Kuningan City : Jewel in the CBD

October 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, Exotic South East, Luxury Travel

The urban lifestyle of Jakartans continues to evolve, and now, a mall or a shopping center is no longer just a place to buy your everyday needs. But instead, it is now a center of life and activity, a meeting point to gather and socialize, as well as for young executives in between their busy schedules and a place for family recreation.

This is also true for the business lifestyle which differed very much compared to 5 to 10 years ago where formality, monotone and strict dress-codes are the order of the day. The modern business lifestyle is practical, dynamic, semi-formal and most importantly – mobile. Business can be done from wherever you want to, be it from the office, mall, cafe, restaurant, and others. This is true as well when looking for a place to stay, the trend gravitates toward emphasizing a homey atmosphere that is located near a business center.

It is to meet these evolving demands of the modern and future generation that longs for a life that is more practical and dynamic that Agung Podomoro Land undertakes the development project of super-block Kuningan City, which integrates the needs of a worker and businessman with the recreational activities and relaxation that are available to stay true to its tagline – Work, Rest and Play.

Kuningan City was built above a 2,9 hectare landmass, with a total built-up of 384,000 m2, boasting a parking space that can accommodate up to 3,000 cars. The property is divided into six floors of retail, 39 floors of residential towers, as well as 32 floors of The Oval Premium Office Tower which will be known as the AXA Tower in future.

The super-block development boasts an unparalleled portfolio with award winning DP Architects Pte Ltd from Singapore as the main Concept Architecture Consultant. They are the same brains behind various iconic architectures such as the Esplanade, the Singapore Flyer, Paragon and Dubai Mall.

For special lighting, First Concept Technologies by Chris Tju takes over the helm, while the Bennitt Design Group from USA is in charge of the Landscaping. The Kuningan City super-block will soon be a part of the business and commercial hub of International Shopping Belt Jakarta.
Various outlets such as Lotte Mart, Best Denki, Cinema XXI, PT Mitra Adi Perkasa, Trans Mahagaya, Flame Karaoke, Lollipop Playland, Eatery, Amazing Zone, Metrox Group and various other brands have signed up to ensure that the Kuningan City shopping center will be a lifestyle and entertainment destination for modern urbanites.

Equinox Flair – Chefs with Altitude

October 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Gourmet, Luxury Travel

The iconic Equinox Complex in Singapore is turning 10 this year, and it is celebrating with a bang with the return of the annual Chefs With Altitude from 23 to 30 October 2011. The week-long gourmet festival will feature the best in fine dining, mixology and entertainment. The event will feature the return of the illustrious Chef Bruno Menard to JAAN restaurant, where he will be presenting a special menu and helm an exclusive 9-Course Dom Perignon Vintages Dinner. The event will also ushers in a ground-breaking collaboration with Fifteen restaurant in London – three of their chefs, Dean McClumpha, Andrew Parkinson, Trevor Howard and Robin Soutar will present their signature Fifteen menu and culinary experience for diners and guests.

Paying respect to 10 amazing years, The Equinox Complex is proud to announce “10 TRIBUTES TO 10 FABULOUS YEARS OF THE HIGH LIFE” at this year’s Chefs With Altitude with an array of premium events featuring a stellar list of chefs. Highlighting this event is the return of the famed Chef Bruno Menard to JAAN Restaurant where he will be showcasing his special menu on 24, 25, 26, 28 and 29 October and head a very exclusive 9-Course Dom Perignon Vintages Dinner on 27 October (which will be featuring some of the rarest Dom Perignon Champagnes).

Chefs With Altitude 2011 will also usher in a ground-breaking collaboration with Fifteen restaurant in London. Developed by its inspiring founder and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, several remarkable chefs will present their signature Fifteen menu and culinary experience for diners and guests at Equinox Restaurant from 23 – 30 October. They are – Head Pastry Chef Dean McClumpha, Executive Head Chef Andrew Parkinson, Senior Sous Chef Trevor Howard and Restaurant Manager Robin Soutar.

“We are very honored and privileged to bring the team behind Fifteen restaurant to Singapore through this year’s Chefs With Altitude event. The philosophy and quality behind this magnificent culinary institution created by Jamie Oliver is inspiring, and the caliber of their Italian–inspired culinary creations is equally mesmerizing. We are confident that our diners at the Equinox Restaurant, which will showcase these talents’ specially-created menu, will be in for a truly epicurean experience,” says Mr. Nigel Moore, Director of Food & Beverage Service, Swissôtel The Stamford.

