Drinks with a view: 5 best rooftop bars in Asia

Posted by - March 15, 2018

A THRIVING NIGHTLIFE keeps things interesting in cities.
And as the cocktail bar scene continues to grow in Asia, more and more bars are mushrooming in the region.
#AMANPULO
Cocktails afloat a bamboo raft: Could this be the world’s best bar? From hunting down speakeasy-styled bars or hitting up neighborhood watering holes to enjoying a romantic interlude at snazzier and classier joints, going for a drink or two in a foreign city tops some travelers’ to-do lists.
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a refreshing glass of Long Island Tea at one of these rooftop bars in Asia, overlooking the vibrant city lights, wind in the hair and all that jazz.
Singapore: 1-Altitude Located at One Raffles Place tower in the heart of Singapore, 1-Altitude features several dining and drinking venues stretching from the 61st to 63rd floors. Sporting a 360-degree view, the bar (said to be the world’s highest al fresco bar) boasts the highest views and arguably some of the best. But here’s the catch: there’s nothing but a thin, shoulder-height glass panel to impede the vista below. While you’re on top of the world, you’ll not only be able to spot Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer but also all the other surrounding neighborhoods. By evening, it’s a top stop for sunsets but as the sun goes down, the music level and the energy goes up with live music and DJs taking over the bar.
A post shared by Hwang Min-cheol (@sniper0724) on Feb 7, 2018 at 1:41am PST
Be sure to make reservations in advance as getting a table can be quite a challenge.
Thailand: Vertigo and Moon Bar Reach for the clouds at Bangkok’s rooftop bars Vertigo and Moon Bar, located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel. Arguably the best ones in the city, it’s so popular that post-work city slickers flock to the bars to destress and enjoy a drink or two. Both bars are distinctively different though – Moon Bar provides a glamorous alfresco lounge with soft blue lighting, panoramic views, live jazz and fresh cocktails while Vertigo offers a romantic “wine and dine” experience for those who love their Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon.
A post shared by Robert Schenkenfelder (@endowzoner) on Feb 8, 2018 at 11:45am PST
Vertigo’s surf ‘n’ turf comes highly recommended to do chow down on some seafood or steak while you’re there.
Indonesia: Rock Bar Bali Perched atop rock formations along Jimbaran’s sunset coast, Rock Bar Bali at Ayana is breathtaking – and perhaps not for the weak-hearted. The bar is located on the edge of a cliff along Jimbaran Bay in Bali, offering a gravity-defying experience. Much more so if you’ve had a couple of drinks. To get to the bar, travelers will need to make their way over by cable car, with dramatic cliffs on either side. Once you’re there, enjoy the sound of the rolling waves of the Indian Ocean and soak in what’s remaining of the day as the sun sets, before fist-pumping to international DJs who perform from a booth that’s been carved directly into the cliff face.
A post shared by Rock Bar, BALI (@rockbarbali) on Dec 28, 2017 at 11:13pm PST
They don’t call it the premier sunset venue for nothing.
South Korea: Bar 81 The new 555-meter-tall Lotte World Tower opened in Seoul in April 2017 to much fanfare. Current the fifth tallest building in the world, the tower comprises of offices, galleries, residences, more offices, a skywalk, an observation tower, and the super luxurious Signiel Seoul hotel. On the 81st floor of Signiel Seoul is Bar 81, a bar so high up that it probably needs a postal code in the clouds. Guests can enjoy the contemporary Parisian menus of chef Yannick Alléno and even have a glass of champagne to go with it. The bar has the largest menu of champagne labels in South Korea, but also a wide range of other liquors.
A post shared by 2쥬 (@2__joo_) on Feb 11, 2018 at 8:08am PST
Don’t forget to look up and admire the glitzy glass art installation overhead.
China: Cloud 9 Shanghai is China’s bustling central business district (CBD) and thus, it should come as no surprise that the city is dotted with sophisticated drinking spots. One that’s definitely worth more than just one mention is Grand Hyatt Shanghai’s posh Cloud 9. Taking over the Jin Mao tower on the 87th floor of the hotel, the dark mahogany and chrome bar features a maze of terraced levels and diving columns, and a hide-away mezzanine bar. Cloud 9 overlooks the iconic Bund and also offers a spectacular 360-degree view of Shanghai, allowing you to admire neon-lit skyline while you sip on one of the bar’s classic cocktails.
A post shared by @charliegarcia73 on Dec 28, 2017 at 4:00pm PST
Best to get a table facing west for views of the Bund, Pearl Tower, and the lights of Puxi, and southeast for views of the Shanghai World Financial Center.
The post Drinks with a view: 5 best rooftop bars in Asia appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

