KLCC – The Domain Housing All Human Needs

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It would not be an embellishment in the event that one said that “Kuala Lumpur City Center” (KLCC) is another capital in the capital of Malaysia. It is genuinely a glorious complex coordinated with monstrous shopping goals, eateries and other number of diversion affiliations. It was opened on the 31 of August in 1999 situating in Ampang locale affiliating to, the once world’s tallest structure, the Petronas twin towers.

The Kuala Lumpur downtown area venture was worked in a territory of 39.5 hectare including numerous business components, for example, office squares, five star inns, kids’ stimulation parks, and flats with eateries keeping in mind the end goal to cover every one of the parts of individuals’ needs.

A principle highlight of the KLCC is the Suria KLCC which is a huge shopping goal including numerous components for amusement, feasting and departments. As a primary perspective offered for diversion, the “Aquaria” is an important say that gives excellent exciting minutes amid the entire day. In the aquarium, the voyagers are gone up against moving walkways under the remote ocean, and the ones who set out to make a plunge the shark occupied waters will have an at last daring knowledge.

More finished for nature sweethearts, KLCC awards the main choice for have a wonderful time in the man-cleaning specialist urban haven in the tropical land zone of 50 sections of land at the focal point of KLCC. It is involved with an orchestra wellspring, running track, kids’ play area alongside a vast swimming pool and some more. Promote increasingly the most smoking Hollywood blockbusters and other new films of everywhere throughout the world could be delighted in the immense “TGV Cineplex” giving more than 2400 seats extraordinary projections, sound and lobby outlines.

After the nightfall the entire KLCC area transforms into a heaven of evening time amusement. It is amid this time the vast majority accumulate around the region after rushed working hours and every one of the clubs and bars diffuse along the fundamental lanes in Ampang, Pinang and Sultan Ismail drawing in uncountable guests for boundless fun.

Like the various alterations, various exquisite lodgings and other settlement assets are additionally situated in KLCC, adding significantly more to the benefit of going to. They incorporate a portion of the best Kuala Lumpur adjusted condos like Ascott Serviced Apartments, inviting visitors with guest well disposed bundles to offer current offices in extravagance climate.

For more info klcc aquaria

It’s Easy to Fall in Love With Bangkok

Following seven days in length excursion in this sublime city, I need to admit that it’s anything but difficult to become hopelessly enamored with Bangkok. I had heard a ton about the intriguing societies, greetings tech way of life, amazing Buddhist sanctuaries, eye-getting insect markets and crazy nightlife in Bangkok, and was outrageous inquisitive to investigate the “City of Angles”. These over-burden creative impulses were ringing surrounding me, notwithstanding when I was in air ship.

I arrived at the Savarnbhumi Airport, and when I got off the flying machine, the city started to draw me. The recently outlined

bangkok airport transfer has a considerable measure to tell about: from amazing present day offices to unfathomable utilization of inventive advancements. Be that as it may, what dumbfounded me the most was where an admirable endeavor has been made to coordinate Thai craftsmanship into contemporary styles of building. Extraordinary Thai artistic creations on the dividers look simply amazing.

I employed an aircon taxi, maybe the most comfortable and least demanding approach to get around in the city, to reach to my lodging. In spite of the fact that I as of now had a thought regarding how inviting and warm Thai individuals are, this time I encountered it myself. The way lodging staff treated me on entry was praisable. It was a basic 4-star lodging of the city, yet very amazing as far as structure, accommodation and also present day solaces. Extensive rooms were furnished with a few present day pleasantries like wi-fi web, a half-divider TV screen, remote-controlled lighting and a huge lavatory.

