In pictures: The best of Bali

Posted by - July 30, 2018

LOCATED at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands with Java to the west and Lombok to the east, Bali is one of Southeast Asia’s most enchanting islands.
The island has seen a significant rise in tourists since the 1980s and makes up for most of the tourist numbers to Indonesia. In fact, tourism-related businesses make up 80 percent of its economy.
#ISLANDS
Singaporeans seem to love this Indonesian island a lot Home to the biggest Hindu population in Indonesia, Bali boasts a multitude of exotic religious sites set against stunning natural backdrops such as the cliffside Uluwatu Temple and the Besakih Temple.
Travelers will enjoy the island’s warm hospitality and highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music as well.
Aside from cultural and spiritual charm, the island is also known for the beachside city of Kuta with lively bars; popular resort towns Seminyak, Sanur, and Nusa Dua; cliff-guarded “hidden” shores of Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Dreamland, and Bingin; and yoga and meditation retreats.
Whether you fancy taking a walk along its chic cafe-lined streets or shopping at one of its many designer boutiques or hitting one of its many world-class diving and surfing spots, Bali promises there will never be a dull moment.
By sunset, as the night rolls in, the island pulsates with exciting clubbing venues with packed dance floors spread throughout the southern regions of Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak.
It’s almost impossible to discover all of Bali on one trip alone.
Take a look at all that Bali has to offer:
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The post In pictures: The best of Bali appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Dragon Boat Festival: Where to go for a roaring wet fun day

Posted by - May 1, 2018

CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, the Duanwu festival, otherwise known as the Dragon Boat Festival, has nothing to do with dragons. But it has got to do with boats.
The festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a poet and ministry who died in 278 B.C. Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Milou river after he was slandered by the members of the Han Dynasty and exiled from his home. After which, the local people who admired him raced out in their boats in an attempt to save him or retrieve his body.
When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body.
#CHINA
‘Venice of the East’: Charming water villages in China Thousands of years later, revelers across Asia still come out in droves for one day in the early summertime to eat sticky dumplings and race ornate boats shaped like dragons to honor Qu Yuan.
This year, the Dragon Boat Festival will take place on June 18, 2018, a public holiday in some Asian countries including Hong Kong and Taiwan. In celebration of the holiday of Duanwu, rowers will take to the rivers to show off their months of preparation for the festive dragon boat races.
A dragon boat is a brightly decorated human-powered boat or paddle boat that is traditionally made of teak wood to various designs and sizes that range anywhere from 40 to 100 feet in length.
It has a front end shaped like an open-mouth dragon and a back end with a scaly tail.
This year, the Dragon Boat Festival will take place on June 18, 2018, a public holiday in some Asian countries. Source: Shutterstock. Source: Shutterstock.
Usually, a sacred ceremony is performed before any race in order to “bring the boat to life” by painting the eyes. The first team to grab a flag at the end of the course wins the race.
Some of these races and festivities kick off way before the actual celebration.
For example, Jakarta’s Dragon Boat Festival will be held on May 5 to May 6, 2018, on the waterfront of Baywalk Mall in Pluit. Spectators can expect more than 40 teams comprising over 800 paddlers competing over two days, vying for 18 trophies, 340 medals, and cash prizes.
The race, which encompasses 250 meters, includes mixed, men, women and student invitational categories.
Dragon boat racing is a team sport in its purest form that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronization, and endurance. Source: Shutterstock.
Apart from the dragon boat race, attendees will also be able to engage in social events and enjoy the festivities around food and merchandise stalls.
Other Asian countries that will be a part of the Duanwu celebrations include:
China Observed dates: June 16 to June 18, 2018. Venue: Xixi National Wetland Park, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China. Details: Website | Facebook. Taiwan Observed dates: June 16 to June 18, 2018. Venue: Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park, Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City Taiwan. Details: Website | Facebook. Hong Kong Observed dates: June 16 to June 18, 2018. Venue: Victoria Harbor, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Details: Website | Facebook. Macao Observed dates: June 16 to June 18, 2018. Venue: Nam Van Lake Nautical Center, Macao. Details: Website. Malaysia Observed dates: May 12 to May 13, 2018. Venue: Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Details: Website | Facebook. The post Dragon Boat Festival: Where to go for a roaring wet fun day appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Why is Ubud Food Festival important for Indonesia?

