Lifestyle & Culture

Beachchairs on Phu Quoc island, Vietnam. Photo: AFP
Why Phu Quoc is the billionaire’s choice for a big fat Indian wedding overseas

Vietnam is promoting the idyllic island of Phu Quoc as a place for tourists to tie the knot as it hopes to give its Covid-hit economy a boost.

50 minutes ago
Flying off the shelves: crocodile meat from Wichai’s farm in Thailand is in high demand due to a surge in the price of pork. Photo: Kobboon Chatrakrisaeree
Thai reptile farmers upscale their businesses as crocodile meat demand soars

For those who can stomach it, crocodile is a cheaper and more protein-rich alternative. At this rate, reptile farmers may need to upscale their businesses.

56 minutes ago
Packets of Nestle’s Maggi instant noodles are seen on display at a grocery store in Mumbai. Photo: Reuters
In India, Maggi noodles finds its way into pakoras, parathas and milkshakes

Launched 40 years ago in India, the product was initially aimed at time-pressed working women. Today, it’s been reimagined by street hawkers.

19 Jan 2022 - 11:20AM
Fans’ impressions of how Vogue Philippines might look. Photo: Twitter
Vogue Philippines: a glamour-obsessed nation, but is print still in fashion?

News of the beauty bible’s latest edition has fans swamping Twitter with mocked up covers featuring Filipino celebrities like Catriona Gray and Nadine Lustre.

16 Jan 2022 - 11:00AM
An elderly woman walks with her trolley along a street in Tokyo. Japan recorded a record number of elder abuse cases in 2020. Photo AFP
Japan’s growing elder abuse foretells what Singapore, Hong Kong may face

Japan reported a record 17,281 incidents of elderly people being physically assaulted by family members in 2020, the latest year for which statistics are available – 25 of which resulted in deaths.

16 Jan 2022 - 11:42AM
Contestant Kim Jun-sik in Netflix’s Korean dating reality TV show ‘Singles Inferno’. Credit: Netflix
Hotter than a K-pop star, but how ‘real’ is Netflix Korea’s dating show Singles Inferno?

The reality show has swept all before it, becoming Netflix’s 10th most-watched TV programme thanks to a cast of achingly beautiful and successful singles.

20 Jan 2022 - 1:47PM
A pork vindaloo is seen at a Goan restaurant in Panjim, Goa. Photo: Hospedaria Venite
Swine and dine: why some Indians are rejoicing at news of US pork imports

Pork is not a common ingredient in most Indian cuisine, but long-held taboos about its consumption are starting to change in the country of 1.4 billion.

13 Jan 2022 - 8:50PM
Pani puri at the Veda restaurant in Hong Kong’s Central, March 2019. Photo: K.Y. Cheng
From star chefs to mythical queens, golgappas are ‘India’s favourite snack’

Designed to be gobbled in one bite, golgappas – Aka pani puri – hark back to ancient Queen Draupadi’s take on leftovers. Millennials take theirs with tequila.

5 Jan 2022 - 12:00PM
Visitors carrying sun umbrellas at the 17th century Wat Chaiwatthanaram temple complex in the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: AFP
The Michelin Guide just put this ancient Thai city on the foodie map

Ten eateries in the former Thai capital of Ayutthaya have won the ‘Bib Gourmand’ distinction, raising hopes that tourists’ appetite for the city will return.

5 Jan 2022 - 11:11AM
Influencer Nikitha Khatri. Photo: Handout
‘It’s vital to look good’: Why India’s US$27 billion beauty industry is booming

India’s middle class women and internet savvy consumers are credited for a boom in the online beauty market. Brands are now looking to target men, saying the ‘gender divide in beauty is a myth’.

