Friday, March 28, 2008


I was checking out my calendar last night…

Hmm28th of March. I gawked at the date for a full 10 seconds…ok, 9! What?... 10 is a bit overacting? Heh?... But still, I can’t seem to remember which of my good-for-nothing friends is celebrating a birthday or sumthin’…

Three more seconds…nothin’… then BAM! It’s BISEAN’s first year anniversary! Well, I’ll be dang!

Who would have thought this blog would last a year? – Well, I did. Ha! Take that! And I intend to keep it goin’ for years till I prove to all of you that our region is p-a-r-a-d-i-s-e of great people.

More than 50 towns and cities in 9 countries (except Brunei, but we promise to visit this year) visited in one year…459 blog posts…614,000 hits… NOT BAD! Not bad at all. Woohoo!

To the little man who called us prostitutes, to the tiny maggot who wanted to take our naked pictures, to the social-climber who called us “mongrels”, to the loser who called us cheaters (huh?), to the call-center loser who called us “bi polar racists”, to the fugly dude who called us illiterates, to the all-knowing guy who called us “shallow” *although we took it as a compliment, mind ya*…. WHERE ARE YOU NOW? Ha! I demand a retraction!

And most of all… to you who is reading this right now…who has nothing bad to say to hurt our feelings…and kept leaving comments to let us know we are loved...kop khun mak khrap. Thank you very much for sharing the dream of a united Southeast Asia with us.

Now go back to work!


HOW TO SAY: “Thank you” in Southeast Asia

This is just about the very first phrase we wanted to learn but keep forgeting it for some reason...Let’s re-look at how we say our appreciation and gratitude within our great region, shall we?...

Although the easiest way is the straightforward “Thank you”, which most of us understands anyway… saying it in their local language puts a tone of sincerity to it. Trying to learn their language by starting with a “Thank you” will make you more endearing to your hosts.

The people of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei use the term “Terima kasih”. This is the easiest expression to use which will be understood in all 4 countries. Add “banyak-banyak” if you wanna thank them a lot.

And of course, the use of Chinese would be appreciated too if your hosts are Chinese. Say “Xie xie” with your sweetest smile or “Toa xie” and “Doh je” if they speak Cantonese. Say “Nandri” to our Tamil brothers and you might get nice pat at the back!

They say “Salamat” in the Philippines. Add “maraming” before it if you wanna thank them a lot. And… add “po” after it to be more respectful and polite – “Maraming salamat po.” Please note the “po” is pronounced as “pok” without aspirating the “k”.

Our Cambodian brothers (and sisters!) say “Ar kun”. And they say “Kop jai lai lai” in Laos or simply "Kop jai". Our Burmese friends say “Chezu ba” or “Amyaji chezu tinbade” for lotsa thanks! The adorable people of Vietnam say “Cám ơn”.

Kop khun khrap” is the Thai term for “thank you”. Add “mak” after the khun for “many thanks” and change “khrap” to “kha” if you are (or think =) a female. I guess you already know that we Thais are lazy pronouncing the letter “R”? LOL!

In the occasion of BISEAN’s 1st Year Anniversary of Blogging…
we thank you in all languages.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

OUR CULINARY GEMS: Som Tam / Green Papaya Salad | ส้มตำ, ส้มตำลาว

Ahhh…*deep sigh* that heavenly Som Tam. Nothing in this world is quite like it.

For those aren’t familiareither because they’ve been to Jupiter for the past 200 years or just outright jealous that Thailand (and Laos!) has such heavenly gift…a Som Tam is a strong-spicy salad made with green papaya. It is sweet, it is salty, it is sour, it is healthy and most of all, it is hot… all mixed together is perfect harmony.

There are many kinds of it – the most famous are these 3 -- from different regions and alternates one ingredient. Som Tam Thai is from Central Thailand which uses dried shrimps and peanuts, Som Tam Lao from Laos which uses fermented fish sauce (like Trasi, Belacan, Prahok or Bagoong) and Som Tam Khoong from Northeast Thailand and Laos which uses preserved fresh-water crabs.

