Paris, France: My First Ever European One Night Stand

Paris, France: My First Ever European One Night Stand



BARELY LEGAL TEEN AWAY FROM HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME + SUDDEN ACCESS TO HERETOFORE LIMITLESS FUNDS AND DISCOVERING THE EUROSTAR = ONE NIGHT IN PARIS...

It was always a given that I'd have itchy feet: whether I have the controversial 'wanderlust gene' DRD4-7R (which apparently inflicts 20% of the world's population) or if my travel addiction was cultivated from a tender age. Before I left my sheltered and privileged upbringing in Kuala Lumpur for a life of independence and adventure in London, I had boarded more airplanes than any form of public transport (in fact, I suspect I still do). My parents fanned my flames of fernweh with road trips around Europe, holidays in Hawaii, and missions to visit every Disneyland in the world (only Shanghai left to go!). Travels to far and exotic lands were woven into the fabric of my upbringing, but it was only after I attended the school of life that I became acquainted with a new and exciting kind of travel: European city breaks. Posh, Broke, & Bored is no stranger to the long weekend; whether they be 48 Hours in Edinburgh, 24 Hours in Brussels, or 24 Hours in Milan. In the spirit of this month's TRAVEL LINKUP I thought I'd share my travel story about I discovered and fell in love with day trips to European cities with my very first time, from 10 years ago...


*PARDON THE QUALITY OF THE PHOTOS, THESE WERE PRE-DSLR-DAYS AND TAKEN ON A SIMPLE POINT-AND-SHOOT. 
July 01, 2017

Paris, France: My First Ever European One Night Stand

BARELY LEGAL TEEN AWAY FROM HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME  + SUDDEN ACCESS TO HERETOFORE LIMITLESS FUNDS AND DISCOVERING...

My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, & more

My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, and the Far East. Hada Labo, CNP Laboratory, Tony Moly, Bio-Essence, Naruko, Shu Uemura, Laneige, Biore, and more.



It's not all snail slime* and animal face sheet maskshere is my ultimate Asian Beauty haul and my suggestions for beginners wanting to get into Korean and Japanese skincare (and then some), featuring some of the latest most-loved skincare from the Far East.

Sometimes, the greatest finds are right under your nose. It took me nearly three decades of having a skincare routine of water and nothing, then an 'end of my 20s' crisis to scare myself into moisturising my face with something other than Creme de La MEH (aka apathy and last night's makeup), and now finally I've come full circle with Asian Beauty. My last skincare haul back in Winter was inspired by suggestions on r/SkincareAddiction, whereas the this haul are recommendations from r/AsianBeauty: hero products from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore - all of it easily available in the likes of Watson's, Guardian, and Sasa (drugstores commonly found in my native Malaysia). Incidentally, I'm in Kuala Lumpur right now and am sure to load up on even more skincare. For now, let me just get through my latest haul and share why these hero products are must haves for every enthusiast and beginners looking to hop onto the AB (Asian Beauty) skincare train.

*which, BTW, is soooo 10 years ago - it's now all about starfish and horse oil...

MY SKIN TYPE: NORMAL, SOMETIMES SENSITIVE


June 19, 2017

My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, & more

It's not all snail slime * and animal face sheet masks -  here is my ultimate Asian Beauty haul and my suggestion...

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 6 of Kuala Lumpur's Most Instagrammable Restaurants

6 of Kuala Lumpur's Most Instagrammable Restaurants: Shelley Yu's, Buncit Bao, Paperfish, Pan & Tamper, The Good Co, Rubberduck


Feed your feed. The saying goes: "you eat with your eyes first"...

My home country of Malaysia - a melting pot of cultures, languages, and flavours - has always been famous for* its unique flavour palate of Malay, Indian, Chinese, dan lain-lain (and others). In the last decade or so the makan (foodie) culture has shifted its focus ever so slightly from cheap, fast, and gritty street food to trendy, photogenic eateries thanks to the millennial and Gen-Z obsession with sharing on social media (Do you remember when you could tuck into a meal right away instead of waiting for everyone to take a dozen shots for their blogs, Instagram, and Snapchat? No, me neither). For an expat who returns to her native Kuala Lumpur every 6 months or so this means that each trip is filled with exciting new dining destinations, and this trip will be no different...except that the moment I land in Malaysia this coming Monday I'm on a strict diet ahead of my detox in Chiang Mai. No caffeine, no meat, no sugar - only raw fruits, water, and steamed vegetables. Oh sweet, delicious irony. Here's my wistful look at 6 of Kuala Lumpur's New Instagram-worthy Cafes & Restaurants - call it a digital FOMO, if you will... 

