Macau’s Historic Treats

January 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Culture, Uniquely Far East

Macau is a city with two faces. On one hand, it is the famed Las Vegas of the East, where the thrill of beating the dealer at the blackjack table lures wealthy tourists from mainland China and neighboring Hong Kong to try their luck. But on the other hand, there is a side of Macau rarely explored. A side filled with charismatic fortresses, churches and culture of its former colonial master, Portugal. One such site is The Historic Centre of Macau, which spans eight historic squares filled with classical colonial and oriental buildings. Unearthing Asia explores the notable highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Senado Square

The Senado Square has been the centre of Macau since the beginning, and plays host to many public events and festivities. Within the square are several notable architectures, such as Sam Kai Vui Kun (Kuan Tai Temple), Leal Senado Building and Holy House of Mercy. The Kuan Tai Temple is situated on the site of the old Macau bazaar, a very important trading centre during the Chinese commercial period in Macau. After the decline of the bazaar, the temple rose to importance in the area.

Barra Square

The Barra Square faces the Inner Harbour, and its front part is constructed from famed Portugese mosaic. The tiles are laid in a wavy pattern to mirror the flow of a nearby river. Within the square is A-Ma Temple, the oldest and longest surviving building in Macau. When the first Portugese settlers arrived in the 16th century and asked for the name of the place, they were told “A-Ma Gau”, the name of the temple instead. This was then transcribed by the settlers into the Portugese Macau.

St Augustine’s Square

This square brings together several notable sites, including St Augustine’s Church, the Dom Pedro V Theatre, St Joseph’s Seminary and Church, and the Sir Robert Ho Tung Library. The Dom Pedro V Theatre was the earliest western-styled theatre in China, and was originally built to commemorate Kind Pedro V.

Lilau Square

Lilau in Portugese means “mountain spring”, and this used to be the principal source of water in Macau. Within the Lilau Square are the Mandarin’s House and Moorish Barracks. The Mandarin’s House was the residence of the famed Chinese thinker Zheng Guanying. The Moorish Barracks nearby was built by the Italian architect Cassuto, but curiously shows Islamic influence in its design.

Ruins of St Paul’s

The Ruins of St Paul refers to the facade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640. Destroyed by fire in 1835, the Ruins also refer to the ruins of St Paul’s College, which stood adjacent to the Church. As a whole, the old Church of Mater Dei, St Paul’s College and Mount Fortress were perceived as Macau’s “acropolis”. Today, the Ruins of St Paul are one of Macau’s most famous landmarks, and in 2005 were officially enlisted as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best cheap holiday ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City.

Dian Adriani, Traveling Fashionista

June 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Personality

Please tell us about yourself. What do you do? What is your passion?
I’m Dian Adriani. I run a company specializing in ready-to-wear garments where I work as the Designer and Creative Director for our brands. We have ADRIANI, a high-end ready-to-wear line, and LILOU, a youth-spirited and affordable line. Fashion and films has always been my passion since I was a little girl. It is always fun to create concept inspired by strong characters in the movies, visualizing them to wear what I create.

Share with us your love of travel. What was your most memorable travel experience?
Traveling has always been something that I look forward to, whether for work or for vacation. It’s the perfect to try new dishes, new local activities, and explore different point of views. It is important to refresh and enrich the mind. Currently, I travel frequently to Bali to supervise the Radiant Hotel in Tuban. But before, when I was doing my studies in France, I traveled even more! I love exploring the various European cities such as Barcelona, Florence and London.

One of my most memorable experience is when i visited Ile de Ré in France. Together with my cousin and her friend, we decided to do a tour around the island on bicycles. We simply rode around, being mesmerized by the warmth atmosphere of the villages and vineyards. We conveniently forgotten how far the way back was, and ended up laughing at our joint pains when we got home.


Which one is your favorite place, and why?
My favorite city is Bruges in Belgium. The medieval architectures and the canals made me feel like I’m in a children story book. What I love also is how I can wander around the city and unexpectedly find cute little boutiques.

