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Lifestyle 04 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Right royal retreat

Visitors to Langkawi instantly fall in love with its spectacular beauty. Now there is a new gem in Langkawi's crown,the Casa del Mar,an exotic,quixotic boutique hotel that hints of the Mediterranean,with a dash ofthe Caribbean, graced with Malaysian hospitality. Casa del Mar is owned by the Sultan of Selangor and Datuk Syed YusufTun Syed Nasir. KEE HUA CHEE checked in and forgot how many days he stayed.

Lifestyle 04 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Into the wilds

Photographer Ong Soon Hin and LEONG SIOK HUI had joined a group of Singaporean kids and their parents on an outdoor excursion to Endau-Rompin National Park in Johor.

Lifestyle 05 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Dracula's home

Count Dracula is seen again on a dark and stormy Transylvanian night#8230;. Actually, Dracula creator Bram Stoker never visited the place.HEIDEMARIE PUETZ takes a look at what he missed.

Lifestyle 06 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

For whom the tea pours

The Chinese in China are rediscovering the most quintessential of Chinese drinks #8211; tea, reports MARTIN FACKLER.

Lifestyle 09 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Picking up the pieces

THE formerly tourist-packed streets and beaches of Bali are now eerily devoid of Westerners. TEOH TEIK HOONG revisits the broken jewel of Indonesia.

Lifestyle 11 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Extreme Queensland

Few would dispute that New Zealand's Queenstown has rightfully earned the tagline: Adventure Capital of the World.

Lifestyle 11 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Welcome to windy Wellington

It is difficult to keep your hat on in Wellington. No thanks to the frequent gusts of wind that sweep through the New Zealand capital, affectionately called Windy Wellington. NG SU-ANN has the stories.

Lifestyle 12 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Bliss in the city

In that classic children's story. 'Town Mouse and Country Mouse', a city rodent visits his cousin in the 'ulu' and vice versa. Both end up hating each other's lifestyle because it's so strange and different and neither can wait to get back to what they are used to. The classic tale suggests we are all creatures of habit and familiarity, and that pulling up one's roots and replanting them in a new environment is next to impossible. But a young couple and a retiree who exchanged one lifestyle for a completely different one offer a new take on the simple tale. REENA GURBAKSH finds out why a country mouse bolted for the city and why a town mouse headed for the hills.

Lifestyle 14 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Marine ecosystem under siege

Despite their nasty reputation, sea urchins are really quite beautiful creatures up close. Their long spines shelter small fishes, shrimps and crabs from predators, while their diet of algae keeps reefs from being smothered by marine plants. But in large numbers, sea urchins can tip teh delicate balance of the marine ecosystem and reduce a reef to rubble.

Lifestyle 14 Jan 2003 | 12:00 AM

Going by indicators

A RECENT survey of Pulau Pangkor#8217;s coral reefs was carried out using the Reef Check method.