GLAMPING IN THE MOUNTAINS: DHARAMSHALA’S CAMP LUNGTA

The Himachal Pradesh region is often chosen for its adventure – both into the natural and spiritual realms, and the mountainous area with its otherworldly beauty, is believably straddling between the realms. Dharamshala is best known to be the location where the Dalai Lama has chosen for his official residence, and unsurprisingly, has made the…

MORE THAN JUST AMALFI

Because of how famous it is, the Amalfi Coast is often thought as just a small stretch around the town of Amalfi itself. But in truth, there’s 50 km of coast to drive down, dotted with quaint towns, villages and hamlets each with their own specialties. If you need a guide on which of these…

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (FILM REVIEW)

Sequels have it hard. Zombieland raked in commercial and critical success for taking the audience off-guard in a period of zombie titles, so what can Zombieland: Double Tap bring to the table? The answer is – plenty. The franchise capitalises on three things: astute witticisms, irreverent self-awareness and unabashed caricultures. With that, the sequel has…

90 YEARS OF DISNEY – THE PROCESS FROM PAST TO FUTURE

It’s no exaggeration to say that Disney‘s allure is a multi-generational affair. From 26 October 2019 till 29 March 2020, visitors to the ArtScience Museum can revisit close to a century’s worth of animation styles and legacy in the brand new exhibition Disney: Magic of Animation. The event draws upon the archives of the Walt…

THE REAL STORY OF THE KILL TEAM

It’s often said to be a necessary evil, but that can just as easily be a marketing spiel. War is war. For nation, for justice, for religion, for power, for greed, for land…. the actual reasons for war goes on, hiding behind a nobler banner. The Kill Team is a film directed by Dan Krauss,…

COUNTDOWN (FILM REVIEW)

There’s nothing terribly unpredictable about this – but that might not be a bad thing at all. Like Scream, Final Destination and any franchise with over 5 chapters, formulaic horror has an appeal of its own. Countdown has nothing of a reputation to bank on, but it follows a proven model and manages to get…

THE CURRENT WAR (FILM REVIEW)

If you’ve read up a little bit about this project, then you’ll know that this was one of Weinstein’s last work before his entire film career and company collapsed from the sexual allegations. The Current War, with its polished production and high-profile casting premiered to a small (and unimpressed) crowd at Toronto International Film Festival…

BEYOND THE LITTLE MERMAID

It’s one of my all-time favourites – the originally dark story of the sacrificial mermaid may have had significant impact on my love life, but that’s a story for another day. Because of this, Copenhagen‘s iconic statue has always been a beacon for me when it comes to sights to see. It may not be…

A WINNING FORMULA: THE SINGAPORE NIGHT GRAND PRIX

With last year’s Crazy Rich Asians pulling the spotlight on Singapore as a luxurious haven for the elite, much travel plans must have been fixated on a calendar event – the Singapore Grand Prix. Now in it’s 12th year, the racing event that once was notorious locally for its disruption to traffic, is now viewed…

METAMORPHOSIS (FILM REVIEW)

South Korea is really gunning for their own Exorcist hit. From TV titles like The Guest (2018) to movies like The Priests (2015), The Wailing (2016), House of the Disappeared (2017), and most recently, The Divine Fury (2019) and Netflix’s, Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019), it seems that the priest protagonist remains as enigmatic as…

REVENGE OF THE PONTIANAK OR DENDAM PONTIANAK (FILM REVIEW)

Probably one of the most enigmatic and popular supernatural entity in this region, the pontianak is to Southeast Asia what Sadako is to Japan.  Based on popular mythology, she is the ghost of a woman who died pregnant or during childbirth, and boy is she angry! Appearing as a beautiful woman to lure victims to…

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (FILM REVIEW)

“Why she so curious?” “I thought she returned the book?” “Why they return to the house?” To a movie reviewer, nothing is scarier than a viewer who needs to verbalise her mind. And to the teenage girl in question, the answer to all of your question is: Because this is a movie, so just watch…

ENCOUNTER ALL THE SHADES OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

If you self-drive or love coach tours, Western Australia’s routes will give you a bang for your buck. All along the coast and inland, you will find a smattering of sights to keep you engaged along the route. The colours stood out clearly for me in my mind’s eye, so I wrote out these itineraries…

THE WAYS YOU CAN FROLIC IN FIJI

It’s true that Fiji isn’t the most accessible place, even if you live in the nearest countries of Australia, New Zealand or Papua New Guinea. But isn’t that the case for anywhere that’s really out of this world? Fiji may be most widely known for that bottled water, but ditch that plastic and go to…

A BIGGER SPLASH (FILM REVIEW)

If Call Me By Your Name is remembered by the peach, then A Bigger Splash will be remembered for its pool. The oasis in the sunny island of Pantelleria bears silent witness to the mansion’s going-on, which runs from tension (both of the aggresive and sexual sort) to therepeutic retreat. Acted out by a quartet…

