Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Melbourne, Australia: 8 of my Favourite Brunch Spots

Melbourne, Australia: 8 of my Favourite Brunch Spots


THE EIGHT I ATE: 8 OF MY FAVOURITE 
BRUNCH SPOTS IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

If there ever was a hill to die on, it would be the Melbourne food scene. And what a delicious hill. Melbourne cafe culture is some of the best in the world - for that, you can thank the Italian community and their love of coffee - and extremely competitive, to boot. The best meal of the day in Melbourne is arguably brunch, which Melburnians have elevated into an art form: from ridiculously photogenic superfood platters heaving with berries, grains, and seeds; to experiments with international flavours (2017 was the year of Korean-flavoured everything), to the hangover-friendly classic comforts of smashed avo on toast. I spent 3 weeks attempting to eat my way across the city and the suburbs, and although I hardly made a dent in the culinary offerings of Melbourne (I did say it was a hill to happily die on...), I can confidently recommend these 8 Brunch Spots in Melbourne that you must try the next time you are in town.

๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿฅ‘

THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY MY FAVOURITE CHINESE SAYING “THE EYES ARE BIGGER THAN THE STOMACH”. I DON’T THINK I’VE EVER HAD THESE MANY FOOD COMAS IN SUCH A SHORT SPACE OF TIME...

May 08, 2018

Melbourne, Australia: 8 of my Favourite Brunch Spots

THE EIGHT I ATE: 8 OF MY FAVOURITE  BRUNCH SPOTS IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹ ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹ ๐Ÿ˜‹ If there ever was a hill to die...

The Great Ocean Road, Australia: Beating the daytrippers at The Twelve Apostles

The Great Ocean Road, Australia: Beating the daytrippers at The Twelve Apostles



OR: AN EASY 6-STEP PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL ON HOW TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGE OF BEING STUCK BETWEEN CROWDS AND A HARD PLACE

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

There’s only one thing that could potentially kill a relationship faster than a trip to IKEA* and that’s travelling with your beloved. Make it a day trip with an arduous 6 hour-round trip-drive to a much beloved tourist hotspot on the weekend, starring the immovable object (my boyfriend, the crowds) vs. the unstoppable force (me and my ardent desire to nail the perfect souvenir shot), and you’ve got a recipe for a nuclear breakup. But then again, I like a challenge and we love having adventures together, which is why we spent a Saturday driving from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road to see the Twelve Apostles. Of course, everyone else also got the memo, which made getting that perfect “picture to remember” a challenge - but if there ever was a time to apply the only useful skill I learnt from 3 years at Central St. Martin’s, this would be it. Read on to learn how to overcome the challenge of crowds at famous travel destinations by blending two photographs in Photoshop to create the perfect scene.
 

*Unless, of course, you go in there with the following strategy: Do all the actual browsing online, make a shopping list and print it out to bring to IKEA. When you and your other half arrive, head first to the cafe for meatballs to stave of any hanger (that’s right, hunger + anger pangs). Bypass the black hole that is the Showroom and go straight to Marketplace to pick the small items. Then use the in-store picking service (this is where the shopping list comes in handy - just hand it to the staff and let them do the work) and arrange for next-day delivery AND assembly. Reward yourself with a dollar hotdog that tastes vaguely like plastic.You’re welcome.

๐Ÿ˜ต ๐Ÿ˜ต ๐Ÿ˜ต 

INSPIRED BY THIS MONTH’S #TRAVELLINKUP: TRAVEL CHALLENGES
May 02, 2018

The Great Ocean Road, Australia: Beating the daytrippers at The Twelve Apostles

OR : AN EASY 6-STEP PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL ON HOW TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGE OF BEING STUCK BETWEEN CROWDS AND A HARD PLACE ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ...

Kyoto, Japan: Wearing Kimono in the Geisha District of Gion

Ever wanted to live out your best Japanese fantasy? I did just that, wearing a kimono in Gion, the most famous geisha district in all of Japan. This is my kimono rental experience in Kyoto.

“CULTURAL APPROPRIATION”? IN JAPAN IT’S CALLED CULTURAL APPRECIATION...

Warning: If you’re easily triggered you might want to skip this introduction and head straight for the pretty pictures. But then again if you’re the oversensitive sort you really shouldn’t be reading a site called “Posh, Broke, & Bored”... 

