ASIA

Sabah: The land below the wind

Sabah: The land below the wind

While tropical adventures are aplenty in Malaysia’s Borneo, the state of Sabah oozes a tumultuous cultural past. The phrase “land below the wind” was coined a century ago by sailors to describe the Malaysian state of Sabah on the northern coast of Borneo because of its location south of the typhoon belt.

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10 things you can’t miss in Chiang Mai

10 things you can’t miss in Chiang Mai

Like a queen overseeing her subjects from her throne, Chiang Mai hovers high in Thailand’s north far away from the south’s madness. Initially conceived for her trade route to China, the northern capital remains largely independent from the rest of the country. Compact, walkable and friendly, Chiang Mai has all the cultural bases covered with its food, ruins, temples, scenery, elephants, adventure, crafts and continuing traditions.

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Koh Samui: one of the best travel destinations for couples

Koh Samui: one of the best travel destinations for couples

It’s easy to understand why Koh Samui is one of the best travel destinations for couples, as the night promises all the drama of a tropical storm. There was a time not that long ago when boutique accommodation, fine dining and day spas hadn’t yet appeared on Koh Samui’s tourist trail, and the island was famed for its fishing communities and coconuts. Now its staggering beauty fringed by aquamarine deems Koh Samui as one of the best travel destinations for couples.

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10 reasons to desert yourself on Gaya Island

10 reasons to desert yourself on Gaya Island

As the speedboat zoomed towards Gaya Island Resort, I was already devising ways to never return to reality. A few minutes off the coast of Kota Kinabalu on the Malaysian state of Sabah lies a refuge away from life as most of us know it. Occupying 15km and located on the island of Pulau Gaya (meaning Gaya Island) within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Malohom Bay sweeps majestically at the Gaya Island Resort’s feet. Here are 10 reasons why you will want to desert yourself on Gaya Island.

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The hottest food tour in Manila

The hottest food tour in Manila

I have a confession while on a food tour in Manila. My attention isn’t entirely focused on the food on the Big Binondo Food Wok Tour through Manila’s Chinatown. For starters, I’m a little bit star-struck and secondly, it’s so hot that I wonder if I might morph into one of Manila’s sidewalk woks or satay grills.

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Divine Diversity: Holier Than Cebu

Divine Diversity: Holier Than Cebu

There are 7,000 islands in the Philippines but not all of them are famed for their beaches. On Cebu, Magellan’s Cross looms above, a larger than life relic to Christianity, but forget about the stoic tradition of Catholicism as this island applies as much vibrance to its religious rituals as it does to its jeepneys, cuisine and broad smiles.

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The Wild West, Balinese Style in West Bali

The Wild West, Balinese Style in West Bali

It’s a wild ride to West Bali. Invigorating is another way to describe the four-hour drive from Denpasar. As trucks and motorbikes play dodgems, I put all my faith in our trusty driver and concentrate on the spectacular scenery on the way to West Bali.

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Luxury at the Viceroy Bali

Luxury at the Viceroy Bali

Heaven forbid you only had one night in Ubud, but if you did, then the Viceroy Bali is THE place to stay. No need to negotiate the traffic, simply send for a helicopter to collect you from the airport and deliver you directly to your private villa suspended over the Valley of Kings.

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Sri Lanka’s Best Beaches & Wildlife Experiences

Sri Lanka’s Best Beaches & Wildlife Experiences

Some of Sri Lanka’s best beaches and wildlife experiences can be found in the south of this magical tear-shaped island. Foreigners, burquas, and children bob along to the rhythm of boats along the curvaceous bay of Unawatuna. The scents of coconut oil, incense, diesel, sunscreen, salt, and curry flirt with abandon in the gentle breeze. The idyllic scene is complete with swaying palm trees and sauntering bikini-clad bodies glistening in the humidity.

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Sri Lanka’s Galle Literary Festival: Sex in a Sarong

Sri Lanka’s Galle Literary Festival: Sex in a Sarong

During Sri Lanka’s Galle Literary Festival in 2011, I was thrilled to meet Candace Bushnell, the author of Sex and the City. To arrive at her Sex in a Sarong party on Taprobane Island, I waded through water – it certainly wasn’t the entrance I had planned for a soiree with the best-selling author during the Galle Literary Festival.

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