Thai cat “adopts” litter of chihuahuas, protects them adorably

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RocketNews 24 (by Scott Wilson):

We may not all look alike, but we’re still family.

What’s better than cute animals? Cute animals doing cute things, of course!

Bangkok pet owner @yutafamily has been racking up tens of thousands of followers on Instagram posting pictures of their five chihuahuas… and adoptive cat-father.

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If you like what you’ve seen here, then check out the rest of yutafamily’s Instagram. There are thousands more pictures to satisfy any amount of cute-craving.

What proper table etiquette looks like in East and Southeast Asia…

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Mashable (by Chelsea Frisbie):

Whether you’re planning an international trip or you’re headed to a local cultural experience, it’s important to learn about the eating habits of the folks you’ll be dining with. What might seem silly to you could be incredibly important to someone else, so don’t judge.

Langford’s silverware shop has compiled a collection of the dining “Do’s” and “Don’ts”…

Here is an excerpt of East Asian and Southeast Asian countries’ dining etiquette.

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Epic lantern festival in Niigata rivals the Yi Peng festival in sheer beauty

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RocketNews 24 (by KK Miller):

If you are in Niigata this March, you can live out your Tangled fantasy with a breathtaking view of floating lanterns that rival the beauty of the Disney movie and the festival in Thailand that inspired the film’s iconic scene.

There is a spectacular sequence in Tangled, when we see Rapunzel make her way into a kingdom during its annual lantern festival. The scene from the movie was beautifully crafted, giving us a picturesque but seemingly impossible view of a truly incredible festival. Fans wanted to know if they could experience something like this in real life and the Yi Peng Festival in Thailand comes awfully close, so many have added the wonderful festival to their must-see list and have been flocking to see it.

But it turns out that people in Japan don’t have to go all the way to Southeast Asia to see a lantern festival of that nature; they only have to go to Niigata.

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Tsunanmachi in Niigata Prefecture has been holding a lantern festival since 2012, called the Tsunan Yuki Matsuri (“Tsunan Snow Festival”). This event takes advantage of the small number of tall buildings and electric lines in the area to send up paper lanterns over the course of the night with a grand finale of over 1,000 lanterns being released at the same time. The heavy snowfall in the area, much of which is still on the ground in March, creates serene and silent surroundings as tons of little lights to go floating up into the sky.

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The next festival will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at the New Greenpia Tsunan Ski Area (New Green Peer on Google Maps). There is plenty of free parking and entrance to the festival is also free, though you’ll need to shell out a little bit of cash if you want to send up a lantern yourself.

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If you find yourself near Niigata next March, you owe it to yourself to be in Tsunanmachi.

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn heads to Thailand for her new cooking series “How It’s Dunn”

Hypebeast:

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn has teamed up with Amuse to create a cooking program titled How It’s Dunn.

The model talks about her experiences with cooking and her taste for spicy food and in the first installment of the new series, Dunn takes to the streets of Thailand to explore the country’s local cuisine and test the boundaries of her own tolerance to spice. From sauntering through fresh-food markets to braving cow’s blood noodle soup, this is only just the beginning of Dunn’s culinary pursuits.

Stay tuned for future episodes as they become available.

Bon Jovi concerts in China cancelled due to support for Tibet and Dalai Lama

A string of Bon Jovi’s first-ever concerts in China have been cancelled, presumable after the Culture Ministry discovered a photo of Bon Jovi with the Dalai Lama

World Religion News:

It looks like Jon Bon Jovi won’t be singing “Livin’ on a Prayer” in Mandarin any time soon. The long-standing rock front man of the self-named band Bon Jovi would have been performing for the very first time in China at major concerts in Beijing and Shanghai if the Chinese government hadn’t forced those shows to be canceled, TIME reported. Currently on a major world tour with concert dates scheduled across Asia in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and others, the dates scheduled in Bangkok and Shanghai were canceled by Chinese authorities, who have not given any explicit reasons to the band or to the organizers of the tour, AEG Live Asia.

The most prevalent theory about why the sudden cancellations occurred that has been circulating the Internet is relatively obvious considering, if it turns out to be true, Bon Jovi would just be part of a string of bands to be banned from performing shows in China because of their support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama. As was reported in the Financial Times, apparently the very powerful and influential Culture Ministry for China’s ruling Communist Party found an image of Bon Jovi performing in front of a giant video screen with His Holiness the Dalai Lama featured on it at a concert in 2010.

“The issue of Tibet is especially sensitive right now as the Communist Party marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of what it calls the Tibet Autonomous Region”, said TIME.

Approaching the ever controversial 50th anniversary of what many in the Western world view as a continuing travesty in which China began governing Tibet after the Battle of Chamdo in 1950, the same time when the current Dalai Lama was enthroned. After being forced into exile in India with the remnants of the Tibetan government, where they established the Central Tibetan Administration in exile.

