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Asian female ghosts who made it to the big screen

Some say anything men can do, women can do better, which is probably applicable in the case of haunting people as well.

Asia being the Earth’s largest continent, is rich with legends, folktales, myths and of course ghost stories.

And the main characters of these haunting stories are mainly women. (The idea of a woman with long unruly hair appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the night does seem scarier than a short-haired man with a potbelly.)

Asian female ghosts have always been the central plot in many famous movies including Japanese film The Ring (1998) and Thai flick Nang Nak (1999).

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Here are just some of the Asian female ghosts who are the subject matters of many horror movies:

1.Mae Nak Phra Khanong (Thailand)

Mae Nak Phra Khanong or Mae Nak is one of the most famous Thai female ghost. According to local legend, her story took place during the reign of King Rama IV (1851-1868).

Nak was a young woman married to Mak. When Mak was sent to war, Nak and their child died in childbirth. When Mak returns home, however, he finds her there with their child waiting for him.

Those who dare to warn Mak that he is living with a ghost are all killed.

Mae Nak appears in a long list of films from the 1950s including Nang Nak (1999), Ghost of Mae Nak (2005), Pee Mak (2013) and Make Me Shudder 2 (2014).

2.Krasue (Thailand)

Krasue is a young and beautiful female ghost with her internal organs dangling down from the neck (perhaps not so beautiful after all).

She has been making movie appearances since the 70s with film like Krasue Sao (1973) where she fights with a fellow krasue.

Showing her versatility, she also appears in erotic movies like Wan Krasue Sao (2013) and Krasue Rak Krasue Sawat (2014).

3.Nang Tani (Thailand)

Nang Tani is of the few Asian female ghosts who happens to be a tree-hugger.

She haunts wild banana trees and only becomes visible during the full moon.

Men who have wronged women, beware! They usually become her victims. But most of the time, she is reportedly benevolent.

Nang Tani’s earliest appearanceon the big screen is in Thai classic Nang Phrai Tani (1967).

4.Nang Ta-khian (Thailand)

Just like Nang Tani, Nang Ta-khian is another tree-hugger.

Her choice of wood is the Ta-khian tree or Hopea odorata.

She usually appears in reddish or brownish traditional Thai attire.

This spirit was featured in self-titled films, Ta-khian (2003) and Nang Ta-khian (2010).

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Nang Ta-khian is believed to always haunt Ta-Khian trees. Credit: Pixabay.
5.Pop (Thailand)

Here comes a more malevolent female ghost. Pop is a cannibalistic spirit in Thai folklore who has a distinct taste for human viscera, or their internal organs.

There are plenty of movie appearances of Pop. One movie worth mentioning is Krasue Fat Pop (1999) where she had a girl fight with Krasue.

6.Pontianak (Malaysia)

If you are in Malaysia and you see a female ghost with long hair, chances are high it is a pontianak.

Similar to the Indonesian kuntilanak, she is a spirit of a woman who died while pregnant.

The most famous pontianak film in Malaysia is none other than Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam (2004).

Directed and written by Shuhaimi Baba, the film was a major box office success in Malaysia.

7.Sundel Bolong (Indonesia)

Another ill-fated female ghost, Sundel Bolong is the soul of a woman who died when she was pregnant but against all odds gave birth in her grave.

Some said she died during childbirth and curiously the baby came out from her back.

Legend has it she does not handle rejection gracefully. If a man rejects her, she castrates him.

Sundel Bolong appeared in her self-titled 1981 adult horror film and Legenda Sundel Bolong (2007).

8.Wewe Gombel (Indonesia)

This female ghost embraces the body-positivity movement. Clearly in need of a nip-tuck, Wewe Gombel has long, hanging breasts and kidnaps children.

Wewe Gombel was once a barren wife who caught her husband cheating on her. When she killed her adulterous husband,  the villagers went after her.

She eventually committed suicide but her spirit lingers on.

Wewe Gombel kidnaps mistreated or neglected children and takes care of them.

In movies, she has appeared in Wewe Gombel (1988) and Legenda Wewe Gombel (2012).

9.Kuchisake-onna (Japan)

After being mutilated by her husband for an alleged affair with a samurai, Kuchisake-onna (which means ‘slit-mouth woman’) like many Asian female ghosts, returns as a vengeful spirit.

She is known to give trick questions to her victims. According to modern legend, if she asks a potential victim, “Am I pretty?” and the answer is “no”, she kills them with a pair of scissors.

If the potential victim answers “Yes”, she takes off her mask revealing her husband’s handiwork and then asks again, “How about now?”

A no will lead you to be cut in half, a yes will leave you with a slit mouth like hers. It seems like a no-win situation, but local lore suggests that there is a method to elude her which is asking her back whether you are pretty, or answering ‘so-so’ which will make her stop and think, thus giving you time to escape.

