The Best Business Lounges Around Asia

Long flight. No sleep. You’ve spent almost 20 hours in the air and now you’ve got five hours to kill in this airport 5,000 miles away from home. You don’t know anyone for thousands of miles; everyone you see is a complete stranger. You’re alone. So very, very alone. What you need is a good drink.

It’s a fact that Asia has more business travelers per capita than any other continent on the planet. The business world has its pivotal hub in the Asia Pacific region, with Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo only playing parts in the area’s distinct economic influence on the world. Therefore, the airports around Asia reflect the deep regard and respect each Asian country has for the men and women making their economies grow.

Having a good business lounge to reward today’s Business Warrior on their long travels is just another way of brightening a day fraught with temperamental children and rough turbulence. Walking through the doors of a lounge designed specifically with you in mind is like being hugged by mom.

There are lounges designed strictly for VIPs and business people, while others cater to all passengers. If you are a business traveler and you just got off a flight that included a family of five loud tourists, it would be wise to avoid going to the lounge they just stepped into. Try the one that specifically caters to you.

There are things that any lounge will have, regardless of whom gets in. They will usually have:

o Drinks
o Snacks
o Television and internet
o Comfortable seating

There are some, however, that fly just above the rainbow. Here are the select few lounges in Asia that offer exemplary class and service.

o Hong Kong International Airport (Hong Kong)

Cathay Pacific’s Wing Lounge in the Hong Kong International Airport not only caters to any specific taste, they pride themselves on improving on even the most minute of details. They offer first-class travelers private cabanas, private showers, and chaise lounges.

o Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Bangkok)

Thai Airway’s Royal Orchid Lounge not only offers the best in travel, but their layover accommodations go beyond the normal rules of class. You feel stressed? Get a Thai massage or take a hot shower. If you need to have a last second meeting, meeting rooms are right there. Also, should you need transportation anywhere, Royal Orchid has a fleet of Mercedes-Benzes at your beckon call should you need to go anywhere.

o Chengi Airport (Singapore)

This airport features almost unanimously lauded lounges. Whether you need to nap, shower, or visit the spa, they have you covered. And if you have a lot of time to kill, you can go on a Singapore Tour. Yes. For a 5-hour or longer layover you can take one of four tours around the city and make it back well before you flight.
If you don’t want to leave the airport, you can walk around in one if it’s six gardens. That’s right. And airport with six gardens. What more could you want?

o Dubai International Airport (Dubai)

Dubai is almost defined by the decadent hotels there that cater to the world’s nobility. Movie stars, world leaders, and rich heiresses have all stayed a night or two in the gold-plated, marble-floored castles for the elite. So why stop there?
The Dubai International Airport took the luxury of a 5-star hotel and transposed it into their lounges. With restaurants that feature a dining experience unparalleled in air travel, it is clear to see why people clamor to be stuck in Dubai. They offer spas, Jacuzzis, a full gym and swimming poor to all first-class passengers.

o Incheon International Airport (Seoul)

Asian airports are known to pamper their travelers. Like the airport in Singapore, Incheon offers travelers with selected layovers tours of Seoul. They went one up on them, however. The VIP lounges are catered specifically to first-class flyers. Also, for the past two years straight the lounges in Incheon International Airport have been given the Global Traveler award for the best in the world.

In a time when simply being good was never so hard, these airports looked great, seemingly without effort. Naturally, you would be just as tired of flying in a VIP lounge as you would in the terminal. But there a lot to be said about hating to fly in style, as opposed to despising it on a plastic chair in front of Gate 24. If the adage, “you get what you pay for” is true, then these lounges are worth millions.

2008 Asia Cup Cricket Tournament

The Asia Cup Cricket Tournament is an international cricket event which was conceived in the year 1983 along with the birth of the Asian Cricket Council in the same year. Originally the ACC(Asian Cricket Council))was established as a measure to promote goodwill among the Asian nations. The original plan was to hold the tournament in every two years and the first tournament was held in 1984 in Sharjah, UAE where the council’s offices were based (until 1995). ICC(International Cricket Council) has officially given One Day International status to all the matches played for the Asia Cup.