Pro-Tibet stances are not new or unusual, and many of the world’s most famous stars and celebrities have made public their support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama. There have been several other bands and musicians who have found themselves banned from China for support of Tibet, like Bjork in 2008, to Maroon 5, who were supposed to play a concert in China this month, but were forced to cancel after one member of the band tweeted a “Happy Birthday” message to the Dalai Lama’s active Twitter account of nearly 12 million followers.

TIME reports that Bon Jovi’s Chinese concerts’ organizers were attempting to convince the Culture Ministry of the People’s Republic of China to reconsider the move to cancel the concerts, but it does not appear at this time that Bon Jovi’s status in China is likely to change.

5 unique cafés to visit in Asia

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Audrey Magazine (by Alyssa Park):

Cafés are popping up all over America, and they are quickly becoming part of a global culture as well. For instance, all across Asia you can find amazing cafés with different types of aesthetics such as rustic, modern, traditional and even themed. If you are traveling through Asia, then these five destinations are a must.

1. Hoho Myoll Café : (Seoul, South Korea)

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Korea is known to have some of the most beautiful cafés in the world. With a bit of a rustic aesthetic, Hoho Myoll Café is an enchanting little café tucked away in the heart of Seoul.

2. Wangye Teahouse : (Zigong, China)

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Inside of what was once a 100-year-old temple lies a very famous Sichuan Teahouse in Zigong, China. Next to the Fuxi River, visitors not only enjoy a traditional cup of tea, they can also become engrossed in a rich cultural history.

3. Shirohige’s Creampuff Shop: (Tokyo, Japan)

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Shirohige’s Creampuff Shop is one of many of Japan’s themed cafés. Not only are the creampuffs Totoro-shaped, the café itself is extremely sophisticated while maintaining a youthful charm.

4.Up Café: (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

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Up Café is a mandatory destination in Saigon mostly for it’s novelty. With all of the furniture and windows hanging upside down from the ceilings, you can’t help but feel like you are in another dimension.

5. Audrey Café & Bistro: ( Bangkok, Thailand)

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Audrey Café & Bistro is one of the most popular destinations in Bangkok, Thailand because of its beauty. With decor that only reflects elegance and class, your experience here will be nothing short of luxurious.

Siam Center x Medicom Toy (Japan) Worldwide Tour II Be@rbrick

The Siam Center in Bangkok has announced it has joined forces with Japanese toy manufacturer Medicom Toy to host the famed Be@rbrick World Wide Tour II, an exhibition that showcases some of the rarest and highly-coveted bear figurines in existence. Among the limited edition Bearbricks on display will be from graffiti artist Andre Saraiva, illustrator James Jarvis, photographer Mika Ninagawa, NEIGHBORHOOD founder Shinsuke Takizawa and Hong Kong native Edison Chen.

In addition to a commemorative tribute to Thai graphic designer and street artist Mamafaka, a Thai-themed Bearbrick wearing Muay Thai shorts and gloves, and the traditional Mongkol and Prajioud, will also be released.

The Be@rbrick Worldwide Tour 2 runs through until July 13.

Top 5 wedding destinations in Asia

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Audrey Magazine (by Pauline Yang):
While this is surely an exciting time for engaged couples, you don’t need me to tell you that it can be stressful planning a wedding. For instance, those who have close relatives in foreign countries may end up with guests who simply can’t make it because a trip to America is expensive. This is just one of the reasons many couples are now opting for a destination wedding in Asia. It can be easier for some relatives to travel to, and with the right budgeting, a wedding in Asia can even be less expensive than having a wedding in America. Sounds like a win-win!

So if you’re considering a wedding in Asia, we’re here to help! Check out our top 5 wedding destinations as well as specific locations we recommend to have the wedding of your dreams.

1. Taiwan – Lakeside Luxury

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Taiwan has become a global trendsetter in the wedding industry, inviting international couples to celebrate the beginning of a new life together on the beautiful island. Many find that they are able to have more lavish parties and photoshoots for a fraction of the price. Taiwan has proven to be a great choice for those on a budget but don’t want to compromise on their happy day.

Where in Taiwan?
One of the eight wonders of Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is a scenic jewel in the island’s mountainous heart. The romantic lake transforms throughout the day to create different moods. In the early morning it is misty and mysterious. During the day it is a mirror of the mountains and forests that surround it. At sunset it shimmers with gold dust, and after dark, the lights of the villages and temples reflect gently across its surface. A stay at the Fleur de Chine Hotel, situated on the northern peninsula of the Sun Moon Lake, presents these magnificent views, as well as services and accommodations for an elegant outdoor wedding. Under the sun and moon, surrounded by the sky and earth, couples will surely take home sweet, unforgettable memories.