Now, I may not be an expert on identity politics nor the subtle nuances that separate “dressing up” vs. what some call “cultural appropriation” (but then again, when the thought police constantly shift the goalposts of what they deem acceptable, how does one expect to play the game? Well, that’s their whole point, but that’s another charged discussion for another day) but as a Far East transplant in the West I can tell you that us “Orientals” don’t waste time being offended when foreigners take an interest - however passing or superficial - in our culture. Why get mad when you can get mad money

Case in point: all across Japan, especially in the cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, locals have made the most of the tourism boom by opening kimono rental shops so that visitors can feel the fantasy when in Japan while receiving an education on the culture. Wearing kimono and yukata, even outside of Japan, is considered by the Japanese as appreciative and respectful of their culture when done properly and with reverence to the history and customs of the country. Keep your mind open, your intentions pure, your curiousity sincere, and your execution tasteful; and you not only open a dialogue with and engage with other cultures but also look bangin’ while doing it. This is my experience with wearing traditional Japanese kimono in the geisha district of Gion, Kyoto.

๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต

April 18, 2018

Kyoto, Japan: Wearing Kimono in the Geisha District of Gion

“CULTURAL APPROPRIATION”? IN JAPAN IT’S CALLED  “ CULTURAL APPRECIATION ” ... Warning:  If you’re easily triggered you m...

Melbourne, Australia: 8 Reasons Why I'm Moving to Melbourne, and Why You Should Visit





THE 8 SOLID REASONS WHY I'LL MOVE TO MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

(ALTERNATIVELY, 8 REASONS FOR YOU TO VISIT AND A MONTH'S WORTH OF THINGS TO DO)


Like rain clouds on a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, the questions came rolling in thick and fast on Instagram messages: “Have you moved to Australia?!” Well, I could see how a month of Stories of me decorating and furnishing a new home from scratch could give off that impression. Melbourne is certainly a city I’ve grown up with: although I was born in Kuala Lumpur and spent my adult life in London, I spent much of my childhood visiting extended family there. From Box Hill to Toorak, the suburbs of Melbourne have been my stomping grounds for the best parts of three decades - if there was a city I could easily set up a base in, Melbourne would be it.

But the long and short of it is: No, I am not moving to Melbourne. At least, not on a full time basis in the near future. Although I have built a nest for two out of blood (his), sweat (ours), but no tears (working under pressure is our forte); and although I’ve grown incredibly attached to an apartment that was suppose to be just a flip, my heart (and my Permanent Residence) belongs to the UK. That said, the prospect of making Melbourne my third home is incredibly tantalising. Melbs, this is why - to quote a famous Aussie - ๐ŸŽถ “I just can’t get you out of my head...” ๐ŸŽถ


INSPIRED BY THIS MONTH’S TRAVEL LINKUP:
PLACES WE CAN’T GET OUT OF OUR HEADS


April 01, 2018

Melbourne, Australia: 8 Reasons Why I'm Moving to Melbourne, and Why You Should Visit

THE 8 SOLID REASONS WHY I'LL  MOVE TO MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (ALTERNATIVELY, 8 REASONS FOR YOU TO VISIT AND A M...

Sabah, Malaysia: Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Sabah, Malaysia: An up close and personal encounter with an orangutan in its natural habitat at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.




DESPERATELY SEEKING A 'MAN OF THE FOREST' AT SEPILOK ORANGUTAN REHABILITATION CENTRE IN SABAH, NORTH BORNEO

๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ


How often does one get the opportunity to help a dear friend tick an experience off their bucket list in your home country, in a foreign (to them) language that you not only happen to be fluent in but one they’ve never heard you properly speak? Baby, this is my time to shine. I may have Dreamed of Africa but Luxy has always dreamt of Borneo since she was little: from her childhood dream of having an orangutan sanctuary in her back garden to having her own ape friend who’d follow her to school (I’m just cracking up at the visual of 12-year old her, dressed in a chantilly lace frock, hosting a tea party in the English countryside for orangutans wearing frilly bonnets. More tea, vicar? Ooh ooh aah aah!). Wish no more, baby, because YipAdvisor is about to make it her monkey business to make your dream a reality. It’s time to go bananas in Borneo...

๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ


ALL PHOTOS OF ME BY LUX LIFE BLOG. EEE BB!


March 19, 2018

Sabah, Malaysia: Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

DESPERATELY SEEKING A 'MAN OF THE FOREST' AT  SEPILOK ORANGUTAN REHABILITATION CENTRE IN SABAH, NORTH BORNEO...

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 24 Hours in Kuala Lumpur - What & Where to See, Eat, & Do

24 Hours in Kuala Lumpur - What & Where to See, Eat, & Do




24 HOURS IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - 
WHAT & WHERE TO SEE, EAT, & DO


They said it couldn’t be done. That nobody could hit the ground running, straight off an overnight flight from Sydney to Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, and visit all the stops on my itinerary in less than a day; what with the infamous tropical humidity, heat, and the city’s notorious traffic to contend with. Well clearly they underestimate my determination to show a good friend (who finally took up my offer to visit me in Malaysia, since, like, forever) a much needed change of scenery and a whistle stop tour of the city I grew up in, as well as the prowess of my legendary travel planning. I’m not nicknamed YipAdvisor for nothing. Should you also find yourself in Kuala Lumpur for just a day, fret not - Luxy and I have done the footwork for you. Here is my itinerary for 24 Hours in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; with the added bonuses of what else we would have done had we not had other social engagements (Chinese New Year reunion dinner, I’m looking at you) as well as more Kuala Lumpur guides from other travel bloggers.


#YIPADVISOR

ALL PHOTOS OF ME BY LUX LIFE BLOG, AS IT SHOULD BE. GOOD TIMES!
EXTRA PHOTO CREDITS: 61423242526

March 09, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 24 Hours in Kuala Lumpur - What & Where to See, Eat, & Do

24 HOURS IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA -  WHAT & WHERE TO SEE, EAT, & DO They said it couldn’t be done...

Mumbai, India: A Luxurious Stay at the "Grand Heritage" Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

Mumbai, India: A Luxurious Stay at the "Grand Heritage" Taj Mahal Palace Hotel



Vishnu take the wheel! Not even the most prolifically-limbed of Hindu deities could have handled the series of many unfortunate events that plagued my very short time in Mumbai, India. By now you'll have heard me garble like a broken record on both Instagram and on my previous India travel stories about how my Mumbai trip (en route to Jaipur) was marked by drama after drama. Funnily enough, I had almost managed to blank the debacle(s) from my memory UNTIL this month's #TRAVELLINKUP topic "Why Travel is Good For Your Wellbeing" triggered some serious BTSD (that's Bombay Traumatic Stress Disorder). Travel, good for my wellbeing? Not today Satan, not today! If not for an extremely relaxing, luxurious, and exceptional stay at the iconic The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel I would honestly never come back to Mumbai. Well, when life gives you lemons, make gin and tonic, and so; here are my pictures and thoughts from my short stay at the landmark of luxury that is this Grand Heritage Hotel.



March 05, 2018

Mumbai, India: A Luxurious Stay at the "Grand Heritage" Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

Vishnu take the wheel!  Not even the most prolifically-limbed of Hindu deities could have handled the series of many unfortuna...

Jaipur, India: 24 Hours in Jaipur - What & Where to See, Stay, Eat, & Do

Jaipur, India: 24 Hours in the Pink City - What & Where to See, Stay, Eat, & Do


24 HOURS IN JAIPUR, INDIA: WHAT & WHERE TO SEE, STAY, EAT, AND DO

Strictly speaking, I had 4 days in Jaipur - but one was written off for recovering from Bombay, two were chock full of festivities and shenanigans (you know how traditional Indian weddings are like, it’s like Bollywood but bigger and better), which left all of a day to see as many of the Pink City’s highlights as I could. Yet, despite a thousand setbacks thrown at me in the form of mind-boggling inefficiency (Bombay International Airport, I’m looking at you), culture shock (Me, to my taxi driver: “Shouldn’t you unfold your side mirrors before you drive?” Taxi driver:Side mirror use by bad driver only. I good driver. No need use mirror” Me: *screams in British accent*), and sheer bad luck - you know by now how my travel companion couldn’t enter the country, leaving me to travel solo in India? That story is now immortalised in my “Travel BTS (Behind The Scenes) ” Highlights reel on my Instagram @poshbrokebored - I survived my trip to the capital city of Rajasthan and made it back, relatively unscathed, with this guide to 24 Hours in Jaipur


