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A Fascinating One-Day Trip to Tanjung Sepat

A Fascinating One-Day Trip to Tanjung Sepat

A sleepy little town has emerged as one of the most visited destinations in Malaysia. Tanjung Sepat is located a good 100 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur. The drive along the two-lane road passing lots of quaint small towns is pleasant and enjoyable. Let’s go!

///Malaysia///

A self-guided sightseeing tour is a great way to spend a day in Tanjung Sepat. The small fishing town in Kuala Langat in Selangor is named after a type of fish called Sepat. The cape town is perfect for a day trip getaway from the city. There is so much to see and do there. Most visitors do not stay since it is only an hour plus drive from the city center. If one does wish to stay a night, there are a handful of small motels available.

It is recommended that one starts the day there early to catch a popular eatery named YiKee Seafood Bak Kut Teh. In fact, the eatery starts their food service as early as 7.30 a.m. and usually runs out of food by 10 a.m. It’s not just a tourist haunt, but many locals also flock there for a piping hot clay pot of herbal soup filled to the brim with meat and seafood. After breakfast, take a leisure stroll through the main morning market just to check what they offer.

Then it’s off to catch some fishing docks in action, or simply head over to the farms to walk off the heavy meal. If you’ve missed the fishing boats coming in, you can still head over to some of the shops where they process the fish into fish products.

Thong Hsing Trading is located nearby the seafood bak kut teh eatery in one of the small lanes. The fish ball factory is run in the vicinity of the owner’s home. If you’re early enough, you can catch them making fish balls and other fish products from scratch. Processing machines separate the flesh of the fish from the bones. One can buy all sorts of fish products here from fish balls to fish cakes, stuff fish paste and more.

There is also another popular place to buy or catch more fish products. And that is at the Yek Loong Enterprise fish ball factory located in a small shop lot near the main market. Though the machines have taken over some of the more tedious work, there are still lots of work to be done by hands only and that includes this lady stuffing fish paste onto thin bean curd sheets to make Fu Chuk.

Though there are lots of farms to visit such as dragon fruit farm, longan farm and more, we opted for some cool places such as the Ganofarm. Ganofarm is a mushroom research company that cultivates varieties of mushrooms for sale. One can catch quite a few common mushrooms they farmed there, such as Ling Zhi, Oyster, Abalone, Monkey Head and more.

Behind Ganofarm, there is a lovely area with a bridge to visit! One can actually walk out to the sea and take some great photos there, too. It is a lovely day; hence the sky is gorgeous as it meets the horizon of the sea.

There used to be another more popular bridge named the “Lover’s Bridge,” but that was taken down since it had collapsed earlier last year.

Near the bridge site, there are quite a few seafood restaurants that many flock to till today for seafood. A popular gift shop named Qing Ren Qiao Souvenir Shop sells lots local snacks and knick knacks. 

There’re quite a few smaller pop up stalls selling food and drinks as well as sweets. This bicycle sells fried fish balls and other fish and dried seafood products that are yummy too.

For lunch, there are a few restaurants in the Lover’s Bridge vicinity, such as Ocean Seafood, Lover Bridge Tanjung Sepat, and Ban Joo Hin Seafood. Savor home cooked seafood dishes with a beautiful sea view.

5 Amazing Lesser-Known Tropical Islands

5 Amazing Lesser-Known Tropical Islands

These small islands in Southeast Asia may not be world-famous, but they are beautiful paradise each in a special way. Check them out.

/// ASEAN ///

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Photo // Panu Tangchalermkul
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Photo // Panu Tangchalermkul
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Photo // Panu Tangchalermkul

– Koh Kham (Thailand) –

Koh Kham lies just off the coast of Chonburi Province, which is about an hour’s drive east from Bangkok. The small island is an eco-tourism park protected by the Royal Thai Navy. So, everything is well organized while the price is reasonable. Staying overnight is not permitted, but you can enjoy plenty of activities during daylight hours from snorkeling to kayaking to hiking. Views from the vista point perched high atop the hillock are fantastic. For those who love the beach, it’s a good destination for one-day trips not too far from Thailand’s capital.


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Photo // I Travel Philippines
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Photo // Milet Miranda
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Photo // Lee

– Siargao (The Philippines) –

Siargao is well known for the big waves that have attracted many surfers from across the globe. The legendary “Cloud 9,” a jargon for gigantic tubular waves, usually occurs just off the coast from here. The best time of year to enjoy the surfing scene at Siargao is September when the Siargao Cup, an international surfing competition, is held. If surfing is not your cup of tea, beautiful sceneries are aplenty waiting for you to explore.