These 5 Chinese foods could bring you luck and prosperity in 2018

Posted by - February 16, 2018

CHINESE New Year celebrations are upon us. Families are throwing big reunions. Māmās, Nǎinais and Gūmās are in the kitchen cooking up feasts for the hungry masses and Hongbaos are being dished out to the children to bring them luck and prosperity.
Chinese New Year is all about bringing good luck and fortune to the year ahead and along with other traditions, such as the cash-filled red envelopes, there are some Chinese dishes which are considered lucky too.
Here are five delicious dishes poised to bring you a fortune and fill up your tum – a win-win situation.
#X-RAY
Woman goes to ‘X-treme’ lengths to keep hold of handbag Dayu Darou – A whole fish A post shared by I Really Cook This (@ireallycookthis) on Jan 23, 2018 at 5:20am PST
Dayu Darou literally translates to “big fish or big meat’ and symbolizes abundance. The whole fish is an impressive centerpiece on the dinner table and is cooked according to provincial traditions.
In Hangzhou, it might be xi hu cu yu or West Lake vinegar fish, which is a whole carp steamed and then doused in a sweet vinegar sauce.
Southern China’s Guangdong Province traditionally drizzles the whole fish in soy sauce and sesame oil then sprinkles in ginger, chilli and shallots.
In East China’s Suzhou Province, a whole squirrelfish is deep fried and served with sweet and sour sauce – crispy and delicious.
Lawei – Cured meat A post shared by Sophia Tang (@sophia_tang_) on Feb 3, 2017 at 3:59am PST
Over Chinese winter, flayed giant duck can be found hanging up around town and left to cure in time for Chinese New Year.
This tradition comes from ancient sacrificial rituals performed at the end of each year after the winter solstice.
People would offer pigs, poultry and fish to the gods, and once they had finished, whatever was left would be saved. This led to modern-day methods of drying and curing meats.
Around the time of Chinese New Year celebrations, these macabre-like decorations can be seen hanging from family-home windows and across washing lines.
Chun Juan – Spring Rolls A post shared by Dilli Ke 2 Foodie (@dilli_ke_2_foodie) on Feb 15, 2018 at 6:09pm PST
These heavenly crispy rolls are named after the event they were originally made for: Spring Festival.
The golden color is supposed to resemble little bars of gold to encourage wealth and prosperity in the year to come.
The crunchy pastry is made from wheat flour dough and water and then traditionally filled with shredded carrots, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, bean sprouts and pork.
#FOOD FESTIVAL
Foodies rejoice: Ubud Food Festival line-up revealed Changshou Mian – Longevity Noodles A post shared by Calvin (@calvinfydu) on May 20, 2017 at 10:08am PDT
These noodles are traditionally two-feet long and incredibly moreish. As well as Chinese New Year, these lengthy edibles come out on birthdays, too.
They are supposed to bring you a long life, and they certainly bring you a long slurp.
The noodles are usually served fried with oyster sauce, shiitake mushrooms, and bok choy or steamed in a vegetable packed broth.
Golden round fruits A post shared by Eman (@webdream) on Feb 11, 2018 at 12:14am PST
As Chinese New Year always falls at the end of the winter months, fruit and vegetables are often limited. However, oranges, mandarins, kumquats and tangerines tend to thrive in the colder months.
They also all happen to be orange and goldish which means they fit perfectly into the prosperity and wealth factors that are so prevalent in Chinese culture, especially around the New Year celebrations.
The post These 5 Chinese foods could bring you luck and prosperity in 2018 appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Asia’s epic mountains: Do you dare?