Posted by - April 10, 2018

UBUD FOOD FESTIVAL (UFF) 2018 is kicking off this weekend and set to be an event full of fantastic flavors, experimental cooking, intriguing workshops, insightful talks and plenty of sampling traditional and progressive dishes.
The organizers have certainly packed in a full schedule.
Guest can watch cooking demonstrations at the Kitchen Stage and Teater Kuliner as well as attended special events in some of Ubud’s most magical dining destinations.
#KUALA LUMPUR
Gluten-free in Kuala Lumpur? We’ve got you covered There will also be intimate masterclasses where “trainees” can learn from some of the best chefs on the planet.
Food tours, films, live music, markets and more are also waiting to be experienced at the festival.
If you’re going on a budget or you’ve put a bit aside to do and try everything, then don’t fret as the festival reflects every budget and taste.
“Showcasing Indonesia’s diverse cuisines, unique local produce, and culinary heroes both emerging and established, UFF celebrates the archipelago’s rich culinary heritage and the exciting future of its food industry,” UFF founder Janet DeNeefe told Travel Wire Asia.
UFF wants to put Indonesia firmly on the culinary map of Asia and create an awareness around each tantalizing dish, “unlike the cuisines of other Asian nations such as Vietnamese, Thai, and Korean, Indonesian food isn’t as well known internationally,” DeNeefe added.
A post shared by Ubud Food Festival (@ubudfoodfest) on Mar 13, 2018 at 11:48pm PDT
“The UFF strives to share Indonesian food with the world. Through dynamic collaborations and in-depth discussions, the UFF connects Indonesian industry professionals with their international counterparts, to foster networking and knowledge exchange.”
In particular, the free Teater Kuliner cooking demonstration stage will be a focal point of the event. Here, talented chefs take guests on a culinary voyage of lesser-known regional cuisines, such as the foraged foods of the Papuan highlands and the highland of West Timor.
A post shared by Ubud Food Festival (@ubudfoodfest) on Feb 19, 2018 at 12:37am PST
Equally, the free Food for Thought panel events will insightfully and descriptively inform guests of the issues Indonesian farmers face and tackle pressing issues such as the rice crisis, food sovereignty and improving livelihoods of those who supply food.
UFF is undoubtedly going to be an enthralling event for Indonesia, one where guests can learn new skills, understand more about the stunning archipelago’s heritage and explore ways to combat issues within the food industry.
#WILDLIFE
Is a cup of this coffee worth a creature’s life? The food scene is rapidly evolving as UFF International Program Consultant Jayden Mackenzie reminds us, “The conversation in kitchens has changed from ‘This is how we do it here’ to ‘What if we did this with that?'”.
This rhetoric will be displayed all around the festival as guests witness experimental cooking, flavor fusions, the genius collaboration of culinary minds bending the kitchen rules and of course, questioning traditional industries to try to find sustainable and successful solutions to growing industry-related issues.
Want to be part of this awesome event? You can still purchase tickets via the website.
The post Why is Ubud Food Festival important for Indonesia? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Forget fridge magnets, learn how to roll smokes as a souvenir in Indonesian

