Encounters Winter 2012

From the blue waters of the Maldives to the natural bounties of Mozambique, our regional travel magazine, Encounters, takes readers on rich journeys that are up-close and personal.


Perfect solitude

Banyan Tree Madivaru boasts long stretches of secluded private beaches.

It's my first ride on a seaplane and I am not quite sure what to expect. No chickens are flapping around in the cabin, but the rickety fan at the back looks like it belongs in an Indiana Jones movie and offers little temperature control in the stuffy plane.

Monday, 3 December, 2012, 2:31pm

Floating in luxury

Floating in luxury

The low-lying Indian Ocean islands are resisting dire warnings about rising sea levels to offer tourists a taste of paradise that even includes underwater spas and restaurants.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:25pm

Passion for fun: Janet Hsieh Yi-fen

Hong Kong's Avenue of the Stars is a glittering set.

Always on the move, the prolific TV host tells Tracey Furniss about her lifelong love of travel.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:26pm

Throne rooms

Tom Schmidt is an architect and the author of Bumbling About, a series of children's travel books.

As someone who is travelling most of the time, I've often wondered about the parallels between hotel design and fashion design. Do a few outrageous and novel ideas automatically become fashion as long as they are proposed by a recognised star designer?

17 Nov 2012 - 12:06am

Home at last

CHI Residences offers breathtaking views of the harbour.

Free-spirited travellers looking for a different kind of city stay are finding that serviced apartments offer a great alternative to the usual hotel options.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:27pm

Young at heart

Islander Noosa Resort has lagoon-style pools.

When holidaying with children, it's vital to find a hotel that caters to their needs. TripAdvisor picks its top five family-friendly lodgings in Asia.

Club Mahindra Kodagu Valley

Galibeedu Road, Madikeri 571204, India

3 Dec 2012 - 2:33pm

Arabian delights

Soaking up the sun with the nearby water within easy reach is a big attraction.

If I hadn't remembered from school geography lessons that the shores of the Dead Sea are the planet's lowest accessible point on dry land, then the late-night trip there from Amman's Queen Alia International Airport would have made that clear.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:35pm

An ice place to be

A statue of Mother Mary at a church in the charming town of El Calafate.

We are hunkered down in a valley in the ice - white and blue are the only colours in this otherworldly scene. The overcast sky blankets the black mountains beyond and blends into the frozen surface, making it difficult to judge where one ends and the other begins. There is a loneliness about this cold, surreal space, something that makes life seem insubstantial.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:36pm

Voyage of discovery

Voyage of discovery

Looking down at the squirming chambo clasped tightly in my hand, I'm not sure whether to liberate it or eat it for dinner. After a paltry five-minute pull on the net that landed this plump and shiny fish, I certainly haven't earned it.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:39pm

Feast your eyes

Diners pack the Sun Hong Muk Koot Teh on Medan Imbi.

Friends always seem a little surprised whenever I suggest a visit to Kuala Lumpur for the many delicious cuisines on offer. I can hardly blame them.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:39pm

Taste of seduction

Cold buckwheat noodles with braised herring inside a huge ice cube , served at Tempura Matsu in Kyoto.

Life is a journey and just as we have many not-so-exciting moments, we have many cliches. Kyoto is one of those cliches: a history stretching thousands of years witnessed by its thousands of temples and shrines, the grandeur of the Imperial Palace, the mysterious geisha culture - the glorious past we expect.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:40pm

Designed to thrill

Woodbury Commons

Los Angeles is known for its shopping, from the pristine thoroughfares of Rodeo Drive, to the crowded corridors of the Beverly Center mall and the artsy boutiques of Melrose Avenue. But serious shoppers head to two outlet malls, where the deals are plentiful and the variety vast. And because I went in the middle of the week, parking wasn't an issue.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:41pm

Bargain hunters

La Roca Village (left) houses Spanish designers.

As the white sands of the Costa Brava snake across the blue horizon behind us, our helicopter edges over the jagged peaks of Montserrat mountain, the spiritual and cultural heart of Catalonia. Squinting through the rays of the Barcelona sun, I make out the sand brown structure that is the 12th century Verge de Montserrat Monastery, nestled between craggy, towering dolomite-like peaks.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:41pm

Personal touch

The Island Hideaway lounge

My butler is upset. I've neglected to call him and tell him that I was strolling down to the main restaurant for lunch. It hadn't made sense to call the butler to call the restaurant to tell them I was coming, especially considering the restaurant wasn't likely to be full and was just a two-minute walk from my villa.

3 Dec 2012 - 2:40pm