For reservations and enquiries about the event, call +65 6837 3322 or email dining.reservations@swissotel.com.

Culinary Yogyakarta – Central Java

July 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Gourmet

Yogyakarta, located in Central Java, is a province filled with mysticism and cultural charms. The location makes it an attractive option for tourists heading to visit the Borobudur Temple, while the charming colonial architectures of old give it a unique flavor who keeps those tourist staying for more. Eating in Yogyakarta is notoriously cheap compared to other tourist hotspots such as Bali and Jakarta, and as more and more people move to Yogya, the flavor of this small town has started to evolve.

4 Before you head back out to explore the town, pay a visit to Holland Bakery (Jl Jend Sudirman 48C) where you can stock up on various delicacies. Popular favorites include the Lapis Legit (Baked Layer Cake) and Bika Ambon (Honeycomb Cake).

5 For the more adventurous at heart, try out the Sate Kuda Gondolayu (Jl Jend Sudirman No 25), a small humble warung selling satays – grilled meats on a skewer. The only difference however, is that they sell exclusively horse meat satays, which were claimed to lack any fats and help improve blood circulation.

1 The Lekker Je Cafe (Jl Cik Di Tiro 22) is a nostalgic rock and roll establishment with an excellent atmosphere and ambiance. Hundreds of obsolete Laser Disc adorn the wall, paired with book, magazines and exotic posters from the 70s. This cafe is part of Hotel Mentana, a simple budget hotel suitable for backpackers or touring bikers.

2 I Cafe (Jl Cik Di Tiro 18) offers a wide range of food, from traditional Yogyakartans (Nasi Goreng Jawa, Mie Godhog Jawa, and more) to International fares (Spaghetti, various cuts of Steak, Fettucini, and more). The eating area is quite large, and the place is popular for its affordable yet good quality food.

3 For dessert and chocolate lovers, head to the aptly named Coklat (Jl Cik Di Tiro 17A), a small boutique cafe offering a variety of chocolate cakes and excellent coffee.

Kavos holidays represent the party atmosphere of Corfu. There is an enormous variety of bars, discos and nightclubs to choose from. The beach at Kavos is an impressive five miles long and the water is clean and safe for children.

Cooking Classes at the Banyan Tree Ungasan

July 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Exotic South East, Hotels, News

Something tasty is cooking at the Banyan Tree Ungasan. The luxury resort has combined a tour of the local wet market with cooking classes to offer to guests wanting to experience a wholesome Balinese culinary experience. The Island of Gods is well known for its stunning scenery of mountains and beaches, with its mystical dance and cultures as well as the variety of spices and ingredients in the local cuisine. The herbal marinates of Bebek Betutu, the exotic Satay Lilit and the fresh grilled seafood comes to mind.

Aimed at guests who shares an interest in the culinary world, the Banyan Tree Ungasan has come up with the ideal cooking class scheduled every Wednesday. The program starts out with an excursion to the local wet market of Jimbaran. A guide will lead you as you join the locals in the process of haggling and buying fresh seafood directly from the fishermen. Along with the main ingredients, you will also search around for herbs and spices to work your magic with later on during the day.

After that, it is back to the resort to enjoy your breakfast before embarking on a culinary adventure with the resort’s very own resident chef Ketut Sumerta. The chef will share his knowledge in preparing to cook these traditional gourmet of Bali, with a menu inspired by organic produce and small boutiques of the region.

The classes are designed to cater to students of all skill levels, so don’t be afraid to try! From novice cooks, to advanced chefs, all the recipes are easy and straight-forward to follow. The chef will also suggest various substitute ingredients and other creative means for guests to try and recreate the same tastes from their own locale.

Finally, the tour will end with a luncheon at Bambu restaurants, where guests can dip in and try a taste of their own creations. Each cooking class packages starts from IDR2,500,000, around USD250 per person.

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Gone Fishin’ 5 Great Places in Asia to Go Fishing

July 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Adventure Travel, Nature, Uniquely Far East

Photo credit - Visual Panic

Photo credit - Visual Panic

Fishing can be a relaxing addition to an otherwise hectic, but it’s one of those kind of activities – either you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. Regardless, if you keep an open mind, you can really have some mind-blowing experiences. Asia is not well-known for fishing (except perhaps the overtly commercial kind), but there are plenty of authentic experiences for those that look hard enough.