If you are buying from a street peddler… she will prepare it in front of you and don’t be surprised if the Som Tam lady reached out to you with her huge spoon... it means that you have to try it before she bags it for you. Which goes to show that this dish is “to taste" – you want it sweeter, more salty or whatever.

Please remember that the decision of making it hot, hotter or “hell” comes BEFORE the whole preparation. So make sure to tell her “mai phet” (not spicy) before she starts pounding like a bunny.

Imaginative tourists call it “Papaya Pok-pok” because it is prepared by pounding the ingredients together with a special wooden mortar – *“pok-pok-pok”, get it?* and this actually poses as a problem if we want to make the authentic version at home. But nevertheless, let us improvise if the wooden mortar isn’t available.

Here’s how to make the Thai version...

Preparation Time 10 mins
Cooking Time *hello! It’s a salad. Duh!*
Serving 1


¼ kl unripe green papaya, peeled and grated into long, thin strips
2 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 strands long beans or French beans, cut into 2cm/ 1/2in pieces

1 clove garlic, peeled
4 green bird's-eye chilies
2tbsp palm sugar
3tbsp fish sauce
3tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice

3 tbsp dried shrimps
3 tbsp roasted peanuts


1. In a mortar (or a large hard plastic bowl), roughly pound the garlic and chilies. Add the beans and pound. Then the shrimps and pound again until crushed.

2. Add the sugar, fish sauce and lemon juice and stir together. Add the tomatoes
and press with the pestle.

3. Add the peanuts and the papaya and stir until well mixed in.

Best serve with sticky rice and barbecue chicken!



*Thanks to Koost and Adactio for the photos =)

Monday, March 24, 2008

THE TERNO: The Haute Couture of National Dresses

Elegance to the highest level… stately grace at its utmost… the Haute Couture of national dresses!

The Terno is absolutely one of the world’s most distinct and recognizable traditional dresses identified ONLY to the Philippines…*Northern Mariana, did you hear that? Ha!*

A Terno is a seamless, long, elegant dress with a signature “butterfly” sleeves. The “butterflies” frame the woman’s smooth shoulders, collar lines, neck and of course, the face. It is made with fabrics expensive enough to scandalize the World Bank. LOL!

Seriously…I’m sure you guys have seen beautiful women from the Philippines wore a “terno”, at least one time in your life. Imelda Marcos showed the world how to wear it while she strut her stuff in the 70’s and 80’s around the globe. Oh did she make a Filipino fashion statement or what? So imeldific! *some dictionary lists “imeldific”, mind you*

Isabel Preysler never leave her “palace” without proudly wearing one! Mrs. Preysler (for those who don’t know) is an ultra-famous Madrid socialite of Filipino origin. And she happens to be Julio Iglesias’ ex-wife (ask your grandparents who he is or click here). And yeah, yeah, yeah…I’m sure my Filipino readers want me “highlight” this… Isabel is Enrique’s mom. Ok? Ok. Now, get off me.

Anyways, back to the topic…”Terno” is a coined term for the Spanish word “to match” or “matching” AND it didn’t start the way it looks today…

The evolution started in the Spanish era when Tagalog women (of Luzon Island) modified their traditional dress (Baro’t Saya) and made it more conservative. They made it longer at floor-length so not to scandalize the foreign priests.

Historians also noted that it has also been influenced by Hindus and Chinese traders in those times. In the turn of the century (1900s) it came to a point when the Terno is made with 7 layers to create the skirt! *Whoa!* I guess they haven’t realized that the Philippines is a tropical country in those days, did they? Interesting.

I am aware that Filipinos nowadays identify the Terno with Imelda Marcos. And I hope they get over it soon. Although she's the one who popularized it, the Terno is still a Filipino national identity worthy to be worn by any woman who is proud of her heritage.

