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Travel & Outdoor

DestinAsian February - March 2016

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.
ronald liem

HIT LISTS As I’ve been flipping through 2016’s batch of where-to-visit-now lists—many listing upwards of 50 places—I can’t help but wonder, is anywhere not a hot destination these days? According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the travel and tourism industries are now valued at more than US$7.6 trillion—roughly 10 percent of the world’s total GDP—and the numbers are only going up. Purists might fuss that this travel boom dilutes the precious authenticity of places, but I like to see the glass half full—more people than ever are spending their money on enriching experiences, which are seemingly awaiting everywhere you go. Accordingly, this issue takes in a wide variety of travel stories, from an environmentally focused feature on the Ganges’ niche rafting industry, to a report on a gambling mecca…

3 min.
a trip down memory lane

When a friend asked advice recently about a trip she is planning to Sri Lanka, I pulled out your June/July 2013 issue from my bookshelf and reread your photo story about Galle Fort [“Nostalgia Trip”]. That also reminded me of something I meant to do a couple of years ago: write in and thank you for that article. I know it was mostly fashion photos (beautiful images, by the way), but the accompanying guide was invaluable on our own trip later that year. We did pretty much everything on your list: ate grilled seafood at Fortaleza, curry at Mamas, shopped at Barefoot and KK the Collection, checked out the architecture on Lighthouse Street, and had afternoon tea at Amangalla, which, though we didn’t stay there, was as grand a hotel…

2 min.
six senses con dao

The island of Con Dao may be one of Vietnam’s most gorgeous destinations, but the extra flight to get there often makes travelers pass it by. That’s why, until October 31, Six Senses Con Dao is running its Stay ‘N Fly Free offer that gives guests free domestic flights to the island from Ho Chi Minh City—saving some US$210 in ticket fares—as well as all airport transfers and even a night at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City if required. The only condition is that guests stay at least three nights, which, at this ultra-luxurious resort, isn’t hard to do (sixsenses.com). Indonesia MAYA SANUR RESORT & SPA Golden sand, good surf breaks, cute cafes, and a local feel that comes from being a bit removed from the bustle of Kuta and Seminyak…

1 min.
mama mia

Surrounded by the hippest hangouts on Bali, Katamama looks set to hold its own when it opens its doors in March. The all-suite hotel is the brainchild of the people behind Seminyak’s wildly popular Potato Head Beach Club (which it sits behind) and has likewise been designed by idiosyncratic Indonesian architect Andra Matin. But unlike Potato Head’s Colosseum-inspired curves and cladding of painted teak shutters, Katamama is all geometry and burnished red bricks, more than a million of which adorn its facade. Inside, staff uniforms and upholstery bear the hotel’s signature shade of indigo, hand-dyed by local craftsmen, while a selection of Balinese arak liquors puts a local spin on the drinks list at the Akademi Bar, helmed by ex-London mixologist Dre Masso. Another draw? The first overseas outpost of…

2 min.
aural fixation

Listen up, music-lovers: three music museums are soon to open in the Americas. First up is the Grammy Museum Mississippi (grammymuseum.org), opening on March 5 at the Delta Music Institute in the small city of Cleveland. Why here? The Mississippi Delta is one of the most musically rich parts of the United States, but it also lacks arts education in public schools, giving this deep-South sister to the original Grammy Museum in L.A. a deeper purpose. Another ode to the Delta comes April 2 with the debut of the National Blues Museum (nationalbluesmuseum.org) in St. Louis, using interactive technology to walk visitors through the history of the States’ most foundational genre of music, and a theater to hear it in. And in Rio de Janeiro, it’s worth sticking around after…

1 min.
a high note for harbin

Aside from its yearly ice-sculpture festival, Harbin, in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang, has long been known for a haul of hybrid architecture and a superb music scene. The only thing missing was a joint showcase. That changed in 2010 when Beijingbased MAD Architects won the international competition for designing Harbin Cultural Island on the Songhua River, which, when complete, will also include a recreational center and wetland parks. As the first salvo of the 180-hectare development, the Harbin Opera House is a spectacularly theatrical conceit. Rising up over the lush wetlands, its sinuous facade of white aluminum panels swells and dips, swooping in gorgeous swirls that evoke a drifting snowstorm, or a futuristic yurt. The meteorological references are deliberate, a none-too-subtle nod to the notoriously savage winters and dramatically…