Shurakuen Fishing Hole – Tokyo, Japan

This is truly one of those “only in Asia” moments – amidst the soot, steel, and glass of modern day Tokyo lies the last thing you would expect: a quaint and unassuming fishing hole. The name ‘hole’ suits, without a doubt; old men sit around the small but busy pond as still as the breeze while waiting for a tug on their fishing line. They say this pond has been here since the 1600s and the current owners have had it for nearly a century; it’s best to visit with a guide, as the owners don’t speak English.

Lei Yue Mun – Hong Kong

It’s hard to believe that you could find any fish not scared away by Hong Kong’s towering skyline, but there are lots of things to do in Hong Kong other than shopping and fishing is one of them. Exploring the fishing villages around Hong Kong Island can be a lot of fun, but a local favorite to fish is Lei Yue Mun, which is a narrow channel on the eastern edge of Victoria Harbour. The two best spots are said to be the rocky shore just in front of the lighthouse, or the area behind the Tin Hau temple. The closest MTR station is Yau Tong.

Photo credit - Tom BKK

Photo credit - Tom BKK

Andaman Sea – Phuket, Thailand

If you want to get away from the Phuket crowds and can tear yourself away from the picture perfect beaches, then head out for the fishing areas on the Andaman Sea. There are plenty of tour providers offering tour options of all shapes and sizes, and the list of fish you can find here is just as long: Wahoo, Dorado, Rainbow Runner, Tuna, Trevally, Cobia, Narrow Barred Mackerel, Black Marlin, Sailfish, and Barracuda – not to mention sharks!

Mekong River – Cambodia (and elsewhere)

The Mekong is an incredible river – one that provides a major economic force for several countries in Southeast Asia, as well as being a popular tourist attraction, particularly the floating markets and villages. There are some incredible fish in these stocks, including the Giant Mekong Catfish that can weigh up to 100kg! The nooks and crannies are endless – Nam Ngum reservoir in Laos is a good one. Ask your local accommodation in any of the neighboring Indochina countries for a recommendation.

Borneo, Malaysia

Borneo is the third largest island in the world, and the South China Sea waters surrounding it are teeming with fish waiting for some action. The nice thing about the diversity of the island and area means you can have a number of different types of fishing experiences. There are the deep sea fishing expeditions around the reef areas (known for tasty fish such as group or cod), or you can charter a boat to head further off shore to go exploring.

Fishing Tips

Now, I don’t proclaim to be an expert in all-things-fishing, but I would like to share a few common sense tips with you if you book an Asian fishing tour:
• Now is not the time for bravado and getting lost on the high seas; do your homework and find a reputable provider to assist with your fishing expedition.
• Consider a catch-and-release option given that many fishing areas are overfished and the locals are very dependent on this for economic stability.
• Be sure to consider the time of year; while some sun-kissed hot spots are year-round favorites, the rough seas might be a different story. Do your homework!

About the Author. Andy Hayes. Andy Hayes is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not crossing the world to have his next Asian travel adventures, he is hitting the walking trails near home. To get in touch or see Andy’s other travelogues, visit his website, Sharing Travel Experiences.

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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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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Delhi, the Immortal City

June 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Culture, Mythical Himalayas

Delhi, the capital of India, presents a vast panorama of fascinating images. It is a city where forts, tombs and ruins share the same skyline with high-rise buildings and stately homes. The wide tree-lined avenues of New Delhi give way to the crowded narrow lanes of Old Delhi, and along with this change comes a diametrically different culture and lifestyle. The presence of contrasts is a historical legacy of the city.

Delhi is a metropolitan city in the truest sense of the word. For centuries, it has attracted rulers, invaders, businessmen, builders, poets, painters and intellectuals from all over the world. Today, Delhi encloses many older cities and its stone walls have seen countless empires rise and fall.

Modern India’s history is synonymous with Delhi. It was from the ramparts of its Red Fort that India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, unfurled the national flag on August 15 1947. Today, as India’s capital and the seat of its parliament, the city hosts world leaders, diplomats, international missions, sports meets, cultural festivals and conferences.

Delhi is a major point of entry for foreign travelers to India. Boosts of a tourism infractructure which compares with the best in the world from international hotels with extensive facilities to gourmet restaurants, air conditioned limousines, luxury coaches, bargain shopping and much more. Delhi has everything going, and it is the ultimate travel experience.

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