Asia Lifestyle Magazine Asia Lifestyle Magazine - Your Insight to Asia Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:13:08 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Asia Lifestyle Magazine 32 32 Pandemic Inspired Art Exhibition Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:13:08 +0000 An art exhibition inspired by the pandemic. This is the tale of an amazing artist known as Bunny!

Pandemic-Inspired-Art-ExhibitionDolores De Sade is no stranger to South East Asia. During what should have been a romantic tropical holiday, De Sade, who is fondly known as Bunny, was witness to the 2014 tsunami that unexpectedly ravaged so much of Thailand’s picturesque coastline. This colossal tragedy affected millions of people across the world on this Boxing Day that will forever be etched into people’s memories. Bunny and her partner were staying in Krabi and were able to run to the hills and climb 1260 steps to the top of Wat Tham Sua where they watched the events unfold.

The horrors that unfurled led Bunny to take stock of her life, and she decided that she would run towards her dreams with a sense of freedom. 

Upon her return to England, Bunny quit her job as a lecturer of history at the University of York and enrolled as a mature student to study art. She studied in an eclectic inner-city college that embraced a haphazard blend of students ranging from teenagers to pension gatherers. She loved every moment and learned to appreciate the range of abilities and skills that her fellow students possessed to be creative. 

Dolores De Sade - Printing

Bunny fell in love and specialised in an ancient printmaking technique called Intaglio; a detailed print that is produced by cutting, scratching or etching a design into the surface of a copper, zinc or aluminium plate. Through a complexity of various procedures, ink is forced into the grooves, and the plate is pressed tightly through a printing press. The final appearance of the print is affected by many factors, including wax consistency, and the ink and paper used during the production process. 

The Royal College of Art is the world’s most influential postgraduate institution of art and design. It was here that Bunny connected with history and tradition and was privileged to use showstopping technology from the Great Exhibition of 1851. Bunny became aware that many a moth-eaten book and faded journal illustration would have come to life from this press. Visual senses still resonate more flatteringly with these deep-rooted images of forgotten scenery than they do with modern technology and aerial landscapes from Google Maps.

Dolores De Sade- Render

Bunny has exhibited far and wide and has abounding exhibits in The Royal Collection UK, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The British Library, Ashmolean Museum, Royal Shakespeare Company, RCA, Sir John Cass School of Art, as well as in public collections in China, Thailand and Japan.

During her extensive travels across the wondrous continent of Asia, Bunny became fascinated by the eastern traditions of landscape and horticulture in Japan, Malaysia, China, Vietnam and of course, Thailand. “I’ve discovered that societies see compact and miniature versions of nature representing larger landscapes and ways of life. These examples are contained and focused but demonstrate the inherent struggle to contain and construct. They are also an exploration of how to live within, yet fully appreciate the vastness of the universe” Bunny explains. “I started this project on bonsai, suiseki (stone appreciation) and ikebana (Japanese floristry) 18 months ago. All are common throughout Asia, with various public shows and competitions running throughout the year”. 

Dolores De Sade

In July, Bunny was due to host a two-month funded residency and exhibition at the centre dedicated to printmaking at Shirakino Art Village in Kyushu, Japan. She should have devoted her time to masters from the Nippon Suiseki Association and Sogetsu Foundation and studying ikebana and bonsai. Instead, the global pandemic had other ideas and vast travel restrictions and lockdown rules were enforced, and the exhibition was postponed. Bunny felt the restrictions of her own movements, so she explored the bound, trapped and restricted aspects in bonsai, suiseki and ikebana. 

The art exhibition, Everything is Great Here in Wonderland at Den of Creative, The Road Less Travelled in Koh Samui was much more introspective than her previous works. Bunny spoke of herself feeling trapped and constrained and how the trees were kept in similar restrictive and unnatural conditions. “The trees are leafless but surviving. They continue to grow, despite the torture! Twisted and distorted, but still coping. A mountain-like scene is created from the display of a rock –  this stone will remain barren and silent, but it will continue being a stone. The bonsai trees can only be grown and kept with complicated support, scaffolding and bondage to create the desired shape”. 

She talked about the humour in the notion of humans struggling to conquer nature. “The difficulty, often futility, of the supreme efforts needed to make a tree grow a branch at the desired angle and contortion. Man (and it is most often men!) conquering nature, spending years and considerable effort to make a small twig bend in the direction that they want”. 

