TOP
h
  /  Destination

In just a few minutes after my arrival in Phuket, I enter a paradise of meticulousity, where history meets creativity. Hidden behind a mid-sized entrance is a gigantic place that feels like a tropical getaway of my dream, filled with wondrous trees and pleasing-to-the-eyes spaces. Being art-and-service-oriented, The Slate defines its own “new luxury”, which is alluring enough to attract peace-seekers from all over the world, and none of whom leaves without pleasant memories. SETTING THE SCENE The idea behind The Slate is originally derived from Phuket’s history of tin mining combining with fine aesthetics, resulting in a one-off stay that keeps the mind beautifully sane with the finesse of Bill Bensley, the mastermind behind the hotel’s design excellence. Right from the lobby, I get to study one-off antiques, which are appliances that were once in use, and spend some time in an in-house art gallery. It’s magical how every single detail is beautifully curated, and even choices of plants that forms vast tropical garden here are stunning. Also, with a family pool that resembles a refreshing oasis, 2 gorgeous adult-only infinity pools with pool bars, and the Nai Yang Beach within one-minute walk, I can beat the heat whenever I want to, in fascinating ways. GETTING COMFORTABLE The 177 well-appointed villas and suites ensure you can find your dream stay with utmost privacy, while staying so close to nature. My nights in a Pearl Bed Suite are soul-soothing thanks to comfy bed and the gorgeous scent in the air, as well as the outdoor bathtub. A seamless fuse between bold and unlaxing designs is one of the amazements The Slate has to offer. If you are seeking a long, indulgent getaway, The Slate is undoubtedly the place. The Bensley Suite with a plunge pool is a crown jewel of design with sophisticated details, where every inch is the work of art. Pool Villas at The Slate are like dreams that come true, presenting themselves as artsy houses in the midst of lush verdure. DINING OPTIONS To specify a strong suit of this place is quite a difficult thing to do, as other scenes here, in addition to the wondrous accommodations, are as compelling. You won’t need to leave the place for a special meal, as the outlets at The Slate serves delectable excellence to your table from day to night, whether you want to savour authentic Japanese cuisine at Rivet & Rebar, truly Thai tastes at Black Ginger, or international fares at Tin Mine, not to mention the restaurants’ ambience and design that are strikingly exquisite. If you are here on Sunday, never miss the brunch whatsoever. WHY I’D RETURN  There are a lot more creative wonders to be discovered here. If my soul feels weary, I would definitely fly myself Phuket and just relish in the days at The Slate to come out more rejuvenated than ever. ONE OR TWO QUIBBLES… I cannot think of one. THE SLATE 116 Moo 1,  Saku, Thalang, Phuket  83110, Thailand T. +66 (0) 76 327 006 W. www.theslatephuket.com FACEBOOK @theslatephuket INSTAGRAM @theslatephuket   Text by Pakvipa Rimdusit

If your plan to explore world's wonders has been postponed, luckily, you still get to visit Egyptian heritages with virtual tours brilliantly exhibited by the country's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and The American Research Center in Egypt. The interactive Egypt's Map takes you on a marvelous time-traveling journey back to the early civilisations, where you can discover Egyptian treasures by location or by historical era. You can also learn about the six UNESCO World Heritage culteral sites in Egypt, or even explore remarkable museums right from your comfy couch. To travel with them, visit: egymonuments.gov.eg   To dive into specific sites, ARCE allows you to walk with them in their past conservation projects, for you to be compelled by geniusness of humankind, from Bab Zuwayla in Cairo to Tomb of Menna, and more historical places. The virtual tours let you explore freely, while giving you descriptions at remarkable spots, as if you are having a guided tour. To travel with them, visit: www.arce.org/virtual-tours   Not only these free tours let you enjoy traveling in stunning places while tourism is on hold, they can help you practically plan your future trips in this wondrous country.   Photo by Alex Azabache from Pexels

