Today Rwanda exports high-end specialty coffee – a fact that's dramatically changed the lives of local farmers.

Maraba has gone on to achieve Fairtrade status, distributing coffee via Intercontinental Hotel, and even coffee-beer in the UK.

In Rwanda, coffee has helped heal a nation.

Like many of Rwanda’s coffee projects, you can arrange home stays, tours and volunteer projects. Rwandan coffee is typically picked from April to June. For more information, visit www.coffeerwanda.com for a list of coffee projects.

RWANDA

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK Volcanoes National Park

KIGALI • Maraba Nyungwe National Park

NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK Located less than an hour by car from Maraba, Nyungwe National Park boasts one of Africa’s richest primate habitats, home to 13 types of primates, including chimpanzees, baboons, and the endangered golden monkey, alongside hundreds of species of birds, amphibians and reptiles. Nyungwe also has the most endemic species of birds in east Africa, including rare species

like the colourful Ruwenzori Turaco and the tiny Dusky Crimsonwing. The park runs chimpanzee, golden monkey and blue monkey treks. The park has 13 trails from 2-42km long, and all hikes are guided (USD$30-60/person). Accommodations range from high-end Nyungwe Forest Lodge to campsites. Numerous grassroots eco-tourism projects within the park include tea tours, handicrafts and cultural villages .

Rwanda is most famous for its gorillas. Through careful conservation, Rwanda has seen a 26% increase in gorilla numbers in the last decade, while poaching and war in neighbouring DR Congo and Uganda have resulted in populations migrating into Rwanda. Gorilla trekking is available at Volcanoes National Park by permit only, at US$750/person/day, with strict guidelines in place for the protection of man and primate alike. There are several groups of gorilla families you can visit, depending on your level of fitness.

GETTING THERE From Singapore, the fastest route to Rwanda is via Doha, with Qatar offering Singapore-Kigali thru fares. Many nationalities, including Singaporeans, do not require a visa for Rwanda. For more, contact the Rwandan High Commission.


TEA: South Africa | 17

South Africa’s known for many things. Amazing wildlife. Cultural diversity. Rugged landscapes. And its tea. The country’s most famous tea is Rooibos, named for the “red bush” it comes from. Native to the Cederberg region in the rugged hills of the Western Cape, north of Cape Town, the red bush’s miraculous leaves are internationally renowned for their antioxidant and mineral properties – not to mention being caffeine-free.

CEDERBERG; ROOIBOS REVOLUTION While Rooibos has been harvested informally for centuries, only recent global demand has driven prices and empowered local smallholding farmers through co-ops. Historically farmed by South Africa’s disadvantaged local community, the Rooibos revolution has helped raise living standards and quality of life in what are some of the country’s most starkly beautiful, but economically challenging ecosystems – a hard balance to maintain, given fragile local biodiversity, but one that eco-tourism is helping tip the balances of.

Situated in and around the Cederberg Nature Area, the region where Rooibos grows is equally blessed with rugged beauty, exceptional hiking, extensive wildlife, early human history and more. Covering 700sq.km., Cederberg is mountainous and dry, with its many valleys being ideal places for growing fruits, wine and the hearty Rooibos.

Elandsberg Eco Tourism runs Rooibos tours and safaristyle trips into the fynbos, Cederberg’s arid yet abundant eco-system – an excellent way to understand how Rooibos is uplifting the local community economically, as well as experience the area’s stunning natural beauty. Elandsberg is a good base for exploring local wineries, as well as the adjacent Namaqualand region, world-famous for its winter wild flowers.

SOUTH AFRICA

CEDERBERG NATURE AREA

OLIFANT RIVER WINE The Olifant River, which bisects the nature area, is also famous for wine. The Olifant River Valley Wine Route starts from Citrusdal, near the southern entrance of the nature area, and continues 120km north to Lutzville, passing numerous vineyards including Cederberg Cellar – South Africa’s highest vineyard, located very near Wolfberg Arch and Maltese Cross.

Cederberg is divided into 3 zones, with no more than 50 hikers/day/zone. Access to trails and sites are by permit only (guides aren’t mandatory), from the Park HQ.

The “Maltese Cross” is another famous landmark. This soaring rock formation dominates the area, accessible in an easy 2.5 hours (7km) from the HQ.

Cederberg hikes range from 1-3 days, and can be done as day-trips from Clanwilliam, or overnight trips at local B&Bs or camps.

Cederberg is also famous for its stunning, prehistoric rock art sites including the Stadsaal Caves, and the impressive Sevilla Rock Art Trail further north, accessible via a 2-hour walk (5km) through scrubland where 9 wellpreserved prehistoric rock art sites date from the early Khoi and San inhabitants.

One of the best short hikes is the soaring Wolfberg Arch (3.5 hours, return from HQ), a rugged trek with a long scramble up to the commanding natural rock formation.

GETTING THERE The best time to visit Cederberg is JulyAugust during the wildflower season. Singapore Airlines offers daily code share flights via Johannesburg on South African. The Cederberg region is a 3-hour drive north of Cape Town, with numerous car hire and accommodation options en route.

This 5th generation vineyard is also part of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) that helps ensure conservation of the fragile local biodiversity alongside the growing of wine. Cederberg

CAPE TOWN


18 | COFFEE: Colombia

Colombia's coffee is undoubtedly one of the more popular varieties sold around the world, as it's known to be one of the mildest tasting. Colombian coffee grows on the mountains of the Andes ranges, and is enjoyed throughout the country – tinto, or black coffee, is offered everywhere from villages to big cities. As coffee is the fundamental driving force in Colombia's economic development, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) is helping its over 500,000 small independent coffee growers to adopt policies to improve their production, social and environmental issues. The majority of coffee is grown in the Coffee Triangle, a region made up of the departments of Quindío, Caldas and Risaralda. The Coffee Triangle is also popular with visitors who are keen to observe the production of coffee in addition to taking in the sights – which range from rich forests to colourful colonial architecture – in the region.