February 26, 2018

Jaipur, India: 24 Hours in Jaipur - What & Where to See, Stay, Eat, & Do

24 HOURS IN JAIPUR, INDIA:  WHAT & WHERE TO SEE, STAY, EAT, AND DO Strictly speaking, I had 4 days in Jaipur ...

Jaipur, India: Amber Fort

Planning a trip to Jaipur, India? You can't miss Amber Fort (aka Amer Fort), one of Rajasthan's great fortress palaces. Here's everything you need to know before you go.




LISTEN UP! AMBER PALACE, AMER FORT...HOWEVER YOU CALL IT, THIS IS A GEM YOU MUST VISIT IN JAIPUR

Much like the power struggles between the Rajput rulers and invaders to control Rajasthan, my ordeal to reach its capital city, Jaipur, is one for the classics. Replace Turks, Afghans, and Mughals with a) drama at Kuala Lumpur International Airport when my mother realised that she didn’t have the entry requirements for India (fun fact: the “IDN” on the back of your Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation membership card stands for visa-free access to Indonesia, NOT India), b) drama at Mumbai Airport when I found out that the stacks of 1,000 rupee notes I brought for this trip have been invalid for a while and no bank would exchange them, and c) drama when I realised I couldn’t go to a bank anyway because it was Republic Day and nobody would be working all weekend. Incredible India, indeed! But I rose to the challenges and made it to Jaipur, where for a hot minute all my frazzled nerves were soothed by the historical charms and beauty of the Pink City. The star attraction of which would be, naturally, the UNESCO Heritage Site that is Amber Fort, also known as Amer Fort and Amber Palace.

February 20, 2018

Jaipur, India: Amber Fort

LISTEN UP ! AMBER PALACE, AMER FORT... HOWEVER YOU CALL IT, THIS IS A GEM YOU MUST VISIT IN JAIPUR Much like the power s...

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: 10 Things to Do With 24 Hours in Phnom Penh


10 Things to Do With 24 Hours in Phnom Penh, Cambodia




PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA in 24 HOURS: 
THE 10 PLACES YOU MUST SEE, STAY, AND EAT AT


There are very few occasions in which I like to be proven wrong. They all involve pleasant surprises especially when it comes to managing travel expectations. More specifically, when a layover city turns out to be more than a place to pass through but rather a destination in itself. That was what happened last Christmas. The plan was to fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia via the capital, Phnom Penh. What I thought was going to be a simple stopover (maybe just a cocktail at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, a few lazy hours at one or two museums) turned out to be an extremely enriching experience of culture, history, food, food for thought, and shopping..all of it clocked in just 24 hours, with time to spare. Suffice to say, I had a Phnom-menal time, and you can too. Here are my 10 Things To Do with 24 Hours In Phnom Penh, Cambodia...


February 16, 2018

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: 10 Things to Do With 24 Hours in Phnom Penh

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA in 24 HOURS:  THE 10 PLACES YOU MUST SEE, STAY, AND EAT AT There are very few ...

Jaipur, India: A Spectacular Sangeet Party for an Indian Wedding in Jaigarh Fort

Jaipur, India: A Spectacular Sangeet Party for  an Indian Wedding in Jaigarh Fort



AN EPIC WEDDING PARTY AT AN 18th CENTURY FORT IN JAIPUR, INDIA

“Everything is bigger in Texas”? Darling, no. Everything is bigger in India...at least as far as weddings are concerned. My non-Indian friends, have you ever had the immense pleasure of being a guest at a traditional Indian wedding? Amazingly, despite enjoying a rather eclectic friendship circle across several international cities including my hometown, the mulitcultural Kuala Lumpur (incidentally, there are 2 million Malaysian Indians - that’s 7% of our population), at the ripe ol’ age of 30 I had yet to partake in the festivities of an Indian wedding. So when the invitation came from one of my long-time friends - the first friend I ever made in London, actually! - to celebrate her nuptials in Jaipur the proper way ie. several hundred guests on at least a three-day bender of feasting, drinking, and dancing; the RSVP was a resounding YES. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity in more ways than one (I mean, most people would be so lucky to get married only once) and you can be sure I‘ll be there with bells on!