Till now Indian cricket team has won the Asia Cup the most times (4 times) and appeared in all the final matches apart from the 1986 and 2000 cup, during which period India did not participated in the Tournament due to its bad relation with host nation Sri Lanka. Recently ACC has announced that the Asia Cup Cricket tournament will be held biennially from 2008 onwards.

The ninth edition of the Asia Cup Cricket Tournament will be held in Pakistan from 24th June 2008 onwards and will continue till 6th July 2008.This would be the first time Pakistan would be hosting the three-side tournament, including Bangladesh. In this edition the participant nations are India, Pakistan, Srilanka, UAE, Hong Kong and Bangladesh. There will be three teams in each group and the top two teams from each group will qualify for the second round.

From the second round top two teams will contest the final. Karachi will host 10 of the 13 matches, while Lahore will host three and all matches will be day-night affairs, starting late in the afternoon about 04:00 PM local time. As per a recent news article, former Pakistani Cricket captain Wasim Akram was saying India is the most favourite for the 2008 Asia Cup Champion considering the current conditions of arch-rival Pakistan team. He says “Though Karachi’s hot weather will be an additional rival for the participating teams in the Asia Cup, I see India as hot favourites for the event,” the Dawn quoted Akram as saying. Till date India has performed very well in all the Asia Cup tournaments and has won the Championship 4 times.

Considering their current exposure to IPL matches and the well praised performance in the ongoing Bangladesh Tri-Series, they are certainly the favourite for this edition of the championship also. However, tournament host & arch rival Pakistan and mighty Srilanka wont let it happen without pain. Let us see who comes out as the Champion in the 9th edition of 2008 Asia Cup Cricket Tournament!

The Three Best Tourist Destinations in Asia

Asia has been a travelers favorite since the days of yore. European travelers like Marco Polo have come to Asia in ancient times in search of prosperity and exotic treasures. All this has been recorded in various accounts of the travelers themselves. From those ancient accounts, we know that Asia is a rich continent with vast differences in the climate and culture of different regions. China was known for its silk and tea while India was known for its cotton and spices. These two Asian countries became the center of world trade in the seventeenth century. Today, Asia is known for many more things. First, there are the multitudes of cultures in Asia that one cannot get enough of. With the exponential advancements in technology in Asian countries, they are still known for the reminders of their past. Second, the new-age advancements have made Asia the hub of electronic and automobile production. Third, the different climatic zones on the continent and the different geographical features that Asia is endowed with truly delivers a thrilling experience to travelers. Visiting as many Asian countries as possible should be one of the pledges on your bucket list.

What are the most popular destinations for travelers in Asia? When people hear anything about Asia, the first thing that comes to their mind is China. China has grown as a superpower and attracts tourists not only for the urban experiences, but also for the country’s rich heritage as a cultural and spiritual destination. While there are ultra- modern cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau, there’s also the ancient Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Mount Tai- one of the most sacred places according to Taoism. China is also endowed with a bounty of natural beauty. The country has blended the urban, historical and natural treasures of the country and formed a composite national treasure. A trip to China will always be a memorable one. The second country that comes to people’s minds is Japan. Japan grew and developed faster than China. Its technological innovations are superior to China’s, but the experience a traveler will get in Japan is different from that in China. Japan has always been known for making fantasies come true. So, there’s the famous Tokyo Disney Land that is a favourite destination of many of tourists. It is the first Disney Land to be developed outside the United States. Apart from the Disney Land, there’s also Universal Studios. Japan is also known for its culture of art and crafts. You can take ikebana classes, bonsai classes, tea ceremony classes or even origami classes.

The third most visited country is India. India is a land that is more diverse than even the whole of Asia. One part of India is poles apart from another part in terms of language, art, dance form, etc. This adds to the vibrancy of the country’s culture. In this country, you have to devote too much of your time to if you want to soak yourself in the Indian experience. Here, you can see the remains of the world’s oldest civilization- the Indus Valley Civilization. You can also see the remnants of the great Mughal Kingdom that has been mentioned a French traveler, the remnants of the country’s colonial past, the cosmopolitan culture in its nascent stages, the western ghats, and so much more. This is a place that is a myriad painting of religion, art, history and geography.

Apart from just the different things to see, each country has a different and heterogeneous cuisine to offer. Other Asian countries that are frequented by travellers are- Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Sri Lanka.