EJE CAFETERO In Colombia's departments of Quindío, Caldas and Risaralda, coffee farms number in the hundreds, all set within a spectacular mountainous region deeply incised by rivers, steep hills, guadua bamboo forests and coffee haciendas. There are plenty of tours where you can learn about the planting, harvesting and processing of coffee beans; after which you can explore surrounding nature reserves for horseback riding, hiking or zip-lining. Accommodation is easy to find, as plenty of traditional haciendas have been converted into B&Bs ranging from boutique to basic. Coffee has been produced here since the 19th century, and remnants of its history can be seen in its colonial architecture. Everywhere you go, you can enjoy a cup of tinto or pintadito (with a dash of milk). The area is so ingrained in coffee that it even has a National Coffee Park, which is more like a nature-themed park with suspension bridges and coffeerelated attractions.

COLOMBIA

RISARALDA From the capital of Pereira (a university town with a small European city feel), you can soak in the thermal springs at the base of waterfalls at Termales del Santa Rosa or at Termales del Vicente which is set amidst cloud forests.

Los Nevados National Park Manizales Pereira BOGOTA Armenia

Risaralda is also a good base for exploring the natural reserves of Ucumarí and Otún Quimbaya Natural Park; home to howler monkeys, spectacled bears, paramo tapirs and myriad birds, it also protects the last remaining area of Andean tropical forest in Risaralda. Marked paths and cabana accommodation are available.

QUINDÍO Some of the attractions in this department include Calarcá (with its colourful emblematic Willys jeeps), Armenia (its capital) with its numerous museums, and Salento, a city dotted with multicoloured Spanish colonial architecture. Salento is also a jumping off point for the Los Nevados National Park where you can visit the hills of Valle de Cocora (which are covered with wax palms) for breathtaking views. Historic houses (with their famous painted doorways, windows and balconies) are the draw in the town of Filandia, as is the 'mirador', or viewing tower, which provides extraordinary views.

CALDAS Caldas is the most important coffee production region, with its capital in Manizales (a base for the ascent of the snowcapped 5,311m-tall Nevado del Ruiz). Another attraction is the historic town of Salamina, its hilly streets dotted with well-preserved colourful colonial architecture and typical local homes.

GETTING THERE From Singapore, there are flights to Bogota either via Europe (ie. France) or North Asia (ie. Tokyo, Seoul) depending on which airline you take. Both directions take roughly the same amount of flight time (28 hours).


TEA: Taiwan | 19

ALISHAN HIGH MOUNTAIN TEA The mountain terrain of Alishan National Scenic Area includes Mt. Ali, and over 20 surrounding summits. The area is known for its high mountain tea that grows here thanks to its cold climate which produces thick and tender tea leaves. The superior quality of the Alishan Oolong tea and Jinxuan tea are rich and fragrant, often topping tea competitions as the best sips in Taiwan.

In Taiwan, the trend of LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) activities has become a huge part of burgeoning rural tourism across the country, but especially in tea-growing areas. While Taiwan’s best known for electronics and manufacturing, tea remains a small, but hugely successful part of the economy. Taiwan’s mountainous terrain makes it an ideal place to grow tea (and coffee); the island is 30% mountainous, with 200 peaks over 3,000m. This also conveniently makes it an ideal place for cycling, hiking and mountaineering on everything from easy climbs, to singletrack MTB routes and knife-edge ridge walks.

Tea tours are possible in the tea farms, and activities include hands-on making of tea and accompanying local snacks like rice cakes and tea eggs. From here you can tackle short trails like the scenic Eryanping Mountain Trail (which passes bamboo groves and tea plantations) and Miyang River Trail (with its suspension bridge), as well as visit Fenqihu town, a traditional stop on the Alishan Railway. Topping out over 2,600m, Alishan is accessible on foot and, until recently, via park’s most famous feature – the historic scenic Alishan Forest Railway (knocked out by Typhoon Morakot in 2009) which ferried visitors 2,200m up the mountain, over 100+ bridges and tunnels. Thus far, the route has reopened as far as Fengqihu, Shenmu, Chushan and Jhaoping, with more opening in 2015.

Tea is grown all over Taiwan from the north to the south along the mountainous spine. Most of Taiwan’s tea is oolong, including the prized Alishan High Mountain Tea and Hsinchu’s famous Oriental Beauty. Taiwan also grows green teas like San Xia Dragon Well, as well as premium black teas like the Ruisui Honey-flavored Black Tea (in Hualien) and the Yuchi Black Assam near Sun Moon Lake.

PHOTOS COURTESY Taiwan Tourism Bureau

TAIPEI

TAIWAN Sun Moon Lake • • Alishan

SUN MOON LAKE BLACK TEA While Sun Moon Lake is a popular holiday destination, it is also known for its cultivation of the Yuchi Assam Black Tea, which was grown by the Japanese in the early 1900s in Yuchi township. Once served to the Japanese Emperor, the tea has a mellow taste with a prized aroma of sweet flowers. The local farmers association runs tasting tours and tea making programmes, while Taiwan’s ongoing OTOP (One Town, One Product) initiative has seen Yuchi develop local black tea-flavoured foods and liquors mixing rose petal and sugarcane.