Posted by - January 9, 2018

ASIA is home to some of the world’s highest peaks, snowiest valleys, and breathtaking altitudes, but some of the lesser known mountains don’t always flag up on mountaineers climbing radar – until now.
As the trend of transformative travel – the act of taking a trip to self-reflect, experience native culture and ultimately change your world perspective and life – evolves and gains participants, mountains all over Asia are being established on amateur and professional mountaineering maps.
Transformative travel, combined with millennial travelers wanting to curate their holiday around unique experiences, adventure and connecting with local culture, is creating a valuable income for Asia’s tourism industry and local communities.
Whether you are wanting to climb, ramble or admire the bewildering peaks from the enchanting base camps below, Asia won’t disappoint you.
Here are five adrenaline-stimulating mountains in Asia that should be on every mountaineers must-see list.
Nanga Parbat, Pakistan A post shared by Traverse Pakistan (@traversepakistan) on Jun 24, 2017 at 8:04am PDT
Pakistan doesn’t frequently make it onto climber’s bucket lists due to national security concerns. Yet, five of the world’s thirteen 8,000m-high mountains can be found in Pakistan. Its charm and history, along with stunning mountains, make Pakistan a magnificent place to start your out-of-the-mainstream climbing adventure.
British Backpacker Society, an online project for adventure travelers even described Pakistan as “one of the friendliest countries on Earth,” and stresses it’s untampered and unexplored tourism potential.
Found in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, Nanga Parbat (“naked mountain”) is the ninth highest mountain in the world standing at 26,660 feet (8,125.97m) above sea level and acts as the western anchor of the Himalayas.
Its peak is accessible from the North, West and South face, with the Diamir Face (West) being the most popular to climb.
Mount Hua, China A post shared by Gianluigi Bosco (@thetravelingwop) on Jun 14, 2016 at 2:28am PDT
Mount Hua, located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, provides climbers and history enthusiasts with an intriguing 7,070-feet spectacle.
Despite it being lower than Pakistan’s offerings, it is by no means easier to climb and has the reputation of being one of the world’s most dangerous hiking trails. The main attraction of the climbing trail surprisingly isn’t found at the top of the mountain, but rather more intriguing to visitors is the thin, wooden planks that have been haphazardly bolted together to create one of the most stomach-churning selfie destinations. Don’t look down!
The mountain is now dotted with hotels and food vendors, but despite this, many locals choose to climb throughout the night on the fate-tempting creaking planks to reach the East peak by dawn.
Mount Makiling, Philippines A post shared by Mark Joseph Tumang (@markjosephtumang) on Dec 3, 2017 at 8:21pm PST
If you fancy something a little less cold and dangerous, but still just as adventurous and awe-inspiring, head to the Philippines.
The mountain is still a sweat-inducing 6,263 feet (1,909m) above sea level, but instead of being blanketed by snow, it is adorned with abundant flora and fauna; reptiles, birds and over 2,000 species of plants. An intrigue for mountaineers and scientists alike.
Makiling is perfect for first-time climbers, campers, budding ornithologists and those looking for something different from the hustle and bustle offered up in market streets across the Philippines. The ascent usually takes around five hours, with much to do and see on the way, including mud springs, botanical gardens, and The National Arts Centre.
Mount Khuiten, Mongolia A post shared by Mandy Ramsden (@mandy_ramsden) on Jun 24, 2016 at 11:39pm PDT
Mongolia is often associated with vast plains of wild horses charging through the Gobi desert with herders chasing after them, but Mongolia is home to another of the world’s most untouched landscapes in the Khuiten region.
Mount Khuiten is one of the highest peaks in the Altai Mountains and borders Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. At 14,350 feet (4,373.88m), this is certainly not for amateurs looking for a peaceful period of reflection and enlightenment, as this mountain is likely to challenge you in every way.
The climb to basecamp is 17km where you can get ready for the real ascent through endless green pastures, barren rock faces, and thick snows.
Acclimatization usually takes around nine days, so make sure you allow for a 15-day round trip.
Mount Everest, Tibet A post shared by ‘Nepal’ 8th wonder of world (@nepal8thwonder_) on Dec 30, 2017 at 11:50pm PST
You can’t write a list of Asia’s most incredible and daring mountains and not include the world’s tallest and most famous – Mount Everest.
Standing at a staggering 29,028 feet (8,847.73m) above sea level, Everest has claimed many lives, but also gratified many climbers and is certainly found on many bucket-lists. However, the danger doesn’t come directly from its technical climb or a risk of avalanche, but instead from the notorious and deathly altitude sickness and extreme weather conditions.
If you are thinking about scaling Everest, then make sure you do adequate training and research beforehand as you’ll want to make sure you get all the way down so you can tick it off your bucket list.
The post Asia’s epic mountains: Do you dare? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