Posted by - April 2, 2018

FRIDGE magnets, sand in a jar and destination T-shirts are among the top vacation souvenirs brought back by holiday-goers who want to make their memories last.
Because nothing says, “We had so much fun!” like colored sand in a bottle shaped like the country you just visited, right? Wrong.
And Temanggung regency in Central Java, Indonesia have already figured this out as they’re switching up conventional vacation offerings with local crafts and tastes such as the art of hand-rolling cigarettes and field-to-cup coffee.
#INDUSTRY NEWS
Go-Jek could be riding into these Southeast Asian countries soon Woro Andijani, head of the Temanggung Culture and Tourism Agency, said to Antara on Wednesday that tobacco and coffee were the town’s main products.
So, what better way to make a trip memorable for visitors than by teaching them about the local hallmark produce, learning the art of hand-rolling cigarettes, even if you don’t smoke, and tasting some of Indonesia’s, if not Asia’s, finest coffee.
A post shared by (@temanggungkeren) on Apr 1, 2018 at 9:23pm PDT
“Rolling up tobacco in cigarettes is unique and can be considered a cultural attraction. Drinking coffee collectively is already something common here, and the same can be expected for hand-rolled cigarettes,” Woro added.
Just as New York welcomes visitors with fresh coffee and hot dog stalls, London has tea and bipolar weather, and Beijing has smog and spicy hotpots, Temanggung wants to establish a trademark familiarity with visitors.
#DESTINATIONS
How many of the world’s rarest passport stamps have you got? Woro added that she hopes to see coffee shops developing on to main roads and all over town.
While learning a new skill such as hand-rolling smokes is fun, Temmanggung also has plenty of natural beauty and amusements to offer.
Set just back from the coast, Temmanggung boasts beautiful ocean views from the incredible mountain tops of Posong and Mount Sumbing.
A post shared by caplang scootz (@ridwanmalik89) on Apr 1, 2018 at 5:25am PDT
Take the kids for a family day out at the Pikatan Waterpark for a splash around.
Or take a stroll up to Sumber Mata Air Umbul Jumprit to see a tiny temple in a cave surrounded by water which is said to heal you.
The post Forget fridge magnets, learn how to roll smokes as a souvenir in Indonesian appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

So Uber got Grabbed but what does it mean for travelers?

