DestinAsian June/August 2021

DestinAsian is the only travel magazine in the world exclusively dedicated to covering destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. Published 6 times a year, it delivers regular features about food, shopping, spa retreats, luxury lodgings, design, and fashion, all backed by award-winning writing, photography, and design.

6 期号


from the publisher

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”–Gustave Flaubert Going to Bali these days can sometimes be a sobering experience. It is surreal to see how quiet once-thriving areas like Seminyak have now become; the sheer number of shuttered shops, hotels, and restaurants points to the pain wrought by ongoing border restrictions. But the travel and hospitality industries are nothing if not resilient. A handful of high-end resorts have made their debut on the island in recent months, and many of the hotelier friends I’ve spoken to there are hopeful that better times lie just around the corner. We’re all keen to see things improve in the second half of the year. Bali plans to welcome travelers from certain countries by late July, while Phuket…

fiuggi in focus

The healing mineral waters of Fiuggi may have cured Michelangelo’s kidney stones, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the central Italian town (an hour’s drive east of Rome) emerged as a fashionable spa destination. Now, almost 110 years since the Grand Hotel Palazzo della Fonte opened as the most elegant place to stay in Fiuggi, the estate has been transformed by its new owners into a 21stcentury medical wellness retreat called Palazzo Fiuggi ( While the Liberty-style building’s original grandeur — think frescoes, Murano chandeliers, and acres of Carrara marble — has been updated with contemporary furnishings and color palettes, its former conference facilities are now a vast medical spa and health center equipped with thalassotherapy pools, Roman-inspired baths, advanced diagnostic tools, and, in what was the hotel…

out in bloom

Multicolored glass, technical artistry, and foliaged follies converge on Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay in Dale Chihuly’s first major garden exhibition in Asia. Running until August 1, Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom ( scatters 25 of the American glass artist’s exuberant installations across the waterfront park’s vast landscaped commons and two glass-domed conservatories. For neophytes of Chihuly’s oeuvre, the sculptures offer a compact retrospective of his work over the past two decades, artfully bookmarked by the translucent blue bubble of Moon (which debuted at his landmark 2000 exhibition at Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum) and Setting Sun, a mesmeric tumble of red and yellow flames created for this event. The curation and styling deserve particular applause. Every sculpture — their complexity and size balanced by an ethereal, colored weightlessness — has been…


SAY CHEEZE There’s good news in Hong Kong for visiting vegans: the city’s first shop dedicated exclusively to plant-based cheeses has opened at the K11 Musea mall in Tsim Sha Tsui. The brainchild of jewelry designer turned raw vegan chef Tina Barrat (also behind vegan fine-dining restaurant Ma and The Seeds of Life), Le Fromage by Ma ( crafts all its cheese from house-fermented cashews or almonds, adding herbs and other natural ingredients to produce items like pink peppercorn–studded brie (pictured), truffle-infused Shamembert, and logs of chèvre-inspired Sans-Goat. Barrat also makes her own chutneys, crackers, and keto-friendly breads — just the thing for a nutritious takeaway snack. STANLEY TUCCI’S ITALY Anyone pining for the land of pizza and pasta will want to tune in to Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, the hit six-episode…

the full flavors of koh phangan

Koh Phangan’s status as a staging point on the so-called Banana Pancake Trail hasn’t always been good for its culinary cred: the Thai island is far more famous for its wild full-moon parties than for its hitherto unsung restaurant scene. But as the destination’s appeal has widened beyond backpackers to include affluent holidaymakers, families, wellness seekers, and digital entrepreneurs, so too has its gastronomic offerings evolved beyond the old standards of fried rice and watery Thai curries. These days, Koh Phangan is home to talented chef/restaurateurs from countries as diverse as Israel and Iran and Italy; indeed, a case could be made for the island having Thailand’s liveliest climate for international dining outside Bangkok, with the added bonus of wallet-friendly prices and all-around unpretentiousness. A perfect encapsulation of all that’s appealing…

a brush with bali

On the top floor of the Apurva Kempinski Bali, a discreet entrance leads to an austere room unlike any other in the resort. Vibrant paints line its shelves, while the bold hues of graffiti canvases are illuminated by daylight flooding in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, which frame sweeping views toward the Indian Ocean. For French artist Cyril Kongo, this raw space is now the center of his working life. Dubbed L’Atelier (, the 144-square-metre studio — with a dedicated drying room to counteract Bali’s humidity — contrasts with the Majapahit-inspired grandeur of the rest of the Apurva. Yet it’s still a far cry from the mean streets of Paris, where Kongo honed his art from age 16, once telling a judge who was trying him for vandalism, “Tomorrow, people will pay…