GOASIAPLUS November 2019

goasiaplus

As the year approaches an end, one can definitely look out for the second largest festival in Thailand! In this issue, we share 6 main places you can be part of the Loy Krathong festivities in Thailand. Further to the East, see how you can take a one-day trip from Tokyo to Kawasaki (the origin place for phallus festival) and travel to Green Island, a lesser-known gem in Taiwan. Other topics include dark tourism in Asia, sustainable dining and Kathmandu Valley in Nepal.

NOVEMBER 2019 | ISSUE 42

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Legends of

Loy Krathong

DARK TOURISM IN ASIA

KAWASAKI, JAPAN


CONTENTS

4 ON THE RADAR

6 OUT & ABOUT

7 EVENTS

Rasa Melaka The Musical

8 TRAVEL

Spotted: Asia in Film

Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

9 TRAVEL

Day Trip to Kawasaki

12 TRAVEL

Loy Krathong

Celebrating light, love and luck

16 TRAVEL

Road Less Travelled:

Green Island, Taiwan

17 TRAVEL

Turning Tragedy into Tourism

20 FYI

Free Apps for Travel Distress

21 FOOD

A New World in Dining

24 FOOD FOR TALK

“Meat” up for Bah Kut Teh

21

PICK-UP POINTS

Read our magazine exclusively in Aerobus airport shuttles or bring home a copy of GOASIAPLUS with

you at these pick-up points below:

GATEWAY@KLIA2

AIRPORT SHOPPING MALL

KLIA EKSPRES

KL SENTRAL

KLIA

INFORMATION COUNTER AT

DEPARTURE MAIN TERMINAL

& SATELLITE BUILDING

KLIA2

INFORMATION COUNTER,

SATELLITE BUILDING &

INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Time flies in a blink of an eye. Our day to day lives sees

its approaching end of another year, which is mostly a

welcoming term as it is another peak travel season for

many. The end of year festivities, holidays and winter climate

truly set the right kind of travel atmosphere.

One thing to note is our takeaway from the journeys

we have made. Besides getting strapped to gadgets when

capturing photos and videos, it would be a good reminder of

the importance to focus on the experience during our trip.

I am also glad that the haze is over. However, like an

annual affair, it may still come back so it is in the hopes that

all closely related parties and affected countries to take proper

measurements and steps to ensure there’s clean air to breathe.

There are various parts of Asia in this issue from Malacca

Town in Malaysia, Kawasaki in Japan, Thailand to Taiwan as

exciting travel inspirations that we can plan for the coming

months and next year.

John So

Publisher

COVER BY

ADOBE STOCK

EDITORIAL TEAM

GROUP HEAD & BRANDS

JOHN SO

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

JAMIE SOO-HOO

SENIOR WRITER

JESSY WONG

CONTRIBUTORS

ANGELA GOH, NG SHEN LEE

& FRANCIS YIP

DIGITAL TEAM

WEB CONTENT

JESSY WONG

EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES

EDITORIAL@PCOMASIA.COM

COMMERCIAL & PARTNERSHIP

JOHN SO

JOHNSO@PCOMASIA.COM

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NEWS

ON THE RADAR

GET UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST HAPPENINGS ON

TRAVEL, HOTEL OPENINGS, FOOD OFFERS AND

TRENDING FASHION AROUND SOUTHEAST ASIA

COMPACT CANON CAMERA FOR TRAVEL

The new Canon EOS M200 is user-friendly with mirrorless

interchangeable lens, stylish design, and improved

functions--all packed in 299g. The Creative Assist feature

allows users to adjust the setting of the camera with voicecommand

and with DIGIC 8 image processor, clear images

can be captured even in dark surroundings.

Available at all Canon authorised dealers nationwide

SPECIAL PICK-UP SPOTS

FOR E-HAILING AT

MALAYSIA AIRPORTS

Malaysia Airports announced

new designated pick-up points

for e-hailing services at airports

to improve traffic flow and better

amenities for waiting passengers.

The pick-up spot at KL

International Airport is at Level

1 of Main Terminal Building by

Door 3 and 4. klia2’s pick-up

point is located at Door 5, Level 1

of Transportation Hub.

www.malaysiaairports.com.my

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON BALI UNGASAN

Overlooking Jimbaran Bay, Mount Batukaru and Mount

Agung, the third Four Points hotel in Bali promises

contemporary interiors with scenic outdoors. Four Points

by Sheraton Bali Ungasan offers 270 modern rooms and

suites, some with private terraces, garden and pool access for

comfort. Also, taste local craft beers on tap at The Garden

Pool Bar from the brand’s signature Best BrewsTM program.

Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Banjar Giri Dharma Ungasan,

Kuta Selatan, Indonesia

www.marriot.com

POP-CULTURE PARODY

ART STUDIO

Find the trendiest wall art for

your space with Parody Parlour

where jokes are non-exclusive

and win laughs from everyone.

