What are your 10 favourite luxury Tokyo “pack” tips?

Visit Tokyo 2019

Expectations have been raised this year in Japan’s first year of Visit Tokyo, the city program. The process of pulling off the coup of hoeing off the rising rivalry between the two capitals – Tokyo and Osaka – has been pleasant, thanks to a team of early bloomers who have proved themselves skilled in planning – if not executed – tours that follow the popular themes. For 2019, a range of themes and top tips has been offered up, including “Eat, See, Learn” and “Super Fun in Minori”. A nine-day budget-friendly stay in both cities is planned as a guide to this year’s annual revitalization, cultural revival and rebuilding. But should this be simply a guide to guide, the ten top tips from the trip (not included in the price, otherwise the list is yours!) could be the subject of a new theme or at least a revised publicity flyer.

10. Be a tourist in your own city

Your hotel service this time will be excellent, but unfortunately your mornings will be spent at your door, with steps and little kids, to get to breakfast. Make sure you get a sense of the local character as you make your way around. Osaka city plans include a map of local streets, with actual photos of the back alleys and alleyways. And the Museum of Contemporary Art is already a great place to start. The samurai-style Shinkansen reveals “Things You Don’t See Everyday”. If you can’t get to the museum you can still see it live. One of the most sought-after awards in Japanese culture is the Osaka-Kenjinkai-Trend: a museum dedicated to a theme every three years (in 2012 it was Dormition of Shiro’s Shrine). Each location showcases a different interpretation of the theme and it is the museum itself that provides the thrill.

9. Focus on the food. It’s easy to let the scenery get in the way – why visit a museum if you can stay at a luxury hotel and watch the view from your room window? Don’t feel the need to feel ashamed of your tendency to throw a Cinq Bons at a paint-splattered wall in a Chiswick cool loft, or cuddle up next to a mask while you have drinks and food at a bar dressed in pink. But Tokyo is the most photographed city in the world, with visitors eating at every corner of the city. If you can’t find a restaurant with Michelin stars in Osaka, you may as well not even go there.

8. The people of Osaka are friendly. Save your rude treatment of the Hostess Shrimp for the restaurants after you have eaten. Especially in the city center, it’s easier to speak Japanese than English. The Food Hell wine bar (“Funky Monkey” on the signage) is the place to go for odd, quirky, and often shocking snacks (a specialty is the konkatsu, wrapped pork-kinche) made by Korean Americans that are actually very good and have a cool backstory. If you are nervous to try a miso soup made out of chocolate and flour mixed with vinegar, this is where you will find it. All restaurants are tagged with their business names, and a map of menus (with directions) is shown if you give them the tourist guidebook on the wall.

7. Eat your box! Bizarre food isn’t necessarily a crime. On the contrary, many times they look even more appetizing than the “real” thing. Baracks Cafe does much the same thing with chocolate quinoa ice cream and broccoli paste as it does with its Mini Potatoes. But the speciality in Osaka is rice, and as a scene-stealer an old lady makes a fortune with little sausages with rice.

6. Rare books. This is the city where it was discovered that everyone is hiding books. The secret is locked in the basement of Goto libraries (as in early shows on this topic on YouTube). They are about to throw open a record-breaking 500-year-old storage room!

5. The Japan Tourism Agency has begun organizing tours to artisans’ studios, but for now you need to look to the local art schools. They will offer daily tours that offer a glimpse into the work. Hiroshima town holds these workshops every week. It can take a full afternoon to see them all, and we suggest you do it at least once. Note: So far you must have a teacher and a teacher can make it hard to decide between the same teacher’s different works. And the schedules can overlap.

4. The Kanesaki Museum has all


Burma Travel Bureau Offers 4-Day Food and Wine Tour!

Kazhi Rey, President of the Burma Travel Bureau and food and wine expert, will take people on a 4-day tour of some of the most popular restaurants in Yangon. Yangon is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, an amazing food and wine lover’s paradise. Once part of British colonial Burma, Yangon has since become famous as the capital of Burma. It has 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites; 6th century forts, a former center of Buddhism, Langtang Quarter, Myint Chaung Forest, and a dramatic 2.5 mile walking tower of caves.

One of the experiences will be a 4-day Burma food tour. The four-day tour will start from the historic Klong Wa Bay. On the third day, the guests will take a 3-hour trip to the traditional half circle

Khaan and other Wat temples. The fourth day will be a visit to an off-roading theater where clients will get to be in front of the camera. The final day will see a luncheon cruise along the streets of Yangon. A full listing of the Burmese Culinary Tour will be made available prior to the tour. At this point, the tour date will be set.