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Photo // Phalinn Ooi
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Photo // Phalinn Ooi
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Photo // Katja Hasselkus

– Pangkor Laut (Malaysia) –

While visiting the island in 1994, Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti called it the most beautiful place that he’s ever seen. Nowadays Pangkor Laut is home to five-star resorts and spas frequented by celebrities. Aside from sipping cocktails at the infinity pool and rewarding yourself with a good massage, you can go on sightseeing tours and witness the exotic flora and fauna unique to the island Tropical forest.


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Photo // Mgzkun
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Photo // Mgzkun
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Photo // Phan Y Thao

– Binh Ba (Vietnam) –

Despite becoming more popular nowadays, Binh Ba remains the same old cozy island known for friendly people and beautiful beaches. The best way to explore Binh Ba is by motorbike. Feel the wind in your hair as you ride to pristine white sand beaches and take a dip in crystal clear water. Binh Ba is also dubbed the “Lobster Island.” So, you can experience authentic Viet seafood cuisine whilst here.


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Photo // Fabio Achilli
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Photo // Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten
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Photo // Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten

– Bunaken (Indonesia) –

Divers will love Bunaken, a small island that is part of the Bunaken National Marine Park at the northern tip of Sulawesi. It’s one of the most sought-after diving spots in Indonesia that are known for a great diversity of marine life. You can find over 70 different corals and rare fishes that only exist in the Pacific Ocean. Sharks, sea turtles and dugongs, even saltwater crocodiles are occasionally spotted here at Bunaken. Still not satisfied? Dolphin and whale watching trips are available, too.

 

A Day Trip Through Charoen Krung

A Day Trip Through Charoen Krung

There is more to Charoen Krung than iconic landmarks. Keep walking and you will discover richer cultural heritage beyond the famous tourist attractions. A day trip through the historic riverfront neighborhood is one way to find out. Let the journey begin. 

/// Thailand ///

Story: Bundaree Deewong / Photo: Rithirong Chanthongsuk, Bundaree Deewong, Peerapol Taiyaithieng

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The historic neighborhood of Charoen Krung has attracted many tourists and locals looking for a glimpse of old-world Bangkok. Originally called New Road, the avenue and namesake pretty much follows the path of the Chao Phraya River. Rich in historical and cultural heritage, it’s a chic place to chill out if you have time on your hands.

The area is gradually transforming into a “creative district,” thanks to active collaboration between the Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC) and Thai Health, a wellness promotion organization. The initiative is aimed at promoting healthy behaviors for a better lifestyle and eventually mature to become a torchbearer for other districts to follow. Designed by Shma Soen, the project master plan recently won a highly commended award at the World Architecture Festival 2016 in Berlin.

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Living ASEAN invites you on a journey for pleasure to discover beautiful places and come back the same day. Let’s get started at:

09.00: The journey begins on the hour at Taksin Bridge BTS Station. The venue is chosen for the start because it is easy to get to. You can come here either by the Bangkok Transit System or by boat services on the Chao Phraya.

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On exiting the BTS station at Taksin Bridge or a nearby riverboat pier, take your time to admire Wall Art Exhibitions. Beautiful works by international artists have turned this neighborhood into a landmark ideal for photo shoots.

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The first attraction that you shouldn’t miss is Chiew Eng Buai, a beautiful Chinese shrine located a stone’s throw away from the BTS station at Taksin. The historic building was erected in memories of Chinese traders arriving by sailing ships but later killed due to a misunderstanding some 150 years ago. The Chinese architectural masterpiece is bedecked with beautifully patterned tiles, religious images, and dragon statuary. You are most welcome to drop in and pay respects.

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From the shrine, take a sidetrack next to the Shangri-La Hotel and you come to Charoen Krung Soi 50. The minor path is home to a Vintage Loft-style hostel named Glur Hotel Bangkok. It is popular among foreign tourists and backpackers looking for a decent place that won’t cost them an arm and a leg.

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From the hostel heading north, you are back on the main avenue of Charoen Krung. The famous Bang Rak Market is located between Choroen Krung Soi 46 and 42. It’s a slice of paradise for shoppers and great experience for people who love to eat. The main drag is lined with old row houses showcasing the architectural style of old-world Bangkok.

