One of the biggest NYE parties this 09/10 took place on a tiny Thai island called Koh Pha Ngan. The year changed on the very night there was a full moon – and if you know clubbing at all, you know that Koh Pha Ngan is famous for its wild full moon parties – so this was a truly cosmic coincidence. Over 50,000 locals and travelers converged on the beautiful Haad Rin beach to dance in moonlight and welcome the first dawn of 2010.
Jakarta is not famous for its nightlife like some other Asian capitals, which was why I was very pleasantly surprised to find a smorgasbord of club options. Despite being a Muslim country, the alcohol flows freely and clubs are open until late, so I’m officially declaring Jakarta Asia’s undiscovered party city – get in quick before the secret’s out!
The city of Bangkok, with its mazelike interconnecting streets and tiny sois, is endowed with plenty of strange things to feast one’s curious eyes upon. Here, you will find pushcart stalls selling edible pig’s body parts and guts, deep-fried insect snackables, and even a couple of elephants strolling down the sidewalks…and this is just to name a few.
For us locals, things that were mentioned above are nothing to get excited about. But the tourists! They get so easily worked up over these things it’s quite funny, actually. I have seen foreigner friends staring in disbelief (with dropped jaws and all) at a little old Thai lady who appeared to have jammed a lipstick look-alike up her nostril. They couldn’t comprehend what she was doing until I explained that what the lady had up her nose was in fact a ‘ya-dom’, or stick-type inhalant used to clear nasal congestion and help free the breathing system.
Very few people have the resolve to diet when traveling – part of the ‘authentic’ experience is to consume as much local cuisine as your stomach will physically allow, or that’s always been my policy. Still, in the interest of not being mistaken for a lost dugong while floundering in the breaks off Karon Beach next vacation, here are some low-fat Thai foods to gorge on.
Bali is Indonesia’s party island and the night life generally starts late, meaning around midnight, and continues on until dawn in some venues. Most of the after-dark action occurs in the Kuta, Legian and Seminyak areas and while most of the party-goers are tourists there are music, clubs and bars to suit all tastes.
Asians are collectivists by nature. The need to become part of a group, for many of us, is one of the many essentials that make life more ‘complete’.
Maybe this is why: a) establishing connections and b) networking play such important roles in determining the level of success and happiness in our lives.
And we are trained to do so from very young age…
For a country with such a ubiquity of delicious foods, there are surprisingly few fat people in Singapore. I think I saw one the whole time I was there and that person probably had thyroid problems. Just like Thais, whose national pastime is eating, the Singaporeans just don’t seem to convert their constant snacking into body mass.
Vancouver is my favorite Canadian city as not only is it beautiful, but it’s a town that knows how to party. The action is only going to get more frenetic with the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games. It may get chilly outside, but the nightlife scene packs some heat.
Some people (Westerners especially) might say “giving money as gift is so tacky!” And that includes those who give out gift vouchers and such as presents. The general rendition for this type of gift giver is that they are totally inconsiderate and super-crude when comes to social etiquette. But we Asians think that cash gifting is just plain brilliant!
Why suffer through the pain of having to act happy when opening one present after another (none of which you like) in front of people (whose attention is focused on whether your reaction is genuine), when you could be given envelope after envelope of cash AND the freedom to do whatever you please with it!
Yes, Asians are infamous for our practicality and the thrifty ways that we go about our lives. The stories about some Asian kid whose parents kept the plastic covers on their sofas or someone’s grandma who would wash and re-use disposable chopsticks from the restaurants? You better believe it.