Posted by - March 27, 2018

GOODBYE, UBER. It has been swell, and all good things have to come to an end.
But has it, really?
On March 26, 2018, Grab released a statement confirming rumors that the company will be taking over Uber’s operations and assets in Southeast Asia as both ride-sharing giants will merge into one, effectively turning Grab into a ride-hailing juggernaut.
This includes Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
#RIDE SHARING
Uber is not giving up on Singapore Uber, which is preparing for a potential initial public offering in 2019, lost US$4.5 billion last year and is facing fierce competition at home and in Asia, as well as a regulatory crackdown in Europe, Tech Wire Asia wrote.
“Grab today announced that it has acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations. This deal is the largest-ever of its kind in Southeast Asia,” Grab wrote.
“Grab will integrate Uber’s ridesharing and food delivery business in the region into Grab’s existing multi-modal transportation and fintech platform.”
As part of the acquisition, Uber will take a 27.5 percent stake in Grab and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab’s board.
Singapore-based Grab has confirmed purchase of Uber’s Southeast Asian business. Source: Shutterstock.
While Uber employees in Singapore and Malaysia were scrambling to evacuate the offices, Uber’s loyal riders took to social media to wail: “What about my five-star rating on Uber?”, “With no competition, does this mean no more competitive pricing?”, “Will I still be able to order food from UberEats?”
Here’s what you need to know:
What’s going to happen to your Uber account? As a rider, getting a five-star rating on Uber is such an immensely gratifying achievement. What’s going to happen now that the ride-sharing giants are merging?
Your account will still be active, so your five-star rating is not going to just disappear into the virtual abyss. But you can only use it in countries where Uber operates.
With Grab and Uber coming together, your account’s data will be transferred over to the Grab app. Source: Shutterstock.
You will still be able to view your past trips and ratings in the Uber app, but data that you’ve previously shared with Uber (excluding payment information) will be transferred to Grab and it will not be visible in the Grab app.
If you don’t have the Grab app, you will need to download it and register your account.
Will fares change? No competition equals no competitive pricing?
Grab says fret not.
According to Grab, the calculation of fares will still be fair. Source: Shutterstock.
Just like before, fares will continue to be calculated based on a base distance, with an applicable surcharge based on demand and supply, traffic conditions and estimated time taken for the journey.
For the GrabTaxi (Metered) and GrabTaxi (Executive) options, passengers will continue to pay by metered fares set by taxi companies.
Does this mean faster booking? The assumption is that the Uber and Grab merger will result in more drivers on the road and therefore, shorter waiting times and faster bookings.
And that is the dream.
Eventually, riders will be able to experience shorter wait times. Source: Shutterstock.
However, as the companies are going through a transitional period, so will the drivers. Grab will need to get Uber drivers on board the Grab platform and also iron out the kinks.
As a rider, expect some service disruptions during the transition timeframe. But all will be well once the trial and error period is over, and you should be able to enjoy a faster booking experience.
What about UberEats? Did you just start loving Uber’s food delivery app and how you can literally have food delivered right to your doorstep at work?
Unfortunately, UberEats will cease to exist in Southeast Asia in May.
Grab’s food delivery business just bit an entire chunk out of Uber’s. Source: Shutterstock.
In its place will be a new food delivery platform, GrabFood. GrabFood already exists in Indonesia and Thailand but an expansion to Singapore and Malaysia, and other major countries in Southeast Asia, is currently underway.
All your favourite restaurants on UberEats will be available in the new GrabFood app and the prices are expected to remain the same as before. To use the service, you will have to sign up with a fresh account and profile on GrabFood.
I’m an Uber for Business user. What gives? Just like Uber’s service in Southeast Asia, the Uber for Business service will no longer be supported for trips taken in Southeast Asia.
The merger affects Uber for Business users too. Source: Shutterstock.
Uber for Business lets companies set up corporate accounts through which employees can charge their rides directly to their employers.
If you’ve been using Uber for Business, it’s best to start looking for alternatives if you need to be shuttled about in Southeast Asia for work.
#RIDE HAILING
Is Asia all Uber-ed out? The Uber app will continue to operate for two weeks to ensure stability for Uber drivers.
Come April 8, 2018, Uber’s services in Southeast Asia will be unavailable.
The post So Uber got Grabbed but what does it mean for travelers? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Demons and divine tranquility: Bali’s Nyepi celebrations