The world’s biggest Starbucks is ready to open in Shanghai

Posted by - December 5, 2017

GET ready for an incredible coffee experience as Starbucks opens its largest location in the world – the company’s first overseas state-of-the-art premium Reserve Roastery store – in Shanghai.
The new 30,000 square-foot store, is around half the size of a soccer pitch and has everything for which coffee and tea lovers could wish. As China grows to be one of the biggest coffee roasting and drinking markets in the world, the opening couldn’t have come a better time.
The store – which opens on Wednesday – is twice the size of Starbucks’ flagship Reserve Roastery in Seattle and the equivalent of 40 average New York City apartments.
http://travelwireasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/starbucks-video.mp4 The Shanghai Reserve Roastery is the company’s most ambitious project ever and is fully championed by the coffee giant’s founder and chairman, Howard Schultz. “With the rising middle class and the opportunity in China, the market is going to be much larger here,” Schultz said at the launch of the new store.
The sensory experience store can be found in all its copper-plated glory on the renowned West Nanjing Road shopping boulevard. Customers will be welcomed by a glorious eight-meter copper cask, full of freshly roasted beans. The iconic cask connects to the three coffee bars with pneumatic copper piping, replenishing all the roasted Starbucks Reserve coffee silos.
Guests explore the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China on Sunday, December 3, 2017. Source: Joshua Trujillo/ Starbucks
Customers can also, for the first time ever, watch eight highly-trained roasters turn the little green beans into the golden-brown delights that the Chinese nation loves. The coffee wonderland will focus on using reserve coffee, sourced from 30 countries around the world, including China’s Yunnan Province.
Coffee sippers can also chill out on China’s longest coffee bar, coming in at 88 feet. Two other long coffee tables will also serve as the stage where hundreds of baristas will handcraft some of the rarest, small-lot coffees in the world, using six specially-designed brewing methods.
One of the coffee bars featured in the store is 88-meters long – so plenty of coffee for everyone. Source Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks
Putting coffee-swigging aside for a moment, the Shanghai Reserve Roastery is also offering customers a fully augmented reality experience. By pointing their smartphones at different points around the store, information about Starbucks’ story and roasting methods will come to life in front of their eyes.
This experience is accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app or on Alibaba’s Taobao app. This is a handy partnership, as customers can then save their favorite brews via the app and purchase beans and ground coffee via Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace.
An augmented reality app is used in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. Source: Joshua Trujillo/ Starbucks
And there is more. Experience-seekers can also try treats from Princi Bakery. Acclaimed baker Rocco Princi combines the craft of bread baking, exceptional ingredients and the ‘Spirit di Milano’ to bring his artisanal offering to Asia for the first time.
Guests order from the Princi counter during a Partner Family Open Forum in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai. Source: Joshua Trujillo/ Starbucks
If you are more a cup-of-tea and fresh bake kind of person, then explore the Teavanna Bar. Combining traditional and modern brewing methods to create a signature blend, served hot or over ice – for every weather and every occasion.
A pattern works at the Teavana tea bar in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. Source: Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks
Reportedly, a new Starbucks store opens every 15 hours across China, and Starbucks has future plans to open up specialized Roasteries in Italy, New York and Tokyo.
This expansion comes in line with the company’s announcement of pledging strong commitment to China by contributing meaningful and enduring social impact through poverty alleviation by creating opportunities.
#COFFEE CULTURE
Medan’s coffee culture is booming, and it’s the growers that benefit “We believe it is our role and responsibility to use our scale to give back to the communities as we continue to grow in China, and with the people of China,” said Belinda Wong, the chief executive officer of Starbucks China.
“Our commitment, together with our Roastery opening, epitomizes how Starbucks is doubling down on unprecedented opportunities we see in the future for Starbucks and China.”
The new Reserve Roastery will open tomorrow, December 6, so make sure to get down there early to discover your new favorite blend.
The post The world’s biggest Starbucks is ready to open in Shanghai appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.