BINDING SOULS (FILM REVIEW)

I used to study in a pre-war school, and so as you might guess, the grounds were filled with stories. The fact that actual riots and war heroes were part of its history made it all the more compelling. So haunted school plots have a particular relevance to me, especially when they involve unspoken topics,…

FAMILY FESTIVAL FUN – SEE 23 OF THE WORLD’S BEST

With kids in tow or the elderly involved, it’s not easy for the average family to design a holiday that will please everyone. That’s where festivals come in. Festivals are amazing showcases of a country’s culture, often bringing everything to one spot. Food, fun, cheer, and plenty of activities for the young and old, they…

LOOKING UP (FILM REVIEW)

There’s no punches pulled here – Looking Up is a China-made film, replete with pride-stirring messages that can be seen as gentle nostalgia or shameless propaganda. If you can set that all aside, there’s a couple of universal themes here at play which might be of more interest. Ma Fei (Bai Yu) is one of…

THE -30 SIBERIAN FAIRYTALE

Friends know I love the cold. My ideal climate range is 0-20 degrees celsius, where I could sit out and be forced to down a cup of hot beverage quickly before it turns cold, and then hop around with a scalded tongue. Yeah I’m weird that way. But weird goes easier when you’re rewarded by…

THE DEAD DON’T DIE (FILM REVIEW)

Let’s be clear here: You’ll either love this movie for all its cleverness (because you’re that savvy zombie genre fan – especially for Romero – and geeks out at inside references), or you’ll be like the rest of us – a little bored and cheated. To say The Dead Don’t Die is indulgent is about…

MAKE IT COUNT – 7 SOUVENIRS THAT REALLY REPRESENT RUSSIA

Put those magnets down and back away slowly. As much as it’s tempting to get your souvenirs in one fell swoop at a gift shop, giving some thought to them can be a rewarding investment. Not only does it make you attach specific memories to each piece you select, but the stories and cultural references…

REDISCOVERING BALI

The legendary island promises a mystical adventure of self-awakening, but the reality greeting travellers is usually more crowded beaches and overpriced restaurants. So can we ever find the Bali that once was? The answer, is yes. The busy throngs at Kuta is still largely contained there, with some spillage to Seminyak. Canggu is fast becoming…

HOW TO HAVE A LOCAL BREAKFAST IN TAIPEI

Without a doubt, breakfast is the most important meal when travelling in Taiwan – and we’re not talking about the hotel buffets please! Getting up and heading straight to any soy milk joint in Taipei means a hearty affair of savoury food and bustling affairs conducted without regards for the nosy tourist. Which is great,…

ANNABELLE COMES HOME (FILM REVIEW)

Slowly but surely, James Wan is building and reinforcing his horror legacy. Since the success of The Conjuring, the skillful director has extended his universe significantly, even crossing over to areas which we wouldn’t have expected. (Aquaman and Shazam!) It goes to show the pop culture appeal and power of his creations, and leading the…

HOW TO SLEEP TRENDY IN HONG KONG ON A BUDGET

The city of Hong Kong is renowned for their sky-high real estate, and this means that those documentaries of their poorer boxed-up citizens may sometimes become a reality for budget travelers, but thankfully only temporarily. A quick search will find “hotels” in the price range of SGD$100s to be either non-descript, terribly small, remotely located…

CHIANG MAI IS HOME TO THE WORLD’S DREAMIEST LIGHT-UP

Even though the environmental repercussions are being debated, and solutions to the impact being investigated, there’s no denying the spectacle that the Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai accords. Thousands of paper lanterns float into the sky, an illuminated glowing cloud, and with the more widely-known Loy Krathong following the festival days, seeing candles drifting…

WHEN JUST VISITING JAIPUR

Visiting just one city in India sounds like an impossible decision to make if one had limited time, but if you had to, Jaipur stands as one of travellers’ top choices. The Pink City has old-world charm in spades, and a reputation that has been catapulted thanks to its ‘gram-able facades. As you wander about,…

PARASITE (FILM REVIEW)

There’s a “landscape rock” gift that gets featured early in the Parasite that sits very nicely as a metaphor for the film. It’s a harbinger of prosperity as much as a burdensome weight; physically, an elegant decoration that can also turn deadly. It never changes its state and doesn’t presume to be anything but a…

DEATH WHISPER (FILM REVIEW)

Well, someone’s a big fan of the Korean Whispering Corridors. From the rotating Hangeul characters during the opening credits to the gift of the actual film DVD to a student on campus, DEATH WHISPER makes no qualms about where it takes inspiration from. This remake by Awi Suryadi bears many references to the original in…

HERE BE DRAGONS AND BEACHES

It’s an unlikely combination. Flores means flowers and yet there are dragons crawling about the beaches of this peninsula island in Indonesia. There’s adventure to be found – and yes, you can go dragon spotting – but Flores Island is probably best know for it’s colourful landscape. From pink beaches to multi-hued craters, the remote…