All posts tagged: travel

Bolivia – My Unexpected Favourite in South America

Travelling around South America for a month, we encountered all types of travellers. Some were only visiting Peru, others had been in the continent for 6 months. But the one most frequently asked question was: What has been your favourite so far? As much as Machu Picchu of Peru will impress almost anyone, and there’s no doubt Lima has now become my favourite food city in the world, I never hesitated to answer this question: my personal number one was easily La Paz, Bolivia. Here are some of my highlights from La Paz and Bolivia in general: 1. The Death Road Over the course of the month, we went from coastal towns like Valparaiso (Chile) at close to 0m above sea level, to hot springs in Bolivia which reached as high as 4800m above sea level. Moving across the continent through these altitudes was one of the coolest experiences, but not as cool as travelling from an altitude of 4600m to 1200m within 3-4 hours, via 56km of downhill mountain biking on The Death Road in La …

8 Things I Love Most in Bangkok

Bangkok is the one city in the world I would not hesitate re-visiting over and over again. My four-year old passport has accumulated 10 sets of Thai immigration stamps, yet I’d happily give up more pages to absorb the chaos, ascend the buildings and devour the dishes here. Embarrassingly, I only made my way to check off The Grand Palace on my last visit. But that’s the thing; Bangkok is not about the sites to see. The charm of the city can only be felt by living in it. And here are 8 ways I lived the city that made me fall in love with it. 1. Rooftop Bar with Wine & Cheese at Scarlett There are countless rooftop bars dotted all around the city. While Above Eleven and Octave seemed to be the typical recommendations, Scarlett stood out to me more because of its laid back rustic vibe, which also felt a little less commercial. It was, as expected, more quiet than your usual rooftop bar at 6pm, yet turned out to be the perfect spot to enjoy …

9 Restaurants that Make Lima the Best Food City

Only when I started planning my itinerary for a month-long trip to South America, did I ignorantly realise how large this continent is, and hence how selective I’d have to be on what I wanted to see. Machu Picchu was the no brainer. As I read forum after forum, sample itineraries after travel guides, more than a handful of people suggested to skip Lima altogether. Indeed, Museo Larco was the only site truly memorable to me. But to skip Lima would’ve been the worst mistake for any foodie. Every single meal I had in Lima was impressive and unforgettable, yet I still feel like I’m underselling this city. I learnt from my previous travels that cities are always the best places for food (Bangkok, London and Lisbon, for example), so no matter how packed my schedule was, I still dedicated 3-4 days to Lima. Here are 9 reasons, or restaurants, that, hands down, made Lima the favourite food city I’ve been to in the world. 1. Central (#5 in World’s 50 Best Restaurants) Pre-travels, I was shocked. …

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 …