2. Indonesia – Island Dreams

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For those dreaming of a storybook wedding, Indonesia can provide dreamy backdrops and vivid imagery. With botanical gardens, intimate beaches and cliff top venues overlooking the Indian Ocean, Bali effortlessly sets the scene for romance.

Where in Indonesia?
Consider Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort for your stay and venue. The picturesque property transports guests to an otherworldly setting where postcards come to life. Pan Pacific’s grand location, luxurious facilities and excellent service was recently selected to host Miss World. Guests can play around on the award-winning Greg Norman golf course and enjoy spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean. The resort’s spacious coastline lawns serve as a perfect wedding location with incredible views of Tanah Lot and its iconic temple.

3. Singapore – Chic Cityscape

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If you opt for a more modern wedding in the city, Singapore is your place to go. The island country is known for its surreal city skyline. Singapore is not only considered one of the safest places to live, it is also boasted to be the food capital of the world. Sounds like a solid place for a wedding!

Where in Singapore?
Marina Bay Sands Singapore
is home to the futuristic Skypark, one of many iconic architectural buildings in Singapore. Its daring design and breathtaking rooftop decks, including the world’s largest infinity pool at 57 stories above ground, draw many couples to this contemporary resort. The Skypark’s landscaped rooftop gardens offers 360-degree views of Singapore and its offshore islands, easily becoming the most photogenic venue for couples tying the knot. World-class chefs and culinary concepts are also available to satisfy every taste.

4. Thailand – Golden Hours

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A country rich with culture and beautiful scenery, Thailand is one of the most versatile destinations for a wedding. From nature parks and beaches to Buddhist temples, there is a venue for every bride’s vision. Thailand’s prime location in the center of Asia also makes it a sensible choice for those inviting relatives from all over Asia.

Where in Thailand?
The Four Seasons Tented Camp, situated in an elephant sanctuary in the jungles of northern Thailand’s Golden Triangle, is right on the border of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Intimate tented camps perched on private platforms receive six-star service to ensure guests have the best experience during their stay. Still not convinced? Imagine dressing in soft Thai silks while riding a gentle elephant through the bamboo jungle before your wedding ceremony. Yes, it’s just as beautiful as it sounds.

5. India – Heaven in the Hills

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There are many hidden gems in India when it comes to finding the perfect getaway. Its long history and strong cultural traditions make India a special destination to experience. For instance, the “pink city” of Jaipur is a popular choice for those interested in exploring the diversity of wedding venues available, such as ornate palaces, old mansions and private villas.

Where in India?
Nestled in the undulating Aravalli hills is the gorgeous Tree of Life Resort & Spa. This venue features 14 luxury villas built using local styles and designs to reflect Rajasthan’s long architectural history. Complete with an infinity pool at its center and private outdoor spas for each villa, this resort was created with a vision of a heaven away from the bustle of city life. Guests also have the opportunity to dine in their villa from a personalized 4-course menu that guests can design daily with the head chef’s help. Talk about an extravagant getaway!

Asian fast food items you won’t find in the U.S.

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 Audrey Magazine

We first explored KFC menu items that can only be found in Asia, but what about the rest of the well-known American fast-food chains? There are so many yummy menu items only found in Asia that you’ll have to explore (and get hungry) for yourself, but below are some of the more interesting ones we found:

Nacho Fries– Wendy’s, Japan

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This is definitely not a classic Wendy’s menu item, but who doesn’t love nachos? Wendy’s Japan created the Nacho Fries which consists of classic fries, guacamole, chili, cheese and– for a kick– jalapeños

McRice Burger — McDonald’s, Philippines

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In the U.S., we rave over the ramen burger. In the Philippines, they sandwich a chicken or beef patty between two crispy rice patties! Could this inspire us to create the next burger trend in the U.S.?

Dry Pork and Seaweed Donut — Dunkin Donuts, China

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If you thought adding bacon to a maple donut was a bit odd, then you might be hesitant to try this sugar glazed donut topped with dry pork and crunchy seaweed. It sounds like it would be too much of a salty overload rather than a sweet treat.

Ebi Shrimp Filet-O —  McDonald’s, Japan

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If you love shrimp, this is all you. It’s a simple fried shrimp patty paired with thousand island dressing and lettuce between their signature sesame seed bun.

Veg Sammi — Subway, India

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If you’re vegetarian and think American fast food doesn’t have enough veggie items, you’re probably right. Subways in India carry a wide array of meat-less options and include ingredients you won’t find in American Subways. For instance, this Veg Sammi consists of a vegetarian kabob made of lentils, garlic and onions.

Green Tea Blizzard — Dairy Queen, Thailand

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With the green tea and matcha trend running rampant, why hasn’t this made its way to the U.S. yet? Who doesn’t want to have a green tea blizzard served upside down?