The easiest ways to enjoy Sun Moon are by boat or bike; cycling around the lake is a popular way to appreciate its beauty. Nearby is the Maolan Mountain Trail (4.6km), a popular tea hiking trail that winds its way through black tea plantations and a cedar forest. It's popular for watching the sunrise across the peaks of Mt. Jiufen and Mt. Jiji, and the frequent sea of clouds that blanket the valley. Near Sun Moon is the historic Jiji Line railway. Originally a logging line, it now ferries passengers to 7 stations over 29km between Ershui and Checheng, and makes a slow way to explore the scenic rural part of Nantou.

GETTING THERE Taipei is easily accessible on direct flights via several airlines, including Singapore Airlines, China Air and Air Asia. Alishan and Sun Moon Lake are further connected by rail and road from Taipei. For more information visit http://eng.taiwan.net.tw.


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More than a culinary hotspot, Penang, which sits in the northwest corner of Malaysia, may be one of the country’s smallest states, but it makes up for size by being a cultural giant. Spurred on further by the state’s strategic port location that has been dealing with the East and West trading routes with more than 500 years of various cultural exchanges, Penang is now a melting pot of hybrid communities, boasting a heritage that speaks volumes about colonial influences interwoven with Asian tradition.

CULTURAL PENANG

The eclectic vibe that imbibes Penang is indubitably also reflected through the architecture that peppers the state. With neat rows of whitewashed pre-war buildings interspersed with a bright palette of shophouses, painted wall murals and religious edifices. Dotted throughout Penang are various religious hotspots like the Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple (featuring Malaysia’s largest Indian temple entrance), Kuan Yin Temple and Penang’s oldest Buddhist temple or Dharmikarama (the first Burmese temple in Penang). These holy edifices lie along the circuit towards Penang Hill.

The vibrant state, which has its share of natural attractions taking its form in pristine beaches, secluded coves, craggy cliffs, and peaks surrounded by forest parks, is a haven for any type of traveller. The best place to start exploring all this is from its capital, George Town.

GEORGE TOWN Sitting on the northeast corner of Penang Island, which lies in the Straits of Malacca, is the capital and cultural metropolis of Penang. Considered to be one of the most colourful cities in Malaysia, George Town’s streets, which appear to immortalise the

1920s grandeur, are continually bustling with activities: Chulia Street, propped up by Chinese shophouses, is brimming with street food cuisine that stays open till the wee hours, while Victoria street with its colonial mansions and fortifications serve as a testament of Penang’s British history. There are also religious hotspots smattered across the region, showcasing the multiculturalism that thrives within the city. Annual festivals like the recent Penang International Music Festival held at Penang Botanic Gardens sizes up George Town – a UNESCO heritage site – as the veritable marrow of Penang’s vim.


From wet markets that move the daily catch of seafood, poultry and meat to traditional stalls that peddle vintage jewellery, custom embroidered clothes, tea and antique swords to makeshift flea markets, Campbell Street exudes a certain Asian-Bohemian vibe that deviates strongly from the British clout seen throughout the region. Complementing the street’s lively personality

are the numerous murals that adorn the alley walls, especially along the corner of Ah Quee street where works of art reflect the various heritages. Some of the murals were painted by international artists during the George Town Festival in 2012, while most of the art pieces were drafted up by local artists looking to tell a story of Penang’s original inhabitants. City Hall Painting a noble picture, City Hall (a colonial building that was also the setting for some of the court scenes in Anna & King) is situated a few lanes away from Campbell Street. Summing up the British influence that sweeps the city, this white-washed, stately edifice which stands tall next to Fort Cornwallis (the largest standing fort in Malaysia that has served as a watchtower rather than a pawn

in battle) was once used to house the British polity. To explore this island’s strong British influence and the remnants of WWII, you can take a guided tour like the Urban Trail, which first covers a kaleidoscope of cultural spots that border George Town before hitting the inner, uncluttered colonial areas like Queen Victoria Memorial Clocktower, the Cenotaph (a memorial built to remember those who died in WWII), several cathedrals and churches, and the Penang State Museum that now houses some of the city’s renowned artworks.

Malaysia

Campbell Street Sitting in the heart of George Town and serving as a buffer zone between the various cultural belts, Campbell Street – named after interim Lieutenant Governor of Penang, Sir George William Robert Campbell – is a long stretch of shops plastered with huge signboards and a series of markets that hug the winding streets.

23

GETTING THERE Penang is easily accessible by air, as it has an international airport. There are also ferry services that ply between Seberang Perai (in Butterworth) on mainland Malaysia and Penang. These brightly-coloured iconic ferries – which also happen to be Malaysia’s oldest ferry service – take roughly 15 minutes in travelling time, and links up George Town to Butterworth, the mainland’s biggest pull.

PENANG BRIDGE MARATHON (16 NOV 2014) The longest bridge in South East Asia, the Penang Second Bridge (Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim), runs over the Penang Straits, connecting Batu Kawan on Seberang Perai to Batu Maung on Penang Island. Similar in

style to the first Penang Bridge, this 24 kmlong bridge will now be the venue for the annual Penang Bridge International Marathon (previously held on the old Penang Bridge that runs between Butterworth and George Town). A cultural highlight in itself, the Penang Bridge Marathon has been held annually since 1985, with last year’s event being the final one held on the old bridge. This year’s marathon will mark the first time the event shifts to the Second Bridge. Starting off on the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu

Expressway for about 20m before hitting the cable-stayed bridge, Malaysia’s most popular marathon will run from Batu Maung to Batu Kawan, through Alor Setar and Ipoh before returning to the bridge. Crossing the finish line of last year’s run at top spot is James C Tallam (Kenya) at 2 hours, 24 minutes for the full marathon men’s category, while Naomi Wambui Muriuki (Kenya) dominated the women’s 42km category at 2 hours, 53 minutes. Scheduled for 16 November, registration kicked off on 17 March 2014, but you can still register till 30 September 2014, with prices ranging from RM35 to RM100. Open to everyone, the competitive categories include full marathon (42.195km), half marathon (21km), 10km run (adults and juniors), and a fun run (7km). For more details, visit www.penangmarathon.gov.my.


