Thar Be Dragons
Preserving the Komodo dragons of Indonesia
The highly-feared Komodo dragons, one of the largest lizards in the world, is now listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with less than 5,000 left in the wild. Efforts to preserve them have been underway for years now, with scientists exploring the possibility of re-introducing the species throughout Komodo National Park and nearby Flores Island.
BY TOMMY SCHULTZ
Inside the City of Darkness
The Kowloon Walled City before its demolition in 1993
The notoriety of the Kowloon Walled City, rumoured to be a haven of triad gangs, drug pushers and prostitutes is well-known in popular culture as a sort of ‘Dark City’. But this series of photos show its normality – a couple watching a plane landing, children playing on the rooftops, a young boy in his parents’ grocery store – all scenes of ordinary lives surviving in extreme living conditions.
BY GREG GIRARD
Ancient Pillars to the Sky
The natural heritage of Japan’s cedar trees
The World Heritage-listed groves of Cryptomeria japonica are the national trees of Japan. Known as the Yakusugi, they are amongst the oldest and largest of Asia’s living things, protecting the rich ecosystem of Yakushima Island’s forests.
BY YD BAR-NESS
The Ghost of Gunkanjima
And the memories of former resident Doutoku Sakamoto
With its crumbling tower blocks, maze of stairways and half-strewn furniture, the abandoned island of Gunkanjima is a sight to behold, with post-apocalyptic scenes worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. But as this interview with former resident Doutoku Sakamoto goes, its recent inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List may not be helpful if visitors do not seek to understand its deep and complex history.
BY JORDY MEOW
Lest We Forget
Seven ancient ruins unearthed
These lesser-known ruins in some of the most remote regions of Asia still stand strong as a constant reminder of our rich culture and history. From the discovery of early Buddhism at the Fayaz Tepe in Uzbekistan, to the terracotta sculptures at Dur- Kurigalzu in present day Iraq and the ancient Neolithic settlement in Mehrgarh, Pakistan, each of these significant finds are a testament to the long and rich history of the Asian civilisation.
BY WAN PHING LIM
Quiet Soul of the Desert
The sandstones and solitude of Petra
Listen to the silent desert winds, wander the Royal Tombs of the ancient Nabataean kingdom alone, defy the vast expanse of the harsh and arid landscape, and traverse the dim and narrow gorges, only to come face-to- face with the beautiful rose-red city of Petra. Even as the tourists shy away during the political turmoil of Jordan’s neighbouring countries, an immensely spiritual and soul-searching adventure is still to be had.
BY JUSTIN ONG
Removing the Curse of Division
Bringing back the glory of Famagusta, Cyprus
Once a 12th-century medieval port city and trading empire, Famagusta is now a politically-divided area in northern Cyprus. Varosha, its premier beach resort destination once frequented by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Burt Reynolds now sits deserted and is left to decay. With negotiations ongoing between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, hopes are high for a reunification and bringing the city back to life.
BY NIGEL O’CONNOR
Antics in the Wild
The picturesque primates of Asia
Primates - which consist of monkeys, apes and more - have long bewildered our imaginations with their cheekiness, antics, similarities and human-like behaviour. This series of photos capture the simian race at their most human and picturesque, from travelling to sleeping to swimming and even group hugs.
BY CS LING
Protecting the Proboscis
A look at conserving the charismatic proboscis monkey
The proboscis monkey has received increasing attention in recent years. Indeed, it has become a flagship species for tourism activities throughout its range, particularly in popular areas like Sukau in Kinabatangan, Sabah. But the effects of increased tourism and human contact can lead to avoidance or habituation, neither of which are desirable.
BY JOHN SHA AND IKKI MATSUDA
The Plight of the Asian Colobines
Profiling Singapore’s banded leaf monkey and Vietnam’s Tonkin snub-nosed monkey
Asian colobines, or leaf-eating primates, are a diverse group with
at least 44 species recognised throughout the region. Highly endangered and living in remote forests, this article brings to light the plight of Singapore’s banded leaf monkey and Vietnam’s Tonkin snub- nosed monkey.