Their first collection “LYAO”

(stands for Laugh Your A**

Off) features superheroes

being something other than

super while the “Just Kidding

Collection” transform famous

celebrities and classical

paintings into a spoof.

parodyparlour.com

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NEWS

QATAR AIRWAYS OPENS NEW ROUTE TO

LANGKAWI

The national carrier for the State of Qatar launches

a new route from their capital Doha to Langkawi,

Malaysia–adding the idyllic island as the airline’s 8th

new destination in 2019. The 14-hour flight journey to

Langkawi will operate five times weekly by the Boeing

787 Dreamliner aircraft with a short transit in Penang.

qatarairways.com

TRAIN TO BUSAN HORROR HOUSE

Korea’s blockbuster zombie movie “Train to Busan” becomes

a reality in Resorts World Genting for fans across the region

to experience the apocalyptic world–created using the

latest digital and virtual reality technology, live actors and

immersive soundscapes. The Train To Busan Horror House

experience will be accepting passengers from 31 October 2019

to 1 January 2020.

www.rwgenting.com

PULLMAN SUZHOU ZHONGHUI WELCOMES

GUESTS

As the only international premium hotel in the north of Suzhou,

Pullman Suzhou Zhonghui debuts in a strategic location with

convenient access to Shanghai, Wuxi and surrounding cities.

It has 413 rooms and suites comfortably fitted with Pullman’s

luxury duvet and pillowcases. The brand’s signature Junction

Bar brings the hotel lobby to life with changing moods

throughout the day.

www.pullmanhotels.com

A FROZEN WINTER WONDERLAND

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort makes the magic of Arendelle

come true this November where Elsa, Anna, and Olaf can

embrace guests during the winter festive season. Fantasy Gardens

in Fantasyland will be transformed into the “Frozen Fantasy

Gardens Village” for Anna and Elsa’s meet-and-greet. Visitors can

also enjoy a Frozen Christmas experience with “A Magical Frozen

Snowfall” royal procession performance to spread the holiday joy.

www.hongkongdisneyland.com

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EVENTS

OUT & ABOUT

LOOK OUT FOR THE MOST ANTICIPATED EVENTS OF

THE MONTH IN MALAYSIA AND BEYOND

M. NASIR SATU HIKAYAT

23 NOV

The legendary singer and composer of Malaysia, M.

Nasir, returned to the spotlight for his “One Story

40 Years Journey” in remembrance of his colourful

and award-winning career as a soloist. M. Nasir even

prepared a session where he will perform songs

which he wrote for other singers throughout his

lifetime that the public is not aware of.

Plenary Hall, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

myticket.asia

DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE (THE MAGIC FLUTE)

21-24 NOV

First premiered in 1791 at Vienna, Wolfgang Amadeus wrote this opera in

two acts to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder that tells the story

of Prince Tamino who undergoes a series of tests to marry Princess Pamina.

Escorted by his sidekick, Papageno, Tamino has to battle Pamina’s mother,

the evil Queen of the Night.

KLPAC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

klcityopera.com

8 LETTERS TOUR

14 NOV

As one of pop music’s biggest

breakout groups in the 21st

century, the 5-member

American boy band were

previously soloists before

forming the group in 2016. Why

Don’t We has over 1 billion

global audio streams for their

hit songs like “8 Letters” and

“What Am I”.

Plenary Hall, KLCC,

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

myticket.asia

SWEENEY TODD

28 NOV - 8 DEC

Multiple Tony Awards winning Sweeney Todd

musical is staging its thrilling theatrical tale in

Singapore for a debut. Tony Award winner, Lea

Salonga, is starring in this freaky musical of an

infamous barber who returns from exile to seek

vengeance against the judge who framed him,

meanwhile he meets the owner of a meat-pie shop.

Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

srt.com.sg

U2: THE JOSHUA TREE

TOUR 2019

30 NOV - 1 DEC

Since its formation in 1976, they

are known to host great live

performances with top-charting

songs like “With or Without

You” and “I Still Haven’t Found

What I’m Looking For”, holding

the all-time record as the

highest-grossing tour by a group

till today. Debuting in Singapore for the first time ever, fans can finally meet

Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. rocking it out on stage.

National Stadium, Singapore

www.u2.com

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EVENTS

SHOW

PERIOD

Now until

31 Oct 2020

Rasa Melaka

The Musical

THE LONG-RUNNING THEATRICAL MUSICAL IN

MALACCA CITY BECKONS TRAVELLERS TO THE

HERITAGE TOWN FOR A DELIGHTFUL GLIMPSE

FILLED WITH LAUGHTER INTO MALACCA’S

RICH HISTORY, ARTS AND CULTURE.

Text & photos JESSY WONG

Just 2 hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur, the

historic state of Malaysia needs no introduction

when it comes to its long-list of worthy travel

attractions, cultural sites, and foods. Malacca as a

UNESCO World Heritage site is often regarded to be an

introductory stop to learn about Malaysia.

Rasa Melaka The Musical staged such a show;

focusing on the country’s multicultural society, the

musical ensemble sang, danced and acted through 50

years of change from Tanah Melayu to present-day

Malaysia.

Directed by Beijing-based Malaysian Director, Dr.

