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Asia Pac Unwrapped

Anchored by Monocle’s unrivalled team of editors and correspondents, and produced out of our bureaux in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, Asia Pac Unwrapped is an unmissable weekly briefing from the world’s most dynamic region.

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Latest episode

Bangkok’s film following:

Grab a bag of popcorn as we shine a spotlight on film production in Thailand. We also explore a new exhibition in Cambodia that is stoking curiosity in the country’s long history thanks to some rather mysterious burial jars. Plus: we look into the state of economic equality for entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and take an audible tour of Tokyo.

Latest episodes

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2411 Oct 2015
29 min

Bangkok’s film following: 

Grab a bag of popcorn as we shine a spotlight on film production in Thailand. We also explore a new exhibition in Cambodia that is stoking curiosity in the country’s long history thanks to some rather mysterious burial jars. Plus: we look into the state of economic equality for entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and take an audible tour of Tokyo.

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234 Oct 2015
30 min

Tokyo’s design haven: 

Touching down in Tokyo, we explore the department store scene that also acts as a key destination for Japanese design. Plus: how an innovative approach to education is helping one Cambodian school inspire students, and how to navigate the delicate process of rebranding.

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2227 Sep 2015
30 min

The modern telly: 

We look to Cambodia, which in recent years has emerged as a very attractive destination for investors, particularly among the Japanese. We also check-in at Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor for the city’s favourite high tea as the luxury icon’s future is still in doubt. Plus: we ask what role architecture plays in creating a cosy home and preview a new television from Samsung that comes complete with a high-end design.

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2120 Sep 2015
30 min

Tokyo’s force awakens: 

As another crazy week unfolds in the Australian capital, we ask comedian Tom Ballard what’s going on in the nation’s political circus. We’re also in Hong Kong, where high-class tailoring rivals that of the traditional high streets in London. Plus: what’s behind Japan’s intergalactic obsession with ‘Star Wars’?

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2013 Sep 2015
30 min

Trendsetting in Seoul: 

The burgeoning tourism sector is pushing many airlines in Asia back into profit so we take a look at which other sectors might be feeling the effects. We ask how sought-after is Danish design among discerning Hong Kong shoppers and examine the factors behind up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Seoul. Plus we take a look at the surprisingly stylish and technologically innovative art of keeping goldfish in Tokyo.

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196 Sep 2015
29 min

Checking out of Tokyo’s Hotel Okura: 

It’s a sad week in Tokyo as we bid farewell to one of the city’s most beloved architectural marvels, the Hotel Okura. We also hear from a company that specialises in bringing that cosy-home feeling to those who constantly find themselves on the move. And touching down in Singapore, we hear how the importance of community plays a central role in creating a cosy home. Plus: the final chapter of our interview with former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer.

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1830 Aug 2015
30 min

Eco luxury makes a splash in Cambodia: 

Is Japan’s rail system too safe? We tune in to the difficulties facing Tokyo as it tries to market its famous transport internationally. We’re also in Melbourne where designing a high-end hair salon and a cocktail lounge is all in a day’s work for architect Travis Walton. Plus: we continue our interview with former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer and check-in to an eco-luxury resort making waves in Cambodia.

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1723 Aug 2015
30 min

The diplomatic evolution of Australia: 

The mining boom is over, diplomacy has taken a beating and the prime minister isn’t very popular. We discuss the challenges facing Australia with the country’s former foreign minister Alexander Downer. We also browse a new retail concept in Singapore that’s catching plenty of attention at Changi Airport. Plus: touching down in Chengdu, we learn how one architecture firm is gaining admiration for its unique blend of modern style and traditional Chinese design.

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1616 Aug 2015
30 min

Melbourne fashion goes global: 

As the economic clouds continue to gather over China, we examine how it all came to this. We also ask whether there’s a noticeable gap between casual shorts and fancier attire – according to one Melbourne entrepreneur, there is. Plus: we’re in Jakarta, where diplomacy is emerging as a major factor in the struggles facing the Indonesian president.

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159 Aug 2015
28 min

Asia’s new coffee capital: 

We take a closer look at the presidency of Indonesia’s Joko Widodo. Then we’re in Sichuan, where spicy hotpot isn’t the only thing putting the region on the map. We also take in Phnom Penh’s growing interest in artisan coffee, tour Singapore’s innovative home for tech start-ups and find out how to spend 24 hours in Auckland.

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142 Aug 2015
28 min

Grand plans: 

Superb wine, delicious food and a restaurant design sure to impress. We’re in Melbourne, where culinary magic is a serious business. We also head to Japan, where developers and government officials are trading barbs over preparations for the 2020 Olympics. Plus: we check-in at a new luxury high-rise in Hong Kong and get the best of Singapore in 24 hours.

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1326 Jul 2015
29 min

Tapping into potential: 

Can Japanese carmaker Suzuki tap into the higher end of the market in India? Plus, despite claims of an accommodation shortage, we look at why Melbourne is set to lose one of its most historic hotels. We also learn how foreign investment is spawning tiny bars in Phnom Penh. And what to do if you have just 24 hours in Bangkok.

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1219 Jul 2015
28 min

Yes we cachaça: 

Pouring ourselves a glass of cachaça, we ponder a bizarre Australian law preventing importation of the spirit. We also check in with our Tokyo bureau to sample some of the rotating array of puddings on offer at the city’s convenience stores. Plus: we examine efforts by Singapore to boost its national identity with beautifully designed souvenirs.

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1112 Jul 2015
28 min

24 hours in Tokyo: 

We explore the shady side of a cinema in Melbourne that’s now home to a hidden jazz bar. We then venture out for a spot of shopping at one of Hong Kong’s favourite luxury department stores. Plus, we hear about the rebirth of Sydney’s Circular Quay district and we discover the best of Tokyo in little more than 24 hours.

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105 Jul 2015
29 min

New trends: 

We hear about Mandarin Oriental’s plans for a new luxury hotel in Beijing. Barely a week goes by without a trendy burger joint popping up in Melbourne but the latest comes with an interesting twist. In Tokyo we find out why folk are waiting in queues for… ice shavings. Plus we’ll hear about some of the best ways to spend 24 hours in Sydney.

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