Posted by - March 9, 2018

WHILE every country around the globe welcomes a New Year, they don’t all follow the Gregorian calendar which dictates December 31 to be New Year’s Eve (NYE).
Normal depictions of NYE involve sozzled party-goers singing Auld Lang Syne and swaying in the arms of a loved one or someone they’ve just met. These are the usual scenes across Europe anyway.
While many people have heard of Chinese New Year – a two-week-long, lion-dance-filled, feasting-with-family festive period – few are familiar with Nyepi festivities in Bali.
#ogoh-ogoh
Nyepi is the Bali New Year.
On Nyepi, it is prohibited to go out, use fire ,electricity, yell, and work, and people have to stay in silence on 17 March 2018.
The day before Nyepi,Balinese people parade on streets carrying “Ogoh-ogoh”.
Photo is small “Ogoh-ogoh” pic.twitter.com/6jsZGAjR1g
— Karisma Bali Tour (@karisma_bali) February 18, 2018
On March 17, the people of Bali will shut down shops, cancel tours, activities, and entertainment. There’s even a rumor that the government will switch off internet access for the day, all in the name of welcoming in the New Year.
Nyepi is a day of silence, purification, and reflection – far from the raucous parties usually associated with NYE.
The day pushes non-committal resolutions and boozy toilet-chats to the sidelines and makes way for an internal rebalancing of your physical and mental states and becoming more in tune with nature.
But this day of self-reflection comes later in the six-day event because rebalancing needs a build-up and can’t be accomplished in just 24-hours.
First, on the festivities schedule is the ceremony of Melasti which occurs three days before Nyepi. Celebrants take all the hanging effigies of Gods down from Balinese villages and take them to be washed in the source of eternal life (rivers and oceans).
Then on the eve of Nyepi, giant papier-mache floats are waltzed around the island’s streets in a parade called Tawur Kesanga.
A post shared by I Komang Regentara (@regentara) on Mar 8, 2018 at 6:22pm PST
The floats are called Ogoh Ogoh and they symbolize the evil spirits that are believed to be on the island.
They are usually carried by villagers while crowds of terrified onlookers spurn the demonic-resembling creations.
A post shared by Padma Resort Legian Bali (@padmalegian) on Mar 8, 2018 at 8:03pm PST
By midnight, most of the floats have been burned to the ground and the celebrators make their way back home to get ready for the following day, which couldn’t be more of a contrast from the previous night’s events.
As the glorious sun shines down upon Bali on March 17, the streets will remain empty. No vehicles will racket through neighborhoods, shops, banks, airports, and attractions, as they will all be closed for islanders to truly reflect on their lives, love, relationships, work, and families. It is a period of complete calm, with no interference.
A post shared by The Laguna Resort & Spa (@thelagunabali) on Mar 2, 2018 at 12:07am PST
Not an utterance is supposed to leave your mouth, no food is meant to be eaten and if you follow the tradition correctly no electricity or flame is supposed to be used either.
This year, the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (the country’s leading authority of Hinduism) is appealing to authorities to get the island disconnected from the internet for the day – so no 20-minute-long Instagram stories.
This year Bali turns the internet off for Nyepi, the day of silence. #selfiesilence #nyepi2018 pic.twitter.com/8OziLhmJEK
— Beau Newham (@beaunewham) March 6, 2018
If you break these century-old rubrics, it is believed you will reveal your location to the wandering demons outside – something nobody wants to linger over their heads
In rural villages especially, there is nothing to break the tranquil silence apart from the bark of a dog, the cry of a baby or the whispering insects in the bushes.
A post shared by The Laguna Resort & Spa (@thelagunabali) on Feb 23, 2018 at 12:06am PST
The day is supposed to allow you to rebalance yourself and think about your values for the forthcoming year.
On the following day, however, expect to get stuck in traffic jams and wait in long queues as everyone emerges from their dwellings on mass and travels to visit family and friends around the island.
A post shared by furamavillasubud (@furamavillasubud) on Mar 30, 2017 at 1:31am PDT
But don’t let this deter you, Nyepi is a truly unique experience and the traditions you practice on this day can be taken forward into everyday life – because it’s important to spend time with yourself.
Happy Nyepi everyone!
The post Demons and divine tranquility: Bali’s Nyepi celebrations appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Get hot under the collar: Asia’s spiciest food

