Category Archives: Asia
I have never been to this airport – yet – a friend of mine just saw this!
World’s largest kinetic art sculpture unveiled at Changi Airport
SINGAPORE, 2012 — Passengers and airport visitors entering the Departure Check-in Hall at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 (T1) can expect to stop in their tracks and be captivated by a new art installation. Kinetic Rain, as it is titled, takes pride of place at the terminal, enthralling visitors with its fluidity, distinctive shapes, elegant and refined movements and precision-perfect technology.
Kinetic Rain, installed as part of T1’s recent refurbishment, is the icon of the revamped Departure Check-in Hall. This specially commissioned sculpture, a first in an airport globally, comes as a pair, each installed several metres apart from each other and visible from many areas of the Departure Check-in Hall.
Kinetic Rain is made up of 1,216 bronze droplets that transform elegantly into multiple shapes, akin to poetry in motion. Carrying an aviation theme, the key element in every shape shows the movement of flight through slow, fluid movements. Some of the more recognisable shapes include an aeroplane, hot air balloon and a kite. One can also make out a dragon and a flock of birds amongst the 16 different programmed segments.
Each droplet is connected to motors installed in the ceiling of the Departure Check-in Hall. The motors contain a high precision rotary encoder which keeps track of the exact position of each droplet. A computer programme is used to control the movement of the droplets to form Kinetic Rain’s unique shapes and patterns. A video on the making-of Kinetic Rain can be viewed here.
Kinetic Rain was created over a span of 20 months. Artists, programmers and technologists were engaged to analyse the space available at T1 and conceptualise a masterpiece that would be representative of the new terminal. The refurbished T1 is aptly themed ‘Tropical City’ in keeping with Singapore’s garden city status and where rain, is very much a part of the tropical climate.
Mr Yeo Kia Thye, Senior Vice President for Airport Operations, Changi Airport Group, said, “When we decided to upgrade Terminal 1 in 2008, we were mindful that people have fond memories of the terminal including the old Mylar Cords, the circular curtain of water that straddled three stories of the building. We wanted an art sculpture, which we found in Kinetic Rain, that was able to add the signature touch linking back to T1’s illustrious past in a new and exciting way.
“With more than a thousand raindrops working together in harmony, Kinetic Rain also symbolises the thousands in the airport community who work together every day to provide our passengers and visitors with a positively surprising and memorable Changi Experience.”
An audio commentary and official video are also available for visitors who wish to know more about Kinetic Rain. All they have to do is scan the QR code present at the display boards at the T1 Departure Check-in Hall with their smartphones. For more information about the refurbished T1, please visit: www.changiairport.com/terminal1
About Changi Airport Group
Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. Through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, the Group invests in and manages foreign airports to spread the success of Changi Airport internationally.
Changi Airport (www.changiairport.com) is the world’s most awarded airport having garnered more than 400 accolades since it opened in 1981. To serve passengers and visitors from the world over, there are 360 retail stores and 130 F&B outlets across the airport’s four terminals. Changi handled more than 46 million passenger movements in 2011, an annual record. Today, it serves some 100 airlines flying to over 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide. A flight takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.
According to my Trip Advisor account, I have been to 51 cities in 9 countries. I was feeling kind of proud – until I read this article on LIFE HACK, 50 Incredible Travel Experiences to Have in Your Lifetime!
Seems I have done NONE OF THEM!
Most are in countries I have not seen yet – and some countries I really don’t care to visit. Just because any of our travel experiences are not on this list – does not lessen their value. So what I have not been to India. or Peru.
I HAVE been to Paris and sat at a sidewalk cafe and people watched;
I HAVE been to Budapest and seen the ornate bath houses;
I HAVE been to Prague and looked over the city of spires from the TV Tower;
I HAVE been to New York City and admired the Twin Towers before they fell;
I HAVE been to Hocking Hills Ohio and walked inside the majestic caves and forest;
I HAVE been to the Grand Canyon….
An incredible travel experience can be anywhere – and different for everyone…
What have been YOUR BEST travel experiences?
Last week, Vietnam became the first country in Southeast Asia to support same-sex marriage when the communist country’s National Assembly struck down the ban.
According to LifeSiteNews, the country’s motivation to strike down the ban came from pressure to attract homosexual tourism and the influence of U.S. foreign policy, which features Ted Osius, an active homosexual, as the new US ambassador to Vietnam.