In Japan, she has appeared in movies such as Slit Mouth Woman in LA (2014) and even in manga and anime.

10.Manananggal (Philippines)

Manananggal is a hideous, blood-sucking female vampire or monster which can split from her lower torso before flying into the night looking for victim.

Her choice of victims are sleeping, pregnant women (or simply those who are asleep… comforting thought, isn’t it?).

She spearheaded the Filipino horror movie industry with her silent movie aptly named Manananggal (1927).

Besides that, she also appears in Shake, Rattle & Roll (1984), Impaktita (1989) and Manananggal in Manila (1997).

Miss Korea Kim Jinsol shares her beauty secrets

When it comes to health and beauty, everybody agrees Korean women have most of the know-how.

They know plenty of sometimes unheard of tips; from taking traditional herbs to performing modern exercise for the wellness of the body and mind.

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Kim Jinsol, Miss Korea 2016.

During an episode of KBS’ Beauty Bible, Miss Korea 2016 titleholder Kim Jinsol impressed the viewers with her unfamiliar beauty tips.

1. Kickstart your day with juice

This 24-year-old beauty queen starts her day by drinking a glass of juice.

She blended various leaves vegetable including lettuce, perilla leaves, avocado and one glass of non-fat milk, one spoon of green apple powder and half a spoon of honey.

But her key ingredient is Angelica gigas also called Korean angelica.

It is traditionally used in Korean medicine to improve gynecological health. This herb is also used to improve cardiovascular and immune system.

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Make your own juice to-go in the morning.

2. Nail art stickers
Famous fashion designer Prabal Gurung once said, “Nails are the period at the end of the sentence. They complete the look.”

Same goes for Kim who believes the finishing touch of fashion are her nails.

Instead of opting for nail polish, Kim preferred to use breathable nail art stickers.

This way she can change her manicure to complement her makeup and outfit.

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Use a nail art sticker for a quick manicure.

3.Da Vinci Bodyboard yoga
Kim’s third beauty secret is something that has yet to catch on here in Malaysia.

It is called Da Vinci Bodyboard yoga. Kim touts it as “a type of interval training which is famous around the world.”

The board has elastic bands attached to it for users to exercise and do their yoga moves.

Known to be an effective system which builds strength, it also works as a cardio exercise.

She added, “It creates a beautiful silhouette for your body. It also works out your thighs and bottom.”

Watch the full episode of Kim Jinsol in KBS’s Beauty Bible here:

Asian horror movies based on real haunted places

Art imitates life, even in Asian horror movies, which shows how movie-makers draw their inspirations from their surroundings when making a film. And what more inspiration for a horror movie other than an actual haunted place?

Here are some Asian horror movies inspired by places with supernatural and unexplained histories:

1.Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)

The Movie: The crew of a horror web series go to an abandoned asylum for a live broadcast. In true horror flick fashion, the whole trip becomes their worst nightmare.

Watch the trailer here.

The Haunted Place: This South Korean movie is based on one of the freakiest places on the planet according to CNN.

Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital in Gwangju was once a fully operational medical centre when suddenly, according to local legend, patients started dying mysteriously.

Now, it is an abandoned building filled with urban legends and ghost stories.

Urban legends vary, some claim there was a mad doctor who tormented patients and one of the more famous versions is that the owner himself was insane. He was said to be keeping his patients incarcerated until he fled to the US in 1996.

The hospital was forced to close seemingly in hurry because medical records, patients’ private possessions were still there.

A less exciting, yet equally grisly explanation for the condition of Gonjiam Psychiatric hospital is that it closed due to unsanitary living conditions along with a malfunctioning sewage disposal system and that its owner just fled the country instead.

2. Lawang Sewu: Dendam Kuntilanak (2007)

The Movie: A group of high school students from Jakarta are trapped in Lawang Sewu in Semarang, Indonesia. After one of them urinates in the complex but does not reappear, the rest come to look for her. One of them also happens to be menstruating when she enters the complex, which incurs the additional wrath of the ghosts and spirits within Lawang Sewu.

To their horror, they are haunted by several ghosts and angry spirits which include that of a Dutch woman, a man who had a ball and chain wrapped around his leg, and of course a Kuntilanak (an Indonesian version of a vampire).

Watch the trailer here.

The Haunted Place: According to urban legend, a Dutch woman is believed to have committed suicide in Lawang Sewu. On top of that, when the Japanese invaded in the 1940s during World War II, they used part of the building as a prison where apparently some executions took place. Five employees working there and Indonesian fighters also died when Dutch forces attempted to retake Semarang by sneaking back into the city through the building’s tunnel systems.

