The ASEAN Guide 2017

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GO ASIA PLUS { Asean Supplement 2017 }

ASEANGUIDE

BY

THE

CO-PRESENTED BY

FEATURING

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ABOUT THE

asean GUIDE

ASEANGUIDE

THE

Hello and welcome to the first ever GOASIAPLUS

Asean Guide that is co-presented by AirAsia. In

case you did not know, 2017 marks the 50th

anniversary of the formation of ASEAN so we made a little

guide for you featuring 10 Asean countries. We feature 2

‘road less taken’ destinations per country to inspire you to

travel around South East Asia.

Plus, thanks to AirAsia, you can know all the flight

destinations under their esteem airline. Make sure to check

out our special feature on the AirAsia Asean Pass, the

affordable pass to travel to various ASEAN countries using

a credit system.

More good news as we are also giving away AirAsia

Asean Passes to 5 lucky winners! Details of the contest

are on our GOASIAPLUS FB page starting from 15 August

2017. We wish you the best of luck!

Happy reading from the GOASIAPLUS team :)

Starting from

15 AUG 2017

WIN FREE

CONTEST DETAILS ON OUR

GOASIAPLUS FB PAGE

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GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

Malaysia

“Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and

appreciate our surroundings” - Letitia Baldrige. Yes,

when comes to tea time in Malaysia, everyone revels

in it. Malaysians, like people from other countries,

love tea. The beloved tea holiday in this country is

Cameron Highlands. It is the hotbed of tea plantation,

as some of the country’s best tea brands are planted

and produced here in these valleys. You can safely say

that majority of the local here has visited Cameron

Highlands. While tea plantation is the highlight of

this place, it is also home for fresh agriculture produce

and horticulture.

HOW TO GET THERE

Travellers can get to Cameron

Highlands by land, either

by car, rented taxi or bus.

There are regular bus and

taxi services from capital city

of Kuala Lumpur to Cameron

Highlands. There are also bus

services from Simpang Pulai

bus station travelling from

Kinta to Cameron Highlands

hill station.

WHERE TO STAY

Cameron Highland has a

wide number of hotels and

accommodations suited for

every budget. There are also

apartments that has 3-4

rooms if you are travelling in

a group. Holiday Inn Cameron

Highlands and Strawberry

Park Hotel are the two

notable names when it comes

to accommodations here.

CLOCKWISE FROM

TOP The tea plantation

at Cameron Highlands;

Fresh strawberries to

be picked at Cameron

Highlands; The view from

the peak of Broga Hill; One

of the many waterfalls in

Pahang; The night view at

Broga Hill.

WHAT TO DO

Visiting tea plantation fields

and tea producing factories

should be the main itinerary

in travellers’ visit here. It

would be a good learning

experience on how tea leaves

are processed and produced.

Also, there are many farmers

cultivating land for fresh

vegetables and fruits.

Travellers can go strawberry

picking and visit flower

farms, just some of the many

horticulture activities there.

4 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM

WHAT TO EAT

Travellers can find all sorts

of restaurants serving local

delights, ranging from Malay,

Chinese and Indian food.

On a chilly night, you can go

to Gonbei restaurant for a

Chinese steamboat dinner.

Since Cameron Highlands is

where fresh vegetables are

planted, a good vegetarian

meal would be a sumptuous

delight. Try some at Cameron

Organic Produce Steamboat

restaurant.

FLYING TIP

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{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

AirAsia

AirAsia has the widest domestic

network, connecting not just

both Peninsular and East

Malaysia, but also intra-East

Malaysia; easing travel among

Malaysians and tourists alike.

BOOK NOW AT AIRASIA.COM

Fancy a hike and a superb view of sunrise or sunset?

Well, head out to Broga Hill in Semenyih, a spot that

is becoming quite popular among locals here. This 400

meter hill, surrounded with lush green hills of a tropical

rainforest, is quite a joy to hike during a quiet weekday

morning where one can climb at their own pace.

HOW TO GET THERE

It takes about 40 minutes

drive by car or taxi from

Kuala Lumpur. By bus,

travellers can hop on RapidKL

that head to Seremban. The

entrance to the hill is before

Broga town if you’re coming

from Semenyih.

WHAT TO DO

Hike, chill out on a picnic and

enjoy the view. Travellers can

be a bit daring by exploring

the lush rainforest and watch

local wildlife but its best that

local authorities are informed

about your whereabouts.

WHERE TO STAY

Broga Bliss Eco Garden

Flights

AirAsia has introduced 3

new routes: from Langkawi

to Shenzhen, from Langkawi

to Kuching and from Johor

Bahru to Kuala Terengganu.

would be an ideal place to

stay. It takes less than 10

minutes drive from Broga

Hill and is situated on a

relaxing eco farm overlooking

beautiful scapes of hills

and mountains. The place

also has organic fruits farm

and flowers surrounded by

greenery. Broga Bliss is big

enough to cater smaller or

larger groups.

WHAT TO EAT

There are two famous grill

fish restaurants in Broga

which is a must-try for first

time visitors. There are also

lots of other restaurants and

stalls if travellers fancy some

local delights.

Facts

Malaysia is a fast growing

country that is rich with culture

and tradition, bustling modern

cities, colonial architecture, and

beautiful islands. East Malaysian

states are Sarawak and Sabah, rich

with oil and tropical rainforest.

Malaysia has three predominant

races - Malay, Chinese and Indian

and many ethnic races in East

Malaysian states.

Malaysia has 30.33 million as at

2015, with Bahasa Malaysia being

the official national language.

English is widely spoken. Other

dialects are Mandarin and

Cantonese, ethnic Indian languages

and native East Malaysian

languages.

Malaysia is a multiconfessional

country whose most professed

religion is Islam. Other religion

freely practised are Christianity,

Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism.

Malaysia posted Gross Domestic

Product (GDP) of USD$296.2

billion in 2015 contributed

services, manufacturing and

construction sector.

The electrical and electronics

industry is the leading sector in

Malaysia's manufacturing industry,

contributing significantly to the

country's exports and employment.

Other sectors are petroleum and

liquefied natural gas, wood, palm

oil and rubber.

Malaysia has a constitutional

monarchy system headed by

traditional Malay rulers. Ringgit is

the currency of Malaysia. It comes

in the denomination of 2, 5, 10, 20,

50 and 100 notes.

Malaysia favourite spectator

sports with most fans are football,

hockey and badminton. The world's

number one badminton and

squash players are Malaysians. The

country has a strong football team.

The Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis is the

national flower of Malaysia. It is

known as 'Bunga Raya' literally

meaning 'celebratory flower' in

Malay.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 5


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

Indonesia

If there is one thing in Bandung that allures annual

visitors, it would be the many waterfalls or curug, as

the locals call it. One spectacular waterfall is the 85

meters high Cimahi Waterfall or Curug Cimahi. The

site is located in the village of Cisarua, approximately

10 kilometers from Cimahi or about 1 hour or 20

kilometres away from the city of Bandung.

