Happy New Year to you one and all! January: you either love it or hate it. Personally, I’m always happy with any excuse for a clean slate and what could be better than the start of a new year? 2014 has a certain ring to it, wouldn’t you agree? Whatever your hopes, dreams and aspirations are for the year ahead, we hope you’ll do us the pleasure of spending some of it here with us at Destination MO.

It’s all about Asia this January. While the rest of the world may be launching itself slowly into the new year, Asia has a whole coterie of happenings to tickle your fancy. You can indulge your sartorial side at Hong Kong Fashion Week (13 to 16 January), explore your inner culture vulture at the 10th Singapore Fringe Festival (8 to 19 January), where this year’s theme, ‘Art and the People’, means there’s bound to be something for everyone. Or admire the dedication and stoicism of the wrestlers taking part in Tokyo’s New Year Grand Sumo tournament (12 to 26 January). 

The crowing glory of this month’s events is, naturally, Chinese New Year, which is celebrated in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Macau, Singapore and, of course, Hong Kong, on 31 January. Among the fabulous festivities are awe-inspiring dragon and lion dances, performances of auspicious rituals and jaw-droppingly spectacular fireworks displays at midnight to kick off the Year of the Horse in style.

With the spotlight on Asia this month, it is only fitting to turn our attention to our friends in the Philippines, many of whom are still struggling to come to terms with the devastation caused by November’s catastrophic typhoon Haiyan. And this month, Destination MO is delighted to welcome Vince Golangco, founder and publisher of wheninmanila.com, the top online magazine in Manila – and the Philippines. Here, he reveals his favourite recommendations to experience his city like a local.

It also gives me great pleasure to welcome the talented Bangkok-based writer and author Chami Jotisalikorn, who will take you on a wonderful tour of the best of her city this month. 

Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications

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