All posts tagged: travel

Machu Picchu, Peru: The 2D/1N Inca Trail (Full Review)

I must’ve seen at least a hundred photographs which look exactly like this one I took of Machu Picchu before I booked my flight from Hong Kong to Lima. This sight itself would’ve been impressive enough to make the 30-hour long journey worthwhile. But even though my newest wide-angle camera lens can frame these Inca ruins pretty well, capturing this New7Wonders of the World in still motion, or even describing it, could not do justice to the experience of being in the presence of this magical site among the Andes mountains 2500m above sea level. Even if your Instagram feed is also spammed with these shots, visiting Machu Picchu in Peru could not be overrated. Admittedly, despite the Peruvian government’s effort to limit visitors per day, it still does get quite crowded at certain times of the day. This is why I strongly recommend doing one of the treks and visiting the site over two days.   Acclimatising in Cuzco/Altitude Sickness We flew from Lima to Cuzco and had about 48 hours to acclimatise to …

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 …

Tapisco, Lisbon: The Best of Modern Portuguese Fine Dining

Dining experiences are very personal and often subjective. With only three days in Lisbon, and endless lists of restaurants, I was starting to feel exhausted at the thought of deciding where to eat next. Except for a handful of wine bars, the typical recommendations were not speaking to me. For example, even though more than five people suggested Ramiro in the span of 24 hours (I’m sure it’s excellent), I just wasn’t in the mood for prawns, crabs and clams, no matter how big, fresh and juicy they were. Then I came across Tapisco and it was almost like I had a eureka moment. It wasn’t on any ‘Restaurants you must visit in Lisbon’ lists, but I stumbled across it when browsing photos on Instagram. This is usually my process of restaurant research – it’s painstakingly inefficient, but often accurately helps me find what I know I would personally enjoy. Striking the perfect balance I was immediately sold by the laid back bright vibes of Tapisco and photos of its squid ink paella. They had comfortable …

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 …

Bing Sheng 炳勝, Guangzhou: Best BBQ Pork You’ll Ever Have

It was not the first time I was taking the direct two-hour train ride from Hung Hom to Guangzhou. But my previous visits had been pretty uneventful, so it was no surprise that my mother would be in shock when I told her my plans: For what… What is there to do in Guangzhou?  This time I was going there to eat the purportedly best BBQ Pork/Char Siu at Bing Sheng Restaurant – frequently cited to be one of the best restaurants in Guangzhou. Char Siu – High Expectations, No Disappointment You know how it goes, high expectations are bound to lead to disappointment. Despite being told beforehand that “this is not the best char siu I’ve had, it’s the best I’ll ever have” – honestly, it could not have been more hyped up for me – I was still immensely impressed. We ordered the two types of char siu: black/dark and crispy. We were divided on which one we loved more and I say it’s always mandatory to order both. Each piece of the black/dark char siu was a piece of perfection. …

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 …