HOW TO GET THERE

By public transportation,

visitors can take the

Cimahi-Lembang or Cimahi-

Cihanjuang bus route to

reach Cimahi Waterfall. A

quicker way is by renting

a car or van. Once there,

it takes about 30 minutes

on foot to reach Cimahi

Waterfall. Visitors are

advised to check the

entrance fees for daytime

and night time visit as fees

may vary.

WHAT TO DO

Above all else, this is a

perfect location to enjoy

the scenic waterfall or a

cool dip if one can’t resist

the temptation. If you stay

until the sun is down, the

waterfall will be adorned

with colored lights that ignite

a breathtaking view at night.

Visitors can also venture out

to nearby trails and watch

some local wildlife such as

the monkeys that live in

these parts. There are also a

variety of flora and fauna for

nature lovers to bask in.

WHERE TO STAY

Visitors can find ample

choice of accommodations

outside Cimahi district. From

guesthouses to classy hotels,

the Royal Tulip Bandung

Hotel is one you should look

out for. Some of these hotels

are happy to assist tourists in

booking rental cars or vans to

Cimahi Waterfall.

WHAT TO EAT

One can find a variety of local

stalls nearby the waterfall

entrance. Some of the stalls

have delicious Indonesian

delights. Rice, noodles

and various Indonesian

condiments are served in

every direction. For visitors

who are not accustomed to

local dishes can always bring

their own picnic basket.

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{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

AirAsia Flights

AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to

Banda Aceh, Bandung, Bali, Jakarta (also

from Penang & Johor Bahru), Makassar,

Medan (also from Penang), Lombok,

Semarang, Surabaya (also from Penang),

Solo, Pekanbaru, Padang, Palembang,

Pontianak (also from Kuching) and Yogyakarta.

BOOK NOW AT AIRASIA.COM

A visit to any wildlife sanctuary park has never fail

to excite anyone’s interests, especially when you get

to see the natural habitat of man’s closest relative -

the orangutan. The Gunung Leuser National Park in

northern Sumatra is one such place. Here, the Bukit

Lawang Sumatran orangutan sanctuary is located

within the park along with a wide range of protected

ecosystems and species such as the Sumatran

elephant, tiger, rhinoceros, sambar deer and leopard

cat. The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra is

a World Heritage Site and a must visit for all nature

and animal lovers.

Facts

Home to hundreds of ethnic

groups speaking many different

languages, Indonesia, which is

made up of thousands of volcanic

islands, is also the world’s largest

Muslim population and Southeast

Asia’s biggest economy.

Indonesia has a population of

260,581,100 as of 2016, with

Indonesian as the main dialect, and

300 regional languages.

Indonesia’s Gross Domestic

Product (GDP) stood at US$861.9

billion as at 2015. The capital

city is Jakarta and its currency is

Indonesian rupiah.

Indonesia imports machinery

including computers, mineral fuels

like oil, electrical machinery, iron,

steel and vehicles among others.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP

The extreme sport of water

rafting; The lush waterfalls

of Sumatra; Locals hanging

out on the bridge; Fresh

fruit to be eaten, ripe and

tasty from the forests of

Indonesia.

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HOW TO GET THERE

It takes between 3-4 hours

by non air-conditioned bus

from Medan to Bukit Lawang.

A more comfortable option is

to take a taxi from the airport

or hotel in Medan and if you

are in Belawan ferry terminal,

there are many drivers

offering minivans direct to

Bukit Lawang. Travellers

can also opt to travel by car

which can be arranged by

Medan hotel pick-up.

WHAT TO DO

A jungle trek to the

orangutan rehabilitation

centre in Bukit Lawang

is a good sport for hiking

lovers. Here visitors will be

able to learn how rangers

rehabilitate orangutans

released from captivity so

they can survive in the wild.

Besides that, visitors can

make a stop at a bat cave

and elephant camp at nearby

Tangkahan.

WHERE TO STAY

There are plenteous

guesthouses, homestay

and inns available in

Bukit Lawang and nearby

areas, which offers ‘back

to basics’ experience for

travellers. Most of these

accommodations are run by

local families. Notable ones

are the Junia Guesthouse

and Brando Resto, where

travellers can enjoy both the

scenic Bohorok river and

sounds of nature.

WHAT TO EAT

The place is blessed with

local cuisines as travellers

can get good food in many

restaurants in Bukit Lawang

that cater to vegetarians as

well. Open spaced Green Hill

and Indra Valley Inn are some

of the best choices to taste

a variety of dishes. There are

also the Jungle Tribe cocktail

bar and Tony’s Restaurant

that serves great pizzas.

Palm oil, metal scrap, gems and

precious metals are the fastestgrowing

exports for Indonesia.

Overall, the country has shipped

US$144.5 billion worth of goods

around the globe in 2016.

Major national free-to-air

terrestrial television stations in

Indonesia are TVRI, RCTI, SCTV,

MNCTV, ANTV, Indosiar, MetroTV,

Trans TV, Trans7, tvOne, Global

TV, Kompas TV, NET., RTV, and

iNews TV.

Indonesia government works in

a framework of a presidential

representative democratic republic,

whereby the President of Indonesia

is both head of state and head of

government.

National flower of Indonesia is

Melati Putih (Jasminum sambac)

a small white flower with

sweet fragrance, has long been

considered as a sacred flower in

Indonesian tradition. It symbolises

purity, sacredness, graceful

simplicity and sincerity.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 7


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

Singapore

Singapore, being a small island country situated on

the southern Malaysia, has a number of interesting

ideas and spots for tourists apart from being a global

financial and commercial center. While there are a

large number of nightspots, bars and restaurants,

besides other historical sites, travellers must not miss

visiting Gardens by the Bay. This colourful, futuristic

park in the bay area is adorned with amazing

architecture, supertree structures and an impressive

skywalk that will captivate visitors of all ages.

HOW TO GET THERE

Travellers can arrive in

Singapore by train, bus or

car from Malaysia. AirAsia

flies to Singapore from Kuala

Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu,

Kuching, Langkawi, Miri and

Penang. Getting around the

country is also relatively

easy since the MRT has

an extensive rail network

throughout the island.

WHAT TO DO

The size of the Gardens by

the Bay is about 250 acres

and situated on reclaimed

land on the waterfront. The

best way to see the size of

the park is from the rooftop

of Marina Bay Sands Hotel,

situated right across the

park. Towering over Gardens

by the Bay are dozens of

supertrees - large treeshaped

metal structures

hosting over 200 different

species of plants and flowers

that illuminate at night.

There are also the climatecontrolled

Cloud Forest and

Flower Dome that house

flowers collected from high

altitude mountains around

the world.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodations in

Singapore are abundant

- from budget inns and

homestay to high-end

boutique hotels located all

over the island. If budget

permits, Marina Bay Sands

would be best, as it has

a beautiful night view of

Gardens by the Bay.

