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Travel & Outdoor

DestinAsian February - March 2015

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

2 min.
hong kong in the picture

Art Basel Hong Kong is the crux of the month’s events, attracting the world’s top galleries—half from Asia-Pacific—to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, along with independent films, exclusive installations, and the who’s who of the art world (March 15–17; artbasel.com). Art Central debuts this year as the city’s first world-class satellite art fair, bringing 70 galleries (as opposed to Basel’s some 170) to harbor-front tents in Central (March 14–16; artcentralhongkong.com). Asia Hotel Art Fair is an intimate alternative, once again using the posh rooms of the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel as galleries for more than 5,000 works strictly from the region. The fair extends its premises this year as well, showcasing larger installations and sculptures in nearby Harbour City mall (March 13–16; hotelartfair.kr). Hong Kong Arts Festival, now in its…

8 min.
where the danube meets the sea

From atop a 19th-century lighthouse in the small Romanian port town of Sulina, I stare out toward the mouth of the Danube, the endpoint of a river that stretches almost 2,900 kilometers through the heart of Europe. In the fading light a few others have gathered to take in the views over Sulina, the nearby cargo ships, and, in the direction away from the sea, the vast labyrinth of waterways that make up the Danube Delta. Completed in 1870, the lighthouse, as with much of the town’s architecture, was built at a time when Sulina was home to a mix of nationalities—British, French, Italians, Austrians, Russians, Turks—who, as part of the European Commission of the Danube, monitored and maintained the entrance to one of the greatest rivers on the planet; in…

10 min.
readers’ choice awards 2015

TOP HOTELS AND RESORTS There’s something to be said for having accommodations you can count on to keep you comfortable no matter where you are in the world, which is why we asked DestinAsian readers to select their favorite global brands. For the second year running Hilton Hotels and Resorts was voted the best hotel chain in both North America and Europe for its “consistency in quality and service” and “loyalty program that always ensures great value for money.” Back in the Asia-Pacific region, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts remains the brand of choice, beloved for its “standardsetting hotels all over Asia” and “heartfelt hospitality.” As for the region’s individual hotels, the results vary considerably more in name—but not in quality. Read on to discover this year’s class of winners. BEST SERVICED RESIDENCE…

1 min.

/ Japan / When it began service 50 years ago last October, the world’s first high-speed commercial rail line, Tokaido Shinkansen, revolutionized travel on Japan’s most densely populated island. Two inaugural bullet trains (dangan ressha) made the 515-kilometer journey between Tokyo to Osaka in just four hours—two hours faster than a regular train. And that was just the start for the Shinkansen. Today, the network stretches some 2,400 kilometers, from the top of Honshu to Kyushu in the southwest. Pictured above are passengers in a 0-series bullet train, the first model to run on the Tokaido line starting in 1964. An estimated 10 billion people have since ridden Japan’s high-speed rails, and at ever-faster speeds. From the 210 kmh clocked by the 0-series, Shinkansen trains can now reach up to 320…

1 min.
mid-century memories

/ Hong Kong / Call it selective memory, but there is something dreamlike about the way we recall places we love as they once were. A master at the art of capturing this is Fan Ho, one of Asia’s most accomplished photographers and film directors. Born in Shanghai but raised in Hong Kong from 1949, Ho, now 83, began his career as a teenager, documenting life on the streets of the then British colony in the 1950s and ’60s through the lens of his Rolleiflex camera. It’s images from this period that fill the last installment of his trilogy of photography books about the city, Fan Ho: A Hong Kong Memoir (Modernbook Editions), some previously unpublished, and some created by combining two black-and-white negatives into one image for a result far…

6 min.
vintage yunnan

It’s early evening as Xiao Yu Ying plucks a small bundle of grapes from a spindly vine. Pea-sized and pink-skinned, the fruit are plump and sweet with a distinct tartness. Xiao doesn’t have to look at a calendar to know that it will soon be harvest time. Autumn is encroaching; the thickly forested slopes of Tacheng Valley are already washed in fall colors, a palette of turmeric, sunflower yellow, and fiery red. A sprightly septuagenarian with an oversize laugh that begins as a tremor in her slender shoulders before erupting as a full body lurch, Xiao is new to grape growing. She used to plant corn and wheat on her four mu (about a third of a hectare) of land, enough to feed her family and livestock with some left over…