GEAR GUY: Ken Berg

MAKING Coffee can be an addiction, an obsession and many times both. When you’re travelling or camping it isn’t always easy to find your favourite cafe, luckily there are number of devices out there that will allow for you to brew a great cup (or something that will get you by for a while longer) if you’re not into the freeze-dried variety.

BASIC There are several companies that make a variety of coffee-making devices. GSI has several models that are well thought out, reasonably priced and made to go on the road. Their Java Press and Java Drip are great examples. The Java Press is made from a co-polyester so you don’t have to worry about Bisphenol A (BPA). GSI Java Drip This material also makes it lightweight and durable. It has an EVA foam sleeve that helps to insulate it as well. It will not only keep your beverage warm a little longer but is also not too hot for your hands to handle.

The Java Drip uses a similar body/container but instead of a press there is a food-grade silicon brew cone. The cone is collapsible and fits inside the cup. It comes with a reusable cloth filter but you can also use paper filters if needed.

ADVANCED If you’re a true coffee connoisseur and need something a little higherend, there are two great espresso makers. the GSI Stainless Steel Espresso Maker. It sits on top of most camp stoves and is quite com-

GSI Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

Ken grew up on the doorstep of the Canadian wilderness, backpacking, paddling and rock climbing in this rugged land. Armed with a degree in recreational studies, he has been working at Canada's premier outdoor retailer for over 10 years, putting gear to the test whether it's cycling in -35ºC winters, running marathons or travelling to the far reaches of the planet.

pact. Being stainless steel is also durable and the price is also quite manageable. It comes in a one or four shot size.

Handpresso Hybrid

Handpresso also has a variety of espresso makers that allow you to use a pump to build pressure. They are portable (ideal for travel or camping), durable and require no electricity. These are not cheap but are highly effective for quality coffee. The Hybrid model allows you to use ground espresso coffee or pods. There are a variety of accessories that can be purchased for these as well, such as a travel case or some pods that can be filled when you have the chance and used when you need to.

RACE NUTRITION As more and more folks are getting in on marathons, triathlons and races of all kinds, many still have the misconception about the best fuel for your body before a day of exertion. Here are some top 10 super foods that provide your body with the fuel you need: OATMEAL High in soluble fibre and complex carbohydrates with low GI to provide a sustained release of energy into the blood.

MILK Loaded with carbohydrates and protein, which repairs muscle tissues fast, it’s an ideal post-exercise muscle recovery drink.

CHERRIES An antioxidant-rich fruit, runners who consumed cherry juice had strikingly less muscle pain following a race.

BANANAS Bananas re-stock your body with lost electrolytes after physical exertion, while its B6 content is anti-inflammatory.

WALNUTS Contains Omega-3 fatty acids that lower LDL cholesterol and is rich in fibre, plant protein, antioxidants and vitamin B.

CHIA SEEDS Containing 3 times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries, it also helps the body retain moisture.

WILD SALMON It’s full of Omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation, and its antioxidant is beneficial in cardiovascular protection.

SWEET POTATOES Its mineral content (potassium, iron) is beneficial for athletes, especially manganese and copper which are crucial in muscle function.

WHEY Containing essential proteins which are quickly absorbed into the body, it’s essential for muscle re-building especially after a strenuous race.

KALE This cabbage-like vegetable has high levels of vitamins A, K and B6. Its rich antioxidants helps regulate the body’s inflammatory process.


Lying in the warm, blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand, and fringed by dozens of islands like Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, little Koh Samui is many things. Just 25 km long, Samui’s terrain is a mix of white powder beaches, secluded coves, and hilly jungle interior, attracting an array of sun worshippers, divers and trekkers. At first glance, there’s many sides to Samui. One is its golf course façade, another is its young party vibe, while another is its atmospheric street food and temples, and its diving and famous marine park. Originally populated by Malay fishermen and Chinese traders, alongside local Thais from the mainland, Samui’s rich cultural melting pot is historically divided into seven distinct districts or tambon, with the hidden side of Koh Samui comprising fishing villages, coconut groves and sugarcane plantations.

HUA THANON:The Slower Side of Samui Located in Maret tambon, on the southern corner of the island, Hua Thanon is one of Samui’s last traditional fishing villages. Marked out by its distinctive fleet of colourful Kohlae (fishing boats), Hua Thanon is made up mainly of Malay fishermen and Buddhist colonies, and with its stilted houses, is a throwback to old Samui. Hua Thanon is the least touristy corner of the island. Known for its fish market, which has rows of shacks carrying the day’s catch and vegetable vendors, it’s a peek into the slow, laid-back side of the island. Much of the catch then makes it to the famous, affordable seafood restaurants that fringe Hua Thanon’s stretch of pristine beaches. Juxtaposed to the party side of Samui’s bustling Chaweng Beach are the island’s many holy places, like Wat Sila Ngu – a temple located on the edge of Hua Thanon.

KOH SAMUI

Said to contain a relic of Lord Buddha, the temple is dedicated to snakes, embellished with golden snake motifs, and ‘guarded’ by two giant golden cobra statues overlooking the bay. Wat Khun Aram Further south of Hua Thanon is Wat Khun Aram, a temple widely visited for one of the two “mummified” monks found in Koh Samui; Loung Pordaeng, often referred to as the ‘Meditating Monk’ who died in the 1980s while meditating, and is now kept in a glass casket for devotees to see.

TALING NGAM One of the last untouched parts of Koh Samui, Taling Ngam on the island’s west coast is a mix of turquoise seas and palm tree-lined beaches backed by dense jungle. Comprising coconut farms and clustered villages, Taling Ngam is best-known for bull fighting and its famous mummified monk.