The recent opening night of Dolores De Sade’s exhibition was a roaring success, and the community emerged happily from their cocoons and shared in Bunny’s notions of entrapment. A cellist, pianist and a couple of didgeridoo-ists created melodic tunes, fabulously sexy cocktails were served, and the inspiring exhibition left the arty gathering feeling replete, recharged and happy. The art exhibition will continue until 30 September.


]]> 0
Beautiful Angels, Fabulous Cuisine and Master Chefs Combat Covid Wed, 09 Sep 2020 08:33:16 +0000 The 9th Floor Restaurant and Bar has always been a Phuket gem of great style, cuisine and conviviality, which in these challenging times, are three excellent antidotes to the potential for gloom which might claim us!                        Pioneering as always, the 9th Floor brings you a kaleidoscope of fabulous promotions throughout September to beat the viral blues!

Situated in the very heart of (now sleepy) Patong, The 9th Floor Restaurant and Bar has established itself as an iconic universe of elegance and style with wonderful views over Patong, in which fabulous cuisine is served by beautifully-dressed waitresses welcoming you with an inviting “Wai” of Thai greeting.                                                                                                                      It is a haven of hedonistic conviviality and great taste, in every sense of that word…… ingredients which may be a little hard to enjoy in the current life of Phuket. 

Always at the cutting edge of innovation, The 9th Floor is tackling the present possibility for stay-at-home boredom, head-on with a carnival of dining and fun events every Thursday/Friday and Saturday through the month of September.

From show-casing Thailand’s leading chefs in their ‘Chefs-Without-Kitchens’ weekends, to ‘Angel’s Treats’ special featured menus, to a dine-and-stay promotion with the Deevana Resort and Spa (a mere short stagger after supper from the restaurant itself), The 9th Floor is not taking these virally-challenging times lying down,……….. and nor should you!

Leave behind the potential to lock your door and stay at home and join the uber-talented chefs, beautiful 9th Floor ‘angels’ and other hedonistic pleasure-seekers in celebrating great food, great fun and great life itself throughout September.

As you leave the annoying viral world behind and drift into the warm embrace of The 9th Floor’s welcoming space, you’ll take in the huge floor-to ceiling glass windows with the Andaman Sea dancing on the moonlit horizon. Feel the cool sea breezes wafting gently in from the ocean as you seat yourself at the bar serving terrific cocktails, local and international beers and offering a wine cellar with over 300 labels featuring a comprehensive selection of classic European wines, established New World favorites and emerging vintners and regions.

 One of the beautiful ‘angels’ appears, as if by magic, and hands you a menu to peruse. You’ll discover a wide selection of the best award-winning Mediterranean food in Thailand, as well as Alpine specialties and a superb Thai selection of dishes., not to mention the special ‘Chefs Without Kitchens’ and other events listed below.                                                                                      Relax as the cool jazz plays in the background and glinting wine glasses sparkle in the candle-glow and realise that there is nowhere in Phuket quite like the 9th Floor, and when you want to enjoy fabulous cuisine, warm hospitality and indeed “heavenly food served by angels” as an antidote to these challenging times, we are ready and waiting to serve you. 


The 9th Floor Restaurant and Bar,

47 Rat-U-Thid Rd. Sky Inn Condotel, 

Patong 83150 Phuket  

Tel: +66 (0) 76 344 311

]]> 1
The 9th Floor features Chefs Without Kitchens promotion to counter Covid Wed, 09 Sep 2020 08:21:04 +0000 Like Picasso without a paint-brush or Shakespeare bereft of his beloved quill, a master chef without a kitchen in which to work his culinary magic is a sorry sight indeed.                                         But fear not, the ever-resourceful and innovative 9th Floor Restaurant and Bar in Patong is counteracting these trying times with a series of ‘Chefs Without Kitchens’ promotions in which they will showcase some of Thailand’s foremost culinary masters doing what they do best…………..making us all laugh and enjoy ourselves again with magical cuisine and shared fun times.

Each month, the famous 9th Floor Restaurant situated in the heart of Patong will bring in a top, Thailand-based chef to prepare a fabulous menu and showcase their magical talents. Read about the 9th Floor here

The choice of these top chefs features both those currently without work, as well as those stranded at home because their normal kitchen is closed, even though they may still be employed.

The 9th Floor is delighted to welcome Ian John Thomason winner of Thailand’s coveted ‘Iron Chef’ as the first promoted ‘Chef Without Kitchens’ preparing a special menu on the evenings of Thursday 10th, Friday 11th and Saturday 12th of September.

