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Best Michelin Restaurants in Asia

March 23rd, 2011 by

When the Michelin Red Guides for 2010 hit bookshelves last year, food critics worldwide had a field day. For the first time ever, a city other than Paris had amassed the most stars; those precious little gems inspectors out of Clermont-Ferrand bestow on restaurants to denote quality of food, wine and beverage service, décor and myriad other elusive characteristics. Precious little gems that make or break careers and, in the case of more than one perfectionist French chef, drive some to commit suicide.

Tokyo – Photo credit

The city in question, by the way, was Tokyo. A surprise in some epicure circles, where a staunch French food bias persists, but overall, no major shock. While a few notable food journalists went wild on the story, the Japanese were relatively calm in response. Those familiar with the culinary scene in Tokyo simply shrugged and nodded in agreement. Why should Paris always dominate the Michelin star process? Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Malaysia Grand Prix Nightlife Guide

March 16th, 2011 by

When a Formula One race rolls into town the big question is never, “Who has the best shot at the pole?” Nay, the key questions tend to hone in on less motorsports-related territory; as in which celebs will show up for GP weekend, which driver has the sexiest arm candy and which club has the hottest F1 scene.

Malaysia Grand Prix grid girls – Photo credit

It is this last topic that concerns us most today. If you’re in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysia Grand Prix on the weekend of April 10, where exactly are you going to party? More importantly, in which restaurants, bars and clubs are you most likely to spot a Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel or Michael Schumacher? Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Retail Districts in East and Southeast Asia

March 4th, 2011 by

Where to shop and what to buy: the topic is unavoidable for even the most stringent and rabid anti-capitalist and anti-materialist visitor in East and Southeast Asia. You may avoid malls like the plague back home but this is Singapore baby. Or Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Tokyo or Shanghai. When in Rome, in other words, shop like the Romans.

ION Orchard, Singapore – Photo credit

In a city like Seoul, for example, the deceptively simple affair of a day at the market or mall is more bloodsport than trite task. Myriad elusive rules permeate the retail ritual in much of Asia, which, when combined with the promise of sweet, negotiable deals on a titanic array of exotic and colourful products, makes it a compulsory exercise for neophytes.

With this firmly in mind, check out our top 10 retail districts in East and Southeast Asia. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 5 Asia Travel Apps

February 27th, 2011 by

No app or technology advance can ever replace one-on-one interpersonal connections with locals while abroad, or indeed, the blissfully spontaneous adventures that come with a long walk in a strange city, sans map.

Despite all this, the best travel apps conveniently coalesce important information, serve as foreign language translators and act as robust interpreters in often wildly complex urban jungles – as anyone who has ever been hopelessly lost and miles from that familiar Tokyo hotel can well attest. This, we believe, is what our fave five apps for Asia accomplish.

Shanghai Metro App by Communicarta

Shanghai Metro stop – Photo credit Read the rest of this entry »

Districts of Shanghai Primer

February 3rd, 2011 by

To truly understand the chaotic madness that is Shanghai, one must inevitably come to terms with the megalopolis district by district. A piecemeal approach is the best approach for a city with the same number of people as Sri Lanka, after all.

Shanghai’s road and public transport infrastructure may have undergone a seismic about-face by the time you finish this post – change comes Formula One fast to this dynamic city on the move – but, nonetheless, it will take a monumental miracle to reverse the inherent helter-skelter nature of a city this big and this gorged with people. With that in mind, a little primer on the districts of Shanghai is in order.

China’s financial and commercial capital is a province-like area with 17 districts and 1 county. The entire urban mass spirals out from old Puxi (a dense region that contains the first 9 districts on our list below) and the hyper-modern skyline of Pudong that we all know and love/revile. If game to explore, grab your transport card (jiāotōng kÇŽ), steel yourself to the inevitable rush hour seas of humanity and read on for a little district dissection.

Photo credit Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate Federal Territory Day in Malaysia

January 28th, 2011 by

Malaysia offers a ton of special events and holidays in which to participate. Hari Merdeka, for one, or Independence Day, involves the entire country, from Kota Kinabalu to Langkawi, and takes place every August 31. The de facto national day commemorates the formal dissolution of British colonial rule and establishment of a true Malaysian state.