The water buffalo, or khwai, is common across the island. While on the mainland they are used to plow rice paddies, on Samui (which has no paddy fields), they’re kept mainly for bullfighting. Especially popular in Taling Ngam, you’ll even see locals taking their prize bulls for a swim at the beach. Unlike its western counterparts, Samui’s bullfighting doesn’t involve humans or blood. Two male bulls are squared off against each other, and butt horns and push each other, until the loser gives up and runs off – exactly what would normally happen in the wild; on Samui, champion bulls can change hands for large sums. Often held before any major celebration like New Year’s Day or the Songkran Festival (Thailand’s New Year’s Day which falls April 13 to April 15), the bulls’ horns are painted in gold to mark the festival.


Home to Samui’s first mummified monk, Loung Por Ruam, the Wat Kiri Wongkaram temple is a strikingly beautiful, intricately designed complex. Similar to Wat Khun Aram, he’s extremely well preserved – and considered miraculous, given the minimal decay over the decades. Not remotely morbid, the temple’s a peaceful spot, with free English tours around the grounds. It’s an ideal jumping-off point to Ko Si Ko Ha (Four Islands-Five Islands), an island with a list of natural attractions from hidden beaches, caves and rocky cliffs with stunted

trees to a plethora of wildlife that includes the prized swiftlets that dole out the soughtafter bird’s nest delicacy. This island, which can be accessed by hopping on a longboat stationed at Taling Ngam, is the go-to spot for adventure seekers looking to get some kayaking, parasailing, etc.

CHAWENG It’s probably impossible to visit Samui without seeing Chaweng Beach, and while it’s not everyones cup of tea, it makes for a bustling night out. The island’s longest stretch of sand, there’s dozens of bars, clubs and restaurants running parallel to the beach

around the middle-section of the strip (aka Chaweng Central). Stretching for 7km long, North Chaweng is decidedly quieter, while the most scenic section is Chaweng Noi, in the south, with Samui’s mountains in the background. Most of Samui’s dive operators are based on Chaweng, from where trips out to Ang Thong and Koh Tao are fixed.

Thailand

WAT KIRI WONGKARAM

27

GETTING THERE Ko Samui’s best visited between June to October, with direct flights on Bangkok Airways. For full fares and schedules, visit www.bangkokair.com.

“ANG THONG” NATIONAL MARINE PARK Lying 40km west of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, the Ang Thong National Marine Park is a cluster of 42 islands comprising a rich mix of marine habitat and untouched tropical rainforest, lagoons, mangroves and sea caves. Characterised by dozens of limestone pinnacles, Ang Thong is an ideal location to explore by charter boat or sea kayak, which gives access to its many remote beaches and coves. Snorkelling is also popular, as the park boasts hundreds of marine species, while larger islands like Koh Wua Talap and Koh Samsao are home to dozens of types of birds and mammals. Emerald Lagoon Just north of Koh Wua Talah (and the Park

HQ), is one of Ang Thong’s most famous spots: the Emerald Lagoon on Koh Mae Ko. Rising up on towering limestone cliffs, Ko Mae Ko, or “Mother Island”, is best-known as the atmospheric backdrop for The Beach. The island’s saltwater lagoon connects to a hidden swim-thru cave that leads out to sea. Not surprisingly, there’s spelunking and sea kayaking available, as well as treks to the summit for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding islands. Local operators in Samui run day-trips to Ang Thong, and overnights are possible at one of five park-run bungalows or camping on Wua Talap island. The park offers returnonly boats back to Samui (500tbh/person). Park entrance is 200tbh/person/day, with the best time from February to April, while the park’s almost impossible to reach during monsoon (November-December).


SPORTS+TRAVEL: OUTFITTERS SECTION

YOUR ONE-STOP ADVENTURE SHOP

christmas island • Trekking Gear • Camping Gear • Climbing Gear/Rope

• Outdoor Footwear/Clothing • Water Filter • Travel Accessories

ADVENTURE 21

6 Eu Tong Sen Street #03-55 The Central Singapore 059817 Tel: (65) 6535 0232 Fax: (65) 6535 0678 Website: www.adventure21.com.sg E-mail: adventure21@singnet.com.sg

EVENTS: RACE CALENDAR JULY 2014 Mizuno PAssion Wave Run 2014 16km | 20 July, 7.30am | Bukit Merah | Registration: $50 Run highlights includes Telok Blangah Hill & the Green Corridor trail. worldofsports.com.sg

Energizer Singapore Night Trail 2014 1.5km-18km | 26 Jul, 3pm | Mandai | Registration: $40-$60 A night run featuring a trail race and an obstacle race. singaporenighttrail.com.sg

AUGUST 2014 Bedok Reservoir Ultramarathon 2014 Min. 51.6km | 16 Aug, 7am | Bedok Reservoir | Registration: $120 Runners have to complete the most laps in 12 hours (51.6km minimum). http://bedokultra.blogspot.sg

Frost & Sullivan 2014 Corporate Challenge Charity Run 5km & 10km | 23 Aug, 6.30am | MacRitchie Reservoir | Registration: $500/team of 4 or $125/individual A trail run through MacRitchie Reservoir; all proceeds go to charity. www.frost-apac.com/frost-the-trail/

MetaMan 2014 (Half & Full Iron Distance Triathlon) Full/Half/Blitz | 23-25 Aug, 7am | Bintan | Registration: $175-$620 A swim/bike/run course in Bintan, with pre- and post event activities. www.metamanbintan.com

SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2014 5km-21km | 31 Aug, 5.15am | Esplanade Drive | Registration: $8.55-$69.55 Includes competitive 21km half-marathon and 5km Fun Run portions. www.safra.sg


MAY-JUN 2014

Panasonic Photography Special

Photo by Bence Máté


Image by Gunther Deichmann. Street scene in Jodhpur, India, shot with Panasonic Lumix GH3, with the 14-140mm lens.