The TernoStyle icon of Southeast Asia.


Sunday, March 23, 2008


Kimi bagged the Malaysian F1 GrandPrix at 1:31:18.555! Woohoo! This is the 2nd leg of the 2008 F1 Grand Prix. Long live the Ferrari Team! Incidentally, this is Kimi’s 2nd Malaysian win since 2003 when he was still racing for McLaren-Marcedes.

And congratulations to Malaysia for yet another awesome event! You guys surely showed the world our region is in the big league now! Woohoo!

See you all in Bahrain on 06 April!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Indonesia is the world’s ultimate surfer’s paradise. With more than 17,000 islands *whoa!*... who knows what else is out there!?

The island of Bali alone has more than 40 established surf sites! There are more than 150 surf sites in Indonesia known to the surfing circuit! Woohoo! Thank god for Indonesia!

Having said that…it would be quite impossible to rate the Top 10 Surf Sites in Indonesia. So I asked some help from a couple of friends who has visited most of these sites. Here’s what we thought…

1. Padang PadangSouthern-most tip of Bali. The Bali Pipeline. The most dangerous in all of Southeast Asia. For pros and kamikaze only. Power and fear. Epic 100-300m waves with 3-5m swells. The crowd makes it more dangerous. Left/Reef-Coral.

2. Uluwatu Southern-most tip of Bali. The most famous in all of Southeast Asia. Totally epic! 50-300m waves with 2-5m swells. Entry caves. Left/Reef-Coral.

3. ImpossiblesSouthern-most tip of Bali. Short 50m waves with awesome 2-5m swells. Left/Reef-Coral.

4. Bluffs – Bali. Hollow waves surrounded by rocky cliffs. Wave stats same as Impossibles. This spot is very hard to find. Right/Reef-Rocky

5. Bangko Bangko – Southwest coast of Lombok Island. The Aussies call it “Desert Point”. 300m waves with 2-4m swells. Tubes occur for 10-20 sec. Left/Reef-Coral

6. Bawa – Sumatra. Right/Reef-Coral
7. Asu – Sumatra. Left/Reef-Coral
8. Rifles – Mentawai. Right/Reef-Coral
9. Keramas – Bali. Left&Right/Reef-Rocky
10. Grajagan – East Java. Left/Point Break

This list is subjective to 26 seasoned surfers surveyed exclusively for BISEAN. Actual visits from 15 January – 10 March 2008. Total surf sites visited: 67.

I personally think the 3 sites in Sumba Island were overlooked. And they should’ve more Mentawai sites on the Top 10. But hey, this was a survey – nothing I could do with it.

Nevertheless, the list is ACTUALLY Southeast Asia’s Top 10 already.
So, there you go. Thank you, Indonesia.


*Special thanks to all 25 BISEAN surfers. Georgy, Mer, Bjorn, Hagar, Tommy, Hulda, Frog, Ton, Macky, Piss, Monsta, Boggs 1, Boggs 2, Jim A., Jim G., Jim L., Mary Antoinette (Queen of All Surfers), Henry, Beng-beng, Noel B., Noel D., Dave, Xtian, Mugger and TinyGiant. Plus the legendary Maui S! I owe you all trip to the Olympics…Now, get your asses over to the Philippines! New tasks were sent to your emails. =) **Thanks to Carl Page for the 2nd photo.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SINGAPORE FLYER: World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel for a Few Months

Finally, it’s finished! You dudes and babes don’t have any idea how long have we been waiting fro this dang Ferris Wheel to be completed. We have flown in and out of Singapore in the past year and this giant structure is just standing just right below us, my nose press against the dang cabin window.

The Singapore Flyer is the World’s Tallest at 541 ft! Now that the world is taking a new meaning to “observation decks”, do you think Singapore would be left out? Uh-uh! No, siree. They have just built the tallest of ‘em all.