10 Most Romantic Hotels and Resorts in the Region

10 Most Romantic Hotels and Resorts in the Region

Indulge in sensual pleasures and experience the excitement at one of the most romantic hotels in the Region. Living ASEAN takes a sneak peek at ten of them for Valentine’s Day. Check this out.

/// ASEAN ///

Conrad Bali
Conrad Bali, Indonesia
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Conrad Bali, Indonesia

– Conrad Bali, Indonesia –

There is nothing like Infinity, a wedding chapel at Conrad Bali. Its simply stunning design is a one-of-a-kind romantic scene for the betrothed. The steel-framed glass wall on the north side, which stands for the bride, is designed to go hand in hand with the marble south side that represents the groom.

Located at Nusa Dua on the southern coast of Bali, the hotel offers five-star services with large rooms, beautiful gardens, and a spectacular beachfront. You will love traditional Balinese wisdom at Jiwa Spa, a wellness destination set in a peaceful water garden. That’s reason enough for an unforgettable experience.

http://www.conradbali.com/


 

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L’Alyana Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Vietnam
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L’Alyana Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Vietnam
L’Alyana Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Vietnam
L’Alyana Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Vietnam

– L’Alyana Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Vietnam –

Soak up the ambience of a rainforest on rock-strewn mountainsides looking out over the ocean. The villas at L’Alyana are set on exclusive and private locations with spectacular views of the lagoon and Ninh Van Bay. The wholesome destination features a private pool for each villa, plus the main infinity pool, full spa facilities, and fine dining.

L’Alyana Ninh Van Bay is situated 16 km from Nha Trang’s city center. It offers airport shuttle service for smooth and easy transfer.

http://www.anlamnvb.com/


 

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Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
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Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand

– Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand –

Set on mountainous terrain in northern Thailand, the Four Seasons Tented Camp stands at a tri-point where the borders of Burma, Laos, and Thailand meet. The sumptuous hideaway boasts spectacular mountain trails surrounded by bamboo jungles. Here you can chillax in a luxurious tent setting, and indulge in traditional Thai-style massage on a private sundeck while listening to a chorus of birds and frogs in the river below. Trendy jungle-style weddings and honeymoon activities are among many romantic events designed for couples joined in matrimony.

http://www.fourseasons.com/goldentriangle/


 

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Hanging Gardens of Bali, Indonesia
Hanging Gardens of Bali, Indonesia
Hanging Gardens of Bali, Indonesia
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Hanging Gardens of Bali, Indonesia

– Hanging Gardens of Bali, Indonesia –

The hotel’s 44 private villas reflect the Balinese idea of paradise, a place of serene natural beauty. Each gorgeous villa boasts a sense of discrete luxury combining contemporary design with Balinese décor, signature handcrafted furniture, exotic fabrics, open air dining space, and spectacular master bathrooms. Tastefully done to fit in with pristine surroundings, it’s true jungle paradise for lovers.

https://hanginggardensofbali.com/


 

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Dedon Island Resort, Siargao, the Philippines
Dedon Island Resort, Siargao, the Philippines
Dedon Island Resort, Siargao, the Philippines
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Dedon Island Resort, Siargao, the Philippines
Dedon Island Resort, Siargao, the Philippines
Dedon Island Resort, Siargao, the Philippines

– Dedon Island Resort, Siargao, the Philippines –

The boutique island resort is founded by Dedon, a European brand of handcrafted luxury outdoor furniture. Its design is based on the “barefoot state of mind” as the guiding principle. The holiday retreat is located on Siargao, one of the Philippines’ most pristine tropical islands renowned for great surfing reefs. Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches with coconut trees combine to make this romantic island resort a perfect escape from it all.

http://www.dedonisland.com/

9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia

9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia

Planning the journey of a lifetime with your special one? You need look no further than Southeast Asia. Here are the Region’s top nine romantic places to ponder your next move.

/// ASEAN ///

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: jeffrey manzini
Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: jeffrey manzini

– Pulau Lengkuas, Belitung, Indonesia –

A small islet off the northeastern coast of Belitung Island, Pulau Lengkaus is home to white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Apart from swimming, exploring pristine coral reefs, and climbing rocks worn smooth by erosion, there isn’t much else to do. That’s what makes the idyllic landscape great fun for couples wanting to spend their time alone, away from crowded beaches and tourists.

Its only landmark is a 12-story-tall lighthouse. Built in 1882, it still performs the function for which it was intended. You can climb to the top holding hands and enjoy fascinating views together.