Globally, the Aman collection is renowned for its architectural and design brilliance, along with unparalleled seclusion, first-rate hospitality, refined hints of local culture, and being set amidst pristine nature. To find the right Aman for you, we have compiled a list of Aman destinations adhering to your future special occasions.   THE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAM Amanpuri, Thailand On a private peninsular of Phuket's Andaman Sea, Amanpuri is designed to reflect the country’s classic architectural style in harmony with its idyllic natural surrounds. With its beautiful isolation, plus its dreamlike beauty, a wedding at Amanpuri makes the celebration even more memorable. Amanyara, Turks and Caicos Islands In the midst of the Atlantic Ocean, on the northwest coast of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos islands, Amanyara is a remote coastal retreat with striking architecture and natural beauty of Amanyara means that almost every turn reveals yet another spot suitable for the exchanging or renewing of vows. Amangiri, USA Amangiri, located in the middle of unique Utah's landscape, your special ceremony can be completely one-of-a-kind, as it can be held across the resort, from on the resort’s patio to the desert, framed by the surrounding dunes, mountains and plateaus.   JUST-THE-TWO-OF-US CELEBRATIONS Amanpulo, Philippines Set on a remote private island of Pamalica, at Amanpulo, the entire untouched paradise is all yours. With the powder white beach, gleaming turquoise sea, and vibrant reefs, this is an ideal haven for a romantic getaway. Aman Venice, Italy Aman Venice is situated in a 16th-century Palazzo on the Grand Canal at the best spot to feel the "Venice" way, together with private gardens, interior arts, and opulent design. The venue stands out for a myriad of reasons, in addition to its glamorous beauty. For those who seek somewhere romantic, this is the place. Amanjena, Morocco Revel in the Marrakech romance under date palms and olive trees at Amanjena.   GROUP RETREATS Amanruya, Turkey At Amanruya, you can enjoy the breeze and dazzling waters of the beach club with your friends and family, or play some fun water sports together. No matter what activity you choose, it's always a marvelous time. Amanzoe, Greece Amanzoe's collection of villas comprises various kind of stay from one to nine bedrooms, along with the ultimate privacy on the side of the Peloponnese Peninsula. Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro On Montenegro's coastline, Aman Sveti Stefan is set on both a historic island of Sveti Stefan and the mainland at 19th-century Villa Milocer. The palatial resort is embraced by rich history of the location, as well as soul-soothing nature. Amangani, USA In one of the most astonishing spots in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Amangani is set at the foot of Teton mountains, enveloped by 2 spectacular national parks, making it more than ideal for outdoor activities in both summer and winter, while promising gorgeous panorama of wilderness all year round.   FAMILY FUNS Amanera, Dominican Republic For lovers of adventure, Amanera on the legendary Playa Grande Beach can be your family's adventure base to explore the Dominican charisma, and to have fun with adventures in the nature such as kite surfing, mountain exploration, or even a golf-course nearby. Amansara, Cambodia In Cambodia's famous historic city of Siem Reap, Amansara

Even though traveling is on hold, you can still experience the best of Germany while sitting comfortably at your home, with the #DiscoverGermanyFromHome. The virtual experiences for breathtaking destinations in all 16 states are available for you to enjoy all day long, dreaming about relishing in delightful nature, rich history and culture, as well as being stunned by glamourous castles, and plan to visit this magical land later. You can also try cooking German fares with recipes available on the site. Click here to discover the one-off charms of Germany.