WHAT TO EAT

Practically at every corner

you can find restaurants that

offers Chinese, Malay and

Indian dishes. International

delights can be enjoyed

at places like Quayside

featuring hip eateries and

bars manned by culinary

masters.

AirAsia

Flights

AirAsia flies

to Singapore from Kuala

Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu,

Kuching, Langkawi, Miri

and Penang.

BOOK NOW AT AIRASIA.COM

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{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

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CLOCKWISE FROM

TOP The illuminated

supertrees at Gardens by

the Bay; The streets of

Chinatown; Local food

joints in Singapore:

Beautiful flowers at the

Cloud Forest and Flower

Dome.

Facts

Once a British colonial trading

post, Singapore today is the global

financial hub in Southeast Asia.

The country is densely-populated,

with high rise buildings and

condominiums, but a large number

of locals live in public-housing

tower blocks.

The country is also a media hub for

Southeast Asia, a strategic centre

for the region’s English-speaking

audience. However, the media

environment is tightly-controlled,

including online content.

When comes to the name ‘Chinatown’, a few countries

boast their fair share of their own traditional Chinese

quarter. Chinatown in Singapore, a bustling mix of

modern and traditional, is unique to its own right,

with low rise buildings and culture bursting out onto

the streets. There are lots of Chinese restaurants,

temples, old museums and plenty of food stalls. Plus

get your bargaining skills out as Chinatown has

hundreds of stalls selling everything from silk robes,

swaying lanterns to ‘Made in China’ goods.

HOW TO GET THERE

Take the MRT to Chinatown,

an interchange station

between the North East Line

and Downtown Line. Taking a

taxi is also an option.

WHAT TO DO

Take a walk down the tight

aisles and see hundreds

of shop selling almost

everything. Visitors can find

lots of unique gift items,

traditional and modern

clothing, plenty of authentic

food and sights. Must visit

list include Baba House,

Coin and Notes Museum,

Singapore City Gallery, Red

Dot Design Museum and the

Pinnacle@Duxton Skybridge.

WHERE TO STAY

There are a number of hotels

in Chinatown to choose from.

There is the Chinatown Hotel

built in heritage buildings;

Hotel 81, a 2-star hotel that

offers casual lodging with

free wifi. A more stylish place

is the Santa Grand, a former

Chinese opera house with

19th-century touches.

WHAT TO EAT

Visitors can check out

authentic Chinese dishes

flavoured with spices and

sauces. There are restaurants

serving dim sums, noodles

and even full mix dish meals.

Smaller stalls offer simple

yet interesting oriental

refreshments and snacks for

tourists to enjoy.

As at 2016, Singapore’s population

is 5,696,506 people. Chinese

account for more than 75% of

Singapore’s multi-racial population,

with Malays and Indians making

up much of the remainder. Major

languages are English, Malay,

Mandarin, Tamil.

Singapore’s strong growth sectors

are industrial base in electronics,

infocommunications and

mechanical engineering that drive

the country’s economic growth.

Singapore politics are based on

a parliamentary representative

democratic republic whereby

the President of Singapore is the

head of state, the Prime Minister

of Singapore is the head of

government and of a multi-party

system.

MediaCorp is one of the largest

broadcasting companies in

Singapore, with a variety of TV and

radio channels. Interestingly, you

can get TV stations from Malaysia

and Indonesia in Singapore.

Motorsports, football, basketball,

cricket, rugby union, swimming,

badminton and cycling are some of

the sports Singaporeans participate

in major Games.

The Vanda Miss Joaquim is

Singapore’s national flower. It was

chosen particularly for its vibrant

colours, hardiness and resilience

– qualities which reflect the

Singapore spirit.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 9


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

CLOCKWISE FROM

TOP The Nong Nooch

Tropical Botanical Garden;

The mountain range of

Phayao; Buddha statue

decorated in flowers;

Cycling elephants as part

of the animal shows in

Thailand; Taking a boat out

on the lake.

Thailand

Phayao, or the Vienna of South East Asia as mentioned

in some tourist brochures, is located in the northern

provinces of Thailand, with Nan, Phrae, Lampang, and

Chiang Rai as its neighbouring provinces. This place

prides itself in being an undiscovered and

unwesternised part of North Thailand as it is

virtually enveloped by mountains and valleys, along

with sacred religious sites. It also boasts a seminatural

freshwater lake called Phayao Lake, where

local fishermen make their living by catching fish.

HOW TO GET THERE

There are regular bus

services from Bangkok to

Phayao. There are also buses

from neighbouring provinces

like Chiang Rai, which takes

just less than two hours to

Phayao. By air, AirAsia flies

from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang

Mai where you can take a bus

from there to Phayao.

WHAT TO DO

The Kwan Phayao or Phayao

Lake is one of the main

attraction to learn the culture

and native surroundings. The

major commercial street is

Don Sanam and travellers can

find plenty of snacks to local

clothes. Make sure to stop at

various temples like the Wat

Si Khom Kham, home to the

magnificent golden 16m high

Sitting Buddha.

WHERE TO STAY

Phayao has a wide range

of accommodation with a

myriad of places in budget,

mid and upper mid ranges.

However, travellers are

advised to book early

as prices can fluctuate

considerably between high

season. Kwan Phayao Jumjai

Homestay, Kwan Phayao

Villa, Zen Home Resort &

Garden are some of the

notable accommodations in

Phayao.

WHAT TO EAT

The Aurora House Restaurant

is a scenic eatery while

Ancharoen Noodle Soup

offers local beef noodles and

other variety soups. Local

Thai dishes are available

almost everywhere along

Don Sanam street.

AirAsia

Flights

AirAsia flies from

Kuala Lumpur to

Bangkok (also from

Penang and JB),

Chiang Mai, Hat Yai,

Phuket, Krabi, Surat

Thani and Pattaya.

BOOK NOW AT AIRASIA.COM

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{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden & Cultural Village is a landscape park

or a garden paradise in Pattaya, Thailand. The vast garden has all the

activities - with daily cultural shows, restaurants and accommodation

as well as a vast area showcasing species-specific gardens, such as

cactus and succulent plants, orchid nurseries, tropical palm, bonsai

and topiary garden. Interestingly, there is even an orchid nursery

which house more than 670 native species and hybrids, a must-notmiss

for visitors.

Facts

Thailand at the heart of Southeast

Asia, borders Cambodia and Laos

to the east and northeast. The

country’s long southern region

connects with Malaysia. Northern

Thailand are hilly and forested and

some of the highest mountains are

located in this region.

The country has a population of

67.96 million as at 2015, with 90

percent of the people are Buddhist.

About three million Muslims live

in the south near the border with

Malaysia.

Thai or Central Thai, also known as

Siamese, is the national and official

language of Thailand. English

are spoken in cities, especially in

capital city of Bangkok.