So if you’re the superstitious type, there’s a lot of potentially unsettled spirits in this building.

Despite its haunted reputation, Lawang Sewu is actually an intricate, colonial era building. Lawang Sewu itself means ‘thousand doors’ in Javanese which derived from the building’s numerous doors and about 600 large windows.

Construction started in 1904 and was used by the first Dutch East Indies railway company Nederlandsch-Indische Maatshappij in the Dutch East Indies in 1907.

Although renovations over the years have not returned the building to its full glory, the Semarang city government is still working on shedding Lawang Sewu’s supernatural reputation by repurposing it into an active social space.

3. Highland Tower (2013)

The Movie: Highland Tower (2013) is a Malay-language film directed by Pierre Andre. It follows a TV host named Shima working on a documentary based on the 1993 Highland Towers collapse.

Watch the trailer here.

The Haunted Place: The Highland Towers were three similar 13-storey apartment buildings in Ulu Klang, in Selangor, Malaysia.

Sadly on Dec 11, 1993, Block 1 of the Highland Towers collapsed resulting in the deaths of 48 people. The remaining two blocks were evacuated due to safety reasons.

This led to the two remaining buildings becoming a hideout for criminals and drug addicts.

4.Villa Nabila (2015)

The Movie: The film starts with a disappearance of a teenager at an abandoned house called Villa Nabila in Johor.

It is presented in documentary style in which a few people who claim to experience the supernatural were interviewed.

Watch the trailer here.

The Haunted place: Villa Nabila is an abandoned house in Johor Bahru, Malaysia overlooking the Straits of Johor.

According to local legend, there was once a wealthy Caucasian family that lived there. Tragically, somebody murdered the whole family.

Another tale shares a story of wealthy parents who died leaving a daughter named Nabila.

Allegedly, the maid killed Nabila and cemented her body in one of the walls of the house.

5.Karak (2011)

The Movie: Asian horror movies love to revolve around horrified students just like those in Karak (2011).

This film tells the story of four students heading back to their college in Kuantan after a night out in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

They encounter a massive traffic jam on the Karak highway and decide to use an alternative route.

And that is when the horror begins.

Watch the trailer here.

The Haunted Place: Karak Highway was built in 1970 and was opened to the public in 1977. One of the famous tragedies that took place there was a road accident in 1990 which saw 17 people killed.

The death toll includes 11 Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) police personnel during a collision involving more than 10 vehicles.

This 60km highway also carries a number of other ghost stories such as a yellow Volkswagen which disrupts road users and a wandering school boy looking for his mother.

6.Haunted Changi (2010)

The Movie: Asian horror movies, like their western counterparts, like to explore the terrifying experience of fimmakers or TV crew with behind-the-scenes or found footage concepts.

This is what you’ll find with Singaporean movie Haunted Changi (2010) which follows a group of local filmmakers investigating Old Changi Hospital.

Watch the trailer here.

The Haunted Place: The British government built this hospital in 1935. It was used as a military hospital during Japanese occupation in World War II.

Unsurprisingly, some said the souls of Japanese occupation victims roam this site.

Moreover, there have been reported sightings of homeless ghosts, patients who died in the hospital and a nurse carrying a baby.

Retelling the legend of Rentap at Sarawak Harvest and Folklore Festival

Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) rebranded its annual World Harvest Festival to Sarawak Harvest and Folklore Festival this year.

Regardless of the rebranding, the highlight of the event remains its signature musical theme play which tells the tales and folklore of one of Sarawak’s many ethnic groups every year.

On April 28 the Iban community was this year’s featured ethnic group as they paid tribute to famous Iban warrior Rentap in a play called Rentap: The Untold Story.

Sarawak Harvest Folklore FestivalEach year, the act takes on a different ethnic group’s folk tales or stories and this year they featured the Iban community.


Although it did not present an exactly “untold” story of Rentap, the musical did highlight a number of important yet little known facts about him and his life.

Sarawak Harvest and Folklore Festival theme play

Born Libau anak Ningkan, Rentap was a great war chief who led a rebellion against the Brooke administration during the 19th century.

The tale of this fierce warrior took a romantic detour by showing the courtship and marriage between Rentap and his wife Sawai.

Besides Sawai, the musical introduced another important key person in Rentap’s life – Chief Orang Kaya Pemanca Dana Bayang.

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Rentap and Sawai courting under the moonlight during the musical act set on the SCV’s lake.

He was Rentap’s mentor who accompanied him on ngayau (ngayo) expeditions into West Kalimantan.

Of the numerous battles Rentap fought against the Brooke administration (spanning from James Brooke’s reign to Charles Brooke), the play featured a few important ones like the battle of Kerangan Peris in 1844 (which caused the death of a British officer known only as Mr Stewart) and the battle of Lintang Batang in 1853. The latter was a bloodbath which saw Alan Lee, another British officer beheaded by Rentap’s son in-law Layang.