Chef Ian is no stranger to our island, having plied his trade at the erstwhile Sheraton Grande Laguna Luxury Collection Phuket. 

Chef Ian started his journey in the capital, Bangkok at Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel in 2008 and his most recent assignment was at the fabled Amanpuri resort. Prior to that held Executive Chef positions at the Banyan Tree Phuket and the Luxury Collection, Naka Island, Phuket.

Chef Ian graduated from college in England, starting his professional career at the famous Gleneagles Hotel Resort in Scotland, then went on to cook in some of London’s most renowned kitchens including The Dorchester, The Savoy, and finally Sofitel London St. James, where he worked under the legendary Michelin Star Chef Albert Roux.

Every month the 9th Floor will bring you another stellar ‘Chef Without Kitchens’ preparing another specially-crafted gourmet sensation, and ten percent of every menu price goes to a charity chosen but the month’s celebrity chef.                                                            What could be better than that…. beat the Covid blues by enjoying fabulous food and wine, in glorious surroundings while helping out those in need?

Chefs Without Kitchens @

]]> 0
Top 5 places to live in Asia Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:15:51 +0000 Asia is overflowing with the world’s oldest cultures, is bursting with colour and vibrancy, incredible architecture, divine food, and friendly locals. Choose from the frantically-paced streets of Hanoi, Bangkok or Tokyo or the dreamiest beaches in Phuket or Halong Bay. Asia is fully loaded with captivating journeys that offer adventure or inner peace and solace. Asia never ceases to enthral new visitors, just as it has for centuries.

Trading routes have dramatically forged competitive empires as goods and philosophies were exchanged throughout the region. Asia’s ambitious people gave rise to some of the world’s most pioneering ideas and technology that can still be learned from today. There are ancient wonders and sacred spaces to be discovered, from the Great Wall of China to the temples of Angkor and Bagan and the lesser-known wonders of Nepal and Sri Lanka. 

Phuket, Thailand 

The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is a long-term heartthrob for many. Its unique blend of flamboyant, serenity, and history makes it the ideal location for expatriates that enjoy a balance of western facilities and Asian culture. The island is developing at a rate of knots, yet it still manages to retain its historic charm that dates back to the Chinese settlers and the times of tin mining.

Across the island, there are swathes of nature, including jungles, pine tree-lined beaches, and ancient rubber plantations. Hot spots such as Phuket Old Town, Nai Harn, Kata, Karon and Cherngtalay offer a resplendent fusion of traditional Thai and contemporary Asian living conveniences for residents seeking a harmonious living. 


View this post on Instagram


#Phuket #villa #beautiful #islandlife #travel #asia #expatlife #luxury #lifestyle #nofilter

A post shared by Asia Lifestyle Magazine (@asialifestylemagazine) on

Shambhala, the perfect, up-and-coming location for discerning residents. Click here to see a 360 tour of Shambhala Villas, Phuket.

Phuket is known for its sporting-vibe and hosts annual marathons and Iron Man competitions; its convenient airport serves as an accessible hub to the rest of Asia. For families, it has some of the most excellent international schools, entertainment, dining and shopping facilities. 

Penang, Malaysia 

Another island favourite, Penang, is famed for its sparkling waters off Batu Ferringhi Beach and historical sites. The island happily brags about its culinary offerings which are a tasty blend of Chinese, Tamil, and Malay influences, which result in fiery curries, noodle dishes and a plethora of curious street cuisine. 


View this post on Instagram


#Penang #Malaysia #Street #asialifestyle #asia #travel

A post shared by Asia Lifestyle Magazine (@asialifestylemagazine) on

A UNESCO World Heritage Site sits proudly in the capital – Georgetown is in the north-eastern corner of the island. It is dotted with old-fashioned colonial-era mansions, clan houses, ornate temples, a Little India, and many Chinese shop lots.

Penang is an affordable island and boasts a highly acclaimed international school, it is lively with various restaurants, night markets, and hawker stalls. The great outdoors gives residents rainforests and beaches, and a vibrant history that melds seamlessly into contemporary living.

Colombo, Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka is a relatively new destination for expat living. It has all the excitement of living in a post-civil-war and post-colonial era. The country is discovering itself; it’s culturally rich, complex and full of religious subtleties. 

