SE Asia

21 breathtaking photos of Asia

21 breathtaking photos of Asia

We here at RocketNews24 know there’s a lot to love about Asia. With unique traditions, fascinating people and awe-inspiring landscapes, there’s a certain atmosphere and sense of beauty that has us hooked.

While it’s not always easy to translate the magic onto film, one photographer from Thailand is leading the way with an amazing collection of stunning photos and an open invitation for others to join him on his photo travels across the Asian continent. From Myanmar’s mist-shrouded temples to the quiet rivers of China and India, these photos will simply take your breath away.

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Newsflash: Chinese satellite photos show “possible debris” from missing Malaysia Airlines plane

Newsflash: Chinese satellite photos show “possible debris” from missing Malaysia Airlines plane

Chinese authorities have released satellite images which show what they believe could be debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished without trace last Saturday.

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This is some of the best/worst cosplay we’ve ever seen

This is some of the best/worst cosplay we’ve ever seen

We’ve seen some amazingly elaborate cosplay over the years, and while we stare in awe, we’re usually too busy and wide-mouthed to think about how much the costumes cost. But what’s a money-strapped cosplayer to do? Anucha “Cha” Saengchart of Thailand-based website, Lowcost Cosplay, has the solution, bringing the world costume design ideas using things found around the house. Toilet paper, utensils, and oh so much flour is used to create impressive lowcost cosplay. Because when it comes down to it, cosplay is about the love of the character, not how much money you have.

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Here’s the route the Malaysian military thinks the missing Boeing 777 took

Here’s the route the Malaysian military thinks the missing Boeing 777 took

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been missing for four days with more than 200 people on board, and the country’s military now thinks the Boeing 777 turned around over the Gulf of Thailand and flew at least 350 miles away from its destination, Beijing.

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Cosplay attains mainstream status in IKEA Singapore’s latest online campaign!

Cosplay attains mainstream status in IKEA Singapore’s latest online campaign!

We’ve previously peeked into the living spaces of cosplayers and while their props and costumes certainly impressed us, some of their rooms were a little… distracting. Let’s just say, not all cosplayers are as good at organizing their rooms as they are skilled at roleplaying.

“What has cosplaying got to do with organizing your bedroom?” you might ask. Theoretically, they’re two separate issues, but when the world’s largest furniture retailer IKEA steps into the picture, creating effective storage space in a room seems like something any and every cosplayer should be capable of. Check out the makeover of this Singaporean cosplayer’s bedroom!

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A look at Ko Tao: the tiny Thai island that just nabbed its second “Asia’s Best Island” award

A look at Ko Tao: the tiny Thai island that just nabbed its second “Asia’s Best Island” award

For the second year in a row, Thailand’s Ko Tao nabbed the title of “Asia’s Best Island” from the travel website Trip Advisor. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, the island barely covers 21 square km (8.1 square miles) but the crystal clear and very peaceful waters have earned it international fame among divers.

Between beautiful white sand beaches, the 300 sunny days per year and the chance to swim alongside whale sharks, click below to find out more about why travelers chose Ko Tao as Asia’s best island!

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Mystery, rumour and speculation after Malaysia Airlines plane disappears mid-flight UPDATED

Mystery, rumour and speculation after Malaysia Airlines plane disappears mid-flight UPDATED

People all over Asia wait with bated breath today for news about the Malaysia Airlines jet which disappeared without trace on Saturday last week. Earlier today, debris described as possibly from a plane was spotted in the sea off the coast of Vietnam, but it has yet to be confirmed as belonging to the missing aircraft.

The plane, which was carrying some 239 passengers, was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it suddenly disappeared. No distress calls were made and weather conditions were thought to have been good, leading the global media and internet masses to propose numerous theories regarding what might have happened, including an (as-yet entirely unsubstantiated) report that authorities in China ordered its military to shoot down any “suspicious passenger planes” coming close to Beijing on the same day the Malaysia Airlines flight vanished.

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Cute Japanese girls with guns will steal your heart, put a cap in it

Cute Japanese girls with guns will steal your heart, put a cap in it

I think the title of this post should be pretty self explanatory, but in the interest of full disclosure these girls aren’t, as far as we know, actually real military personnel, nor are they members of some kind of guerrilla insurgency. These photos come from a magazine dedicated to ‘survival game fashion’. But hey, the guns look real enough and the girls are hot, so who cares about technicalities?