“We could get more support from civil society in Vietnam because the American ambassador is gay,” said Luong The Huy, a lawyer with the homosexuality-advocating Institute for Studies of Society. “He promotes a very good image of a very successful person who is gay,” he said.
Though the government does not ban the union, it still does not formally recognize it or provide any legal support system. Read more at THE REVOLT
6th annual Shanghai Pride Week, titled Pride6 will take place from 13th to 22nd June. A week-long string of events has been planned to boost the LGBT’s community position in China and raise awareness around LGBT themes including marriage equality, sexual health and societal acceptance.
Shanghai Pride Mixes Advocacy with Fun at this year’s week-long event.
Organisers are also hoping to boost interest in Shanghai’s Gay Film Festival which will be held during Pride Week. Their aim is to make it the largest gay film festival in the region within a few years and they are already reviewing locally produced films to screen. Sandwiching the week at both the beginning and end will be LGBT-themed theatre performances and then towards the end of the week there will be an art exhibition featuring work by local up-and-coming LGBT artists. As usual, the opening and closing parties are expected to draw the biggest crowds; last year over 800 people attended the closing party which was held at Mi Tierra and organisers are hoping for an even bigger turnout this year.
“We’re very optimistic that this year will be the biggest and most fun Pride yet, but more importantly it will be the most significant in terms of content,” said Dylan Chen. “With a greater focus on equality, advocacy and sexual health we hope that we can bring together people in a more meaningful way than we have done in the past. It’s time to stop being afraid of confronting the issues that seemed daunting to us before, it’s time for us to come together as a community and share our experiences and knowledge for the benefit of our society.”
Run by volunteers from the not-for-profit group, ShanghaiLGBT and other NGOs, Pride6 is expected to bring thousands of people together at a multitude of fun social and advocacy events.
More info at SHPRIDE
Taiwan is one of Asia’s most progressive countries as far as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights are concerned, not only since the government attempted to legalize same-sex marriage
in 2003 (which stalled without passage), the first country in Asia to
attempt to do so. Taiwan is also described as the most liberal after
approximately 65,000 attended the Taiwan Pride parade in 2012, making it the largest LGBT event in Asia.
This weekend, Same-sex couples in Taipei, Taiwan symbolically tied the knot down
the road from the presidential palace Saturday in a symbolic mass
“wedding banquet” intended to push the government to recognize same-sex
From Focus Taiwan:
A mass wedding that attracted over 1,000
people was held in downtown Taipei on Saturday, amid a push by local
civic groups to legalize all forms of civil partnerships, including
same-sex marriage, in Taiwan…
The alliance also hoped that the
banquet would drive up support for an amendment that would legalize gay
marriage, civil partnerships, and the adoption of children by diverse
families in Taiwan.
The proposed legislation is set to be submitted to the Legislative Yuan later this month.
Participants sat around tables decorated
with red cloths printed with the Chinese character for “wedding”, as
they had dinner and watched a video recording of local celebrities
showing support as well as live performances in a makeshift banquet
venue in a square outside the presidential office in Taipei.
looks likes a traditional wedding scene and even if it’s not real, I
think a picture is worth a thousand words and I hope we will get more
public attention and support for same-sex marriages,” said Richard Chen,
a 22-year-old student from Taipei.
According to The China Post, a poll from the United Daily News shows
that 55 percent of the population are in favour of same-sex marriage,
with 37 percent opposed. Though that same poll also pointed out that 61
percent of respondents would not accept their children if they were
“Taiwan is considered one of the more liberal countries in Asia in
terms of homosexual issues and hosts one of the largest gay pride
parades in Asia each year,” according to The China Post.
Thousands of people joined a parade Sunday to kick off “Tokyo Rainbow
Week,” a series of events aimed at supporting sexual minorities.
Organizers said about 12,000 people took part in the inaugural parade, which
has been held for several years around the Harajuku district as a gay
pride event. The week of special events runs until May 6.
“This is our first attempt to link up with many groups” of sexual
minorities, said one of the organizers, Hiroko Masuhara, 35. “The parade
is a symbolic event in the Tokyo Rainbow Week program.”
Several corporations were at the event, including Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Phillips, and UBS.
Kenji, from IBM, joined the parade and told us: ‘IBM would like to
improve the environment and the workplace for people who are LGBT.’