Colombo is an island just off mainland Sri Lanka that is quickly evolving and becoming a city that is comfortable for foreign settlers; people can choose to live in the thick of the hectic city or have a little more peace on the shores of the Laccadive Sea. Weekend jaunts can lead to the exploration of remote beaches, mountain vistas, the jungle or historical and religious temples, and of course seemingly endless tea plantations. 

Colombo has a good collection of international schools for those expats settling with children; there are some impressive farmers markets at the weekends for the freshest fruits and vegetables and some relatively modern shopping facilities. The food offerings are very similar to Indian cuisine, so expect some firey feasts. 

Bali, Indonesia 

This tropical island is known for its breath-taking beaches, meandering rivers and never-ending jungle scapes, temples and holistic living. There are many activities for the intrepid explorer including whitewater rafting, diving and hiking past the Sekumpul waterfalls, Tegalalang rice terraces and of course the Instagrammable Handara Gate.  

Various areas are suitable for differing expats. For those hipsters who love healthy food, yoga, surfing and a bustling nightlife then Canggu is the place to be. Ubud is further inland and surrounded by rice plantations and jungle, it’s been brushed with the reputation of being the spiritual town of the island; it has lots of divine eateries, activities and an international school. 


View this post on Instagram


#bali #indonesia #islandlife #technomad #travel #asia #expatlife #asialifestyle #beautiful #Beachlife

A post shared by Asia Lifestyle Magazine (@asialifestylemagazine) on

For beach lovers, then Denpasar and Seminyak are better bets; accommodation here is upscale and off the party-route. The beaches are clean and calm. 

Da Nang, Vietnam

The Vietnamese are undeniably some of the friendliest in Asia. They always have a warm welcome and a beaming smile for visitors. Vietnam is a relatively small country that is cocooned by China, Laos and Cambodia; it boasts the famed Mekong River which flows from the high canyons of China and eventually out to sea through Vietnam. 

Da Nang is a true beach city with over 30km of white sandy beaches that are endlessly lined with palm trees; My Khe Beach and Lang Co are the favourites and offer lots of watersports for those with an adventurous spirit. A mere 20 minutes away is Hoi An, a perfectly preserved Asian trading village that has been crowned a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Further north is Hue, Vietnam’s ancient ex-capital city; it holds incredible history and sites of great importance. 


View this post on Instagram


#Vietnam #travel #asia #expatlife #asialifestyle #weloveasia

A post shared by Asia Lifestyle Magazine (@asialifestylemagazine) on

Da Nang has ample employment opportunities and offers more cost-effective living expenses whilst still boasting the contemporary requirements of an eternal expat. The city has a clean environment in which to live, a stable infrastructure and exceptional living standards. Within the last decade, it has won the ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City Award.

Like, Share, Tell Us Your Thoughts in the Comments Below! 😊

]]> 0
Shambhala Grand Villa, Phuket Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:09:38 +0000 shambala villas phuketNestled into the bustling suburb of Cherngtalay on the north-west coast of Phuket lies an unexpected haven of peace and tranquillity.

The Shambhala Grand Villas is a small collection of profound homes that have been carefully developed by Boon Yongsakul and his team at Boat Pattana. Precise feng shui principles play an essential part in the design and placement of fundamental features. Architects have cleverly used elements from ancient Tibetan design and carefully blended styles from the modern orient to create a unique and serene home.

Check out the virtual tour below!

Boon is the eldest son of property entrepreneur Kanit Yongsakul who has earned his warranted reputation for developing Boat Lagoon, one of the most highly regarded marinas in Asia. Boon is an alchemist and seemingly turns everything he touches into gold. He was born and raised in Phuket, and first and foremost, he wants his birthplace to always “be a better place to live”. He is known for his compassion and kindness and also for his drive to become the leading boutique developer in southern Thailand. His Boat Pattana business partnership with Khun Panupong was forged over a decade ago was based on their mutual passion for providing beautiful, yet affordable homes. 

Inside the beautiful Shambhala Villas , Phuket

The new development is a calm oasis that allows its residents to feel cocooned and nurtured, yet it lies just steps away from a street that hums with activity. The modern interiors effortlessly connect to the tropical gardens and nature, affording the idealist living that Phuket has to offer in a tropical climate. The international and domestic airports are only 20-minutes away, making access in and out of the island efficient and easy.