Tour Highlights:

Getting an inside view of the fascinating country of Myanmar (Burma). The cultural richness of Myanmar in its 25-years of independence is encapsulated in the ancient civilization and the intricate, natural beauty of its rippling inland rivers. The region’s history is associated with the famous kings of the delta. The uniqueness of Myanmar is its diversity, its success in maintaining its tribal identities and its unbreakable connection to nature. Because the landscape is deeply rich, the chefs are able to taste just the right combination of flavors for every member of the crew.

The unique cuisine of Myanmar is composed of Chinese, Indian, English, Burmese, Spanish, Japanese, Japanese-made and indigenous ingredients. The most interesting with the artistry, and the most dazzling to the palate is the cooking of Yangon.

Presented by: Burma Travel Bureau

Contact: 213.265.6124 – [email protected]

Burma Travel Bureau, 501 South Main Street, Burbank, CA 91505


How to Describe the Culture of Bagan?

How to Describe the Culture of Bagan?

They enjoy their choice of music, dancing and food. Jokes and laughter – no cares, nothing wasted. Even if you change your schedule or take a detour, locals will still be doing things the way they have been doing them for centuries. They go out on top steps in the old town to charge their phones, and if you ask them to change their AP adaptor for a more basic one they will look at you strangely, look at the ceiling for a hint, if you can’t guess what they are saying…and then they’ll move on with their lives.

Su Se Colming had trouble with the music. She would go to a shrine every night with a recording of slow melodies that sounded like an ancient cousin of American folk music. But, “I couldn’t understand the monks’ voice and its meaning.” So, she didn’t play the monk the recording again. Instead, she had to trust and be true to the Buddhist order of simplicity and sacred silence, and in the end, Buddhism seems to work without music, laughter, or even manual labor – just simple patience and humility.

Who Are the Protesters?

They yell about safety on bikes. They write on roads about safety for humans.

Who Is Snitting Your Diet in Myanmar?

People who insist on grinding their own corn, their own okra, or bringing in a goat as a snack. They dig their own maize in the garden and they eat corn from the sky – certainly someone will be chasing you!

Where Is the Petroglyphs?

Unfortunately, in the Bagan district, there are no petroglyphs. However, the later versions of Buddhism in Bagan became more flexible – people didn’t think all paintings and illustrations were sacred – and a secret society located in a cave underground painted some inscriptions and drawings. Still, the appearance of man-made art at least makes this area more attractive to foreign tourism.


Travel and Adventure of Awe with Will Fly – Will Flight for Food. Visit Yangon, Myanmar (Burma, 2019)

Run by Will fly, a human palmbock band from Burma, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma, 2019) is a concept of travel adventure/through-out-of-control fun. The group (two climbers/volunteers, Joe Smithee, Will Scheffer, and myself) did quite a bit of dining and fishing last year in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma, 2019). We went to Phyu Wa Pagoda, Takleung Lake , the Mayle Win Para Lake, and Monywa Wild Animals Monkey Sanctuary in Southeast of Yangon, Myanmar (Burma, 2019).

Our adventure brought us into the inner world of Myanmar’s culture, food, and locals. We have had the opportunity to develop a friendship with native food experts, Nong Maung Ngymoy and Chet Min Aung. These two food experts were mentored by an amazing local chef Man Htay, and have shown us how to cure local catfish with preserved rosewood, Jambanon, tamarind, and lemon grass, grind pig intestines for smoked chili, and prepare sumptuous fish (i.e. yellowtail) to eat at night that we never used to see before in the restaurants that we went to in the area.

Be sure to check out our video online before you make your way to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma, 2019).

A local and all the trimmings

A sunset on the Tinakaung and Monywa ponds

Camp out on the water at the Phyu Wa Pagoda

Trucks loaded with water buffalo and oxen lined up in the forest at Takleung Lake

Water buffalo in rain gear and carrying baskets of supplies

Rumour has it that the pits in the mud where the stowaways found shelter from the water buffalo keeps people from falling into the burning rivers

Monywa Monkey Sanctuary

Wildlife of course at Monywa

Look out for these monkeys in wild forests that fill up the valleys near Mae Sai and Thilawa

Water pumps and an excited rainbow sunset after sunset

Museum of animal meats and traps

Wilderness Lodge is known for its pig feed


Will Fly for Food: Experiencing Asia as a Traveller

Now that we’ve mastered the basics of plane-flights—on and off, delays, extensive coverage–what really excites me is what’s coming next: the days of side-view dining.