Deric Gan spared no expense in building the right kind

of stage sets, good soundscapes and fitting costumes

change for every era as he cleverly interlaces new

original music in retelling the story of Malacca with

surprising notes of local children rhymes.

The comedic storytelling and flashback is an

absolute treat given Dr. Deric Gan’s incorporation of

Chinese custom dragon dance, the indigenous martial

arts of Silat, and Joget, Malacca origin Malay traditional

dance as preludes to Malaysia’s arts and cultural scene.

“RASA Melaka The Musical” is the first production

from the RASA-CITY Series for tourists to learn more

about Malaysia’s culture. Hailing from all over the

country, the 12-member talented acting cast portrayed

an unforgettable tale of Malacca’s multiracial

community through times of happiness and difficulty.

Malay girl Melia, Hokkien boy Lak and Chetty

girl Kashvi first appeared as school children in the

historical city in the 60s, witnessing the independence

of Malaysia, and over time, grew up before having

their own families while seeing Malacca transformed

into prominence.

As the story unfolds between the three friends,

audiences are entertained in an effortless mix of

English, Malay and Chinese language dialogues–

fitting the portrayal of a rojak Malaysian language.

For universal enjoyment, timely subtitles in English

and Mandarin ran along with the cast’s dialogues and

catchy songs.

SHOW INFORMATION

Show Time

Tuesday till Sunday (3pm & 8pm)*

Duration

60 minutes

Ticket Price

Starts at RM48*

Venue

Panggung Bangsawan,

20, Jalan Munshi Abdullah,

Malacca, Malaysia

*For more information and ticket

purchases, visit the show’s official

website at www.rasamelaka.com

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TRAVEL

SPOTTED: ASIA IN FILMS

Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Text NG SHEN LEE • Photo ADOBE STOCK

Kathmandu Valley

is Nepal’s tourism

trifecta. Comprised of

Kathmandu, Patan (Lalitpur)

and Bhaktapur, the three cities

put Nepal on the map for its

compelling Hindu-Buddhist

architecture, the ubiquity

of magnificent temples and

colourful festivities galore.

Since late 2016 however,

another force has been helping

to drive tourism within the

country–and perhaps most

unexpectedly, a superhero film

at that.

With Nepal chosen as

its principal filming location

to portray the fictional

Himalayan highland of Kamar-

Taj, Marvel’s “Doctor Strange”

which premiered October

2016 sets itself apart. Viewers

are treated to a refreshing

setting, worlds apart from the

usual concrete jungles of its

other film counterparts under

Marvels’ reach.

Though much of Kamar-

Taj’s streets were replicated in

a production studio, two sites

in Kathmandu Valley boast

the title of filming locale–

Pashupatinath Temple and

Patan Durbar Square.

Pashupatinath Temple

is a Hindu temple complex

situated in Kathmandu. A

UNESCO World Heritage

Site, it serves as the seat of

the Hindu god Shiva and has

temples and monuments

beautifully embellished with

gold-covered spires.

But locals also associate

the temple complex with

death. Or rather, with the

celebration of it. Here is where

the devout is cremated, and

whose ashes will run down the

Bagmati river. Cremations are

a daily occurrence here, as it

is believed that those who die

here will be reborn as a human

and not an animal.

In the film, sweeping

shots from above also reveal

Patan Durbar Square in Patan

(Lalitpur) as a filming location.

The city lies just across from

Kathmandu, merely separated

by the Bagmati river.

Patan Durbar Square is one

of the oldest Buddhist cities in

the world. Red tiles span the

entirety of its grounds, and the

many temples and monuments

crammed within its borders

are an awe-inspiring display of

indigenous Newari architecture.

From hidden courtyards to

ornate stepwells, there seems to

be no end to exploration here.

Pashupatinath Temple and

Patan Durbar Squares might

seem apt for the spiritual

setting of Kamar-Taj in “Doctor

Strange”, but they might not

have been the film’s first choice.

Many locations initially

scouted by the production

team were destroyed by the

devastating earthquake which

ravaged Nepal in April 2015.

In the wake of the calamity

just seven months prior, the

production team was adamant

that Nepal remains the primary

filming location to help boost

the country’s tourism.

Considering the film’s

success grossing at $677 million

worldwide, it’s certainly proven

to be the right choice.

FUN

FACT

Pashupatinath Temple

usually forbids non-Hindus

from the main temple, but

an exception was made

for the film crew given its

potential tourism benefits.

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TRAVEL

Day Trip to Kawasaki

ESCAPE THE CROWD IN TOKYO FOR A DAY AND SEE THE

SIGHTS THAT THIS PORT CITY HAS TO OFFER WHETHER

ITS A FOLK MUSEUM OR HISTORICAL TEMPLE.

Text JESSY WONG • Photos KANAGAWA JAPAN PREFECTURE & ADOBE STOCK

1

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TRAVEL

2

“...tranquil

suburban

town and

sightly

attractions

in the

midst.”

4 5

3

The populous industrial city of Kawasaki is

just south of metropolitan Tokyo. As you

enter the Kanagawa prefecture, towering

factories and steel plants will be the welcoming

sight; Kawasaki may be an industrialised coastal city

but venturing deeper inland will uncover its tranquil

suburban town and sightly attractions in the midst.

