Lure of the Far East

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Matta Fair -

ASIA is a stun­ning tapestry that never fails to in­trigue trav­ellers around the globe.

How­ever, from the an­cient wonders of the tem­ples of Angkor Wat to the grow­ing hub of tech­nol­ogy of Ja­pan, there is more to Asia than meets the eye.

Route A82 of Asia

Ex­plore one of China’s un­touched splen­dour as you tra­verse across the be­witch­ing ter­rains of North­ern Xin­jiang on a four-wheel drive along the famed Duku High­way.

The wind­ing road threads past spec­tac­u­lar snowy moun­tains with glacier-capped peaks, vast ex­panse of grass­land, pock­ets of crys­tal clear lakes and grace­ful rivers, as well as Mar­tian-like ter­rain of red bed canyons, as you make your way through one of the most mag­nif­i­cent routes in the world.

At al­most ev­ery turn is a vista that will stop you in your tracks so make sure to keep your cam­eras close at hand.

Con­quer­ing Fuji-san

As­cend­ing Kengamine Peak, the high­est point of Mt Fuji at 3,776m above sea level, is no easy feat.

It is un­doubt­edly, how­ever, one of the most awe-in­spir­ing and re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time.

Be sure to catch the first light of dawn as it falls gen­tly onto the sea of cot­ton-like clouds, en­velop­ing the world be­neath, for the most sur­real panoramic view of Ja­pan that will blow you away.

Don’t for­get to ex­plore the unique crater of Ohaci-me­guri and send a post­card from Ja­pan’s high­est post of­fice be­fore you cap off your ex­pe­ri­ence with a dip in the sooth­ing waters of the open-air hot spring in Lake Kawaguchi or Lake Ya­manaka.

Taste of Kana­gawa port

For tuna afi­ciona­dos, Misaki Ou Ichiba is not-to-be missed.

As the lo­cals say, “For tuna, go to Misaki”.

Home port for tuna, the lo­cal whole­sale mar­ket is known for its large catches, with 400 to 1,000 tu­nas be­ing traded per day.

Here is your chance to wit­ness a live auc­tion as it un­folds be­fore your eyes.

Watch in awe as buy­ers and auc­tion­eers en­gage in a rapid vol­ley of fran­tic shout­ing and fren­zied hand ges­tur­ing in a bat­tle to bid for prime tu­nas.

The grip­ping ex­pe­ri­ence will have you sit­ting on the edge of your seat, so blink not as you might just miss the best part.

A bite of Korean cul­ture

There is no doubt that Korean cui­sine is a ma­jor as­pect of the na­tional iden­tity.

One of the all time favourite meals of the Korean peo­ple is bibim­bap, a bowl of rice mixed with meat and as­sorted veg­eta­bles.

Not only is it aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing with its vi­brant mix of colours, bibim­bap ap­peals to all the senses through a unique blend of vary­ing tex­tures to give it a rich taste that will surely give you gas­tro­nom­i­cal bliss un­til the very last bite. En­ticed?

So come ex­plore the many vari­a­tions to this well-known dish at the largest do-it-your­self bibim­bap mak­ing at the Bibim­bap Cul­ture Cen­tre.

Re­liv­ing the past in style

Walk in the foot­steps of roy­alty and their noble en­tourage as you re­live the grandeur of the glo­ri­ous Joseon dy­nasty at Gyeong­bok Palace, one of Seoul’s grand­est ar­chi­tec­tural sights.

Dress in vi­brant colours of the tra­di­tional han­bok to en­hance your ex­pe­ri­ence as you weave your way around the vast grounds of the grand palace, sur­rounded by nu­mer­ous or­nate pavil­ions, ar­ti­fi­cial lakes and ter­raced gar­dens.

You might just catch a glimpse of what the palaces were like in their hey­day, as well as the shad­owed web of in­trigue, mys­ter­ies and for­bid­den ro­mance hid­den be­neath its brick and mor­tar.

So what bet­ter way to un­ravel Korea’s rich his­tory than to walk in the shoes of its past – in style.

Light­ing up the sky

Apart from its mouth-wa­ter­ing seafood ga­lore and breath­tak­ing ar­ray of nat­u­ral land­scapes, Penghu Is­land is also home to one of most the an­tic­i­pated sum­mer event in Tai­wan – the an­nual Penghu In­ter­na­tional Fire­work Fes­ti­val.

Catch the spec­tac­u­lar dance of colours as it il­lu­mi­nates the ebony sky from the Guanyin pavil­ion Leisure Park, turn­ing Penghu Is­land into a re­splen­dent scene with beauty that en­hances as night falls.

The fes­ti­val is held from April to June ev­ery year, so keep your dates free for a night to re­mem­ber.

You can also opt to cy­cle around the peace­ful boule­vards in Hiroshima; ad­mire the stun­ning view of the “float­ing” torii gate against the back­drop of a set­ting sun in It­sukushima Shrine; or ex­plore the charms of Chi­ang­mai Chi­an­grai, the Rose of the North, to ex­pe­ri­ence Asia.

Come dis­cover other new high­lights in Asia with Ap­ple Va­ca­tions’ nu­mer­ous pack­ages this MATTA Fair. Grab this op­por­tu­nity to en­joy early bird dis­counts up to RM2,000 per cou­ple and other pro­mo­tions.

In con­junc­tion with its 22nd an­niver­sary, Ap­ple Va­ca­tions will also be giv­ing away lim­ited edi­tion hand lug­gages.

Terms and con­di­tions ap­ply. Cus­tomers can en­joy sim­i­lar pro­mo­tions when they call-in or drop by Ap­ple Va­ca­tion’s of­fice to book pack­ages.

The post-MATTA in-house sales ends March 20.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion, visit Ap­ple Va­ca­tions and Con­ven­tions Sdn Bhd at booths 1000-2100 (Hall 1) at PWTC. Al­ter­na­tively, log on to www.ap­ple­hol­i­, call 03-2141 8250, e-mail en­quiry@ ap­ple­hol­i­ or drop by its of­fice at Wisma Ap­ple, 2nd-4th Floor, 42-2, Jalan Sul­tan Is­mail, 50250 KL. The of­fice is open from 9am to 8pm this week­end.

Cy­cle around the peace­ful boule­vards in Hiroshima for an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence in Ja­pan.

Ex­plore the charms of Chi­ang­mai Chi­an­grai, the Rose of the North.

Penghu Is­land plays host to one of most the an­tic­i­pated sum­mer events in Tai­wan – the an­nual Penghu In­ter­na­tional Fire­work Fes­ti­val.

Udo Is­land has the largest do-it-your­self bibim­bap mak­ing in Korea.

Home port for tuna, Misaki Ou Ichiba is known for its large catches of tu­nas be­ing traded per day.

Ad­mire the stun­ning view of the ‘float­ing’ torii gate against the back­drop of a set­ting sun in the It­sukushima Shrine, lo­cated in Miya­jima Is­land.

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