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Cute 13yo Thai-German talent speaks five languages and sings with the best of them

Cute 13yo Thai-German talent speaks five languages and sings with the best of them

Meet Jannine Parawie Weigel. Like any 13-year-old girl, she enjoys lemonade, pizza, the color pink, and Hunger Games (the movie not, you know, actual hunger games). She also speaks five languages, plans to get a bachelor’s degree by the time she’s 16 and was already signed to GMM Grammy, Thailand’s largest media company.

And if you don’t feel like you’re underachieving enough yet, she also has the face and voice of an angel, and by all accounts seems like a genuinely well-mannered young woman. Now before you pick up that revolver, enjoy the song-stylings of this up-and-coming Thai-German wunderkind.

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A flood of scooters at the drive-through marks the opening of Vietnam’s first McDonald’s

A flood of scooters at the drive-through marks the opening of Vietnam’s first McDonald’s

You may have been under the impression that McDonald’s has already taken over the world. But even though it has already succeeded in introducing the Big Mac to over 120 countries or territories around the globe, it still has a few places left to conquer. Up until now, Vietnam was, perhaps surprisingly, one of those places. But not anymore with the grand opening of Vietnam’s first McDonald’s shop, which also happens to be Vietnam’s first drive-through restaurant and first 24-hour chain store. Opening day proved to be a smashing success with hordes of people flocking to sink their teeth into a juicy burger. Interestingly, due to the prevalence of scooters in Vietnam, the drive-through line was almost completely composed of people driving not cars, but scooters! Join us for a look at some opening day scenes with pictures taken by people who were there.

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8 reasons to visit this bizarre Buddhism theme park

8 reasons to visit this bizarre Buddhism theme park

At any amusement park run by the “big two” – Disney or Universal Studios – you can be whisked away to a picturesque fairytale castle, or live out scenes from your favourite movies. But what if what you really want is to ride through the depths of hell and then go alligator fishing? Suoi Tien Cultural Amusement Park, located on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, is a mammoth of a theme park that delights and baffles in equal measure. Read on for our eight reasons not to miss out!

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Manila offers couples free train tickets for PDA on Valentine’s

Manila offers couples free train tickets for PDA on Valentine’s

Generally speaking, it’s considered bad form to suck face on public transportation, particularly in socially conservative countries like the Philippines, but perhaps lovers get a little extra leeway on St. Valentine’s Day, because the Manila Light Rail Transit is offering free tickets to couples bringing the romance today.

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McDonald’s brand-new Vietnam restaurant is already a total mob scene

McDonald’s brand-new Vietnam restaurant is already a total mob scene

The opening of McDonald’s first restaurant in Vietnam on Saturday drew massive crowds, as well as a live DJ, face painting and various performers.

Hundreds of people began camping out at the new location in Ho Chi Minh City hours before its 8 a.m. opening to get their first taste of a Big Mac and fries made in their own hometown, according to Liberty Voice.

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Swoon news – Visiting Japanese reporter becomes news himself as Thai women fall in love with him

Swoon news – Visiting Japanese reporter becomes news himself as Thai women fall in love with him

Fetch me my smelling salts, Watson, this woman has fainted!

They say that love knows no bounds, and that regardless of the languages two people speak, kindred spirits will always find a way. That’s mostly nonsense, especially when you’re eyes-deep in legal documents or trying to explain tax returns to someone who can barely comment on the weather let alone discuss their hopes and dreams, but when it comes to spotting a hottie, trivial things such as national borders and words do not even factor into it. Case in point: women in Thailand are currently going nuts about one particular Japanese journalist who visited their country earlier this month, resulting in a flood of photos and comments about him being uploaded to Facebook and Twitter, to the degree that national newspapers and TV stations began reporting it as news.

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How cute does a girl have to be before she’s forgiven for using a stolen iPhone? This cute

How cute does a girl have to be before she’s forgiven for using a stolen iPhone? This cute

Not so long ago, if you were travelling overseas and someone swiped your bag or camera, you pretty much had until you left the country to crack the caper. Unless you happened to be carrying a cargo of priceless gems in your tote bag, the local authorities weren’t going to coordinate an international search and recovery operation with you once you’re back in your home country.

