Five Asian castles

If someone says the magic word ‘castle’, what image springs to mind? Perhaps you think of the mystery-soaked monuments that cast their long shadows across medieval Europe. Or perhaps you think of the English king Arthur and the court of Camelot.

But Europe holds no monopoly on castles. Asia hosts scores. Here are five of Asia’s most striking and strange castles, which transcend bricks-and-mortar, and border on marvellous. Their haunting, massive presence evokes the sound of drums and thunder. Read more at Agoda..




Sex and Zen: Asia’s naughtiest night spots

Forget about Asia’s sappy romantic honeymoon islands. Asia also hosts some of the world’s most luridly lively party zones that make for a heady brew of hedonism.
Such a concept might not be to everyone’s taste, in which case, you’d be advised to steer clear and perhaps stop reading now. But otherwise, come on a tawdry tour of some of Asia’s steamiest districts — neon hives of vice haunted by hookers and dubious characters with names like “Fletch the Letch”. Read more at ninemsn.

Succulent Asian fruit

Apples, bananas and oranges get boring eventually and start tasting like sawdust. If you struggle to eat such mainstream fruit and thus fail to ‘get your vits’, as Aussies say, join the club and discover some exotic species of fruit popular around Asia.

If you mix them up, these succulent fruits might just revive your jaded tastebuds and make consuming vitamins more enticing. You can always try them blended at increasingly common blender-powered Asian smoothie stalls. Read more at Agoda

Asia: Insider Guide To Five Asian Safaris

The human race stands at the brink of an epic statistical milestone. The UN has set October 31 of this year as the date the human population is expected to surpass seven billion people. As our numbers swell, the wild animals that we treat like awkward guests have ever less legroom.

Take a look at some Asian survival outposts – conservation zones where animals take precedence over people.  The line-up runs the gamut from mouse hares to mighty Komodo dragons. Read more at Agoda…

Asia’s Magic Kingdom: Hong Kong Disneyland

A recent Hong Kong Standard headline read: ‘Fun parks go for same theme – price hikes.’ The Standard reported that, like another Hong Kong attraction, Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland plans to hike prices – from HK$350 (adult peak, day ticket) up to a figure nudging HK$400, partly because of plans to expand the theme park.

For those who buy into the magic embodied by Tinkerbell and her starry wand, this forecast rise is inconsequential. In the field of classic folktales sprinkled with fairies and talking animals, nobody offers more wow factor than Disney.

Like any good fairytale, however, the story of Hong Kong Disneyland is not without woe. The park, which stands on the island of Lantau at the Pearl River’s mouth, has had its share of teething troubles. Read more at Agoda

Five Asian palaces

Oddly, the Asian landmark most like a classic fairytale palace is a giant crypt. That is, the Taj Mahal, which had to be excluded from this round-up of Asian palaces because it is not actually a palace.

Palaces can seem like a European invention: the stuff of Britain and Bavaria, which feature them richly in fairytales. Better known for temples, Asia nonetheless has plenty of palaces – some magnificent, others just discreetly posh.

Here’s a peek behind the curtain at some of Asia’s most remarkable palaces. Drool at these enviable homes, free from the mundane realm of rent, mortgage repayments, and foreclosures. Read more at Agoda

Amazing Asian dive sites

So you want to go somewhere wildly different but cannot afford to book a Virgin Galactic flight? Never mind. Plenty of extraordinary otherworldly action happens right under the waves, in the seas of Asia.

Diving Southeast Asia co-author David Espinosa expresses particular passion for the Raja Ampat area in West Papua. The area’s reefs are the most beautiful Espinosa has seen in 20 years of diving. Read more at Agoda…