Upcoming Event – Phuket Raceweek

July 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East, General Fun

Photo Credit - Six Senses Phuket Raceweek

Photo Credit - Six Senses Phuket Raceweek

The Six Senses Phuket Raceweek is set to continue with four days of international standard yacht racing from 20 to 24 July 2011. Now in its eight year, the award-winning event will combine five nights of parties and entertainment at Evason Phuket & Bon Island resort in Rawai. Fresh off being voted the Best Asian Regatta 2011 at the annual Asia Boating Awards in Hong Kong, the regatta will feature a mix of competitive racing and glamorous parties in ultra chic settings at one of Thailand’s leading luxury resorts.

The Evason Phuket & Bon Island is part of the Six Senses Resorts and Spas portfolio of properties. The property boasts an idyllic location overlooking the Andaman Sea with 64 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and accommodation to match. The acclaimed chef Thomas Jakobi will be present at the resorts’ Into the Beach restaurant, one of the many race venues for the upcoming regatta. The fine dining establishment was recently graded 10 out of 10 in a review by Thailand Tattler, and was the only restaurant in Phuket to have earned such high marks.

“Six Senses is delighted to continue our partnership with Phuket Raceweek. We are pleased at the international recognition the event has garnered. This year will be very special with Dee Caffari as our ambassador,” enthused John Philipson, the Managing Director of Six Senses Resort and Spas Thailand.

Photo Credit - Six Senses Phuket Raceweek

Photo Credit - Six Senses Phuket Raceweek


Among the leading entries confirmed for the event so far are five first-timers, led by David Ross’s brand new Ker 40 pure racing yacht, KukukKERchu, which will debut at Phuket Raceweek. Dee Caffari, the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world against prevailing winds and currents in 2006, will also be present to add a touch of legend into the event.

The regatta will be run over six or seven classes, including cruising, bareboat and charter yachts. The race promises to be exciting and competitive for the serious boats, while a number of fun courses around the islands are also available for those looking to just enjoy a day out in the sea.

For more information, head on to www.phuketraceweek.com or email raceweek@image-asia.com.

24Hr in Auckland, the City of Sails

June 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, Culture, Enchanting Oceania

The beautiful Waitemata Harbour is Auckland’s greatest natural asset © Gareth Eyres

The beautiful Waitemata Harbour is Auckland’s greatest natural asset © Gareth Eyres

A day in Auckland begins as the sun rises and ends way after it sets. With a million of its people residing in the vicinity – one-third of New Zealand’s population – Auckland is undoubtedly one of the most gregarious areas in the country. Enjoy this 24-hour itinerary in the City of Sails!

07:00AM
Wake from your swanky New Zealand hotel and start your day fresh and crisp at the Otara morning market, a 20-minute drive from the city centre where things really start to bustle early on Saturday morning. Lauded as the largest Polynesian market in the world, visitors will find everything from fresh produce and other delectable treats to daily essentials such as clothing and accessories. This place is a favourite amongst the locals and is open only on Saturdays from 7am to noon, so be sure you make your way there bright and early in the morning to catch the action.

09:00AM
While the sun is still ?mild in the morning, take a drive south of the city centre to Mt Eden, the highest natural point in Auckland. Embark on a short trek around the mountain, enjoy the air and admire the beautiful view of the city from up high. By now, your stomachs must be calling, so walk along the shops on Mt Eden and pop into any of the cafes for a hearty breakfast. We recommend Frasers, for its muffins never fail to lure people in.

The sea provides a quick escape from the buzz of the city © Fay Looney

The sea provides a quick escape from the buzz of the city © Fay Looney

11:00AM
Wondering why is Auckland known as the “City of Sails”? Head to the harbour and you will see why. Almost one in three people owns a yacht in Auckland and the harbour is usually jam packed with beautiful boats with their sails up in the air. Take your time to explore the harbour. If you are there in March, you may witness the “Auckland Sailing Festival” which is the biggest sailing event of the year. Be prepared however, to find the harbour swamped with people who are there for the event.