Things are different now, when so many of the gadgets we take with us on vacation are linked to cloud storage services and social media accounts. Such was the case of one Japanese traveler who goes by the Twitter screen name Matsumoto Hiroki. Matsumoto, who lost his iPhone on a trip to Bangkok, was able to track down the person using it through iCloud, which is when his story got really interesting.

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Escape the chill of winter with these dazzling seascape photos

Escape the chill of winter with these dazzling seascape photos

When the following pictures popped up on a Japanese news site, we found ourselves enraptured by the breathtaking and surreal scenery depicted within. In the photo above, the water is so transparent that the children seem to float over an endless cloud of seaweed. But it’s not an optical illusion. That is indeed water, and it is in fact actually part of the ocean. Can you figure out which country this gorgeous photo was taken in? Here’s a hint: it’s somewhere in southeast Asia. The answer is after the jump.

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Is the fried chicken at Myanmar’s “AFC” finger-licking good?

Is the fried chicken at Myanmar’s “AFC” finger-licking good?

Recent relaxations of regulations by the government of Myanmar have gone a long way in opening up the country to foreign tourism and investment. While we’re sure this is big news in the worlds of finance and manufacturing, we couldn’t help but wonder what this would mean for RocketNews24’s journalistic foundation: fast food. We’d heard that Japanese/Korean hamburger/craziness emporium Lotteria had entered the market, but where do the people of Myanmar get their fried poultry fix? Do they have KFC?

We suppose we could have used Google to see if the chain operates in the country (turns out it does), but we saw no reason to do so when we could get paid to take an overseas business trip instead. And so we travelled to Myanmar’s metropolis of Yangon in search of KFC.

We found two thirds of what we were looking for.

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World-famous actress Maggie Q warns rich Chinese men that shark fin soup just isn’t cool

World-famous actress Maggie Q warns rich Chinese men that shark fin soup just isn’t cool

Unlike numerous other animal rights groups, non-governmental organisation WildAid aims to combat the problem of illegal wildlife trade – most notably the killing of sharks for their fins, elephants and rhinos for their precious ivory, and tigers for their skins – by attacking the problem at its source: the people whose money encourages it. The group’s message is simple: “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

With the help of numerous high-profile figures like footballer David Beckham and even Britain’s Prince William, WildAid puts pressure on the people providing the demand for these “luxury” items. This week, world-famous actress, animal rights campaigner and, in our opinion, full-time babe Maggie Q appeared in the group’s newest commercial, which aired in China. The ad, titled “Impress”, aims to dissuade wealthy Chinese from eating shark fin soup, with Maggie telling both her date and TV-watching China that although there are many ways to impress a woman, shark fin soup is definitely not one of them.

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Offstage: Take a peek into the real lives of cosplayers! 【Photos】

Offstage: Take a peek into the real lives of cosplayers! 【Photos】

Cosplay is arguably the most popular subculture in Japan. While the costume play community has seen an explosive growth across the globe in recent years, many “normal” people still tend to look at those engaging in the activity with judging eyes; some even think that they’re “weird” for wanting to dress up like their heroes. But the truth is, beneath the elaborate costumes, cosplayers are just as normal as any one of us.

We’ve seen cosplayers without their costumes, but photographer Ching Yee Tan takes a step further by showing us a glimpse of their private lives. If you’ve ever wondered what a hardcore cosplayer’s room looks like, this is your chance to take a peek into one!

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We get a taste of the high-life at a Thai mega-mansion equipped with giant chicken altar and Marilyn Monroe

We get a taste of the high-life at a Thai mega-mansion equipped with giant chicken altar and Marilyn Monroe

While staying in Thailand, one of our reporters came across an expansive estate littered with colossal buildings. This was said to be the property of the Chairman of Saha Farms Group, Dr. Panya Choititawan.

As we will soon see, Dr. Choititawan seems to be a devout Buddhist and has opened his home, called Sukhawadee, to the public for a nominal fee of 200 bahts (US$6). It’s said the purpose was to give people a feeling of being a joint owner and treat them to the images of Buddha it contains. Kowloon Kurosawa, wanting to get a taste of success decided to take a look around.

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