The final battle was at Bukit Sadok, Rentap’s fort. It was during this battle Rentap suffered a great loss, marking the end of his war against the White Rajah.

The battle at Bukit Sadok also introduces ‘Bujang Sadok’, a 12-pounder brass cannon used by Charles Brooke as they attacked his fort. Historically, the shot from Bujang Sadok penetrated Rentap’s fort, killing the gunner operating his own cannon named ‘Bujang Timpang Berang’.

Bujang Sadok is now on display at The Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita while Bujang Timpang Berang is at the Betong District Office.

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Watch out for the gunshots (fireworks)!
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A temporary wooden hut was set on fire during the play.

The verdict on Rentap: The Untold Story

Although most history purists would agree that the storyline of this Rentap musical was over-fictionalised, the play did capture Rentap’s famed courage and the essence of the Iban community in the olden days.

With fireworks depicting cannon ball explosions and gunfire, the musical act delivered an impressive array of special effects to the whole performance.


A scene showcasing the Battle of Beting Maru, where Brooke troops ambushed the Ibans was equally impressive. A wooden hut suddenly shot up in flames during the battle leaving the audience gasped in awe.

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Rentap and his army fleeing from an ambush by Brooke troops.


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The Brooke troop celebrating their victory on Bukit Sadok.

Sarawak Harvest and Folklore Festival events

Apart from the musical theme play, Sarawak Harvest and Folklore Festival featured other events including Miss Cultural Festival 2018 and Sape World Concert.

Held from Apr 17 to 28, visitors also got to enjoy the Tribal Ironman Challenge and Sarawak Kitchen Food Culinary Competition.

Going into its 11th year, the festival is a prelude to the statewide Gawai Dayak celebration.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports together with Sarawak Economic Development Corporation supported the event.

5 viral dance moves which took Malaysia by storm

Nothing brings people together better than viral dance moves. Generally Malaysians have accepted viral dance moves with open arms and sometimes with a lot of sense of humour.

But of course, some of the viral dance moves that came were not without controversy. That being said, here are five viral dance moves which took Malaysia by storm over the past couple of decades:

1. Panama

2018 became the year for the Panama Dance Challenge. “Panama” is a catchy 2013 Romanian pop song by Matteo.

The basic moves include drawing a ‘Z’ in the air, doing the hula twice and then a twerk. (Can you tell I’ve tried it?)

Various Malaysian agencies created their own videos including Perlis Road Transport Department, Selayang Hospital and Hulu Selangor Health Department, showing a lighthearted side to these government departments.

Some religious leaders came out against the dance, however, citing the mixing between the sexes and the dance moves were against Islamic teachings.

2.Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake is more of an Internet move rather than a dance move.

The remakes of Harlem Shake videos usually consist of costumed people dancing to Baauer’s “Harlem Shake”.

The original Harlem Shake dance comes from Harlem, New York in the 1980s involving a street and hip hop dance.

As for this viral Harlem Shake, it starts with one costumed person dancing alone to the obliviousness of a whole room full of people. When the bass drops, the entire group starts shaking throughout the rest of the video.

In Malaysia, NuffNang group, Hong Leong Bank, the teams all posted their own versions back in 2013.

3.Gangnam Style

The horse dance of “Gangnam Style” by Psy took the world by storm back in 2012.

This viral dance move even had world leaders such as the former British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon jumping on their feet.

Jumping on the bandwagon, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak even invited Psy to perform in Penang back in February 2013.


Before there was Despacito, the most famous Spanish song in Malaysia was “The Ketchup Song” or “Asereje” (2002).

Who can forget the signature dance move which consisted of waving your hand over the other, then tossing the thumb over the shoulder?

After the dance went viral, the song became controversial with rumours stating it had references to Satanism.


The trailblazer of all famous Spanish songs in Malaysia is none other than “Macarena” (1993) by Los del Rio. (And this is without the help of the Internet.)

If you have lived through the 90s, your body will automatically remember this dance move which involves alot of criss-crossing of arms from your head to your hips, ending with a hip shake and a “Hey” before you turn to face another direction. It’s easy, and the steps are slow enough for people of all ages to learn and follow.

“Macarena” is the name of a woman, which in Spanish means ‘Mother of God’. The song itself describes how Macarena was heartbroken when her boyfriend left to join the army. So in retaliation she went out to dance with other soldiers, which is why everybody in the song is dancing.

Cover photo: “Gangnam Style” literally put this district on the map for the global audience. You’ll find this statue at the East Gate of Starfield COEX Mall in Gangnam, Seoul. Not only that, when you stand below the hands, “Gangnam Style” will be played. -Photo credit Gangnam Tourist Information Center 

Your Rainforest World Music Festival Practical Guide

The 21st Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is coming this July 13 to 15!