As it was pre-arranged, I finished the very first moment investigating sparkling Bangkok, by which I mean the sparkling sanctuaries, royal residences and chronicled ruins exhibiting city’s well off past and societies. As a matter of first importance, I get tricked by the Wat Arun, a well established sanctuary on west shoreline of Chao Phraya River. Astonishing compositional magnificence combined with finest of craftsmanship, this sanctuary is truly a standout amongst the most stupendous sanctuaries in Thailand. It houses a forcing steeple of tallness more than 70 meters, which is astoundingly brightened with modest bits of shaded glasses. Wat Mahathat is another fine case of Buddhism and fabulous engineering. This one of the most established sanctuaries in Thailand is a noteworthy community for the investigation of Buddhism and contemplation. Some different structures of great otherworldly hugeness here incorporate Wat Phra Khae, Wat Traimit and Wat Saket. When you’re in Bangkok, it’s practically unthinkable not to be awed the scale and desire of design of the renowned Great Palace. Unarguably, the city’s most astonishing and marvelous authentic historic point, the Grand Palace has turned into the mark of Bangkok simply like Eiffel Tower in Peris and Statue of Liberty in New York.

You can’t bear to pass up a major opportunity shopping and nightlife, when you’re in Bangkok. Acclaimed for its enthusiastic shopping centers, stunning insect markets and neighborhood road side shopping, the city gives you interminable chance to get your packs full. The most renowned regions for shopping are Chatuchuk Market, Asiatique Square and Siam Square. Taking a visit Khao San Road gives you a nightlife encounter you have never experienced.

For those slanted towards history and societies, this city has a not insignificant rundown of spots to visit on. I went to the Bangkok National Museums and Bank of Thailand Museum, both are amazingly charitable. I burned through three days in Bangkok, and afterward went to Pattaya. I appreciated there an entire day on its flawless shorelines and an overnight remain. There is significantly more (past this portrayal) that I encountered in Bangkok and Pattaya, and which took my breath away totally. You’ll get whatever is left of involvement in my next article.

Benefits of taxi service

Image result for taxi bangkok

You are off for an occasion with your friends and family or family to an extraordinary goal. What is the primary thing that worries you about investigating the city? For any individual it should be the taxi benefit. There won’t be a place you can visit on the off chance that you don’t have data about the administrations of taxis in the city. Regardless of the place you are going to, you can locate the most ideal taxi administrations. At the vast majority of the worldwide goals, taxi is the most advantageous methods for go inside the city.

Tell us about the taxi administrations accessible so touring gets helpful for you. There are various taxicabs at your administration however would you be able to depend on every one of them? After we catch wind of numerous inconspicuous occurrences occurring, it regards do a decent research on finding just the best.

1. Do a total research and pick a standout amongst other specialist co-ops in the region of your visit. The taxi to koh chang benefits that you have picked ought to have been in benefit for quite a while and have assembled trust and unwavering quality among voyagers. Check with the nearby inhabitants as they can direct you to some trusted taxicab administrations.

2. Pick a specialist co-op that has been accepting awesome audits from travelers. Along these lines, you can make sure that the taxi that you have picked is ok for you. In an obscure goal, wellbeing should dependably start things out. Along these lines, picking one that appreciates greatest consumer loyalty would promise you of this reality.

Aside from these, you can likewise check the neighborhood catalogs to think about the different taxi benefits, their security highlights, costs and so forth. Never pick a taxi in view of their rates as it were. Continuously look at wellbeing and nature of the vehicle with the cost and pick the one that gives you incentive to your cash. Pick taxicabs whose drivers know their activity quite well and have been loved and prescribed by numerous who had benefited their administrations before. A few travelers feel fulfilled when their drivers bend over to be their aides too. When you pick such taxis, you will have the capacity to value your goal better, on account of a neighborhood master as your driver.

When you think about the taxi and taxicab benefits in your new goal, you will never lose your way there. The majority of the taxicabs have GPS beacons, so it is anything but difficult to return to your inn regardless of whether you go to faraway places throughout your trek. Utilize taxicabs that know to utilize innovation in the best possible way.

Employing a taxi in the wake of perusing audits on the web or seeing their evaluations can be truly useful in helping you settle on the correct decision despite the fact that there may be numerous alternatives for you. Taxi with GPS is the most ideal route not to be lost and be protected in the meantime. So when you are employing a taxi benefit, ensure they have the GPS introduced and the driver has a legitimate ID card to indicate you. Along these lines you realize what are the wellbeing measures for voyagers taken by the taxi organizations. Get the best administration and appreciate the ride.

