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Asia Talk | Destination News For Asia’s Travel Connoisseurs

April 13, 2015 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email
unnamedThe Secrets Behind Golden Silk Production

The Golden Silk Pheach Preservation Center is one of the few remaining, fully integrated silk producers in the world. Located in Siem Reap, close to the Angkor Wat temples, Golden Silk allows visitors to witness the production of unique silk products that are woven and dyed by hand. Golden Silk products are ecologically produced from the yellow silkworm, which is traditionally found in Southeast Asia and in particular the northwest of Cambodia. This unique silk has practically disappeared due to its very low yield (15 times less than white silk), which forbids any mechanization in its transformation process, therefore requiring labor intensive and highly skilled methods of producing and weaving.

Destination Asia Cambodia has created a magnificent program to introduce travelers to this traditional handicraft with private tours of the center. They can also organize a cocktail reception or three course lunch at Golden Silk. This is an exclusive arrangement that few other DMC’s are privileged to offer their clients.


Adventurous Journey to Xaisomboun Province

Plans are in motion to spur Laos recently formed 18th province, Xaisomboun as a tourist destination. With new roads under construction and old ones upgraded. Destination Asia Laos decided to survey this remote area. Traveling southeast from Luang Prabang, the driving time via either Kasi or Xieng Khouang is approximately 12 hours. The wild terrain is exceptionally beautiful with dramatic karsts, making this journey an adventure itself.

The team were able to visit Long Cheng, which during the Vietnam War was known as the ‘most secret place on earth’. The old CIA airstrip still has a visible flight line down the middle and is in remarkably good shape. The remnants of war are visible everywhere and steel artillery projectiles (with the detonators removed) are seen next to the runway.

On the return journey through Xieng Khouang province the team stopped at Sam Thong, an area full of caves with several stunning waterfalls in the vicinity. The region will undoubtedly develop in the next few years and Destination Asia Laos expect the area to make an excellent destination for adventure tourism, including photographers and historians in search of a remote location.


Cheung Chau Bun Festival 22-26 May 2015

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival will take place from 22-26 May this year when thousands of people will descend upon Cheung Chau Island for one of the world’s most quirky local festivals. Its origins date back to the eighteenth century when a plague devastated the island. Today the people of Cheung Chau make papier-mache effigies of deities, wear costumes, bake many buns and build a large bamboo tower for the energetic ‘bun snatching’ event.

The island of Cheung Chau is a small dumbbell shaped island situated 10 kilometers southwest of Hong Kong and is home to the famous Pak Tai Temple, built in 1783. The island, accessible by ferry in just 30 minutes from Central pier, was a fishing village with a number of small fleets still present today.


Oki Islands Present an Untouched Paradise

The Oki Islands are an archipelago in the Sea of Japan, which are administratively part of Oki District, Shimane Prefecture. The islands have a total area of 346.1 square kilometers (133.6 sq mi) and form a natural haven for wildlife, green pastures and sensational sea life.  Off the beaten path, they are opening up to foreign tourists and attracting visitors through exemplary hiking trails, kayaking adventures, bicycle routes and the chance to sample some deliciously fresh seafood.

They also stand out as an excellent beach destination, making the Oki Islands the perfect place to relax and explore a truly unique corner of Japan. The islands have recently been included as a member of the Global Geoparks Network, helping to preserve them for generations to come. They are easily accessible by plane from Izumo Airport in Shimane Prefecture and by Ferry.


Segway Your Way Around Singapore

We’ve all heard of them, seen them and possibly tried steering one. Now if there was one destination that lends itself to Segway tours then it would have to be the clean, safe and tidy streets of Singapore. With so much to see and do in Singapore, it can be difficult to cram everything in when time is short, so Destination Asia Singapore teamed up with Segway Tours to offer some fantastic highlight programs. We now offer 60 minute rides around attractions such as Marina Bay and Sentosa Island, allowing guests to see all the sights and sounds from the comfort of a Segway.

Discover the ArtScience Museum, The Helix, Marina Bay Sands and the Water Promenade with a professional tour guide leading the way. We meet 15 minutes before each tour commences to allow guests time to practice their control skills and listen to a short safety briefing. This is a great option for team building and corporate groups, offering something a little different for delegates to experience.


High Season Resort Offers Luxury on Koh Kood

The beauty of Koh Kood is its remoteness and position off the well-trodden tourist path. Located just a few hours from Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand, it presents a fantastic escape for those with a few days spare. Koh Kood’s abundance of natural bounty presents a paradise-like island escape that many travelers may believe no longer exists in Thailand.

There are few restaurants present on Koh Kood, literally no traffic and the streets are home to charming little wooden bars and street food vendors. A selection of high end resorts have added their name to the island and the latest is ‘High Season’, comprised of 42 spacious Pool Villas measuring 95 square meters each, Grand Pool Villas and a Beachfront Pool Suite. Situated on the breathtaking Khlong Chao Beach, a stay here is comprised of afternoons lazing by deserted beaches or visiting clear inland lagoons creating the ultimate escape.