Click to See The Virtual Tour Of The Shambhala Show Villa

Phuket, the pearl of the Andaman

The western coast of Thailand’s largest island boasts a myriad of exciting adventures.  Long walks on the local pristine beaches of Layan, Surin or Bang Tao, excursions to connect with sea-gypsies living in floating villages, exploring rainforests with gentle giants at ethical elephant sanctuaries; and wandering through narrow streets discovering historic Sino-Portuguese hubs of art, food, and markets. Phuket has a mysterious sense of tradition and a long history of Chinese settlers from the times of tin mining.

The Shambhala development is a collection of smart, contemporary, and architecturally attention-grabbing villas. Each villa is bursting with bright, sunshine-filled spaces; the open plan dining and living area merge seamlessly into the outdoor pool and lounge space, making it ideal for relaxing during the day and entertaining in the evenings as the ever-changing skies turn to stars.  

Inside Bedroom Shambhala Villas Phuket

The large and eye-catching accommodation surrounds the feature swimming pool and offers two or three master bedrooms, each with en-suite bathroom facilities. The properties are perfect for residential or investment purposes. Elegant furnishings, fittings, and electrical appliances mean that each home is ready to let upon completion. The plot sizes vary and are from 260 sqm to 600 sqm and offer ample space and plenty of privacy. 

Smart purchasing options mean that Thai buyers can purchase a villa on a freehold basis, while international buyers can acquire a unit on a leasehold basis, which guarantees rights for up to an impressive 90 years.

The Laguna and the Boat Avenue area of Phuket is long-established and well known for its chic urban appeal, lavish homes, white sandy beaches, a championship golf course, superior shopping facilities, and fashionable nightlife offerings. Boat Avenue boasts one of the most excellent night markets that Phuket has to offer each Friday night with a vast array of delicious Thai and artisanal food, jewellery, organic and vegan products, clothing, and art. 

Click here to see the Boat Avenue Directory to discover nearby businesses

UWCT International School, a mere 15-minutes drive from Shambhala, presents outstanding educational facilities by offering the three International Baccalaureate programmes. The English day and boarding school is home to almost 500 students varying from 2 to 18 years old. The comprehensive education programme helps children successfully navigate global changes and provides an appropriately balanced curriculum of academia, wellness, mindfulness, language, natural and sciences, mathematics, service, physical and outdoor education, and the arts. 

This vibrant area has recently seen the opening of Porto de Phuket, a new style open-air shopping mall that offers an extensive range of outlets for the discerning shopper.  Blue Tree Phuket is a world-class leisure and entertainment destination that has various inland beaches and lagoons offering exciting activities, cliff jumping, zipline and waterslides, numerous food outlets, and an arena for live music and other shows. Fitness and mountain biking trails meander through the 56-acre park. In 2021, Robinsons Lifestyle Shopping Mall will add to the distinguished collection of shopping, cinematic, and entertainment offerings in this thriving locale. 

Email the team at Shambhala Villas directly to find out more.

[contact-form-7] ]]> 1
Viral Campaign Launched By Orangutan Alliance Fri, 21 Aug 2020 11:59:51 +0000 The Orangutan Alliance launched its latest impactful campaign entitled #MyStepToProtect to pay tribute to International Orangutan Day on 19 August 2020. The viral campaign is to remind people that it’s not too late to facilitate collective change for the planet, through living a more sustainable lifestyle. Viva La Body has created organic, palm oil-free soap with Orangutan Alliance and they intend to sell at least 2000 bars in the first month.


Maria Abadilla, the founder of Orangutan Alliance, says of the global movement “We are excited to launch the #MyStepToProtect campaign to generate awareness, action and funds for conservation. For each soap purchased, we can plant one tree which is critical to the habitat protection of over 100 mammals, 382 bird species and important carbon storage for the planet. We aim to plant at least 2000 trees in a month.”

For every soap purchased, at least one tree will be planted and protected starting in the Leuser ecosystem in Sumatra; the world’s most diverse rainforest and oxygen system. This area is the last place on earth where critically endangered Sumatran elephants, rhinoceros, tigers and orangutans co-exist with over 100 other mammals and hundreds of bird species.

Orangutans share 98% of human DNA. The Orangutan Alliance is the authoritative voice that is raising awareness around the globe about the impact of unsustainable palm oil production, which is having devastating effects on wildlife, habitat and human rights.
Unsustainable palm oil is the main threat to the survival of orangutans and many other endangered species as well as deforestation, particularly in Borneo and Sumatra. Palm oil appears in over 50% of all packaged goods and accounts for 35% of the world’s vegetable oil production.