*Let's be real, the food is the best thing about Malaysia. Stunning natural beauty? Rare and exotic species of wildlife? Yes, well, I can't eat a rainforest can I? ...can I? 

MORE THINGS TO SEE, EAT, AND DO IN MALAYSIA

June 17, 2017

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 6 of Kuala Lumpur's Most Instagrammable Restaurants

Feed your feed. The saying goes: "you eat with your eyes first"... My home country of Malaysia - a ...

Prague, Czech Republic: La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise


A MICHELIN STARRED MOTHER'S DAY MEAL AT
LA DEGUSTATION BOHÊME BOURGEOISE
HASHTALSKA 753/18, PRAGUE 11000
June 15, 2017

Prague, Czech Republic: La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise

A MICHELIN STARRED MOTHER'S DAY MEAL AT LA DEGUSTATION BOHÊME BOURGEOISE HASHTALSKA 753/18, PRAGUE 11000

Prague, Czech Republic: A Weekend In Prague

A Weekend In Prague, Czech Republic.


Life lately in the British Isles feels like being caught between a rock and a hard Brexit. With a coalition of chaos* looking less likely than a deal with the hard-lining devil, I'm becoming increasingly disillusioned about my life in the UK. On especially dark days the home I've made in London seems like it's been reduced to a mere gateway to city breaks in Europe. Speaking of long weekends in the EU and the Dark Ages**, recently my mum popped over to see the medieval monuments of Prague. Mummy dearest had never been to Czech Republic, or Czechia as it's now supposed to be called, so naturally I wanted to show her around. It was the very least I could do, given that my parents cultivated my love for travel from a young ageMummy had to fly a long way (13 hours from Kuala Lumpur to London, then 2 hours to Prague) for a short trip, so I crammed the highlights into a showreel of sightseeing and Michelin star restaurants. Just as well that Prague is one of Europe's more compact and walkable cities, but don't just take my word for it - Czech it out!

*I like my men how I like my parliament: hung. 😏
**I mean, I'm conservative but geez, these lot make me look like a SJW. 🙄

June 13, 2017

Prague, Czech Republic: A Weekend In Prague

Life lately in the British Isles feels like being caught between a rock and a hard Brexit. With a coalition of chaos* ...

Tiny Traveller: Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip

Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip throughout Brussels, Rome, Florence, Venice, Disneyland Paris, Lucerne, Bavaria, and Holland

The wanderlust is strong in this (little) one.


FIRST, AN EXPLANATION FOR MY DISAPPEARANCE...

Hello, it's me...before I invite you to dive into my archive (arc-dive?) of some of my earliest travel memories, I feel like I owe an explanation for my absence of late. It's relevant to this post, I promise. For the past 3 weeks I've been so uncharacteristically silent on social media that a worried Aftab showed up at my house to make sure I wasn't dead and had my face eaten by cats. I've been sort of in a bad way, mentally and emotionally. Without going in to too much detail (have to keep my head doctors in business, eh?), for almost a month I've been struggling to keep my head afloat in the mire; a perplexing mix of ecstatic highs followed by extreme lows and then apathy, despite having exciting new prospects to look forward to. All of this wild oscillating between both ends of the emotional spectrum have been overwhelming to say the least and not helped by unrelated daunting tasks at hand. As always, I choose isolation rather than burden friends and family with my feelings until I 'sort myself out', so to speak. How very East Asian. 

Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip throughout Brussels, Rome, Florence, Venice, Disneyland Paris, Lucerne, Bavaria, and Holland
Me in a more innocent time and with far better eyebrows.