 

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia

– Gardens by the Bay, Singapore –

This man-made forest park looks futuristic, but it has got tons of beautiful plants and flowers too, which makes it ideal for taking selfies with your beloved. Gardens by the Bay afford captivating views of the scenery and Singapore skyline, especially from the Skywalk that gets even more romantic by night.


 

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Lynda
Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Yun Huang Yong

– Sapa Lake, Sapa, Vietnam –

Fascinating attractions abound in the northwestern town of Sapa, but its pride and the most romantic place is the iconic lake and namesake. Here you can chill out while gazing at reflections of the whole town on water. The view is even more picturesque as light fog lingers longingly over the blurred top of the lake.


 

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Christian Haugen
Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Chris

– Bokeo Nature Reserve, Bokeo, Laos –

If you and your better half are wildlife lovers, Bokeo Nature Reserve is your next romantic destination. The protected forest of deciduous trees and mountainous terrains are home to the black-cheeked gibbon once thought to be extinct. The endangered ape species can only be found at high elevations in Laos, Vietnam, and China.

An ecotourism program known as Gibbon Experience is provided at Bokeo Nature Reserve. Ready for fun? You can stay in one of treetop huts that are interconnected via zip lines, or trek across the terrains to observe the gibbons from under the canopy. All monies paid to the program go towards keeping the nature reserve in good shape as nature intended.


 

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia
Photo: Photo Dharma

Top 9 Most Romantic Places in Southeast Asia

– Banteay Srei, Siem Reap, Cambodia –

Located in the area of Angkor in Cambodia, Banteay Srei is considered one of the most beautiful temples dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. Even the name is prepossessing: Banteay Srei means the “citadel of beauty.” Built in the tenth century, the temple was crafted of sandstones in shades of pink and showcased some of the finest stone carvings. Renowned for beautiful sculptures and intricate design in sweet pinkish hues, Banteay Srei is a must-visit place if you and your sweetheart love the works of art from the ancient past.

10 Most Incredible Airbnb Accommodations in the ASEAN

10 Most Incredible Airbnb Accommodations in the ASEAN

Airbnb.com is not only Bed & Breakfast budget room. Take a peek with us and book a night (or more) in these wonderful Airbnb accommodations for an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enjoy your holidays!

Photos: www.airbnb.com


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– Bamboo Eco Cottage in a Paddy Field / Indonesia –

Only five minutes away from central Ubud stands a woven bamboo house, where nature lovers can fully enjoy a night next to a rice paddy field. The room comes with an outdoor living area and an open-roof bathroom. This is truly a secluded home to relax away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/744971



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– Stunning Bamboo House by the River / Indonesia –

The title says it all. This Airbnb’s top-picked property is the most favorite among celebrities from around the world. Nestled on the bank of the Ayung River, the whole-bamboo house offers three double-bed bedrooms with en-suite baths, kitchen, lounge, plunge pool, a workspace on the fourth floor. What more could one ask for a perfect luxurious vacation in Bali?
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/798483


 

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– Superb Property for Movie Shoot or Corporate Event / Singapore –

It’s not common to see a house in Singapore. However, among skyscrapers and high-rise condominiums, there is this large colonial-accent house with a 1-hectare park and a swimming pool available for rent. With a capacity of up to 50 guests, you can even throw an exclusive gala new year here (as long as you keep the noise down as the host requested.)
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9815599


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– House with a Pool on the Mekong / Laos –

The French-Laos colonial house offers a beautiful view of the serene Mekong River and the smaller Nam Dong River. The design is simple yet elegant. It features three large bedrooms with en-suite baths, a living room and terraces. Its private infinity pool parallel to the Mekong River is a nice spot to watch the sunrise and sunset with Mekong as a background.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3939934


 

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– Kiridara Villa Ban Visoun / Laos –

The lovely villa is a part of Kiridara Hotel in Luang Prabang, which ensures you a superior hospitality. The 2-bedroom villa is of contemporary Lao style. With historical sites and a local village nearby, guests have a chance to experience the authentic local way of life.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6941851



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– Studio P I L A; Loft, Comfy Designer’s Home / Thailand –

This loft townhouse in Bangkok also doubles as a studio of a fashion designer. So, a pleasant stay with a trendy and chic host is guaranteed. The hose offers a second floor on the 4-storey building for guests, while the first floor is a reception area and the designer himself lives on the third floor.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16156713