“We also want to encourage collective action through this campaign and to get people thinking deeply about how they can be part of the solution of protecting endangered species and climate change. There are so many trivial social media messages flooding our feeds; and there is an urgent need to encourage people, their friends and family to care for the planet and work towards being the generation that ends deforestation forever,” said Abadilla

In addition to the sale of the soaps, Orangutan Alliance ask people across the world support their campaign by sharing #MyStepToProtect challenge on Instagram while tagging three friends with a post on the steps that they are taking to protect the planet and critically endangered species.
“We have had great feedback on the campaign so far with media, influencers, and industry leaders keen to get on board and support the cause. More and more people are looking at the environmental state of the world and want to know how they can help and be part of the solution. It’s very encouraging to see an important step forward for the conservation of our planet and the wildlife that inhabit it.”

The Orangutan Alliance is asking for people to commit to:
Purchase their special edition soap to plant a tree through or for only $10.00 AUD

Create collective change during the pandemic by asking people to join the viral challenge and post how they contribute to the protection of the planet and endangered species.

The Orangutan Alliance is a Melbourne-based International not-for-profit advocating to end the use of unsustainable palm oil. They provide palm oil-free certification, research, advocacy and support clear labelling of oils including palm oil in all products which provide consumers with choice. All Orangutan Alliance profits go into grassroots projects that promote conservation, education and reforestation programmes.

Maria Abadilla, founder and spokesperson, Orangutan Alliance

Phone +61 (0) 411 881 248
The press pack includes images and videos.

]]> 0
Navigating a Business in Post Covid Asia Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:12:21 +0000 The first half of 2020 being so eventful, I shudder to think what a second wave will do to economies and livelihoods across the world. Like other entrepreneurs and self-employed person with a business in Asia. We got hit by Covid-19 fallout. Faced with hard choices at every turn. 

Tourism was the main flow of income for my entire adult life. As people throw around the phrase ‘new normal’ repeatedly, there’s an elephant in the room. Do we wait, trying to ride out the storm, or drop everything and look for something new?

Tourism related businesses will return, it’s just a question of when. 

Personally, I was hit hard by the economic shockwave. Caught with my proverbial trousers down, right in the middle of a new tourist reliant startup, sadly just before I was about to see a much needed return of investment.

Faced with the expected outgoings a business owner has, along with the responsibility of raising 3 children, I rightly went through all the emotions of lockdown, ups, downs, lefts and rights. Going from being an avid networker, having 4 to 5 meetings a day with multiple income streams, dropping to a big fat zero.

Speaking with friends all over the world, it’s clear that everyone has been affected in different ways. An important point for me snapping out of my self pity party, was realising that life goes on. People still have money and it may not be business as usual but there’s still business.

Economic uncertainty has seen nearly every business employing the oldest sales trick in the book, discounts. Everywhere you look, there is a price drop, an offer, a deal to ensure sales keep going.

Being frugal is the ‘new normal’ for the masses and dropping prices is the weapon of choice for businesses to attract them. 

If a business has endless funds then they can target consumers with ads, facebook, instagram, google etc. Ad campaigns however can be money pits that might not be appealing to small businesses coping with struggles of the post covid-19 market. 

The consumers are out there, it’s just finding them.

It doesn’t matter how much money someone has, everyone loves getting a good deal. Buying a simple meal, renting a car or finding someone to paint your house, it doesn’t matter, price is everything.

Finding a business nowadays is simple, just google what you want and see your choices show up. It doesn’t however show businesses are giving discounts. 

Discounts Asia

Until now Asia didn’t have a discount directory. For businesses to survive, advertising in every available space online is essential for survival. 

There’s a new space that I have created. Discounts Asia is my attempt at a Discount Directory. Hopefully helping people find the best deals and give business owners a space to advertise their special offers

Signing up is free, and the tools are exactly what is needed for businesses to thrive in today’s market. 

]]> 0
LOCKDOWN BLUES: How A Musician Survived the Coronavirus Crisis Wed, 22 Jul 2020 11:43:45 +0000 In many popular songs, an interlude is an instrumental passage that comes between sections of lyrics in a song. In musical terms, the lockdown was marked by long interludes of softer, muted tones, the raucous rhythms of urban life like the rat-a-tat-tat of a jackhammer silenced, the varying pitch of street voices infrequent, the tempo of daily living constrained to a plodding pace, like an adagio movement in a symphony.