BY ANDIE ANG
Saving Gili’s Horses
Protecting the island’s cidomo taxi horses
Tourists flee from Bali to Lombok to the Gili islands in search of quieter beaches, unpaved roads and more authentic “local-ness”, but at what cost? Not enough is being done for the welfare of the cidomo or taxi horses, who transport not only tourists and their baggages, but construction material and rubbish waste.
BY CAROLYN OEI AND MARC NAIR
Depicting Malaysia’s natural heritage through painting
When the boundaries between art and photography are blurred, the results are seen in the paintings of Adrian Ho, a Malaysian artist who rose to fame at the Singapore Biennale 2013 with his two paintings Fruits of Life and Full Production. Adrian speaks exclusively to ASIAN Geographic about his conservation efforts through wielding his paintbrush.
BY WAN PHING LIM
And Thereby Hangs a Tale
Monkey fables from centuries of Asian folklore
Irrepressible, mischievous, resourceful yet eternally effervescent, the tale of the monkey is one that transcends continents, creeds, customs and centuries. In Asia, the monkey in his various guises has been venerated and deified perhaps even before 500 BC – from Sun Wukong, Hanuman and Sarutahiko Okami and its various adaptations in Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand.
BY KHONG SWEE LIN
A Journey into Camp Leakey's Orangutan Centre
Travelling upriver against the Relentless, mocha-coloured current of Central Kalimantan’s Sekonyer River, all eyes are on the towering tapestry of rainforest trees above for a glimpse of Borneo's most iconic wildlife species - the orangutan. Follow as we journey into Camp Leakey to meet Tom and Tutu, the resident male and female orangutans.
BY TOMMY SCHULTZ
BY TOMMY SCHULTZ
Caring for a Warming Planet
With the Earth’s temperatures rising at an alarming rate
and 2015 being the warmest year recorded on the planet, the melting of mountain glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic have been contributing to rising sea levels, as seen in these award-winning photos from the Global Arctic Awards 2015 Contest.
BY GLOBAL ARCTIC AWARDS
Islands in the Sky
An uncertain fate for the alpine tundra as the Earth warms
As the planet warms, the harsh conditions of the alpine zone are shrinking – where there was once ice, now there is green life. This process, analogous to the movement of vegetation towards the poles, is one direct manifestation of climate change.
BY YD BAR-NESS
Sulphur, the Earth’s coolant
A natural climate changer
Volcano eruptions are a natural cause of climate change. Particles can reach the stratosphere as far as 20 kilometres, releasing large volumes of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). It is here in Indonesia’s craters, from the Gunung Ijen in West Java to Gunung Kelimutu in Flores and Gunung Papandayan that we see nature’s way of bringing down the temperature.
BY CARL-BERND KAEHLIG
Above Sea Level
How climate change is affecting the indigenous fisherfolk of Malaysia
In the southwest of Malaysia, the artisanal Malay fishermen of Mukim Tanjung Kupang ply the narrow straits between Singapore and Malaysia in the Pendas and Pulai River estuaries of Johor. But over the last few decades, the winds have changed, the weather is erratic and even water patterns are strange, affecting the livelihoods of these indigenous fishermen.
BY SERINA RAHMAN
The Paris Climate Change Agreement
What does it mean for Singapore?
Since Singapore’s participation in the Paris Talks in November 2015, what action has been undertaken? Our writers report on the current situation of the small island-nation, including the effectiveness of the Earth Hour campaigns – a WWF-initiative based out of Singapore – and the lifestyle habits of excessive air-conditioning and Styrofoam food packaging.
BY CAROLYN OEI AND MARC NAIR
The Village and the Dam
How China’s race for hydroelectric power is displacing thousands in Cambodia
In this moving piece, Giorgio Taraschi travels to northern Cambodia to the villages of Kbal Romeas, Srae Sronok and Phluk to document the building of Hydrolancang’s Lower Sesan 2 (LSS2) dam and its effects on the locals – from the village monk to the community leader and the young and old who depend on the Mekong river for their livelihoods.
