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Hue, Vietnam and La Residence Hotel & Spa are featured in the summer hot list of Lonely Planet
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Hue, Vietnam and La Residence Hotel & Spa are featured in the summer hot list of Lonely Planet

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Lonely Planet and La Residence agree on something: Hue is one of Asia's top destinations this summer! But do check out other Asia's destinations like Mongolia, Malaysia, Hong Kong ...etc on this hot list.

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  • 1. VOLume4ISSUE4 Discover, Explore & Experience The World JULY/AUGUST 2013 ASIA SGD 7.50 RM 15 NT 270 Rp 75.000 THB 195 MCI (P) 004/04/2013, PPS 1747/12/2012(022909) 9 7 7 2 0 1 0 0 8 2 0 1 7 0 4 APUBLICATIONOF 5MINI GUIDES TO KEEP JULY/AUGUST2013perfectVIETNAMESEtripborneoWATERS5ORIGINALCRUISESBALIRESORTSSOMERSET’SCIDERTRAIL WIN! 2 Nights’ Stay at Myanmar Treasure Resorts Head to the most beautiful corners of the earth Cruising l Barcelona l Birmingham l Cambridge l Hamburg l Yogyakarta In Sync with Idyllic Isles 10 luxurious beach getaways in Bali SOMERSET, UK FOLLOW THE CIDER TRAIL YOUR PERFECT TRIP The best of Southeast Asia, from Halong Bay to Hanoi, VietnamChic
  • 2. 35july/august 2013 1 2 3 10easy 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Queensland by rail, Hokkaido’s summer warmth, a wilderness experience in Darwin trips
  • 3. 10 easy trips 36 july/AUGUST 2013 1Why go now? About a two-hour drive from Darwin city is Katherine, the third largest town in the Northern Territory. Drive a further 32km from the town centre and you’ll find Cicada Lodge – a 100 per cent indigenous owned property (the Jawoyn people), with a commitment to the training and employment of locals. Located along the picturesque Katherine River and right within the Nitmiluk National Park also means full access to an all-natural Australian wilderness experience-of-a-lifetime. Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia Start with a sunrise walk to Jawoyn Law lookout – the high point overlooking the Katherine Gorge. Or take to the skies literally on a helicopter ride above and around the Gorge, a stunning way to take in the gorgeous landscape. There’s also the latest ‘Cultural Touring’ program, led by Cicada Lodge’s owner Jane Runyu, where lodge guests veer away from commercialised experiences and enter instead into a world of traditional culture, skills, stories and way of life for the Jawoyn people. How Do I Make it Happen? M SilkAir (, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines offers direct flights from Singapore to Darwin; those flying from Kuala Lumpur can travel with Malaysia Airlines ( into Brisbane, then transit to Darwin International Airport with Jetstar Airways ( M Opened in March this year, Cicada Lodge features just 18 rooms and is modern (Bvlgari toiletries) yet full of indigenous creativity, expressed through its local artwork. Take a dip at the swimming pool, before joining the nightly Chef’s Table featuring dishes based on the season and freshest local produce ( Basket weaving by Katherine’s indigenous people, seen here in the Northern Territory words:nataliejoylee;derekrodriguez;darrenwong;michelleyee photograph:CICADALODGE;NATALIEJOYLEE
  • 4. 10 easy trips 37july/AUGUST 2013 Why go now? The transition period between spring and summer marks an opportune time to visit the land of the thunder dragon – flowers bask in magnificent blooms, vegetation is lush, vivid green paddies are dotted with backs hunched in the air, rolling hills and white dzongs making for a picture-perfect shot. Bhutanese villages and dzongs are extremely picturesque but require stamina – shoes come off at all sacred sanctuaries, while others require long drives and trekking before reaching the dzong in How Do I Make it Happen? M Direct flights are available from Singapore Changi Airport to Paro Airport via Drukair (, with a refuel stop at Kolkata, India. From Kuala Lumpur, fly to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport before connecting to Paro with Drukair, the national carrier airline of Bhutan. M One of capital Thimphu’s top hotels, the five-star Taj Tashi is an ideal starting point Bhutan question. After visiting smiling monks and taking a turn at spinning gigantic prayer wheels found at most dzongs, consider visiting Buddha Point, offering an impressive 360 degree vista of the Thimphu valley, about a 15 minute drive up from town. Or see the awkward-looking Takin, also at Thimphu, where according to legend, Bhutan’s national animal was created by the Divine Madman (a saint), who combined the carcass of a cow and a goat’s skull to create the animal. 2 Serene monasteries, smiling monks and the luxurious Taj Tashi hotel in exploring Bhutan, centrally located from the main town and local popular hangout, Hong Kong Street. As one of the biggest hoteliers with 66 rooms, the Taj features hand-drawn murals and luxe marble-floored bathrooms in impeccably stylish rooms, where guests can awake to sunrise views of Thimphu’s mountains (from US$475; photograph:nataliejoylee;tajtashihotel