4 Jan 2022 - 9:53AM
Cats were blamed for starting 107 house fires in Seoul over the past three years, leaving four people injured and causing some US$118,500 worth of damage. Photo: Shutterstock
Owners warned after cats cause 107 house fires in South Korea over 3 years

The fires caused an estimated US$118,500 worth of damage and left four people injured. Seoul saw a fourfold increase in the number of fires caused by household pets over an earlier three-year period.

3 Jan 2022 - 3:02PM
No vegetarian Indian meal is complete without a paneer dish. Photo: Kalpana Sunder
Say cheese: why India’s versatile paneer is trending in the West

Soft and marble-white, paneer is a vital source of protein and calcium, and can be a main course, appetiser, side dish, and dessert.

2 Jan 2022 - 9:32PM
A bowl of laksa served by Makan Place at a US pop-up event in San Francisco. Photo: Handout
Singapore food gets a boost in US thanks to Anthony Bourdain, Crazy Rich Asians

Chefs and entrepreneurs in the US are testing if the island’s melting-pot cuisine can have broader appeal, like Chinese, Japanese and Thai food.

1 Jan 2022 - 11:00PM
Stella Monica Hendrawan, left, with Anindya Shabrina Joediono, secretary of the Association for Victims of the ITE Law (PAKU ITE). Photo: Handout
She gave a beauty clinic a bad review online. In Indonesia, that can be a crime

When 26-year-old Surabaya native Stella Monica Hendrawan took to Instagram to complain about a bad experience she’d had at a beauty clinic, she never thought two years later she’d still be fighting criminal defamation charges brought under Indonesia’s controversial ITE internet law.

26 Dec 2021 - 4:47PM
The Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, India. Photo: Instagram
Why India’s feuding royals can’t seem to stay out of court

From Devraj Singh and Lalitya Kumari, to Ambalika Devi and the Gaekwad family, India’s super-rich royals are constantly squabbling about who owns what as their inherited wealth balloons ever higher.

26 Dec 2021 - 12:00PM
South Korean farms regularly ship their chickens for slaughter before they reach 30 days old to avoid illnesses developing. Photo: Korean Poultry Association/Handout
Is South Korea’s fried chicken actually ‘tasteless’? One food critic thinks so

Hwang Kyo-ik says chickens in Korea are slaughtered too early and only taste good because of sauces and seasonings. The poultry association and the country’s many chicken-lovers have hit back.

26 Dec 2021 - 10:17AM
Tha Rae Catholic community’s 2021 Christmas star parade in Thailand’s Sakon Nakhon province. Photo: Vivat Thongantang
Once persecuted, Thailand’s Catholics mark Christmas in ‘Land of Stars’

In Tha Rae village, Roman Catholic descendants of uprooted Vietnamese, Chinese and Lao ethnic groups decorate their homes for Christmas and hold a three-day star procession, drawing thousands of onlookers.

25 Dec 2021 - 7:12PM
Students attend a class at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay campus in Mumbai. - Twitter’s new CEO Parag Agrawal is the latest alumnus of one of the country’s prestigious technical universities. Photo: AFP
‘India’s MIT’: what’s the secret behind its top engineering schools?

The Indian Institute of Technology, which produced new Twitter chief Parag Agrawal and other tech titans, is an elite network of 23 engineering schools which boasts the ‘the most difficult admission exam on the planet’.

25 Dec 2021 - 1:30PM
Wang Leehom performs on stage during a concert in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu province, in 2018. Photo: Chinatopix via AP
‘It was all fake?’: Wang Leehom’s female fans find their dreams crushed

From Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand, Wang Leehom won hearts for being among a new breed of bilingual Asian stars who burst onto the scene in the 1990s and 2000s, until his very public falling out with estranged wife Lee Jinglei.

24 Dec 2021 - 7:43PM
Members of a choir get ready to sing Christmas songs in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
Should Muslims wish Christians a ‘merry Christmas’? Indonesia’s undecided

The debate seems to re-emerge every year in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. Analysts say it shows how deep-rooted identity politics have become in Indonesian society.

23 Dec 2021 - 4:00PM