Thousands of pilgrims preparing to visit ‘New Jerusalem’

PIC FROM TARIQ ZAIDI / CATERS NEWS – (Pictured: Pilgrims waiting to emerge from inside a tunnel at Bet Girogis or the House of St George, Lalibela, Ethiopia. This hand-carved, 12th-century church is connected to 12 other churches by a series of tunnels, designed to protect medieval worshippers from attacks, but also to symbolize the movement of pilgrims from darkness to light.) – A powerful photography series follows a pilgrimage to an ancient religious holy ground – but its not to Jerusalem or Mecca. Lalibela, in Ethiopia, is the site of intricate monolithic cave churches, hand-chiselled out of the towns red volcanic rock. The nondescript villages churches were chiselled hundreds of years ago, and to this day individuals, often barefoot, come from all over Ethiopia to visit. Photographer Tariq Zaidi visited Lalibela this year, documenting the mountain village and the pilgrims who flock there. – SEE CATERS COPYSource:Caters News Agency

What you never knew about your in-flight meal

WE ALL like to whinge about airline food but there is a tremendous amount of effort that goes into keeping us fed at 35,000 feet.

And the things airlines and their caterers need to worry about are things that would never, ever occur to us while we’re mindlessly tucking into our in-flight meals.

Cans of Coke, for example — there’s a reason why it’s so much more expensive on planes. Or why ice-cream is such a problem. Or why passengers say they want to see healthy food on the menu but opt for the naughty option almost every single time.

In a recent interview with Skift, Anne De Hauw from catering company Gate Group, which works with about 300 airlines, provided some rare behind-the-scenes insights into the whole process.

Ms De Hauw is the vice president for innovation at Gate Group and, according to Skift, “may know more about airline food than anyone on the planet”.

It’s definitely the culinary lowlight of any trip away.

It’s definitely the culinary lowlight of any trip away.Source:istock

“People have no idea of the complexity behind airline meals — the safety standards, the supply chains, the number of meals we have to prepare for each flight,” she told Skift.


It’s the tasty treat we’re lucky to score with our in-flight dinner but ice-cream, like other dairy products, is a huge challenge for airlines and caterers, Ms De Hauw said.

“Ice cream that is supplied but not consumed is wasted,” she said.

“Everything that is milk-based is difficult too [because of temperature reasons]. We are working at solutions to overcome that problem.”

Ms De Hauw said raw fish was also difficult to serve on flights.

“It needs to be extremely fresh to be good,” she said. “And the supply chain for airline catering is not tailored for very fresh foods.”

Happily polish off all the ice cream you’re given, because any unopened tubs will go straight in the bin. (Pictured: Premium economy meal on Cathay Pacific.)

Happily polish off all the ice cream you’re given, because any unopened tubs will go straight in the bin. (Pictured: Premium economy meal on Cathay Pacific.)Source:Supplied


Have you every begrudgingly paid for a can of soft drink on a flight, knowing full well you could get it a lot cheaper on the ground?

Ms De Hauw said while it depended on the airline, the cost of getting those cans to you was a complex, expensive process.

“The cans need to be sorted in the catering unit at the airport,” she explained.

“They need to be sorted into trolleys. It is all planned in advance how much Coke goes into each trolley. The catering then needs to be driven by the high-loaders of the caterer at the airport and loaded on the aeroplane. That area is a highly-secure area.

“And the price of a high-loader [to raise the cans to the aircraft] around $200,000 [each, about A$262,000].

“The whole process of boarding all these elements has a big impact on the cost. That’s why it is more expensive onboard.”

It’s also worth noting that flight attendants typically dread serving passengers glasses of Diet Coke.

That’s because it takes so long to pour, due to its extra-fizzy nature due to the lower air pressure in the cabin, which makes it easier for the CO2 to release.

In the time it takes to pour a single Diet Coke, a flight attendant could have also served three other passengers.


Ms De Hauw said on business class, it cost about $33 per passenger for the food and equipment, including the china, cutlery, glass, napkin, pepper and salt, and the tray.