Kawasaki Station is conveniently connected to

the JR Tokaido, JR Keihin-Tohoku and Keikyu and

JR Nambu Lines from Tokyo. Furthermore, you can

also get to Kawasaki via the Odakyu Odawara line

from Shinjuku Station. Taking only 17 minutes by

train, the short and commodious travel distance

makes Kawasaki a perfect day trip destination to see

more of Japan.

NIHON MINKAEN OPEN-AIR FOLK

HOUSE MUSEUM

Remnants from the Edo Period in Japan are

collected from all over the country and relocated

within the hills here in the suburbs of Kawasaki.

The authentic and rustic folk museum care for a

collection of 25 traditional buildings of different

structures and purposes between the years of 1603

to 1867. Discover historical monuments like the

Gasshozukuri farmhouses (traditional Japanese

farmhouse from Shirakawago), exciting samurai

houses, merchant houses, fishing villages homes, a

religious shrine and a kabuki stage used for classical

Japanese dance-drama.

Fully live in the historical setting by joining

the traditional Japanese handicraft workshops

like cloth weaving and bamboo craft making at the

folk museum. Depending on the season, the folk

museum would also organise cultural events in line

with the festivities. So before you go down, visit

their website at http://english.nihonminkaen.jp/ to get

the latest updates and event information.

Getting there

A 15-minute walk from Shukugawara Station (JR

Nambu Line) or take a direct bus service from

Noborito Station (Odakyu Odawara Line) to the

museum. Bus frequency is at every 10 to 15 minutes.

ANATA NO WAREHOUSE

Beating Saitama’s arcade center, Anata No

Warehouse is the amusement arcade to visit–even

if you don’t like playing games. The 5-storey center

is a dystopian themed complex with a dark interior

and orchestral pipe music echoing through space.

The haunting space somehow draws resemblance to

a war-torn period of a battered Chinese town. After

you get past the eerie setting, you will notice that

the arcade houses a wide range of game machines

from darts, shooting games, dance machines, table

hockey and many more.

Getting there

From JR Kawasaki Station, the arcade center is a

10-minute walk.

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TRAVEL

6

7 8

KAWASAKI DAISHI TEMPLE

Founded in 1128, this large temple in Kawasaki is

alternatively known as Heiken-ji. The century-old

temple is a prominent shrine for locals during the

New Year where the community goes to worship and

pray for good fortune. Kawasaki Daishi is currently

the headquarters of the Chizan sect of Shingon

Buddhism, one of the few surviving Vajrayana

lineages in East Asia.

What you see today are the reconstructions of

the period’s architecture as the temple was destroyed

in the war. Modern building materials like steel and

concrete are used in the main hall (Dai-Hondo)

when restoration took place in 1958. Other new

monumental structures in the temple include the

main Dai-Sanmom Gate and the octagonal fivestory

pagoda. The temple’s vicinity has plenty of

restaurants and souvenir stores for shopping.

Getting there

Ride the Keikyu Daishi Line to Kawasaki Daishi

Station and the temple is an 8-minute walk away.

FESTIVAL TO NOTE

Kanamara Matsuri or known as the Festival of the Steel

Phallus is held at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki,

Japan each spring. Viralled as the “penis festival”,

Kanamara Matsuri main emphasis is the enshrinement of

the phallus, as mirrored in the candies, carved fruits, and

vegetables, illustrations and decorations with the phallus

palanquin parade. First began in 1969, the festival is

based on a Japanese legend for the shrine but today, the

festival is also used to raise funds for HIV research.

This article is made possible by Kanagawa Japan Prefecture.

1-3 Exhibits and scenic grounds of Nihon Minkaen Open-air Folk

House Museum 4-5 Hong Kong inspired dark interior at Anata No

Warehouse 6-7 Views and historical architecture of Heiken-ji 8 A

festival parade on the streets of Japan

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TRAVEL

Loy Krathong

Celebrating light, love and luck

WHEN

11 Nov 2019

LOY KRATHONG IS THE SECOND LARGEST FESTIVAL IN THAILAND AFTER SONGKRAN,

THE THAI NEW YEAR. KNOWN AS THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHT, IT MARKS AN OCCASION

TO CELEBRATE HOPE AND LOVE, BANISH BAD LUCK AND WELCOME GOOD FORTUNE.

Text ANGELA GOH • Photos ADOBE STOCK

ABOUT

The festival of light is celebrated annually

on the evening of the 12 th lunar month of

the Thai calendar.

Loy means “to float” while Krathong

means a “raft”. The krathong is a small

lotus-shaped vessel fashioned out of a

banana stem or bark and adorned by

exquisitely woven banana leaves.

The festival pays homage to the

river goddess, Ganga, known as Pra Mae

Khongkha. Celebrants ask for forgiveness

for polluting the rivers and also to thank

her for providing water which sustains life,

agriculture and livestock farming. It is also

a time to banish misfortune, unhappiness

and ill health, and make wishes for the

coming year.

