September 2014


One of the main things that defines the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa is the fact that we represent a temple of relaxation and wellbeing for all your senses. That is the reason why today we are bringing you to a quiet temple in Hiraizumi, where peace and nature surround you.

We are talking about the Chuson-Ji Temple, one of the most significant Buddhist temples, supposedly founded in the year 850 by Ennin, although most academics believe that it was founded by Fujiwara in the year 1100, as there is no archaeological or historical trace showing that there was Buddhist influences at that time.

The main feature of this temple in the middle of the wild, is its mausoleum, called “Konjiki-Do”, one of the most beautiful and elaborate buildings in Japan and in the world. The Chuson-Ji Temple was recognised Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2011.

Konjiki-Do, which means “gold”, is a mausoleum containing mummified remains of the leaders of the Fujiwara clan who ruled during most of the 12th Century.

It is made out of wood and fully covered by “gold bread” (a fine layer of hammered gold, traditionally used to decorate) with inlaid pearl oysters.

There are three altars on the inside of the building, and although there were 33 sculptures originally, 11 per altar, nowadays there is one missing, the Niten.

Konjiki-Do was previously built outdoors. However, a wooden building was built around it to protect it from the elements. It is now located behind a thick acrylic glass screen and can only be seen from the front.

At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, you can enjoy, first hand, a true Asian experience at our luxury resort in the Mediterranean. Come and enjoy our very own temple!



One of the things that stand out in Asia is the general longevity of the Asian population. At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we wonder what their secret is.

Statistics say that, more specifically Okinawa is the region in Japan with the highest number of elderly inhabitants over 100 years old. Many of us wonder what lies behind this; health and wellbeing seem to prevail.

Their secret…

Locals say that they owe their longevity to their tropical climate as well as the local cuisine.

Although we cannot bring their climate over to you, we can work out what kind of dishes they prepare and which ingredients are the most commonly used in their cuisine.

Ryukyu cuisine, combines recipes from Japan and China and is the result of those culinary arts taking the best from both of them and using tropical elements as star ingredients.

These are some of their main dishes:

  • “Champuru”, a Little lighter than the previous dish, consists of a combination of fried vegetables mixed with a thick and nutritional stew, including: pumpkin, bitter melon and wheat noodles (thinner and fewer noodles).
  • “Tempura”, typically used in Okinawa, is a little thicker than what we are used to, but it is highly recommended.
  • Pork is the main source of protein in most local dishes. There is an Asian version of what we know as black pudding, called “chii-irichii” made with fried blood and vegetables.
  • “Nakami” is a very popular pork soup, often used to treat colds and flus and other illnesses. It is very energetic.
  • Fish is also one of their main food products. These are some of the main fish dishes:
  1. “Irabucha”, a parrot fish recipe.
  2. “Mibai” a grouper dish.
  3. High quality “Sushi” and “Sashimi”.
  • “Toofuyo” is a very special delicatessen: a type of blue cheese made from fermented tofu often served with rice liquor called “Awamori”.

Secrets that will help you live longer and details about Asian cuisine. What else could you ask for? At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we also offer you peace for you body and mind. An unforgettable luxury stay in the Mediterranean…


Are you lucky enough to have been to the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa? If you haven’t… Today, our post is all about luck. We are bringing you to Tokyo and we are telling you about the most fortunate place in the world, the Gotokuji Temple.

This original temple is known for its cats, and is also known as “the Temple of the Cats”.

It is said that the popular Maneki Neko was born there, a white lucky cat that has nowadays become an emblematic Asian ornament which waves its paw and represents good fortune.

Legend has it that in the 17th Century, in times of Edo, the temple was very very poor but the monk who lived there always shared his food with his cat.

One day, a feudal lord was caught by a storm and he took shelter under a large tree near the temple. The lord saw the white, black and brown cat waving its paw showing him the way to the temple door. The man was puzzled and decided to take shelter inside the temple and get close to the cat to get a better look. As he approached the temple, the tree was struck by lighting and turned to ashes.

The man was so grateful to the cat for having saved his life that he donated fields of rice and crops and financed all repair work to help it grow. The temple did well eventually and prospered.

When the cat died, a warm funeral was held for her, hence the temple’s current name “Temple of the Cats”. In addition, an area of the temple’s graveyard is exclusively reserved for cat burials.