Although it is “officially” the tallest in the worldnot for long. When the Great Dubai Wheel opens late this year, it would be 66 ft taller at 607 ft. And early next year… the Beijing Great Wheel will open at 682 ft! *what a bunch of kill-joys. Ha!*

So, what are you waiting for? Plan a trip to Singapore and try the Singapore Flyer while it is the planet’s tallest. Here’s their official website. It would be one of the best experience in Singapore – guaranteed. And it's not just a ferris wheel... it's an engineering marvel!


Note: For the record, although it already opened last 01 March, the grand launch is on 15 April 2008. See you there!

*Photos courtesy of Singapore Flyer website.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


My friends and I were talking about our travels earlier over at breakfast *yes, we eat breakfast. Thank you very much* and how much time we spend on board a plane in a year.

The average flying time within the villages of Southeast Asia is around 2.5 hours and we fly 4 times a week to party… hmm…that’s 10 hours a week or 40 hours a month! F*ucken out! That’s a whopping 480 hours onboard a f*ucken plane last year! Woohoo! 20 days of our lives wasted! Dang!

What makes me care about all these, anyway? Ha! Because earlier, I found this interesting article – the Top 10 Most Dangerous Aircraft Landings in the World. It is obviously about of the most notoriously hard-to-land runways around the planet AND the airports that make sure all passengers are awake before landing *that includes the dang pilots, of course!*

To be quite honest, I wanted the list to be full of Southeast Asian airports. LOL! So it would be more intriguing to BISEAN readers. But fortunately, for the faint-hearted -- none of the prayer-inducing-masochistic-thrill-ride airstrips are in Southeast Asia.

I would agree with this ProTraveller list about Hong Kong's Kai Tak definitely IS No.1! BUT -- Isn't Kai Tak closed already? *smirk* I think they’ve missed the Male Airport in Maldives? Or the Lukla Airport in Nepal! Interesting read though. Cool!

Here is where the world's best pilots play.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

PERFECT SPECIMEN: Michael Corp Dyrendal

Equally gorgeous.

This is Michael Corp Dyrendal, one of gorgeous Peter's brother. Michael was born in Denmark and currently living in Thailand. Alhtough he is equally gorgeous as his brother, he never took showbiz seriously and rarely seen on TV or magazines. These photos, (courtesy of Pun Ja Bi) are rare.

More photos here...

(Click photo for larger view)

Eurasians are the cutest people on Earth!


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

MALAYAN SUN BEAR: The World’s Smallest Bear

I always believed that a nation’s character can be judged by the way they treat their animals. So, one of the first places we visited is the Beijing Zoo -- The appalling 50,000 square meters of hell and disgusting prison of over 8,000 of our animal friends!

The first creatures we looked for are those endemic to Southeast Asia. Because if I did find one, the zoo officials are gonna hear from me words that they couldn’t take… or understand! Ha!

We eventually found a sleepy little bear, groggy and walking awkward with its feet turned inwards. It is the Sun Bear!

The Sun Bear is one of our region’s living icons. It is the world’s smallest bear and can only be found in Southeast Asia – primarily in the tropical rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia. Their territory also covers Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to Thailand in the south.

The Malaysians and Indonesians call them “Beruang Madu” – meaning the “Honey Bear”. And because of its size, others call it the “Dog Bear” because its full length is less than 4 feet. But how did the “Sun Bear” got its name? – Because of the “U”-shaped yellow-orange marking on its chest. A unique marking gave them the name. I know what you're thinking... why didn't they name 'em the "U" Bear? Or a "Horse-shoe" Bear!?... AHA! Let me tell you why... its the same reason your parents didn't name you Tinkerbell.

As all the bears in the world, the Sun Bear specie is vulnerable. Their population is declining fast.

Well, we all know the destruction of their habitat issue and the ridiculous Chinese bile-milking industry…but most of us are not aware that the Sun Bear is regarded as “nuisance”. People say they destroy private properties and plantations! THAT’S STUPID! If these people didn’t invade the Sun Bears territories, they wouldn’t have this problem in the first place! Ha!