It is a music festival like no other with world musicians from around the globe under one roof.

The festival is formulated to have interactive workshops in the afternoon and mind-blowing performances in the evening.

With Sarawak Cultural Village as its venue and Mount Santubong in the background, RWMF is an epitome of how indigenous music should be shared and appreciated.

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Have you bought your tickets yet to Rainforest World Music Festival 2018?

If you are planning to go, here is KajoMag’s practical guide to enjoying the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) :

1. Be there early.

Avoid the long queue at the entrance by coming early to the venue. Don’t forget to print your personal copy of your tickets or download it to your devices.

2. Don’t bring sharp items

There will be a security check at the entrance so do not bring sharp items to RWMF. And of course, no drugs are permitted.

3. No outside food and drink

Security will also check your bags for food and drink at the entrance. Even little things like your favourite mints or chewing gum are not allowed to RWMF. Don’t worry, food and drink are available at the venue.

4.You can bring your mats

Make yourself comfortable and bring your lawn chairs or mats. Some sellers at the craft bazaar do sell the traditional woven mats but stocks can be limited or they might be too big.

If you don’t want to take any chances, bring your own lawn chairs or mats.

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You can always plop yourself on a mat if you want to.
5.Protect yourself from UV rays!

RWMF is held in Kuching, Malaysia which is obviously located in a tropical country. Men might not care about this tip, but girls, do protect your skin by slapping on those sunscreen.

6. And a raincoat!

Even though the monsoon, or landas season, isn’t until December to March, there have been times when Kuching has been deluged by rain during RWMF.

A raincoat is a saviour for when you want to continue to dance in the rain. You might not able to save your slippers while dancing in the mud but at least you can protect your body.

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If it raining at night, you might need to dance in the rain so bring a raincoat!
7.Stuff them all in a dry bag

Speaking of raining during RWMF, a dry bag is very handy during RWMF. You can put all your important stuff like your wallet, camera and handphone in your dry bag. The festival venue, Sarawak Cultural Village, is just a stone’s throw away from the beach, so you’ll be able to enjoy the sun, surf and sand in before, after or between the music.

8. Shoo away those insects!

If you do not want to be distracted by mosquitoes or sand flies, spray on some insect repellent.

9. Bring along that power bank

One of RWMF’s most practical guidelines is to bring along your power bank. A proper power source to charge your handphones during RWMF is usually hard to find.

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This fellow might not be there to provide you with a fully charged power bank this year.
10. Have fun!
Your Practical Guides to Rainforest World Music Festival
Participate in at least one of the dance workshops!

In the afternoon, there are so many workshops to choose from. Pick at least one dance workshop to participate in. Nobody will judge you for having two left feet at RWMF. Be respectful toward other festival-goers and keep an open mind on learning about other people’s culturse.

Last but not least do not forget to have fun, fun, fun!

We hope that you find these Rainforest World Music Festival practical guidelines useful!


Marvel Cinematic Universe: Where art thou Soul Stone?

If you are following the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) closely, then you know that the final Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone has yet to show up.

Fans are racking their brains trying to figure out where – or when – the Soul Stone might appear. Even the directors of Avengers: Infinity War, Anthony and Joe Russo are trolling fans with this tweet:

And of course, the brothers are not answering their own question.

Nonetheless, here is a list of theories fans have come up with so far on the Soul Stone’s location:

It may not be a stone at all, but a planet?

This sixth and final Infinity stone gives users power to control souls.

On top of that, it is able to send them to another dimension called ‘Soul World’. So is the orange planet the Soul World?

Screen Rant theorised that the orange planet is the Soul Stone, or at least a manifestation of it as the first trailer of Avengers: Infinity War starts with a shot of an orange planet while the Soul Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy to be orange.

However, some said this theory has been debunked. The orange planet is actually Titan, Thanos’ home. But what if the stone had been with Thanos all this time?

The Soul Stone is in Wakanda?

Both trailers show an epic battle happening in an African country, most probably in Wakanda. Could the final Infinity Stone be kept at the home of Black Panther?

Some fans believed vibranium is not the only secret Wakanda is keeping, but also the Soul Stone’s location.

It is with Iron-Man

The theory of Tony Stark having the Soul Stone came after the promo art of Avengers: Infinity War was published.

The art shows where each of Infinity Stones first debuted in MCU.

For example, the Space Stone (Tesseract) was in Captain America: The First Avengers while the Power Stone was in Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Reality Stone (Aether) was in Thor: The Dark World; Vision has the Mind Stone in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Doctor Strange was holding the Time Stone aka the Eye of Agamotto without realising it.