Also regarded as a Thai festival of love,

it is said that if the krathong which is set

adrift by a pair of lovers remains afloat

together until they drift out of sight, their

love will last forever. If the krathong floated

by each of the lovers drifts apart, this is not

regarded as a good omen.

SYMBOLISM

Thais believe that launching the krathong

on a river symbolically releases all

negativity by letting their troubles drift

away. The four components of a krathong–a

candle, joss sticks, flower and coin–

symbolise aspects of Buddhism.

The candle represents knowledge and

wisdom; the joss sticks (usually three)

symbolise purity and sympathy; the flower

represents respect for Buddhist monks; and

the coin signifies the making of merit to

gain blessings and wealth.

Some worshippers leave strands of

hair or nail clippings in the krathong to

rid themselves of bad luck. If the candle

remains burning while the krathong drifts

out of sight, this portends good fortune in

the year ahead.

1

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TRAVEL

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TRAVEL

MAP OF

THAILAND

WHERE TO CELEBRATE

Loy Krathong is commemorated all

over Thailand but the main places

where the festival is celebrated on

an impressive scale are in Sukhothai,

Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

Bangkok

Loy Krathong is a major event in

Bangkok, involving ceremonies at

Wat Arun, Wat Po, Wat Prayoon

and Wat Kalayanamitra, and

cultural events along the riverside.

Top spots

The Chao Phraya River is the top

venue where fireworks light up

the night sky while tiny candlelit

vessels and brightly lit boats with

technicolour lights sail up and

down the waterway. To enjoy these

sights and sounds, it is best to

stay at one of the riverside hotels,

dine at a riverfront restaurant or

venture on a river cruise.

Celebrations are a little less

touristy along the downtown

canals or klongs such as the Saen

Saeb kong where you can float

your krathong in a less crowded

waterway. Commuter boat traffic is

stopped on Loy Krathong night in

favour of the annual festival.

Others include public parks

with ponds or lakes (Lumpini,

Benjakiti, Benjasiri, King Rama

IX), riverside malls (Asiatique, Tha

Maharaj) and temples (Wat Arun,

Wat Yannawa, Wat Saket).

Ratchaburi

Traditions and activities that are unique

to the Mon people are celebrated along

the Mae Klong River. There will be an

Eight Ethnics Parade showcasing the

costumes and cultures of the local

ethnic groups. Krathong cups made

from eco-friendly coloured paper can

be spotted along the river. Religious

ceremonies paying respect to the Lord

Buddha will also be held and festive

activities happen along the Mae Klong

River and Ratphracha Pattana Dam.

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TRAVEL

Chiang Mai

The International Cultural Lantern Festival will be staged at

Malin Park in Chiang Mai from 11-12 November 2019 where

sky lanterns are released to coincide with the celebration

of Yi Peng. This festival which coincides with Loy Krathong

is commemorated in northern Thai Lanna culture, where

Chiang Mai served as the capital of the ancient Lanna

Kingdom. The hot air lanterns are a spectacular sight when

they fill the night sky.

Top spots

Most of the activity takes place at the Ping River and at

bridges, while a beautiful parade captivates onlookers along

Thapae Road.

Sukhothai

As the birthplace of Loy Krathong, the festival is celebrated

for 10 days here. In addition to magical floating lights, there

are folk music and dance performances known as ram wong,

beauty contests, krathong-making competitions, parades, and

light and sound shows at Wat Mahathat.

Top spot

Nearly all the festivities are held at the Sukhothai Historical

Park (the old city), a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the

banks of the Yom River.

Tak

Famous for its Loi Krathong Sai or the floating of a line of

krathongs made from coconut shells, a local tradition that

has been passed through the ages. Catch it by the banks of

the Ping River at the foot of the Rattanakosin Song Roi Pi

Bridge where a thousand lighted coconut shell cups are left

adrift. A parade will also be held from the Shrine of King

Taksin the Great to the main venue at the town centre.

Phuket

Krathongs are set afloat with the outflowing tide by

the beaches island-wide. Other places to celebrate the

festivities include the Sapan Hin Park, Suan Luang Park,

Nai Harn Lake and Karon Lake. A parade starts at Sanam

Chai Park in Phuket town and continues around the island

ending at Saphan Hin.

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TRAVEL

ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

Green Island, Taiwan

BY THE EASTERN COAST OF TAIWAN, THE SMALL

VOLCANIC ISLAND IN THE PHILIPPINE SEA IS A SCENIC

SPOT FOR TRAVELLERS TO SEEK PLEASURE IN HOT

SPRINGS, SNORKELING, DIVING AND OTHER ADVENTURES.

Text JESSY WONG • Photos ADOBE STOCK & WAITING HERE B&B

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly domestically to Taitung County from Taipei

International Airport. From there, catch a direct

flight with Daily Air to Lyudao Airport for only 15

minutes. For a more affordable option, a ferry ride

from Fugang Fish Harbour in Taitung takes about an

hour to reach Lyudao Nanliao Harbour.