One of my friends remarked that this small bear seem groggy and sleepy at zoos. Well, it’s because the Sun Bear is nocturnal. They are active at night and the zoos are forcing them to “entertain” the visitors at day time! Pffft!

The Sun Bear is one of the most neglected symbols of our region. It is the only one of the world's 8 species of bears that can only be found in our paradise. Let's not wait till its too late to save them.

Helarctos malayanus.


Monday, March 03, 2008

OUR CULINARY GEMS: Ikan Tunur Daun Simpur

Hello to all of the beautiful people who comes here everyday even though our blog was not updated for a whole fokken week! You sweeties are all goddesses. And I mean it!

Our first week here in Beijing was full of parties, functions, parties, parties and more parties. BISEAN didn't wanna say no to them dang invitations because this would be our home for the next 10 what a girl like me to do? -- Fokken say yes to all invitations as long as I'm treated like a fokken princess. Hahaha!

Ok, enough of the first update...this post is about our culinary gems.

Our blog friend Maurina (or as Pisanu calls her "The Legendary Blogger from Brunei") posted a recipe especially for moi! Yes, you heard me sweetie...MOI!

Unfortunately sweeties, I can't post the recipe here... So, what I would like you to do; all you beautiful people of Southeast to go to Maurina's blog for the recipe. She even took time to photograph each step! She is such a darling.

So, click here and tell her I sent you. Don't forget!



Southeast Asian embassies in the capital city of the People's Republic of China -- Beijing...addresses and telephone numbers;

Embassy of Brunei Darussalam
North Street 1, Liang Ma Qiao, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
Tel: +86-10-65329773, 65329776, 65324093
Fax: +86-10-65324097

Royal Embassy of Cambodia
No.9, Dong Zhi Men Wai Dajie, Beijing, 100600
Tel: +86-10-65321889
Fax: +86-10-65323507

Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
No.4, Dong Zhi Men Wai Street, Beijing 100600
Tel: +86-10-65325486, 65325488
Fax: +86-10-65325368, 65325782

Embassy of the Lao People's Democratic Republic
No. 11, Dong Si Jie, San Li Tun, Beijing 100600
Tel: +86-10-65321224
Fax: +86-10-65326748

Embassy of Malaysia
No.2, Liang Ma Qiao Bei Jie, Chaoyang District, Sanlitun, 100600 Beijing
Telephone : (8610) 6532 2531/ 32/ 33
Fax :(8610) 6532 5032

Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
No. 6, Dong Zhi Men Wai Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100600
Tel: +86-10-65320351, 65320359
Fax: +86-10-65320408

Embassy of the Republic of Philippines
No. 23 Xiu Shui Bei Jie, Jian Guo Men Wai, Beijing 100600
Tel: +86-10-65321872, 65322451, 65322518
Fax: +86-10-65323761

Embassy of the Republic of Singapore
No. 1 Xiu Shui Bei Jie, Jian Guo Men Wai, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
Tel: +86-10-65321115
Fax: +86-10-65329405

The Royal Thai Embassy
No.40 Guang Hua Lu, Beijing 100600
Tel. +86-10-65321749
Fax: +86-10-65321748

Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Room 156, Gold Island Diplomatic Compound, No. 1, Xibahe Nan Lu, Beijing 100028
Tel: +86-10-64403072, 64403079
Fax: +86-10-64403071

Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
No. 32, Guang Hua Lu, Jian Guo Men Wai, Beijing 100600
Tel: +86-10-65321155, 65327038
Fax: +86-10-65325720

The Embassies of Cambodia, Indonesia and Burma are on the same street with 2-3 lots away from each other. Singapore and the Philippines are on the same street -- Xiu Shui Bei Jie and so as the Royal Thai Embassy and Vietnam, both on Guang Hua Lu St. Malaysia and Brunei are just a stone's-throw away from each other.


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