And there is an illustration of the Soul Stone with Iron-Man. Does this mean it has been with Tony all this while?

Another reason to back up this theory is, in Iron Man 3, Tony tosses the arc reactor in his chest into the ocean but in Avengers: Infinity War, he has a new arc reactor.

Thus, fans are claiming the new arc reactor might be the Soul Stone.

Infinity Stone Promo Art. from r/marvelstudios

It lies within Heimdall

This is seems a bit far-stretched but some fans are speculating the Soul Stone is with Heimdall. This explains why he can see ‘every soul’ across the Nine Realms.

All we fans can do for now, other than theorising, is to wait for Avengers: Infinity War to premiere on April 2018.

Watch the trailer here.

5 beautiful churches in Korean dramas you can visit in South Korea

Churches in Korean dramas can look like they are straight out of an expensive Hollywood set and at other times like an 18th century Gothic church in Europe.

Yet all the beautiful churches in Korean dramas were shot, well in South Korea. About 30% of the South Korean population are Christian, predominantly divided into Catholic and Protestant faiths.

It is no surprise that these scenic churches served as filming locations, thanks to their fine-looking high ceilings and elaborate mural work.

Here are five beautiful churches in Korean dramas you might want to pay a little visit:

A view of Myeongdong Cathedral. Credit: Pixabay.

1. Myeongdong Cathedral

Myeongdong Cathedral or the Cathedral Church of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception is located in Seoul.

Here is where dramas such You are Beautiful (2009) and Black Knight: The Man who Guards Me (2017) were shot.

The first episode of You are Beautiful when the lead character Go Mi Nam (Park Shin Hye) is still discerning if nunnery is her calling was shot here.

Built in 1898, the cathedral is one of the famous historical sites in Seoul. It was the birthplace of Roman Catholicism in South Korea and also houses the remains of Bishop Laurent Joseph Marie Imbert (1796-1839), and priests Peter Simon (1803-1839), James (Jacques Honor Chastan, 1803-1839) and Pourthie Jean Antoine Charles (1830-1866) and four martyrs.

Myeongdong Cathedral is also strategically located near other popular tourist spots.

According to Korea Tourism Organisation, visitors can also visit Korean traditional houses of Namsangol Hanok Village, N Seoul Tower and Namdaemun Market.

2. Gongseri Catholic Church

If you are travelling to Chungcheongnam-do or South Chungcheong Province then make way to Asan city and visit Gongseri Catholic Church.

Uncontrollably Fond (2016), Cheongdam-dong Alice (2012) and Iris 2 (2012) used this 19th century church as one of its filming locations.

It was the first church built in that province back in 1894.

But back then, the congregation was using a common house to worship until a proper church building was built in 1922.

After a tour of the church, don’t forget to visit tourist sites such as Asan Spavis and Asanoncheon Hot Spring.

3. Mirinae Holy Site

Remember in Goblin (2016) when Kim Shin aka Dokkaebi (Gong Yoo) handsomely appears (as he always does) after Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) summons him in a church?

That scene was shot in Mirinae Holy Site located in Anseong city, 80 kilometres south of Seoul.

The first Korean Catholic saint, St Andrew Kim Taegon was buried here.

The church is called Mirinae (Milky Way) because when Korean Catholics took refuge at this place to avoid persecution during the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), the lamplight coming from their homes in the village looked like the starlight of the Milky Way.

4. Yakhyeon Cathedral

This is the church which witnessed so many weddings in Korean dramas. Nam Da Jung (Yoona) and Kwon Yul (Lee Beom Soo) married here in the final episode of Prime Minister and I (2013).

Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) and Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) married here in Emergency Couple (2014).

And in My Daughter, Geom Sa Wol (2015), Oh Hye Sang (Park Se Young) and Joo Se Hoon (Da Sang Woo) wed here too.

This parish in Seoul is named Yakhyeon which means a hill of herbs because the area has many herbs.

Just like most 19th century Catholic churches in South Korea, Yakhyeon Cathedral is the final home for 44 martyrs.

Nonetheless, this cathedral was the first western style church built in South Korea in 1892 which unlike other churches that were more Gothic-inspired.

5. Youngnak Church

This is the only non-Catholic Church on this list.

Seo Sang Ryun and his brother Seo Sang U founded the first Protestant Church in Korea back in 1884.

The congregation grew over the years and in due time, there was a need to build a church in Seoul.

So, a new church building called Youngnak Presbyterian Church was constructed and completed in May 1950.

Gong Yoo’s Seo Yoon Jae met Gil Da Ran (played by Lee Min Jung) for the first time in this church in Big (2012).

10 special needs cats that will warm your heart

Special needs cats are often neglected, abandoned or even worse, euthanised.