There are many reasons why Bali is one of the most favourite destinations for many of us. The Island of Gods appeals to soul searchers, swanky crowds to luxury travellers. No matter what you are seeking, once seems never enough, for your next getaway to this magnificent island of Indonesia, we have compiled a must-try list. Check these places out.   COME INDULGE Cliff Edge Spa Cabana Alila Uluwatu takes spa pampering to the next level with the newly unveiled Cliff Edge Spa Cabana set atop the breathtaking Uluwatu Cliff. Spa goers will be swept away in an exclusive open-air cabana for two, perched 100 metres above the sea. Unwind in a specially curated 120-minute spa treatment whilst enjoying uninterrupted view of the Indian Ocean and the soothing sounds of the crashing waves and chirping birds. This ultimate indulgence encompasses a refreshing foot soak, a choice of Balinese or Therapeutic massage, sound healing and a rejuvenating eye ritual. alilahotels.com/uluwatu   COME DINE Sensorium Looking for an Australian café? Head to Sensorium, the café that feels like it is straight out of a quaint neighbourhood in Melbourne. Located in the hip Canggu, the place evokes your senses with the décor inspired by cosy Australian interior fused with Japanese simplicity and minimalism. William Lim, Chef-Owner, brings his childhood memories to modern Australian Brunch with Asian twist; try our favourites - Brunch Raman Soup topped with 62c egg, pickled daikon, wild mushrooms, chicken roulade and delicious chicken dashi, or Textural of Mushrooms served with homemade seaweed paste, kailan, fried onion and rye bread. Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No.31A - Canggu, North Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali sensoriumbali.co.id Mauri Chef Maurizio Bombini is no stranger to the culinary scene in Bali. Chef Maurizio, previously at Bulgari and Ritz Carlton Mandapa, now serves up to his very own contemporary Italian restaurant - Mauri in the heart of bustling Seminyak. The menu celebrates the culture, food and beauty of Maurizio’s hometown – Apulia region. A glass-enclosed show kitchen takes the centre stage, propped with five-seat chef counter for up-close and personal interaction. The main dining area is designed to be an intimate space for only 40 seats whilst the Mezzanine bar offers aperitivo-style cocktails and light bites. Jl Petitenget No 100, Seminyak mauri-restaurant.com   COME SHOP John Hardy Seminyak Boutique Bali is a paradise for shopping, so don’t miss artisan handcrafted jewellery by John Hardy. Each distinctive collection conveys evocative symbolism and honours the transmission of creative energy from the artist to the wearer. Stop by the newly launched John Hardy Concept Boutique in central Seminyak which caters handcrafted John Hardy jewellery, brand artifacts, and purchasable local artisan goods — ranging from textiles to ceramics to incense — that further bring Balinese culture to life. The boutique also hosts workshops, seminars, and immersive experiences designed to more deeply introduce you to the rich creative traditions and diversity of Bali. After your shopping spree, stop by the kitchen to try out an evolving menu created in collaboration with Locavore — a renowned local restaurant — highlighting the farmers, fishers, and slow food artisans of Indonesia, as well as

There is something enthralling about Naoshima, a tiny island in Seto Inland Sea with a population of around 3,000. Naoshima Island in Japan has been globally recognised for its collection of remarkable art installations, sculptures, museums and architecture spaces blended in magnificent island nature and calm sea waters. Take a stroll and hop on Yayoi Kusuma’s dotted pumpkin bus to explore a number of surreal art sites dotted around the island.   BENESSE HOUSE MUSEUM Designed by Tadao Ando, a renowned Japanese architect and Pritzker Prize-winner, Benesse House Museum is a museum with lodging facilities. The first museum marked the inception of art projects on the island. The buildings, unified with the geography in respect of the scenery, are an art on their own and equally impressive as the series of on-site contemporary artworks and exhibits.   CHICHU ART MUSEUM The Tadao Ando-design museum showcases Claude Monet’s Water Lily paintings and artworks by James Turrell and Walter De Maria. Expect the unexpected ways of stupefying art exhibits. Despite the subterranean structure of the buildings, the museum plays with rays of natural light that change the appearance of the artworks and the ambience through the passage of time throughout the day and seasons. You will be immersed in a not-to-be-missed sensory experience by joining a sunset session ofJames Turrell’s spectacular Open Sky installation.   ART HOUSE PROJECT Weaving rich history and contemporary art, Art House Project turns traditional feudal houses and sites into art spaces exhibiting specially created artworks by contemporary artists. Meander around Honmura district, the cultural and historic centre of the island to discover seven Art House locations scattered across the area. Be amazed with your own eyes by the presence of light from James Turrell’s Back Side of the Moon prominently displayed at Minamidera.   ANDO MUSEUM Located in Honmura district, Ando Museum infuses the new perspective by combining wooden, concrete, light and dark elements, bringing out an ever-changing aspect every moment as sunlight and shadow orchestrate, along with displays detailing Ando’s impressive projects and the series of buildings on Naoshima.   OUTDOOR ART INSTALLATIONS Among outdoor art installations around the island, the two Pumpkins by Yayoi Kusuma - one of the most acclaimed Japanese Pop Art artists of all time, have become the icon of Naoshima Island. Upon arriving at Miyanoura Port by ferry, you will be greeted by the Red Pumpkin just a few steps from the terminal, whereas the Yellow Pumpkin awaits for Insta-worthy photos on the pier near Benesse House. A short walk from the Red Pumpkin lies Naoshima Pavillion by Sou Fujimoto – a geometric structure perched on shoreline. This immersive seven-metre polyhedron made of white stainless steel mesh allows visitors to enter inside its angular frame making it ideal for another enviable photo-taking spot.   HOW TO GET TO NAOSHIMA From Okayama, take a JR Uno Line from Okayama Station to Uno Station. Across the street from Uno Station is the ferry terminal from where ferries depart frequently for Miyanoura Port on Naoshima and less frequently to Honmura Port on the opposite side of the island. The ferry terminal at