WHERE TO EAT

Walk around the main village center like Nan Liao to

find snacks, local Taiwan delicacies and restaurants

to dine in. Green Island is also famous for its

seaweed produce and seaweed flavoured food so

don’t be surprised to see seaweed ice and seaweed

omelette on this volcanic island.

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WHAT TO DO

The Lyudao Lighthouse is worth visiting to see

the bright tall lighthouse against the clear sky;

the surrounding area is absolutely scenic. The

Human Rights Memorial is a jail turned museum

and memorial in Lyudao Culture Park as the

infamous jail used to detain political prisoners.

If you like exploring, the abandoned aboriginal

village of Youzihu sits on the island’s eastern side.

Snorkelers can go to Chai Kou, Shi Lang

and Da Bai Sha to see some of Taiwan’s wellpreserved

coral reefs. A deeper marine exploration

will reveal an underwater paradise for divers.

More scenic adventures await at Hai Sheng Ping

bay where travellers can view the famous rock

formations reminiscent of a Pekinese dog and

Sleeping Beauty. Down south, catch the sunrise in

the hot spring pool at Zhaori Hot Springs–one of

the three saltwater hot springs in the world.

WHERE TO STAY

Waiting Here B&B is a quaint beautifully

decorated bed and breakfast on the island. The

friendly staff can help arrange activities like

snorkeling, diving and fishing other than a free

airport shuttle for guests.

GOOD

to

KNOW

Green Island

is also known

as “Lyudao”;

a Mandarin

pronunciation for

“green island”

The Lyudao

Lighthouse is

constructed after

a US luxury ocean

liner gone ashore

from a typhoon in

1937.

Rent electric

scooters to go

around the island

as the attractions

are not exactly

within walking

distance.


TRAVEL

Turning Tragedy into Tourism

1

THE COMPELLING DRAW OF TRAGEDY, DESTRUCTION,

AND DEATH BLURS THE LINE FOR TOURISM. MOST

QUESTS TO UNDERSTAND HISTORY HAS TURNED INTO

TERROR TRAVEL–WHICH INTRODUCES DARK TOURISM.

Text JESSY WONG • Photos ADOBE STOCK & JESSY WONG

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 17


TRAVEL

2

4

5

3

6

18 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


TRAVEL

How do I enjoy the rest of the

holidays after my first visit to a

genocide detention camp? The

chilling school-turned-prison camp for the

Khmer Rouge is a popular place to visit

in Phnom Penh. With a small admission

fee, visitors to the Tuol Sleng Genocide

Museum can walk around independently

with individual audio guides.

The prison has turned into a memorial

site to preserve the tragic times of the

Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. The

musty smell of its torture rooms, cramped

dehumanised prisons, and a roomful

of victims’ headshots may already be

overwhelming, but having the audio guide

recounting the terror directly to the ears

put multiple stops to my tracks. My energy

was completely drained, and I was deeply

conflicted. Little did I know, it was the start

of dark tourism for me.

THE GRIM FASCINATION

It is not a 21 st century trend that death

and tragedy appeal to travellers. Across

the globe, public beheading is a crowd

attraction in the past. Town folks of the

early 18 th century in England would wait

out criminals to die in the gibbets hung in

public crossroads. Visiting the morgue is a

favourite pastime for Parisians to pore over

dead bodies for free.

Today, travelling to places related to

violent mass killings and natural disaster

sites is coined as dark tourism. As seen

in the media, Netflix’s TV series “Dark

Tourist” invites curious watchers to follow

their travels to places with a dark history.

Admittedly, I had limited knowledge of

Cambodia’s history before my visit. Walking

on the grounds of Choeung Ek–a mass

grave and killing fields over one million

people in the Khmer Rouge–gave me more

than just insight to the history and the

political regime of Cambodia, the harsh

reality helped me to understand the bleak

period of humanity in the country. It was

sympathetically terrible to see thousands of

victims’ skulls displayed in the glass stupa,

arranged to precision.

Despite that, my inquisitiveness brought

me to the War Remnants Museum in Ho

Chi Minh City where there are photographic

entries of the horrific war crimes during

the Vietnam War. The blatant gore of some

captured moments brings tears to the eyes.

And I can’t help but admire the courage of

generational victims of Agent Orange.

Man-made crimes are not the only kind

of dark tourism. The remnant of a violent

volcano eruption in 2010 is turned into

a tourist attraction for visitors to see the

dilapidated houses near Mount Merapi in

Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Nearby, Bunker

Kaliadem is a more popular stop for

tourists to take scenic pictures with the

volcanic mountain in the background. The

bunker failed to prevent hot magma steam

from seeping through and has ended the

lives of people trapped inside; visitors can

enter to take a look.

Malaysia has its share of dark tourism

too. Tsunami Gallery in Kota Kuala Muda

in Kedah showcases houses destroyed

by the 2004 Indian tsunami and pictures

of the natural disaster. Outside, there’s

a monument of stacked fishing boats in

remembrance of the lives lost.

APPROPRIATION OF TRAVEL

Visiting dark sites has its constructive

endings to the nightmare it contains.

It brings a better understanding and

awareness of the dark past that teaches

us a lesson. Visitors to these galleries and

sites also contribute financially to the

community involved.