01:00PM
Embark on a harbour cruise to see more of Auckland beyond the city. You can easily book a lunch cruise at the harbour. These 90-minute cruises will bring you to places such as the Bean Rock Lighthouse, Rangitoto Island, Devonport Naval Base, Auckland Harbour Bridge for a panoramic view of the city’s skyline, Chelsea Sugar Refinery and Westhaven Marina, and The Viaduct.

03:00PM
Spend the afternoon exploring Auckland itself. Though it is the most populous area in the country, Auckland has a laidback and soothing charcter which is completely unlike other cities which move at a frantic pace. Visit some of its colonial sites such as the Ferry Terminal and the Auckland War Memorial Museum and soak in its rich European heritage. For art lovers, the Auckland Art Gallery is a beauty on the outside and even more alluring inside showcasing European and New Zealand art works from different eras. Afterward, take a stroll down Queen Street and enjoy the simplicity of Auckland City.

As the South Pacific’s most significant city,  Auckland is interesting and energising © Kieran Scott

As the South Pacific’s most significant city, Auckland is interesting and energising © Kieran Scott

05:00PM
Visiting Auckland’s iconic structure, the Sky Tower, is likened to visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris! Standing at 328 meters tall, the tower offers a panoramic view of the entire city. A world-class entertainment hub, the Sky City houses restaurants, bars, shops and a casino – all under a roof. For dare-devils, get on the SkyJump, and leap off the building at a speed of 85km/h – attached to a cable of course.

06:00PM
Head to the Orbit Revolving Restaurant where it offers a 360 degree view of the city at 190 meters above ground. As the sky starts to darken, the view of Auckland City at night reveals another side of itself, which is absolutely breathtaking. With an array of tantalizing Western cuisine to choose from, stunning view and romantic ambience, it is hard not to feel like you are in love.

08:00PM
While the night is still young, you can head to the Sky Lounge for a drink, relax and chill. But be sure to keep the drinks in check if you are aiming to head to the Sky Casino afterwards!

10:00PM
Try your luck at the Sky City Casino. The casino is open 24 hours a day. With over 100 tables of games such as roulette and blackjack, and more than 1,500 gaming machines, this is probably the one place in Auckland that truly never sleeps.


If you are planning a visit to Asia, don’t forget to check out Unearthing Asia, the best Asia travel portal focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. We have got some of the best travel ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of Singapore’s best romantic views.

Visit some stunning places when opting for car hire croatia. Stay as long as you like or do not stop if you prefer not to. Car hire puts you in the driving seat.

Raja Ampat, Diving’s Holy Grail

June 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Nature

Deep in the hearts of Papua, lies the Holy Grail of scuba diving. Back in our very first issue of the magazine we shared about the eco-conservation efforts being undertaken in Raja Ampat to ensure this paradise would last as long as it can. Here we’d like to showcase the amazing photography of Scotty Graham, which was featured then in our print magazine. Enjoy this photographic journey through Raja Ampat’s marine beauty!

Raja Ampat, scuba diving's Holy Grail

Raja Ampat, scuba diving's Holy Grail

Eco-resorts in Raja Ampat strive to balance nature and development

Eco-resorts in Raja Ampat strive to balance nature and development

White sandy beaches, azure blue sky. Truly you are in paradise!

White sandy beaches, azure blue sky. Truly you are in paradise!

Oh, did I forgot to mention the crystal clear water?

Oh, did I forgot to mention the crystal clear water?

But enough about the beach, we came here to dive!

But enough about the beach, we came here to dive!

Marine beauty at its best, beautiful corals and colorful fishes!

Marine beauty at its best, beautiful corals and colorful fishes!

And more fishes!

And more fishes!

A group of Manta Rays passing by.

A group of Manta Rays passing by.

Underwater Macro shot.

Underwater Macro shot.

Finally, time to call it a day. Sunset in Raja Ampat.

Finally, time to call it a day. Sunset in Raja Ampat.

The archipelago of Indonesia boasts plenty other diving attractions. Be sure to check out our list of amazing dive spots in Indonesia before you book your trip here!


Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best travel ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of divers paradise in Indonesia.