What is your favorite activity or attractions in that particular city?
Bruges is filled with the spirit of craftsmanship. I had the chance to see amazing handmade lace-makers in process and I was truly impressed by their ability to concentrate in meticulous details. I also enjoyed tasting as many sweets and chocolates in the confectioneries. It is truly a dreamy city.

Can you share with us your perfect beach holiday? What is your idea of a “dream paradise”?
When I think of beach I always think of Bali because of the wonderful weather and the friendly local people. There are also many options whether to go in a calm beach to play with the family, to try water sports, or to enjoy sunset parties. My dream paradise is undoubtedly fictional. A fair on top of white cotton clouds full of rainbow colored hanging lanterns, countless types of sweets and pretty objects.

For more traveling inspirations in Bali, the Island of God, don’t forget to check out our list of 12 Must-Do Things in Bali, and our latest overview of Jimbaran, Bali’s Next Hip Hotspot!

Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best Family Holidays ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of must do things in Bali.

Culinary Adventures of India

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Culture, Gourmet, Mythical Himalayas

India’s culinary landscape can be summarized into three words: spicy, herb-rich and vegetarian. Most foreigners will find these less appetizing compared to their usual fare, but choosing to miss out on them when traveling to India would be your loss.

Trying out the unique local flavor is part of the exciting adventure that makes up India, and one challenge that every self-declared independent traveler should take! Unearthing Asia takes a look at the various local delicacies that one would encounter here, and gives you a slight outlook on what to expect from each of them.

Rice and Bread
Rice and bread is very popular in India, and are daily served as a main entree to be paired up with the various dishes, such as curry or thali. In the Northern part of India, bread is the more popular choice while in the South rice gets the nod. The rice used in India is long and grainy, and are usually spiced up with saffron, giving it a unique yellow coloring, refreshing aroma and slightly bitter flavor. A popular dish is called the briyani, which is this yellow rice cooked with ghee and served with your choice of vegetables and or meat.

Similarly, the bread is also served usually with curry to be used as either a dip or fillings. The bread is flat and round, and looks more like your usual Subway wrap instead of the bread we’re accustomed to. Bread cooked with tandoor is called Naan, while those deep-fried is called puri.

This very Indian dish is usually served on a large banana leaf, tho nowadays a lot of restaurants substitutes a large platter for it. It’s basically a mix of various choice dishes in small portions, served all at once together for your enjoyment. A perfect way to taste the unique intricacies of Indian’s cuisine, thali usually consists of rice, bread, dhal, spicy vegetables, and curry. Thali are usually vegetarian, but if you try it in a non-vegetarian restaurant you can simply order additional dishes as much as you need.

Thali is best eaten slowly, for you to savor the unique taste each differing pairings bring. A common mistake is to mix the rice with all the dishes, one you must not do! Instead, try eating them in pairs, mixing each dishes with another as you deem fit. Be surprised by the rich, differing flavors each pairings bring.

Meat Lovers
Worry not, while vegetarian food is a huge part of India’s culinary arsenal there are still various dishes that would please your carnivorous palate. Kebab, various choice cuts of meat and vegetables in a satay stick, is a popular dish, as well as Shami, slices of meat and vegetables wrapped in bread. Cow is considered holy in India, so lamb is the meat of choice. Another popular meat dish is the chicken tandoori, which pairs very well with both rice and bread. Be careful however, as some tandoori can be quite hot! Less adventurous eaters would be well advised to ask for a mild, less-spicy version of this dish.

About the Author. Michelle Lee. There is an idea behind every writing, and magic in bringing words to life. For Michelle, words create worlds beyond ours. A writer based in Singapore, Michelle seeks to inspire thoughts, ignite emotions, and explore the unfound as much as boundaries can be ventured into. Her inspirations spiral from overseas escapades filled with wild diversities of culture and traditions. “Abandoning responsibilities, work and the hustles of life to a place where everything is fresh, new and alienated. That, is sheer fascination.”