Posted by - March 6, 2018

WE’VE all got that one friend who proclaims, “I don’t think it’s spicy” before chocking on the oxygen that turns to fire in their mouths as they pant for air.
Whether your tolerance for spice is as much a spaghetti bolognese or an Indian vindaloo, the dishes that have made it onto this list are eye-wateringly hot, and that’s before your dinner has even kissed your lips with its fiery tongue.
We present, for your tongue tingling enjoyment, Asia’s hottest dishes.
Chongqing Hotpot – China A post shared by yu (@baibaikathy) on Feb 23, 2018 at 11:18pm PST
While hotpots can be found all over China, the beef-fat-drizzled, kitchen-sink-sized bowl of hot soup, full of fiery fresh and dried chilies, makes the Chongqing hotpot especially spicy.
Accompanying the overwhelming amount of chilies is tenderized meat, usually beef, but chicken and mutton can also be found marinating in there, alongside some 20 other herbs and spices.
Whatever you decide to dip into the soup, be it tofu, vegetables or more meat, your taste buds will be temporarily fixed into a state of spicy euphoria.
Instant Chili Pickle – India A post shared by Kshitij Bisen (@kshitij_bisen) on Aug 20, 2017 at 2:52am PDT
This Indian dish is sure to get you in a pickle with its hot, spicy and tangy flavors. Originating from the Rajasthani region, this pickle has developed into a favorite dish across India.
The dish can be prepared in less than 15 minutes using only one pan. While recipes differ from region to region and household to household, most cooking instructions include fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander and of course as many green chilies as your palate can handle.
Either pinch a pickle and drop it into your mouth, layer them inside a roti and eat it as a fiery wrap filling or enjoy them as a side dish with your main meal.
#HALAL
Halal eats: 10 Muslim-friendly restaurants in Tokyo Jjigae – South Korea A post shared by Q bistro Vegas • Korean Food+ (@qbistrolv) on Mar 5, 2018 at 3:23pm PST
Korean winters last for what seems like years and are bitterly cold. So, what better way to warm up than with dishes that are physically hot and crazy-spicy hot?
Jjigae will warm you up from the inside out.
This dish is one of the most popular dishes in South Korea and can be found in many restaurants and on plenty of dinner tables.
The dish consists of thick cuts of pork, seafood or fresh tofu in a stew-like appearance, it is served in a boiling pot to keep it hot for as long as it takes the diners to chow through it.
The extreme spiciness is added by the red chili paste or from chili-covered-kimchi-cabbage which is a staple in any Korean’s diet.
Hot and spicy Tom Yum – Thailand A post shared by Q bistro Vegas • Korean Food+ (@qbistrolv) on Mar 5, 2018 at 3:23pm PST
Tom Yum soup knocks on each of the tongue’s flavor receptors.
First, it hits the middle where your tongue thinks it’s entirely sour, but as the soup fills your mouth the salty, sweet and bitter senses come into play for a taste explosion.
The soup combines chicken or seafood with citrus and Thai Bird’s Eye chilies.
These rank between 50,000 and 100,000 on the spicy scale, also known as the Scoville scale. In comparison, a jalapeno chili only reaches around 5,000 on the chart.
Eat with caution or expect steam to escape your ears.
#NIGHTLIFE
Asia’s 50 Best Bars is coming to Singapore Sambal – Indonesia A post shared by Larissa Salvador ride (@larisse.salvador) on Sep 26, 2017 at 7:44pm PDT
This may not be a dish eaten on its own unless you’re a masochist or desire stomach ulcers, but it deserves a very worthy mention.
It can be found in almost every corner of Southeast Asia, just waiting to give a fiery condiment-kick to any dish.
This hot sauce contains the reddest chilies, shallots, sugar and sometimes fruits. Depending on where you try the paste, it may also contain shrimp – but it will always leave your lips tingling.
If you’re yet to sample this saucy little number, go for it but go easy, unless you’re happy to buy all the cucumbers and milk in the store to create a cooling off sanctuary for your mouth.
Spicy Buffalo Wings – Singapore A post shared by Sunset Grill & Pub Pte Ltd (@sunsetgrillandpub) on Aug 3, 2017 at 4:18am PDT
“What the heck, buffalo wings?” is probably what you’re saying to yourself. But these little nibbles of sticky deliciousness pack a hefty punch and Singaporeans love them.
One of the most notorious places to try devilishly hot chicken wings is at the Sunset Grill and Pub in Jalan Kayu, Singapore.
Daredevils flock in numbers to this no-frills restaurant to experience some of the world’s hottest buffalo wings.
The spiciness scale here is ranked from one to 35, and according to the reports from those brave enough to sample the hot-chicken-glazes, anything above 10 is likely to scald your mouth and send tears streaming down your face.
“We took up the challenge to try level 35. I was tearing so much, but happy tears”, attested one brave soul.
This list is in no way extensive, and we’re sure there are plenty of other sizzling specialties hiding around across Asia. What has been your most extreme dish?
The post Get hot under the collar: Asia’s spiciest food appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Foodies rejoice: Ubud Food Festival line up revealed