In economy class, she estimated the average cost to be about $10.50 per passenger.

This kind of business class meal spread will cost the airline about $33, and only part of that covers the actual food.

This kind of business class meal spread will cost the airline about $33, and only part of that covers the actual food.Source:Supplied


Ms De Hauw said while customers said they wanted to see healthy food on the in-flight menu, it was rarely what they ordered off the menu.

She said one of Gate Group’s airline clients boarded planes with a single fruit salad, which often, no one would ask for.

“[Passengers] like to see a healthy option but they’re not buying it,” Ms De Hauw said.

She said people typically opted for the “guilty pleasure” food.

“We have done research and actually people, unconsciously, look to comfort themselves because there’s that sentiment of fear and uncertainty,” she said.

“And they’re also not that comfortable on the flight, because they’re sitting in a seat with everybody on top of each other … People are looking to pass time, and food is one way to do that. We usually allow more guilty pleasures in the air than on the ground.”

But passengers shouldn’t get carried away.

Earlier this year, a book by Oxford University Professor Charles Spence said the average passenger consumed 3400 calories — or 14,226 kilojoules — between take-off and landing.

That’s the equivalent of about six and a half Big Macs.

And a lot of those calories came from alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, Professor Spence wrote, but about 1900 of those calories were packed into the food.


Qantas recently revealed its passengers were furious when it dared to take off the menu a completely underrated item — the humble steak sandwich.

Qantas passengers kicked up a stink at being robbed of their beloved sanga.

“The steak sandwich was promptly reinstated to the menu, where it remains a firm favourite today,” the airline told News Corp in March.


Dutch airline KLM got the world talking last year when it launched an in-flight draught beer keg.

But Ms De Hauw said other airlines were unlikely to follow suit with the mile-high pub.

“It was more like a promotional stunt,” she said.

“That particular trolley was not approved [by regulators, which must approve everything for safety]. But it was tested by KLM and KLM took the risk and the responsibility of putting it in the air anyway. Other airlines are not likely to do that.”

In a totally game-changing move, KLM launched an in-flight keg last year that served draught beer. But you probably won't see it on any other airlines. Picture: KLM

In a totally game-changing move, KLM launched an in-flight keg last year that served draught beer. But you probably won’t see it on any other airlines. Picture: KLMSource:Supplied


Ms De Hauw’s company, Gate Group, made headlines this month when the harmful bacteria listeria was found in its drains and on the ground of its unit at Los Angeles International Airport, prompting a number of its high-profile clients, including Virgin Australia, to pause its food service on flights out of LAX from the company.

She said the company immediately took action to have the bacteria removed and is reconstructing its LA base. Ms De Hauw added that airline food was among the safest in the world.

“It takes on average about 24 hours between the food production and the moment that the passenger eats the food,” she said.

“An airline cannot have their passengers become sick from their meals. It’s a very safe food experience, that’s for sure.”

Why you should always pick the security line on the left at the airport

BEYONCE has been telling us to stick to the left for the last decade, and when it comes to airport security, you would be wise to take the pop star’s advice.

Expert travellers have revealed how choo sing the correct queue ahead of your flight can make a massive difference during peak times, The Sun reports.

The stress of air travel often means we try to rush through security checks without paying much attention, but this could actually cause travellers to get stuck in slower queues.

According to a user on online forum Quora, we subconsciously pick which side to line up on depending on our dominant hand.

And considering the majority of people are right-handed, the lines on the right will be busier than those on the left.

The travel expert also explained that some airports have an extra security line for spill-over passengers located off to the side of the main queues — and it rarely gets busy.

Airport lines are the worst. Picture: Jono Searle

Airport lines are the worst. Picture: Jono SearleSource:News Limited

The Quora user, who calls himself an expert on airports, said: “Because they are mostly right-handed, people choose the right line while the left one is often less busy.

“Some airports also have a hidden security line, away from the rest, often faster than all the rest.”

So in the case of airline safety checks, left is right.

Another user on Quora provided a cunning hack to prevent travellers from waiting too long for their luggage when they arrive at their destination.

