March 2018


Easter break is here and at the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are ready for a well-deserved rest. Today we are visiting our famous Thai Spa to tell you about acupressure. Do you want to know what is it about? Keep reading…

Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique. It also belongs to Chinese traditional medicine, and it is used to treat different health problems.

It is based on putting pressure on certain areas of the body to relieve the pain that appears on a specific area. It can even affect the functioning of some inner organs.

Acupressure uses the same principles as acupuncture. The difference is that the working tools used to put pressure on the body are the fingers, the knuckles and the elbows, unlike acupuncture, which places very thin needles on the body.

According to Chinese traditional medicine, each point is connected to an inner organ of the body through meridians. Vital energy (chi or qi energy) flows through these channels and it may block up producing a malfunction in body balance. These type of disorders contribute to the appearance of different malaises.

The acupressure therapy applies strength through pressure, friction and massages on certain points of the body. These skin areas, once they are stimulated, cause the release of neurochemical endorphins from the brain, which contribute to the alleviation of pain naturally.

The points of acupressure are divided in two types:

Local points. These ones are the actual spots on the body where the patient is experiencing pain or discomfort.

Trigger points. These ones are those that are connected to the points of the body experiencing pain or discomfort.

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Qaidam Basin

Today at the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we want to welcome spring as we enjoy the most: travelling. We are taking you to China to discover the incredible Qaidam Basin.

Qaidam Basin occupies the northwestern part of Qinghai province. The region belonged to the old Tibetan region of Amdo. Its name probably comes from tsa’i dam, which means “salt marsh” in standard Tibetan and Mongolian. It is one of the driest and coldest places in China.

Qaidam is an intermountain basin, that is to say, it is surrounded by mountains, some of which reach 6,000 m. It covers an area of about 120,000 square metres, and 35,000 square kilometres of them form Qaidam Basin Desert.

Saline lakes and spectacular sand dunes occupy Qaidam Basin. The largest salt water lake is the Dabsan Hu, located to the north of the city of Golmuf. The salt of these lakes, specially the ones in Golmud, are being exploited for industrial benefit on a large scale.

The area has a very particular biodiversity. Brown bears, wolves, red foxes and wooly hares are some of the many mammals that dwell in China’s Qaidam Basin.

Doubtlessly, Qaidam Basin Desert is one of those places that don´t leave anyone indifferent.

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Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival

At the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are always in the mood to celebrate. We are getting ready to welcome spring by travelling to Korea to celebrate Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival.

Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival is a famous festival, which celebrates the blooming of apricot flowers. It takes place every spring in the city of Gwangyang, in South Jeolla Province. Specifically, in the village of Maehwa, home of the largest number of apricot blossom trees in Korea. This edition will be held from the 17th to the 25th of March.

In Korea, the maehwa flower is one of the first signs that announce the arrival of spring. Traditionally, it is known as one of the four noble plants or sagunja, together with the orchid, the chrysanthemum and bamboo.

Apricot flowers, just like cherry blossoms, start blooming in early March, when the air is still slightly cold. Spring festivals start in mid-March, when spring flowers are blossoming. Precisely, Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival is one of the first festivals that is held to celebrate spring.

Gwangyang is filled with maehwa during the eight days the festival lasts and it also produces, distribute and sell apricot products. Tourists can enjoy a walk beneath the apricot blossoms and also sample and purchase local organic apricot products.

During Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival, locals also provide visitors information about apricots. Koreans highly appreciate apricot or maesil, they use it in many dishes: from sweet and sour sauce, marinade, kimchi and vinegar, to jelly, juice and alcoholic drinks.

Different themed activities for kids and adults also take place during the event: concerts, Nanta (a non-verbal comedy show), a marathon, bike races, a photographic exhibition, a cooking competition and local maesil food tasting.

Welcome spring at the luxury resort in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa. Can you imagine a better plan to kick off Easter holidays than surrounded by our tropical gardens?

Use of citronella in Asian cuisine

As you already know, at the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, we never get tired of discovering the varied Asian cuisine. Today we continue our trip around the continent to tell you about one of it most popular ingredients: citronella.

Citronella or lemongrass is one of those plants that are eaten from time immemorial both for its medicinal properties and as a kitchen essential. It is one of the basic ingredients of Asian cuisine. It is a stiff grass native to India, is widely used as an herb in Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, where the dishes seasoned with citronella get a mild citrus flavour.

This type of grass is very easy to grow, since once that is planted, it grows back again year after year. Citronella looks very similar to a leek. In order to make the most of its bulb, we have to get rid of the outer layers, which are pretty hard, before getting to the inner stalk. Regarding its leaves, they are used for infusions and to flavour some fish recipes (although we get rid of them before serving the food).

In order to extract the flavour of citronella and the scent of its bulb, it´s recommended to squash it a little bit, as a clove of garlic, before adding it to other ingredients.

Since its flavour is a little bit spicy, it must be added in small quantities to soups, stews, salads and sauces. Vietnamese cuisine usually mixes citronella with ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander, and it´s also very used to marinate meats.

Besides traditional medicine and cuisine, lemongrass or citronella is finding its own place in cocktails. It is used to dress gin tonics, mojitos and different cocktails.

Definitely, citronella is a very versatile ingredient, that will add an exotic touch to any recipe.

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