Merdeka Square – Photo credit

Muslim holidays, of course, form a big part of the annual calendar, from Hari Raya Puasa, which marks the end of Ramadan, to Hari Raya Haji. Other important holidays in eclectic, multi-cultural Malaysia include Chinese New Year, Duanwu, Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Diwali, Thaipusam, Vaisakhi and Wesak. Suffice to say that young residents of Malaysia receive a deep cultural education, practically by osmosis, by virtue of the diverse cultural, religious and secular holidays that populate the calendar. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Luxurious Spas in Hong Kong

January 21st, 2011 by

As the most vertical city in the world and with a population density well over 6,000 per km2, Hong Kong is a place where it pays to know a good massage therapist. A frenetic hive of activity, Hong Kong throbs with a vertigo-like pace that thrills and, indeed, exhausts even the most ardent adrenaline fiend.

This, of course, is where the best spas in Hong Kong come in.

The Peninsula Spa by ESPA
Salisbury Road,
Kowloon, Hong Kong

The Peninsula is synonymous with genteel colonial charm in Hong Kong and is the most historic hotel in the special administrative region. ESPA, a haven of wellness sensibility, is a plush destination in the city, with fourteen distinct treatment rooms that overlook Victoria Harbour.

The Peninsula Hong Kong – Photo credit Read the rest of this entry »

15 Best Restaurants in Beijing

January 14th, 2011 by

Beijing’s place as a top food city is often a topic of fierce debate among gourmets, street food aficionados and culinary connoisseurs. What is not, however, is the fact that the colossal capital of the People’s Republic of China has some remarkable restaurants. From mid-range to high-end, here are 15 of the best tables in Beijing.

Green T. House

This ultra-swish designer tea house/art gallery/restaurant in the Shunyi Villa District of Beijing is as much a museum of contemporary décor as a temple of haute-gastronomy.

Read the rest of this entry »

6 Outstanding Secluded Boutique Hotels in Indonesia

October 28th, 2010 by

Indonesia unfurls a magnificent array of tourist destinations, from urban to rural, beach to jungle. With over 17,000 islands, the archipelago nation has a spectacular array of coastal gems to choose from, with none more reputable and in demand than Bali. The venerable island features prominently in the annual HotelClub Awards and indeed, claims a virtual sweep of the top secluded boutique hotels in Indonesia.

Before you plan your next beach holiday, be sure to consult this prestigious list:

Mutiara Bali Resort Villa

Seminyak, Bali is the sumptuous home of this reputable spa resort. Mutiara Bali Resort Villa offers exquisite access to the island’s famous white sands, a beautiful fitness facility, state-of-the-art spa and marvellous pool area. A small, exclusive handful of villas and resort rooms help cement Mutiara’s reputation as a serene oasis in beautiful Bali. While superb points of interest beckon outside the resort’s front gate, the lavish property feels alluringly peaceful and private.

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Read the rest of this entry »

Your Getaway Just Got Easier!

October 27th, 2010 by

Planning a trip in the foreseeable future? How does the prospect of some extra cash in your pocket sound?

Excellent because it’s our absolute thrill to announce the official launch of the $30 Off Campaign.

This isn’t our first giveaway but it’s certainly our best. This time around the offer is bigger and better than ever, with a higher discount and a lower minimum booking value. We’ve also streamlined the discount redemption process and introduced a sweet incentive in our Refer-a-Friend component. For every referral, you’ll get an extra 10 Member Dollars when your friend joins and books with us!

So sign up now, refer a friend and save 70% off our rates plus an additional $30!

Photo credit

About Travel Blog Travel Blog is your central source of news bits, amusing experiences, funny observations, and helpful tips and guides to travelling around Asia. For easier browsing, check the Categories section for topics you are interested in. Every month, we also highlight an Asian destination with quick links to the travel guide and best hotels in […]

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Easter Treats

Skyscrapers in Hong KongNo other city is as vibrant and alive as Hong Kong which thrives to a different beat from sun up to sundown. Bellhop Picks: Read more about other attractions in our Hong Kong guide. See what fellow travellers have to say in the Hong Kong tales section.
  • Polls

    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
    • Male, Maldives (16%, 77 Votes)
    • Jeju Island, South Korea (16%, 75 Votes)
    • Sentosa Island, Singapore (15%, 72 Votes)
    • Krabi, Thailand (13%, 60 Votes)
    • Macau, China (10%, 49 Votes)
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam (7%, 34 Votes)

    Total Voters: 467

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