Picking up a free “fragile” sticker from airport staff and slapping it on your bag can allegedly speed up your wait time.

The user wrote: “The guys transporting your luggage will take extra care so as to not break your item. Most often the fragile tagged luggage come on to the belt first.”

Meanwhile, if you want to make sure your luggage always arrives first on the carousel on arrival at your destination, check in last.

Could trophy hunting be saving rhinos, elephants and lions?

IT’S almost too easy to jet out to Africa and hunt a lion, elephant or rhino in its “natural habitat”.

A shocking new documentary film, Trophy, shows how massive conventions are now flogging package holidays for those looking for the perfect kill.


The only catch is, they often have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to slaughter some of world’s most iconic animals in their natural habitat — some say they are saving theses precious species at the same time as killing them.

“I did not know that you could simply go online and, within minutes, book a hunt for any animal that you desired — a lion, a cheetah, an elephant, even a critically endangered black rhino,” said internationally acclaimed film director, Shaul Schwarz, whose film explores the controversial subject.

Could controlled hunting stop poaching? Picture: AFP

Could controlled hunting stop poaching? Picture: AFPSource:AFP

“Could it be that simple? It is,” he said. “Hundreds of African outfitters will welcome you, lodge you, and provide legal permits for your hunt.”

Trophy hunting, the recreational killing of animals the killing of big game for a set of horns or tusks, a skin, or a taxidermied body has become a billion-dollar business.

Now a heated debate is raging over whether this money, some of which goes back into conservation, is worth the moral issues it raises and the market for killing and animal products that it feeds.

“The basic principal of supply and demand drives these businesses — the rarer and closer to extinction a species is, the higher the price for the kill,” said Schwarz.

The cost of some of these hunts is staggering.

For example, a 14-day, single elephant hunt in Namibia can cost around $105,000.

Some of that cash is reportedly used to fund conservation projects to protect the area’s wildlife and often the meat goes back into the local, predominantly impoverished, communities.

Felix Marnewecke, a guide and hunter who leads trophy tours, told National Geographic that a portion of the fee is paid directly to community members.

International clients pose for their trophy picture after shooting a wildebeest at Mabula Pro Safaris hunting ranch in South Africa. Picture: Trophy.

International clients pose for their trophy picture after shooting a wildebeest at Mabula Pro Safaris hunting ranch in South Africa. Picture: Trophy.Source:Supplied

“I feel quite shitty when an elephant dies, but those elephants pay for the conservation of the other 2500 that move through here,” he told the magazine “Trophy hunting is the best economic model we have in Africa right now.”

“In the end it may save this place — and the elephants too.”

Problem solved then, right?

Mr Schwarz, says this couldn’t be further from the truth and some of the statistics he uses in the film are shocking.

He says big-game populations are dwindling because of pressure hunting, human encroachment, shifting climate norms, and widespread criminal poaching.

Since 1970, the world has lost over 60 per cent of all wild animals.

In 1900, there were 500,000 rhinos in the world. Now there are fewer than 30,000.

In 1900, there were 10 million elephants. In 2015 there were only 350,000 left.

And there are holes in this “hunting to save” theory. The profit-driven industry is overseen in some cases by corrupt governments and it feeds a demand for products from these animals — such as ivory.

Elephant numbers are still dropping. Picture: NewsCorp Australia.

Elephant numbers are still dropping. Picture: NewsCorp Australia.Source:News Corp Australia

The film also shows how the commodification of killing is becoming like a “fast-food culture” where hunters can go on “canned” expeditions — where they can kill lots of animals in a more enclosed environment. They are also far cheaper than the multiple day hunts.

In Trophy, US tourists are shown gunning down tied-up crocodiles at close-range hunts and celebrating in a “canned” experience.

Biologist and lion expert Craig Packer, told National Geographic the “kill to protect” argument isn’t justified.

“If hunters were shooting lions for a million dollars and returning a million per lion directly into management, they would be on solid ground,” he said.

“But lions are shot for tens of thousands of dollars, and very little of that goes into conservation.”

And, if these hunters really cared about the animals they claim to help protect — wouldn’t they be better not killing at all?