ON THE FAR SOUTH COAST OF THE ANDAMAN SEA, THE MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO REMAINED UNTOUCHED UNTIL THE 1990s WHEN IT OPENED TO TOURISTS. HOME TO JAM-PACKED WOODS, VAST CORAL REEFS, DENSE MARINE AND ON-GROUND LIVES, WONDERFUL GEOMORPHOLOGY, HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS, AS WELL AS OVER 1,000 NOMADIC PEOPLE, THE MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO DOES NOT OFFER JUST A DAZZLING BEACHFRONT GETAWAY, BUT THE “REAL” WAY OF RECONNECTING TO THE EARTH, AND GETTING TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT ON A DEEPER LEVEL.   Out of over 800 islands in this archipelago, I luckily got to spend relaxing days amidst awesome quietude on Kyun Pila or the Pila Island, where birds joyously sing, the forest remains dense, and the beach stays naïve. It feels so hopeful to know that a land this pristine still exists. ASHORE AND AQUATIC CREATURES The area that is presently Myanmar has long been dense with precious natural resources, marine lives and flourishing forests. Many parts of the country, luckily, are still left unscathed, but also many of them are run-down, mainly due to insufficient information on their significance provided to the locals, as well as inadequate proper plans to protect and restore them. Ecosystems work in a variety of ways in different parts of the world, and Mergui Archipelago, being distant from the mainland, has unique ones. On the Pila Island, it is an ideal spot to observe healthy onland and underwater lives, which are not as disturbed as other easilyaccessible scenes. As the sea is indeed inseparable from the land, keeping them both robust is a vital act. Even though “leaving nature alone” might as well be the best strategy to get them to revive, it can take too much time, and human beings can be very helpful with the right means, competent knowledge, and respect for the lives out there. INTO THE WILD I have been to many islands before, but on this wonderful Pila Island, it is an experience like never before. As a private island with an environmentally friendly resort, every spot comes with serenity and natural wonders! Strolling on the soft sands, I am stunned by captivating, enigmatic rock formations on the shore, which looks especially breathtaking when the tide is low in early morning. Stepping closer, I find the rocks are home to countless crabs. I keep coming back on this tiny adventure of mine, observing the crab community I have never seen before. Aside from rock crabs, hermit crabs hidden in artsy shells are another magic of the island. Birdwatching is a thing to do when you are at Awei Pila Resort. Mitch Hawkins, the recreation manager at the resort will bring you around to spot birds, explain their lovely behaviours, and distinguish the sound of their songs from one another. Chances are you’ll find some kingfishers, white-rumped shamas, racked-tailed drongos, and other tuneful creatures. Along the birdwatching way or the hike to nearby villages, soaring trees with its own ecosystem are all over the places, warranting the robustness of the nature of this distant island. Wildlife such as meerkats, wild pigs, and more are still there in the forest, but they do