The Gotokuji Temple was expanded under the sponsorship of the Li clan, and many family members were buried there. A hall was built and dedicated to Buddha Butsuden, as well as a ritual and pray hall, and a small temple devoted to Maneki Neko with a pagoda where there are figures of carved cats.

There is also an office/shop where you can purchase cats and wooden carvings for good fortune.

If you also believe in good fortune, come to the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, a temple of relaxation where we will pamper you; a luxury resort in the Mediterranean where you will live a totally Asian experience.


Today, at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, we feel very spiritual, relaxed and refreshed after our Thai massage, and we are going to tell you about Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibetan Buddhism is Buddhism as we know it nowadays. It developed in the Himalayas and is also known as “tantric Buddhism”.

This type of Buddhism is followed by 6 % of Buddhists and is one of the most practised doctrines and one of the best known in the East.

There is a clear division within this religion, monks and laymen. Monks are relevant figures in public social life, they are highly respected people treated as “deities” because they are the closest ones to Buddha.

Many objects and charms are used in Tibetan Buddhism, generally bronze objects which are essential during religious ceremonies. They each have a specific function:

  • BELL OR GHANTA: Represents the symbol of male and female energy all at once.
  • VAJRA OR DORJE: the vajra represents a spiritual authority and it is called “cetro diamantino”.
  • DAGGER OR P’UR-BU: this object is used in tantric Buddhist rituals. In Tibet, its followers invoke demons and it can only be used by tantric priests.
  • PRAYER WHEEL: made out of different materials from wood or silver, to gold, jade or ivory. Manufacturing this beautiful object is almost a whole industry in itself for people in exile.
  • PRAYER BEADS: similar to rosary beads, made out of wooden pearls or semi-precious gemstones like coral or the turquoise. They are used to pray just like beads are used in the Christian religion.
  • CEREMONIAL BANNERS: these are very important objects in Tibet. They consist of long strips of thin fabric tied longwise to long sticks. These sticks are placed on the ceilings of homes, temples and any place sacred. It works similarly to the prayer wheel: with every movement of the fabric, there is a prayer sent to the gods.
  • CHARMS: are often worn around the neck to protect from evil. They represent different deities and are often figures carved on wood or metal, although there are also some made out of semi-precious gemstones.

If you wish to see other beautiful Asian objects, come to visit us at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, a luxury resort in the Mediterranean where you can experience Asia.


Would you fancy going on a trip after spending a couple of nights at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa? We would like to recommend a tour, for those of you who are adventurous, to a place with marble mountains, caves and good vibes flowing through the elements of nature. We are bringing you to the Danang Mountains.

Danang, is the largest port city in Central and South Vietnam. In Vietnamese, its name translates as “birth of a large river”. However, in Chinese it means “port where there are plenty of mussels”.

There is a large number of limestone and marble mountains consisting of five marble rock hills erected on the plain of the city, which have become five mountains that represent the 5 elements in nature.

The group of 5 mountains in the centre of Danang, whose name is Ngu Hanh Son, is 2 kilometres long, 800 metres wide and 500 metres tall.
These mountains are known by their own names:

  • KIM SON MOUNTAIN (Metal Mountain)

The metal mountain, by the bank of River Co Co, resembles a bell. Its most outstanding feature is the Quan Am pagoda and the Quan Am cave, called “mysterious cave” due to the strange shapes of its stalactites and stalagmites. Locals say they look like dragons and Buddha statues.

  • MOC SON MOUNTAIN (Wooden Mountain)

This is the only mountain that cannot be visited by tourists or locals. It is very steep and there is no vegetation on it.

  • HOA SON MOUNTAIN (Fire Mountain)

2 rivers used to run through the fire mountain zigzagging their way towards the beach. It is said that the rivers represented the ying-yang, bringing peace and harmony to this place.

  • THO SON MOUNTAIN (Earth Mountain)

This clay and marble mountain is the smallest one. It is irregularly shaped like a rectangle which is why Vietnamese people say that it resembles a sleeping dragon.

Its most outstanding feature is a tunnel that was used during the war against the French and also during the Vietnam War against the American. Also, the Long Hoa pagoda, built in 1992.