Historic Duolun Road, Shanghai

June 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Culture, Uniquely Far East

If places like Taikang Lu and Xintiandi are a contemporary and historical melting pot of Shanghai-ness, then Duolun Road is its timeline. When 50 Moganshan was still nothing more than a textile factory, some of the most radical and freethinking writers of their time were chilling out on Duolun Rd. It started with Lu Xun, China’s most celebrated literary son, who moved in to the area in the 1930s. Others, like Guo Moruo, Mao Dun and Ding Ling followed. Before long, Duolun Rd. had blossomed into a vibrant cultural district of writers, artists and Chinese liberals.

duolun1

The entire Hongkou District, just north of the Bund, where Duolun Rd. is located, was at one time a settlement of American and British diplomats, and thus has always prevailed as an area of Shanghai where internationalism flourished. When Duolun Rd. was first built in 1911, it was called Darroch Rd. after a British missionary who had once met with the Emperor during the Qing Dynasty. The road was renamed “Duolun Lu” in 1943, after the People’s Republic of China was established. By the end of the 20th century, Duolun Rd. had been pedestrianized and much of it restored, repainted and revitalized.

Despite the many social, political and aesthetic changes around Duolun Rd. throughout the last hundred years, the street still runs its same course in an L-shape, connecting at its two ends with the bustling Sichuan Bei Lu. A hodgepodge of architectural styles interlace the road, weaving together a map of the street’s age like lines on a tree trunk. Old bookshops, antiques stores and trinket stalls line the edges of the street and give visitors a chance to partake in the Bohemian feeling of what was once the greatest literary center in all of China.

duolun2

Shopping

Shopping is not why people go to Duolun Rd., but it is one of the perks of being there. That is, if you are interested in antiques, because antiques are really all you’ll find on Duolun Rd. A few dusty bookshops leave their doors open to passersby interested in historic and used books, most of them Chinese. Unnamed trinket shops sell archaic bits of jewelry – beaded bracelets, jade necklaces and old fans. And the dozens of antiques stores you’ll find there house fine examples of traditional Chinese furniture, wooden objects and historic porcelain (just be on the lookout for fakes, because they’re around, too). There is even some revolutionary paraphernalia to be found in the mix, if that’s your thing.

Shopaholics may find another spot in Shanghai to be a more entertaining option. Shanghai’s “new heaven and earth”, hip modern Xintiandi, is a hotspot of entertainment, shopping and nightlife that really lives up to it’s name.

duolun3

Eating

Cultural districts never have a shortage of quaint cafes, and Duolun Rd. is no exception. Several small eateries are dotted along the road in between antiques shops and historic buildings. If you’ve ventured far afield enough to find Duolun Rd. in the first place, you’ll want to step inside Old Film Café, which pays homage to Shanghai’s contributions to the silver screen with their showings of old Chinese movies. Though their menu is limited, the classic film-heavy ambiance shouldn’t be missed. The Koala Garden House and Eucalyptus Café is perhaps the best spot on the street for a quick bite and a strong Illy coffee, which can be enjoyed in the café’s cute cottage setting amid a mishmash of colorful walls and stone columns.

If it’s a truly hearty meal you’re after, a branch of the popular Japanese ramen noodle chain, Ajisen, is just around the corner on Sichuan Bei Lu. Though by far the smallest branch of Ajisen I’ve ever encountered, the food is just as tasty (and there is often a line out the door for lunch).

After a day of eating and history, head on towards The Cool Docks, your very first stop for a luxuriant taste of Shanghai’s soft, romantic side, and an excellent way to start out the night’s revelries.

duolun4

Odds & Ends

The tie that binds Duolun Rd. together through a century of history is the architecture, and that too is the most charming thing about a walk down the street.

The strong presence of Duolun Rd.’s artistic past can be felt immediately as you enter the street from Sichuan Bei Lu. The first thing you encounter is the Shanghai Museum of Modern Art, which in truth is not as interesting or important as much of the art you’ll find at 50 Moganshan. However, the Shanghai MOMA is the only subsidized museum of modern art in China, and for that it has an important place in the world of Chinese modern art.