HOW TO GET THERE

It takes about 50 minutes

from Pattaya city to

reach Nong Nooch by

land depending on traffic

conditions. From Pattaya

city travellers can hire a

taxi or songtaew to Nong

Nooch. The best option

from Bangkok is to pick a

tour package that includes

Nong Nooch as part of

the itinerary. Getting

around by foot will be time

consuming therefore renting

a motorcycle or a bicycle

would be an easier mode to

explore.

WHAT TO DO

A vast garden that

encompasses an area of

around 600 acres, there are

some spectacular landscapes

and gardenscapes that are

simply amazing to view.

There is an Animal Sculpture

garden where visitors can

find sculptures of animals

such as camels, kangaroos,

lamas, leopards and deer.

WHERE TO STAY

Nong Nooch has its own set

of accommodation options

to offer visitors. Nong Nooch

Village, Nong Nooch Garden

Resort and Royal Cliff Hotel

are some of the good hotels

around here. If you prefer

the beach as part of your

visit, have a luxurious stay

at the Sea Sand Sun Resort

and Villas, which is about 3.4

kilometres away from Nong

Nooch.

WHAT TO EAT

There are quite a number of

restaurants and cafes within

the area that serves western

and local cuisines. You can

also have Indian cuisine at Al

Diwan Restaurant or dine at

a biker joint called Terracotta

Restaurant and Bike Stop.

Thailand’s Gross Domestic

Product (GDP) for 2015 was

USD$395.3 billion. Being an

industrialised country heavily

export dependancy, exports

accounts for more than two-thirds

of its GDP. Agriculture and tourism

are the most important industries

in Thailand.

Thailand government are

managed within the framework

of a constitutional monarchy. The

king is the leader of the country.

The prime minister is picked

among members of the House of

Representatives, but is appointed

by the king.

Thailand has free-to-air channels,

namely Channel 9, MCOT HD and

TV3 while TV5, BBTV CH7 are

owned by Royal Thai Army and

channels NBT and Thai PBS are

fully government-owned.

Thai athletes excel in football.

boxing and kickboxing,

weightlifting, tennis and sepak

takraw.

The flower of Ratchaphruek or

golden shower tree (Cassia fistula)

is the national flower of Thailand. It

symbolises glory in Thai culture.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 11


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

Starting from

15 AUG 2017

WIN FREE

CONTEST DETAILS ON OUR

GOASIAPLUS FB PAGE

THE VALUE FOR MONEY

Travellers Pass

Travellers that plan to zip around South East Asia can

now do it in an affordable way thanks to the AirAsia

Asean Pass, that uses a credit system to redeem

multiple AirAsia flights to various destinations. Here,

we give you the scoop; explaining how it works while

giving you some ideas on how to utilised those credits

to the fullest extent! After this, the value for money

AirAsia Asean Pass might just be your new best friend.

HOW IT WORKS

The AirAsia Asean Pass basically uses credits to redeem

flights. So, travellers that plan to visit multiple countries can

use up their credit to be exchanged for flight tickets. This

removes the need to pay for multiple individual flight tickets

and just pay for that one pass. There are two options for the

pass, 10 credits or 20, depending on how much you want to

travel and how long you have. The key is to be smart with

your choices so you can make the most out of your credits.

10

30

DAYS TRAVEL

20

CREDIT PASS VALIDITY

CREDIT PASS

60

DAYS TRAVEL

VALIDITY

OPTION 1:

AIRASIA ASEAN PASS

OPTION 2:

AIRASIA ASEAN PASS +

RM499

RM888

12 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

SPOILED FOR CHOICES

Where can you fly to and how much credit does a one-way

flight cost? Well you can use your credits to travel to over 80

destinations in the Asean region that include countries like

Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos,

Myanmar, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. Credits utilised

per one-way flight are either 1, 3 or 5 depending on your

country of take-off and intended destination.

Example of credit fare:

Kuala Lumpur Kota Kinabalu =

3 CREDITS

Kuala Lumpur Krabi =

1 CREDIT

Bangkok Phnom Penh =

1 CREDIT

Jakarta Bali =

5 CREDITS

Singapore Bangkok = 3 CREDITS

ROUTES FOR YOUR DREAM ADVENTURE

Planning your South East Asian adventure is

a breeze depending on the type of traveller

you are. The AirAsia website has a couple of

destination lists to inspire your credit usage,

each catering to a different type of traveller

like foodies or dive enthusiast. Check out our

GOASIAPLUS recommended route pitched

by our very own editor where one can visit 4

countries with less than 10 credits.

Editor's Pick:

GOASIAPLUS ROUTE

Facts

PHUKET

Beach living &

party central

CHIANG MAI

Temples galore &

coffee hub

BANGKOK

Shopping at

markets

● If you have extra baggage or intend

to eat on the flight, do remember to

pre-book your add ons as the Asean

Pass only covers your base fare.

TOTAL CREDITS = 9

● All flights need to be booked 14

days in advance.

● You can only travel a route one time,

which means if you did a round trip

from KL to Jakarta, you can’t redeem

the same route again.

KUALA LUMPUR

BANDUNG

SINGAPORE

PENANG

FIND OUT MORE AT AIRASIA.COM/ASEANPASS

Foodie haven &

old architecture

Motherland for

nature

Entertainment

wonderland

Art scene & food

paradise

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 13


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

Vietnam

Vietnam introduces itself as a picturesque destination

for it is blessed with hills, beaches and endless

mountainous terrains. Little known, the perfect

landscape has been the background of many Hollywood

movies like Kong: Skull Island. One such place is

Sapa, a district in Lao Cai just northwest of Vietnam.

Standing at 1500 meters (4,921 feet) above sea level,

Sapa has vast terraced rice fields, indigenous tribes

and many national parks.

HOW TO GET THERE

Catch an overnight train from

Hanoi to Lao Cai station,

which takes about 9 hours.

At Lao Cai, hop on a shuttle

bus or taxi on winding road

to Sapa town. Although hired

motorcycles are available,

you can walk around town

on a clear day to catch the

highland landscape and

paddy fields.

WHAT TO DO

The hill tribes, known as

H’Mong in Sapa is recognised

for their amazing crafts,

fabrics, spices and herbal

remedies. There is the Main

Square, where travellers can

find crafts ranging from bags,

wallets and pillow covers

sold by hill tribe vendors. But

ultimately, trekking along the

valleys of Sapa shows you

the cascading rice terraces, a

result of amazing work over

a hundred years by local hill

tribes. To enjoy the view of

the rice terraces, travellers

are advised to have a good

trekking shoes as some

places can be muddy.

WHERE TO STAY

There are quite a number

of hotels, guesthouses and

homestay available in Sapa

for travellers. Most of these

hotels offer stunning view

of the mountains. Sapa

Clay House and the Topas

Ecolodge are two notable

choices.

WHAT TO EAT

When in Sapa, tasting their

local cuisine is a must. Try

Thang Co, a traditional

horsemeat soup from the

H’mong tribe or enjoy a hot

broth of salmon sour hotpot.