One of the places I've been retreating to is memories of my childhood: a simpler time, carefree and untainted by troubled thoughts, when my greatest fear was not being able to take my favourite stuffed toys - I had 2 plush turtles: a small one with a yellow, red, and blue shell; and a oversized pastel pink one - with me to dinner. In the spirit of #THROWBACKTUESDAY (is that still a thing? I wouldn't know, I've been AWOL from the internet for, like, forever) here are some photos from my earliest travels which might be the catalyst for my serial wanderlust, and also proof that I've been throwing shapes since before social media was a thing. Are travel bloggers born or made? Take a look at 7 year old me, then decide.

June 06, 2017

Tiny Traveller: Little Girl vs. World, a 7 year old's Europe road trip

The wanderlust is strong in this (little) one. FIRST, AN EXPLANATION FOR MY DISAPPEARANCE... Hello, it's m...

Hong Kong: How To #DiscoverHongKong in 24 Hours

How & What To See, Eat, and Do in Hong Kong in 24 Hours. #DiscoverHongKong

I wandered aimlessly in and out of the glossy boutiques - paying special attention to local designers like Shanghai Tang - rolling my Tumi cabin bag across the polished marble floors of upscale shopping centre Elements where the Airport Express had deposited me: right in the belly of the beast, so to speak. Despite having to wait the better part of 6 hours for Luxy to arrive I was in an unusually chipper mood - I wasn’t even offended that whenever I spoke Cantonese I was replied to in English, but just how ‘white’ is my accent?! - until I was hit with the realisation we would have only one full day in Hong Kong but we had a to-do list to rival the Labours of Hercules. And yet; despite having time, distance, and a serious shortage of *ahem* honest taxi drivers against us, Luxy and I took on the Fragrant Harbour and WON. Behold our victory, that it may someday pave your hurried but not harried way: this is how you do HONG KONG IN 24 HOURS.


EXTRA SAUCE: 21
May 19, 2017

Hong Kong: How To #DiscoverHongKong in 24 Hours

I wandered aimlessly in and out of the glossy boutiques - paying special attention to local designers like Shanghai Ta...

Melbourne, Australia: 10 Things You Must Do In Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia: 10 Things You Must Do In Melbourne



Oh Melbourne, what a ride you've been. Between eating my way senseless around your endless gastronomical offerings to riding the stomach-churning rollercoasters in St Kilda (in that order, too!) it was an amazing 10 days of coffee, culture, and sweet, sweet lovin'. Melbourne is a city that's rather dear to me because of family and other reasons close to my heart, but even for those without physical and emotional ties to the city there is a smogasbord of offerings that don't involve being punched by kangaroos or getting a lift from bike gangs (if you get the reference, let's be friends). Whether or not you are staying for 3 weeks or 3 days, here are 10 Things You Must Do In Melbourne.


May 12, 2017

Melbourne, Australia: 10 Things You Must Do In Melbourne

Oh Melbourne, what a ride you've been. Between eating my way senseless around your endless gastronomical offer...

Melbourne, Australia: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Melbourne, Australia: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal


What goes around comes around. That must be how it looked for a Londoner to travel across the world to Australia, only to find herself in the Melbourne outpost of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Heston Blumenthal is the Willy Wonka of British gastronomy whose name conjures visuals of snail porridge, feeding frenzies at Waitrose for his fancy Christmas puddings, and outrageously fabulous history-themed feasts. So obviously when the second (and only other branch) of the original Dinner by Heston in London opens in Melbourne, the city's collective foodies - especially the ones who missed out on the Fat Duck pop up - got excited. Some even declared it Melbourne's best dining experience. Like hell I was going to let that slip under my nose, or rather past my tongue, especially when the menu featured dishes with an Australian twist created especially for Dinner by Heston Melbourne.
    
DINNER BY HESTON • CROWN TOWERS, 8 WHITEMAN STREET
SAUCE: 12345622

May 10, 2017

Melbourne, Australia: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

What goes around comes around. That must be how it looked for a Londoner to travel across the world to Australia, only to fin...

