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Travel & Outdoor

DestinAsian Aug/Sept 2017

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.

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6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
some like it hot

There is something inherently magical about being in a vast desert—perhaps it’s the infinitesimal succession of sand dunes marching off into the horizon, or the quietude and sense of awe that takes over as we survey the emptiness before us: a stark, inhospitable environment that puts our human vulnerabilities into sharp focus. I’ve always been more of a “water” person, but reading editor-in-chief Christopher Hill’s account of his recent romp through Oman has me considering a road trip of my own through the fascinating Arabian country. Martin Westlake, a regular contributor to our magazine, tagged along for the ride, shooting what may be the first desert-themed cover in our 16 years of publication. It’s also refreshing because that part of the world often finds itself painted in a less favorable light—which…

3 min.

PAUL EHRLICH Wrote “The Secret Soul of Isan” p. 110 “Fully exploring Thailand’s northeastern Isan region for the first time, I was impressed by the varied and unexpected beauty of the land, their own Thai twist to cuisine, and a blending of languages from neighboring Laos,” says Ehrlich, an ex–New Yorker who has lived for many years in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok writing for various publications and a former editor of Prestige Hong Kong. “What most surprised me, though, was the esoteric side of Isan—shamans, the belief of protective spirits in the mountains, and giantheaded, surreal figures of the dead. Photographer Christopher Wise and I traveled by car, giving opportunities to stop whenever something caught our eye, like the French guy off a dirt road in the middle of what…

2 min.
special deals

/ Thailand / THE SIAM Until December 23, guests staying three nights only pay for two at this chic riverside refuge in Bangkok. Expect butler service, daily breakfast, room credit of THB 1,000 (US$29) for massages, and a private cruise between the hotel and Sathorn pier. Better yet, the free night can be repeated during the stay, making for the perfect excuse to bed down in the signature suite, a historic, century-old house transported by boat from the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya (thesiamhotel.com). Indonesia CASSIA BINTAN Singaporeans look here— are you scouting out new digs for a quick weekend escape to Bintan? The second property from Banyan Tree’s hotel residence brand Cassia is celebrating its August 31 debut with a special offer that’s as eye-catching as its sleek white-and-blue interiors: stays until October 30…

1 min.
squaring off

When Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of the newly rechristened Victoria & Albert Museum (vam.ac.uk) at the turn of the 20th century, she declared that it would become “a monument of discerning liberty and a source of refinement and progress” for ages to come. Today’s museum aims to do just that with the unveiling of an eagerly anticipated extension known as the Exhibition Road Quarter. Designed by British architect Amanda Levete, the six-year transformation has reclaimed a former boiler-house yard by surfacing it with more than 10,000 Dutch-made porcelain tiles—a nod to the V&A’s encyclopedic ceramics collection—while adding a new entrance and glass-faced café. In deference to the stately facades of red brick and Portland stone fronting three sides of the square, Levete built the new Sainsbury Gallery underground,…

1 min.
isle take it

Indonesia’s remote Anambas Archipelago is something of a well-kept secret among divers and long-distance yachters, but one newly opened eco-resort is about to put it on the map for luxury travelers. The allure of Bawah Island lies in its unfettered simplicity and postcard-perfect setting in the South China Sea. A threehour journey, involving a ferry to Batam and a 75-minute seaplane ride, transports visitors from Singapore to a formerly uninhabited locale that appears to have changed little in the past millennia. Here, the 300-hectare property encompasses five jungled islands, 13 beaches, and three crystal-clear lagoons, all surrounded by a marine conservation area. Just 70 guests bed down in its tented suites and overwater bungalows at any one time, while personal touches abound—villas are named after its temporary residents, and at…

1 min.
lost and found

For Beirut-based journalist and regular DestinAsian contributor Warren Singh-Bartlett, a brief sightseeing jaunt in Lebanon during the 1990s eventually blossomed into a love affair that has lasted nearly two decades. His new book, Getting Lost in Lebanon, details 156 of his personal discoveries made while exploring the small but complex Mediterranean country on foot. The majority of Singh-Bartlett’s photos and stories were initially posted on Instagram, giving followers a window into the beauty of his adopted home. All told, they reflect Lebanon’s kaleidoscope of peoples, historic architecture, and jaw-dropping landscapes packed into an area barely twice the size of Bali (tamyras.com).…