  • 5. 10 easy trips 38 july/AUGUST 2013 photograph:123rf;christchurchartsfestival 3 Why go now? As an up-and-coming Asian nation with a young, well- educated population, this country juxtaposes modernity and nature. Its burgeoning economy is evident in the country’s capital city – Ulaanbaatar, where its pulsating commerce strives, with sparkling new buildings springing up on every available land, yellow taxis along boulevards, and a slew of European and local fashion boutiques. From the 11th to 13th of July, the city comes to a standstill as the Mongols prepare for the annual Naadam Festival. Believed to have existed for centuries, Naadam is part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, which ensures Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia How do I make it happen? M Visitors from Singapore and Malaysia can take Air China (, which flies to Ulaanbaatar with a transit at Beijing, or Korean Air (koreanair. com), which caters flights to the city with a stopover at Seoul. M Located in the heart of the city and near Gandan Tegchilen Khiid, Ramada Ulaanbaatar Citycentre has been lauded for its ideal location, commendable cleanliness, as well as its splendid services and amenities (from US$205; Christchurch, New Zealand Why go now? Post-earthquake Christchurch has seen remarkable recovery and progress, thanks to the indomitable spirit of the Kiwis, their entrepreneurial edge especially evident at Re:START, an area stacked full of colourful shipping containers used instead for housing about 40 boutique shops and cafes. While here, don’t miss the month-long Christchurch Arts Festival starting 22nd August, featuring over 50 events covering music, theatre, circus and cabaret performances. Happening at the Fletcher Building Festival Club and Aurora Centre, catch the enthralling dance performance Fault Lines, performed by Christchurch locals and created in partnership with southern China’s Leshan Dance Company, who after How do I make it happen? M Direct flights are available daily from Singapore to Christchurch International Airport via Singapore Airlines ( Jetstar flies from Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch with a stopover in Singapore. M Just a short stroll from the colourful shipping containers of Re:START is Ibis Hotel Christchurch.The recently reopened hotel features 155 contemporary rooms, a swanky bar and Oopen, a restaurant serving international cuisines (from US$111; Christchurch’s lively arts scene takes centre stage in August 4 experiencing the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, aim to offer an insider’s perspective on human response to natural disaster ( Observe a centuries- old cultural festival better protection and awareness of the festival’s significance. Expect to see men and women competing with a series of games, which include wrestling (men only), horse racing and archery.
  • 6. 10 easy trips 39july/AUGUST 2013 photograph:langkawitourismboard 5 Why go now? Pristine beaches, isolated islands, diverse wildlife, and gorgeous natural beauty have earned Langkawi its reputation as a top island destination. Marooned 50 km west of Kedah, the 99 islands of Langkawi beckons, with its rainforests, waterfalls, mangroves, hundreds of species of insects (including 500 or so species and sub-species of butterflies) and birds, and 550 million year old rock formations, form the region’s first Geopark. As tourism is the foremost industry in Langkawi, there is never a shortage of activities here. Mangrove walks, jungle treks, scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, birdwatching, and island hopping are just some of the things you can plan for when you visit. Of course, with Langkawi, Malaysia How do I make it happen? M AirAsia ( and SilkAir fly direct to Langkawi International Airport from Singapore. From Kuala Lumpur, fly to Langkawi via Firefly (, AirAsia or Malaysia Airlines. The archipelago can also be accessed by ferry from the mainland and nearby countries. M The Andaman houses 178 rooms and suites and is cosily tucked away between a 10 million year-old rainforest in tranquil Datai Bay and an 8,000 year-old fringing coral reef. Abundant with rare wildlife and exotic flora, The Andaman’s magnificent locale enables guests to partake in a wide range of activities that integrate the surrounding nature while still enjoying the luxurious trimmings of a five star resort (from US$290; Hokkaido, Japan Why go now? As spring turns into summer, a green blanket unfolds over Hokkaido, enveloping it in warmth. With the temperature hovering at an average of around 20 deg C, there’s no need to bring along those thick winter jackets or thermals for this trip. With the climate as comfortable as it gets, there is no better time to explore the peaceful southern town of Hakodate on foot. Wake early to visit the lovely Morning Market for a freshly caught seafood breakfast and then take a relaxing stroll past the red brick warehouses and to the picture perfect Motomachi district. How do I make it happen? M All Nippon Airways ( and Japan Airlines ( fly from Singapore to Hakodate Aiport with a stopover at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. From Kuala Lumpur, fly on AirAsia X to Haneda. M The Hakodate Danshaku Club Hotel and Resorts is located within walking distance to key areas such as the Morning Market and a JR station. Quaint little restaurants that open till late are also close by (from US$177, english). 6 Trek through the rainforests and be one with nature Summer brings brilliant weather to Hokkaido plenty of beaches in the vicinity, taking it slow with an umbrella, a mat, and a book is an option too.
