Urban Asia


Former air stewardess Anna Teo stumbled upon the opportunity to start her trading company after she went shopping in Chinatowns in several countries but failed to find any Malaysian product.


Arriving by land and sea, thousands of tourists flock to Penang's century-old clan jetties every day. These were once a collection of ramshackle huts on stilts - the oldest examples of Chinese settlements in Malaysia - on the verge of being demolished by property developers. But they are now filled with colourful homes peddling souvenirs, snacks and lodgings to the cultural traveller.
Hot springs, meals served in private rooms, therapeutic massages and chauffeur services - this may sound like what's available at a Japanese ryokan (inn). But you would be barking up the wrong tree.
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Children from an international school listening to a volunteer interpreter during a disaster drill at the Roppongi Hills business and shopping compound in Tokyo yesterday, the 23rd anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake that killed more than 6,400 people.

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