FROM KOH CHANG IN THAILAND TO PHU QUOC IN VIETNAM, A STRING OF ISLANDS HUGS THE COAST – AND MOST OF THEM ARE CAMBODIA’S, SITTING OFFSHORE OF THE KINGDOM’S 440 KILOMETRES OF TWISTING AND TURNING COASTLINE – THE PEARLS OF THE CAMBODIAN SEASHORES The beauty of these islands is that most of them are undeveloped, with wild beaches and just a few simple backpacker huts if you want to stay a while – or no huts at all, just you and nature. Perfect for day trips, or pitching a tent in paradise. Then there are two big islands – Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem – which have a whole range of accommodation along their super-long beaches, with dense jungle interiors. Lastly, for those with fat wallets, there are three private islands blessed with fabulous luxury resorts. Well and truly off the map at the turn of the century, Cambodia’s islands now have something for everybody, from just a hammock in the trees, to a wooden chalet with a balcony, through to an exclusive villa with your own pool. Numbering no less than 60, the islands lack roads, ATMs or mains electricity, but boast a host of bars, restaurants and dive shops, plus endless beaches, azure seas and an escapist, easy-going vibe. Controversially, some islands have been leased to developers for large-scale resort building, so who knows how long this away-from-itall tranquillity will exist? Already the charm of the first of Cambodia’s beach hubs, the seaside town of Sihanoukville, has been smashed and annihilated by manic development. In just the last few years, what was a laid-back beach town has become a grotesque casino city for Chinese gamblers, its former backpacker haunts left to rot. That means right now is the time to enjoy the Cambodian islands, while they are still treasures possessing a serenity not easily found elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Let’s check them out. THE NORTHERN GROUP KOH KONG KOAH If you’re coming from Thailand by land – not a bad idea at all, entering Cambodia from Trat province – then the first big island is Koh Kong Koah, which is in fact Cambodia’s largest island. However, it has a strong military presence, so access is tightly controlled and you must visit on a guided boat tour out of Koh Kong town or Tatai costing USD21 per person, including lunch and snorkelling equipment, or you can take overnight trips with beach camping or homestay for USD55. These trips only operate from October to May and it’s forbidden to explore the forested interior. Seven beaches are strung along the western coast, lined with coconut palms and lush vegetation. At the sixth beach from the north, a narrow channel leads to a hidden lagoon. KOH S’DACH ARCHIPELAGO KOH S’DACH Twelve small islands form the Koh S’Dach Archipelago, located offshore midway between the Thai border and the coastal city of Sihanoukville. Just two kilometres long, Koh S’Dach is the only island with a sizeable population, about 2,300, and it buzzes with fishing boats and an ice factory as the economic heart of the archipelago. The beaches

Today Edge, the New York’s highest outdoor sky deck, officially opened to the public offering unparalleled 360-degree views of the iconic city skyline. Beginning at 1:00 PM, the first ticketed visitors stepped out onto Edge’s outdoor viewing area featuring a thrilling glass-floor, angled glass walls, and outdoor skyline steps from the 100th to 101st floors of 30 Hudson Yards. Visitors also experienced the immersive, multi-room ‘Journey to Edge’ show telling the history of New York City’s newest neighborhood from construction over an active rail yard to sustainability achievements and more. To mark the opening, Edge has also launched a nightly light show designed by L’Observatoire International which will run from sunset to midnight daily through 4 April. Hudson Yards also announced today a program offering New York City public school groups free visits to Edge and Vessel every Tuesday. The program kicked-off today with fifth grade students from neighboring elementary school P.S. 33 in Chelsea getting a sneak peak of the entire experience prior to the first ticketed guests. NYC Public School bookings can be made online at www.edgenyc.com/group-bookings “The overwhelming public response to Hudson Yards over the past year – making us part of everything from their morning coffee run to a place to celebrate special occasions – has been incredibly humbling. With the opening Edge, one of the final pieces of the first phase of Hudson Yards, it was important to us to extend an invitation not only to the world to experience our great city from new heights, but also to New Yorkers who have made us part of the City’s cultural fabric. We are proud to ensure Edge is accessible to New York Public School students which we hope will inspire the next generation of New Yorkers to fall even more in love with this great city,” said Stephen Ross, Chairman of Related Companies. “Our goal at Oxford is to connect people to exceptional places, and Edge is another incredible attraction that Hudson Yards has to offer New Yorkers and visitors from across the globe. It’s truly one of the best views of one of the best cities in the world, and we’re excited for everyone to experience it first hand,” added Michael Turner, President of Oxford Properties. A bar, located on the 100th floor, offers a glass of champagne or signature cocktail and light bites to enjoy indoors or outdoors on the sky deck. Situated one floor above Edge, on the 101st floor, is Peak a stunning restaurant, bar, and event space operated by hospitality group RHC. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and extending out 80 feet from the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, Edge redefines the New York skyline. Its monumental triangular form completes the tower’s architectural dialogue with the city. A marvel of modern engineering and structural design, the 765,000-pound observation deck is comprised of 15 sections, each weighing between 35,000 and 100,000 pounds, bolted together and anchored to the east and south sides of the building. The 7,500-square-foot outdoor viewing area is surrounded by