Melbourne, Australia: 11 Restaurants, Bars, & Cafes to Try

Melbourne, Australia: 11 Restaurants, Bars, & Cafes to Try  Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters, Market Lane Coffee, Chez Dre, Bibelot, Good Egg, Il Fornaio, Matcha Mylkbar, Lui Bar, The Waiting Room, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal


There are some wars you just don't wage - don't even get me started on the Sydney vs. Melbourne debate - including taking on the Melbourne foodie machine. It's a fight not even the most expansive of appetites would win; what with Michelin star restaurants, too-cool-for-school (and bookings too, judging from some of the queues) brunch spots, and all-round excellent eateries that proliferate the city faster than you can say "pop up hole-in-the-wall matcha dessert bar*". Conquering Melbourne's culinary offerings is at best an uphill struggle - I'm not just talking about climbing up Hosier Lane, post-food coma, in heels - and everyone will have different, passionate opinions about where and what to eat in the city. I did the best I could during my stay despite some hiccups like not making reservations** and recovering from surgery. Here are 11 Melbourne Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes I Tried and Loved.

*no, I'm not thinking of a specific place but I'm sure one has already existed in recent Melbourne history... 
**the ones that got away: Movida Next Door, Naked for Satan, Naked in The Sky, and Vue de Monde. Sob.

May 08, 2017

Melbourne, Australia: 11 Restaurants, Bars, & Cafes to Try

There are some wars you just don't wage - don't even get me started on the Sydney vs. Melbourne debate - inclu...

Melbourne, Australia: St Kilda, Matcha Mylkbar, Luna Park, & more

Melbourne, Australia: St Kilda, Matcha Mylkbar, Luna Park, & more


With family living in Melbourne including an aunt who lives in St Kilda, it’s a given that I spent many a childhood summer there. During my recent visit to the seaside suburb, which ensued in an observation of characters best described as straight out of a Ginsberg poem, the extend of a parents’ ability to shelter their children became apparent. 
   
For beyond the Victorian mansions and fairy penguin-watching of my childhood, St Kilda is what Lonely Planet dubsMelbourne's slightly tattered bohemian heart” - an amalgamation of families, punks, drunks, and hipsters.  

A jumble of contrasting architecture styles - Moorish apartments clash with Art Deco theatres while colonial houses that line leafy residential streets almost seem to disapprove - dot the landscape of what started life as a 19th century seaside resort. A crusty junkie wanders out of a seedy side street to jump in on a ladies' Zumba class on the promenade before being chased away to the nearest crumbling pub. Instagram-worthy vegan cafés and Pinterest-perfect wine bars with their perfect culinary creations threaten to break the internet. Buses and trams spit out tourists, day tripping families, and teenagers on dates into the open mouth of Mr Moon, where the hordes will descend upon the creaking rollercoasters of Luna Park. It’s brash, it’s bohemian, it’s as chaotic as the gigs a young Nick Cave played at what was once the Crystal Ballroom (now the George Snakepit).  St Kilda is the best of the Mediterranean, Brighton, and Venice Beach - it’s all of these things and yet none of them, but rather a one-of-a-kind enclave with a thousand faces that inspired many a pop culture creation and captured countless imaginations.

May 07, 2017

Melbourne, Australia: St Kilda, Matcha Mylkbar, Luna Park, & more

With family living in Melbourne including an aunt who lives in St Kilda , it’s a given that I spent many a childhood sum...

Melbourne, Australia: 5 Ways To Get The Best & Highest Views of the City


Soaring to new heights - I find 5 ways to rise above it all in Melbourne to get the best views (and the best #humblebrag photos!) of the city.

What it is about humans and heights? Is it a leftover primal instinct from days of evading sabretooth tigers and surveying prey (mmm, wooly mammoth stew) from the tops of trees? Or is it a more recent urge, as a single drop in a convoluted sea of urban overpopulation, to seek space and solitude from the tangled mess on ground level? Whatever it is, as a species many of us are keen to rise above it all - whether from helicopters or in snazzy rooftop bars. I am no exception. I arrived in Melbourne from Sydney and made a beeline for my new digs - a 2 bedroom apartment on the top floor - all the while humming in my head “Started from the bottom now we here...”. There’s no better way to get your bearings in a new city than from a bird’s eye view nor a more impressive perspective to get the Instagram photo that says “I’ve arrived!” so here are my 5 Ways To Get The Highest and Best Views in Melbourne.


May 03, 2017

Melbourne, Australia: 5 Ways To Get The Best & Highest Views of the City

Soaring to new heights - I find 5 ways to rise above it all in Melbourne to get the best views (and the best #humblebrag pho...