Due to their conditions, they need special people to take care of them.

Only special people with great patience, dedication and love can these cats find their forever homes.

Meet some of these special needs cats and their amazing hooman parents.

We assure you that watching their videos will brighten your day.

Watching these videos of special needs cats will brighten your day. Credit: Pixabay.

1. Maya the Cat

Maya is a tabby cat born with a chromosomal abnormality. When she was found behind a Chinese food restaurant, they brought her to a shelter to be euthanised.

Just because she looks a little different than other cats.

She has some problem with her eyesight and she sneezes a lot.

The Odd Cat Sanctuary then took her in and put her up for adoption.

That was how her hooman Lauren Beader in Massachusetts found her and she called her Maya.

2. Monty

Monty from Copenhagen, Denmark was born without a nose bone also due to chromosomal abnormality.

His hoomans Mikala Fuglesang and Michael Bjorn took him home from a shelter on August, 2013.

Bjorn told The Huffington Post, “I looked into his eyes and started stroking him gently on his head. I saw his personality and I’m sure he saw mine and liked what he saw. From that moment on, both Mikala and I started creating a very strong bond with Monty. We tend to think that we did not choose him but he chose us.”

Since then, Monty has been living happily with his hoomans and two siblings Malle and Mikkel.

3. Blossom and her family

In 2015, the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, New York rescued a cat with a severe eye infection.

The rescue and adoption centre made the decision to have Blossom’s eyes removed.

Radio personality and animal advocates Howard Stern and his wife Beth fostered her for a while until she recovered.

Then Blossom found her furrever home with Susan Smith who already had other special needs cats.

Her siblings include blind Donavan, as well as Donny and Ozzy who have cerebellar hypoplasia.

4. Smush official

Smush was born with genetic abnormalities causing her to have a cleft lip and facial deformities.

She was found abandoned during the summer in 2017 and was quickly taken to University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

The veterinarian students there took care of Smush, feeding her every four hours.

Now, Smush is living happily with her hoomans Florida resident Shannon Jackson and her wife Sarah.

5. Lil Bub

This American cat celebrity was born in July 21, 2011 in Indiana, US.

She was born with an extreme form of feline dwarfism causing her limbs to be quite small.

Her tongue always hangs out because of her short lower jaw.
If you think Lil Bub looks familiar, perhaps you have seen her in the 2016 film Nine Lives.

She even has her own documentary, Lil Bub & Friendz.

6. Lil Bunny Sue Roux

This little angel was born without her front legs.

That doesn’t stop her from jumping around and being active.

She was born in New Orleans and rescued from an animal shelter by Jackie Deak Akey in 2014.

With almost 60,000 followers on Facebook, this cat/bunny/kangaroo/T-rex really know hows to draw a crowd.

7. Helix

Helix was born with cerebellar hypoplasia which affects his motor skills.

The condition causes him to wobble in his movement.

He was rescued from the streets but now is living with his family in Austin, Texas.

Putting aside his imbalanced mobility and lack of coordination, Helix is as healthy and playful like any other cats.

8. Kanga Roo the Cat

She was brought to a vet clinic in Northern California for euthanasia because she was different from other cats.

She was born with a condition called radial agencies, a defect affecting the formation of the radius born in the arm.

Cats like Kanga have problems using their front legs to hold weight.

She was rescued by Saving Grace Rescue in San Francisco and later adopted into a family.

Her siblings include two canine brothers named Brandon and Brownie and two feline siblings named Skittles and Hector.

9. Ryder

Ryder looks a little different from other cats.

That is because he is suffering from a condition called eyelid agenesis causing him to have no eyelids.

He went to surgery to make his eyes better and now he lives a normal feline life in Raleigh, North Carolina.

10. Max and Grace

These two blind rescued felines were adopted from a shelter in San Francisco.

Max was adopted first before his sister Grace came into the picture.

They both quickly bonded and now they do everything together.

6 gorgeous Hollywood filming locations you can visit in Southeast Asia

Have you planned out your 2018 travel destinations yet?

If not, how about walking the paths of Hollywood stars by visiting beautiful filming locations in Southeast Asia?

Here are the top six scenic Hollywood filming locations to visit in 2018:

1. Palawan, Philippines – The Bourne Legacy

One of the best beaches in the world is located in Palawan.
One of the best beaches in the world is located in Palawan. Credit: Pixabay.

El Nido in Palawan served as one of the filming locations for 2012 American film The Bourne Legacy.

Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) and Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) were shot riding a boat to El Nido.

It is currently ranked number 4 in Conde Nast Traveller’s list of “20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World”.

With its white sandy beaches and limestone cliff, that is not a surprise.

Some of it’s best places of interest are Seven Commandos Beach, Simizu Island, Bacuit Bay and Cadlao Island.