Further down the road, Hong De Tang, the Great Virtue Christian Church, offers up a sublime architectural fusion, with its firmly European brick façade embellished by distinctly Chinese upturned eaves. A bit of neo-Classical French architecture is evident in the white-washed iron balconies of the Tangenbo residence just past Duolun Rd.’s L-curve; and at the end of the street, even an Islamic presence is visible in the Kongxiangxi house, a stately granite structure with rounded windows that suggest its Central Asian influences.

And in between these, along Duolun Rd.’s .8 km stretch of cobbled stones, sit dozens of examples of Lilong houses in the style typical of Old Shanghai. Narrow, dense and packed together like stacked cardboard boxes, these buildings remind the visitor that yes, this is still Shanghai after all.

If art is more your cup of tea, head on towards Shanghai’s art district, 50 Moganshan, the center of modern Chinese art in Shanghai.

Getting There

Though most listings will tell you to take a bus directly to Duolun Rd. (No. 21, 939, 231, 47, 854, 79, 18), the nicest way to go is actually by subway. If you take Metro Line 3 (yellow) and get off at Dongbaoxing Rd., it’s only a 5-10 minute walk to the entrance to Duolun Rd. at Sichuan Bei Lu, and is a pleasant way to see some of the authentic residential backstreets of Shanghai.

Use Exit 1 and go right, following Hailun Xi Lu west to Sichuan Bei Lu, where you’ll turn left. You’ll know you’ve reached Duolun Rd., again on the left, by the large historic stone gate that marks the entrance to the street.

Unearthing Asia now offers travel packages throughout the region of Asia. Check out our promotional offers of Luxury Private Villas in Bali, perfect for Honeymooners or those looking for a little romance. We also have great offers for hotels in Singapore, resorts in Phuket and many more.

About the Author. Megan Eaves. Megan Eaves is a freelance travel writer and China junkie. She’s an English teacher in a small town in Zhejiang Province where her days are filled correcting grammatical mistakes, killing nuclear wasps and getting stared at by the locals. Megan has traveled everywhere from the Great Wall to the Gobi Desert and isn’t afraid to write about it. She’s also the author of a groovy book called “This is China: A Guidebook for Teachers, Backpackers and Other Lunatics”. She, of course, has a website: http://www.meganeaveswriting.com

12 Must-Do Things in Bali

June 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East

From water-sports to shopping, the island of Bali has it all. Pamper yourself with a chocolate spa treatment before partying the night away at one of its trendiest nightspots, all this while squeezing a gourmet meal in between. Here are some of the must-do things in the Islands of God.

Photo credit – Sean McGrath

Photo credit – Sean McGrath

Hide Away

No trip to Bali is complete without experiencing the hillside tranquility of Ubud. Fresh off winning the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Magazine award as the World’s Best City, the small hill-side town is now abuzz with tourism and renewed popularity. However, there are still spots to relax and unwind. Head to Dirty Duck Cafe (Warung Bebek Bengil) for a tasty serving of crispy, deep fried duck with mouth-watering sambal on the side. Various trekking and cycling tours are also available for you to take through the maze of never-ending terraced paddy fields.

Photo credit – Stella Blu

Photo credit – Stella Blu

Dress Up

When it comes to shopping in Bali, there is only one place for fashionable trendsetting locals who knows not to judge a book by its cover – Seminyak. This shopping area on the southern coast of Bali is filled with fashionable treasures waiting for you to unearth. BIASA is the undisputed queen of fashion, a chapel of cool selling classics for grown ups and a few flirty styles for the younger crowd too. Other local favorites are Paul Ropp, Papillion, Innuendo and Flamingo, which you can read further in our exploration of Seminyak.

Photo credit - Metal Marna

Photo credit - Metal Marna

Arts & Crafts

The arts and crafts scene in Bali is well developed and highly sought after in the international market. Numerous artists have made Bali their home, drawing from the colorful culture and charming island life Bali has to offer as their inspiration. Balinese wood carving is popular amongst tourists, and you can find some of the best in business at Tegallalang, Pujung and Sebatu. For elegant ceramics, Jenggala Ceramics in Jimbaran is the place to go. The spacious gallery, just 10 minutes away from the airport, offers world-class, locally made crockery at reasonable prices, in a wide range of designs.