For tipples, try the Tao Meo -

a natural apple wine made by

the local tribes.

CLOCKWISE FROM

TOP The lanters lighting

up the Hoi An riverside at

night; The many colonial

buildings turned into

fancy restaurants; Cao

Lau, a popular Vietnamese

noodle dish; the Hoi an

riverside during the day.

FLYING TIP

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14 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

AirAsia

NEW! AirAsia will begin daily

flights from Kuala Lumpur

to the coastal seaside town

of Nha Trang that has a 6km

stretch of beach starting from

14 September 2017.

Flights

AirAsia also flies from Kuala

Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh

City (also from Penang and

JB), Da Nang and Hanoi.

Facts

Vietnam, which was engulfed

in three decades of bitter wars,

is now the fastest growing

economies in Southeast Asia.

The country has set its sights on

becoming a developed nation by

2020.

When travelling to Vietnam, never miss an

opportunity to stay and experience Hoi An,

a riverside town located in the country’s

central coast. This dreamy town is popular

among budget travellers and backpackers

for its heritage touch. The town has an

intricate architecture, which is a mix

of eras and styles from wooden Chinese

shophouses and temples to colorful French

colonial buildings. Being a laid-back place,

it is a nice spot to relax and unwind.

HOW TO GET THERE

The quickest option to get

to Hoi An is by air, which

will take about one hour

from Ho Chi Minh. Domestic

airlines has regular service

from Ho Chi Minh to Da

Nang Airport. From Da Nang,

visitors can travel by taxi to

Hoi An. By train, it will take

approximately 17 hours from

Ho Chi Minh to Da Nang,

which would not be a good

mode to get there as too

much time will be wasted on

the ride.

WHAT TO DO

Hoi An, being a trading port

back in the 15th century, still

BOOK NOW AT AIRASIA.COM

maintains the ambiance of

that era. Travellers can find

unique items such as silk,

porcelain as well as spices

like pepper and cinnamon.

There are also centuries-old

Buddhist pagodas, museums,

temples and serene beaches

to relax. Hoi An Ancient

Town has countless tailors,

souvenir shops, restaurants

and cafés in old buildings

that has been converted to

cater modern businesses.

Do make time to visit Hoi

An Riverside that is fully

lighted by lanterns at night.

To escape the heat, go to An

Bang Beach for mild surfing

and sunset swims.

WHERE TO STAY

Close to town is Little Hoi

An Boutique Resort and Spa

that overlooks the river. For a

serene stay, Gem Hoi An Villa

offers a splendid view of the

vast natural terrain. Budget

accomodations and family

homestays are also abundant

with some exhibiting unique

interior designs.

WHAT TO EAT

As mentioned, there are an

extensive number of cafes

and restaurants in Hoi An to

suit one’s culinary delight.

However, travellers must not

miss trying out some local

dishes such as Banh Xeo

(Crispy Pancake), Banh Mi

(Vietnamese Baguette), Mi

Quang (Vietnamese Turmeric

Noodles) and Cao Lau

(noodles with pork).

As at 2015, Vietnam’s

populations stood at 91.7 million

with Mahayana Buddhism,

Confucianism, Taoism being some

of the religion practised in the

country. The national language

of Vietnam is Vietnamese. Some

local dialects, English and French

are spoken in some parts of the

country.

Vietnam’s growth sector is the

manufacturing sectors, especially

in the areas of food processing,

cigarettes and tobacco, textiles,

chemicals, and electrical goods,

which has experienced rapid

growth.

Vietnam has a communist

government and the president is

the head of the republic while the

prime minister is the head of the

government.

Vietnam Television (VTV) is the

largest television network in

the nation, broadcast in nine

FTA channels and available

internationally via satellite.

VTV also operates the largest

cable network (VTVCab) and a

DTH satellite service. Vietnam

Multimedia Corporation (VTC)

operates five national channels

and is the only provider of digital

terrestrial television (DTT) in

Vietnam.

Football remains the top popular

sport in Vietnam. Other games

such as badminton, tennis, ping

pong, and chess are also popular.

Interestingly, women’s volleyball

is also extremely popular and

watched by large sections of the

country.

Lotus flower is Vietnam’s national

flower. It symbolizes beauty,

commitment, health, honor

and knowledge. Lotus flower

represents the purity of spirit.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 15


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

Cambodia

Cambodia is known to us as the land of ancient times

with the discovery of Angkor Wat and other historical

sites. The traditional customs and local culture are

further appreciated by the cultivation of pottery and

clay pots by the natives. Here, we highlight Kampong

Chhnang that translate as ‘Port of Pottery’ in Khmer

at central Cembodia.

HOW TO GET THERE

From Cambodia’s capital

city of Phnom Penh, you can

board an air-conditioned bus

that takes 3 hours. There

is also share taxi that takes

about 1 to 1/2 hour ride up

from Phnom Penh. Besides,

the bullet boat service from

Phnom Penh and Siem

Reap are available for water

travellers.

WHAT TO DO

Head to Ondong Rossey,

a simple yet quiet village

that is famous for the red

pottery made under every

house. Most of the pots are

either made with a footspun

wheel or shaped with a

heavy wooden spatula. Local

potters are happy to show

how they do it. Apart from

the clay pottery sites, tourists

can also take a change of

scenery to visit Tonle Sap

Lake, in which the population

is predominantly involved in

fishery and rice plantation.

WHERE TO STAY

You will be spoiled by choices

with an assortment of hotels

and guesthouses available

in Kampong Chhnang which

is nearby a waterfront

port area. There is Garden

Guesthouse, a classically

Southeast Asian-style hotel,

Neang Puon’s Home, Phkay

Proeunk Guest House,

Sovannphum Hotel and

Somrongsen Hotel to name a

few that we love.

WHAT TO EAT

Phsar Leu und Phsar Chhnang

market have a variety of

small food outlets offering

noodle dishes and soups. An

assortment of local cuisines

are at Mittapheap Restaurant

and Mekong Restaurant that

serve a huge range of Khmer

dishes such as soups, noodle,

and fish dishes. Be aware

that most restaurants in

Kampong Chhnang city close

around 8pm.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP

The traditionally made

local pottery of Kampong

Chhnang; Baguette Mi

sandwiches; Floating

village and Prek Toal

natural park on the Tonle

Sap lake.

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AirAsiaFlights

NEW! AirAsia just began 4x

weekly flights from Kuala

Lumpur to Sihanoukville,

Cambodia’s seaside destination

best known for its untouched

beaches and natural beauty.

AirAsia also flies from Kuala

Lumpur to Phnom Penh and

Siem Reap.

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One can never complete the Cambodian journey

without visiting Kampong Phluk and savour the scene

of rural Cambodia. This sweet spot, which is about

5-hour ride from Siem Reap, is a village built on stilts

on Tonle Sap, a seasonally inundated freshwater

lake. Kampong Phluk or “Harbor of the Tusks”, is still

untouched by tourism.