2. Khao Phing Kan, Thailand – The Man with the Golden Gun

James Bond Island
Khao Phing Kan is mostly known to many as “James Bond Island”. Credit to Pixabay.

The names Khao Phing Kan and Ko Ta Pu might not be familiar to most tourists visiting Thailand as most may know them as James Bond Island.

Ko Ta Pu is a 20 metre tall islet located about 40 metres away from Khao Phing Kan.

Before the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun where it served as a hideout for Bond’s antagonist Francisco Scaramanga played by Christopher Lee, the island was relatively unknown.

The island became part of Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park in 1981. Since 1998, tourist boats have not been allowed to get too close to Ko Ta Pu to prevent any more erosion of the base of the limestone islet.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t see it at all: according to, the two best ways to view James Bond Island are from boats or from the small beach on Khao Phing Kan.

Thanks to various factors including shallow water depth, stable warm temperature and rich nutrient supply from mangrove forests; the area is abundant with marine life.

It plays home to organisms such as blue crabs, mud lobsters, black sea cucumbers, brain coral, and striated herons.

3. Angkor, Cambodia – Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

One of the filming locations for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Ta Prohm, one of the filming locations for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Despite the success of finding a real-life Lara Croft, Angelina Jolie’s 2001 action-adventure film received generally negative reviews.

Angkor may have become the winner in this scenario, however, as it left such a great impression on the screen that more than 2 million tourists visited it in 2013.

Ta Prohm, one of the temples in Angkor was widely associated with the movie. So much so, it was dubbed the ‘Tomb Raider temple’ among tourists.

These 12th century ruins were originally built as a monastery and university by Khmer King Jayavarman VII. Today, one of the distinct features of Ta Prohm that make it a photo-worthy destination are the trees growing out of its hallowed halls.

To top it off, the temple is almost in the same condition it was when it was rediscovered at the end of the 19th century.

Its solemn ambience, intricate wall carvings combined with its jungle surroundings make it one of the most visited temples in Angkor region.

4. Maya Bay, Thailand – The Beach

Maya Bay
The view of Maya Bay in low season.

Maya Bay is one of two shallow bays besides Loh Samah located at Ko Phi Phi Leh island surrounded by 100-metre high limestone rocks.  Besides it’s gorgeous beaches, it is also a protected nature reserve under Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.

Being a protected nature reserve, however, didn’t protect Maya Bay during the filming of The Beach (2000). Although the world was introduced to one of southern Thailand‘s great beauties, filming a Hollywood movie there turned out to do more harm than good for Maya Bay.

In an effort to make Ko Phi Phi Leh more “paradise-like”, 20th Century Fox, the studio behind The Beach (2000) reportedly bulldozed and cleared some sand dunes of native vegetation.

A group of environmentalists filed lawsuits against 20th Century Fox, the forestry department and the Thai agricultural ministry  for damaging the ecosystem in the island which they won in 2006.

Regardless of the lawsuit, Maya Bay is still famous among tourists – perhaps too famous – that it has recorded 5,000 visitors taking up the 250 metre long beach in one day. And that was the number recorded during low season.

Maybe the pristine white beach and crystal clear water of Maya Bay are just too irresistible.

5. Bali, Indonesia – Eat Pray Love

Will ride a bicycle through terraces of rice field like Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love?
Will you ride a bicycle through terraces of rice field like Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love? Credit: Pixabay.

Eat Pray Love (2010) starring Julia Roberts was filmed over a number of locations which include New York, Rome, Naples, Delhi, Pataudi and Bali.

In Bali, the film was shot in Ubud, a town surrounded by rice paddies and in Pecatu, a resort popular for its beaches.

In the film, Roberts was shot riding a bicycle through rice fields and swimming in Padang-padang beach in Pecatu.

Although not many were happy with the film, from critics to media including a travel blogger who wrote ‘Avoiding Julia Roberts in Ubud, Bali’, the island is lovely to visit.

Many are sold for its lush green paddy fields, surf-worthy beaches, colourful corals and unique cultures.

6. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam – Kong: Skull Island

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Credit: Pixabay.

In 1898, a huge sea snake in Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province was sighted by a ship’s sublieutenant named Lagredin and his crew.

The story was even reported on The Hai Phong News, a French newspaper.

One century later, another creature emerged in the bay, a 104-foot-tall ape named King Kong in the movie Kong: Skull Island (2017).

The film was also shot in two other provinces in northern Vietnam, namely Quang Binh and Ninh Binh provinces.

The bay has up to 2,000 islets, most of which are limestone.

You might not find a huge sea serpent or a giant ape but it is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 faunal species.

Other movies that were shot here were Pan (2015) starring Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and Life (2017) starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

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