Posted by - February 16, 2018

INDONESIA’S most anticipated food festival has just released its full line-up and it’s a real tantalizing treat for foodies everywhere.
Ubud Food Festival is spectacularly cooking its way into a fourth year and the festival is set to be more delicious, inspiring and flavorful than ever before.
Ubud is known as the cultural and culinary capital of Indonesia, so where better to showcase dishes from one of Southeast Asia’s most gastronomically revered nations?
#SINGAPORE
Ready to chow down at Singapore’s Michelin Guide Street Food Festival? This year’s festival theme is Generasi Inovasi, which focuses on young Indonesians who are tech-savvy and driving not only the nation’s booming innovation economy but also transforming the entire spectrum of the nation’s food industry.
Ubud Food Festival will showcase nearly 100 chefs, restauranteurs, farmers, social entrepreneurs and foodie innovators who are shaping and developing Indonesia’s makan scene and also introducing exciting ways of eating and exploring food across the globe.
A post shared by Ubud Food Festival (@ubudfoodfest) on Nov 27, 2017 at 11:45pm PST
Across the three-day event in April, foodies will be able to delve into Indonesia’s diverse cuisines and learn about the vibrant home-grown produce found across the paradise archipelago.
So, who’s coming to town? This year, the festival will be welcoming a variety of Asia’s best-loved, inspirational chefs who will be showcasing their culinary magic, running workshops and engaging an intrigued audience with Q&A sessions.
While all the professionals showcasing at the event have something special to get you excited, there are a few highly distinguished chefs that will be sure to get your mouth watering and your tummy rumbling.
A post shared by Ubud Food Festival (@ubudfoodfest) on Nov 29, 2017 at 1:17am PST
Among the esteemed culinary experts popping in to inspire your palate is Rydo Anton, Head Chef at Bangkok’s double-Michelin starred restaurant, Gaggan. Holding the top spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for three years running and coming in at an impressive seventh in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
A post shared by Rydo Anton (@rydoanton89) on Mar 5, 2017 at 1:19am PST
Anton will be teaming up with local heroes Locavore to create a serious foodie event. It’s not to be missed.
Guests can also catch Singapore’s Meta restaurant chef Sun Kim cooking up a storm alongside other chefs such as Australia’s Sam Aisbett, Sri Lanka’s Rishi Naleendra, and South Korea’s Jun Lee, all of whom received Michelin stars for their pioneering cooking style and fantastic flavors.
A post shared by Meta Restaurant (@metasingapore) on Oct 19, 2016 at 6:36pm PDT
Indonesia’s resident chefs will also be serving up devilishly good dishes to showcase Indonesia’s cultural heritage.
Pastry queen Chef Kim Pangestu of Kimmy Patisserie and Nomz Kitchen & Pastry will be creating the perfect bites to satisfy your sweet tooth.
MasterChef Indonesia judge Rinrin Marinka and Chef Andrian Ishak, whose Namaaz Dining has been described as Indonesia’s first molecular gastronomy restaurant, will be joined by culinary storyteller Ade Putri Paramadita and respected food writer Jed Doble.
A post shared by Kimmy by @kimpangestu (@kimmypatisserie) on Mar 9, 2016 at 8:28pm PST
“We’re so excited to bring together almost 100 speakers to dish up our fourth Ubud Food Festival,” commented festival founder and director Janet DeNeefe.
“From the Balinese farmers to the app designers, the social entrepreneurs to the world-class chefs, they all show the reason why the world should be paying attention to Indonesia’s incredible creativity and ingenuity, and of course its fantastic food. We look forward to learning from these rising stars and culinary heroes with you in April, and feasting together too!”
#ICE CREAM
Game of cones: Kuala Lumpur’s best ice cream and desserts However, this is only a small selection of the talented culinary geniuses that you can see, meet and learn from at the festival. Check out the website for full details, tickets and a spectacular programme, sure to get you wishing every day was the Ubud Food Festival.
The post Foodies rejoice: Ubud Food Festival line up revealed appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Islamic tourism is on the rise, but who’s winning the race?