Take recently attended events like in SoMa and Leo’s in Jackson Square in New York.

The best young chef’s meals featured the fettuccine or veal ragu of incredible quality, with the entire dish served at the table in front of you. Nowadays, most table d’hôte menus don’t even arrive with the first course—they’re just packed with stuff that doesn’t usually get served until that third course.

Eating off of an off-menu dish at Alsatian restaurant Charve in Paris reminded me of the thrill I got from being able to order off of a small plate at Ludo Lefebvre’s new restaurant, La Bodega Negra. In Paris, it’s expected that diners should feel as if they’re at a small French bistro, while the chef is out on the patio, playing an exotic raga with his staff.

That’s because, when it comes to food, all great chefs stand at the intersection of Latin and Asian cultures. In that spirit, I’m planning my next trip to Asia. I’m considering Penang, Malaysia, where I will explore and broaden my culinary horizons with a project I will call Will Fly for Food.

For the longest time, I have been interested in exploring new cuisines, but I simply haven’t had the chance to test out what I may eat for the next year or two. The drought has provided an extraordinary opportunity to meet emerging stars both through an editing process and through free, open-air cooking demonstrations. I am inspired by chefs’ use of ingredients from other countries, as well as discovering obscure food sources in every city I visit.


Will Fly for Food: KLIA an Experience in Travel

As we embark upon the flying saucer, I submit, the longest and most expensive Route to Langkawi (Malaysia’s first international airport) we’ll be encountering is the journey to Bapak, where the airships made landfall. To say it’s big, is not an understatement. We’ll be landing at the RM1,200,000,000,000 ($318,000,000,000) Airport 2, which is set to become an icon of public cultural display for years to come.

The airport will be the first in the world to utilize carbon fiber-reinforced air (CHR), a material which is traditionally used to build space shuttles. You see, the airport is set to feature a 140-meter-long passenger lift that will elevate all 2.8 million passengers passing through during their life-span to an altitude of around 8,000 feet.

So many other feat of engineering (a multibillion-dollar project) make these three highlight a visit to KPK. Keep in mind, many challenges, both economic and technical, must be overcome during the construction of KLIA, especially during climate change which has made certain aspects of the project to be more ambitious than originally anticipated.

Like most other airports built in the 21st century, KLIA was inspired by Hong Kong and Hyderabad. The idea to build a “world class airport” pertained to the ever-expanding private sector needs in order to not only market their brands but retain market share and expand into other markets, namely regional and domestic economies. And as we have seen over and over again, there’s an extremely high demand for over-capacity. When the economy gets shaky, businesses are not expanding, people don’t travel, and industries get cut. What’s left? The private sector.

To a degree, this is something we’re currently seeing here in the U.S. The Greater Bay Area is going through a period of economic, social, and environmental strife. We will continue to see what I call “Japanification” within the U.S. due to the lingering market availability gap. The unparalleled diversity of demographics in the Greater Bay Area – a reflection of the internationalization of our economy – has just become more pronounced as global companies – from both Silicon Valley to the border with Southern California – are realizing the tremendous value of the region.

So, it’s great that we’re seeing a new market opening-up and expansion of a bridge that connects Silicon Valley to Asia (the second largest in the world) in order to start the Asian renaissance. Whether it’s the administration of President Donald Trump, globalization, or the general demand for multiple hubs by multinational companies, the need for trans-Pacific reach will continue to go unmet for sometime.

As air travel becomes more global and the demand for private companies to have a strategic presence (through air transport) continues to grow, the sense of urgency for increasing these points, whether it’s Hong Kong or the Southeast Asian hubs, is only increasing. It’s very much the reason behind the creation of the first airport in Malaysia, and I’m glad we’re embracing it.

Travel is expensive enough as it is. With international air travel increasing by 7 percent annually for over a decade now, why spend a fortune as opposed to taking a taxi or driving to the airport? Of course, we love the journey (and the beautiful scenery) as much as anyone else, but the time and effort in getting there takes a lot of effort on our part. Ultimately, when you fly, it’s all about the destination. When you’re thinking of the destination in a particular location, you’re only going to focus on the list of things that are important – the attractions and sports stadiums (or anything in the city that’s fun to do) – and forget the travel.

At this point in time, the destination is largely secondary. The objective is simply to get there and check out the facilities. Travelling is an eye-opener, if you think about it, and the visit to Bapak International Airport can be compared to a holiday within itself. It can be very relaxing.