Photo credit – yummiec00kies

Photo credit – yummiec00kies

Surf’s Up

While Bali is no longer a frontier surfing destination, it still boasts some of the best surfing spots in the world. It has over 20 top quality breaks on the southwest and southeast coast of the island, and there are a wide range of breaks to cater all skill levels. Beginners can head to Kuta Beach to enroll at the various surfing schools available, while other areas, such as Uluwatu and Padang, offer world-class reef-breaks for those of higher skill level.

Photo credit - chee.hong

Photo credit - chee.hong

Dolphin Watch

Tourists can head towards Lovina, 3 hours north of Kuta, which is famed for their dolphin sight-seeing tours. These tours leave the main beaches each morning at dawn, with the price usually set at Rp75,000 per person. If you are in a group, chartering your own boat maybe a more worthwhile option.

Photo credit - ValerioVeo

Photo credit - ValerioVeo

Sip a Good Martini

For Bali’s best martini, drop into the legendary Naughty Nuri’s Warung on Jl Raya Sanggingan, a 10-minute drive west from the centre of Ubud. The classic chilled martini and margaritas are some of the best you’ll find on the island, and they also serve a mean pork ribs. The atmosphere is casual and relaxing, a perfect way to while away your afternoon after a tiring day.

7

Party Away

If partying is high on your list then the Kuta Beach area is where you want to go. Here, the party starts late at around midnight and goes on all night into the wee hours of the morning. Think noisy discotheques full of drunk tourists and locals, with various dance shows to draw in the crowd. Hulu Cafe prides itself as “the only real gay bar in Bali”, and has drag shows three times a week which can be quite fun. Casablance, Peanuts, Bounty Ship, M-Bar-Go and Sky Garden are a few of the numerous watering holes in the area ready to serve you whatever drinks you may want.

yahoo-12-spa

Pamper Yourself

As the bastion of luxury travel in South East Asia, Bali boasts some of the world’s best in the art of spa pampering. Kayumanis Private Villa & Spa offers the ultimate indulgence – a pampering of chocolate spa treatment. It combines traditional Balinese massage using chocolate oils, followed with a chocolate scrub, chocolate bath, chocolate facial and finally, a serving of chocolate ice cream to top it off at the end. Plenty other hotels and villas offers high-quality Balinese massage using special medicated oils to help you relax and unwind.

Photo credit - Metis

Photo credit - Metis

Eat Like a King

Bali is home to some of the finest restaurants in the region, offering high-end culinary treats mixed with the great island atmosphere and friendly face. Over the years, there have been a few mainstays, such as the legendary Ku De Ta, Sarong Bali, and Kafe Warisan (which is now revamped as Metis). The price is steep, but like they always said, you do get what you pay for.

Photo credit - Mr Wabu

Photo credit - Mr Wabu

Water Sports

Tanjong Benoa is Bali’s premier water-sports hub, with various activities available for you to choose from. Parasailing, snorkeling, jet-skis, wake-boarding and banana-boats are but a few of the choices available here. There are also white-water rafting operators further up north, near Ubud area, with the the Telagawajah and Ayung River being two of the most popular options.

Photo credit - Ilse Rejis and Jan-Noud Hutten

Photo credit - Ilse Rejis and Jan-Noud Hutten

Scuba Diving

There are quite a few scuba diving sites around Bali. Some of the popular ones are – wreck-divingat Tulamben in the east, the serene reefs around Menjangan Island, and drift diving off Nusa Penida in the south. For beginners there are also various dive centres affiliated with PADI and SSI offering introductory courses.

Photo credit - Flashpacking Life

Photo credit - Flashpacking Life

Climb Mount Agung

Mount Agung is the highest mountain on the island of Bali, which holds a huge spiritual significance to the people of the island and is home to the Temple of Besakih. There are three climbing routes up the mountain, and all are quite difficult and only suitable for the physically fit. The rewards however, are most definitely worth it, with some awe-inspiring views of the mountains across flat rubble plains. Getting a local guide is a must, with fees varying from USD40 to USD100 depending on how you arrange the guide, the route taken and the level of English expected of the guide.