What follows are photos I don’t remember taking (even if I faintly recollect the scenes) of one of the most the most exciting evenings I’ve ever had: a night of colour, celebration, chaos all set in an 18th century fort in the hills of Jaipur, India. Oh, and there were elephants, too. I told you, everything is bigger in India!

February 01, 2018

Jaipur, India: A Spectacular Sangeet Party for an Indian Wedding in Jaigarh Fort

AN EPIC WEDDING PARTY AT AN 18th  CENTURY FORT IN JAIPUR, INDIA “Everything is bigger in Texas”? Darling, no . Everyt...

Siem Reap, Cambodia: What to See, Eat, Do, and NOT To Do

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF A SHORT STAY (AND HOW DO IT IN STYLE AND CONSCIENCE, TOO!)




SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF A SHORT STAY (AND HOW DO IT IN STYLE AND CONSCIENCE, TOO!)

Now, I’m all for slow-living and taking it nice and easy (as the glacial pace I take to respond to Whatsapp messages will attest to) but sometimes, time is a luxury that money just can’t buy. What’s a girl to do, eh? That’s no excuse to dive into a whirlwind tour of a city unprepared. Luckily, I live life in the fast lane and do the research beforehand so others don’t have to. If you’re planning a short (3 or so days) trip to Siem Reap and don’t want to scrimp on comfort or culture, keep reading my guide on Where to stay, What to eat, What to see, What to do and most importantly, What NOT to do.

January 29, 2018

Siem Reap, Cambodia: What to See, Eat, Do, and NOT To Do

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST  OUT OF A SHORT STAY   (AND HOW DO IT IN STYLE AND CONSCIENCE, TOO!) No...

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Park Hyatt Siem Reap

Location meets Luxury at the Park Hyatt, the only luxury hotel in downtown Siem Reap


Location vs. Luxury: Why not both? Park Hyatt - one of the very few luxury hotels in downtown Siem Reap - proves to be unbeatable for both its prime position and its commitment to 5-star quality. 

January 25, 2018

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Park Hyatt Siem Reap

Location vs. Luxury : Why not both? Park Hyatt - one of the very few luxury hotels in downtown Siem Reap - proves to be u...

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Banteay Srei, the "Pink Temple"

Seeing red at the Pink Temple of Siem Reap, Banteay Srei aka The Citadel of The Women.


 
THERE’S MORE TO BANTEAY SREI - AKA THE “PINK TEMPLE” 
OF SIEM REAP - THAN MEETS THE EYE... 

It is a known fact that yours truly does not like to get out of bed for less than a $10,000 view in the morning. So imagine my consternation when, after an early wake up call and bumpy, dusty hour-long drive into the heartlands of Siem Reap, the famous pink temple that is Banteay Srei - also known as The Citadel of Women - was a lot less the ‘millenial pink’ I expected than it was ‘overcooked salmon’. B*tch, HUE better work. Was my pastel colour-motivated trek into the wildnerness all for naught? Happily, it was hardly a wasted journey, for I had serendipitously discovered a temple that was far unique to the others in Angkor for a myriad of reasons...

January 22, 2018

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Banteay Srei, the "Pink Temple"

  THERE’S MORE TO BANTEAY SREI - AKA THE “PINK TEMPLE”  OF SIEM REAP -  THAN MEETS THE EYE ...   It is a known fact t...

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Ta Prohm, the "Tomb Raider temple"

Feeling the Lara Croft fantasy at the "Tomb Raider temple": Ta Prohm in Siem Reap, Cambodia





FEELING THE TOMB RAIDER FANTASY AT 
TA PROHM IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

It is indisputable that the centuries-old temples of the ancient city of Angkor in what is now called Siem Reap is what put Cambodia on the map of many a wanderluster. Two places immediately come to mind: the iconic Angkor Wat (itself on the flag of the Kingdom of Cambodia) and Ta Prohm, famous for its ruined walls intertwined with giant tree roots. In the second part of my Cambodia photo diaries, I walked among the remnants of history and learn what makes the “Tomb Raider temple” so unique.

January 19, 2018

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Ta Prohm, the "Tomb Raider temple"

FEELING THE TOMB RAIDER  FANTASY  AT  TA PROHM  IN  SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA It is indisputable that the centurie...