Kentaro, co-head of the Goldman Sachs LGBT Network in Japan, was also
at the event.: ‘We are here not just for our employees, but for the gay
community to help their visibility.
‘We want to make a difference to people who don’t really know what LGBT is.’
Infinity pool 55 floors above ground opens in Singapore! WOW!
While the water in the infinity pool
seems to end in a sheer drop, it actually spills into a catchment area
where it is pumped back into the main pool. At three times the length of
an Olympic pool and 650ft up, it is the largest outdoor pool in the
world at that height.
It features in the impressive,
boat-shaped ‘SkyPark’ perched atop the three towers that make up the
world’s most expensive hotel, the £4billion Marina Bay Sands
development in Singapore.
The hotel, which has 2,560 rooms costing from £350 a night, was officially opened yesterday with a concert by Diana Ross.
Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, estimated to have cost £2billion
when it opened in 2004, was previously the world’s most expensive hotel.
I personally LOVE Hello Kitty. It is so bright and gay and happy!
EVA Air has recently announced the transformation of two of its
Airbus A330-300 airplanes into airborne tributes to Japanese icon Hello Kitty. I’m pretty sure this proves there is nowhere to hide from the magic of Hello Kitty.
The adorable kitten created by Sanrio, in 1974, has become a
powerhouse brand in Asia, worth billion of big dollars. Everybody seems
to love Hello Kitty so Taiwanese airline EVA Air decided to associate
itself with it in an attempt to boost their struggling sector.
say there is no risk in the move, and that despite having to pay Sanrio a
HUGE sum of money for licensing , the company has a high chance of reaching
its goal. After all, this is their third Hello Kitty plane, so they must
have had some success with the previous two.
Just in case you were wondering what other things bare the Hello
Kitty logo, the answer is simple: EVERYTHING! The world already has Hello Kitty theme-park, a Hello Kitty Castle, Hello Kitty cars, and even Hello Kitty themed weapons. If you’re looking for more, just check out Hello Kitty Hell, and you’ll realize there’s just no escaping the pussy. Um, kitty I mean.
see also Hello Kitty Hotel in Japan
Phuket, formerly known as Thalang (Tha-Laang) and, in Western sources, Junk Ceylon (a corruption of the Malay Tanjung Salang, i.e. “Cape Salang”), is one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are (from north clockwise) Phang Nga and Krabi, but as Phuket is an island it has no land boundaries.
Phuket, which is approximately the size of Singapore, is Thailand’s largest island. The island is connected to mainland Thailand by two bridges. It is situated off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea.
Pride comes to Phuket – April 23 to 28, 2012. Phuket Loves You (PLU)
Club is the organization selected to produce this year’s pride
The goal for this year’s pride celebration is to create a
stronger sense of community within the Thai and Farang communities in
Phuket which is why this year’s theme, chosen by the Phuket Pride
committee, is “Join our Family”
is an international destination attracting visitors
from Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States.
With 17 sandy beaches, access to the amazing Pha Na
Bay with its dramatic rock formations, and numerous
smaller islands, PHUKET has vaulted to become one of
Conde Nast’s Magazines top ten tropical resort
destinations in the world.
And no wonder. From fantastic food, to world class
water sports (a top world snorkeling and scuba diving
destination), from fabulous shopping to a vibrant night
life, Phuket has something to offer every traveler.
And your money goes a lot farther here than in other
places. (You can life the high life in Phuket for weeks
for the same amount of money one week in Hawaii or the
Caribbean would cost you.) There are countless smaller
boutique hotels and guesthouses – both stylish
and inexpensive – as well as the usual array of
the world’s top hotel chains.
Pink Season, Hong Kong’s first ever and Asia’s biggest LGBT festival kicks
off on 30 September. It is an unprecedented collaboration between local
LGBT organizations and artists over a 2.5-month period.
The Pink Season schedule covers the Electric Pink music party Sept. 30th,
the glamorous Mr. Gay Hong Kong pageant Oct. 15th,
Floatilla – Party at Sea Oct. 16th,
Out in the Open – The All Inclusive beach carnival Nov. 6th,
Drag Overdose Nov. 12th,
Gay Day @ Disneyland Dec. 4th
plus the solidly established HK Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Nov. 18-Dec. 1st.