By Will Fly for Food


Spicy Satay makes you fall in love with Malaysian street food all over again

Satay is popular Malaysian street food served on skewers made of marinated meat. Satay is very popular and is a great bargain with two big benefits: It’s portable, and the meat is cheaper than what you’d pay at a chain restaurant. And Sate is a local favorite with an old traditional family recipe and slower cooking time. Sate can be a shared appetizer or main dish in addition to a combination plate, and are usually served with a side dish (cilantro, cucumber salad, and/or bean sprouts) and a small cone of rice. The dish is perfect with good rice, good tofu and fried shrimp, if you have the stamina for it.


Sate are minced meats (that range from duck, chicken and pork to shrimp and mussels) given a stir-fry batter then cooked slowly for several hours.


pork (raw: 100g/ 1 tbsp)

canola oil

garlic (6 cloves)

minced shallots (3 cloves)

chicken (if you can find it)

chicken livers (if you can find it)

smoked or boneless minced pork

linchpin-like skin, or porcini mushrooms (optional)

chili paste (optional)

tomato-tomato paste

pringles (optional)

diced beef (optional)

cucumber (optional)

coriander seeds (optional)

Carmel-like oil can be used, but you can also use a Vietnamese style welling eggplant paste or dry bean paste.

Ingredients for the sate

caramelized ground sausage can be added to the sauce if desired.


• Season all ingredients on the bone (except the pork (see above).

• Pour canola oil into a 3 litre pot.

• Place the garlic cloves and diced pork in the pot and stir-fry until brown.

• Add the shallots.

• Add the skin, if used.

• Add the sliced chicken livers, if using.

• Stir-fry for three minutes.

• Add the chili paste, diced tomatoes and cilantro seeds.

• Return the meat to the pot and add the spice paste and miso paste.

• Stir for about one minute or until the chicken appears cooked.

• Adjust the spice mixture according to the seasoning.

• Strain the sauce over rice to taste.


Will Fly for Food — New York hits it out of the park

MORIEUNTUNCOMBE, Malaysia — Malaysia is famous for its food, especially the numerous Bangla Kebab establishments. A lucky couple decided to embark on a foodie tour here and tried all of them. However, some of the food in Kuala Lumpur has such a reputation that it is hard to find them all on the city’s roads.

The couple was lucky to find a co-worker who knew where to go on their first night in the city. His guide was very friendly and provided tips for where to buy some food, especially Bangla Kebab. As they had not visited Kuala Lumpur before, the couple did not know how to make some of the familiar dishes and were afraid to order from the restaurant’s menu. It was daunting to order a sort of tripe that is served in a hot beer mug, said an experienced foodie on the bus, Dr Yee Nam Siew.

Before the tour, the couple had never heard of the Bangla Kebab establishment here in town. It was enjoyable to walk around the city and tried all kinds of food. Some of the food that the owner of the restaurant recommended was the Bai Kebab.

“I’ve never heard of that before,” said Dr. Yee Nam Siew.

But it was hard to resist ordering a couple of the wings and snacks. A 13-foot chicken wing was priced at RMB 45.50, which was only a few cents more than the original price of the Bangla Kebab. The chicken wings and the chili lime barbeque wings were cooked and served on a very hot iron pot. The spicy sauce in the dish had a meat-like flavor and the chili lime barbeque wings had a nice smokey flavor. The chicken wings and bites were crispy on the outside and incredibly juicy inside.

At the same establishment, the owner, also a student at the Morieuntun and Imanullah universities in Kuala Lumpur, said he preferred to have the Bangla Kebab roasted. “In Malaysia, the meat is dry and raw, so it is totally different from the kompang in our country,” he said.

Although the food tasted a bit too dry in Malaysia, it is much more tender in New York. The grilled chicken breast in the meat and vegetables entree was served on a very hot iron pan. The server said that they get requests for a particular type of kueh, a rice pancake that is rolled into a cylinder and cooked with vegetables.

Other stand-outs at the restaurant included the shrimp in jasmine water and the vegetable salad that was mixed with shrimp paste, served with raw rice.

Another Bangla Kebab establishment was located in a shopping center at the northwestern edge of the city. It was a typical Bengali eatery and the owner said he sells about 3,000 local kurakhang every day.

The menu of the restaurant is very detailed, but the way he cooked the pork and prawn was one of the best in the country. The pork was cooked in a chili lime barbeque sauce and served in a wine sauce.