However, in the late afternoon and early morning hours the lyrical quality of birdsongs would crescendo more clearly than ever in a temporary triumph of Nature over human encroachment. As a musician, I attempted to emulate the rhythm, pitch, and tempo of those melodic sounds almost daily. The alternative was jamming with dead musicians on YouTube (no offense to those who are still alive). For the first time in memory, there were no gigs to pursue, no live music venues for jam sessions with other musicians. 

Fed Up 

The hunt was on for alternative activities. In the nearby park, the homeless population had increased fivefold, from one person to five. When I offered them rice left over from lunch, I received immense gratitude, with a customary “wai” and a gleam in their eye. I imagined a radically contrasting response from the homeless in my native New York: “Wtf, rice again? Get me some f***** noodles and a bottle of wine!”

A stray cat in the park saw my food giveaways and solicited me for food too. So I bought some cans of sardines in tomato sauce to feed the cat. After a few days the cat was thumbing its nose at that, so I switched to mackerel, then tuna, finally roasted chicken. By the end of the week, the cat was fed up with the menu and disappeared. 

Occasionally, I had food delivered to my residence. Ordering by phone with my iffy Thai pronunciation and the order taker’s suspect English comprehension can render dubious results. A few years ago I called to order a pepperoni pizza. Thirty minutes later, the delivery guy showed up with the pizza. I opened the box for inspection and started sneezing uncontrollably. Taped to the bottom of the box was the bill, with the words, “Pepper only.” 

Fitness Dilemma 

During the lockdown my body began to atrophy from lack of exercise. Lifting a spoon and fork at mealtime wasn’t cutting it for muscle toning, and there were no weights or pianos around to bench press, no beaches open for swimming. On the rooftop of my building is a chin-up bar, and I wore that bar out. I could still ride my bicycle around Phuket Town for an aerobic workout in the virtually vacant streets, which provided added visual pleasure to the historic Sino-Portuguese architecture in the Old Town.   

Smuggling & Snuggling

Where I live, building management imposed some rules and restrictions under lockdown. One was the disallowance of bringing guests into the building. This was a restriction made to be broken by “Only The Lonely.” For a couple of nights I plotted to meet a lady friend at the nearby 7-11 to avoid being spied by anyone in my building. Prior to the meeting, I texted her instructions to not utter a word until we were in my room, and to follow behind me into the building lobby where I would open the glass door to the elevators with a key card. The security guard sitting by the glass door was fast asleep. No, I did not drug him. A month later she visited me again and the security guard barely raised an eyebrow, assuming that she lived in the building (wearing a mask helped). For both occasions it was just under curfew time, with no other residents in sight.


Having lived alone for the past 23 years, I’ve been social distancing for a long time so the lockdown was not too taxing in that way. Of course I missed playing live music in front of an audience, I missed swimming at the beach and my normal exercise regimen, and missed dining at many restaurants. Now that the lockdown has been lifted, I miss the environmental serenity when almost everyone stayed at home. But overall, music still rules the roost in my life, and it was a joy this week to play a birthday party gig in a return to live performance.  

In light of celebrating the end of the lockdown, I leave you with my top 5 list of COVID hit songs:    

You Make Me Sick (Pink)

Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol)

Stay Away From Me (Bill Monroe)

Who Was That Masked Man (Van Morrison)

The Toilet Paper Song (Klaus)

May the farce be with you!

]]> 0
Thais in the UK – The difficulties of people returning home during the pandemic. Sat, 11 Jul 2020 06:09:27 +0000

Thai doctor – Ekaphum Chamnanrabiabkij based in the UK since 1997, is a practising doctor in the county of Oxfordshire, England.
Dr Ekaphum has become an unofficial spokesperson for Thai citizens currently stranded in the UK. Thai and long term residents have been eagerly looking to return home to Thailand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the video we ask Dr Ekaphum what has it been like practicing medicine in the UK during Covid. Are people wearing masks like they are in Asia? Read about a cool Facemask Project here. Along with his medical opinion of how the covid-19 situation has been handled in the UK compared to Thailand.

He outlines some of the medical practises implemented during lockdown and stories of Thai that are currently stuck in the UK.

Thais Returning Home

Dr Ekaphum has been in the news recently, speaking about the difficulty of coming back into Thailand. Thai government has done a great job in handling the lockdown, gearing the country to be a designated green zone (covid-19 freezone) when borders eventually re-open for tourism. There’s a great source of information in English for Covid-19 updates on Facebook Called PR Thai Government for daily updates.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has issued recommendations for the 11 exempt types of travelers planning…

Posted by PR Thai Government on Friday, 10 July 2020

In the video, we ask Dr Ekaphum what steps that Thais have to go through to repatriate.