Posted by - November 20, 2017

ISLAMIC tourism, halal tourism, and Muslim friendly tourism are hot topics at the moment and it is no wonder. The global Islamic tourism industry is steadily growing and is estimated to be worth US$220 billion by 2020.
#BRUNEI
Indonesia is focusing on halal tourism to attract more Muslim visitors Islamic tourism denotes the leisure trips that are sought after by those whom compliance with religious observations, when away from home, is a fundamental consideration. Alongside Islamic tourism, is halal and Muslim tourism, with similar definitions.
The rise of the Muslim population is set to reach 2.8 billion by 2050, which will equate to around 30 percent of worlds total. With this increase, comes a considerable rise in the amount spent in the Islamic tourism sector. The World Travel and Tourism Council calculates that Muslims travelers will generate US$238 billion in the global tourism industry by 2019.
Young Muslims to boost Islamic tourism market to $300bn https://t.co/VUJ0KsRSQc pic.twitter.com/wW48eEckZr
— The National (@TheNationalUAE) October 26, 2017
Malaysia Malaysia is currently the front-runner in attracting Islamic tourism. Much of the necessary infrastructure is already in place, with roughly 20 million Muslims already residing in the country, the hospitality sector is well equipped.
“Since 2011, Malaysia has been recognized as the top holiday destination for Muslim tourists from around the world,” Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister for Tourism and Culture, told New Straits Times.
“Tourism players from around the world referred to Malaysia when developing an Islamic tourism framework in their respective countries.”
`Malaysia must sustain its momentum in the global Islamic tourism industry' https://t.co/eoPFZQJlNY #halaltravel #Malaysia @TourismMalaysia pic.twitter.com/TvPr9Cdi2t
— Crescent Rating (@Crescentrating) November 16, 2017
Earlier this year, Malaysia was named the most popular destination for Muslim travelers for the third year at the MasterCard’s Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2017, which was co-published by a leading authority in halal travel and tourism, CrescentRating.
However, other APAC countries are being recognized for the efforts being made to attract Muslims and create a wholesome environment for those who follow the Islamic faith.
Brunei Darussalam If you are into Islamic tourism and love to visit #mosques, then you should head to #Brunei Darussalam, home to many beautiful mosques. See here useful travel info:https://t.co/BdxI5lJ4eC#BruneiTravel #bruneiDarussalam pic.twitter.com/bnCB6vSnM7
— Shahnam Ali (@nomadicpaki) November 11, 2017
Close behind Malaysia is Brunei Darussalam. Located in the beautiful Indonesian Archipelago, intersecting rivers run through the country, descending from the hilly hinterlands.
Brunei has identified Islamic tourism as a way to boost the economy and diversify the already strong tourism industry. Beyond simply facilitating Islamic travelers, the country is also eager to educate those who are interested in learning about Islam.
Brunei Tourism works with special tour operators like Freme Travel Services to offer Islamic experience tour packages that showcase Sultanate’s Malay Islamic monarchy and trips to the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, Darul ‘Ifta Building that exhibits Islamiartifactsts, The Royal Mausoleum, Brunei History Centre among others.
Singapore Singapore street food is some of the best in the world. Source / shutterstock.com
Muslims only make up a minority of Singapore’s population, at just 15 percent. However, Singapore prides itself on its multicultural values and through this, Muslim travelers can rest assured that their every need will be catered for. There is plenty of halal-certified restaurants all over Singapore and for those wanting to explore where the locals eat, many street vendors offer halal options too.
Taiwan Despite pork featuring heavily on many menus across Taiwan, the country comes highly recommended for Muslim travelers. The country’s tourism board has made a huge effort to cater to Muslims dietary requirements as well as building dedicated prayer rooms in hotels.
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