+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL | 01

Hello, photography lovers When you’re passionate about photography, you don’t just love capturing images. You love the light and movement and timing that goes into them.

field, shooting with lightweight Lumix G cameras and lenses instead of the heavy 35mm versions.

At Panasonic, we understand that, and that’s why we’ve led the industry in pioneering Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera technology.

We also offer the largest range of mirror-less lenses in the industry, combining state-of-the-art digital technology and cutting edge optics, giving you great shots whether its photography or videography.

Take our revolutionary Lumix G line of cameras. It’s unbelievably light, but still packs in all the uncompromising image quality you’ll ever need – just ask pro photographers like Bence Máté and Gunther Deichmann who are in the

At the end of the day, it’s all about using technology to make getting great images easier, every time. We’ve compiled this photo special with that in mind – with a mix of information and, of course, images, tips and more.

Contents Camera Guide

02

Panasonic LUMIX GH4

LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

Panasonic LUMIX GX7 Panasonic LUMIX GM1

G Lens

Panasonic LUMIX G6

LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH.

Panasonic LUMIX GF6

LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.

Lens Focus LEICA Lens

05

03

LEICA DG NOCTICORON 42.5mm / F1.2 LENS / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm / F4.0 ASPH. LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

15MM DG SUMMILUX 15mm F1.7 ASPH

LUMIX Lens Lineup

06

LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

Photographer Profile

LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH

Lens LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8 / POWER O.I.S.

04

Gunther Deichmann

08

Bence Máté

10

Choosing your lenses

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+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL

LUMIX G Camera Guide GH GH4

(Flagship)

TARGET AUDIENCE

FEATURES

High-end users such as professional photographers and videographers

• 4K video recording capability • Professional video enhancements/features • Splash-proof/dust-proof magnesium alloy body • Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC

New 16.05M | VE9AHD | 12 fps Burst (Target) | DFD Technology | OLED – 2360K LVF | 3.0” 1040K Monitor | 4K 30p/25p/24p | 1080 60p/50p/24p | High Bitrate | Mg Body | Dust & Splash Proof | Wi-Fi with NFC | Eye Sensor

GM GM1

GX GX7 FEATURES

FEATURES

• 90-degree tilting, built-in electronic viewfinder

• Ultra-compact and lightweight

• Stylish premium design

• Premium magnesium alloy construction

• Durable magnesium alloy body

• Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC

• Inbuilt image stabilisation and focus peaking • Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC TARGET AUDIENCE Camera enthusiasts who enjoy shooting, who like and own several different cameras

TARGET AUDIENCE New 16.00M | VE8FHD | 5 fps Burst | 2764K LVF | 3.0” 1040K Monitor | 1080 60p(50p) | Wi-Fi with NFC | Eye Sensor

G G6

Camera hobbyists who enjoy high image quality in a compact form

16.00M | VE8FHD | 5 fps Burst | 3.0” 1036K Monitor | 1080 60i(50i) | Wi-Fi

GF GF6 FEATURES

FEATURES

• OLED viewfinder • 3-inch touchscreen

• 1,040-dot LCD touchscreen

• 180-degree, articulating display

• 180-degree tilting display for selfies

• Electronic shutter

• Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC

• Manual movie modes TARGET AUDIENCE Camera and movie enthusiasts who prefer the traditional DSLR style in a smaller and lighter package.

• Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC

16.05M | VE8FHD | 7 fps Burst | 1440K OLED LVF | 3.0” 1036K | 1080 60p(50p) | Wi-Fi with NFC | Eye Sensor

TARGET AUDIENCE Beginners who are buying their first interchangeable lens camera and are starting out in photography.

16.00M | VE8FHD | 4.2 fps Burst | 3.0 1040K Monitor (1080 30p(25p) | Wi-Fi with NFC


+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL | 03

Photo by Hanawa Shinichi

LEICA DG NOCTICORON 42.5mm / F1.2 Lens / POWER O.I.S. Lens Type: Single Fixed Focal length

LENS FOCUS:

Benefits: • Renowned Leica optical quality promises sharp images even at the widest aperture

LEICA Lens

• Bright F1.2 constant aperture enables pleasing background blur

Leica was among the pioneers of still photography and has become the watchword for quality among professional photographers. The DG LEICA lenses have been developed exclusively for the LUMIX G Series and incorporate state-of-the-art optical and mechanical components. The Leica DG lenses are equipped with lens technologies which ensure gradations remain rich and sharp across the entire frame, giving users exceptionally delicate and natural rendering of reality. Every LEICA DG lens is manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems that have been certified by Leica’s strict quality standards.

15MM DG SUMMILUX 15MM F1.7 ASPH

• The lens’ 85mm focal length (35mm equivalent) is suitable for portraits • Fast aperture also lets you shoot sharp images in low-light conditions Ideal For: Portraits, Night scenes

LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH

Benefits:

Lens Type: Single Fixed Focal length

Lens Type: Single Fixed Focal length

• Bright F1.7 constant aperture lens gives your background a pleasing defocused blur

Benefits:

Benefits:

• Makes small objects appear larger than life, and is able to capture extreme closeups

• F1.4 fast aperture offers superb image rendering indoors or in low light

• Its fast F2.8 aperture keeps subjects crisp while blurring away distractions

• Renders images with an exquisite soft focus effect when used at its widest aperture

• Doubles up as a short telephoto lens for shooting far away objects

• An ideal general purpose focal length for shooting a variety of situations

Ideal For:

Ideal For:

Macro photography, Product photography, Landscapes, Portraits

Portraits, Snapshots, Night scenes

Lens Type: Single Fixed Focal length

• Fast aperture also lets you shoot sharp images in low-light conditions • Features a control ring for quick adjustment of aperture values • An AF/MF switch lets you change focus modes easily Ideal For: Snapshots, Landscapes, Night scenes


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+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL

Photo by Bence Máté

LUMIX G VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

LENS FOCUS:

LUMIX G

Lens Type: Standard Zoom Benefits:

Lens

The Lumix G X lenses are Panasonic's premium lens series that take a major leap in photographic potential and strike a bold challenge to the limits of image rendering. These X lenses feature a unique Nano Surface Coating which minimises flaring and ghosting, resulting in photographs with superb image rendering for lifelike textures and crisp edge-to-edge contrast.

• Fast F2.8 aperture is constant from wideangle, standard to medium telephoto • Capture crisp subjects with pleasing background blur at its widest aperture • Its wide angle perspective and compact size makes it ideal for travel photography • Captures blur-free images in less-than-ideal lighting situations Ideal For: Landscapes, Snapshots, Events

LUMIX G VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8 / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO PZ 45-175mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

Lens Type: Telephoto Zoom

Lens Type: Telephoto Zoom

Lens Type: Standard Zoom

Benefits:

Benefits:

Benefits:

• Goes all the way from 70-200mm (35mm equivalent) at a fast F2.8 constant aperture

• Its ultra-compact size makes it ideal for travelling

• Features a versatile focal range for capturing anything from landscapes to daily snapshots

• Softly blurs out backgrounds for portraits and closeups • The splash/dust-proof design makes it a durable lens for shooting in harsh conditions Ideal For: Portraits, Landscapes, Wildlife, Sports photography

• Enhanced autofocus performance • Covers a wide range of focus, from medium telephoto to telephoto Ideal For: Wildlife, Sports photography, Events, Close-ups

• Retractable optics in this ultra-compact lens gives users increased mobility with an extra zoom range Ideal For: Landscapes, Snapshots


+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL | 05

Photo by Shawn Low

LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH.

LENS FOCUS:

Lens Type: Standard Zoom Benefits: • Its thin and slim profile makes it easy to carry anywhere

LUMIX G Lens

• Features a versatile 20mm focal range for a wide variety of photographic situations

The Lumix G lens series is a result of an uncompromising quest for the best possible image quality. Besides being compact, they are lightweight allowing the photographer to be exceptionally mobile. These lenses also feature high-speed contrast autofocus which can enable quick, precise and accurate autofocus performance every time. The Lumix G lens ecosystem also lets users shoot any situation with its wide variety of lenses from wide-angle to telephoto.

• Fast F1.7 aperture lets you capture your subject in sharp focus while keeping your background in soft focus • New premium, all-metal construction Ideal For: Snapshots, Portraits, Night scenes

LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm / F4.0 ASPH.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

Lens Type: Telephoto Zoom

Lens Type: Wide Angle Zoom

Lens Type: Standard Zoom

Benefits:

Benefits:

Benefits:

• Small and lightweight enough to fit the palm of your hand

• The 7mm setting provides an ultra-wide-angle view that gathers more than the eye can see at once

• Covers a focal range between 28mm to 280mm (35mm equivalent)

• Ability to shoot very distant subjects with its maximum 600mm (35mm equivalent) focal range

• 14mm setting makes it easy to fit the whole subject in the image

• Comes with in-built stabilisation motor to ensure sharp images throughout the zoom range

• Great for dramatic landscapes with an extreme wide-angled 114-degree angle of view

Ideal For:

Ideal For:

Wildlife, Sports photography, Close-ups

Landscapes, Architecture, Snapshots

• Ability to capture a wide range of situations from wide-angled landscapes to portraits and telephoto shots that draws in distant subjects Ideal For: Wildlife, Sports photography, Close-ups


+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL

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LEICA Lens

LEICA DG NOCTICORON 42.5mm / F1.2 Lens / POWER O.I.S.

LEICA DG SUMMILUX 15mm / F1.7 ASPH.

LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH

LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G FISHEYE 8mm / F3.5

LUMIX G 14mm / F2.5 ASPH.

LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH.

LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 ASPH.

LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm / F4.0 ASPH.

LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

G Lens


+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL | 07

The Largest Mirrorless Lens Line-up

Lens

LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8 / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.


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+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL

Portraiture PHOTOGRAPHER PROFILE

Gunther Deichmann After over 30 years of professional shooting, nature, culture and the environment remain the focus of Gunther's photography. Over the years, he's been dropped into crocodile-infested swamps, uncovered international scoops on crimes against wildlife and trekked everywhere from the jungles of Cambodia to the Thar Desert in search of that perfect shot. While his work takes him around the globe on photo-tours Photo by Hubert Weber and lectures, it's always been Asian destinations like Myanmar, Cambodia, Bhutan, India and Nepal that hold special interest for him. Read more on his blog at http://deichmann-photo.com/blog.html

For Travel and Documentary Photography, my preferred lenses are the 20mm/f1.7 II and the amazing 12-35mm/f2.8. Both are very fast and extremely sharp – ideal for serious street photography and all around work. For wildlife, the 14-140mm is a great companion too.