 

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– The Mustang Nero / Room No.4 the Horse / Thailand –

This could be one of the most exotic rooms to stay in Bangkok. The building itself is a renovated shop-house. The host cleverly turned The Horse room into a raw, rustic accommodation with a big tree in the middle of it, vintage furnishings and artsy taxidermies. It may not suit guests with fainted hearts, but it is surely impressive.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5964843?s=AP3-gjiJ


 

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– The Naked House / Thailand –

The stilt-floor plan house on Samui Island takes advantage of the location for a full panoramic ocean view and fresh natural air. The house takes up to 11 people and also has a saltwater lap pool surrounded by nature. According to a guest’s comment, the real building looks even better than the photos. To prove the statement, book the place and see it for yourself.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3251026?s=u5f8pJAd


 

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– Tropical Paradise Tree House – Famous Homestay / Vietnam –

Supported by only one pillar, just like the historical One Pillar Pagoda, this unique homestay in Hanoi is a tree house where you can actually sleep in. The house is elevated 4 meters from the ground. Contrary to its out worldly tribal-like decoration, the place is equipped with wi-fi and air-conditioning machine for guests’ convenience.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13470326?s=0AaPdxBC


 

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– Charming Villa in Hoi An / Vietnam –

Travel back in time through a stay in this ancient house. The traditional Chinese-influenced wooden house features two spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, one master bedroom, one living room and a swimming pool. With an open-air layout, guests stay close to nature the same way people do in the old days.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1194406?s=RPHQC3ui

 

 

Behind the Names of ASEAN Capitals

Behind the Names of ASEAN Capitals

Did you know that the full name of Thailand’s capital contains a total of 168 characters, which makes it the longest in the world, and that the word Manila comes from the name of a flower? Let’s take a look at meanings behind ASEAN capital names and you may find some surprising and fun facts to boast about at your next party.

 

Brunei /// Bandar Seri Begawan

Original photo credit: Bernard Spragg. Nz https://flic.kr/p/durrHX
Original photo credit: Bernard Spragg. Nz https://flic.kr/p/durrHX

The capital of the Sultanate of Brunei was originally called Bandar Brunei, or Brunei Town. In Malay, the word Bandar means town. And in Persian, it means harbor or port.

Begawan is derived from a Sanskrit word for God. The term is used to refer to Bruneian monarchs. Seri is a form of Sanskrit prefix meaning good or blessed ones. Put them together, and you get the “Blessed City of the Sultan.”

 

Cambodia /// Phnom Penh

Original photo credit: alphis tay https://flic.kr/p/r5dJam
Original photo credit: alphis tay https://flic.kr/p/r5dJam
Original photo credit: Ryan Milani https://flic.kr/p/rLU55w
Original photo credit: Ryan Milani https://flic.kr/p/rLU55w

Legend has it that the name came from a wealthy lady called Penh, who had lived there centuries ago. One day, the lady found Buddha statues floated from the river to her lawn and landed in a hollow tree. Believing this was a blessing from the Buddha, she built a temple, which later came to be called “Wat Phnom” or Hill Temple.

When the kingdom became a French protectorate in 1863, many new buildings were added to the landscape. Most of the French colonial-era structures still exist today. Thanks to beautiful architecture, Phnom Penh is also known by another name — “The Pearl of Asia.”

According to a Cambodian resident, Phnom Penh is also called Chaktomuk Mongul, meaning the Four Faces that give happiness and success.

 

Indonesia /// Jakarta

Original photo credit: alex hanoko https://flic.kr/p/axaKPW
Original photo credit: alex hanoko https://flic.kr/p/axaKPW

Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. The Dutch, who ruled the Northwest Coast Java from the 17th century until 1945, originally called it Batavia. The city was renamed Jakarta after Indonesia became independent in 1949. Jakarta is derived from Sanskrit (Jaya meaning victory, and Karta for city). Put them together and you get the “City of Victory”. Cool! Nowadays it also has become a popular name for girls there.

 

Laos /// Vientiane

Original photo credit: Matthias Hiltner https://flic.kr/p/qposGo
Original photo credit: Matthias Hiltner https://flic.kr/p/qposGo
Original photo credit: sweet_redbird https://flic.kr/p/867Suw
Original photo credit: sweet_redbird https://flic.kr/p/867Suw

Vientiane, capital of Laos or the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is an intriguing combination of two beautiful words. The “Vien” part comes from a romantic word meaning “city” whereas “Tiene,” is derived from Sanskrit “chan” meaning sandalwood, trees in the genus Santalum known for its heavenly smell. Actually pronounced “Viang Chan,” its origin can be traced back to a 500-year-old inscription, which referred to the city as one hemmed in by sandalwood walls.