  •  THUY SON MOUNTAIN (Water Mountain)

The water mountain is the largest one and most beautiful, and it is, without a doubt, the greatest tourist attraction of the Danang marble mountain group. This mountain expands over 15 hectares, and it has 3 rocky peaks which look similar to the Ursa Major. The highest peak is known as Tam Thai, and its pagoda is named after it.

At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, we cannot offer you mountains but we can offer you the spectacular Mediterranean Sea right next to us. So if you are tired of rocks, we recommend you come to relax at the best luxury resort you could ever find, with 7 different swimming pools for you to enjoy. Come visit us!


Today, from the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are bringing you to one of the most luxurious and mysterious worlds known to men in Japan, the world of the katana, an object that represents cult, tradition and luxury to those who have it.

The katana, according to the Royal Spanish Academy means, sable in Japanese. However, the literal translation of the word is “Japanese sword”. This is a type of sable with a curved and unique blade traditionally used by samurais.

There are different types of katana, but the most known one is the “Oda Nobunaga”.

The origin of the Japanese katana  dates back to the 10th-12th Centuries, when the Chinese of the Song Dynasty introduced it in the country. This curved sword, known as sable, simply evolved until it became the Japanese katana.

The katana used to be carried only by samurai warriors in Japan. It was considered a symbol of status, and should a lower class citizen be seen carrying one, they would be sentenced to death.

For samurai warriors the sword was an extension of their souls, and it was only to be used when absolutely necessary. Traditionally, each samurai named their own sword because it was such an important part of their own being. When a samurai died honourably, he commited suicide using his katana or a “wakizashi”.

This is a katana:

  • Hamon: differential line on the blade. Curved Notare style.
  • Iori-Mune: type of blade, not sunken.
  • Kissaki: point.
  • Mei: warrior’s signature, generally on the Nakago.
  • Mekugis: fasteners to hold the handle, Tsuka to the Nakago, often made out of bamboo.
  • Mekugi-Ana: holes for the fasteners.
  • Menuki: metal ornaments on the sides of the handle.
  • Moto-Haba: width of the blade.
  • Moto-Kasane: thickness of the blade on the Habaki.
  • Mune: contre-point.
  • Nagasa: length.
  • Nakago: part of the blade that fits into the handle.
  • Nike: sunken part.
  • Saki-Haba: width of the blade at the start of the Kissaki.
  • Same: lining of the Tsuka. Often made out of ray shark to avoid the Tsuka-Ito from being slippery.
  • Sori: curvature.
  • Sugata: type of blade.
  • Tsuba: buckler, often decorated using natural motifs.
  • Tsuka: handle.
  • Tsuka-Ito: lining of handle.
  • Yokote: part that separates the point from the rest of the blade.

If you like Asian objects and luxury, come visit us at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa where you will enjoy a great display of Asian culture and many objects brought straight from the Asian continent. Come visit us!


At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are bringing you to celebrate a festival. Today, in Asia they celebrate the Double Nine Festival, on the 9th day of the 9th month.

China is a large and ancient country which is why there are many traditions, legends and festivals. One of these celebrations is the Double Nine Festival, also known as “Chong Yang Festival”.

Nine is a “yang” number and that is why on September 9th there are two “yang” superimposed, which is why it is called Chong Yang.

Chinese culture always follows the lunar calendar. This festival is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, and is a festival associated with numerology.

Ever since ancient times, numbers have been surrounded by an aura of mysticism and “magic”, as in past times everything was ruled by the principles of the universe, Ying and Yang, to classify everything that exists, including numbers.

The number nine is associated with masculinity and positivity. Ancient Chinese people thought it would be a good date to scare evil away.

Legend has it that you must climb a mountain, bring “zhuyu” leaves and drink chrysanthemum wine to scare evil spirits away, which will bring good fortune and progress in every aspect of your life.

Enjoying the chrysanthemum is also one of the main things to do during this festival, which takes place during the time of the year when the chrysanthemum flourishes. During the Song Dynasty, the chrysanthemum became an important part of this festival.

The chrysanthemum is a plant whose flower has wonderful natural, simple and effective properties, one of Chinese doctors’ favourites due to its many uses. It can be used as it is, or mixed with other herbs. It makes for delicious tea when adding a touch of honey. It is also effective to help you detox and to prevent colds that come when the autumn finishes.