HOW TO GET THERE

The best way to go there is

travelling by boat from Siem

Reap where boats of all sizes

and colours are waiting to

take passengers to Kampong

Phluk. Visitors can enjoy the

calm waters of Tonlé Sap lake

as the journey takes through

mangroves, herds of cattle

feeding on the grass, crabeating

macaques and rice

plantations along the shore.

WHAT TO DO

Almost all of Kampong

Phluk villagers are in

fishing, primarily in shrimp

harvesting. Visitors can see

what life is like over water

where locals go about their

daily duties like washing

clothes, cooking or fishing on

top of their wooden boats.

Do check with local guide

when visiting Kampong Phluk

during dry season, which is

in December or January as

the lake is low and the stilts

will be exposed by the lack of

water.

WHERE TO STAY

Since the journey to

Kampong Phluk take about

5-hours from Siem Reap, it

would be wise to spend a

night in the city. An authentic

Cambodia living experience

is at Sala Lodges, a traditional

wooden house resort. Inns

and motels are also aplenty

for budget travellers.

WHAT TO EAT

Kampong Phluk has a few

local restaurants floating

along the way to Tonle

Sap lake. Kampong Phluk

Riverside Restaurant is place

to look out for. There is

also a nice restaurant called

Riverside Coffee for visitors

to taste some local flavours.

{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

Facts

Cambodia is a small, compact

country that has mostly flat

and forested land. Subsistence

farming employs 75 percent of

the workforce. However, tourism

is making a big impact to the

country’s revenue, especially the

ones are focused on Angkor Wat,

the largest temple at Angkor.

Cambodia has a population of

16,076,370 as of this year, with

Khmer being the official language,

and other dialects. Buddhism is the

main religion in the country.

Cambodia has an estimated

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

of US$20.9 billion contributed by

agriculture industries and services

sector.

The garment and textile industry

represents the largest portion

of Cambodia’s manufacturing

sector, accounting for 80% of the

country’s exports. The country also

exports timber, rubber, rice, fish,

tobacco and footwear.

While the Riel is the official

Cambodian currency, the US Dollar

is the de facto currency in the

country and is widely accepted

everywhere.

Cambodian Broadcasting Service

(CBS) operates 4 stations CTN,

MYTV, CNC and CTN International

which delivers international and

locally produced programming.

Other stations are TV3 (Cambodia)

TV3 Asia, TV5 Cambodia and TVK.

Cambodia government is

represented with a constitutional

monarchy with parliamentary

representative democracy.

The Rumdul (Mitrella mesnyi) is

Cambodia’s national flower and are

present in almost all the streets of

Cambodia. Interestingly, it was also

used during the ancient Khmer

times to produce lip waxes for

women, thanks to its fragrant and

attractive smell.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 17


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

AirAsia

Flights

AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to

Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

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Laos

Laos, a country with an abundance of caves, is

home to the Tham Nong Pafa Cave, or the Buddha

Cave. This limestone cave, located near Na Khang

Xang Village in Thakhaek District, has 229 bronze

Buddha statues, believed to be over 300 years old and

ranging in size from 15 centimetres to over 1 metertall.

Furthermore, the naturally-formed limestone

within the cave is an essential beauty in itself. The

cave was accidentally discovered by a local who was

hunting bats in the area. Interestingly, the cave has

two levels, whereby the Buddha statues are located on

the upper dry level of the cave while the lower level is

water filled and can only be accessed on canoes.

HOW TO GET THERE

Visitors can travel to

Thakhaek easily by crossing

the Mekong by boat. There

are also colourful VIP buses

that leave from Vientiane to

Thakhaek every 1-2 hours in

the morning and the journey

takes around 7 hours.

Visitors can also hire a car or

van if they cared for a more

relaxing journey.

WHAT TO DO

Thakhaek town is home to

one of Laos’ sacred places

known as the That Sikhot

that was built in the 15th

century. One can visit the

29m golden stupa there. A

8km canoe ride that flows

through the cave would be

the one to take to go to

Buddha Cave and behold the

limestone structures.

WHERE TO STAY

These are some decent

places to stay when you

are travelling to Thakhaek

town; the very basic

Thakhaek Travel Lodge, the

classic Khammouane Inter

Guesthouse and Inthira

Hotel, which is part of a

bigger hotel chain.

WHAT TO EAT

There are a variety of

international and Lao cuisine

served at Inthira Hotel

and Khammouane Inter

Guesthouse. However, lighter

meal, snacks and bottled

drinks are available at the

first hut before the cave.

18 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

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CLOCKWISE FROM

TOP The hills along the

Mekong River; Limestone

structures in the caves of

Laos; Grilled fish delicacies

of Lao cuisine; The Nam

Khan river along Luang

Prabang town; Night

markets at Luang Prabang.

Laos, a country that has many captivating spot is

filled with architecture that dates back generations.

It has the traditional Lao wooden houses and hints

of European influence, gained when the French

colonised Indochina in the late 1880s. One spot to see

the cultural influence is the town of Luang Prabang,

that is flanked by two rivers and mountain ranges.

This town is known for its old buildings, boutique

accommodations and a burgeoning food scene.

HOW TO GET THERE

By international flight,

visitors can get to Luang

Prabang easily from cities like

Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Bangkok,

Siem Reap, Guangzhou,

Jinghong, Singapore, Incheon

and Kuala Lumpur while

domestic routes are from

Vientiane and Pakse. By

road, it could take up to 30

hour bus from Hanoi but a

shorter time from Vientiane.

Slow boats, speed boats and

luxury boat services along

the Mekong river to and from

Thai border are also available

as an option.

WHAT TO DO

There are a host of activities

visitors can do or see in

Luang Prabang, ranging

from sightseeing of old

architecture, visiting Buddhist

temples and monasteries,

trekking nearby Phou Si or

Chomsy Hill besides watching

the sunset on the Mekong

waterfront. There are also an

equal number of interesting

spots outside the city such

as elephant village sanctuary

and farm, Tat Kuang Si bear

rescue centre, waterfalls and

caves.

WHERE TO STAY

There are a wide range of

choices for accommodations

in Luang Prabang, from

budget to classy hotels,

backpackers and guesthouses

to even eco-friendly stays.

WHAT TO EAT

Luang Prabang is a gourmet

heaven. You can find a wide

range of cuisines, ranging

from traditional European

fare to spicy and exotic Asian

dishes. At the Mekong bank,

there are also a range of

restaurants serving Indian

and Laos dishes, and also

French-Lao fusion. Notably,

Tamnak Lao Restaurant

would be an ideal choice if

you are looking for highquality,

authentic Lao food.

Facts

With a rich history stretching

back 10,000 years, Laos has so

much to offer for tourists - from

the snaking Mekong River to the

mountainous terrain, mysterious

caves, French colonial architecture,

Buddhist monasteries and hill tribe

settlements.