Strict quarantine measures have been put in place for returning Thais, thankfully it looks like there’s some positive movement in relaxing the entry to Thailand soon. Even non Thai’s with certain visas and family are predicting the ability to return soon.

In March, Thailand closed its borders, since then, around 1,600 Thais have repatriated. Around 3,400 Thais in the UK have registered to return. He says priority must be given to those with urgent needs.

In the video Dr Ekaphum mentions Thais on tourist visas cannot afford healthcare or medication in the UK. There are Thai nationals originally only planning a short trip to the UK are running out of money. Read about Asia moving towards a cashless society here

We will be doing weekly interview videos.

Please – Like- Share – Follow – Subscribe

Do you have a story to tell? Contact us via our Facebook Page

]]> 0
The Lombok Riviera – Is this the new Phuket? Thu, 09 Jul 2020 06:22:17 +0000 White, kilometer-long and often deserted sandy beaches, green hills, high volcanoes and turquoise blue sea at tropical temperatures. This is how the island of Lombok presents itself. 

Lancing Beach – Lombok Riviera; Foto: Aaron Böhme (@exploreappeal)

Overlooked by the 3,726-meter-high Gunung Rinjani in the northeast, the second largest volcano in Indonesia and significantly higher than Bali’s Gunung Agung. All this is embedded in a lush green and largely untouched jungle backdrop and offering spectacular marine life. The island of Lombok has no shortage of attractions, both in and out of the water. 

Especially the Lombok Riviera in the south of Lombok is gaining significant fame. 

The first race, on the brand-new MotoGP- circuit that is already under construction, will take place at the end of 2021. How cool is that? The circuit is part of the government-backed Mandalika development, that will boast a huge variety of amenities like a golf course, several 5-star hotels, parks, sky trains and a lot more! 

All this is part of the Lombok Riviera, where the first exclusive villa developments and boutique resorts like Kuta Sunset and Mandalika View emerge.

Kuta Mandalika the tourism main-hub of the Lombok Riviera is just a 20-minute drive away from the Lombok international airport. In Kuta you will find amazing restaurants like El Bazar, Kenza or Kemangi and many others. In Krnk, Bus Bar and Surfers Bar you can get well-mixed cocktails and go out for a night of party, good people and Lombok fun! 

Just 20 minutes ride on a coastal road with breathtaking scenery you will find Selong Belanak Beach. If that sounds familiar to you, do not be surprised. Yearly Selong Belanak is rated under the top beaches worldwide!
Around Selong Belanak you will find beautiful and exclusive tropical developments like Kapal Oasis and Coconut Creek

Where to stay on the Lombok Riviera?

Villa Kirikan – Lombok Riviera; Foto: Villa Kirikan (@kirikanvillas)

In Kuta there are already plenty of amazing places like Rascals, Jivana, Villa Sorgas, Villa Bliss or the famous Novotel. As well you can find places for a budget like Batu Bambu, that are connected with the Sasak culture of Lombok!
Around Selong Belanak, you should definitely check out Villa Kirikan or Sempiak Villas with its beautiful Laut Biru restaurant.

What to do on the Lombok Riviera?

The Lombok Riviera offers plenty of unspoiled tropical beaches. At some of them, you will find fancy restaurants built out of bamboo, others are pure and raw nature. The bamboo restaurants offer fresh coconuts and delicious local cuisine! Take your time to explore this soothing paradise. Tanjung Aan Beach, Selong Belanak Beach, Semeti Beach, Mandalika Beach are definitely worth a visit.

If you are more of an adventuress nature you won’t miss out. The Lombok Riviera offers some of the best surf spots in the world. Check out Mawi, the famous Gerupuk Bay or Desert Point. Other activities would be Kite-Surfing, Trekking Mt. Rinjani, amazing road-trips, paragliding, diving or high-sea-fishing.

Day trips are another huge thing on the Lombok Riviera. Around Lombok there are more than 30 small islands that are waiting to be explored. There are a lot of day trips for snorkeling or just to explore those small tropical paradises. Another option would be to explore the rice fields in Tetebatu village or some of the numerous waterfalls.

Either you are family on holiday, a couple on honeymoon, or a single traveler the Lombok Riviera will enchant you and you will never be able to forget this dreamy experience!


]]> 0