If you also wish to celebrate this day and get some good fortune on your oncoming projects, at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa you can celebrate with us surrounded by the chrysanthemum in our gardens. Come visit us!


Today, at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are bringing you to one of the most magical spots said to be the most beautiful by far in China. We are strolling around Guilin, the city of hills.

It is located in the River Li in China, and according to ancient Asian proverbs this is the most beautiful city in the country. Poets and painters used to make a pilgrimage to Guilin to capture the beauty of its landscape on their canvas and poems.

Surrounded by hills that can be seen from anywhere in the city. All walks bring you to the River Li or the mountains. Guilin is a small city so it is easy to see it all; its charm and culture are irresistible

Guilin is a city to be enjoyed and taken in. In the centre of the city there are two linked lakes: ficus and fir tree, divide by Zhongshan Street, the main street parallel to the river.

Most emblematic places and things to do:

– A HILL OVER THE WAVES: climbing the hill is easier than it looks as there are steps that bring you right up to the top, and it is not too steep. From the top, there is a magnificent view of the whole city, as well as of the wriggling river.

– REED FLUTE CAVE: there are many caves in the area of Guilin. In ancient times, the caves were used by peasants as storage facilities, housing and shelter in times of war, hence the secrecy of where some of them were located.

The Reed Flute Cave is one of the largest and most beautiful caves. Its main feature is, without a doubt, the Glass Palace, a large room on the inside of a cave with a small lake and some rocks behind the lake that resemble a city in the distance.

CRUISE ON THE RIVER LI: we already mentioned this in a previous post of the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. This cruise is the easiest way to see the changing landscape of mountains and waters that have made this area so famous.

Other emblematic towns to be visited when in Guilin, nearby, are Daxu whose centre is unbelievably well preserved, showing the splendour of its prosperous past. And Yangshuo, where there are fewer tourists, and it has been famous ever since ancient times for its celestial landscape.

If you ever wish to lose yourself in Asian spots and vegetation, come and live a luxury experience. We hope to see you at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa.


Although the summer is almost over, at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we will continue travelling around Asia to show you the secrets of those hidden treasures and paradises we love. Today, we are bringing you to an island that used to be called “The Eastern Pearl”.

The island is Penang, one of the most popular islands among tourists in Malaysia, whose capital is Georgetown and is known as “The Eastern Pearl”. It used to be a virgin island in the Malacca Sea, with plenty of palm trees and coconuts that looked like pearls upon falling on the fine white sand.

It is said that Penang is like a miniature version of the Malaysian mainland as it is a melting pot of cultures, such as Chinese, Indian, Thai and Malayan.

Georgetown is also multicultural, and a visit to these emblematic places is a must:

– FLOATING MOSQUE: this is an important mosque built over the sea. Everyone who visits it is awestruck by its grandeur.

KEK LOK SI TEMPLE (Hill Temple): Also known as Temple of Supreme Bliss. This is the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia and one of the most popular ones in Penang. Its main attraction is its impressive seven-floor pagoda and the 10,000 bronze and alabaster Buddha statues placed all over the temple.

– URBAN ART: Penang is covered in street art. It is a city where urban art combines styles and messages.

– SNAKE TEMPLE: this temple was built by a healing Chinese monk. Legend has it that the monk offered shelter to the snakes that showed up and nowadays they still live there. The snakes that live in this temple are poisonous, but it is said that the monk’s spirit protects worshippers from getting bitten, although some tourists claim the snakes are well tamed.

THE LEONG SAN TONG KHOO CHINESE CLAN HOUSE (KHOO KONGSI): The word kongsi means a house used as a gathering place for a Chinese clan, also used as a temple. There are many kongsi in Penang, and Khoo is by far the most stunning one of them all.

– BLUE HOUSE (CHEONG FATT TZE): many magnates of the region, Indonesian, Thai and Chinese, once built extravagant palaces in Penang, to show off their power and wealth. Currently, this is a very exclusive hotel based on Feng Shui philosophy.

– RED MARKET: buzzing “hawkers”, with live music, plenty of food stalls and crowds of people. A multicultural place in all its glory.

If you also wish to live an Asian luxury experience and get to know Asian cultures and cuisine, we recommend you visit the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, a luxury resort in the Mediterranean where we will bring you one step closer to Asia. Come and visit us.

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