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Why sunset is better than sunrise at Angkor Wat

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Why sunset is better than sunrise at Angkor Wat


SO NICE, I WENT THERE TWICE - ANGKOR WAT IN THE MORNING VS. THE EVENING (AND WHY SUNRISE AT ANGKOR WAT IS OVERRATED)  

With peak season in Cambodia (November to January) coming to a close and savvy travellers such as yourself (you clever thing, you) looking into visiting Siem Reap in the less crowded, less expensive off-peak season that is May to October, it seemed timely that my first Asia travel story of the year should be of arguably the most famous of Cambodian monuments - the instantly recognisable and incomparable Angkor Wat. You know by now, of course, my 2018 mission to see all the South East Asian countries I've yet to visit. With Vietnam, Singapore, my native Malaysia, Thailand, and now Cambodia under my belt, that leaves just six countries to go. I can't think of a better destination to kick off this year's travel stories with, so here are the first of my photo diaries from Siem Reap, Cambodia, and my observations on why sunset trumps sunrise at Angkor Wat.

January 17, 2018

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Why sunset is better than sunrise at Angkor Wat

SO NICE, I WENT THERE TWICE - ANGKOR WAT  IN THE MORNING VS. THE EVENING  ( AND WHY SUNRISE AT ANGKOR WAT IS OVERRATED ) ...

Turning the (Passport) Page: my 2017 Travel Review and my 2018 Travel Plans


Before I turn the page to a New Year, here is a look at my show reel of 2017, followed by the upcoming attractions and my travel wishes of 2018. 

BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE IRREPRESSIBLE (IF SHORT-LIVED) "CAN-DO" SPIRIT THAT SEEMS TO DO THE ROUNDS EVERY FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY AND INSPIRED BY THE FIRST #TRAVELLINKUP OF 2018


LAKE BLED, SLOVENIA'S MOST FAMOUS AND ROMANTIC BEAUTY SPOT.
2017. 12 months. 14 Countries. 34 Cities. 
A carbon footprint the size of Bigfoot.

You just can't keep a wanderluster down. You can take away her passport while dragging your feet about whether to grant her Indefinite Leave to Remain, but she will pull some strings to get her application approved in neck-breaking record speed even in the wake of all the post-Brexit immigration scramble. Not even a tangle of Home Office red tape couldn't hold me back, let alone recovering from cosmetic surgery. Less than a week after waking up from going under the knife, my year of travel kicked off. Seeing friends in Australia...conquering Hong Kong in 24 hours...a Mother's Day weekend in Prague...the failed detox program in Chiang Mai that we shall never speak of again...my epic 3 week road trip across the Balkans...Autumn in Japan...Winter in South Korea and Cambodia, and finally; ushering in the New Year in Singapore.

Oh, the places I've been (in 2017)...

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (several times in 2017)
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ  2. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (twice in 2017)
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ  3. Sydney, Australia 
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ  4. Melbourne, Australia (twice in 2017)
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ  5. Hong KongHong Kong 
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ  6. PragueCzechia 
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ  7. Chiang Mai, Thailand 
STARI MOST, THE ICONIC BRIDGE OF MOSTAR, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA.
CONTEMPLATING THE COLOURS OF CINQUE TERRE IN ITALY.
FEELING THE HAPSBURG YELLOW FANTASY IN ZAGREB, CROATIA
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น  8. ViennaAustria 
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ  9. MariborSlovenia 
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ  10. LjubljanaSlovenia  
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ  11. Bled, Slovenia 
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท  12. Zagreb, Croatia 
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท  13. Plitvice, Croatia 
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท  14. Trogir, Croatia
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท  15. Split, Croatia
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท  16. Dubrovnik, Croatia
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ  17. Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina 
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ  18. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช  19. Kotor, Montenegro 
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น  20. Florence, Italy  
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น  21-25. Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, 
Monterosso, RiomaggioreCinque Terre, Italy
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น  26. Portofino, Italy
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น  27. Pisa, Italy
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต  28. KyotoJapan 
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต  29. Tokyo, Japan
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท  30. Busan, South Korea 
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท  31. Seoul, South Korea
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ  32. Siem Reap, Cambodia 
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ  33. Phomh Penh, Cambodia 
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ  34. Singapore, Singapore

_____________
A SLICE OF WILDNERNESS ON LANTAU ISLAND, HONG KONG
LEAN IN - I'VE GOT SOMETHING TO SHOW YOU IN PISA, ITALY...
THROWING SHAPES IN YOYOGI PARK, TOKYO, JAPAN.