Exclusive Cooking Class With Luke Nguyen

Luke Nguyen is known as an accomplished chef in Australia with a number of restaurants and more recently as a judge on Vietnam’s Masterchef. He has now opened Grain, a cooking class experience in Ho Chi Minh City that leaves guests inspired by Vietnam’s culinary culture. In addition to learning the fundamentals of food preparation and presentation, guests get a glimpse into Vietnamese history through each individual dish they create, as Chef Nguyen adds his unique character and inspirational persona to each class. The interactive, hands-on approach allows guests to select and choose their own produce, herbs and spices before creating four separate dishes from start to finish. With fully equipped cooking stations, a pantry, and Chef Nguyens ability to demystify Vietnamese Cuisine, participants will be left thoroughly satisfied with their experience.

There is limited availability to arrange live cooking classes led by Luke in July 2015. Exclusive classes can be arranged from 14th to 17th from 9am to 12pm – these are ideal for small leisure or meeting and incentive groups.


Beijing Gourmet Explorer

Destination Asia China has put together a salivating program designed to tickle the taste buds of any traveler. During a full day excursion, guests are taken on a gourmet journey through Beijing’s markets, famous eating streets, treated to a cooking class and dine at a favored restaurant. A morning stop at a ‘wet’ market introduces a wide range of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meats. Expect a lively and noisy atmosphere as sellers and buyers haggle over prices. Following brunch at Temple Restaurant, we head to Qianmen Street, Beijing’s most celebrated shopping street for over 600 years, providing generations of residents with good food, fine wine and great company.

In the afternoon guests take part in a hands-on cooking class, making some classic Chinese dishes in an exquisitely restored hutong courtyard house. As night falls we visit a classic Beijing food street: Donghuamen. This area attracts tourists from all over China and the world, as hawkers sell hundreds of different delicacies from all over the country. The day is then finished with a delicious dinner at the best Peking duck restaurant in the city, Duck De Chine.


VERVE Beach Club Arrives in Lombok

Situated next door to the popular QUNCI resort in Mangsit, VERVE Beach Club has now opened its doors for business, adding yet another exciting option for meetings and incentives on the island of Lombok.  The complex is operated by the former general manager of Lombok’s Holiday Inn Hotel, Heiner Werdeling. The site spans 800 square meters of beach front and is divided into an 80 seat restaurant and Beach Club with maximum capacity for 120 people. The Beach Club consists of a long bar, a pool and four VIP lounge areas (each seating up to 15 people) with an all-surround Bose sound system that can be privately zoned.

The restaurant menu has been meticulously designed and implemented by the professional team of Roland Lickert and Chef Ifah (both ex Ubud’s Lamak restaurant), so expect some spectacular dishes that are a little different from the general offerings found in Lombok.


Growing Menu of Yangon Dining Establishments

Yangon’s culinary scene has expanded over the last year to encompass a number of places fusing classic dishes with Western cuisine and cooking techniques. Port Autonomy located adjacent to the TS1 Gallery at Lanthit Jetty has achieved this in a casual open air environment to great effect, offering some truly delectable dishes in a great atmospheric location.

The riverside dining experience delivers a modern take on a Burmese beer hall, with an always evolving seafood driven menu supported by a selection of hearty curries and slow cooked meats. The unpretentious yet modern design utilizes graffiti covered corrugated steel with chain-link fencing and high tables boasting views of the bustling jetty.


Danum Valley Villas in Sabah Open Now

For those venturing into Sabah’s largest protected lowland rainforest and the Danum Valley Conservation Area, they can now overnight in a magnificent riverside setting. The Danum Valley Villa Project offers exquisite, picturesque lodgings of two single-storey (1,277 sq ft) and one double-storey chalets (1,948 sq ft). These three unique, eco-friendly lodges combine great architectural design with conservation awareness. The glass-encased villas intend to connect visitors with the surrounding environment, providing a window to the natural environment while offering an efficient living space.

The lodges opened on 1 April 2015 and come with a private mobile phone in each villa for guests to contact the duty manager regarding any requirements. Guests are treated to a delicious cooked breakfast each morning during their stay, private transfers and expert guide services to navigate the surrounding ancient forests.


Positive News From Cruise Shipping Miami

Cruise Asia by Destination Asia attended Cruise Shipping Miami from 17-19 March. A highly successful event, this marks the 10th year running of attendance by our Regional Director, Alvin Materi. Miami continues to be the global hub of the cruise industry, making this event a must-attend. It’s not just the meetings which are important, but also the many ancillary events and networking opportunities. Participating from the Cruise Asia offices this year were: Bob Guy (MD Singapore & Malaysia), and Sediya Yasa (MD Indonesia).

One of the event’s highlights was the annual ‘The World’s Leading Ground Operators’ (TWLGO) cocktail party, held at the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach. In attendance were many Cruise line presidents, itinerary planners and shore excursions professionals.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Southeast Asia also released a report on the Asia cruise market. It shows passenger capacity will continue to soar in an effort to keep up with snowballing demand. The report stated cruise lines hosted nearly 1.4m Asian passengers in 2014. Asia Port infrastructure is growing at a staggering pace in Asia though is greatly assisted by tourism boards across the region working together i.e. Hong Kong and Singapore tourism boards. We are expecting 2015 to be a hugely successful year in the cruise sector.


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