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 > summer special 2000
For the year 2000

The Best Government Reformer
How Asia Is Governed
The Best Local Administrator
The Best Activist

The Best Dealmaker
The Best IPO
The Best Stock
The Best Advocate of Shareholder Rights
The Best Fund Manager
The Best Cost Cutter

The Best Airport
The Best Hotel Service
The Best Hotel Gym
The Best Store
The Best Food

In Tune with Nature
The Best Forest Preserve
The Best City Park
The Best Transport
The Best Green Test
The Best Marine Preserve
The Best Marine Park

The Hottest Video Game
The Hottest Gadget
The Hottest Portal
The Best Asian Websites

The Hottest Fad
The Hottest Toy
The Hottest TV Show
The Hottest Album
The Best Movie
The Best Short Film


Video Game | Gadget | Portal | Websites
The Best Websites

Best Music Site

Flash should be on top, but a recent homepage held hardly a mention of an Asian artist. Laurels instead to newcomer Asiavibe, which covers the music scene in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore and sells tunes at $1 a download. We prefer Asiavibe's prehistoric Internet feel and garage band slouch to West-centric slick.

Best Personal Finance Site

There are numerous contenders, but the gold goes to Hong Kong's Quamnet because it mixes comprehensiveness with a spot of chutzpah. The site has personal-finance fillips including portfolio tracker and real-time stock quotes, but what sets it apart is a rare stable of online columnists. The pundits lend Quamnet a handcrafted touch that relieves some of the gray seriousness of most financial pages.

Best Culinary Site

Geared for pro chefs but plenty to set novice taste buds a-droolin'. Restaurant reviews, wine of the week, recipes and a Q&A feature for kitchen klutzes make a balanced meal.

Best Business-to-Business Site

One of the Web's oldest B2B services is also one of the most comprehensive. Global Sources matches some 200,000 buyers, among them the world's biggest retailers, with nearly 90,000 manufacturers, the majority of them in Asia. Perfect if you need to buy 500,000 electrolytic capacitors in a hurry. Or sell them.

Best Healthcare Site

Information on illnesses you never knew you could get. The latest health news, a searchable database, plus practical information — such as how to handle leftover food so you don't poison yourself — is abundant. You can also post questions to ezyhealth's online doctor. Does this look infected?

Best Online Bank

Development Bank of Singapore has been acclaimed for having the region's best online bank, but Hong Kong giant HSBC is setting ease-of-use standards. Just about every transaction you needed to stand in line for is now Web-based, and the interface helps walk you through each without taking you down blind alleys. Stocks can be traded too (but not unit trusts).

Best General News

Asia Observer is ugly and has no streaming video. Yet this solo effort by journalist John Einar Sandvand achieves its goal of being a good start page for current-events junkies. The online versions of Hong Kong's South China Morning Post ( and Singapore's Mediacorp ( have more depth. Asia Observer's strength is it offers a broad regional overview.

Best Deep Background Site

A guide to Asian culture, history, politics and business, AsiaSource provides excellent reference material and background for those who seek to become deadly at cocktail parties . Run by the Asia Society, there are a wealth of links for in-depth research, a daily news digest, and Asia-related books on offer.

Best Relationship Site

For the insecure teenager in all of us, seeks to drain the dating swamp with a mixture of pop-psych instruction and first-person horror stories. Having run out of nice, clinical things to say about sex, the site strays into music, movies and art. The handiest source of condom-installation guidelines around. If you miss it, try for parenting advice.

Best Travel Site

A Malaysia-based award-winner with a full range of services and helpful extras, too, such as a homepage listing of discount airfares — all in an easily navigable package. Don't have the money for five-star hotels and tourist resorts? Check out, which earns a mention as the funkiest online travel destination in the region.

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