All posts tagged: travel

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 …

9 Coffee Shops to Visit in London

I honestly love coffee exploring as much as I love food exploring. There’s something so necessary about smelling those beans and sipping a hot drink when the sun is out, no matter where in the world I am. Plus I love how it doesn’t compromise the number of meals I can intake in the day. So when I’m on holiday, in a city, I always make it a mission to try out as many good coffee shops as I can. I briefly attempted during my trip last year from London, Nottingham to Edinburgh. I also came up with a list of 5 Coffee Shops to Visit in Taipei earlier this year. Now here’s a proper one for London! (Addresses are all in the Google map at the end of this post) 1. Timberyard Let me say it upfront, Timberyard was my favourite coffee shop in London this time. Ok, the coffee is good but perhaps wasn’t necessarily the most outstanding one we had, but I just loved the feeling of being in this cafe. We went to …

5 Things You Need to Know as a Foodie Travelling to Hanoi

1. It’s not all about food – Do take a trip to Sapa or Halong Bay Hanoi did not turn out to be the Bangkok of Vietnam, as I had expected. While we had some good meals, it’s difficult to come up with a fruitful list of must-try spots because there probably aren’t a lot of those… It’s not a city where you could get impressive local dishes whatever establishment or street stall you walk into. I think travelling out of Hanoi is a must for any tourist. Sapa is a 12 hour overnight train away from Hanoi. Located 1500m above sea level, the scenery takes you to a different world, even the climate differs significantly from Hanoi – it got to 10-ish degrees Celsius on a summer night. A diverse range of ethnic minority groups inhabit the town, with Hmong peoples being the majority. The experience was absolutely unparalleled. It was unique and so worth the long journey. Halong Bay is about 3.5 hours (bus ride) away from Hanoi and an overnight cruise trip in the …