Category Archives: Asia

Getting the full Japanese experience – in Bangkok

Thailand’s capital, especially the central area of Sukhumvit, is home to a large Japanese community and has some fantastic Japanese bars and restaurants

I visited Bangkok expecting to eat a lot of Thai food, which I don’t think was unreasonable in the circumstances. So it was surprising that the most memorable meal of the trip turned out to be Japanese. Bangkok has one of the largest Japanese populations in Asia outside Japan. The official figures are about 50,000 but most estimates put it at at least double that, when you consider the numbers on long-term tourist visas who neglect to mention the fact to the authorities. About a quarter of work permits issued are to the Japanese.

Related: From dusk till dawn: in search of old-school Bangkok

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Source: gad

Dirty beats, clean fun: Hong Kong’s unmissable music festivals

From homegrown heroes like Clockenflap to international imports Sónar and Creamfields, Hong Kong’s city festivals are easy to enjoy – and mud-free

Most of us associate Hong Kong with gleaming skyscrapers, bustling industry and frantic markets. But a succession of homegrown and international music festivals are turning it from staid metropolis into a city of song.

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Source: gad

New waves: make a break for the 'crown jewel' of India's surf scene in Tamil Nadu

Tourism to Mahabalipuram once focused on its temples but visitors to this south-east Indian town now come to ride the waves – and it’s producing local surf champions of its own, too

On a crescent moon beach, just metres from the shoreline, fishermen were making repairs, their nets spread out across a handy skateboard ramp. Behind them was a Hindu temple, surrounded by colourful guesthouses, souvenir shops and restaurants. I had dodged the laundry lines crisscrossing the alleyways of Fisherman’s Colony in the Indian town of Mahabalipuram to make it to the sea, in search of the waves I’d heard about – and wanted to surf.

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Source: gad

Thailand’s Maya Bay, location for The Beach, to close to tourists

The bucket-list beach on the island of Koh Phi Phi Leh became famous when it featured in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, but environmental concerns mean it will close to tourists from June

It is one of the world’s most famous beaches, thanks to its starring role in Danny Boyle’s film of Alex Garland’s bestselling novel, and is often referred to simply as “the beach”. However, this summer Maya Bay, on the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi Leh, will be closed to tourists as authorities attempt to reverse decades of damage done to the region’s marine environment.

The closure will take place from June to September, during the island’s low season, in order to give its coral reef time to recover. While similar measures have been introduced on other Thai islands – in 2016 local authorities closed Koh Tachai – it is the first time tourists will be forbidden from visiting Maya Bay.

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Source: gad

Seoul food: 10 of the city’s best restaurants

From a fried-chicken joint to a Michelin-star blow out, the Seoul-born founder of three Korean London restaurants picks her favourite places to eat in the South Korean capital

A Seoul institution, the speciality here is gomtang, a highly nutritious beef bone soup (and a great hangover cure) – which has been made the same way since the restaurant opened in the 1930s. In fact gomtang is the only thing on the menu, although there are several variations. The beef stock is boiled for a long time with radish, so it is full of flavour – and is best enjoyed with a side dish of radish kimchi. Hadongkwan has many loyal regulars and you often see three generations of family dining together there.
10-4 Myeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, hadongkwan.com

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Source: gad

Japan breakthrough could improve weather forecasts and save lives

Data collected by Himawari-8 weather satellite paired with supercomputer programme

A project harnessing data from a Japanese satellite could improve weather forecasting and allow officials to issue life-saving warnings before natural disasters, researchers say.

The project is the first time “infrared radiation luminance data” has been used to model weather patterns in areas under heavy cloud cover that would usually stymie such modelling.

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Source: gad