All posts tagged: travel guide

Solo Travel in Porto and Lisbon

It was a pleasant 3:30pm as I stepped out of the metro at Baixa-Chiado, downtown Lisbon. Never had I felt so instantaneously in love with a city. I had just flown in from Porto and had already experienced a little bit of Portugal’s charm – colourful houses, steep hills and cobbled streets. But it was the addition of sunshine and bustle of people that makes Lisbon easily my favourite city in Europe. It helped that all the Portuguese people I met on my trip were friendly, open and so proud of their country. The genuine happiness and excitement they felt when I told them I was in Europe just to visit Portugal, was priceless and just so warming. Travelling alone in Portugal That made travelling alone in Portugal so easy. It was so pleasant and I never once felt alone, which was quite different from my first solo trip to the south of Taiwan. There was something I really enjoyed about standing on the busy streets of Lisbon and devouring three scoops of Chiado (milk and rum), pistachio …

Beyond Yangon and All Around Myanmar in 9 Days

Walking out of Sedona – possibly the most upscale hotel in Yangon, or all of Myanmar – from our friend’s wedding, we shouldn’t have been surprised when a middle-aged taxi driver uncle quoted a seemingly ridiculous 8000 kyat to take us to our lunch destination. Fate would have us refuse on the basis of not-getting-ripped-off, because that actually equates to less than HK$50, and end up meeting Liam. Yangon was the last stop of our 9-day trip around Myanmar, and Liam, a young (business)man who grew up in Singapore, driving a taxi part-time to gain customers for auto sales, shocked us with English so excellent, our observations about this fascinating country were finally put into perspective, explained in depth, by a “real person”. We too wondered why Liam had moved away from Singapore and back to Myanmar. Given the extremely rapid change in Myanmar over the past few years, he tells us he earns the same amount of money in Myanmar as he did in Singapore, except of course the cost of living is substantially lower. Just how …

Unexpected Reasons to Love Chiang Rai, Thailand

Having accumulated 16 of Thailand’s immigration stamps over the past two or so years, it’s easy to rule that this is my favourite Asian country to visit. But Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Bangkok do get boring, which is why this time I ventured up North to Chiang Rai, when I was looking for an equally convenient destination for a short trip over Christmas (and the weather turned out to be perfect during this period). Where is Chiang Rai? Chiang Rai is further up north from the better-known Chiang Mai, bordering Myanmar and Laos. It is similarly mountainous and host to amazing scenery, cute coffee shops and interesting hill tribe vibes. It’s raw, very natural and relatively underdeveloped in terms of tourism and that’s the charm we enjoyed absorbing during our 5-day stay. Paying a visit to the standard itinerary items like White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), Singha Park and a tea plantation (Choui Feng) is probably a must, but here are some of the unexpected aspects we loved about our trip. 1. Beautiful Laid Back Garden Cafes Wherever …

Solo Travel in Kaohsiung and Kenting

Solo-travelling has always been something I fantasise about trying, yet also something I was convinced I would never be brave enough for. I’m not sure why we are programmed to always underestimate ourselves, but it turns out we’re much more capable/brave/daring (etc) than we give ourselves credit for. So I finally travelled by myself for the first time. Travelling alone – Why? The most annoying thing I experienced was people assuming I was travelling alone because I was lonely. I think we all have different reasons to travel alone; for me it was about needing a break from life that became too overwhelming back at home. I was enjoying my job, I went to the gym 3-4 times a week, I did yoga 1-2 times a week, I went running on weekends, I went out for dinner with school/university friends, I went out for tastings with media/bloggers, I write this food blog, I go out on boat trips with my family – it was all exciting, fun and fulfilling. But how did I even have time for all of that? I really didn’t and I just …

8 of London’s Must-Visit Restaurants for First Timers

As a student, 10-15 pounds would have been an expensive dinner, reserved only to celebrate birthdays. With that budget, it was hard to appreciate the expertise and good food on offer all over London. So returning to the city as an adult a few years later, finally with money to spend, I got around to properly exploring food in London. Hong Kong may already be known for good food, but I was impressed to a whole new level by the restaurants in London. The thing is, compared with Hong Kong, it’s hard to find good cheap eats in London. But as long as you’re willing to spend, good food is amazing for a relatively decent price. It’s difficult to pick out a handful of restaurants because there are too many outstanding ones. But here’s a list of the ones I think you must consider. 1. Burger & Lobster (Lunch/Dinner) Last year, I was in London for two days and tried Burger & Lobster for the first time. It was the one restaurant I revisited this trip and …

Nostalgic of Bangkok: Quick guide on where to eat local Thai

I wrote about one of my favourite brunch spots in the first part of “Nostalgic of Bangkok” but that clearly is not the local meal tourists are looking for when in Thailand. So this time, I’m going to go through a few easy places to get great local Thai food. 1. Eathai: all-encompassing high quality upscale food court *must visit* Their tagline is “If food is a journey, we make Thailand a little smaller for you” and that is exactly what this place is about. They have food stalls serving cuisines from all over Thailand (Central, seafood, Northern region, Southern region etc) and even stalls with street food and desserts – it is definitely exhaustive. Apart from a great seating area and ambience, the food is very very good, which is kind of unexpected for a food court, right? Numerous dishes I had were the best I ever had, better than the “authentic” recommendations you have to trek miles and sit on dirty stools for! Here are some must-try dishes: Raw shrimps marinated in lemon sauce Tom yum soup noodles …

Best street food in Hong Kong when it’s cold

Winter is the perfect time to snack on street food; keeping your waistline thin takes a little lower priority and the stomach just keeps yelling for more! I’ve had my fair share of street snacks lately and here are the best 5 choices for cold weather! 1. A bag of spicy deep fried popcorn chicken (香香雞) Hot star is known for selling their enormous piece of fried chicken, but I love snacking on their spicy popcorn chicken instead (good for sharing!). The meat is very tender inside and they always make it fresh to order, which means it’s piping hot when served! It’s only HK$20/28 (half/full portion)… But warning: this stuff is addictive! Hot star is located in several locations around Hong Kong, such as Sai Yeung Choi South St (Mong Kok), City One plaza (Shatin), Sai Kung Town and more. 2. Freshly made hot egg waffles (雞蛋仔) This is one of the oldest snacks in my memory of being in Hong Kong and definitely a must-try specialty for any tourists in the city. They sell …