The link between hunting and conservation is nothing new. Prominent conservationists such as Charles Darwin and Ernest Hemingway were also big hunters.

But, trophy hunting and glorifying of big-game killing through social media have foisted it firmly back into the public eye in recent years.

The killing of celebrity lion Cecil in Zimbabwe three years ago created headlines around the world and outrage on social media.

Rhino horns can be cut without killing the animal, but poachers often kill. Source: Supplied.

Rhino horns can be cut without killing the animal, but poachers often kill. Source: Supplied.Source:Supplied

The US dentist who killed the lion using a bow and arrow went into hiding and spent thousands on personal security.

Some hunters have claimed many those who are outraged by these pictures are hypocrites because they eat packaged meat and consume animal products from cruel, industrial-scale farming.

Trophy also explores how the animal parts from these incredible beasts are trafficked and how the hunting industry is feeding into it.

The filmmakers met with John Hume — who is the world’s largest private rhino breeder and founder/owner of Buffalo Dream Ranch, home to approximately 1500 rhinos in South Africa.

He says rhino horn is more expensive animal product in the world and it is worth more than gold.

The retired property developer publicly advocates for legalisation of the trade in rhino horn and took the South African government to court in order to lift a 2009 moratorium on rhino horn trade that triggered a massive spike in poaching.

He trims his rhinos’ horns every two years and has over five tons of horn currently stockpiled and claims the market for the substance is not going away. So, he is advocating for a transparent, legal market.

And, just this week, President Trump said that he was temporarily reversing his decision to lift the Obama-era ban on importing big game hunting trophies into the United States.

Could Mr Hume be right?

“There are no easy answer to these questions,” said Schwarz. “We hope Trophy becomes a first step bringing those oppositional forces together to ignite a healthy, informed debate on how to save these animals before they disappear.”

Avoid the tourist traps in Hanoi and go here instead

WITH its teeming street markets, myriad historic sites and delicious food, Hanoi is a popular destination for Australian travellers.

Home to more than seven million people, it is an enormous city that warrants repeat visits.

If you’ve already been to Hanoi, and seen its key attractions, trust that there are many more sights worthy of your attention.

As a frequent traveller to Hanoi, I’ve come up with a list of six of the city’s lesser-known but fascinating spots.


There are tourist-trappy “ancient” cities all over Asia, but Duong Lam is the real deal. Picture: Ronan O'Connell

There are tourist-trappy “ancient” cities all over Asia, but Duong Lam is the real deal. Picture: Ronan O’ConnellSource:Supplied

Once tourists have thoroughly explored the remarkable Old Quarter of Hanoi, they can get their fill of history by venturing to Duong Lam Ancient Village.

Throughout Asia there are many so-called “ancient” towns or villages, a large number of which are tourist traps devoid of cultural authenticity. Duong Lam is not one of them.

An accurate picture of ancient Vietnam is sketched on the labyrinthine streets of Duong Lam, a 1200-year-old village just 60 kilometres west of Hanoi. One of the oldest villages in Vietnam, it has been well protected by the government and boasts an array of historic structures.

Hire a bicycle and ride through its narrow stone streets lined by mud brick homes until you reach the lush rice paddies that surround the village. This is a window into Vietnam as it once was.


Some of the best views in Hanoi can be found along West Lake. Picture: Ronan O'Connell

Some of the best views in Hanoi can be found along West Lake. Picture: Ronan O’ConnellSource:Supplied

The historic heart of Hanoi sprawls around Hoan Kiem Lake, an area that is beautiful but also flooded with tourists and touts.

Those in the know seek a break from the non-stop buzzing of motorbikes in downtown Hanoi by heading north of the Old Quarter to West Lake.

This huge body of water is ringed by historic temples, manicured parks and trendy neighbourhoods.

It’s also without doubt the best place in Hanoi for a relaxing walk. Start at the 11th century Den Quan Thanh Temple, walk across the Thanh Nien causeway, stopping at Tran Quoc Pagoda, then hug the edge of the lake all the way to Phu Tay Ho Temple. Break up this one-hour walk by pausing at one of the many tiny cafes by the lakeside.