Travel smarter! If your looking for the best deals on Bali hotel prices, head on to SmartHotelComparison.com for a one-stop portal which allows you to compare prices from over 500 booking websites!


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

KL’s New Buzz

December 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East

Kuala Lumpur is juxtaposition of old and new. The city is too big to be negotiated on foot, but there is an efficient metro system, including many elevated lines. Cleaner than Bangkok, yet not quite as orderly as Singapore, the nation’s capital is a thriving metropolis where you can fill your suitcases with affordable fashions and tickle your taste buds with a cornucopia of mouth-watering cuisine.

Photo credits - Christopher Chan

Photo credits - Christopher Chan

The Petronas Twin Towers

Start your itinerary at the Petronas Twin Towers, the futuristic structure which held the record as the tallest building in the world until 2004. The 170m-high, 58m-long Skybridge on the 41st floor is open to visitors. The first 1300 tickets are free on a first-come-first-served basis, valid only for the day of issue, so make sure you get in early as tickets are usually gone by 9am.

While waiting for your scheduled time you can wander around Suria KLCC’s six levels of retials stores at the base of the towers. It boasts international brand stores selling an enormous variety of men’s ladies’ and children’s fashion, footwear, accessories, and other beauty items. It also has an interactive science centre, and aquarium, art gallery, 12-screen cinema, and an outdoor park with playground and paddling pools.

Photo credits - Cecil Lee

Photo credits - Cecil Lee

Merdeka Square

For a whiff of history, venture over to Merdeka (independence) Square, which was once the cricket grounds at the Selangor Club. Around the square, the Victorian-Moorish Sultan Abdul Samad high court builing and the Gothic St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral offer a glimpse of what might be lurking beneath Malaysia’s 21st century exterior. The main shopping and business district is called the Golden Triangle, with sheer energy pulsing through the shopping malls sure to make an indelible impressions.

Photo credits - macloo

Photo credits - macloo

Art Masquerades

There’s an excellent Islamic Arts Museum, which is housed in a stunning building, with beautifully decorated domes and glazed tile work. The first of its kind in the region, you can find inside one of the world’s best collections of Islamic decorative art with textiles, carpets, jewelry, calligraphy inscribed pottery and an amazing reconstruction of an Ottoman room.

The National Art Gallery, located close to Lake Titiwangsa, is one of the oldest and most established of all the galleries within Kuala Lumpur, boasting fine Malay art and a very unusual modern structure, built with a combination of glass, metal and slate. There is also the Asian Art Museum, which is part of the University of Malaya campus. Dedicating to local Asian art of various mediums, the museum plays host to the world’s largest collection of “kendi” water vessels.

Unearthing Asia now offers travel packages throughout the region of Asia. Check out our promotional offers of Luxury Private Villas in Bali, perfect for Honeymooners or those looking for a little romance. We also have great offers for hotels in Singapore, resorts in Phuket and many more.

About the Author. Parthajit. Parthajit is a nature & landscape photographer and trekker with travel experience in the Indian Himalayas (Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh), Western Ghats (India), Thailand, New Zealand, and Japan.

7 Top Attractions in Siem Reap

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East, Feature Highlights

Siem Reap, a former outpost of a pariah state run by the bloody Khmer Rouge, has risen admirably into an international tourist destination, one that boasts the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and host to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Only twenty years ago, the region was still off limits to tourists, its local denizens ruled over by terror and fear of the atrocities of one of the bloodiest regime in the world.

Now, Siem Reap is a booming city alongside the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, seeing almost a million international passengers coming and going at its international airport in 2007. While Angkor Wat remains the top drawing factor of the area, the city of Siem Reap itself is not lacking in attractions, boasting some of the best hotels, restaurants, museums and galleries in the region.