Sometimes visitors can forget that the

presence of an outsider may unintentionally

cause affected people to relieve their grief.

A place where so many people have met

their deaths should deserve the right kind

of visitor’s attitude. The ignorance of one

American Youtuber in Japan is a warning for

technology-driven society to adhere–filming

a hanging man in the Aokigahara forest for

gag and profits is among the examples of

exploitation of tragedy.

On a deeper level, we may also not be

aware if corporations are selfishly profiting

from tragedies-made tourism. Is the money

collected channeled back to the victims or

used to restore the sites? Some answers

may be obscure. So before visiting these

grave places, prepare yourself to travel with

a conscience.

If anyone asks, did I regret any of my

trips there? Absolutely not.

7

MORE DARK TOURISM

SITES AROUND ASIA


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum,

Hiroshima, Japan


Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


War Museum, Penang, Malaysia


Yingxiu Township, Sichuan, China


Museum Tsunami Aceh,

Kota Banda Aceh, Indonesia

1 Stacked skulls of victims during the Khmer Rouge in 1975-1979 2 Stupa at Choeung Ek Killing Fields in

Cambodia 3 An old guillotine is exhibited at War Remnants Musuem, Vietnam 4 Museum Mini SisaHartaku

from 2010 volcano eruption in Yogyakarta, Indonesia 5 Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh 6 Tsunami

monument at Kota Kuala Muda in Kedah 7 Actual volcano bunker opened for visitors in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 19


FYI

Free Apps for

Travel Distress

FOR LAST-MINUTE PLANS, BUDGET TRAVEL AND PRE-

TRIP ORGANISING, THESE APPS DESERVE A SHOUT-

OUT FOR MAKING LIFE EASIER FOR ALL NEWBIES,

FREQUENT AND BUSY TRAVELLERS. ALL APPS ARE

AVAILABLE ON THE APP STORE AND GOOGLE PLAY.

Text JESSY WONG

Photos ADOBE STOCK & ALL FEATURED APPS

Best for

OPTIMAL TRAVEL PACKING

Best for

ORGANISING PLANS

TRIPIT

TripIt keeps you on schedule whether

it’s a business trip or leisure travel.

Available on smartphones and computers, the app instantly creates

a roster for your day and when you’re on the trip, the app supports

you from navigation (ride options), airport maps (layout of airport

and terminals), nearby places and neighbourhood safety (shows

safety scores for security). Besides calendar sync, you can also easily

share your plans with others through text or email. Additional

features include real-time flight alerts and a currency converter.

PACKPOINT

Now, you don’t have to list

everything you need for

your trip because this app

automatically builds a custom

packing list based on your

destination, date, length of

stay and types of activities.

The app checks the weather forecast for the day of your visit and

recommends items like jacket, umbrella, shorts or sandals to your

packing list. You can “hide” checked items as you pack and add

quantities to items in the packing list for efficiency.

Best for

MANAGING EXPENDITURE

TRABEE POCKET

It is much like a diary, except

that it helps to keep abreast

of your travelling expenses so

you won’t bust your budget.

The customisable categories

for expenses create an orderly

daily report to track spending

and receipts at a glance. Trabee Pocket also has multiple currencies

support for instant conversion to the currency you’re familiar with.

For a detailed record, add a note and image to the spending.

Best for

PREDICTING FARES

HOPPER

Plan your trip up to one year

in advance with Hopper as this

app predicts flights and hotel

prices with high accuracy. The

“watch” feature will send you

notifications when the prices

you’re following for your trip

have dropped and it shows you the cheapest travel dates with price

comparison over hundreds of global airlines. The price tracker can

score you the best deals and save for more travels.

20 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


FOOD

1

2

A New World in Dining

WHEN ENVIRONMENTAL PASSION MEETS DINING, IT IS A REVOLUTIONARY

CONFLUENCE OF NATURE'S BEST GIFTS–WARMLY SERVED ON PLATES.

Text JESSY WONG • Photos NECTAR & OPEN FARM COMMUNITY

3 4

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 21


FOOD

5

8

6

7

NECTAR

The high-end dining concept by

award-winning chef and owner

Peggy Chan tops our list with its

plant-based gourmet cuisines.

Setting the standard for overall

wellness in dining, Nectar

promises a tasting experience

that focuses on holistic,

nutrient-dense, and seasonal

tasting menus in Hong Kong.

Peggy is internationally

recognised for her dedication

to the environment and was

awarded the title “Sustainability

Champion” in 2018 at the

T.Dining Awards. Also, Peggy

actively involves in food

biodiversity and sustainability

movement that addresses

undernutrition, food waste and

soil degradation in the industry.

Applauded to be raising

awareness of plant-based

cuisine, Nectar’s bold

approach shows a promising

future for sustainable dining

and opened doors for Hong

Kong’s food revolution.

Peggy’s plant-based cooking is

very much technique-driven

that uncover textures and

depth of flavour in vegetables

and legumes.