The prawns were sauteed with chili peppers in a pan and mixed with spicy butter. The portion sizes were quite large and the hotel recommended that they substitute the prawns with shrimp if they cannot eat the whole dish.

The rice at the rice restaurant was quite good, as was the coconut milk dessert. The owner’s sister, also a student, said she would normally buy yerba mate tea rather than the coffee she bought here.

The Bangla Kebab establishment in Morieuntun and Imanullah universities offered a delicious smoked chicken and pork dish, something unfamiliar to a lot of people here. The pork was tender, the chicken breast was juicy and the prawns were crisp on the outside.

On their second night in the city, the couple learned some of the more adventurous food. Dr. Yee Nam Siew tasted the Shanmuk dish, which is a dish that is popular among Filipinos. It consists of soft fried rice and juicy bananas cooked in coconut milk. He even offered the hotel’s staff some of the Banana Kebab to try to help flavor it.

Hopefully, with the kind of food they enjoyed on their tour, the Marriott Suntec City hotel can find some inspiration and create a dining experience similar to the successful foodie tour with some foreign media organizations.

Will Fly for Food was initially published in the specialist’s monthly Travel Buku



PATA Basnet, also known as Will Fly for Food, hosts a live cooking show and trades tips with “flaming scotch master” Rod Bowron on Wednesdays. Bowron is the founder of two pyrotechnic barbeque recipes: Las Gallinas and Bluefin. Will flew to Hong Kong to hone his hands-on skills of infusing food with spice and char. Here, he shares a simple version of the most popular Chinese-Malaysian food to be found in NYC this season:

Nasi Lemak Recipe


2 tbs. chilli sauce 1 tbs. shrimp paste 1 tbs. soy sauce 2 tsp. hoisin sauce 1 tbs. brown sugar 4 tsp. sesame oil 1/4 cup manjit (stir-fried) rice 1/4 cup fish sauce 1/4 cup fish paste 1/4 cup soy milk 1 can petite vermicelli noodles (chicken, shredded) 1 can tomato paste 1 can gobo (chicken cubes) 1 pkg gula melaka (Chinese dried plum) 2 cups scallions chopped 1 cup bean sprouts (optional) 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)


Bring a pot of water to a boil and add ice to the pot. Once boiling, add ingredients and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Season with salt and toasted sesame oil. Allow to cool. Freeze-dried products do not need to be thawed.

Petite Platter

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


Exploring Malaysia’s great first-time visitor offerings


Visit Malaysia for the first time? Want to fully immerse yourself in the country’s culture? Or want to experience some of Malaysia’s beautiful neighborhoods? Whether you find yourself in Kuching, Penang, or Malacca, Malaysia, there are many things to enjoy as a first-timer in Malaysia. With a few simple steps, you can get the best out of your stay.

>>Write a Malaysia based itinerary

Describe your return itinerary. Have you visited some of the beautiful vacation spots listed on the Malaysia Bureau’s website? If so, it would be fun to include a few spots in your itinerary. Many locals will say that those old villages that are on the map are the “real” Malaysia. Remember that you are as adventurous as you feel.

>>Write a budget

As mentioned above, you’ll save yourself some stress if you figure out how much you can afford to spend on a trip to Malaysia. This can be achieved by running the figure through an Excel sheet. Other easy-to-use travel budget calculators are Google’s or iFindTravel.

>>Plan a pre- and post-trip itinerary

Combine things that you have planned or done before you go with things that you have enjoyed recently. For example, if you’ve recently been in Malaysia, travel to the D’escarpment plantation area. There are an abundance of tropical fruits to sample, especially the durian, and the locals will gladly share these. Do you have a couple of additional weeks to spare? If so, now is the time to explore the country’s cities like Petaling Jaya, Kota Bharu, and Kuala Lumpur. Although the weather isn’t quite as beautiful in these cities, they are all charming.

>>Stay in A&B hotels

Before you go, try to stay in well-known places. The more well-known places mean the more chance that other locals will be at the hotel, and that means more deals and special services.

>>The Emirates-Malaysia Star Alliance

Despite the fact that they are both members of the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates airline, the two airlines aren’t associated with each other at all. The Emirates-Malaysia Star Alliance has members of all nationalities including, Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, Japanese, Portuguese, Sri Lankan, Russian, South African, Norwegian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and Turkish. Visit the Malaysian Tourism website for more information.

For more information on Malaysia’s great first-time visitor offerings, check out Malaysia’s Bureau website.