BY GIORGIO TARASCHI
Light for a Nation
Solar as a solution to rebuilding Nepal after the earthquakes
Toronto-based photojournalist Kristin Lau travels to rural Nepal after the April and May 2015 earthquakes that shook the nation and left the country in tatters. Her series of photos shed light on a charitable organisation, SunFarmer, who is helping to rebuild the nation by installing solar energy panels in schools, health posts and water wells in an effort to provide clean and affordable electricity.
BY KRISTIN LAU
Iraq through the Fall
Tears and Triumphs of the 2003 Iraq War
ASIAN Geographic pays tribute to Alexandra Boulat, one of the world’s most fearless female photojournalists and war documentary photographers. Her series of photos taken during the invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime shows us the tears and triumphs of war through the lives of civilians.
BY ALEXANDRA BOULAT
Land Before Time
New moth species discovered in Aceh, Indonesia
The discovery of a new moth species, the Endoclita fahringeri, in the mountains of Gunung Leuser in Sumatera, Indonesia, is proving to be a landmark in scientific history. The 300 million-year-old mountain range is where Alfred Fahringer discovered the species during his two-week trek in August 2014. He narrates his experience exclusively to ASIAN Geographic.
BY ALFRED FAHRINGER
Freya Stark, the Passionate Nomad
One woman’s influence on the Arab world
Dubbed the female Lawrence of Arabia, Dame Freya Stark (1893– 1993) was one of her generation’s most prolific female explorers, travelling through Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries prior to the second world war. Here, we chart her influence and the roads she paved for others following in her footsteps.
BY SOPHIE IBBOTSON
A life choked with adversity along the Gaza Strip
As with all Palestinians in what is often described as the world’s largest open air prison, life for the women of the Gaza Strip is choked with adversity. But journalist and photographer Lara Abu Ramadan strives to show Gaza’s human face to a world used to seeing scenes of catastrophe and violence.
BY NIGEL O’CONNOR
A Totem of Her Generation
Exploring women’s identities through Diana Lui’s photography
In this exclusive interview with ASIAN Geographic, Paris-based photographer Diana Lui speaks to us about the artistic and anthropological nature of her work, as seen through the large format portraits of modern-day women in Morocco, Tunisia and Malaysia. Taken on her 8x10 inch view camera, her portraits seek to explore the meaning and identity of contemporary Asian women.
BY WAN PHING LIM
India’s Pink War
The fight against women’s violence
They wear pink saris, wield sticks and don’t hesitate to use violence in their fight for women’s rights. These are the ladies of the Gulabi Gang, an association created by Sampat Pal Devi to eradicate gender violence in India, one of the countries in the world where women are often discriminated against even before birth. Founded in 2006, members who are mostly victims of domestic abuse now number over 400,000 across India.
BY ZIGOR ALDAMA AND MIGUEL CANDELA
Who was Sylvia?
Remembering Singapore’s Renaissance woman, Sylvia Kho (1917–2013)
In appreciation and retrospective on Singapore’s foremost bridal couturier and innovator in the arts of fashion, beauty and decoration, Sylvia Kho created a whole new industry centred around one of society’s most important rites of passage – the institution of marriage. A trendsetter and pioneering businesswoman, we look at her life and legacy.
BY KHONG SWEE LIN
Every Tribe, Every Nation
The First Travellers
In a three-year project that spanned 35 indigenous communities across the globe, this iconic artistic document known as ‘Before They Pass Away’ captures the authenticity and beauty of disappearing cultures in our world today.
BY JIMMY NELSON
Comets as Arks
Mysterious Travellers of the Solar System
In every society there are those who do not play by the rules, and who dream of taking long journeys of pilgrimage. In our Solar System, these maverick renegades are also the most mysterious; they are the comets that bring magic and wonder to our night skies.