Nectar’s seasonal tasting

menu is locally and regionally

sourced with a wish to educate

and empower diners on

conscious eating and ethical

sourcing. Guests are given the

option to choose from a five,

eight or twelve multi-course

tasting menu.

Shop D, G/F, CentreStage, 108 Hollywood Road,

Central, Hong Kong

hello@nectarexperience.co

Nectarexperience.co

22 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


FOOD

9

1-4 Edible garden at Open Farm Community 5-6 Nectar's plant-based food

presentation 7-8 A calming minimalist interior at Nectar 9 Open Farm Community

outdoor deck dining area 10 Lip-smacking roasted Anxin chicken 11 Indonesian

baby potatoes reinterpreted

10

OPEN FARM COMMUNITY

As a restaurant, they are

known to be more than

just an eating place–they

familiarise themselves as being

a community food project

in Singapore. Established in

2015, the culinary team at

Open Farm Community (OFC)

takes the lead by encouraging

diners to reconnect with their

surroundings and nature

through food.

The creative menu approach

is curated by both Head Chef

Oliver Truesdale-Jutras and

Sous Chef Phoebe Oviedo. The

passionate duo has taken their

turns in various cities across the

globe, skillfully trying different

approaches when cooking to

bring in new flavours over

familiar local palates.

Naturally, the highly

urbanised Singapore is a

perfect choice for celebrating

Asian delicacies. OFC aims

to inspire people to learn

about what they eat and

how they eat with primarily

locally-sourced ingredients in

metropolitan surroundings.

The support for local urban

farming movement sees OFC

harvesting fresh produce from

the establishment’s own green

garden–setting a farm to plate

example in the city.

Among the prolific cuisines,

the “Crab & Prawn Laksa

Pappardelle” distinguishes

itself as a Southern Malay Laksa

assimilated with homemade

pasta, crispy soft-shell crab

tempura, and herbs from the

OFC’s garden. The environment

in OFC definitely makes the

grade for diners to easily

reconnect with nature from its

scenic surroundings, open-deck

dining and greenhouse-themed

atmosphere.

11

130E Minden Road, Singapore

enquiries@ofcsingapore.com.sg

www.openfarmcommunity.com

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 23


TALES ON TRACK

FOOD FOR TALK

“Meat ” up for

Bah Kut Teh

Text FRANCIS YIP

Photo ADOBE STOCK

Bah Kut Teh

is probably

the Malaysian

dish that sparked the

most conversation and

controversy. Years ago, a

pair of sex bloggers created

a nationwide storm for their

Bah Kut Teh photo posting as

Ramadan greetings. Then, we also

have netizens from Malaysia and

Singapore fighting over the origin of Bah

Kut Teh–each claiming the dish belongs to

their country.

MEAT BONE TEA

Bah Kut Teh means “Meat Bone Tea”.

However, it is not really tea as it references

more to the drinking ritual which has

become an integral part of eating Bah Kut

Teh–to demulsify the fat of the pork.

Bah Kut Teh is a pork rib dish cooked

gently with a mix of herbs and spices in

the soup for hours. There are Hokkien,

Teowchew and Cantonese-styled Bah Kut

Teh but in Malaysia, the most common

is the Hokkien style which is darker and

more fragrant soup. On the other hand, Bah

Kut Teh in Singapore is lighter and more

pepper-ish in taste.

ORIGIN OF BAH KUT TEH

There is a lot of argument about the

origin of Bah Kut Teh. Klang is often

well-known as the birthplace of Bah Kut

Teh. It was introduced by the Chinese

immigrants who were mostly Hokkien

during the 19 th century.

According to Ng Soon Tiong, owner of

Samy and Min Bah Kut Teh, “Bah Kut Teh

was created as a dish to help replenish the

energy of the Chinese coolies who mostly

carried heavy loads while barefooted.

In those days, they boiled pig heads and

knuckles with medicinal herbs and spices

as a way to nourish and strengthen their

bodies.”

It is also

believed that

the word

“teh” of “Bah

Kut Teh” is

derived from the

name, Lee Boon

Teh who brought

the dish from Fujian

and popularised the dish

in the 1940s. But across the

causeway, netizens claimed that

Bah Kut Teh was created in Clarke

Quay and River Valley. They said the dish

was spotted even in the 1920s.

FLAVOURS TODAY

Whether it is Klang or Clarke Quay, it

doesn’t matter. But one thing is certain.

Some Bah Kut Teh shops attempted to

be innovative by offering Seafood Bah

Kut Teh, Cheese Bah Kut Teh, and even

Durian Bah Kut Teh.

Will you try it? For myself, I am

still a die-hard fan of authentic Bah Kut

Teh. In fact, I have mastered the art of

boiling Bah Kut Teh from my mother and

my herbs are mostly bought from the

Chinese medical hall.

Special thanks to Ng Soon Tiong, owner of Samy and Min Bah Kut Teh Malaysia and the World Top

Gourmet Awards Team.

24 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM

FRANCIS YIP loves to eat and will always go find the best food in every nook and cranny. He is passionate to share his food journey and

may spark a storm in the teacup too. After all, no food, no life.

www.franciswriter.com franciswriterAd franciswriter

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