Photo credits - tylerdurden1

Photo credits - tylerdurden1

Awe Inspiring Angkor Wat

The Angkor Wat is the biggest, best preserved, most intricately designed and awe inspiring temple in Indochina, a jewel in the crown of ANgkor’s extensive palace complex. It is a source of national pride and international renown, covered with beautiful bas relief carvings depicting the Ramayana epic of Hinduism. Like most temples in Asia, it is best seen at the crack of dawn or during sunset, when the colorful sun-lit sky accentuates the five towers for an exquisite scene.

Photo credits - Taiger808

Photo credits - Taiger808

The Number Nine

To know Asia is to understand the continent’s superstitions, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the massive Angkor Thom, a temple fixated with the number nine. The pronouncement for “nine” is similar to the word for “development”, and almost everything on the temple can equate to this number – 54 carved towers, 216 faces on the towers, 54 gods on the left of the entrance, and 54 demons on the right – all those numbers adding up to 9.

Photo credits - cornstaruk

Photo credits - cornstaruk

Other Temples

One of Angkor’s best known temples is Ta Prohm, a picturesque temple boasting hundred-year-old giant roots that thread themselves around the temple. This made it a very photogenic subject, and one that is a big hit with the tourists. Bayon is known as the “Temple of Faces”, and once you’ve been there you’ll easily know why – as you climb the steep stone steps and make you way into the inner sanctum of the temple, looking up you are struck by the hundreds of large stone faces looking down upon you. There is also the Banteay Srei, a temple filled with awe-inspiring elaborate carvings covering every single inch of stone there. Even with today’s technology it is almost unbelievable that such precise and intricate patterns and sculpture can be made from stone.

Photo credits - jimdavidson

Photo credits - jimdavidson

River Revitalization

Around 50 km north east of Siem Reap is the River of Thousand Lingas, an impressive river streaming into the Siem Reap River along its riverbed, which had been carved with thousands of lingas – phallic symbols prevalent in Cambodia. They are estimated to have been carved between 1100 to 1300 as a form of fertility ritual, and made for a perfect place to enjoy Siem Reap’s tropical beauty.

Photo credits - Allie_Caulfield

Photo credits - Allie_Caulfield

Tonle Sap

Siem Reap boasts not only one of the world’s most famous archeological sites, but also one of Southeast Asia’s biggets and most colorful lake. Tonle Sap is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a marine wildlife reserve that has some of the world’s rarest birds and at the same time is the only river in the world whose flow of water changes twice a year.

Photo credits - Mai…

Photo credits - Mai…

Contemporary Art

The fine arts scene in Siem Reap is burgeoning, you can find anything from cheap souvenirs to luxurious fine-arts. Some of the highlights for the arts lovers include: The McDermott Gallery, where world-class photography of Angkor and its surrounding region are on display; The Red Gallery, where the most extensive collection of contemporary Cambodian art is hosted; and The Asia Craft Center, which stocks lots of unique Cambodian and Southeast Asian traditional handicrafts.

Photo credits - Travel Aficionado

Photo credits - Travel Aficionado

Colonial Architecture

Siem Reap has a whole host of colonial buildings left by the French which are now put to pretty good use. Set among lazy boulevards, the architecture is now home to some of the best hotels, restaurants and galleries, such as the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor, the city’s first ever luxury hotels established in 1932. The proud hotel boasts an array of VIP guests, including King Norodom Sihanouk, Charlie Chaplin, the Sultan of Johor and even Jacqueline Kennedy.

Like this list? You may also enjoy our list of Things To Do in Hong Kong and Top Attractions in Hokkaido. On a final note, do check out as well our latest feature – the magazine. Check it out online or download a PDF copy!

Unearthing Asia now offers travel packages throughout the region of Asia. Check out our promotional offers of Luxury Private Villas in Bali, perfect for Honeymooners or those looking for a little romance. We also have great offers for hotels in Singapore, resorts in Phuket and many more.

About the Author. Trangh Nguyen. Come to Vietnam, enjoy a cup of bia hoi in the street restaurant, ride moto, cruise in the labirynth of Mekong Delta and Halong Bay. Come with us and share the delight of one of the most beautiful country in Asia. We welcome you with our heart, hospitality and excellent cuisine.

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