BY YD BAR-NESS
The War on Wildlife
Ivan Carter’s Quest for Animal Conservation
Ivan Carter is the face behind Carter’s W.A.R., the latest television programme on Outdoor Channel Asia. On his visit to the Asian region, ASIAN Geographic talks to him about saving elephants from ivory poachers in South Africa’s Kruger National Park to investigating a tragic crocodile attack along the Zambezi River.
BY WAN PHING LIM
A Paranoid Nation
The Difference is Perspective
ASIAN Geographic travels to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for “Bridges – Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace”, and comes back with exclusive photos, an insider’s look and a totally different perspective of the often-dubbed Hermit Kingdom.
BY JUSTIN ONG
Pangaea, Dance of the Moving Continents
The Tale of A Shifting Earth
The lands of Earth are conducting a great slow dance – they come together and rift apart with titanic grace. Since the light rocks of the Pangaea continent separated from the heavier rocks of the oceanic crust, they have migrated around Earth in slowly shifting configurations. Today, we look at the familiar map and see the seemingly stable shapes of the land, but we are just catching a moment in a much more complex dance.
BY YD BAR-NESS
In Search of Sweet Success
The story of Fung A Pan and the Chinese cane reapers of British Guiana
The sugarcane reapers of the early 19th century contributed in no small measure to the community of British Guiana, just as Fung A Pan and other Chinese coolies did. This is the story of one man from Poon Ye in Canton who travelled to an unknown territory in South America, and the story of his descendants today spread far and wide across the globe.
BY KHONG SWEE LIN
Reviving the Ancient Silk Road
Kashgar as a key point in China’s ambitious plan
Once a cultural pillar of Central Asia and a key point in the legendary Silk Road, Kashgar is today undergoing a socio-political and economical facelift, even as the Chinese government is looking to revive the ancient commercial artery as a way of expanding its influence across the region.
BY ZIGOR ALDAMA
In this annual special travel edition, we invite you to travel through history: Journey in the footsteps of Genghis Khan through the lands from the Mongol Empire with some breathtaking scenery captured in our photo essay. Explore Japan, Thailand and India through their ancient sporting traditions, get inked by a tribal tattoo master, leave your shoes at the door and take a pilgrimage, or join the throng of one of Asia’s many vibrant festivals.
"Travel Without Borders" This magazine is a resourceful read for all your travel needs throughout the Asia Pacific. Each issue will shine the spotlight on a specific region, packed with compelling travel stories, useful travel tips and practical advice to give readers the scoop on the region's best-kept-secrets and the best times to go - everything the guidebooks don't tell you! You'll also gain insights on the land, history, people, culture and festivals. All of these we consider essential for a complete travel experience.
This issue of ASIAN Geographic Junior is all about great journeys. We feature Admiral Zheng He on the cover, whose voyages across the Seven Seas made him one of Asia’s greatest icons. From colourful pilgrimages to historic modes of transport, let’s travel in this issue to learn about the significance of journeys.
This issue of ASIAN Geographic Junior is dedicated to the Superwomen among us! From politics to arts, science and young female inventors, these Superwomen have entered history’s hall of fame for their courage and creativity.
Climate change is serious business - so let’s put the green mantra “reduce, reuse and recycle” into practice. In this issue, we check out 10 wacky eco-friendly inventions, 8 hardy animals who adapt quickly to changing climates and look back at some of history’s worst environmental disasters in Asia. There’s also an arts and craft section to make your own swimming sea turtles from recycled plastic bottles!
In ASIAN Geographic JUNIOR’s first issue of 2016 we are going bananas over our primate friends, because it’s the Chinese zodiac Year of the Monkey! Look out for how monkeys have been portrayed in popular culture, from Sun Wukong’s Journey to the West to Disney cartoons and Hollywood films. We also get serious and study their habitats in the tropical rainforest, learning why it’s important to preserve the jungles - no monkey business here.
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