Laos has a population of 6,918,367

as of 2016, with Lao as the main

dialect and Buddhism being the

main religion. The capital city

is Vientiane while other large

cities include Luang Prabang,

Savannakhet and Pakse.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

in Laos was worth 12.40 billion US

dollars in 2015. The GDP value of

Laos represents 0.02 percent of

the world economy.

Laotian Kip currency is the official

currency of Laos.

Top exports of Laos are electricity,

clothing, coffee, refined copper

wood, metals, corn, rubber, copper

ore and sawn wood. Main imports

are machinery and equipment,

vehicles, fuel, consumer goods

from its trading partners China,

Cambodia, Burma, Thailand and

Vietnam.

Free-to-air television channels in

Laos are LNTV (LNTV1, LNTV3)

LAO PSTV and TV Lao while cable

channels are Lao Star Channel and

MV Lao.

The government of Laos, or Lao

People’s Democratic Republic, is

a one-party socialist state and is

based on Marxism, with close ties

to its neighbour Vietnam.

Football is by far the most popular

in the country. Their national

sport is sepak takraw and Muay

Lao that has close resemblance to

Thailand’s Muay Thai.

Dok Champa (Plumeria Rubra) is

the national flower of Laos which

represents sincerity and joy in life.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 19


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

AirAsia

NEW! AirAsia will begin daily

flights from Kuala Lumpur

to Davao, a vibrant city

with pristine beaches and

untouched nature starting 21

December 2017.

Flights

AirAsia also flies

from Kuala Lumpur

to Manila (also from Kota

Kinabalu), Cebu and Kalibo

(Boracay).

BOOK NOW AT AIRASIA.COM

Philippines

Coron Island, a natural paradise tucked away from the hustle and

bustle of the city life in Philippines, is the third-largest island

in the Calamian Islands in northern Palawan. This beautiful

spot is waiting for people to discover its magical wonders. It is a

destination for adventure, especially for those who love diving,

mangrove kayaking, jungle treks, horseback tours and island

camping. The white sandy beaches and limestone cliffs are a sight

that is simply beyond words.

HOW TO GET THERE

There are ferry services from

Manila to Coron that take

about 15 hours. Another

shorter option is to take an

internal flight from Manila to

Busuanga where Coron town

is just an hour away by car

from the airport.

WHAT TO DO

Being a laid back town,

best way is to hire a tricycle

or motorcycle and take a

tour around Coron town as

there are no taxis or buses.

Island hopping, snorkelling,

free diving to view sunken

shipwrecks, kayak and

spear fishing are some of

the interesting activities

one must not miss. Also,

travellers can hire a private

boat around Coron Bay to

visit nearby attractions, such

as Kayangan Lake, Siete

Pecados and Chindonan

Island.

WHERE TO STAY

Travellers would not face

any difficulties in finding

accommodations in Coron

Island as there are many

places to stay, ranging from

cheap backpacker hostels

such as Coron Backpackers

Guesthouse and Coron

Ecolodge to 4 star hotels

such as Corto del Mar Hotel.

Mid-priced hotels include

Sophia’s Garden Resort and

Asia Grand View Hotel.

WHAT TO EAT

Being a relatively

undeveloped island, there

aren’t any posh restaurants.

One can find a range of

local food and snacks in

town and hotels. Also, bars

are relatively classic here,

with TV sets and pool tables

giving off cool island vibes.

Careful being late outdoors

as the streets will be empty

by 12:30am.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP

The Tanbagwa people,

the oldest tribe in the

Philippines living near the

waters; Boarding on the

clear waters of Busuanga

near Palawan; A lady in the

the streets of Coron; The

jetty at Coron Island.

20 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


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{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

Facts

Philippines is a country made of

more than 7,000 islands. Much of

the country is mountainous and

is home to 20 active volcanoes.

Following the colonisation by the

Spanish during the 16th century

and later by the US in 1898 during

the Spanish-American War, both

Spanish and US influences remain

strong in the country.

As at 2016, estimated population

of Philippines is 102,624,209, with

people of the Catholic faith holding

a whopping 82.9% of the whole

population.

Tagalog is the Filipino’s official

language while other dialects

are also spoken in various parts

of the country like Cebuano and

Kapampangan.

As at 2015, the Gross Domestic

Product of Philippines stood at

USD$292 billion coming from

contributions from the agriculture,

industry and services sectors.

Philippines is blessed with many enchanting islands and beaches. But there are

parts of the country that offer a different view. One such place is Vigan, an entire

colonial district intact from its Spanish period architecture and scenery. This

historic town, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, brings travellers to an

era dating back to the 16th century. Vigan, a capital of the province of Ilocos Sur in

Philippines, has a lot of must-sees and must-do’s for visitors.

Philippines has a unitary state

presidential and democratic

republic where the President of

the Philippines is both the head of

state and the head of government

with the Peso being the currency.

HOW TO GET THERE

By land transportation, it

takes between 8 to 10 hours

to reach Vigan from Manila.

Travellers can choose the

comfortable Metro Manila

aircond buses for this long

journey, although there are

quite a number of other

bus companies offering the

service. Best is to take the

night trip, sleep off during

the long ride and arrive at

the city early the next day.

WHAT TO DO

The main mode of

transportation around the

Vigan City would be either

by karitela - a horse-drawn

carriages or by tricycles.

For travellers who want

to tour Vigan City in a

more complete old-world

experience, there are a

number of city tours via

tricycles or karitela to

choose from. Vigan City is a

place that is rich in history

and travellers can spot a

lot of historical walks and

museums in the area. These

include old colonial churches,

cobblestone streets, restored

ancestral houses, a freeroaming

zoo and pottery

shops to enjoy.

WHERE TO STAY

Choice of accommodations

are ample in Vigan City,

ranging from backpacker

inns, moderately-priced

lodges to luxurious hotels.

Interestingly, there are also

renovated ancestral houses

that are converted as

lodgings. More choice of

lodgings are found near the

Meztizo District where Calle

Crisologo is located, close to

most of the tourist spots and

restaurants.

WHAT TO EAT

Vigan City has lots of

food choices ranging from

authentic Ilocano cuisine,

traditional Filipino meals

and western dishes. Be sure

to check out the musteats

in Vigan that includes

empanada, okoy, longanisa,

bagnet and poqui-poqui.

ABS–CBN Corporation is a

broadcasting multi-media

conglomerate in Philippines while

GMA Network Inc is the country’s

leading free-to-air operator.

Philippines has seven major sports

namely basketball, badminton,

boxing, football, billiards, tennis

and volleyball. Interestingly,

ice-skating is also a popular sport

despite the tropical climate.

The national flower of Philippines

is the Jasminum sambac,

colloquially known as sampaguita.