Indian Odyssey During one of my recent workshops we travelled over 3,000km through the Thar Desert and Rajasthan, enduring some extreme heat and dusty conditions at times. My travel companions were the Lumix GH3 and the GX7. The GX7 was perfect for tight spots, and especially in extremely crowded places like Virindavan or the streets of New Delhi’s Spice Market, using primarily the fast 20mm/f1.7 II fixed lens. I used a variety of lenses during the entire trip: the 20mm, 7-14mm, the all-round 14-140mm and the fast and classic 12-35mm/f2.8. The telephoto 100-300mm lens was for the occasional sighting of wildlife in the Thar Desert. Everything I used fits very nicely into one small shoulder bag – without sacrificing quality.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8

L


UMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8

+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL | 09

This image was shot on a very old leaky wooden boat on the Yamuna River at dawn with the LUMIX G X VARIO 7-14mm lens. Ideal for landscapes, it gives a lifelike depth and emphasised perspective even in low light.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8


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+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL

Wildlife PHOTOGRAPHER PROFILE

Bence Máté On the strength of his achievements at the international ‘BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ competition, Bence Mate has been its most successful competitor in the past 49 years. In 2010 he was the youngest ever to be chosen as Wildlife Photographer of the Year by the BBC. In the same year he published the English translation of his book, ‘The Invisible Wildlife Photographer’, sponsored by Panasonic. The book gives us an insight into the secrets of wildlife photography. Since 2006, he has been testing Panasonic’s latest cameras in extreme conditions, in several remote parts of the world, including Costa Rica, Brazil, Norway, Hungary, and Africa. Currently, he works as a freelance action-photographer while running wildlife photo tours to his special hides equipped with one-way glass, where birds can be observed at any time of the day without being disturbed.

Panasonic's extensive lens ecosystem ranging from 7mm to 300mmm (35mm equivalent: 14mm600mm) lets you shoot almost any situation from wide-angle to telephoto. The Lumix G 35-100mm and 100-300mm telephoto lenses, for example, are the perfect pair for capturing far-reaching wildlife images in exquisite detail.

Ice Cold Wings The photos were taken in Hungary, in the Kiskunság National Park, from a special underwater hide. This shooting was preceded by a 2-year-long preparation where the selection of the scene, building and developing the hide are concerned. At that time, Panasonic offered me a chance to shoot with a prototype of the new GH4 and I decided to shoot from this location without question. My goal was to take pictures reflecting the winter atmosphere, so I spent 20 days in the hide until finally it started to snow for the first time. I have not managed to take such good scenes for 9 years.

LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6

LUMIX G X VARIO 35-10


00mm / F2.8

+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL | 11

This image was shot using the LUMIX G Vario 7-14mm. With its ultra-wide angle, it's able to gather more than the eye can see, even high-speed motion with dozens of birds taking flight.

LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8

LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6


Choosing your lenses LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm / F4.0 ASPH.

LUMIX G FISHEYE 8mm / F3.5

LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

• Captures dynamic landscapes exactly as you see them. • Lets you shoot landscapes with lifelike depth and emphasised perspective.

• A compact design for easy carrying. • High image quality for both indoor shots and snapshots.

• F2.8 brightness across the zoom range produces stunning nightscapes and illuminated scenes. • Dust/splashproof design enables outdoor use.

LUMIX G 14mm / F2.5 ASPH.

• Wide versatility, from landscapes to snapshots. • Bright lens for great performance in both indoor shots and nightscapes.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

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• Deforms images with the impact of a fisheye lens. • Lets you apply extraordinary fisheye effects even to video images.

LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

nd sc ap Sn es ap sh ot s Ev en ts Po rtr ai ts Cl os eu Sp ps or ts & An Un im iq ue al s Sh ot s

+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL

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• Extends from wide-angle to mid-telephoto with an ultra-compact design. • A quiet power zoom, ideal for shooting videos.

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• A handy 3x zoom traveller for landscapes and portraits.

• Versatile 3x zooming for everything from landscapes to snapshots. • Telephoto shots with a beautifully softfocused background to emphasise the subject.

• Captures everything from vast landscapes to distant facial expressions with a 10x zoom. • Quiet operation for comfortable shooting of HD video.

• Easy carrying, even with a 10x zoom. • Covers everything, from wide-angle to telephoto.

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La

nd sc ap Sn es ap sh ot s Ev en ts Po rtr ai ts Cl os eu Sp ps or ts & An Un im iq ue al s Sh ot s

+ PANASONIC LENS SPECIAL | 13

LEICA DG SUMMILUX 15mm / F1.7 ASPH.

LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH.

LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH.

• Ideal for snapshots and landscapes using natural lighting. • A Leica-certified lens with high performance all the way to the edges of the frame.

• A compact, lightweight, pancake style for active shooting. • A bright lens for beautiful everyday snapshots.

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• A Leica-certified lens with excellent image rendering, even in dim lighting. • F1.4 brightness for beautiful everyday snapshots.

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LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8 / POWER O.I.S.

• F2.8 brightness across the zoom range produces stunning nightscapes and illuminated scenes. • Dust/splashproof design, ideal for sports scenes.

LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH. POWER O.I.S.

• Excellent depth and soft-focused backgrounds with outstanding F1.2 performance. • A Leica-certified lens that makes even casual portraits look impressive.

LEICA DG MACROELMARIT 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.

LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.

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• A Leica-certified lens for large, clear shots of the tiny world of nature. • A sharply focused foreground and beautifully soft focused background.

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• High-speed AF captures decisive moments even in the telephoto range. • Video shooting with a smooth power zoom.

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• Compact, lightweight, easy-to-carry zoom. • Clearly captures sport scenes and children's expressions.

• Beautiful soft focus from a 7-blade iris diaphragm. • Sharp, stabilised images across the wide zoom range.

• Clear, high-contrast, high-resolution images across the entire zoom range. • Handheld 600mm (35mm equivalent) ultra-telephoto shooting.

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Sports+Travel Singapore | Issue 57  

Culture Issue | Singapore's free adventure travel magazine! May/Jun 2014. www.sportsandtravelonline.com

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