Upcoming travel stories...

I have a back catalog of travel photos and travel stories from Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, and Singapore that I really ought to get cracking on with. Expect in the New Year: a review of Japan's best new luxury hotel The Four Seasons Kyoto, as well as 24 Hour Guides to Kyoto, Tokyo, Busan, Seoul, Singapore, and Phnom Penh. Siem Reap's many beautiful temples gets their own series, including tips on how to beat the crowds at Angkor Wat for the perfect souvenir photo. 


Quality over Quantity

In this age of the competitive social media humblebrag, clocking 34 cities and 14 countries in a year of perpetual travel comes across as #GOALS but honestly, beneath the glossy facade the cracks are showing. Travelling all the time is exhausting, especially when you realise you've spent more nights in hotel rooms than you have in all of your homes combined. So, this year I choose quality over quantity. To give myself room to breathe, I'm going to limit myself to no more than 12 countries and 24 cities. 



SUNRISE IN BAGAN, BURMA (YES, I STILL CALL IT BURMA)
My New Year's Travel Resolution for 2018:
South East Asia & Malaysia.

Look, here's the tea - it is the height of bourgeoise to make your gap yah in South East Asia  a point on your resumรฉ, be it LinkedIn or Tinder. Nothing reeks of pretentiousness more than the multiple photos of wearing the same beads in your hair, dusty pair of flip flops, and elephant-print pyjama pants for months on end while you wax lyrical about how the locals helped you find your spiritual awakening ("They are sooo poor and have sooo little but they're sooo happy!"). Especially if you're a white person on a "poverty tourism" binge. For a Malaysian who grew up in the '90s whose sensible upbringing verges on pearl-clutching hysteria, the rest of South East Asia* are our less-prosperous neighbours whose only notable exports are cheap domestic help (yeah, nobody does casual classism like Malaysia). 

*all of SEA except for wealthy, modern Singapore - their best-known export is their bastardised, overly sweet version of Malaysian street food. Sorry 'bout it. 

For the affluent Asian back in the day, the travel destinations of choice were usually European countries - what we deemed to be exotic and faraway. Naturally, a lot of the beauty in our backyard went ignored, which is a bloody shame - one that I fully intend to rectify in 2018. 

THE GATEWAY TO HEAVEN IN BALI, INDONESIA
IN THE LAND OF GODS AND MONSTERS IN LAOS
BEING A ROYAL PAIN IN THE ANGKOR AT PHNOM PENH ROYAL PALACE

Of the 11 countries in South East Asia, I've already visited 5: Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia (my native country), Thailand, and Vietnam. This leaves me with 6 countries: Indonesia, Philippines, Burma, Laos, Brunei, and Timor-Leste (East-Timor); the capitals of which I hope to have traversed by the end of 2018. In keeping with the "closer to home" theme, I'm also hoping to get to know my own country outside of the metropolitan bubble that is Kuala Lumpur. I've visited (and blogged about) 9 of the 13 states in Malaysia, which I'm terribly chuffed about, but I'm still 4 states short. No matter, it's a new year, begging to be filled with fits, foibles, and passport stamps!

My 2018 Travel List

South East Asia:
1. Bali, Jakarta, and Yogyakarta; Indonesia
2. Manila, Cebu, and Boracay; Philippines
3. Nyapyidaw and Bagan, Burma
4. Vientiane, Laos
5. Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
6. Dili and Atauro Island, Timor-Leste

...and in Malaysia:
7. Mulu Caves, Sarawak
8. Alor Setar, Perlis
9. Kota Bahru, Kelantan
10. Negeri Sembilan

Here's wishing you a bigger, better, brighter, and more well-travelled New Year. x
January 01, 2018

Turning the (Passport) Page: my 2017 Travel Review and my 2018 Travel Plans

Before I turn the page to a New Year, here is a look at my show reel of 2017, followed by the upcoming attractions and my travel wish...