 

Malaysia /// Kuala Lumpur

Original photo credit: Jeff Hitchcock https://flic.kr/p/Ekn8Fy
Original photo credit: Jeff Hitchcock https://flic.kr/p/Ekn8Fy

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Kuala Lumpur sits at a confluence where the Klang and the Gombak rivers flow into one.

Literally the name is Malay for a “Muddy Confluence.” It originated as a mining town that later grew become a center of commerce, and eventually the capital of multiracial Malaysia. It all began when the Selangor royal family hired Chinese prospectors to search for minerals in the Ampang area. A tin mine was established there, and the rest was history.

 

Myanmar /// Naypyidaw

Original photo credit: Utenriksdepartementet UD https://flic.kr/p/872LuG
Original photo credit: Utenriksdepartementet UD https://flic.kr/p/872LuG

Naypyidaw is a new city that has only been Myanmar’s capital since 2006. Senior General Than Shwe, head of state from 1992 to 2011, named the new capital Naypyidaw, which means “Royal City of the Sun.”

Yangon, also known as Rangoon, is Myanmar’s former capital and largest city. Founded in the early eleventh century, Yangon is not only rich in history and cultural heritage. It is also the most exciting place to be in Myanmar. The name Yangon is a combination of “yan,” meaning the enemy, and “koun,” meaning to run out. Put them together, and you get something like “the war has ended.”

 

The Philippines /// Manila

Original photo credit: shankar s. https://flic.kr/p/fgw9Mw
Original photo credit: shankar s. https://flic.kr/p/fgw9Mw
Original photo credit: ohbernadine https://flic.kr/p/7HFKpg
Original photo credit: ohbernadine https://flic.kr/p/7HFKpg

There are two main theories on how Manila got its name.

Maynila or Manila may refer to Nila, beautiful flowers that thrived along the shore. In times past they were popular ingredients for soap production. Even now, the species is considered one of useful plants. The stem is used to make objects of handicraft while leaf extracts are known for medicinal qualities, such as relief of stomach pain

The lesser-known theory argued that the Philippines was an Islamic state, and the name Manila was born in that era. The word is actually Amanillah, which means Faith in Allah.

 

Singapore

Original photo credit: David Russo https://flic.kr/p/xMnJsW
Original photo credit: David Russo https://flic.kr/p/xMnJsW

The old name of Singapore is Singapura. In Sanskrit, Singa is Lion and Pura is town. According to the Malay Annals (a literature work from between 15th and 16th centuries), a Sumatran prince traveled to the island and saw a lion. Seeing this as a good sign, he settled here and named the place Singapura, meaning “Lion Town.”

 

Thailand /// Bangkok

Original photo credit: Aphirux Suksai
Original photo credit: Aphirux Suksai
Original photo credit: Aphirux Suksai
Original photo credit: Aphirux Suksai

Foreigners are more familiar with the name Bangkok. But Thai people called their capital “Krungthep,” literally “City of Angels,” which is the short version of the city’s full name. The full, ceremonial name is:

“Krungthep-mahanakhon Amon-rattanakosin Mahinthara-yutthaya Maha-dilokphop Noppharat-ratchathani-burirom Udom-ratchaniwet-mahasathan Amon-phiman-awatansathit Sakkathattiya-witsanukam-prasit”

Memorizing all of the above may seem to be impossible. But thanks to Asanee-Wasan’s 1989 “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon” song, every Thai now knows the name by heart.

 

Vietnam /// Hanoi

Original photo credit: Cyrill Doussin https://flic.kr/p/fKq92w
Original photo credit: Cyrill Doussin https://flic.kr/p/fKq92w

Having most parts surrounded by the Red River, the city name is straightforward. It’s a combination of two words — Ha meaning “river,” and Noi meaning “interior or inside.” Located at a bend of the Red River, Hanoi sits embraced by a beautiful body of water.

Previously the Vietnamese capital had been referred to by several other names, among which the Thang Long (meaning the ascending dragon) that was used during a period of Chinese occupation, and Dong Kinh (meaning the eastern capital) used during the French colonial period.

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