Organizers are still planning for more activities with local artists and organizations,
while looking to add a distinguished speaker series, plays, dance shows,
painting exhibitions, and much more.
Pink Season, Hong Kong’s first ever and Asia’s biggest LGBT festival kicks
offers a chance to experience
India as it was meant to be experienced.
This is an extensive 16 day exploration of some of the best that India has to offer in October of 2012. From Delhi to Haridwar, Rishikesh to Jaipur, Pushkar to Varanasi and so much more!
Participants will of course visit sites of incredible historical, archItectural and spiritual significance, staying at some of the finest hotels available. Even more importantly they will explore and experience the spiritual roots of this magical land and culture.
As with all Spirit Journeys’ adventures, the joys and benefits of gay vacations are provided but with a “stop and smell the roses” kind of attitude. Conscious travel in this manner allows ample personal time for play, reflection, relaxing and appreciating the beauty of India. This adventure holds the possibility for you to reconnect to, or discover, your own spiritual roots and at the same time experience all the flavors and fun of India.
Throughout this journey there will be daily optional yoga practice (usually in the mornings) led by world famous yoga instructor David Moreno. David has studied extensively in India and he will share his in depth knowledge and understanding of India, the Hindu spiritual traditions and mythology, as well as Ayurvedic medicine. These times with David are an invaluable addition to your time in India.
David Moreno is a long time Spirit Journey’s facilitator and has lead men’s workshops, retreats, and international travel trips worldwide – including several to India. He is recognized internationally as a senior yoga instructor and has taught at international yoga conferences, and universities. His commentaries on yoga have been published in various yoga journals and his recently released yoga DVDs are featured on Amazon and as electronic books through iTunes and iBook.
David began practicing yoga in the late 70’s studying the Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, and Bihar styles of yoga, currently studying the primordial tantric roots of the yogic tradition. When not traveling, David teaches in the San Francisco bay area.
Howie Holben is also a co-guide for this journey with David Moreno. Howie is the owner and caretaker of Spirit Journeys. Since early childhood, he has been drawn to indigenous peoples and their spiritual teachings, traditions and practices. His personal journey through addiction and recovery has spawned in him a genuine interest in assisting others on their own spiritual path and he takes great pleasure in introducing people to practices, sacred ways and cultures to help them “step outside their box”. A Reiki/Karuna Ki Master, Quantum Touch and Breathwork Practioner, his desire is to help others uncover their potential and set their hearts and minds free.
The Magic of India – 2012
Sixteen Days Exploring Some Of The Best India Has to Offer!
October 25, 2012 to November 10, 2012 Limited to 16 people.
Spirit Journeys Mission:
To create opportunities for participants to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually; to create environments where they can feel safe enough to grow and move towards living a freer, more joyous life.
The Mekong River is located in China. It runs through Burma, Thailand, Yunnan, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The Mekong is the 11th longest river in the world and the 7th longest in Asia.
The river is said to be about 2,703 miles long. Because of the seasonal changes that cause variations in flow as well as the appearance of rapids and waterfalls in the river, the Mekong is extremely difficult to navigate.
This river so strong that the level of the river located in Cambodia is lower than the high tide at sea! In 2000, the river’s rapids and tides became so overwhelming that it flooded, killing about 90 people.
LOVE TO TRAVEL is a gay travel service who plan unqiue travel excusions around the world.
Feb 9 – 25, 2012, they will take 16 guests with them to Vietnam and the Mekong River aboard the new JAHAN boat.
The brand new flagship: The JAHAN brings river cruising on the Mekong River into a new realm. The singular touches of a luxury boutique hotel, the leisurely pace of a river cruise, and the opportunity to collect new experiences, are the signature style of First Choice. – This boat is still being constructed! The maiden voyage will happen this fall!
This new boat is said to spearhead a new trend in luxury river cruising!
Deposit must be received by April 21, 2011
Visit LOVE TO TRAVEL for all of the details.
Vietnam has become a favorite destination for travelers to Southeast Asia. Picturesque, vibrant and youthful, it offers magnificent natural wonders, gorgeous beaches, ancient city lanes, addictive cuisine and a paradise of shopping bargains.
The archaeological excavations carried out recently have proved the presence of human beings in the territory of Vietnam since the Paleolithic Age or the Old Stone Age (300,000 – 500,000 years).
