Encounters Spring 2013
From the blue waters of the Maldives to the natural bounties of Mozambique, SCMP's regional travel magazine, Encounters, takes readers on rich journeys that are up-close and personal.
Malaysia revs up for F1 race
Sepang in Malaysia is the second stop on the Formula One calendar and the country's tourism ministry has tied in some special events to coincide with the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix 2013 weekend. From March 22 to 24, extensive sales around Kuala Lumpur will take place in many shopping malls, with offers of up to 75 per cent off. Sepang is just 45 minutes' drive from downtown Kuala Lumpur, where four- and five-star hotels are cheaper than in most major cities. Top teams Red Bull with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, Ferrari with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, and McLaren with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez are lined up to take part.
Art lovers head for Hong Kong
Art Basel premieres in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 23 to 26. Featuring more than 170 leading galleries and 2,000 artists from around the world, Art Basel showcases a diverse collection of works from established artists to emerging talents displaying paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, film, video and digital pieces. Running concurrently is the Asia Contemporary Art Show, featuring 70 exhibitors at the JW Marriott Hotel in Pacific Place. There will be more than 2,000 works for sale consisting of limited-edition sculptures and photography.
Dive to shipwrecks in Bermuda
Whether you are a scuba diver, novice or fully certified Padi diver, the Dive In package to Elbow Beach in Bermuda offers guests an opportunity to experience some incredible underwater beauty and shipwrecks. The shallow coral reefs of Bermuda are said to have more than 500 shipwrecks dating from the 1500s. The package offers a minimum of four nights at the Mandarin Oriental with two days of scuba diving. Certified divers will experience a variety of reef and wreck sites. For non-certified divers, lessons will teach the basic skills in the shallows followed by a dive at the site of the Constellation and Montana. The package runs until May 15 with accommodation in a premier room at the hotel.
Space Chase launches in Singapore
The Universal Studios Singapore theme park at Resorts World Sentosa is expanding to 24 rides this year. Its 23rd attraction, the Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase, recently opened, with one more to be announced later in the year. The indoor themed ride features 12 characters and a zany science-fiction-inspired plot coupled with signature Sesame Street music and comedy. Of all the rides and attractions, 18 are unique to the theme park, which has seven zones that include New York, Hollywood, Sci-Fi City, Lost World and Madagascar. The park features the world's tallest pair of duelling roller-coasters, which are based on popular TV series Battlestar Galactica. Universal Studios Singapore, which officially opened in 2011, aims to attract up to 5 million visitors annually.