  • 7. 10 easy trips 40 july/AUGUST 2013 7 Shop till you drop in a city that never sleeps Why go now? Wade into the charismatic city of Hue, where palaces, pagodas, tombs and temples unwittingly emanate the glories of imperial Vietnam. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a formal capital of the country, the city’s attitude toward life seems to mirror its residents’ – an unhurried lifestyle that contradicts its neighbouring cities. Although Hue has a blend of old and new, with modern homes alongside crumbling century old citadel walls and sleek hotels towering over colonial-era properties, it has yet to become a commercialised self-parody. Discover its ghastly war history in the Mang Ca Fortress, Flag Tower and Dieu De National Pagoda, or explore the enchanting ceramics, Hue, Vietnam Catch sight of the world’s largest fish species in Donsol 8 The Minh Mang Emperor Royal tomb in Hue Vietnam Hong Kong Why go now? The summer months may be hot and humid but it could be the best time to beat the crowds and snag a bargain if shopping is your sole agenda. Great deals are available in this shopping mecca throughout the year but sales really ramp up from July to August. Many retailers start offering major discounts on their wares and extend their opening hours during this period. Football giants Manchester United also visit Hong Kong at the end of July. Catch the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Rio Ferdinand, and Robin van Persie as they show off their footwork against a locally- assembled side and warm up for the upcoming season. How do I make it happen? M Cathay Pacific (, Jetstar, Singapore Airlines, and Tiger Airways ( fly direct from Singapore to Hong Kong. Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and AirAsia fly direct from Kuala Lumpur. M The Excelsior, Hong Kong’s ‘Summer Family Fun’ package is priced at HK$1588 (US$205) per night and comes with HK$100 dining credit, two Ocean Park admission tickets, and various shopping benefits ( excelsior). How do I make it happen? M From Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, fly Vietnam Airlines ( to Da Nang International Airport. From there, take a one-way taxi to Hue for about US$45. M Nestled in a 2-hectare site is La Residence Hotel & Spa. This property aims to provide its guests the satisfaction of the five senses – sight, touch, scent, taste and sound – through an array of invigorating spa sessions, stunning views and tantalising Mediterranean, French and Vietnamese cuisines (; from US$150). paintings, furniture and royal clothing at the Royal Fine Arts Museum. photograph:BillyClarke;123RF
  • 8. 10 easy trips 41july/AUGUST 2013
  • 9. 10 easy trips 42 july/AUGUST 2013 9 Take in the gorgeous Queensland landscape from the comfort of your cabin Why go now? Perched perfectly on the east of Peninsula Malaysia, Terengganu’s primary appeal lies in the beautiful islands that are found off the state’s shores. The most famous of these islands are Perhentian and Redang, island paradises that offer fantastic diving opportunities in clear blue waters. If you tire of these spots, other smaller islands around the area like Kapas and Tenggol offer even more diving and snorkelling. There is plenty of temporary accommodation in Terengganu to serve the large tourist crowd and they range from the cheap and basic to the ritzy and extravagant. Terengganu, Malaysia Catch sight of the world’s largest fish species in Donsol 10 Terengganu’s clear blue waters are perfect for snorkelling Queensland, Australia Why go now? If the cacophony of human activity in the cities proves too much to bear, then settle in the therapeutic rhythm of Queensland Rail’s latest experience – the Gold Class Kuranda Scenic Railway. Voyaging through the World Heritage protected rainforest from Cairns to Kuranda in carriages decked with Victorian-inspired décor, the route enables us to understand Australians’ love affair with the great outdoors through a plethora of picturesque waterfalls and steep ravines. While the train fares through these ethereal landscapes, a gastronomic experience awaits its guests. Indulge in Queensland How do I make it happen? M From Singapore, fly Qantas ( or Singapore Airlines to Brisbane. Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways ( cater flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Brisbane Airport. Transfer to domestic flights (Virgin Blue, Jetstar and Tiger Airways) to Sunshine Coast Airport. How do I make it happen? M Terengganu’s Sultan Mahmud Airport is a domestic one that serves flights operated by AirAsia, Firefly, and Malaysia Airlines, all of which fly from Kuala Lumpur. It is also accessible via bus from Singapore or other parts of Malaysia. M Fronting the South China Sea on the coast of Terengganu, the 99-room Tanjong Jara Resort is a sanctuary of luxury and well- being, steeped in age-old Malay traditions. The resort’s Summer Stopovers package offers a wholesome escape to the idyllic East Coast and start from MYR1,625++ (US$515) per night for minimum of three nights’ accommodation ( photograph:sxc.HU;ytlhotelS and Tablelands’ gourmet selection of freshly baked muffins with mango sorbet, together with an assortment of cheese, nuts, dessert, wine and beer (