It symbolizes purity, simplicity and

humility.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 21


GOASIAPLUS { Asean Guide 2017 }

Facts

Brunei Darussalam is situated

on the north-west of the island

of Borneo and has an equatorial

climate of high temperature, high

humidity and heavy rainfall.

The country has a population of

434,448 with Malay as the official

language.

Brunei

Brunei Darussalam,

squeezed between Sarawak

and Sabah, has its own

idyllic natural wonder.

Temburong is situated

just outside of the capital

Bandar Seri Begawan.

This preserved place offers

visitors the legendary

Labu Forest and the Ulu

Temburong National Park.

HOW TO GET THERE

By flight is the best as

AirAsia flies from Kuala

Lumpur to Brunei. By road

takes about one hour and

45 minutes to reach with a

40-minute water taxi ride

from the capital’s main

jetty to Bangar, Temburong

district. The best way to

experience this amazing

environment is to take an

exhilarating ride on a public

speedboats that weave

through river channels

mangroves.

WHAT TO DO

One interesting way to get

around Temburong is by

bicycle. However, if the hot

weather is a problem, taxis

are available to move around

Temburong district. Visit

the scenic 50m-high canopy

walkway in Ulu Temburong

National Park, where the

view shows the vast spread

of Brunei’s varied jungle

wildlife and the incredible

diversity of flora and fauna.

WHERE TO STAY

Sumbiling Eco Village is a

good choice for nature lovers

who would like to get down

to basics in enjoying natural

surroundings in its simplicity.

However, other notable

choices for accommodation

are StoneVille Hotel,

Trandie Marina Resorts and

The Brunei Hotel. Ample

homestay choices are also

available via AirBnB.

WHAT TO EAT

Interestingly, the Ulu

Temburong National Park

FLYING TIP

Fly with Wi-Fi! Stay online and in touch

with your loved ones throughout your flight.

Choose from Chats Plan @ RM9 or Internet

Plan @ RM18. Buy at rokki.com or ask our

friendly cabin crew while on board.

CLOCKWISE FROM

TOP The view of Ulu

Temburong National

Park from the sky bridge;

Boat tours on Ulu river;

The clean streets of

Brunei; Local food of rice

with some side dishes.

serves an array of Malay

dishes for travellers to savour

some local flavours. However,

one must not miss the tasty

local lunch at the Rainforest

Lodge at Batang Duri, which

offers a spectacular view of

the Temburong river.

AirAsia

Flights

AirAsia flies from

Kuala Lumpur

to Brunei.

Brunei’s Gross Domestic Product

(GDP) for the fourth quarter of

2016 (Q4 2016), was estimated

at BND4.0 billion compared to

BND4.3 billion in Q4 2015. The

oil and gas sector was valued at

BND2.0 billion, accounting for 50.3

per cent of the total Gross Value

Added (GVA).

Being an oil rich country, Brunei’s

crude oil production is expected

to be 106.06 thousand barrels

per day.

At current exchange rate,

Brunei’s BND100 is equivalent to

US$72.23.

Brunei’s broadcast media are the

state-controlled Radio Television

Brunei (RTB) operates 5 channels

and 5 radio networks. Apart from

that, 3 Malaysian TV stations

are available while foreign TV

broadcasts are available via

satellite and cable systems.

The administration of Brunei

and its politics work within

a framework of an absolute

monarchy, whereby the Sultan of

Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, GCB

GCMG is the 29th and current

Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of

Brunei.

Football takes the top spot in

sports in Brunei. The country also

excels in other sports such as silat,

martial arts, badminton, polo and

sepak takraw.

The Simpor (Dillenia Suffruticosa)

is the national flower of Brunei

and is found on the country’s onedollar

bank note.

BOOK NOW AT AIRASIA.COM

22 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


AirAsia

Flights

AirAsia flies from Kuala

Lumpur to Yangon.

BOOK NOW AT AIRASIA.COM

{ Asean Guide 2017 } GOASIAPLUS

Facts

Myanmar, formerly known as

Burma, is a country of smiling

faces, rich history and culture. The

country shares its borders with

China, India, Laos, Bangladesh and

Thailand.

Myanmar

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP

The boats and waters of

Ngapali beach; The clean

sandy beaches of the coast;

The locals of the many

fishing villages on Ngapali

beach; Colourful fishing

boats on the waters.

Myanmar was once ruled by

a military junta from 1962 till

2011. Their president Htin Kyaw

was elected in 2016, ushering in

the first democratically elected

government into office.

85% of Myanmar’s population

practices Buddhism but there are

substantial numbers of Christians,

Hindus, Muslims and animists

throughout the country.

Myanmar’s gross domestic product

stood at USD$62.60 billion as at

2015. The national currency of

Myanmar is the kyat (pronounced

“chat”).

Myanmar, a breathtaking country where its beauty

and charm is enriched with history and traditions

is a place for travellers of the road less taken. The

natural untouched landscapes of the country make

it ideal for nature lovers and beach bums. We head

down to Ngapali (pronounced Napally) for Myanmar’s

premier beach destination known to many as one of

the cleanest beaches in South East Asia.

HOW TO GET THERE

Ngapali Beach is located in

the town of Thandwe where

the Thandwe airport is a

mere 7km from the beach.

From Yangon, one can take

a bus that will take between

14-16 hours or take an

internal flight straight to

the Rakhine region where

Ngapali beach is located.

WHAT TO DO

When you get to Ngapali,

the best thing to do is to

bask in the bright sunshine.

Of course, travellers can

also take short trips on local

fishing boats, kayaking,

snorkelling or scuba diving.

There is also an 18-hole golf

course located between the

main beach resorts and the

airport. Those who want to

venture out can visit the Jate

Taw fishing village nearby or

visit the Tilawkasayambhu

Buddha.

WHERE TO STAY

Luxury living can be found

at Aureum Palace Hotel &

Resort where beachfront

cottages come with private

pools. Another beachfront

property is the Pleasant

View Resort that has its own

private beach and popular

restaurant for local food.

WHAT TO EAT

Ngapali is famous for its

delicious fresh seafood.

Travellers can sink in the

various seafood dishes

like king prawns, snapper,

lobster and more, prepared

in local or western style. The

picturesque Pleasant View

Islet restaurant or PVI is the

place to eat Burmese cooked

seafood that even has a pier

to watch the most gorgeous

of sunsets.

Myanmar depends on agriculture

for more than half of its GDP. Rice

is the major product, which is why

there are many rice paddy fields in

the country.

Myanmar’s main exports are oil

and natural gas. Other exports

include vegetables, wood, fish,

clothing, rubber and fruits. Top

imports are refined petroleum,

ships and delivery trucks,

broadcasting equipment and

telephones from China, Thailand,

Singapore, Japan and India.

The Chinlone is the traditional

sport of Myanmar, which is a

combination of sport and dance.

However, soccer and golf are

popular, together with the lethwei

or kick boxing.

The Padauk is the national flower

of Myanmar. Its people regard

the Padauk tree as a symbol of

strength and durability.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 23

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