Check out a Ca Tru group for a real sense of old Hanoi. Picture: Ronan O'Connell

Check out a Ca Tru group for a real sense of old Hanoi. Picture: Ronan O’ConnellSource:Supplied

One of Vietnam’s most ancient cultural activities, Ca Tru musical performances are in danger of dying out, according to UNESCO.

Bypass Hanoi’s ultra-touristy Water Puppet Theatre and instead watch one of the last remaining Ca Tru groups perform in a temple in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Ca Tru was invented in the 11th century but now there are only a few dozen of its practitioners left.

Thang Long Ca Tru Theatre in Hanoi is the finest troupe in Vietnam, led by lute player Doan Van Hu. While he strums a Vietnamese Dan Day lute, a bandmate plays the Trong Chau Drum, and a female vocalist sings in a haunting vibrato style, shifting between low and high notes as she recites ancient poetry. Set against the backdrop of a timeworn temple, their performance is captivating.


Quan Su Temple is one of Hanoi’s best secret spots. Picture: Ronan O'Connell

Quan Su Temple is one of Hanoi’s best secret spots. Picture: Ronan O’ConnellSource:Supplied

The Temple of Literature is Hanoi’s best-known temple and for good reason — it’s an enormous, impressively maintained and has an absorbing history. Far less famous, but equally fascinating, is Quan Su Temple, a large and gorgeous 15th century temple complex that is the national headquarters of Vietnam’s Central Buddhist Congregation.

Despite being located only 500 metres from the southwest corner of touristy Hoan Kiem Lake, this grand temple receives very few foreign visitors. Yet it is still very busy, drawing worshippers from across the city who come to burn incense sticks as they pray in its ornate main hall.

Wander behind this hall to admire several intricately-crafted Buddhist statues.


Even if you’re not big on museum-hopping, the Police Museum is a must-visit. Picture: Ronan O'Connell

Even if you’re not big on museum-hopping, the Police Museum is a must-visit. Picture: Ronan O’ConnellSource:Supplied

If you have already surveyed the plane wreckage of the ever-popular Military Museum, delve into the history of Vietnam’s other main security force at the very detailed Police Museum. This modern facility has a trove of exhibits, with English-language descriptions, which guide you through the timeline of the city’s police force.

The Hanoi police force was formed in 1946, in the wake of World War II, and later became a key player in the Vietnam War, fighting against the United States. These eras are brought to life via large photographic displays and vivid descriptions.


Clever tourists know to skip the crowds in the chaotic Old Quarter and head to Hom Market for their retail fix. Picture: Ronan O'Connell

Clever tourists know to skip the crowds in the chaotic Old Quarter and head to Hom Market for their retail fix. Picture: Ronan O’ConnellSource:Supplied

For most tourists to Hanoi, shopping revolves around the chaotic Old Quarter and its enormous weekend night market. Whereas that market caters heavily to tourists, a cheaper and more authentic bazaar can be found at Hom Market.

This two-storey indoor market has a huge range of clothes, shoes and fashion accessories, and also specialises in high-quality fabrics like Vietnamese silk. Hanoi has many fantastic and affordable tailors so if you want to get some clothes made then Hom Market is the place to pick your fabric.

How cemeteries have become Australia’s hot new tourist attractions

FROM the gravesite to the dinner plate, olive oil is being harvested from centuries-old trees at an Australian cemetery in a bid to shake-up people’s attitudes towards death and burial sites.

The full-bodied oil from Adelaide city’s West Terrace Cemetery is the latest effort by Australian authorities to attract not just the dead — but also the living — to the historic sites.

By reinventing cemeteries as unexplored, lush, green spaces in the heart of crowded cities, they hope to challenge the taboos surrounding death while breathing new life into the usually sombre grounds.

“Trying to sell death is very hard, no-one wants to buy it,” Adelaide Cemeteries Authority chief executive Robert Pitt told AFP as olive trees rustled in the background above ageing headstones.