In the Neolithic Age (New Stone Age), Hoa Binh – Bac Son cultures (about 10,000 BC) had witnessed the development of agriculture and animal husbandry, including even the technique of paddy rice cultivation!
It wasn’t until 1977, that Vietnam became a member of the United Nations. After many years of prolonged war, the country was heavily devastated.
The GLBT Community is growing in Viet Nam. Gays in Viet Nam are sometimes oppressed by the government but there are no laws against homosexuality. There are very strict laws about underage sex, don’t get caught! The younger generation seems to be very open about their sexuality, and the expat community is somewhat out and supportive of the gay community.
There are several bars, pubs, disco’s, nightclubs, restaurants, spas, saunas, tour guides, travel companies, guesthouses and resorts that are gay owned or managed. Most of the discos and nightclubs are mixed but the gays know where to gather. Prostitution is illegal in Viet Nam as is the payment for sex, so be careful.
There are young men cruising around the city who may not be what they appear. Just be careful of picking up someone, you may get ripped off or threatened. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is much more open with gay life than in the north.
There is Viet Nam venue guide online you will find very helpful.
Phnom Penh is the country’s capital, commercial, economic and political hub. It is situated at the confluence of three great rivers, Mekong, Tonle Sap, Bassac rivers. Getting to Phnom Penh is relatively easy, as they have a nice International Airport that services most major international carriers. Plan on at least 3 nights there to get around and explore. There are several gay owned hotels and guest houses to choose from. There is a lot to see and do there. Many of the restaurants serve some great gourmet experiences, for a very good value.
The gay scene is very open and many of the pubs and clubs have cabaret shows . A night stroll along the Sisowath Quay, can possibly lead to a meeting of some of the local Khmer community. For a romantic evening try a Dinner River Cruise at sunset.
Just recently, a gay nightclub has opened in Phnom Penh. Called GQ NIGHTCLUB , the gay community here has been waiting for a nightclub for ages and it is now up and running. Located on street 172 in Phnom Penh. Comfortable and stylish, they offer monthly parties, drag shows, ladies night, international DJS and more in a lounge setting.
Today, having survived centuries of war and strife, the land and its people are once again at peace and no tourist to the region should miss a chance to explore its historic relics and lush green countryside, home to unspoiled nature and unforgettable encounters.
There’s a vibrant emerging gay scene in the capital city, Phnom Penh, that should not be missed by travelers who are tired of the slick and predatory scenes that can be found elsewhere in the region. Cambodian gays are not opressed by colonial law or anti-gay religious traditions, although many are pressured to get married and they enjoy their gay nature after work and before going home to their families.
CAMBODIA OUT is a great resource!
(Insider tip – Find out about the Bonus Discount and Specials Card !)
As well as Utopia Asia .
(Insider tip – going to Asia? Get your Utopia Discount card !)
The Best Gay Travel Guides
Asia’s most gay-friendly country
A sex survey conducted by Time Asia Magazine (published March, 2001) found that Thai people are the most gay-friendly in asia. Thai for Gay Tourists has been designed to enhance your visit to the country so that you can communicate in a more fun and efficient way. If you are gay and are visiting or planning to visit Thailand, this book is a must for you!
THAI FOR GAY TOURISTS… offers gays a new and fun way to communicate in the Thai language; provides information for gays seeking romance in Thailand; has commentary sections about many aspects of Thai gay romantic culture; provides gay slang and phrases as well as anecdotes and stories; requires no previous knowledge of the Thai language; is written in a brisk, interesting style and is well organized with clear, easy to read postscript fonts; and is fun to use!
Thai for Gay Tourists: A Language Guide to the Gay Culture of Thailand is the perfect gay language guide for your journey to the Land of Smiles—Thailand!
Even if you have have no prior knowledge of Thai, this book clearly presents the sound system and shows the Thai script. It provides ALL vocabulary relevant to gay life, and gives quite a bit of background from gay Thais about life in their country.
My only caveat would be that it generally presents homosexuality as accepted and even celebrated there. This is a common presentation of gay life in many countries. However, one should always be aware that we are not the majority and there is bigotry everywhere. This is not New York City or San Francisco! But with that in mind, I must say this an impressive little book–it does a lot in a short space, the author is to be commended!
The author also wrote Queer : Facts About Gays and Lesbians (Thai Edition) .
Read more about GAY ASIA
right here on New Gay Travel Guide!