Bottles of 2017 limited edition olive oil, harvested from trees at an Adelaide cemetery to shake-up people's attitudes towards death and burial sites. Picture: AFP/Peter Parks

Bottles of 2017 limited edition olive oil, harvested from trees at an Adelaide cemetery to shake-up people’s attitudes towards death and burial sites. Picture: AFP/Peter ParksSource:AFP

“However, if we’re selling olive oil or selling an experience … (it’s) where the real value of coming to a cemetery is. And there’s definitely a sense of place here. There’s a sense of reverence and a sense of history.”

This year’s limited edition bottles of olive oil, released to mark the cemetery’s 180th anniversary, sold out in a flash despite their unusual source.

It shows that cemeteries are moving beyond their main role as sites “for the disposal of the dead”, said historian Cathy Dunn.

Australia’s cemeteries have become an unlikely tourist attraction. Picture: AFP/Peter Parks

Australia’s cemeteries have become an unlikely tourist attraction. Picture: AFP/Peter ParksSource:AFP

Older cemeteries such as West Terrace and Sydney’s Rookwood — the largest in the southern hemisphere — are also becoming tourist hot spots, she added.

Rookwood, a so-called “necropolis” that is the final resting place for more than one million people, has drawn crowds by hosting open days, annual sculpture walks and even bike races.

Its recent open day to commemorate 150 years featured live jazz music, grave-digging demonstrations and face painting for children.

Visitors sit among the gravestones to at Rookwood cemetery in Sydney, which has become an unlikely tourist attraction. Picture: AFP/Peter Parks

Visitors sit among the gravestones to at Rookwood cemetery in Sydney, which has become an unlikely tourist attraction. Picture: AFP/Peter ParksSource:AFP

Rookwood chief executive George Simpson told AFP the industry was tapping into online genealogy to connect with as many people as possible.

In Adelaide, Mr Pitt is considering offering augmented reality at cemeteries to bring grave sites to life with messages from the deceased.


There’s another pressing need for cemeteries to play a bigger part in people’s lives — death rates in Australia are set to more than double over the next few decades as the population ages.

“More and more people are going to be confronted by their own mortality, if not those of relatives and friends,” Mr Pitt said.

A vintage horse-drawn hearse is driven past the mausoleum to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of Rookwood cemetery in Sydney’s west. Picture: AFP/Peter Parks

A vintage horse-drawn hearse is driven past the mausoleum to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of Rookwood cemetery in Sydney’s west. Picture: AFP/Peter ParksSource:AFP

His cemeteries authority has organised “Death Over Dinner” events — where guests share a meal and ask expert speakers about the end of life — to normalise discussions around dying.

“Our experience as cemetery operators and funeral co-ordinators is very much around that people who pre-plan … and think about their end of life before the time comes have a better outcome for the people left behind,” Mr Pitt added.

Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of cemeteries hosting entertainment. Media reports earlier this year highlighted the complaints of a Melbourne family upset after their grandmother’s funeral was delayed as it clashed with a historic food tour.

A woman dressed in Victorian clothing performs in a parade at Rookwood. Picture: AFP/Peter Parks

A woman dressed in Victorian clothing performs in a parade at Rookwood. Picture: AFP/Peter ParksSource:AFP

But Maree Edwards, who has witnessed the evolution of Rookwood since burying her father there four decades ago, is convinced the spruced-up grounds and changing attitudes towards death will open up the hidden world to more people.

“Twenty years ago, there was only a little, tiny tin shed flower seller here at the entrance. But now, there’s coffee shops,” she said, adding that she hopes her daughter will one day join her for a weekend sojourn at Rookwood.

Picking of olives by the public is prohibited at Adelaide's West Terrace Cemetery — but people can buy the olive oil. Picture: AFP/Peter Parks

Picking of olives by the public is prohibited at Adelaide’s West Terrace Cemetery — but people can buy the olive oil. Picture: AFP/Peter ParksSource:AFP

“You’ve got to come with a different mentality here and think: ‘Wow, this isn’t like a creepy, dead man’s land. It’s nice, it’s a cheery place.’

“And it’s just a joy to be here, bizarre as it seems.”